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කොවිඩ් අස්සෙ සෙලෙන්දිව කොල්ලය!

Cyber security misunderstandings in the boardroom

Jun 9 (FT) Cyber security is a fast-changing and highly-technical area so directors must rely on their IT teams for clarity. However, the more boards and risk committees I speak to the more I realise that directors and IT security teams are not even reading from the same book, let alone being on the same page. Ironically, unlike most issues, both sides of the table agree that cyber security is important. This begs the question, why are successful cyber-attacks continuing? The simple answer is more..

Ministry to take legal action against LP Gas cylinder changes: Minister

Jun 9 (DN) The Trade Ministry will bear the responsibility of taking legal measures against any discrepancies in the regular 18 Litre gas cylinders issued to the market recently, Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said. “If any public or private entity has violated the Act on consumer affairs, I will take the responsibility of taking legal action against such an entity,” Dr. Gunawardena noted. MP Kabir Hashim who said that the SJB is to seek legal action against the said matter. more..

Looters as Rulers: Covid time bonanza: Luxury SUVs for MPs coming, after all!

Jun 9 (Island) In spite of the Finance Ministry decision to withdraw an earlier Cabinet paper for the import of 399 vehicles at a cost of Rs 3.7 bn, the cash-strapped govt was not in a position to unilaterally cancel what Minister Keheliya Rambukwella called a tripartite transaction. He admitted that as Letters of Credit had been opened through a State Banks the cancellation would be an issue that couldn’t be addressed unilaterally. more..

Sri Lanka confirms 54 new COVID deaths; highest toll in a single day

Jun 9 (AD) Sri Lanka on Tuesday registered 54 more victims of COVID-19, marking the highest number of deaths recorded in a single day. The latest fatalities have moved the country’s death toll to 1,843. T15 of the victims had succumbed to the virus infection between the period of May 10 – May 31. The rest of them have died between June 2 – June 7. The deceased were identified as residents of Katana, Uduwela, Mawanella, Aranayake, Maligawatta, Eravur 02, Kadawatha, more..

National Environmental Act to be amended

Jun 9 (CT) Cabinet approval has been granted to revamp the National Environmental Act with 42 amendments. Among the proposed 42 amendments is a mechanism to impose a fee from factories based on the level of contamination in the wastewater they discharge. Speaking at the weekly Cabinet Media briefing yesterday, minister Udaya Gammanpila said the factory owners will then be financially motivated to discharge more cleansed wastewater into the environment. more..

2,682 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 9 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections rose to 210,661 with health authorities confirming that 2,682 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 2,637 persons from the New Year cluster and the cumulative patient count of the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters has risen to 203,901. This includes the 108,977 patients from the New Year cluster, more..

Switzerland sends Rs. 800 m worth aid to Sri Lanka to combat COVID

Jun 9 (FT) Switzerland said it expresses solidarity with Sri Lanka in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and yesterday delivered over half a million antigen tests, 50 ventilators, 150 oxygen concentrators as well as other medical examination materials worth of Rs. 800 million. The Swiss aid is intended to benefit the population throughout the country, while witnessing the concrete sign of friendship and longer term collaboration between the two countries. more..

NPP calls for criminal investigation into deletion of e-mails

Jun 9 (DM) Charging that the govt had failed to reveal the local shipping agent of the X-press Pearl vessel, National Peoples’ Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath yesterday called for an investigation into the deletion of e-mails by the Sri Lankan agent of the shipping Company, that are vital to the investigations. MP Herath told Parliament that it was a criminal offence to withhold information pertaining to the disaster caused by the distressed vessel to the environment and the fishing community. more..

No decision to lift travel restriction and impose strict islandwide curfew: Army Chief

Jun 9 (DM) While denying social media reports that plans were afoot to lift the ongoing travel restriction and impose a strict islandwide curfew, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that the govt had not taken any such decision. He said that no such discussion had taken place at the COVID task force meeting nor was such a request made by the authorities. He said at the moment there was no need to make such decision more..

United States Airlifts Emergency Supplies to Help Sri Lanka Combat Covid-19 Surge

Jun 9 (USE) The United States continues to stand with the people of SL in the battle against the COVID-19 surge. Today, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Martin Kelly and Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. S.H. Munasinghe commemorated the donation of critically needed emergency supplies, including pulse oximeters, protective goggles, examination gloves, and KN95 masks – all of it donated by American people at the request of govt of SL. Donation arrived at BIA on Saturday. more..

SJB MP questions Govt’s priorities amid pandemic

Jun 9 (CT) Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Buddhika Pathirana yesterday alleged in Parliament that the Govt is planning to issue liquor production licences while neglecting priorities such as implementing a proper vaccination drive. Speaking in Parliament, Pathirana said, “State Minister of Finance recently said that permission will be given for supermarkets to sell liquor to generate income. But we spend millions on treatments for those who fall ill due to liquor and tobacco. more..

Kiriella alleges India withheld vaccines from Sri Lanka to spite govt

Jun 9 (Island) SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that the excuse given by the govt for its failure to get vaccines from India was a lie. Kiriella said that the govt ministers’ excuse for failing to get vaccines from India was that there had been a fire in the vaccine manufacturing factory on Jan 21. “That is not true. After Jan 21, India supplied 7,575,000 vaccine doses to seven other countries. It showed that the reason was that more..

4 national schools for Hambantota district

Jun 9 (Island) The Education Ministry has decided to develop four schools in Angunakolapelessa and Weeraketiya as National Schools under the programme to establish 1,000 such schools. Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said a meeting of the District Development Committee had been held at the Hambantota District Secretariat recently and was attended by Minister Chamal Rajapaksa as well as officials of the Education Ministry and more..

More wet weather

Jun 9 (Island) Showers or thundershowers will occur at a few places in the Western, Uva, Eastern and the Northern provinces today. Fairly heavy falls of about 75 mm can be expected at some places in the Sabaragamuwa province and in Galle, Matara, Nuwara-Eliya and Kandy districts. Wind speed can increase up to (30-40) kmph at times in Western slope of the Central hills, Northern, North-central and North-western provinces and in Hambantota and Trincomalee districts. more..

‘2nd dose can be given even 6 months later’

Jun 9 (TM) The Health Ministry yesterday stated that the gap between the first and second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield Covid-19 vaccine could be as long as six months, as the second dose needs to be given only when the immunity development achieved by the first dose wanes. “The scientific basis for the vaccines is that the immunity development achieved by the first dose goes down after some time. more..

BCCI in talks with SLC to host T20 WC 2021

Jun 9 (CT) SL has emerged as the dark horse to host the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to be hosted by India. Given the situation around COVID-19 in India, there have been talks between BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in relation to hosting the T20 World Cup 2021. BCCI officials have been in talks with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as well. “See, there is no denying the fact that BCCI and ECB officials have been having discussions on taking the showpiece event to more..

No priority vaccination yet for tourism frontline staff

Jun 9 (FT) The tourism industry is still awaiting priority vaccination for its frontline personnel numbering over 17,000 despite requests made to the relevant authorities. Sri Lanka Tourism said yesterday keeping the health and wellbeing of industry stakeholders as its foremost priority, it had once again requested that a vaccination program be organised for tourism industry frontline personnel. “Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga has approved this request from SL Tourism, more..

PM tells the world to pick Sri Lanka as investment destination of choice

Jun 9 (FT) Promising lucrative prospects, PM Rajapaksa invited global companies to select SL as their investment destination of choice as the Govt stepped up efforts to boost its int'l profile. “Our Govt has already started to put a number of measures in place that would make SL an attractive country for investors from all around the world. These measures are aimed at ensuring that both local and foreign investors will be more..

LPL season-2 to commence on 30 July: SLC

Jun 9 (TM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed that it will conduct the second edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) from 30 July as was announced earlier. Here is the full statement of SLC on the start of the annual franchise league: SLC wishes to reiterate that the 2nd edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held during July and Aug 2021, as earlier announced. Accordingly, the tournament will be held from 30th July to 22nd Aug 2021. The inaugural edition of the LPL, more..

Ranindu draws, GM is too strong for Susal

Jun 9 (Island) Bangladesh Grand Master, Ziaur Rahman(2434) beat Sri Lanka FIDE Master Susal de Silva of Nalanda College comfortably to remain in the lead with 6 ½ points after seven games. He was in the sole lead followed by grandmaster Enamul Hussain(2402) is also from Bangladesh. SL National Chess Champion Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College fought hard in his game playing black against Bangladesh FIDE Master Islam Aminul(2182) but ended in a draw taking him more..

විසඳුම ‍මොකක්ද? Anura Disanayake

Sri Lanka is the place to be, Tourism Chief tells global forum

Jun 9 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando yesterday made a compelling case for the country’s growth decade, inviting global investors to explore investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, which she said is the place to be for travellers post-COVID. “There are many opportunities in the tourism industry to be explored by potential investors,” she said, speaking on Day 2 of the virtually held Sri Lanka Investment Forum. Noting that tourism is considered an export industry, more..

Praveen Jayawickrama shortlisted for ICC Award

Jun 9 (DN) The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday announced the nominees for May’s ICC Player of the Month Awards to recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket. In the month of May, Hasan Ali of Pakistan played two Tests against Zimbabwe where he took a total of 14 wickets. From Sri Lanka’s camp, debutant Praveen Jayawickrama played one Test against Bangladesh, where he took a total of 11 wickets at 16.11. more..

Jayawickrama, Lakshan, Asalanka, Jayaratne in SL white-ball squad for England tour

Jun 9 (CI) Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, and allrounders Dhananjaya Lakshan, Charith Asalanka, and Ishan Jayaratne are the surprise entrants to SL men's 24-member squad for the limited-overs tour of England. Although SL have again insisted on picking young players, omitting Angelo Mathews, they have recalled Nuwan Pradeep to beef up the seam-bowling stocks. Batter Avishka Fernando, who missed last 2 tours more..

Editorial: What’s up Ranil’s sleeve?

Jun 9 (Island) Glorious uncertainties are not confined to cricket alone; nothing is so certain as the unexpected in politics as well. Whoever would have thought that the mighty Rajapaksa govt would collapse, in 2015, like a house of cards? Likewise, not many expected the Rajapaksas to make a comeback so soon, following such a disastrous defeat, much less recapture power after five years. Similarly, it was widely thought that the UNP’s ignominious defeat in 2020 would spell more..

Sri Lanka face South Korea in battle for pride

Jun 9 (CT) Appearing for one last time in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Sri Lanka will be playing solely for pride, and will look to sign off with a respectable result against higher-ranked South Korea in a do-or-die World Cup qualifying round match at Goyang Stadium, South Korea on Wednesday. The Islanders will step on to the field with their morale high when they take on Son Heung-min’s side, after positive signs emerged in Saturday’s clash against Lebanon. A first half strike from Waseem Razeek gave more..

Pilot govt-backed organic fertiliser production venture in Rajarata

Jun 9 (FT) Govt has decided to implement a State-funded pilot project to produce organic fertiliser in the North Central Province, the success of which will see a rollout in the entirety of Rajarata. A proposal to this effect by was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers this week. Minister Ramesh Pathirana said the initiative was a follow up to the Govt decision championed by Prez Rajapaksa to promote the use of organic material by more..

The power of goodwill gestures apply locally & internationally

Jun 9 (CT) The US govt has decided to include Sri Lanka as one of the countries to which it will donate the excess stock of Covid vaccines it has purchased. The US announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June and the plan for the first 25 million doses which will include 7 million to specified Asian countries, including SL. This is a welcome action that will have a tangible impact on the lives of millions of people in the beneficiary countries. more..

Conspiracy behind burning Pearl, For a few dollars more?

Jun 9 (DM) Arousing nostalgic memories of For a Few Dollars More, the mid 1960s film craze born with the screening of blockbuster Dollar series’ second film [the Italian trilogy of Clint Eastwood fame], ‘Daily Mirror had whined and whimpered that the entire operation including inviting the Singapore-registered ship MV X-Press Pearl to Colombo Harbour and the attempt to douse the fire was done merely to obtain a few dollars as compensation. It may sound silly or even ridiculous more..

Keheliya Rambukwella

Must 3rd class journalists die?

Jun 9 (TM) Respect is a two-way process. Those who give it are most likely to get it, and those who receive it usually tend to give it. However, in most cases, people think of respect as something that needs to be demanded, or in some cases, something that needs to be forcibly obtained, and they are signs of a decadent society. However, what determines whether a person is respectable, or the degree or the extent of respect that a person deserves, are subjective matters, and more..

Unmasking this govt’s meritocracy myth

Jun 9 (TM) A myriad of experts have been making themselves heard, voicing their opinions on the X-Press Pearl disaster and its aftermath. The state spokespersons have looked rather sheepish and on the back foot, against this barrage of criticism from the vociferous critics of state policy regarding the fire on the vessel and its aftermath. On Covid, there are experts of all stripes, taking apart govt policy from all angles. Obviously, all of these opinionated people cannot be correct at the same time. more..

Criminalising expression and the messy realities of public discourse

Jun 9 (TM) When it comes to the direction of a country, the media has a certain unmatchable role and power in determining that direction. The media can create, debunk, or shape what the people think, and the basic ethics pertaining to the use of media dictate that the media uses that role and power to do what is right. However, who determines what that right use of media is has always been a question that keeps popping more..

The toxic ship: What price for environmental devastation?

Jun 9 (GV) “There will be huge amounts of compensation for the damage caused by the X-Press Pearl vessel in the Sri Lankan waters, this is indeed essential to Sri Lanka during this economic crisis.” This is a politician’s perception of the vessel-source pollution caused by the X-Press Pearl that caught fire and sank off in the SL waters. Not only the politicians but the majority of the public is also unaware of how the compensation for catastrophic vessel-source pollution works. more..

X-Press Pearl disaster: An oceanographic perspective

Jun 9 (GV) The container ship, X-Press Pearl, was registered in Singapore and operated by one of the largest feeder ship operators in the world, X-Press Feeders. X-Press Feeders operates a route that includes Port Klang (Malaysia) via Singapore and Jebel Ali (UAE) to Hamad Port (Qatar), with the return journey to Malaysia via Hazira (India) and Colombo (SL). The ship was commissioned in February 2021 and was 186 m in length. The ship departed the port of Hazira (India) on more..