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'I did not appoint an Acting President or Defence Minister'

Oct 16 (CT) Former Prez Sirisena admitted, before the PCoI said that he did not appoint anyone to act as the Prez or Minister of Defence on many occasions when he went abroad. He further said, at present, the technology is at an advanced level, and that it is therefore, possible to provide advice from anywhere. He also said the former State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, was appointed as the Acting Minister of Defence more..

Video: Minuwangoda Covid-19 cluster expands with 49 fresh cases

Oct 16 (AD) Minuwangoda Covid-19 cluster has confirmed 49 more positive cases this evening. Thirty-five of them have been identified as apparel factory workers and contacts who are in quarantine centers. The remaining 14 are contacts of Covid-19 positive patients from the cluster. Sri Lanka registered 110 novel coronavirus infections so far within the day. Thereby, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has soared to 1,899. more..

Jaffna Uni alleged acts of ragging and sexual molestation

Oct 16 (CT) Committee tasked with probing the alleged acts of ragging and sexual molestation of first year students of the Jaffna University by its undergraduates has recommended that four fourth year students of the University who had allegedly committed the sordid acts to be imposed with a one-year ban. The Committee has also recommended that the University premises should be considered as out of bounds to the students who have been found guilty of the offence. more..

Bathiudeen learnt of his imminent arrest on radio: CID

Oct 16 (CT) The CID has uncovered during investigations that when former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had heard the news that he would soon be arrested, on his vehicle radio, he had abandoned the vehicle on the Puttalam-Chilaw Main Road and fled. He had arrived in Colombo from Puttalam with an escort vehicle on 13 October. He had been listening to a private radio channel on the vehicle radio while travelling, CID said. more..

Two dead after elevator collapses in Kandy

Oct 16 (AD) Two persons were killed after a temporary elevator collapsed at a clothing store located on Dharmashoka Mawatha, Kandy. Two masons who were carrying out repairs at the said building had died in the incident. The elevator had reportedly collapsed while they were carrying out repairs. The deceased have been identified as Gurugedara Aravinda (54), a resident of Kandy, and Upali Jayaratne (57), a resident of Katugasthota. Kandy Police is conducting investigations. more..

Recoveries from Covid-19 reach 3,385

Oct 16 (AD) Five more patients who were under treatment for the Covid-19 were discharged today as they have made complete recoveries, the Ministry of Health said. According to the Epidemiology Unit’s situation report, 2 patients from Homagama Base Hospital and 01 each from the IDH, Welikanda Base Hospital and Hambantota District General Hospital had returned to health. The new development has brought the total number of Covid-19 recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,385. more..

Writ petition seeks better care for Covid 19 infected persons and close contacts

Oct 16 (EN) A group of public-spirited citizens have filed a Writ Petition before the Court of Appeal seeking better protection for the people who are either infected with Covid 19 or deemed at risk and therefore being quarantined. The petition filed this week by Attorney Randima Tennekoon said that there have been many instances where the authorities have not protected the people who are either being isolated or more..

UNP says Covid-19 suspect TV journalist came to their press conference

Oct 16 (EN) The UNP said a state television journalist who has been tested for Coronavirus and attended the cabinet news briefing had also come to their press conference. The state information office asked journalists who had attended briefing to stay at home until they are contacted by health authorities, in case the test turns out to be positive. The UNP called for an inquiry to find how state TV sent a journalist who was PCR tested to work. However it is not clear whether more..

Makandure Madush transferred to CCD custody

Oct 16 (AD) Notorious underworld figure and drug kingpin Makandure Madush, who is under the custody of the CID, has been transferred to the custody of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). He has reportedly been transferred to CCD custody for further investigations into the cases against him. Madush was previously under the custody of the Dubai authorities after being arrested at a drug-fuelled party thrown by him in a Dubai hotel, back in Oct 2018. Along with him, 31 Sri Lankans more..

'IP Nishantha’s probes backed by LTTE sympathisers'

Oct 16 (CT) Most of the investigations conducted by Inspector of Police (IP) Nishantha Silva of the CID, who fled the country last year, were influenced and supported by certain NGOs affiliated with the LTTE, former Prez Maithripala Sirisena said testifying before the PCoI. An Additional Solicitor General (ASG) questioned the witness as to whether he had instructed the former IGP Pujith Jayasundara at a NSC meeting, more..

US Secretary of State Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka amid rising anti-China provocations

Oct 16 (wsws) SL’s secretary to the ministry of foreign affairs Admiral Jayanath Colambage announced last weekend that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit SL during his scheduled trip to India at the end of this month. Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper are visiting New Delhi for the 2+2 meeting—the highest-level consultation with their Indian counterparts—to discuss foreign policy, defence and strategic issues. Pompeo was previously scheduled to come more..

S. Korea donates 4000 re-usable fabric masks to SL Army

Oct 16 (Island) On Oct 14 Woonjin Jeong, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka met with Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff at the army headquarters. The ambassador donated a consignment of 4000 re-usable fabric masks for distribution among army personnel engaged in controlling COVID-19 especially in the area of Gampaha. Appreciating the great relationship shared between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea over time, more..

Yoshitha new Chief of Staff to PM

Oct 16 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. The PM’s Office said Yoshitha assumed duties in the new post yesterday. Meanwhile, Chargé d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy, Hu Wei, congratulated Yoshitha for assuming office as new Chief of Staff to PM. “Bilateral friendship and follow-ups of recent high-level visit were discussed,” the Embassy said in a tweet. more..

Podi Lassie granted bail

Oct 16 (AD) Notorious underworld figure Janith Madushanka, operating under the alias Podi Lassie, who was arrested and remanded for threatening the VIPs, has been granted bail. However, he will continue to be held by the CID on detention orders. The Galle Magistrate delivered the order when the suspect was produced before court today. During the proceeding, it was revealed in open court that Podi Lassie had used cosmetic products which weighed up to 5kg in total, while in remand custody more..

It’s time Sri Lanka adopted a clear Indo-Pacific policy

Oct 16 (NIA) Sri Lanka found itself in the middle of an open Sino-US confrontation last week, when US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz expressed concern over the current status of Sino-SL relations. The Chinese took no time, nor minced words in responding to Ambassador Teplitz’s comments, which was described as a despicable attempt to manipulate diplomatic relations between two nations. This exchange is only a premonition of an unwarranted battle that SL would find itself in the midst of, more..

Video: SL-India discuss possible areas of cooperation including water, sanitization

Oct 16 (DM) High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay called on PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday at the Temple Trees and discussed several ongoing projects as well as possible cooperation in new sectors. The primary purpose of the High Commissioner’s visit was to follow up on the virtual summit that was held between PM Rajapaksa and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi last month. more..

Castigation of GR’s foreign policy

Oct 16 (FT) A renowned writer and a foreign policy analyst, Dayan Jayatilleka in a recent media article titled Prez GR’s Foreign Policy deviation, has referred to the current foreign policy of Sri Lanka in a highly critical sense. As the subject matter is of utmost importance to all of us, certain observations made by him need to be reviewed and pondered over. Hence the following concerns, along with more information relevant to the issue both in the international scenario as well as our own. more..

Podi Lassie granted bail

Oct 16 (AD) Notorious underworld figure Janith Madushanka, operating under the alias Podi Lassie, who was arrested and remanded for threatening the VIPs, has been granted bail. However, he will continue to be held by the CID on detention orders. The Galle Magistrate delivered the order when the suspect was produced before court today. During the proceeding, it was revealed in open court that Podi Lassie had used cosmetic products which weighed up to 5kg in total, while in remand custody at more..

Dr. Palitha Kohona

Air-bubble health arrangements in view of Pompeo’s visit

Oct 16 (DM) The application of strict COVID-19 health restrictions under the air- bubble concept will be in force when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo undertakes his visit of SL later this month, a top govt source said. The same was applied during bilateral negotiations between the top-level Chinese delegation and the SL leaders – Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa last week. The delegates wore K 95 face masks, maintained social distancing and occupied a restricted area of their hotel more..

True status of the Judiciary

Oct 16 (FT) The people are the real owners of sovereignty both in terms of the classical liberal opinion and the domestic and international law. In other words, State power lies with society and the rulers elected by the people are subject to the will and the control of the people. In this context, the 20th Amendment can be considered a constitutional adjustment that undermines and lets down the sovereignty of the people. Most of the things that the Prez intends removing from the Constitution more..

COVID-19 regulations toughened

Oct 16 (CT) Minister of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, Pavithra Wanniarachchi yesterday signed the Special Gazette, which would allow the relevant authorities to take legal action against those who violate regulations on health safety measures for COVID-19 prevention. Media Spokesman of the Ministry, Viraj Abeysinghe said, accordingly, the public would have to adhere to maintaining the one-metre social distance more..

Clubgoers fined Rs 1,500 each

Oct 16 (CT) Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage ordered a fine of Rs 1,500 each to be paid by four women and three men who were produced in Court, on the allegation that they engaged in a malicious activity which could result in the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by being in a club without wearing face masks. Colpetty Police produced this group in Court. The group pleaded guilty and the Fort Magistrate imposed fines on them. Colpetty Police informed the Court that this group more..

Universities join in to conduct PCR tests

Oct 16 (DN) The UGC has decided to assist health officials to conduct the (Polymerase Chain Reaction) PCR tests at the request of the Health Ministry. Chairman of UGC, Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunga said, PCR testing at Galle, Colombo, Jaffna, and Peradeniya Medical Faculties will commence soon, while the Sri Jayawardhanapura University began the process yesterday. “All the universities have agreed to carry out the tests and facilities to help health officials”. more..

'Govt should prepare for debt re-profiling'

Oct 16 (FT) To avoid the worst case scenario of a sovereign default next year SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva called on the Govt to boost investor confidence by earnestly working on an agreement with the IMF and prepare for debt re-profiling. De Silva made these statements when he raised alarm regarding concerns expressed by int'l investment bank Morgan Stanley on the options open to SL Govt if it is unable to meet local/foreign debt more..

IP Nishantha Silva worked to please organisations affiliated to LTTE: Sirisena

Oct 16 (Island) Former CID Inspector Nishantha Silva, who fled the country after Gotabaya Rajapaksa became President, had conducted most of his investigations to please certain NGOs that were affiliated to the LTTE, former Prez Maithripala Sirisena said, testifying before the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. Silva has obtained political asylum in Switzerland, former Prez said. Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who led evidence, asked Sirisena if he had instructed more..

Colombo identified as high-risk area for COVID: GMOA

Oct 16 (FT) Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) said the Colombo district has been identified as a high-risk area for coronavirus in addition to the Gampaha District. GMOA Secretary Dr Shenal Fernando said that the capacity of PCR tests should be increased to 10,000 a day. Dr Fernando said the 6,000 PCR tests that are being conducted daily was not sufficient. "To do that, the Coronavirus testing policies should be updated and correct testing policies should be announced. more..

Major expectations drop for manufacturing & services sectors on COVID-19 worries: PMI

Oct 16 (FT) Both manufacturing and services sectors expanded in September, the latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) issued by the CB showed yesterday, but overall expectations for the fourth quarter declined significantly due to COVID-19 emergence concerns. Manufacturing activities expanded at a higher rate in Sept 2020, compared to Aug 2020, the report said. This expansion in manufacturing PMI was mainly more..

Committee to look at setting up small claims court, amending civil procedure pre-trial...

Oct 16 (FT) Justice Minister Ali Sabry has appointed a special committee comprising judges and lawyers to look into the setting up of a small claims court and amending the Civil Procedure Code Amendment which brought in ‘pre-trial’ steps in 2017. The committee will comprise Justice Dr. Ruwan Fernando – Judge of the Court of Appeal (Chairman), Nishan Premathiratne – Attorney-at-Law (Convenor), a District Court Judge, nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, more..

Functions continuing ignoring health guidelines

Oct 16 (DM) Despite painstaking efforts by the health and security sectors to control the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Health Ministry said there are people who still act in an irresponsible manner by holding public gatherings like weddings and functions, ignoring health guidelines. While claiming that public cooperation in this regard was disappointing, Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara said such events are being held in a subtle manner, despite the authorities more..

74 new cases identified; 71 linked to Divulapitiya cluster

Oct 16 (FT) Seventy-one persons linked to the Divulapitiya cluster yesterday tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total cluster count to 1,792. The new cases include 22 Minuwangoda garment manufacturing facility employees and their associates who were being monitored at quarantine centres and 49 other employees. Additionally, three returnees from the UAE tested positive for COVID-19. With this, the total number of confirmed more..

SriLankan Catering launches frozen foods

Oct 16 (DN) Cuisine Gastronome – a global brand of premium meals by SriLankan Catering, is set to be launched both here and abroad, catering to Sri Lankans in the country and overseas. Initially, a mix of both SL and Int'l meals will be launched in SL and following this, the brand will be taken overseas to countries with heavy SL diaspora, satisfying cravings for a taste of home. SriLankan Catering’s Cuisine Gastronome is set to be the ultimate solution to the rising demand for good quality, more..

Mixed bag for tea exports in September

Oct 16 (FT) Tea industry has witnessed a mixed performance in September with exports up value wise but volume basis recording lower performance compared to a year earlier. Tea exports in September totalled 24.1 million kilos lower by 1.5 million kilos from a year earlier. Total revenue, however, of Rs. 21.09 billion is higher by Rs. 0.9 billion from Sept 2019. Volume wise too in the first nine months, exports were down by 22.8 million kilos to 198.2 million kilos. more..

Parliament’s failure to address crucial issue exposed

Oct 16 (Island) Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday (15) said that there was no deadline for a political party to fill its National List slots. Deshapriya said that nothing could be done even if a particular political party refrained from filling its NL slots. Deshapriya said so when The Island inquired about two NL slots that remained vacant over two months after the last general election held on Aug 5. more..

New govt circular cements support for local firms in construction industry

Oct 16 (FT) Asia Securities has said that the Govt’s new circular on procurement as exclusively published by Daily FT yesterday will extend strong protection for local firms, encourage capacity expansions and entry of new players. Ministry of Finance recently issued a circular amending the procurement guidelines to further support local industries. Asia said the guidelines in the circular were in favour of local construction and construction-related-material manufacturers. more..

Failure to identify virus-spread zones could lead to complete lockdown: GMOA

Oct 16 (DM) If the zonal lockdown procedure is not implemented accurately, it would be impossible to identify the virus spread zones which could eventually lead to an immediate lockdown of the whole country, GMOA said. GMOA Secretary Dr. Shenal Fernando said that there is no need of any countrywide lockdown at present and it would depend on the decisions taken at present. "We should identify the areas where COVID-19 patients and their close contacts are reported from. more..