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Preventing COVID-19 spread: Bus fare hike not a solution: LPBOA

Nov 12 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) claimed that increasing the minimum bus fare and allowing passenger transport according to the number of seats are not solutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These concerns were raised by the Association’s President Gemunu Wijeratne, who also pointed out that he had requested for an increase, of the minimum bus fare, by 1.5% and to transport 50% of passengers according to the seating capacity. more..

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 death toll hikes to 48

Nov 12 (AD) SL’s coronavirus death toll has risen as two more deaths were confirmed. Both patients had been receiving treatment at the Mulleriyawa Hospital upon being diagnosed with COVID-19. One of the deceased is a 54-year-old male from the Col 12 area. His cause of death is determined as COVID-19 along with a chronic illness in the lungs. Another male, a 45-year-old resident of Meegoda, has also succumbed to the virus. Reportedly, he had died from COVID-19 related pneumonia and more..

Boat tragedy on Diyawanna

Nov 12 (CT) A boat which entered the Parliament high security zone by cutting the protective net put up to prevent entry into the area was struck by a security vessel. Two persons in the boat then jumped into the flowing Diyawanna Oya in a bid to escape. In the melee one of them disappeared into the water without a trace. However, according to the Welikada Police, the other person in the boat managed to save himself. more..

Disposing clinical waste, facemasks, gloves: CEA sets out new guidelines

Nov 12 (CT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera instructed CEA to formulate a programme for the proper disposal of contaminants such as masks and gloves without causing harm to the environment. CEA has introduced a new set of guidelines in this regard. The guidelines have also instructed local authorities to deploy vehicles and personnel to dispose clinical waste including those generated in the COVID-19-isolated areas. Therefore, used masks and gloves should be separately kept more..

Minister Weerasekera assures expeditious completion of required infrastructure for...

Nov 12 (Island) Sarath Weerasekara, State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, says most of the infrastructure facilities required for developing connecting cities under the new approach in the National Spatial System of the govt policy framework, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, would be completed next year. The Minister said so Meeting of the Social Infrastructure Facility Development Committee of Rural Economy Enhancement National Programme, more..

A safe, effective vaccine still months away: Dr. Pendse

Nov 12 (CT) Representative of the WHO to SL, Dr. Razia Pendse said, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility), coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO are speeding up the search for an effective vaccine for all countries and Govt of SL has signed up with the COVAX Facility under the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) more..

Batik and handlooms to be given pride of place: Dayasiri

Nov 12 (CT) State Minister of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel, Dayasiri Jayasekara said that from next year, garments sewn with batik and handloom fabrics will be promoted among Govt servants. He made these observations after participating in the District Development Committee meeting held at the Polonnaruwa DS on 10 Nov. He added that the programme will be carried out jointly with the Ministry of Public Administration. He also said he intends to introduce new designs of garments more..

Third reading of the 2020 Appropriation Bill passed

Nov 12 (NR) The third reading of the 2020 Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament with amendments today. The Bill was passed without being taken up for vote. The third reading of the 2020 Appropriation Bill was presented in Parliament by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister of Finance. The bill was debated between 10am and 5pm and was subsequently taken up for vote. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will present the 2021 Budget speech in Parliament next Tuesday, more..

Swindling millions of rupees from investors: Indian Police arrest head of financial entity,..

Nov 12 (CT) Indian Police arrested the managing director and head of a private financial entity, suspected of swindling millions of rupees from investors along with his son and wife after escaping to India illegally via the sea route from Jaffna by paying a large sum. The affected investors said they must be brought down to Sri Lanka and that stringent legal action must be taken against them. Passports of escaped manager & his wife more..

Deepavali celebrations: Govt issues guidelines

Nov 12 (EN) Health authorities have issued a set of guidelines to those celebrating the Hindu festival of light – Deepavali – to minimize the possible spread of the Covid 19 virus during the celebration of the triumph of good over evil. A guideline issued by the Ministry of Health urges devotees to follow the rules and ensure that no member of your family or community is infected with Covid 19 during the festival. Deepavali – or Diwali – is a festival of lights which celebrates the triumph of Ram more..

Health sector should decide: Ven. Narampanawe Anandanayake Thera

Nov 12 (CT) Deputy Secretary of the Asgiriya Chapter, Chief Incumbent of the Asgiriya Pirivena Venerable Narampanawe Anandanayake Thera said the decision to bury or cremate COVID-19 infected bodies should come from the health authorities and not depend on the religious background but should be based on protective methods recommended by the health sector. If burying such a body is a threat to those who are living, such religious recommendations have to be set aside and more..

Video: Sri Lanka to use drones to monitor movements in isolated areas

Nov 12 (AD) Police says that the movements of people will be monitored in isolated areas in the country using drone cameras. DIG Ajith Rohana stated that stern action will be taken against those violating restrictions in the isolated areas. He said that starting this evening drone technology will be utilized to contently monitor the movements of people in the isolated areas and to ensure they are following quarantine more..

Burying COVID-19 victims could lead to contamination of waterways: Expert

Nov 12 (DM) There is a risk of COVID-19 virus contaminating water within the soil if those who succumb to the disease are buried, an expert said yesterday. Professor Menthika Withanage said there is a risk element in this regard though there is no scientific evidence to prove it. “Research has revealed that COVID-19 virus could survive even in streams and other waterways,” Professor Withanage said. She said the Ministry of Health has appointed a special committee to look into the matter. more..

Power packed speakers at CIMA-ICCSL-Daily FT forum on Budget highlights 2021

Nov 12 (FT) CIMA Sri Lanka, the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka and the Daily FT have come together, yet again, to bring you a forum that will unravel the impact of the Budget 2021 followed by a panel discussion with esteemed business leaders on 18 November, at 6 p.m. via zoom. The first of such events lined up post the presentation of the Budget in the Parliament on 17 November, participants will benefit from the eminent line up of speakers and panellists. more..

Video: PM presents second reading of Appropriation Bill 2020

Nov 12 (AD) SL’s public debt, which was 70% in 2014, has increased to 85% by 2019, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The PM, acting as the Minister of Finance, mentioned this presenting the second reading of the Appropriation Bill for the year 2020 at the parliament today. He pointed out that the relevant Appropriation Act includes 4 Votes on Accounts. According to the Appropriation Act 2020, budget deficit is 7.9% of GDP. more..

Govt should do more to contain COVID-19 spread: Ratnapriya

Nov 12 (DN) Former UNP MP Saman Ratnapriya said that the Govt should do more to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus which has led to an increase in the number of cases and deaths being reported in the country. He added that the Govt’s response to contain and the measures taken so far display the incoherent policies and plans. He was speaking at a media briefing in Sirikotha yesterday. “At present, there are 15,024 COVID-19 patients in SL and 44 deaths have been reported. more..

Sri Lanka repays US$4.2bn in foreign debt without defaulting in 2020: PM

Nov 12 (EN) SL has repaid US$ 4.2 billion in foreign debt falling due and avoided sovereign default, PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “We were able to stabilize the exchange rate, which was steadily depreciating then at around the Rs.185 (to the US dollar level) and to service the foreign debt of 4,200 million dollars averting the country being classified into a debt default status,” PM told parliament. He said dire predictions about default had been made but it had not happened. more..

Video: Two-week quarantine for those who left Western Province despite restrictions

Nov 12 (AD) A decision has been taken to quarantine persons who had left the Western Province once the travel restrictions were imposed. DIG Ajith Rohana stated that all police stations in the country have been informed in this regard. A travel restriction was imposed in the Western Province yesterday prohibiting those in the Western Province from traveling outside province boundaries. This directive is effective until midnight on Sun. more..

Video: Bogambara Prison inmates protest on roof over COVID-19 fears

Nov 12 (AD) A group of inmates at the old Bogambara prison have launched a protest on the roof over the prevailing COVID-19 situation within the premises. Authorities have been deployed to the prison for the quarantine processes and nearly 800 detainees have been placed under quarantine so far. Reportedly, 30 inmates and two officers have been identified to have contracted COVID-19. The protesting inmates are requesting that they be subjected to PCR testing as soon as possible more..

MINUSMA-based Sri Lankan troops praised for recovery of IEDs along main roads

Nov 12 (SLA) SL Combat Convoy Company, deployed in Mali under UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and commanded by Lt Colonel Srinath Gallage has been given high praise by the MINUSMA Force Commander in Mali, other high-profile military officers and civil officials on their performance, high degree of professionalism and discipline at all levels. The SL Combat Convoy Company, leaving exclusive footprints has succeeded in extending more..

මවුලවී මරීනා රිෆ්ෆායි

Dear India, US and China…

Nov 12 (FT) The perfect positioning of SL in the midst of the Indian Ocean has always brought greater benefits to the island in the past. Trade between East Asia and Europe/Euro Asia had made SL a hub for trade interlinkages. Religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism which originated in India have travelled to SL due to its ideal location and political connections. Colonialism flourished in SL due to its strategic positioning, making SL a vital hub for East Indies Dutch and British companies. more..

The oversold virus

Nov 12 (FT) Well, we are in a curious twilight zone between having decided, sanely, salvifically, to move forward in SL rather than staying economically comatose and moribund as a society indefinitely, quaking over a viral strain, with currently far more demonstrated bark than bite on these shores. If we’re not careful though, the mismatch between our strategy and our rhetoric may have us clutching defeat from the jaws of victory, undermining the very laudable and more..

COVID-19 case count crosses 15,000 mark

Nov 12 (FT) Total number of COVID-19 cases identified in the island exceeded 15,000, with 635 new cases being identified yesterday. Of this, 625 were associates of the Peliyagoda cluster. Total COVID-19 case count currently stands at 15,350, of which 11,858 are from the dual cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda. Of the remaining cases, 1,467 are returnees from abroad, 950 are Navy more..

19-day debate for 2021 Appropriation Bill

Nov 12 (Island) Committee on Parliamentary Business has decided on a 19-day debate for the Appropriation Bill – 2021, after presenting it to Parliament on the 17th of Nov. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said the Second Reading of Appropriation Bill would take place from the 18th to the 21st and the vote on the Second Reading will be taken on the 21st at 5 pm. Debate of the Committee Stage will commence on 23rd Nov and is scheduled to conclude on 10th of Dec. more..

All bus services leaving, entering WP suspended until Nov.15

Nov 12 (DM) All bus services entering and leaving the Western Province will be suspended until Sunday (Nov 15) midnight, the National Transport Commission (NTC) and SL Transport Board (SLTB) said. They said the decision was taken following the Govts decision to restrict people's movements from the Western Province to other provinces as a majority of Covid-19 cases were reported from the Western Province. Accordingly, all bus services will be suspended from 10 p.m today. more..

Burial of corona victims: Sabry denies giving assurance to CTJ

Nov 12 (Island) Minister Ali Sabry, PC, denied having given any assurance to the Ceylon Thowheed Jamaat (CTJ) as regards resumption of burial of Muslim corona victims. Asked whether Sabry, in his capacity as the Justice Minister gave an assurance to the CTJ, National List MP said: “Not at all. I never gave such an assurance.” The Island sought a clarification from Minister Sabry against the backdrop of a fresh controversy over more..

Take final decision on vaccines after December: Prof. Malawige

Nov 12 (CT) Prof. Neelika Malavige, of the Sri J'pura Uni, said it would be prudent to take a final decision on the three vaccines that are being trialled as a preventive measure for COVID-19, only after studying them up to December this year and not before that. She said the new vaccine in the US, the Oxford vaccine in the UK and the Morderna vaccine in the US have been trialled only for 60 days to date. She mentioned that the vaccines needed to be trialled for a further 60-day period. more..

Over 1.4 million COVID-19-affected families get relief: Govt

Nov 12 (FT) Over 1.4 million families affected by COVID-19 have benefited from State relief programs, with 1,409,578 families receiving the Rs. 5,000 allowance given to low-income families and 43,376 families directed for home quarantine receiving provisions worth Rs. 10,000. Rs. 7.56 billion has been released by the Treasury to carry out these relief programs from 1 Oct to 10 Nov. This includes Rs. 438 million to provide those undergoing home quarantine with sufficient rations. more..

'Resumption of burials a high risk the country cannot afford to take'

Nov 12 (Island) SLPP National List MP Mohammed Muzammil strongly urged the govt not to resume burial of Muslim corona victims under any circumstances, though a section of the Muslim community is demanding that Muslim covid-19 victims be allowed to be buried. Muzammil, who represents the NFF, a constituent of SLPP, said that the country was struggling to cope with the corona pandemic and no one should be allowed to play politics more..

Dialog consolidates YTD performance with stable 3Q

Nov 12 (FT) Dialog Axiata said it has managed to consolidate their year-to-date (YTD) performance with a stable third quarter whilst investing further to grow its business. The Group concluded 3Q 2020 with stable performance across Mobile, Fixed Line and Int'l businesses despite multiple challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Group Revenue recorded a growth of 5% on a year-on-year basis to reach Rs. 30.5 billion for 3Q 2020 mainly due to recovery in Mobile Revenue. more..

Couch Safari: SLT’s virtual adventure gains popularity

Nov 12 (CT) Wildlife safari live-streaming concept, introduced by Sri Lanka Tourism, has gathered tremendous interest and enthusiasm not only with domestic travellers but also by potential overseas travellers. First episodes covering Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks have created over 100,000 impressions on social media and close to 800 comments. “We have had a great response from viewers, and the engagement is very high. There is such a latent demand for wildlife on the island more..

Several areas almost reached community Transmission stage: PHIs

Nov 12 (DM) Replying to the statements constantly made by health authorities that there is no community spread in the country, the Public Health Inspectors’ Union said several areas in the country have almost reached the community transmission stage. Secretary M. Balasooriya said random cases were reported from areas like Mattakkuliya, Modara, Bloemendhal, Grandpass, Borella where the positive cases were reported having no connection more..

Pettah Manning Market moves to Peliyagoda

Nov 12 (CT) The Manning Market in Pettah will be moved to the New Manning Market Complex at Peliyagoda on 16 Nov, as a temporary measure, due to the spike in number of COVID-19 infected patients recorded at the Manning Market in Pettah. DIG Ajith Rohana said every vendor and labourer should undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and that after being identified as COVID-19 negative, they can come to the Manning Market in Peliyagoda to resume business. more..

Army sets up drone regiment

Nov 12 (FT) The Army will raise a new drone regiment today, drawing on experiences gained during the 30 years of conflict. The new regiment, equipped with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones – is expected to be affiliated with the Regiment of Artillery and will be an evolutionarily step towards being a more technologically proficient force. Regiment of Artillery began training personnel for the new unit in June this yr, using commercially available drones more..

Something is definitely rotten: 30 to 40% of our fruits, veggies thrown away annually

Nov 12 (SO) Around 30-40% of all fruits and vegetables harvested in Sri Lanka are thrown away each year—a chronic problem that’s been the subject of at least 82 largely neglected research studies conducted between 2013 and 2018. The studies were done by five public institutions connected with the agriculture sector at a total cost of around Rs 145mn, says a national audit report recently presented to Parliament. more..