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Sri Lanka seeks $53 million in damages over S'pore-registered ship fire

Jun 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka is seeking US$40 million (S$53 million) in damages from the operator of a ship that left massive pollution when it caught fire off the country's west coast, officials said on Saturday. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said an interim claim had been lodged with X-Press Feeders, which controls the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl. The vessel has been submerged in seas off Colombo since June 2 more..

Again and again the hapless fishermen suffer

Jun 12 (ST) From the local fishmonger to the men who go out into the ocean to fill their nets with a catch, the X-Press Pearl ship disaster has placed the already suffering fish industry in a world of hurt. “First the Peliyagoda fish market COVID cluster and now the ship disaster has resulted in people being reluctant to consume fish. The fishing community has been suffering for months. Now we are unable to go fishing. From the millions of rupees that will be obtained from the owners of X-Press Pearl more..

Forex reserves drop to US$4,018mn in May

Jun 12 (EN) SL’s gross official forex reserves dropped US$ 452.6 million in May 2021 to US$ 4,018.1 million, official data showed amid financial account pressure and the use of modern monetary theory. In April 2021 SL’s forex reserves recovered to US$ 4,470 million from a 10 year low of US$ 4,055 million in March 2021 as a US$ 500 million loan was given by China Development Bank. Following the injection new money printing stopped and the CB sold down some of its reserves. more..

Tilvin Silva | JVP press

Renaissance Sri Lanka to help victims of X-Press Pearl disaster

Jun 12 (FT) Renaissance Sri Lanka has come forward to the rescue of more than 4,000 families in the severely affected Sri Lankan fishing communities following burning and sinking of the Xpress Pearl. Renaissance Sri Lanka will distribute kits composed of food and basic necessities to the estimated 4000 fishing community families who are no longer able to fish and are therefore totally deprived of income, and also to all the other families dependent on the fishing industry. more..

Bakery products might increase if wheat flour price goes up: ACBOA

Jun 12 (DM) The prices of bakery products might increase if the govt grants permission to the prime flour importing companies to increase their prices, All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA) President N.K. Jayawardene said. He said that they had also received information about requests to raise the price of wheat flour. "Wheat flour companies have made several requests on several occasions. "It is too early to predict that they would not get that permission," he said. more..

On fake news, popular dissent & opposition silence: In conversation with MP Dr Harini A.

Jun 12 (EN) SL’s ongoing efforts to criminalise fake news or alleged falsehoods on the internet is an attempt by the govt to intimidate the public into self-censorship, NPP MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya said. With the COVID-19 epidemic situation preventing opposition parties and the public from taking to the streets, social media has become a site of protest where people express resistance to an increasingly unpopular govt, more..

STF arrests drug dealer with links to Kanjipani Imran

Jun 12 (AD) The STF has arrested a drug dealer working for a main accomplice of the incarcerated narcotics trafficker and criminal gang member Kanjipani Imran. The 30-year-old who operates under the alias Clement’ was taken into custody during a raid carried out in Kohilawatta, Wellampitiya on Friday. The STF has seized 7g of crystal methamphetamine – commonly known as Ice – in possession of the suspect. He has been handed over to the Wellampitiya Police for further more..

Video: All economic centres open this weekend for wholesale trading

Jun 12 (AD) All dedicated economic centres across the country are operating today and tomorrow amidst current travel restrictions. Thereby, wholesale trading activities have been allowed at dedicated economic centres in Dambulla, Nuwara-Eliya, Narahenpita, Ratmalana, Piliyandala, Thambuttegama, Welisara, Veyangoda, Nawalapitiya, Meegoda and Keppetipola are continuing this weekend. The govt on Friday (11) announced that travel restrictions will be more..

Video: Special gazette issued to regulate stocks of four essential items

Jun 12 (AD) A Gazette Extraordinary has been issued directing individuals who stock corn, sugar, powdered milk and paddy/rice to register themselves with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), in a bid to prevent them from concealing stocks. Accordingly, importers, producers, mill owners, collectors, store owners, distributors or wholesale sellers will not be allowed to keep stocks of aforementioned essential food items more..

Video: Officials directed to look into resuming fishing activities after recent...

Jun 12 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the officials to conduct a proper study to allow the resumption of fishing activities in sea areas stretching from Negombo to Panadura, affected by the fire aboard MV X-Press Pearl. The instructions came during a meeting on maritime calamities held at the Temple Trees on Friday. PM gave further directives to fully assess the damages caused by the cargo ship inferno after taking into account all sectors including environment, fisheries more..

Fuel price hike indicative of govt’s. economic mismanagement: UNP

Jun 12 (TM) In response to the govt’s decision to increase fuel prices from midnight today (11), the UNP stated that this is another indication of the govt’s continued economic mismanagement and short-sighted policies. Party stated that during its tenure, the UNP was able to maintain the cost of living at a constant level during the 2015-2019 period. “This Govt’s refusal to continue the positive measures introduced by the UNP Govt has resulted in a growing financial burden being endured more..

ඥාණසාර හිමි ලක්ෂ 300 V8 අරන් කට වහගත්ත...

Delhi’s choice; Colombo’s highway to Beijing

Jun 12 (FT) Post-war Sri Lanka has turned into a contestable terrain for a new Great Game played chiefly between two regional powers, India and China with their respective allies. Although India’s presumption of control over the Indian Ocean remained uncontested once the former colonial masters started leaving the region one by one, and when Indian historians and political strategists like K.M. Panikkar warned Independent India of economic and security perils of surrendering more..

It just doesn’t work

Jun 12 (FT) Let’s get it out of our system: lockdowns don’t work (we’ll demonstrate why) and early treatment does. And any other approach is voodoo medicine at this stage, because of clearly demonstrated global data and results, not theory. And let me post this on the board again. When was it ever debated in terms of cost-benefit or any other data-based (not mad modelling) basis, that this one source of potential harm, C-19, matters more than starvation, business destruction, more..

Govt increases fuel prices

Jun 12 (NR) The govt has increased domestic fuel prices with effect from midnight. A litre of 92 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 20 to Rs. 157 while a litre of 95 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 23 to Rs. 184. Furthermore, a litre of Diesel has been increased by Rs. 7 to Rs. 111 while a litre of Super Diesel has been increased by Rs. 12 to Rs. 144. A litre of Kerosene oil has also been increased by Rs. 7 to Rs. 77. more..

Another 62 COVID deaths confirmed in SL

Jun 12 (NR) Another 62 COVID-19 related fatalities have been confirmed in the country, raising the death toll in SL to 2,073. 18 individuals succumbed to the virus while at their homes or before being admitted to hospital, while the remaining 44 passed away while receiving treatment in hospital. Seven deaths were reported between the 08th and 31st of May while 55 deaths were reported between the 1st and 10th of June alone. 35 males and 27 females were among those who succumbed to virus. more..

Keheliya confirms order for luxury SUVs for MPs cancelled

Jun 12 (FT) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday confirmed that the Finance Ministry had successfully concluded negotiations in cancelling the previously placed order for luxury SUVs for Members of Parliament. In a tweet clarifying reports over a TV interview of him, Rambukwella said the Finance Ministry had successfully concluded the negotiations regarding the LCs with the bank and the manufacturer, who in turn had agreed to the request made by the Govt (to cancel order). more..

BASL apprehensive over police deciding on what is fake news

Jun 12 (TM) In a statement released by the Bar Association of SL (BASL), the Association expressed its apprehension with regard to the police and other members of the executive being allowed to decide on what falls into the category of fake news, based on their own their own subjective decisions, resulting in the arrest and detention of persons. While stating that the BASL has no objection to the enforcement of laws more..

Youth employed at Port City will receive minimum US$ 1,000

Jun 12 (CT) Member of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission, Secretary to the Ministry of Water Supply, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrema said that Sri Lankan youths, who receive job opportunities at the Colombo Port City, will receive a salary of at least US Dollars 1,000 and salaries will increase according to the nature of the job. Accordingly, they will be given an opportunity to earn from USD 1,000 to 1,500, 2,000 and 3,000 and maybe even more depending on the type of job. more..

Three arrested with pulse oximeters imported through backdoor

Jun 12 (Island) Acting on information received from the public, the police have recovered 3,400 pulse oximeters on Thursday (10). DIG Rohana, said that pulse oximeters used to measure a person’s blood oxygen level are in good demand due to the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic. According to the senior police officer, the stock of pulse oximeters had been brought into the country through illegal means and three suspects were taken in along with the contraband in separate raids. more..

Sri Lanka diplomats should help keep GSP+ going: CB Governor

Jun 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions should try to influence opinion in the European Parliament to keep the GSP+ concession until the country reach the upper-middle-income status, CB Governor W D Lakshman said. European parliament on Thursday voted to use the GSP+ as a lever to stop the use of the anti-terrorism law against minorities including a poet after the UN earlier documented a decline in rule of law. more..

Sri Lanka HC thanks Lankans residing in Britain for their support

Jun 12 (CT) Sri Lanka is facing a difficult time due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, however the Govt is dedicated to solve the issue with the help of international partners and well-wishers, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Saroja Sirisena said on Friday (11). She made these comments during her address to celebrate the Vesak Celebration in Sri Lanka and thanked the Sri Lankans residing in Britain for their support for the country during the difficult time. more..

Rs 5,000 allowance cost govt Rs 7.7B

Jun 12 (CT) A total of Rs 7.7 billion was distributed amongst Samurdhi recipients, low-income earners, and those who had lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by way of the payment of Rs 5,000 allowance from 2 to 10 June, SLPP MP Ranjith Bandara said. A total of 88% of Samurdhi recipients, low-income earners, and those who had lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic had received their Rs 5,000 allowance within eight days. more..

People to get fuel price shock soon

Jun 12 (Island) Cabinet sub-committee on the cost of living had decided to increase fuel prices, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday. He said that the date of the price hikes would be revealed soon. Minister said that if they announced the date, it would lead to long lines at filling stations and it would have disastrous consequences during the pandemic. “We know that things are hard for everyone, that is why more..

FT-ICCSL webinar today on investing in Asia post-pandemic

Jun 12 (FT) ICCSL in partnership with BCG, CIMA and Daily FT will host a webinar today on Investing in Asia in the New Normal. It will address the changing investment landscape post-COVID-19 and specifically look at new financial instruments in the new normal including capital and debt markets. International Chamber of Commerce Chairman and MasterCard Worldwide Executive Chairman Ajay Banga, and Boston Consulting Group Managing Director Mayank Jha will present keynotes. more..

Sri Lanka gets boost from top culinary travel YouTube channel Chopstick Travel

Jun 12 (FT) As a part of Sri Lanka Tourism’s continuous international promotions to Keep the Sri Lankan Holiday Dream Alive, destination Sri Lanka will be featured in one of the top culinary travel YouTube channels in the world – Chopstick Travel. With the mission to popularise the Safe and Secure Bio Travel Bubble Process and rich tourism product diversity available, Sri Lanka Tourism (SLTPB) welcomed popular food travel YouTube channel Chopstick Travel. more..

2,789 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 12 (FT) The detection of 2,789 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday brought the country’s COVID-19 patient count to 218,923. Health Promotion Bureau states that 18,691 PCR tests were carried out yesterday and the patients detected include 2,759 persons from the New Year cluster. 116,880 patients from the New Year cluster, 82,785 patients from the Peliyagoda cluster, 6,608 patients from the Prisons cluster and more..

Remittances up 20.8% Jan-April

Jun 12 (CT) SL’s largest foreign exchange earner, worker remittances, increased 20.8% during the first four months of this year as migrant workers sent home US$ 2.38 billion compared to US$ 1.97 billion a year ago. According to data, in April this year, worker remittances accelerated for the tenth consecutive month since June last year. Worker remittances, measured in rupee terms, increased 27.3% during the first four month of this year to Rs 464 billion from Rs 364 billion a year ago. more..

Uber offers 50,000 free rides to Red Cross Society as COVID support

Jun 12 (ST) Uber has offered 50,000 free rides to the SL Red Cross Society for transporting frontline healthcare workers, elderly and citizens from vulnerable communities to vaccination hubs in support of the govt’s drive to inoculate the nation. Uber’s free rides will also be deployed to transport frontline healthcare workers to multiple hospitals, including the National Hospital of Infectious Diseases, during the ongoing lockdown, the taxi-hail riding app said in a media release this week. more..

CMTA fumes over luxury SUVs for MPs amidst import ban for others

Jun 12 (FT) Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has expressed its concerns on the decision the Govt has taken to import 400 vehicles – including 227 luxury SUVs – to a value of Rs. 3.7 billion through the Bank of Ceylon. Govt reversed its earlier decision to cancel the order, citing the fact that the Letters of Credit (LCs) had been already opened and “as the opening of Letters of Credit meant guaranteed payment, more..

Defence Secretary appreciates the support of ICG vessels

Jun 12 (MoD) Mentioning the rapid response and support extended by the Indian Coast Guard Ships to douse the fire triggered onboard merchant vessel X-PRESS PEARL, Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) expressed his appreciation to the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, His Excellency Gopal Baglay at the Defence Ministry today (June 11). During the session, the Defence Secretary also recalled the long existing bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries. more..

Colombo City Centre Residences sells over 85% of inventory

Jun 12 (DN) The Colombo City Centre Residences project is one of the most celebrated living spaces in Colombo, especially during the prevailing conditions and circumstances in the country. The residents at Colombo City Centre expressed that it is extremely convenient for them despite travel restrictions and lockdowns imposed in the country. The residents at Colombo City Centre enjoy the luxury of having access to everything they need simply by using the elevator. more..

Too early to see results of restrictions

Jun 12 (ST) Vaccines and lockdown dominated the thoughts of the people in the country. As the lockdown or travel restrictions was extended till June 14 and the vaccination programme continued in many parts of the country, the people who had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February, March and early April were fraught with worry over how to get their second dose. 2 million doses of Sinopharm more..

Dates announced for India’s tour of Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (Island) India will send a second string team to Sri Lanka later this month for a six-match bilateral series. The teams will be involved in three ODIs and three T-20Is with all games taking place in a bio-secure bubble at RPS. It is unlikely that spectators will be accommodated for the series due to current rising numbers of COVID cases. RPS underwent extensive renovation recently and hasn’t hosted a game in two years. India have made tremendous progress in the game in the last 10 years more..

Harry J. calls for wage subsidy from govt to safeguard livelihood of tourism sector...

Jun 12 (DM) Chairman of tourism-heavy Aitken Spence PLC, Harry Jayawardena called for a wage subsidy model from the govt to safeguard the livelihoods of nearly half a million people employed in the leisure industry, which has been dealt a double whammy—first with the Easter attacks in 2019, and then the COVID-19 pandemic since last year. The fresh call from Aitken Spence, one of the largest resort operators in SL and Maldives, comes as the industry grapples with extended more..