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Sapugaskanda project will be Sri Lanka’s biggest to date: Gammanpila

Jun 4 (CT) Minister of Energy, Udaya Gammanpila claimed SL’s adversaries are trying to derail its largest project in history by misrepresenting a Cabinet paper submitted by him and spreading rumours that the Govt is trying to privatise the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). He noted the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, which opened in 1969, is SL's only refinery and successive administrations had tried unsuccessfully more..

SJB wants full Rs 5000 paid to underprivileged

Jun 4 (CT) SJB MP M. Imran claimed that the Govt should prove as to whether the Rs 5,000 relief assistance to the public would actually reach all of them on time. He said that a circular has been issued by the PM’s office indicating the provision of Rs 5,000 to families who have been impacted by the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Imran also claimed that it has been stated in the circular that if the people who are qualified for this Rs 5,000 relief had already been entitled to any relief more..

Sathosa relief package to every household in Gampaha dist. from today: Bandula

Jun 4 (DM) The delivery process of the Sathosa relief package Sahana Malla for the people who most affected in the Gampaha district due to the current COVID pandemic is to be initiated from today, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardana said. He said the relief packages worth Rs.1, 000 each would be delivered to the doorstep of every person in the Gampaha district with the support of the SL Army during the ongoing restriction spell. Through the direction of Army Commander more..

Video: CEO of vessel operator apologises for impact of sunken X-Press Pearl

Jun 4 (AD) While Sri Lanka braces itself for a possible oil spill from a sunken Singapore-registered container ship, the vessel operator’s chief executive on Thursday (3) expressed deep regrets and apologies for the impact that the incident has caused on livelihoods and the environment. The container ship X-Press Pearl was carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid, when it caught fire on May 20 off west coast of SL. more..

'I did not ask the public to stop eating fish'

Jun 4 (TM) Specialist at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital Dr. Shehan Silva has rejected the statements posted on social media claiming that he had advised the public not to consume fish following the X-Press Pearl crisis. A statement supposedly issued by Dr. Shehan Silva, a specialist at the Kalubowila General Hospital, stating that a large number of people who consumed fish have been hospitalized due to allergies is circulating on social media at the moment. more..

CEA Looks for pollutants after ship disaster

Jun 4 (CT) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has analysed groundwater near Negombo and found minor changes as a result of the X-Press Pearl fire, but no major issues have been revealed yet. However, they stated that there is no serious concern at the moment and they will conduct more tests despite current results. Director General of the CEA, said they began collecting samples two days ago and are now receiving findings that show no signs of deterioration. more..

ජනාධිපතිගේ තීන්දුව කාබනික ගොවිතැන අහෝසී...

Sanath Jayasuriya to coach Melbourne club in his return from ICC ban

Jun 4 (HT) SL great Sanath Jayasuriya is set to make his cricketing comeback after serving a two-year ICC ban with a coaching stint at Melbourne club Mulgrave. Jayasuriya was banned in February 2019 for breaching the ICC anti-corruption code. Former SL opener Tillakaratne Dilshan convinced 51-year-old Jayasuriya to take up the job. "Dilshan opened the door for us there, and it was a fantastic opportunity that was presented to us," said Mulgrave president Malin Pullenayegam. more..

Video: Six more arrested over Chandimal and Piumi’s party at luxury hotel

Jun 4 (AD) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has arrested six more people, three males and three females, for attending a birthday party recently organized by Chandimal Jayasinghe and Pumi Hansamali at a luxury hotel in Colombo. The arrestees are expected to be produced before Colombo Magistrate’s Court today. The police are probing the incident further to apprehend another suspect who is currently evading arrest. The police have informed health authorities to take more..

Video: Low-lying areas of four rivers at risk of flooding, DMC warns

Jun 4 (AD) The water levels of Kalu and Kelani rivers are now on the rise due to recent torrential rains, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) warned today. The middle reach and downstream catchment areas of Kalu River Basin have experienced downpours above 175 mm while upstream, middle reach and downstream catchment areas of Kelani River Basin received heavy rains over 200mm, more..

'Politicians should not interfere in vaccination, distribution of Rs. 5,000'

Jun 4 (DN) Politicians should not interfere in the COVID 19 vaccination and distribution of the Rs.5,000 dry food package since there are adequate govt officials to carry out those, State Minister Duminda Dissanayeke said. He was addressing Mihintale COVID 19 Prevention Committee Meeting recently at the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha. 53 COVID cases have been detected from a Mihintale garment factory. Around 1,500 employees there and their close associates will be quarantined. more..

PM instructs to expedite provision of relief for adverse weather victims

Jun 4 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa today directed State Minister of Disaster Management Chamal Rajapaksa to immediate measures to provide relief to people affected by the inclement weather. He also gave instructions to expedite the rescue operations and relief provision process through respective District Secretaries. Further, PM Rajapaksa instructed Finance Ministry’s Secretary S.R. Attygalle to allocate the funds required for this purpose. more..

ලුණු හිගයක් හදන්නේ මාෆියා කාරයේ

A new financial strategy: An imperative for survival

Jun 4 (FT) This article, which is written as an update to the booklet Mulya Agadhayak Abiyesa (on the brink of a financial precipice) that was written by me in 2016, is intended to urge the Govt to rectify the grave flaws in its current financial strategy, and in the meantime to make the people of this country aware of the need to compel the Govt to do so, in order to avoid an otherwise inevitable, irrecoverable and catastrophic, grave financial crisis. It is an earnest appeal made in the national interest, more..

Sri Lanka: Another cause for failure

Jun 4 (FT) Sri Lanka now lies in a depth of a deep abyss not so easy to recover from. The health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic is one of the major crises faced by SL. The collapse of the socio-political system is another. The bankruptcy of the country caused by the inability to repay foreign loans is yet another crisis. All these crises are interconnected, and mutually affecting each other. Under the circumstances SL can be considered as a country that has failed completely. more..

Damage caused by X-Press Pearl would last century – experts

Jun 4 (Island) Environmental damage caused by the sinking of the Singapore-flagged MV X-Press Pearl would affect Sri Lanka for over 100 years, a top state official said yesterday. The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the damage to sea grasses and rare aquatic species couldn’t be estimated. “I don’t know how we can place a monetary value on the damages,” the official said. A senior marine scientist also said more..

Navy collects 584 tons of plastic pellets washed ashore from burnt vessel

Jun 4 (Island) Coastal clean-up operations have helped remove 584 tons of plastic pellets washed ashore from the burnt container ship, from Uswetakeiyawa to Sarakkukanda. Ministry of Urban Development and Housing said the cleaning campaign was being carried out on the instructions of PM Rajapaksa, Minister of Urban Development & Housing. Marine Environment Protection Authority, Coast Conservation Dept, Navy & Air Force are jointly carrying out beach cleaning activities. more..

MP Kajendran wants politicians kept out of vaccination programmes

Jun 4 (Island) Health officials should be entrusted with the vaccination process in the Northern Province, TNPF MP Selvarajah Kajendran said. He said some politicians meddled with the anti – COVID-19 campaigns in the North. “If the process had not been politicised fewer people would have died,” MP told journalists when he arrived at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital to observe Jaffna residents being vaccinated. MP said that when SL received the AstraZeneca vaccine, politicians decided more..

Cardinal criticises utterly corrupt parliamentary system

Jun 4 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has questioned the rationale behind the country continuing with the costly and utterly corrupt parliamentary system of govt. Cardinal Ranjith found fault with all political parties represented in post-independence parliament for the crises over the years leading to absolute despair among the populace. Alleging the country was in a perilous state and more..

40,000 COVID-19 patients reported

Jun 4 (CT) Over 40,000 persons were found to have been infected with COVID19 within the last two weeks. A total 41,189 cases have been detected in the country from 20 May 2021 to 2 June, the statistics given by the HPB show. The total number of cases topped 3,000 on three days during these two weeks. While 3,441 new cases were detected on 20 May and another 3,583 on 21 May 2021. On 2 June another 3,306 new cases were added to the post New Year COVID-19 cluster. more..

69,573 persons vaccinated on Wednesday

Jun 4 (FT) The Epidemiology Unit in its COVID-19 immunisation report stated that 69,573 persons received either the first dose of the Sinopharm or Sputnik V vaccine or the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday. According to the report, 1,681 persons received the second dose of AstraZeneca, bringing the total number of persons to receive the second dose of the vaccine to 350,163. A total of 925,242 persons have received the first dose of the vaccine. more..

Marine experts attempt to prevent environmental disaster

Jun 4 (CT) Efforts continue by marine experts, such as the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), to mitigate the ocean and coastal pollution due to the fire and subsequent explosion of the X-Press Pearl cargo ship, which finally sank on Wednesday (3). Initial reports have found no change in pH levels in the ocean and lagoon. more..

AMS: Proper ventilation in buildings as important as washing hands

Jun 4 (Island) Proper ventilation in buildings is as important as washing hands and other COVID-19 prevention measures, Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) President Dr. LakKumar Fernando says. He said: “Virus load plays a part in the transmission of the virus. Thus, the chance of infection is low if there is a way of diluting the virus, killing it or dispersing it,” he said. Even if people gathered in an enclosed space for a longer period of time, wearing masks, they still can get more..

SC to take up Moulavis’ coercion FR

Jun 4 (TM) The fundamental rights (FR) petition against the alleged coercion of two moulavis by the CID to frame detained attorney Hejaaz Hizbullah, will likely be heard before the SC next week as an urgent matter. Attorney-at-Law Erick Balasooriya, who filed the petition, said it has been filed since the two moulavis had informed him on 30 Apr 2021 that officers of the CID were coercing them to say that they had seen Hizbullah meet one of the masterminds of Easter Sunday terror attacks, more..

3,297 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 4 (FT) Daily detections exceeded 3,000 for the second consecutive day with health authorities confirming that 3,297 persons had yesterday tested positive for COVID-19. The patients detected yesterday include 3,264 persons from the New Year cluster, which brought the cumulative patient count of the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters to 189,186. more..

Another SL expat in UAE wins Dh15 million Big Ticket mega jackpot draw

Jun 4 (GN) Sri Lankan expatriate Rasika Jds living in Dubai, won the mega Dh15 million Big Ticket jackpot draw held in Abu Dhabi today. The winner had bought his ticket on May 29. He will be sharing the prize purse with eight others. Rasika works as a civil engineer in Dubai, but lives in Ras Al Khaimah. His winning ticket was picked by last month’s Big Ticket winner Mohamed Mishfak, another Sri Lankan expatriate who had won Dh12 million. Last month, Mohammed Mishfak, 36, more..

Creation of Colombo’s newest landmark Ahasa One to be revealed on TV...

Jun 4 (FT) Making of the Iconic Ahasa One Sky Bridge, a TV documentary film that takes the audience on a behind-the-scenes journey of Colombo’s newest landmark, is set to be aired on Sunday, 6 June at 8:30 p.m. on HiTV. Colombo’s prestigious Galle Face oceanfront has been transformed forever by the construction of the eye-catching Ahasa One Sky Bridge which has been installed c.100 feet in the air and connects the Sapphire Residences with ITC hotel towers. more..

Govt denies wrongdoing over MV X-Press Pearl, plans removal of wreck

Jun 4 (FT) Govt is evaluating options for the removal of the ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl wreck, which has settled on the seabed off the Colombo Harbour, Harbour Master Capt. Nirmal Silva said. Govt has been consulting salvors and the insurers of the container vessel on the options available to remove the wreck, Capt Silva said. The vessel may be re-floated and towed or cut into segments and removed based on more..

Stakeholders call for increase of port capacity in Sri Lanka

Jun 4 (DN) Leading port services industry stakeholders noted that investments into port infrastructure greatly lagged the growth in the demand for port services in SL. They complained about the lack of policy consistency and timely action on developing the port infrastructure. South Asia Gateway Terminals CEO, Romesh David called for the increase of port capacity in Sri Lanka. He said, “We are waiting for capacity to become a crush before adding capacity. more..

Health Ministry says ‘no’ to FSL AGM on 7 June

Jun 4 (CT) Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Football SL’s (FSL) scheduled for 7 June at the Sports Ministry premises has been postponed for the third time, after the Health Ministry refused to grant approval due to the current travel restrictions in the country. FSL had made a request to the Health Ministry in writing seeking permission to conduct the AGM on 7 June, and Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services, has responded as follows: more..

Children could be vaccinated before schools open

Jun 4 (TM) Ministry of Education expects to rollout Covid-19 vaccines for both schoolchildren and teachers before the recommencement of school, and a request has already been sent to the health officials regarding the vaccination of schoolchildren, according to the Ministry. “We have requested the vaccines for both teachers and schoolchildren. This has, however, not been finalised yet. We would appreciate it if the vaccination more..

Is the govt afflicted with Leprosy while the entire country is suffering from Corona?

Jun 4 (CT) It is the general medical opinion that when a person is afflicted with Leprosy, the patient looses most feelings over a large part of the body. It is evident by the decisions and activities made by the present govt that the country is suffering from COVID; the govt itself it is sad to say, is afflicted with Leprosy. This is due to the insensitivity and total gross disregard to the fate of the citizens of the country. This is evidence of the mismanagement of the pandemic on a daily basis by the govt. more..

High Commissioner of Pakistan met with Trade Minister

Jun 4 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak, accompanied by Trade & Investment Attaché, Ms. Asmma Kamal, called on Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Trade, and his team. A very fruitful discussion was held to strategize a way forward in streamlining and enhancing bilateral trade under the Pakistan-SL Free Trade Agreement. Both sides agreed on undertaking all possible measures to resolve impediments in a mutually beneficial more..

Chinese scientists help Sri Lanka cope with marine disasters, climate change

Jun 4 (Xinhua) On June 2, hundreds of security personnel in COVID-19 protective clothing were busy removing tons of chemical pollutants and plastic from a beach in Colombo. About 9.5 nautical miles into the sea, they could see the charred remains of a foreign vessel swaying in the gusty monsoon wind. On May 20, the X Press Pearl container vessel loaded with chemicals exploded and caught fire off Colombo Port. more..

Pandemic helps 48% of Lankan smokers to kick the habit

Jun 4 (Island) Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) ays that 48% of Lankan smokers have kicked the habit due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The centre points out that this is a very good trend and that about 50 percent of the people who have given up smoking will never smoke again. ADIC Human Development Director Sampath de Saram said that smokers were at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and more likely to be seriously affected by the disease. more..

Jaswar aims to restart Sri Lanka football

Jun 4 (ST) Royal College, Colombo is not renowned for producing football stars but Jaswar Umar who took up the whistle while still playing for school and rose to become an int'l Match Commissioner, has come up with a vision to make SL a nation of football in South Asia. An accomplished football administrator pioneering SL’s first ever semi-professional Super League, Jaswar presents himself as someone who comes from a humble background with a capacity to give dynamic leadership more..