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Overcounting of deaths led to extension of travel restrictions



The decision to extend travel restrictions from June 14 to June 21 had been taken, based on incorrect data, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday (18) morning during a meeting with the Special COVID-19 Committee at the Presidential Secretariat.

The decision had been taken, based on information received on 12 June that 101 deaths had been reported the previous day, the President said.

“It was revealed that some of the deaths had occurred during the four-month period from February 06 to June 11. Certain deaths had been counted twice. An in-depth investigation had revealed that only 15 died on 11 June.

It was also decided during the meeting to relax travel restrictions from 4 am on June 21; travel restrictions will be re-imposed and continue from 10 pm on 23 June to 4 am on 25 June, the President’s Media Division said in a media statement.

However, inter-provincial travel restrictions will not be permitted as per the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The restrictions imposed on public gatherings will continue as before.

“The heads of institutions in both public and private sectors should ensure that only a minimum number of employees come to work. Trade and economic operations must be carried out with the participation of a minimum number of people,” the PMD said.

These decisions were taken at a meeting with the Special COVID-19 Committee, headed by President Rajapaksa, at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (18).

Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation said over four million vaccines had been imported so far, and at least another four million vaccines were expected in July and accordingly, a higher percentage of people could be vaccinated.

Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Gamini Lokuge, Bandula Gunawardana, Keheliya Rambukwella, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Prasanna Ranatunga, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Namal Rajapaksa, State Ministers Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, MP Madhura Withanage, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General (Retired) Specialist Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Commanders of the three-Armed Forces and the Heads of the Health Sector were also present at the meeting.

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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused



By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?



By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.



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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas



By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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