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Video: More than 500,000 vaccinated against COVID-19 so far

Mar 2 (AD) 509,275 individuals in total have received COVID vaccines ever since SL kicked off its inoculation drive on the Jan 29. Epidemiology Unit said that 42,925 people were vaccinated yesterday. SL’s inoculation drive is moving forward with Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). India donated 500,000 doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to SL in January more..

Purchasing paddy: Mill owners agree to Govt price regulation

Mar 2 (CT) Mill owners have agreed to purchase paddy from farmers at prices fixed by the Govt. This decision was taken at a recent discussion between small, medium, and large-scale rice mill owners and Trade Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena. Speaking at the discussion, Dr. Gunawardena said the Govt is not ready to increase the price of rice in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said the aim of the Govt is to protect farmers, rice mill owners, and consumers. more..

FB posts misleadingly claim SL banned people with tattoos from donating blood

Mar 2 (FC) Multiple posts shared hundreds of times on Facebook in February 2021 claim that Sri Lanka prohibits people with tattoos from donating blood. The claim is misleading: as of March 3, 2021, Sri Lanka’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) says people with tattoos can donate blood. They may, however, be temporarily discouraged from blood donation for one year after getting a tattoo as a precautionary measure against blood borne infections, the NBTS says. more..

Amaraweera plans to ban certain types of plastic, polythene

Mar 2 (Island) Environment Ministry reiterated that steps would be taken to ban the use of several types of plastic and polythene in the country from the end of this month. Contacted for comment, environmentalists said that they had heard similar pledges to ban those products by previous Environment Ministers, but there had been no bans. Previous Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who even promised to ban asbestos more..

Vaccination drive: Hiccups being rectified, says Army Chief

Mar 2 (DM) The discrepancies that were observed in the vaccination drive are being taken into consideration and will be rectified, Gen. Shavendra Silva said. He said that there were minor hiccups at the vaccination centres and added they have identified such acts and were on the process of rectifying them. “As far as the vaccination drive is concerned, the main focus right now is on the Western Province. There were incidents where there were long queues at vaccination centres,” more..

Stern action if political influence continues on vaccination drive: PHIs warn

Mar 2 (DM) While saying that incidents were reported from Colombo Municipality area with regard to politicians making influential pressure on officials and thereby sabotage the vaccination drive, the Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIU) warned that they won’t hesitate to take tough action if this kind of influence continues to happen. PHIU Head Upul Rohana said they would be joined by other trade unions as well if they had decided to launch such a move. more..

Video: WCT to be developed under 35-year contract with Indian investors and SLPA

Mar 2 (AD) West Container Terminal (WCT) of the Colombo Port is approved to be developed as a Public-Private Limited Company in partnership with India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ Consortium) along with its local representative John Keells Holding PLC (APSEZ Consortium), and SL Ports Authority (SLPA). On Feb 1, the Cabinet decided to develop WCT as a Public-Private Limited Company more..

PUCSL readies for emergency power purchases

Mar 2 (FT) The Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) has called an emergency board meeting to evaluate and approve power purchases to ensure uninterrupted power supply, PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said. He said that the public should not be concerned about any moves to institute power cuts by the CEB, as the regulator was moving ahead with plans to approve emergency power purchases. “A board meeting has already been called for early next week, more..

Video: 7,757 air force personnel promoted on SLAF’s 70th anniversary

Mar 2 (AD) Sri Lanka Air Force today (March 2) celebrates its 70th anniversary as the Guardians of the Skies. To coincide with the anniversary, a total of 7,757 air force personnel including 467 officers from different ranks have been promoted to their next higher rank. As part of anniversary celebrations, a wide range of events have been arranged including a ceremonial fly past and aerobatics display in the skies off Galle Face Green from the 3rd to 5th of March. more..

Financial racket alleged at St. Joseph’s Balika Nugegoda

Mar 2 (DM) Concerns are raised whether pressure was exerted on Investigation Officers of the Ministry of Education Western Province who were in the process of preparing a report regarding the questionable activities of a principal of a school in Western Province in connection with grade one admissions. This school principal is alleged to have manipulated the procedure of admitting students to grade one. more..

CB likely to hold rates: First Capital Research

Mar 2 (FT) Central Bank is likely to keep policy rates unchanged this week, First Capital Research said yesterday, though it backed slashing them further to improve slow consumer demand and sustain the secondary market at lower levels. Releasing their pre-policy analysis, First Capital Research said among the arguments against further relaxation in monetary policy was that high-frequency indicators point to retrenchment in economic activity. Reversing downward trend witnessed in recent months, more..

Fishing cats victims of mistaken identify

Mar 2 (Island) The killing of fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus) is on the rise countrywide mainly because they resemble leopard cubs. They also end up as road kill. The Sinhala term for fishing cats–– Handun Diviya––gives the jitters to many villagers who fear that the animals are leopards and a threat to them, according to researcher cum conservationist Chaminda Jayasekara. Following the death of a farmer in a leopard attack recently, fishing cats are also being increasingly targeted and more..

Campuses prepare for the increased number of students this year

Mar 2 (EN) Health Ministry expects to vaccinate university students against Covid 19 virus as groups starting from 4th-year students to restore normal activities of the universities in the country, Chairman of the UGC Prof Sampath Amaratunga said. He said that Prez had also instructed the Health Ministry to vaccinate about 5800 medical students including the medical students in the Kotelawala Defence Uni more..

Video: COVID-19 victims to be buried in Iranaitivu

Mar 2 (AD) A decision has been taken to bury the bodies of COVID-19 victims in Iranaitivu, stated Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. According to Minister Rambukwella, a plot of land in Iranitivu in Kilinochchi District has been identified for this purpose. Pointing out that a gazette notification has been issued regarding COVID-19 deaths, the Minister stated that the decision was taken during the discussion held yesterday (01) regarding the action being taken in this regard. more..

Online U-12 Chess: Haritha wins nine out of nine to clinch title

Mar 2 (Island) Haritha Hansana from Denipitiya Primary School beat all nine opponents to emerge as the champion of the Inaugural CFSL Online Under-12 Championship on Sunday. Hansana beat Krithik Koneshwaran, Methan Sritharan, Asini Gamage, S. Fairooz, B.A.M. Arachchi, Sithum Pahasara, Pamok Samaranayake, Sasula Pathirana and S.S.L.N. Dandeniya to remain unbeaten throughout the tourney. Hansana who won the National Youth Under-10 title in 2019 more..

Video: Police seek assistance to identify body found in suitcase & suspect

Mar 2 (AD) It has been revealed that the decapitated body of a woman found in a suitcase at Dam Street had been transported from Hanwella all the way to Colombo in a Hanwella-Pettah (143) bus. The footage of the suspect who had brought the suitcase to that location had been caught in a nearby CCTV camera. It shows the suspect, wearing a face mask, dragging the suitcase along the road before leaving it on more..

PM instructs authorities to make health a closed service under central govt

Mar 2 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has given directives to include the subject of health in the draft of new Constitution as a closed service that operates under the Central Govt. The directives came after a request made by the chief of Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya during a discussion held at the Temple Trees. The problems faced by health workers and the solutions put forward by the GMOA for the relevant issues were taken up at the meeting, more..

Shani Abeysekara’s bail application to be considered on 17 March

Mar 2 (FT) Court of Appeal has ordered that the revision bail applications filed by former Director of the CID Shani Abeysekara and former Sub Inspector of CID Sugath Rohana Mendis attached to the Embilipitiya Police be summoned on 17 March. The petitions were called before a panel of Appeal Court Judges comprising justices Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and R. Gurusinghe on Monday. Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea, appearing for the petitioner, requested the court give more..

LPL match-fixing: Sachithra Senanayake’s anticipatory bail application rejected

Mar 2 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by former cricketer Sachithra Senanayake, seeking to prevent his arrest over match-fixing allegations. The former SL cricketer is accused of attempting to fix matches in the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 tournament. The Lanka Premier League was held from Nov 27 to Dec 17, 2020 in Hambantota. more..

Cinnamon exports notches highest turnover in 2020

Mar 2 (DM) Despite the pall of gloom which engulfed the world, last year, the only silver cloud which surrounded Lanka was the highest ever recorded level of cinnamon exports, which stood at US 38.2 Billion for 2020 for 18, 722 tonnes. Cinnamon exports have performed extremely well in 2020 even with the Covid 19 lockdown. If not for Covid disturbance to production, transport, delays in shipments due non availability of containers and the shortage of high priced higher grades more..

Brutal assault on infant in Jaffna; Mother arrested

Mar 2 (DM) The woman, suspected to have mercilessly assaulted an infant, and the incident was witnessed in video footage circulated on social media platforms, was arrested last morning in Jaffna, DIG Ajith Rohana said. He said the woman (24) who was involved in that savagery was the eight-month-old boy's mother. DIG Rohana said the police have begun an investigation into this barbaric act after a video footage in social media brought this incident to light. more..

Expect India to vote in favour of our country at UNHRC: Foreign Secretary

Mar 2 (IT) India has been urging Sri Lanka to implement and enforce the 13th amendment of its Constitution ever since the country's war with Tamil separatists ended in 2009. At the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva, India said that it supports its neighbour's "unity and territorial integrity" and remains committed to "aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity". more..

Vehicle registrations drop to 3,256 in January

Mar 2 (DN) Total vehicle registrations have fallen to 3,256 units in January down from 4,478 units the previous month and 34,475 units 12 months ago. JB Securities say for the analysis from Jan 2019 to Jan 2021 they had to update their database to accommodate a new category called locally assembled vehicles that were previously not in the RMV data feed. In the brand-new car segment of the 40 units registered in January, 27 units were Zotye – Z100 down from 48 units the previous month, more..

Estranged strange bedfellows

Mar 2 (Island) JVP has torn the Easter Sunday PCoI report to shreds. Its leaders have picked many holes in the document, and their arguments are tenable. Their position is that the PCoI has served no useful purpose as it has failed to identify the masterminds of the terror strikes. One cannot but agree with them on this score. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, has gone a step further; he has demanded to know why Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was the PM at the time of the Easter Sunday more..

ආපදා සහන සපයන්න ගුවන් හමුදාව සුදානම්!

In the eye of the eagle

Mar 2 (FT) Sri Lanka needs not only India’s vote but its active support – the Indian umbrella to be unfurled—in Geneva next month. The carefully calibrated statement by the Indian representative on the OHCHR Report clearly declares before the international community, Delhi’s commitment both to Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity as well as to the aspirations of the Tamil people, meaningful devolution and the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. more..

Domestic mechanisms to address accountability

Mar 2 (FT) With the start of the UNHRC sessions in Geneva on 22 Feb, several commentators have expressed opinions as to how Sri Lanka should address the issues raised in the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Others, some with extremely impressive credentials, have been more specific and confined themselves to issues relating to accountability. The prevailing perception is that domestic legal provisions are inadequate to address issues relating to accountability more..

Indian aircraft contingent here to celebrate SLAF 70th anniversary

Mar 2 (Island) Indian Air Force planes have arrived in Sri Lanka to take part in an aerobatic display at Galle Face. SL Air Force is celebrating its 70th Anniversary today March 02 and the presentation of the President’s Colours to the No. 5 Fighter Squadron and No. 6 Helicopter Squadron of the SL Air Force. To commemorate this historical event, a fly past and an aerobatic display is also being organised for the first time in SL more..

Vehicle importers call on govt to lift import ban

Mar 2 (DM) SL’s vehicle importers have called on the govt to pay heed to their concerns, and stressed it is time to conceptualize a plan to rescue the automobile imports sector from collapsing. Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL) asserted that intervention is sought from the highest level to revoke the current import ban on vehicles. VIASL official said that while it is understood the ban cannot be lifted completely, it is expected from the govt to allow vehicle imports at least for more..

Walk from Dondra to Pt. Pedro for national unity

Mar 2 (Island) Convenor of the Jaffna Civil Society Centre Arun Siddarth together with a group of like-minded people commenced a walk from Dondra to Point Pedro yesterday to promote racial harmony and national unity Siddarth alleged that it was local politicians, foreign powers and a few overseasbased organisations that had created mistrust and division between Sinhalese and Tamils in the country. Naming a few of these foreign based organisations he said that LTTE had plundered Tamil more..

COPA tells MoE to implement infrastructure plans for small schools

Mar 2 (FT) The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) instructed authorities in the education sector to implement an infrastructure development plan for Govt schools which have less than 200 students, within the next four months. The Committee heard that there are 5,161 schools in the country with less than 200 students and both students and teachers face many problems due to inadequate facilities. more..

Former SL cricketer summoned before Court

Mar 2 (CT) A former Sri Lankan Test cricketer has been summoned to appear before Court today on allegations of match-fixing during the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020, which was held on August in Hambantota. The former cricketer has been summoned as part of investigations into alleged attempts to fix a match in the LPL 2020. He has been accused of reaching out to players, and of failing to cooperate with ongoing investigations into the allegations. more..

38 Covid-19 positive candidates face O/Ls

Mar 2 (CT) Education Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris said 38 COVID-19 positive candidates who faced the GCE O/L Exam, yesterday (1), were accommodated in special examination centres. He said examinations were held methodically, adding that over 40 special examination centres islandwide were set up to facilitate students in emergency health situations, adding that steps have also been taken to facilitate candidates who face several other difficulties. more..

SJB appeals for govt to expedite guideline issuance on COVID-19 dead

Mar 2 (FT) The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday accused the Govt of dragging their feet on issuing regulations for the burial of COVID-19 deaths and appealed for the Govt to fast track issuance of relevant guidelines. SJB MP S.M. Marikkar warned delays by the Health Ministry to issue the much-awaited guidelines regarding the burial of the COVID-19 dead could lead to more resentment & tensions between communities. more..

Tsunami Baby 81 sits for O/Ls

Mar 2 (CT) Tsunami Baby 81 alias Jeyaraj Abilash, a resident of Kalmunai, sat for the 2020 GCE O/L Exam 2020, which kicked off yesterday. Abilash came to prominence after going missing due to the impact of the Boxing Day tsunami tragedy 17 years ago. Upon his discovery no fewer than nine women came forward to lay claim to him as their missing son. After having paid his respects to the tsunami memorial, erected at his residence in Kaluthawla along with his parents, more..

Quarterly income tax payments bouncing back showing growth: Treasury Secy

Mar 2 (EN) SL’s quarterly income tax filed for the 2020 last final quarter had exceeded the 2019 number, despite lower rates showing that economic activity was starting to pick-up and some tax payers had also opened new files, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Corporate and personal income taxes collected in Feb 2020, relating to incomes earned in the fourth quarter of 2019 had been 61 billion rupees. But income taxes paid in Feb 2021, relating to the earnings of the Dec 2020 quarter more..

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