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Govt response to Covid-19: JVP questions Sports Minister’s high-profile role

Jun 8 (Island) Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says the govt owes an explanation as regards the role played by Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa in the ongoing efforts to bring the rampaging Covid-19 epidemic under control. JVPer asked whether the govt had created a special position for Minister Rajapaksa in the apparatus tasked with battling the epidemic. Referring to a spate of press releases issued by more..

Conspiracy against Sajith exposed: Champika falls to his knees

Jun 8 (CT) During the SJB Parliamentary Group Meeting, held yesterday, a proposal had been unanimously ratified extending the party’s unstinted support and loyalty to its leader MP Sajith Premadasa, thus dealing a massive blow to a plot hatched by MP Champika Ranawaka to derail the Party. It is alleged that Ranawaka had taken the lead and conspired to spread fabrications and spurious charges against the Opposition Leader through the creation of fake news items and videos more..

4,625 persons receive COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday

Jun 8 (FT) A total of 4,625 persons received COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday, raising the number of persons to receive the first dose of a vaccine to 1,948,187 and the second dose to 353,302. The second dose had been previously administered only to Sri Lankans who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, but administration of the second dose of Sinopharm to Sri Lankans commenced today. Both doses of Sinopharm have been administered to 2,435 Chinese nationals working in SL. more..

2,646 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 8 (FT) 2,646 persons tested positive for COVID-19 within the day, bringing the total number of detections in the country to 207,979. The patients detected yesterday include 2,610 persons linked to the New Year cluster and the Department of Government Information states that the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters have expanded to 201,264. The cumulative patient count of the clusters takes into more..

Monday Markets: Reserves Bleed $42.28M

Jun 8 (CT) The country’s foreign reserves were poorer by US$ 42.28 million (Rs 8,835 million) led by the settlement/s of Govt of SL’s (GoSL’s) foreign debt servicing commitments and/ or Central Bank of SL (CBSL’s) swaps with the market and/or CBSL’s US dollar sales to and/ or swaps with GoSL during trading yesterday. Transactions between GoSL and CBSL are foreign reserves neutral. Conversions are based on CBSL’s administered ‘spot’ rate on Thursday which was Rs 199.53 to the dollar. more..

Sri Lanka power regulator approves LNG IPP, extends concession period

Jun 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Public Utilities Commission said it had approved a proposal by state-run Ceylon Electricity Board to call bids for liquefied natural gas fired 300 MegaWatt independent power plant for with a 26 year concession period, from a originally proposed 21 years. The CEB had originally decided to call tenders for privately built run plant with a 30 year life, which will go to the CEB in 21 years but the PUCSL had ruled that it would be more expensive than required. more..

Kumudesh asks why govt does not involve state labs in Covid testing at factories

Jun 8 (Island) Garment factories had been hotbeds for the spread of COVID-19 and there was a need for govt labs to conduct PCR tests in those places, President of College of Medical Laboratory Science Ravi Kumudesh said. He said ensuring the functioning of those factories was important to the economy and that they were ready to establish testing centres in garment factory clusters and test workers inside the factory premises. more..

CB issues new directive for uninterrupted banking services

Jun 8 (FT) The CB yesterday issued a new directive aimed at ensuring uninterrupted banking services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic after an uproar over notice of the closure of branches. It said, with the approval of Director General of Health Services and IGP, all banks have been requested to carry out essential banking services strictly adhering to all relevant safety measures and guidelines issued in providing banking services under the ongoing travel restrictions to control spread of COVID-19. more..

DSI files action against trademark infringement

Jun 8 (TM) D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. has reportedly filed action through its legal representatives, Sudath Perera Associates, for the infringement of its trademark BEAT in the Commercial High Court of Colombo recently. Issuing a statement, the company yesterday (7) noted that the Court issued an enjoining order against Udawatta Durage Lalith, restraining him, his employees, agents, workers, and clients and anyone claiming under him, directly and/or indirectly more..

Boxing fight drawn: Players agree to sign England tour with amended clauses

Jun 8 (TM) The last-ditch attempt to come to a settlement and sign the annual player contracts had to be put off until the end of the England white-ball series yesterday (7) when representatives from both parties, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and players, met at Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo. Top-brass officials from SLC, including President Shammi Silva and one of its Vice Presidents Jayanth Dharmadasa, have reportedly met with more..

Selendiva Leisure to debut on CSE by end of this month: Treasury Secy

Jun 8 (DM) Govt is gearing to list several state-owned leisure properties through the special purpose vehicle (SPV) Selendiva Leisure on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) by end of this month. Selendiva Leisure, which comes under Selendiva Investments, consists of Canwill Holdings Ltd (Grand Hyatt), Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH), Hotel Developers (Hilton) and several other prime real estate properties. “Selendiva has formed the SPV Selendiva Leisure to consolidate more..

Dankotuwa named most loved homeware brand in Sri Lanka

Jun 8 (FT) Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, producer of innovative and designer tableware, was amongst the Best of Best brands, being adjudged as the most loved homeware brand for the year 2021. The Best of the Best brands in Sri Lanka is a regular research conducted and compiled on an annual basis by Brand Finance and published by LMD. Globally recognised for its luxurious and elegant porcelain tableware – one with remarkable whiteness that radiates a sense of pristine beauty, more..

Govt aims to oppress people through shortsighted fertilizer ban: Sajith

Jun 8 (AD) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says the govt aims to oppress the general public through the chemical fertilizer ban imposed without a proper plan. Issuing a statement today (7), Premadasa said that it is questionable as to whether the govt has conspired to make SL one of the largest Garbage Mountains in the world. Criticizing the govt’s decision to import organic fertilizer, leader of SJB points out that more..

Don’t miss out on Sri Lanka’s awesomeness: Cabraal

Jun 8 (DM) Investors should not miss out on SL’s awesomeness although the pandemic is in full play across the world, as significant opportunities exist in many economic sectors in the country that can provide tremendous returns to foreign and local investors alike, pointed out State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Highlighting SL has maintained policy consistency, despite the economy being impacted with the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabraal, during his address at Investor Forum 2021, more..

Sri Lanka players agree to tour England without contracts

Jun 8 (CI) SL's men's cricketers have agreed to tour England uncontracted, after SLC committed to revealing specifics about the player evaluations that form the basis of the board's new proposed contract scheme. The cricketers have long contended that the methodology by which they had been placed in various payment categories under the proposed scheme were not transparent. Now, SLC appears to have formally promised to make player evaluation marks available to each player when more..

රටම දැවැන්ත අර්බුදයක ආණ්ඩුව; නැව ගිලුනත්...

ComBank launches corporate fuel credit card & prepaid fuel card

Jun 8 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has introduced a Corporate Fuel Credit Card and a Prepaid Fuel Card that can exclusively be used for fuel purchases and will eliminate the cumbersome fuel allowance reimbursement process currently followed by most companies. Designed to benefit large companies as well as small and medium enterprises that reimburse employee fuel bills every month, these cards aim to replace company fuel books and travel voucher books and more..

SLFP Vice President denounces attempt to import luxury vehicles for MPs

Jun 8 (Island) Senior Vice President of the SLFP Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa has denounced a govt move to import luxury vehicles for MPs. The proposal to import vehicles for the use of MPs was an absurd move at a time the people of the country were battleing a deadly pandemic, Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa told the media in Kandy on Saturday. The country’s needs had to be properly priorities and there was absolutely no need for new vehicles for the MPs, he said. more..

'Sri Lanka ready to regain growth momentum lost since 2015'

Jun 8 (FT) Secretary to the Prez Dr. P.B. Jayasundera yesterday assured global investors that SL has put in place policies and strategies to unleash its next wave of high yet sustainable growth, despite challenges such as the pandemic. Delivering the keynote at the virtual three-day SL Investment Forum’s inauguration yesterday, Dr. Jayasundera said that the COVID-19 pandemic hit SL at a time when Prez Rajapaksa Govt was preparing more..

Today is World Oceans Day

Jun 8 (DM) World Oceans’ Day on June 8 this year is of particular significance to Sri Lanka because the theme this time is Life and Livelihood. Both life and livelihood had come under severe threat in the island when the container vessel X-Press Pearl carrying hazardous chemicals like nitric acid, caught fire and sank 9.5 nautical miles off Colombo harbour. Tons of plastic and other dangerous effluents were washed ashore between Colombo & Negombo. Marine life, including turtles, dolphins more..

Susal, Buddhika win

Jun 8 (CT) FIDE Master Susal de Silva outplayed Bangladesh Int'l Master Mohammad Minhaz Uddin (2278) in style to score a point to reach 4 ½ points out of 6 games. Susal managed to get a strong King’s side play from a game started with Giuco Piano opening. Buddika Amarasinghe also had an excellent game and scored a full point against Bangladesh FIDE Master Ahmed Shike Nazir (2179) in a game started with the English opening. National Chess Champion Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage more..

Attygalle lists reform measures to boost Sri Lanka’s economic outlook

Jun 8 (FT) Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle wooed global investors and companies, showcasing a few major policy reform areas the Govt has taken to realign SL’s future economic outlook for the better. Addressing SL Investment Forum’s inauguration yesterday, he outlined major reform areas that includes; fiscal consolidation and revenue mobilisation, trade and investment regime and legal and judicial. “It is fair to say that this Govt more..

LOLC global expansion strategy eyes former Soviet states

Jun 8 (ST) With the South Asian, and African markets under its belt, the LOLC Group – SL’s most profitable conglomerate – has set its sights on investments in the former Soviet states, officials said. “We are exploring opportunities in the financial space in countries like Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan etc.,” an official told the Business Times on Wednesday. He said that the economic growth in most of these nations more..

Should the govt build school car parks when the economy is in crisis?

Jun 8 (CT) Recent developments related to proposed grand entrance cum car park project for D S Senanayake College (DSSC) shed light on if the govt is really addressing the urgent needs of the people. A recent extraordinary gazette issued by the President vests a small (but highly valuable) plot of land owned by DSSC under Urban Development Authority (UDA) to develop a grand entrance to DSSC, and a car park. This gazette, issued while the country is going through a tough time due to more..

Face the Nation

When double standards reek of tobacco

Jun 8 (Island) The govt has had to give public health priority over everything else and extend the current countrywide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. It could have saved many more lives than those lost in the Easter Sunday carnage if it had cared to heed doctors’ warnings and imposed travel restrictions in April. Had it allowed the public health professionals to decide what should be done to prevent the transmission of the runaway virus, it would have been able close the proverbial more..

It is madder than you think

Jun 8 (ST) As though Sri Lanka’s Govt did not have multiple problems in its hands that appear to be getting more complex by the day, there enters a ship into our territorial waters. That is not surprising, for Colombo Port accommodates many from different parts of the world, even a suddenly surfacing Chinese submarine as happened in 2014 when the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was visiting Sri Lanka. But this is a funny vessel. It appears to be leaking some noxious substance. more..

Free trade zones: Operating on full throttle

Jun 8 (TM) Despite three Covid-19 waves, SL’s free trade zones (FTZ) have been on full throttle, helping keep the country’s economy afloat. However, several unions have accused the factories within these zones of exploiting their workers and the Govt for not taking responsibility for these workers. According to these union leaders, these accusations stem from the lack of priority given to these workers in terms of the vaccinations more..

University admissions & fundamental rights

Jun 8 (Island) The writer’s article last week on fundamental rights issues in Grade 1 admissions provoked some discussion, going by the several emails received. A senior lawyer who appears in fundamental rights cases offered to appear pro bono if the circular is challenged. There may be more such lawyers. Over the weekend, UGC called for applications for university admissions. The UGC handbook on admissions lays down the applicable criteria. Uni admissions also give rise to more..

The politics of language, the language of politics

Jun 8 (TM) Education Ministry’s statement that it was planning on providing English medium education to children from Grade One attracted mixed remarks from the public, and what those remarks imply is that most Sri Lankans are not adequately equipped to judiciously assess the role a language plays in a country’s future. The world is evolving in such a way that it is nearly impossible for a country that aspires to prosper not be a part of it, and English language, for better or for worse more..

Prison relocation: Alleviating suffering of prisoners or a commercial venture?

Jun 8 (CT) To relieve decades of congestion, the Govt recently approved a plan to relocate Welikada Prison to Horana and convert it into a high-security prison complex. A huge wall with the words Prisoners are human beings was erected for years on the way to Dematagoda, after passing Borella, on Baseline Road. The wall runs alongside Sri Lanka's largest prison, called Welikada Prison, which is 180-years-old and currently houses more..

Micro finance crisis in Sri Lanka

Jun 8 (DM) A milkman positioned ahead of us, ringing the bell on his bicycle every now and then, while on his routine delivery round. The golden rays of the morning sun have exposed enigmatic rock forms dominating the backdrop of the iconic Parakrama Samudra. We were in Polonnaruwa, the land of an ancient kingdom praised for its vast irrigation network and engineering marvels. But centuries later, this once flourishing kingdom is now a poverty-stricken district as many people more..

Fertilizer tug-o-war leaves farmers in limbo

Jun 8 (DM) The ban on Chemical fertilizer and pesticide on April 22 has already started its impact on the farmers, not favourable, but adversely. Vegetable farmers in the up-country and paddy farmers in the North Central Province have started to express their frustration as the decision has already had a crippling effect on their crops in the current season. Meanwhile, Prez Rajapaksa has instructed the officials of the Agriculture Ministry to supply sufficient amounts of organic fertilizer more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Court orders Navy to provide security to sinking X-Press Pearl

Jun 7 (AD) The Court has directed the Sri Lanka Navy to provide the necessary security to the fire-ravaged X-Press Pearl cargo ship which has sunk in the shallow seas off Colombo harbor. The Colombo Magistrate’s Court issued this directive on the Commander of the Navy today (June 07). Meanwhile, rough seas and poor underwater visibility are hampering navy divers who are trying to detect any fuel leakage from the damaged ship that is slowly sinking off, officials said Monday. more..

Confectionery, bakery prices set to go up

Jun 7 (FT) With margins under pressure due to rising cost of commodities, logistic, foreign exchange and levies, the confectionery and bakery industry plans to increase prices going forward for its survival. “The industry is faced with an uphill task in running businesses as we hit stumbling blocks every step of the way. At the rate that prices have risen in the past two months, the industry cannot absorb the costs any further without increasing prices,” several industry stakeholders told the Daily FT. more..