https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/SPORTSRemarkable-National-Athletics.jpg 12 National records were established at the annual event 25 years ago Source:Island Sri Lanka Athletics will conduct the 98th National Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium from today. Looking back at a remarkable National Championship conducted by the athletics governing body 25 years ago. “Performance wise there has been no other National Championship at which so many national records were created” says Sri Lanka Athletics statistician Saman Kumara Gunawardena referring to the 73rd National Athletics Championship which was held from October 24 to 26, 1995 at the Sugathadasa Stadium. The championship was held in an era which is popularly known as the golden era of track and field sports in the country. Prominent athletes including Sugath Thilakaratne, Chinthaka de Soysa, Sriyani Kulawansa, Damayanthi Dharsha and Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe, who were well known even in the Asian circuit were at their peak during this time. But neither Susanthika ...

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https://media.graphcms.com/resize=fit:clip,height:630,width:1200/4hqt8QShTyC2m7AJIoBr Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone Dr Ashley Bloomfield says no, his US counterpart Dr Anthony Fauci has not been on the phone asking for advice on how to contain Covid-19. “He doesn’t need my advice,” he said, in the measured manner he’s become known for. “He needs his political leaders to listen to his advice.” The Ministry of Health had so many requests for end of year interviews with the director-general that they packed media together after five, for a panel that includes chief science advisor Dr Ian Town and Air Commodore Darryn ‘Digby’ Webb, who keeps calling the director-general ‘Ash’. The trio are smiling, upbeat, confident that there won’t be any community outbreaks over Christmas; aware it could have been a very different picture. “[It’s] the fact that our political leaders were first of all motivated to protect the health and wellbeing of their citizens, and secondly prepared ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/102305/eight_col_cheese.jpg?1589935906 The dairy industry wants export tariffs scrapped as it tries to get the best bang for its buck overseas – and doesn’t think the new post-Brexit trade deal will help. Kiwi exporters have battled tariffs as they try to find their way in the market. Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles New Zealand is in the throes of sorting out trade agreements with the UK and the European bloc, after the two sides finally put a deal on the table just days before the deadline. Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand executive director Kimberly Crewther said Kiwi exporters had battled tariffs as they tried to find their way in the market. This even happened when the UK was part of the EU. Crewther said there was no change with the new deal. “What this trade deal between the UK and the EU means is that we continue to be at a significant ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/RPC.jpg Source:Island Taking a cue from the success of the smallholder sector, Sri Lanka’s Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) handed over fresh proposals aimed at radically increasing worker earnings during a recently concluded meeting with the Minister of Labour and Trade Unions leaders. The newly introduced proposal provides for a hybrid between the daily wage model and the productivity-linked earning systems implemented with great success in the smallholder sector. Adding a productivity based component will ensure that worker earnings are expanded, and workers have more flexibility and control over their monthly earnings. Under the new proposals, RPCs will continue to offer a fixed daily wage with the re-introduction of attendance and productivity incentives. In a notable departure from previous years, the RPCs have proposed a mix of 3 days of daily wage and 3 days of productivity-based earnings, where workers will have the capacity to expand their earnings based on their ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/115709/eight_col_000_8XN6JP.jpg?1609266597 Britain has reported 53,135 new cases of Covid-19 for the day, the highest number since mass testing started in mid-2020 and up sharply from the previous record of 41,385 set on Monday. A pedestrian wearing a mask walks past a sign alerting people that Covid-19 cases are very high in London on December 23, 2020. Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen The number of new deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive Covid test also rose to 414 from Monday’s 357, taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 71,567. Britain vies with Italy for Europe’s highest death toll from the disease and is now battling a new variant of Covid which scientists say can spread more rapidly. “We are continuing to see unprecedented levels of Covid-19 infection across the UK, which is of extreme concern particularly as our hospitals are at their most vulnerable,” said Susan ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/the-Bo-tree-to-Sri-Lanka.jpg In 288 BC, King Asoka of India sent his daughter Sangamitta with a sapling of the Bo-tree to Sri Lanka Source:Sunday Observer The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred site for Buddhists the world over There is no spot in Anuradhapura more sacred than the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Whenever I visit Anuradhapura, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is number one on my list. Worshiping at the Bo tree has continued unbroken for 23 centuries. The introduction of the Sacred Bodhi Tree, the oldest historical tree in the world and the most venerated, is commemorated by Buddhists in Sri Lanka on Unduwap Poya (full moon) day. Unduwap Poya is popularly known as Sri Sangamitta Day, because it was the missionary nun Sangamitta who brought the sacred Bodhi to the country. It was brought as a sapling of the Ficus Religiosa where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Sangamitta was the sister ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/DIYALUMA-Falls.jpg Source:Dailynews On the way to our waterfall adventure we reach a row of highly decorated and beautiful Buddhist shrines by the road at which point we stop, and do a ritual to protect us on our journey up the mountain. A coin is posted, a short prayer made and we all apply two lines of chalk to our foreheads. Suitably blessed for a safe onward journey, we continue on through one plantation after another. There are thousands of rubber trees along the way, with their spiral cuts and little tappers with white goo oozing out, in various states of maturity. We also see cocoa trees with smallish teardrop shaped buds on them that will grow much bigger but only be eaten as orange-like fruit rather than made into drinking cocoa. You will also  notice endless smaller plantations, near dwellings along the steepening road, of pepper trees that stand like ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sasi-Ganeshan-1.jpg Source:Sundayobserver Sasi Ganeshan, an ex-captain of S. Thomas’ College in 1976/77 passed away after a sudden illness on Friday. Ganeshan had five seasons of First Eleven school cricket as a batsman and played alongside his younger brother Ajith who was his deputy at the Royal-Thomian. Described as cheerful and lively in his actions, Ganeshan was 64 years at the time of his death and was the first Thomian captain to bag the limited overs Mustangs trophy. Source link ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/01-Weeratunga.jpg Source:Sundayobserver The Government will hold discussions about a vaccine candidate suitable for Sri Lanka in the next few days and provide information by the end of next week, chief advisor to President, Lalith Weeratunga said. Weeratunga has been tasked with coordinating with concerned parties and countries to select a vaccine to be used in Sri Lanka. He will look into areas including countries developing vaccines, their efficacy and how safe they are, the cost to be borne by the country and most importantly how to bring the vaccines down. He will advise the Government on who should be vaccinated under the first phase. Weeratunga was entrusted with the task by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Covid 19 Task Force co-group meeting on Tuesday (22). The core-group is headed by the Health Minister and also comprises the Health Services Director General. “I have to talk to various sources. I am ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Scrap.jpg Source:Sundayobserver Why is Sri Lanka unsuited for a presidential system of government? Because, it was an idea that was hatched in the head of a single person, according to a pundit who has done a veritable treatise on the subject in a local newspaper. The said writer apparently scoured the biography of the late J. R. Jayewardene the brain behind the Sri Lankan presidential system, and he laments that Jayewardene did not write an autobiography. One may thank the late President for tender mercies. The presidential system is much maligned in Sri Lanka says the writer. Who would have guessed? That it would be in the crosshairs at this time when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is reversing years of neglect and malaise in the country is not a revelation. It’s so much to be expected that it’s trite. What do you expect the JVP to do for instance, when there ...

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