News Bites

Australia delivers COVID-19 supplies to Sri Lanka

June 4, Colombo: Australia has delivered essential medical supplies to Sri Lanka to further assist in its response to COVID-19, the High Commission of Australia in Colombo said.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft on Friday landed at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport carrying essential supplies of Personal Protective Equipment..

Using Sri Lanka as a hub, essential supplies will also be delivered to Nepal and India in direct response to the COVID-19 crises taking place in those countries, the High Commission said.

Australia has continued to support Sri Lanka’s health system since the start of the pandemic, responding to COVID-19 outbreaks and bolstering the health system to manage threats to regional health security in the future.

The Western Australian Government’s donation of 9,800,000 facemasks and 3,200 coveralls will provide essential support and protection to those on the frontline of the current health crisis to ensure the sustained delivery of emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marking the event at Mattala Airport, Australian High Commissioner David Holly said: “In addition to the COVID-19 supplies being delivered to Sri Lanka today, the Australian government warmly appreciates the support of the Sri Lankan government in facilitating the use of Mattala Airport as the hub for delivering much needed COVID support to our North East Indian Ocean neighbors.

“Today’s event represents a significant example of our growing commitment to partnership in the Indian Ocean region.”

Australia’s overall package of support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response totals AUD 11.7 million (LKR 1800 million). Australia’s support has been focused on bolstering health security, promoting social cohesion and stability for Sri Lankan communities and supporting economic recovery.

SL orders 21,000 more oxygen cylinders for COVID patients

May 18: Arrangements have been made to import a further 21,000 oxygen cylinders that the Health Ministry estimates will be needed to treat COVID-19 patients in the country, the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication said. 

According to Health Ministry estimates, Sri Lanka is expected to require 2000 4-litre oxygen cylinders, 10,000 12-litre cylinders and 9000 47-litre cylinders for emergency use. The Task Force headed by Basil Rajapaksa has instructed state-owned Litro Gas Lanka Ltd., to proceed with procuring these cylinders. 

The company has made arrangements to import oxygen cylinders from Singapore and the first consignment is expected to arrive this week, the Task Force added. 

Meanwhile, on a request made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the Chinese Government, China is also looking into the possibility of supplying a consignment of medical equipment including oxygen cylinders to Sri Lanka.  – Times Online.

Artefacts uncovered in Galle dig

Archaeologists have discovered a host of artefacts that date back to the 14th and 15th centuries during the ongoing conservation project on the Galle ramparts.  

Project Consultant Dr. Nimal Perera said the findings included fragments of plates, pots, iron, and animal bones. He said the rampart built by the Portuguese had been renovated at times by the Dutch and the British and now it is protected as a national heritage building. 

 
“ At present we are carrying on excavations at the entrance built by the British during renovations in 1870s. It looks like a brick work but it has been built by filling earth. The artefacts were found during excavations in the area filled with earth. We will be able to study the light of these findings of the socio economic conditions in Sri Lanka during the 14th and 15th century,” Dr. Perera said.  


The Chief Consultant of the project, Nilan Cooray, said the arch in the entrance had been built by filling earth. He said the arch had been exposed to water leak and that it would be reconstructed with concrete mixture without damaging its original architectural design.  (Daily Mirror Online)

A collection of artefacts, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, discovered by archaeologists during excavation on the Galle ramparts.

Lonely Planet has a soft spot for our island paradise

Sri Lanka continues to feature heavily on Lonely Planet as a must-visit destination.

With world travel grinding to a halt following the ascent of Covid-19, Sri Lanka’s tourism intake also has come to a standstill. The country that relies heavily on travellers for its economy will once again gather momentum as a popular destination when the world has recovered from the debilitating invasion of the novel coronavirus.

Sri Lanka was named by Lonely Planet as the No. 1 place to visit in 2019 but the deadly Easter Sunday attacks dealt a cruel blow, followed by the virus shutdown in 2020.

Now, with many people resorting to armchair travel, you can delight in the many feature stories on Lonely Planet.

Visit the website https://www.lonelyplanet.com/sri-lanka

AFP presents medical supplies to police hospital

Stocks of urgently needed medical supplies to help in combating the COVID-19 outbreak was presented by Detective Superintendent Rob Wilson, an Australian Federal Police senior officer based in Colombo, to the Police Hospital in Colombo.

The medical equipment was accepted by Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Lalith Pathinayake.

“Australia expresses solidarity with Sri Lanka in facing the impact of COVID-19, particularly as many Sri Lanka Police officers have been directly impacted by the pandemic,” Det Supt Wilson said at the presentation ceremony.

“This medical equipment will assist frontline police officers in Sri Lanka to continue duties on the frontline responding to the pandemic, and protecting the community. This initiative continues the long-standing friendship between the Sri Lanka Police and the Australian Federal Police.” – Ceylon Daily News

Sri Lanka Army takes over printing of drivers’ licences.

 The Department of Motor Traffic has decided to hand over the printing of drivers’ licenses to the Sri Lanka Army.

Accordingly, the printing was to begin on January 1.
The Motor Traffic Department noted that a South African company had been printing driving licenses in Sri Lanka for 11 years. The decision by the new government to cancel the agreement is expected to save a large amount of money.

The Department of Motor Traffic said that between 60,000 to 90,000 new drivers’a licenses were issued each month.

Yala opens Leopard Centre

Yala National Park opened its Leopard Centre in June to help the Department of Wildlife Conservation ensure enhanced conservation of leopards and raise public awareness of their behaviour.

The idea of the leopard centre was conceived during a conversation among the officials of the Yala National Park and a group of avid wildlife enthusiasts, in 2019.

Yala National Park is the protected area with the highest density of leopards per square kilometre in the world. The centre is housed in two adjacent buildings named as Whiskers Wing and Rosettes Wing.

Whiskers Wing shows a collection of photos of leopard behaviour. It also has a digital touch screen that shows a range of information including the identification and other data of the Leopards of the Yala National Park from 2013 to date. It also has many research articles on Leopards.

Rosettes Wing has information panels containing information about Leopards. It also has a continuous display of video recordings of leopard behaviour.

Sri Lanka Day rewards Sunday revellers with a feast of food, music and culture Sri Lanka Day a roaring success as crowds savour a feast of culture and culinary fare Lord Mayor Schrinner commends Anton Swan’s 30-year commitment to Sri Lankan community Sri Lanka Day will be held on September 15 at Rocks Riverside Park Anzac Day commitment praised Lankan ex-servicemen will march with RSL members at Brookfield Anzac Day parade Federation elects management committee Invitation for almsgiving at Forest Hermitage to transfer merit to the late Lal Mendis Point Five musical show cancelled Government regulator ACNC grants charity status to federation Book your tickets to see Sri Lankan Point Five band perform in March as FSOQ fundraiser Musical talent evening on January 27 to raise funds for SPUR welfare projects Farewell Lal Mendis: Beacon of kindness and joy will be missed by our community
Sri Lanka Day rewards Sunday revellers with a feast of food, music and culture Sri Lanka Day a roaring success as crowds savour a feast of culture and culinary fare Lord Mayor Schrinner commends Anton Swan’s 30-year commitment to Sri Lankan community Sri Lanka Day will be held on September 15 at Rocks Riverside Park Anzac Day commitment praised Lankan ex-servicemen will march with RSL members at Brookfield Anzac Day parade Federation elects management committee Invitation for almsgiving at Forest Hermitage to transfer merit to the late Lal Mendis Point Five musical show cancelled Government regulator ACNC grants charity status to federation Book your tickets to see Sri Lankan Point Five band perform in March as FSOQ fundraiser Musical talent evening on January 27 to raise funds for SPUR welfare projects Farewell Lal Mendis: Beacon of kindness and joy will be missed by our community