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  UN experts urge Sri Lanka government to stop compulsory cremation of COVID-19 bodies

Jan 25, Colombo: UN human rights experts today urged the Sri Lankan Government to end its policy of forced cremation of the COVID-19 deceased, saying it ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities in the country, and could foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence.

“The imposition of cremation as the only option for handling the bodies confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 amounts to a human rights violation. There has been no established medical or scientific evidence in Sri Lanka or other countries that burial of dead bodies leads to increased risk of spreading communicable diseases such as COVID-19,” said the experts.

  PM says courts should become a refuge for people seeking justice from law :
Jan 25, Colombo: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated Monday that he believes the judicial courts should become a refuge for people searching for the justice and fairness from the law.

 Positive attendance of GCE O/L students of Western Province Schools - Education Ministry:
Jan 25, Colombo: The schools in the Western Province under the new normal of COVID-19 commenced today (25) for the students who will sit for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination in March and a positive student attendance has been reported in all Education Zone, the Ministry of Education announced.
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  Coronavirus update: 737 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 59,167:
Jan 25, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 737 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Monday.

 Sri Lanka reports four more COVID-19 deaths Monday, toll rises to 287:
Jan 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka confirmed four deaths on Monday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 287, according to health authorities.

  High tide refloats MV Eurosun ran aground in Sri Lankan seas out of danger :
Jan 25, Colombo: The high tide experienced last evening (24th January) refloated the bulk carrier MV Eurosun that ran aground on the Little Basses Reef, about 5.5 nautical miles (10km) off the southeastern coast of the island on 23rd January, Sri Lanka Navy reported.

 Indian fisherman on poaching vessel tests positive for COVID-19 following quarantine period:
Jan 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy said during a special operation on 09th January 2021 in northern seas 09 Indian fishermen along with their trawler were apprehended for poaching in Sri Lankan waters and directed for 14 days of quarantine due to COVID -19 concerns.

 COVID vaccine will be given to members of health and defense services first on the 28th:
Jan 25, Colombo: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that the first consignment of Covid vaccines provided free of charge by the Government of India will be brought to Sri Lanka on Wednesday, the 27th of January.

 President says demise of renowned journalist will leave a void difficult to be filled:
Jan 25, Colombo: The demise of renowned media personality Kalakeerthi Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa, who made a massive contribution to the development of moral journalism, in addition to the advancement of a number of spheres of arts and humanities as a pioneer is deeply saddening, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a condolence message today.

 Central Bank requests Licensed Commercial Banks to refrain from forward sales and purchases of foreign exchange:
Jan 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has requested Licensed Commercial Banks to refrain from entering into forward contracts of foreign exchange for a period of three months with immediate effect.

 Sri Lanka, EU agree to enhance trade ties, continue to work together on human rights and reconciliation issues:
Jan 25, Colombo: The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka held their 23rd meeting of the Joint Commission on 25 January 2021, via video conference.

 UN experts urge Sri Lanka government to stop compulsory cremation of COVID-19 bodies :
Jan 25, Colombo: UN human rights experts today urged the Sri Lankan Government to end its policy of forced cremation of the COVID-19 deceased, saying it ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities in the country, and could foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence.

 The Samsung Galaxy S21 Series now available for pre-order at Dialog:
Jan 25, Colombo: Dialog Axiata PLC recently announced pre-order availability for the all-new 5G ready Samsung Galaxy S21 line-up which includes the Samsung S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra.

 Sri Lanka Ports Authority implements clearance of all imported goods through electronic methods:
Jan 25, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has taken steps towards the clearance of all imports at the Port of Colombo through electronic payments via the Internet.

  Preliminary draft of the Constitution to the Parliament within a month - Justice Minister :
Jan 25, Colombo: Minister of Justice Ali Sabry said a preliminary draft of the proposed new constitution would be tabled in Parliament within another month.

 International warrant issued to arrest drug trafficker ‘Udara’:
Jan 25, Colombo: The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered to issue a warrant through the International Police (Interpol) for the arrest of a drug trafficker named Udara Sampath, who is currently abroad.

  Committee decides Rishad Bathiudeen should pay over Rs.1 billion to reforest Kallaru Forest reserve:
Jan 25, Colombo: The three-member committee investigating the deforestation of Wilpattu Forest Reserve has recommended that former Minister and Wanni District parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen pay more than Rs. 1 billion for the reforestation of the Kallaru forest reserve near the Wilpattu forest.

 Several areas released from isolation, new areas isolated :
Jan 25, Colombo: General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, Head of the National Operations Center for the Prevention of the Spread of Covid 19, announcing the latest status of isolation said several areas will be released from isolation while some other areas will be isolated as of 6 am Monday (25).

 MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara tests positive for COVID-19:
Jan 25, Colombo: Wasantha Yapa Bandara, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Kandy District parliamentarian and Chairman of the Kandy District Coordinating Committee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus infection, a senior official of the Central Provincial Health Department said.

 People’s Bank wins ‘Best Consumer Digital Bank’ and ‘Best Mobile Banking App’:
Jan 25, Colombo: People’s Bank has won Sri Lanka’s ‘Best Consumer Digital Bank’ while the People’s Wave App has been crowned the ‘Best Mobile Banking App’ at the World Finance Digital Banking Awards 2020.

 State Minister to promote freshwater fish farming in Anuradhapura district :
Jan 24, Colombo: State Minister of Solar Power, Wind and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development Duminda Dissanayake said he intends to develop fish breeding centers in the Anuradhapura District

 Latest announcement on isolation status of areas in Colombo and Gampaha districts:
Jan 24, Colombo: General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, Head of the National Operations Center for the Prevention of the Spread of Covid 19, has announced the latest status of isolations

 Sri Lanka Central Banka allows Licensed Banks to pay Discretionary Payments :
Jan 24, Colombo: Having observed the varied views published recently on discretionary payments including payment of cash dividends by licensed banks, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Saturday clarified that it has reassessed the restrictions placed on Discretionary Payments by Licenses Banks.

 Coronavirus update: 843 new COVID-19 cases identified Sunday, total rises to 58,430:
Jan 24, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 843 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Sunday.

 Liberian cargo carrier ran aground near Sri Lanka not damaged, crew unharmed, Navy finds:
Jan 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka navy said today preliminary investigations found no damage to the hull or the underwater profile of the Liberian cargo carrier Eurosun that ran aground near Little Bases reef of Sri Lanka.
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 Sri Lanka reports three more COVID-19 deaths Sunday, toll rises to 283:
Jan 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka confirmed three deaths on Sunday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 283, according to health authorities.
 Schools re-opening in the Western Province tomorrow only for GCE O/L students:
Jan 24, Colombo: Schools in the Western Province will be reopened from tomorrow (25) only for students appearing for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination to be held in March.
  Sri Lanka hands over the bodies of four Indian fishermen :
Jan 23, Colombo: The bodies of four fishermen who were aboard an Indian fishing vessel that sank on the 18th due to an accident in Sri Lankan waters northwest of Delft Island have been handed over to the Indian Coast Guard today (23).
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 Sri Lanka reports two more COVID-19 deaths Saturday, toll rises to 280:
Jan 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka confirmed two deaths on Saturday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 280, according to health authorities.
 Bulk carrier runs aground in Sri Lankan waters:
Jan 23, Colombo: The Hambantota District Disaster Management Center said that a cement cargo ship sailing under the Liberian flag had met with an accident near the Little Basses Reef in the Southeastern Seas today (23).
 Education Minister tests negative for COVID-19:
Jan 23, Colombo: Ministry of Education has stated that Education Minister Prof. G L Peiris who had been on self-quarantine, has tested Negative for COVID-19.
 Sri Lanka, Philippines Foreign Ministers agree to enhance diplomatic relations:
Jan 23, Colombo: The Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and the Philippines have agreed to focus on new strategies to further strengthen the existing economic, political, social and international relations between the two countries.
 Sri Lanka to receive 600,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from India Wednesday :
Jan 23, Colombo: The first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from India is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on January 27, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.
  Ayurvie Weligama welcomes top German Ayurveda Tour Operators & Journalists :
Jan 23, Colombo: Ayurvie Weligama, a Theme Resorts & Spa’s property, welcomed the first familiarization tour of the tourism restart.
 Sri Lanka Health Minister contracts COVID-19 - report:
Jan 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi has been infected with COVID-19 coronavirus following a Rapid Antigen Test, BBC Sinhala Service reported according to reliable sources.
 Fixed prices for essential goods from February:
Jan 23, Colombo: Direct importers and manufacturers have agreed to maintain a fixed price for essential goods with effect from February, the Ministry of Trade said in a media release.
 Presidential Commission recommends legal action against former PM’s secretary for spending over Rs. 30 mn for anti-corruption committee:
Jan 23, Colombo: The Presidential Commission to Investigate Political Revenge has recommended to take action against former Secretary to Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake for criminal breach of trust by allocating more than Rs. 3.37 million from the Prime Minister’s Office Expenditure Head for the Anti-Corruption Committee Office Expenditure.
 Coronavirus update: 787 new COVID-19 cases identified Friday, total rises to 56,863:
Jan 23, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 787 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Friday.
 Sri Lanka reports two more COVID-19 deaths Friday, toll rises to 278:
Jan 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka confirmed two deaths on Friday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 278, according to health authorities.
 Inquiry into the removal of the names of the original residents in the North from the electoral roll:
Jan 22, Colombo: The Elections Commission says it has launched an investigation into allegations that the names of residents of the original villages in the North have been removed from the electoral roll.
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 Sri Lanka President appoints Commission of Inquiry to look into alleged human rights and IHL violations:
Jan 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a 3-member Commission of Inquiry (Col) to investigate, inquire into and report or take necessary actions on findings of preceding Commissions or Committees appointed to investigate into human rights violations, serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and other such offences.
  Sri Lanka is open for tourist arrivals after much preparation: Foreign Minister informs ACD member states :
Jan 22, Colombo: In his address at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held on 21 January 2021 under the theme “New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism”, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said Sri Lanka opened its borders after much consultation, preparation following best practices, keeping safety and security of its citizens as paramount and that of the visitors.
 Project to set up a power plant to generate electricity from garbage in every district:
Jan 22, Colombo: Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Power says that a pilot project will be launched early next month to use solid waste, which is a major problem for Sri Lanka environmentally, to generate electricity, making it a vital part of the economy as well as a useful component for the entire country.
 Fitch revises two Sri Lankan insurers’ National IFS Ratings on National Scale recalibration:
Jan 22, Colombo: Fitch Ratings has revised the National Insurance Financial Strength Ratings (IFS) of two Sri Lankan insurers following the recalibration of the agency’s Sri Lankan national rating scale.
 COPE holds another online meeting in Parliament:
Jan 22, Colombo: The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) conducted another committee meeting using online (ZOOM) technology yesterday (21).
  Two Sri Lankans arrested In Chennai for trafficking 100 kg of heroin:
Jan 22, Colombo: Two Sri Lankan nationals have been arrested and about 100 kg of heroin worth an estimated 10 billion Indian rupees seized as part of a probe involving a trans-border drugs-trafficking racket, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India said on Friday.
  NMRA grants emergency use approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine:
Jan 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority has granted approval for emergency use of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for Covoid-19 in Sri Lanka.
 Judge reluctant to consider petition against cremation of 21-day-old infant:
Jan 22, Colombo: Supreme Court Judge A.H.M.D. Nawas today (Jan. 22) refused to consider a fundamental rights petition filed by the parents of a 21-day-old infant who died of the Covid-19 virus.
 Minor tremor reported in Walapane area:
Jan 22, Colombo: The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) states that a small earthquake measuring less than 2 on the Richter scale was reported from Walapane and Badulla areas this morning.
 Central Bank warns of online financial frauds and scams:
Jan 22, Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it has received information regarding several types of financial frauds and scams being operated through social media, Internet-based applications and mobile payment applications.
 Sri Lanka national inflation declines to 4.6 percent in December 2020:
Jan 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s nationwide inflation in December 2020 determined under the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) decreased to 4.6 percent from 5.2 percent recorded in November 2020 on a year-on-year basis, the Department of Census and Statistics reported Thursday.
 2021 first group of workers leave for South Korea :
Jan 21, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said the first batch of 22 workers returning to South Korea for employment in the year 2021 left for South Korea this morning (21) on a special charter flight KE 9474.
 Coronavirus update: 887 new COVID-19 cases identified Thursday, total rises to 56,076:
Jan 21, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 887 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Thursday.
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 Sri Lanka reports two more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, toll rises to 276:
Jan 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka confirmed two deaths on Thursday due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 276, according to health authorities.
 Suspect sentenced for 6 years for spitting on public health inspectors:
Jan 21, Colombo: Panadura Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya today (21) sentenced a suspect to six years in prison for obstructing public health inspectors and spitting on them in the Atulugama Marawa area.
 India protests loss of lives of Indian fishermen in encounter with Sri Lanka Navy:
Jan 21, New Delhi: India Thursday expressing shock at the loss of lives of three fishermen in an encounter with Sri Lanka Navy in the Sri Lankan waters lodged their strong protest at the Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry.
 More areas isolated from today:
Jan 21, Colombo: Several more areas in the island have been designated as isolated with effect from 6 pm today.
  Navy recovers bodies of two fishermen on illegal Indian vessel sunk in Sri Lankan waters:
Jan 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Navy diving teams engaged in Search and Rescue (SAR) operation, have recovered bodies of two fishermen of an Indian fishing trawler which sank in Sri Lankan waters northwest of Delft Island following an encounter with the Navy.
 Sri Lanka Cricket instructs team manager to submit a report on alleged sexual misconduct of a player:
Jan 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday instructed its national team manager to submit a report on allegations of sexual misconduct involving a national player, who is currently in the test squad playing against England, and a female health official assigned to the team.
 Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector records significant growth of 5.3% in 3Q 2020:
Jan 21, Colombo: Statistically confirming that the country is moving in the right economic direction despite the Covid epidemic, the third quarter of 2020 shows a significant growth in the industrial sector compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the Finance Ministry said.
  Lalan Rubbers targets rising global demand for latex gloves, boosts manufacturing using Kingslake solutions:
Jan 21, Colombo: Pioneering regional plantation company and vertically integrated rubber manufacturer, Lalan Rubbers, announced a groundbreaking partnership with Sri Lanka’s leading manufacturing solutions experts, Kingslake
  Western Province schools are expected to be opened by February 15:
Jan 21, Colombo: The schools in the Western Province are expected to be opened by February 15, said the Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Prof. Kapila Perera.
 Two cricket players infected with COVID-19:
Jan 21, Colombo: It is reported that two Sri Lankan cricketers who are participating in limited overs matches have been infected with the corona virus. Both the players were training for the ODI and T20 Internationals to be held in the West Indies.
 Sri Lanka airports reopen for commercial flights from today after ten months :
Jan 21, Colombo: The Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka informed the public that Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) will resume commercial flight operations from 21st January 2021 ten months after they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Sri Lankan President congratulates the new President and Vice President of the United States :
Jan 21, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has congratulated the new President of the United States Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
  Children’s education cannot be delayed or taken back - Prime Minister :
Jan 20, Colombo: The Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday said that despite the world being engulfed in epidemic fears, the process of restoring the school system in this country for the future of the children has begun.
 Sri Lanka’s export earnings in 2020 amounted to nearly US$ 10 billion despite impact of COVID-19 :
Jan 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board (EDB) releasing its earnings report for the past year said the year 2020 marked a successful year for Sri Lanka exports.
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 Ceylon Petroleum Corporation saved USD 300 million in foreign exchange by 2020 - CPC Chairman:
Jan 20, Colombo: Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has saved USD 300 million in foreign exchange for the year 2020, CPC chairman Sumith Wijesinghe told the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday (19).
 Military receives a stock of facemasks and RAT kits worth Rs. 25 million :
Jan 20, Colombo: Two Korean companies in appreciation of the role played by the tri-servicemen in the fight against COVID-19, jointly gifted a stock of facemasks and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits.
 State Ministry of National Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management is functioning as usual:
Jan 20, Colombo: The State Ministry of National Defense, Home Affairs and Disaster Management announces that rumors circulating that the Sate Ministry of Home Affairs and Disaster Management have been closed down due to few Covid infected persons are false, the Ministry said in a media statement.
 Coronavirus update: 770 new COVID-19 cases identified Wednesday, total rises to 55,189:
Jan 20, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 770 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Wednesday.
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