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Covid data (India), August 30, 2022: Vaccinations of the Day: 20,28,640; Vaccination Day Before: 24,70,330; Total Vaccination Doses: 2,11,91,05,738; Samples Tested on August 28: 1,65,751; Total Samples Tested: 88,52,08,552; Total Cases: 4,44,15,723 (New 7,591 ); Total Deaths: 5,27,799 (New 45); Deaths (State-wise - New Deaths): Delhi: 4; Maharashtra: 5 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Emergency, curfew in Lanka as protests against shortages escalate

The island of 22 million people is facing its worst economic crisis since Independence in 1948. The acute shortage of essential commodities like food and fuel is forcing an exodus of people to neighbouring India. In response to Colombo's SOS, the Indian Government has started making emergency shipments of rice and diesel to the country.

COLOMBO, April 2: Amidst nationwide protests against shortages of essential commodities turning violent, the ruling Rajapaksas declared emergency in Lanka on Friday night and clamped a 36-hour curfew from Saturday evening in order to control the rebellion. Soldiers armed with automatic assault rifles have been deployed throughout the country.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a gazette notification that the decision was taken in the interests of public security, protection of public order and to ensure the maintenance of essential supplies.

The immediate cause of the national crisis is shortage of foreign exchange to import essential commodities like fuel. Without electricity and fuel all economic activities have come to a standstill. People have no food either. An exodus to India has begun.

Thousands of people have been protesting at the President's residence over shortages and inflation (18.7%) the past few days. Clashes have erupted. With a worsening economic crisis, hospitals are suspending routine surgeries and power supply is cut most of a day. Across the country people are queueing up for miles to buy kerosene, diesel and petrol. Troops have been deployed to control the crowds at fuel stations. The economic collapse is forcing people to seek refuge in neighbouring India.

Lanka has huge debt obligations in addition to dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Last month Colombo had devalued its currency to facilitate a deal with the IMF. The country is facing its worst crisis since independence.

The Buddhist proposals

Meanwhile, the Buddhist monks and Catholic priests called on the President to end the crisis. The Buddhist monks met the President and urged him to find ways to lower the cost of living, restructure debts, create a local economic model and encourage new investments in the country. They warned that Lanka is fast becoming a failed State. They asked the temples and churches to donate part of their wealth, especially gold, to the Government to recover from the crisis.

The ruling family

The entire country is ruled by just one family of Rajpaksas. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (76) is President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's (72) elder brother; Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa (70) is younger brother; Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa (79) is the eldest; Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa is son of Mahinda; PM's Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa is also Mahinda's son; Minister for Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa is Chamal Rajapaksa's son; Director of Sri Lankan Airlines Shameendra Rajapaksa, also Chamal Rajapaksa's son.

The origin of the crisis

The seeds of the crisis were sown way back in 2007 when Colombo began borrowing money and Government bonds were sold in the capital market under Mahinda Rajapaksa's rule. The process continues. Much of it, about $10 billion, came from China, which is staking claim to the infrastructure they funded. The covid pandemic added to Lanka's woes by sapping revenues from tourism, the mainstay of the economy. And the public debt has become unsustainable. Colombo has sought aid from IMF, China and India - all of them promising help. India has started shipments of fuel and rice.


WHAT TO DO, WHEN... : IndiaTravelTimes does not guarantee the authenticity of the video (above) of the episode of the flight turbulence at Durgapur airport on May 1, yet this is being put out with a view to familiarising the ordinary fliers with such probabilities lest they are caught unawares and fail to react rationally to handle such terrible situations. The 'eternity' can last up to 15 minutes. Tighten your belts, believe in your pilot and shift your thoughts to reduce disabling anxieties! Rest assured, the aircraft can rock and fall but not more than a hundred feet anyway.

During the event, nearly 50 other people, including bull tamers and spectators, were also injured. Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport, which has been part of the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

Whole localities are sent into quarantine in China using force if someone is symptomatic of covid. The quarantines are metal boxes set up in far away camps. The authoritarian regime is resorting to draconian methods to check a new wave of the epidemic in the country that has already locked down three cities currently. On the other hand, the US presents a contrasting scenario where in the name freedom large sections of people refuse vaccination and assault health workers who mandate the covid restrictions.

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Can we ask the vaccinator, "Do you pull back the plunger and then push the vaccine? Do you Aspirate?" When the vaccination for covid started there were reports of worrisome incidents of adverse events post immunisation, the serious complaints being non-specific blood clots. These related to viral vector vaccines of human and non-human source: AstraZeneca and Janssen. How did it happen. There are various views. But here is a suggestion how simply it can be prevented.

Marking a fierce but interesting competition among the billionaires, adventure specialist Richard Branson launched commercial space travel from his 'Spaceport America' on Sunday, pipping the world's richest man, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, to the post, becoming the early bird to fly to the edge of space as the first private space tourist nine days earlier than his rival. Although he did not cross the Karman line.

President Biden has signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Bill making June 19 a federal public holiday to commemorate the symbolic end of chattel slavery in the US.

The Mars rover, a six-wheeled, SUV-sized robotic vehicle, sailed through space for seven months to land on a prime spot for geo-biological study of the red planet for signs of ancient extraterrestrial life. It takes radio waves 11 minutes to reach Earth. (Listen to:- DAVID BOWIE: Life On Mars?:)

While the rationalists debunk the episode as a ploy to make up for the losses in offerings during the corona lockdown, the believers stick to their claim, they have seen it after all! The claim of Shankaralinga temple resembles the miracle of Ganesha drinking milk in Delhi way back in 1995. Although they belong to two different branches of science.

After his reappearance, Alibaba's Hong Kong-listed shares went up by 8.5%. The Chinese billionaire made his public appearance on Wednesday. (SEE Video: Davos 2015 - An Insight An Idea with Jack Ma - A conversation with Jack Ma, Founder and the then Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, on leadership, entrepreneurship and the future of commerce: Interviewed by Charlie Rose, Anchor, CBS News, USA)

A pair of socks gifted to her by her niece displayed on her legs has done the job for Gumball Poodle. The demand for 'Future is Female' is skyrocketing indeed. What more could one ask for?
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