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Namal given new state ministerial portfolio

Jun 3 (AD) Minister Namal Rajapaksa has been sworn in as the new State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship Development. This appointment comes in addition to his Cabinet portfolio as the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. Minister Rajapaksa took oath in his new portfolio before Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa today. In a twitter message after being sworn in, the minister said he is honored to have been appointed more..

Australia donates 6,300 kg of PPEs to SL

Jun 3 (DM) The Australian Govt handed over 6,300 kilograms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Sri Lanka today. High Commissioner to SL David Holly and Australian Defence Adviser Captain Ian Cain handed over the equipment to General Shavendra Silva, Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak. At the handover ceremony, HC Holly said “Australia expresses solidarity with SL as we both face the impacts of global COVID-19 crisis together. more..

Lost confidence in Diyawanna 225: Where do we turn to?

Jun 3 (FT) A democracy sans leadership will often see chaos and instability sprout amongst the populace. SL’s political landscape is fast resembling a rudderless ship, aimlessly drifting whichever way the tide flows. Since the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, attempts at guiding the country safely through the medical catastrophe has been meet with delays, inefficiency, and mis-planning. Biggest obstacle to the Govt’s efforts at containing the spread of virus has been itself. more..

පොහොර නැතිවෙද්දි තේ දළු හි‍ඟයි;

PM’s official website hacked

Jun 3 (DM) The official website of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, reported to have been hacked yesterday (June 2), Information Technology Society of Sri Lanka (ITSSL) President Rajiv Yasiru Kuruwitage said. He said the website domain (.lk) was hacked into and redirected to a website called decentralized digital currency Bitcoin (₿). When visiting the Premier's official site, it was directed to content related to Bitcoin and again grant access to another web page. more..

The alternative: What, where, who and why?

Jun 3 (FT) The causing of avoidable social suffering through the Gotabaya Govt’s Five ‘I’s—irrationality, insensitivity, intransigence, incompetence and inefficiency—is the main but not the only reason we need an alternative in S:. The second reason is that the present Govt has hooked up with one of the two sides of the coming global Cold War, which will be played out in the Indo-Pacific including in the Indian Ocean region. The Port City is the first artificial island built and more..

SLMA urges govt. to implement efficient vaccination strategy

Jun 3 (AD) Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), in a letter directed to President Gotabhata Rajapaksa, stressed that Sri Lanka’s vaccination strategy implemented at present is flawed. Calling for a composite review of the inoculation drive, SLMA urged the govt to implement an efficient strategy targeting the high-risk groups to achieve maximum control that would avoid the necessity for repeated lockdowns. more..

Sri Lanka prepares to face oil leak from X Press Pearl

Jun 3 (DM) SL is preparing to face a potential oil leak from the ship, X-Press Pearl, which began to sink earlier today. Navy said that the coast guard together with vessels from India are now on standby to deal with the situation. Navy Spokesman said that as of late this evening one part of the ship was still above the water while the rest had sunk, State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said that the ship was being towed further away from the SL coast when one part of the vessel hit the seabed. more..

FTZ Solidarity demands vaccine priority

Jun 3 (TM) Workers engaged in services within Free Trade Zones (FTZs) should be prioritised in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, while PCR tests should be conducted regularly and urgently in such zones, stated the Free Trade Zone Solidarity yesterday. They also said that hygiene-maintenance methods within factories should be improved, while those identified as infected should be directed to quarantine under factory provisions for getting them back in service immediately after recovery. more..

Ship’s stern hits rock bottom

Jun 3 (TM) Following the suspension of the short-lived towing of the MV X-Press Pearl ship due to its stern touching the ocean bed, the authorities are now preparing to face a potential oil spill, The Morning learnt. SLPA Chairman General (Retd.) Daya Ratnayake said that the towing of the ship, which began early last morning, had since been suspended, as half of the ship had sunk. SL Navy has also noted that the stern of the ship more..

Colombo Port West Container Terminal: Adani gets 51%, Keells 34%, SLPA 15%

Jun 3 (ST) The letter of intent for the West Container Terminal (WCT) of the Colombo Port was signed and accepted along with the initialed Build, Operate and Transfer Agreement on May 3. A consortium company has also been incorporated called West Container Int'l Terminal (Pvt) Ltd. The final shareholding will be 51% for Adani Ports, 34% for John Keells Holdings (JKH) and 15% for Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The parties were given 180 days from May 3, 2021, to fulfill conditions more..

Include South Africa in red list, stagger reopening, don tells govt

Jun 3 (Island) Academic and physician, Professor Arjuna de Silva has urged the govt to include South Africa in the red list of countries used in the airport. Prof. de Silva is the Head of the Dept of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Kelaniya and Chairman of the SL Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA). He said that almost all vaccines were less effective against the South African variant and thus the government must prevent those infected with this particular variant from entering the country. more..

Cannot allow country’s economy to collapse despite current situation: President

Jun 3 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa says governors and district secretaries should personally intervene to maintain essential services and prevent any disruption to the lives of the people. Despite the current situation, the country’s economy could not be allowed to collapse and the contribution of all stakeholders is needed to overcome the challenge and move forward as a country, the Prez stressed. He called on them to extend more..

Over 75,000 persons receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday

Jun 3 (FT) The ongoing COVID-19 immunisation program in SL on Tuesday administered the first dose of the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines to 75,074 persons and the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 1,272 persons. A total of 348,582 persons have received the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the first having been administered to 925,242 persons. The first dose of Sinopharm has been administered to 797,205 persons, while the first Sputnik V dose more..

Recipients of AstraZeneca first jab vulnerable: AMS

Jun 3 (Island) SL should use the limited supply of Sputnik-V vaccine in hotspots and for people who had taken the first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February and March, Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) President Dr. Lakkumar Fernando said. He said that a large number of people who had taken the AstraZeneca vaccine in February needed to be given booster doses. “WHO says that the first jab of AstraZeneca is effective against the first strain of SARS-COV-2 until six months but more..

No foreign languages in foreign-funded projects: Govt

Jun 3 (TM) Funding a construction project in SL does not permit the funding country to use its language in connection with the said project, as the national official languages policy permits only the use of Sinhala and Tamil as the official languages and English as the link language, Govt noted. Ministry of Public Services, PCs, LG Secretary J.J. Rathnasiri, when queried on whether the language of another country could be more..

Herath front-runner to be Bangladesh spin bowling coach

Jun 3 (Island) The BCB are very close to appointing a spin bowling coach while a new batting coach is also expected to be appointed soon, according to cricket operations chairman Akram Khan. The front-runner for the spin bowling coach’s role is Rangana Herath, who is ahead of Saeed Ajmal and Sairaj Bahutule in the running. Jamie Siddons, the former Bangladesh coach, could also make a return as the team’s batting coach. Khan said the board was pressed for time to appoint the coaches more..

Banks anticipate less takeup for new moratoriums

Jun 3 (TM) Leading banks in SL expect less takeup with regard to customers requesting moratoriums under the concessions announced by the Central Bank of SL recently in the wake of the new wave to be significantly less than that of the previous two waves, last year. During a webinar arranged by CT CLSA Securities (Pvt.) Ltd. on the banking sector, CEOs of Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank and Sanasa Development Bank expressed similar views on this topic. more..

Govt failed to ensure ship complied with Internatonal laws: JVP

Jun 3 (CT) Even if the ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl did not reveal the goods it was carrying before reaching Sri Lankan waters, the responsibility still lies with the Govt for failing to ensure that the ship complies with international laws, claimed JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath. He stated the ship has caused significant damage to marine life and caused great distress to fishermen in the island. more..

Dushmantha Chameera rises to career-best spot on ODI bowlers' table

Jun 3 (CI) SL fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has moved up by 27 places to get to a best-ever 33rd spot in the ODI bowlers' rankings after his career-best 5 for 16 in the 3rd ODI against Bangladesh. That capped a fine tour for Chameera, who topped the wicket-takers' list with nine strikes at an average of 11.00, even though SL went down 2-1. New SL ODI captain Kusal Perera, who scored his sixth ODI century in the same match, advanced by 13 spots to 42nd in the batters' list. more..

Listed companies granted more time to submit financial statements

Jun 3 (DM) The capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has granted a one-month extension to listed companies to release financial statements, as requested by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The decision was made with the CSE having shared with the SEC last week the inability of the listed companies to release their annual reports and financial statements, as specified under the listing rules, due to the restrictions imposed islandwide. more..

Govt rolls out fresh vaccine plan as challenges mount

Jun 3 (FT) The Govt yesterday unveiled a fresh yet ambitious COVID vaccine rollout plan for the country amidst mounting challenges on procurement and timely delivery, while also alleging monopolistic behaviour by some nations. State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana yesterday said that two shipments of one million doses each of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive on 6 and 9 June, more..

Niluka latest to qualify for Olympics

Jun 3 (CT) SL’s badminton icon Niluka Karunaratne confirmed that he has qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. This is the 3rd time Niluka has secured a slot in the Olympics. Niluka is the 2nd male badminton player after Niroshan Wijekoon to represent SL at the Olympics. He was captain of the 2012 SL Olympic contingent, and in his very first match he beat the World No.8 player to advance to the prequarter-finals. SL’s No.1 player was once ranked as high as 34th in world rankings more..

Stock market sees end of 5-day winning run

Jun 3 (FT) The Colombo stock market yesterday ended its five-day winning run as both indices turned negative amidst healthy turnover. The All Share Price index dropped by 14 points or 0.19% and the S&PSL20 closed almost flat. Turnover amounted to Rs. 2.1 billion involving 75.6 million shares. First Capital said the bourse reverted to the red zone, failing to sustain the upward streak of five previous sessions. “Index displayed a downward movement over the first 30 minutes of trading and more..

Appointment of former IGP to Office of Missing Persons sparks alarm

Jun 3 (FT) Govt’s decision to appoint a former war-time police chief as a member of the independent Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has drawn sharp criticism from human rights groups and victims. On 20 May, Parliamentary Council recommended former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne to fill a vacancy in the membership of the OMP, a transitional justice mechanism set up to investigate enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka more..

Dialog powers to place knowledge at entrepreneurs’ fingertips

Jun 3 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC has launched, a free, trilingual online knowledge portal. This homegrown website features a comprehensive knowledge base sourced from reputable contributors including the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) and local collaborations with renowned govt and private sector organisations. Powered by SL’s premier connectivity partner, is a one-stop hub for SL entrepreneurs to learn and grow by more..

Navy seizes another stock of Kerala cannabis worth over Rs.30 mil together with a suspect

Jun 3 (SLN) During a special foot patrol conducted in Masankuda beach area, Madagal this morning (2) Navy managed to seize about 101kg and 700g of Kerala cannabis attempted to be smuggled into the island. Further, a suspect involved in this racketeering and a dingy used to transfer the narcotics were also taken into naval custody. Northern Naval command, during a special foot patrol conducted in Masankuda beach area, Madagal seized 2 gunny sacks of Kerala more..

3,306 persons test positive for COVID-19, travel restrictions extended by a week

Jun 3 (FT) Islandwide travel restrictions will be further extended until 14 June, the Govt yesterday announced. Travel restrictions will be lifted at 4 a.m. on 14 June. The restrictions were to be lifted on 7 June. The country’s daily COVID-19 detections have remained above 2,000 since 9 May, with health authorities stating that 3,306 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. This includes 3,306 persons from NewYear cluster more..

Why do we have so much focus on fitness?

Jun 3 (Island) When SL announced Mickey Arthur as their Head Coach, it was just a matter of time that he confronted some players on their fitness. Along the way, he had dropped Dilruwan Perera, Prabath Jayasuriya, Avishka Fernando and Bhankua Rajapaksa. The first to speak against the stiff fitness regime is Rajapaksa and it can be assured that there are many others who are moaning about the 2km run that they are supposed to do in less than 8m30s and the skin fold test. more..

Editorial: A tale of two bashes

Jun 3 (Island) Most Sri Lankans seem to think the quarantine laws have been made to be broken like the pie crust. They use various ruses to travel about and even have shindigs on the sly. Two birthday bashes held in violation of the current health regulations have hit the headlines recently. The police swooped on Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, the other day, while a birthday party was in full swing there, and arrested several persons including an actress and a makeup artiste. more..

At Panadura Covid ward, it was hell on earth, then a miracle happened

Jun 3 (ST) Sometimes, Panadura Base Hospital (PBH) COVID ward got so cramped that doctors couldn’t reach patients at the far end for fear of stepping on someone. There were patients on, under and in-between beds. The first wave had been mild. The hospital wasn’t a designated COVID centre. So the dedicated Bhikshu ward held infected patients pending transfer. During the second wave, medical staff realised they needed more..

Sri Lanka has not one, two viruses: Covid 19 & Corruption

Jun 3 (CT) When the Covid-19 virus attacked the globe, firstly The People’s Republic of China and thereafter indiscriminately all over, those countries whose leaders adopted policies based on science and plain simple logic managed the containment of the virus to an acceptable level that can be called satisfactory. But the counties which have narcissistic leaders at the helm, who thought that they are bigger than the country they lead, chose to play a very self-centered game. more..

Rajapaksa highlights inconsistency of local cricket authorities

Jun 3 (TM) Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the 29-year-old Sri Lanka T20I all-rounder, has criticised Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) authorities for their inconsistent policies. Speaking to journalist Danushka Aravinda, Rajapaksa highlighted several injustices meted out to him by the authorities. He is not amongst the preliminary 28-member Sri Lanka white-ball squad picked for the forthcoming England tour comprising three each of T20Is and ODI, to be held from 23 June to 4 July. more..

Pawithra Wanniarachchi

What else aboard ill-fated Pearl?

Jun 3 (TM) The fire on the MV X-Press Pearl has been extinguished, and the authorities have started probing the incident. However, the adverse results of the incident have just begun, and several challenges lie ahead for SL. Right off the bat, damages caused to marine and coastal environments and the expenses incurred during the process of extinguishing the fire can be named as the immediate impacts on Sri Lanka. However, they entail a bigger challenge, which is obtaining more..

Qadri Ismail: In Memoriam

Jun 3 (GV) Prof. Ismail (Qadri) was one of the earliest champions of Groundviews, and over the years, one of its best critics and contributors. Qadri and I met infrequently, but corresponded over email at a pace determined, often, by socio-political developments in SL coloured by electoral moments, Islamophobia, violence or political turmoil. These were moments when a draft of an article, to Groundviews or some other platform, would be sent, and prior to publication, we exchanged more..