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COVID-19: Total case count passes 1,500 mark

May 28 (AD) The total number of COVID-19 infections reported in the country has surpassed the 1,500th mark. This is with 17 persons who had been undergoing quarantine at the Giragama quarantine facility upon return from Dubai testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. A total of 34 cases have been reported in the country within the day so far. Fifteen of them had arrived from Kuwait and been undergoing quarantine at the Trino more..

Coronavirus recoveries in SL climb to 745

May 28 (NR) Another 13 persons who contracted the coronavirus have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals. The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said the number of COVID-19 recoveries in the country has increased to 745. Seven of them were discharged from the Navy Hospital, four from the Homagama Base Hospital, and one each from the IDH and the Colombo East Base Hospital. The number of coronavirus cases in the country currently stands at 1,469. more..

Lankans in Kuwait helpless, says workers’ association

May 28 (Island) A large number of Sri Lankans, who are working in Kuwait, illegally, had contracted COVID-19, SL Immigrant Workers Rights organizations said. The SL-Kuwait Unity organization said that a number of Sri Lankans, in the cities of Farwaniya, Ahmadi, Hawalli, Jahra, in Kuwait, had contracted the virus and four had died. The organisation said that among legal immigrants, taxi drivers were the most affected. The Kuwait govt provided no assistance to foreign workers more..

Gafoor building Navy contingent quarantined after Sailor tests positive for COVID 19

May 28 (EN) COVID 19 Task Force has placed the Navy garrison stationed in the Gaffoor Building in the heart of Colombo Fort under quarantine after a sailor stationed there was found to be infected with the virus. Military Spokesman said that the sailor had tested positive and further PCR tests are being done on the other personnel in the Gafoor building. Army and STF teams are continuing to carry out random temperature checks on more..

Minister Thondaman met Indian HC hours before his demise

May 28 (Island) The late Arumugan Thondaman, 56, Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development, received the new Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, several hours before his sudden demise, on Tuesday (26). The CWC leader was among the few ministers Baglay met on his first full working day at office, according to the Indian HC. Indian envoy Baglay called on Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Skills Development, more..

Black leopard still recovering

May 28 (DM) he black leopard that was rescued while trapped in a snare was being treated at the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe and recovering from wounds, an official of the Wildlife Department said. He said the animal would be released to the Sri Pada forest reserve, its natural habitat after it fully recovers. “A GPS tracker will also be affixed to the leopard before being released,” he said. The black leopard was trapped in a snare at Walamale in Laxapana Estate, Nallathanniya more..

'Govt has not surrendered to big rice millers'

May 28 (EN) The govt is dismissing allegations that it has given in to the so-called Rice Mafia by increasing the controlled price of rice from Rs 90 per kilo to 98. Minister Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today May 28, that the higher price was fixed because “there were problems in practically applying it (the lower fixed price) in the market.” He made this statement to a question raised about the increase in rice prices more..

SC to hear petitions challenging election date again tomorrow

May 28 (AD) The Supreme Court has postponed further consideration of the fundamental rights petitions filed challenging the election date, until 10 a.m. on Friday (29). Further consideration of the FR petitions filed challenging the date set by the Elections Commission to hold the General Election 2020, was resumed for the eighth day this morning (28). The petitions were taken up before a five-member judge bench of the Supreme Court consisting of CJ Jayantha Jayasuriya, more..

New Maximum Retail Prices of rice gazetted

May 28 (AD) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has published the Extraordinary Gazette notification pertaining to the revision of Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) of rice. The Gazette notification states that the revised prices will come into effect from today (28). The new Maximum Retail Prices for below-mentioned varieties of rice are as follows: Keeri Samba – Rs. 120.00 per kilogram; White/Red Samba (Steamed/Boiled – excluding Suduru Samba) – Rs. 98.00 per kilogram more..

UNP to suspend over 80 members

May 28 (CT) The UNP yesterday (27), decided to suspend the Party membership of over 80 members for handing over nominations to contest the General Election from another party. This includes former Deputy Leader of UNP, Sajith Premadasa, Vice Chairman Ranjith Maddumabandara, Lakshman Kiriella, Mangala Samaraweera,Thalatha Atukorale, Mujibar Rahuman, Ajith P. Perera & Nalin Bandara. more..

2,500 milch cows to be imported from Australia

May 28 (DM) The govt plans to import 2,500 milch cows from Australia in a bid to make Sri Lanka self sufficient from milk by 2025 and also restrict importing of milk powder that costs the government Rs. 50 billion annually, Minister Ramesh Pathirana said today. He told the weekly cabinet news briefing that the Sri Lanka’s daily production capacity of milk was 1.2 million liters and with the import of 2,500 milch cows from Australia, the capacity would increase by 100,000 liters per day. more..

Thousands of farmers dependent on Iranamadu tank face ruin by decision to...

May 28 (Island) Thousands of farmers dependent on the waters of Iranamadu tank in Kilinochchi for irrigation are perturbed by an official decision to stop release of water from there after June 15. Chairmen of the Farmers’ Organisations have written on May 26 to the Kilinochchi Irrigation engineers that at least half of 14,000 acres of paddy cultivation would be face destruction if water is stopped. Farmers cultivated thousands of acres of paddy in the hope that there would be rains. more..

Sri Lanka facing biggest forex crisis in history triggering import controls: Minister

May 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s has slapped import controls multiple ways to face the biggest forex crisis in history, Information Minister Bandula Gunewardene said as the central bank tens of billions of rupees in March and April driving excess rupees to the highest level since its creation. “We are facing the worst foreign exchange crisis in history,” Minister said. “This is the reason the Cabinet approved the import restrictions.” more..

President pays last respects to late Minister Thondaman

May 28 (AD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa today paid his last respects to the Leader of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) and Minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development, the late Arumugam Thondaman. The remains of late Minister Thondaman were brought to the Parliamentary complex this morning from his residence in Battaramulla. Prez who arrived at the Parliamentary complex paid his last respects to the remains of late Minister Thondaman. more..

'Rs 5,000 distribution in estate sector: Certain politicians demand sexual bribes'

May 28 (CT) It has been reported that certain people involved in politics had demanded sexual bribes from women when the distribution of the Rs 5,000 allowance was made to those living in estate areas, former SJB MP, Aravind Kumar alleged. Speaking to the Media about various malpractices that had taken place during the distribution of the Rs 5,000 allowance, he made this statement. He added, "Govt, with the assistance of foreign countries, has taken steps to distribute this allowance islandwide. more..

Island-wide curfew on May 31, June 4 & 5 to prevent gatherings

May 28 (AD) President’s Media Division announced that island-wide curfew will be imposed on May 31 as well as on June 4 and June 5. Issuing an updated notice on the curfew, the PMD that the curfew will be effective in the island till Saturday, June 6th and afterwards as follows: Curfew will be in force island-wide throughout the day on Sunday, (May 31). Curfew will be effective in all the districts from Monday, (June 1) more..

UNICEF helps Sri Lankan children with no access to online learning

May 28 (CG) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported the Ministry of Education and National Institute of Education (NIE) to develop and distribute learning material for grade 1 and 2 students, impacted by the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The print-based material, currently being dispatched to the Provincial Departments of Education for distribution, will help ensure the provision of home-based learning for all 665,000 lower primary students across SL. more..

18-hour water cut for parts of Colombo on May 30

May 28 (AD) An 18-hour water cut will be imposed for several areas in Colombo on Saturday (30), says the NWSDB. The water supply for Colombo 02, 03, 07, 08, 09 and 10 areas will accordingly be suspended from 9.00 am on Saturday (30) to 3.00 am on Sunday (31). The NWSDB added that Colombo 01 will experience a low-pressure water supply during this period. The water cut is being imposed due to essential repairs of the main transmission pipe from the Ambatale water more..

JR and Gota: A tale of two Executive Presidents: Part I

May 28 (FT) Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was sworn in as Executive Prez on 18 Nov 2019 has been in office for six months now. He has been compelled to cope – and continues to cope – with several challenges during his brief but eventful tenure. However, it is not my intention to evaluate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidential performance in this article. Instead I would like to focus on how the nature of more..

351 navy men recovered from Covid-19 so far

May 28 (AD) Seven more SL Navy personnel who had contracted the novel coronavirus have completely recovered from the illness. Accordingly, a total of 351 coronavirus-positive navy men returned to health so far. These naval personnel who were identified positive to coronavirus, had been admitted to hospitals for treatment. However, since they were negative to COVID-19 on the reports of random PCR tests done under treatment, they were discharged, the Navy said. more..

FR challenging the cremation gazette notification fixed for support

May 28 (DN) A Fundamental Rights Petition filed by leader of ACMC Rishad Bathiudeen and several others including three former MPs seeking an order staying the operation of gazette notification issued to cremate the corpses of Muslim persons who had died of COVID-19 was today fixed for support by Supreme Court. Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justice Murdu Fernando, Justice S. Thurairaja and Justice Yasantha Kodagoda fixed the petition to be taken up for support on July 22. more..

About the Blood Bank

Is it the end of Tamil political history?

May 28 (FT) The political prospects of the Tamil people, or if you prefer, the Tamil ethnonational community or Tamil minority are at the dimmest, lowest and most challenging that I can remember, and my memory goes back to 1972, the hoisting of black flags (occasioning a sensitive Daily News editorial by my father) and the boyhood of Tamil militancy. The problem the Tamils face today goes beyond the historic folly of Tamil nationalism not settling for a stalemate with structural reform more..

Living past lockdown

May 28 (FT) As the world opens back up, with mass economic fatalities, one might be intrigued to ask if lockdown is a normal tool in the medical arsenal. And if so, why was it not deployed en masse when the Spanish Flu afflicted one third of the world’s population and killed 50 million people? Or the 1968-9 Hong Kong Flu which led to mass death well in excess of COVID-19 to date, or when Swine Flu global fatalities swelled to 575,000 in 2009-2010? And without it, by the way, despite pandemics, more..

Arjuna Mahendran changes name to Arjan Alexander

May 28 (CT) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who is a prime suspect in the infamous CB Bonds scam, has changed his name to Arjan Alexander, the INTERPOL has informed its office located at the CID. The INTERPOL has also informed its office in Sri Lanka to change Mahendran's name in the Red Notice issued by the INTERPOL for his arrest, to Arjan Alexander, the name that Mahendran is currently using. more..

97 overseas returnees among 150 coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday

May 28 (AD) SL has witnessed the highest daily surge of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday (27), with a record total of 150 fresh cases. 97 of these cases were detected among the overseas returnees who are at quarantine facilities – 92 from Kuwait, 5 from Chennai. Rest of the 53 infections were navy personnel under quarantine. Accordingly, a total of 385 persons who returned from overseas have tested positive for the virus so far and the infections reported from Navy thereby escalated to 691. more..

NHS UK enjoys a cup of Ceylon Tea while working round the clock

May 28 (MFA) As a gesture of goodwill to support and appreciate the contribution being made by the National Health Service (NHS) UK which isat the frontline savinglives during the Covid-19 pandemic, a donation of Ceylon tea and disposable gloves to the staff of the NHS UK was made by Sri Lanka to coincide with the International Tea Day. The Sri Lanka Tea Board and six leading tea producers in Sri Lanka, namely, Vintage Teas Ceylon, English Tea Shop, Tea Trends Export, Dilmah Tea, more..

COVID 19 cases now 1,469 as May 27 breaks records with 150 patients detected

May 28 (EN) The total number of patients detected yesterday, has risen to 150 bringing the number in Sri Lanka since the outbreak to 1469. Yesterday the govt designated two recently built hospitals as treatment centres for COVID 19 patients as the numbers with the disease rocketed up. This is the highest number detected in a day since the outbreak more than double that of the previous high. more..

66,519 arrested, 18,733 vehicles seized over curfew violations

May 28 (AD) A total of 178 individuals have been arrested for violating curfew orders during the 6 hour period ending at 4.00 am today (28). Meanwhile, 38 vehicles were also taken into custody during this period. The Police said 66,519 persons have been placed under arrest for violating the curfew since March 20 and 18,733 vehicles have been seized. In addition, 21,787 cases pertaining to curfew violations have been filed so far with 8,671 penalties imposed for them. more..

Ex-HC Judge Pilapitiya's appearance in Nugegoda MC blocked

May 28 (CT) The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing Former High Court Judge, Gihan Pilapitiya from having to appear before the Nugegoda Magistrate's Court on 28 June. The Court of Appeal issued this order considering the Writ application filed by Pilapitiya requesting for the suspension of the case filed against him at the Magistrate's Court on charges of conspiring with Former MP Ranjan Ramanayake in producing false statements. more..

PCoI on Easter Sunday '19 carnage: Intel had info on Dehiwala suicide bomber

May 28 (CT) When the PCoI investigating the 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday bombings, sat yesterday, it was revealed that prior to the incident, Intelligence officers had uncovered certain information about the suicide bomber, Abdul Latif Jameel Mohamed, who blew himself up at the Tropical Inn lodge in Dehiwala. This was revealed by the Operations Manager of a private security firm, Hajji Marikkar Mohamed Amir, who testified more..

Sajith meets Kuwaiti Ambassador on Sri Lankan migrant workers

May 28 (FT) Former Opposition Leader and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday met with the Ambassador of Kuwait Khalaf M. M. Bu Dhhair to discuss the plight of SL migrant workers in the country. Premadasa had drawn the Ambassador’s attention to the safety and security of a large number of SL workers who are in Kuwait at present. Most of the migrant workers are presently unemployed due to COVID-19 outbreak & in a vulnerable state with little to no resources & access to services. more..

Prabhakaran’s chief bodyguard’s weapons found

May 28 (Island) Security forces have found three T-56 assault rifles, one T-81 weapon, eight magazines, and 80 rounds of ammunition, belonging to an LTTEer, believed to be the chief bodyguard of its leader V. Prabhakaran. The recovery was made in the general area of Muhamalai, on Tuesday. The recovery was made following information received by security authorities. Kilinochchi based sources said that the chief bodyguard, identified as Thavipu, had been killed during Vanni offensive. more..

Covid-19: PM Modi says India stands ready to extend support to Sri Lanka

May 28 (HT) Days after Colombo sought a $1.1 billion currency swap facility from New Delhi to boost foreign currency reserves amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian PM Narendra Modi told his SL counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa that India “stands ready to extend all possible support”. President Rajapaksa sought the currency swap facility, in addition to $400 million the country has sought from India under SAARC framework, more..

CWC wants Thonda's son to run for polls

May 28 (CT) The political Bureau of the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) has unanimously decided to name Jeevan Thondaman (26), son of the Late CWC Leader, Arumugam Thondaman, to contest the General Election in his father's place. A group of representatives led by Deputy Leader of the CWC, Senthil Thondaman met PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and requested him to grant nominations to Jeevan to contest the General Election from the Nuwara Eliya District to fill the position left vacant by more..

My lawyers will communicate with Iraj: Harin

May 28 (DM) While claiming that he is yet to receive any Letter of Demand (LoD) from musician Iraj Weeraratne, former UNP Minister Harin Fernando yesterday said he has asked his lawyers to handle the matter. “According to law a LOD has to be served on the person to whom it is sent. I am yet to receive any LOD from Iraj Weeraratne. But social media has already carried it. That shows the intention of those behind this episode who are focused on damaging my reputation,” more..

 England in Sri Lanka