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UNICEF delivers first shipment of 264,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka

Mar 07 (CP) Colombo- UNICEF has procured and delivered the first shipment of 264,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Sri Lanka on Sunday, as part of the first allocation of the 1.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility to the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Mar 07 (CP) Colombo- Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that 15 people had been killed in road accidents on March 4 alone, the second highest number of deaths this year and that pedestrians and motorcyclists were more likely to be victims of accidents.
 

Mar 07 (Island) Police sleuths probing the brutal killing of a woman, whose decapitated body was found inside a travelling bag at Dam Street in Pettah on Monday, have begun draining an irrigation well at Badalkumbura on suspicion that the police officer may have dumped the victim’s head there to prevent it from being traced, a senior police official said.
 

Mar 07 (ST) The Government will not issue more weapons or provide weapons training to the plantation sector management, but instead will take up their security concerns at a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, a minister said.
 

Mar 07 (SO) Chief Government Whip and Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando said the mandate of the six-member ministerial Committee appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to study the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on the Easter Sunday attacks is to provide guidelines to the relevant ministries to formulate fresh laws and amend some of the existing laws.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Maradana Police have arrested an office assistant of a Medical Officer’s office this afternoon (Mar. 06) for accepting a bribe of Rs. 1000 to administer the corona vaccine, the Police said.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 376 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Saturday. Among the positive cases identified Saturday are 358 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster, 02 of the prison cluster and the rest is foreign arrivals.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka confirmed four deaths on Saturday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 497, according to health authorities. The Director General of Health Services confirmed the following deaths caused by COVID -19 virus infection and accordingly the total number of deaths due to COVID -19 infection in Sri Lanka is 497 by now.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Public security plans to implement a one-week long islandwide ‘crime prevention wave’ operation combining Police Special Task Force, Army and Police to crack down on organized crime, drug trafficking and extortion.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy during two separate special operations in the last two days in the northwest has seized over 2200 kilograms of dried turmeric suspected to be smuggled via sea and arrested seven suspects in connection with the incidents.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- A motorcyclist was killed and three others were injured in two accidents involving a drunk driver near Rajasinghe Mawatha, Wellawatte early Saturday morning (06), the police said. A car coming from the direction of Kollupitiya has collided with a motorcyclist at around 6.10 this morning
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Ending its strict cremation policy, Sri Lanka today for the first time today commenced the burial of the bodies of people who died due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The burial took place at a government selected place in the Ottamawadi area in Batticaloa, the Head of the National Operational Center for the Prevention of the spread of COVID 19, Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva said.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today called on the Sri Lanka Air Force and other Armed Services to maintain national security and ensure all citizens of the country are safe and secure as for them to live without fear and apprehension is a core priority of the government.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Police have launched a search operation in the Kelani River to find the head of a murdered woman whose decapitated body was found in a traveling bag left at the Dam Street in Pettah.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Deaths after vaccination; not due to effects of vaccine (6 - DM)
* Wannila Aththo’s writ petition fixed for support (6 - DN)
* Coronavirus update: 350 new COVID-19 cases identified Friday, total rises to 84,960 (5 - CP)
* Sri Lanka reports four COVID-19 deaths Friday, toll rises to 493 (5 - CP)
* IGP, others noticed over demolition of Kurunegala King’s Court (5 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (06) launched the ‘Deyata Eliya’ (Light to Nation) national program in line with the Vistas of Prosperity policy to provide electricity to all rural households without electricity in parallel to the ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ (Conversation with the Village) program in Weribala, Giribawa.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today emphasized that the government is responsible for the national security of the country and there will be no room for terrorism of Tamil separatism or Islamic extremism to rise again in the country.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- General Shavendra Silva, Head, National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defense Staff and Commander of the Army, received his COVID-19 Vaccine Saturday after over 62,000 frontline troops and over half a million of people of the country received their shots.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Mar 07 (CP) Colombo- On 13 March, 150 golfers will tee off at the Dialog Enterprise Rotary Metro Par 3 Golf Classic where John Keells Properties will be the Silver Sponsor this year. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit charities and community development projects managed by the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan.
 

Mar 07 (Island) Pulses Splitting and Processing Industry Pvt Ltd (PSPI), a leading grains and pulses splitter and processor in Sri Lanka, emerged winner at the recent 28th Annual NCE Export Awards 2020
 

Mar 07 (ST) Sri Lanka’s electricity shortage has become increasingly severe with declining hydro-power output owing to a prevailing drought combined with an over 18-month break-down at the 154 MW Kelanitissa Combined Cycle Power Plant causing a massive loss of over Rs.25 billion to the state.
 

Mar 07 (SO) The export sector is to receive a fresh boost with plans to export the first consignment of cinnamon cigarettes shortly, according to sources. All preparations in this regard have been finalised and the first volume is to be shipped soon.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday opened the DAG Apparel Garment Factory in Moneragala. DAG Apparel (Pvt) LTD has set up this new garment factory with an investment of Rs. 500 million. It has created 600 direct jobs
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- Expanding its ability to serve an even broader spectrum of customers, Sri Lanka’s largest retail bank HNB PLC opened a specialized banking unit at the newly-established University Hospital Kotelawala Defense University (UHKDU), Werahera.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- eZ Cash, Sri Lanka’s Largest Mobile Money platform has enabled instant access for small businesses to accept contactless and remote payments using LANKAQR. Small business and self-employed persons such as retailers, street vendors, three wheelers etc. with a Dialog mobile number can now download the eZ Cash app
 

Mar 06, Colombo: The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced that it has collaborated with UnionPay International (UPI) to enable QR code payment acceptance in Sri Lanka, enhancing the payment experience of UnionPay QR Wallet holders.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hosting the inaugural Issuer Forum for 2021 on the theme ‘Founder to Family - Leveraging Going Public’, at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo on 16th March 2021 from 5.30 p.m. onwards.
 

Mar 05 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares snapped a four-day losing streak on Friday, helped by gains in industrial and financial stocks. The benchmark stock index gained 0.75% to end at 7,054.49.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- The Norwegian Development Finance Institution, Norfund, have reached an agreement with Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank PLC (NDB for Norfund to invest up to 9.99% in NDB.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- The Changi Airport Group in Singapore recognized SriLankan Cargo with a “Cargo Service Excellence Award” at a ceremony during the ‘Let’s Talk Cargo 2021’ conference held recently in Singapore.
 

Mar 06 (Island) Moose Clothing Company clinched their first bronze award for “Best New Entrant Brand” category at the recently held SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020.
 

Mar 06 (DM) A crisis is looming in the tea industry with plantation companies considering various options after being forced to agree to a Rs. 1,000 daily wage. The Daily Mirror learns that plantation companies are considering multiple options including legal action after the Wages Board decided to grant Rs. 1,000 as a daily wage to estate workers.
 

Mar 06 (DN) Sri Lankan economy is still recovering from the downturn caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic. In such a situation, it is important to take the economy out of COVID-19 pandemic situation and subsequently work towards the growth of the economy and investment promotion
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Central Bank launches the First-ever National Financial Inclusion Strategy of Sri Lanka (5 - CP)
* Tile importers and manufacturers discuss industry’s way forward with Treasury Secy. (5 - DM)
* China - Sri Lanka FTA would boost trade - EDB Chief (5 - DN)
* WindForce launches LKR 3.2 billion IPO to boost Renewable Energy in Sri Lanka and abroad (5 - CP)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Mar 07 (CP) Colombo- The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka called on all Christians to attend church services today (07), wearing black to mark ‘Black Sunday’ to demand justice for the victims of the 2019 April 21st Easter Sunday Terror Attacks.
 

Mar 07 (Island) The Sri Lankan High Commission in India has remained without a Head of Mission for 14 months now. Veteran civil servant Austin Fernando, who was posted here as the High Commissioner, went back home in January last year.
 

Mar 07 (ST) Ending the year-long Work from Home (WFH) arrangement for public servants during the COVID-19 pandemic, all state sector employees have been instructed to report to work in their offices from tomorrow.
 

Mar 07 (SO) The Expert Committee led by President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, appointed to prepare a draft of the new Constitution is expected to present its initial report this month. Justice Minister Ali Sabry in a recent interview with the Sunday Observer said the committee had been meeting party leaders and religious leaders regularly
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- The bodies of seven other people who died of COVId-19 infection have been buried today as well in the Ottamawadi area in Batticaloa. Accordingly, 16 people who died due to Covid infection have been buried so far with the nine bodies of Covid victims buried yesterday, after the government granted permission to burials, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Army has been able to construct the 18 km long Neluwa-Lankagama Pitadeniya road in as little as 90 days. Lankagama has been isolated for about 40 years and no attention has been paid to the village.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- India Friday said Sri Lanka’s claim that New Delhi had cleared the proposal of an Adani group company to develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at Colombo port is “factually incorrect.” “Our high commission in Colombo has already conveyed to the government of Sri Lanka that their media release in so far as the reference to the approval of the high commission was concerned, is factually incorrect.
 

Mar 06 (Al Jazeera) Sri Lanka’s foreign secretary discusses report on ‘path towards recurrence of human rights violations’ in his country. Sri Lanka’s civil war lasted nearly 30 years. Although it ended in 2009, deep wounds are still open.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- The Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, and the Chief of Air Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Friday evening, Prime Minister’s Office said.
 

Mar 06 (CP) Colombo- An official of the Ambagamuwa Office of the Medical Officer of Health has confirmed that 10 employees of the Laxapana Hydro Power Plant have been infected with the Covid-19 virus and have been referred to a treatment center.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says he expects to complete the supply of electricity to the entire country by the end of this year. He was speaking at the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of Sri Lanka’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant at Kerawalapitiya, Wattala today (05).
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- The copies of the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate and inquire into the Easter Sunday attacks have been handed over to the Prelates of Ramanna and Amarapura Chapters, President’s Media Division said today.
 

Mar 05 (Global Network) On Easter Sunday 2019, eight coordinated explosive devices went off at popular hotels and historical churches across Sri Lanka, resulting in the death of more than 250 people. Soon after, Islamic State (IS) claimed the attacks.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- UNICEF has procured and delivering the first shipment of 264,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 7th March, as part of the first allocation of the 1.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility to the Ministry of Health.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Human Rights Activist and Attorney-At-Law Ranitha Gnanarajah is among the recipients of this year’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) award presented by the United States Secretary of State.
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Former Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News and diplomat Bandula Jayasekara has passed away at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital today (05) after a long-term illness. He was 60 years old at the time of his death.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Minister proposes involvement of cooperatives to halt sand mafia (6 - Island)
* Gas prices likely to increase: Bandula (6 - DM)
* Indigenous medicine system second to none – Prof. G.L. (6 - DN)
* VIP among local guests asked to vacate newly certified Level 1 hotels in SL (5 - DM)
* Govt.slams Ahimsa for trying to ’’destroy’’ Sri Lanka (5 - DM)
* Dengue spreads in Batticaloa (5 - DN)

SPORTS

Mar 06 (BBC) England’s series defeat in India was sealed with one final, abject batting collapse on the third day of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad. Needing 160 to make India bat again, England found themselves 10-2, 20-3 and 30-4.
 

Mar 06 (ESPNCI) Pathum Nissanka has earned a maiden call-up for the two Tests against West Indies for which fit-again Dimuth Karunaratne will lead Sri Lanka’s 17-man squad. Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera and Lakshan Sandakan were missing from the squad
 

Mar 06 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka’s spinners manufactured a convincing 43-run victory over the West Indies in Antigua to keep the three-match series alive and bring an end to an eight-match losing streak in T20Is. On a sluggish surface, Akila Dananjaya, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Lakshan Sandakan proved a handful - picking up seven wickets between them,
 

Mar 05 (CP) Colombo- Dasun Shanaka, captain of the Sri Lanka T20 squad, who encountered visa crisis before the team’s departure, is scheduled to leave for the West Indies on the 7th of this month, Sri Lanka Cricket said.
 


WORLD

Mar 07 (BBC) Myanmar has asked neighbouring India to return several police officers who crossed the border seeking refuge after refusing to carry out orders. Indian officials said the officers and their families had crossed the border in recent days.
 

Mar 07 (BBC) Pope Francis is visiting parts of northern Iraq that were held by Islamic State (IS) militants on the third day of his historic trip to the country. IS seized the region in 2014, targeting Christians and other minorities. Christians have been returning since IS was defeated in 2017.
 

Mar 07 (BBC) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine while urging others eligible to "take this injection". "This is very very helpful, very good," he said as he was given the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab at a facility in the Indian city of Dharamsala on Saturday.
 

Mar 06 (BBC) The US Senate has voted to approve America’s third major spending package to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The $1.9tn (£1.4tn) plan passed by 50 votes to 49 on Saturday, and will now head to the House of Representatives where it is expected to be endorsed.
 


About Sri Lanka ::-
Introduction to Sri Lanka ::-

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island paradise in the Indian Ocean with white sandy beaches lush greenery, exciting adventures, amazing wildlife, cascading waterfalls and a rich heritage. The island of Sri Lanka is roughly pear-shaped. The total area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 sq km. Sri Lankas coastline is about 1,340 km (about 833 mi) around.

The people in Sri Lanka are warm and friendly. Sri Lankans are known for hospitality in all over the world. People in Sri Lanka ethnically fall into four main categories. The population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million. Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. Sri Lanka has a democratic government. Sri Lanka is mainly an agricultural country. Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy, famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of export, and further declined to 16.8% in 2005 (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments have reached 63%. The GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% during the early 1990s, until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000, with average growth of 5.3%.

Sri Lanka, with an income per head of $1,350, still lags behind some of its neighbors including Maldives and Mauritius but is ahead of its giant neighbor India. Its economy grew by an average of 5% during the 1990s during the 'War for Peace' era. According to the Sri Lankan central bank statistics, the economy was estimated to have grown by 7% last year, although inflation had reached 20%.

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