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Foreign Ministry reviews action by missions to ensure welfare of overseas Sri Lankans

Apr 3 (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Relations, sensitive to the concerns of the OSLs amidst the rapid spread of the COVID-19 and the inability to return to Sri Lanka, has held consultations over the past 2 days with its Heads of Missions based in 67 cities across the world, to facilitate the wellbeing and safety of Overseas Sri Lankans, while preparing for any exigencies they could have to meet in the coming days. more..

Four arrested over disregarding police orders at roadblock remanded

Apr 3 (AD) The four individuals arrested earlier today, after police opened fire at a speeding car that had disregarded the signal to stop, have been remanded until April 08, Police Media said. The police opened fire at a speeding car which had failed to heed orders to stop at the roadblock near the new bridge in Egoda Uyana, Panadura this morning. Police officers at the previous roadblock had signalled the car heading towards Panadura to stop, however, it had sped up disregarding orders. more..

EC asks Prez to consult SC on election date

Apr 3 (DM) Election Commission has requested for making a reference to the Supreme Court on the next election date. The Commission has requested Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara in this regard. Prez Rajapaksa is constitutionally authorized to make such references to the Supreme Court. The Election has been postponed at the moment. There is legal ambiguity in terms of the Parliamentary Elections Act and the Constitution regarding the declaration of the next date more..

Sri Lanka: Religious minorities must have their final rites respected

Apr 3 (AI) Sri Lanka’s authorities must respect the right of religious minorities to carry out the final rites of their relatives in accordance with their own traditions unless they can show that restrictions are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Amnesty International said today. Two of the early COVID-19-related deaths in Sri Lanka have been those of Muslims who were forcibly cremated on the instructions of the authorities and more..

Coronavirus & Remote working revolution

Apr 3 (FT) Working from home has always made more sense since the rise of technology made it more than possible but still companies continue to have employees commute for hours to and from office for work which could have been done from home. Only a small spark is needed to light a great fire. A virus called COVID-19 originating from China was the spark that has started the remote working revolution. With a study in the UK saying social distancing may need to last for up to 18 mo more..

Life is a risky business

Apr 3 (FT) I’ve been consulting for leaders around the world for just under 30 years, and for 10 rewarding yet challenging years in Sri Lanka from 1993 to 2003, and intermittently since then. The current hysteria industry which has had us in Lanka panic-stricken into a virtually unique (among 195 countries), multi-week, 24-hours-a-day curfew in key economic epicentres is without parallel from what I know of SL’s recent history. This indeed was clearly affirmed as such in the Prez’s own statement more..

SL aims for Coronavirus infections below 500, wider testing amid Covid-19 curfews

Apr 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is aiming to keep Coronavirus infections below 500 in April with restrictions on the movement of people and brining in wider testing of high risk groups and the wider population. “What we are trying to do is take steps to keep infections below 500 in April,” Anil Jasinghe, head of Health Service said. Statistical projections had indicated a 130 patients by Apr 4, but the number had already been exceeded, more..

Current global state poses significant risk to Lankan economy: First Capital

Apr 3 (DN) Current global situation poses a significant risk to SL economy with the inability to raise funds in the international market amidst the current volatility and the lack of interest in emerging and frontier market bonds, says First Capital in their report. “Thereby, SL may have to focus on bilateral loans, similar to the recent Chinese loan. In addition with the budget deficit estimated to touch 9-10% in 2020, rupee borrowing requirement is likely to significantly increase towards 3Q-4Q, 2020.” more..

Video: Police open fire at speeding car disregarding orders, 3 injured

Apr 3 (AD) The police have opened fire at a speeding car which had failed to heed orders to stop at the roadblock near the new bridge in Egoda Uyana, Panadura. The police officers at the previous roadblock had signalled the car heading towards Panadura to stop, however, it had sped up disregarding the orders. They had informed the fellow police officers stationed at the new bridge of the car in question, As the car failed to heed the orders again, police officers have opened fire more..

Rs. 5,000 each for over 4 m Lankans to cope with COVID-19

Apr 3 (FT) Govt will immediately commence a program to give a grant of Rs. 5,000 to around four million Sri Lankans who make up the vulnerable sections of the population, including senior citizens, people with disabilities, kidney patients, and Samurdhi recipients. Cabinet approval was given for the proposal by Prez on Wednesday. The proposal is aimed at helping those in low income groups who are the worst affected more..

First group of foreigners leave quarantine centre

Apr 3 (SLN) The first group of foreigners, that underwent quarantine at the centre established by the Navy, at Boosa, left the facility on Wednesday after successfully completing the process. Under the directives of the Commander of Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, and as part of their bid to assist the govt’s coordinated mechanism to control the spread of the coronavirus, in the country, the Navy’s four storeyed building, at the Boosa Naval Base, was transformed into a quarantine centre. more..

Health Ministry issues guidelines on COVID-19 reporting

Apr 3 (FT) Ministry of Health yesterday issued guidelines to the media on reporting on the novel coronavirus COVID-19, warning that stigmatising people with the illness could make them hide their condition. While thanking media organisations for the assistance given in communicating messages from the health authorities on COVID-19 to the public, Ministry said adherence to the guidelines when reporting would further strengthen the COVID-19 preventive program. more..

Navy develops Nevil Fernando hospital

Apr 3 (SLN) SL Navy commenced to put up a location for examining blood and saliva of suspected persons to coronavirus affection and installing a CCTV system at the ward for the suspected pregnant mothers to coronavirus affection, in Nevil Fernando hospital, today (2). Considering the prevailing situation caused by the coronavirus in the country, required facilities to examine the blood and saliva of suspected persons to coronavirus more..

Sri Lankan dies in Qatar house fire

Apr 3 (Island) During the early hours of Monday (30), four migrant domestic workers, including a Sri Lankan, died in a house fire in Al Khor City, Qatar. The other three women were Filipinas. The victims shared a bedroom on the third floor of a large house, along with two other domestic workers. A suspected electrical fire broke out on a lower floor and, while the two others managed to escape, the other four became too frightened to leave, according to people familiar with the incident. more..

Missing the Lovers’ Quarrel: Record breaker Navod has a heavy heart

Apr 3 (Island) SL Under-19 cricketer Navod Paranavithana was scheduled to skipper Mahinda College in the season’s climax, the Lovers’ Quarrel Big Match against arch rivals Richmond on Friday (3). It’s every school cricketer’s dream to captain the College team at the Big Match. Now with the entire world grappling to come to terms with a pandemic, which the head of the United Nations has called the humanity's worst crisis since World War II, the Big Match in Galle has suddenly turn out to more..

Sri Lanka records fourth fatality as COVID 19 cases top 150

Apr 3 (EN) A 58-year-old man who succumbed to severe pneumonia is SL’s fourth victim of the COVID 19 virus, an official govt statement said. He was receiving treatment at IDH in Angoda. Meanwhile, the number of cases detected in the country rose to 151, Health Promotion Bureau reported. Yesterday, a 72-year-old man who had been admitted to the Sri J'pura Hospital died as he was being transferred to IDH by ambulance. more..

Fraudsters reported collecting money using COVID–19 Fund as cover

Apr 3 (PMD) The Presidential Secretariat had received information about several instances of fraudsters collecting money using COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund as cover. Secretary to the President requests the public to make their contributions to the Fund only through direct bank deposits, cheques or any other approved mean and not to donate money to any organizations or individuals. The Govt advises the entire population to observe health quarantine. more..

'No need to fear postponement of children's vaccines'

Apr 3 (CT) Consultant Epidemiologist Dr. Deepa Gamage appealed to parents not to entertain any fear over the delay in administering the age appropriate vaccines for their infants and children below five years of age, on time, owing to the current crisis situation in the country. Even though the vaccines would be given late, the Epidemiology Unit in collaboration with FHB would ensure that those delayed vaccines would be given to those infants and children at a later date. more..

COVID-19 brings UNP and Govt together!

Apr 3 (Island) A very constructive discussion, of over two hours, took place at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (1) between the Govt and the UNP representatives. The discussion was focused on the prevailing conditions in the country, due to the spread of COVID-19. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa led the discussions from the Govt’s side, a communiqué from the prez secretariat said. more..

ComBank mobile ATM units in curfew areas

Apr 3 (CT) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it is deploying its Bank-on-Wheels Mobile ATM units in areas where curfews are in force, to provide urgently needed access to cash to members of the public. The Bank said a schedule containing details of the locations and times that these mobile banking units are operating will be announced each day on the Bank's website as well as on the Bank's Facebook and Instagram pages. Commercial Bank's Bank-on-Wheels units more..

Derana TV Chathura’s double standards exposed: Citizens enraged over racist slurs

Apr 3 (CT) Openly Prez Rajapaksa supporter Chathura Alwis of Derana TV was unwittingly exposed last Tuesday when several racist slurs hurled at Muslims were inadvertently aired during a break in the political talkshow – Wadapitiya. The Wadapitiya talkshow was attended by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage – who too had been caught in making a racist comment just a few days back, immediate former State Minister Arundika Fernando from the govt side and more..

Health is more important than playing cricket: Mathews

Apr 3 (DN) Having struggled for the best part of his international cricket career with a string of injuries that had prevented him from displaying his outstanding talents as an all-rounder, Angelo Mathews was showing signs of having gradually coming out of that rut with some eye-catching performances against Zimbabwe and West Indies and lining himself up for battle with Joe Root’s Englishmen when the coronavirus broke out and more..

9 years on, World Cup final defeat hurts SL

Apr 3 (Island) It’s been exactly nine years since SL lost a closely contested World Cup final to India in Bombay and more than any big defeat, this one hurts fans most for a variety of reasons. Mainly, Sri Lankans hate losing to India. It is not only a phenomenon that is found in our part of the world, but all over, the smaller brother hates losing to the bigger one - All Blacks hate losing to Wallabies in rugby, Everton hate losing to Manchester United in football while DS hate losing to more..

Editorial: When a virus hits democracy

Apr 3 (Island) SL politicians believe in numerology. Some SLPP leaders must be considering ‘19’ an unlucky number. The 19th Amendment (19-A) has become a thorn in their side. They are hell bent on scrapping 19-A as they need a strong executive presidency to prevent the next administration, they are planning to form, from keeling over, in case they fail to secure a comfortable majority, in the House. While being troubled by 19-A, they have had to contend with C-19 (or Covid-19). more..

Staying social while social distancing

Apr 3 (TM) Social distancing has forced people to find ways of entertaining themselves at home. While dealing with boredom is the least of many of our worries, it is something felt by those who are fortunate enough to not be lacking basic necessities – and they handle this by turning to social media to stay occupied. One of the better things that has come out of this hyperfocus on social media is some positive trends that have more..

The great mimic

Apr 3 (Island) For once, I am not referring to politicians though they can be great mimics with attended danger. I am referring to something much more dangerous, though so tiny, it cannot be seen even with a microscope. You need an electron microscope to see this tiny bomb and images captured with transmission electron microscopy show a beautiful virus with spikes on the surface, making it look like a crown; hence, the term Coronavirus. It is a group of viruses that more..

Positive side to the lockdown with a pinch of doubting

Apr 3 (Island) Let Cassandra start her conversation with you this first week of April with a whoop of joy, so different you will say, to her usual jibing and fault finding. Cass is still up there having seen The Island newspaper lying on her doorstep: a real paper issue! It was a ray of sunshine on a darkly foreboding day; a friend come a visiting after a long hiatus, and she hugged the newspaper. She immediately recalled a poem she learnt (or was made to learn) as a kid in Form 2 (Grade 7). more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

We can survive and with a lot less!

Apr 3 (DM) Long queues seen at pharmacies on Thursday (2) reminded us that life is short and could become terribly shorter. We’ve learned discipline and honouring private space; now when we stand in queues we have to maintain a distance of one metre from the person who is standing in front of us. COVID -19 pandemic is teaching us painful lessons. One of the best lessons is about living with a lot less. The number of coconuts used in Sri Lankan homes during a day and how much of each more..

Need for National Orientation

Apr 3 (CT) At a time when nature inflicts the universe with a health crisis that strikes our midst without warning, the magnitude of its destructive force which has compelled the mightiest of Nations on to their knees, where then lies the difficulty to comprehend the plight we Sri Lankans confront. The unusual circumstances surrounding this dilemma has gradually commenced suffocating us in every sense of the word giving us hardly any breathing space while it not only weakens us but more..

Indefinite curfew: Vulnerable segments require more attention

Apr 3 (DM) The world is mourning. SL too is in a critical state as two lives were already claimed by the killer coronavirus or COVID-19. Although people continue to stay indoors, it may not be a merry-making time for all. A photo portrayed women being admitted to the National Hospital’s Accident Ward as a result of domestic violence, was widely shared on social media at the onset of the curfew. Another Twitter post by ECPAT more..

Corona pandemic: Lessons from war zone paradoxes

Apr 3 (DM) Normalcy can be defined as a state where we enjoy freedom from fear and hunger. With the new coronavirus pandemic spreading faster than virologists could imagine, the extent to which we fear death and disease determines the degree to which normalcy is destroyed. The fear of uncertainty has reached a level unprecedented in living memory for many, especially for those who were heedless to the suffering of fellow human beings. Since we began to roam this planet, we have been living with more..

Coronavirus Curfew

Apr 3 (CT) While the Govt of SL has imposed a curfew beginning from 6pm 24 March and continuing indefinitely to date, a total of a record 10 days, impacting the totality of the Western Province (WP) and the Puttalam District since, with Kandy and Jaffna being added on subsequently since Sunday (29) to combat the coronavirus pandemic, in conjunction with these moves, beggars too have increased, reminiscent of the seven year old Sirima Bandaranaike regime of 1970-'77 where more..

Cycles of change in Kanniyadi, Batticaloa

Apr 3 (TM) In a town called Murrukkanthivu in Kanniyadi, Batticaloa, 18-year-old Lojini gets on the ferry every Saturday morning, paying the toll of Rs. 10, including the fee for her bike, to get to Aharam Institute in the mainland, where she attends tuition classes conducted by old students from in and around Batticaloa; returnees to the area who have decided to give back to their community by conducting classes for O/L, A/L more..

From virtual slavery to penury: The plight of the plantation workers of Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (CT) Scarcely two decades had lapsed after the surrender of the Kandyan kingdom when the trek of the Indian Tamils commenced in 1817 to 1880, which was no less arduous, cruel and degrading than what the American Negro was subjected to in the bowels of slave ships that traversed the Atlantic at this time. The rape of the forests of Lanka had commenced and the slave drivers to be, in the guise of Head Kanganies sent out by the colonial land grabbers were scouring more..

A single virus & a humble animal sends the whole world into lockdown

Apr 2 (CT) The world has been attacked by the most widely spread pandemic the world has ever experienced. It has had seismic effects on the entire world – almost no country has been spared from its terrifying repercussions. We humans prided ourselves that we had conquered Mother Nature. We indiscriminately destroyed her bountiful forests, thereby destroying large numbers of wild life or creating unnatural conditions in which humans were called upon to live in close proximity with more..