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Vish Govindasamy sheds light on the sunshine behind currently clouded economy

Dec 12 (TM) With each passing minute, SL’s economy raises fresh fears over a possible debt default, according to economists, with authorities being adamant against seeking financial assistance from the IMF, as they believe they can manage the dwindling official foreign exchange reserves by taking loans and entering swap arrangements with a couple of selected countries under the debt-restructuring plan. On the other hand, to encourage deteriorating worker remittances to return to more..

SLFP moves to revive UPFA, PA amid growing rift with ruling alliance

Dec 12 (ST) SLFP is working towards reactivating the UPFA and the People’s Alliance (PA) with the aim of forming a broad front as it increasingly tries to distance itself from the ruling SLPP, a senior party member said. SLFP Vice Chairman Rohana Luxman Piyadasa said that talks had already begun with parties represented in Parliament and even parties not represented in Parliament. The idea of reactivating the UPFA and the PA was first discussed at SLFP’s Central Committee (CC) meeting more..

Yugadanavi-NFE agreement: Cabinet to discuss concerns

Dec 12 (TM) Several cabinet ministers have raised concerns over some of the content in the agreement signed by the Treasury, with US-based New Fortress Energy Inc. (NFE), on purchasing shares of the Yugadanavi Power Plant, after the agreement was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers two weeks ago, The Sunday Morning learnt. Three Cabinet Ministers – Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, and Vasudeva Nanayakkara more..

Power outages: CID seeks technical support from CEB

Dec 12 (TM) The CID is awaiting technical support from the CEB in order to conduct its investigations into the spate of controversial power outages during the last two weeks. Police Media Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the CID detectives needed technical support to conduct their investigation into the power outage on 3 December. “The power outage issue requires technical knowledge, and so the CID has made a request from the CEB for technical support to carry out investigation,” more..

1/2 hour power cuts to be experienced in some areas

Dec 12 (NR) The Ministry of Energy says half an hour power disruption will have to be carried out in several parts of the island, with the second generator of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant malfunctioning. Media Spokesman of the Ministry Sulakshana Jayawardene said a water leak was reported in the boilers of the power plant adding that the second generator was removed from the national power grid in order to restore the fault. Jayawardene said power generation more..

Forex earnings: No forcible conversion, says CBSL

Dec 12 (TM) The Central Bank last week denied allegations that a gazette published recently by them had led to forcible conversions of foreign currency earnings, pointing out that the instructions pertained to export earnings and were in line with the law. The CBSL gazette notification, published in late October on the rules regarding the repatriation of export proceeds into the country, applies to all exporters of goods & services more..

India working on urgent economic package to help Lanka tide over crisis

Dec 12 (ET) India is working out a package on an urgent basis to assist Sri Lanka, following finance minister Basil Rajapaksa's New Delhi visit that focussed on measures to tide over an economic crisis that the island nation is facing. India is expected to extend a food & health security package to Sri Lanka on an urgent basis, along with an energy security package and currency swap, and also push Indian investments, officials told ET. It was agreed during Rajapaksa's visit more..

CID probes elaborate hoax to blacklist competing company

Dec 12 (ST) CID has launched a probe on a complaint that a company had mounted an elaborate scam to ensure a competitor was blacklisted following a Police Dept tender for breathalyser test kits. The complaint was lodged by Lanka Industrial Services (Pvt) Ltd. The CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that the complainant had been contacted by a company claiming to be based in the US and also having a branch in France. This company had claimed to be a manufacturer more..

Secret pact: JVP leader’s bombshell exposé deals more blows to Govt

Dec 12 (ST) For weeks now, Opposition MPs have been calling on the Govt to present to Parliament the controversial agreement it signed in September on the sale of Govt-owned shares of the Yugadanavi power plant with the US-based New Fortress Energy (NFE). Though Power Minister Gamini Lokuge had pledged to table the agreement in Parliament, he did not do so, while efforts by various Opposition politicians and activists to more..

Global warming, increasing inequality, and new Cold war

Dec 13 (DM) The world today is facing a number of major issues. The spread of the coronavirus which has already led to 269 mil infections worldwide, and 5.3 mil deaths within the past year. Global warming/ long-term man-made heating of Earth’s climate which UN says is spiralling out of control is certain to bring further climate disruptions for possibly centuries, to come. Deadly heat waves, hurricanes and other weather extremes that are already happening will only become more severe. more..

Brawls, boycotts, blasts & batty buffoonery; remnants of yesteryear’s Full-serials?

Dec 13 (DM) A glorious performance by royal jesters, ably emulated by Diyawanna comedians; complete with brawls, boycotts, blasts and batty buffoonery, has become the order of the day. The timely intervention of the Sergeant-at-Arms, prevented fisticuffs— No Show: gallery disappointed! Filmgoers of my vintage will remember the 1950s/60s comic book movies of South Indian and Sinhala extraction -, for they flocked to Capitol, Plaza, New Olympia, Sellamahal, Gaiety, more..

IDH welcomes fully donor-funded paediatric HDU

Dec 13 (CT) On the very day their first ICU was established at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), 12 years later, another dream came true for the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH). The new Paediatric High Dependency Unit (HDU) marked yet another milestone in the NIID’s unblemish less service of over 200 years. The HDU was ceremoniously declared open with the participation of more..

The plight of Sri Lanka’s elephants mirror the plight of the land

Dec 13 (ST) Recent observations by the Supreme Court regarding the importance of the Attorney General independently exercising the enormous array of powers conferred on that Office by statute are, by a cynic’s perspective, nothing very new. Reportedly, these cautions had been issued during the recent granting of leave to proceed by a Bench in an extraordinarily poignant case brought by an environmental group in respect of a Cabinet paper on ‘a policy in respect of tamed elephants more..

From handout to handout, Lanka’s hand-to-mouth life

Dec 13 (ST) As Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa headed off to New Delhi last week bowl in hand to beg brother India’s PM Narendra Modi for money to buy a few months stock of fuel from Oman, it brought starkly home, more than any bleak Fitch or Moody report ever could, the perilous state of Lanka’s hand-to-mouth existence. The anticipated meeting with Modi did not take place nor did the Indian officials drop any instant offering to the proffered beggar’s bowl as Finance Minister more..

Govt leaders disavow Yugadanavi scandal as dollar reserves drop to $ 1 billion

Dec 13 (TM) The 2022 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa in November, was passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament last Friday, with 157 MPs voting in favour. The celebrations, however, did not last long, with members of the Govt realising that they were yet to pass the real test – the foreign reserves crisis that has now snowballed into a series of economic crises. more..

Hey! You can’t park here!

Dec 13 (CT) Due to the rapid rate of development, vacant urban spaces are dwindling and are slowly being taken over by ever-widening roads and rising buildings. With municipalities experience a hard time designating parking with the increasing number of vehicles, a looming issue facing urban planning is how to better handle traffic flow. In this background, Police launched a new initiative in Colombo and other cities against vehicles parked illegally on pedestrian walkways. more..

The 2020 Parliamentary review

Dec 13 (TM) Parliamentary sessions for the year have ended; its achievements but few, its failures greater, its ignominies, both manifold and manifest. With the next session to commence early in the new year of 2022, it is perhaps timely to look at some relevant aspects of the Legislature’s and specifically its elected and national list public representatives’ performance during the course of this year (2021). The focus hence will be on aspects pertaining to Parliamentarians’ attendance, more..

News බුල ටිං: බැසිල්ගේ මොළ හත ලොකුද ?

Editorial: If wishes were horses …

Dec 13 (Island) Speculation is rife in political circles that the govt will decide today whether to seek assistance from the IMF to straighten up the ailing economy. A special Cabinet meeting is expected to be held with the participation of the Secretary to the Finance Ministry and the Governor of the Central Bank to brief the ministers on the economic situation. There is hardly any need for such a briefing; everybody knows all too well the parlous state of the national economy. more..

NMSJ proposals for a new constitution: Part I

Dec 13 (Island) The govt has stated that it will unveil its proposals for a new Constitution in the form of a legal text early next year. A committee, headed by Romesh De Silva PC, has been working on a new Constitution for more than a year. It is not known whether the committee report would also be published. Whether the draft is based solely on the report or whether the Govt’s proposals have also been included is to be seen. In the meantime, National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) more..

Deadly blasts & Great saviour of the people

Dec 13 (Island) We have come to the Blast Stage in SL! Gas explosions continue in kitchens and outside, and now there are explosions of liquid fertiliser too. It looks as if the Saubhagye Dekma thinking of presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, were in fact a Maha Pipireema Dekma – a Vision of Huge Blasts. With nearly 500 gas blasts already on record – with at least one dead, many injured and more..

Commonwealth trials: A bane than a boon?

Dec 13 (ST) Two boxing clubs — Air Force BC and Kingswood BC — have made official protests to Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) highlighting malpractice or simply not going by the AIBA rules and regulations at a recent trial meet held to pick pugilist for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022. The trial meet, first of many as highlighted by ABA, however did not have the usual sporty ambiance according to most coaches and pugilists that were part of the 3-day competition more..

Mixed fortunes at Gulf T-20 World Cup for SL

Dec 13 (DN) This columnist feels that Sri Lanka did have an advantage to a great extent in the just concluded T-20 World Cup in the Gulf (Oman and UAE) because they also played in the qualifiers, which means they got more games than some of the teams that did play in the Super 12. For example, they played against Bangladesh in the qualifier, which was very, very competitive for them. They also had the option of playing against Namibia, who also qualified for the Super 12. more..

How much should laws govern religion?

Dec 13 (TM) After the tragic death of a SL national in Pakistan, Pakistan’s laws and practices pertaining to blasphemy have initiated an international-level discourse. Even though SL does not have laws criminalising blasphemy, there are certain laws that can be used to take legal action against those engaging in acts against other religions. However, in the SL context, freedom of religion or belief has sometimes been more..

Credit card industry suffers rare cancelations

Dec 13 (FT) Credit card industry has apparently suffered a rare and sudden cancelation in October, throwing new challenges to a market which is trying to entice more spending. The active credit cards base in October declined by over 62,000, which industry analysts described as rare but of concern. The cards base amounted to 1,894,128 down from 1,856,191 in September. The most cancellations (nearly 62,000) have been in globally accepted cards, whilst locally accepted cards more..

SLT-MOBITEL empowers hospitality sector with SLT Check-In

Dec 13 (Island) Addressing the challenges of hoteliers, SLT-MOBITEL, the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Solutions Provider has launched its new SLT Check-In solution partnering with the world class cloud-based property management system, Hoteliga to provide to the local hospitality market a comprehensive and unique technological offering. SLT-MOBITEL and Secvision (Pvt) Ltd, the authorized local partner for Hoteliga, signed the agreement recently. more..

ඩොලර් මිලියන 1000ක් නැතිව කොහොමද යකෝ රටක්

Broad SOE reforms urged for SL to regain confidence of external creditors

Dec 13 (DM) With the govt’s current approach appearing to be failing in its ability to meet upcoming external debt servicing commitments, the Colombo-based policy think tank Advocata Institute urged the govt to roll out a broad reform package targeting strategically important State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as a way to regain confidence of the country’s external creditors, illustrating the determination to resolve the prolonged structural issues in the economy. more..

MoU signed for $ 55 m cable car project between Nanu Oya and Nuwara Eliya

Dec 13 (FT) The first step towards building a 4-km-long cable car link between Nanu Oya and Nuwara Eliya with an investment of $ 55 million to boost tourism was finalised last week. A MoU between the Urban Development Authority and Outdoor Engineering Lanka Ltd., a subsidiary of Sweden Outdoor Engineering Ltd., which has over 20 years of experience in handling several cable car links was signed. The project will be handed over on a 30-year lease. more..

Hingurana sugar consortium takes billions worth of loans at soaring interest rates...

Dec 13 (ST) A national audit has unveiled serious irregularities at the Hingurana sugar factory, which is run jointly by Govt and private entities Brown & Company PLC and Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC (LOLC), with billions worth of loans being taken at soaring interest rates from associated companies of LOLC. The factory was set up in the 1960s and privatised in 1993 before being re-acquired by the State in 1997. more..

Pubudu Dassanayake appointed Nepal head coach

Dec 13 (Island) Pubudu Dassanayake has been reappointed as head coach of the Nepal men’s national team, Cricket Association of Nepal announced at the end of their board meeting held earlier today. Dassanayake will fill the vacancy that opened up after Dav Whatmore stepped down from the position in September at the end of Nepal’s ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 matches in Oman. Dassanayake has had a successful run as coach at the Associate level over the years. more..

91,039 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 13 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 91,039 persons on Saturday and second dose coverage of the country’s population has risen to 64.11%. Our World in Data states that 74.2% of the population has received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 15,955,985 persons have received the first vaccine dose and 13,789,006 persons have received the second dose. The third dose has been administered to 1,266,552 persons. Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is being administered as the booster more..

Minority parties to write to India

Dec 13 (TM) The seven main political parties representing Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking population, led by TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, plans to send a document with a set of common proposals to India and the int'l community by 21 Dec, with a special focus on the removal of the 13th Amendment by the proposed new Constitution. This was decided at a discussion between the political party leaders yesterday. more..

Madumali, Pushpakumara, Kasuni and Jaliya win cross country events

Dec 13 (Island) Marathoner Madumali Perera and many time men’s steeplechase champion R.M.S. Pushpakumara won the senior women’s and men’s races, while W.M. Kasuni and Jaliya Sangeeth clinched victory in the junior women’s and men’s events respectively of the cross-country trial held at Diyagama on Sunday. Pushpakumara clocked 32 minutes and nine seconds to finish the 10 kilo metres as he finished almost head to head with S.R. WIjewickrama (32:10 secs). more..

LPL: All round performance earn Kings easy win over Warriors in rain hit game

Dec 13 (CT) Jaffna Kings defeated the more fancied Kandy warriors by 7 wickets with 8 balls to spare in Sunday’s first day-night game and the 12th of the LPL 2021 at the R. Premadasa Stadium. The game was reduced to 10 overs after rain interrupted play, and after being put into bat Kandy warriors - who have not things going their way in the tournament - continued their poor form and were reduced to 94-3 in their 10 overs. Opening the batting Charith Asalanka and Ahmed Shezad put on more..


Axing of Pathum Nissanka doesn’t go down too well

Dec 13 (Island) LPL tournament has seen some tight contests over the last week. There have been some standout performers and last ball thrillers. Franchise tournament will stand in good stead for SL cricket moving forward with last year’s LPL enabling selectors to identify new talents. This year too several young players have come up with some impressive performances. There have been also some strange decisions and the one that has sparked much debate has been the dropping more..

Sri Lanka Cricket play spoilsport with Joe-Pete Big Match

Dec 13 (Island) 87th Battle of the Saints starting at the SSC ground today will not feature the junior national players produced by St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s after SLC authorities backtracked a decision to allow them for the annual encounter just two days ahead of the Big Match. Two schools had been informed by SLC on Friday not to field the Youth national players forcing cricket authorities of the Darley Road and Bambalapitiya schools to make last minute amendments to their Playing XIs more..

Catholic Church wants probe into Prasanna’s Sirisena allegation

Dec 13 (TM) Catholic Church has lodged a complaint with the CID, seeking an impartial and comprehensive investigation into a statement made by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga that former President and incumbent Govt MP Maithripala Sirisena is fully responsible for the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 21 April 2019. Colombo Archdiocese Social Communication Director Rev. Fr. Jude Chrishantha Fernando more..

Booster shot for 20+ now

Dec 13 (CT) Citizens who are above 20 years can get their Pfizer booster shots now, said State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana. He said individuals who are eligible and who have received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of three months ago can walk into any nearby vaccination centre in the country to get the booster shot. The booster vaccination campaign for several age groups has begun and a large number of booster vaccines were administered on more..