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Air Force executes 6th aerial seed bombing operation

Nov 25 (FT) The SL Air Force under the guidance of the Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, together with the Forest Conservation Department, Faculty of Agriculture at the Uni of Peradeniya, Central Environment Authority and MAS Capital Ltd., instigated the sixth wave of seed bombing at Wattegama Kebilitta Govt Forest Reserve in the Siyamblanduwa DS on 23 November. more..

Public servants can retire at 55

Nov 25 (CT) Clearing confusions regarding the retirement age of public sector employees following Budget proposals, Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said that public sector employees who are above 55 years could retire from service after 1 January 2022. Minister made this remark in response for a question raised by JJB MP Vijitha Herath in Parliament yesterday. Herath pointed out that many public sector employees who are about to retire from service were confused after more..

Sri Lanka joins to Orange the World

Nov 25 (CT) Members of the Women Parliamentarians Caucus of Sri Lanka wore orange today (25) to Orange the Parliament in solidarity with the world in launching 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The UN secretary-generalís UNiTE campaign has declared the global theme of this year as Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now! The Women and Wellbeing Survey 2019 which is the first dedicated national survey on violence against women in SL reports that more..

Ferry tragedy turns into ugly politics; ruling and opposition MPs trade charges

Nov 25 (EN) A ferry tragedy that killed at least six people including four children in Sri Lankaís eastern district of Trincomalee on Tuesday (23) has turned into an ugly political hot topic as both ruling party and opposition legislators openly blame each other for the accident. The blame game is on who gave the approval to operate a ferry and why the govt didnít provide safe alternate mode of transport as requested by Kinniya residents. more..

Met Dept warns heavy rains and floods due to atmospheric disturbance

Nov 25 (EN) Meteorology Dept on Thursday warned of heavy rainfall and possible floods that can occur due to a low-level atmospheric disturbance over south-east of SL. Met Dept said the prevailing atmospheric disturbance, which also adjoins the south-west Bay of Bengal, has developed into a low-pressure area and is currently located in east of the island. The department said under the influence of this system, heavy showers above 100 millimeters can be expected in parts of more..

President orders to complete construction of Kuringankerni Bridge within 9 months

Nov 25 4 (TM) Prez Rajapaksa has given directives to complete the construction of the proposed bridge across the Kuringankerni lagoon within a period of 9 months. Secretary to the Highways Ministry R.W.R. Premasiri revealed this addressing a press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre this morning. Six persons including three schoolchildren died and 20 others were hospitalized after a passenger ferry capsized in the Kuringankerni lagoon in Kinniya at around 7.30 a.m. on Nov 23. more..

Sri Lanka targets US$3.5bn forex reserves by end 2021

Nov 25 4 (EN) SL is expecting to boost the islandís foreign exchange reserves which had fallen to US$ 2.3 billion by October to US$ 3.5 billion by the year end, CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. SL has lost forex reserves steadily from around August 2019 as inflation policy involving liquidity injections began despite having a pegged exchange rate. SLís gross foreign currency reserves have plummeted 70% more..

Customs seize Rs.20 million worth of Kush cannabis at CME

Nov 25 4 (DM) Officers of the SL Customs Narcotic Control Unit attached to SL Customs today seized ten parcels of Kush cannabis with a street value of nearly Rs.20 million at the Central Mail Exchange (CME), Colombo, Customs media spokesman Sudatta Silva said. He said that ten parcels containing narcotics had been addressed to a local individual. The parcels weighing 1,300 grams were received by the Clearance Division of the CME, and those parcels were detected following more..

Stop violence against women: SJB MPs stage protest in Parliament

Nov 25 4 (AD) The lawmakers of SJB staged a protest in the Parliament today (25) calling for an end to violence against women They donned orange-colored ribbons around their arms and held signs that read Stop violence against women. The color represents a brighter future free of violence against women and girls. The protest of the parliamentarians of the main Opposition came after the recent remarks made by SLPP MP Tissa Kuttiarachchi sparked controversy. more..

Sri Lanka keeps rates at 6% amid high inflation, forex trouble

Nov 25 4 (EN) SLís central bank has kept its policy rate at 6%, allowing it to inject money at rates below rising inflation to fire credit amid a severe currency crisis triggered by from sustained liquidity injections from February 2020. SLís inflation spiked above 8% in October, the central bank said inflation was transitory echoing the latest buzzword of the US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell who is firing a global more..

Free Media Movement condemns attack on journalists covering Kinniya ferry tragedy

Nov 25 4 (TM) Free Media Movement (FMM) strongly condemned the attack on three journalists covering the ferry accident in Kinniya, Trincomalee, that took the lives of six people, including four children on Tuesday (23), and called for an immediate investigation into the incident and appropriate action against the perpetrators. It notes that journalists Abdul Mohammad Yasim, provincial correspondent for Thinakaran (Lake House), H..M. Halaldeen, Shakthi/News First correspondent more..

Sri Lanka reports another 27 coronavirus deaths, 529 new cases

Nov 25 4 (AD) Director General of Health Services has confirmed another 27 coronavirus related deaths for Nov 24, pushing the countryís death toll due to the virus pandemic to 14,232. The deaths include 19 males and 08 females while seven of the victims are between the ages 30-59 years. The remaining 20 are in the age group of 60 years and above. Meanwhile the Ministry of Health reported that another 529 persons have tested positive for Covid-19 increasing the tally of confirmed more..

Dimuth Karunaratne sets sights on 'peak form', 10,000 runs and 100 Tests

Nov 25 4 (CI) He has scored 854 Test runs at an average of 77.63 in 2021, but as good as he has been this year, Dimuth Karunaratne has bigger goals in mind. Of SL's Test batters, only Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have hit more than 10,000 runs. Karunaratne only has 5406 in the bank at present, but wants to be Sri Lanka's first opener with a five-figure tally to his name. "Scoring 10,000 runs is my main target. more..

Over 92,000 people have migrated

Nov 25 4 (DM) More than 92,000 people have registered at the SL Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) and have already left for various foreign countries for employment during this year, SLFEB Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya said. The three groups that were unable to migrate during the past one and a half years due to the global COVID pandemic are now getting their opportunity. "Most people used to leave the country for foreign employment, higher education purposes, more..

Will New Delhi help struggling Sri Lanka?

Nov 25 4 (TC) SL Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa is planning to visit New Delhi at the earliest, to seek from PM Narendra Modi, urgent help to tide over the economic crises in the island, especially the part concerning foreign debt repayment. According to sources, a request has been made for an appointment with Modi. If the appointment is given, the Lankan Minister will make a dayís trip. As stated by Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, Basil Rajapaksaís agenda is wide - to seek loans, more..

CEB engineers on work to rule campaign against New Fortress LNG deal

Nov 25 4 (EN) The engineers union of the CEB has gone for a work to rule campaign, protesting a controversial agreement to sell 40% of the govtís shares of the Yugadanavi power plant to a US company. The US based New Fortress Energy (NFE) signed a framework agreement with SLís finance ministry to build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on July 14, which opponents say will give more..

Groundwater pollution ticking time bomb in Jaffna and elsewhere

Nov 25 4 (Island) A research conducted in Jaffna last year has revealed that the rapid salinisation and pollution of groundwater in the northern peninsula and very likely elsewhere in SL is leading to the adaptation of freshwater malaria and arboviral mosquito vectors to brackish water and polluted water with physiological changes that reduce the effectiveness of present vector control methods. Snr. Prof. Pathmalal Manage, Professor of Zoology Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies more..

Foreign funding for environmental projects sans Treasury approval rife

Nov 25 4 (Island) Former Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said the Environment Ministry had routinely received foreign funds for projects that had been implemented without prior approval from the External Resources Department (ERD) of the Treasury. Dr. Samaratunga said so when The Island sought his response to the Auditor Generalís disclosure that the Environment Ministry had implemented projects to the tune of USD 9.96 mn and one project worth Euro 1.86 mn in 2017, more..

Germany urges Sri Lanka to end import controls

Nov 25 4 (EN) Germany has urged SL to end import controls which have blocked vehicles and other goods since last year, as money printed to keep rates low created dollar shortages and depleted foreign exchange reserves. SL slapped import controls in April 2020 as the credibility of highly instable soft-peg fell steeply. Though total imports went up as credit recovered and funds went into areas not controlled by more..

Kinniya Urban Council chairman arrested over ferry accident

Nov 25 4 (AD) Sri Lanka Police says that the Chairman of the Kinniya Urban Council has been arrested over the incident of a passenger ferry capsizing in the Kuringankerni lagoon in Kinniya, Trincomalee. He has been remanded until until December 09 after being produced before court, Ada Derana reporter said. Police had yesterday also arrested the owner and the two operators of the ferry which had capsized on Tuesday morning, claiming the lives of 6 persons including 3 children. more..

Sri Lankan delegation visits India to observe on ground operation of election machinery

Nov 25 4 (ANI) A delegation of SL election officers visited India to observe the operation of election machinery on the ground level. The Election Commission of India entrusted this responsibility to the District of New Delhi. A short programme was also held at the AC-38 Voter Centre in the Delhi Cantonment area, a statement from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer said. The visiting delegation from SL was amazed to learn about the effective utilization of information technology more..

Sri Lanka steamroll through West Indies to take first Test in Galle

Nov 25 (CI) Nkrumah Bonner defied Sri Lanka for 173 balls on day five, Joshua Da Silva joined him for a 100-run, 44.4-over stand, but although the sky was swimming with dark clouds, rain did not arrive until minutes after SL claimed the last wicket to clinch victory in Galle. Having scythed through West Indies' top order on the fourth evening, SL's spinners were made to toil on day five, bowling 48.3 overs for the last 4 wickets. more..

Video: Explosion inside residence at Kottawa; gas leak suspected

Nov 25 (AD) An explosion, suspected to have been caused by gas leakage, is reported at a residence in Kottawa, Pannipitiya. The incident took place early this morning, the police said. The house was severely damaged in the explosion, however, no casualties were reported. During the past month, several explosions were reported at two restaurants in Weligama and Colombo 07 as well as at a bakery in Ratnapura. The most recent incident was reported at a restaurant belonging to an international more..

Deduru Oya spill gates opened, people in low-lying areas urged to evacuate

Nov 25 (AD) The Department of Irrigation today issued an Amber alert for a considerable flood situation in the low-lying areas of Deduru Oya River Basin as the reservoirís spilling discharge is expected to be increased with the heavy rainfall. The reservoir, maintained by the Irrigation Department, is now spilling with a discharge rate of 27,800 cubic feet /sec currently, according to Director of Irrigation (Hydrology) S.P.C. Sugeeshwara. As per the warning issued for more..

'ලොක්කා නග්ග ගත්තට කමක් නෑ.. අපිට ගහන්න එපා!'

Budget 2022 and the economic crisis

Nov 25 (FT) It is extremely unlikely that the present Budget could resolve the evolving national economic crisis, not to speak of the political disorder emerging out of it. In fact, during the Parliamentary debates on the second reading the main oil refinery, Sapugaskanda, became closed-down due to the depletion of crude oil. This is part of the foreign exchange problems of the country the present Budget has unfortunately not even attempted to resolve. Instead of obtaining crude oil and more..

Tribute to Mangala Samaraweera

Nov 25 (FT) Mangala Samaraweera was a remarkable public servant and one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever known. He was also a courageous leader, who dedicated his life to pursuing his vision for a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual SL that would, as he described it, guarantee equal rights, justice and dignity for all. I was devastated by Mangalaís passing, and these days find myself craving his wise counsel, irrepressible mischief, rare gift for friendship. more..

Cardinal suspects authoritiesí involvement in Easter attacks

Nov 25 (TM) Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has said that he suspects that authorities are not implementing the recommendations of the PCoI into the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 21 April 2019 due to some involvement of theirs in the attacks. He alleged: ďThe authorities are not even going to implement what the PCoI has recommended. Even though we have been insisting on it, they are not doing it. more..

COVID-19 booster dose to be administered to all persons over 20 years of age

Nov 25 (FT) All persons over 20 years of age will be eligible for the COVID-19 booster dose, the Govt said, adding that more information on the vaccination program will be announced shortly. Administration of the booster dose commenced with frontline workers, before targeting persons over-60 and, later, persons over 20 who are immunocompromised. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is being administered as the third dose regardless of the vaccine type the first two doses more..

Health professionals launch strike, claim some TUs have misled Prez

Nov 25 (Island) The issues faced by health professionals will not be solved by granting chancellor posts to vocal trade union leaders, College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) President, Ravi Kumudesh said. He said that the ego of ministers and the incompetence of officials had led to a number of strikes and demonstrations that inconvenienced the people. Speaking about the 48-hour token strike, which was launched yesterday at 7.00 am, by 15 health sector non-medical more..

No changes made to LP gas composition, Litro assures

Nov 25 (AD) Litro Gas Lanka Ltd, denying the allegations that the company has released substandard gas cylinders to the market, assured the public that no changes were made to its LP gas composition. The officials of the countryís largest gas supplier noted that it has been using the same composition for a long time. ďAn independent int'l lab report is provided before the LPG is loaded onto the ship for import. more..

Covid testing ramped up

Nov 25 (Island) Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said a large number of tests to determine COVID were carried out daily. However, those tests were not indicated in daily reports, he said. ďWe do both PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT). The medical supplies unit issues about 20,000 RAT kits every day. However, these tests are not indicated in the daily reports but if you look at the weekly or monthly reports, you will see that large number of tests we carry outĒ more..

CID ordered to investigate Pataliís statement

Nov 25 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika C. Ragala ordered the CID yesterday to conduct an investigation into the statement made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka, that ďA sum of Rs 8,000 million has gone into the pocket of the Agriculture Minister when importing Nano Fertiliser,Ē and submit a report. The Magistrate issued this order, based on the Court being informed by the CID while presenting the facts that an investigation was underway. more..

Kinniya UC Chair blames politicised ferry services

Nov 25 (TM) Amidst allegations that Kinniya UC Chairman S.H.M. Naleem had authorised the operation of the unsafe ferry service on the Kuringankerni Lagoon in Kinniya Trincomalee, that ultimately led to six deaths this week in an accident that involved a makeshift barge capsizing, Naleem said that there were many different types of boats and makeshift barges operating in the Lagoon, on the basis of more..

Sri Lankaís first ever national coffee association launched

Nov 25 (TM) SLís first-ever national coffee association was inaugurated as Lanka Coffee Association (LCA) under the Sri Lanka Agripreneurs Forum (SLAF). Issuing a statement, it stated that it represents the collective interests of all stakeholders working towards developing SLís coffee industry to reach new heights. ďOur goal is for all stakeholders to work together in a strategic manner, to elevate the SL coffee industry. In addition, the LCA will provide a common platform to voice more..

UNFPA launches 16 days of global activism

Nov 25 (TM) The iconic Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) building was illuminated in orange with messages of the national womenís helpline and Mithuru Piyasa hotline on 23 Nov to place a spotlight on intimate partner violence and encourage more women to seek help. The illumination organised by UNFPA in collaboration with the CMC and the High Commission of Canada, launched the 16 days of global activism against gender-based violence in SL with a focus on intimate partner violence. more..