Eight Questions To Government From Tamil Civil Society Forum In Relation To Their Handing Of Covid-19

It is well acknowledged that Governments must be transparent and accurate in their public communications, to the maximum extent possible, as part of their response to a global health pandemic. During a pandemic citizens and civil societies cannot be passive consumers of information that is put out by Governments. Questions must be asked and asking questions must not be considered as burdensome by the Government. In the interests of bettering our response to COVID-19 the Tamil Civil Society Forum puts forward the following eight questions and seeks an early response from the Government to…

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Repeat Tests On PSD Officers, Criticism Of Militarized Response As Lanka’s Covid-19 Numbers Climb

Sri Lanka has earned the dubious honour of becoming the only country in the world to see its Coronavirus infection numbers increase sharply after nearly five weeks of islandwide curfew and questions are being raised about if testing during the shutdown was largely confined to high risk persons and security personnel attached to the Presidential Security Division and the Prime Minister Security Division. Colombo Telegraph learns that even though President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Office claims 21,000 tests have been conducted in Sri Lanka the truth behind the testing number is that most of these…

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Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Council, Once Hailed, Leading To Power Tussles – Analysis

By South Asia Monitor By Sugeeswara Senadhira* Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Council and it’s independent commissions face serious issues due to the postponement of the general elections. When the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in April 2015, it was hailed as the biggest achievement of the then government. Under 19A the Constitutional Council (CC) was reinvigorated, empowering independent democratic institutions.  Today, there is a marked division of power centres and the common belief is they do not reflect the majority will of the people of the country. Although it was established…

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Working from home – The new normal?

Covid-19 shows how vulnerable we remain to pandemics, which will be quite common in the future. Even though a vaccine is found, similar self-replicating pathogens will become a major threat to humanity. Therefore practicing working from home even under normal circumstances at least few days a week will bring in the self-discipline and the mindset shift required to work from home during crisis situations. There is much debate on how productive working from home is, and how suitable it is in a Sri Lankan context. How will different generations look at it,…

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Govt Rushes Moves to Award Multi-billion Rupee Contract for Construction of Kurunegala-Dambulla Highway Without Open Tender or Advertising for Bids

By Namini Wijedasa The Highways Ministry and the Road Development Authority (RDA) are rushing moves to award a multibillion rupee contract for the fourth section of the Central Expressway Project (CEP IV) from Kurunegala to Dambulla. Talks between the Government and an identified contractor–the British consultancy firm Roughton–have been going on amidst the protracted curfew and growing COVID-19 pandemic, authoritative sources said. They did not wish to be named. The Cabinet has granted approval to start talks on the unsolicited proposal which will be financed by a loan. The project…

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Seven Opposition Party Leaders represnting the UNP,SJB,TNA, SLMC,ACMC,TPA and JHU Issue Historic Joint Statement Pledging “Responsible Cooperation”to the President and Government if Parliament Dissolution is Revoked and Parliament Re-convened in the best interests of the Country and all her people

(Text of a Joint Statement signed by Opposition Party Leaders of the UNP, SJB,TNA,SLMC, ACMC, TPA and JHU pledging “Responsible Cooperation ” to the President and Government if Parliament Dissolution is Revoked and Parliament Re-convened in the best interests of the Country and all her people) We, the undersigned political parties and formations, representing the majority Members of Parliament, who were members of the Opposition in Parliament when it was dissolved on 2nd March 2020 wish to state as follows: 1. Against the backdrop of a public health crisis caused by…

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President is interpreting the Constitution to “suit himself” and leading the country towards a dictatorship

SJB Gen-Secy Ranjith Madduma Bandara Says President is interpreting the Constitution to “suit himself” and leading the country towards a dictatorship under the ” guise of battling the spread of COVID 19″ by “disregarding the role of the courts and the country’s Constitution.” The Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) is calling on all political parties, civil society activists and the general public to strongly oppose the attempt by the government to create an autocratic, anti-democratic state in Sri Lanka. In a statement issued today, April 11, the SJB General Secretary…

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Speech Grossly Irresponsible & Misleading

By Mangala Samaraweera – Mangala Samaraweera – Former Finance Minister Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa is the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He also holds the vital portfolio of Finance, Economic and Policy Development. He was President of Sri Lanka for two terms and held many ministries during that time. And he has been a Member of Parliament since 1970.  Therefore, he has no excuse whatsoever for the grossly irresponsible and misleading statement he made yesterday. It is a base political statement, dressed up to conceal its mendacity, using the official letterhead of the Prime Minister. …

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Gazette issued on cremation of COVID-19 victims

Sri Lanka has amended a law to make cremation compulsory for those dying from the novel coronavirus to prevent any potential threat. The Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance (Chapter 222) has been amended by a gazette issued by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the government said. Wanniarachchi said that the body shall be burned at a temperature between 800 to 1200 degrees Celsius for a minimum period of 45 minutes to one hour. She said that the cremation should take place at a cemetery or a place approved by the…

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