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BOC to raise Rs. 10 b via Basel III compliant perpetual bonds

Nov 23 (FT) State-owned giant Bank of Ceylon is to raise Rs. 10 billion via the issuance of BASEL III compliant, rated, unlisted, unsecured, subordinated, perpetual, additional Tier 1 capital bonds with a non-viability full and permanent write-down. It will issue 30 million such bonds initially with an option to offer a further 70 million such bonds in the event of an oversubscription of the original amount. The bonds will have a floating rate of Weighted Average 12 months net treasury bill rate+1.5% per annum more..

1987-90 Violence: Call for State-backed Commemoration Package

Nov 23 (DM) As the JVP (and empathy groups) organizes memorial events every November for thousands killed during the political emergency of 1987-1990, how may the SL State contribute to such efforts? What took place during 1987-90 is an upheaval in which at least 40,000 to 60,000 men and women are conventionally estimated to have been killed. The atmosphere of extra-legal govt and violence which the State maintained as a political philosophy has, by now, more..

New private sector retirement age: Question mark over mandatory or voluntary status

Nov 23 (Island) Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said that the implementation of the 2021 budget proposal to increase the retirement age of private sector workers to 60 would have to be discussed with stakeholders before a final decision was made. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Finance Minister presented to Parliament the govt policy with regard to the private sector retirement and now the implementation more..

China happy with SL’s stance on Port City

Nov 23 (CT) Beijing’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told China-based Shenzhen TV on Thursday that China appreciates SL’s willingness to provide legal support and preferential policies for the Colombo Port City. He was responding to a question raised by Shenzhen TV where he was asked, “SL PM Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the Govt’s Budget for the new fiscal year to the Parliament on 17 Nov. He said the Govt would formulate a legal framework for the special economic zone at more..

Rigid’s USD 250M plant ready for Operations

Nov 23 (CT) Rigid Tyre Corporation, built with an investment of USD 250 million, is slated for opening in mid-January 2021. The state-of-the-art, fully-integrated manufacturing plant was visited by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, last week. The construction of Phase 1 with an investment of USD 100 mn has been completed while Phase 2 is due to be completed by mid-March 2022. Elaborating on the project, Exec Director Dhammika Lokuwithana said: “It is the largest FDI in the last 10 years; more..

Most Ven. Makulewe Wimala Thera elected Mahanayake of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya

Nov 23 (CT) Chief Incumbent of the Meerigama, Minioluwa Vidyawasa Pirivena, Adhikarana Sangha Nayake of the SL Ramanna Maha Nikaya, Aggamaha Panditha Shasthrapathi, Most Venerable Makulewe Wimala Nayake Thera has been appointed as Mahanayake of the SL Ramanna Maha Nikaya which fell vacant with the passing away of Most Venerable Napane Pemasiri Nayake Thera. more..

Dale Steyn joins Kandy Tuskers in LPL

Nov 23 (CI) Dale Steyn, the South Africa fast bowler, has confirmed he will join Kandy Tuskers for the LPL, providing a lift for both the team and the league following a difficult week. Over the last six days, Tuskers saw Chris Gayle - their highest profile player - withdraw from the tournament due to injury, before Pakistan fast bowler Sohail Tanvir tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving on the island, and entered treatment in isolation, which is expected to keep him out for at least 14 days. more..

Access to invest in agri and livestock

Nov 23 (FT) Access Group will be expanding by investing in agriculture and livestock industries, Access Engineering Chairman Sumal Perera said last week as part of efforts to bolster Sri Lanka’s food security. Speaking at the Budget 2021 Forum, organised by Daily FT and the Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association, Perera acknowledged that many countries were refocusing on food security, following vulnerabilities created by COVID-19 and that he, too, felt that it was an important endeavour. more..

Dividend dilemma

Nov 23 (FT) There will be no change in SL’s generous tax-free dividends policy to foreigners though the 2021 Budget referred to new conditions or requests, whilst Sri Lankans will continue to be taxed prompting at least one business leader to flag-off the single country, two laws facet last week. Daily FT-Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Asso. organised popular 2021 Budget Forum triggered much debate on the taxation policy on dividends as well as more..

Budget 2021: Are the people satisfied?

Nov 23 (TM) On 17 Nov, the Budget for 2021 was tabled by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance. The proposals put forward were greatly focused on poverty alleviation and economic revival as envisaged in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy framework of Govt of Prez Rajapaksa. Finance Minister stressed that it is their duty as policymakers to “formulate our national policies with a long-term strategic vision, protecting our sovereignty, to exploit more..

Covid, budget and the common man

Nov 23 (DM) By 19 Nov 2020, a total of 19,280 of our citizens had contracted the coronavirus, 74 unfortunates succumbed to the disease and 13,271 of those stricken with the sickness had recovered. During the first wave of the pandemic, the country was locked down for three months. At that time the Governor of CB revealed, daily paid workers comprise nearly 60% of country’s total workforce. Approx 24% comprising nearly 660,000 persons lost their jobs overnight during that lockdown. more..

Colombo Port operations: Returning to normalcy

Nov 23 (TM) Following the re-emergence of Covid-19, which hampered the usual operations of the Colombo Port for several weeks, mainly due to the low employee turnout, SLPA last week said its operations have now returned to normalcy, thereby assuring the continuous supply of essentials to the local market. According to the SLPA, operations at Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) have now reached maximum capacity, more..

Inequities and inequalities in our response to a pandemic: The impact on the elderly

Nov 23 (Island) It is just about a year since the current coronavirus contagion hit our planet like a violent cataclysm that came from nowhere. It was like a tsunami that descended on us from right out of the blues. Even now, even after one year, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to relentlessly rip through the global population, disproportionately affecting ethnic minorities, lower socio-economic groups, those with co-morbid disorders and most definitely, the elderly. more..

Holy Mackerel! Ex-fish chief mouths the raw COVID truth

Nov 23 (ST) Recently ministers of this Govt have been behaving rather strange, queer to say the least. And yet have shown a ready and admirable willingness to go the extra mile to promote or defend their ministry’s subject with their out-of-the box stunts scooping millions of free publicity both here and abroad. For instance, this September found the newly appointed State Minister Arundika Fernando, attached to a tree climbing gadget, climbing a coconut tree in his coconut estate in more..

Rathu Ira: රතු ඉර

Editorial: Who handled Zahran?

Nov 23 (Island) Investigations are still being conducted to ascertain whose lapses helped the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) carry out the Eastern Sunday terror attacks with ease. All indications are that they will go on until the cows come home. What we have witnessed all these months is a shameful blame game. Some politicians, former defence officials and police officers have been trying to absolve themselves of criminal culpability for failure to prevent Easter more..

Reviving Sri Lanka’s Mangroves

Nov 23 (CT) Court of Appeal delivered a landmark ruling on last Monday (16) ordering MP Rishad Bathiudeen to bear the cost of reforesting the Northern Sanctuary of the Wilpattu National Park Forest Complex that was cleared for the resettlement of IDPs. This has been a hard won victory for local environmentalists. The Court ruled the settling of over 1,500 families in areas that have been declared as Forest Reserves, under the Forest Conservation Ordinance, is in contravention more..

Making history: The first female Air Force pilots share experiences

Nov 23 (SO) On Nov 16 in China Bay, Trincomalee, SL Air Force (SLAF) Pilot Officers Rangana Weerawardana and Pavithra Gunarathne made history by conquering the skies. In the SL Air Force’s 69-year history Weerawardana and Gunarathne became the first two female pilots to earn their wings and be awarded the Flying Brevet to be commissioned as pilots of the SLAF. The honour was bestowed on the officers more..

On Buddhist charity, prez munificence and depletion of the public purse

Nov 23 (ST) Out of the welter of distasteful controversy surrounding the transfer of a colossal sum of Rs. 600,000,000/= from the public fund of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of SL (TRCSL), to the account of the Secretary to former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa to distribute sil redi or white cloth to Buddhist devotees just prior to the 2015 Prez Elections, a few facts stand out. As we may recall, the packages of sil redi handed out to temples contained a leaflet stating that more..

PM & Prez offer fool’s paradise instead of facing up to Covid-19 realities

Nov 23 (CT) The PM’s budget speech last Tuesday and the Prez’s address to the nation the next day are both remarkable for their omissions to share with the people the govt’s thinking and planning for dealing with the pandemic crisis that Sri Lanka is now going through along with the rest of the world. The budget speech tried to pretend a business as usual present scenario and routinely optimistic future prospects. It said little about Covid-19 and the govt’s plans to deal with it. more..

'Budget 2021: Promises challenging but achievable'

Nov 23 (TM) Govt’s 2021 Budget proposals have been presented and the debate over the Second Reading continues. Amidst a pandemic, the targets that have been set forth for key economic aspects are now being questioned, with the Govt now being put on the spot about whether they are being overly optimistic. State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal was on The Sunday Morning Hot Seat to respond to the many queries on more..

Idiot’s guide to global & domestic debt

Nov 23 (CT) In light inaccessible hid from our eyes, is a line from an 1867 hymn set to the tune of a Welsh ballad; it is not a quip about the mystery of global debt but it could well be. Economists don’t enlighten you on the nature and ubiquity of debt because they are muddled themselves. The eclectic hither and thither is recounted in The Economist’s A new era of economics – 25 July 2020. There is no shared paradigm, laymen have to cogitate and pick up as best they can. more..

GR’s speech and Budget sets tone for govt

Nov 23 (TM) Last week marked several milestones for the Govt led by Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. While the Prez marked his first year in office, PM Rajapaksa delivered the maiden Budget of the SLPP-led Govt. The Govt’s maiden Budget, in fact, was presented on the day the Prez marked one year since being elected to office. Budget 2021 is the 75th national budget to be presented post independence. Coincidentally, PM delivered the 75th national budget on the eve of his 75th b'day. more..

A Cabinet re-shuffle in the New Year

Nov 22 (ST) Amidst an exploding pandemic piercing through new frontiers and raising more fearful threats from Covid-19, a nation focused attention this week on two of the Govt’s topmost leaders. One was PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, who presented the Govt’s first budget last Tuesday. The other, a day later, was President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s address to the nation to mark his first year in office. more..

Madrasa schools to be monitored: G.L.

Nov 22 (SO) Education Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris said the Education Ministry is monitoring all matters pertaining to those permitted to teach in Madrasa schools, the courses taught and the manner in which students are enrolled. He said those who visit Sri Lanka from abroad seeking visas to teach in those schools should be monitored closely and it would be irresponsible to employ them to teach in schools without looking into their background and past behaviour. more..

Final rites of Ramanna Nikaya Chief Prelate today

Nov 22 (ST) The final rites of the Chief Prelate of the Ramanna Nikaya, Ven Napana Premasiri Thera, will be held at the Bandaranaike National School Grounds in Warapitiya, Kundasale under State patronage today. Issuing a condolence message, Prez Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the demise of the thera was an irreparable loss to all Buddhists around the world. His service to the Buddha Sasana and the country was immense. He was a true disciple of the Buddha who followed in the footsteps of his more..

Ex-envoy Wickramasuriya’s fraud case: US dismisses immunity given by new Govt

Nov 22 (ST) Jaliya Wickramasuriya, former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Washington, “does not enjoy residual immunity for his wire fraud, money laundering and his false statements on an immigration application, and it therefore is irrelevant whether or not Sri Lanka waived any immunity he continued to enjoy”, US Govt attorneys said. They made the observation in a recent filing before the US District Court for the District of Columbia more..

Stay-Safe QR code for state employees and those visiting govt offices

Nov 22 (ST) People visiting govt offices and state sector employees will be required in the future to check in by scanning the digital Quick Response (QR) code, using their smartphones to register with the Stay Safe web-based portal, the President’s Office has directed. In a circular signed by Presidential Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and titled ‘Combatting COVID-19 at National Level: Stay Safe Digital Solution’, govt departments heads have been instructed that the web-based solution more..

Eran lodges CID complaint against social media reports

Nov 22 (TM) SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne lodged a complaint with the CID against several social media reports that said he had funded Zahran Hashim’s wife. He said the allegations were completely untrue. In his compliant, MP said false and malicious stories are being spread on social media alleging that he had admitted to CID that he had paid Easter Sunday attacks mastermind Hashim’s wife Rs.5 million. “The allegation is absolutely false. I have never met or seen the lady concerned. more..

Treasury Dy Secretary suddenly transferred: Refusal to manipulate statistics the reason?

Nov 22 (TM) Ananda Kithsiri Seneviratne, who was serving as a Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, had been summarily transferred two weeks ago without providing reasons, The Sunday Morning Business reliably learns. When contacted Seneviratne, he said that his transfer was according to a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers. He added that he was first transferred to the Ministry of Public Admin & Management more..

Reference made to Sri Lanka by Chair of The Elders unacceptable, SL responds

Nov 22 (MFA) The attention of the Ministry was drawn to the comments on Sri Lanka attributed to Chair of The Elders and former Irish President Mary Robinson as a part of a recent statement by The Elders titled ‘The Elders express deep concern at failure to respect US democratic transition of power’ which was contained in several newspapers in Ireland. In this connection, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in UK Saroja Sirisena wrote to Mrs Robinson and the Editors of the relevant newspapers more..

Escaped COVID-19 patient apprehended in Eheliyagoda

Nov 22 (AD) The COVID-19 infected female who had escaped while receiving treatment at the IDH in Angoda has been found by the Police. Police Media Division said that woman in question was found at the Sidurangala area in Eheliyagoda. On Thursday (19), a 25-year-old had fled from the hospital at around 9.10 pm along with her two-year-old son who was also under medical care for coronavirus infection. However, the police had later found the child from a house in Eheliyagoda. more..

Video: Rishad to go to Supreme Court against Kallaru reserve verdict

Nov 22 (AD) MP Rishad Bathiudeen says that he will go to the Supreme Court against the verdict of the Court of Appeal regarding the clearing of the Kallaru forest near the Wilpattu National Park. He mentioned this in response to a query made by the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks. Remanded MP Rishad Bathiudeen testified to the Prez Commission today (21) for the second time from the Welikada Magazine Prison via Skype. more..

Love for the bow and arrow

Nov 22 (CT) A girl with a bow and arrow usually comes up on the small or silver screen. But it is no more a fantasy -not even in SL. But the best thing is, stereotypes are shattered, as Rehana Tayabally excels in Archery. Rehana was the Junior & Senior National Champion in 2017, and is in the national team of Archery and has represented SL in various tournaments. In 2017, she won a Silver Medal at the Indoor World Youth Cup in Thailand. At 2018 South Asian Archery C'ship, she bagged a Bronze more..

Funds cut for medal-winning weight lifters

Nov 22 (SO) Weightlifting has been the most successful sport considering the number of medals won in the last four editions of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and SL is now ranked within the top three in the Commonwealth countries since last April, but still the competitors face cuts to receive funds. It was Chinthana Vidanage who started the trend by winning a gold medal at the 2006 CWG in Melbourne which was the only medal for SL in 2006. He followed it up with a silver medal in more..

Colombo Port fights pandemic; freight rates skyrocket

Nov 22 (ST) Two of the Colombo Port’s terminals are back to full working capacity while the third one shows some improvement amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but shipping industry and exporters and importers are concerned about vessels bypassing and a spike in freight rates. “The congestion was there for the last two to three days – this will gradually improve – we have two terminals almost back to normal JCT & SAGT at 100% more..

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