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COVID- 19: Cabraal throws Worldometer at Opposition

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… says Opposition’s Goebbelsian tactics won’t go down with discerning public

by Saman Indrajith

The Opposition was blind to reality, State Minister of Money Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in a debate at the time of adjournment of the House on COVID-19 second wave, the Minister said that the Opposition MPs were using the same refrain–– ‘the government failed and the government cannot’––without even comparing the situation in this country with those in the other parts of the world. “Such comparison is needed because this is a global pandemic. When they say that the government has failed there should be a basis for their claim. If they think that they could keep on saying the same and people would believe them, then they are mistaken. People in this country are more intelligent than the Opposition thinks them to be.

“I visited the COVID tracker known as Worldometer, which tracks COVID -19 cases worldwide and makes a comparison of figures of our country with other nations. As per the tracker, the number of infections some countries are as follows: India 8.7 million COVID 19 patients, China 8.6 million, the US 1.08 million, Germany 700,000, France 1.8 million, Italy one million and the UK 1.2 million.

“I also checked the number of deaths in those countries. There have been 128,000 deaths in India, 4,600 in China, 248,000 in the US, 12,276 in Germany, 42,000 in France, 3,000 in Italy, 50,000 in Great Britain. In Sri Lanka the number of patients is 15,000 and the number of deaths is about 50.

“The statistics prove that the Opposition allegations are baseless and they just clamour just for the need to shout. They shout that the government failed but haven’t even checked the numbers which show us that Sri Lanka’s stand in the face of crisis is commendable and we are better off than many developed nations.”



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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?

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… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.

 

 

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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others

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The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.

 

 

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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area

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Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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