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Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Keeping ball under water

Mar 27 (Island) Humanity stands humbled as never before. Covid-19, which is spreading fast across the world, has spared hardly any country. The World Health Organisation has warned that the epicentre of the pandemic could shift to the US, unless stringent action is taken to curb its spread. More than 472,000 Covid-19 patients have been detected, in all parts of the world, and about 22,000 deaths due to the disease have been reported. About 115,000 people have recovered. more..

Pandemic Pride and Paranoia

Mar 27 (FT) In human history, if one cares to look, a pandemic disease is the most predictable of all global catastrophes. It has happened so many times that we have chosen not to remember. Starting from the Bubonic plague to the HIV/AIDS pandemic we have a long history of doing too little too late in avoiding mass death by infectious disease. We remember wars. We don’t remember pandemics. Pandemics take more lives, yet we chose to forget pandemics and remember conflict among more..

Gender equality: Tech-based violence against women on the rise

Mar 27 (CT) Almost 90% of men and women in the world have a bias against women, when it comes to politics, economics, education, violence or reproductive rights, according to Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI), that was recently put out by the UNDP, which clarifies that discrimination against women is a huge issue even in modern society, stated former SC Judge, Shiranee Tilakawardane. more..

Navy carries out several disinfection programmes in Jaffna

Mar 27 (Island) To prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the country, a programme to disinfect several places of Jaffna was launched on Wednesday. On the instruction of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, the Navy is carrying out a number of disinfection programmes, in public places, to control the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. Going by this initiative, the sterilization programmes were conducted at the Ministry of Health Indigenous Medicine more..

Recommendations on prisoner treatment to minimise COVID-19 spread sent to Prez

Mar 27 (GV) We welcome the announcement of the formation of a committee to discuss the release of prisoners and de-congest prisons, which is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. Given the severe overcrowding of prisons with minimal sanitation and health facilities, they could be very vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. They are also places where inmates are unable to practice preventive measures recommended by health experts, such as social distancing and more..

'Some people put more pressure on me than the Virus did!'

Mar 27 (CT) SL's first COVID-19 patient, Jayantha Ranasinghe was discharged from the IDH recently and returned home. He was saved at a time when nearly 20,000 COVID-19 patients around the world have succumbed to the virus. In an interview, he describes how he came into contact with the deadly virus and how the medical staff at IDH saved his life. He also described the difficulties his family underwent once he was identified as more..

What is South Asia’s secret versus Covid-19?

Mar 27 (CT) Medical researchers who are hunting for treatments for Coronavirus or Covid-19 that has afflicted nearly half a million people worldwide should take a long hard look at South Asia. While much of the world is battling huge outbreaks of the pandemic, South Asia has led a charmed life – so far. As of 26th March, a total of 472,907 people globally have tested positive for Covid-19, of whom 21,315 have died. Far East, Middle East, Europe and North America are all struggling to cope more..

Superpowers Vs Covid-19

Mar 27 (CT) As per today’s (26) statistics, 471,576 COVID-19 cases have been reported in 198 countries out of which 21,297 are the number of deaths that have been reported. 114, 696 patients have recovered so far. COVID-19 is being considered as one of the worst pandemics the world has ever experienced. People are strictly advised to maintain social distance everywhere in the countries affected by this deadly virus. Cities and towns are all on lockdown. more..

Contact Sri Lanka portal to help overseas Sri Lankans launched during Coronavirus crisis

Mar 26 (EN) Foreign Ministry and the Information & Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has launched an online portal for the use of overseas Sri Lankans as the world is hit by a Coronavirus pandemic. “All Sri Lankans living abroad are invited to register voluntarily on the platform’s basic functionalities allowing Govt of SL to reach out and provide assistance during emergencies such as the COVID19 outbreak” Finance Ministry said. more..

Fitch revises Sri Lanka’s banking sector outlook to Negative

Mar 26 (TM) Fitch Ratings has revised Sri Lanka’s banking sector outlook for 2020 to negative as the coronavirus pandemic poses increased risks to the anticipated expansion in the economy and credit demand, which will adversely affect the performance of the banks. Operating conditions are more challenging, affecting asset quality and profitability recovery. This will add to rating pressure as the rating Outlook for the Sri Lankan banking sector is already Negative following the revision in more..

Central Bank, Banks, Treasury, insurers essential services in Coronavirus curfew

Mar 26 (EN) Prez Gotabaya has made Central Bank of SL, commercial banks, insurances services and the Treasury essential services that must operated during a Coronavirus curfew. All banking and insurance companies and their branches should operate with a minimum of staff members. Secretary to the Prez P. B. Jayasundara had conveyed the directive to CB Governor W D Lakshman. Sri Lanka is under rolling three days curfews except for Colombo, Kalutara and Gamapaha, more..

Sri Lanka pardons soldier who slaughtered Tamil civilians

Mar 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Prez pardoned and released an army officer on death row for slitting the throats of Tamil civilians, including four children, during the island's bloody civil war. Mr Sunil Ratnayake was to be hanged for the Dec 2000 massacre in a case held up by previous SL govts as an example of rare accountability over abuses committed during the conflict. A court convicted him of murdering 8 members of the Tamil minority, more..

30 March-3 April declared work from home period

Mar 26 (NR) The govt has extended the work from home period announced to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Accordingly, the period between Monday the 30th of March to the 3rd of April has been declared as work from home week. Director General of the Prez’s Media Division Mohan Samaranayake noted that essential services during this period will operate unhindered. The statement added all state, semi govt and private institutions will fall under this directive. more..

No new COVID-19 cases reported for second consecutive day

Mar 26 (AD) Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi says that as of 4.45 p.m. today, there have been no new Coronavirus positive patients identified in the country within the day. Accordingly, Sri Lanka has thus far reported two consecutive days of no new local coronavirus cases. In the meantime, a total of seven patients who had tested as positive for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka have recovered completely and discharged from hospital, Ministry of Health reported earlier today. more..

7 COVID-19 cases recovered & discharged

Mar 26 (NR) Ministry of Health says no new COVID19 cases have been reported in the country as of 4:45pm today. Minister Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi said the number of cases reported in Sri Lanka continues to remain at 102. She said four patients who were receiving treatment for the coronavirus have since recovered and have been discharged. A total of seven persons have thus far recovered from the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases climb to 104

Mar 26 (NR) Ministry of Health says 2 more persons have tested positive for the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. In its latest report the Epidemiology Unit said the number of COVID-19 cases has therefore increased to 104. The Epidemiology Unit says 6 of the 104 cases have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Meanwhile 100 individuals suspected to have contracted the novel coronavirus in the country are under observation at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. more..

Post offices to open for 2 hrs during non-curfew hours

Mar 26 (AD) The Postmaster General says that all post offices and sub post offices have been instructed to remain open for at least 2 hours a day during non-curfew hours. Issuing a statement, he stated that although maintaining postal operations is difficult at a time when transportation has come to a standstill, the following decisions have been taken on the instructions of Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Secretary to the Ministry of Information and Mass Media: more..

Sri Lanka has to prepare a way forward strategy for a post-Covid19 era: Cabraal

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka has to prepare for post a Covid-19 era, where the way the global economy works would change, Nivard Cabraal, Senior Advisor to the finance minister said. “The SL economy would also have to be re-shaped and restructured to deal with the new global economic order and the challenges that would unfold,” Cabraal said. He said a way forward strategy should be developed after broad consultations. more..

Water supply interrupted in Colombo

Mar 26 (DM) The water supply in several areas in Colombo has been interrupted due to a leak in a pipeline which carries water from Ambatale water plant, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. Accordingly, the water supply had been interrupted in Colombo 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12 and 13. The Water Board said there would be a low pressure water supply in Colombo 4 and 14 as well. They said the water supply would be restored by 10 p.m today. more..

Treasury bill rates plunge to 4-year low

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka’s 12-month Treasury bill rate fell 82 basis points on Wednesday from a week earlier to the lowest since Janu 2016, data showed, while the nation grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. Govt Debt Department sold 12-month bills at 7.5%, lowest since the 7.48% recorded on the week ending Jan 1, 2016. The debt office sold 6-month bills at 7.25% this Wednesday, down 57 basis points from a week earlier, while 3-month bills were sold at 7%, down 27 basis points. more..

Dr. Paba Palihawadana

Former staff sergeant Sunil Ratnayake released on presidential pardon

Mar 26 (DM) Former staff sergeant of the Army, Sunil Ratnayake, who was sentenced to death over the murder of eight Tamil civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna in 2000, has been released on a special presidential pardon today. Commissioner General of Prisons Jayasiri Tennakoon said he was released from the Welikada Prison. Sunil Ratnayake was sentenced to death on June 25, 2015 by the Colombo High Court after a 13-year-trial. Five persons including Sunil Ratnayake were accused over the case, more..

UK advises Britons in Sri Lanka to return as Coronavirus trigger airport closures

Mar 26 (EN) UK has asked Britons in Sri Lanka and elsewhere to return in an exceptional travel advisory note, while the home country is also in a worsening Coronavirus crisis. “Flights to Sri Lanka have been suspended since 19 March. If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you are strongly advised to leave now, while commercial means are available,” the UK foreign office said in a warning to Britons. “Speak to your airline or tour company as soon as possible, as it is likely that flight options more..

Sri Lanka to help 18,000 tourists return home in Coronavirus crisis

Mar 26 (EN) SL is ready to help an estimated 18,093 tourists return home either via scheduled flights which are still operating or special charters that are required. Sri Lanka Tourism said, it was working with Foreign Ministry & embassies to arrange facilities for tourists to return. “SL Tourism would facilitate any country to fly out their nationals on holiday or on work here; back to their home country via charter flights on request,” more..

'No Sri Lankan in Italy died of coronavirus'

Mar 26 (AD) Embassy of SL in Rome has confirmed that no Sri Lankan in Italy has succumbed to Coronavirus. It was reported yesterday that a 70-year-old Sri Lankan had died in Messina, harbour city in northeast Sicily. Speculations were rife that this individual died of coronavirus complications. However, Embassy in Rome confirmed that no such death was reported. In the meantime, Ministry of Foreign Relations has stated that Italian hospitals are yet to confirm if Sri Lankans in Italy more..

Jaffna under curfew until further notice

Mar 26 (AD) The govt has decided to extend the curfew imposed on the Jaffna district until further notice, stated President’s Media Division. The curfew in Jaffna will not be lifted tomorrow as previously scheduled. However, the curfew on the other four districts in the Northern Province will be temporarily lifted at 6 am tomorrow and will be re-imposed at 2 pm on the same day. Along with Jaffna, Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts are also under curfew until further notice. more..

Sri Lanka in first zero Coronavirus cases day amid curfews to bottle the Covid-19 bug

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka recorded the first zero new Coronavirus case day on March 25, as the country was engaged in an intense battle to bottle the Covid-19 bug, and curfew was tightened to combat the possibility of small clusters in the Western Province of the island. On May 25, SL recorded no new cases, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. It is the first zero-new-case day since SL’s Wave II infection phase began more..

Air Force scrambles to build patient isolation ward at IDH

Mar 26 (FT) A team of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel are working around the clock to build a 16-room patient isolation ward at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) on a request made by Director Heath Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe. Close to 220 SLAF personnel including nine officers are working in shifts, 24 hours a day, to build the facility at the IDH premises, seen as a top priority as the number of COVID-19 patients grows daily, the Air Force said. more..

CPC, CPSTL join sanitisation efforts to contain spread of COVID-19

Mar 26 (FT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) have joined efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, by introducing ethanol-based hand sanitizer at all outlets. The move was brought to the attention of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera during a visit to CPSTL, to observe the distribution of fuel during the curfew period. According to the Minister, one fuel station will remain open in every Police division, more..

GMOA estimates 550 COVID-19 infected persons in Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (FT) The GMOA estimated that there were 550 persons infected with COVID-19 circulating within the population and they had possibly had contact with a total of 19,000 others, while underscoring the importance of adhering strictly to social distancing during non-curfew hours to avoid a rapid increase in the number of persons infected. “Considering Western nations that have been unsuccessful in carrying out social distancing, more..

Tackling COVID-19: Support sought from former MPs

Mar 26 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that the Govt will seek the support of all leaders of political parties in the former Parliament to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. He took this decision following a discussion with political party leaders on 24 March at Temple Trees. The PM's Office will meet political party leaders personally in the coming days before taking measures to tackle the spread. Most party leaders expressed their satisfaction with measures taken by Govt to bring the present situation more..

IDH receives 6 much-needed ICU ventilators from Dhammika Perera

Mar 26 (FT) Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), which has been playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, yesterday received six critically necessary and globally scarce ventilators via a philanthropic intervention by business leader Dhammika Perera. Air-freighted and made in Switzerland, the six ventilators and six beds were installed yesterday at the newly set-up Intensive Care Unit at IDH. Much-needed reinforcement at IDH is part of Rs70 m commitment by Perera, more..

Security measures on until 7 April

Mar 26 (CT) Govt has decided to continue the security measures which have been imposed islandwide to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, without any interruption until 7 April. This was decided during a special Cabinet meeting summoned by Prez Rajapaksa, to discuss the current situation of the country following COVID-19. Cabinet agreed that the ongoing curfew could be lifted and re-imposed sporadically, more..

SL cricketers join COVID-19 fight

Mar 26 (FT) National Cricket Team has donated an undisclosed sum of money to the National Hospital, which is to be spent on purchasing much-needed medical equipment as the country combats the COVID-19 pandemic. SLC confirmed that orders had been placed for several video laryngoscopes and equipment that would significantly improve treatment of COVID-19 patients. Laryngoscopy is an endoscopy of the larynx, a part of the throat, and is used to obtain a view, for example, more..

Involvement of middlemen has resulted in price hikes, say consumers

Mar 26 (DN) National Movement for Consumer Protection said that a kilogramme of vegetables bought from farmers for a sum ranging from Rs. 12 to Rs.30 by middlemen at the Keppetipola Economic centre had been allegedly sold for Rs.400 plus in Colombo on Tuesday when the police curfew was lifted for several hours. NMCP urged govt to control the unscrupulous activities of the middlemen and large scale vegetable and fruit sellers trying to make exorbitant profit at the expense of farmers more..