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Weathering the climate crisis: Will our food systems survive?

Dec 8 (Roar) It’s no surprise that the consequences of climate change today have disrupted ecosystems across every continent, leading to the rising concern of a latent agricultural crisis in the very near future. At present, the volume of greenhouse gases released around the globe is at the highest levels in recorded history, leading to irreversible climate change. This creates an enormous challenge for people, more..

Big win gives Jaffna Kings momentum in LPL

Dec 8 (Island) After an inauspicious start on Sunday, losing the curtain-raiser to Galle Gladiators by 54 runs, defending champions Jaffna Kings found some momentum with a comprehensive eight wicket win over Dambulla Giants at RPS yesterday. Having bowled out Giants for 110 runs inside 20 overs, Kings knocked off the target with more than seven overs to spare. Jaffna Kings are a well balanced side and their defeat in the opening game is further proof that in T-20 cricket there aren’t any favourites. more..

Do we have a solution to the perilous state of our external finances?

Dec 8 (ST) Everyone is aware of the perilous state of the country’s foreign currency reserves. No one knows how the country will extricate itself from the perils of the inadequate and dwindling foreign currency reserves. Foreign currency reserves have fallen to about US$ 1.2 billion at the end of November. This is inadequate to meet essential import needs. The current shortages of essential items are likely to aggravate unless the government obtains foreign assistance soon. more..

Tourist arrivals cross 100,000 mark since reopening borders

Dec 8 (FT) SL has seen the highest tourist arrivals growth post-COVID in November with 44,294 arrivals, pushing the cumulative figure to 104,989. Tourist arrivals in November recorded a sharp increase of 95% from October, continuing its growth momentum from June, whilst also narrowing down the from 99.3% in January to 79.3% in November. “The November numbers reflect the improvement in international arrivals more..

Countrywide power outages: Similarities, differences and questions

Dec 8 (ST) SL experienced two total blackouts between Feb 2020 and Dec 2021 with Friday’s outage prompting suspicions of sabotage amidst trade union action by CEB engineers. There have also been two serious partial blackouts during the same period. Meanwhile, the CID has questioned several CEB staff regarding the power failure of Nov 29 in the Kotmale-Biyagama transmission line. It was the same line that tripped again on Friday leading to a drop in system frequency. more..

SLC presents Under-21 Women’s Development Squad with contracts

Dec 8 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) handed over contracts for the 20 players of the Under-21 Women’s Development squad, which was recently formed in a bid to strengthen the pool of talent for future international commitments. The handing over ceremony took place at the SLC Headquarters with the participation of Ravin Wickramaratne, Vice President of SLC, Ashley De Silva, CEO of SLC, Chinthaka Edirimanne, Head of Domestic Cricket Operations of SLC, Apsari Tillakaratne, more..

මංජු නිශ්ශංක

I shall be a crusader in the fight for justice in sports administration: Rohan Fernando

Dec 8 (TM) Rohan Fernando is the current Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom. Former Head of the Rowing Association of SL, he contested for the Presidency of the National Olympic Committee (NAC) in its last AGM in Feb 2018. In this keynote address of the second Sabuddhi Sports Literature Awards Ceremony, held at the Duncan White Auditorium of the Ministry of Sports on Friday (3), Fernando highlights many controversial areas in present local sports administration that hinder more..

Govt faults gas companies for not proving protection for consumers

Dec 8 (FT) State Minister of Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna yesterday alleged that Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) companies have failed to provide any protection for consumers for decades, insisting that the two firms cannot run away from their responsibility. “From 1 January to 6 Dec, we have recorded 505 LPG-linked fires and explosions from domestic and commercial level. Govt will not hesitate to take legal action against the two gas companies if they are found guilty,” more..

Field Marshal tears modern-day Mahawamsa chroniclers to shreds over...

Dec 8 (Island) Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva yesterday said that the controversial Mahawamsa (sixth volume) that dealt with the fourth phase of the Eelam War would be perused by an expert team and remedial measures taken to correct mistakes. Gen. Silva, who is also the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) said that the Army headquarters would definitely act on concerns expressed by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, more..

SL listed companies, telcos hit by ransomware in 2020: ICTA Chief

Dec 8 (FT) Revealing the ominous realities surrounding ransomware, ICTA Chairman and TRC of Sri Lanka Director-General Oshada Senanayake said a listed company and several players in the telecommunications sector had been targeted by ransomware last year. Senanayake mentioned that many of these cases had not been documented, including the attack on the listed company. “Last year, even though it was not documented, a SL listed company faced a ransomware attack. more..

Japan and Sri Lanka to further strengthen bilateral ties: Envoy Sanjiv Gunasekara

Dec 8 (FT) Several recent initiatives have enhanced SL-Japan bilateral ties which have potential to further strengthen for mutual benefit, according to SL’s Ambassador in Tokyo Sanjiv Gunasekara. It has been more than 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan. But according to history, relations between the two countries started in 1893. History states that the pioneers of the Buddhist renaissance in Sri Lanka, Anagarika Dharmapala and more..

Apparel targets $ 8 b exports by 2025 from 2019’s $ 5.5 b

Dec 8 (TM) The country’s apparel sector plans to reach an export target of $ 8 billion by 2025, from the $ 5.5 billion it earned in 2019, through increased investment in the development of local supply chains, industry experts announced yesterday. Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2021, the experts noted that this increased investment is a vital step for the SL textile industry in achieving its export targets. more..

42,781 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 8 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 42,781 persons on Monday and 74.18% of the country’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose has been administered to 64.04% of the population. 15,947,255 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,770,028 persons have received the second dose as well. The third dose has been administered to 994,929 persons, of which 37,635 persons were vaccinated on Monday. more..

748 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 8 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 detections rose to 569,171 with 748 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday were from the New Year cluster and 6,849 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. The previous day, 6,191 PCR tests and 2,855 rapid antigen tests were conducted. The patients detected on Monday include 739 persons from the New Year cluster and two SL overseas arrivals. 464,292 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from more..

රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය ලසන්ත අලගියවන්න

2019 tax cuts led to rating downgrades, made borrowing harder

Dec 8 (TM) The tax reforms in late 2019, which reduced the tax base and the value added tax (VAT) before the Covid-19 pandemic, significantly weakened the fiscal position of the country which has in turn exacerbated the economic fallout due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. This was noted were made by Harvard Uni Centre for Int'l Development Growth Lab Director and Harvard Kennedy School Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy more..

SL increases local production of drugs

Dec 8 (ST) SL’s pharmaceutical sector has stepped up efforts during the past two years to cater to the national demand for drugs in the midst of import restrictions compelled by the global pandemic. The industry revival is a result of the MOU followed by a Joint-Venture Agreement signed between State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) and the members of the National Chamber of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NCPM) in 2017, NCPM said in a media release this week. more..

Save Lanka’s parliamentary democracy: SJB

Dec 8 (TM) The SJB, has requested the global organisation of national parliaments, the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to intervene and take measures to safeguard parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka through the prevention of alleged undemocratic actions by the Govt of SL. In the letters, dated 6 Dec and signed by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella, more..

Transport Minister announces digitisation of public transport

Dec 8 (Island) Transport Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi announced plans to digitise the public transport service in 2022. Minister made the announcement during a meeting with Ministry officials. The digitisation programme would be implemented through the Sahasara project and GPS technology would be provided to 2,000 private buses. The estimated cost of the project had been placed at Rs. 200 million, she said. Minister pointed out that with GPS facility installed in a bus, more..

Video: SJB MPs to attend parliamentary sessions from today after boycott

Dec 8 (AD) SJB lawmakers, who were boycotting parliamentary sessions, will be attending them starting today. According to the main opposition’s general secretary, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara, the relevant decision had been taken at a discussion held with the Speaker of the House. SJB legislators also staged a protest yesterday near the Parliament premises, stressing that they would boycott parliamentary sessions. They alleged the ruling party MPs of acts of violence and refused to enter more..

Price of rice and curry hits two-year-high for average family

Dec 8 (Island) The cost of a meal consisting of rice, vegetables and meat or fish, consumed at an average Sri Lankan household, hit a two-year high in Nov 2021, a food price tracker for Sri Lanka has shown. Advocata’s Bath Curry Indicator (BCI), a simple tool that tracks the prices of common food items that go into a rice and curry dish in Sri Lanka, shows that the cost of a meal increased by 13.5% from Oct to Nov 2021. more..

Health workers to protest, strike against unmet demands

Dec 8 (EN) Govt health workers will launch trade union action starting Wednesday (8) against what it called the govt’s failure to address their grievances, the Academy of Health Professionals (AHP) said. AHP chairman Ravi Kumudesh told reporters on Tuesday (7) that nursing, paramedical and other professionals in the sector as well as medical laboratory scientists will join the campaign. “As a first step, a protest will be held tomorrow (8) in front of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital more..

Sialkot businesses raise US$ 100,000 for Priyantha

Dec 8 (CT) Pakistani PM Imran Khan said the business community in Sialkot has raised a sum of US$ 100,000 for the family of the late Priyantha Kumara, who was lynched in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations, and his salary will continue to be paid to his family. Khan, addressing the condolence reference for Kumara held at the PM’s Office, said the Govt will not spare anyone resorting to violence in the name of religion from now on. He further spoke of those who are falsely accused more..

New Fortress deal: Three Cabinet Ministers back petitions against govt, make history

Dec 8 (Island) Cabinet ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila yesterday made representations to the Supreme Court in support of the fundamental rights cases filed against the transfer of 40% of govt shares of the Yugadanavi Power Station to US-based New Fortress Energy. They threw their weight behind the petitions, although they have been named respondents more..

Dissecting the proposed National Policy for Industrial Development of Sri Lanka: Part 2

Dec 8 (FT) Reference was made in the introductory section of this paper to the close relationship that exists between Industrial and Trade Policy. A liberalised Industrial Policy as proposed cannot co-exist within a restricted and protective trade regime. Trade as a percentage of GDP has come down drastically i.e. from almost 90% in the year 2000, to approx. 40% in 2020. The Govt has a clear choice to make. The ongoing debate on the preferred path for achieving rapid industrial growth more..

New SEC Act: Guidance to directors on how to avoid getting caught up in contraventions

Dec 8 (FT) The new Securities and Exchange Act 19 of 2021 replaced the previous one that had been in existence since 1987 with minor amendments introduced periodically. The new Act has some 189 sections compared to less than 50 provisions in the previous legislation. A new comprehensive Act was long overdue. The Preamble to the new Act states thus: “An act to establish the Securities and Exchange Commission of SL; to regulate market institutions, certain public offers of securities, more..

මොල්නුපිරවිර් කොවිඩ් පෙත්ත ලංකාවට අවශ්‍යද?

Writ petition filed urging IGP to initiate investigations against Bandula and Lasantha

Dec 8 (DM) A writ petition has been filed before Court of Appeal seeking an order directing the IGP to initiate criminal investigation against Minister Bandula Gunawardene, State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Consumer Affairs Authority Chairman and Director General of Sri Lanka Standard Institution for allegedly releasing unsafe gas cylinders to the market. This petition is to be taken up before Court of Appeal today (9) taking into account the urgent nature of the petition. more..

Court permits to proceed with petition on police discrimination against LGBT...

Dec 8 (TM) Court of Appeal has granted leave to proceed with a petition filed by civil society activists seeking the issuance of a writ order to prevent discrimination and harassment against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community at the hands of the police. Following preliminary consideration of the writ petition, the judge-bench comprising Justices Sobitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola declared that at first glance there is a cause of action and said more..

Opposition demands document of US energy deal

Dec 8 (EN) Opposition legislators demanded that the govt table a signed document of a controversial deal between the Finance Ministry Secretary and US-based New Fortress Energy (NFE). Speaking in parliament, opposition MPs insisted the House is responsible for public finance and the public have a right to know about the deal. NFE said in July it had signed a framework agreement with SL's finance ministry to more..

Parliament crisis: Ranil proposes way out

Dec 8 (Island) Chief Government Whip and Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday (7) thanked UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for proposing a solution to the crisis prevailing in the House following alleged assault on SJB MP Manusha Nanayakkara by govt MPs. UNP Leader Wickremesinghe proposed that the Speaker should immediately name the MPs from the govt and the Opposition ranks for the committee to investigate the alleged incidents in Parliament last Friday more..

Navy nets Kerala cannabis in Point Pedro

Dec 8 (SLN) SL Navy managed to take hold of about 23kg and 600g (with wet weight) of Kerala cannabis abandoned, during a search carried out in Thumpalai beach area, Point Pedro in the dark hours on 6th Dec 2021. The special operation was conducted by the Naval Detachment of Point Pedro belongs to the Northern Naval Command in Thumpalai beach area, where the naval personnel recovered the narcotic consignment left behind at the beach. more..

Sri Lanka dollar salary earners protest as banks force convert forex

Dec 8 (EN) Resident Sri Lankans who earn dollar salaries and deposited them in forex accounts in the past are calling banks to protest against conversion of their earnings in to rupees against their wishes, multiple customers said. Customers were warned of forced conversion of forex after the central bank issued a gazette ordering merchandise and service exporters to convert their dollars. more..

Sri Lanka Treasuries yields drop, more 12-month bills sold

Dec 8 (EN) SL has sold 66 billion rupees of Treasury bills at an auction Wednesday with more 6 and 12-month bills being sold as the short term yield curve became steeper. 29.71 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 7.05% down 18 basis points from a week earlier, after offering 18 billion. 31.66 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 7.84%, down 13 basis points from a week earlier after offering 24 billion. 24 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 8.11%, down 1 basis point after offering more..

Video: Three members of same family struck and killed by train

Dec 8 (AD) Three members of the same family including a small child have been reported dead after being hit by a train near the Rozella railway station. A man, his wife and their son died in the incident. The accident had taken place at around 11.55 a.m. this morning (08) near the Rozella railway station when they had collided with the ‘Udarata Menike’ train plying from Badulla to Colombo. The bodies of the victims have reportedly been transferred to the Nawalapitiya Hospital. more..

Minister Aluthgamage tells court Chinese fertilizer vessel has left Sri Lankan waters

Dec 8 (DM) The Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage today informed the Court of Appeal that the cargo vessel carrying contaminated fertilizer from China has left SL waters. Minister made these revelations through Attorney General when the writ petition against the importation of organic fertilizer was taken up for support before Court of Appeal. Senior State Counsel Nirmalan Wigneswaran appearing for Minister more..

Collect insecure LPG cylinders used in households as well: Anura

Dec 8 (DM) Claiming that the LG gas cylinders currently in use at households were still posing the risk of exploding, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake today urged the Govt to retrieve the LP gas cylinders currently in use as well. He told Parliament that the CAA has ordered to recall only unused LP gas cylinders. But steps should be taken to collect gas cylinders which are being used as well. “People take gas cylinders home to use them. They don’t keep them at home with more..

Lokuge is evading the tabling of Yugadanavi deal in Parliament: AKD

Dec 8 (TM) Whilst claiming to have passed 6 weeks since requesting Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge to table the agreement that was signed between the Govt of Sl and the New Fortress Energy Company in regards to the Yugadanavi power plant, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka said that Lokuge is delaying and now evading tabling the agreement. He made this statement in Parliament today. “I requested for the agreement that was signed between the SL Govt and New Fortress more..

Weerasekara slams Pakistani Defence Minister

Dec 8 (CT) Minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekara, while condemning the brutal killing of Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot, Pakistan, also expressed his discontent over the statement of Pakistani Defence Minister about the lynching, where he said the killing was committed by enraged kids. Pakistani Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said kids do such things in passion, which doesn’t mean things are bad, he said over the ghastly more..