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Sri Lanka should be prepared to face the omicron coronavirus, SLMA warns

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) says the omicron coronavirus spreading worldwide rapidly cannot be prevented from entering Sri Lanka. Chairperson Dr. Padma Gunaratne stated at a media briefing held today that the entry of this variant into the country could be delayed by taking immediate action.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The car that overturned into the Mahaweli River in the Ilukmodara area on the Tennekumbura Gurudeniya main road in Kandy last night was recovered this afternoon along with the body of the missing passenger after a 14-hour operation, the police said.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 742new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Sunday. According to the Epidemiology Unit report at 8:35 pm Sunday, a total of 562,520 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Sunday reported 27 deaths due to COVID-19 after the figures were confirmed by the Director General of Health Services on Saturday, November 27. Among the deaths reported today, 14 are of males and 13 of females.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- A seven-year-old girl who was critically injured in the ferry accident in Kinniya has died this morning (28), police said. The child died while receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Trincomalee Hospital, police said.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- Eighteen fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on last month, returned home on Saturday, New Indian Express reported. Sri Lanka Navy arrested 23 Indian fishermen from Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts on October 13
 

Tight security was maintained throughout the Northern Province yesterday with temporary checkpoints and patrolling of military personnel in streets as residents and organised groups held events to commemorate those killed in the separatist war.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- The Special Task Force (STF) of Police has arrested two individuals in the Thalawa area while transporting a stock of banned pesticides in a van. The suspects were apprehended during a joint operation conducted by the STF and the Air Force Intelligence
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 719 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Saturday. According to the Epidemiology Unit report at 8:30 pm Saturday, a total of 561,778 COVID-19 cases have been reported
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- It has been found that there are another 13 more dangerous ferries in operation in the Eastern Province, Secretary of the Provincial Ministry of Road Development Mr. I.K.G. Muthubanda has said.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The three-judge bench hearing the case against the former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who is accused of failing to take action despite receiving prior information regarding the Easter Sunday attack, has summoned the current IGP CD Wickramaratne on the 29th to give evidence in the case.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has made arrangements to provide safe passenger transport service at the Kurinchankerny bridge commencing from yesterday (25th November).
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has been appointed to hear fundamental rights petitions filed seeking to quash the Cabinet decision to transfer 40% of the government-owned shares of the Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi Power Plant to U.S. Company New Fortress Energy.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Underworld gang member Hewa Lunuwilage Lasantha alias ‘Tinker Lasantha’ was shot dead by police in Kalutara this morning (26). He was killed in a shootout with police in the Diyagama area in Kalutara, the Police said.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Sri Lanka reports 20 Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, toll rises to 14,278 (27 - CP)
* Treasury loses USD 18 mn as minister blocks CCD probe into generator fraud (27 - Island)
* Coronavirus update: 714 new COVID-19 cases identified Friday, total rises to 561,059 (26 - CP)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The Navies of India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives have commenced a focused operation which aims to enhance the interoperability between the maritime security agencies of the three countries in the Indian Ocean Region.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- To mark the annual “Orange the World: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” international campaign, the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Colombo Tanja Gonggrijp handed over the “Orange the World” banner to Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that tourists from six banned countries have not arrived in the country in the last 14 days.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that all state institutions should make special progress next year. He said all officials should pay attention to transform the companies that are currently making losses into profit making institutions next year.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka, joining a number of countries that has banned or restricted travel to and from southern Africa, has barred entry to passengers from South Africa and several other southern African countries due to the new Covid variant ‘Omicron’ found in South Africa.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- Leading Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer Brandix was named ‘Exporter of the Year’ for the 7th time, winning the Award for 2019/20 at the 25th Presidential Export Awards 2019/20 and 2020/21.
 

Nov 28 (ST) The target to make US$ 3 billion ICT industry in three years from the current $ 1.5 billion is underway with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) incubating 450 start-ups by year-end, officials said. “In the next year, we aim to have 600 start-ups and bring it to 1000 more start-ups.
 

Nov 28 (SO) The Government is looking for potential investors to develop identified state land and properties under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), State Minister of Urban Development, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has stated that rumors that remittances sent to Sri Lanka by Sri Lankan workers abroad will be forcibly converted into Sri Lankan Rupees are completely false.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Hirdaramani Group has launched its Sustainability Roadmap, ‘Future First’ – a unified and holistic sustainability plan with ambitious targets for 2025. The Group’s ‘Future First’ roadmap collates and builds on several years of sustainability efforts
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Wanindu Hasaranga, the explosive all-rounder making strides in International Cricket, was recently appointed as Brand Ambassador for SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider recently.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- SriLankan Airlines, today, assured to Indian travelers that the Airline is committed to increase the flights to destinations that were temporarily halted due to the pandemic, restore operations to pre-COVID-19 levels, and offer Indian travelers a wide range of connections to Sri Lanka.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has partnered with PayHere, Sri Lanka’s largest Aggregated Internet Payment Gateway Service, to offer users of its Q+ Payment App a unique, user-friendly and secure eCommerce experience.
 

Nov 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended up over 1% on Friday at a record high, boosted by gains in industrial and financial stocks, marking their best week since early October.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) Thursday signed an agreement with INSEE Cement, the leading cement manufacturing company in Sri Lanka, to ensure the efficient transfer of raw materials to their factory in Galle, via the Hambantota Port. This will have a positive impact on the operational efficiency.
 

Nov 27 (F2F) After registering a steep fall of 21 per cent year-on-year to $4.423 billion last year, textile and garment exports from Sri Lanka are likely to cross $5-billion mark in 2021, as the island nation has already earned $3.893 billion until September, growing at 18.5 per cent year-on-year, according to the statistics released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
 

Nov 26 (Capital.com) Beth Morrissey, recently received a phone call from a client who said they must be reading fake news about Bangladesh providing a $200m currency swap to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* ‘IMF bailout viable option for mounting debt repayment’ (26 - DN)
* LOLC retains the top spot in the LMD 100 as the Most Profitable Listed Entity, three years in a row (26 - Island)
* Central Bank to clamp down on unofficial moneychangers such as ‘Hawala’ (26 - DM)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Cricket authorities have focused their attention on sending a special aircraft to bring the Sri Lanka women’s cricket team stuck in Zimbabwe to the island.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association states that the price of loaf of bread weighing 450 grams will be increased by Rs. 10.00 from midnight Sunday. Accordingly, the new price of a 450 gram loaf of bread is 80 rupees.
 

Nov 28 (CP) Colombo- The use of domestic LP gas cylinders has become risky as six accidents due to gas cylinder explosions have been reported across the country in November, consumer rights protection organizations have pointed out.
 

Nov 28 (ST) The Finance Ministry has given Ministry Secretaries just a month to formulate project proposals and action plans–complete with cost estimates–for implementation next year under the post-COVID economic recovery programme announced in the Budget.
 

Nov 28 (SO) The shopping season commenced on Friday and it is better to start shopping now than later to avoid crowds and congestion. The next few days are crucial for the country due to the pandemic, Deputy Director General Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Political tensions between the ruling party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and coalition partner Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have escalated and the SLFP is already preparing to contest the forthcoming provincial council elections separately, Lankadeepa reported according to political sources.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- The Dambulla Economic Center has been receiving stocks of vegetables for several days and the wholesale prices of vegetables have dropped sharply, say traders. It is noteworthy that the price of a kilo of vegetables has come down by between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- General Secretary of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara has called on the government to take immediate action against ‘gas bombs’ without allowing more consumers to be killed. Speaking to the media yesterday (26) former MP said the government has failed to supply the people with the required natural gas. He also said that the gas cylinders given later become ‘bombs’ and explode.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said at a media briefing at the Ministry of Energy yesterday (26) that the Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Sri Lanka Oil and Gas Company to commence oil and gas drilling in Sri Lanka and overseas.
 

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris addressing the mismatch between the content of formal education and the availability of livelihoods highlighted the need for a change in the system to result in the production of employable graduates with competencies that match the job market.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that in the future too many unpopular decisions will have to be taken to overcome the global economic challenges and to keep the country on the path to prosperity.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Education has decided to grant leave to all schools in the country on December 23, 24, 25 and 26, for the Christmas festivities, said the Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Prof. Kapila Perera.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Steps will be taken to develop all the roads in a timely manner as promised by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the people from the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor” policy statement, Highways Ministry Secretary R.W.R. Pemasiri said.
 

Nov 26 (The Diplomat) A Sino-Sri Lankan spat over fertilizer has ended in China’s favor. Sri Lanka has reportedly agreed to pay 70 percent of the claim made by a Chinese organic fertilizer company for a shipment that Colombo had rejected as it was found to be contaminated.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Bill to amend the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund Act, No. 66 of 1981 was approved at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Trade. The approval was given at the committee meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Trade
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the health authorities to take necessary steps to launch a mobile vaccination service to administer a booster dose for people over the age of 60 who had their second dose three months prior.
 

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- A delegation from the Embassy of Netherlands in Sri Lanka has visited the Hambantota International Port to explore the potential of the port for future shipping operations.
 

Nov 27 (BBC) The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and named it Omicron. It had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk, the WHO said.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* SL defenceless, warn experts (27 - Island)
* Lab tests to find composition of LP Gas in cylinders (26 - DN)
* Church welcomes Prez’s promise to move against those named in Easter Sunday PCoI (26 - Island)
* Health sector, military and people must decide whether country needs another lockdown or not: GMOA (26 - DM)

SPORTS

Nov 28 (ESPNCI) How do you solve a problem like Galle? Well, winning the toss and batting first would be a start. But what else can you do? The fact is, there are few grounds in world cricket where the toss plays such a significant role - on pitches that are known for taking exponential turn as the game wears on
 

Nov 28 (ESPNCI) Dinesh Chandimal has had an unusual Test career. He has 11 Test hundreds, which in this side is equal to Angelo Mathews’ tally, and fewer only than Dimuth Karunaratne’s 13, and yet he had been left out of the XI in the previous series against Bangladesh.
 

Nov 28 (Reuters) Six Sri Lanka women cricketers who took part in a World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe have tested positive for COVID-19, the Asian country’s cricket board said on Sunday.
 

Nov 27 (ICC) Pakistan finished day two on 145/0, trailing by 185 runs, after bowling Bangladesh out in the first session for 330. Pakistan openers Abid Ali (93*) and Abdullah Shafique (52*) helped the visitors gain control of the match
 


WORLD

Nov 28 (BBC) France’s interior minister has said he wants to work with the UK on migration but that talks need to be serious. Gérald Darmanin made the comments at a meeting of European officials following the deaths of 27 people who drowned in the English Channel near Calais last week after their boat sank.
 

Nov 28 (BBC) A 31-year-old woman in Australia has been charged with arson after a fire destroyed part of a Covid-19 quarantine hotel in Cairns, Queensland. It is alleged she lit a fire under a bed in the room she had been sharing with two children on Sunday morning.
 

Nov 27 (TOA) Travellers coming from certain African countries will not be accepted for travel into the UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The important COVID-19 travel update comes into effect from November 29 until further notice and is as directed by the Dubai COVID‑19 Command and Control Centre (CCC). The coronavirus update comes as cases rise globally and there is concern about a new variant.
 

Nov 27 (BBC) Sixty-one people who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa have tested positive for Covid-19, Dutch officials say. They have been placed in isolation at a hotel near Schiphol airport. They were among some 600 passengers held for several hours after arrival while they were tested for the virus.
 


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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