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Abide by the WHO priority list

Jun 1 (DM) There seems to be no letup in the surge in spread of COVID 19 pandemic, despite the travel restrictions commenced on May 21 being still on. Although the number of persons reported as being infected with coronavirus seems to have come down from around 3500 in mid-May to little less than 3000 at the end of the month, the PCR tests too have reportedly been reduced from 27,000 to around 20,000 during the period. Now the daily COVID 19 death toll ranges between 30 and 50, more..

Lockups, lockdowns and political toxins

Jun 1 (ST) What is truth, asked Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, of Jesus. But he did not wait for an answer, history tells us. That is not at all surprising. In today’s world surfeit with all types of politicians and other noxious breeds, it would be farcical to expect an answer, for truth is what politicians avoid even more than Civid-19. Listening to Dominic Cummings, a former senior advisor of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, slate his former boss as a liar surrounded by liars more..

Disaster of the MV X-Press Pearl vessel: Could this be the death of Sri Lankan sea?

Jun 1 (DM) The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father. The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. more..

Containing COVID for economic survival: Restrictions or complete lockdown?

Jun 1 (ST) The burning question is whether the life threatening COVID-19 could be eliminated by partial and intermittent measures of imposing restrictions with intervals of relaxation or whether a draconian 14-day lockdown is essential. At the time of writing this column, Govt had opted for a limited shutdown of economic activity with measures to ensuring that essential production and services function. Whether such a strategy would succeed in containing the virus will only be known with passage of time. more..

Is Sajith Premadasa a politician or a statesman?

Jun 1 (DM) Premadasa entered Sri Lankan politics after the assassination of his father in 1993. Having joined his father’s party the UNP, he was appointed district organiser of the UNP for Hambantota District in 1994, It was from the Hambantota district that he contested the 2000 General Elections and entered parliament gaining 83% of the UNP preferential votes. He won 84% at the 2004 General Election, 89% in 2010 at the General Election and 86% at the 2015 General Election. more..

X-Press Pearl controversy: Can SL stop marine disaster going from bad to worse?

Jun 1 (DM) Burnt debris from the controversial X-Press Pearl vessel has been carried away to shores as far as Galle, Kalpitiya and Chilaw. Even though the fire has largely been controlled the impact from the damage is huge. Tri forces personnel are continuing to clean the shores amidst uncertain conditions. Marine experts warn that marine animals could mistakenly feed on polypropylene granules also known as more..

Public awareness on vaccination drives: A dire need to be addressed

Jun 1 (TM) In the grip of the third wave of the pandemic, vaccination has proven to be the key to curbing the spread of infection amongst people and also in making sure no more lives are claimed by the coronavirus. However, public awareness of vaccination drives, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be up to the mark, further solidifying the need to make certain changes in the process. The Sunday Morning reached out to several individuals to understand their perspective on the situation more..

Intermediate Covid-19 centres: In need of proper monitoring

Jun 1 (TM) Poor-quality food, inadequate water, and unclean toilets are among the complaints that have poured in from various Covid-19 quarantine centres around the country. Pressure now mounts on the authorities over the regulation and monitoring of the standards at these centres, especially those run by the private sector. These quarantine centres mostly house people who came into contact with a Covid-19-positive patient or those who have come down to Sri Lanka from abroad. more..

Could SL have avoided x-press pearl tragedy?

Urgent Need for an Independent Parliamentary Counsel

Jun 1 (Island) Did Sri Lanka create yet another world record in unprofessional governance with the recent attempt to pass the Port City Bill? Citizens’ expectations of best practices embedded good governance were shattered again by this fiasco! Can a Bill that purportedly passed muster, possibly at the levels of the Legal Draftsman, Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Cabinet, and was promoted as a law that will be the turning point in economic recovery and path to Prosperity & Splendour, more..

Private healthcare for private gain

Jun 1 (TM) Fighting the Covid-19 pandemic is a struggle we all understand and support, and in this endeavour, everyone’s contribution is invaluable. Also, regardless of our role, the support we extend is a contribution we make for ourselves, for no one is completely safe from the pandemic. Failure to do our part and exploiting the situation are both unpardonable. The College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) this week levelled explosive allegations against private healthcare sector, more..

NOCSL confirms only 8 athletes for Olympics

Jun 1 (CT) National Olympic Committee of SL (NOCSL) was under fire in the social media over the last weekend, as several tweets/posts claimed they are trying to send 58 officials for the Olympic Games while only two athletes have qualified. This clarification cleared the air about the number of officials, but created another puzzle as to the criteria used to select only 8 athletes while there is still a month to go for more..

Kusal Perera set to lead SL in ODI & 20I series against England

Jun 1 (DN) Kusal Janith Perera is likely to be named as SL Captain of both One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for the upcoming tour of England. The England tour, which starts on June 23, will include three ODIs and the same number of T20Is. All-rounder Dasun Shanaka was a contender for the T20 leadership earlier, but he was not up to the expectations during the recent ODI series against Bangladesh, a reliable source of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said. more..

The Asian Zonal Hybrid Chess Championship 2021 starts today

Jun 1 (Island) Asian Zonal Chess Championship 2021. the preliminary event for the FIDE World Chess Cup 2021 for the South Asia will commence today on the Tornelo platform. Chess players from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and SL will compete for the supremacy in the region. SL has fielded a strong team headed by the National Chess Champion Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage (Ananda College). The other two members are Susal de Silva (Nalanda College) and more..

I don’t like sloppy cricketers: Arthur

Jun 1 (Island) SL Head Coach Mickey Arthur comes out as a friendly, jovial and nice guy but when it comes to work ethic, he does not tolerate anything below par. He is famous for dropping of all players Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson during the tour of India in 2013 for breach of discipline. As a result, cricket’s lexicon had a new term – Homework gate. Arthur, a stern advocate of fitness, during his previous stint with Pakistan more..

Football: National team off to S. Korea

Jun 1 (CT) SL National football team took wing to South Korea yesterday (via Tokyo) to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Preliminary Competition AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers: Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Group ‘H’ Centralized matches. SL will face Lebanon on 5 June, followed by the Korea Republic clash on 9 June. Both matches will be played at the Goyang Stadium. Football Sri Lanka has made all arrangements to ensure player safety and more..

CSE says stock market buoyant with 9.3% gain YTD

Jun 1 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said the market has recorded a 9.3% growth year-to-date (YTD) at the All Share Price Index (ASPI) within the first five months of 2021. The S&P SL20 Index fared even better with YTD growth of 13%. The market also saw record breaking YTD market turnover volume of Rs. 414.5 billion for the first five months of 2021. The YTD market turnover for 2021 exceeds the annual market turnover of Rs. 396 billion achieved in 2020. more..

Ban on chemical fertiliser: Experts call for phased withdrawal

Jun 1 (ST) An experts committee tasked with overseeing the recently announced ban on chemical fertiliser imports has recommended to Prez Rajapaksa not to impose the ban on the tea and rubber sectors until sufficient quantities of organic fertiliser were available and to defer the withdrawal of the subsidy until such time, Plantations Minister Romesh Pathirana said. The committee appointed by the minister was to advice more..

Selection inconsistency costs SL heavily?

Jun 1 (TM) About one and half years ago, he was considered a survivor. That was when he led a young team to a historic 3-0 clean sweep in Lahore in October 2019. More recently –as recently as last January– he was appointed again as the national T20I Captain yet was to miss the immediate three-match series in the West Indies in March being unable to make the trip to the Caribbean due to an unexpected visa problem. Now this survivor, new national T20 Skipper Dasun Shanaka has more..

Fall Armyworm control & management in SL

Jun 1 (FT) The first Geo-Zone Coordination Meeting for the Implementation of the FAO Global Action on Fall Armyworm (FAW) Control in South Asia was hosted by the FAO Asia-Pacific Regional Office recently. Representatives from the Dept of Agriculture in SL, FAW Task Force and the FAO Representation in SL attended the meeting hosted virtually in Bangkok. Officials from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal were also in attendance. The member countries submitted updates on more..

LOLC records historic profit in Sri Lankan corporate sector

Jun 1 (ST) Globally diversified financial conglomerate, LOLC Group, posted a record-breaking performance for the financial year ending 31 March 2021, achieving Rs. 57 billion in profit before tax (PBT), and a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 53 billion – a first for any corporate in the country. By achieving profits on this massive scale in the history of SL’s corporate world, the group once again consolidated its position as more..

MAS Holdings donates Rs. 130 m to support Lady Ridgeway Hospital project

Jun 1 (ST) MAS Holdings and its associates, have honoured their pledge to support the Little Hearts project of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the world, by raising funds to upgrade its infrastructure in cardiac care, towards their ongoing national healthcare efforts In 2019, at the request of the SL College of Paediatricians, MAS embarked on internally raising funds for the Little Hearts project, where the hospital requested the company’s assistance to raise more..

Seven flavours of Ceylon Tea celebrated in Melbourne on International Tea Day

Jun 1 (FT) The seven regional flavours of Ceylon tea were celebrated in Melbourne, Australia today, in a special Ceylon Tea Evening organised by the Consulate General of SL in Melbourne. The event was attended by a multitude of distinguished personalities in Melbourne, including MP and the Co-Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Friends in the Victorian Parliament Craig Ondarchie, Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen, Australian Intercultural Society more..

2,912 persons test positive for COVID-19, total rises to 186,364

Jun 1 (FT) The country’s COVID-19 detections rose to 184,983 with 2,912 persons testing positive for the virus yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 2,882 persons from the New Year cluster. Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters have thus expanded to 179,771 persons. Of the four clusters, the New Year cluster, which emerged after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year last month, is the largest, more..

Hockey AGM halted due to a writ order

Jun 1 (DN) AGM of the SL Hockey Federation (SLHF) was halted due to a writ order obtained from the District Court of Colombo by the President of State Services citing that two of the candidates contesting for the top two posts were non-eligible to contest. Petitioners have stated that 2 candidates namely Dharshana Wijesinghe has submitted nominations for the post of President and Secretary along with Kamal Pushpakumara as the President, are not eligible to contest in this elections. more..

Australia pledges more support for Sri Lanka

Jun 1 (NR) Australia has pledged assistance for investments and education sector promotion in Sri Lanka. Attention has also been drawn to the potential of elevating Sri Lanka as a centre of higher education in the South Asian region. Australian High Commissioner to SL David Holly yesterday called on Prez Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat. Prez requested the Australian govt’s technical assistance in assessing the environmental damage caused by the two recent fires onboard vessels, more..

Russia tells Sri Lanka: First dose provides sufficient protection

Jun 1 (DM) In what appeared to be another radical step in global vaccine development, Russia informed Sri Lanka that its Sputnik V could even be used as a single shot vaccine following new clinical data about the development of 70-80% efficacy level after the first jab, an official said. Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology held a Zoom discussion with the NMRA more..

Top policymakers to speak at Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021

Jun 1 (AD) Board of Investment, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Colombo Stock Exchange is all set to unveil the first ever virtual platform in SL to attract foreign investments and Asia’s first and largest Virtual Investor Forum from 7th to 9th June 2021. The event will provide an overall experience and comprehensive understanding on the FDI and Capital Market opportunities in SL. Directed with this purpose, event schedule is enriched with 50+ sessions covering two time zones and more..

Leave of police officers cancelled until June 15

Jun 1 (AD) DIG Ajith Rohana said that the cancellation of leave of all police personnel will be further extended until June 15, 2021. He stated that a large number of police officers have been deployed in order to carry out duties in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine duties. Therefore, the leave of all police officers had been cancelled from the May 11 to 31. However, the quarantine order in respect of restriction of movements is to remain until June 7 and more..

10-day ban lifted, inbound passengers welcome from today

Jun 1 (FT) Sri Lanka will once again allow inbound travellers from today, but with a 14-day mandatory quarantine and restrictions on passengers who have a travel history to Vietnam and India in the recent past. Previously, passenger flights were banned from 21-31 May as part of overall measures to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 via its third wave. With domestic travel restrictions continuing till 7 June, more..

Vesak celebrated at White House for the first time

Jun 1 (FT) The White House celebrated Vesak for the first time on Tuesday (25). The ceremony was attended by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. The ceremony was conducted with the participation of three venerable theros representing the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions. The Most Venerable Katugasthota Uparathana Nayaka Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Wheaton Buddhist Vihara represented Theravada tradition. more..

Police to probe authenticity of letters issued by work places

Jun 1 (DN) Police will carry out a special investigation on the authenticity of the letters issued by work places requesting employees to report to work during the travel restrictions imposed by the Govt, DIG Ajith Rohana said. Accordingly, stern action will be taken against any employer or employee who has forged documents and/or issued request letters without a valid reason. DIG observed, “Huge traffic congestion occurred towards Colombo on Galle, High Level, Kandy & Negombo more..

Environmentalists teaming up to file legal action against X-Press Pearl

Jun 1 (Island) Environmentalists are teaming up to file legal action against the ill-fated vessel MV X-PRESS PEARL, stressing that the damage is huge and elsewhere authorities had taken action against the ship’s Captain and the crew. A similar incident had taken place in Indonesia this week and authorities took action against the ship crew, environmental activist Nayanaka Ranwella said. Ranwella said that the SLPA should release more..

66,977 persons vaccinated on Sunday, concerns raised about Sputnik V 2nd dose

Jun 1 (FT) The ongoing COVID-19 immunisation drive saw 66,977 persons vaccinated in the country on Sunday, bringing the total number of persons to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 1,608,518. 2nd dose of the vaccine has been administered to 348,224 persons. 65,104 persons received the first dose of Sinopharm on Sunday and 666,612 persons have received the first dose of Sinopharm, while 2,435 persons have received the second dose as well. more..

Confusion during Sputnik V rollout in Kandy

Jun 1 (FT) Confusion arose yesterday during the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine rollout in Kandy, as receivers had to put their signatures on a vaccine consent form, which had a seal that said the receiver agrees to take just a single dose of the Sputnik V vaccine. Consent forms were obtained from those who received both Oxford AstraZeneca COVISHIELD and Shinopharm vaccines. However, this particular seal was not placed on those forms. Although, receiver’s statement is available more..

No fraud in Sinopharm purchase: Channa

Jun 1 (TM) State Minister Channa Jayasumana denied allegations of a fraud in SL purchasing the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine for $ 15 when Bangladesh had bought the same for $ 10. He claimed that the Chinese Embassy in Colombo and the Beijing-based Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., which manufactures Sinopharm, have informed him that there is no agreement to provide Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh for $10. more..

Sri Lanka unlikely to reach speedy V-shaped economic recovery amidst structural...

Jun 1 (FT) SL’s economy contracted by 3.6% in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 in the aftermath of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, recording the worst economic performance, as in the case of many countries. Industrial output declined by 6.9%, largely reflecting the adverse performance in apparel, manufacturing and construction. The services sector contracted by 1.5% due to the setback in tourism, transport and personal services. more..

An alternate economic development strategy for the country

Jun 1 (FT) In the previous article that appeared in this paper on 10 May under the caption, Attraction of Foreign Investments, the strategy of attraction of such investment was discussed. Two notes should be added to it. The Port City project is brilliant as a concept. It is like providing a liveable place to live in in an inhospitable environment, as in the case of the Arctic or the moon, the rest of the country being unsuitable for FDI due to several missing rungs in the economic development ladder. more..

නැව ගිනිගත්තාද පුපුරුවා හැරීමේ කුමන්ත්‍රණයක් ද?

Twin fears for India over the Colombo Port City

Jun 1 (ORF) In light of the SL Parliament passing a new legislation for China’s near-complete control in an ongoing Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, neighbouring India has additional causes for concern on the security and economic fronts on this score too, apart from the existing ones from the southern Hambantota Port. While Indian concerns on the security front are obvious, the economic ills befalling the northern neighbour may be hidden until it becomes too late, unless New Delhi more..