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PHIs lament non-banning of Avurudu festivities

Apr 6 (TM) Health authorities should have banned the conduct of outdoor Sinhala and Tamil New Year Avurudu festival games and events where large numbers of individuals would gather, according to the Public Health Inspectors (PHI). PHIs’ Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) Secretary M. Balasooriya said that the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health for the upcoming festive season are not practical at all. more..

United States funds mobile app for Sri Lankan legal professionals

Apr 6 (USE) With support from the United States, the Colombo Law Society (CLS) recently launched a mobile application that provides members with access to online legal resources and court calendars. With court calendars and law reports at their fingertips, lawyers will be able to better serve the public. The mobile application was funded by USAID and is first of its kind for SL professional legal associations. Thanks to the app, busy lawyers who are CLS members will be able to access more..

Sri Lanka should take a lesson from the United States: Sajith Premadasa

Apr 6 (DM) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said today Sri Lanka should take a leaf from the book of the US in the conduct of investigations into the serial bombings on Easter Sunday in 2019. "The report of the Commission which probed the 9 -11 attacks in the US enabled the govt there to apprehend Osama Bin Laden who masterminded the terror strike. Commission was able to trace that Bin Laden planned the 9/11 attacks for years. SL also should follow similar tactics to determine more..

India assures supplies of AstraZeneca vaccine to SL contrary to media reports

Apr 6 (Island) India has assured that export of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines would continue, contrary to media reports. The Indian High Commission in Colombo said that the spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry set the record straight. The following is the text of a statement issued by the IHC, Colombo: “I would like to draw your attention to the response given by the Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs more..

Opportunity for backbenchers to ask two questions each during adjournment time

Apr 6 (Island) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced that the Committee on Parliamentary Business had decided to allow the backbenchers to ask questions related to a matter of urgent public importance, during the adjournment time, the Communication Department of the Parliament said in a communique. Accordingly, on the dates allotted for motions at the adjournment time, 20 minutes out of the allotted one hour have been set aside for the hearing of 2 questions at adjournment time. more..

SLFP and SLNSS to form joint trade union bureau

Apr 6 (FT) Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (SLNSS) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint trade union bureau. A number of SLNSS members met with SLFP seniors to sign the MoU. According to Jayasekara, the SLNSS had decided to act as an independent body in 2018. However, following a series of discussions, SLNSS & SLFP had decided to agree on several key issues; sign an MoU. more..

Deployment of Sinopharm vaccine begins

Apr 6 (FT) Chinese nationals residing in Sri Lanka were the first to receive the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in the country yesterday, with 3,500 Port City Colombo workers to be vaccinated by tomorrow. In addition to this, 400 Chinese workers in the Central Province and Kurunegala, Matale and Kegalle Districts received the Sinopharm vaccine in Kadugannawa. “Vaccination of Chinese workers is taking in more..

Five COVID-19 deaths bring fatalities to 586

Apr 6 (FT) The country’s COVID-19 death toll yesterday rose to 586, with health authorities confirming five COVID-19 deaths that occurred on Sunday and Monday. An 80-year-old individual from Battaramulla tested positive for COVID-19 while receiving treatment at the Moratuwa Base Hospital and was transferred to the Colombo East Base Hospital. The individual died yesterday of trauma of blood poisoning and pneumonia due to a bacterial infection, COVID-19 & acute kidney damage. more..

SDB to raise more capital with issue of 88 m shares via Secondary Public Offering

Apr 6 (FT) SANASA Development Bank (SDB) has announced a fresh capital raising via a Secondary Public Offering (SPO) of 88 million shares. The new move follows the first phase of its capital raising exercise in FY2020 via a Rs. 1.5 billion Rights Issue in Nov 2020. SDB said its Board of Directors at its meeting yesterday resolved to raise further capital through issuance of 88 million new ordinary voting shares via a SPO. The SPO under consideration constitutes of an invitation to the public by more..

Interdiction of 4 cops: CI asks why Police Legal Division won’t represent them

Apr 6 (Island) Chief Inspector Linton de Silva questioned the rationale in law enforcement officers interdicted over unsubstantiated accusations being deprived of assistance through the Police Legal Division. The veteran investigator said that he was struggling to meet legal costs after he was interdicted along with three police constables on Feb 26, within 24 hours after a law student Migara Gunaratne accused them of assaulting him more..

Sri Lanka comes under EU scanner for human rights

Apr 6 (ST) European Union (EU) will monitor the reports from the UNHRC in Colombo in view of the trade concessions granted to Sri Lanka under the GSP+ scheme following the passage of the human rights resolution against SL in March in Geneva. The EU Delegation in Colombo stated on Thursday, “While the UNHRC resolution 46/1 does not have an immediate and direct link with EU-SL trade relations, Office of the High Commissioner’s reports are an important element for GSP+ monitoring.” more..

Hot weather warning issued as La Nina withdraws

Apr 6 (ST) As the Meteorology Department predicts extreme heat conditions in five dry zone districts due to the easing of the La Nina effect, health officials warn people not to stay in the hot sun for too long. Met officials said Sri Lanka was going through mixed weather conditions with some parts of the country coming under hot weather, pushing the mercury up beyond 35.7 degrees Celsius, while other parts of the country were experiencing fair weather or evening thunder showers. more..

Colombo being transformed; will emerge as heritage city

Apr 6 (ST) Sri Lanka’s business district of Colombo will come under a major transformation which includes moving the Foreign Ministry and Police Headquarters in Fort to other areas, creating pleasant walkways and restoring heritage buildings aimed at attracting tourists. Urban Development and Housing Ministry Secretary Nimal Perera said that while the Colombo Port City would be the new city, the old, heritage city would be emerging more..

Himasha’s cameo steers Army to comfortable win

Apr 6 (CT) Himasha Liyanage’s cameo steered Army SC to a comfortable 108 run win over CCC, as they advanced to the quarter-finals of the SLC Major Club Limited Overs Cricket Tournament. After being put into bat first, Himasha along with skipper Thisara Perera led from the front to enable Army SC to post a healthy 286 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in their allotted 50 overs, despite failure of the top order. Himasha Liyanage top scored with a match winning 92 runs off 119 deliveries more..

Stats: Kraigg Brathwaite's marathon effort, and a rare 0-0 series draw

Apr 6 (CI) 0-0: Scoreline of the Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka, the first Test series in nearly six years to end in a 0-0 draw. The two-match Test series between Bangladesh and South Africa in 2015 was the last to end with a 0-0 scoreline. Only 309.1 overs of play took place during that series played during the monsoon season. 813: Minutes batted by Kraigg Brathwaite in the second Test against Sri Lanka, the most in a Test for West Indies. Brathwaite's first-innings century more..

Court refuses interim order to suspend plantation workers’ daily wage

Apr 6 (FT) Payment of a Rs. 1,000 daily wage to plantation workers took a fresh step yesterday after the Court of Appeal refused to grant an interim order to plantation companies suspending payment until the writ petitions filed by them are heard, a top official said. Twenty Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) applied to court seeking to quash by way of Writ of Certiorari (Writ Petition) the decision of the Wages Board more..

Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka confirmed

Apr 6 (BCT) Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka has finally been confirmed despite Covid-19 fear. Bangladesh will travel to Sri Lanka at the scheduled time as Sri Lanka have agreed to not tighten up the Covid-19 protocols. The Test series will start from April 21, for which the Bangladesh Test team will fly to Sri Lanka on April 12. Coronavirus cases are on the rise worldwide once again. In such a situation, Sri Lanka wanted to tighten the Covid-19 protocol for the Bangladesh team’s tour. more..

Chrissworld, first SME to list at CSE

Apr 6 (FT) Little known Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL) is creating history by becoming the first small and medium enterprise (SME) and third party logistics firm to boldly go public via the Colombo Stock Exchange’s customised Empower Board. The company is offering 25% stake or 7.5 million shares at Rs. 7.50 each in a bid to raise Rs. 56.25 million, to expand and modernise its growing logistics business as well retire debt. The CSE yesterday announced it has approved an application more..

Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd: Digging into the ilmenite deal

Apr 6 (TM) An investigation on the controversial tender awarded by Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd. for the sale of 85,000 metric tonnes of ilmenite which had allegedly caused a massive loss to the company, is currently being conducted by the Ministry of Industries, Secretary to the Ministry Anusha Palpita said. He said that he had instructed Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd. to submit a comprehensive report on the alleged tender. more..

Origins and growth of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)

Apr 6 (Island) The 50th anniversary of the first JVP insurrection falls today. The 1971 rebellion was the first armed uprising against the state in modern times. JVP was the brainchild of Rohana Wijeweera. Born in 1943, at Hunandeniya, in the Matara District, his father was a supporter of the Communist Party of Ceylon (CPC). However, while studying medicine in Moscow, Wijeweera became critical of the Soviet Union, and, on his return, he joined the Communist Party (CP), which was Maoist. more..

The quinquagenary of a sanguinary revolt

Apr 6 (Island) The 50th anniversary of the first JVP insurrection falls today. The JVP emerged as a political movement, driven by a Marxist ideology and a will to capture state power by exploiting poverty, socio-economic inequalities, caste-based discrimination, etc., to mobilise the rural youth. Its ups and downs , sharp vicissitudes of fortune as an ultra radical outfit, and transformation into a democratic political party are of interest and offer many lessons. India’s Naxalite movement, more..

Face the Nation

UNP revival

Apr 6 (CT) Yesterday a daily newspaper quoting UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said, ‘A broad opposition alliance led by the UNP where everyone including Navin Dissanayake and others is the need of the hour. …such an alliance is needed to gather necessary votes at the next national elections. …Some SJB members are responsible for the fate which the UNP has suffered today, he also said…’ This same newspaper quoting Wijewardene’s first cousin, UNP leader Ranil more..

Is the Election Commission a cultural police?

Apr 6 (CT) Election Commission (EC) has decided not to register political parties whose names have a reference to ethnicity or religion as, according to it, parties are registered under the applicable law as national parties. If there are such references in the names or constitutions of parties already registered, they would be required to make changes as such references are against the Constitution of the country. Implication is that such parties face deregistration if they do not comply. more..

'National security; SOC recommendations to be implemented'

Apr 6 (TM) The Sunday Morning spoke to Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera about several recent incidents that brought the Police Department into the limelight and key issues such as the measures that are being taken to ensure national security in the country. Minister said that face coverings and Madrasas that fail to adhere to the State’s national education policy will be banned more..

50 yrs to April 71 uprising: Historical lesson SL never learnt since its independence

Apr 6 (CT) In many countries of the world today authoritarianism is advancing and undermining democracy with an imposed façade of nominal democracy. Under the guise of the popular will, human and democratic rights are being eroded. Bribery, corruption and ecocide – have mushroomed to astronomical levels. Civil administrations are being militarized. After 1978 Sri Lanka transformed its Parliament to an institution that rubber stamps the decisions of the Executive Presidency. more..

Easter Bunnies & bunnies of other seasons

Apr 6 (DM) On Apr 2, 2021, three headlines in the Daily Mirror caught my attention: Govt vows action against those behind Easter Sunday attacks soon, Two arrested for spreading Wahabism in social media and 15,000 Al Qurans found in a Wellawatte International school store. These headlines which can be traced back to the activism (and non-activity) of the country’s govt and security mechanism indicate one thing for sure: that the second commemorative anniversary of Easter more..

Appuhamy Expired. Funeral April 5: JVP

Apr 6 (DM) Let the revolution of the workers, farmers and soldiers be triumphant Wijeweera at Hyde Park--27 Feb 1971. Exactly 50 years ago, April 5, 1971, a Monday and an auspicious day is well etched on my memory for two conflicting emotions. Our home was full of activity with arrangements being finalised to receive a party from Kurunegala for my niece’s Engagement. Soon after the ceremonial exchange of rings more..

Looking back upon a year of COVID-19 blues

Apr 6 (DM) Kids are back in school, the traffic snarl is again everyone’s nightmare. One look at the streets early morning, early afternoon or as the sun sets can trigger a therapeutic dose of complacency, that life is back to pre-COVID-19 normalcy. Here’s the harsher reality. We aren’t getting back to that for years. Certainly, at some point in future, near or far, economies will get going again, they will even boom, for there will be a thirst for consumer catching up that will drive millions all over the world more..

Needed a clear cut environment policy

Apr 6 (DM) Deforestation in several environmentally sensitive areas in the country has been the focus of discussion in the recent past. Wanathawillu, Anawilundawa and Sinharaja have been making headlines since recent times. Allegation and counter allegations between political parties are traded in this regard while environmentalists are pointing out a dangerous trend of dwindling forest land and forest cover. A controversy cropped up few weeks ago when Prez Rajapaksa permitted to construct more..

Easter attacks victim issues letter of demand to Maithripala, Ranil and 10 others

Apr 5 (AD) Moditha Ekanayake, Attorney-at-Law, has issued a Letter of demand against 12 individuals seeking compensation of Rs 500 million for the physical and psychological damages caused to him by the failure to prevent the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks. The letter of demand issued via Attorney at Law Sujeewa Gunatilake has been issued to 12 respondents including the former Prez Maithripala Sirisena, former PM, more..

Court rejects writ appeal over Ranjan’s parliamentary seat

Apr 5 (AD) The Court of Appeal has rejected the writ application filed by the incarcerated MP Ranjan Ramanayake. Ramanayke’s legal counsel had filed the relevant writ petition seeking an interim order preventing the suspension of his seat in the Parliament. The Attorney General and Secretary-General of the Parliament have been named as the respondents of the petition. The case was taken up before the Court of Appeal Justices Arjuna Obeysekera and Mayadunne Corea today. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket summoned before COPE tomorrow

Apr 5 (AD) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been summoned again before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) tomorrow. Earlier, when SLC was summoned before the COPE on Feb 11, the meeting had to be suspended due to the unpreparedness of SLC officials and they were informed that they would be given a time period of one month to appear before the COPE again. COPE chaired by MP Prof. Charitha Herath has summoned 4 state institutions to the committee in April. more..

Findings of Sub-Committee studying PCoI report on Easter attacks submitted to Prez

Apr 5 (AD) The Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to study in-depth the facts and recommendations on the course of action contained in the final report of the PCoI into the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks has handed over its report to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The Chairman of the Committee, Minister Chamal Rajapaksa handed over the report at the Presidential Secretariat, today. more..

Internal struggle in govt against forces trying to destroy it from within: Gammanipla

Apr 5 (EN) There is an internal struggle in the govt that those who helped bring Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration into power have waged against forces that are conspiring to destroy it from within, Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. Gammanipla said he and other govt MPs are trying to protect the aspirations of the 6.9 million Sri Lankans who voted for this govt. “We know there are certain provisions in the 20th amendment to the constitution that go against the mandate. more..

UNICEF appreciates SL for successfully facing the Covid-19 pandemic situation

Apr 5 (GDI) The Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Sri Lanka, Emma Brigham extended her gratitude and appreciation for Sri Lanka and its healthcare services for maintaining a strong, well developed primary healthcare system that can control and curtail an infectious disease outbreak; an outbreak that has been devastating and even the most comprehensive healthcare systems in the world have struggled. The UNICEF representative stated this at the media briefing held today (05) more..