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Superstition and myths shouldn’t be given priority over the scientific process – Dr. Anil Jasinghe

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Fighting the Covid-19 pandemic:

Superstitious beliefs and practices should not be given priority over the scientific process in facing the Covid-19 pandemic, says Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment,

Various new discoveries are being made around the world to control the Covid-19 virus. One group in Sri Lanka has faith in the scientific process, while others have a tendency to follow myths and superstitions in spite of scientific methods, he noted.

“All we have to do to suppress Covid-19 is to follow scientific methods without falling back on superstitions and giving credence to myths”, he said at a ceremony to mark the New Year at the Ministry of Environment on Friday.

Dr. Jasinghe, a consultant Surgeon, said Covid-19 is a virus that has rendered helpless the whole world. Today, some countries are socially impoverished. This is because of the disparity in income distribution in many countries. Although, Sri Lanka is a developing country, income distribution disparity is lower than many other countries in the world. Therefore, the economy has still not been crippled due to the epidemic in the country.

By mid 2021, four or five new vaccines will be introduced worldwide. There are already moves to introduce more new vaccines. Vaccine companies generally provide 20 percent of the stock to the public free of charge. Every country in the world is trying hard to secure the vaccines to protect their people. Therefore, countries like ours should also do so, he emphasized.

The Covid-19 vaccines enhance the body’s immunity to the virus. At least 70 percent of all people must be vaccinated to maintain optimal immunity in society. That is a difficult goal. But if at least 50 percent can be given the vaccine, it will be somewhat comforting, Dr. Jasinghe further said.

Vaccine companies need to accelerate production. Otherwise, poor countries may not be given priority and this will prove to be an impediment towards suppressing the virus. The people of our country now have a greater level of knowledge about Covid-19 than in March last year, he said.

Various information on Covid-19 is being published in the mainstream media and on social media, he said.

What is needed is to have access to more accurate information. To control the virus, it is necessary to provide accurate information to society, he added.



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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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