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Sri Lankans permitted to enter country without prior approval

Apr 6 (TM) Sri Lankans, dual citizens who travel on SL passports, spouses and unmarried children of Sri Lankans who are foreigners and SL seafarers arriving by air will be permitted to enter the country without prior approval from the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority, the Foreign Ministry said today. Under the directive of Prez Rajapaksa, the Foreign Ministry reviewed the entry procedure today, more..

Video: Police to launch special operation to arrest drunk drivers

Apr 6 (AD) A special police operation will be launched this month to arrest the motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Accordingly, this police operation is expected to come into effect from the 10th of April. Sufficient numbers of breathalyzers have already been provided to all police stations and snap roadblocks will be set up to apprehend the drunk drivers. Meanwhile, territorial officers in charge of police stations have been given relevant directives more..

Digital store to be added to Sri Lanka’s National Archives Dept

Apr 6 (EN) Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to establish a digital store to conserve the digital content archived at the Department of National Archives, the cabinet office said. The proposal, made by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, seeks to establish a storage facility for digital content “adhering to int'l standards on digital conservation to ensure accountability and authenticity of those digital documents”. more..

‘Port City Commission will impact sovereignty’

Apr 6 (NR) SJB MP Kabir Hashim says the draft bill issued by the govt on the 24th of March regarding the appointment of a Colombo Port City Commission will have a serious impact on the sovereignty of the country. He said the Commission has the power to create a competitive institution with Parliament through this Act. MP Hashim accused the govt of harming Sri Lanka’s economic future through the clauses in the draft bill. more..

200,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V jab to arrive in Sri Lanka mid-April: SPC

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka will receive 200,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine most likely at the end of the upcoming Sinhala & Tamil New Year holidays, an official said. State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake said that the consignment will contain the first and second doses for 100,000 Sri Lankans. Notably, and unlike other COVID-19 vaccines such as the Indian Covishield or the Chinese Sinopharm, 2nd dose of Sputnik V is slightly different to more..

Sri Lanka to merge tourism promotion agencies under new law

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka will bring a new Tourism Act to merge three agencies and repeal the existing law to be able to improve co-ordination and better manage resources, Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. SL Tourism Development Authority, SL Tourism Promotion Bureau, SL Convention Bureau and the SL Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management came operated as state agencies. New law would merge SL Tourism Development Authority, SL Tourism Promotion Bureau, SL Convention Bureau. more..

SL shuts out Sinopharm despite Chinese gift

Apr 6 (EN) SL has effectively shut the door for the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab despite Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy of making a bigger donation of doses compared to regional rival India. The cabinet of ministers announced Tuesday that the govt decided to buy an additional six million doses of the Russian-made Suptnik V vaccine on top of 13.5 million doses of the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccines already on order. more..

Super food products exported to Jordan

Apr 6 (TM) As part of the Economic Diplomacy initiatives of the Embassy of SL in Jordan, new Super Food products from SL such as Avocado Powder and Pumpkin Flour for keto products which had not entered the Jordanian market from SL have been introduced by the TeaTalk company through a Jordanian Importer sourced by the Embassy, the govt said. TeaTalk company which has diversified from mainly exporting Ceylon tea is now producing innovative value added SL products more..

Video: Estate workers will be paid Rs.1,000 from April onward – Minister

Apr 6 (AD) Minister of Plantations, Ramesh Pathirana stated in Parliament that the govt will give Rs. 1,000 salary to all estate workers from April. He stated this while delivering a verbal response to a question put forward by MP Waruna Liyanage in parliament this morning. Thereby, Minister Pathirana said that all plantation companies are legally obliged to pay this Rs. 1,000 daily wage to the estate workers. He said that for the first time in history, Prez Rajapaksa has allocated Rs. 1.5 billion more..

Sinharaja reservoir project: UNP writes to UN Secy Gen

Apr 6 (EN) The UNP has requested UN Secretary General António Guterres to ensure that Sri Lanka does not go ahead with a controversial proposal to construct two reservoirs inside the Sinharaja rainforest reserve. Writing to Guterres yesterday, UNP deputy leader Ruwan Wijewardena said: “Plans are afoot to build two reservoirs within the Sinharaja rainforest area, which is a protected area under both the local laws and the int'l obligations. more..

Video: Western Province tuition classes to resume from April 12

Apr 6 (AD) It has been decided to allow private tuition classes in the Western Province to recommence academic activities from April 12. . On Jan 21, the Director-General of Health Services has issued the relevant health guidelines for the commencement of tuition classes. Accordingly, tuition classes can be reopened two weeks after the schools are opened, the Minister said. Further, the number of students in a class should be limited to a maximum of 100 at a time. more..

No delivery of parcels from tomorrow: Station Masters’ Union

Apr 6 (DM) Due to the lack of junior employee at railways stations, the Station Masters have decided to refrain from delivering parcels from tomorrow onwards, the Sri Lanka Railway Station Masters' Union (SLSMU) said. SLSMU Chief Secretary Kasun Chamara Jayasekera said the authorities had failed to provide solutions for the dearth of Junior employees. The union claimed that employees had been assigned duties continuously, violating international rules and regulations. more..

Suspect janitor had transferred smuggled gold on six previous occasions

Apr 6 (DM) The janitor attached to the BIA, who was nabbed with the largest heist of gold in history amounting to Rs. 220 million by the Customs, had reportedly carried smuggled gold out of the airport on six previous occasions. Preliminary investigations conducted by the officials of the Customs had unearthed that the suspect janitor had been used by a third party within the country to receive the gold smuggled into the country more..

Video: Indian national dies while under remand custody in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (AD) An Indian national arrested over a case of Buddha statue vandalism has reportedly died while under remand custody. The suspect had died after being admitted to the Wariyapola Hospital last night due to difficulty in breathing, according to Prisons Commissioner Chandana Ekanayake. Indian national in question had been arrested on March 19 for vandalizing several Buddha statues in Kuliyapitiya. After being produced before the court he had been placed under remand custody more..

AG orders arrest of three cops over Army Suranga’s murder

Apr 6 (AD) The Attorney General has directed the CID to arrest IP Lasantha Ratnayake, SI Nishantha Silva and PC Premakumara for conspiracy and murder over the killing of notorious underworld gang leader Army Suranga. AG’s coordinating officer Senior State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated that Attorney General Dappula de Livera today provided instructions and directives to the Director of the CID with regard to the killing of the individual known as Army Suranga. more..

Gotabaya regime comes under multiple pressures

Apr 6 (DE) The Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency, which is in its second year, is facing multiple problems, domestic and external, economic as well as political. Divisions have arisen in the ruling SLPP and also with alliance partners. There is difficulty in kick-starting the economy derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to flaws in the decision making and implementing apparatuses. The external debt repayment issue is looming more..

SLSI commends Hemas Hospitals as first hospital in SL to obtain COVID-19 Safety...

Apr 6 (FT) The National Standards Authority, SL Standards Institute (SLSI) commends leading private healthcare provider Hemas Hospitals, as the first hospital in the country to obtain the COVID-19 Safety Certification. The SLSI established the Certification Scheme to ensure that an organisation and its stakeholders, through its activities, products, and services, are safeguarded from the risks of COVID-19. It is awarded after fulfilling a comprehensive set of requirements under more..

Video: Mrs. World Inc to take action regarding Caroline Jurie’s conduct

Apr 6 (AD) Reigning Mrs. World from SL, Caroline Jurie had been summoned to the Cinnamon Garden Police this morning to record a statement regarding the controversy at the Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 pageant. Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 National Pageant held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on April 04 came to a chaotic conclusion as the contestant initially crowned as Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 was de-crowned by the reigning Mrs. World claiming that the winning contestant was not eligible to hold the title. more..

World body says contestants participating in int’l pageant must be married

Apr 6 (DM) Following the brawl which erupted at the Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant in Colombo on Sunday night where the winner, Pushpika De Silva, was uncrowned by reigning Mrs World Caroline Jurie over allegations that she was a divorcee, the Mrs. World Organization yesterday responded saying delegates sent by Mrs. Sri Lanka-world to compete in the international pageant must be married. more..

Palm oil import ban would lead to close all bakeries: Assn.

Apr 6 (DM) All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA) said the immediate decision taken by the President to ban the importation of palm oil from yesterday, will lead to the permanent closure of the bakery industry. ACBOA President N.K. Jayawardene said that the immediate decision had a sudden impact on the bakery industry. "Almost all bakery products need four main ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs and margarine. Palm oil is used to make margarine and now we unable to more..

Israel, Sri Lanka to operate direct flights

Apr 6 (DM) Israel and SL are expected to commence direct flights between the two countries soon, Minister Prasanna Ranathunga said. It is expected that between 2000 and 5000 Israeli tourists would visit SL during May-Sept. travel season once the direct flights operations have begun by the two nations, he said. With the reopening of the country to invite tourists after the Covid pandemic, talks have begun between the embassies and the Tourism Ministry on the resumption of more..

SLSI DG under government radar

Apr 6 (EN) An investigation has been launched over a controversial statement attributed to Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) Director General Dr Siddhika Senaratne on food items that allegedly contain aflatoxins, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. The minister said the govt does not approve Senaratne’s remark that exposing local businesses whose products are found to contain the toxin could lead to their collapse. more..

It’s public health, stupid!

Apr 6 (Island) Director General (DG) of SL Standards Institute (SLSI), Dr. Siddika Senaratne, is being raked over the coals for saying that the toxic coconut oil racket should not have been made public, and refusing to name the contaminated food items in the market lest the companies concerned should be hurt. She has said these businesses might even collapse if named. Should the public be kept in the dark about the contaminated food they consume so that the interests of more..

LG bodies have major role to play: Namal

Apr 6 (DN) Local Govt (LG) bodies bear a huge responsibility in fulfilling the peoples’ expectations, said Minister Namal Rajapaksa. He also added that the citizens have high expectations regarding the Local Govt bodies and they are duty bound to fulfil the aspirations of the people. Minister Rajapaksa was speaking at a meeting of the Anuradhapura District Local Govt Representatives held on March 30 to inquire into development projects taking place at village level. more..

Video: Ringleaders behind Easter attacks identified: Sarath Weerasekara

Apr 6 (AD) Naufer Mawlawi, who is currently in remand custody, has been identified as the ringleader of Easter Sunday terror attacks, says Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara. The minister’s remarks came during a special media briefing held this evening. Naufer Mawlawi is allegedly the theoretician of the now-banned organization National Thowheed Jamaath. According to Minister Weerasekara, more..

SL Embassy in Oman repatriates another group of 248 migrant workers

Apr 6 (MFA) SL Embassy in Oman in collaboration with the President Secretariat and the Foreign Ministry of SL, made special arrangements for the repatriation of 248 stranded SL migrant workers from Muscat to Colombo by Sri Lankan Airlines on 01 April. This includes around 45 stranded SL migrant workers who had overstayed in the Sultanate of Oman after the expiry of their visas. Others included SL migrant workers who lost their jobs, sheltered at Embassy Safe House, released from prisons more..

Perceptions of China’s Belt & Road Initiative and investments in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (FT) The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is considered China’s most ambitious plan in the modem era. It’s known as the cornerstone foreign policy of the Communist Party of China headed by the current General Secretary and President of China, Xi Jinping. The first public announcement was made by President Xi in Sept 2013 in his official visit to Kazakhstan and he raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. more..

පොල්තෙල් නැව පන්න ගත්ත මෙහෙයුම

Is SL’s debt problem a dramatised story?

Apr 6 (FT) SL faces mounting foreign loan commitments exceeding $ 6 billion a year, absorbing 50% of export earnings. It also implies that almost the entire annual inflow of worker remittances has to be dedicated to foreign debt settlements. Following the downgrade of the country’s sovereign debt ratings on several occasions, access to foreign capital markets has been severely constrained. Hence, the Govt has now turned to bilateral swap agreements to overcome the immediate more..

The Faucian Bargain

Apr 6 (FT) Many countries unfortunately handed the decision-making mantle to so-called public health experts re COVID management even though we were setting out on uncharted waters, extrapolating from untested models, going back on decades of public health wisdom, an experiment now demonstrably absurd. The UK still suffers from that, here in Lanka, our leaders have fortunately stopped deputizing well intentioned public health professionals as if they were the Oracle more..

Pageant organizers expect Mrs World Org. to take stern action against Caroline Jurie

Apr 6 (DM) The organizers of Mrs Sri Lanka pageant yesterday said they expected the Mrs World Organization to take stern action against reigning Mrs World Caroline Jurie for her behaviour at the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant held on Sunday evening where she forcefully stripped the crown off the winner, claiming the winner was a divorcee. Mrs Sri Lanka for Mrs. World pageant national director Chandimal Jayasinghe said more..

GMOA complains to Police against SLSI Head

Apr 6 (CT) The GMOA has lodged a complaint with the Police against Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) Director General, Dr. Siddhika Senaratne in response to a recent statement she made claiming that not only coconut oil, but many other food items in the local market contained harmful chemicals. GMOA Assistant Secretary, Dr. Samantha Ananda said it could be seen in Senaratne’s claims that the SLSI has neglected its original purpose of protecting consumers. more..

159 more test positive for COVID-19

Apr 6 (FT) A total of 159 COVID-19 patients were detected in the island yesterday as the country’s total COVID-19 patient count rose to 93,595. Among those who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday were 120 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and 17 persons linked to the Prisons cluster. The Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons triple cluster has increased to 88,684 patients. In addition to the triple cluster, 2,760 SL returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and their contacts, more..

'Removal of CJ Peiris unconstitutional'

Apr 6 (Island) Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the process of removing Mohan Peiris from the post of Chief Justice in 2015 was illegal. He said that he would take appropriate action after consulting PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on the unconstitutional removal of Chief Justice Peiris on Jan 28, 2015. Minister Sabry said that a Chief Justice could be removed only after obtaining the majority support of Parliament. more..

De-crowned winner to sue Jurie, organisers

Apr 6 (CT) The Mrs Sri Lanka 2021 turned into a major fiasco when the crown was ripped off from the winner, Pushpika de Silva, by the reigning Mrs World Caroline Jurie, on 4 April, at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, amidst a vast gathering. The de-crowned beauty said that she would take legal action against the organisers for humiliating her citing the unnecessary embarrassment caused. After many rounds on the catwalk by the beauty contestants, Pushpika, contestant number 20, more..

GL moots laws to regulate int'l schools

Apr 6 (TM) Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris said in Parliament yesterday that he is ready to introduce new laws to regulate international schools, bringing them under the purview of the Ministry of Education. Responding to a question raised by the SJB MP Sujith Perera regarding issues faced by parents of international school students, the Minister said that the Ministry currently has no legal powers to regulate international schools, as they do not fall under the Ministry’s purview. more..