v2025 (2)

v2025

News

President meets UN Secretary General

President Ranil Wickremesinghe met the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, upon his arrival in Egypt, Cairo today.

The President briefed the Secretary-General on the Government’s plans on the National Environmental Policy.

The Secretary General recalled memories of his first visit to Sri Lanka in 1978.

President Wickremesinghe left the island this morning (06) for Egypt to attend the UN Climate Change Conference COP 27.

He was accompanied by Minister of Environment, Mr. Naseer Ahamed, Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Mr. Ruwan Wijewardene, President’s International Affairs Director Dinouk Colombage and President’s Private Secretary Sandra Perera. (PMD)

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EU expresses concerns over Sri Lanka’s recent use of PTA

The Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka (EU) has expressed concern about the recent use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Sri Lanka.

The EU acknowledged the steps taken by Sri Lanka in March 2022 to reform the PTA.

The EU however, pointed out the need for further action in line with its commitments.

However, Sri Lanka has assured that the PTA has been invoked only in instances of extreme necessity.

The EU, further noting Sri Lanka’s update on the release of detainees under the PTA in 2021-2022 has encouraged the release of long-term detainees under the PTA who have not been charged.

Sri Lanka has expressed its strong commitment to preparing a comprehensive legislative proposal to replace the PTA in accordance with the Constitution, and in line with international norms and best practices, with a view to its finalization in 2023.

The EU also reaffirmed its commitment to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to successfully overcome the current unprecedented economic crisis, including the necessary reforms and social protection measures, which would mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis and lead the country towards sustainable growth and prosperity.

Sri Lanka and the EU reiterated the importance of social, economic, and political inclusion through justice and reconciliation in the advancement of human rights.

The discussion was held during a meeting of the EU and Sri Lanka at the Sixth Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law, and Human Rights held in Colombo.

Full statement: https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/eu-sri-lanka-sixth-meeting-working-group-governance-rule-law-and-human-rights_en

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Sri Lanka Cricket confirms Danushka’s arrest in Sydney

Sri Lanka Cricket says it was notified by the ICC that player Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman in Sydney.

In a statement, SLC said Gunathilaka is due to appear in court tomorrow (07).

SLC added that it will closely monitor the proceedings in court and, in consultation with the ICC, will expeditiously initiate a thorough inquiry into the matter and take stern action against the player if found guilty.

The batter was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning from the team hotel in Sydney's central business district after a police investigation into reports that a 29-year-old women had been sexually assaulted at a residence in Rose Bay earlier in the week.

Gunathilaka was ruled out of the T20 World Cup during the first round with a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the squad but remained with the team in Australia.

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Fuel price & availability : Clarification from Minister

Fuel price & availability : Clarification from Minister November 3, 2022 at 1:53 PM

Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera has confirmed that there will be no fuel price revision this week.

In a Twitter message today (03), the Minister said that the non-placement of orders by Dealers anticipating a price reduction has led to fuel stations drying up.

He further said that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Lanka India Oil Company (LIOC) both have ample stocks to fulfill requirements guaranteed by NFP.

Minister Kanchana Wijesekera further requested the Dealers to place orders for their requirements.

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Deshapriya to head National Delimitation Committee

An Extraordinary Gazette has been issued declaring the appointment of a 5 member National Delimitation Committee on Demarcation of Wards for Local Authorities.

The Gazette has been issued by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena under Sub-section (1) of section 3A of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance.

The Committee is chaired by former election chief Mahinda Deshapriya and includes Jayalath R. V. Dissanayake, W. M. M. R. Adikari, K. Thavalingam and I. A. Hameed.

They have been appointed with effect from 01st of November 2022 up to 28th of February 2023.

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Lanka Sathosa reduces prices of 05 essential items

State-owned Lanka Sathosa has announced a reduction in the prices of 05 essential items with effect from today, 03rd November 2022.

Thereby, the amended prices are as follows:

Canned fish (local/ large can) – reduced by Rs. 105

New price – Rs. 585

1kg Wheat Flour – reduced by Rs. 96

New price – Rs. 279

1kg Sprats (Thai) – reduced by Rs. 200

New price – Rs. 1,300

1kg Dhal/ lentils – reduced by Rs. 17

New price: Rs. 398

1kg White Sugar – reduced by Rs. 22

New price – Rs. 238

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Janaki Siriwardena arrested in connection to Thilini case

Janaki Siriwardana, a Sri Lankan corporate personality, has been arrested in connection to the financial fraud linked to businesswoman Thilini Priyamali.

The Police said Janaki Siriwardana was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today (04).

According to the Sunday Observer, Janaki Siriwardana was working in the Colombo Fort Krish Project at the time of her involvement with Thilini Priyamali.

She is accused of introducing a businessman to Thilini Priyamali, who is accused of defrauding over Rs. 226 million from the businessman.

Police investigations have revealed that Priyamali had allegedly defrauded Rs. 1.28 billion from several businessmen, politicians, and civil, religious, and political leaders.

Her business partner Isuru Bandara, and Sri Lankan monk Ven. Borelle Sirisumana Thero have been arrested in connection to the financial misappropriation.

Thilini Priyamali, Isusru Bandara, and Ven. Borelle Sirisumana Thero have been remanded till the 16th of November 2022.

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Ven. Borella Sirisumana Thero remanded

Venerable Borella Sirisumana Thero, who was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday, has been remanded until November 16.

He was produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court this morning (Nov. 02).

Ven. Sirisumana Thero was taken into custody over the information uncovered during investigations carried out into the alleged financial frauds committed by Thilini Priyamali.

Meanwhile, the owner of Thico Group of Companies (Pvt.) Ltd., Thilini Priyamali who was arrested in early October over alleged multi-billion rupee fraud, and her business partner Isuru Bandara were further remanded until November 16.

Priyamali has purportedly deceived businesspersons and high-profile political figures after befriending them by promising high returns for investing in her business.

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Education Minister says no to change in teacher dress code

The present dress code for school teachers will not be changed under any circumstances, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha announced on Friday (04).

Speaking at an event at a school in Kotahena today, the minister said that the dress code for male and female teachers and the uniforms of children will not be changed even if requests are made by certain parties.

The Minister said this was due to the responsibility to protect the culture of the country.

His comments come after Ceylon Teachers’ Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin had proposed to allow school teachers to be clad conveniently when attending duty instead of sticking to traditional saree only.

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New regulations on packing materials gazetted

An Extraordinary Gazette has been issued to importers of pre-packeted goods pertaining to the packaging.

According to the Gazette, the pre-packeted goods must declare the Maximum Retail Price (MRP), name, and the registered address of the importer on the packaging in English at the point of entry to the country.

The pre-packeted goods mentioned in the Gazette are confectionery, including chewing gum, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, and toilet soap.

The Gazette notification is effective from 1st November 2022.

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Sri Lanka’s first monkeypox patient found

Sri Lanka’s first monkeypox patient was confirmed yesterday (03).

He is a 20-year-old, who returned from Dubai on November 01.

A day after arrival, he was referred to the national sexually transmitted disease clinic with fever and skin blisters.

Samples taken from him tested positive for the monkeypox virus at the Medical Research Institute.

The patient is presently receiving treatment at the IDH.

Head of molecular biology at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said Sri Lanka has the laboratory facilities to carry out tests for monkeypox.

Symptoms of monkeypox

According to the WHO, Monkeypox can cause a range of signs and symptoms.

While some people have less severe symptoms, others may develop more serious illness and need care in a health facility.

Those typically at higher risk include people who are pregnant, children and persons that are immunocompromised.

The most common symptoms of monkeypox identified during the 2022 outbreak include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen lymph nodes, followed or accompanied by the development of a rash which may last for two to three weeks.

The rash can affect the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, genital and/or anal regions.

It may also be found in the mouth, throat, anus or vagina, or on the eyes.

The number of sores can range from one to several thousand.

Sores on the skin begin flat, then fill with liquid before they crust over, dry up and fall off, with a fresh layer of skin forming underneath.

There are ongoing studies to keep track of and better understand symptoms during this new outbreak, including what parts of the body can be affected and how long symptoms may last.

Anyone who has symptoms that could be monkeypox or who has been in contact with someone who has monkeypox should call or visit a health care provider and seek their advice.

Symptoms usually go away on their own or with supportive care, such as medication for pain or fever.

People remain infectious until all of the sores have crusted over, the scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.

Three vaccines to treat monkeypox

There are three vaccines against monkeypox.

Although supplies are currently limited, get vaccinated if it is offered to you as they provide a valuable level of protection against the disease.

After you have been vaccinated, continue to take care to avoid catching and spreading monkeypox; this is because it takes several weeks to develop immunity after being vaccinated, and because we don’t yet know to what extent the vaccines protect you and if they stop you from infecting others as efficacy data in this outbreak setting is needed.

Some countries are recommending vaccination for persons at risk.

Many years of research have led to development of newer and safer vaccines for an eradicated disease called smallpox, which may also be useful for monkeypox.

Two of these (MVA-BN and LC16) have been approved for prevention of monkeypox.

Only people who are at risk (for example someone who has been a close contact of someone who has monkeypox) should be considered for vaccination.

Mass vaccination is not recommended at this time.

While the smallpox vaccine was shown to be protective against monkeypox in the past, current data on the effectiveness of newer smallpox/monkeypox vaccines in the prevention of monkeypox in clinical practice and in field settings are limited.

Studying the use of vaccines for monkeypox wherever they are used will allow for rapid generation of additional information on the effectiveness of these vaccines in different settings.

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Rishad released from Easter Attacks case filed under PTA

Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was ordered by Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage to be released from a case filed under the Prevention of Terrorist Act allegedly assisting the suicide bombers who carried out the 2019 April 21st Terror Attacks.

The Magistrate made the order following the submissions made by the Attorney General who had pointed out that was insufficient evidence to file a case against the Ex-Minister under the PTA.

Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested on the 24th of April and detained for 111 days for investigations and was later released on bail by the Fort Magistrate's Court.

"They fabricated the charges and ruined me and my community. They came to power accusing me and the entire Muslim community for the Easter Attacks. They also won the elections with the Muslim Community. They remanded me for 07 months unjustly under the PTA and thought that they could win the next elections as well. I repeatedly said in Parliament that these are false accusations, and it was proven in court," he told reporters following his release.

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