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Latest News from Sri Lanka: LankaPage wishes its readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays... [Last Updated = Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 01:16 pm SL Time]
Cyclone Burevi moving away from Sri Lanka

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Cyclone Burevi is currently leaving Sri Lanka off the coast of Illuppaikadavai in Mannar and will emerge into Gulf of Mannar by noon today, the Meteorology Department said. This Cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting up to 90 kmph is very likely to move west-northwestwards and its influence is expected to be gradually reduced during next few hours according to the Meteorology Department.
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Dec 04 (CP) Colombo- The couple, who were arrested by the intelligence services on Wednesday (02) while transporting a claymore mine along with their child, had taken the bombs to carry out two attacks in the North and East, police investigations have revealed.

Dec 04 (DM) A bus carrying 23 COVID-19 patients heading towards Punani collided with another bus coming from Kattankudy to Polonnaruwa at Asela Pura in Welikanda this morning. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the drivers of the two buses were hospitalised and two patients who suffered minor injuries were taken to the treatment centre by the authorities.

Dec 04 (DN) A suspect was arrested for stealing motorcycles in Dagonna in the Minuwangoda Police Division yesterday. He had with him three grams of heroin at the time of the arrest.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has recorded statements from 26 persons regarding the incident at Mahara Prison, that left 11 inmates dead and 108 persons including two prison officers injured.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 628 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Thursday. Among the positive cases identified Thursday are 627 close contacts of the infected from Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and one arrived from Italy and in quarantine.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka reported five more deaths Thursday due to COVID-19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 129, according to health authorities. The Director General of Health Services has confirmed following 05 deaths from COVID-19 infected patients

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The Mannar United Fisheries Association says that 65 boats anchored in the Mannar Pesalai fishing harbor were swept away by the cyclone this morning (03).

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana stated that legal action will be taken to arrest a person involved in obstructing the duties of a Public Health Inspector (PHI) who was attempting to treat a COVID-19 infected person in the Atulugama area in Bandaragama.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- An inmate of the Mahara Prison who escaped from the Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama has been arrested by the prison intelligence officers in the Orugodawatta area. The inmate who was receiving treatment at the Ragama Hospital after being injured in the riot at the Mahara Prison has escaped last night.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 878 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Wednesday. All the positive cases identified Wednesday are close contacts of the infected from Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka reported two more deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 124, according to health authorities. The Director General of Health Services has confirmed 02 deaths from COVID-19 infected patients

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- The Meteorology Department of Sri Lanka says that there has been a slight change in the path of Cyclone "Burevi".

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Gampaha High Court Judge Nimal Ranaweera Wednesday (02) lifted the travel ban imposed on former Minister Basil Rajapaksa by the Gampaha High Court. The Attorney General had filed charges against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Thirukumar Nadesan in the Gampaha High Court

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Defense Secretary Kamal Gunaratne Tuesday (01) said that the situation at the Mahara Prison, which was in a state of unrest recently, is now completely peaceful. He said so in response to a question raised by Minister Chamal Rajapaksa at the Consultative Committee on Defense in Parliament.

* Former State Minister Nalin Bandara among those asked for suspects’ release on police bail (3 - Island)
* Covid patient spits at PHI officer (3 - DM)
* Measures to release 6,000 prisoners held without bail (3 - DN)
* Mahara prison riot: How pills meant for mental patients triggered violence (2 - Island)
* Police force will be increased to 100,000: Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara (2 - DM)
* AG indicts Sampayo, four others for forgery (2 - DN)
* Cyclone Burevi to cross Sri Lanka tonight, Naval and fishing communities warned (2 - CP)


Dec 04 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera today handed over a recycling drop box for disposable pens and toothbrushes to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. This initiative was launched based on the shared theme of “Discipline, Not Law” to promote recycling.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) says that there are three main reasons for the prisoner protest at Mahara Prison and the ensuing clashes.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) today raised concerns over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as the entire island has become a high-risk zone.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga stated that plans have been made to open the airport in accordance with the COVID guidelines enabling foreign tourists to enter the country and it can be done so as soon as it is approved by the health authorities.


Dec 04 (CP) Colombo- The licensed operator of the Sri Lankan stock market, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) marks a historic milestone Thursday as it completes its 35th year. Given the entrepreneurial spirit of the Sri Lankan people, the Colombo Stock Exchange builds on a share trading tradition

Dec 04 (CP) Colombo- For the first time in Sri Lanka Pay-TV history, Dialog Television (DTV), Sri Lanka’s Premier Pay-TV Service Provider has introduced an exclusive service by allowing its customers to activate a single-channel or channel packs via a simple toll-free missed call from any network.

Dec 04 (Island) National Savings Bank (NSB), in collaboration with one of its fully owned subsidiary, Sri Lanka Savings Bank(SLSB), has planned to introduce a special loan scheme to offer credit facilities under a lower interest rate with a view to accelerating the development of shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka.

Dec 04 (DN) Sierra Cables posted commendable results for the second quarter, registering a positive economic growth for the Company and for the economy posting a Group revenue of Rs 2.2 billion during the first half of 20/21 with a net profit of Rs 70 million.

Dec 04 (DM) The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) applauded President Goabaya Rajapaksa’s recent call to gradually restart the country’s tourism industry but expressed the need for greater clarity on the “burning issues” faced by the tourism sector going forward.

Dec 04 (CP) Colombo- Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC), the leader of Shipbuilding Industry in Sri Lanka and one of the most competitive Shipyards in South Asia, secured a contract to build a Cable Laying and Repair Vessel (vessel) to Orange Marine France.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Prabhash Subasinghe has resigned from his post, according to EDB sources. As the Chairman of the Export Development Board, Prabhash Subasinghe has played a significant role in maintaining the export process in Sri Lanka even during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Dec 03 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares extended their rise for an eighth straight session on Thursday, helped by gains in financial and consumer staples stocks.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Contributing towards the wellbeing of children who has lost parental care in Sri Lanka, leading private sector bank HNB PLC, announced the launch of the ‘Season of Giving’ fundraiser via its digital payment app, SOLO, in support of SOS Children’s Villages.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Standard Chartered Sri Lanka announced today the facilitation of financing for Industrial Clothing Limited (Midas Safety Sri Lanka) as well as Hayleys PLC’s subsidiaries Dipped Products PLC and Haycarb PLC to enhance their manufacturing capacity of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for the global fight against COVID-19.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating on SriLankan Airlines Limited’s (SLA) USD175 million government-guaranteed 7% unsecured bonds due 25 June 2024 to ‘CCC’, from ‘B-’.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) yesterday signed a US$ 400 million loan agreement to support the country in transforming its secondary education system to align with the demand for highly skilled and agile workers who can compete in the rapidly changing global economy.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) introduced the Special Deposit Accounts (SDAs) on 08 April 2020 to seek assistance for the national effort to overcome the effects of COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Accordingly, as at 07 October 2020, total deposits in SDAs amounted to approximately USD 272 million, the Central Bank said.

* George Steuart announces voluntary offer to buy HVA Foods shares (3 - Island)
* SDB Bank rights issue oversubscribed (3 - DM)
* ‘SOEs need reform to mitigate colossal losses’ (3 - DN)
* Sri Lankan shares close near 2-1/2-yr high as financial, consumer stocks gain (2 - Reuters)
* ‘South Asia’s highest sky bridge’ (2 - Island)
* Pan Asia Bank PBT soars by 47% to reach Rs. 1.86 bn (2 - DN)
* Bank of Ceylon successfully raises Rs.10bn via equity-like bond (2 - CP)
* Projects carried out on loans halted Focus on PPP, BOO, BOOT, foreign investments (2 - DN)
* ADB grants Sri Lanka USD 400 million loan to support secondary education reforms (2 - CP)


Dec 04, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP) emphasizes that the abolition of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) established by an Act of Parliament can only be done by another Act. It cannot be done by an order of the President, says UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

** Related Story ::President’s Secretary orders closure of Public Utilities Commission

Dec 04 (Island) The recent Mahara Prison riot erupted as 120 inmates afflicted with COVID-19 had been taken there from the Welikada prison at the behest of a Director in charge of prisoners’ health, who was a Viyathmaga member, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday.

Dec 04 (DN) Central Province Governor Lalith U.Gamage has removed Matale Mayor Daljith Aluvihare from his post from Wednesday, following an inquiry into his conduct. A special gazette notification has been issued, Wednesday announcing the removal of Daljith Aluvihare as Mayor.

Dec 04 (DM) The failure on the part of the authorities concerned to proscribe the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) after the end of the war is a mistake since its MPS are now encouraging the resurgence of LTTE, minister Sarath Weerasekara said.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- United States Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday named her longtime adviser, Sri Lankan-American Rohini Kosoglu as her domestic policy adviser. "Serving as my domestic policy adviser will be Rohini Kosoglu,

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The expenditure head for the Defense Ministry under the 2021 Appropriation Bill was passed Thursday in Parliament with a majority of 132 votes. A vote has been called for the 3rd Reading on the Ministry of Defense budget by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress Party MP Selvarajah Gajendran.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- It was disclosed before the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) held yesterday (02), in Parliament, chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitharana that the 2018 income deficit of the Inland Revenue Department is Rs. 1.3 trillion.

Dec 03 (Asia Times) With Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa clan back in power, the island nation is by any measure firmly back on a path to elected authoritarianism.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, an international non-profit organization dedicated towards providing every family in Sri Lanka with a safe and stable place to call home, appointed Rakhil Fernando, the Managing Director of Daraz as its Goodwill Ambassador.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The GCE Ordinary Level Examination is expected to be held in March 2021, said the Minister of Education, Prof. GL Peiris. Joining the media briefing held at the Government Information Department today (03) morning through video technology, the Minister said that the results of the recent GCE Advanced Level examination are expected to be released in March.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- Attorney-at-Law Mrs. Kushani Rohanadheera has been appointed as the Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

Dec 03 (CP) Colombo- The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has not yet given its approval to provide 600 acres for the construction of a hotel in the Muthurajawela wetland, the Environment Minister said.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Following their last September’s fruitful meeting, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Colombo M. Ashraf Haidari called on Sri Lankan Minister of State for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya to discuss the tangible progress, which the two sides have made in the overall growing Afghanistan-Sri Lanka bilateral relations over the past quarter.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday condemned the terrorist attack against Iranian scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and called for stability and security of the Middle East region.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma has said that following discussions held with Sri Lanka Insurance Corp. Ltd, it has been decided to set up an insurance scheme to provide compensation worth Rs. one million in the event of a death caused due to defects in the Ceylon Electricity Board’s power system.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- All schools in the Northern Province will be closed tomorrow (03) and the day after tomorrow (04) due to Cyclone Burevi. It was decided yesterday (01) that all schools in the Eastern Province will be closed from tomorrow to next Friday.

Dec 02 (CP) Colombo- The COPE Chairman, Prof. Charitha Herath, has informed all the Secretaries to the Ministries in writing that all government institutions should submit their Annual Reports to the Parliament within the stipulated time period, Parliament Communications Department said.

Dec 02, Colombo: Lohan Ratwatte was sworn in as the new State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoner Rehabilitation before President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (02).

Dec 02 (Rise to Peace) ”One day some gun will silence me and it will not be held by an outsider but by the son born in the womb of this very society, from a woman with whom my history is shared.”

* SJB accuses govt. of trying to reward crony with new liquor production licence (3 - Island)
* Govt. awaits submission of experts’ committee report (3 - DM)
* Joint-programme to curb deforestation (3 - DN)
* JVP wants govt. to present an amended budget (2 - Island)
* Over 20 artistes under quarantine, five test positive for COVID-19 (2 - DM)


Dec 03 (ICC) The Aaron Finch-led Australia side has moved to the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table following their 2-1 victory over India. Hosts Australia beat India for a 2-1 series win and have jumped to No.1 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League with 40 points.

Dec 03 (ESPNCI) Lottery numbers, shoe sizes and dancing competition scorecards - England players and the ECB have been quick to make light of their use of coded signals sent from the dressing room to the field during their T20 series against South Africa.

Dec 02 (ESPNCI) Shaheen Shah can do what he likes, but he is only a human being. Shahid Afridi is an elemental force. In the last two weeks, Shahid was appointed captain of the Lanka Premier League side Galle Gladiators as replacement captain

Dec 02 (ESPNCI) A little over a week after he arrived in Sri Lanka to play in the Lanka Premier League, Shahid Afridi will leave to attend to a "personal emergency" in Pakistan. Afridi did not give details on how long he would be away for, but he did say he would return to his Galle Gladiators franchise "after the situation is handled".


Dec 04 (HT) Cyclone Burevi has weakened into a deep depression and would cross the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest bulletin. Burevi, which crossed the Sri Lanka coast on Wednesday night, would hit the Tamil Nadu coast as a cyclonic storm, the weather bureau had earlier forecast.

Dec 04 (HT) Three former US presidents have volunteered to take shots of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine — when it is approved — publicly to persuade Americans who are sceptical about inoculations. Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama — three of the four living former presidents — conveyed their offer in public remarks to CNN and SiriusXM on Wednesday.

Dec 03 (BBC) Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have arrested a Muslim man for allegedly trying to convert a Hindu woman to Islam. He’s the first to be arrested under a new anti-conversion law that targets "love jihad" - a term radical Hindu groups use to accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage.

Dec 03 (HT) The Covid-19 vaccination in Finland will be free and will start in early 2021, the country’s Health Ministry said. “Finland’s goal is to protect the entire population with a licensed vaccine. Vaccines are offered free of charge to everyone who wishes.

About Sri Lanka ::-
Introduction to Sri Lanka ::-

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island paradise in the Indian Ocean with white sandy beaches lush greenery, exciting adventures, amazing wildlife, cascading waterfalls and a rich heritage. The island of Sri Lanka is roughly pear-shaped. The total area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 sq km. Sri Lankas coastline is about 1,340 km (about 833 mi) around.

The people in Sri Lanka are warm and friendly. Sri Lankans are known for hospitality in all over the world. People in Sri Lanka ethnically fall into four main categories. The population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million. Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. Sri Lanka has a democratic government. Sri Lanka is mainly an agricultural country. Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy, famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of export, and further declined to 16.8% in 2005 (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments have reached 63%. The GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% during the early 1990s, until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000, with average growth of 5.3%.

Sri Lanka, with an income per head of $1,350, still lags behind some of its neighbors including Maldives and Mauritius but is ahead of its giant neighbor India. Its economy grew by an average of 5% during the 1990s during the 'War for Peace' era. According to the Sri Lankan central bank statistics, the economy was estimated to have grown by 7% last year, although inflation had reached 20%.

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