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Video: Prez delivers govt’s policy statement

JJan 18 (AD) President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, delivering the govt’s policy statement in the House today, insisted that no changes have been made to the green agriculture policy implemented by his administration. The Head of State arrived at the Parliament this morning for the ceremonial opening of the second session of the 9th Parliament. “We had to face various challenges when implementing the green agriculture policy.” more..

Parliament: Two-day debate on President’s policy statement begins tomorrow

Jan 18 (Island) The second session of the Ninth Parliament would commence with a two-day adjournment debate on the government’s Policy Statement, beginning tomorrow at 1 pm, following its delivery by Prez Rajapaksa today, Leader of the House Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. The first session of the Ninth Parliament had recorded gains for democracy in the country despite the effects of the pandemic obstructing the proceedings from time to time, he said. more..

Pakistan PM commends financial support to Diyawadana’s widow

Jan 18 (TC) Pakistan PM Imran Khan has appreciated the efforts of the Sialkot business community and Rajco Industries to provide aid to the widow of Priyantha Kumara who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot on the basis of blasphemy. In a tweet, PM said, “I want to appreciate the Sialkot business community for transferring $100,000 to the account of Priyantha Kumara’s widow and Rajco Industries for transferring monthly salary of $ 1667 to her more..

Lankan Economic Outlook 2022: Experts call for bold and radical reforms

JJan 18 (Island) International and local economic experts and corporate leaders have stressed the need for a concrete, long-term and bold reform agenda for the economy as the country braces for a critical year amidst unprecedented socio-economic challenges. Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Outlook 2022 forum organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and NextGenSL, recently, Prof. Lee. C. Buchheit, more..

Sapugaskanda operating at 50% capacity due to lack of furnace oil

Jan 18 (TM) Out of the two sets of power generation machinery at the Sapugaskanda power plant, namely ‘A’ and ‘B’, only A side machinery is currently operational. CEB Engineers Union Spokesperson said that this is because the furnace oil required to keep B side machinery operational has run out. “We expected that the fuel supplies would come in before this happened. However, we received information a short while ago that we may receive fuel to restart B side machinery. more..

Anti-Death Penalty Group condemns ongoing use of death penalty in SL

Jan 18 (DM) The Anti-Death Penalty Group strongly condemned the ongoing use of the death penalty in SL while referring to the Colombo High Court Special Trial-at-Bar sentencing former Welikada Magazine Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan Lamahewage to death. They said issuing a statement that On 12 Jan 2022, the Colombo High Court Special Trial-at-Bar sentenced former Welikada Magazine Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan Lamahewage to death. more..

Power outage after 5 p.m.?

Jan 18 (DM) CEB diesel and furnace oil stocks will be sufficient only until 5 p.m. this evening for electricity generation, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's (CPC) Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya wing (JSS) Secretary Ananda Palitha said. He said that, according to the statement made by Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday, the whole country should be in the dark by tomorrow. “More than 2,000 metric tons of furnace oil and diesel fuel more..

Hejaaz Hizbullah’s bail application to be heard on Jan.20

Jan 18 (DM) A revision application filed on behalf of Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah seeking an order to release him on bail was today fixed for January 20 by Court of Appeal. Hisbullah is seeking an order to set aside the order made by Puttlalam High Court which refused to grant bail. Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Menaka Wijesundera and Justice Neil Iddawala fixed the revision application to be heard on January 20. An indictment under Prevention of Terrorism Act more..

Former SLAF Commander, Air Chief Marshal P.H. Mendis passes away

Jan 18 (AD) Air Chief Marshal Pathman Mendis, fondly known as Paddy Mendis, has passed away at the age of 88. Mendis became the youngest Commander of the Air Force, at the age of 38 years and the youngest Commander of an Armed Service in Ceylon, with his appointment on 1st Jan 1971. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal. ACM Mendis was the fifth Ceylonese to join the RCyAF back in Aug 1951. He received his education at S. Thomas’ College Mt Lavinia. more..

ණය ගොවනවා කියලා ඩොලර් ටික හුරලා නැති කරා

Oil palm production could be a game-changer for Sri Lanka’s rural economy

Jan 18 (FT) In April 2021, the SL Govt took an unprecedented decision of banning palm oil imports and ordered the uprooting of oil palm trees to be replaced with rubber trees. The main reason cited was palm oil’s negative social and environmental impacts based on a contestable report prepared in 2018. After a few days of the order, the import of palm oil that costs Sri Lankan exchequer $ 88 million was reversed. However, the ban on oil palm cultivation continues. more..

Handagama’s portrayal of caste repression: Alborada or Pablo Neruda story

Jan 18 (FT) Asoka Handagama is famous for using art for disrupting society, which is believed to be sane, serene, and free from evil. But society is like a lake; on the surface, it is calm, eye-catching, and mind soothing. Beneath that calmness, there are all those decomposing matters that give at the end a different flavour to the waters of the lake. They are odorous, ugly, and contrasting aesthetic feelings. A romantic artiste may just portray the lake or society on what he sees on the surface, more..

Ceremonial opening of second session of 9th Parliament today

Jan 18 (AD) The ceremonial opening of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament is scheduled to get underway this morning (18), under the patronage of Prez Rajapaksa. Head of State will subsequently present the Govt Policy Statement in Parliament at 10 a.m. in accordance with the powers vested in him by Article 33 (2) of the Constitution. On the instructions of Prez, arrangements have been made to hold the ceremony in a very simple more..

Daily blackouts inevitable: CEBEU

Jan 18 (CT) If fuel is not supplied to the Kelanitissa and Sapugaskanda Power Plants by today morning (18), a daily power cut of one-and-a-half hours from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. which are peak hours would be inevitable, CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) warned. CEBEU Secretary Dhammike Wimalaratne said the fuel supplied to the Kelanitissa Power Plant, which provides 300 MW, is only sufficient until 5 p.m. today (17), while fuel for the Sapugaskanda Power Plant will only last until this morning. more..

Maha yield could have been saved if half of USD 6.7 mn paid to China had been utilised...

Jan 18 (Island) SJB lawmaker Rohini Kaviratne says nearly two months after Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa rescinded a gazette that prohibited the import of agro chemicals, the Agriculture Ministry is yet to facilitate their imports. MP said that the Finance Minister issued a fresh gazette soon after the Cabinet of Ministers cleared the way for agro chemical imports. MP said that the govt owed the farming community an apology for its pathetic failure to make available agro-chemicals. more..

More than 500 CEB engineers to report sick today over appointment of Acting GM

Jan 18 (Island) More than 500 engineers attached to the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) will launch a sick-note campaign today near the CEB headquarters, CEBEU President Saumya Kumarawadu said. He said that the union had been compelled to resort to such trade union after 10 years as CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando had appointed Dr. Susantha Perera the General Manager on temporary basis. more..

If CEB wants fuel, give us dollars: Udaya

Jan 18 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) earlier said it does not need diesel for January, suddenly out of the blue it goes back on its word and requests diesel on 11 January, Energy Minister Udaya Gamannpila said yesterday (17). If imported diesel stocks are given to the CEB then there will be a diesel shortage for motor vehicles. There are no US dollars to purchase fuel for the CEB. If the CEB gives US dollars, then we can import fuel for their operations, Gammanpila said. more..

CEB Chair responsible for crisis: Wimal

Jan 18 (CT) Appointing an Acting General Manager to the CEB by violating the instructions given by the Court and the CEB traditions, has not been done with good intentions and the current CEB Chairman should take full responsibility for the crisis at the CEB, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. Weerawansa said, “The person who has been appointed as the acting GM has several corruption allegations against him. He was also a witness of the controversial Yugadanavi Power Plant more..

Keheliya turns down request for abolishing price control on medicine

Jan 18 (Island) Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that in spite of difficulties caused by the foreign currency crisis price control on imported medicines couldn’t be done away with. Abolition of price control on drugs would heap an enormous burden on the vast majority of people, Minister Rambukwella said. Lawmaker Rambukwella said so when The Island sought his response to the SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry more..

Video: Veteran singer Neela Wickramasinghe passes away

Jan 18 (AD) Veteran SL singer and musician Neela Wickramasinghe has passed away at the age of 71. She has passed away in the city of Milan, Italy. Wickramasinghe was recently appointed as the Consul General of SL in Milan. Known for her popular hits such as Master Sir as well as duets sung with T.M. jayaratne, she was also a former teacher in music and had also graduated in 1974 with a Sangeeth Visharada Degree after studying North Indian Classical Music. more..

Hotel, room rates skyrocket due to increasing tourist arrivals: AASL head

Jan 18 (DM) While reaching a total tourist count of 46,942 for today, the country shows an increase in the number of tourists, AASL Chairman Upul Dharmadasa said. He said that nearly 3,000 tourists were arriving in the country daily as tourists, and nearly 22 airlines were currently operating to bring them. Mr. Dharmadasa said several more airlines have agreed to bring tourists into the country this year. In line with the tourist arrivals, charges of tourist hotels and rooms have increased, more..

ඩොලර් ආදායම අඩු වීම පිළිබදව අනුර කුමාර...

Threat of a Port City cluster emerging

Jan 18 (DM) Huge crowds flocking to the newly opened Colombo Port City Marina Promenade has raised fears of a Port City cluster emerging. Health authorities warned that the behavior of the public threatened to create a new Covid cluster. Sources said that crowd control at the Port City Marina Promenade must be strictly enforced. Omicron Covid variant is spreading in Sri Lanka and crowds gathering at Colombo Port City Marina Promenade could add to the number of infections. more..

Public employees’ fuel allowances slashed

Jan 18 (CT) Finance Ministry Secretary S.R. Attygalle, in a fuel-saving measure to preserve the country’s sparse foreign reserves, has cut the fuel allowances of eligible public servants by a minimum of 5 litres (3.33%) to a maximum of 25 litres (14.71%) per month. Attygalle, in a circular dated last Friday (14) and addressed to ministry secretaries, State ministry secretaries, chairmen of State-owned commercial corporations, statutory boards and Govt-owned companies, has said more..

CEB to request fuel from LIOC today after CPC snub

Jan 18 (TM) Power Minister Gamini Lokuge said yesterday that the CEB will hold discussions with the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) today (18) about the possibility of obtaining fuel from the LIOC, amidst the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) difficulty in supplying fuel to the Power Ministry to supply electricity to the country. “We are considering a number of alternative options to supply electricity at the moment. more..

U-19 WC: Wellalage stars again as Sri Lanka cruise to victory over Australia

Jan 18 (ICC) The Lions came out on top in the tussle between the two previously unbeaten teams in Group D, with no Australian able to match Wellalage in Basseterre. Australia struggled to build partnerships having been put in to bat by SL, their highest stand coming between Campbell Kellaway and Nivethan Radhakrishnan as they put on 46 for the fourth wicket. Kellaway was Australia’s top scorer with 54 runs from 77 balls as the three-time champions slumped to 175 all out off final ball more..

New Central Expressway section earns over Rs. 2.8 m in 12 hours of opening

Jan 18 (FT) Minister Johnson Fernando said the Central Expressway second phase had earned over Rs. 2.8 million within the first 12 hours of opening. “Income generated by the new section of the Central Expressway from 12 noon to midnight on Sunday was Rs. 2,805,100. A total of 13,583 vehicles had used the expressway from Kurunegala to Mirigama within the first 12 hours, while no accidents were reported,” he said. 2nd phase of Central Expressway, also known as Ethugalpura more..

Colombo Port City Economic Commission forges ahead

Jan 18 (FT) Colombo Port City Economic Commission (CPCEC) has, within the first six months of operation, made considerable progress both in terms of commercialising Southeast Asia’s most ambitious mixed development as well as finalising world-class best practices to fast-track approvals and investor facilitation. Appointed by Prez Rajapaksa in June last year, the CPCEC has received 31 out of the 74 land plots more..

42,949 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Jan 18 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 42,949 persons on Sunday and 75% of the country’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. SL’s first dose coverage is 75.36% of the total population and second dose coverage is 64.53% of the population. Among those over the age of 20 years, 94.8% have received the first two doses and 32.5% have received the booster dose. 16,206,725 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, more..

688 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jan 18 (FT) Health officials state that 688 COVID-19 patients were detected yesterday, raising the country’s COVID-19 case count to 597,035. The COVID-19 patients detected yesterday include 681 persons from the New Year cluster and seven overseas arrivals. On Sunday, 684 persons from the New Year cluster, three persons from the Prisons cluster and three SL overseas returnees tested positive for COVID-19. 6,997 PCR tests and 3,335 RATs were conducted on Sunday. more..

ඇමරිකාවෙන් ලංකාවට ඇවිත් සුද්ද සිංහලෙන්ක තාකරන

Chamari’s team commence campaign for the Commonwealth Games slot today

Jan 18 (Island) ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 commences at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday as Bangladesh, Kenya, Malaysia, Scotland, and SL vie for the lone remaining slot at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. The round-robin T20 tournament to decide who joins the seven teams already qualified for Birmingham – Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa – commences with a match between more..

Passed Pawn Chess Club Champions

Jan 18 (CT) The passed Pawn Chess Club comprising WIM Sachini Ranasinghe (Captain), WIM Nelunika Metmani, WIM from India B. Shri Savitha, WFM Dasuni Hansika Mendis and WCM Sanudula Dahamdi convincingly won the 2nd CFSL Online Women’s Team Chess Championships 2022. They crushed their opponents, the Mayor’s Chess Club effortlessly 3 ½ to ½ in both rounds. CM Sanudula Dhamdi repeatedly beat the Indian WIM Mishella Catherine in both rounds while more..

Worker remittances down 22.7% in 2021

Jan 18 (CT) SL’s largest foreign -exchange earner, Worker Remittances, declined 22.7% during 2021, as migrant workers more than halved their sendings home for the fourth consecutive month, in December, due to the current situation. During 2021 migrant workers sent home US$ 5.49 billion, down 22.7% compared to US$ 7.1 billion sent home during 2020. Worker Remittances, which showed promise until May last year, more..

Nissanka targets improved rankings in 2022

Jan 18 (Island) NCC has many good things and rarely do you find players leaving the less popular Maitland Place club once they get themselves established. One of the club’s biggest strengths is Mr. Ranjit Fernando, the former SL wicket-keeper batsman. Uncle Ranjit as players call him, is not the President or Secretary of the Club but he’s a live wire and he’s been that for the last 40 years mentoring dozens of Test cricketers and half a dozen SL captains from Ranjan Madugalle to more..

Another legend bids farewell…

Jan 18 (Island) The pandemic is bad enough, but the past few months have also brought us further shocks. In September, last year the death of Sunil Perera, of the Gypsies, shocked the nation, and music lovers, the world over. And, then, last week, it was the demise of another veteran singer-entertainer, Desmond de Silva. Desmond’s death was equally shocking as he had arrived, from Sydney, in high spirits, for his 31st night gig in Melbourne. His death was due to a stroke. more..

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