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Health authorities warn of notable spike in dengue cases

Jun 9 (DM) In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in SL, the health authorities warned of a notable spike in dengue cases in the coming weeks due to the flood situation following torrential downpour. National Dengue Control Unit Director Dr. Aruna Jayasekara told the Daily Mirror that the Colombo district was at a higher risk compared to others, as one third of cases are reported from the Colombo District. “In addition, we have identified more..

EDB Chief calls on export-oriented global firms to set up base in Sri Lanka

Jun 9 (FT) Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh de Mel yesterday presented six focused sectors that provide a plethora of opportunities for export-oriented global firms to set up bases in Sri Lanka. “The Govt has put in the right ecosystem to support investments, growth and innovation. We have also taken a number of new initiatives while also fine-tuning existing endeavours to develop and boost exports,” he said on Day 2 of the virtually-held SL Investment Forum. more..

Claim that Sinhala was removed from name board of Indian Consulate in Jaffna refuted

Jun 9 (NIA) A fact check website has refuted the social media allegation that the Indian Consulate General in Jaffna in Tamil-speaking North SL, had removed Sinhala on its name board. The fact check agency also refuted the allegation that the Indian authorities had removed the Sinhala, angry with increasing Chinese influence in South SL and also as a retaliation for the absence of Tamil in name boards in the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City and more..

Video: Japan responds positively to Prez's request for 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca

Jun 9 (DM) Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga has responded positively to a request made by Prez Rajapaksa to supply 600,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccines to SL's Health Ministry, the President's office said today. During discussions held between Prez Rajapaksa and Japanese Ambassador to SL Sugiyama Akira at the Presidential Secretariat, the Ambassador said the Japanese PM had responded positively to more..

Top health officials of Galle District transferred over vaccine controversy

Jun 9 (AD) Regional Director of Health Services and the Regional Epidemiologist of Galle District have been demoted and transferred over the incident of vaccinating many people from Western Province as revealed by Ada Derana Ukussa. This is the result of the preliminary inquiries carried out by the Health Ministry following the exposé by Ada Derana, which the ministry says is being further investigated. Ministry of Health had launched an investigation into the irregularities more..

Pavithra blames spike in cancer and kidney diseases on toxic agricultural inputs

Jun 9 (Island) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament that 239,000 persons were stricken with cancer and kidney diseases every year owing to the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicide in this country. Annually 75,000 new cancer patients and new 164,000 kidney patients were diagnosed. Health Minister said that 6,000 persons died of chronic kidney diseases every year while 54 persons died daily of various cancers caused by chemical substances used as inputs in agriculture. more..

එක පෑන් පාරකින් රටේ අනාගතය විකුණන්න හදනවා

Vaccinating pregnant women against COVID commences

Jun 9 (AD) The administration of the Sinopharm vaccine to pregnant women commenced at the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) office in Piliyandala this morning. China-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine was administered for 35 pregnant women over the age of 35 with various complications. Director-General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena was also present at the occasion. Dr. Gunawardena said that steps will be taken to implement the vaccination program for more..

‘Indian variant already at community transmission level here’

Jun 9 (Island) The community transmission of the Indian variant had begun in Sri Lanka because the current COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne has been traced to a Sri Lankan carrying the variant, Executive Director of the Institute for Health Policy (IHP), Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya said yesterday. The Australian media earlier reported that officials had found a genomic link between a returned traveller who entered the state of Victoria hotel quarantine system on May 8 & West Melbourne cluster. more..

New appointments to Supreme and Appeal courts

Jun 9 (AD) The Parliamentary Council has agreed to appoint President of Court of Appeal Arjuna Obeysekera as a Supreme Court Judge. The Parliamentary council decided to concur with the proposal of Prez Rajapaksa to appoint Arjuna Obeyesekere, President of the Court of Appeal as a Judge of the SC, the post which fell vacant following the retirement of Sisira J de Abrew, Judge of the SC. more..

Former MP Buddhika Kurukularatne passes away

Jun 9 (TM) Former MP for Galle district and former journalist at Lake House Publications Buddhika Kurukularatne has passed away at 77 year of age. He was a lawyer and served from 1989 to 1994 as a MP representing UNP. In 1965 Kurukularatne was served as a grade 1 journalist in editorial staff in Sun (English Daily) and in 1966 editorial staff in The Observer. Then he served from 1966 to 1970 editorial in the staff of Virakesari and Janata (Sinhala Daily). There he was in charge more..

NARA report says fish from area safe to eat

Jun 9 (CT) State Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, said that the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) had informed him that fish harvested from the vicinity of the recent X-Press Pearl disaster is safe for consumption. Various parties say that eating fish harvested from the disaster site may carry health risks since chemical leaked from the burnt vessel had mixed with the sea water. Wijesekara said that such views have been circulating on social media recently. more..

Kali Yugaya, now?

Jun 9 (FT) It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie or a glimpse of the end times. A leaden beach; figures in head-to-toe protective gear shovelling tiny plastic pellets into sacks. A labour of Sisyphus, for as they clean one mound, waves heap more on the shore. Carcasses of fish, sea birds, turtles and dolphins pile up on other shores, the first victims of a cataclysm that could have been prevented but wasn’t. A few miles, and a universe, away, more..

Moratuwa Uni to assess air pollution caused by ill-fated vessel

Jun 9 (CT) Govt has instructed specialists attached to the University of Moratuwa to assess if there has been any air pollution as a result of the fire that broke out in the MV X-Press Pearl Vessel, SLPP MP Dilan Perera said. He added that the assessment of pollution caused by way of the fire will not be limited to the impact on the marine environment but will cover every aspect including possible air pollution. Perera further added that there has not been an oil leak reported from the vessel thus far more..

UNP member questioned by CID over remarks on X Press Pearl

Jun 9 (DM) UNP member, Prof Chandima Wijegunawardana who was questioned by the CID today allegedly over her recent remarks on the X-Press Pearl disaster said the only thing she had stressed was for a probe by INTERPOL on the X-Press Pearl fire. Prof Wijegunawardana said that she had only urged the govt to seek the assistance of INTERPOL for a probe. “I explained to them that the objective of my recent press conference was to urge the govt to seek INTERPOL assistance more..

PM instructs to obtain services of retired nurses on contract basis

Jun 9 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to obtain the services of retired nurses on contract basis as required. The instructions came during a meeting held at the Temple Trees today, PM’s Office said. The meeting was called upon the request of Head of Public Services United Nurses’ Union Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda to discuss the long-term and short-term solutions for the issues more..

SLAF to get three overhauled Antonov-32 aircraft from Ukraine

Jun 9 (DM) Three Ukrainian-built Antonov-32 transport aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) which were sent to Ukraine for overhaul purposes, will be brought back to the country on Friday. SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe said the three AN-32B aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force were sent to Ukraine in August last year to undergo repairs and a life extension. He said a SLAF team had also left for Ukraine to assist and supervise the process. more..

Foreign Minister thanks Russian counterpart for Covid-19 support

Jun 9 (MFA) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov on Monday 07 June 2021 expressed his deep appreciation for the support extended by Russia towards Sri Lanka in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, Foreign Minister Gunawardena welcomed Russia’s assistance in accessing the Sputnik V vaccine to support SL’s nationwide more..

Classist, aristocratic cabal in SL conspiring to prevent Premadasa presidency: MP

Jun 9 (EN) Classists and radalawaadin (backers of aristocracy) in different camps have teamed up to prevent opposition leader Sajith Premadasa from becoming president, opposition MP Nalin Bandara said. The main opposition SJB MP told reporters on June 09 that the govt may be hoping to use PM Ranil Wikcremesinghe to weaken the opposition. “It was [govt minister] Mahindananda Aluthgamuge who was bragging the most more..

Bill for new SEC Act in Parliament soon

Jun 9 (FT) The Cabinet of Ministers this week directed that the Bill to amend the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act be published in the Govt Gazette and submitted to Parliament for approval. The Cabinet in October approved the Bill and the Legal Draftsman has also received the clearance from the Attorney General. SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC earlier told the Daily FT that the SEC had refined the final draft, bringing greater clarity and removing ambiguity. more..

Short of vaccine, ship on fire

Jun 9 (FT) Events that unfolded in the week offer ample proof that we do not plan, prepare, or prevail. Ruminating in isolation makes you wise after the fact. The vaccine rollout, haphazard, crony-driven and vulgarly discriminatory, has brought the nation to the edge of a moral abyss. In the solitude of self-isolation, watching a ship on fire, listening to a Minister explaining how he proposes to distribute non existing compost manure, suffering the insolence of another Minister who insists that more..

කොවිඩ් අස්සෙ සෙලෙන්දිව කොල්ලය!

Cyber security misunderstandings in the boardroom

Jun 9 (FT) Cyber security is a fast-changing and highly-technical area so directors must rely on their IT teams for clarity. However, the more boards and risk committees I speak to the more I realise that directors and IT security teams are not even reading from the same book, let alone being on the same page. Ironically, unlike most issues, both sides of the table agree that cyber security is important. This begs the question, why are successful cyber-attacks continuing? The simple answer is more..

Ministry to take legal action against LP Gas cylinder changes: Minister

Jun 9 (DN) The Trade Ministry will bear the responsibility of taking legal measures against any discrepancies in the regular 18 Litre gas cylinders issued to the market recently, Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said. “If any public or private entity has violated the Act on consumer affairs, I will take the responsibility of taking legal action against such an entity,” Dr. Gunawardena noted. MP Kabir Hashim who said that the SJB is to seek legal action against the said matter. more..

Looters as Rulers: Covid time bonanza: Luxury SUVs for MPs coming, after all!

Jun 9 (Island) In spite of the Finance Ministry decision to withdraw an earlier Cabinet paper for the import of 399 vehicles at a cost of Rs 3.7 bn, the cash-strapped govt was not in a position to unilaterally cancel what Minister Keheliya Rambukwella called a tripartite transaction. He admitted that as Letters of Credit had been opened through a State Banks the cancellation would be an issue that couldn’t be addressed unilaterally. more..

Sri Lanka confirms 54 new COVID deaths; highest toll in a single day

Jun 9 (AD) Sri Lanka on Tuesday registered 54 more victims of COVID-19, marking the highest number of deaths recorded in a single day. The latest fatalities have moved the country’s death toll to 1,843. T15 of the victims had succumbed to the virus infection between the period of May 10 – May 31. The rest of them have died between June 2 – June 7. The deceased were identified as residents of Katana, Uduwela, Mawanella, Aranayake, Maligawatta, Eravur 02, Kadawatha, more..

National Environmental Act to be amended

Jun 9 (CT) Cabinet approval has been granted to revamp the National Environmental Act with 42 amendments. Among the proposed 42 amendments is a mechanism to impose a fee from factories based on the level of contamination in the wastewater they discharge. Speaking at the weekly Cabinet Media briefing yesterday, minister Udaya Gammanpila said the factory owners will then be financially motivated to discharge more cleansed wastewater into the environment. more..

2,682 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 9 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections rose to 210,661 with health authorities confirming that 2,682 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 2,637 persons from the New Year cluster and the cumulative patient count of the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters has risen to 203,901. This includes the 108,977 patients from the New Year cluster, more..

Switzerland sends Rs. 800 m worth aid to Sri Lanka to combat COVID

Jun 9 (FT) Switzerland said it expresses solidarity with Sri Lanka in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and yesterday delivered over half a million antigen tests, 50 ventilators, 150 oxygen concentrators as well as other medical examination materials worth of Rs. 800 million. The Swiss aid is intended to benefit the population throughout the country, while witnessing the concrete sign of friendship and longer term collaboration between the two countries. more..

NPP calls for criminal investigation into deletion of e-mails

Jun 9 (DM) Charging that the govt had failed to reveal the local shipping agent of the X-press Pearl vessel, National Peoples’ Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath yesterday called for an investigation into the deletion of e-mails by the Sri Lankan agent of the shipping Company, that are vital to the investigations. MP Herath told Parliament that it was a criminal offence to withhold information pertaining to the disaster caused by the distressed vessel to the environment and the fishing community. more..

No decision to lift travel restriction and impose strict islandwide curfew: Army Chief

Jun 9 (DM) While denying social media reports that plans were afoot to lift the ongoing travel restriction and impose a strict islandwide curfew, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that the govt had not taken any such decision. He said that no such discussion had taken place at the COVID task force meeting nor was such a request made by the authorities. He said at the moment there was no need to make such decision more..

United States Airlifts Emergency Supplies to Help Sri Lanka Combat Covid-19 Surge

Jun 9 (USE) The United States continues to stand with the people of SL in the battle against the COVID-19 surge. Today, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Martin Kelly and Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. S.H. Munasinghe commemorated the donation of critically needed emergency supplies, including pulse oximeters, protective goggles, examination gloves, and KN95 masks – all of it donated by American people at the request of govt of SL. Donation arrived at BIA on Saturday. more..

SJB MP questions Govt’s priorities amid pandemic

Jun 9 (CT) Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Buddhika Pathirana yesterday alleged in Parliament that the Govt is planning to issue liquor production licences while neglecting priorities such as implementing a proper vaccination drive. Speaking in Parliament, Pathirana said, “State Minister of Finance recently said that permission will be given for supermarkets to sell liquor to generate income. But we spend millions on treatments for those who fall ill due to liquor and tobacco. more..

Kiriella alleges India withheld vaccines from Sri Lanka to spite govt

Jun 9 (Island) SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that the excuse given by the govt for its failure to get vaccines from India was a lie. Kiriella said that the govt ministers’ excuse for failing to get vaccines from India was that there had been a fire in the vaccine manufacturing factory on Jan 21. “That is not true. After Jan 21, India supplied 7,575,000 vaccine doses to seven other countries. It showed that the reason was that more..

4 national schools for Hambantota district

Jun 9 (Island) The Education Ministry has decided to develop four schools in Angunakolapelessa and Weeraketiya as National Schools under the programme to establish 1,000 such schools. Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said a meeting of the District Development Committee had been held at the Hambantota District Secretariat recently and was attended by Minister Chamal Rajapaksa as well as officials of the Education Ministry and more..

More wet weather

Jun 9 (Island) Showers or thundershowers will occur at a few places in the Western, Uva, Eastern and the Northern provinces today. Fairly heavy falls of about 75 mm can be expected at some places in the Sabaragamuwa province and in Galle, Matara, Nuwara-Eliya and Kandy districts. Wind speed can increase up to (30-40) kmph at times in Western slope of the Central hills, Northern, North-central and North-western provinces and in Hambantota and Trincomalee districts. more..