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Jaffna is too far from Beijing

Jan 1 (DM) The visit by Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong to Nallur Kandaswamy Temple on Dec 16 and that of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, in Southern Indian State of Andra Pradesh on Dec 24 did not weigh equally on the scale, despite both temples being Hindu and very famous among people of others faiths as well. One visit was of mere faith relevance while the other being seemingly public diplomacy. One was in the interest of one’s self salvation more..

Charting a new history, for a new future

Jan 1 (Island) For Sinhala nationalists, I daresay the history of Sri Lanka remains the history of the Sinhala people. This begs two questions: one, who are these Sinhala people, and two, where does their history begin? The typical nationalist response to these would be, first, that Sinhala people are those who form the majority in the country, and second that their history begins with the advent of kinship as outlined in chronicles like the Mahavamsa. But such responses ignore important historical more..

Family politics and the future presidency

Jan 1 (DM) Politicians here in Sri Lanka must be married and have children if they are to engage in lawmaking. We’ve seen politicians who were bachelors who never did anything worthwhile for themselves or for the country. When our children live in the country we reside in we tend to take calculated decisions for the betterment of the nation. Right now people are left wondering whether there would be a tomorrow for them. more..

Welcome Twenty-Twenty-Two

Jan 1 (CT) A new year heralds a new beginning in a world shrouded with anxiety; teetering on scarcity driven by a pandemic that began two years ago. Despite the uncertainty with Covid, markets and climate change, hope is still alive and well. What will this New Year bring; will the coronavirus start waning after a successful global vaccination programme? Will economies around the world rebound after months in limbo? Will we finally find a cure for cancer? Regardless of the disappointments more..

Regulating to electrically safeguard your household

Jan 1 (TM) Electricity helps make our lives easier but there are times when we can take its power and its potential for fire-related hazards for granted. Even though the wide availability of electricity has immensely contributed to the development of Sri Lanka, it has claimed a number of lives irrespective of the gender, age, occupation, religion or race as a result of not using it with due attention and care. The Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) is the regulator for the electricity industry and more..

'Medical admins lack proper living quarters; deputies not given transport'

Jan 1 (TM) Difficulties and challenges faced by medical administrators pertain to not having proper official living quarters and the lack of transportation facilities for officers of the deputy medical administrative grade, which need to be overcome in the process of creating medical administrators that are capable of dealing with modern changes to healthcare services. These observations were made by College of more..

Commercial High Court issues orders on Asiabike

Jan 1 (FT) The Commercial High Court yesterday ordered a forensic audit on Asiabike Industrial Ltd. The Court also ordered restraining the company from appointing alternate directors, and alienating property. This was after two shareholders of the company filed an application alleging that the Directors Mohomed Isthihak and Mohomed Nakeeb oppressed other directors and mismanaged affairs of the company. Asiabike Industrial is one of the largest bike manufacturers in SL with access to more..

What is the Ugandan link and shady dealings with SL’s Kings?

Jan 1 (CT) Mystery continues to deepen over the contents of 102 metric tons of printed material that SriLankan Airlines airlifted through three charter flights of Airbus A333 to Entebbe Int'l Airport, Uganda in Feb 2021. The country’s national carrier refused to give details as to what that printed material was when Sunday Times, Colombo filed a Right to Information (RTI) application in April 2021, saying that it had no specific details on the contents and also citing commercial confidence more..

ජානක වක්කුඹුර, ජගත් කුමාර, අජිත් පෙරේරා, විජිත...

New Year priority: The battle against climate change

Jan 1 (DM) We begin a New Year today with a wish and hope that our elected political leaders will make a New Year resolution to sincerely, sacrificially and selflessly serve the people especially those who are caught in the poverty trap and are not able to obtain basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, education and health facilities. The living cost has soared sky high to unprecedented levels and with the powdered milk price being raised again, from small restaurants say they will serve only more..

Editorial: Dawn of hope

Jan 1 (Island) The dawn of a new year always brings hope, which gives people a reason to live amidst numerous crises. Some words of wisdom attributed to Nietzsche come to mind: He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow. Year 2022 is also sure to throw up daunting challenges and set new goals for Sri Lankans mired in multiple crises. Celebrations to ring it in were low-keyed owing to the prevailing health emergency and economic hardships. A let-up is thought to have occurred in the national more..

The rise of Hoo Keliya by the people

Jan 1 (Island) Crackers did burst, and rockets did fly with blasts. As the old year folded up, the fireworks continued. Were some of the louder blasts from gas cylinders? Who knows, with no legal action taken against those gas-blast dealers so far. The law can wait till they draw in all the crooked profits. As the cracker and rocket blasts fade away, we are moving into a new sound of the public. It is the rise of the Hoova time. more..

Special security programme from Friday

Jan 1 (Island) Police would make special security arrangements in the Western Province from 31 December in view of the festivities connected with the New Year. SSP Nihal Thalduwa said, noting that additional parking slots had been demarcated at the Galle Face Green. “Traffic police officers will be on duty throughout the night. We will also increase mobile units and policemen in civvies. Usually during the festive season, there are criminal elements who try to pray on revellers,” he said. more..

Desmond Tutu: Inspiration & challenge for SL

Jan 1 (GV) Desmond Tutu was a black, South African, Christian male but in a world where colour, caste, class, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, sexuality and gender matter, he transcended all of that to be a human being who respected equal rights and dignity of all. As a black, he spent much of his life amidst the widespread structural, legal, policy and social discrimination and oppression that was prevalent in South Africa. But he was among those who defied, resisted and struggled to transform these more..

Sri Lanka, India strike deal over 99 oil tanks in Trinco

Jan 1 (FT) Minister Udaya Gammanpila described the regaining of the broader control of Trinco Oil Tank Farm by the State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) as a historical victory following the successful conclusion of the renegotiations with India. He told the media that as per new agreement, 24 of 99 tanks will be directly given to the CPC by the SL Govt. “By doing so, 24 tanks will be released from commitment more..

Himasha not available for inquiry due to personal reasons

Jan 1 (Island) Sprinter Himasha Eshan, who was found positive for a banned substance recently, has informed a disciplinary committee of his inability to appear before them due to a personal reason. It was the second time that the former national record holder of the men’s 100 metres has sought a fresh date to appear before the disciplinary committee since being informed of the positive result. South Asian Games medallist was suspended early last month from track and field activities more..

Prez, PM engage in religious observances at Kiriwehera seeking blessings for New Year

Jan 1 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa yesterday engaged in religious observances at the historic Kiriwehera to receive blessings for the New Year. The two leaders paid homage to the Kiriwehera Dagoba by participating in the Kapruk Pooja, the Gilan Pasa and Medicinal Herbs Pooja. Kiriwehera Rajamaha Vihara Chief incumbent Ven. Kobawaka Damminda Thera conducted religious observances. Afterwards, Prez and PM visited the Mahasen Devala and the historic Kiriwehera more..

බය නැතුව හූ කියන්න

Booster dose administered to over four million people

Jan 1 (FT) Over four million persons in the country have received the booster dose, raising third-dose coverage among the population over 20 years to 27.4%. The first two doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to 94.6% of the population over 20 years. Of the total population, 74.38% has received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 64.38% has received the second dose. 15,991,500 persons have received the first vaccine dose and 13,843,044 persons have received 2nd dose. more..

Seek medical advice if fever lasts more than 24 hours

Jan 1 (DM) Dengue Control Unit Director Dr Sudath Samaraweera urged people to seek immediate medical advice if one has fever for over 24 hours as Dengue is posing a massive threat. A total of 8,842 Dengue cases have been reported in the month of December alone while the number cases in November stood at 4,561. This brings total number of cases reported in the year 2021 to 35,800. He said it is vital to seek immediate medical advice in order to ascertain whether it's Dengue or not. more..

India Under-19 clinch record eighth Asia Cup title after thrashing Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (CT) Angkrish Raguvanshi’s half century and a brilliant bowling display helped India U-19 thrash Sri Lanka U-19 by 9 wickets (DLS method) to clinch the U-19 Asia Cup at the Dubai Int'l cricket stadium yesterday. The rain-marred final was reduced to 38 overs after a two-hour interruption, and India needed just 102 runs in 38 overs according to DLS method to add another title under their belt. more..

Rubber, coconut, cinnamon export earnings to set new record with $ 4 b

Jan 1 (FT) Export earnings from rubber, coconut and cinnamon are on the verge of exceeding $ 4 billion, creating history by recording the highest annual income generated from these crops in a year, Plantation Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said. “This year has been a golden year of the plantation industry, despite certain obstacles,” he said at an event organised to recognise the officials who have completed 25 years of service in the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority. more..

Biz confidence rebounds amid macro challenges

Jan 1 (FT) The results of the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey registered a notable increase of 10 basis points to 119 in December from 109 of the previous month, reflecting a seven month high. According to LMD, this marks an improvement compared to where the index stood a year ago (83) and places it 10 points above its 12-month average. NielsenIQ’s Director – Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya notes that 2021 “has been both a difficult and turbulent year more..

Colombo stock market ends 2021 at its best ever

Jan 1 (FT) Colombo stock market yesterday ended 2021 at its highest level offering an annual return of 80% and a valuation of just under a record $ 5.5 trillion mark. The All Share Price Index gained by 1.7% or 206 points to close at its highest ever level of 12,226 points. The S&P SL20 improved by 23 points or 0.55%. This performance saw ASPI›s year gain of 80.48% and S&P SL20 by 60.47%. Market capitalisation was Rs. 5.489 trillion more..

'Govt to lease out oil tank farm to LIOC for 50 years despite chance to take it over in 2 yrs'

Jan 1 (DM) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today alleged that the govt was planning to lease out the Trincomalee oil tank farm to LIOC for another 50 years, albeit there is a chance to take over them by the govt as the 20-year lease agreement with LIOC is to expire in two years' time. Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa told a news conference that a permit was issued to LIOC in 2004 to import, store and distribute fuel for 20 years and that it was to expire in two years’ time. more..

Susal and Niklesha crowned Chess King and Queen

Jan 1 (CT) 16-year-old Susal de Silva of Nalanda College was crowned Sri Lanka National Chess Champion after a hectic battle against Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage of Ananda College, which lasted 4 hours, to win the National Chess Championship 2020 by scoring 12 points. Susal received Rs. 100,000/= in cash along with the Gold Medal and the Championship Trophy. Niklesha Tharushi of Visakha Vidyalaya won the Women’s National Chess Championship by making a great comeback. more..

හිටපු පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී බිමල් රත්නායක

NCCSL expresses sadness over passing away of Archbishop Tutu

Jan 1 (Island) National Christian Council of SL (NCCSL) yesterday expressed sadness over the death of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Issuing a press release, the NCCSL said that following the end of the oppressive rule of apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu committed himself untiringly providing the much-needed leadership through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) thereby supporting and strengthening the work of late President, Nelson Mandela more..

499 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jan 1 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 case count rose to 587,245 with the detection of 499 COVID-19 patients yesterday. The COVID-19 cases detected yesterday include 495 persons from the New Year cluster and four overseas arrivals. 5,940 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. The previous day, 6,224 PCR tests and 3,957 rapid antigen tests were conducted. The COVID-19 patients detected on Thursday include 558 persons from the New Year cluster, three persons from Prisons cluster more..

Health guidelines issued for January

Jan 1 (FT) Revised health guidelines for public and work-related activities were yesterday issued by the Health Ministry for the month of January. The guidelines will be amended as needed on 31 January, depending on the country’s COVID-19 situation. The guidelines maintain that persons must avoid all unnecessary travel in order to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread. While workplaces can function as usual with adherence to Covid-19 more..

Nine months ending Sept: Govt Revenue up 2%, Expenditure up 9%

Jan 1 (CT) Govt revenue and grants received during the first nine months of this year increased two per cent, while expenditure and lending increased 9%. According to CBSL, Govt revenue and grants received during the period under review stood at Rs 1.052 trillion, up two per cent compared to Rs 1.031 trillion recorded last year. According to the report, revenue generated by the Govt during the first nine months stood at Rs 1.050 trillion, up 2.1% compared to Rs 1.028 billion generated in 2020. more..

Be determined to overcome challenges of the future: PM

Jan 1 (DN) The New Year 2022 has dawned with good wishes and aspirations for all. At the dawn of the New Year, we must all be determined to overcome the challenges of the future with strength, inspired by the difficult experiences of life, PM Rajapaksa said in his New Year PM’s Message. The message said: “With the global pandemic, SL has faced many challenges over the past year. I gratefully acknowledge the sacrifices made by all as a nation to overcome these social and more..

Top politico opening backdoor to substandard fertiliser

Jan 1 (CT) A top level Govt politician is attempting to get the Cabinet, during Monday’s (3) meeting, to approve an agreement which would bypass local standards relevant to the importation of fertiliser, a senior official at Dept of Agriculture said. The official said this document has been prepared in a way that will circumvent the local standard on importing organic fertiliser, SLS 1704. The main obstacle for the Chinese company to bring in more..

President invites all to make 2022 a transformational year

Jan 1 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa yesterday urged everyone to make 2022 a transformational year dedicated to realising the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour. He made this call in his New Year message. The full text is as follows. The dawn of the New Year instinctively inspires us to look to the future with optimism and determination. Therefore, we welcome the year 2022 with great enthusiasm and anticipation. We need to reflect on the impact the past year has had on country & society, more..

Power supply may be restricted to a few hours in SP if …

Jan 1 (Island) The CEB would be compelled to restrict power supply to a few hours in the Southern Province if the water level of the 120MW Samanala Wewa Hydro Power reservoir receded fast, a high ranking CEB official said. The Island learns that the Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank will provide loans amounting to Rs. 15 billion and Rs. 30 billion respectively to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation shortly for purchasing fuel to operate thermal power stations to meet the shortfall. more..

‘Runaway cost of living: Govt rendered itself impotent by doing away with price controls’

Jan 1 (Island) State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that the govt could not interfere with the Milk Food Importers’ Association decision to increase the prices of imported powdered milk. The SLFPer pointed out that price control on imported milk food had been done away with in early November. Therefore, Consumer Protection Ministry couldn’t interfere with their decision, he said, adding he was informed of price increase. more..

Systemic failure to protect SL’s children

Jan 2 (GV) Thirty years after ratifying the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNRC) in 1991, child protection is a national crisis in SL. Over the past 16 months, 10 children have been physically and sexually abused and murdered as those in authority fail to protect the true beneficiaries of the future, our children. Who is the safe adult was a question raised at an expert panel discussion on child abuse during the pandemic. I said that while the parents and main carers more..

Evaluating trends in the JVP-NPP

Jan 2 (CT) The govt is in retreat analysts say. Strategists in the opposition, smelling blood, are hopeful of replacing President and Parliamentary majority in 2024 and 2025, if not earlier in the event of a debacle. It is a sign of the times that Namal and his wife were jeered and compelled to flee Monarch Imperial, a posh restaurant, on 23 Dec said the Daily Mirror of the next day. In this context there are four national groups of importance – JVP-NPP, SJB-Sajith, TNA and the scattered Muslim parties. more..

‘Govt is stronger and more confident in 2022’

Jan 2 (SO) Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said issues within the govt will be resolved and a stronger and confident govt will move positively into 2022. The minister said the SLPP-led govt is one of the grandest coalitions formed in recent times. Thus, some issues have emerged. Various statements are being made by members of various coalition parties but they are still members of the govt parliamentary group. more..

A challenging year ahead

Jan 2 (SO) The past two years have been rather difficult for practically all countries and SL is no exception. Starting from March 2020, Covid ravaged the world, killing 5.4 million people and infecting 286 million. There have been many warnings that a pandemic could strike the world at any moment due to our fast-paced lifestyles and total disregard for the natural world. Yet, these calls went unheeded, until the Covid pandemic engulfed an unsuspecting world. Almost 20 months later, more..