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Over 800,000 LP gas cylinders to be released this week: LITRO Head

Nov 19 (DM) More than 800,000 gas cylinders will be released into the market this week to meet the heavy demand for gas, Sales and Marketing/Corporate Affairs of Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. Director Janaka Pathirathna said. He said more than 700,000 domestic gas cylinders were issued to the market during the past seven days. Due to kerosene shortage and bad weather, the country's domestic gas consumption had increased. However, we released 25% more than the total gas requirement to the market, he said. more..

Opposition MP lambasts govt, opposition; calls for new, inclusive constitution

Nov 19 (EN) Opposition MP Kumara Welgama chastised both the govt and the opposition in parliament on Friday in an innuendo-filled speech that called for, among other things, a new constitution drafted with minority consultation, a revert to agrochemicals, and a culture of unity. Speaking for over 20 minutes, Welgama said the curse of the 2019 Easter bombings has rebounded on the present administration, with people openly questioning the mental faculties of the current leadership. more..

Health DG’s approval mandatory for closure of school

Nov 19 (DM) The approval for final decision with regards to closure of a school due to a COVID related issue, should be obtained from Director General of Health Services. The directive has been issued by the Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena himself through a special circular issued to relevant officials including all Provincial, Regional Directors of Health Services, Medical Officers of Health and School Medical Officers. According to the circular, a decision to close a school more..

Showery condition likely to reduce from today

Nov 19 (AD) Showery condition is expected to reduce from today. Several spells of showers will occur in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts. Showers or thundershowers will occur at a few places in Uva and Eastern provinces and in Polonnaruwa district during the evening or night. The general public is advised to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by temporary localized strong winds and lightning during thundershowers. more..

Outcry in Sri Lanka as suspected elephant kidnappers get to keep the animals

Nov 19 (MB) Environmental activists in SL have slammed a court order releasing endangered elephants into the custody of individuals suspected of involvement in their illegal capture and trade. 38 captive SL elephants (Elephas maximus maximus) were taken into the custody of the state in 2015 following an investigation that uncovered a trafficking racket targeting baby elephants born in the wild. On Sept. 6 this year, however, acting on a request from the AG’s Department, more..

Pfizer may be harmful; import other vaccines: Prof. Tissa Vitharana

Nov 19 (DM) Virology expert MP Prof. Tissa Vitharana requested the Got to reduce importing Pfizer vaccine and focus more on other vaccines saying that Pfizer vaccine could be harmful to people. He told Parliament that Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine was a messenger RNA vaccine and that no one could predict how it would react after a gene was injected directly into the human body. He said RNA has been used in vaccines to inject humans for the first time and added that he, as a medical officer, had doubts about the Pfizer vaccine. more..

Navy takes hold of over 1437kg of smuggled dried turmeric in Mannar

Nov 19 (SLN) Navy took hold of over 1437kg of smuggled dried turmeric, during special operations conducted in the sea area of Vankalipadu and beach area of Thalvupadu in Mannar on 17th and 18th Nov. The operations also led to the apprehension of 03 suspects and a dinghy used for this smuggling attempt. SL Navy has been conducting regular operations with a view to curbing smuggling activities stemming from sea routes. As an extension of these operations, SLNS Gajaba in the North Central Naval Command more..

New COVID-19 clusters detected in Sri Lanka; authorities blame public gatherings

Nov 19 (EN) New COVID-19 clusters have been detected in five districts in SL, health officials said, blaming illegal gatherings and requesting the public to minimise travel in the coming weekends. Director General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawardena said that cluster formation was observed in A'pura, Ampara, Hambantota, Matara and Galle districts over the past few days. “Most of these are due to public gatherings such as ceremonies, funerals and other events,” more..

COPA reveals 272 vacancies in Dept. of Immigration and Emigration

Nov 19 (Island) The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) says there are 272 vacancies in the Department of Immigration and Emigration. This was disclosed at the Committee on Public Accounts held in Parliament last Tuesday (16) under the chairmanship of Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Member of Parliament. It was revealed that there were 18 senior level posts, 113 tertiary level posts, 121 secondary level posts, 19 primary level posts and one vacancy under the ‘other ‘category. more..

Kalu Sagara’s accomplice ’Army Amila’ wanted over multiple murders arrested in Tangalle

Nov 19 (DM) The STF has arrested a wanted criminal known as Army Amila, an accomplice of leading organized criminal Kalu Sagara who is currently operating from overseas. The suspect was arrested at Danketiya in Tangalle based on information received by the Southern Province Special Operations Unit at the Wathukolakanda Sub Base under the direct supervision of STF Commander DIG Waruna Jayasundara. The STF also seized 3,780 milligrams of heroin and a sword in the suspect's possession. more..

මේ දේවල් බොරු කියල ඔප්පු කරන කෙනෙක්ට...

Between the devil and the deep green sea

Nov 19 (FT) If the political Opposition had a sense of irony or proportion, it or he or they would not have sought to march on Colombo against a cornered and increasingly-unpopular administration. The time is right – no doubt the Premadasa juggernaut thought, tearing itself away from wildlife and witty epithets for a good day’s work to demonstrate that the Green Coalition is not the toothless tiger its critics, and perhaps its erstwhile supporters, had made it out to be of late... more..

There is no cure for stupidity!

Nov 19 (FT) The Govt’s Budget clearly indicates that the Govt does not have a pragmatic vision at all for overcoming the crisis facing Sri Lanka other than its greed for holding on to power. The Govt seems to be contemplating that it would be able to overcome the crisis facing Sri Lanka if the instalments and interest on foreign loans that it has obtained at commercial rates could be repaid by reducing imports to the maximum and refraining from resorting to new loans. more..

ACMC has no deal with govt: Bathiudeen

Nov 19 (CT) Leader of the ACMC SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen,who is accused of having an underhand deal with the Govt, said he would decide whether his party would support Budget 2022 or not after the party's Central Committee meets on Sunday (21). Speculation about Bathiudeen having a secret deal with the Rajapaksa Govt surfaced with his release from remand prison and his absence in recent protests organised by the SJB. more..

CPC has 13,500 tonnes of furnace oil: Udaya

Nov 19 (CT) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has 13,500 tonnes of furnace oil at hand, thus there would be no power outage, Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila, assured. He further said, due to heavy rains, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is unable to purchase furnace oil. Addressing the Media yesterday, he said a retired individual misled the people by lying to them, one of which is that the temporary closure of the refinery will terminate the CPC’s monopoly. more..

SL calls for collective action to safeguard Indian ocean from pollution related disasters

Nov 19 (AD) Accepting the charge of the Vice-Chair position of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at the 21st Council of Ministers Meeting held in Dhaka, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris called for collective action to safeguard the maritime shipping lanes and ocean space from pollution related disasters. Referring to the MV-X Press Pearl disaster in May 2021, involving plastic nurdles, hazardous and noxious materials, Minister Peiris stated that the environmental impact was more..

Ranjan languishes in prison while big time criminals are pardoned: Former Speaker

Nov 19 (Island) Former MP Ranjan Ramanayake is languishing in prison while big-time criminals are pardoned by the Prez, Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Chairman of the NMSJ, says. Ramanayake’s career and health had been ruined because he fought against corruption, Jayasurya said. “This is another example of how there is one law for the rich and the powerful, and another for others.”. more..

Nestlé Coconut Plan benefits 1,000 more rural families

Nov 19 (CT) The fifth phase of the Nestlé Coconut Plan was launched on 10 November 2021, in Aranthalawa, Maha Oya, where 1,000 more farmers and outgrowers were presented with 5,000 hybrid coconut plantlets and organic fertiliser. Conducted in partnership with the Coconut Cultivation Board of Sri Lanka, this phase will focus on organic farming, to ensure the growth of high-quality produce, while preserving soil fertility and moisture, and conserving biodiversity. more..

General Mahesh Senanayake inducted into US Army Command Hall of Fame

Nov 19 (DM) Former Army Commander General Mahesh Senanayake has been inducted into the United States Army Command and General Staff College International Hall of Fame. He was given this award in a ceremony held in the US this week. General Senanayake will be the first Army Commander to receive this award from SL. According to the US Army Command and General Staff College, the hall’s purpose is to provide a prestigious and visible means of recognition more..

UNP’s Yowunpura: National Youth Services Council bid to hinder audit revealed

Nov 19 (Island) The COPE has called for an explanation as regards unauthorised expenditure on Yowunpura in 2018 and 2019. A recent COPE investigation has revealed huge losses and a bid to suppress the govt auditing process. According to COPE, the yahapalana govt had spent Rs. 80,560,914 over the estimated cost of Rs. 350 mn. The then Prez Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the 2018 event; more..

CGJTA welcomes govt moves to improve Ease of Doing Business

Nov 19 (FT) Chinafort Gem and Jewellery Traders Association (CGJTA) in a statement said it welcomed the Govt’s initiatives to promote Ease of Doing Business measures in the gem and jewellery industry through the Budget 2022 presented by Minister Basil Rajapaksa. CGJTA, styling itself as the largest association of gem dealers in SL, also welcomed the recent decision by the State Minister Lohan Ratwatte to set up a one-stop fully fledged office of the National Jewellery Authority more..

Youth Olympic medallist’s coach sets up high-altitude training centre at Nuwara Eliya

Nov 19 (Island) Janitha Jayasinghe who trained and mentored Kuliyapitiya Central College athlete Paarami Maristella to win the country’s first Youth Olympic medal went out of the radar of track and field enthusiasts just a few months after the historic victory. After being out of the country for two years, the former Physical Training Instructor of Kuliyapitiya Central has returned with a solution to the very problem he faced in the run up to 2018 Youth Olympics, a high-altitude training facility more..

Ven. Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana Thero

737 persons test positive for COVID-19

Nov 19 (FT) COVID-19 detections in the country rose to 554,459 with 737 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday were from the New Year cluster. On Wednesday, 728 patients from the New Year cluster were detected. 6,058 PCR tests and 4,190 rapid antigen tests were conducted on Wednesday. 449,616 patients have been detected from the New Year cluster, 82,785 patients have been detected from the Peliyagoda cluster, more..

Soccer: SL out to break 21-year hoodoo

Nov 19 (DN) Skipper Sujan Perera and his charges will be determined to re-write football history when they go all out to notch up a win against Seychelles in the final of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Trophy at the Race Grounds today under lights. Kick-off is scheduled for 7.00 p.m. The Sri Lankans will be out to break the 21-year hoodoo, as they last won a championship in 2000 in Maldives, by winning the Independent Cup. This tournament has so far been a tough passage for the Lankan Lions, more..

Public servants’ pay hike demand shot down

Nov 19 (TM) Claiming that there is no possibility of raising the salaries of public servants under the present circumstances, the Finance Ministry called on the public servants who are demanding a salary increase to suggest how to obtain the necessary monies to make such a hike. When contacted to inquire whether the Finance Ministry would consider the said demand, Finance Ministry and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said: more..

15 more Covid fatalities raise total to 14,072

Nov 19 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 14,072 after health officials confirmed 15 more fatalities on Wednesday. Fourteen deaths were over the age of 60 and one was between 30 and 59 years. Zero deaths were confirmed from the under-30 age group. 76.54% of the total fatalities are over 60 years, 22.29% of the fatalities are between 30 and 59 years, and 1.17% of the fatalities are below 30 years. Of the total fatalities, 7,861 are male and 6,211 are female. more..

26,064 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Nov 19 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 26,064 persons on Wednesday. 63.65% of the country’s population have received two vaccine doses. Our World in Data states that the first dose has been administered to 73.91% of the population. As of Tuesday, two vaccine doses had been administered to 93.6% of the population over 20 years. 15,894,375 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,688,710 persons have received second dose as well. more..

Four participants kicked out of LPL

Nov 19 (Island) Four individuals have been kicked out of the second edition of the Lanka Premier League after the ICC informed SLC that they are ineligible to take part in the competition having played unsanctioned cricket. All 4 had represented SL in the last 15 years at some stage and they had been picked to be involved in the LPL. One of them was to function as a coach while the other three had been picked from the draft to play. more..

Gem industry welcomes Basil’s hub proposal

Nov 19 (FT) The gem industry has welcomed Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s Budget 2022 proposal of positioning SL as an int'l hub for precious stones. “Reviving the ailing gem industry will help increase exports and contribute generously to the country’s dwindling dollar reserves,” SL Gem & Jewellery Association said. It said incoherent strategies by successive govts enabled non-gem producing countries such as Thailand and Hong Kong to steal the status of a gem hub from SL. more..

Asian 7s Rugby: SL underdogs in opener

Nov 19 (CT) Underdogs Sri Lanka will open their campaign today when they take on Asian powerhouse and defending champions Japan at 4.12 p.m. (SL time) in the Dialog Asian Sevens Series here at Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City. With less experienced players under the leadership of skipper Adeesha Weerathunga, Tuskers prepared themselves with much confidence to take on host UAE in the second game at 8.12 p.m., followed by China at 10.54 p.m. It is only against UAE more..

පොහොට්ටුවේ බිළි බෝයි - සරත් වීරසේකර

Rohan Karr heads newly incorporated Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association

Nov 19 (FT) On Wednesday, top professional Rohan Karr was appointed as the President of the newly incorporated The Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association (TCCTHA), which aims to re-position this dominant segment of SL’s leisure industry to enhance more value to all stakeholders. The predecessor to TCCTHA was the informal Colombo City Hotels Association, which had been in existence for over two decades, championed by veteran hotelier M. Shanthikumar. more..

CA Sri Lanka and CAPA hold largest hybrid conference

Nov 19 (FT) The Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka (CA SL) and the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) jointly organised the 42nd National Conference and the 20th CAPA Conference over three days, from 6-8 October live from Colombo. The theme of the joint conference Heritage: Many Businesses, One Planet inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), brought together over 2,000 delegates comprising accounting, finance and business leaders more..

Listed corporates’ profits beat pandemic to reach record of Rs. 110 b

Nov 19 (FT) Listed companies have reinforced their resilience with combined profits in the quarter ended 30 Sept 2021, reaching an all-time high of Rs. 110 billion; thereby propelling nine-month earnings to Rs. 292 billion, surpassing all historical full year results. The stellar performance of listed corporates, amidst the third and fourth waves of COVID-19, was revealed by Softlogic Stockbrokers, which analysed earnings of more..

Easter Sunday attacks and harassment of Fr Cyril Gamini

Nov 19 (Island) On Nov 15 and 16, two consecutive days, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini was asked to come to the CID and has been questioned for almost eight to nine hours each day, from 9 am to 5 or 6pm. On the second day, in the afternoon, he was asked to come on the next day, and it was on his request, or protest, that the statement taking was completed on the same day. Otherwise he would have been asked to come another day. As he clearly expressed to the media after returning from the CID, more..