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GSP+: Isn’t there a way out?

Jun 19 (DM) The European Parliament’s resolution on Sri Lanka on June 10 was the second international stricture against the country imposed this year in the light of human rights situation in the country. The first one was the resolution passed by the UNHRC in March. The European resolution was adopted by 628 votes in favour of it in the 705-member legislative assembly of the regional grouping. more..

Dudley: One of Sri Lanka’s greatest sons

Jun 19 (DM) History does not provide us with answers to all todays or tomorrows questions; but it definitely provides us with options to answers to these questions if looked at carefully. I am indeed pleased to associated with the 110th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Hon. Dudley Senanayake - One of Ceylon’s greatest Sons and one of the nation’s most eminent liberal thinkers of the 20th century. His life and political conduct stand out as a beacon of light through history and more..

Sri Lanka Railways demands attention!

Jun 19 (DM) Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is experiencing a crisis with the institute making it known that 8000 vacancies need to be filled to provide an optimum service, according to a leading Sinhala daily newspaper. According to a spokesman of the Railway Engine Drivers’ Association the institute needs a total work force of 23,000 and the mentioned number of vacancies exists in many departments; the voids to be filled are for the posts of station master, assistant driver and more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Inaccurate figures on Covid death toll led to extension of travel restrictions: Prez

Jun 18 (DM) Prez Rajapaksa said today inaccurate figures on Covid death toll reported on June 11 led to the extension of travel restrictions and stressed that it was vital to provide accurate and updated information to make correct decisions. He said it was revealed through comprehensive investigations that only 15 deaths had occurred on June 11 whereas 101 deaths were reported that day. He said travel restrictions, which were to be lifted on June 14, were extended till June 21 based on information more..

Indian Coast Guard on alert after oil spill from Portuguese vessel

Jun 18 (PTI) It said the vessel, named Devon, was sailing under the flag of Portugal and was en-route from Colombo in Sri Lanka to Haldia in West Bengal when the fuel leak happened. A merchant vessel's fuel tank developed a crack leading to 10 km of oil being spilled in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said. It said the vessel, named Devon, was sailing under the flag of Portugal and was en-route from Colombo to Haldia in West Bengal when the fuel leak happened. more..

Sri Lanka ranked second-best for digital nomads in 2021

Jun 18 (FT) Sri Lanka has been ranked the second-best, ahead of Singapore and several other countries, for digital nomads in 2021 by the influential French travel and tourism operator Club Med. Thailand was ranked first in the survey. Club Med said as more work from home and say goodbye to cramped commutes and limp office plants, the idea of switching home offices for sunshine, lush landscapes and more..

Post-New Year cluster surpasses all others

Jun 18 (CT) Post-New Year COVID-19 cluster has reached a startling 133,061 since 15 April 2021, NOCPCO said. According to the data given by the NOCPCO yesterday, the number of COVID-19 cases from the New Year cluster surpassed the numbers diagnosed in all clusters that have emerged since Mar 2020. The previous local clusters that emerged during the first COVID-19 wave which includes the Navy cluster and their close contacts amounted to 1,962 cases, more..

4 million vaccines to arrive in July

Jun 18 (NR) Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Dr. Prasanna Gunasena says a minimum of four million coronavirus vaccines are due to reach Sri Lanka in July. Speaking at the special COVID-19 Committee meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Gunasena said a higher percentage of individuals can be vaccinated in the days ahead. He said 4 m Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine doses and three million Sinovac doses have been promised to SL. more..

EU experts helping Sri Lanka assess ship disaster damage

Jun 18 (AP) A team of technical experts from EU are helping SL's govt assess the environmental damage caused by the sinking of a container ship that was carrying chemicals and caught fire, the govt said Friday. The experts held discussions with top SL officials and stakeholders on Friday, a day after the Singapore-flagged MV X-Press Pearl ship sank off the country's main port and nearly a month after the vessel caught fire. more..

SL seeks Indian help to treat Covid-hit lion

Jun 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main zoo on Friday said it was seeking Indian help to treat a lion that tested positive for Covid-19 -- the first animal on the island known to be infected. Department of National Zoological Gardens said it was consulting vets at the Central Zoo Authority of India to treat 11-year-old Thor, a lion gifted by Seoul's zoo in 2013. "We are seeking guidance from the Central Zoo Authority in treating Thor," Director General Ishini Wickremesinghe said in a statement. more..

Posts of several UNP local govt members including 3 UC chairmen vacated

Jun 18 (AD) Gazette notifications have been published announcing that 59 local govt members have vacated their posts as they have ceased to be members of the UNP. The declarations were issued by the returning officers of relevant Pradeshiya Sabha, urban councils and municipal councils. These local govt members who represented the UNP were elected to their posts in the 2018 Provincial Council elections, however, they had later endorsed the current main Opposition, SJB. more..

Japan firm claims damages of Rs5.8bn from Sri Lanka after LRT deal scrapped

Jun 18 (EN) A Japan-based firm involved in a scrapped light rail transit project had claimed 5,896 million rupees from SL, Auditor General revealed. SL suddenly scrapped a LRT project financed by Japan on which several years of ground work has been done following a administration change in 2020, triggering controversy. Japan Int'l Co-operation which has financed SL’s ports and other infrastructure more..

Tension in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli after six assault Dalit youth, two SL refugees

Jun 18 (IT) A Dalit youth and two SL refugees were allegedly attacked by a group of men from another community in the Tirunelveli district on Wednesday night. Tension gripped parts of Tirunelveli district when six men attacked a Dalit man at Munneerpallam village due to old enmity. The report added that the police in Munneerpallam filed a case against four persons identified as Sankaralingam, Arunpandian, Arumugam and ‘Vathu’ Mani, and two unidentified, under different sections of more..

Sri Lanka gets UK expertise to assess X-Press Pearl eco fallout

Jun 18 (EN) SL will is to get expert support from UK to assess environmental and socio economic impact of the fallout from X-Press Pearl a which caught fire and sank, the British High Commission in Colombo said. UK experts would also provide long term training for future incidents and preventive work “..[T]he UK Govt’s Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) will provideexpertise and analytical capacity to support plastic pollution monitoring, more..

Video: Lion at Dehiwala Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

Jun 18 (AD) An 11-year-old lion at Dehiwala Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the Dept of National Zoological Gardens confirmed today. Local officials have decided to seek the assistance and consultation from India’s Central Zoo Authority with regard to treatments required for the coronavirus-infected lion. Ever since it was brought to Sri Lanka from Seoul Zoo in South Korea in 2013, the lion, called Thor, had been in the exhibit more..

Yesterday’s luxuries, today’s essentials in era of COVID-19

Jun 18 (FT) A decade-and-a-half ago, we would not have expected a tuk-tuk driver, a fishmonger or a farmer to carry a smartphone; back then, these devices were considered luxuries that only a few could afford; however, today practically everyone has a smartphone, even if it were a leading Chinese manufactured smartphone brand – but, if it were not for these affordable options, smartphones and tablets would still remain in the hands of the rich and affluent. more..

Daya Ratnayake to replace retiring Anusha Palpita?

Jun 18 (AD) The Secretary to the Ministry of Industries Anusha Palpita has reportedly written to Prez Rajapaksa requesting for a premature retirement. The Senior SrL Administrative Officer had previously served as Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) as well as the Additional Secretary to Ministry of Home Affairs. General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake, who has been serving as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), more..

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..

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