Connect with us

news

708 confirmed new community cases

Published

on

MRI Director removed

Many an eyebrow has been raised over the removal of Director of the Medical Research Institute (MRI) Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara. The top medical administrator of the country’s premier research lab has been made its Deputy and Dr. P. V. N. P. Amarasinghe, who had been its previous second in command promoted as the new Director of the MRI.

The removal of the top medical administrator took place close on the heels of the eruption of what has come to be termed the Brandix cluster. By yesterday afternoon, Brandix spokesperson placed the number of corona positive cases in the company at 567.

The Health Ministry sources said that Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi hadn’t been consulted on the removal of the MRI head.

Dr. Jayaruwan told our sister paper Divaina that he did not know why he had been removed even as there were no allegations against him. Dr. Jayaruwan said that he had served as the Director, MRI for a period of one and a half years without any issue. “During that period, some businessmen offered to arrange illegal transactions. Some claimed that they were meeting me with the knowledge of the President”, Dr. Jayaruwan said, adding that he had told them he could explain to the President, if he was asked to do so.

The top administrator said that perhaps such incidents had led to his removal.

Brandix spokesperson said that a total of 1,394 workers at their Minuwangoda manufacturing facility had undergone RT PCR tests and 567 tested positive. Later in the day, Lt. Gen Shavendra Silva said that altogether 708 positive cases had been reported.

Police headquarters yesterday urged the families of Brandix workers to remain at home while stringent measures were being taken to bring the situation under control.

Police have banned all public and social gatherings indefinitely.

 

 

news

Special COVID-19 probe crippled by infections among CCD sleuths: AG calls for new police team

Published

on

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Brandix Apparel Limited yesterday (29) said that the company would fully cooperate with relevant authorities in the investigation ordered by the Attorney General (AG). A spokesperson for the company said so when The Island sought a clarification with regard to AG Dappula de Livera, PC, directing the police to launch a criminal investigation into the alleged lapses on the part of the company as well as those officials leading to the devastating COVID-19 outbreak.

The Minuwangoda eruption, which happened in the first week of October is widely believed to be the cause of the fast expanding Peliyagoda cluster.

Asked whether the police had contacted the Brandix management as regards the investigation and sought access to Brandix management and workers at its Minuwangoda apparel manufacturing facility as well as records at the Minuwangoda facility, the spokesperson said: “We will work with the relevant authorities in this regard”.

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) tasked with the probe has suffered a serious setback due to a section of its officers being tested positive for COVID-19. Authoritative sources said that the CCD lacked sufficient strength to carry out the investigation.

AG de Livera early this week told DIG Ajith Rohana that a progress report should be submitted to him by or before Nov. 13.

Sources said that the badly depleted CCD was not in a position to conduct the high-profile investigation, in addition to other ongoing inquiries. The AG has directed the Acting IGP to constitute a special team of law enforcement officers to conduct the investigation. Sources acknowledged the urgent need for a thorough inquiry into the far worse second corona wave. Sources said that the AG issued fresh instructions in that regard after the crisis in the CCD was brought to his notice.

Continue Reading

news

Most garment workers under self-quarantine left to fend for themselves

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A large number of garment workers who were undergoing self-quarantine in Minuwangoda did not receive any assistance, Chamila Thushari of the Dabindu Collective, a labour organisation that works with garment workers, told The Island yesterday.

She said that those who were under self-quarantine did not have money to purchase food and even those who were willing to help could not reach them.

“Some of them have received food parcels from their work places but that is not adequate. Most others have not received any assistance. Matters will only get worse after curfew is imposed throughout the Western Province,” Thushari said.

Most of these workers are undergoing self-quarantine at their boarding places, which also house individuals who still work in garment factories. “Although there is a curfew, they can go to work. These are perfect incubators for the virus,” she said.

Thushari said that every day between 20-30 workers under self-quarantine, tested positive for COVID-19.

There were no public health inspectors to monitor the boarding houses of garment workers to ensure that COVID-19 prevention measures were being followed, she said.

“Not even Grama Niladaris visit them,” Chamila said.

Continue Reading

news

SJB requests separate seats for its dissidents

Published

on

Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella has written to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena requesting him to make arrangements to provide separate seats to the nine MPs who had voted with the government for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution recently.

The letter dated yesterday said that the SJB parliamentary group had decided to expel MPs Diana Gamage, A. Aravind Kumar, Ishak Rahuman, Faisal Cassim, H. M. M. Haris, M.S. Thowfeeq, Nazeer Ahmed, A.A.S.M. Raheem and S.M.M. Musharaf and it requests the Speaker to make separate seating arrangements for these MPs in the Chamber.

Continue Reading

Trending