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Prez election will be held between 18 Sept and 18 Oct 2024

Mar 2 (Island) The presidential election is the only election that the Constitution has set a time frame for and therefore it cannot be postponed, Commissioner General of Elections, Saman Sri Ratnayake has said. “The Election Commission has no direct authority over holding other elections. For example, the tenure of the local council is four years. The line minister can hold the elections a year before, or he can extend the tenure of more..

Sapugaskanda refinery temporarily shut in July for major turnaround

Mar 2 (AD) The daily operations of Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will be temporarily halted for 45 days starting this July for a major turnaround (TAR), Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) announced on Friday (1). In a statement, the CPC said this essential maintenance and repair process is mandatory, in compliance with international norms, to ensure safe and reliable operations at the refinery for three more years. Sapugaskanda oil refinery’s previous TAR took place in February 2021. more..

Tourism earnings in Jan.2024 at $342mn, highest monthly value since 2020

Mar 2 (AD) Sri Lanka’s earnings from tourism were estimated at USD 342 million in January 2024, the Central Bank’s latest report on external sector performance revealed. This is the highest monthly value the country has witnessed since January 2020. According to the document, published on Thursday (29), Sri Lanka’s tourism earnings in January 2024 marked a substantial improvement compared to USD 269 million in December 2023 and USD 154 million in January 2023. more..

Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

Mar 2 (AD) Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Health Saman Ratnayake was arrested on Friday evening (Mar 1) by the CID over substandard human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) procurement. The arrest came hours after Dr. Ratnayake arrived at the CID premises to provide a statement. Prior to the apprehension of Dr. Ratnayake, 8 arrests had been made in connection with the drug procurement scam. more..

Best option is to seek an interpretation from Supreme Courts: Minister

Mar 2 (DM) The best option to determine whether the course of action followed by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana in appointing Deshabandu Tennakoon as the IGP is to seek an interpretation from the Supreme Court, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. Minister came out with this remark, speaking to journalists after the inauguration of a road development project in Pannipitiya. “It is best that Supreme Court gives an interpretation of the action taken by the Speaker,” he said. more..

Heated arguments take place in SC as Court dismisses FR bribery case filed by...

Mar 2 (FT) The Supreme Court recently dismissed the FR application filed by Supun Pathirage, the former Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority without granting leave to proceed. The application had been filed against the CIABOC, its three former members, Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Deepali Wijesundera, Chandra Nimal Wakishta and also against newly appointed members Justice W.M.N.P. Iddawala (Chairman), Chethiya Gunasekera & K.B. Rajapaksa. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Sri Lanka win 26 medals at Asian Powerlifting Championships

Mar 2 (Island) SL powerlifters continued their impressive medal haul at the recent Asian Championships where over 600 athletes from over 36 countries in the Asian region participated. SL’s medal haul included four gold medals from Suranga de Silva and three gold medals from Rohan Paulas. Notable efforts came from Pradeep Sununu, Kunam Pushanthan and Uvindu Jayasinghe. Sulesh Mendis with a silver in the junior category excelled against some serious competition. more..

Nimali beats Gayanthika to make winning start

Mar 2 (Island) Olympian Nimali Liyanarachchi turned tables on former national record holder Gayanthika Abeyratne to win the women’s 800 metres on day one of the First National Trial at Diyagama on Friday. Competing in the absence of Asian Games medallist Tharushi Karunaratne, the veterans from Sooriyawewa fought shoulder to shoulder in the second lap before Liyanarachchi shifted gears in the homestretch to win in a time of two minutes and 5.46 seconds. more..

Sri Lanka awards energy deal to India after rejecting China

Mar 2 (AFP) SL on Friday awarded the construction of three solar and wind hybrid power generation facilities to an Indian company after scrapping a tender won by a Chinese firm. New Delhi has long been concerned about growing Chinese influence in the island nation, which sits near key global shipping lanes and which India considers to be within its sphere of influence. The project, initially financed by an ADB loan, was temporarily shelved more..

Puducherry CM seeks PM Modi’s intervention to get fishing vessels released from SL...

Mar 2 (AD) Chief Minister of union territory of Puducherry in India, N. Rangasamy has sought the intervention of PM Narendra Modi, for the release of fishing boats from the Union Territory, that have been confiscated by SL authorities. In a letter to the PM on Friday (1), Chief Minister said fishermen from Karaikal region sometimes crossed the IMBL due to their ignorance. When this happened, SL authorities arrested them and confiscated their fishing equipment. more..

CBSL officials summoned to Parliament over pay hike

Mar 2 (CT) The officials of the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) have been summoned to Parliament on 5 March, at 10.30 am, to inquire about a significant salary increase that has recently sparked controversy in the country. This decision was taken during the Party Leaders meeting on Friday (1). The upcoming parliamentary sittings are scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday this week. CBSL Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe had previously written to the President, in his capacity as more..

මී මැස්සාගේ කොළම

Railways buys from supplier quoting higher price

Mar 2 (CT) Procurement Sub-Department, of Dept of Railways, has recently purchased 75 units of 32Amp, 415V, Triple Pole Iron Clad switches, for over Rs 1.8 million, from a supplier who quoted a higher price, resulting in a loss to the State. The chosen company has charged Rs 3,225 as VAT and priced each switch at Rs 21,500. Despite another company, offering to provide the switches at Rs 14,300 each, tender was awarded to the company that quoted a higher price, totally violating more..

Charity; soon drastic water cuts; overseas idiosyncrasies

Mar 2 (Island) Our Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, who goes his own way following Sinatra’s I did it my way; mostly flying across oceans to attend this meeting and that, has again done it his way. He has initiated a million-dollar fund to help children of the Gaza strip. They are in a horrifyingly pitiable state and need all the help they can get, but can a bankrupt country, still far from becoming solvent, extend big charity to the outside world? Also, what about our children of this country driven to more..

Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widens in January amidst import surge

Mar 2 (FT) SL’s trade deficit widened by $ 96 million to $ 541 million in January a year earlier fuelled by higher increase in imports aided by Govt policies, latest data showed. In a month-to-month comparison, the trade deficit data in January reflects an increase compared to the deficit of $ 487 million in Dec 2023. The overall trade deficit in 2023 amounted to $ 4.9 billion. Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to more..

Editorial: Sirisena’s castle in the air

Mar 2 (Island) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena’s plan to occupy his Paget Road official residence as part of his retirement package has gone awry. Supreme Court (SC), on Friday, ruled that a Cabinet decision made on 15 Oct, 2019, to allow the then Prez Sirisena to continue to occupy the aforesaid official residence after his retirement was illegal and amounted to a violation of the rule of law and the fundamental rights of citizens. Prez Sirisena declared, immediately after his election in more..

State-run hospitals short of radiographers

Mar 2 (CT) Despite receiving approval from the Cabinet, the Health Ministry has failed to recruit radiographers for the State sector, leading to significant challenges in providing essential medical services, particularly in areas such as maternity hospitals and forensic medicine institutes, Radiological Technologists charged. President of Govt Radiological Technologists’ Association (GRTA), Chanaka Dharmawickrema lamented on Friday (1), the shortage of more..

Prez sets the ground to launch election campaign

Mar 2 (CT) With the Prez Election slated to take place later this year, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has resorted to his decades-old habit of forming a political Cabinet commonly referred to as a Shadow Cabinet. This, however, is not to take decisions on governance but will focus on salient political decisions that would have an impact on future elections. Wickremesinghe formed such a political cabinet during his tenure as PM in more..

Finance Ministry unveils action plan based on IMF Governance Diagnostic Assessment

Mar 2 (FT) State Minister Shehan Semasinghe announced that the Govt has unveiled its action plan in response to the Governance Diagnostic Assessment (GDA) presented by the IMF. The strategic initiative aims to pave the way for a sustainable economy in line with SL’s proposals. “This shows the Govt’s commitment to the IMF program and signifies a crucial step towards improving economic stability and growth. SL will be the first country in Asia to embark on more..

Medicare 2024 kicks off in Colombo

Mar 2 (DM) The 13th edition of Medicare 2024 kicked off yesterday at the BMICH. Medicare 2024 will be held over three days till the 3rd March, featuring 4 main expos i.e. National Healthcare Expo, Ayurveda & Herbal Expo, Medical Tourism Expo and Healthy Living Expo and featured a number of medical seminars and B2B interaction platforms. The Expo featured over 130 stalls from local and international organisations representing Pharmaceutical, Medical Equipment and more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Business confidence steadies

Mar 2 (FT) In its March edition, leading business magazine LMD reports that the gauge of corporate sentiment remains steady, albeit that it is way short of its all-time average. LMD notes, “The LMD-PEPPERCUBE Business Confidence Index (BCI) continues to be lacklustre… but steady; it has remained in the 81-85 range for three successive months. “In February, the index registered a one basis point dip to 81, which is a massive 42 notches shy of its all-time average (123) although more..

CSE begins March on the up

Mar 2 (FT) The Colombo stock market began the month of March on the up amidst rebound in investor sentiment. The benchmark ASPI was up over 39 points or 0.37% and the active S&P SL20 was up 2 points. Turnover was Rs. 1.5 billion involving 49.8 million shares. Colombo Stock Exchange ended February on the up after a negative start for 2024 in January. ASPI gained by 3.3% in February and the active S&P SL20 improved by 4.9%. In contrast, Jan saw ASPI down 3.2% & S&P by 5.6%. more..

A battle between Ananda batsmen and Nalanda bowlers at SSC

Mar 2 (DM) The 94 th Battle of the Maroons big match between the two leading Buddhist schools Ananda and Nalanda will be played today and tomorrow at SSC grounds. The two schools once again battle for Dr. N.M. Perera Trophy while last time Nalanda led by Dineth Samaraweera won the trophy in 2022 and Ananda recorded their last victory in 2003 under the leadership of Damindu Kularatne. more..

AHRP, SHRM to introduce Generative AI workshop for Lankan HR professionals

Mar 2 (DM) Association of Human Resource Professionals (AHRP) has announced the introduction of a workshop focused on Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) for local HR professionals. This pioneering initiative, conducted in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), aims to equip SL HR practitioners with advanced techniques, insights, and tools necessary to harness the power of AI, particularly Generative AI, in revolutionizing HR practices. more..

Cookng up a flavourful storm on social media

Mar 2 (ST) Standing outside the doors, staring up at the big M, Master Chef Australia Season 14 contestant Dulan Hapuarachchi knew that, that moment right there would be a milestone in his life. Carrying the Sri Lankan flag proudly in his heart he aimed to tell the world about Sri Lanka through his cooking. “During that time my heart was so burdened by what was happening back home and the urgency to raise awareness about Sri Lanka became even more strong,” he says. more..

කන්ටේනර් දෙයියා අධිකරණ තීන්දුවක්...

NPP & Bird Cage economy

Mar 2 (CT) It was Chen Yun, a theoretical economist and a Chinese Communist Party Politburo member from 1934 to 1987 who rejected Mao Zedong’s reliance on the revolutionary enthusiasm of masses to promote rapid economic growth, and propounded the theory of a bird cage economy characterized by a dominant plan and subordinate local markets. Yun stressed the importance of the market to improve agricultural production and productivity. And it was that model which was later picked up by more..

Political question of food prices

Mar 2 (ST) After hearing that carrot prices in SL spiralled to over Rs. 2,000 a kg a few weeks ago, one of our relatives in the UK sent us a scanned copy of her shopping bill. Let me show you the prices of a few food items from that bill, converted to SL rupees using the Rupee-Pound exchange rate as Rs. 395 per British Pound. In the UK, one kg of rice costs Rs. 205, while in Sri Lanka it is Rs.220 for the lowest category of rice. However, in the UK you don’t find lower quality rice, more..

SriLankan Airlines: Flying amidst uncertainty?

Mar 2 (TM) In the world of aviation, where trust in safety measures is paramount, the recent surge in technical faults reported by SriLankan Airlines has left frequent travellers grappling with a sense of uncertainty. Among them is a Melbourne-based traveller, who, despite regularly shuttling between Melbourne and Sri Lanka, now harbours a newfound unease when boarding SriLankan Airlines flights. more..

Is Executive Presidency the sole sinner?

Mar 2 (CT) Now that the Prez Poll is round the corner – unless proved otherwise – the customary talk about the abolition of the Executive Presidency system too, has commenced with renewed vigour. Thanks to Aragalaya and the attendant economic crisis, the nation was spared from the subject for the past two years – Amen! The demand for the abolition of the Executive Presidency flows from the unconvincing conviction that the super-powers that supposedly go with the position are more..

The SL state in a changing global context

Mar 2 (GV) The focus of my recent writings has been the state formation of SL. The starting point of this work is to see the state as a product of history that is constantly changing. In other words, the state is treated like any other element in society. This contrasts with the conventional idea of treating the state as a finalised static entity. Many symbolic elements incorporated into the identity of the state tries to strengthen the notion that the state has an eternal character. more..

Ronnie De Mel the socialist who created a capitalist economy

Mar 2 (DM) The ascension of Junius Richard Jayewardene to the premier seat of political power in 1977 paved the way for a drastic transformation of SL’s politico-economic landscape and environment. J.R. Jayewardene known popularly as JR ushered in political, economic, and electoral changes that utterly changed SL. In the words of William Butler Yeats All changed, changed utterly. The advent of JR as PM in 1977 more..

Water for Peace and Harmony

Mar 2 (DM) Most of us take water for granted. However, clean drinking water is essential for human life, and in these days of high temperature reaching 94°F, many people experience dehydration, and we need to drink about six litres of water a day. Next month, the UN marks World Water Day, and the theme is water for peace. In a statement, the UN says, water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access, tensions can more..

Has insensitivity become the norm?

Mar 2 (DM) CEB Media spokesman, Noel Priyantha resigned from his position after criticisms over his insensitive remarks during an interview with a private TV channel, towards the hapless electricity consumers who are struggling to pay their electricity bills. When he was told at the interview that a father who had attempted to get electricity from a nearby house to support his child’s studies had died by electrocution, and was asked why the CEB could not be more considerate more..

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