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Rosy says Covid jab ‘preferred list’ posts on social media a bid to vilify her



by Suresh Perera

Describing social media reports that she submitted a ‘preferred list’ for the Covid-19 vaccination as a “total fabrication”, Colombo’s Mayor, Rosy Senanayake, said that she has no VIPs for priority treatment for the jab, except the people living in the city.

“This is a mud slinging campaign against me”, she protested, referring to the social media posts which foisted a well tabulated list of 700 plus names with their National Identity Card (NIC) numbers.

“It’s an absolute falsehood to say that I have forwarded names for priority in the ongoing vaccination drive”, the Mayor asserted.

A list of intended recipients of the vaccine is drawn up in any case, but that’s not the Mayor’s job, she pointed out. “Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and ward members handle the registration process and direct residents to doctors and health workers in the respective inoculation centres with the reference details”.

The Mayor said that 27,100 residents were vaccinated by Thursday, with priority accorded to high risk groups living in high density areas within Colombo Municipality’s 47 wards.

Apart from PHIs, ward members are able to bring people from within the community for the jab, Senanayake outlined. “We have enlisted their support to take the vaccination campaign forward with community participation”.

She further said that the Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department began vaccinating all residents of the city (zones 1 through 15) above 60 years from Saturday onwards.

“We hope to complete the vaccination program covering approximately 115,000 residents in the age group within two weeks”, she said.

Citizens over 60 old who reside within the Colombo City limits, should register with their area PHI or the council member for their Municipal Ward. It is important that this process is followed to ensure an efficient program, the Mayor said.

She thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, State Minister Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle, covid task force, and health ministry officials, without whose support this would not have been possible.

She also thanked the Public Health Department team for their tireless work and dedication in these very difficult times.



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President requests the opposition to support the implementation of the IMF agreement




President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the Opposition to unite and disregard political differences to assist in carrying out the IMF agreement, which would aid in the development of Sri Lanka’s economy.

The President emphasized that his duty is not to condemn previous administrations but to concentrate on the development of the country. He also declared his dedication to constructing a better future by creating laws and frameworks that prevent the recurrence of past errors.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered this message in a special address to Parliament this morning (22) regarding the receipt of the Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund.

He stated that despite allegations being leveled against him that his objective was not to rescue the country from an economic crisis but to safeguard the Rajapaksa family, the international community had acknowledged his efforts to carry the country across the economic vine bridge.

The President further said that he had faith in rebuilding the beloved country where he was born, brought up and educated, and said that many past experiences were the reasons for confirming that faith.

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SJB, JVP move SC against Finance Secy. for contempt of court



The main Opposition, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (21) moved Supreme Court against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana over his failure to provide funds required by the Election Commission to conduct the Local Government polls, ignoring an interim order issued by the apex court, on 03 March.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara, MP, is the petitioner for the SJB and Vijitha Herath, MP, moved court on behalf of the JVP, the leading party in the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB).

Two Opposition parties declared action against Siriwardana the day after the Freedom People’s Alliance (FPA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Finance Secretary to release the funds.

EC Chairman Nimal Punchihewa is on record as having said that in spite of SC directive he didn’t receive fresh funding.

The petitioners sought the issuance of summons on Siriwardana for contempt of court over failure to carry out its interim orders, given on 03 March.

The petitioners want the Finance Secretary punished in terms of Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

The SJB stated that Siriwardana had refrained from carrying out the March directives, on the basis of a Cabinet decision, taken on 13 Feb., 2023. The SJB also pointed out that the offensive conduct of the Treasury Secretary, inter alia, causes grave prejudice to the esteemed authority of the Supreme Court and in turn disturb the public confidence in the authority of the highest Court in the country. (SF)

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Minister indicates reduction in fuel prices in April



Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara told Parliament yesterday that fuel prices would be reduced considerably according to the fuel price formula at the next fuel price revision, due in April.

The Minister said that the government would be able to procure fuel shipments, at lower prices, during competitive bidding, with the receipt of the IMF bailout.

There had been practical issues, and problems, in opening Letters of Credit, and obtaining credit facilities, in the recent past, as Sri Lanka could not give a guarantee to fuel suppliers, Minister Wijesekara said.

“We could not open LCs and obtain credit facilities when procuring fuel. After the IMF bailout, we will be able to procure fuel at lower prices during competitive biddings. We will be able to obtain a long-term credit facility as well. Fuel prices in the global market seem to have declined and the rupee has also gained strength against the US Dollar. Having considered all these factors, fuel prices will be reduced by a considerable margin which could be felt by the people,” he said.

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