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Ceylon Tea on the brink of losing global appeal

Jun 13 (ST) Ceylon Tea synonymous with quality and uniqueness of its origins could lose its place in the global market as smallholder growers who contribute 70% of production face a crisis due to the new fertiliaer policy. Ceylon Tea will be just a name in the history books since within the next three months there will be a yield and quality drop on the estates of the smallholder growers, Tea Smallholders Association President more..

ComBank Card holders to enjoy discounts of 50% and other benefits on Uber Eats

Jun 13 (CB) A discount of 50% and other exciting offers await Commercial Bank Credit Card holders ordering food and essential items via the Uber Eats app, following a partnership between the Bank and the food delivery platform. The Uber Eats promotion will apply to the Bank’s customers paying for their purchases through their registered Credit Cards via the Uber Eats App throughout the month of June. While customers who newly register on the app can enjoy a 50% discount subject to more..

Pay disputes aren’t new but are they reasonable?

Jun 13 (Island) Pay disputes go back to the times of Bandula Warnapura, our first Test captain. But he was an absolute beauty. He is more of a working-class hero. There was a bit of Ian Chappell in him. He fought for his players. Not for seniority payment or anything. SLC at times have cut down pay for players significantly just to rein them in. There have been SL teams in the past that have refused to sign contracts, but gone on tour, won the championship and then demanded the pound of flesh, more..

Grey areas haunt new contracts as players and SLC still confused over final outcome

Jun 13 (ST) If anyone thinks the current pay dispute between cricketers and their employer, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), is over…it’s not. The parties reached a truce a day ahead of the team’s scheduled departure to England last Tuesday on the premise it would be resolved when the team returns next month. 38 players, including 14 who have been overlooked for any sort of a contract, are protesting over the new performance-based more..

Vehicles for MPs driving the people up the wall

Jun 13 (ST) Govt seems to be rather coy, shying away from a rather unpleasant act of its which it knows only too well is not viewed with favour by the general public. It has opened Letters of Credit (LCs) to import brand new vehicles for MPs, and those in Govt. With an impending backlash from an angry populace, the Govt seems to have suspended rather than cancelled the order. All this under the cover of the free falling COVID pandemic situation, while millions of ordinary people are undergoing more..

An officer and a gentleman to the damsel in distress

Jun 13 (ST) My dear Sarath, I had to write to you this week because you are making headlines in these difficult days of lockdown or ‘travel restrictions’ as those in high places like to call it these days. This is in your role as the minister in charge of the Police – though some will say that hasn’t really been your role recently. As a politician, you must be loving every bit of the publicity you are getting. Who wouldn’t, when everyone is talking about you, making you a household name in the country more..

Himasha loses appeal as athletes eye Olympic spots

Jun 13 (ST) An appeal made to Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) through the National Sports Council (NSC) by sprinter Himasha Eshan, to include him for the upcoming Kazakhstan Open Athletics Championship to be held on June 19 and 20, had been turned down. The sprinter had met the Chairman of NSC, Mahela Jayawardene, to intervene on behalf of him but the appeal was turned by the SLA given his mediocre performances. more..

The string theory of international cricket

Jun 13 (ST) Shikhar Dhawan will lead a second string Indian team to play SL in a six-match limited over series next month. The series, which includes three ODIs and as many T20Is, will be played at the newly refurbished R Premadasa Int'l Stadium starting July 13. The Indian Test team is currently in England preparing for the finals of the World Test Championship against NZ and therefore regulars like Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprir Bumrah and Rishabh Pant more..

The writing was on the wall for SL swimmer

Jun 13 (SO) Aniqah Gaffoor, a prophetic 11-year old girl now age 17 is on the verge on realizing her childhood dream of swimming at the Tokyo Olympics. When she was 11 years old Aniqah Gaffoor had posted Olympics 2020 Tokyo on the wall of her room. She had begun swimming just a couple of years back and loved the rush of adrenaline in the pool. It was enough to spark a dream of going for the Tokyo Games but even in her wildest imagination she wouldn’t have more..

Ranil’s impending Parliament entry stirs Opposition

Jun 13 (CT) With the UNP Working Committee passing a resolution that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should swear in as the Party’s National List MP, he was flooded with phone calls inquiring whether he would be actually accepting the offer. Opposition MPs, diplomats, friends, and the media all were curious whether he would be sworn in or not on 8 June when Parliament is convened. more..

Leveraging innovation for sustainable development in Sri Lanka

Jun 13 (TM) Innovation is an essential driver of economic progress. The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development goes beyond economic growth and requires innovation for sustainability. Process innovation to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation is of a great importance to achieve sustainable development. Any modification to the existing manufacturing process, which reduces the emission of greenhouse gases and use of non-renewable or toxic materials more..

Rebel cricketers realise greatness comes with time not money

Jun 13 (SO) SL’s once adored cricketers left on a tour of England claiming to play for national pride but in reality becoming a permitted band of 24 rebels to whom pay was more important than coming to grips with studying their on-field opponents only to realise that a noose hung over them should they abort. Tour and the stance of the players only brought to disrepute both the establishment and the team and bore a direct insult on their predecessors who 25 years ago lifted a World Cup literally without more..

Hiru TV Balaya

Fertilizer Saga in SL: A considered opinion

Jun 13 (Island) Why use fertiliser on crops? Fertilisers are used for two purposes. One purpose is to provide essential plant nutrients that are required for crops to produce an economically-important product (i.e. food for humans, feed for animals, a variety of industrial products, etc.). Just as people require food, crops require nutrients for producing what is expected from them. When a crop is harvested and its yield taken away, a large amount of nutrients is taken out of system more..

Leadership crisis rocks SJB

Jun 13 (SO) UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardana said that the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) which was mired in a leadership crisis was on the verge of disintegration. He said the leadership crisis within the SJB has paved the way for the emergence of leaders such as Champika Ranawaka and several others as future leaders adding that this could result in the SJB splitting into several factions. Abeywardana said it was a political tragedy that those who boasted of capturing the UNP more..

'Govt yet to decide on alternative to Astrazeneca second dose'

Jun 13 (SO) State Minister Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle explains the issues faced by the state Covid-19 vaccination drive and how the Govt plans to overcome them. Q: Some of the countries have recommended the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as the second dose for those who got the first shot of Astrazeneca considering the risk of blood clots associated with the latter. Any plans here to follow this model? more..

True & genuine development should happens at the level of people

Jun 13 (CT) I was happy to read a few weeks ago the Cardinal’s brief critique of the current development strategy of the Gotabaya govt. One of his observations was that the sale of State properties and the common resources of the people is not development. But, this has indeed been the strategy implemented in the country for the last 4 decades creating a situation where the rich become richer and the poor poorer. Thus, as a result the social inequalities in Sri Lanka have widened. more..

Headache season

Jun 13 (TM) For a govt limping from one crisis to another, the prospect of even a brief respite seems distant, given the frequency with which the issues keep piling up. In just the past week, it has had to deal with an unmitigated maritime disaster, natural disasters that left 21 dead, a vaccination campaign struggling to cope with demand with over half a million people still waiting on a second jab, a looming agriculture crisis owing to the overnight ban on chemical fertiliser that could potentially more..

'Environmental Act to be updated'

Jun 13 (SO) Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said that our environmental laws are outdated but the former Yahapalana Govt had not taken any action to update them. He said that the Govt at the last Cabinet meeting decided to introduce 42 amendments to the National Environmental Act and make it updated to suit present day needs. He said the National Environmental Act of No. 47 of 1980 more..

A commendable step

Jun 13 (SO) People around the country would have heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing the news that the travel restrictions now in effect would probably be not extended from Monday as previously believed, as per Army Commander Shavendra Silva. Some of the travel restrictions are, however, likely to remain for the short term, including the ban on inter-provincial travel. This is to prevent the pandemic from spreading widely in some provinces where it is not widespread at the moment. more..

Cyber-Espionage & Ransomware Wars

Jun 13 (CT) There are two categories of cyber-attacks; attempts by govts and state intelligence agencies to penetrate, disable or gather information from foreign or domestic sources and the second is when organised gangs, or occasionally individuals penetrate computer facilities to collect what may be called a cyber-ransom. The latter is the work of a cyber-mafia. There is not a great deal that can be said about the former since little is reported. Even investigative journalists who penetrate more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Wildlife Dept inspects traps to protect leopards

Jun 12 (DM) Considering the series of leopard deaths that have taken place in the hill country, the wild life department is conducting inspections to protect the endangered animals, wildlife sources said. They claimed the decision was made in response to the recent death of a leopard at Dickoya Estate. A carcass of a leopard was found in Dickoya in the Hatton area recently. Accordingly, three leopard deaths have been reported in the Hatton area during the past six months. more..

A project kicks off to culture artificial reef in Northern waters

Jun 12 (SLN) Dept of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources with the assistance of Navy today (11) launched a project to culture artificial reef off the Delft Island. Through this project, it is expected to enhance biodiversity in the coastal waters off the islands in Jaffna peninsula. As part of this project, launched by Dept of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, 20 discarded buses are to be submerged off island sector in Jaffna to help create artificial reef conducive to marine environment. more..

Prices charged by delivery services to be regulated

Jun 12 (AD) State Ministry of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection has decided to take measures to regulate the prices charged by certain delivery services at a reasonable level. The state ministry said most consumers have resorted to get their essential items home-delivered during the travel-restricted period, however, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has received complaints more..

SLAF launches Covid vaccination QR code

Jun 12 (TM) On the instructions of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, under the guidance of the Directorate of Information Technology, the No 1 Information Technology Wing at SLAF Base Ratmalana developed a COVID 19 Vaccination Information Tracker QR Code which is intended to be used for all vaccinated personnel of the SLAF, SL Airforce stated yesterday (11). The launching ceremony of the unique QR Code system was held today at Air Force Headquarters more..

‘Support Tamils to check China’s move in SL’

Jun 12 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged PM Narendra Modi to take efforts to conduct a referendum among Tamils living in various parts of the world to establish a sovereign State of Tamil Eelam, which alone could be the political, economical and defence base for India. “If India fails to safeguard Tamil Eelam and recognise its sovereignty, it only means that India is prepared to lose its dominance over the Indian Ocean and pave the way for China’s presence in the region,” more..

SLPP calls energy minister to resign over fuel price hike

Jun 12 (AD) SLPP says that the Minister of Energy must step down from his post over the increase in fuel prices. Issuing a statement the General Secretary of SLPP MP Sagara Kariyawasam says that the subject minister must take complete responsibility for pushing the people into more difficulties with a fuel price hike amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement reads that the government has been put into a difficult more..

Karu thanks countries for intervening to save Sri Lankans from COVID

Jun 12 (FT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman Karu Jayasuriya in a statement extended NMSJ’s gratitude to the Govt and the people of Switzerland for donating humanitarian aid including medical examination materials to Sri Lanka at a time when the country is facing an immense challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement said the Federal Republic of Germany had also released 30 million vaccines to be used by eligible countries, including Sri Lanka, more..

Withdraw increased fuel price without burdening people: JVP

Jun 12 (DM) While urging the govt to withdraw the increased fuel price without burdening the people further who are already hit by the pandemic and loss of income, the JVP today questioned as to why the Fuel Price Stabilisation Fund was not utilised for the benefit of the people. JVP politburo member Sunil Handunnetti told a news conference that the govt established the said fund last year aiming to benefit the people during fuel price hikes in the world market. more..

Sri Lanka estate females suffering violence, child sex abuse: action needed: study

Jun 12 (EN) Around a third of Sri Lanka’s female estate workers have suffered violence and sexual abuse as adults and had also been childhood sex victims with male dominance, close living quarters and isolation from mainstream society contributing, a study said. Though Trade Unions are a powerful institution with strong influence on this community they did little to address sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). more..

Illegal migrants from SL arrested in India

Jun 12 (EE) 38 Sri Lankan have been arrested for illegally staying in Mangaluru, India for over a month. The arrests were made by the City Crime Branch from private lodges and houses based on a tip-off from the Tamil Nadu police and intelligence agencies, the police said. The illegal immigrants were said to have been trafficked into India with the promise of jobs in Canada. As per preliminary investigation, the SL nationals were first brought to Thoothukudi in TN by boat around March 17, more..

Travel restrictions a sham

Jun 12 (CT) It is not wrong to say, after observing the happenings during the past few days that travel restrictions, which are being extended week by week, are a total farce. However much the authorities boast that movement of people is restricted by imposing travel restrictions, to prevent the Covid virus from spreading, when you go onto the roads, it is possible to see traffic congestion and shops open at almost every junction and what is being done here is an act that is being more..

SLMA urges govt. to extend restrictions on movement by two weeks

Jun 12 (AD) Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has urged the government to extend the current travel restrictions for a period of two weeks from the 14th of June. In a letter directed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the SLMA said the number of COVID-19 infections would exponentially start to increase again if the restrictions on movement are lifted at this point of time. “We find that number of new cases, though still high, more..

India's squad to Sri Lanka to quarantine in Mumbai from June 14

Jun 12 (CI) The second-string India squad for the Sri Lanka tour will assemble in Mumbai from June 14 to undergo a two-week quarantine. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the members of the Indian contingent have been asked to take a Covid-19 test before they reach the team hotel in Mumbai, where they will undergo regular testing during the two-week period. Rahul Dravid, who will be the head coach for the tour, will also travel to Mumbai to be part of the quarantine. more..

Gampaha respiratory ward armed with sophisticated HDU

Jun 12 (ST) Remember the mass outpouring of support to the beleaguered men, women and children living along the coastal belt soon after the tsunami struck in December 2004! As the country is battered by a different kind of tsunami – COVID-19 – that fount of generosity came to the fore once again. Here the Sunday Times turns the spotlight on Gampaha which aptly blossomed and bore fruit on the thrice-blessed day of Vesak – Wednesday, May 26. Project to upgrade High Dependency Unit more..