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Sri Lanka to give second dose from April 19 with left-over stock

Apr 5 (EN) Sri Lanka will start giving the second dose of a Coronavirus vaccine to over 900,000 recipients of the first does from April 19, State Minister Sudarshini Fernandopulle told parliament. Minister Fernandopulle said the second dose will be given from April 19 to June 30, but there were only 300,000 doses in the country. “We have around 300,000 doses of vaccine to start giving the second dose from April 19,” more..

State borrowings from CB, banks down hinting improving govt revenue

Apr 5 (DM) Borrowings by the State from the Central Bank and licensed commercial banks plunged in February, which could be a sign of improving govt revenues by way of taxes as economic activities are increasingly becoming normalised as virus scare recedes. In February, the SL govt borrowed Rs.35.1 billion on net basis, substantially down from Rs.209.9 billion in January. These borrowings consisted of Rs.72.2 billion worth of fresh borrowings from the Central Bank liquidity, more..

Azath Salley files FR petition over arrest

Apr 5 (AD) Former Governor of the Western Province Azath Salley, who was arrested by the CID last month, has filed a fundamental rights petition before the Supreme Court. The leader of NUF, through his attorneys, has submitted an FR petition claiming that his arrest and detention without a just cause was in violation of his fundamental rights. AG, IGP, CID Director Nishantha de Soysa, CID Chief Inspector Jayantha Payagala, Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara more..

Is the cat out of the bag?

Apr 5 (FT) AG’s department has confirmed what was highlighted in these columns one and a half months ago on the term of office of the SLC administration. Minister of Sports has since stirred from his slumber and made several appointments to rectify the irregularities that were allowed to fester for weeks. However, whilst the need of the hour is strong affirmative action, what we see happening is quite in contrast. more..

Five-year plan to transform Mattala International Airport

Apr 5 (FT) An integrated five-year plan is underway to transform the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) into a commercially busy and viable facility in South Asia. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd. had presented a five-year development plan to transform MRIA into an attractive and active aviation hub in the Indian Ocean. Themed An exotic tourism destination, the development plan is expected to transform MRIA by the year 2025 more..

Sri Lanka to resume passenger flights between Jaffna, Chennai

Apr 5 (DM) Sri Lanka intends to resume passenger flight operations between the Jaffna International airport and Chennai, India within the next few months, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He said the flight operations connecting the Maldives with South Indian destinations via SL would be launched. According to the Minister, several airlines have already initiated talks with the SL authorities in this regard. The Jaffna airport is expected to be developed in three stages. more..

Dayasiri questions Cardinal’s remarks, says he’s politically compromised

Apr 5 (EN) A scathing attack launched by Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith against former Prez Maithripala Sirisena was criticised by SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara today. Jayasekara told reporters this afternoon that the Archbishop’s diatribe show that he is politically compromised. Speaking to reporters outside St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade yesterday following Easter Sunday service, more..

MTI to advice on Pakistan’s accession to WTO Agreement

Apr 5 (FT) MTI Consulting has been retained to independently advice Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce on Pakistan’s accession to WTO’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The mandate to MTI calls for an independent evaluation of the opportunities and threats of the ITA to Pakistan, with special attention to its contribution toward the nation’s ICT industry’s long-term objective of becoming a major ICT player among global value chains. more..

'Govt should punish businessmen who imported unrefined oil'

Apr 5 (TM) Deputy Registrar of Asgiriya Chapter Ven. Narampanawa Ananda Thera today stated that it is the duty of the govt to punish businessmen who import coconut oil containing carcinogens without any discrimination. He said, “Various organizations and individuals have raised issues from time to time regarding the importation of poisonous food items into the country. However, we do not see any authority taking action in this regard. The authorities responsible should not protect them. more..

Sri Lanka’s brawling beauties end up at the police station

Apr 5 (EN) A high-profile beauty pageant for SL’s married women ended in disaster as the winner was unceremoniously de-crowned by her predecessor in front of a live audience, police said Monday. The Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 contest at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa theatre became a farce after the declared winner, Pushpika de Silva, was forced out within minutes by her immediate predecessor Caroline Jurie. more..

122 Sri Lankan migrant workers dead of COVID-19; over 30,000 lose jobs

Apr 5 (EN) 122 SL migrant workers have died of COVID-19, with 30,832 returning to the country having lost their jobs due to the pandemic, Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva said. 36 who worked in Saudi Arabia, 36 in Kuwait, 24 in the UAE, nine in Qatar, seven in Oman, four in Lebanon, three in Jordan, two in Bahrain, and one in Israel have died of COVID-19 as of March 31, the minister said. A total of 56,403 migrant workers from 14 countries have returned to Sri Lanka more..

Seminar on Port City Colombo Commission Bill on 4 May

Apr 5 (FT) A seminar on the new Port City Colombo Commission Bill: Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be held on 4 May at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo from 2 p.m. onwards at the Cinnamon Lakeside. Organisers Asian Pathfinder Legal Consultancy and Drafting Services said the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Port City Commission Bill which paves the way for the President to gazette and present the legislation before Parliament. After the House approval, the Port City will be more..

One importer set to re-export coconut oil stocks containing Aflatoxin

Apr 5 (AD) All measures have been set in place to re-export the coconut oil stocks of one of the three companies that imported unrefined coconut oil containing carcinogens. The relevant coconut oil stocks of Katana Refineries will be re-exported within this week. It was recently revealed that stocks of unrefined coconut oil imported by 03 companies - Ali Brothers, Edirisinghe Edible Oil, and Katana Refineries - contained more..

Pushpika De Silva to be re-crowned Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021

Apr 5 (DM) Pushpika De Silva who was stripped off her crown of Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021, by reigning Mrs. World Caroline Jurie, at a beauty pageant held last evening, will be re-crowned following a media briefing tomorrow, event organizers said. Pushpika is presently in hospital seeking treatment after her assistant said she had suffered injuries to her scalp after the crown was violently pulled off her head by Jurie. Pushpika has also lodged a police complaint against Jurie and Chula Padmendra, more..

Sri Lanka to receive first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V jab this month: SPC

Apr 5 (EN) Sri Lanka will receive the Russian Sputnik V vaccine this month, with a decision to extend the current purchase order of seven million doses to 13 million doses pending cabinet approval, an official said. State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake said that Russian authorities have informed the SPC that the first consignment of doses will be dispatched on April 12.On March 04, Sri Lanka approved the Russian manufactured jab for emergency use more..

Video: President orders immediate ban on import of Palm oil

Apr 5 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa has ordered the importation of Palm Oil into SL to be halted with immediate effect. Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera has advised the Controller-General of the Department of Imports and Exports Control to issue the relevant gazette order to give effect to these instructions within today. Further, Director-General of Customs has been advised to refrain from clearing palm oil cargos more..

Expert committee report on new constitution expected in July: Education Minister

Apr 5 (TM) Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Pieris stated today that the report by the nine-member expert committee on the formulation of a new constitution is expected in July. “The forefront of our govt’s programme is to draft a new constitution for this country as it is an urgent need. The present constitution itself was drafted 43 years ago and Sri Lankan society has changed significantly since then. Therefore, various parts of the Constitution in force today are outdated. We see it as a matter of more..

Don’t allow Port City to undermine national sovereignty

Apr 5 (FT) The Port City is perhaps the most ambitious and exciting development initiative ever undertaken in Sri Lanka. It is vital that it should be a success. It is also important that, now that the groundwork has been completed, the task of building should not be long delayed. For that reason, the Govt is soon to bring the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill before Parliament. However, the draft tax provisions need more scrutiny. There are two problems. more..

Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and the Madhu Church crisis

Apr 5 (FT) Former Catholic Bishop of the Mannar Diocese the Most Rev. Rayappu Joseph passed away peacefully in Jaffna on 1 April, just 15 days before his 81st birthday. He served as Mannar Bishop from 1992 to 2016. Mannar Emeritus Bishop’s funeral is scheduled to be held today, 5 April, at the St. Sebastian’s Cathedral in Mannar. All the SL Catholic Bishops are expected to participate in the requiem mass. more..

HRC urges TID to submit report on poet Ahanaf Jazeem

Apr 5 (DM) Human Rights Commission of SL has urged the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) to submit a report pertaining to the safety of Poet Ahanaf Jazeem, who has been detained for several months for allegedly promoting extremism by writing a book of poems. The HRC had directed the above matter to the TID following a complaint lodged by the Young Journalists Association (YJA) on March 29 regarding the probe and the present situation of young poet Ahanaf Jazeem after more..

Broad opposition alliance led by UNP, need of the hour: Ruwan

Apr 5 (DM) A broad opposition alliance led by the UNP, where everyone including Navin Dissanayake and others is the need of the hour, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said. Addressing UNP activists in Nuwara Eliya, Mr. Wijewardene said such an alliance is needed to gather necessary votes at the next national elections. “Any party needs around seven million or more votes to win the next presidential election and also need to attract the Buddhist votes and votes of others. more..

වෙ⁣ළද පොලේ විෂ පොල්තෙල්, නෑ කියන උන්ටම...

SLPP will rule beyond 2025: Ramesh P.

Apr 5 (DN) SLPP will rule the country not only till 2025 but also beyond 2025, Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said. He was addressing a SLPP trade union conference in Galle on Saturday. “The trade unionists took the lead to overthrow the Govt of Good Governance and bring our Govt to power under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He is a classic leader who carries forward the policies and ideals of the SLPP, which was born under the leadership of more..

MMT, money printing and Keynes

Apr 5 (FT) The former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr. Gideon Gono, in a recent interview with Trevos, a Zimbabwean journalist, justified his money printing during the first decade of 2000. This profligate money printing caused his country’s inflation to be elevated to a world record level of 79.6 billion percent by November 2008 according to private estimates. Without showing any sign of regret or tendering an apology, Gono said that economists have been wrongly more..

Are you wearing clothes, Cardinal asks Maithripala

Apr 5 (TM) In a stunning verbal assault, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday (4) called for action to be initiated against former Prez Sirisena without further delay and asked whether the former President has no shame. “The question arises whether some politicians who have been named as being responsible for the attacks are shameless enough to go before the people once again. more..

308 covid-19 patients detected over the weekend

Apr 5 (FT) A total of 308 COVID-19 patients were detected over the weekend and the country’s total COVID-19 patient count has risen to 93,436. This includes 141 COVID-19 patients detected yesterday, of which 115 were associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and sever were from the Prisons cluster. On Saturday, 167 persons tested positive for COVID-19, including 128 persons from sub-clusters associated with the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster, 32 returnees from abroad, and more..

Amaraweera assures wetlands in and around Colombo are safe

Apr 5 (Island) All wetlands in and around Colombo were safe for future generations, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, denying reports that these ecologically sensitive areas were under threat. He said that most so-called environmentalists had hidden agendas and that the full credit for the current environmental protection success should go to Prez Rajapaksa. “No other leader has done more to conserve the environment of this country. Allegations leveled against him on more..

Seven NMRA members removed for not approving Sinopharm vaccine: Nalinda

Apr 5 (DM) Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa alleged that 7 members of SL Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) were removed by the Health Minister for not approving China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. He said that the expert committee appointed by the NMRA to study China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has not approved it, since, the Chinese manufacturer had failed to provide necessary details about the vaccine. more..

'No one will be allowed to escape the law'

Apr 5 (CT) Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa promised that individuals and groups involved in the Easter Sunday bombings on 21 April 2019 will not be allowed to escape the law and that the Govt is accountable to ensure national security, so that such incidents do not happen again. Prez Rajapaksa said “Easter Day, which is celebrated with immense respect and faith by the people of Sri Lanka was the target of an extremist barbaric attack. The pain of broken hearts is still there.” more..

Police checks Qurans for distortion

Apr 5 (TM) The Wellawatte Police has confiscated a few samples of a stock of 15,000 Qurans stored in a warehouse belonging to Amal International School in order to determine whether they contain material that distorts the original version of the Quran, The Morning learnt. “We seized a few of the books in the warehouse to check the contents of these Qurans and ensure that it is the original ideas being presented,” Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana told The Morning yesterday (4). more..

Harsha urges govt to proactively engage investors on debt servicing policy

Apr 5 (FT) Opposition MP and former regime’s Economic Reforms Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday called on the Govt to be transparent on its loan repayment plan, urging that there is a credible need to engage investors on a debt restructuring policy. The SJB MP raised concerns about what he described as financial crisis deepening if the Govt didn’t act quickly to restore investor confidence. more..

National Aluth Sahal Mangalya held under Prez’s patronage

Apr 5 (PMD) The National Aluth Sahal Mangalya (New Rice Festival) one of the most venerated ancient agricultural rituals to offer the maiden harvest of Maha season to the Lord Buddha was held today (4) under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya premises. It is an annual custom to set aside the first portion of the recently recede harvest to prepare Buddha Pooja. The event was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and more..

Lab technologists raise doubt over Lankans getting their 2nd jab of Covishield vaccine

Apr 5 (Island) College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) warns of the danger of SL relying solely on the Indian Covishield vaccine. CMLS President Ravi Kumudesh said that there was a delay in getting down Covishield vaccines from India and Health officials had no idea as to what to do. Therefore, they first announced that they would temporarily halt the vaccination programme and then claimed it was back on track. “I don’t think anyone knows whether we can get Covishield more..

President declares open Kanugahawewa Model Village

Apr 5 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa today (4) vested in people the Kanugahawewa Model Village constructed by the Air Force at the request of the Prez after listening to the grievances of the villagers during the 04th Discussion with the Village programme held in Kebithigollewa. Kanugahawewa village in the Kebithigollewa DS was selected for the Discussion with the Village programme which was held on 30th of Dec. more..

Sri Lanka denies plan to delay domestic dollar loan repayments, SLDBs

Apr 5 (EN) Central Bank has denied that repayment of forex loans taken from local banks and dollar denominated domestic bonds falling due will be delayed as the country faced foreign exchange shortages and a foreign reserve drain amid money printing. “The CB wishes to inform investors and the general public that debt service payments, interest and capital, are being met in a timely manner on account of SLDBs (SL Development Bonds) and foreign currency loans from domestic banks, more..

March drew 4,581 tourists to SL; near 10,000 since airport reopening

Apr 5 (FT) Amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic Sri Lanka saw 4,581 tourists in March increasing the arrivals in the first quarter to 9,629. March arrivals were higher in comparison to 3,366 in February and 1,682 in January after the country’s borders were opened on 21 Jan to resume international tourism. In March the largest source markets were Kazakhstan (1,514), followed by Germany (502), and the UK (316), Ukraine (287) and China (223) and Russia (197). more..