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State Minister Jayakody tells Opposition not to fan racial tensions

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By Saman Indrajith

The Opposition was trying to incite racial tensions during the COVID-19 pandemic situation prevailing in the country, State Minister of Indigenous Medicine, Rural and Ayurveda Hospital Development and Community Health Sisira Jayakody told Parliament yesterday (13). 

Participating in COVID-19 second wave debate, State Minister Jayakody said: “We would like to commend the measures taken by the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, the security forces and the health sector to control the pandemic. The Opposition is saying that they would have closed the airports quickly due to the pandemic. But we follow a balanced methodology. We are systematically repatriating Sri Lankans living abroad. We cannot abandon them.”

The State Minister said: “It is the Health authorities that advise on the imposition of curfews. This Opposition does not have one solid opinion on how to manage the pandemic. Sometimes they say not to impose a curfew but sometimes they oppose their own statements. As we speak, Quarantine Curfew is being imposed in Peliyagoda and the government has taken steps to provide the affected families the food package worth Rs.5000.”

 “The Opposition on one hand says that deceased Muslim persons should not be cremated but should be buried and at the same time questions government’s decision to facilitate the Muslims to follow their faith during this trying time. The Opposition is trying to spread racism and use it for their benefit. However, the recommendations of the Health Department regarding the amount of groundwater in the country have to be followed with regard to burial. Therefore, we request the Opposition not to play with the lives of the people of this country,” Minister Jayakody said



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Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

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Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla Aura in the 3rd match of the LPL2022  at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Aura 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

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Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

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Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

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Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

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