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'Environmental Act to be updated'

Jun 13 (SO) Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said that our environmental laws are outdated but the former Yahapalana Govt had not taken any action to update them. He said that the Govt at the last Cabinet meeting decided to introduce 42 amendments to the National Environmental Act and make it updated to suit present day needs. He said the National Environmental Act of No. 47 of 1980 more..

A commendable step

Jun 13 (SO) People around the country would have heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing the news that the travel restrictions now in effect would probably be not extended from Monday as previously believed, as per Army Commander Shavendra Silva. Some of the travel restrictions are, however, likely to remain for the short term, including the ban on inter-provincial travel. This is to prevent the pandemic from spreading widely in some provinces where it is not widespread at the moment. more..

Cyber-Espionage & Ransomware Wars

Jun 13 (CT) There are two categories of cyber-attacks; attempts by govts and state intelligence agencies to penetrate, disable or gather information from foreign or domestic sources and the second is when organised gangs, or occasionally individuals penetrate computer facilities to collect what may be called a cyber-ransom. The latter is the work of a cyber-mafia. There is not a great deal that can be said about the former since little is reported. Even investigative journalists who penetrate more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

Wildlife Dept inspects traps to protect leopards

Jun 12 (DM) Considering the series of leopard deaths that have taken place in the hill country, the wild life department is conducting inspections to protect the endangered animals, wildlife sources said. They claimed the decision was made in response to the recent death of a leopard at Dickoya Estate. A carcass of a leopard was found in Dickoya in the Hatton area recently. Accordingly, three leopard deaths have been reported in the Hatton area during the past six months. more..

A project kicks off to culture artificial reef in Northern waters

Jun 12 (SLN) Dept of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources with the assistance of Navy today (11) launched a project to culture artificial reef off the Delft Island. Through this project, it is expected to enhance biodiversity in the coastal waters off the islands in Jaffna peninsula. As part of this project, launched by Dept of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, 20 discarded buses are to be submerged off island sector in Jaffna to help create artificial reef conducive to marine environment. more..

Prices charged by delivery services to be regulated

Jun 12 (AD) State Ministry of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection has decided to take measures to regulate the prices charged by certain delivery services at a reasonable level. The state ministry said most consumers have resorted to get their essential items home-delivered during the travel-restricted period, however, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has received complaints more..

SLAF launches Covid vaccination QR code

Jun 12 (TM) On the instructions of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, under the guidance of the Directorate of Information Technology, the No 1 Information Technology Wing at SLAF Base Ratmalana developed a COVID 19 Vaccination Information Tracker QR Code which is intended to be used for all vaccinated personnel of the SLAF, SL Airforce stated yesterday (11). The launching ceremony of the unique QR Code system was held today at Air Force Headquarters more..

‘Support Tamils to check China’s move in SL’

Jun 12 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged PM Narendra Modi to take efforts to conduct a referendum among Tamils living in various parts of the world to establish a sovereign State of Tamil Eelam, which alone could be the political, economical and defence base for India. “If India fails to safeguard Tamil Eelam and recognise its sovereignty, it only means that India is prepared to lose its dominance over the Indian Ocean and pave the way for China’s presence in the region,” more..

SLPP calls energy minister to resign over fuel price hike

Jun 12 (AD) SLPP says that the Minister of Energy must step down from his post over the increase in fuel prices. Issuing a statement the General Secretary of SLPP MP Sagara Kariyawasam says that the subject minister must take complete responsibility for pushing the people into more difficulties with a fuel price hike amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement reads that the government has been put into a difficult more..

Karu thanks countries for intervening to save Sri Lankans from COVID

Jun 12 (FT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman Karu Jayasuriya in a statement extended NMSJ’s gratitude to the Govt and the people of Switzerland for donating humanitarian aid including medical examination materials to Sri Lanka at a time when the country is facing an immense challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement said the Federal Republic of Germany had also released 30 million vaccines to be used by eligible countries, including Sri Lanka, more..

Withdraw increased fuel price without burdening people: JVP

Jun 12 (DM) While urging the govt to withdraw the increased fuel price without burdening the people further who are already hit by the pandemic and loss of income, the JVP today questioned as to why the Fuel Price Stabilisation Fund was not utilised for the benefit of the people. JVP politburo member Sunil Handunnetti told a news conference that the govt established the said fund last year aiming to benefit the people during fuel price hikes in the world market. more..

Sri Lanka estate females suffering violence, child sex abuse: action needed: study

Jun 12 (EN) Around a third of Sri Lanka’s female estate workers have suffered violence and sexual abuse as adults and had also been childhood sex victims with male dominance, close living quarters and isolation from mainstream society contributing, a study said. Though Trade Unions are a powerful institution with strong influence on this community they did little to address sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). more..

Illegal migrants from SL arrested in India

Jun 12 (EE) 38 Sri Lankan have been arrested for illegally staying in Mangaluru, India for over a month. The arrests were made by the City Crime Branch from private lodges and houses based on a tip-off from the Tamil Nadu police and intelligence agencies, the police said. The illegal immigrants were said to have been trafficked into India with the promise of jobs in Canada. As per preliminary investigation, the SL nationals were first brought to Thoothukudi in TN by boat around March 17, more..

Travel restrictions a sham

Jun 12 (CT) It is not wrong to say, after observing the happenings during the past few days that travel restrictions, which are being extended week by week, are a total farce. However much the authorities boast that movement of people is restricted by imposing travel restrictions, to prevent the Covid virus from spreading, when you go onto the roads, it is possible to see traffic congestion and shops open at almost every junction and what is being done here is an act that is being more..

SLMA urges govt. to extend restrictions on movement by two weeks

Jun 12 (AD) Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has urged the government to extend the current travel restrictions for a period of two weeks from the 14th of June. In a letter directed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the SLMA said the number of COVID-19 infections would exponentially start to increase again if the restrictions on movement are lifted at this point of time. “We find that number of new cases, though still high, more..

India's squad to Sri Lanka to quarantine in Mumbai from June 14

Jun 12 (CI) The second-string India squad for the Sri Lanka tour will assemble in Mumbai from June 14 to undergo a two-week quarantine. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the members of the Indian contingent have been asked to take a Covid-19 test before they reach the team hotel in Mumbai, where they will undergo regular testing during the two-week period. Rahul Dravid, who will be the head coach for the tour, will also travel to Mumbai to be part of the quarantine. more..

Gampaha respiratory ward armed with sophisticated HDU

Jun 12 (ST) Remember the mass outpouring of support to the beleaguered men, women and children living along the coastal belt soon after the tsunami struck in December 2004! As the country is battered by a different kind of tsunami – COVID-19 – that fount of generosity came to the fore once again. Here the Sunday Times turns the spotlight on Gampaha which aptly blossomed and bore fruit on the thrice-blessed day of Vesak – Wednesday, May 26. Project to upgrade High Dependency Unit more..

Sri Lanka seeks $53 million in damages over S'pore-registered ship fire

Jun 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka is seeking US$40 million (S$53 million) in damages from the operator of a ship that left massive pollution when it caught fire off the country's west coast, officials said on Saturday. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said an interim claim had been lodged with X-Press Feeders, which controls the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl. The vessel has been submerged in seas off Colombo since June 2 more..

Again and again the hapless fishermen suffer

Jun 12 (ST) From the local fishmonger to the men who go out into the ocean to fill their nets with a catch, the X-Press Pearl ship disaster has placed the already suffering fish industry in a world of hurt. “First the Peliyagoda fish market COVID cluster and now the ship disaster has resulted in people being reluctant to consume fish. The fishing community has been suffering for months. Now we are unable to go fishing. From the millions of rupees that will be obtained from the owners of X-Press Pearl more..

Forex reserves drop to US$4,018mn in May

Jun 12 (EN) SL’s gross official forex reserves dropped US$ 452.6 million in May 2021 to US$ 4,018.1 million, official data showed amid financial account pressure and the use of modern monetary theory. In April 2021 SL’s forex reserves recovered to US$ 4,470 million from a 10 year low of US$ 4,055 million in March 2021 as a US$ 500 million loan was given by China Development Bank. Following the injection new money printing stopped and the CB sold down some of its reserves. more..

Tilvin Silva | JVP press

Renaissance Sri Lanka to help victims of X-Press Pearl disaster

Jun 12 (FT) Renaissance Sri Lanka has come forward to the rescue of more than 4,000 families in the severely affected Sri Lankan fishing communities following burning and sinking of the Xpress Pearl. Renaissance Sri Lanka will distribute kits composed of food and basic necessities to the estimated 4000 fishing community families who are no longer able to fish and are therefore totally deprived of income, and also to all the other families dependent on the fishing industry. more..

Bakery products might increase if wheat flour price goes up: ACBOA

Jun 12 (DM) The prices of bakery products might increase if the govt grants permission to the prime flour importing companies to increase their prices, All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA) President N.K. Jayawardene said. He said that they had also received information about requests to raise the price of wheat flour. "Wheat flour companies have made several requests on several occasions. "It is too early to predict that they would not get that permission," he said. more..

On fake news, popular dissent & opposition silence: In conversation with MP Dr Harini A.

Jun 12 (EN) SL’s ongoing efforts to criminalise fake news or alleged falsehoods on the internet is an attempt by the govt to intimidate the public into self-censorship, NPP MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya said. With the COVID-19 epidemic situation preventing opposition parties and the public from taking to the streets, social media has become a site of protest where people express resistance to an increasingly unpopular govt, more..

STF arrests drug dealer with links to Kanjipani Imran

Jun 12 (AD) The STF has arrested a drug dealer working for a main accomplice of the incarcerated narcotics trafficker and criminal gang member Kanjipani Imran. The 30-year-old who operates under the alias Clement’ was taken into custody during a raid carried out in Kohilawatta, Wellampitiya on Friday. The STF has seized 7g of crystal methamphetamine – commonly known as Ice – in possession of the suspect. He has been handed over to the Wellampitiya Police for further more..

Video: All economic centres open this weekend for wholesale trading

Jun 12 (AD) All dedicated economic centres across the country are operating today and tomorrow amidst current travel restrictions. Thereby, wholesale trading activities have been allowed at dedicated economic centres in Dambulla, Nuwara-Eliya, Narahenpita, Ratmalana, Piliyandala, Thambuttegama, Welisara, Veyangoda, Nawalapitiya, Meegoda and Keppetipola are continuing this weekend. The govt on Friday (11) announced that travel restrictions will be more..

Video: Special gazette issued to regulate stocks of four essential items

Jun 12 (AD) A Gazette Extraordinary has been issued directing individuals who stock corn, sugar, powdered milk and paddy/rice to register themselves with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), in a bid to prevent them from concealing stocks. Accordingly, importers, producers, mill owners, collectors, store owners, distributors or wholesale sellers will not be allowed to keep stocks of aforementioned essential food items more..

Video: Officials directed to look into resuming fishing activities after recent...

Jun 12 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the officials to conduct a proper study to allow the resumption of fishing activities in sea areas stretching from Negombo to Panadura, affected by the fire aboard MV X-Press Pearl. The instructions came during a meeting on maritime calamities held at the Temple Trees on Friday. PM gave further directives to fully assess the damages caused by the cargo ship inferno after taking into account all sectors including environment, fisheries more..

Fuel price hike indicative of govt’s. economic mismanagement: UNP

Jun 12 (TM) In response to the govt’s decision to increase fuel prices from midnight today (11), the UNP stated that this is another indication of the govt’s continued economic mismanagement and short-sighted policies. Party stated that during its tenure, the UNP was able to maintain the cost of living at a constant level during the 2015-2019 period. “This Govt’s refusal to continue the positive measures introduced by the UNP Govt has resulted in a growing financial burden being endured more..

ඥාණසාර හිමි ලක්ෂ 300 V8 අරන් කට වහගත්ත...

Delhi’s choice; Colombo’s highway to Beijing

Jun 12 (FT) Post-war Sri Lanka has turned into a contestable terrain for a new Great Game played chiefly between two regional powers, India and China with their respective allies. Although India’s presumption of control over the Indian Ocean remained uncontested once the former colonial masters started leaving the region one by one, and when Indian historians and political strategists like K.M. Panikkar warned Independent India of economic and security perils of surrendering more..

It just doesn’t work

Jun 12 (FT) Let’s get it out of our system: lockdowns don’t work (we’ll demonstrate why) and early treatment does. And any other approach is voodoo medicine at this stage, because of clearly demonstrated global data and results, not theory. And let me post this on the board again. When was it ever debated in terms of cost-benefit or any other data-based (not mad modelling) basis, that this one source of potential harm, C-19, matters more than starvation, business destruction, more..

Govt increases fuel prices

Jun 12 (NR) The govt has increased domestic fuel prices with effect from midnight. A litre of 92 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 20 to Rs. 157 while a litre of 95 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 23 to Rs. 184. Furthermore, a litre of Diesel has been increased by Rs. 7 to Rs. 111 while a litre of Super Diesel has been increased by Rs. 12 to Rs. 144. A litre of Kerosene oil has also been increased by Rs. 7 to Rs. 77. more..

Another 62 COVID deaths confirmed in SL

Jun 12 (NR) Another 62 COVID-19 related fatalities have been confirmed in the country, raising the death toll in SL to 2,073. 18 individuals succumbed to the virus while at their homes or before being admitted to hospital, while the remaining 44 passed away while receiving treatment in hospital. Seven deaths were reported between the 08th and 31st of May while 55 deaths were reported between the 1st and 10th of June alone. 35 males and 27 females were among those who succumbed to virus. more..

Keheliya confirms order for luxury SUVs for MPs cancelled

Jun 12 (FT) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday confirmed that the Finance Ministry had successfully concluded negotiations in cancelling the previously placed order for luxury SUVs for Members of Parliament. In a tweet clarifying reports over a TV interview of him, Rambukwella said the Finance Ministry had successfully concluded the negotiations regarding the LCs with the bank and the manufacturer, who in turn had agreed to the request made by the Govt (to cancel order). more..