Sri Lanka

68,000 Overseas Sri Lankans Await Repatriation Amidst COVID-19: Ministry

COLOMBO, Jan 4 (NNN-SLNEWS) – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said, an estimated 68,000 Sri Lankans are awaiting repatriation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Ministry said, it has been carrying out the task of repatriation for almost a year and to date 60,470 Sri Lankans, including pilgrims, students, officials of government or armed forces, migrant workers, short term visitors, seafarers and cases on compassionate grounds, have been repatriated from abroad by the ministry, through Sri Lankan missions overseas.

Sri Lankan prison riot leaves 6 inmates dead, 35 injured

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Six inmates were killed and 35 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said.

Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities.

Sri Lankan president highlights efforts to combat COVID-19, corruption, poverty

COLOMBO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Wednesday in a special address to his nation that the government was ready to strengthen efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, corruption and poverty.

In the statement televised on all television channels and radio stations on his first year anniversary since being sworn in as president, Rajapaksa said, with the world presently experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19, the country was acting according to a plan.

Sri Lanka Groups Slam U.S. Disinformation About Sri Lanka-China Relations

COLOMBO, Nov 2 (NNN-SLNEWS) – Sri Lanka-China friendship groups condemned U.S. disinformation about Sri Lanka-China relations, following a recent visit to the country by U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The groups also affirmed their country’s independent foreign policy.

“In the last few weeks, the U.S. and its allies had been engaged in a massive campaign of misinformation and disinformation about Sri Lanka’s relationship with China,” said a statement by the Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association (SLCFA).

USA's Pompeo brings anti-China roadshow to Indian Ocean islands

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday brought the Trump administration’s anti-China campaign to two Indian Ocean island nations considered particularly at risk for what American officials allege is Chinese exploitation.

Pompeo is visiting Sri Lanka and the Maldives to press the two countries to be on guard against potential predatory lending and investment by China.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Approves COVID-19 Relief Loans Worth 966 Million USD

COLOMBO, Oct 18 (NNN-SLNEWS) – The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), approved 966 million U.S. dollar-loans, under a relief programme for COVID-19-affected businesses, local media reported, today.

A total of 61,907 applications for loans, under the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance facility, have been approved, according to an official statement issued by the CBSL’s Regional Development Department.

Out of 966 million U.S. dollars, approved by the CBSL, a total of 723 million U.S. dollars have been disbursed through licensed banks to 45,581 businesses across the country.

Sri Lanka closes key state offices as virus outbreak surges

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Authorities in Sri Lanka closed key government offices and further expanded a curfew Thursday to contain a surging coronavirus outbreak.

The foreign ministry closed the consular affairs office for the week and suspended all services to prevent the public from congregating. The ministry said it would only accept queries and documentation assistance related to deaths of Sri Lankans overseas, strictly by appointment.

Sri Lanka imposes indefinite curfew in 2 towns after detection of new COVID-19 case

Colombo, Oct 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Sunday imposed an indefinite curfew on two western provincial towns to contain the spread of the coronavirus following the detection of a community case after a gap of nearly six months, officials said.

The island nation has so far recorded 3,395 coronavirus cases and 13 fatalities due to the disease.

Sri Lanka says 3-member team boards distressed oil tanker to probe fire

COLOMBO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lanka Navy said on Friday that a three-member team had boarded the MT New Diamond oil tanker which caught fire in Sri Lanka's eastern waters last Thursday to carry out an investigation after the fire had been completely doused.

The three-member team was from the salvor and they boarded the oil tanker after a six-member team from overseas also got aboard for inspection.

The navy said preliminary investigations into the distressed ship had already been completed.

Experts join efforts to salvage burning tanker off Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A team of experts is joining efforts to salvage a large oil tanker that has been burning for the fourth day Sunday off Sri Lanka, the country’s navy said.

Four tug boats, three Sri Lankan navy ships and six Indian ships have been battling the fire on the MT New Diamond since Thursday. An additional five Sri Lankan coast guard ships and gun boats are supplying the others vessels.

Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said the fire on the ship has been brought under control but is still not extinguished. There was no leak.

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