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Falling of forex & restrictions on remittances

Dec 14 (TM) Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided to some extent, some of the crises the pandemic created have been worsening and persisting during the past few months. In fact, some of these crises have led to multiple national level issues. Dwindling foreign reserves is one such issue, and it is worsening at a pace that is difficult for the country to manage. To make matters worse, it has affected all sorts more..

Right to know, not to ignore

Dec 14 (ST) Over five years back the then Govt enacted one of the most vital pieces of legislation that was hailed both in SL and internationally as filling a yawning gap in the country’s democratic system and governance. That was the peoples’ right to know, to ask questions about the functioning of govt and its institutions, and the conduct of those elected to office and parliament. That was a new freedom granted to the people who are said to be sovereign and in whose name govts hold more..

Re-emergence of queues

Dec 14 (CT) The country will have to go back to the queue system, last seen 44 years ago from 1970-77 prophesied Opposition and SJB MP Eran Wickrmaratne on the last day of the 2022 Budget debate held on Friday. His fears were seemingly certified by Central Bank of SL (CBSL) data released later on that same day which showed that the country’s foreign reserves had fallen by 30.06% (US$ 682.2 mil) to $ 1,587 million in the backdrop that SL is an import dependent economy. more..

Face the Nation

Historic court win for LGBTIQ community

Dec 14 (GV) Thanks to archaic, Victorian-era laws that are still present in SL, the country’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ) community has been marginalised and discriminated against for over a century. SL still criminalises same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults under Article 365 and 365A of the Penal Code, which states that carnal intercourse against the order of nature and acts of gross indecency are criminal offences more..

An idea to improve track and field performance in schools in Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (Island) Many of our school athletes have performed well at the national level. Some of them had represented the country. Carl Vayn Geyzel, when studying at Cambridge took part in the high jump in the 1928 Olympic Games representing Great Britain as Ceylon was its colony and not then a member of the IOC. Many athletes took part in the 1948 Olympic Games in London with Duncan White winning Silver Medal in the 400m hurdles. I, as a 17-year-old schoolboy, represented Ceylon at more..

Success of Sri Lanka’s first-ever electronic target meet, draws value of a national range

Dec 14 (ST) National Shooting Sport Federation (NSSF) made a breakthrough in the history of the shooting sport, when it conducted SL’s first-ever electronic target air pistol and air rifle championship. The competition was held through eight days at the intended national shooting range where over 80 shooters of national calibre competed under four categories inside the four-lane electronic target range. “This is the way forward, more..

Editorial: Bring them to justice

Dec 14 (Island) Gas explosions continue. Yesterday, a young woman suffered serious injury in Kuruwita when she jumped off the upper floor of her house to escape from a fire caused by a gas blast, according to media reports. The incumbent govt came to power, promising to protect the public against terrorist bomb blasts, but it has failed to ensure the safety of people even inside their own kitchens. It was announced a few days ago that the domestic gas cylinders with red and white shrink more..

9 more sustainable tourist destinations

Dec 14 (FT) Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said nine new sustainable tourist destinations will be developed expeditiously covering all provinces. The initiative is being implemented with the support of the UNDP of the Biodiversity Financing Initiative (BIOFIN). The nine destinations include Sigiriya sustainable destination, Pilikuttuwa local heritage destination, Wanathawilluwa Gangewadiya destination, Ellawala Ella natural destination, Vavulpane Limestone Cave destination, more..

Ratwatte’s alleged threat to kill prisoners: Probe going here and there 3 months after...

Dec 14 (ST) Three months after the Anuradhapura prison incident involving State Minister Lohan Ratwatte and two Tamil political prisoners detained under the PTA, the outcome of the multiple investigations has not been disclosed. At present, Police investigations regarding the incident are underway. The State Minister is alleged to have pointed a gun at the head of the two prisoners and threatened to kill them. more..

LPL: High riding Colombo Stars eyeing to continue winning momentum

Dec 14 (CT) Colombo Stars will be full of confidence when they take on Angelo Perera led Kandy Warriors in the 15th match of the Lanka Premier League today a RPS, Colombo. Both teams will be looking to stay in touch with the top teams on the points table. Colombo Stars will look to extend their winning streak as they take on struggling Kandy Warriors who have managed just one win from their five games so far. That did come against Galle Gladiators so they will at least take more..

President appoints first female Vice Chancellor of Rajarata University

Dec 14 (FT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prof. Sanjeewanie Ginigaddara as the new Vice Chancellor of the Rajarata Uni. She is the seventh Vice Chancellor of the University and the first woman to hold the post. Ginigaddara, who is a Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture of the Rajarata University was appointed by the President in accordance with the recommendations made by the UGC and the University’s Board of Governors regarding the appointment of a new VC. more..

ලංකාවට ඩොලර් මිලියන ගාණක් ගේන project එක...

Sri Lankan Esports takes on the world

Dec 14 (CT) Sri Lanka Esports hoisted the national flag at yet another International Esports event earlier last month, the IESF Esports World Championship 2021. Organized by the Int'l Esports Federation (IESF), this year’s championship hosted at Eilat, Israel was the 13th instalment since its inception in 2009. The grand finals of the championship also held significance as one of the first non-virtual Esports events since the pandemic and brought together finalists from 85 nations to more..

Economic sentiment remains muted: Survey

Dec 14 (FT) Results of the latest LMD-NielsenIQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey indicate that perceptions among business executives about the economic climate over the next 12 months showed signs of improvement in November. 11% of respondents say conditions will improve – up from 8% in the previous month. However, the majority (55% versus 47% in Oct) of those consulted by the pollsters continue to have a more pessimistic outlook for the economy while 34% say more..

CEBEU escalates trade union action to Level 2

Dec 14 (Island) The CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) would escalate its non-cooperation campaign to what it calls level 2 today. A senior CEBEU member said that their campaign was against the incumbent General Manager of the CEB and would continue till their demands were met. He said that members including Additional General Managers should not cooperate with the incumbent GM, CEB. The Union’s Joint Secretary has asked more..

Tokyo Cement tackles cement shortage with low price product

Dec 14 (ST) Tokyo Cement Company this week commenced distribution of a shipment of bagged cement offered to consumers at the lowest price in the market. The company stepped forward to immediately bring down a shipment of cement in bag form, to fill the vacuum created in the market when cement importers discontinued bag cement importation. In this move, Tokyo Cement ensured that a freshly imported bag of cement will reach end consumers in all parts of the island, more..

42,786 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Dec 14 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 42,786 persons on Sunday and 94.3% of the population over 20 years has received both vaccine doses. 74.22% of the country’s population has received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 64.14% of the population has received the second dose as well. The first dose of a vaccine has been administered to 15,956,438 persons and the second dose has been administered to 13,789,917 persons. 3rd dose has been administered to 1,308,022 more..

Bullish bourse booms to new high

Dec 14 (FT) Colombo stock market yesterday began a fresh week on a bullish note with sharp gains in both indices propelling them to all time high amidst robust turnover. All Share Price Index gained by 2.36% or 269 points and the S&P SL20 shot up by over 3% or 125 points. Turnover improved to Rs. 8.17 billion involving a whopping 909.2 million shares. The year-to-date (YTD) gain of ASPI crossed 70% mark to close at 72.16%, more..

Govt trying to sell off priceless lands: Dr. Jayatissa

Dec 14 (CT) JVP Central Committee member, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, charged the Govt is surreptitiously trying to sell priceless lands and archaeological sites belonging to Chalmers Granaries to foreigners. The former JVP MP said among the lands that are to be sold unlawfully are one and a half acres of land near Beira Lake, Colombo Fort Private Bus Stand, nine acres of land belonging to Chalmers Granaries which is close to the Fort Railway Station, a few lands more..

Nine documents relating to Zaharan handed over to fmr Def Secy

Dec 14 (CT) Former Army Intelligence Director, Brigadier (retired) Chularatnasiri Kodithuwakku, testifying before the Trial-at-Bar of the Colombo High Court yesterday said, while serving in his post he had submitted nine documents by way of reports since 2017 to the then Defence Secretary related to the activities of National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ) Leader, Zaharan Hashim. He testified before the Trial-at-Bar in connection with the case filed against former Defence Secy, Hemasiri Fernando more..

'දැන්වත් ගෙදර පලයවු...'

Analytical labs to test imported and local fertiliser

Dec 14 (ST) In a major step towards regulating imported fertiliser and locally manufactured organic fertiliser products, the Agriculture Ministry has called for proposals to select locally accredited analytical laboratories to be declared as fertiliser reference laboratories, a senior official from the Ministry said. The move came in the wake of the recent reversal of the ban on chemical fertiliser imports following islandwide farmer protests. Agriculture Ministry Secretary Udith Jayasinghe told more..

UNFPA now moves to help marginalised elderly

Dec 14 (Island) UNFPA that helped to reduce population growth among Tamils and Sinhalese here with a successful sterilisation drive with monetary rewards has entered into a partnership with HelpAge SL to prioritise older persons in times of emergencies, a UN body said in a media release. It said: The rapid ongoing spread of COVID-19 continues to impact billions of lives around the world. The pandemic has also further exacerbated existing inequalities, pushing vulnerable populations more..

Users of informal money changers face legal action: CBSL

Dec 14 (TM) After initiating legal action against four of the errant money changers last week, the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) is now warning that legal action may be taken against people who use unauthorised channels to send remittances into the country in order to earn a bigger value for their foreign currency earnings. The CBSL, publishing a notice on its official Facebook page yesterday, also noted that in addition to more..

Govt intervention paramount to import 50 electric buses: LPBOA

Dec 14 (DM) Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) has made a request to the govt to intervene and import 50 electric buses to strengthen the transport service in the country. LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijerathne said a letter in connection with this has been sent to the Presidential Secretariat in view to receive the attention of the President. He said a Chinese company has agreed to provide the total fleet of buses and agreed to provide the charging more..

Govt’s secrecy relating to Yugadanavi deal undermines people’s sovereignty: Karu

Dec 14 (FT) NMSJ Chairman and former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the Govt must take immediate measures to reveal the controversial agreement signed with New Fortress Energy Inc. in order to protect public trust. Jayasuriya said that the recent revelation made by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, regarding the alleged sale of the Kerawalapitiya power plant to a foreign company along with a number of institutions owned by the CEB, has caused a great deal of controversy more..

Yugadanavi: Group led by Ministers stepping up campaign, won’t heed SLPP warnings

Dec 14 (Island) A group led by Cabinet ministers Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa & Udaya Gammanpila campaigning against the Yugadanavi deal is holding a public meeting today at Eheliyagoda to step up pressure on the government to scrap the questionable deal. The group launched its campaign on 29 Oct at the Solis Hall, Pita Kotte, where it vowed to oppose the agreement detrimental to the country. more..

Engineers’ fight at CEB heading for showdown

Dec 14 (Island) CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) was trying its utmost to block ongoing investigations into the countrywide blackout on 3 Dec and undermine the CEB General Manager M.R. Ranatunga, a senior official of the CEB Senior Engineers’ Association (CEBSEA) alleged yesterday. CEBSEA spokesperson Engineer Nandika Pathirage said that CEBEU was strongly opposed to the General Manager getting an extension in service although according to the new govt policy more..

747 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 14 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 case count rose to 573,649 following the detection of 747 COVID-19 patients yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 745 persons from the New Year cluster and two overseas arrivals. 6,744 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. The previous day, 7,337 PCR tests and 4,499 rapid antigen tests were conducted and 714 COVID-19 patients were detected. This includes 704 persons from the New Year cluster, 5 persons from the Prisons cluster and more..

Piloting post-Presidential prorogue

Dec 14 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa at midnight prorogued Parliament till 18 January and took off to Singapore on an unscheduled visit, sparking widespread speculation and theories on what could be in store. Through an Extraordinary Gazette notification dated 12 Dec, Prez Rajapaksa suspended the Parliament. “I do by this proclamation prorogue Parliament with effect from midnight of Dec 25, 2021 and hereby fix the Jan 18, 2022 more..

Tourism industry crisis and the best way out

Dec 14 (FT) Leading up to 2019, Sri Lanka was recognised as one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world by numerous prestigious publications, including the Lonely Planet, the New York Times and Condé Nast. Improvements to the transportation system, the development of infrastructure, world class hotels and facilities and Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and hospitality were all factors. The tourism industry, a critical component of Sri Lanka’s economy and a key foreign exchange generator, more..

Revisiting LP Gas scandal

Dec 14 (FT) It would be quite appropriate to revisit the LPG scandal since the whistleblowing of Thushan Gunawardana (TG), former Executive Director of the Consumer’s Affairs Protection Authority and ascertain how surreptitiously the authorities have handled the above scandal. LPG is known as a clean and safe energy where safety is paramount important from the time of landing up to the point of delivering to the customers from its terminal. It must be stated here that the three multi-pronged strategy introduced more..

බැසිල් ඇමරිකාව වෙනුවෙන් ගහපු හොර ගිවිසුමේ විස්තර

Elderly women robbed during visit to Colombo Eye Hospital

Dec 14 (DM) Two elderly women who happened to be sisters who had come to seek medical assistance at the Colombo eye Hospital have been robbed by a man who had promised to introduce them to an eye specialist. Two sisters Hemalatha and Premawathi, residents of Waga in Padukka had come to seek medical treatment and said the earrings they were wearing were robbed by a man who had tricked them. Premawathi said they were met by the suspect who promised to introduce them to an eye specialist who is known to him. more..

Pakistan govt plans parliamentary debate on Sialkot lynching

Dec 14 (ET) The govt of Pakistan has decided to summon the Senate and National Assembly sessions to discuss the brutal lynching of Sri Lanka national Priyantha Kumara that occurred in Sialkot earlier this month. The incumbent regime also plans to formulate legislation to bring an end to “horse trading” in the Senate. PM’s Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan noted that on the advice of the premier, a debate will be held on the killing of Kumara in both houses of parliament. more..

Govt to pay USD 6.7 Mn to Chinese fertilizer company

Dec 14 (AD) SL govt today said it has decided to pay USD 6.7 million to the Chinese fertilizer company that had shipped the disputed fertilizer consignment, on the advice of the AG’s Dept. According to Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the payment includes the cash deposit of USD 5 million placed by the company. The minister added that the company, China-based Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group, has been requested to re-manufacture the fertilizer to comply with the required standards. more..

Gas companies should pay compensation to all those affected by gas leaks: Minister

Dec 14 (DM) Gas companies should pay compensation to all those affected by gas-related explosions, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said explosions related to LP gas leaks are being reported all over the country and these incidents show that gas consumers in this country are currently facing a major problem. He said that a fatal incident due to a gas explosion was reported recently while several others sustained injures. “Therefore, the relevant companies should take action to prevent such incidents,” more..

New chairman appointed to Board of Investment

Dec 14 (AD) Raja Edirisooriya has been appointed as the new chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI). The appointment came two weeks after the BOI chairman along with several other top officials including the members of the Board of Directors and the Director-General tendered their resignations. It was later reported that Prez Rajapaksa had refused to accept the resignations. However, last Friday, the former BOI chairman Sanjaya Mohottala called on the President and reiterated that more..

PM visits Hambantota Port to inspect development projects

Dec 14 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa today engaged in a multi-faceted inspection tour of the Hambantota International Port (HIP) to appraise the ongoing development projects at the port. PM was accompanied by the Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong and Ministers G.L. Pieris, Chamal Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa. PM’s visit also coincided with the port achieving the milestone of 500,000 RORO vehicles handled in 2021, for which he participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony. more..