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Rs 5,000 allowance in disarray as Grama Niladharis, Samurdhi officers boycott

Apr 12 (EN) A relief programme to provide a one-time cash allowance of Rs 5,000 each to 2.8 million low-income families for the upcoming Sinhala & Tamil New Year is in jeopardy as many local state official associations have decided to boycott the programme. A Finance Ministry circular issued on April 10 announced that the payment will be made to families belonging to seven categories: low-income families, Samurdhi beneficiary more..

U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Celebrates 20 Years ...

Apr 12 (USE) This month marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. State Dept’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which has provided more than 200 million SL Rupees ($1 million) in funding to protect SL’s diverse cultural treasures. Since 2001, AFCP has funded 13 projects in SL. Projects have included the comprehensive documentation of western monasteries and historic buildings within the World Heritage sites of A'pura & Galle, restoration of Batticaloa Dutch Fort, more..

39 SJB MPs write to Speaker stating their grievances

Apr 12 (Island) A group of SJB MPs have written to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena alleging that he has been acting in a partial manner and ignoring requests made by Opposition MPs. “We have noticed many times that you have been deliberately ignoring the Opposition MPs whenever they oppose a motion. MPs of our party are affected by your partiality.” the letter signed by 39 SJB lawmakers said. They said that the Speaker had ignored a request from MP Lakshman Kiriella for more..

MONLAR castigates govt for not saving the poor from microfinance loan sharks

Apr 12 (Island) The govt is doing nothing to help the poor caught in a micro-credit trap, moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), Chinthaka Rajapakshe says. Rajapakshe said that only the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality and some MPs, from both the govt and Opposition, had shown some interest in the matter. “We commend their interest. By the end of 2018, over 2.2 million Lankans more..

IGP offers Rs. 1 Million reward over wanted suspect

Apr 12 (DM) The IGP has approved a reward of Rs. 1 million for information leading to the arrest of a suspect who was involved in frauds in various parts of the country and was now absconding arrest. Police said Crimes and Organized Crime Division has launched an investigation to arrest a man who pretended to be a doctor, an engineer, a teacher and a businessman to commit frauds in various parts of the country. Accordingly, he was wanted over selling a stolen vehicle for Rs. 16.5 million by more..

Advocata launches novel policy tool to track everyday food price changes

Apr 12 (Island) Advocata’s latest policy product tracks the average retail prices of a basket of goods and provides an indication of how much prices have changed over time. With the use of such tools, anyone including policymakers and politicians alike has access to track price fluctuations. This could enable anyone to see if policies have direct or indirect effects on food. Which is an essential item and can have a direct impact on the food consumed by households. more..

PNB seizes 100 kg of Ice in Sapugaskanda

Apr 12 (AD) Five individuals have been arrested with 100 kilograms of Ice (Methamphetamine), DIG Ajith Rohana said. The arrest has been made by the officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) at the Rathgahawatta area in Sapugaskanda. On Saturday (10), the PNB arrested an individual at Ja-Ela with 100 g of Ice and 100 g of heroin in his possession. Further investigations into the incident had led to the arrest of six more suspects more..

Apeksha Hospital Director passes away

Apr 12 (CT) Director of the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital Dr. Wasantha Dissanayake passed away yesterday (11). He was 58 years old at the time of his demise. A hospital spokesman said that at the time of his death, he was receiving treatment at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital and had been hospitalised for several weeks. Prior to his death, he had been receiving treatment at the Sri J'pura Hospital for a period of the week over an illness, according to a hospital spokesman. more..

Villagers miss opportunity to brief President on environmental problems

Apr 12 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa yesterday put off a scheduled visit to a village under his Disucssion with Village programme. The govt attributed the postponement of the prez visit to his busy schedule. Sources, however, said it was also due to a controversy over the conduct of a local politician. A special team would look into the matter prior to the Prez’s visit. Villagers and environmentalists yesterday waited at Weliweriya in Uruwala to meet Prez to bring to his notice more..

Video: Consignment of carcinogenic coconut oil loaded onto Barbara

Apr 12 (AD) A consignment of carcinogenic coconut oil imported from Malaysia has been loaded onto the shipping vessel Barbara anchored in Colombo Port. The process commenced at 9.30 am this morning. Six containers of unrefined coconut oil imported by Katana Refineries are being re-exported in this manner. On April 6, the consignment of coconut oil was taken from the importer’s pvt warehouse to Colombo Port more..

Diyawanna pollution a growing problem

Apr 12 (Island) The pollution of the Diyawanna Oya was a serious envisionmental issue, a senior scientist said yesterday, adding that the matter had already been taken up with the CEA. Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera requested the CEA to submit an environmental report on the pollution of Diyawanna Oya. Director General of the CEA, Hemantha Jayasinghe was instructed by Minister Amaraweera to submit an immediate environmental report on the Diyawanna Oya. more..

Opposition: Is Port City a separate state?

Apr 12 (Island) SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella says that the Port City is going to be an area resembling a federal state outside Parliament’s monetary supervision. He said that 25 Acts passed by Parliament would not apply to the Port City, making it a separate state. “As per the provisions in the draft bill titled Colombo Port City Commission Bill recently presented to Parliament, the Central Bank of SL, the Monetary Board and the Ministry of Finance, which control the public finances, more..

Sri Lanka signs USD 500 mn loan agreement with China

Apr 12 (AD) Govt of SL has signed a loan agreement of USD 500 million with the China Development Bank (CDB). Ministry of Finance stated that the relevant funds will be disbursed within this week. Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona, on behalf of the govt of SL, signed the loan agreement with the China Development Bank at the SL Embassy in Beijing on Monday. “This loan will infuse vitally required foreign exchange into SL economy. more..

Singapore Airlines increases Sri Lanka flights to 5 times a week

Apr 12 (EN) Singapore Airlines said it is increasing weekly flights to Colombo from the current three to five a week as aviation sector gradually recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic. It operates Airbus 350-900MH aircraft. “Singapore Airlines has continued to adjust its global network capacity to meet passengers’ needs,” the carrier’s general sales agent in Colombo Aitken Spence said in a statement. “With this increase in frequency, over 50% of SIA capacity into SL will be resumed. more..

Met Dept issues severe lightning warning for several areas

Apr 12 (EN) Meteorological Dept has warned people to be cautious of thundershowers accompanied by severe lighting between 2pm to 10pm, today across 17-districts. Parts of Central, Sabaragamuwa, Western, Northwestern and Northern provinces are identified as high-risk (red) areas. Except Batticaloa, all the other areas are either in high-risk of thundershowers or at moderate level of risk, the met department said. “There may be temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers. more..

‘Mahaweli bid to reduce size of EMZ will worsen human-jumbo conflict’

Apr 12 (Island) Mahaweli Authority has insisted 5,750 acres be removed from the proposed Hambantota Elephant Management Zone (EMZ) and if the Authority is allowed to have its way the human-elephant conflict and the water shortage in the area will worsen, environmentalists warn. Environmental activist Sajeewa Chamikara said the undue delay in declaring EMZ was mainly due to obstacles placed by the Mahaweli Authority. more..

Sri Lanka to advertise internationally for Colombo Port City Commission staff

Apr 12 (EN) Sri Lanka will advertise internationally to hire staff for Colombo Port City Commission, which will function as an independent agency to administer land reclaimed by China Harbhour Engineering Corporation, a top official said. The Port City Commission will have a Board and Chief Executive. “The Commission will be independent in the conduct of their operations,” Secretary to the President P B Jayasundera told a forum organized by Veemansa, a Colombo-based think tank. more..

Ronnie de Mel says: Sajith can take country in right direction

Apr 12 (CT) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa visited Ronnie de Mel at his residence yesterday morning to wish him a happy birthday and many more to come. Ronnie de Mel was the Minister of Finance in the 1977 President J.R. Jayewardene-led Govt and was a pioneer in introducing the open economy to the country. He has presented 11 budgets and is also a pioneer in establishing regional development banks in the country. Commenting on current political situation, more..

Third wave expected in May

Apr 12 (DM) Public health inspectors are expecting the coronavirus third wave to hit SL in May after the general public grossly disregarded the health guidelines ahead of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association said that despite several warnings, most people were seen going about their day-to-day lives in public without strictly following the coronavirus health guidelines. PHI Association Secretary more..

Water meters to be manufactured locally

Apr 12 (TM) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has instructed the Water Supply and Drainage Board to manufacture water meters for water connections provided by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board from now on. He gave these instructions while inspecting the National Water Supply and Drainage Board’s Central Machinery in Ratmalana. Nearly 100,000 water meters provided to ordinary households and institutions are often found to be inoperable and damaged in a single year more..

Pan Asia Bank achieves a milestone for its Treasury expertise

Apr 12 (Island) Pan Asia Bank was recently bestowed with the prestigious ‘Best Bank for Treasury Activities Sri Lanka 2021-Treasury’ award by the Global Banking & Finance Awards 2021. This accolade is a source of pride for Pan Asia Bank as it has won this award for the first time in its history. This win also marks a moment of pride for Sri Lanka’s entire banking industry as Pan Asia Bank is the first local bank to be recognized and rewarded for its superior treasury management skills, more..

මෙරට නීතිය පැත්තකට දමා පෝර්ට් සිටිය...

Shipping pressures to continue

Apr 12 (FT) The global shippers’ community (cargo owners and freight forwarders) will continue to face difficulties in moving freight due to continued disruption to the shipping industry throughout the year 2021 too. Specifically, Asian shippers and the east-west trade lanes have been facing numerous difficulties. It is observed that the rapid recovery of the global economy that started at the end of the first COVID-19 wave has come with a much faster rebound in global trade than initially expected more..

Defence Review by INSSL: A timely contribution to the current knowledge

Apr 12 (FT) Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka, abbreviated as INSSSL, national security think-tank functioning under the Ministry of Defence, has released Volume III of its Review of Defence. It contains six papers authored by authorities on security studies in Sri Lanka and abroad. Like its previous issues, the present issue has covered critical issues faced by defence authorities in the region. In his message to the issue, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of INSSSL, more..

Private sector opposes changing Tourism Act

Apr 12 (FT) The private sector on Friday voiced their strong opposition to replace the existing Tourism Act with a new one, saying it will be destructive and untimely whilst there had not been proper consultation. Tourist Hotels Association (THASL) and SL Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) made a compelling case against the dangers of changing the existing Tourism Act at the present moment sans proper consultation as well as more..

Ratmalana Airport to promote leisure flying, wedding photography

Apr 12 (DM) Ratmalana Airport would be promoted as a Leisure Flying Center under the Govt's program to develop the Airport as a domestic aviation hub, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. Accordingly, Ratmalana Airport will be promoted for leisure flying, wedding photography, drama and cinematography. The new local air routes to tourist attractions and new runways suitable for aircraft would be identified. It is also expected to ease the barriers to flying to such identified locations. more..

567 persons test positive for COVID-19

Apr 12 (FT) The country’s total COVID-19 patient count exceeded 95,000 with the detection of 567 COVID-19 positive persons over the weekend. The weekend’s patients include 283 persons who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. 215 associates of the Peliyagoda cluster and 50 persons linked to the Prisons cluster tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. On Saturday, 214 persons from sub-clusters associated with the Peliyagoda cluster, 54 persons linked to the Prisons cluster, and more..

Underwater Gallery Nilwella declared open

Apr 12 (SLN) At the invitation of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne Minister Namal Rajapaksa declared open the Underwater Gallery Nilwella at Nilwella beach today (10). Built with the contribution of the SL Navy, this latest addition in the southern coast of Nilwella, would from here on attract more local and foreign holidaymakers towards this popular tourist destination. more..

US briefs Sri Lanka on Biden’s commitment to democracy

Apr 12 (DM) The US has briefed the SL Govt on the commitment of US President Joe Biden to democracy. The matter was discussed when Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met with the US Ambassador to SL, Alaina B. Teplitz at the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Joe Biden assumed duties as the President of the US in January and his administration has since implemented its new policies, including the policy on human rights. “The Ambassador and Foreign Minister discussed more..

Spotlight on Prince Philip’s first personal car at Galle Face Hotel

Apr 12 (ST) The death this week of 99 year-old Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, has brought the spotlight back on a car parked on permanent display at the Galle Face Hotel museum. The restored silver and black Standard 9 car is reported to be Prince Philip’s first personal car, bought while he was a 19-year-old midshipman or naval cadet stationed in then Ceylon during World War II. Registration information reveals the owner to be Prince Philip of Greece. more..

JVP women raise fears about cost and safety of food for New Year

Apr 12 (Island) JVP women’s wing led by Women for Rights says that exorbitant prices of food and fears over their safety will make the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year a miserable affair. “The prices of essential food items are at unprecedented highs. In addition, there are fears in the minds of the people about the quality and safety of food items being sold in the market. There were no such fears and doubts whether the food items in the market were fit more..

Senior religious leaders visit Eastern Province to promote harmony

Apr 12 (FT) A 3-day exploration and goodwill visit to the Eastern Province by Senior Buddhist religious leaders, Christian priests and Muslim religious leaders, facilitated by the Zam Zam Foundation, took place from 7-9 April, covering Pottuvil, Kattankudy & Batticaloa. Programs were coordinated through Amarapura and Ramanna Nikaya Samagri Sangha Sabhawa and Kattankudy Mosques and Islamic Institutions Federation. The delegation visited the Muhudu Maha Viharaya more..

Navy-constructed Lankagama Nilwella Bridge vested with the public

Apr 12 (SLN) The Navy-constructed Lankagama Nilwella Bridge was ceremonially declared open on 10th April. The opening ceremony was held under the patronage of the Governor of Southern Province, Dr. Willy Gamage and with the attendance of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne. The new bridge connects the villages of Lankagama and Nilwella of Neluwa in the Southern Province. Going in line with the National Policy Framework - Vistas of Prosperity & Splendour more..

SLAF swimmer sets new Asian record swimming across Palk Strait

Apr 12 (AD) Leading Aircraftman Roshan Abeysundara of SL Air Force (SLAF) says that set a new Asian record by swimming 59.3 kilometers across the Palk Strait in just 28 hours, 19 minutes, and 43 seconds. Early morning on Saturday (10), Abeysundara kicked off his record-breaking mission from the Talaimannar beach in Mannar. He had been presented with a thermal swimming kit which would assist during his record-breaking attempt, more..

Two COVID-19 deaths bring fatalities to 598

Apr 12 (FT) Two COVID-19 positive persons died yesterday and 598 COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in the country to date. A 60-year-old individual from Puttalam was transferred from the Puttalam District General Hospital to the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital, before being admitted to the Homagama Base Hospital. He died of COVID pneumonia, blood poisoning and cancer at the Homagama Base Hospital yesterday. An individual from Baddegama tested positive more..

TRCSL fixing laws for equal play

Apr 12 (ST) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) is fixing coverage and service quality on the voice in mobile telephone sector while enacting related laws to be in line with international best practices and gearing for number portability by year end. The TRCSL is currently at the technical planning stage and preparing the required legal frameworks for number portability, Oshada Senanayake, Director General TRCSL told the Business Times on Wednesday. more..