Countries tighten travel rules to slow Omicron spread – The Island

Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Norway, Ghana confirm first cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant as countries tighten travel rules. The United States, Japan and Malaysia have announced tighter travel restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries confirmed their first cases. Japan and Hong Kong said on Wednesday they would expand travel curbs, and Malaysia temporarily banned travellers from countries deemed at risk, news agencies reported. Hong Kong added Japan, Portugal and Sweden to its travel restrictions while Uzbekistan said it…

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Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris hosts working dinner for Ambassadors of Islamic States

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris hosted a working dinner for the Heads of Mission of Islamic States in Colombo on 30 November. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also joined the occasion as Guest of Honour. The Minister exchanged views with the Islamic envoys on the constructive role played by the Sri Lankan Muslim community both historically and in the recent political and social life in the country. This enriching interaction with the Muslim community of Sri Lanka extends to the most cordial relations Sri Lanka enjoys with the…

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More gas explosions – The Island

Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Norway, Ghana confirm first cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant as countries tighten travel rules. The United States, Japan and Malaysia have announced tighter travel restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries confirmed their first cases. Japan and Hong Kong said on Wednesday they would expand travel curbs, and Malaysia temporarily banned travellers from countries deemed at risk, news agencies reported. Hong Kong added Japan, Portugal and Sweden to its travel restrictions while Uzbekistan said it…

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Amaraweera warns President might lose two-thirds and simple majority altogether due to ‘conspiracy’

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera speaking to reporters after the Central Committee meeting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) this (02) evening warned that the President should be aware of the potential danger of losing the two-thirds power and the simple majority in Parliament altogether, in what he described as a ‘plot’ of weakening the President. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will be ready to abandon their ministerial posts at any given time necessary, but in any event had a group of MPs decided…

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ComBank wins Daraz award for ‘Best Engaging Overall Cards Base’ – The Island

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was presented the award for ‘The Best Engaging Overall Cards Base’ at the recent ‘Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’ of Daraz, South Asia’s premier online shopping marketplace. The Bank was awarded this title for empowering the Daraz platform by generating the highest number of transactions by both credit and debit card bases and the highest number of unique buyers’ engagement during the financial year 2020-21. This is the second consecutive year that the Bank was honoured with this award. The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has…

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India reports first cases of new Covid variant omicron

Two men in the southern Indian state of Karnataka have tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant after returning from overseas.   The men, who are 66 years and 46 years old, are currently under observation, a government spokesperson said. These are the first cases of the new Omicron variant to be reported in India. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Omicron poses a “high infection risk”. Officials said all primary contacts and secondary contacts of the two men have been traced and…

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Are We Serious ?

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda – Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda Despite the puzzling confusion by hopefuls making comforting noises, and the hopeless foretelling gloom, and hard times ahead, the juggernaut of State rolls on undaunted. Tragically, the Foreign Exchange Reserve position is bleak to an extent that we may be compelled (for the first time ever), to default in repayment of foreign loans, which apparently will lead to being declared not worthy of credit. This will be exacerbated by the possible denial of GSP+ exemptions. Earnings diminished by the certain decline of export crop yields,…

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Is There a Credible Political Alternative for Sri Lanka?

Why do Sri Lankan voters elect and re-elect corrupt and discredited politicians?  This topic has been much talked about and commented on in newspapers and social media ever since Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a rare moment of self-realisation, asked this question from the voters of Sri Lanka. Why indeed? Two years before the president posed this question in November 2019, I asked myself the very same question when to my disbelief and dismay, 6.9 million voters elected Gotabaya Rajapaksa as executive president. For the purposes of this essay I consider President…

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SLPP – nominated scoundrels, bribe takers, fraudsters, criminals and worst they were assigned Cabinet portfolios

Now coming to the present government of President Gotabaya N. Rajapaksa, what did he say or promise when on his election campaign. It yet rings in my ears the loud mouth of Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying –‘Vote for honest, educated candidates to usher in a prosperous era.’  Then what happened the very same party which nominated him to contest the Presidential Elections – SLPP – nominated scoundrels, bribe takers, fraudsters, criminals and worst they were assigned Cabinet portfolios. Couldn’t the President reject the names submitted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. If…

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SL to freeze bank accounts transferring money using unlawful methods

Bank accounts of those who distribute and receive money through unlawful money transfer methods will be frozen with immediate effect, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Ajith Nivard Cabraal said in a tweet today. Accordingly, the Central Bank has urged all migrant Sri Lankans to use only legal channels to repatriate their earnings. Earlier today, it was announced that Sri Lankan migrant workers would receive an additional Rs. 10 for each US Dollar they convert into Rupees in December this year, through the Sri Lankan Banking System…

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SL’s big dollar crunch: Possible solutions?

Several Opposition parliamentarians said in Parliament that Sri Lanka’s net foreign reserves had plunged to an all-time low of $ 1.2 billion and warned of the several consequences.  Sri Lanka also has gold reserves of $ 300 million that can be liquidated in a crisis.  Ironically, the Government members did not refute the Opposition claim of record low reserves, which amounts to less than one month’s ($ 1.3 billion) worth of imports, which is said is the all-time low. When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power two years ago, foreign…

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Registrar of Companies, a mere filing cabinet?

The main objective of the Department of the Registrar of Companies is the efficient and effective implementation, administration and enforcement of several legislative enactments assigned to it, mainly the provisions of the Companies Act, according to its website. A grand pronouncement, indeed!. In fact, it serve as a ‘filing cabinet’ for the annual returns of various companies, which are duly filed each year, thereby, keeping the company secretaries, (invariably ‘another company’), “in business. But does the Registrar actually enforce anything, or protect the rights of the minority shareholders of PUBLIC…

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Another consignment of Pfizer arrived in SL

A consignment carrying 1,503,450 doses of the Pfizer vaccine has arrived in Sri Lanka this morning (02), the largest stock received to the island to date. The consignment, carrying a weight of 1,014 g, was given to Sri Lanka as a donation, arriving from Amsterdam through Dubai. The vaccine consignment will be moving to the Central Warehousing Compex in Colombo. MIAP Thank you

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Sri Lanka Tourism commands attention at World Routes 2021 – The Island

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was presented the award for ‘The Best Engaging Overall Cards Base’ at the recent ‘Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’ of Daraz, South Asia’s premier online shopping marketplace. The Bank was awarded this title for empowering the Daraz platform by generating the highest number of transactions by both credit and debit card bases and the highest number of unique buyers’ engagement during the financial year 2020-21. This is the second consecutive year that the Bank was honoured with this award. The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has…

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Azath Salley acquitted from case filed over controversial remarks

Azath Salley, the former Governor of Western Province, has been acquitted by the Colombo High Court in the case filed against him over the controversial remarks made during a media briefing held last year. The order was given by High Court Judge Amal Ranaraja when the legal matter was taken up this morning. On March 16, the Criminal Investigation Department arrested the leader of the National Unity Front (NUF) and detained him under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (PTA). The arrest was made with regard to several controversial…

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DP Education’s contribution to Education added to Parliament Hansard (VIDEO)

DP Education initiative launched by renowned business figure Dhammika Perera and his wife Priscilla Perera was commended in Parliament yesterday (01). Mass Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma joining the Committee Stage Debate on the 2022 Appropriation Bill under the Education Ministry’s Expenditure Head emphasised on the mission of DP Education in providing free education to millions of children in Sri Lanka, appreciating Mr. Perera’s contribution in this regard. “Mr. Chairman, in addition to the efforts made by the Ministry of Education to provide education online and…

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