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Video: Opposition seeks postponement of debate on 20A

Oct 19 (AD) Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella has requested the Speaker of Parliament to postpone the debate on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which is scheduled to take place this week. In a letter addressed to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, the Chief Opposition Whip claimed that Covid-19 infected persons have been reported from nearly every district in the country and that negligence on the part of the govt more..

Govt unable to trace how second wave began: Ruwan

Oct 19 (DM) It is unfortunate that the authorities have been unable to trace as to how the second wave of COVID-19 had begun, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said over the weekend. Speaking after a religious ceremony to seek divine help to end the COVID-19, Wijewardene said the Minister of Health should state as to how the second wave had begun in SL. 'It is unfortunate that the govt has not been able to determine as to how the second wave of COVID-19 had begun in SL. more..

SLEA at the fore once again: Comes up with policy brief for COVID-19 affected economy

Oct 19 (FT) The Sri Lanka Economic Association, commonly known as SLEA, has always been in the forefront of making objective policy recommendations for Sri Lanka’s policy authorities. Its forte is that it is not guided by any political or personal hue. To gauge this, one should only look at the papers presented in its annual sessions in the past. It has been constructively critical of the policies adopted by governments of different political alienations. more..

Video: Rishad Bathiudeen arrested

Oct 19 (AD) MP Rishad Bathiudeen has been arrested by the CID, stated the Police Media Spokesman. The arrest has been made at the Dehiwala area early this morning, stated DIG Ajith Rohana. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the CID launched several special operations to apprehend the former minister and as a result of these operations he was arrested in the Dehiwala area in the early hours of today. more..

Omalpe Sobitha Thero writes to Prez on 20A

Oct 19 (TM) Omalpe Sobitha Thero, the Chief Patron of the Hela Bodu Saviya, has sent a letter to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding his concerns on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Although the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which has been gazetted and published, is due to be debated in Parliament on the 21st, the clergy who are dedicated to the Sasana and social service of the country in various ways have already expressed their displeasure, more..

Colombo Mayor gives high marks to govt for effectively tackling crisis

Oct 19 (Island) Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake yesterday said the authorities had effectively curbed the coronavirus crisis and the people should extend their fullest cooperation to the govt. Senanayake said the Municipal health workers were assisting the govt in curbing the spread of the virus and people should not entertain unnecessary fears. Senanayake said she would fully cooperate with the campaign launched by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to combat COVID-19. more..

President’s Counsel Mr. U.R. De Siva

Revisiting Mind of the Strategist: Continuing cognisance with COVID-19

Oct 19 (FT) Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create panic, life must move on safely and serenely. I revisited one of my favourite authors on strategy, Kenichi Ohmae. His masterpiece and repeated bestselling book with a fitting title, Mind of the Strategist inspired me again. I saw much relevance in what he discussed with the dire reality of COVID19. Let us deliberate further. “Strategic success cannot be reduced to a formula, nor can anyone become a strategic thinker merely more..

Fate of 20th Amendment lies in the political arena

Oct 19 (FT) According to reports the SC has cleared the 20th Amendment with minor conditions some of which are analysed below. Now the battle must be joined in the political arena. The only commendable part of this cautious and unimaginative ruling is that on presidential immunity. The rest is fluff. From 1978 to 2015, the Constitution gave the president immunity for all actions and omissions official or private during his or her term. Because later presidents assigned themselves portfolios more..

Video: Rishad will appear openly after Oct 20: ACMC

Oct 19 (AD) The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) says its leader MP Rishad Bathiudeen will appear publicly after the 20th of Oct, the Deputy Leader of ACMC, Attorney-at-Law N.M. Shaheed said. On October 15, MP Bathiudeen filed a writ application through his lawyer, seeking an order from the Court of Appeal to prevent his arrest. The writ application has also been fixed for support on the 20th of Oct before AC justices more..

Covid-19: Hirdaramani employee infected in Kahathuduwa

Oct 19 (TM) Following routine PCR testing at Hirdaramani Industries, an employee attached to the Kahathuduwa facility tested positive for Covid-19. Hirdaramani management announced that the staffer tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. “The associate is currently asymptomatic, in stable condition, and following the required MOH (Ministry of Health) procedures for quarantine and treatment. “As a precautionary measure, we are currently disinfecting the entire plant and more..

More CSE dealings by directors and related parties

Oct 19 (FT) Colombo Stock Market saw directors and or related parties mostly selling smaller stakes in several companies last week. Some of the selling was to cash in the market’s gain, whilst others were increasing liquidity of the shares. Lanka Commodity Brokers Ltd. also sold four million shares in Asia Siyaka Commodities. During the week, 67.7 million shares (over 25% stake) of Asia Siyaka changed hands for Rs. 268.7 million via 3,215 trades. Share hit a new 52-week high of Rs. 4.50 last week, more..

Easter Sunday probe in tatters: Director CID transferred following internal inquiry into...

Oct 19 (Island) Close on the heels of Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC, alleging serious lapses on the part of the CID, in respect of the probe on Riyaj Bathiudeen’s alleged involvement with those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks, the premier investigating agency’s Director SSP Prasanna de Alwis has been moved out. The transfer took place consequent to an unprecedented meeting the AG had with new Director CID more..

COVID-19 tally increases to 5,538

Oct 19 (NR) The number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the country has risen to 5,538 following the detection of 63 patients yesterday. Yesterday’s cases include 61 linked to the Minuwangoda cluster and two arrivals from Japan. Minuwangoda cluster has risen to 2,075. Ministry of Health confirmed that 2,122 persons including 16 foreign nationals are currently receiving medical treatment for coronavirus at 19 hospitals across the country. 306 suspected cases are also under medical observation. more..

Corona enters Colombo Dockyard

Oct 19 (CT) Five employees of Colombo Dockyard tested positive for the COVID-19. SLPA Chairman, Daya Ratnayake said Colombo Dockyard is an independent company, situated within the Colombo Port premises that is engaged in ship building and the operations of the Port will not be affected by the present situation, since steps were taken, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, to limit employees of the relevant institutions from encountering each other. more..

Champika apologizes to Japanese PM on cancelled Colombo light rail project

Oct 19 (NIA) Former Megapolis Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has written to the Japanese PM, Yoshihide Suga, apologizing for the Rajapaksa govt’s uncalled for and sudden decision to cancel the Japan-funded Colombo Light Rail Transport (LRT) Project. In a letter dated Oct 12, Ranawaka said: “As a responsible national leader, and the then minister who initiated and spearheaded the commencement of this more..

Sri Lankan, Indian navies to carry out military drill to enhance inter-operability

Oct 19 (PTI) The navies of India and SL will conduct a three-day military exercise off Trincomalee beginning Monday, in a show of growing congruence in their strategic interests and operational convergence in the region. The eighth edition of the annual SLINEX exercise will feature a series of complex drills including surface and anti-air weapon firings and cross deck flying operations with an aim to further fine-tune the high degree of inter-operability between the two navies, they said. more..

PTF Head visits Watawala Dairy Farm

Oct 19 (DN) Head of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation, Basil Rajapaksa, recently attended an observation tour of the Watawala Dairy Farm in Lonach Estate, Ginigathena. The state-of-the-art dairy farm by Watawala Dairy Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of SL’s leading diversified agribusiness company Watawala Plantations, manages a herd of 1, 600 dairy cattle with an ultramodern milking parlour which can produce over 6m litres of fresh milk annually. more..

Sirisena unable to submit written evidence

Oct 19 (CT) Although former Prez Sirisena, on a number of occasions, claimed that he had instructed relevant officials and institutions tasked with safeguarding national security, on steps to be taken regarding Islamist extremism and related activities, he has not yet submitted any written evidence in this regard to the PCoI. An Additional Solicitor General (ASG) queried about this when the former Prez testified before PCoI more..

Sri Lanka performs better in reducing hunger in 2020

Oct 19 (FT) Sri Lanka ranked 64th out of the 107 countries in the 2020 Global Hunger Index (GHI), with a score of 16.3 and a level of hunger that was termed moderate. 2020 GHI released last week examines levels of hunger in 107 developing countries and scores them based on four indicators - prevalence of undernourishment, child stunting (low height for age), child wasting (low weight for height) and child mortality. Despite efforts to increase the nutritional level of SL's children, more..

Video: Travel restrictions on 04 villages in Kuliyapitiya

Oct 19 (AD) Measures have been taken to restrict movement in 04 villages in Kuliyapitiya following the discovery of 11 cases of COVID-19 infection. The travel restrictions have been imposed on Gaiyala, Urupitiya, Annaruwa, and Pallewela villages. The infected persons had attended a wedding ceremony held at a church in Kuliyapitiya on October 02, according to health officials. Reportedly, the groom of the wedding was also confirmed, on October 12, to have contracted the virus. more..

Documents handed over to Sports Ministry to probe match fixing

Oct 19 (Island) Several documents pertaining to match fixing in a domestic First Class game a couple of seasons back have been handed over to Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa earlier this week to start a fresh inquiry. Several leading cricket officials including those in the Executive Committee of SLC are alleged to have conspired to fix a First Class game in 2017. The most high profile name among those more..

Female arrested for making defamatory remarks against Cardinal

Oct 19 (DM) A 43-year-old woman was arrested for making defamatory remarks against Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith in a video uploaded to social media, DIG Ajith Rohana said. The suspect was arrested in Battaramulla. He said the video also contained content that arouse hatred between Buddhist and Catholic communities. “She is to be produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate tomorrow,” DIG Rohana said. The CID is carrying out further inquiry into the incident. more..

Sri Lanka born lawyer Vanushi elected New Zealand MP

Oct 19 (DM) SL born Vanushi Walters of NZ's Labour Party has won the race to be Upper Harbour MP in northwest Auckland, taking over from retiring National MP Paula Bennett. She claimed a narrow victory over National candidate Jake Bezzant, a former tech company chief executive, receiving 14,142 votes to Bezzant’s 12,727. During the campaign, Walters, a board member of AI, said she was passionate about the electorate because of its diverse and warm communities. more..

There are mysterious reasons behind failure to prevent Easter attacks: Pujith

Oct 19 (AD) Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara gave evidence before the PCoI for the eleventh day on Saturday. During the proceedings, State’s ASG brought the attention of the former GIP to a document containing intelligence information, sent to him by the State Intelligence Service (SIS) the day before the attack. He asked the witness if the relevant document sent by the SIS Director Nilantha Jayawardena contains more..

Lanka Sathosa announces new leadership team

Oct 19 (CT) Lanka Sathosa announced a host of senior leadership appointments to spearhead its ongoing transformation as it strives to deliver value to the nation during this global health and financial crisis. Major Anura Pandithage (Retd) has been appointed as the CEO of Lanka Sathosa Limited with effect from 21st Sept. He served in the SL Army for 20 years. After his retirement from the Army, he has held management roles in Human Resources and Administration at several leading more..

Over 200kg of Kerala cannabis seized with Navy’s assistance

Oct 19 (SLN) SL Navy and Police managed to seize over 200kg stock of Kerala cannabis, during a special operation conducted in Oluthuduwai, Mannar today (18). Accordingly, the North Central Naval Command together with the Police Station Vice Branch, Mannar seized 200kg and 825g of Keral cannabis, during this special operation carried out in Mannar. The stock of Kerala cannabis smuggled by sea with the intention of distribution, had been found at the beach area of Oluthuduwai and more..

Cash in billions for COVID-hit biz

Oct 19 (FT) Thousands of COVID-hit businesses have been supported so far with billions in cash combined under the concessionary working capital support scheme, the CB announced. It revealed that as of 15 Oct, 61,907 loan- approved applications were received from COVID-19 affected businesses. These applications were for a total of Rs. 177.9 billion and registered under the three phases of Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance more..

Stock market eyes new record in 2020

Oct 19 (FT) The Colombo stock market, which has remained resilient despite local and external shocks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, is setting sights on new records this year. Year to date turnover of Rs. 259 billion is already higher than annual figure CSE managed in the past five years. Last week it overtook the 2015 figure of Rs. 253 billion. With over two more months to go for 2020, analysts are hoping the year will surpass the stellar 2014, which produced Rs. 341 billion. more..

NSSF National Rifle and Pistol Championship set for Nov 12

Oct 19 (ST) National Shooting Sports Federation of SL (NSSF) has set the dates to host its first major event for this year despite uncertainty caused by the spike in the COVID-19 cases. After vigilantly observing the situation for nearly seven months, the NSSF hopes to conduct at least the most important events for the year. The NSSF has scheduled the National Rifle and Pistol Championship 2020 from Nov 12 to 21 at the SL Navy Small Bore Range at SLNS Gemunu in Welisara. more..

Murali breaks silence, says ‘Never supported killing of innocent lives’

Oct 19 (DNA) Muttiah Muralitharan has spoken out about all the controversy surrounding the release of his biopic, saying that he never supported the killing of any innocents. Muralitharan, who is considered the greatest ever bowler in the history of cricket with 800 Test wickets and 534 ODI wickets, will have his biopic released soon and his role will be essayed by Tamil superstar Vijay Sethupathi. more..

Drafting of new constitution begins

Oct 19 (Island) The drafting of the new constitution to replace the 1978 constitution has begun even before the 20th Amendment has been through the committee stage in Parliament. The Special Experts Committee to Draft a New Constitution headed by President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva has been allocated offices in the BMICH, and three senior officers of the Ministry of Justice have been appointed to the Secretariat of the Committee. Sittings of the committee have already more..

Editorial: Origin of current COVID-19 wave

Oct 19 (Island) Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), is of the view that the infection that triggered the current wave of COVID-19, which has sent Sri Lanka reeling, could be of foreign origin. He said so, taking part in a TV programme yesterday. His line of reasoning is convincing. There were no COVID-19 infections for two months outside the quarantine centres following the elimination of the Kandakadu cluster. more..

Covid-19, 20th Amendment and shadow of Chinese dominion

Oct 19 (GV) On Oct 7, Sri Lanka officially informed the United Nations that the govt of Gotabaya Rajapaksas has successfully contained Covid-19. On Oct 7, 519 Covid-19 patients were identified in Sri Lanka. The new Brandix cluster became revealed on Oct 4. On Oct 5, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara, Director MRI, told Derana, “From January to now this virus has been present in the community somehow… more..

COVID-19: Growing social inequalities and social responsibility

Oct 19 (DM) The IPS in its report on the Status of the Economy revealed that income inequality in the country is growing, and is a rising problem across the country for the past 25 years. In 2016, 50% of SL households earned less than Rs. 39,855 per month. With the average household consisting approximately four persons (3.8 to be exact), this sum was and is not sufficient to sustain a family of four persons; with the average cost of two meals per family being around Rs. 24,000/-. more..

The rights of children with special needs towards an inclusive education system

Oct 19 (CT) Under the UN convention on the rights of the Persons with Disabilities – ‘Children should have full enjoyment of all Human Rights and fundamental freedoms on equal basis with other children, and recalling obligations to that end undertaken by the State to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sadly, in recent there has been many incidences where the rights of a special needs person have been violated. In the year 1912 SL established the school for the Deaf and Blind more..