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SL shuffles senior health official after Prez reveals wrong COVID-19 death figures

Jun 19 (PTI) A senior health official in SL has been transferred after Prez Rajapaksa expressed his unhappiness over not being able to ease the COVID-19 restrictions in the country on June 14 due to presentation of wrong data that showed a spike in the number of deaths from the virus. Addressing the health officials on Friday to announce the easing of travel restrictions from June 21 till June 25, Rajapaksa said he was more..

More than 50 giant beehives safely removed from Peradeniya University water plant

Jun 19 (ST) An extraordinary feat was accomplished by members of the Bee Protection and Conservation Association, when they removed 57 giant beehives from a water tank more than 100 feet above ground level at the Uni of Peradeniya water purifying plant, opposite the Faculty of Engineering, on the Kandy-Gampola road. These giant bees were living alongside around 150 swallow birds which had made their nests near the water tank. A member of the conservation society said the bees had more..

SJB refutes UNP’s claims

Jun 19 (DM) Although UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara said that the details on SJB MPS who will support former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be revealed shortly, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said none from his party will support Mr. Wickremesinghe. “Those who will support Mr. Wickremesinghe will be revealed to the whole nation in a few days’ time and one has to wait and see how 60 MPS in Parliament will support him," more..

Devananda dismisses Indian fishers’ protest

Jun 19 (CT) Responding to protests by Indian fishermen from Rameswaram against SL authorities dropping condemned buses into the sea in a bid to create artificial reefs and habitats for fish, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda said Indian authorities also drop old buses and trains for the same purpose and that the matter is not a serious cause for concern. He noted that the Indian fishermen are protesting because more..

Govt to table Supplementary Estimate of Rs 200B

Jun 19 (CT) Govt is planning to table a Supplementary Estimate of Rs 200 billion in Parliament shortly, with the aim of getting it passed to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as well as to look after State-related expenses. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, is set to present this proposal to the Cabinet shortly before its submission to the House for approval. Meanwhile, informed sources revealed the aforesaid sum will also be the highest more..

Video: 1,281 more people arrested over quarantine law violations

Jun 19 (AD) The police have arrested 1,281 more people on Friday (June 18) for failing to follow health protocols and quarantine regulations while in public, DIG Ajith Rohana stated in a statement. According to the police spokesman, 110 of the arrests were made in the Kuliyapitiya Division, 112 in Kandy Division and 136 in Matale Division. Thereby, the police have apprehended more than 39,592 suspects to date in connection with the aforesaid offences since October last year. more..

Cause of death of marine animals cannot be revealed yet: MEPA Chairperson

Jun 19 (CT) Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) while updating on the burnt X-Press Pearl feeder that caused serious ecological damage to SL, Friday said they cannot reveal the cause of deaths of the sea creatures nor reveal the number of dead marine life beached in the past weeks as they have filed litigation against the X-Press feeder operators. A team of experts on marine life and pollution more..

China, the most powerful country in the world under CPC leadership: Ranil

Jun 19 (DM) Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that under the leadership of the Communist Party, China had become the most powerful country in the world economy today and it was important for SL to understand how the development of the future cyber age applies to SL and how it progresses. He made this remark during a speech via zoom, held to celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). “It is important for all of us to think of development of Chinese Communist Party more..

Video: CAA removes maximum retail price imposed on coconuts

Jun 19 (AD) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has decided to remove the maximum retail price (MRP) imposed on coconuts based on the circumference. This was announced in a Gazette Extraordinary issued by CAA Chairman, Major General (Rtd.) Shantha Dissanayake on Friday (18). A maximum retail price on coconuts was announced via a gazette notification the CAA had published on Sept 25, 2020. Accordingly, the MRP for coconuts with circumference over 13 inches was more..

Foreign Ministry hosts stakeholder meeting to brief foreign experts on the MV-X press...

Jun 19 (MFA) European Union (EU)/ECHO (emergency arm of EU funding) through UN Environment Programme (UNEP) supports three technical experts to assist the SL Govt assessing the impact on the environment caused by the MV X-press Pearl. The experts include Stephane Le Floch, an expert on oil and HNS (hazardous and noxious substances) has been deployed to emergencies, HNS and marine litter expertise more..

Police officer arrested on drug charges interdicted

Jun 19 (AD) The police officer who was taken into custody while in possession of 50kg of heroin has been interdicted, DIG Ajith Rohana said. On Friday , the Organized Crimes Prevention Division had arrested three suspects who were transporting total of 52 kg of heroin in Hikkaduwa area. Further, investigators seized 2 vehicles used by the suspects. The arrests were made during a special police operation carried out in the southern parts of the country, especially in Ahangama, more..

Numerous institutions gazetted under Industries and Agriculture Ministries

Jun 19 (TM) Prez Rajapaksa has amended the functions, responsibilities and institutions coming under the purview of Industries Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry through a Gazette Extraordinary, effective from June 17. The communiqué was published on Friday, amending the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2187/27 issued on August 9, 2020. Thereby, Lanka Phosphate Company Ltd. which was previously under the purview of the Industries Ministry has been brought under more..

English medium primary education plan shelved

Jun 19 (CT) Ministry of Education has temporarily halted implementing the programme to provide English medium instructions to students in the primary Grades up to A/L, as it requires a Constitutional amendment. The plan will not be implemented in the near future, said Dr. Upali Sedara, Secretary to the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities, and Distance Learning Promotion. more..

ComBank offers lowest interest rate in the country for Agri Gold Loans

Jun 19 (CB) Individuals engaged in agriculture and related activities have been given further recognition by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon with the announcement of a concessionary rate of interest on pawning, exclusive to them via the recently-launched Agri Gold Loans scheme. Bank has announced it is now offering the lowest gold pawning rate in the country – just 7.5% per annum – applicable to those in the sector who pawn jewellery to raise cash to invest in their more..

Organic fertiliser initiative for the common good: Yahampath

Jun 19 (CT) Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath said the decision of converting Sri Lanka into a country which is entirely dependent on organic fertiliser has been made on humanitarian grounds, with a good intention, considering the future of the country. Yahampath further stated that although many people criticise this decision, there is no political agenda behind it. Governor made these observations while speaking at a special meeting held at the Governor’s Office in Trincomalee more..

Measures taken to prevent spread of Delta variant; 2,349 COVID-19 patients detected

Jun 19 (FT) Following discussions with relevant officials, the Health Ministry yesterday made three key decisions in order to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in the country, a day after the B.1.617.2 variant was confirmed to have been detected in five samples from Dematagoda. The decisions include isolating the area and testing samples collected from the area for the Delta variant, tracing and testing more..

Sri Lankato export fish to China

Jun 19 (CT) Embassy of SL in China headed by Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona has struck a deal to export fish and fish products to China from 1 July. Embassy in Beijing said China’s General Administration Customs of China (CACC) Health Certificate for Sri Lanka will enable the approved fisheries and aquatic products to enter the lucrative market in China and even encourage Sri Lankan business to expand their productions. Embassy further noted the approval by the CACC more..

Rs 500M demanded from civil activist

Jun 19 (CT) State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana has sent a Letter of Demand to civil activist Asela Sampath demanding a sum of Rs 500 million over spurious and unsubstantiated charges levelled against him. The Letter of Demand has been sent to Sampath through Attorneyat-Law Athula de Silva on the instructions of VK Choksy PC. Sampath is the Convener of the Movement for the Protection of Public Rights and National Organiser of All Ceylon Restaurant Owners Association. more..

අලුත් අධිවේගී මාර්ගවලට ඉඩම්වලින් ගෙවයිද?

Hansamali, Chandimal, Chamuditha and the State

Jun 19 (FT) If the story of SL’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic is ever written, it is very possible that the Hansamali-Chandimal-Chamuditha episode would claim a few pages, if not a chapter. Not because any one of these three individuals has a direct bearing on the contagion, either as a victim or a healer. As far as we are aware, none of the three has contracted the disease, nor has any of them advocated a native concoction as a cure for the world-wide pandemic, as several of more..

Quarantine ruminations

Jun 19 (FT) When fear of a virus has frozen our hearts, when rising numbers of dead and dying has muddled our minds, the Govt announced the hike of fuel prices. Explaining its action, the Govt has offered a detailed rationale. It refers to the banking system, the exchange rate and the need for an economy dependent on domestic production. To the masses oblivious to the intricacies of banking and monetary theory, it makes no sense. The multitude are worried about food on the table. more..

Travel restrictions to be relaxed from June21

Jun 19 (PMD) It has been decided to relax travel restrictions from 4 am on the 21st of June. However, Prez Rajapaksa instructed the officials not to relax the inter-provincial travel restrictions. Travel restrictions will be re-imposed and continue from 10 pm on June 23rd to 4 am on June 25th. The restrictions imposed on public gatherings will continue as before. In addition, the heads of institutions in both public and private sectors more..

Risk of Indian variant spreading to other districts: PHIs warn

Jun 19 (DM) There is a high risk that the Indian variant which was originally detected in the Dematagoda area yesterday could spread to the other parts of the country, Public Health Inspectors’ Union warned. PHI Union Head Upul Rohana said that the particular area which is called 66-Watta in Dematagoda is said to have a large population living with limited facilities. “It is estimated that about 900 people from 149 families are residing in the area. Majority of the residents are engaged in more..

Lift restrictions on 21 June, and be prepared for dire consequences: Medical Specialists

Jun 19 (Island) The Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) President Dr. Lakkumar Fernando urged the govt to reconsider its decision to lift the travel restrictions on 21 June on account of the detection of the Indian or Delta variant of COVID-19 in the country. He said: “The Ex-Co and COVID committee of the AMS met on Thursday before it was announced that the Indian variant had been found in the community, and we decided to ask govt to continue travel restrictions until 28 June.” more..

42 Easter attacks suspects to face watertight case

Jun 19 (FT) Minister Sarath Weerasekera revealed 42 suspects who were under detention for their alleged involvement in the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks would be indicted by the end of July. Among these were three suspects who had been charged with terrorism offenses by the US Justice Dept last January, he added. Five Americans were among over 260 persons killed in the attacks on 21 April 2019. more..

Good data & proper vaccination need of the hour: Experts

Jun 19 (ST) Sri Lanka has been under a lockdown since May 25 but as many experts underscored a lot of people were going around and no one seemed to know whether they were truly a part of essential services. The experts said that from a public health point of view, the effects of this period of lockdown will only become apparent now because of the time-lag between infection, development of symptoms, case detection and availability of test results, which is a period of multiple weeks. more..

SL, UK explore avenues to boost bilateral ties

Jun 19 (MFA) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the UK Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad have agreed to explore avenues to boost bilateral ties, during a video call yesterday, Thursday, 17 June 2021. They welcomed the multifaceted nature of the bilateral engagement between SL and UK in a wide range of areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. Minister Gunawardena and Lord Ahmad discussed the existing cooperation between SL and UK more..

Price hikes sought for LPG, milk powder and others not granted yet: Govt

Jun 19 (FT) The Govt yesterday confirmed that no decision has been taken yet on requests for price hikes of various products, including LPG, milk powder, chicken and cement. “We have not yet agreed to grant approval to increase prices of several consumer goods despite various manufacturers having requested for the same in view of the sharp rise in their cost,” Consumer Affairs State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said. more..

Areas with more COVID-19 cases must be tested: Health Minister

Jun 19 (CT) Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi called for more testing in areas with large numbers of COVID-19 patients to trace the spread of the delta variant. Minister had urged her officials to sequence samples taken from areas with large numbers of COVID patients to ensure that the delta variant, which was initially detected from India, had not spread to other parts of the country. He said the Minister had summoned an urgent meeting with her officials and health experts following more..

LSSP and CPSL felicitate Communist Party of China on 100th anniversary

Jun 19 (Island) Sri Lankan political leaders from the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), joined 10 other political parties in lauding the centenary achievements of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at a virtual conference on Tuesday. The CPSL hosted a multi-party virtual conference from its headquarters in Borella on Tuesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. more..

Fuel hike, ban of chemical fertiliser twin blows to people, industries: SJB

Jun 19 (FT) Main Opposition SJB blamed the Govt for crippling industries via twin blows of fuel price hike and the ban on chemical fertilisers. “Both measures are drastic and will deal a serious blow to many industries and low-income communities,” SJB MP Kabir Hashim charged. He also rejected Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila’s justification that the hike was imposed due to global price fluctuations and COVID-19 impact. more..

Sri Lankan Olympian receives dual citizenship passport

Jun 19 (DN) Mathilda Karlsson, who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, received her dual citizenship passport at the SL Embassy in Germany from SL Ambassador in Germany Manori Unambuwe last week. The 35-year-old was born in Sri Lanka and was adopted by Swedish parents. she is currently residing in Germany. But the show-jumper had decided to compete for her birth country, SL. After receiving her passport, Karlsson spoke with Minister Namal Rajapaksa over the phone and more..

Increase in deaths of marine species observed

Jun 19 (Island) Department of Wildlife Conservation, and environmentalists, expressed concern about the increasing number of deaths of marine species, following the ecological disaster caused by the fire destruction of Singapore-flagged MV X-Press Pearl off the Colombo port. Around 40 dead sea turtles and ten dolphins have washed up on shores. The actual number of deaths is believed to be at least 5 times more. Govt Analyst’s Dept is currently trying to establish the causes of deaths. more..

How the X-Press Pearl sailed into catastrophe

Jun 19 (ST) Both the X-Press Pearl’s chief engineer and second engineer have told the CID they were not informed about an acid leak in one of the containers on the vessel responsible for one of SL’s worst maritime disasters. According to the CID, Chief Engineer Oleg Sadilenko told investigators he first became aware of a problem in the cargo after seeing email exchanges to and from the vessel while it was en route to Port Hamad in Qatar more..

Losing facility will not create major setback: Softlogic

Jun 19 (CT) Though the European Union’s (EU) GSP+ trade facility has helped SL to boost export performance, loss of the facility would not create a major setback besides the strong potential for a trade surplus with the EU, Softlogic Equity Research said. EU Parliament recently adopted a resolution seeking the temporary withdrawal of SL’s GSP+ status. Last time Sri Lanka lost the GSP+ facility was in 2010 on humanitarian grounds and many industries claimed that they were in jeopardy more..

Central Bank makes Recovery Plans mandatory for banks

Jun 19 (FT) Central Bank has made a formal Recovery Plan mandatory for all commercial and specialised banks from next year. In a directive issued this week, CB said the Recovery Plan (RCP) should identify the full range of recovery options available to a licensed bank to deal with shocks to capital, liquidity and all other aspects that may arise from institution-specific stresses, market-wide stresses, or a combination of both. Banks should have an RCP in place and RCP shall include more..