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Cabraal invites global firms to be part of SL’s growth story

Jun 10 (FT) State Minister Nivard Cabraal yesterday urged global companies to be part of Sri Lanka's growth story, assuring mutual benefits to all including the South Asia region. In wrapping up the 3-day virtually-held SL Investment Forum (SLIF), which saw addresses by the Prez and PM among others, State Minister Cabraal made a passionate yet realistic pitch to woo the interest of over 1,000 companies attending the event. more..

Sri Lanka keen on beating England in their own backyard

Jun 10 (DN) Skipper Kusal Janith Perera said that the Sri Lanka Team is confident of providing a good challenge to England during their limited overs series starting on June 23. He made these comments yesterday, shortly before departing to England for a series, which includes three Twenty20Is and the same number of ODIs. “We all know that England are a top ranked team packed with more experienced players and we must never underestimate them. more..

Cabraal says economies not designed for lockdown

Jun 10 (FT) With the likelihood of partial lockdown being extended in tandem with rising COVID-19 cases, State Minister Nivard Cabraal called for a finer balance between meeting health emergencies and economic development. “The clamour for lockdown is very strong but we need to reflect the massive cost it has on the economy. Economies are not designed for lockdown but for continuous progress. It cannot be stopped and restarted, and when that happens there is a massive loss,” more..

Editorial: Prosperity and Splendour

Jun 10 (Island) It is now clear that the govt will import hundreds of luxury vehicles, costing billions of rupees, for the MPs while the country is struggling to procure vaccines, and medical equipment to save lives, and many people are crying out for financial assistance. How the hapless masses feel when their well-fed, contented representatives zip past them in flashy vehicles is anybody’s guess. more..

Irangani through Sumitras eyes

Jun 10 (Island) Irangani Seransinghe’s reputation preceded her. Of course, Sumitra Peries was too young to grasp the true meaning of the word radical, but being a contemporary of Irangani, at university, Sumitra’s brother, who was a radical himself, would rant on and on about those radical Meedeniya sisters. “Irangani and Kamini Meedeniya were legendary even then,” said Sumitra. During their university days, the Meedeniya sisters would go swimming in the S. Thomas’ College, more..

Marine disaster & Corona pandemic: Can China be more magnanimous?

Jun 10 (CT) The X-Press Pearl, the sinking ship after fire near Colombo is the newest alarming signal in the case of SL. There are many more similar events worldwide. Even in Iran on the south of Teheran a warship caught on fire recently creating a similar alarm. Colombo-one undoubtedly is more environmentally hazardous. All these undoubtedly are preventable ones, if high quality standards are maintained and clear guidelines for shipping, cargo material & vessel maintenance are followed. more..

Daya Rathnayake

Currency swap with Bangladesh and critics

Jun 10 (SO) The recent currency swap with Bangladesh has been the subject of so much predictable lampooning and barely concealed scorn in both the traditional and the alternate media in this country. The innuendo has been so pathetic, as to be racist almost. If not racist, at least certainly bordering on revulsion towards one country, which is (quite erroneously) thought to be so inferior to ours. Apart from this attitude being wrong at many levels, the fact is that it’s clearly ignorant. more..

Sri Lanka’s Populist Paradox

Jun 10 (CT) One of the most curious things about this pandemic is how, and how much, it’s impacted the myth of the strongman. I don’t mean to say the virus has deflated the myth; merely that it has reinforced it for its supporters and undermined it for its detractors. Populism is a double-edged sword: it cuts one way and blunts the other. Depending on which side you are, you either champion or demean it. It’s one of the oldest political philosophies out there, antedating capitalism and Marxism more..

X-Press Pearl disaster Will SL authorities sink or swim in compensation claim?

Jun 10 (DM) The fire-stricken container ship X-Press Pearl, which has sunk within the territorial waters of SL, has become a hot topic ever since the disaster took place. Several parties opine that the Sri Lanka Ports authority has purposely allowed the ship to enter Port of Colombo. It is already revealed that the ship had contained 25 tons of toxic substances in 81 containers. Sri Lanka’s port authorities have confirmed that more..

Promoting organic agriculture: Repercussions of the fertiliser ban

Jun 10 (ST) Govt’s decision to ban chemical fertiliser and pesticides immediately to promote a green agriculture in the island has serious repercussions on the economy and livelihoods of people. Govt should consider the economic consequences of banning chemical fertilisers immediately and adopt a phased introduction of organic agriculture on scientific principles. An immediate ban of chemical fertilisers, weedicides and pesticides would have dire economic consequences on more..

Vaccine utilitarianism

Jun 10 (TM) Vaccination is so far the best and immediate solution to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, and it has therefore become the predominant, if not the only, solution many countries rely on. However, in a context where there is a global shortage of vaccines and also manufacturing delays, the strategy employed to administer the vaccine too plays a pivotal role. SL’s vaccination drive has been criticised on many occasions, mainly owing to the lack of organisation, more..

CEB committed to Solar Power

Jun 10 (CT) The CEB is committed to boosting access to renewable energy, clean energy or green energy - whatever term you use to identify eco-friendly power generation; with solar power taking the lead as one of the main contributors. Generation of clean and reliable power in SL with the projected target of as much as possible or a minimum of 70% power by 2030 in accordance to the declared policy of the Govt and gives top priority to finance more..

X-Press Pearl disaster Will SL authorities sink or swim in compensation claim?

Jun 10 (DM) The fire-stricken container ship X-Press Pearl, which has sunk within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, has become a hot topic ever since the disaster took place. Several parties opine that the Sri Lanka Ports authority has purposely allowed the ship to enter Port of Colombo. It is already revealed that the ship had contained 25 tons of toxic substances in 81 containers. Sri Lanka’s port authorities have confirmed that X-Press Pearl had entered ports in Qatar and India. more..

Indian Ocean’s Pearl on an X-Press voyage to desolation

Jun 10 (DM) Last week in our concluding paragraphs, we highlighted the fact that the bottomline in all these large scale calamities is that neither have officials or institutions ever been found responsible or held accountable, whereas more often than not, it is the ordinary people, who end up paying the price. It is common knowledge that no vessel can enter a country’s territorial waters without approval from the mandated institution. Whosoever, out of sheer negligence or for more..

Covid-19 Situation Report

MP Pathirana puts govt. in dock over moves to issue new liquor manufacturing licences

Jun 9 (Island) SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana in Parliament demanded to know the rationale behind the Finance Ministry trying to issue five new liquor manufacturing licences in the months of Vesak and Poson. “This is being done by a Ministry headed by the PM, who is also the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs. Finance Ministry’s excuse is that it wants to increase its revenue. Now there is lobbying to get the signatures of the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance for the approval of more..

Video: Fernandopulle on decision to extend travel restrictions

Jun 9 (AD) The govt will decide whether or not to further maintain island-wide travel restrictions based on COVID-19 data reported until June 14, says State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle. She mentioned this responding to media during a visit to the Gampaha District Hospital today. However, there has been a slight increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and a 28% increase in deaths compared to last week, more..

Health authorities warn of notable spike in dengue cases

Jun 9 (DM) In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in SL, the health authorities warned of a notable spike in dengue cases in the coming weeks due to the flood situation following torrential downpour. National Dengue Control Unit Director Dr. Aruna Jayasekara told the Daily Mirror that the Colombo district was at a higher risk compared to others, as one third of cases are reported from the Colombo District. “In addition, we have identified more..

EDB Chief calls on export-oriented global firms to set up base in Sri Lanka

Jun 9 (FT) Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh de Mel yesterday presented six focused sectors that provide a plethora of opportunities for export-oriented global firms to set up bases in Sri Lanka. “The Govt has put in the right ecosystem to support investments, growth and innovation. We have also taken a number of new initiatives while also fine-tuning existing endeavours to develop and boost exports,” he said on Day 2 of the virtually-held SL Investment Forum. more..

Claim that Sinhala was removed from name board of Indian Consulate in Jaffna refuted

Jun 9 (NIA) A fact check website has refuted the social media allegation that the Indian Consulate General in Jaffna in Tamil-speaking North SL, had removed Sinhala on its name board. The fact check agency also refuted the allegation that the Indian authorities had removed the Sinhala, angry with increasing Chinese influence in South SL and also as a retaliation for the absence of Tamil in name boards in the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City and more..

Video: Japan responds positively to Prez's request for 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca

Jun 9 (DM) Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga has responded positively to a request made by Prez Rajapaksa to supply 600,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccines to SL's Health Ministry, the President's office said today. During discussions held between Prez Rajapaksa and Japanese Ambassador to SL Sugiyama Akira at the Presidential Secretariat, the Ambassador said the Japanese PM had responded positively to more..

Top health officials of Galle District transferred over vaccine controversy

Jun 9 (AD) Regional Director of Health Services and the Regional Epidemiologist of Galle District have been demoted and transferred over the incident of vaccinating many people from Western Province as revealed by Ada Derana Ukussa. This is the result of the preliminary inquiries carried out by the Health Ministry following the exposé by Ada Derana, which the ministry says is being further investigated. Ministry of Health had launched an investigation into the irregularities more..

Pavithra blames spike in cancer and kidney diseases on toxic agricultural inputs

Jun 9 (Island) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament that 239,000 persons were stricken with cancer and kidney diseases every year owing to the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicide in this country. Annually 75,000 new cancer patients and new 164,000 kidney patients were diagnosed. Health Minister said that 6,000 persons died of chronic kidney diseases every year while 54 persons died daily of various cancers caused by chemical substances used as inputs in agriculture. more..

එක පෑන් පාරකින් රටේ අනාගතය විකුණන්න හදනවා

Vaccinating pregnant women against COVID commences

Jun 9 (AD) The administration of the Sinopharm vaccine to pregnant women commenced at the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) office in Piliyandala this morning. China-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine was administered for 35 pregnant women over the age of 35 with various complications. Director-General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena was also present at the occasion. Dr. Gunawardena said that steps will be taken to implement the vaccination program for more..

‘Indian variant already at community transmission level here’

Jun 9 (Island) The community transmission of the Indian variant had begun in Sri Lanka because the current COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne has been traced to a Sri Lankan carrying the variant, Executive Director of the Institute for Health Policy (IHP), Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya said yesterday. The Australian media earlier reported that officials had found a genomic link between a returned traveller who entered the state of Victoria hotel quarantine system on May 8 & West Melbourne cluster. more..

New appointments to Supreme and Appeal courts

Jun 9 (AD) The Parliamentary Council has agreed to appoint President of Court of Appeal Arjuna Obeysekera as a Supreme Court Judge. The Parliamentary council decided to concur with the proposal of Prez Rajapaksa to appoint Arjuna Obeyesekere, President of the Court of Appeal as a Judge of the SC, the post which fell vacant following the retirement of Sisira J de Abrew, Judge of the SC. more..

Former MP Buddhika Kurukularatne passes away

Jun 9 (TM) Former MP for Galle district and former journalist at Lake House Publications Buddhika Kurukularatne has passed away at 77 year of age. He was a lawyer and served from 1989 to 1994 as a MP representing UNP. In 1965 Kurukularatne was served as a grade 1 journalist in editorial staff in Sun (English Daily) and in 1966 editorial staff in The Observer. Then he served from 1966 to 1970 editorial in the staff of Virakesari and Janata (Sinhala Daily). There he was in charge more..

NARA report says fish from area safe to eat

Jun 9 (CT) State Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, said that the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) had informed him that fish harvested from the vicinity of the recent X-Press Pearl disaster is safe for consumption. Various parties say that eating fish harvested from the disaster site may carry health risks since chemical leaked from the burnt vessel had mixed with the sea water. Wijesekara said that such views have been circulating on social media recently. more..

Kali Yugaya, now?

Jun 9 (FT) It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie or a glimpse of the end times. A leaden beach; figures in head-to-toe protective gear shovelling tiny plastic pellets into sacks. A labour of Sisyphus, for as they clean one mound, waves heap more on the shore. Carcasses of fish, sea birds, turtles and dolphins pile up on other shores, the first victims of a cataclysm that could have been prevented but wasn’t. A few miles, and a universe, away, more..

Moratuwa Uni to assess air pollution caused by ill-fated vessel

Jun 9 (CT) Govt has instructed specialists attached to the University of Moratuwa to assess if there has been any air pollution as a result of the fire that broke out in the MV X-Press Pearl Vessel, SLPP MP Dilan Perera said. He added that the assessment of pollution caused by way of the fire will not be limited to the impact on the marine environment but will cover every aspect including possible air pollution. Perera further added that there has not been an oil leak reported from the vessel thus far more..

UNP member questioned by CID over remarks on X Press Pearl

Jun 9 (DM) UNP member, Prof Chandima Wijegunawardana who was questioned by the CID today allegedly over her recent remarks on the X-Press Pearl disaster said the only thing she had stressed was for a probe by INTERPOL on the X-Press Pearl fire. Prof Wijegunawardana said that she had only urged the govt to seek the assistance of INTERPOL for a probe. “I explained to them that the objective of my recent press conference was to urge the govt to seek INTERPOL assistance more..

PM instructs to obtain services of retired nurses on contract basis

Jun 9 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to obtain the services of retired nurses on contract basis as required. The instructions came during a meeting held at the Temple Trees today, PM’s Office said. The meeting was called upon the request of Head of Public Services United Nurses’ Union Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda to discuss the long-term and short-term solutions for the issues more..

SLAF to get three overhauled Antonov-32 aircraft from Ukraine

Jun 9 (DM) Three Ukrainian-built Antonov-32 transport aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) which were sent to Ukraine for overhaul purposes, will be brought back to the country on Friday. SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe said the three AN-32B aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force were sent to Ukraine in August last year to undergo repairs and a life extension. He said a SLAF team had also left for Ukraine to assist and supervise the process. more..

Foreign Minister thanks Russian counterpart for Covid-19 support

Jun 9 (MFA) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov on Monday 07 June 2021 expressed his deep appreciation for the support extended by Russia towards Sri Lanka in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, Foreign Minister Gunawardena welcomed Russia’s assistance in accessing the Sputnik V vaccine to support SL’s nationwide more..