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Grease for rusty machines

Jul 1 (ST) A few weeks ago, 5.5 million people of Finland were rocked by shocking news. It was about a corruption allegation against Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin. She had become the head of the state just one and half years ago. As at present, 35-year old Ms. Marin also holds the record of being the youngest head of state in the world. As revealed in local media, Ms. Marin has been using public money for subsidised breakfasts at her official residence. And it was 10 euros a day! more..

Who pushed for the fertiliser ban?

Jul 1 (ST) As the furore over the ban on chemical fertiliser and pesticides continues unabated with soil scientists, economists, agriculturists and experienced tea producers joining in the verbal fray, one is tempted to look back at promises made at election time by contending candidates. One is reminded of a remark made by the leading candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a public rally when he announced that “Mahinda called me in the morning and told me, if elected, more..

Company promising life care breaches customs defense

Jul 1 (DM) Dehiwala Police conducted a raid at Matrix Lifecare Pvt Ltd situated at No 52/13, Rubber Watta area in Nedimala, Dehiwala two weeks ago on receiving information that the company was packeting and distributing expired medicine imported to the country. The raid was carried out by a team of 15 Police officers headed by the Dehiwala Police OIC and officers of the NMRA. Dehiwala Police said that packets of more..

Pardon on Poson; a meritorious act, at cost of rule of law?

Jul 1 (DM) Poson is famous for Abhayadana, [Rescue from slaughter]. This year’s Poson became famous for an abhayadana of a different kind. Prez Rajapaksa chose the day for pardoning 93 inmates that included 16 LTTE cadres detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, [a judicious gesture] plus a very special case; former Colombo District UPFA MP Duminda Silva too, who was accused of murder of MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others on Oct 8, 2011. more..

Anojitha Sivaskaran: Courageous young peace activist strives to inspire change

Jul 1 (GV) During her relatively short life, Britain’s Princess Diana was able to overcome many trials and tribulations and dedicate her time to helping others live better lives. Her many causes included a fight to ban landmines and beating the stigma of AIDS during the early days of the disease. To celebrate her legacy, the Diana Award was established in 1999. One of this year’s winners of the award, which honours young people for their social action or humanitarian work, is Anojitha more..

Socio-cultural, environmental issues due to tourism developments in A’pura: Study

Jul 1 (TM) Social problems, environmental pollution, and congestion and crowding out as a result of tourism-related developments taking place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ancient City of Anuradhapura has caused significant environmental and socio-cultural issues to the lives of residents, a research carried out in the pre-Covid-19 era notes. The research notes that deforestation and more..

Incalculable environmental damage

Jul 1 (CT) The damage to the marine environment, caused by the X-Press Pearl container ship disaster, is incalculable. A large area of the sea around the Colombo Harbour, at the entrance where the vessel carrying 1,486 containers caught fire and sank has been affected and its marine life, including fish and even microorganisms have been destroyed: even the sea corals and sea plants heve been wiped out and would take ages to re-grow. The carcasses of nearly 200 marine animals, such as turtles, more..

Editorial: Parliament: More probes needed

Jul 1 (Island) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is expected to receive the report of a committee that probed the shameful conduct of some MPs in the House in April. They plunged Parliament into turmoil by resorting to fisticuffs and trading raw filth. It is hoped that the probe committee has conducted a thorough investigation and recommended tough action, which is long overdue, to preserve what remains of the dignity of the legislature. A cantankerous legislator who caused more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

Ranil returns, says: Economy in tatters and Covid crisis worsening

Jul 1 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe made news on June 23, when he was sworn in by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene as an ordinary member of the ninth Parliament some 10 months after the UNP, which he had led since 1994, was soundly defeated at the August 2020 general election, leaving the party in disarray. For the first time in its electoral history, the once formidable UNP failed to win even a single seat other than the solitary slot allocated to the party on the national list. more..

Travel restrictions don’t apply to the mentally deranged

Jul 1 (DM) The decision to finally end the travel restrictions shows that the govt realizes how desperately people are trying to make ends meet. This is the third time since March 2020 that travel (meaning stepping out into the street) was restricted (meaning you were effectively locked in, except in case of emergencies and essential services). The law of diminishing returns seems to govern the official terminology. That was why lockdown has been watered down to travel restrictions, more..

Michael Kallbäck: From Katukithula to Sweden

Jul 1 (ST) Thirty-six-year-old Michael Kallbäck is a Swedish sports agent of global standing. But his amazing life story began in a tiny village in SL. Michael was born in 1985 and grew up in Degerfors, Sweden, brought up by Swedish parents. He is one of the first established agents to represent both men and women athletes. He is the CEO and founder of Neverland Management, one of the world’s leading sports agencies in women’s football. more..

Govt’s fertiliser policy: Will economy face a double whammy?

Jul 1 (Island) A Cabinet decision on 27th April granting approval to a proposal made by the Prez to ban the use and the import of chemical fertilizers and other agrochemicals with a view to making SL the first country in the world that exclusively practices organic agriculture has resulted in significant impacts immediately upon its announcement. Farmers who have cultivated paddy, subsidiary crops, vegetables, spices, tea, etc., in a number of districts were finding it difficult or more..

Olympic day indoors for the second successive year

Jul 1 (ST) For the second year running, the pandemic hit Olympic Day celebrations in Sri Lanka stayed indoors but, the iconic June 23 celebrations went on full steam — virtually on NOC Sri Lanka’s official Facebook Page from 9.00am onwards. This year too, the event had its special features like the first ever dedicated Olympic Day Song composed and sung by Mario Ananda and a short film contest which was opened to the general public. Commenting on the event more..

Colombo’s crying call

Jul 1 (FT) Colombo City Hotels Association (CCHA) called for the urgent reopening of food and beverage outlets, saying the move was crucial for survival and to stop further serious loss of income and jobs. CCHA President M. Shanthikumar, whilst welcoming easing of travel restrictions, said the order to keep food and beverage outlets closed had kept customers and business away. more..

So near and yet so far for Olympian Sumedha

Jul 1 (Island) Sumedha Ranasinghe became country’s first male javelin thrower at Olympics when he took part in the Rio Games in 2016. A massive 83.04 metres throw at Diyagama in 2015 was the breakthrough moment of his career. Since then the undergraduate has been carrying lot of expectations on his shoulders. Expectations were also high when the qualification period for Tokyo Olympics opened with him ranked 30th in Road to Olympics Rankings by virtue of his performances in 2019. more..

Onus on Sri Lankan batsmen to lend a helping hand to bowling unit

Jul 1 (Island) It would not be a surprise if, at times during this tour of England, Sri Lanka’s bowlers had cast suspicious glances across the dressing room at their batsmen. After all, in three of the four white-ball matches so far, Sri Lanka’s bowlers have had periods of play when they have been on top of England’s much-heralded batting line-up. All of those matches ended in defeat, of course, but had Sri Lanka’s batsmen been able to contribute more, a different result may have been possible. more..

කොතලාවල ආරක්ෂක වි.වි. පනත

Matthew, Aniqah receive invitational entries to Olympics

Jul 1 (CT) Swimmers Matthew Abeysinghe and Aniqah Gaffoor have received invitational entries for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. Abeysinghe, the most decorated swimmer of the South Asian Games, qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics but failed to achieve the required standard for this year’s Olympics, and is fortunate to receive an invitational entry which is granted to countries with no qualified swimmer. He will be competing in the 50m butterfly event. more..

Swadeshi Industrial Works gets enjoining order against ReeBonn, Sathosa

Jul 1 (FT) Swadeshi Industrial Works, manufacturer of Swadeshi Khomba for eight decades, obtained several enjoining orders in respect of the Sathosa Kohomba manufactured by ReeBonn Lanka Ltd. and distributed by Lanka Sathosa Ltd. for violation of intellectual property rights of its Swadeshi Khomba. Commercial High Court of Colombo Judge M.A.R Marrikar issued the said enjoining orders on 22 June. Swadeshi is the owner and producer of Swadeshi Khomba, the market leader more..

Shani retires as Senior Superintendent of Police as fears mount for his security

Jul 1 (CT) SSP Shani Abeysekera retired from the Police Department when he marked his 60th birthday on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, even as fears mount for his safety. The high-profile criminal investigator with an illustrious record of solving some of the most complex crimes in the last two decades, should have been feted upon his exit from the SL Police. Instead, Abeysekera retires this week under a cloud of allegations that more..

Covid-19 entices more for health, life insurance

Jul 1 (DN) COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise for the Life Insurance Sector as the pandemic has enticed more people to reconsider health insurance needs coupled with Life Insurance, First Capital Survey in the Insurance Industry said. Asia is expected to emerge as the pivot for the overall insurance industry being the first to hit by C-19 and being first to recover. Among Asian countries, SL is expected to clock a growth of 20% in 2021 as SL’s insurance market is still one of the more..

BOC, Dialog and Wavenet partner in landmark COVID-19 relief initiative

Jul 1 (FT) Supporting the national effort in the fight against COVID-19, Bank of Ceylon, Dialog Axiata PLC, and Wavenet International Ltd. have partnered to establish the national 1390 COVID-19 Integrated Home-based Care Solution, a consolidated hub combining a digital platform and an outreach centre to better manage the home-based care of PCR positive asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients, for the first time in Sri Lanka. This project was initiated by the Ministry of Health (MOH), more..

New Securities and Exchange Commission Act to be presented to Parliament next week

Jul 1 (FT) The new Securities and Exchange Commission Act to regulate the stock market in keeping with current international best practices is to be presented to Parliament next week. The new law, which will replace the Securities and Exchange Commission of SL Act No. 36 of 1987, has been published in the Govt Gazette ahead of being tabled in Parliament. The new Bill enhances the powers of the Commission more..

EU monitoring mission here in September

Jul 1 (ST) The European Union (EU) is planning to send a monitoring mission in September to Sri Lanka in the wake of the resolution against Sri Lanka in the EU Parliament seeking a withdrawal of GSP+ concessions owing to alleged human rights abuses. “We were informed that a delegation will visit Sri Lanka in September subject to COVID-19 conditions,” said veteran trade union leader Palitha Athukorala. This was confirmed by the EU Office in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka HC to host Kerala biz delegation

Jul 1 (Hindu) A delegation of businesses from Thiruvananthapuram will be taken to Sri Lanka under the auspices of the Office of the Deputy High Commissioner, SL Deputy High Commission, Chennai, to explore various opportunities that the island nation may have to offer to companies based here. D Venkateshwaran who recently took charge as the Deputy High Commissioner, while interacting with office-bearers of the Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), more..

Palihakkara finds fault with High Posts Committee

Jul 1 (Island) European Union member, Italy, is yet to accept former Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sumangala Dias as SL’s Ambassador to Rome. In response to The Island query regarding the delay in finalising the posting, Public Diplomacy Division said that as per information received from the SL Mission in Rome, the matter was currently being processed. The High Posts Committee of Parliament chaired by more..

Move to get S'pore to probe destruction of marine life due to ship fire raises eyebrows

Jul 1 (Island) Marine scientists and researchers yesterday expressed concern about Wildlife Minister C B Rathnayake’s move to send samples of dead marine animal species to Singapore for further experiments and investigation. They claim that this is an ill-advised move as the operator of MV X-Press Pearl is a Singaporean company. “The team from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is already working with our environment Sub Committee. So, we don’t understand why more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in Doha facilitates donation of 100 oxygen cylinders

Jul 1 (GT) The embassy of SL in Doha has facilitated the third air shipment of 100 medical oxygen cylinders, with a capacity of 50 litres each, to the Sri Lankan government, further strengthening its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. The donation was made by well-wishers upon the urgent request made by Mafaz Mohideen, SL's ambassador to Qatar, the embassy said in a post on Facebook on Tuesday. SriLankan Airlines airlifted the consignment on a free-of-charge basis, more..

1,864 COVID-19 patients detected; total rises to 259,089

Jul 1 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections yesterday rose to 259,089 with 1,864 persons testing positive for the virus. 18,250 PCR tests were carried out yesterday. COVID-19 patients detected yesterday include 1,786 persons from the New Year cluster and the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters now have a cumulative patient count of 251,614. Cumulative patient count includes 156,923 persons from New Year cluster, more..

SL invites Pakistan to identify tariff issues

Jul 1 (TN) SL govt on Wednesday invited businessmen to identify tariff issues that are impeding trade between the two countries. Consul General of SL in Karachi GL Gnanatheva advised businessmen, exporters and members of Pakistan-SL Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to conduct comparative study on tariffs levied on various products to resolve grievances. Gnanatheva said traders of both the countries should more..

June’s COVID death surge to be probed

Jul 1 (CT) A Specialist Committee has been appointed to look into the steep escalation of COVID-19 related deaths during the month of June, Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Asela Gunawardana said. He said that over 1,500 COVID deaths had been recorded in June alone. According to statistics issued by the Health Ministry, deaths in April were at 110, while the number recorded in May was 806. In June the recorded number of COVID-19 deaths was a staggering 1,501. more..

UDA determined to demolish De Soysa

Jul 1 (TM) The UDA is all set to demolish the 150-year-old De Soysa Building in Slave Island, Colombo, despite directives from the PM’s office and Archaeology Dept. PM Rajapaksa had issued directives to UDA officers during a meeting held on 3 March 2021, to not demolish the De Soysa Building. The meeting was held for the purpose of reviewing the ongoing development projects in Colombo and to discuss obstacles more..

Nurses on 48-hour strike today

Jul 1 (TM) A group of health sector nurses’ trade unions will embark on a 48-hour strike from 7 a.m. today, citing unmet demands concerning promotions and facilities afforded to nurses. GNOA Head Saman Rathnapriya said the strike would last for 48 hours, calling for nine demands to be met, including those concerning promotions, facilities, and the amendment of the nursing service constitution. “The strike will not disturb Covid-19-related activities or hospital facilities pertaining to the treatment more..

Major rift in Govt due to possible entry by Basil?

Jul 1 (DM) A major rift has erupted within the govt following reports that Basil Rajapaksa will take oaths as an MP early next month and will thereafter receive a ministerial portfolio. Some govt coalition party members have objected to the move, citing Rajapaksa’s dual citizenship as a reason, and have voiced their disapproval to the Prez and PM. Reports had surfaced that Rajapaksa was likely to be appointed as Minister of Economic Development, a portfolio newly created for him more..

Obstructing the duties of wildlife officers: Police ordered to arrest Major Gen., Others

Jul 1 (CT) Kekirawa District Judge Saman Waraniyagoda ordered Habarana Police to arrest a Major General and other officers who obstructed the duties of Wildlife officers on duty at the Minneriya National Park. The order was made based on a ‘B’ report submitted by Habarana Police, in connection with an incident where a Major General had allegedly obstructed the duties of the Wildlife officers in Minneriya National Park more..

The Zero-Sum Man: The President vs. the peasantry

Jul 1 (FT) Prez Gotabaya is the Zero-Sum Man. When the Prez refuses to take a step back on the fertiliser issue, reiterating his public stand in conversation with the Mahanayakes, and the peasantry, filled with despair and outrage, step forward to demonstrate in their fields, villages and towns (e.g., Oruwala), the stage is set for collision. An entirely legitimate, peaceful Govi (Peasant) Hartal is spontaneously swelling up from the grassroots or rather the paddy fields. more..

AI will lead Sri Lanka to the next level of economic development

Jul 1 (FT) AI, long the mainstay of science fiction, is today a very real presence in business, manufacturing, govt operations and an array of other sectors as AI applications take on a growing number of tasks. AI is accelerating the transition from the traditional to the digital economy, and at the same time shaping the outlines of the emerging digital economy and society. Policymakers will need to have a good grasp of the basic requirements for AI as well as its potential as this technology more..

ඇයි අපේ ක්‍රිකට් වලට මෙහෙම උනේ

FR case against Selendiva Company

Jul 1 (Island) A fundamental rights petition was filed in the Supreme Court yesterday seeking an order to prevent the Treasury Secretary from taking any steps to sell, lease or alienate state properties, vested with Selendiva Investments Ltd., Company or any subsidiary of this company. The petition was filed by Kapila Perera, Secretary of the Professional’s National Front (PNF). Attorney-at-Law Dharshana Weraduwage appears for Perera, who says he is trying to protect public property and prevent their to misuse. more..