The Defence Ministry will regularize private security services by introducing minimum wage for security guards, registration of new security firms and renewal of licenses. Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said plans were drawn to regularize private security services that operate island-wide to provide a quality security service. He said measures would be taken to streamline registration and license renewal process of security service providers by formulating an expedited procedure. Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said the contribution by the private security services to the Employees' Provident Fund and the Employees' Trust Fund would be strictly supervised under the new renewal process. Addressing members of the Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLSSPA), he stressed the necessity of issuing internationally recognized licenses for their employees.
January 29, 2020 12:11 UTC
European Union election observers submitted their final report on the ‘Presidential Election 2019’ to the Election Commission in Sri Lanka. The report contains a set of recommendations to Sri Lanka based on its findings at the 16 November Presidential elections. The meeting was held yesterday between the representatives of the European Union and President of the Commission Mahinda Deshapriya. They later discussed the report’s 23 recommendations for improvements at future elections with technical experts in the Commission.
January 29, 2020 09:11 UTC
British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China, following travel advice from the Foreign Office that warned against all but essential travel to the country due to the coronavirus outbreak. BA.com, the airline’s website, shows no direct flights to China are available in January and February, Reuters reports. “We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority,” BA said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on BA.com.”(Source: The Guardian)
January 29, 2020 09:00 UTC
A powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake has struck in the Caribbean, prompting brief tsunami warnings and office evacuations as far away as Florida. The quake hit between Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said on Tuesday. Some offices were temporarily evacuated in Miami and parts of Jamaica. The epicentre of the quake, initially reported as magnitude-7.3 before being upgraded, was 125 km north-west of Lucea, Jamaica. Shaking was reported in the Cuban capital, Havana, in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami - some some 708 km from the epicentre.
January 29, 2020 08:48 UTC
The government has decided to impose price control on masks. Due to the demand for face masks have increased as the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country and the Consumers complain that certain sells medical face masks at excessive rates. Many pharmacists state that they are running out of stock already. The Minister Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the decision was taken on the advice of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
January 29, 2020 08:48 UTC
The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, has announced the first case of new coronavirus in the UAE in members of a family arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan. In its statement issued on Wednesday, the ministry added that "the health condition of those infected are stable and they are currently under medical observation." MoHAP confirmed that, in coordination with health authorities and the concerned authorities in the country, it has taken "all the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organisation." "The general health condition is not a cause for concern," it emphasised. (Source; KkhaleejTimes)
January 29, 2020 05:37 UTC
China’s latest figures cover the previous 24 hours and add 26 to the number of deaths, 25 of which were in the central province of Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The 5,974 cases on the mainland marked a rise of 1,459 from the previous day, although that rise is a smaller increase than the 1,771 new cases reported on Monday. Dozens of infections of the new type of coronavirus have been confirmed outside mainland China as well. A Japanese chartered flight carrying 206 evacuees from Wuhan included some who had coughs and fever on the plane, Kyodo News reported, citing health ministry officials. They were expected to be taken by ambulances to a Tokyo hospital specializing in infectious diseases.
January 29, 2020 05:20 UTC
Sri Lankan students studying in China are now returning from China. The Sri Lankan Embassy in China said that a group of 176 students have left for Sri Lanka last night. 484 more students are expected to return to the island said the Sri Lanka’s Acting Ambassador in China. Discussions are currently underway with the Chinese government to bring back Sri Lankan students in Wuhan which is currently locked down.
January 29, 2020 05:15 UTC
China's first coronavirus hospital has opened today in a city near Wuhan after workers and volunteers spent just two days converting an empty building to a 1,000-bed emergency facility. The first batch of coronavirus patients were transferred to the Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre at around 10:30pm local time today, reported local media. The project was complete within 48 hours thanks to the joint effort of staff from construction firms, utility companies and paramilitary police officers, the city's authority said. (Source: Dailymail)
January 28, 2020 16:52 UTC
The committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers to study on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement has decided to seek public views about the agreement. The proposal for appointment of this committee was presented by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to comprehensively study and report to the government. Accordingly, any individual, institution or an organization can submit their views on the content of the agreement or the effect it can cause before February 15. The Prime Minister’s office said that the public can send their opinions to the following address : Nelum Piyasa, Temple Trees, Colombo 03 or to the following email address: [email protected].
January 28, 2020 06:33 UTC
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena attended the reception of the Republic Day of India 2020 as the Chief Guest, yesterday at the India House. Sri Lanka look forward to forge a robust partnership with India through manifold activities by improving air connectivity, defence cooperation, enhanced investments, people to people contacts and cultural exchanges, Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. Attending the reception of the 71st Republic Day of India 2020 as the Chief Guest on Sunday at the India House, he thanked the Indian Government for sharing intelligence information to address the rise of terrorism and extremism. The minister said the Government, under its new leadership, is looking forward for cooperation with India towards sustainable peace and security in the region.
January 27, 2020 10:30 UTC
A special meeting between the Health Minister and the new Committee will be held at the ministry today at 5 p.m. to discuss the future course of action. Yesterday the Health Ministry appointed a 22-member National Action Committee to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus in Sri Lanka. The appointment was made by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi on the instructions given by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
January 27, 2020 09:00 UTC
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assigned the Immigration and Emigration Department to Defense State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa. The President in a Gazette Extraordinary published that he delegates the Immigration and Emigration Department to Defense State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa using the Constitutional powers vested on him. The Immigration and Emigration Department is one of the 31 state institutions that come under the purview of the Defence Ministry. The Police Department, State Intelligence Service (SIS), Registration of Persons Department, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) are among other state institutions coming under the purview of the Defence Minister.
January 27, 2020 09:00 UTC
The government is planning an urgent program to repatriate all Sri Lankans living in china due to the dangers posed by the Coronavirus which is now spreading rapidly around the world. Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that according to the directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa relevant authorities will take swift measures to repatriate all Sri Lankans. The special program is launched by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing and SriLankan Airlines. He also said that several flights with high passenger capacity are already deployed. Around 30 Sri Lankan students are receiving higher education in Wuhan which is currently under quarantine due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
January 26, 2020 12:32 UTC
The online system introduced by the National Transport Medical Institute for the driving license applicants to make appointments for medical tests will be in effect from tomorrow onwards. The system is available on the NTMI official web page www.ntmi.lk Applicants are required to provide details requested and will be informed the date and the time of the appointment via an SMS in due course. The system had been subjected to several test operations last week and they have been successful. According to the Transport Ministry, a mobile app will also be introduced within the next two weeks for the same purpose. Following the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new system was introduced by the NTMI on the direction of Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.
January 26, 2020 11:15 UTC