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Aren’t our rulers forgetting something?

Sep 1 (DM) Going through the newspapers, or its newest face – the e-Paper - a super-rich citizen could be forgiven if he/she is forced into the idyllic belief that our thrice-blessed country has but single problem – COVID-19. Our rulers are focused on how many doses of vaccine have been doled out and percentages of the population, which have been vaccinated. Others in positions of authority, deem it their business to denigrate voices who present a different point of view. more..

Butterfly that flew away: Tribute to Mangala

Sep 1 (DM) Mangala Samaraweera was never at home in SL politics. He was the embodiment of a political misfit. Although some may have rued his decision to give up politics a year ago, he had realized that he had hardly a political base any longer for electoral success and that also; he could not do what he envisioned for his motherland being attached to a definite political affiliation. He had become so much a Sri Lankan, something that every politician pays lip service to while more..

'Easter Sunday attacks could have been averted'

Sep 1 (DM) Questions continue to be raised with regards to the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. Allegations of criminal negligence have been made against officials and members of the former Govt. Former Director General of Institute of National Security Studies SL (INSSSL) Asanga Abeyagoonasekera said that his institute, which operated under the Ministry of Defence, had also submitted a report to the then Govt, more..

Tamil Nadu tinkers with Lankan Tamil refugees’ issue

Sep 1 (DM) Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, recently won plaudits both at home and abroad for announcing a very comprehensive welfare package totaling INR 317 crore (US$ 43.1 mil) for SL Tamil refugees in the State. But experts say that the ideal solution to the refugee question is to get them Indian citizenship which will enable them to shape their lives themselves without State aid of any kind. To his credit, Stalin did announce that an inclusive committee would be formed to more..

Towards more diplomatic diplomacy

Sep 1 (TM) Sri Lanka has started preparing for the UNHRC and the UN General Assembly (GA) sessions scheduled for this month, and as part of this preparation, the Govt has already conveyed its stance to Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Mohan Peiris PC in New York, USA and Ambassador C.A. Chandraprema in Geneva, Switzerland. Revealing this, newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the media that when looking at the atrocities more..

'Your travel plans should not come first'

Sep 1 (DM) In a recent live discussion on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic hosted by Daily Mirror Twitter Spaces, CMC’s Regional Epidemiologist Dr. Dinu Guruge answered a series of important questions posed by audience members. Q: What is the situation in Colombo like? Have any high risk areas been identified? A: In Colombo there is no specific area as such. We are getting cases from all over the city of Colombo, more..

Senior Police Officers visit Mahanayakas

Sep 1 (CT) This was no courtesy call of the Police officers on the Mahanayakas (Chief Buddhist Prelates). No, the visit of these senior-most Police officers to the Prelates of the Asgiriya Temple in Kandy and also the Buddhist temples in A'pura, this time, was with some other serious intent. The purpose of this visit was to discuss matters Departmental. To be specific: to inveigle the Mahanayakas to intervene and help to quash pending criminal/disciplinary action, in Courts more..

Will September be the cruellest month

Sep 1 (ST) It is unbelievable but true. When the Political Editor of this newspaper wrote two weeks ago of bodies of Corona-victims piling up in morgues, some of them stacked in container trucks, while crematoriums were working late into the night, one refused to accept that this was Sri Lanka. But truth, it has been said, is sometimes stranger than fiction. As I write this the daily death toll is nudging 200. When this column appears it might well reach 200 or more. more..

වෛද්‍ය ආචාර්ය චන්දිම ජීවන්දර

In defence of free education

Sep 1 (Island) Sighs of hopelessness and shrugs of resignation follow the phone calls and virtual meetings that reflect my pandemic reality, as we discuss our lives, others, and the country as a whole. A sense of collective depression seems to permeate us all. The govt seems to be incapable of satisfactorily addressing the national economic, political, social and health crises. Its responses suggest an incapacity to even gauge the pain that envelopes us, or hear and respond to more..

HSBC opens up a world of opportunity with latest int'l education corridor – Canada

Sep 1 (Island) The panel included Anne Rose, Associate Director, University Students Recruitment, Uni of Toronto, Daniel Zaretzky, CEO Canadian Uni Application Centre and Sandip Chaudhury – Head of Customer Growth and Int'l Banking for HSBC Canada, together with Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking for HSBC Sri Lanka. The webinar was moderated by Tharanga Gunasekera, Head of Marketing and Communications from HSBC Sri Lanka, more..

Missing persons’ relatives write to United Nations Rights Chief

Sep 1 (TM) Association of the Relatives of the Disappeared – Northern and Eastern Provinces has written to the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR), Michelle Bachelet, stating they lack faith in the current Office on Missing Persons (OMP) and has requested her to ensure that an appropriate judicial mechanism is formulated to investigate the plight of missing persons in the country. more..

No National Sports Festival this year

Sep 1 (ST) 47th National Sports Festival (NSF), scheduled to be held towards the end of 2021, is likely to be cancelled for the second consecutive year, according to the Ministry of Sports (MoS). The core reason for the cancellation is the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has escalated in large numbers. The MoS called off the 46th edition of NSF last year owing similar reasons and subsequently the MoS made an attempt to conduct a combined NSF for years of 2020 & 2021. more..

Global recognition for local artiste!

Sep 1 (Island) Everyone seems to be humming, and even singing aloud, a particular song. And it certainly has brought the singer concerned success that even the big names, in the local showbiz scene, have not been able to achieve. The song that is on everybody’s lips, these days, is Manike Mage Hithe and the singer responsible for making it a global sensation is Yohani de Silva. The song was created in 2020 but it’s Yohani’s version that has got international recognition. more..

Forex flows in but rupee dip persists

Sep 1 (FT) Govt reassured that foreign exchange inflows continue, though the markets reacted differently as rupee depreciation persisted. Under pressure to ensure a realistic exchange rate, the Central Bank yesterday effected a depreciation of the rupee quoting an exchange rate of Rs. 204.90 (selling) for the dollar, up from Rs. 202.90. This reflects a depreciation of Rs. 2. However, banks continued to sell more..

Editorial: Stop brawling in a graveyard

Sep 1 (Island) Children are dying of Covid-19. Hospitals are overflowing with little pandemic victims gasping for oxygen. Schools have remained closed for months, and there are no signs of their reopening any time soon. Examinations continue to be postponed. One of the biggest challenges the country is facing is to get children back to school. But teachers and principals are on the warpath demanding an immediate solution to a salary issue, which is more than 20 years old! more..

Tharindu appointed coach for Basketball Under-23 World Cup

Sep 1 (Island) Head Coach of Gateway Int'l College, Colombo Tharindu Fernando has been appointed as the coach of the SL Under-23 team for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Mongolia. Tharindu’s appointment has been made by SL Basketball Federation with the blessings of the Sports Ministry and President of the SLBF Aelian Gunawardene. He is expected to have a long run in the role rather than just do one off assignment. Tharindu began his coaching career as a teenager while more..

Govt to invest over Rs. 750 m to establish Sathosa Organic Supermarket retail chain

Sep 1 (FT) Govt is investing over Rs. 750 million to step up its efforts to open and expand first-ever pesticide-free, State-run retail chain, the Sathosa Organic Supermarket network – covering all 25 main cities across the country. The specialised chain will open its first outlet by next month in R.A. de Mel Mawatha (Duplication Road) in Colombo 3, under the banner Sathosa Organic Supermarket, with its logo in green. more..

Oshini Gunawardena wins gold at FIDE Youth Chess

Sep 1 (TM) Oshini Gunawardena, nine, yesterday (31) emerged gold medal winner of U-10 Girls’ Online FIDE Youth Chess World Cup 2021. Gunawardena from Ferguson High School, Ratnapura beat Megan Althia Paragua of USA convincingly in the final of the event. She is the youngest girl in Sri Lanka to win gold a FIDE chess event so far. The Chess Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) made an immediate cash award to both Gunawardena and her Coach Akhila Kavinda more..

Colombo bourse stages strong recovery; ASPI shy of 9,000 points close

Sep 1 (FT) The Colombo stock market yesterday produced a strong recovery with indices up by over 1% and turnover once again topping the Rs. 10 billion mark. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained by 1.16% or 103 points whilst the S&P SL20 shot up by 1.6% or 54 points. Turnover was Rs. 10.8 billion involving 329 million shares. Asia Securities said the indices returned to positive territory today as investors resumed positioning themselves in momentum-driven stocks. more..

Civil society, NGOs want to help in COVID-19 efforts, but say no official mechanism...

Sep 1 (ST) Civil society and NGOs are ready to help with SL’s national Covid-19 efforts, but have been shut out of official mechanisms despite repeatedly offering assistance, authoritative sources said. Some groups are even willing to give their residential facilities as intermediate or triage centres, provided there is some partnership between the organisations and the Govt, they revealed, adding that there was reluctance to hand them more..

Doctors perform successful stent procedure on COVID patient

Sep 1 (ST) The life of a COVID-19 patient, who had suffered a severe heart attack, was saved after a medical team at the National Hospital successfully conducted a two-hour long heart surgery on Tuesday. The team was led by Consultant Cardiologist Gotabhaya Ranasinghe, who said the patient’s heart attack had been brought on by complications due to COVID-19. The patient, a 41-year-old father of three, was admitted to the National Hospital’s Emergency Treatment Unit more..

SL gets US$150mn swap from Bangladesh

Sep 1 (EN) SL has got US$ 150 million in a currency swap arrangement from the central bank of Bangladesh, and an special drawing rights allocation from the IMF amounting to around US$ 787 million to boost gross reserves. Bangladesh Bank has given US$ 150 million out of 200 million agreed in tranches of 50 million, 100 million and another 50 million. So far 150 million had been received. “This swap facility has been provided for a period of 3 months with the possibility of rolling over more..

Ranatunga slams Russia critics

Sep 1 (TM) Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga claimed that certain bankrupt politicians had spread misinformation about his visit to Russia at a time when every sector of earnings in the country has slowed down due to the pandemic. “SriLankan Airlines has launched a special promotional campaign to promote Sri Lanka as an attractive destination in Russia, and Sri Lankans wishing to attend the inaugural visit more..

USJ researchers find four mutations in 70% of Delta variant samples in Sri Lanka

Sep 1 (FT) Four mutations of the Delta variant, including two mutations from Sri Lanka, have been detected in 70% of Delta variant samples collected during the third week of August. The findings are a result of studies carried out by a team of researchers from Sri Jayewardenepura University, including Prof. Neelika Malavige and Dr. Chandima Jeewandara. 94 samples collected from across the island were studied and three of the samples had the Alpha variant while 91 had the Delta variant. more..

571,589 persons vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday

Sep 1 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 571,589 persons on Monday, raising second dose coverage in the country’s population above the age of 30 to 67%. Second dose coverage exceeds 70% in the Western Province as well as the Matale, Kandy, Hambantota, and Ampara Districts. Total number of persons to receive the first dose of a vaccine is 12,423,579. Of this, 7,703,411 persons have received the second dose as well. This includes 9,804,468 persons who have more..

4,221 persons test positive for COVID-19

Sep 1 (FT) Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 440,302 with the detection of 4,221 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday. The patients detected yesterday are from the New Year cluster. A total of 13,936 PCR tests were carried out yesterday. On Monday, 13,696 PCR tests and 3,173 rapid antigen tests were carried out, keeping daily testing well below 20,000. 4,558 persons from the New Year cluster and four persons from more..

COVID-19 death toll exceeds 9,000

Sep 1 (FT) COVID-19 death toll yesterday exceeded 9,000, less than one week after it crossed the 8,000 mark. On 25 Aug, 209 COVID-19 deaths, raising the total fatalities to 8,157. On 30 August, health officials confirmed 194 COVID-19 deaths, which raised the death toll to 9,185. The deaths confirmed yesterday include 146 persons over the age of 60, 45 persons aged between 30 and 59, and three persons below the age of 30. 76% of the total fatalities are in the above 60 age category, more..

Church of Ceylon commends govt for conducting an accelerated vaccination...

Sep 1 (Island) Church of Ceylon on Monday commended the govt for conducting the vaccination programme in an accelerated manner to cover all parts of the country. “We now urge the authorities to take necessary steps to secure a vaccination that can be safely administered to all above the age of 12 years as the next important phase of the vaccination drive,” the Church of Ceylon said in a statement. The statement signed by Bishop of Kurunagala and Colombo Rev Keerthisiri more..

Easter carnage: One of those who allegedly failed to prevent it, turns state witness

Sep 1 (Island) Director General, Legal Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat, Attorney-at-Law Harigupta Rohanadeera revealed that former Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena would be a key witness in the State’s 2019 Easter Sunday case against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando as well as then IGP Pujith Jayasundera. Rohanadeera also made reference to more..

Sri Lanka inflation rises to 6% in August 2021

Sep 1 (EN) SL’s inflation in the capital Colombo had risen to 6% in Aug 2021, from 5.7% in July with prices rising 0.3% in the month, data from the state statistics office shows. The widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index rose to 143.5 points in August from 143.1 in July with food prices rising 0.7%. The food sub-index had risen 11.5% during the past 12-months. Central Bank has been printing large volumes of money over the past 18 months, losing forex reserves and weakening the currency. more..

Sri Lanka to halve urban food waste by 2030

Sep 1 (TM) Following the launch of SL’s roadmap to reduce urban food waste in mid-August, Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that the ultimate aim of the roadmap is to halve the amount of urban food waste by 2030. “The roadmap was launched earlier this month, based on a study conducted by the UNFAO. In order to reduce urban food waste, we must first begin with major hotel chains, caterers, small hotels, and then finally, domestic households. more..

Sugar Scam: Company probed over contaminated coconut oil imports among...

Sep 1 (Island) State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that a large stock of hoarded sugar, detected with the information provided by Derana journalists, belonged to 3 importers. Asked whether he could name the culprits and explain the status of the investigation, SLFPer Alagiyawanna said that the importers would be named at a media briefing on Wednesday (1). During raids carried out since last Saturday, more..

Over 11,000 more metric tons of sugar found stashed away in warehouses

Sep 1 (AD) Following the exposé made by Ada Derana on the truth behind the artificial market shortage of sugar, more warehouses stashing away large stocks of the product were tracked down by the CAA. Five teams of CAA officials, appointed by State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna to look into the matter, carried out inspections in Colombo and Gampaha districts today (31). During the raids, a total of 11,070 metric tons of sugar was recovered from warehouses in more..

Another New COVID variant emerges in South Africa

Sep 1 (CT) State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana, says tests have revealed the COVID-19 variant that is currently spreading rapidly in South Africa, identified as C.1.2, had been formed by a few earlier strains of the disease. He stated according to medical experts the current variant, which has still not been named by the WHO, which had begun to spread in South Africa, had also started to spread in such countries as China, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK, Portugal, Congo and Mauritius. more..

Prof. Malavige complains of vaccine apartheid

Sep 1 (Island) Developed countries were hoarding close to 4.5 billion doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines and those vaccines would expire soon, Prof. Neelika Malavige of the Dept of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Uni of Sri J'pura, said on Monday delivering the 16th Sujatha Jayawardena Memorial Oration. Prof. Malavige said that 1.7 billion Pfizer and Moderna doses each and 1.1 billion AstraZeneca more..

PCR Tests: Who is making the money?

Sep 1 (DM) I am treated for diabetes and high blood pressure by a Jaffna Teaching Hospital physician. The care I get from him is as good as what I had in the US. The physician administrators have over the past few years brought the Jaffna Teaching Hospital to high standard, clean and with many physicians looking at a patient. I was therefore surprised to hear that PCR Tests 72 hours before a flight have been approved only from Asiri, Nawaloka, Durdans, Lanka Hospital and some relatively unknown and more..

Stay home, save lives

Sep 1 (FT) The complex challenge posed by COVID-19 both in protecting public health and the socioeconomic functioning of the country confront policymakers with difficult choices. Large scale movement and physical distance restrictions, often referred to as lockdowns, can slow COVID‑19 transmission by limiting contact between people, but these measures can also have a negative economic impact and affect disadvantaged groups who most often live in overcrowded and more..

‘Present SLFP leaders should resign for party to be revived’

Sep 1 (TM) Today marks the 70th anniversary of the SLFP, which was founded by slain PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. Although it has now become a minority party representing the current SLFP Alliance, the SLFP, as a party, has been in power in the country for the longest time. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the daughter of slain Premier Bandaranaike, as well as more..

Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic policy setting: Cohesion or confusion?

Sep 1 (FT) The hike in policy interest rates by the Central Bank in August 2021 marks a shift from stimulus to exit strategies in the pandemic era. Such recalibrations globally are focused on how to tackle the historically large debt-to-GDP ratios that the COVID-19 pandemic leaves in its wake. At end 2020, Advanced Economies (AEs) on average had amassed debt to the tune of 120% of their GDP, with Emerging Markets Economies (EMEs) trailing some distance at 65% of GDP. more..