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The ongoing curfew in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam will remain in force till 5.00am on Monday, May 04th.

In all other districts, curfew will be lifted at 5.00am on Monday, the 27th April and will be re-imposed at 8.00pm on the same day. In these districts,  curfew will be effective from 8.00 pm to 5.00am till Friday, the 01st May.

In order to resume work at both public and private sector entities in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam from 4th May, even when curfew is in force, relevant regulations will be relaxed.

State organizations including Departments, Corporations and Boards as well as factories,  construction enterprises, offices, vegetable and fish stalls and retail outlets belonging to the private sector are permitted to function.

The private sector entities should open for work at 10.00am daily. During the next week, heads of the both state and private sector organizations should plan out their operations to be carried out from May 4th onwards.

Only 1/3rd of the total workforce of each state organization such as Departments, Corporations and Boards are required to report for work. The head of each organization should ensure that only the minimum required number of employees are called for work irrespective of the essentiality of the service it provides.

All the employees of the state sector entities who are not required to report for work in office should work from their homes. The responsibility to decide who should come to office and who should work from home lies with head of the each organization. The Head has the freedom to select a different set of employees each day.

As a measure to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus the public should stop unnecessarily coming to roads and gathering at various other places.

Buses belonging to Sri Lanka Transport Board and railway carriages can only transport employees who are reporting for work. Civilians except those who are essentially required to report to work should remain in their homes.

People are allowed to leave their homes only to purchase essential items such as food and medicines. They should select the closest outlet located within walking distance from their homes to make such purchases.

Even for essential purposes people will be allowed to leave their places of dwelling based on the last digit of their National Identity Cards.

Accordingly, those with No. 1 or 2 as the last digit of the National Identity Card are allowed to leave their homes on Mondays.

Similarly, those who can leave their homes during the rest of the week are as follows:

Tuesday                  : People with No. 3 or 4 as the last digit of their NICs

Wednesday              : People with No. 5 or 6 as the last digit of their NICs

Thursday                 : People with No. 7 or 8 as the last digit of their NICs

Friday                     : People with No. 9 or 0 as the last digit of their NICs

COVID – 19 prevention health recommendations should strictly be adhered to during office hours, public transport and inside shops. They include disinfection, wearing masks, washing hand from time to time and maintaining social distance. The Police and the security forces will vigilantly observe whether these guidelines are followed.

Traveling between districts is strictly limited only to official and other essential purposes. Schools, universities, tuition classes and other education institutes and cinemas will remain closed until further notice.

If any area where the curfew has been relaxed happens to be identified as a risk village or a zone, curfew may be re-imposed limiting only to such area. No one will be permitted to enter or leave areas designated as isolated.

All forms of functions, pilgrimages and pleasure tours, carnivals, processions and meetings are banned until further notice. Since the congregation of people is a hindrance to the preventive measures to control the spread of the virus, the Government also requests to suspend all religious festivals.

Measures introduced by the Government during the initial stages of the spread of the virus  to continuously supply essential goods and services in order to ensure an uninterrupted day-to-day life will be further strengthened.

The pandemic should be controlled fully to protect the civilians against the virus. At the same time it is imperative to revive the economy which has been disrupted. These objectives can be achieved only with the cooperation of the citizenry.

The cooperation that people can extend is to understand the severity of the disease while always remaining at homes and 100% adherence to the health guidelines.

The Government insists that the public should endure all these hardships for the well-being and protection of oneself, our children and the entire nation. Anyone who acts in a manner that harms the welfare of the society will strictly be dealt with according to the existing laws.

With corporate and individual donations and direct donations, the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund‘s balance has now surpassed Rs. 822 million.

The Chief Incumbent of Gatambe Rajopavanaramaya in Peradeniya Ven. Kappitiyagoda Siri Wimala Thero handed over Rs. 01 million to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Recent donations made to the Fund included Rs. 10 million by Lanka Mineral Sands, Rs. 01 million each by  Mr. J. H. T. M. Abeysinghe and Sri Lanka Marketing Institute, Rs. 5.4 million by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Rs. 6.2 million by Ceylon Petroleum Wholesale Storage Terminal and Rs. 500,00 by Sri Lanka Industrial Development Board.

All the donations will be credited to the special account opened under the number   85737373 at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

Further details can be obtained from Mr. K.B. Egodawele, Director General (Administration) of the Presidential Secretariat through the telephone number 011 – 2354479 / 011 – 2354354.

 
 

With corporate and individual donations and direct donations, the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund‘s balance has now surpassed Rs. 822 million.

The donations made to the Fund were Chief Prelate in Singapore Ven. Bellanwila Dhammarathana Thero Rs. 05 million, Chief Prelate in USA Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Thero Rs. 05 million, Chief Prelate in France Ven. Parawahera Chandrarathana Thero Rs. 01 million, Chief Incumbent of Geneva International Buddhist Temple in Switzerland Ven. Dr. Thawalama Dhammika Thero and Viharadhikari Ven. Halwitigala Sujatha Thero  Rs. 01 million, Chief Incumbent of Baudhdhayathanaya in Mount Lavinia Ven. Divigaha Yasassi Thero Rs. 01 million, Chief Incumbent of Samadhi Vihara in Chirency, Italy Ven. Dombadeniye Nandasiri Thero Rs. 200,000.

Also, Rs. 05 million was donated by Mr. C. J. Wickramarathna while Marine One donated Rs. 1 million, Marina Food (Pvt) Limited and Sri Lanka Heart Association Rs. 05 million each, Road Transport Services Authority Rs. 500,000, Mr. A. Amarasinghe Rs. 100,000 and Mr. P. D. Dharmawardene Rs. 50,000.

The donations made to the Fund today were Rs. 02 million by State Timber Corporation, Rs.200,000 by Arthur C Clarke Institute, Rs.830,000 by Association of Old Anandians in the United Kingdom, Rs.1.2 million by Xinda Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Rs.500,000 each by the Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, Rs.05 million by Western Province Provincial Road Development Authority, Rs. 10 million by Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka, Rs. 2 million by  Sri Lanka Customs, Rs. One million by Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union, Rs.150,000 by Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry, Rs.8.6 million by Ministry Of Roads & Highways and Road development Authority, Rs.223,000 by Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Resources, Rs. one million by Central Environment Authority, Rs. Two million by Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Rs.250,000 by Marine Environment Protection Authority, Rs.271,000 by Plantation Human Development Trust, Rs.600,000 by Ministry of  Social Empowerment and Infrastructure Development.

All the donations will be credited to the special account opened under the number   85737373 at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

Further details can be obtained from Mr. K.B. Egodawele, Director General (Administration) of the Presidential Secretariat through the telephone number 011 – 2354479 / 011 – 2354354.

 
 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a Presidential Task Force in charge of Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication.

It has been established under the powers vested in the President by the Constitution.

The Task Force is responsible for reviving the economy and eradication of poverty while paying special attention to the challenges posed and opportunities emerged in Sri Lanka in the wake of COVID – 19 outbreak.

Based on the vision of the “Saubhagyaye Dekma”, policy statement, the Task Force should steer the relevant institutes to create a production economy through the formulation of a unique economic structure based on novel initiatives.

Implementation of joint operations to establish a people-centric economy which will promote domestic industrialists and entrepreneurs is another objective of the Task Force.

It has also been tasked with the responsibility of taking measures to distribute products in liaising with all the institutes while paying attention to the activities undertaken by the health and education task forces to maintain normalcy in the civilian life.

The Task Force is required to  inform the President of all instances where any public official, Ministry, State Department, State Corporation or any other similar institute which delays or fails to  perform duties and responsibilities assigned by it.

Relevant provisions relating to the Task Force appointed on January 24, 2020 and March 24 on Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood Development and the Presidential Task Force appointed on March 23, 2020 on administration of essential services to continue civilian life which have been identified as high risk zones in the face of COVID- 19 spread will be abolished with the establishment of the new Task Force.

The scope and the responsibilities of the Task Force in charge of Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication will be announced in a gazette notification to be published soon.

Special Representative of the President Mr. Basil Rajapaksa will chair the Task Force while Additional Secretaries to the Office of the Prime Minister Mr. Anton Perera and D. S. Jayaweera will function as Co- Secretaries.

Following is the complete list of members of the Task Force:

  1. Basil Rajapaksa, Special Representative of the President
  2. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Senior Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  3. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of the Defence Staff/ Commander of the Army
  4. C. D. Wickremarathne, Acting Inspector General of Police
  5. Major General (Retired) Shantha Dissanayake, Chairman, Consumer Affairs Authority
  6. J. A. Nushad M. Perera, Chairman, Lanka Sathosa
  7. Susantha Rathnayake, Chairman, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
  8. Jayantha de Silva, Chairman, Information and Communication Technology Agency
  9. Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority
  10. Jayampathi Molligoda, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board
  11. Prabath Subasinghe, Chairman, Exports Development Board
  12. A.Wimalaweera, Commissioner General of Labour
  13. S. Singappuli, Commissioner of Cooperative Development
  14. Rear Admiral (Retired) Ananda Peiris, Director General, Department of Civil Defence
  15. Major General (Retired) Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General, Sri Lanka Customs
  16. Bandula Thilakasiri, Director General, Department of Samurdhi Development
  17. Sanjaya Mohottala, Director General, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
  18. Major General (Retired) Sudantha Ranasinghe, Director General, Disaster Management Center
  19. Mahesh Gammampila, Director, Fertilizer Secretariat
  20. Buddhika Madihahewa, General Manager, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation
  21. Rohan Seneviratne, Additional General Manager, Ceylon Electricity Board
  22. Mano Sekaram, Director Board Member, Information and Communication Technology Agency
  23. Major General (Retired) Sumedha Perera
  24. Sanjeewa Gunawardene, Executive Officer, E. B. Creasy & Co.
  25. Samantha Kumarasinghe, Owner, Natures Secret
  26. Mahesh Amalean Chairman, MAS Holdings
  27. Ravi Liyanage, Chairman and CEO, The Kingdom of Raigam
  28. Padmalal Withanage, Managing Director, Sanmik Group Of Companies
  29. S.B.Divarathna, Retired Deputy Secretary to the Treasury
  30. Secretary to the Prime Minister and Secretaries to Ministries of Finance, Economic and Policy Development, Roads & Highways,Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture, Industries & Supply Chain Management, Power and Energy, Women & Child Affairs and Social Security, Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation & Rural Development, Water Supply & Housing Facilities, Defence, Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare.

The Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation donates 20,000 testing kits to Sri Lanka to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the island.

The Prime Minister’s Office said, that the donation was given by the representatives of the foundations to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa last night.

Meeting with the secretaries to ministries yesterday (15) at the Presidential Secretariat, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa discussed rebuilding the economy in the face of the current challenges.

Returning to normalcy without compromising safety 

A focal point of the discussion was on returning to normalcy. To do so, President emphasized the need for the public and private sectors to recommence its business activities. Thus curfew needs to be eased to allow these functionalities to proceed without undue obstruction. The responsibility of ensuring the public adhering to safety regulations and preventing large gatherings was entrusted on the secretaries to the ministries as well as heads of institutes.

Creating a New Economic Trend

Rebuilding a policy-driven economy is the responsibility of all, noted President. Whilst protecting people and the local economy, the responsibility of creating a new economic trend lies with the ministries. It is important to establish new businesses and industries. Experienced entrepreneurs must have fresh opportunities. The relevant ministries must at the same time extend the required foundation and support needed for agrarian and fisheries sectors as well as other businesses to recover.

Taking the global crisis into consideration, the need to pay special attention to the local agrarian economy was underlined. Facilities needed to maximize production of export agricultural crops from available land must also be provided, President instructed the officials. Thus it is very important that even the farmer at village level has easy access to the State machinery.

Recommencing stalled development projects 

The discussions also centered on restarting the development projects that were halted due to the prevailing crisis. One of these projects was the initiation to add 100,000 km to the existing road network. It was decided to prioritize this project as a starting point.

Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundara, Principal Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath and Cabinet Secretary S. Amarasekera also joined the discussion.

The curfew currently in force in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara,  Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna which have been identified as High Risk Zones will continue until further notice.

In all other districts, curfew will be lifted at 6.00am tomorrow, Thursday, the 16th April and will be re-imposed at 4.00 pm on the same day. Curfew in these areas will be effective until 6.00 am on Monday, the 20th April.

Imposing curfew in these districts after 6.00am on April 20th will be notified later.

The sole purpose of these measures including imposing curfew is to ensure the well-being of the people of this country in this critical situation. Hence, the Government requests the public to bear the inconveniences caused as a result of ongoing curfew in a responsible manner.

Also, the Government emphasizes to purchase only the most essential items and to avoid unnecessary travelling. The Government further requests to limit the traditions and relationships during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year only to the members of the family.

The government has put in place a mechanism to continuously supply essential food and other goods enabling the public to purchase them while at homes, during curfew hours,.

Those who are engaged in paddy farming and fishing and cultivation of small tea holdings  and export crops in any district are permitted to carry out their activities.

Traveling to and from all districts has been completely prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services.

Those who misuse regulations introduced with the prime objective of ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of essential services will severely be dealt with according to the law.

The villages which have been declared isolated areas in any district will remain in the same category.  No one will be allowed to enter or leave from these areas until further notice.

The Management Committee of the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund met at the Presidential Secretariat today (15). The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Prof. W. D. Lakshman is the head of the committee. The Chief Financial Officer of the Presidential Secretariat Ravindra J. Wimalaweera is the Secretary of the committee with 16 other members including Secretaries to the Ministries and other heads of organizations.

The Fund continues to receive donations from various parties. The committee discussed future activities related to the measures to be taken to meet the expectations by establishing this Fund by the President.

Provision of medicine, medical research equipment, providing financial needs for health security facilities including capacity building, ensuring the safety and well-being of employees of the health sector and essential service providers and provision of basic needs of children, women, low-income families, senior citizens, disabled persons and other vulnerable groups are among the main objectives of the Fund. The Fund is also tasked with the responsibility of coordination with the WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and major development donor communities and agencies of Sri Lanka to raise funds.

With corporate and individual donations and direct donations, the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund‘s balance has reached Rs. 655 million.

Secretary of Defence, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne handed over a donation of Rs.3 million collected by the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited and Rs. 4 lakhs collected by South Korean branch of the  ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ Fund to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Donations of Rs. 07 million by the NDB Bank, Rs. 6.7 million by the Lanka Hospitals Corporation, Rs.10 million by the Commercial Bank, Rs. five million each by the Colombo Dockyard PLC and Mr. D.J.A. Samarasinghe,  Rs. 2.5 million by the Urban Development Authority, Rs. one million each by the Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education and Saman Industries and Suppliers Pvt., Ltd and Rs. 2 million by the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka made to the Fund.

Additionally, Rs. 5 lakhs by the BASF Lanka Pvt.Ltd., Rs.100,000 by Mr.W.Manjula Botheju resides in Nugegoda, and Rs. 200,000 by Mr. Ranjan De Silva and Rs.60,000 by Sri Lanka Police disabled War Heroes Association donated to the Fund.

All the donations will be credited to the special account opened under the number   85737373 at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

Further details can be obtained from Mr. K.B. Egodawele, Director General (Administration) of the Presidential Secretariat through the telephone number 011 – 2354479 / 011 – 2354354.

With the view of preserving the foreign currency reserve position of the country, minimizing the existing pressure on the exchange rate and considering the possible negative impact to the Sri Lankan economy due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister of Finance, Economic and Policy Developments with the recommendation of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order imposing several measures on outward remittances on Capital Transactions for a period of three (03) months.

This includes the suspending the general permission granted to make outward remittances for investments overseas through the Outward Investment Accounts by persons resident in Sri Lanka excluding the following; a. investments to be financed out of a foreign currency loan obtained by the investor from a person resident outside Sri Lanka under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act, or b. investments to be made to fulfill the regulatory requirement in that country.

The second initiative is to suspend the outward remittances through Business Foreign Currency Accounts (BFCAs) or Personal Foreign Currency Accounts (PFCAs) held by persons in, or resident in, Sri Lanka, other than for the remittances on current transactions.

Another measure is to suspend the repatriation of funds under the migration allowance through Capital Transactions Rupee Accounts (CTRAs) by the emigrants who have already claimed migration allowance.

The government’s attention has been focussed on providing relief measures to the journalists, artistes and those engaged in self-employment.

Accordingly, the President had issued instructions to present a proposal in this regard to the Presidential Task Force headed by Basil Rajapaksa, said Minister Bandula Gunawardena during the Cabinet media briefing held at the Government Information Department yestarday (09).

He said that attention has been focussed on granting concessionary loan schemes to not only media personnel, but tele-drama actors and artistes too so that they could manage their lives without being a burden on others.

The minister noted that currently, the journalists are carrying out a huge task as no one can live without access to information and as such the government has focussed its attention on the difficult plight the journalists are facing under these trying times.

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