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Archives

President makes last-minute changes to 21A, Cabinet approval likely tomorrow

Jun 26 (ST) For the last time, Cabinet of Ministers will formally approve tomorrow the 21st Amendment taking on board an amendment from Prez Rajapaksa as well as a certificate of approval from Attorney General. Thereafter, it will be published in govt gazette tomorrow. Though Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha claimed that 21A was approved last Monday, Prez had wanted a clearer definition of the composition of Constitutional Council (CC). more..

Instead of credit lines, India pushing for projects here

Jun 26 (ST) A 4-member Indian team that held talks in Colombo during a whirlwind visit on Thursday indicated that, rather than offer more credit lines to Sri Lanka, it was time to push for quicker implementation of Indian projects. The delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and included top Indian Finance Ministry officials. Separate talks were held with Prez Rajapaksa and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Team was also shopping for new Indian-led projects, Sunday Times learns. more..

Jet fuel running out; long-haul flights may avoid Lanka

Jun 26 (ST) SL’s aviation fuel supplies are at critically low levels with the Civil Aviation Authority of SL (CAASL) saying it was fighting to ensure they will last till next week. There is likely to be a significant reduction in flights into and out of the country if stocks were not replenished urgently, industry sources said. Multiple carriers have already pruned frequencies over the inability of general sales agents (GSAs) and local airlines offices to remit dues to their principals for months. more..

Power generation: Norochcholai unit offline without spares

Jun 26 (TM) Norochcholai Coal Power Plant last week powered down one 300 MW generation unit for scheduled maintenance, despite not having all the necessary spare parts needed to complete the work at hand. If all the spares do not arrive on time, there is a high risk of the completion of maintenance being delayed and as a result, 300 MW shortage to the power grid may be prolonged, CEB engineers warned. more..

4 more perish in fuel lines taking tally to 16

Jun 26 (ST) At least four Sri Lankans perished this week as they waited in fuel queues that stretch to unprecedented lengths, or in related incidents. At least 16 Sri Lankans have now died in fuel queues. The most recent death was in Jaffna town where a youth was assaulted near the filling station when he had argued with those who had jumped the queue. He had been beaten with helmets and was admitted to Jaffna Teaching hospital where he died on Thursday. Another youth died in A'pura more..

Fuel shipments: ‘No fuel, don’t line up’

Jun 26 (TM) Govt has prioritised fuel supply for public transport, power generation, and industries as multiple shipments of diesel, petrol, and crude oil have been delayed due to banking and logistics issues, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said. According to Wijesekera, CPC is unable to confirm the arrival dates of the planned shipments. “Limited stocks of petrol and diesel will be distributed to limited (fuel) stations throughout next week and (we) request the public not to line up for fuel,” more..

Pandora Papers report delayed without cause

Jun 26 (TM) The handing over of the report by the CIABOC regarding the allegations against Nirupama Rajapaksa and her husband Thirukumar Nadesan, who were implicated in the Pandora Papers file leak in connection with several suspicious transactions including the maintenance of large cash deposits, continues to be delayed without cause. Lawyers Forum for the People Convenor Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, more..

Maxwell’s words of wisdom to find of Aussie tour Wellalage

Jun 26 (SO) The find of SL-Australia ODI series 19 year-old left arm spinner Dunith Wellalage bowed out with a tally of nine wickets the highest from either side during the five matches. After he made his debut against Australia, Glenn Maxwell, one of the best all rounders in world cricket, gave his blessings to young Wellalage. His father Suranga Wellalage, the former Prince of Wales skipper, said: “My son remembers Maxwell’ s words. ‘Hey young boy you played your debut game against more..

Debt restructuring: Lazard and Clifford Chance signed on

Jun 26 (TM) The agreement between international financial and legal advisors Lazard and Clifford Chance and the Govt of SL has received approval from the AG’s Dept. Treasury Deputy Secretary R.M.P. Rathnayake said the Treasury had received the department’s approval for the agreements last Friday. “We have received the AG’s approval. Initial recommendations came a week ago. There were additions and the dept has granted approvals. We have formally agreed with both advisors,” more..

හරිනි අමරසූරිය

School rugby returns!

Jun 26 (TM) Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022 kicked off at Havelock Grounds with the match between St. Anthony’s College, Kandy and St. Joseph’s College Colombo. One of the most popular sports leagues in the country is back after a 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic which started back in 2020. When SL faced the Covid-19 outbreak back in March 2020, the League was already underway but the season was brought to a halt. Since then, there was no school rugby due to the lockdowns more..

No walk-in-the-park for Sri Lanka in Galle

Jun 26 (SO) Elated by their triumph in the ODI series, SL will be looking for a repeat of the home Test series against Australia in 2016 when the two teams leave aside the fanfare of white ball cricket and get down to more series stuff with the first of two Tests starting in Galle on Wednesday. SL had a 3-0 clean sweep of Australia the last time the two teams played in a Test series in the island but the difference this time will be that the home team will be without their supreme match winning spin more..

Pharmaceutical shortage: 49 essential meds in short supply

Jun 26 (TM) 39 essential medications required for the treatment of patients are in short supply. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that this shortage would only exist till August. “We have to manage for the next six weeks. From August, we will have all the medicines required,” he said. There are 654 essential medications required to treat patients in SL, and only 49 of them are currently in short supply. more..

Biomass power producers shut down during power crisis

Jun 26 (Island) Renewable energy producers who generate electricity using biomass (wood chips) capable of supplying 20 MW per year to the CEB grid, have shut down because what they are paid for such power is not sufficient to even cover their variable costs for biomass and other day to day operating costs such as salaries, chemicals, etc. These producers, who have entered into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the CEB, have jointly written to CEB requesting an increase more..

Row at fuel queue leaves four injured

Jun 26 (EN) A fight that broke out in a fuel station in Wellawaya, Sri Lanka, resulted in four people sustaining injuries, police said. The scuffle had taken place Friday June 24 night after a man with a grass cutting machine had threatened people and tried to jump the queue. The man had then attacked with a knife before fleeing the scene. Police are still unable to locate the suspect, the police media division said. It is unclear what the suspect was planning to do at the queue. more..

CPC, LIOC increased fuel prices

Jun 26 (EN) Sri Lanka has raised the petrol price to 470 rupees a litre by 50 rupees and auto diesel to 460 rupees a litre by 60 rupees an energy ministry official said as the country reels from fuel shortages amid money printing. Prices at both state-run CPC and LIOC has been raised by the same proportion. Petrol Octane 95 was raised by 100 rupees to 550 rupees a litre. Super diesel was raised by Rs75 to Rs520 per litre. more..

SL ambassador to U.S. meets Prez Joe Biden

Jun 26 (AD) SL Ambassador to the US Mahinda Samarasinghe called on U.S. Prez Joe Biden recently, to brief him on the current situation in the crisis-hit island nation. The meeting between the two parties took place at the White House Oval Office. The ambassador also hosted the high-level delegation representing the U.S. Dept of the Treasury and the U.S. Dept of State will be visiting SL from June 26- 29. According to the SL envoy, these officials too were briefed on challenges more..

'Brilliant with keeping, hopeless with batting'

Jun 26 (Island) One of the game’s modern day greats Ricky Ponting used to be a riot in his early days. Late night brawls at pubs left him with bloody nose and sanctions from Cricket Australia. It was Steve Waugh who took him to a side and told him to get his act together. Ponting went onto play a record 168 Test matches, won two World Cups as captain and today he is a successful cricket coach. Similarly, with Virat Kohli there were lots of hope when he came onto big stage having captained India more..

දර්ශන පාර්ලිමේන්තුවටයි වරායටයි...

UNDP-led Private Sector Giving Facility launched

Jun 26 (Island) The health and food sectors are two of the most heavily affected by the ongoing economic crisis in SL, with severe medical and food supply shortages, availability of basic pharmaceuticals and overall health and wellbeing continuing to be significantly affected. In this backdrop, building on established partnerships and keen interests of various actors, the UNDP in Sri Lanka has leveraged its experience to develop a giving facility, comprising of two mechanisms; more..

SL rely on Aussie nemesis: The spinners

Jun 26 (ST) Australians showed scant comfort against spinners on slow turners during the ODI series and hosts Sri Lanka will look to exploit this weakness again in the two-match Test series starting on Wednesday in Galle. Accordingly, selectors have brought in right-arm leg-spinner Jeffery Vandersay into the 18-man squad which includes Test regulars Praveen Jayawickrema, Lasith Embuldeniya and Ramesh Mendis. Vandersay, still uncapped, comes into the side after a strong showing more..

The day sea of blue turned yellow

Jun 26 (ST) At a time of distress, it was cricket that delivered a semblance of comfort to an angry and desperate public battling an economic meltdown. In Nov 2019, expectations had been high for a system change that would herald vistas of prosperity and splendour to a nation that’s burdened with institutionalised corruption across all levels. But SL has plunged into its worst economic crisis since independence with its leaders more..

Indo-US moves to strengthen presence in SL

Jun 26 (ER) The flying visit of a team of top Indian officials headed by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Thursday, indicates New Delhi’s wish not only to be the first responder to any crisis in the neighborhood but also to be a constant companion to troubled neighbors engaged in rebuilding their economies. That the US is also anxious to help crisis-ridden SL is seen in the announcement of a visit by a high-level team from the State and Treasury departments from June 26 to 29. more..

What should we normalise?

Jun 26 (Island) In 1977 J.R. Jayewardene came to power promising a weekly eta ata or eight kilos of grain. Perceived, rather unfairly perhaps, as an unmitigated disaster, United Front govt of Sirimavo Bandaranaike was accused by several groups – including Sinhala nationalists who faulted her for caving into minority interests and minority politicians who accused her of doing the same with chauvinist elements – of mishandling economy. Jayewardene was shrewd enough not to promise more..

Group of 10 gets lesson in Russian diplomacy

Jun 26 (ST) The group of ten, as they like to call themselves, had a meeting with Russian Ambassador Yuri Materiy. Their mission was to plead through him to the govt in Moscow to supply much needed fuel, coal, and fertiliser to Sri Lanka. Envoy’s answer did give them a shock. He said that their govt, by law, was forbidden from dealing with any bankrupt state. Ambassador Materiy then cushioned the shock. more..

Remarkable to be around for that long and have played a role in Australian cricket: Lyon

Jun 26 (CI) "In my head I thought, 'oh no, that's going to be short and wide' but lucky enough that wasn't the case." Nathan Lyon, 23 years old with just five first-class matches and 14 wickets, who a year before was on the Adelaide Oval groundstaff, marks out his run. "Here he is, an offspinner bowling to left handers, normally offspinners like that," says Tony Greig on commentary. Lyon comes round the wicket to Kumar Sangakkara, the delivery lands perfectly around off stump, grips and dusts off more..

National List: convenient for political parties, gravy for those appointed

Jun 26 (Island) Dhammika Perera’s swearing last week as a National List MP of SLPP evoked a great deal of interest for a number of self-evident reasons. Among these was that fact that he has publicly claimed to be the country’s biggest taxpayer. This has been seen on youtube by 100,000 of viewers. Whether Perera claimed this in his personal capacity or whether it included the companies he controls – and there are a great many of them both listed and unlisted – has not been clarified. more..

මල්වතු අස්ගිරි එදිරිව සූදු කෙළවන්නා...

Due diligence, way forward

Jun 26 (TM) The PM last week confirmed in Parliament what the majority of people have been suspecting for some time now – the country’s economy is on the verge of complete collapse. He went further and warned Parliament that the country was looking at the prospect of falling to rock-bottom if help did not materialise in the next few weeks. He also outlined in detail the predicament facing the nation’s fuel supply with no one, leave alone lending, willing to touch the State-owned CPC more..

Adding corruption to the crisis

Jun 26 (ST) PM sounded thoroughly exasperated when he addressed Parliament earlier in the week. He said there was one set of persons saying he was downplaying the prevailing economic crisis, while another was accusing him of exaggerating it. A damned if you do; damned if you don’t situation. Coming away from talks with an IMF staff-level team in the country studying the crisis, and the legal and financial advisers retained by the Govt to negotiate with IMF, PM had probably best assessment more..

'Everybody should extend support to Govt'

Jun 26 (SO) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that at this juncture everybody should extend their support to the incumbent Govt without dragging its feet. If they don’t disturb and attempt to take political advantage, some sort of program can be implemented to overcome the current crisis. Minister said at present there is no major issue with regard to political instability in the country. more..

Pleasant distractions amid the queues

Jun 26 (ST) My dear Dasun and the cricket team, I thought I should write to you because the whole country is talking about you these days following your historic series win this week over Australia after 30 long years. You made us forget, at least for the moment, the other historic events that are occurring in the country. There was a time, especially while the war raged, when cricket was the only reason for us to smile. At that time cricket was also what united the country. more..

With boycott move, opposition pours paint on premier’s gloomy pic of economy

Jun 26 (ST) Amid a parliamentary boycott by the main Opposition parties, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday (22) defended his Govt’s efforts to manage the country’s economic crisis, while also renewing his call for all to come together to rebuild the nation. Giving a detailed briefing on the state of the nation, the Premier renewed his appeal for unity. Since taking office, Mr Wickremesinghe has been giving a fortnightly update on the economic crisis and measures being taken to address it. more..

'Can’t afford to limit school education once again'

Jun 26 (TM) With schools once again operating in limited capacity and the ongoing fuel and food crises compounding Sri Lanka’s woes, the country’s students are being dealt blow upon blow, with no break in sight. Education authorities meanwhile seem to be flailing about, resorting to stopgap measures, yet to take the lessons of the Covid lockdown experience and plan a path to ensure SL's students are not left behind. more..

Preventing crooks from entering Parliament

Jun 26 (CT) Sri Lanka is a rich country; only most of the economically people are poor. The current system prevents the middle-class and the underprivileged from escaping the poverty trap. Politicians have no incentives to break this vicious cycle. They are happy when people struggle to live and remain poor, partly because it is easier to fool them all the time to get votes: how they behave in the parliament is a vivid example of their priorities. The dependency on unnecessary loans and more..

Resolving the crisis in education

Jun 26 (SO) Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the developing world that provides free education from Year One to University level. This is complemented by the provision of free textbooks and uniform materials. The Govt spends billions of rupees on education every year, along with the heavy expenditure on healthcare, also provided free to every citizen. Sri Lanka thus has very impressive indices in terms of literacy, education and human development. more..

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