Showing posts with label SRI LANKA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SRI LANKA. Show all posts

18 October 2021

Covid-19 treatment Sri Lanka explores possibility of using Merck’s oral antiviral pill.

Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of using the oral antiviral pill developed by the pharmaceutical giant ‘Merck’ for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, Daily Mirror learns.  Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) which developed the pill has already applied for U.S. emergency use authorisation to treat mild-to-moderate patients of COVID-19. It is the first oral antiviral medication for Covid-19 patients.   

State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulations of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana requested Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardane in writing on October 11 to submit to him the opinion of the experts’ panel on the use of this pill in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.   

The treatment which is called Molnupiravir reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death by half.  Already, several countries such as Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore scramble to strike a supply deal with Merck.  

Prof. Jayasumana also mentioned in his letter that the pill is prescribed in several countries at the moment. According to foreign media, Merck plans to double manufacturing capacity since there is a surging demand for its product. 



Sri Lankan Trade Minister appoints Export Advisory Committees for 24 sectors.

The Hon. Trade Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardane has appointed Export Advisory Committees covering 24 sectors for a period of 5 years (from 2021 to 2026). In terms of the Section 10 of The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Act no 40 of 1979, the minister in charge of the EDB, on the advice of the Board, is empowered to establish advisory committees that are oriented towards the development and promotion of specific products, product groups, commodities, as well as the functional aspects of the export trade.

These Advisory Committees are expected to identify key market challenges and opportunities facing the industry, set goals to strengthen sector competitiveness, identify market requirements, as well as propose key policy changes that need to be initiated to develop the export sector while playing a significant role in reviewing the export sector which is currently facing numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These committees are led by private sector industry representatives with participation of industry sector leaders and relevant public sector officers representing Government line agencies. The multi stakeholder representation provides appropriate scrutiny of policy frameworks to catalyse export growth. They also succeed in providing a coordination to optimise institutional support and quality of service in the export process. Furthermore, the appointed committees are an integral part of EDB’s formulation of Annual Action Plans, Strategies and Policy.

The sectors covered are: Apparel, Ayurveda & Herbal Products and Cosmetics, Boat and Ship Building, Coconut & Coconut-based products, Construction Services, Education Services, Electrical & Electronic components, Export Processing Villages, Gems, Diamonds & Jewellery, ICT/BPM, Light Engineering, Logistics, Marine & Offshore Engineering, Mineral-based products, National Quality Infrastructure, Organic Products, Ornamental Fish, Pharmaceuticals, Processed Food & Beverages, Regional Development, Rubber & Rubber-based products and Plastics, Seafood & Aquaculture Sector, Spices & Concentrates, and Trade Promotion & Trade Information.



15 October 2021

Sri Lankan student filmmaker wins big at Turkey short film festival.

A short film “Mutton” produced by Sri Lankan student filmmaker Hasantha Prabhoothi Dissanayake has been chosen for the final jury selection of the 7th Sakarya International Short Film Festival.

The event, organized by the Sakarya University in Turkey, was held from October 12 - 14.

The other movies include “Cotard’s Delusion” by Sonn Shagleeva from Russian Federation, “Hunting Season” by Dimitris Theocharidis from Greece, “Hemnefes” by Abdullah Şahin from Turkey, “New Year’s Eve” by Zeyingtai Steven Lyu from USA, “Otava” by Lana Bregar from Slovenia, “Gas” by Utku Çırak from Turkey, “The Hobbyist” by George Vatistas from USA, “The Recess” by Navid Nikkhah Azad from Iran and “Un Silencio Prolongado” by Pau Verdalet from Mexico.

Sakarya International Short Film Festival brings together students who are interested in cinema in Turkey and abroad with its team whose experience increases every year.

The festival aims to increase students’ interest in cinema by awarding student films.

“Mutton” is woven around an expectant mother named Sherina Samson and the mysterious death of her husband who is involved in an extramarital affair.



14 October 2021

Reconstitution of the Financial System Stability Consultative Committee.

The Financial System Stability Consultative Committee (FSSCC) has been reconstituted with eminent personnel in the financial sector with effect from 6th October 2021. Dr. Kenneth de Zilwa; Chairman of the LankaClear (Pvt.) Ltd. is appointed as the Chairperson of the FSSCC. Further, Mr. Niroshan Udage; President of The Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. C N S N Anthony;

Director/General Manager of the Credit Information Bureau, Mr. L H A Lakshman Silva; Chairman of the Sri Lanka Banks` Association (Guarantee) Ltd., Mr. Sujeewa Mudalige; Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Sanjaya Bandara; Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Mr. Vish Govindasamy; Chairman of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Kushan de Alwis; President’s Counsel, Mr. Saliya Wickramasuriya; Acting Director General of Colombo Port City Economic Commission, Mr. Kapila Jayawardena; Group Managing Director of LOLC Holdings PLC and Mr. Krishan Balendran; Chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC are members of the reconstituted FSSCC. FSSCC is a high-level committee operational in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which is established for the purpose of facilitating discussions leading to provide views and advice to assist the Central Bank on formulation of policies on financial system stability and financial sector development. Macroprudential Surveillance Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka serves as the Secretariat of the FSSCC.



Central Bank Maintains Policy Interest Rates at their Current Levels.

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held on 13 October 2021, decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank at their current levels of 5.00 per cent and 6.00 per cent, respectively. 

The Board arrived at this decision after carefully considering the macroeconomic conditions and expected developments on the domestic and global fronts. The Board reiterated its commitment to maintaining inflation at the targeted levels over the medium term with appropriate measures, while supporting the economy to reach its potential in the period ahead.

Policy rates are maintained at current levels

In consideration of the current and expected macroeconomic developments as highlighted above, the Monetary Board was of the view that the current level of policy interest rates is appropriate. The Central Bank will continue to monitor domestic and global macroeconomic and financial market developments and stand ready to take appropriate measures, as and when necessary, with the aim of maintaining inflation in the desired range under the flexible inflation targeting framework in the medium term, while supporting and sustaining the economic recovery.

Monetary Policy Decision:  Policy rates and SRR unchanged

  • Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) 5.00%
  • Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) 6.00%
  • Bank Rate 9.00%
  • Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) 4.00%


13 October 2021

Cabinet approves proposals for Cyber Security Laws.

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the drafting of Defence Cyber Commands Act and a bill for imposing cyber protection laws.

The proposals were furnished by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence and Minister of Technology.

Bill for Defense Cyber Commands Act:

The Department of Government Information in a statement noted that with the development of electronic communication, terrorist groups and criminals have tended to use cyberspace and electronic communication for terrorist activities, organized crimes, and anti-social activities.

Electronic communication across cyberspace has been recognized as a crucial factor that can directly affect national security.

Therefore, it has been vital to formulate new laws today, covering all sectors for ensuring the national security across including the required provisions so that the operations performed by cyber protection units which are established at the institutional level at present by the three – armed forces, Police and other agencies, said the Department of Government Information.

Draft bill for imposing cyber protection laws:

Cyber security and preparation of an institutional structure in the connection is coming under the scope of the Ministry of Technology.

Accordingly, followed by discussions held with the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Technology and other related parties, it has been decided appropriate to formulate a respective draft bill as mentioned in (a) above including cyber protection provisions in relation to defense sector.



Sri Lanka interested to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

According to BBC, Australia, Canada, India and Sri Lanka have expressed interest in staging the 2026 Games but, as yet, a host has not been secured.

Meanwhile, the number of compulsory sports that Commonwealth Games hosts will have to stage in the future is set to be cut from 16 to just two. Under a radical new ‘strategic roadmap’ designed to preserve the event’s future, only athletics and swimming will enjoy protected status.

With Games bosses struggling to convince cities to bid for the event, the shake-up is designed to give potential hosts more choice over their programme.As well as greater freedom to select urban and e-sports in a bid to appeal to younger audiences, cities will be encouraged to select entirely new disciplines that are popular locally.

In an attempt to drive down costs and innovate, co-hosting will be encouraged and there will be no requirement for an athletes’ village.

Read Full News


Jeevan Thyagarajah new NP Governor.

Jeevan Thyagarajah has been sworn in as the new Governor of the Northern Province. The President’s Media Division said Thyagarajah took oaths before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (11th). 

He will replace current Governor P.S.M. Charles. She was appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province in December 2019. 

Jeevan Thyagarajah was appointed as a member of the Elections Commission in December last year and prior to that had served as the head of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA).



12 October 2021

CSE and SEC Rings the Bell for Financial Literacy.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) joined stock exchanges from around the world to Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy, as part of the World Investor Week 2021 global campaign.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) recently launched its fifth annual World Investor Week campaign following campaigns that previously paved the way for financial organizations across the globe to showcase their initiatives for promoting investor education and protection.

Over 80 global financial orgaizations have joined The Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy initiative in 2021, which is an initiative pioneered by the World Federation of Exchanges to bring stakeholders together for a call to action on improving financial literacy. These ceremonies also provide an opportunity for exchanges to promote the work being done within their respective jurisdictions to improve financial education and literacy.



Indian army chief General Naravane in Sri Lanka for four-day visit.

The Chief of Army Staff of India, General Manoj Mukund Naravane arrived in Sri Lanka today (October 12) for a five-day goodwill visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Gen Shavendra Silva.

During his official visit to Sri Lanka, General Naravane is scheduled to call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Service Commanders.

He is also expected to witness Exercise Mitra Shakti, one of the largest bilateral military exercises in the region. Further, he would participate in Gajaba Day celebrations as the Chief Guest. 


11 October 2021

Sri Lanka’s Ruwanthi wins Taiwan Fashion Design Award 2021.

Sri Lankan designer Ruwanthi Pavithra Gajadeera has won the first prize at the “Taiwan Fashion Design Award 2021” (TFDA), the first South Asian to represent and win the award.

The finals selection show of “Taiwan Fashion Design Award 2021” (TFDA) successfully concluded at Taipei Fashion Week, in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Taipei, Taiwan on October 6th. 

Among nearly 450 designers from 18 countries and regions including Europe, America and Asia, Ruwanthi from Sri Lanka became the winner of the first prize for her work “kǣli–A Sustainable Collection”, and won a prize worth US$10,000.

Ruwanthi Gajadeera is a highly enthusiastic fashion designer who studied at Ladies College and AOD, with a passion for perfecting Sri Lankan heritage crafts such Handloom, Beeralu (Bobbin Lace), and Natural Dyes to produce innovative and sustainable textiles and garments. 

Ruwanthi is also the first South Asian to represent and win the Taiwan Fashion Design Award.

TFDA launched in 1987 as a local contest, and the Taiwan Fashion Design Award 2021 marks its 35th edition. Hosted by the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan and organized by the Taiwan Textile Federation, it’s the first official fashion competition in Asia. 

It was first opened as an international competition in 2013 (27th), and this year is the 9th international competition.



Sri Lanka appoints expert committee on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency mining.

Keeping in line with the National Policy Framework - Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour - which highlights the importance and values of a technology-based society, Cabinet approved the proposal made by the Minister of Project Coordinating and Monitoring Namal Rajapaksa to appoint a committee to report to the Cabinet on the Acts, Rules and Regulations to attract investments and investors in the areas of Digital Banking, Blockchain & Blockchain related industries such as cryptocurrency.

The necessity of developing an integrated system of digital banking, blockchain and cryptocurrency mining technology has been identified to pace on par with the global partners in the region while expanding trade to the international markets.

This committee will be mandated to study the regulations and initiatives of other countries such as Dubai, Malaysia, Philippines, EU, and Singapore etc, and propose a suitable framework for Sri Lanka.

The committee will also study the laws and regulations of other countries in terms of anti- money laundering, terrorism financing, criminal activities, and the Know Your Customer processes.

The committee comprises the following experts in their field: Mr Sujeewa Mudalige (Chairman), Mr. Viraj Dayaratne, Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Mr. Dharmasri Kumarathunge, Mr.Jayantha Fernando, Mr. Sandun Hapugoda, Air Commodore (Retd) TGJ Amarasena and Mr. Milinda Rajapaksha.



Implementing a Mobile Application "SL- Remit" to facilitate Foreign Remittances.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had appointed a Working Committee to study and suggest new remittance channels for Sri Lanka and to make recommendations on reducing the cost of remitting money, having identified the need to introduce new and low cost remittance channels with the objective of increasing the inflows of foreign remittances while discouraging the use of informal channels.

The Working Committee comprised experienced professionals from Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Sampath Bank PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Cargills Bank Ltd, Dialog Axiata PLC, Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd and CBSL.

The Working Committee has proposed the implementation of a National Remittance Mobile Application titled “SL-Remit” to attract more remittances to Sri Lanka with features such as self registration of users, the ability to link to global money transfer operators & global FinTechs to facilitate remittances from any country, instant fund transfer to any bank account/mobile wallet in Sri Lanka. In addition, the application would include value-added services such as direct bill payments, attractive foreign exchange rates and low transaction fees.

CBSL will now implement the “SL-Remit” mobile application with the assistance of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Banks’ Association, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd.



Sri Lanka’s 15-member squad for T20 World Cup 2021

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) today announce the 15-member final squad selected by the Cricket Selection Committee to take part in the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2021.

Sri Lanka will be captained by Dasun Shanaka while Dhananjaya De Silva will serve as his deputy at the tournament. 

The T20 Cricket World Cup 2021 will be played in UAE and Oman from 17th October to 14th November 2021.

The following 15-member final squad was selected by SLC’s Selection Committee:

  • 1. Dasun Shanaka – Captain
  • 2. Kusal Janith Perera
  • 3. Dinesh Chandimal
  • 4. Dhananjaya De Silva – Vice Captain
  • 5. Pathum Nissanka
  • 6. Charith Asalanka
  • 7. Avishka Fernando
  • 8. Bhanuka Rajapaksa
  • 9. Chamika Karunaratne
  • 10. Wanindu Hasaranga
  • 11. Dushmantha Chameera
  • 12. Lahiru Kumara
  • 13. Maheesh Theekshana
  • 14. Akila Dananjaya
  • 15. Binura Fernando


06 October 2021

Ian Watmore steps down as chairman of England Cricket Board.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday (07) that chairman Ian Watmore was stepping down with immediate effect, following criticism of the decision to cancel a tour of Pakistan.

Watmore, 63, has reached a “mutual agreement” with the board to leave his role following the end of the domestic season after a little more than a year in the role. The ECB position is normally held for a five-year term.

Watmore, formerly the chief executive of the Football Association, started his role as ECB chairman in September 2020 after the retirement of Colin Graves.

Barry O’Brien, the deputy chair of the ECB, will take over in the interim as the board said it would soon begin the process to appoint a new head.

Read Full News


04 October 2021

Cambodia bans telecast of LTTE “Methagu” film.

The Kingdom of Cambodia has banned the telecast of ‘Methagu’ Tamil movie that follows the life of the leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran following a request from Sri Lanka.

The Cambodian Ministry of Information has requested all TV station owners to ban the broadcast of the movie “Methagu” in the programs of cable TV and all kinds of TV stations.

The film was released this year and claims to show ‘the true events that happened in Tamileelam’


02 October 2021

Janaprith Fernando assumed duties as Chief Scout Commissioner.

Attorney-at-Law Janaprith Fernando assumed duties as the 21st Chief Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Scout Association (SLSA). Janaprith, who was serving as the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the SLSA has been appointed by the Chief Scout, Gotabaya Rajapaksa succeeding the outgoing Maj. Gen. Milinda Pieiris.

Janaprith began his journey as a Junior Scout at S. Thomas’ College Preparatory School in 1979, where he received his primary education, after which he was educated at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. As a Senior Scout, he served as the Troop Leader of his Scout Group and achieved the prestigious President’s Scout Award in 1984. Janaprith served the Colombo District Scout Branch as an adult leader and as Assistant District Commissioner and was appointed the District Commissioner in 2005. After his tenure in the District Branch, he was appointed as a Special Commissioner of the SLSA in 2010 and soon after became the International Commissioner of the Association. In 2016, Janaprith took office as the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the SLSA and has been serving the local movement since.

Janaprith Fernando was the first Sri Lankan to be elected to the World Scout Committee where he served from 2017 to 2021 and the Regional Scout Committee of the Asia Pacific Region from 2012 to 2017. He also served as the Chairman of the Good Governance Team of the World Scout Movement and Chairman of the Management Sub Committee of the Regional Movement among many other positions of leadership he has held in the World Scouting arena.

Janaprith has been recongnised for his outstanding contribution to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement by many Heads of State including the Prime Minister of Malaysia, President of Taiwan and Vice President of the Philippines. He was also awarded the Chairman’s medal of the Asia Pacific Region.

Janaprith is a practicing attorney and runs his own chamber. Additionally, he is the Chairman of Bookbridge Sri Lanka, President of the Centre for Leadership and Talent Development and has served in many boards of private and public institutions in Sri Lanka.


Chinese organic manure sample rejected due to contains of Bacillus Bacteria.

Due to the presence of Bacillus bacteria in the fresh sample of the Chinese organic fertiliser, the agriculture department has rejected the organic fertiliser from that country, Agriculture Director General Dr. Ajantha de Silva said.

He told the Daily Mirror that two tests have been conducted on the organic fertiliser samples. The results revealed that there is a serious issue with the bacteria which should not enter the country.

Therefore, the Ministry has decided to cancel the supplier's contract to import the Chinese organic fertiliser due to the above mentioned factor, Dr. Silva said.

With the rejection to bring this fertiliser, the farmers will not face any threats to their agricultural activities, as the Ministry granted permission to several private firms to import them, he said.

Every consignment of fertiliser that are imported into the country should be channeled  through out strict process. The Agriculture Department will never allow such organic fertilizer with harmful bacteria to enter the country.

He also said that no Chinese manure is being imported into the country categorised as organic fertiliser, and that will never happen, the DG confirmed. 


Diga married daughter has no right to her father’s property.

The Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on Wednesday (29) determined that a Diga married daughter (when a woman is settled in her husband’s home) has no rights to her father’s property in accordance with Kandyan Law, a customary law in Sri Lanka.

There are two types of marriage under Kandyan Law. A Diga marriage is when a woman is given away and is settled in the home of her husband. A Binna marriage is one where the bridegroom is received into the house of the bride.

The Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena, and Justice S. Thurairaja held that the third plaintiff-respondent (daughter of the original owner of the property) in the appeal application has not re-acquired the rights of a Binna married daughter when she returned to her Mulgedara (ancestral home) after the demise of her husband.




01 October 2021

Adani Group seals deal to develop Western Container Terminal at Colombo Port.

Adani Group in India sealed a deal with the state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to develop and run the strategic Colombo Port’s Western Container Terminal.

As the first-ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, Adani Group will have a 51 per cent stake at the port’s Western Container Terminal (WCT), a statement said.

Adani Group signed a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement with its local partner John Keells Holdings and the SLPA to develop the WCT at the Colombo Port, it said.

The two local entities would hold 34 and 15 per cent stakes of the new joint company titled the West Container International Terminal.





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