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Doctors oppose online sale of booze

Jun 17 (Island) The SLMA and GMOA yesterday registered their opposition for a Finance Ministry decision to allow consumers to purchase liquor online through supermarket chains. In a letter to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Finance, SLMA President, Dr. Padma Gunaratne and Prof. Narada Warnasuriya, Chairperson SLMA Expert Committee on Tobacco, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs, have said they are gravely concerned about the reported move to allow the online sales of alcohol. more..

French naval group sails after incident-free tour to Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (FT) The French naval group, comprising 745 officers and personnel, left the country last week after completing an incident-free tour of Sri Lanka. The group were members of the French Navy vessels FNS Tonnerre and FNS Surcouf and toured several tourist sites in a bio-secure arrangement. Official ground handling agent Connaissance de Ceylan said all naval officers were PCR-tested on arrival, and upon receiving negative results, embarked on the journey of exploring Sri Lanka. more..

$ 100 m Indian credit line to boost solar power in Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (FT) Govt is to boost solar power generation with a $ 100 million credit line from India. An agreement to this effect was signed by Finance Secretary S.R. Attygalle and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay in the presence of Prez Rajapaksa. The funding will be from the Export Import Bank of India. Support for solar power projects is as per the National Policy Framework Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, which announced measures to increase the contribution by more..

Football Super League: Recommencement likely to be postponed

Jun 17 (CT) The recommencement of the inaugural Super League (after the int'l break) which was slated to resume on 2 June, is likely to be further postponed due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Govt in view of COVID-19, a source at Football Sri Lanka (FSL) revealed. “Few participating clubs have requested us to postpone the recommencement of the Super League since they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the resumption of the game due to the COVID situation in the country and travel restrictions. more..

Dinesh extends greetings to CCP on its centenary

Jun 17 (Island) The rapport between Sri Lanka and China has developed into a strategic relationship in recent years, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Tuesday said extending greetings to the communist Party of China on its centenary. Minister said that since 1949, the People’s Republic of China has been treading on the path of Socialism, with Chinese Characteristics and has now changed the international balance of power for the better. The progress China has made in social, poverty alleviation, more..

Police to net those who set traps on estates

Jun 17 (Island) The Wildlife Department has warned plantation companies that legal action will be taken against them if wild animals are caught in snares placed on their estates. In recent years, a large number of wild animals including leopards and sambur had died in traps, a senior Wildlife official yesterday said, adding that a leopard in Dick Oya and a sambur in Lakshapana had been caught in traps recently. The Wildlife Department officers at Nallathanniya office managed to rescue the animals, more..

SJB, TNA, JVP insist they didn’t ask for vehicles: Speaker’s Office silent

Jun 17 (Island) The controversy over the Finance Ministry submitting a Cabinet paper for purchasing 228 Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs for MPs has taken a new turn with the SJB, the TNA and the JVP/JJB denying that they ever asked for SUVs or any other vehicles. SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran and JJB National List MP Dr. Harini Amarasuriya said that their parties, or individual members, had not requested vehicles from the Finance Ministry or the Office of the Speaker. more..

Final call of duty for ex-soldier Herath?

Jun 17 (SO) Priyantha Herath who participates in para sports and who was the only bronze medal winner in the T/46 category at the Rio Paralympic Games, is once again very ambitiously awaiting the day to participate in the Tokyo Paralympic Games too. At the age of 35 years he knows very well that this could be his last opportunity to win a gold medal in his favourite event, the javelin throw. The former soldier Herath who hails from Anuradhapura was injured in his left hand during the civil war against the LTTE in 2008 more..

Sri Lanka qualify for the next round of AFC Cup 2023

Jun 17 (CT) Following the completion of FIFA World Cup 2022 & AFC Asia Cup 2023 Joint Qualification round held in Korea on 5 and 9 June, Sri Lanka has advanced to the next round of the AFC Asia Cup 2023 to be held from end August to mid-September 2021. “This is a great opportunity for Sri Lanka once again after their spirited efforts against Asian Giants Korea and Lebanon. Football Sri Lanka would accelerate their planning to strengthen the team further,” said FSL President Anura de Silva. more..

Inorganic fertiliser ban could harm production with major implications

Jun 17 (FT) The group of 30 scientists and experts have informed Prez Rajapaksa on the substantial loss of production in a sample of select crops by the ban of inorganic fertiliser. They said there were several crops such as nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and cardamom which had hardly undergone yield improvement by breeding for responsiveness to fertilisers. These crops are mainly grown in agroforestry systems where there is minimal use of inorganic fertilisers. more..

SL play first intra-squad practice match in England: Match tied

Jun 17 (TM) Team Mendis 250/9 (50) [Ramesh Mendis 71 (89), Isuru Udana 44 (57); Akila Dananjaya 3/28, Chamika Karunaratne 3/38] Team KJP 250/9 (50) [Avishka Fernando 64 (71), Dasun Shanaka 44 (54), Asitha Fernando 3/43, Dushmantha Chameera 2/26]. Sri Lanka national white-ball cricket squad was involved in their first intra-squad practice match yesterday (16) at the Old Trafford Cricket Grounds in Manchester. Team KJP led by Kusal Perera played team Mendis led by Kusal Mendis. more..

Gammanpila says SJB move is childish

Jun 17 (FT) Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday described the move by the SJB to file a no-confidence motion against him as childish and expressed his confidence in defeating the motion if it was taken up. He told journalists that he saw a copy of the proposed motion which he said looked like it had been written by a child. Gammanpila also said the move against him, the subject Minister, was absurd as it contradicted SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa’s earlier assertion that the entire Govt should resign over the fuel hike. more..

Court of Appeal order leaves CCD case against Shani Abeysekera in tatters

Jun 17 (CT) The Court of Appeal tore the police case against Shani Abeysekera to pieces in its bail order, calling the charges a sham designed to prejudice and harm the star criminal investigator and former CID Chief by the backers of convicted murderers. The Court slammed what it called extraordinary delays filing the complaint against Abeysekera and three junior officers who investigated the Mohammed Shiyam murder in 2013. more..

Work begins on five new flyovers and an elevated expressway

Jun 17 (Roar) SL on 7 June began construction of five new flyovers and a four-lane elevated expressway. The mammoth infrastructure project by the Ministry of Highways, once completed, aims to reduce traffic congestion in Colombo and Kandy. The series of projects was announced on 6 May after it received cabinet approval. Of the five projects, two will be constructed with the aid of the Hungarian govt, while the four-lane elevated expressway will be constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC). more..

97,442 persons vaccinated on Tuesday

Jun 17 (FT) The Epidemiology Unit states that 97,442 persons received either the first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, bringing the total number of persons to receive the first dose to 2,350,564 and the second dose to 677,353. Among persons vaccinated on Tuesday were 294 persons who received the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 925,242 persons have received the first dose, while the second dose has been administered to 356,232 persons. more..

2,436 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 17 (FT) A total of 2,436 COVID-19 patients were detected yesterday, bringing the country’s total COVID-19 patient count to 230,692. Health Promotion Bureau states that 18,257 PCR tests were carried out yesterday. Among the persons who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday are 2,419 persons linked to the New Year cluster. A total of 223,713 patients have been linked to the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters. more..

No amazing Thailand for Sri Lankans!

Jun 17 (Island) Many of my friends, and also readers, have experienced the beauty and excitement of amazing Thailand, and they keep telling me that they are eagerly looking forward to the day they would be able to check out the Land of Smiles, all over again. Sri Lankans generally pick Thailand as their holiday destination and then revel in a shopping expedition that most other countries find hard to match. Unfortunately, that is all history now and I can’t see normalcy – the old normal – returning to Thailand. more..

Editorial: No faith and no sense

Jun 17 (Island) The SJB is apparently trying to justify its existence. It is planning to move a motion of no confidence against Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila over the recent fuel price hikes which have made the public scream. It is eager to see the back of Gammanpila. Interestingly, it has taken the same position as SLPP General Secretary and MP Sagara Kariyawasam, who accuses Gammanpila of having aggravated the economic woes of the public and made the govt unpopular by jacking up fuel prices, and more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Playing pandu with our diplomacy

Jun 17 (ST) So what are we — fish, flesh or fowl? Judging by what appears in the print and electronic media on happening in Sri Lanka we are foul, and fouled up badly. For years we thought we were the only Pearl in the Indian Ocean. Now another pearl — an X-Press one at that — has joined us polluting our waters. Tragedy upon tragedy strikes this pearl with venomous intent. But let’s leave the managing of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent vaccination programmes that some ministers and more..

Heroin withdrawal management needs multidisciplinary approach

Jun 17 (TM) Owing to the widespread and increasing use of heroin in Sri Lanka, medical professionals should keep in mind the possibility of heroin users developing seizures due to withdrawal, even though seizures are a less common manifestation of heroin withdrawal, a local medical case report noted. The case report revolved around a patient with heroin withdrawal presenting with newly onset seizures, which is said to be the first such case reported in Sri Lanka. It was authored by B.M.D.B. Basnayake, more..

Vavuniya tusker’s demise

Jun 17 (DM) On June 11 Sri Lanka lost another one of its magnificent tuskers that succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment at Kanagarayankulam, Puthur, Vavuniya. But unlike any other elephant death that happens in the wild or due to a railroad accident, this particular incident gained more attention. Not only was this elephant suffering for many days, but on various occasions, several third parties also got involved in the rescue mission. more..

The TNA and ethnic realities

Jun 17 (TM) The year 2021 was rather special to Sri Lanka as far as its international relations and the international community’s stance on Sri Lanka’s social and political atmospheres were concerned. Dealings with India and China, most of which revolved around Sri Lanka’s Ports, loans and the vaccines for Covid-19, and also what was discussed at the UNHRC and the EU Parliament, gave rise to a plethora of concerns, controversies and questions, which Sri Lanka has to address very carefully. more..

A Balancing Act

Jun 17 (CT) The Govt is in a balancing act of controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and keeping the economy going. This was best illustrated when, before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year this year, while the Govt allowed a measure of latitude to the people to celebrate the festival, the head of the National Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, General Shavendra Silva lamented, predicting that if the people went on pre-New Year shopping sprees they won’t be able to celebrate Vesak. more..

Throwing a lifeline online

Jun 17 (SO) As online education becomes the order of the day, students, teachers and parents grapple with all kinds of issues while trying to adjust to the new realities and concerns. Teachers face many challenges to provide the material through online platforms that they are unfamiliar with. It is a learning curve for all them especially for the older teachers who are not technology savvy as the younger ones. Most of the time, they need someone else’s support to operate. more..

Heaping more burden on overburdened people

Jun 17 (DM) If what Covid-19 has brought upon Sri Lankans countrywide with an increasing number of infected patients and related deaths being reported on a daily basis is not enough; if the massive man-made ecological disaster dished out by the MV X-Press Pearl to those sustained by the Indian Ocean and the tourist industry is not enough; if the travails of farmers lamenting the shortage of fertilizer trapped in-between the ongoing organic and in organic dilemma is not enough, and, more..

Canada slips and slides on genocide

Jun 17 (DM) In an ideal world, or a flat world if you will (where liberty, equality and fraternity are affirmed in word and deed at every turn), it would be lovely for the people of one country to care about those of another. Well, even if it’s not entirely flat, it wouldn’t be out of order for one country to be concerned about the hiccups of another. Provided of course that a) hiccups weren’t imagined on account of ignorance or conjured up for reasons of political expediency, and b) the concerned were not themselves hiccupping. more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Compensation, salary dues to family members of deceased SL migrant workers

Jun 16 (MFA) Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Ministry organized a ceremony to handover letters of compensation of the deceased SL workers abroad to their respective family members at the Ministry Premises in line with the International Domestic Workers Day as well as the International Day of Family Remittances held on 16 June, 2021. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena together with Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Director General of Consular more..

Chairman of X-Press Pearl’s local agency granted bail

Jun 16 (AD) Arjuna Hettiarachchi, the chairman of the local shipping agency representing the X-Press Pearl vessel, has been granted bail by the Colombo High Court. Chairman of Sea Consortium Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Mr Hettiarachchi was arrested by the CID today after surrendering through his attorneys. He was subsequently produced before the Colombo HC Judge Damith Thotawatta, who ordered that the defendant be released on a cash bond of Rs 100,000 & 2 personal bonds of Rs 1 mil more..

Health Ministry urged not to reduce PCR testing during lookdowns

Jun 16 (Island) A reduction in PCR testing had made it difficult for the health workers to gauge the effect of the current lockdown on the tranmission of the virus, College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) President Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday. He said that while the number of reported cases had been dropping, the number of deaths were rising. “The decrease in PCR testing has led to this situation. more..

Gas companies propose price hike

Jun 16 (AD) A special meeting held between the Cabinet Sub-Committee on revision of gas prices and representatives of LP gas companies today (June 16) has ended without reaching an agreement. For the past few months, the gas companies have been requesting the CAA to allow an increase in the prices of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) citing financial crises due to rising gas prices in the world market. Accordingly, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena, more..

Ranil’s name sent to Elections Commission

Jun 16 (EN) UNP has nominated former prime minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for the one national list seat the defeated party is entitled to in parliament. Party general secretary former MP Palitha Range Bandara has submitted Wickrmesinghe’s name to the Election Commission today. The former PM had previously declined a unanimous request from the UNP working committee to take up the seat, calling for a younger member to represent the party in parliament more..

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe to receive prestigious Blue Planet Prize

Jun 16 (DM) Sri Lankan physicist, economist and Founder Chairman of Institute for Development (MIND) Prof. Mohan Munasinghe has been selected as a recipient for this year’s Blue Planet Prize, the top international award considered to be equivalent to an Environmental Nobel Prize. This year marks the 30th awarding of the Blue Planet Prize, sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan. more..

Cabinet approves setting up of Small Claims Court

Jun 16 (FT) Cabinet of Ministers this week approved the establishment of a Small Claims Court with the jurisdiction to hear cases below a specific monetary threshold. “The goal is to ease the caseload of the District Court which would then be able to hear disputes of a higher value more efficiently and also to introduce a faster, more efficient procedure for the recovery of smaller claims,” Justice Minister Ali Sabry’s Coordinating Secretary Attorney-at-Law Shamir Zavahir said. more..

MONLAR complains of another project to help govt cronies

Jun 16 (Island) The govt was planning to distribute 70 to 350 acres of land that belonged to the Land Reform Commission among political henchmen, Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) alleged yesterday. Rajapakshe told The Island that the Cabinet had on 07 June approved a proposal submitted by Minister of Lands, S. M. Chandrasena to start 35 compost making projects in 25 Divisional Secretariat areas in North Western Province. more..

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