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Pet dog leads rescuers to the family it lost

Pet dog leads rescuers to the family it lost

The heaviest thunderstorms of the year devastated most areas in Sri Lanka in the past few days with floods and landslides displacing tens of thousands of families. In one tragedy, a family pet dog is seen digging the area where four family members were buried in a landslide at Devanagala, Mawanella. Earlier, rescue workers looking [...]

Rights probe on Lanka: UNHRC suffers setback

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s move to set up a separate secretariat to enforce matters relating to the resolution it passed on Sri Lanka in March this year has suffered a setback. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the Sunday Times, “We have learnt that the UN Headquarters has cut down by more than 50 [...]

S’pore-style PPP ventures kick off next week for prime Colombo locations

S’pore-style PPP ventures  kick off next week for prime Colombo locations

  The first of three new ‘special purpose vehicles’ (SPVs) under the Treasury-owned Selendiva Investments (Pvt) Ltd is to be registered next week to raise capital for the development and revival of three hotel properties: the long-overdue Grand Hyatt Colombo, Colombo Hilton and the Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH). The SPV–the name of which is yet [...]

All CPC unions oppose plan to allow private sector to import, refine and distribute fuel

All Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) trade unions, including pro-government unions, have called on Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila to withdraw plans to permit the private sector to import, refine and distribute fuel. Eight trade union leaders signed a letter which was handed over to the minister on Friday. The unions included the pro-government Progressive Workers’ Union [...]

Major flaws in PCR testing process

The findings of a study by the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, the Sunday Times learnt, have caused serious concerns at the highest levels of the Government. The main finding — 91 percent of the tests for COVID-19 victims were “Exit PCRs”. The process is explained by health officials as follow-up tests ten days [...]

Controversy over proposal to merge Litro with debt-ridden LAUGFS

A Government proposal for State-owned Litro Gas Lanka Ltd to buy 40 percent equity in the private LAUGFS Gas Terminal International Company (LGTIC) that operates a tank farm in Hambantota will go to Cabinet for approval tomorrow amidst controversy. The public-private partnership (PPP) deal reported exclusively in the Sunday Times last week, is seen by [...]

Summit flats to be razed to the ground

Cabinet approval has been sought to pull down the almost half a century old Summit flats in Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 7 and make use of the land to put up an apartment complex for 500 staff officers and offer 10 acres of the land for a mixed development project. The entire land is around 14 [...]

Covid concerns: Britain flashes red for travellers from Sri Lanka

Sri Lankans have been restricted from entering the UK with effect from Tuesday (8) due to COVID-19 concerns. The restrictions will come into effect at 04.00hrs (UK time) on June 8. Sri Lanka joins seven other countries added to the UK’s “red list”.Countries on the red list are subjected to the toughest COVID-19 travel restrictions [...]

Litro Gas Company and SLIC: Loss making company, a question of syntax

The Sri Lanka Insurance Company (SLIC) has drawn attention to the Sunday Times front page story last week referring to Government plans to merge state owned Litro Gas with LAUGFS GAS in a PPP (Public-Private Partnership). A spokesperson for the Company states that the reference in the news item to SLIC “which is running at [...]

The ins and outs of a Covid-19 vaccination

The ins and outs of  a Covid-19 vaccination

Based on the many questions I’ve been asked over the last few weeks, I realised that the public has a lot of questions about the vaccines currently being given in Sri Lanka. I thought I would provide answers to some of the common questions. The immune system is programmed to tolerate proteins that belong to [...]

Severe weather continues to thrash the vulnerable

Severe weather continues to thrash the vulnerable

At least 10 persons were killed due to landslides and floods as heavy rains left over 250,000 displaced in five Provinces, officials said. Four persons belonging to the same family – the mother, father and two children – were buried in a landslide close to Devanagala in Aranayake of the Kegalle District last morning. The [...]

X-Press Pearl catastrophe: Sleuths look for clues in communications

Captain, chief engineer and second engineer to be produced in court tomorrow   Ship owner expresses ‘regret and apologies’ for the harm caused to Lanka and its people   No oil leak up until last afternoon as the vessel with caustic cargo gradually  sinks in Lankan waters     The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday questioned the local agent representing [...]

Never be caught again with sea disasters, experts urge

Never be caught again with sea disasters, experts urge

With the prospect of having a vast floating sheet of plastic pellets stretching across the entire Indian Ocean as just one consequence of the environmental damage caused by the fire on the MV X-Press Pearl, experts have called for proactive planning to deal with ship disasters as well as a continuous marine bio-diversity assessing mechanism. [...]

FR petition seeks orders for culpability and damages over ship fire

A fundamental rights petition seeking compensation from the owners of the MV X-Press Pearl container vessel for causing damage to the environment was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday by the Centre for Environment Justice and three other parties, including a traditional fisherman whose livelihood has been jeopardised by the effects of the country’s [...]

Again and again the hapless fishermen suffer

Again and again the hapless fishermen suffer

From the local fishmonger to the men who go out into the ocean to fill their nets with a catch, the X-Press Pearl ship disaster has placed the already suffering fish industry in a world of hurt. “First the Peliyagoda fish market COVID cluster and now the ship disaster has resulted in people being reluctant [...]

Sri Lanka still waiting for compensation over last year’s oil slick from MT New Diamond

Sri Lanka is yet to receive compensation amounting to over Rs 3.7 billion owed due to environmental damage caused by an oil slick that occurred due to the fire aboard the container vessel MT New Diamond, which caught fire off the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka in September last year. A final report on a [...]

Farmers see little of fat profits for their produce

Farmers see little of fat profits for their produce

Middlemen in vegetable trade enjoy high profits as vegetable prices continue to stay high despite farmers being screwed down to low prices for their produce. Carrots bought from farmers for Rs. 120-125 a kilo at the Dambulla Economic Centre, retailed in markets for Rs. 240 and in supermarkets for Rs. 290.   Green beans were bought [...]

Too early to see results of restrictions

Too early to see results of restrictions

Vaccines and lockdown dominated the thoughts of the people in the country. As the lockdown or travel restrictions was extended till June 14 and the vaccination programme continued in many parts of the country, the people who had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February, March and early April were fraught with [...]

What is expected from a continuous lockdown?

A continuous lockdown is in place from May 26 to June 14, nearly three weeks. It is important for the health authorities to analyze the effects honestly and with transparency, urged experts including the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA). What does Sri Lanka hope to achieve? To break the chain of transmission of the virus [...]

Gampaha respiratory ward armed with sophisticated HDU

Remember the mass outpouring of support to the beleaguered men, women and children living along the coastal belt soon after the tsunami struck in December 2004! As the country is battered by a different kind of tsunami – COVID-19 – that fount of generosity came to the fore once again. Here the Sunday Times turns [...]

Prof. Malavige tackles vaccine-related concerns

Many are concerned over a few vaccinated people (either with one dose or both doses of AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD) being infected by COVID-19. The Sunday Times raised these concerns with Prof. Neelika Malavige, Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. n Can people get infected with the virus, even after [...]

G7 health chiefs to bolster joint efforts to combat future threats

G7 health chiefs to bolster joint efforts to combat future threats

LONDON, June 5, (AFP) – G7 health ministers meeting in Britain agreed Friday to step up coordination against future pandemics and other threats, but made no new commitments to speed up vaccine deliveries to less developed countries. Ministers from the group of wealthy nations, meeting in Oxford in southern England ahead of next week’s G7 [...]

US intel report on UFOs inconclusive: Reports

US intel report on UFOs inconclusive: Reports

WASHINGTON, (AFP) – The conclusion of a classified US intelligence report on the existence of alien UFOs is . . . inconclusive, US media reported. US military and intelligence found no evidence that seemingly highly advanced unidentified flying objects sighted by military pilots were alien spacecraft, the report concludes, according to the New York Times [...]

UK tribunal determines ‘real risk’ of Tamil asylum seekers being detained and tortured on return

A British Upper Tribunal has determined that there would be a “real risk” of “persecution” and “serious harm” for two Sri Lankans of Tamil ethnicity, and granted them their claims for asylum in that country. The Tribunal rejected the arguments of the UK’s Legal Department that there would be no danger to the asylum seekers [...]

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