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Brandix focusing on worker safety as exports face triple whammy

Jun 18 (EN) Brandix, an apparel group employing over 70,000 staff worldwide is fighting a twin battle to keep workers safe and earning export revenues vital to keep the pandemic hit Sri Lanka stable, while also overcoming price competition and rising costs. SL’s exports fell after the first quarter of 2020 as supply chains got hit at the start of the pandemic foreign demand for goods evaporated with lockdowns in US & Europe. more..

Compensation to farmers who produce organic fertilizers: Ministry

Jun 18 (TM) Ministry of Agriculture says that it has decided to pay Rs. 10,000 per hectare to farmers who produce organic fertilizer, the Ministry said in a statement today. This was decided at a discussion held at the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the production and supply of organic fertilizer required for the forthcoming Maha season. Meanwhile, the govt intends to fulfill the national requirement of 500 kg of organic fertilizer per hectare for 1.6 million hectares of plant nutrient ammonium more..

Video: India denies claims on attacking Sri Lankan fishermen

Jun 18 (AD) India has refuted the media reports on the alleged assault on a group of Sri Lankan fishermen by the Indian Navy. In a statement published today, the High Commission of India in Colombo stressed that the media reports on the purported incident are blatantly false. “We deny any such incident having taken place. The Indian Navy is a highly disciplined and professional force which discharges its responsibilities in an impeccable manner,” the statement read. more..

Video: Govt issues new Gazette Extraordinary on essential services

Jun 18 (AD) Services rendered by any public corporation, govt department, local authority, co-operative society or any of their branches have been declared as essential services, Presidential Secretariat said in a Gazette Extraordinary issued on Thursday (17). The gazette notification was published by the Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera on the directives of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

SL govt lifts fuel price, deepening social assault on workers and the poor

Jun 18 (wsws) SL govt announced a sharp increase in the price of fuel on Saturday, imposing further burdens on workers and the poor who already face declining living conditions worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. A litre of petrol now costs 157 rupees, a rise of 14.5%, with diesel and kerosene hiked to 111 and 77 rupees, increases of 6% and 10% respectively. The govt is currently discussing lifting the price of gas by 25%. Bakers, bus owners, three-wheeler operators & distributors of food items more..

Ranil’s name gazetted as UNP National List MP

Jun 18 (AD) Election Commission has gazetted the name of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the party’s one and only National List MP. The extraordinary gazette notification was published today by the Chairman of the Election Commission Nimal Punchihewa and the members of the election body, S.B. Divaratne, M.M. Mohamed, K.P.P. Pathirana and Jeevan Thiagarajah. Last month, the Working Committee of the UNP unanimously decided to appoint Wickremesinghe to more..

දෙමළ ඩයස්පෝරාවේ පළමු අනාවරණය

Cheers and tears

Jun 18 (Island) Govt is behaving like an inebriated nitwit, doing exactly what it should not be doing during a grave health crisis. The ruling party pundits seem to think the only thing people lack in these troubled times is alcohol; it permitted online liquor sales. Thankfully, doctors succeeded in derailing the ill-conceived scheme. But there is no guarantee that it will not be reintroduced during or after lockdowns. There is a catchy political slogan popular among Sri Lankans: emathilata caar, golayanta baar, more..

The puzzles of Sri Lanka’s crisis

Jun 18 (FT) For some time some important events in SL have taken place in an uncanny and comical manner. A country cannot fall into such a failed state in the absence of a complete breakdown of the critical intellect of society including academic intelligentsia. A complete breakdown of the critical intellect of a society cannot occur suddenly. It could happen only as an outcome of a gradual process. The role of Prez Gotabaya should be understood in this perspective as a new chapter of more..

Indian variant in community but source unknown

Jun 18 (TM) The highly transmissible B.1.617.2 Delta variant of Covid-19 was detected from a community sample for the first time in Sri Lanka yesterday (17), with the authorities clueless as to how the virus, which was first detected in India, entered the island. According Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, the said variant had been detected among five community samples obtained from the Dematagoda area in Colombo. more..

Minimum 2-3 more weeks to see decline in death rate: Dr. Fernandopulle

Jun 18 (CT) It would take at least two to three more weeks to see a decline in the COVID-19 death rate, State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said. She said that although there was a decline in the number of positive PCR tests for COVID-19, the numbers succumbing to the virus had not decreased. She lamented that it would take at least another two to three more weeks to see decline in deaths due to COVID-19. On 14 June the Health Ministry announced that it would adopt more..

Dematagoda area kept in isolation since last Saturday

Jun 18 (DM) Dematagoda area where the Indian variant was detected today has remained in isolation since last Saturday (12), Regional Epidemiologist of the CMC Dr Dinu Guruge said. She said the CMC decided to lockdown the Dematagoda area after they were notified of the suspected presence of the variant. “Accordingly, we have been conducting random PCR tests in the area. In addition, we will be carrying out random PCR tests in Borella and in other areas of Colombo,” she said. more..

2,372 persons test positive for COVID-19; Delta variant detected in Dematagoda

Jun 18 (FT) The detection of the Delta COVID-19 variant in Colombo was yesterday confirmed along with the detection of 2,372 COVID-19 patients, raising concerns about the country’s COVID-19 situation. University of Sri J'pura Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine Director Dr. Chandima Jeewandara yesterday tweeted: “Worst we could have imagined. B.1.617.2 was detected in Colombo! more..

I should have got the National List seat: John

Jun 18 (CT) Former Minister John Amaratunga says although his name had been mentioned at the top of the list of UNP members to fill the party’s sole National List post, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe through his decision to represent the party in Parliament has caused an injustice to him. He also charged that Wickremesinghe had reneged on his own policy of not allowing any defeated candidates to enter the House, which he announced in 2015, by deciding not to fill more..

360,000 vehicles entered Colombo last week

Jun 18 (DN) Around 360,000 vehicles had arrived in Colombo last week with 95% of those vehicles belonging to those engaged in essential services, DIG Ajith Rohana said. Out of these vehicles, about 15,000 vehicles attempting to enter Colombo violating the provincial boundaries have been diverted and occupants of 8,000 vehicles violating the quarantine travel restrictions in a serious manner have been arrested and produced before Courts. Roadblocks have been set up at 14 entry/exit more..

'Politically motivated efforts to sabotage Covid-19 inoculation project alleged'

Jun 18 (Island) State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Prof. Channa Jayasumana says despicable attempts are being made to derail the ongoing Covid-19 inoculation drive. In a wide ranging interview on ITN, Anuradhapura District lawmaker Prof. Jayasumana alleged that the recent inoculation of a group of people from Colombo at a vaccination centre in Galle was certainly part of their strategy. more..

Rajiv assassination case convicts allowed to make video calls to relatives abroad

Jun 18 (TW) Madras High Court, on Thursday, allowed Nalini Sriharan and her husband Murugan, convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to make video calls to Sri Lanka and London. Nalini’s mother Padma had filed a petition before the Madras High Court, seeking permission to allow Nalini and Murugan to speak to their relatives living in Sri Lanka and London. Padma had sought permission for her daughter and her husband Sriharan alias Murugan to make video calls to her more..

Divisions within Health Ministry affecting Covid control – expert

Jun 18 (Island) Divisions within the Health Ministry were preventing the optimal implementation of the strategy to control the pandemic, Professor Arjuna de Silva said. He is the Head of the Dept of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Uni of Kelaniya and Chairman of the SL Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA). Prof de Silva said one of the biggest problems was the lack of coordination among ministries. “Some people have forgotten that this is a serious issue. For the policy makers to take good decisions, more..

X-Press Pearl wreck cannot be moved for three months: Officials

Jun 18 (Island) It would not be possible to tow away the wreck of MVX-Press Pearl until the end of the monsoon season, Environment Ministry Secretary, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said during a discussion under the theme, Looking beyond X-Press Pearl, yesterday in Colombo. He added that representatives of X-Press Feeders, the operators of the ill-fated ship, were monitoring the wreck through a caretaker company and 10 thematic groups more..

Tea exports rise extends to May

Jun 18 (FT) Rise in Sri Lanka’s tea exports continued in May by 7% in value terms and by 21.6% in the first five months of the year as against corresponding periods of 2020. Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said tea exports in May totalled 23.79 million kg, up by 1.13 million kg from a year earlier. Bulk tea exports reported a marginal decrease, whilst tea bags and packeted tea have increased. In value, exports in May was Rs. 21.8 billion, up by Rs. 1.46 billion from May 2020. more..

Industrial Zone to be set up in Welipenna

Jun 18 (CT) An industrial zone for the export of agricultural products will be established in Welipenna, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa said on 15 June. The Minister made this statement at the proposed site for the complex, near the Welipenna Expressway entrance. The project is being headed by the Board of Investment SL and the Ministry of Trade and will be open for both local and foreign investments soon. Australia has already begun negotiations. more..

Police call on MP Harin Fernando over suspected meeting amid lockdown

Jun 18 (EN) A team of some 30 police officers had inspected the residence of SJB MP Harin Fernando June 17 regarding a suspected gathering during COVID-19 lockdown. MP said in an audio statement that his CCTV camera showed policemen, both in uniform and clad in civilian clothing, gathered outside his gate between 1.30 and 2pm. Three or four police vehicles had also arrived at the scene, as seen in the CCTV footage, he said. more..

Reopen country with strong health guidelines: FTZMA

Jun 18 (DN) The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) lashed out at the govt stating that the prolonged lockdown and travel restrictions are creating a huge economic loss to the export trade and steps should be taken to reopen the country but with strong health guidelines. Secretary FTZMA, Dhammika Fernando said that the current lockdown and travel restriction have not been very productive and due to this only less than 70% of workers turn out for factories. more..

China changes health certification for fish imports: Sri Lanka embassy

Jun 18 (EN) General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) has changed the health certificate for importing fish to the country with effect from next month, SL’s embassy in Beijing said. “All processed fish exporters are required to use the updated certificate,” Embassy of SL said. “120 copies of the new certificate must be provided urgently as samples to GACC. Embassy said they will help exporters with the certification. From July 1, 2021, SL fisheries exporters must present more..

International Gem Trade Centre to open in eight months

Jun 18 (TM) State Ministry of Gems & Jewellery Related Industries estimated that the construction of the international gems and jewellery trade centre in Ratnapura with an investment of Rs. 365 million will be completed in the next eight months. State Minister Lohan Ratwatte informed that the lack of an institution, hub or location for the promotion and sale of gems was a prominent issue that the exporters were facing. more..

Sumanthiran says time not right for salary increase to OMP members

Jun 18 (Island) Committee on Public Finance (COPF) has rejected a proposal to increase salary and various payments to Chairman and members of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Kurunegala District lawmaker Anura Priyadarshana Yapa chaired the meeting at Parliament, where COPF discussed the issue at hand. The Communication Department quoted TNA Jaffna District MP M. A. Sumanthiran, PC, as having strongly opposed the proposal in view of the current situation in the country. more..

Gutted cinema industry predicts slow recovery amid fresh challenges from...

Jun 18 (DM) The cinema industry, impacted by the pandemic-induced restrictions, says the recovery would be a long drawn out affair, even after the returning of normalcy, as it now contends with a fresh challenge from online platforms, as stay-at-home patrons tend to spend more time on streaming services and other digital platforms for video content. Many small and medium-scale cinema operators have already gone bankrupt, as they were forced to remain shut more than two years, more..

ආණ්ඩුව තෙල් මිල පිළිබඳ ගිනිකෙළි සංදර්ශනයක

9 SL cricketers in USA Minor League Cricket

Jun 18 (TM) Former SL cricketers Shehan Jayasuriya and Amila Aponso have been chosen to the inaugural USA Minor League Cricket (MiLC) tournament which will be conduct by the America Cricket Enterprises, on behalf of USA Cricket, from 31 July. The US Minor League Cricket has announced the initial 16-player rosters for all 27 teams for the inaugural season of MiLC in 2021. The Minor League Cricket player draft took place recently via video conference calls and more..

Producer prices accelerate to 10% in April revealing reasons for higher...

Jun 18 (DM) Sri Lanka’s producers are facing prices as high as 10%, similar to the end consumers who are now forced to foot the bill of the endless lockdowns, which has crippled supply chains and dampened business and personal incomes. SL’s producer prices measured by the Producer’s Price Index (PPI) rose by as much as 9.8% in April 2021, from the same month in 2020, accelerating from 6.3% in March, reflecting that the supply chain bottlenecks created by disastrous lockdowns more..

Mickey Arthur wants top-heavy Sri Lanka to find middle-order balance in England

Jun 18 (CI) Higher strike rates, better rotation, and more intensity after the field spreads. As Sri Lanka attempt to defibrillate their flatlining limited-overs game, the middle overs are the area that coach Mickey Arthur wants his batters to focus on against England. In their previous ODI series against Bangladesh, it is in this period that the innings lost its way twice, leading to a 2-1 series loss. "In Bangladesh, we got caught more..

Customs’ seizure of organic fertiliser containers creates controversy

Jun 18 (ST) SL Customs seizure of three 40 ft containers of organic fertiliser imported from Madurai, South India by an unregistered company without considering strict quarantine laws in the island, has created another controversy raising many questions. The imported consignment consisting of three containers is listed in Customs Department documents as organic fertiliser products imported from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The classification number used to import more..

Surviving the pandemic, preserving democracy: Lanka’s twin challenge

Jun 18 (FT) It is more comforting to die of coronavirus than to live in a dictatorship created by the 20th Amendment. Our country is currently facing a very serious crisis as the deadly corona epidemic has engulfed the entire country. But the political leaders of this country today do not seem to look upon it as an epidemic that must be suppressed immediately, but as a means to preserve and maintain their power. They do not appear to see COVID-19 as an epidemic that more..

Unsentimental economic pragmatism or insensitive financial imposition?

Jun 18 (TM) The recent increase in the retail fuel prices has left many people, who are already struggling from the health and economic effects of the pandemic as well as the ever increasing cost of living and ever stagnant incomes, worried about a further increase in the prices of all day to day goods and services. Govt decided to increase fuel prices with effect from midnight on 11 June, begetting criticism from many parties. more..

Kelsey Homes records steady growth in spite of COVID-related challenges

Jun 18 (FT) Kelsey Homes, the pioneering real estate developer in SL, recorded a revenue of Rs. 320.51 million for the quarter ended 31 March compared to Rs. 32.50 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. Revenue for the year under review was recorded as Rs.934.16 million compared to Rs. 377.2 million recorded last year during the same period under review resulting in a growth of 148%. Developer secured reservations with an expected sales value of Rs. 3.13 b more..

Racing cars: The coolest thing for champion F3 driver

Jun 18 (SO) Eshan Pieris had a promising racing career ahead of him after becoming the first Sri Lankan to win a Formula 3 race in Malaysia in 2019. Selected to be part of Porsche Asia’s Junior Talent Program to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship last year, he was eagerly looking forward to the support event for three Formula 1 races in Vietnam, Singapore and Shanghai. A young driver with immense talent and considerable achievements in the sphere of motor sports, more..