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COVID-19: JVP tells govt. magic cannot help tackle pandemic

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By Saman Indrajith

Written history of pandemics dating back to around 2,500 years indicates that only scientific methods could cure the patients, and therefore the government should stop promoting concoctions prepared by people without any scientific background, says the JVP.

Addressing the media at the JVP headquarters in Pelawatte, former MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the government should promote scientific methods and build people’s confidence in those methods in fighting the pandemic instead of wasting time and money on concoctions and other methods which have not yet been recognised by science.

“This is a pandemic and increasing awareness among people on scientific findings and methods to fight the disease are the only way to set about the task of tackling the disease. The government and its ministers are engaged in various methods that have no scientific basis. Throwing pots into rivers and drinking syrups that had nothing to do with science are the government ministers’ response in the face of the pandemic that has killed over 200 persons. Their actions have demoralised the doctors and other experts who rely on scientific methods and procedures.”

Dr. Jayatissa said that the government had lost its grip on the pandemic. “As of Saturday night the number of deaths reached 211 and the number of infections 44,000. Around 500-700 COVID-19 infected persons are found daily. At this rate within a week we may pass the 50,000 mark. This is a dangerous situation that does not permit dilly-dallying with potions by shamans putting the lives of infected people in danger. We must do everything possible to prevent the new variant of COVID-19 virus entering the country.

“The government’s performance in controlling the first wave of the pandemic is praiseworthy. It was successful because people followed the health guidelines and many government agencies including the security forces and intelligence agencies with the help of health authorities did their level best to control the disease. However, the people have lost their trust in the government following the second wave of the pandemic because the government still could not trace the origin of the second wave even after deploying eight CID experts for the purpose. People think that either the government cannot find it or it is hiding it from the people. Thereafter, the government started to promote locally made syrups and other unscientific methods. The Health Minister and several ministers started throwing pots into rivers. Thereafter starting from the Minister of Health, the Speaker of Parliament and Cabinet ministers ingested the syrup in public.

“Magic cannot cure pandemics. People should be advised to maintain one-metre distance, wash their hands frequently and to wear masks. The government even prepared quarantine laws and regulations during the first wave. But later in the second wave its own ministers violated those regulations in public. Those actions too contributed to people losing faith in the health and scientific methods.”



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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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