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InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updates

Covid-19 Situation Report

World Bank to provide $40 million for SL to expand water supply, sanitation, and…

Jun 11 (TM) The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $40 million in additional financing for Sri Lanka to expand water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services in 7 districts through the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project (WASSIP), the World Bank said in a statement yesterday (10). The project is also expected to increase septage facilities in the more populated parts of the country in Western, Southern and North Western Provinces. more..

China-SL Friendship national Nephrology specialized hospital declared open

Jun 11 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa declared open the China-Sri Lanka Friendship National Nephrology Specialized Hospital in Polonnaruwa this morning (11). Sri Lanka received the hospital complex as a full grant from the Chinese Govt at the request of former President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to China in 2015, the PMD said in a statement. The hospital complex spans over an area of 16 acres and has been designed with the influence of ancient architecture of Sri Lanka and China. more..

Sri Lanka 2021 GDP growth target lowered to below 5%: CB

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting gross domestic product to grow a little under 5% in 2021, down from an earlier 6%, CB Governor W D Lakshman said after the country went into a three week lockdown from the last week of May. The govt had to balance between keeping growth going and saving lives and it was necessary to strike a balance he said. But Sri Lanka’s businesses had got used to operating under a lockdown and more..

SL envoy in Korea discusses promotion of culture, sports and tourism with…

Jun 11 (TM) SL’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Dr. Saj U. Mendis had a meeting with the Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Kim Jeongbae, who is the second highest political personality in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. During the meeting, both the Vice Minister and the Ambassador discussed a multitude of issues ranging from sports such as Taekwondo, Cricket, Soccer, Athletics, Horse Racing and Motor Racing; tourism more..

6-month extension given to make EPF contributions

Jun 11 (FT) Labour Department has given a six-month extension to employers to make EPF contributions in response to appeals by the private sector. Commissioner General of Labour Prabath Chandrakeerthi said most employers had requested the department to grant them relief in respect of not being able to make the contributions to the Employees’ Provident Fund on behalf of their employees on the due date because of the situation that has emerged in the country with more..

Cabinet sub- committee on cost of living decides on fuel price revision: Minister

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (DM) Cabinet sub-committee on the cost of living has decided to revise fuel prices and the date of the fuel price revision will be announced very soon, Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. He explained that, due to the country’s pandemic situation, it was unable to announce the date because doing so would result in long lines at gas stations. “Despite the huge increase in fuel prices in the world market, the govt has managed to more..

FM conveys appreciation to Australian counterpart for support to SL

Jun 11 (MFA) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia Marise Payne on Wednesday expressed his deep appreciation for the support extended by Australia towards SL in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Foreign Minister welcomed Australian assistance in the form of a COVID-19 containment package amounting to Rs. 1,787 million; donation made through UNICEF of essential more..

JAICA makes second donation of PPE to Western Province

Jun 11 (Island) Colombo office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the solid waste management workers, currently engaged in work amidst Covid-19 pandemic. Officials of the JICA Sri Lanka Office, handed over PPEs to Western Province at the Western Provincial Council with strict adherence to health guidelines and the COVID-19 preventive measures. The grant included 634 pairs of boots, 31,700 masks, more..

Importer got licence under Imports and Exports Act: Customs

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (CT) Sri Lanka Customs said that the importer of organic fertiliser from Madurai, India, has obtained a licence under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act No.1 of 1969. Usually, it is the Department of Agriculture that has the authority to allow or disallow the import of organic materials. Three 40-foot containers of organic fertiliser imported from Madurai, South India, had arrived at the Colombo Harbour on 2 June and more..

SL can continue to control imports: CB

Jun 11 (EN) Sri Lanka should continue to control imports to stop goods that can be made in the country in a bid to check the trade deficit, Central Bank’s Director of Economic Research Chandranath Amarasekera said. “We saw in the recent times un-necessary goods are being imported,” Amarasekara said during a forum at the state information office. “There are goods that can be made in the country that is better than the foreign ones. I think we can control imports in 2021.” more..

‘Lanka Sathosa is not above the law’

Jun 11 (CT) The sale of liquor at a Lanka Sathosa outlet in Anuradhapura in a backdrop where islandwide licenced liquor sale outlets have been sealed is a malpractice and action will be taken following investigations, Deputy Commissioner of Excise, Kapila Kumarasinghe said. He added that action could not be initiated against any party without a complete investigation, adding that a stock inspection has to be carried out, as there has been various false information pertaining to more..

U.S provides $100,000 to support response efforts to X-Press Pearl fire

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (USE) American people are providing $100,000 in immediate assistance to support response efforts to the MV X-Press Pearl ship fire. The MV X-Press Pearl has discharged plastic debris and chemical waste into the surrounding waters, endangering coastal resources and the livelihoods of nearby fishing communities. The assistance will deliver immediate support to families whose livelihoods were affected by more..

Sri Lanka expects US$400mn swap with India in August: CB Governor

Jun 11 (EN) SL can draw down on a US$ 400 million foreign exchange swap with the Reserve Bank of India in August 2021, as part of measures to boost reserves, CB Governor W D Lakshman said. SL originally signed the swap deal available to SAARC countries in 2020 and repaid it in February 2021 after rolling it over once. “There are a couple of more drawings available,” Governor Lakshman said. “After the completion of the first couple, we have to wait for a certain cooling-off period of six months. more..

SSP Muthumala appointed first female Deputy Director of CID

Jun 11 (DM) SSP Imesha Muthumala has been appointed as the first female Deputy Director of the CID. The appointment was made with the approval of the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security. She joined the Police Service as an Apprentice Assistant Superintendent of Police on Nov 3, 2007 and is an officer with 14 years of service. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) from the University of Ruhuna and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the Open University. more..

Video: Islandwide travel restrictions extended until June 21

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (AD) Army Commander General Shavendra Silva says that a decision has been taken to further extend the islandwide travel restrictions until June 21 (Monday). The travel restrictions, which are currently in effect across the island, had been initially extended until June 07 and once again extended until 4 a.m. on June 14. However, it has now been decided that travel restriction would not be lifted on June 14 and more..

Health trade unions resort to token strike

Jun 11 (AD) All Ceylon Health Trade Union Federation has withdrawn from their duties effective from 7.00 am until 12.00 noon today. Medical Laboratory Professionals’ association, Govt Nursing Officers’ Association, Public Health Inspectors’ Union (PHIU), Family Health Service Officers’ Association and several other health trade unions have joined the token strike. Saman Rathnapriya, Head of Govt Nursing Officers’ Association said emergency and essential services would be provided to more..

Moratuwa Mayor Samanlal granted bail

Jun 11 (AD) Mayor of Moratuwa Samanlal Fernando, who was remanded over unruly behaviour during a COVID-19 vaccination programme at Moratumulla, has been granted bail today. Fernando was arrested by Moratumulla Police after surrendering to Mount Lavinia Police on May 28. After Fernando was produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate under the provisions of Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance and the relevant sections of the Penal Code, he was placed under remand more..

COVID-recovered opposition leader promises to donate his vaccine to people

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (EN) Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa who recovered from COVID-19 said June 11 that he will donate his vaccine to the people. “As a servant of the people, I do not wish to be vaccinated until everyone in the country is vaccinated. I shall donate my vaccine to the people of this country,” Premadasa told reporters. He said the well-being of SL’s 22 million population more important than his personal safety. more..

JVPs policy is being oppositional to everything, every time: Gammanpila

Jun 11 (DM) Minister Udaya Gammanpila, in response to JVP’s criticism of the proposed US$3 billion oil refinery project, said the project cost had been estimated in the pre-feasibility report. He said ‘being oppositional to everything at every time is the cornerstone of the JVP’s political ideology. “The feasibility study was done by the experts in the oil refinery industry. As far as I know, JVP MP Vijitha Herath and former MP Wasantha Samarasinghe are neither chemical nor mechanical engineers. more..

Epidemiology Unit specialists responsible for wasting COVISHIELD vaccines: GMOA

Jun 11 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) today urged the Health Ministry to take legal action against the Epidemiology Unit’s specialist doctors for their involvement in creating false COVID vaccination guidelines and for the waste of 25,000 to 30,000 vaccine vials. GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said the case was raised after having found Covid vaccine vials with the remaining two or three doses from a washroom at the Wathupitiwala Hospital yesterday. more..

Looters as Rulers: Massive fraud behind Prado SUV import for MPs: Anura

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (DM) Denouncing the moves by the Govt to import 227 Prado SUVs amounting to US$ 18 million at this critical juncture, JVP today said there was a massive fraud behind this vehicle import. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake revealed that the Letter of Credits (LCs) had been opened to import the vehicle fleet on April 22, 2021 whereas the Cabinet approval was sought on May 18, 2021. more..

Video: TID arrests two more individuals linked to Zahran

Jun 11 (AD) Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) has arrested two more individuals who have had links with Zahran Hashim – one of the perpetrators of 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks. DIG Ajith Rohana said one of the arrestees had provided shelter to Zahran Hashim and four members of his group back in 2018. The 47-year-old, who was identified as a resident of Kahatagasdigiliya area, has previously served as the assistant postmaster of Mukariyawa post office in Kahatagasdigiliya. more..

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to be MP on June 22

Jun 11 (DN) Former PM and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to be sworn in as a MP on June 22, Party Chairman Vajira Abeywardena said. The Working Committee of the UNP recently unanimously approved the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe to fill its National List slot in Parliament. The Commissioner of Elections will be notified of the nomination next week and Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in after the gazette notification is issued, Abeywardena said. more..

Bouquets and brickbats from Sri Lanka’s biggest investor

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (FT) SL’s biggest investor China this week recommended South Asia’s hub island for international companies, saying the time was right to harness opportunities even though the country needed to address several longstanding challenges. “Despite existing challenges, the time has come to invest in SL,” Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong told global attendees of the virtually-held SL Investment Forum in a presentation more..

Video: Sri Lanka receives 65,000 more doses of Sputnik V vaccine

Jun 11 (AD) Another batch of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute, arrived on the island early this morning. Thereby, SL has received 65,000 more doses – 15,000 second doses & 50,000 first doses – of the Russia-made jab, State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said. The first doses of the new batch of Sputnik V vaccine are expected to be rolled out in Kandy District. This is the third vaccine consignment delivered by the Russian govt, more..

Rs. 5,000 will only be given to selected groups: Shehan Semasinghe

Jun 11 (TM) The Rs. 5,000 Covid relief fund will only be given to selected groups this time, stated Minister of State Shehan Semasinghe. He stated that the fund has taken time to be distributed because the groups such as Samurdhi recipients, those who lost their income due to Covid and low income families should be identified first by the District Secretaries and then only will the distribution take place. Semasinghe also revealed that Rs. 30 billion has been put aside for the Covid relief fund by more..

සැප වාහන ගෙන්වීම පිටුපස ඇති කැත කතාව

Pearl of Expressed Consumption

Jun 11 (FT) SL as it appears today is never short of events that need fire-fighting, literally and figuratively. When MV Xpress Pearl anchored off Colombo the event to unfold was to be the worst maritime incident of SL. With the initial reporting of a leak from a nitric acid container and then seeking help to douse a fire, it did not take much time for the fire to engulf the entire deck of the Pearl. A couple of violent explosions too rocked the ship, dislodging containers to turbulent waters. more..

The crisis and agriculture

Jun 11 (FT) Had not the Govt imposed a ban on the use of chemical fertiliser and agro-chemicals, agriculture should have been a major sector for the Govt’s attention in its effort to overcome the looming threat of being a failed state. An integrated approach that gives priority to agriculture could have helped the nation to ensure food security whilst at the same time creating an environment conducive to providing a safety net for those retrenched from other sectors due to the current economic slowdown. more..

‘Travel restrictions to be lifted on Monday’

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (EN) SL’s ongoing curfew-style travel restrictions will be lifted at 4am June 14, the privately owned NewsFirst quoting Army Commander Gen Shavendra Silva reported. Authorities had imposed the island-wide unofficial lockdown on May 21 in an effort to contain rapidly rising daily COVID-19 cases. Restrictions that were to be lifted at 4am June 07 were extended till 4am June 14, the Govt Information Dept previously said, more..

France bans Sri Lankan tourists

Jun 11 (CT) SL tourists and other leisure visitors from the island are banned from visiting France because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French Embassy in Sri Lanka said on Wednesday. Only Sri Lankans transiting through France for under 24 hours, SL diplomats, students, SL patients seeking urgent medical attention in France, high-profile sports persons and such-like would be allowed to enter France. This is because Sri Lanka is among 16 countries that have been red listed by France more..

Sri Lankan appointed to US President’s Commission

Jun 11 (TM) Dr. George E. Gabriel has been appointed by US Prez Joe Biden to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the White House communicated in a statement last week. Dr. Gabriel is originally from SL and studied at the Uni of Kelaniya before immigrating to the US. A lifelong educator and researcher with over 40 years of demonstrated experience on two continents, he has a strong belief that higher education is the primary tool for socioeconomic mobility with equity more..

EU Parliament Resolution throws down the gauntlet on GSP+

InfoLanka News Room: Sri Lanka news updatesJun 11 (FT) The EU Parliament adopted a resolution yesterday calling on the EU Commission to consider temporary withdrawal of Sri Lanka’s GSP+ status and the benefits that come with it, noting the Govt’s persistent failure to adopt and enact human rights reform and repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Resolution on Sri Lanka was adopted with 628 votes in favour, 15 against and 40 abstentions. more..

India says ready for economic partnership for 21st century with Sri Lanka

Jun 11 (FT) India this week said it was ready for an economic partnership for 21st century with SL to usher in sustained and rapid growth and shared prosperity. Speaking at the SL Investment Forum, India High Commissioner Gopal Baglay underlined that the future of economic and commercial bilateral partnership could focus on areas such as ports, shipping, connectivity, logistics, energy/renewable energy, IT, tourism and hospitality, transport, real-estate, health, education and agriculture. more..

Ship’s environmental damage cannot be calculated in Dollars: Minister

Jun 11 (CT) The ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl ship, had a large number of containers with plastic pellets in its inventory that had been imported over two months ago, owned by two of the country’s largest companies. Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said that the inventory of around 1,486 containers contained 193 items including plastic pellets, and that the environmental damage caused by the fire will last for another 20 years. He mentioned that SL has 8 major companies more..