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GMOA alleges politicisation

Jun 7 (CT) The GMOA accused the Epidemiology Unit of paving the way once more for politicians to distribute chits to their supporters in obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine after the Director General Health Services (DGHS) issued the National Vaccination Programme Against COVID-19 to identify Priority Groups, for the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme where the Sinopharm vaccine was to be used. more..

Chamuditha complains his life is in danger, but won’t give up Salakuna

Jun 7 (Island) Popular Hiru TV anchor Chamuditha Samarawickrema says there are threats to his life, but he will continue to host the weekly live Salakuna programme. “I am determined to go ahead with it whatever the obstacles are,” Samarawickrema said, identifying some specific threats. Asked whether he would lodge a complaint with the police, Samarawickrema said obviously there was no point in doing so. Acknowledging there were honest officers and men, more..

Bangladesh’s financial assistance to SL: The rise of new Royal Bengal Tiger of Asia

Jun 7 (MD) Bangladesh has agreed to lend debt-ridden Sri Lanka loans of at least $200 million from the foreign exchange reserves under a currency swap deal. This $200 million currency swap is part of a larger scheme of foreign exchange swaps amounting to $500 million. In this context, a currency swap is effectively a loan Bangladesh is providing to Sri Lanka in dollars, under an agreement that the debt will be repaid with interest in SL rupees. The currency swap initiative was taken after more..

President invites investors to join Sri Lanka’s transformational journey

Jun 7 (PMD) President Rajapaksa invited investors across the world to join on a transformational journey by investing in SL. ‘Govt’s vision is to make the Colombo Port City a key service hub for one of the fastest growing regions in the world’, Prez said adding ‘We encourage business leaders from all nations to make full use of the unique strengths and many opportunities that the Port City affords by investing here’. more..

Vaccination roll out extended to 12 more districts

Jun 7 (DM) The vaccination rollout is to commence in 12 more districts with Sinopharm jabs, Army Commander Shavendra Silva said. Accordingly, vaccination will kick off in Matale, Nuwara-Eliya, Kegalle, Trincomalee, Hambantota, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Ampara, Batticaloa, Monaragala and Polonnaruwa Districts in near future. One million doses of Sinopharm vaccines were brought to SL on Sunday to continue with the vaccination programmes in these districts more..

X-Press Pearl VDR given to CID

Jun 7 (CT) Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), of the ill-fated X-Press Pearl, was handed over to the CID. DIG Ajith Rohana said the data from the VDR, also known as a ship’s black box, will be examined. He added the VDR contains communication between the captain, the main corporation, and the local agent. Meanwhile, the captain and crew have given 20 statements to the Police, and the Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO) and Govt Analyst have collected circumstantial evidence and water samples more..

Criminalizing Fake News

Jun 7 (DM) Intending to deconstruct preconceived notions of fake news and to give a legal perspective to it in a context where fake news is out rightly criminalised, and even those who are in connection with them are controversially arrested, was the theme of a recent webinar. This was conducted by the Students for Liberty in collaboration with the Night Watchman Society SL. The title of the webinar was Criminalising Fake news- Implications for more..

CID to probe fake news on social media

Jun 7 (DM) The CID has been tasked with investigating those who are misleading the public by spreading false propaganda on social media, Police said. DIG Ajith Rohana said a special police team has been appointed to investigate such false reports. He said the public was facing various inconveniences due to such false propaganda on social media platforms. DIG Rohana said it is an offence punishable under Section 98 of the Police Ordinance, that if anyone disturbs the public more..

Meeting tomorrow on preventing oil spills

Jun 7 (CT) A meeting will be held tomorrow (8), with all the stakeholders, to prevent any oil spill, following floods at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery in the future and mixing of oil with flood waters, Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said. Sapugaskanda oil refinery was flooded following heavy rains and water crept into a refinery system in the oil-filled clearing premises, causing an oil spill which mixed with the flood waters. Officials from a number of institutions, including CPC, Navy, Coast Guard, more..

Expressway, five flyovers to ease traffic congestion in Colombo, Kandy

Jun 7 (CT) The construction of five flyovers and a four-lane elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya as a part of easing traffic congestion in the capital and Kandy will be launched by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa today (7). The inauguration ceremony is scheduled to be held with the participation of a limited number of people as per health regulations in place in view of the pandemic. Premier Rajapaksa will participate more..

To boost spirits govt mulls new manufacturing licences for liquor

Jun 7 (FT) Govt is considering four new applications for licences to produce alcoholic products. Reports have emerged that two applications are from existing large-scale hard liquor manufacturers to expand their portfolio, whilst others are fresh applications to the market. The applications have now been received by the Finance Ministry for consideration and evaluation work has commenced. Details surrounding the applications were also brought to light by SJB MP Buddhika more..

Motor Traders Association revs up concerns over used vehicle assembly move

Jun 7 (FT) Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) raised fresh concerns over the move to promote used vehicle assembly in the country. In a statement, the CMTA said it had been understanding of the Govt’s decision to restrict vehicle imports in order to safeguard foreign exchange reserves and keep the currency stable in the wake of COVID-19 from early 2020. However, the CMTA was disappointed to learn that a Cabinet proposal to allow assembly of vehicles with used parts more..

Severe weather situation

Thirty two Navy relief teams engaged in flood relief operations

Jun 7 (SLN) To provide relief to the people affected by floods in the Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces due to heavy rains, Sri Lanka Navy has deployed 32 relief teams in flood relief operations in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle and Rathnapura. Meanwhile, the Navy teams continue to attend urgent relief operations focusing the flood affected communities today (7) as well. With the rising water level in Gin Ganga following showery more..

Experts call for reality check on trade and logistics

Jun 7 (FT) Top maritime and logistics experts last week called for a reality check on the country›s ability to benefit from the global trade shift post-COVID and to become a logistic powerhouse in the Indian Ocean. They reiterated that Sri Lanka needs to intensify its capacity expansion, ease of business, policy consistency, export basket diversity and technology integration; to attract a sizeable chunk of the global trade shift to be able to maintain Colombo’s status as a maritime hub. more..

X-Press Pearl which carried caustic soda sinks slowly off Sri Lanka, no oil spill yet

Jun 7 (EN) X-Press Pearl, a container vessel that caught fire while carrying hundreds of tonnes of caustic soda and a leaking acid container continued to sink into shallows off Colombo Port, but no oil spill has been reported yet. X-Press Feeders, the owners said a team of salvors boarded the ships still floating forward section on June 06 for an assessment. The ships aft portion remains on the seabed at a depth of more..

Hydroelectricity/wind account for 50% of electric needs

Jun 7 (CT) Cheap and clean electricity powered by hydroelectricity and wind together provided more than half of SL’s electricity needs for 13 consecutive days to 5 Saturday for the first time in 579 days, CEB data showed. The last time hydro and wind together provided 13 consecutive days which met over 50% of SL’s electricity needs was a year and a half ago from 12 Oct 2019 to 4 Nov 2020. Meanwhile, on 5 Saturday, wind electricity and hydroelectricity together provided 72.89% of more..

Sri Lanka urges private firms to borrow offshore; free forex cover from central bank

Jun 7 (EN) Sri Lanka’s central bank (CBSL) has urged private companies to borrow abroad and is also offering free foreign exchange cover through a zero-cost swap, in a bid to boost forex inflows to the country. “The CBSL, with a view of encouraging foreign currency inflows to the country, invites the private sector to pursue avenues to raise offshore funding leveraging on its strengths,” the monetary authority said. “In this regard, to hedge the foreign exchange risk of offshore borrowing, more..

It will be a double whammy if dengue reaches epidemc proportions: Dr. Jasinghe

Jun 7 (Island) The health sector would be overwhelmed if dengue also reaches epidemic proportions, warns former Health Ministry Secretary Dr Anil Jasinghe. Statistics indicated that 7,674 suspected dengue cases had been reported countrywide from January 2021 to date, Dr. Jasinghe said. Nearly 28.5% of dengue cases were reported from the Western province. Dr. Jasinghe, now the Environment Ministry Secretary, more..

Video: SLAF training aircraft makes emergency landing in Nilaveli

Jun 7 (AD) A Cessna 150 aircraft used for basic training of pilots of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) had made an emergency landing at the Irakkandi area in Nilaveli, Trincomalee. The aircraft had made the emergency landing due to a technical difficulty, SLAF Media Spokesman said. The aircraft had taken off from the Trincomalee Air Force Base at around 10.22 am and made the emergency landing at around 10.48 am. There had been 02 pilots were on board and both are reported to be safe. more..

Sevanagala Sugar ventures into manufacture of organic fertiliser, using its bio-waste

Jun 7 (Island) Director General of Sevanagala Sugar Industries Gamini Rasaputhra said they had helped save Rs. 250 million by stopping the use of chemical fertilisers and the saving would be utilised to build a factory for organic fertiliser. Addressing the media following a visit by Minister Janaka Wakkumbura to the Sevanagala Sugar factory to inspect the progress of the construction of the new organic fertiliser factory, Rasaputra said that the company had spent Rs. 250 million annually on more..

SC orders policemen to pay for youth’s death after assault

Jun 7 (DN) Supreme Court has ordered six police personnel at the Kandaketiya Police Station to pay compensation of Rs.300,000 to a mother of a 17-year-old deceased son who died after being assaulted by police personnel in 2014. Supreme Court further ordered the six respondents to pay Rs.60,000 to the petitioner in lieu of litigation costs. The six respondents have been found guilty of murder of the deceased, being members of more..

Rishad, Premalal to attend parliamentary sittings tomorrow

Jun 7 (AD) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has instructed authorities to bring MPs Rishad Bathiudeen and Premalal Jayasekara to attend tomorrow’s parliamentary sitting. SJB MP Bathiudeen is currently being held under detention orders. He was taken into custody over his alleged links with the perpetrators of the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks. Meanwhile SLPP MP Premalal Jayasekara is currently serving a death sentence. Party leaders have decided to more..

Rosy saddened about nonavailability of Astrazeneca

Jun 7 (DM) Whilst confirming that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will begin providing the second dose of Sinopharm vaccines from Tuesday, June 8, Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake expressed her sadness for the non-availability of Astrazeneca vaccines for the dwellers of Colombo City. She said that the Sinopharm will be provided from Tuesday from the same locations where the first dose was given. “We will be sending an SMS to all who received the vaccine earlier. more..

හාමුදුරුවරු කල්ලි බෙදිල නඩු දා ගෙන හරියනවද?

Perpetrators as preachers

Jun 7 (Island) A recent meeting between Prez Rajapaksa and British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton has received much publicity. They reportedly discussed the Geneva resolution against SL, among other things. Interestingly, their meeting took place close on the heels of Germany’s apology for the colonial-era genocide in Namibia, and France’s admission of its role in the 1994 ethnic cleansing campaign in Rwanda, where about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutus perished; more..

Australia’s rice miracle: Should Sri Lanka learn a lesson or two from it?

Jun 7 (FT) People of Sri Lanka from time immemorial have been cultivating and eating rice. According to SL’s Great Chronicle, Mahavansa, when Prince Vijaya and his retinue landed at Thammanna beach some 2,500 years ago, fully exhausted and famished, they were treated with a meal of cooked rice by Princess Kuveni using the rice procured from the wrecked ships. Though Mahavansa is silent about whether that rice was being exported from SL or being imported more..

'Probe X-Press Pearl disaster against backdrop of Port City and Selendiva projects'

Jun 7 (Island) The Catholic Church was quite concerned about the long-term impact of the sinking of the container carrier X-Press Pearl off the Colombo port, Rev. Father Cyril Gamini Fernando said. The ecological disaster the ill-fated ship had caused couldn’t be compensated for with a one-off payment, Rev Father Fernando said, urging the govt to set the record straight. Responding to The Island queries, parish priest of Kurana more..

Health Ministry revises vaccination priority list: Over-60s to get priority

Jun 7 (TM) NOCPCO Task Force announced over the weekend that members of the public over the age of 60 would be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in the future. “Following the Covid-19 Task Force meeting, we have decided to vaccinate those over 60 years of age with the remaining and incoming batches of vaccines. They will be followed by those living in elders’ homes, pregnant mothers, govt officers, and factory workers in at-risk GN divisions,” said Dir General, Health Services more..

Summit flats to be razed to the ground

Jun 7 (ST) Cabinet approval has been sought to pull down the almost half a century old Summit flats in Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 7 and make use of the land to put up an apartment complex for 500 staff officers and offer 10 acres of the land for a mixed development project. The entire land is around 14 acres and two acres are to be used to put up the apartment complex and about one and half acres for common amenities including a playground. UDA Director General more..

Floods, Landslides Kill 16, Three Missing

Jun 7 (CT) Sixteen persons died and three were reported missing, while another five were injured due to floods, landslides and earthslips, the DMC, issuing a report at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, said. Four were killed in a landslide at Aranayaka, Kegalle on Saturday. Among the balance 12 reported dead, three each were from the Gampaha and Ratnapura Districts, two from the Puttalam District, one each from the Colombo, Galle & Kalutara Districts more..

Video: Immunity builds up only after two doses of Sinopharm: Channa Jayasumana

Jun 7 (AD) The immunity is built up only after taking the second dose of inactive vaccines such as Sinopharm and Sinovac, says State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana. Thereby, those who have received the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine must definitely receive the second dose as well, he said. State Minister said, “Chinese Sinopharm company has informed us that another one million doses of the vaccine will be received by Sri Lanka within the next week. more..

Video: Sri Lanka remains committed to all BIMSTEC initiatives: President

Jun 7 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a message of greetings for the 24th anniversary of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), reiterated that Sri Lanka will remain committed to all of the organization’s initiatives. The President stated that the Sri Lankan govt, as the current BIMSTEC chair, is considering hosting the 5th summit of the organization later this year, but only if the pandemic situation improves. more..

2,976 more test positive for COVID-19

Jun 7 (FT) The country’s total COVID-19 patient count crossed the 200,000 mark over the weekend with 2,976 patients detected yesterday – all linked to the New Year cluster – and 3,103 patients detected on Saturday. Since the onset of the pandemic early last year, 205,333 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in SL. On Saturday, 2,854 persons linked to the New Year cluster, 240 persons linked to Prisons cluster, more..

Business confidence plummets

Jun 7 (FT) Following the rise in COVID-19 cases towards the end of April, the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) plunged by 49 basis points to 89 in May, registering a five-month low. Business magazine LMD notes that this decline largely negates the gains witnessed this year and marks the highest fall since April 2020 when the Govt imposed an islandwide curfew. Nielsen Director - Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya explained: “Predi-ctions of the possibility of a third wave more..

Prasanna appoints 5-member aviation committee to streamline entry-exit rules

Jun 7 (FT) Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has appointed a five-member Working Committee to ensure smoother arrangements when revising entry and exit rules due to COVID-19. The members are Tourism and Aviation Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Aviation State Ministry Secretary Madhawa Devasurendra, Civil Aviation Authority (CAASL) Director-General Themiya Abeywickrama, SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director-General Dhammika Wijayasinghe, more..