A Look back at 2020 : 41 Highlights

December 31, 2020 at 8:25 PM


  • A programme was initiated by the government to provide jobs for 100000 people with no formal education from low income families
  • The first COVID-19 case in Sri Lanka was identified, a female tourist from China was admitted to IDH after testing positive.

    Tourist from China who was treated for the Coronavirus discharged after making a full recovery, 


  • The first official visit abroad after the new government was made by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse when he visited New Delhi. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was met for bilateral talks.


  • The World Health Organisation announced the spread of the Novel Coronavirus a pandemic on the 11th of March.
  • The first Sri lankan infected with Covid-19 a 52-year-old tour guide -was admitted to the IDH.
  • On the 20th of March, an islandwide lockdown was imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. Gradually, the lockdown and the curfew was relaxed over the next two months, although partial lockdowns continued in selected areas.

  • After talks aimed at a leadership failed, the United National Party was split down the middle with a breakaway group lead by Sajith Premadasa submitting nomination papers under the Samagi Jana Balvegaya to contest the general elections.
  • The first COVID-19 death in the country was reported on the 29th of March. A 65-year-old victim, suffering from diabetic and high blood pressure.


  • The first year commemoration of the Easter Sunday terror attacks was marked with prayer services in keeping with health guidelines due to the pandemic.


  • On the 8th of April, first time in the history, Sri Lankan Rupee hits Rs 200 against US$
  • On the 22nd of April, the first confirmed case of the Navy cluster was announced.


  • PickMe Market was Launched  amidst the island wide lockdown . PickMe delivered groceries and essentials to areas under lockdown and further took necessary steps to drop 4000+ stranded tourists in the island to the airport


  • Minister Arumugam Thondaman the leader of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) died at his residence after a sudden illness.


  • The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the eight Fundamental Rights petitions that had challenged the validity of the March 2 presidential proclamation dissolving Parliament and refused the petitioners leave to proceed.
  • President of the Lanka Self-Employed Professionals’ National Three-wheeler association, Sunil Jayawardana was beaten to death in broad daylight outside a micro finance company in Nugegoda.



  • At the age 93 Sybil Wettasinghe, the Veteran author and children’s’ books illustrator died.
  • A former Director of Criminal Investigation Department, SSP Shani Abeysekare was arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) for allegedly concealing and fabricating evidence in a case involving former DIG Vaas Gunewardena.


  • On the 5th of August, a landslide victory at the parliamentary election was recorded by the Srilanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.


  • The Samagi Jana Balwegaya led by Sajith Premadasa emerged the main opposition. The United National Party faced its worst election defeat and was only able to secure one national list seat in parliament.
  • Former Prime Minister and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe failed to secure a seat in Parliament for the first time in his over 42 years of political career.


  • Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa appointed new members to the National Sports Council, which will advice the sports minister on sports policy matters headed by Mahela Jayawardena.


  • Govt to recommence employment process for 50,000 graduates and 100,000 low-income holders


  • In what was seen as a major marine environment disaster, a broiler explosion caused a fire in the Greek-owned tanker MT New Diamond while it was in the seas off Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. Crude oil of 270000 metric tonnes was being carried.


  • The cabinet of Ministers granted approval to cancel the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA). The cabinet said the project was cancelled after it was observed that the LRT project is unable to achieve the desired results.


  • Construction of Kadawatha to Meerigama section of the Central Expressway commences

  • Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held their first-ever virtual bilateral summit.
  • Premalal Jayasekara who was elected to Parliament while serving a death sentence in a murder case, was sworn in as a member of Parliament.


  • Veteran Actor Tennyson Cooray passed away


  • The outbreak of the second wave of COVID 19 was witnessed. A worker from the garment factory in Minuwangoda was tested positive. It led to the detection of several other patients.
  • The country’s largest Covid cluster was exposed when PCR tests were carried out at the Peliyagoda fish market. The market was closed and areas from where people had visited the market were placed under lockdown based on random PCR tests.
  • Parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen, leader of All Ceylon Makkal Congress was arrested after 6 days of hiding.


  • The 20th Amendment was passed in parliament by a majority of two-thirds with 156 voting in favour, 65 against and four abstaining.
  • A high powered Chinese delegation led by former Chinese Foreign Minister and the current Communist Party Political Bureau member Yang Jiechi arrived in Colombo.


  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the country. He held talks with President Gotabaya Rajapakse and Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Mr. Pompeo also visited the Kochchikade St. Anthony’s church, one of the churches that came under terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday in 2019.


  • The Court of Appeal ruled that the clearing of the Kallaru area near Wilpattu was illegal. Returning a verdict on the case, the Court further ordered MP Rishad Bathiudeen to reforest the area on his own expenses
  • Eleven inmates of the Mahara prison were killed and over 50 injured when guards opened fire to control a violent riot that sparked over coronavirus related concern.


  • Tropical Cyclonic Storm Burevi made landfall in Sri Lanka bringing torrential rains to the Eastern and Northern provinces.
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation withdraws its US$ 480 million grant to Sri Lanka
  • The budget for the year 2021 was passed with a 2/3rds majority in Parliament . The Budget proposal was passed with a majority of 97 votes as 151 MPs voted in favor and 54 voted against the Budget.


  • A fire erupted in the wastage facility of the Supreme Court complex in Hulftsdrop.
  • Jaffna Stallions emerge champions of LPL 2020