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නැවක් එනෝ... News බුල ටිං

Which comes first, the political chicken or the agitator’s egg?

Nov 22 (ST) There is a certain sense of sanctimonious humbuggery on our part when we raise our hands to the heavens to scorn the sight of mass crowds on Colombo’s streets agitating against policies of the Govt which have dire impact on SL’s poor. That too, when remaining (largely) silent as official and religious events occur with nary a thought as to covid-19 health protocols. So when health officials lecture the public on these matters, it is best that the finger of responsibility is more..

Selective policing and opportunistic congregations

Nov 22 (TM) Veni, vidi, not quite vici. I came, I saw, but I didn’t quite conquer. The main Opposition, SJB, led by former President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s son and presidential contender Sajith Premadasa, and a mass of party supporters took to the streets last week. This was amidst an animated police force that proactively sought to thwart the protest – firstly by invoking the jurisdiction of various courts seeking injunction orders against the conduct of the protest to mixed results. more..

Budget 2022 and education: More holistic and radical planning needed

Nov 22 (TM) Covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on SL’s society and the economy. Budget for 2022, drafted in the context of the pandemic, finally recognises the severity of the economic crisis as one of the worst in the history of the country. Although Minister Basil Rajapaksa identified the systemic character of this crisis and the structural problems of the economy reaching back over the decades in his Budget Speech, more..

Luck or destiny; Sirimavo escapes: PM and 1962 Coup d’é Tat

Nov 22 (DM) There will be need for a new word; presumably we have to call her Stateswoman- was the striking headline the Evening News, London tabloid used in reporting the election of the world’s first woman PM in Ceylon on July 21, 1960. While she made headlines in the international press, her husband’s relative and best-man at their wedding, P E P Deraniyagala commenting to a national newspaper said: “She knows nothing fiercer than the kitchen fire, and that she will ruin more..

It’s dangerous to play games at this critical juncture!

Nov 22 (CT) Needless to say it is politically juvenile for any political party to put the lives of the people at large in danger at a time when the COVID-19 epidemic is still raging despite it having currently been fairly taken under control. The number of cases has been fluctuating ever since the corona virus disease was first detected, at the beginning of 2020, with the number going up at the end of that year peaking to 762 on 11 Dec and to 942 on 11 Feb 2021 with 2 main surges occurring thereafter more..

Lack of fertiliser casting gloom & doom over Tea industry

Nov 22 (CT) Tea industry is a significant foreign exchange earner, generating USD 1.3 billion per year, but the ban on fertiliser imports has resulted in a 40% drop in yield, posing a direct threat to the tea industry. However, Govt has moved quickly to supply what it requires such as synthetic nitrogen with many plantations slated to receive it in due course. The severity of having no fertiliser in the last couple of months will reflect more..

Crisis Budget for 2022: Wrong priorities and flawed solutions

Nov 22 (DM) SL is mired in multiple crises. The country continues to be devastated by the pandemic, crippled by balance of payment problems that are only the surface of a long economic depression, and rising cost of living contributing to food insecurity. Significantly, Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech recognises the severity of the economic situation: “We are living through the history’s most challenging period in terms of people’s lives, livelihoods, sources of income, more..

Rising prices and scarcities spark fears countrywide

Nov 22 (DM) Prices of food in the country are rising at an alarming rate. A plethora of basic food items such as powdered milk foods – a basic need for the nation’s children - are exorbitantly priced, or have completely disappeared from the shelves of markets. Empty shelves at supermarkets, which dot the city, tell their own tale. Other necessities such as cooking gas (LPG) is in short supply and not available at points of distribution. Fears are rife that vehicular fuel too could soon not be available. more..

Govt caught in stormy weather: Finance Minister in tough rescue task

Nov 21 (ST) Presenting one’s inaugural budget as finance minister is never easy, but Basil Rajapaksa’s task on Friday was made even tougher as he was presenting a budget at a time when the country is facing one of the most serious economic crises in recent times. Mr Rajapaksa, a dual US citizen, was brought into Parliament through the National List and straight away given the finance ministry portfolio because his brother PM more..

Dispute over Chinese organic fertiliser: Govt backs down

Nov 21 (ST) The Govt has decided to back down in the dispute over the Chinese organic fertiliser shipment that was found to be contaminated. Preparations are underway to resolve the dispute by paying 75% of the claim by the Chinese company. This amounts to US$ 6.7 million. The Govt has also decided to buy fresh stocks from the same company, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. “We cannot afford to damage diplomatic relations over this issue,” the minister said. more..

On the cards; State sector unions threaten to strike

Nov 21 (ST) A public sector trade union alliance has threatened to take union action without prior notice if the Govt fails to include a salary hike or allowance in the 2022 Budget. Expressing disappointment that the Budget 2022 had not provided relief to state-sector employees, SL Govt Officers’ Trade Union Association (SLGOTUA) wrote to the Prez, PM and Finance Minister this week, demanding an urgent salary increase. It warned that if it was not done, the association would take trade union action. more..

All students head to school tomorrow as warning bells ring over COVID-19

Nov 21 (ST) Grades 6 to 9 classes will begin tomorrow in schools islandwide, marking the fourth and final stage of the staggered opening of schools. However, there are concerns as a large number of unvaccinated students begin academic activities in state and private schools amidst rising cases of COVID-19. There is concern over rising dengue cases too. Junior secondary cycle (grades 6 to 9) has a population of 1.3 m students more..

Human Rights Commission of SL: PC to meet tomorrow to discuss nominees

Nov 21 (TM) Parliamentary Council (PC) is expected to meet tomorrow (22) to discuss names proposed by Prez Rajapaksa, including one for the post of Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) Chairperson. Prez is expected to nominate two candidates to fill the post of Chairperson and Commissioner at the HRCSL, following former Chair Dr. Jagath Balasuriya stepping down due to health reasons earlier this month. The PC replaced the Constitutional Council following more..

Tourism industry perturbed over Finance Minister’s comments

Nov 21 (ST) Amidst concerns regarding tourist arrivals for the winter season from Western Europe the tourism industry has been disappointed with the Finance Minister’s startling comments that the sector has not contributed financially to the economy. Expressing disappointment, Past President of SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Mahen Kariyawasam said “he (the Finance Minister) was saying we are spending the money the way we want to spend – actually that is the promotion more..

Public servants gagged: Cannot criticise govt on social media

Nov 21 (ST) Public servants have received a gag-order to refrain from criticising the Govt and its policies through social media platforms in a fresh move to stem negative publicity against the administration. They have been warned of disciplinary action if they violate the directive from the State Ministry of Home Affairs. In a circular issued this week, the Ministry Secretary states the move follows complaints that more..

Some exporters to close shop if 2.5% ripped off turnover

Nov 21 (ST) SL exporters feel that their earnings are being exploited through the new scheme of the govt to cash in on 2.5% of their turnover that could result in some exiting the country. FTZ Manufacturers Association President Dhammika Fernando said that some of the exporters were considering leaving the country if state schemes to grab 2.5% of their turnover will go ahead as proposed in the budget, since this is very huge. He noted that exporters wanted a discussion with the CB on this issue more..

LP gas supply issues continue

Nov 21 (TM) Sri Lanka’s gas shortage is likely to continue, as one distributor complained about the lack of assistance from the Govt in getting supplies back on track. Laugfs Gas (Pvt) Ltd. Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said the Govt had offered no relief for the industry. He added that the Govt needs to issue US dollars to banks in order to facilitate the importation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). “The LPG shortage is due to the current dollar shortage within the country. more..

No objections to go back to fuel formula

Nov 21 (TM) Amidst calls to implement a fuel pricing formula, the Ministry of Finance has no objection to reverting to a pricing mechanism for fuel, should the govt grant its approval. Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle stated that Ministry would proceed with implementing a pricing formula to curtail ongoing issue if the Govt granted approval. However, according to him, there have been no official discussions held in this regard. more..

Hisense and Haier biomedical urged to set up plants in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (Island) SL’s Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona has suggested that Hisense and Haier biomedical companies consider setting up production facilities here. The foreign ministry says the request was made when Dr. Kohana recently visited Qingdao to witness the signing of the letter of intent to establish sister city relations, when he was invited to call on the head offices of the Hisense and Haier Biomedical companies. The following is the text of the foreign ministry statement: more..

Get ready for the most incredible Black Friday experience at Colombo City Centre

Nov 21 (Island) Black Friday is all set to take place at Colombo City Centre Mall, where shoppers can enjoy the best deals and special events. All you have to do is shop to your heart’s content at Colombo City Centre, and also be rewarded via the fantastic Black Friday promotions taking place. Spend over Rs. 9,999 and enjoy free parking; while shopping for over Rs. 15,000 enables shoppers to win CCC Gift Vouchers. Shop between Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 19,000 to get CCC gift voucher worth more..

Japan still favours Lanka

Nov 21 (ST) Despite being made to feel embarrassed and confused by SL’s inconsistent policy decisions in the recent past, the Japanese govt is still grateful to a nation that pulled them out of their crisis moment. But Japanese investors in the country may have concerns of SL’s future and its fragile macroeconomy. Visiting Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) South Asia Department Director General Takema Sakamoto more..

Dimuth worried about team’s red-ball form

Nov 21 (ST) SL captain Dimuth Karunaratne confessed playing only the fifth Test series since December, that too, after a lapse of six months after the last tour would be a daunting task for the entire team and not only for the four senior names returning to action today. Karunaratne, in his last appearance in the Test kit against Bangladesh, hit his maiden double ton, posting a career-best 244. However, he defended himself, there is no assurance that such knocks can be repeated. more..

Sri Lanka no match for newcomers UAE

Nov 21 (ST) SL men’s team succumbed to the hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a second time inside two days yesterday under lights at the Dubai Sports City Rugby Stadium. The final score line of 29-10 does not show the complete dominance of UAE on their way to a maiden silverware in the top division of Asian Sevens Series rugby. The physically superior UAE ran in five tries to that of the two by Sri Lanka. Sachith Silva and Nishon Perera got on the score sheet for the Tuskers. more..

'Board should take grip of LPL'

Nov 21 (ST) The recent Lanka Premier League (LPL) player draft caused dismay with unscrupulous player managers manipulating the process with support from some franchise owners. Several top players, including eight that were in the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup, were missing from the squads that were finalised in secret, igniting a social media backlash with even Head of the National Sports Council more..

SL Gamers chosen for Red Bull Mobile Esports Open Season 4 Asian showdown

Nov 21 (Island) SL Gamers who have qualified for the Red Bull Mobile Esports Open (M.E.O), Season 4 Asia Regional Final are revving up to fight for the Asian PUBG MOBILE crown, set to take place on 21 November. The four winning teams representing Sri Lanka are WG – NRC Esports, nA – FRag, nA – ERBIV and Team VP. NRC currently holds the #1 position on the official national PUBG Mobile ranking in SL, while FRag and ERBIV hold #4 and #6 respectively. WG – NRC consists of more..

Mahela to supervise national teams at all levels?

Nov 21 (TM) Former SL Captain, prolific cricket coach, and the Head of the present SL National Sports Council (NSC), Mahela Jayawardene, is tipped to supervise SL national cricket teams in all leading tiers, namely Under-19, SL ‘A’, and SL. “We have planned out a new structure and we are waiting for the approval for that. SLC and all have to confirm whether it is okay. Only then that we’ll have to see how to proceed,” SLC Technical Committee Chairman Aravinda de Silva said. more..

Ajith Nivard Cabraal

'Arthur was like a father to SL's players'

Nov 21 (CI) Mickey Arthur is an excellent manager of players. This, essentially, is Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne's take-away after two years under this coach. Arthur had spent much of the pandemic in Sri Lanka while borders were closed, and has had a number of public endorsements from his players, including Karunaratne and Wanindu Hasaranga. He is, however, leaving Sri Lanka for a head of cricket role with Derbyshire, despite having wanted to stay on. more..

WI look to open their Test account in SL

Nov 21 (CI) Chris Gayle made a triple-hundred in Galle, Brian Lara hit 351 runs in one match in Colombo, and 688 in that 3-match series, but this has to be one of cricket's more surprising facts: WI have never won a Test in SL. Partly this is down to their not having played on the island in their roaring 1980s - SL too weak to attract them then perhaps, and too volatile geopolitically to have had a consistent touring schedule anyway. But still, since 1993, these teams have met 11 times in SL; more..

SL out to extend WI winless record here

Nov 21 (ST) For West Indies, SL is unclaimed territory. Ever since they first set foot in the island in 1993 for Test cricket, they have played 11 matches but not once broken the curse, not even when the great Brian Lara plundered 688 runs off three games in 2001 or when Chris Gayle lit up the Galle track with a marathon 333 in 2010. SL have won seven games and drawn the rest. Such has been SL’s dominance against WI at home. more..

Muralidaran had words of wisdom for schoolboys

Nov 21 (SO) Tentative arrangements have been made to host the 43rd Observer-SLT Mobitel School Cricketers of the Year annual mega show in the middle of next month. However, it will be subject to the final clearance of the health authorities and Covid-19 guidelines. Despite the global pandemic striking the world early last year and still continuing to disrupt day to day activities, we were fortunate in 2020 to host the 42nd Observer-SLT Mobitel School Cricketers of the Year contest last April. more..

Senul Ratnayake of Dharmaraja creates junior TT history

Nov 21 (TM) Kandy’s 12-year-old Senul Ratnayake, a student of Dharmaraja College here, who is coached by Hasitha Samaraweera, has made his school, parents, Kandy, as well as the whole country proud by being selected for the Int'l Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Hopes Table Tennis Challenge. This event will be held in Jordan in December. This is the first time in the history where a SL schoolboy has been selected for this global Under-12 event. more..

'Govt took care not to burden the people'

Nov 21 (SO) State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said that the Govt through the Budget 2022 has not passed the burden on to the people. In that sense, the people must be happy even though the Govt is going through a difficult period in managing finances, it has been quite careful not to burden the people. The State Minister in an interview said the money has been reserved to implement the Govt’s policy manifesto. more..

The current state of play

Nov 21 (Island) A legend in his time, Galle’s W. Dahanayake who was briefly prime minister after the SWRD Bandaranaike assassination, attributed his unexpected elevation to the prime ministry to fortuitous circumstances. Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena, although he has not chosen to do so to date, can also say that his unexpected ascendancy to the presidential throne in 2015 was the result of similar good fortune. Sirisena, unlike Dahanayake, certainly aspired to the prime ministry more..

Should SL engage a LNG floating regassification vessel for electric power?

Nov 21 (Island) Offshore installations such as FSRUs are regulated by various authorities who have jurisdiction over them. These are subjected to regulation and standardization by the coastal state GOSL, flag state, class, international and national standardization bodies and maritime regulators such as IMO, MARPOL, SOLAS and their regional directives. In view of the floating nature of the FSRU there are several parties involved, whose relationships should be clearly understood. more..