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Divisions within Govt on seeking IMF help

Nov 25 (TM) Amidst proposals and recommendations by various economists and international rating agencies to seek IMF assistance, Govt of SL is divided on seeking such assistance, both within the Cabinet of Ministers and the parliamentary group, according to Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He admitted that there exists contradicting views within the aforementioned groups and stated that the Govt will consider more..

745 persons test positive for COVID-19

Nov 25 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections yesterday rose to 559,605 after 745 persons tested positive for COVID-19. The patients detected yesterday include 744 persons from the New Year cluster and one overseas arrival. On Tuesday, 740 patients were detected from the New Year cluster. 454,754 COVID-19 patients have been detected from the New Year cluster and the country’s COVID-19 detections also include 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 9,053 persons from more..

'Inexperience was big blow for SL at Asia 7s'

Nov 25 (CT) Former SL Sevens captain Fazil Marija believed results of the SL Sevens team at last week Asia Sevens would have been much better if the team had more experienced players. Marija, a former National XV-a-side and Sevens captain, was the best fly half SL produced, and brought honour to the country on many occasions. “Lack of experienced players in the team was part of the problem SL faced at the Asia Sevens. Giving an opportunity for young players was a good more..

PM to inaugurate new aircraft apron at BIA today

Nov 25 (FT) Marking a milestone in the aviation industry in SL, PM Rajapaksa will declare open the new aircraft apron of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) today. The new aircraft apron is part of the biggest, and long-overdue, development project of the multi-level second terminal of the BIA. The new aircraft apron adds 23 more slots to the existing 26, thereby increasing the total parking facility to 49. more..

Special gazette introduces new guidelines for appointing President’s Counsels

Nov 25 (AD) A Gazette Extraordinary was published on Wednesday introducing new guidelines for the appointment of President’s Counsels. Dated Nov 22, the communiqué was issued by Secretary to the President, under the directives of the Head of State. The previous gazette notification issued on Oct 29, 2019 has been rescinded through the new communiqué. As per new guidelines, no individual can be appointed as a President’s Counsel unless he or she is an attorney-of-law of the SC. more..

United Nations ASG Khaled Khiari calls on Foreign Minister

Nov 25 (MFA) The UN Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) for Political, Peace building and Peace Operations, Khaled Khiari, who is currently undertaking a visit to SL, called on Foreign Minister Prof G.L. Peiris, on Tuesday (23). During the meeting, the Foreign Minister discussed matters related to SL’s post-COVID recovery including the economic challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic and the progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in SL. more..

Dr. Harsha De Silva

Hatch creates South Asian history with Best Co-Working Space in the World award

Nov 25 (FT) Hatch has created South Asian history by becoming the first in the region to win the coveted The Best Co-Working Space in the World at the Global Startup Awards 2021. The co-working space, startup incubator and accelerator said the award marked a momentous milestone for SL’s startup ecosystem. Hatch was selected from two rounds on a regional and global level from more than 18,000 nominees. To secure the coveted final win, Hatch won against five world-class global finalists more..

Melwa Hotels & Resorts signs BOI deal for expansion of Hilton DoubleTree, Negombo

Nov 25 (FT) The Board of Investment (BOI) said it recently entered into a $ 52 m agreement with Melwa Hotels and Resorts Ltd. to expand room capacity at Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, in Negombo. As a result of this investment, among other expansion activities planned, 57 new rooms will be constructed to augment capacity to reach a total of 141. BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala said: “We commend this initiative by Melwa Hotels and Resorts to expand its property, as the tourism sector more..

CB Chief confident economic crisis will ease by January

Nov 25 (FT) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday expressed confidence that the economic crisis would ease by January. “All sectors in the country are currently under pressure due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world now coming to terms with the new normal, the pressure will be at its maximum until next January, after which it will gradually subside,” Cabraal said more..

What happened to Sadeera Samarawickrama?

Nov 25 (TM) SL’s 22-member Test squad for the two-match West series was announced two days before the start of the first Test in Galle, on 19 November. It was a fine mix of young and old, promise and experience, no doubt. But some of the inclusions and exclusions beg reasonable answers from the selectors, headed by Pramodya Wickramasinghe, whom we tried to inquire about those selections, but failed in our effort. 1. How has the left-handed Kamil Mishara been given more..

Sugandhi creates new meet record in 100 metres hurdles

Nov 25 (Island) Hurdler Lakshika Sugandhi smashed the meet record of the women’s 100 metres hurdles as top national athletes continued to shine on day three of the SL Army Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Wednesday. South Asian Games medalists Lakshika Sugandhi, Himasha Eshan and Roshan Dhammika were the winners in their respective events as they emerged the top performers of the day. Sugandhi clocked 13.84 seconds to clinch the gold more..

Govt faces dilemma in raising budget 2022 taxes

Nov 25 (ST) SL’s public debt crisis will become critical in 2022 and beyond leading towards a worse economic downturn in the next three years, economists said analysing the statistics of govt borrowings. The govt’s debt-GDP ratio is expected to rise to 108% by 2022 from 101% by the end of 2020, data revealed. Public debt sustainability involves macroeconomic variables and in finding a solution it is necessary to tackle the issue more..

LOLC retains top spot in LMD 100 as Most Profitable Listed Entity for third year

Nov 25 (FT) Having recorded a whopping post-tax profit of Rs. 53 billion, LOLC has retained the No. 1 spot in the 28th edition of the LMD 100 as Sri Lanka’s Most Profitable Listed Company in 2020/21. LOLC, Sri Lanka’s most valuable and globally diversified financial conglomerate, shattered the corporate profit records in Sri Lanka for the 2020/21 financial year by achieving unprecedented bottom line results of Rs. 57 billion in Profit Before Tax (PBT). more..

People’s Bank expands balance sheet by Rs. 350 b

Nov 25 (FT) People’s Bank announced the results for its nine months period ended 30 Sept 2021, reporting asset and deposit growth of Rs. 349.7 billion and Rs. 276.6 billion, respectively – a record high, growing by 15.7% and 15.1% during the said period. Growth in net loans and investment in treasury securities was Rs. 167.4 billion and Rs. 191.4 billion, respectively. On a standalone basis, the bank accounted for close to 20% of the banking sector’s asset and net loan growth during more..

No control, no problem: Crafty Dimuth Karunaratne conjures his own luck

Nov 25 (CI) The first ball he faced in the second innings, Dimuth Karunaratne makes a mistake. He doesn't quite account for the turn Rahkeem Cornwall would get from his offbreak and edges it. But the ball falls short of gully. Luck? Maybe. This guy's always lucky. What's he got on his side? A rabbit's foot? Witchcraft? In Cornwall's next over, the first ball, he makes another error. He tries to hit Cornwall inside out, but is through the shot early, more..

Is the 2022 budget a step towards fiscal consolidation?

Nov 25 (ST) Reducing the fiscal deficit to five percent of GDP by 2025 is of utmost importance for economic stability and growth. Will the 2022 Budget usher in a process of reducing the fiscal deficit towards that goal? Although, prior to the 2022 Budget, key officials indicated that the fiscal deficit would be brought down to five percent of GDP, the budget expectation of the deficit is 8.5% of GDP. Even this fiscal deficit would be an achievement owing to the prevailing economic conditions, more..

Editorial: Winners and losers

Nov 25 (Island) The private sector has been allowed to import agrochemicals with effect from yesterday. Sri Lankan farmers, who are celebrating the success of their protest campaign, should be thankful to their Indian counterparts who brought the mighty Modi govt to its knees after a year-long struggle. The Indian farmers’ victory gave a scare to the Sri Lankan govt, and boosted the morale of the farming community, here, protesting against the current fertiliser shortage. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Boys cry too

Nov 25 (GV) Boys are often under represented or even ignored in the fight against child sexual exploitation due to the stereotyping of gender traits with males being considered strong and invulnerable and less likely to be victimised or in need of support while females are considered vulnerable and more often abused and in need of support. “Such beliefs often hamper equitable and necessary discourse on the sexual exploitation of children of all genders, but especially for boys where the development of more..

The disciplinarian of the House

Nov 25 (TM) SL’s Parliament is an interesting, yet highly serious place, and what those who were sent to Parliament by the public say and do is what gives the Parliament such qualities. Sometimes, they make decisions that steer the country forward, and at other times, their actions border on comedic – or tragic, depending on whom one asks. Such is the nature of the country’s main law making institution. There is an ongoing discussion in Parliament about Parliamentarians’ conduct. more..

The harvest of the six-month chemical fertiliser import ban

Nov 25 (TM) Bringing to an end months-long disputes, uncertainty and protests, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday announced that the Govt has decided to renege on its plan to establish a 100% organic farming culture, and make chemical fertiliser available as before. He also said that the gazette notification issued in this regard in April will be revoked. However, Aluthgamage stressed that despite this decision reversal, more..

Violence by an intimate partner: One in five women in SL have experienced

Nov 25 (DM) The iconic Colombo Municipal Council building was illuminated in orange with messaging on the national women’s helpline and Mithuru Piyasa hotline today to place a spotlight on intimate partner violence and encourage more women to seek help. The illumination organised by UNFPA in collaboration with the CMC and the High Commission of Canada, launched the 16 days of global activism against gender-based violence in SL with a focus on intimate partner violence. more..

One country, one law and forgotten manuscripts

Nov 25 (DM) One country, one law. Now there’s something that has to prompt wild cheers from so-called liberals (including ardent UNPers, SJBers, not-so-red JVPers, funded-voices, rent-a-protest agitators and other Colombians). They are not cheering. Why not? Let’s get that question out of the way first. Several answers. The more legitimate would be the composition of the Task Force on the subject appointed by the President, in particular its Chairperson, Ven. Gnanasara Thera. more..

'Difference between defence and civil administrations should be realised'

Nov 25 (DM) State Minister Susil Premajayantha responded to questions on education reforms and governance issues. In somewhat hard-hitting remarks he was critical of the way the Govt is administered at present. Premajayantha is a senior politician who recently completed his doctorate in public administration. Q: Recently, there was a workshop on the education system of Finland. more..

Safety of the Ferry Passenger

Nov 25 (CT) Tuesday’s ferry accident near the Kurinchankerny Bridge, Kinniya, Trincomalee killed six, according to the Defence Ministry. It’s unclear whether the responsibility for this tragedy is with the Central Government or the local council in question. Responsibility of the Eastern Provincial Council for this tragedy is ruled out as Provincial Councils (PCs) in the country stand dissolved with PCs functioning under the respective provincial Governors who in turn are appointed by the President. more..

Sri Lanka mired in the fertilizer muddle

Nov 25 (DM) After a year of unprecedented protests by thousands of farmers camping on the borders of Delhi since last November and after more than a dozen deaths from the heat, cold and COVID, PM Narendra Modi in a surprising announcement said on Friday he would repeal the three controversial farm laws introduced in September last year. A Reuters report said, the combative leader’s decision was a significant climb-down and came amid looming state elections in politically important more..

රසායනික පොහොර ආනයන තහනම ඉවතට

Sri Lanka to set up another energy SOE, for natural gas

Nov 24 (EN) SL will set up a natural gas company as a subsidiary of the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation which is expected to develop natural gas reserves, construct pipelines, and transport and distribute the fuel, a govt statement said. The move comes shortly after Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said 300 odd state entities are not giving adequate returns and are eating tax money for current operations. Cabinet approval has been given to set it up as a public private partnership more..

23 more Covid-19 deaths, 518 new cases

Nov 24 (AD) Director General of Health Services has confirmed another 23 coronavirus related deaths for Nov 2, increasing the death toll in the country due to the virus to 14,205. The deaths include 11 males and 12 females while one of the victims is below the age of 30 years. Four patients are between the ages 30-59 years while the remaining 18 are in the age group of 60 years and above. Meanwhile the Health Ministry has reported that another 518 persons have tested positive more..

Online classes: Error 404?

Nov 24 (DM) Schools are finally open again after almost 20 months of online learning. The Director-General of Health Services has detailed how and when schools would re-open and examinations are held. Children of Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9, who were not permitted to attend school, will be doing so this week. The struggles to adapt to a new system of learning have been many. But now that on-site classes are being held again, more..

Committee on High Posts approves appointment of 08 ministerial secretaries

Nov 24 (AD) The appointment of 08 Secretaries to Ministries has been approved by the Committee on High Posts, the Communications Dept of Parliament said in a statement. General (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense was among the Secretaries to the Ministries who received approval of the Committee on High Posts chaired by Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, yesterday (23). In addition, Mr. W.H. Karunaratna as the Secretary to more..

Restore Pahala Kadugannawa area, rebuilt shops immediately: Johnston

Nov 24 (DM) Highways Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday instructed the relevant authorities to restore the Pahala Kadugannawa area on the Colombo-Kandy main road and to rebuilt the shops immediately. The road was closed recently due to heavy showers and earth slips in that area. The landslide threat was detected near the 98th km post on the Colombo-Kandy main road. Later, one lane of the road was opened for vehicular traffic upon recommendation of the RDA and NBRO. more..

CA takes up petition pertaining to 15 illegally captured elephants

Nov 24 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday took up a public interest litigation pertaining to the allegedly illegal gazette pertaining to 15 illegally captured elephants. The extraordinary gazette was issued on 19 Aug, 2021, effectively legalizing the commercial use of elephants, private ownership of elephants, low standards of welfare and, most importantly, permitted the registration of the illegally captured elephants. more..

CEB Engineers’ Union to escalate TU action if demands not met

Nov 24 (TM) The Engineers’ Union of the CEB has issued a warning to the General Manager of the CEB by way of a letter which details that if their demands are not met, they will be forced to escalate their ongoing Trade Union action. The Union notes to their dismay that no positive response from the higher management in view of settling their demands has been seen so far. Accordingly, their demands are as follows: Not to proceed with improper & illegal New Fortress LNG deal. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce cashless QR code payment system at expressway toll booths

Nov 24 (EN) Cabinet of ministers has given the go-ahead to introduce a QR code payment system at tolling gates at expressways in a bid to reduce cash payments in the island. “The govt has joined hands with all licensed financial institutions in the endeavor of encouraging the LankaQR payment methodology with the objective of minimising the use of money physically within SL (sp),” a statement from the cabinet office said on Wednesday (24). “As one of its initiatives, it has been proposed to introduce more..