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The social cost of economic reform

Dec 26 (Island) It’s a sign of the times that Sri Lankans are less worried about the pandemic than the economic fallout. While news outlets were full of reports on COVID-19 measures this time last year, now they are busy making predictions about the economy. In this they are reflecting the concerns of the people. Back then the call of the hour was to enforce lockdowns; now the prospect of a virus frightens them, not so much over the risk of contracting it as the knock-on effects on more..

Re-visiting the tsunami waves

Dec 26 (SO) It was a sunny afternoon when the tipper truck loaded with decomposed corpses pulled up at the tiny cemetery in Watugedera, Ambalangoda. None of the dead could be identified since the corpses were in a highly decomposed condition and the gender of the victims could be traced by the clothing while children by the size. The victims were passengers in the Matara bound train that had left the Maradana more..

NOC election: 4 nominations get rejected

Dec 26 (ST) Election Committee appointed to conduct the forthcoming election of office bearers of the National Olympic Committee of SL (NOC), has rejected four nominations according to informed sources. In total five will forego the elections set for Tuesday (28), at 5 pm with Asanga Seneviratne, presently a Vice President of the committee in power, withdrew his nomination for the same position. Four names rejected by the Election Committee comprising 3 former Secretaries more..

Fake news over the grand snub

Dec 26 (Island) We are happy to join former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ven. Omalpe Sobitha in congratulating some graduands of the Uni of Colombo, for snubbing their university’s new Chancellor, Ven. Muruththetuwe Ananda Thero, who was chief guest at its recent convocation where he was to hand over their degree certificates to the class of 2019. Tens of thousands of social media and television viewers were treated to images of what seemed a gigantic snub which left more..

SLC to offer matching rights to IPG after term ends

Dec 26 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to offer matching rights for the current event right holder of Lanka Premier League (LPL) at the end of the current five-year term, if they are willing to pay 25% more than the highest bid. At the conclusion of the existing contract, the board has decided to call for tenders with matching rights to the current rights holder. Dubai-based company– IPG Group, the current LPL event right holder, more..

Knock-out blow for Gomes, Pushpakumara ahead of NOC elections

Dec 26 (ST) Veteran boxing administrator Dian Gomes and the newly elected president of SL Hockey Federation (SLHF) SSP Kamal Pushpakumara are among two high-profile candidates whose nominations have been rejected for the Dec 28 NOCSL (National Olympic Committee of SL) elections. Gomes and Pushpakumara were to contest for the post of vice president from the group headed by Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) president Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando who is challenging more..

Thilan Rangana hits a six in Laureus World Sports Award panel

Dec 26 (SO) SL’s premier sporting promoter, Thilan Rangana, Chairman of SPORTSINFO, has been chosen and invited to represent Sri Lanka at the Laureus World Sports Awards nominations panel for the sixth consecutive year which is held in February every year. Laureus World Sports Awards is held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with their achievements from the previous calendar year. Rangana’s expertise in field of sports media more..

Talk with Sudaththa

Patel reckons SLC should consider Mendis to play again for SL

Dec 26 (CT) Former England all-rounder Samith Patel reckons Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) should consider Kusal Mendis to play again for Sri Lanka. Patel who played alongside Mendis for Galle Gladiators, ended as the highest wicket taker of the tournament with 16 wickets. Despite Avishka Fernando winning the player of the tournament award for his match winning knocks, Patel also suggested that Kusal Mendis, who top scored in the tournament with 327 runs, more..

HTS Group awarded for world’s first donation of hotel for quarantine centre

Dec 26 (Island) HTS Group, a world-renowned business conglomerate, bagged a much coveted CSR Project of the Year Award at Business Excellence Awards 2021, organized by Business World International Organization and Best Social Services Company Award at South Asian Business Excellence Awards 2021 organized by SAPS. These two prestigious awards were granted to HTS Group for their donation of Anoma Hotel in Hanwella for a quarantine centre for 1st time in the world. more..

Mahanama’s book reveals Ranil backed Thilanga undermining Amarasuriya

Dec 26 (Island) Among those who follow the gentleman’s game closely, many regard UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Mr. Clean. But if they get hold of Roshan Mahnama’s new book, they will have a second opinion. Mahanama in his autobiography My Innings goes onto claim that Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister in 2002 stopped then cricket chief Hemaka Amarasuriya from attending an ICC Meeting more..

About 517kg of Kerala cannabis worth approx. Rs. 155 mil held in northern waters

Dec 26 (SLN) A special operation mounted by the Navy in the seas off Kovilan Lighthouse, Jaffna on the night of 23rd Dec 2021 led to the seizure of over 355kg and 162kg stocks of Kerala cannabis with 02 suspects in two separate occasions. The Navy has been vigilant and conducting operations with a view to curbing a wide range of illegal activities including smuggling of drugs, stemming from sea routes. In a similar operation in the seas off Kovilan Lighthouse on the night of 23rd Dec, more..

Nestlé Lanka launches its first Kiosk via Nestlé Professional

Dec 26 (Island) Nestlé Lanka launched its flagship kiosk Café Goodness through Nestlé Professional, Nestlé’s out-of-home food and beverage solutions provider, on 11 Dec 2021. Conveniently located at the Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club premises, ‘Café Goodness’ is a one-stop solution for consumers seeking quick and tasty food and beverage options prepared from Nestlé products. The kiosk was declared open by the Vice President of Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, more..

Foreign reserve crisis: $ 400 m Indian swap expected in Jan.

Dec 26 (TM) The $ 400 million swap facility with India that has been in the pipeline for several months is expected to be received by the SL Govt during the second week of Jan 2022. It is learnt that the long awaited facility would be received by SL around 10 Jan 2022. The facility has been negotiated between officials from Sri Lanka and India since September this year. Meanwhile, Govt is to receive $ 1.5 billion from China, more..

Former Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon passes away

Dec 26 (AD) Former minister Gunaratne Weerakoon has passed away at the age of 74. The veteran politician, who also served as the SLFP chief organizer for the Karandeniya electorate, had reportedly passed away last night (24). The father of two, who was living in Malabe, is lying in state at a private funeral parlor in Colombo while the final rites are scheduled to be performed tomorrow (25). Weerakoon is the former Leader of Opposition at the Karandeniya Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

Solve macroeconomic issues to boost exports: Experts

Dec 26 (SO) Macro economic issues need to be addressed urgently for exports to get back to the pre-pandemic level, international development expert, policy advisor and researcher Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja said. Recording an export turnover of US$ 1 billion for five months this year should be commended but the country cannot afford to stop there as export income per month before the pandemic was far better than that, he said. Export earnings crossed the US$ 1 billion mark more..

Dollar crisis threatens to ground airline operations from Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (ST) Sri Lanka’s dollar crisis is now threatening tourism revival. Industry sources warn that foreign carriers have not increased flights and may even cut frequencies because general sales agents (GSAs) and local airline offices have for months fallen back on their dues–payable in dollars–to principals abroad. The problem had been brewing for four-to-five months, these sources said, adding that multiple meetings were held more..

Defence ministry clarifies over foreign ship anchored off Batticaloa coast

Dec 26 (DM) Ministry of Defence denied reports on social media and some media outlets regarding alleged mining in the seas off the coast of Batticaloa by a ship anchored there. In a recent Tweet, Batticaloa District MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam questioned authorities regarding a ship that had anchored off the coast of Batticaloa. Tweet said that sand is being dredged from the sea and that another ship is transporting sand according to local fishermen. more..

JVP invites rioting in streets?

Dec 26 (Island) JVP last week called on people to come out to the streets against the govt that cannot control market prices of essential items. Party’s national organizer and former MP Bimal Ratnayake said that recent fuel price hike was unjust and it would result in further increases in prices of all goods and services in the coming days putting pandemic-hit economy out of the frying pan into the fire. “This is the highest ever price hike in fuel in the country’s history. more..

Bhikkhus urge Govt. to withdraw new licenses granted to manufacture liquor

Dec 26 (Island) A group of monks led by Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero, the Sangha Nayaka of the Dakshina Lanka Chapter of the Ramanya Nikaaya on Thursday demanded the Govt to withdraw its approval to open three new distilleries. Ven Sobitha Thero said that by endorsing such decisions, the Cabinet of Ministers is encouraging a drunken culture in the country that will lead to the breakdown of social values. more..

Rating agency downgrades ruin banks’ funding lines

Dec 26 (ST) Rating agency downgrades and forecasts on SL economy are messing up potential funding lines for the local banks. Exasperated bankers are saying that most rating agencies’ warnings SL may not meet its debt requirements are stopping prospective international funding lines for them. “Last October we managed to pay the bond interest, but some rating agencies warned that we may not pay. This year a similar incident happened but we still managed to pay. more..

Sri Lanka considers import quotas, coupons for fuel and food

Dec 26 (ST) Govt is considering a quota system for essential imports and a coupon scheme for consumers in buying food and fuel, several ministers and high official sources said. The quota-based importation system for food and fuel is being discussed to save US$3 billion expected to flow into the country soon, a top official said. Issuing a statement, CB confirmed that measures being taken at present will ensure that by end of 2021 official reserves will remain above $3 billion. more..

Dollar crunch becomes the Grinch this Christmas

Dec 26 (ST) SL is likely to face a further 10% price surge in imported foods next month as the amount of containers clearing up daily at the Colombo Port has slowed down significantly since banks are unable to provide dollars. Containers cleared daily have reduced from 200 to about 20. Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association sources explained that the season’s cargoes are coming in & there is no shortage more..

If you wish to marry a foreigner, get Defence Ministry security clearance

Dec 26 (ST) Any SL citizen who wants to marry a foreigner will have to wait for a Security Clearance Report from the Defence Ministry before proceeding to the registration of the marriage, according to a circular issued by the Registrar General’s Department. In addition to that, the would-be foreign spouses would also be required to submit self-declared health declarations detailing the medical history, chronic diseases and whether they contracted Covid-19 or received vaccination. more..

Crude oil to be purchased on credit for 180 days

Dec 26 (DM) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has secured a steady supply of crude oil on credit from a supplier in Singapore for 180 days, Daily Mirror learns. Six consignments of crude oil will arrive in the country under this facility – one for each month on credit for 30 days. A top official of the CPC said the first consignment will arrive in the country on Jan 23 or 24 under this facility. The govt is currently facing a foreign exchange crisis making it difficult to find funds required to import fuel. more..

Govt faces unprecedented challenges on all fronts in 2022

Dec 26 (ST) A fuel price hike announced in the dead of night yet again touched off a cycle of price increases in other sectors, resulting in Sri Lankans experiencing an even bleaker Christmas than they had initially feared. With the prevailing economic crisis expected to get worse in the New Year, the prospects for 2022 also look grim. It was when they woke up on Tuesday (21) that many in the country found out that there had been yet another more..

Homelessness, refugees, political killings and Jesus Christ

Dec 27 (DM) The celebration of Christmas according to world population occurs in 160 countries worldwide and celebrations vary by country. Some countries celebrate Christmas Day, on Dec 25, while others celebrate the day before or the day after. It is a day Churches and shopping malls set up nativity scenes (cribs) depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a celebratory moment in time. Newspapers and magazines are filled with advertisements of various Christmas sales more..

Santa sounds jingle bell alarm on Christmas eve

Dec 27 (ST) “Ho Ho Ho! You’ve been a bad boy, then, haven’t you?" boomed Santa, dusting the soot from the white fur trim of his red suite as he wriggled out of the chimney hearth. “What, no gas fireplace, burning fossils instead? You have a death wish to end God’s good earth sooner than planned by warming up the planet even more, have you?” “Heaven no,” I replied sheepishly, “But since we have a fuel shortage, we have been forced to use firewood instead. more..

A crisis-ridden Christmas season

Dec 27 (TM) A new year is just around the corner, and despite the countless challenges this year saw, the people are getting ready to enter a new year with high hopes of better living conditions. While the prevailing economic and health situation has rendered a majority of the public unable to hold grand celebrations as before, the people seem to be trying their best to end the year festively. Christmas, an event celebrated by not only the country’s Christian & Catholic community, more..

Pumping fuel & boycott of gal bunnis in 1961

Dec 27 (DM) Six/seven decades ago when a car drops in for refuelling at a gasoline station run by Shell, Caltex or Mobil [Flying Red Horse], which happens usually at 10 or 15-minute intervals, the well-mannered pump men who have plenty of leisure, flock around it, exchange pleasantries with occupants. While one of them cleans the windscreen, [the cars did not have water jets to spray] another checks the tyre pressure, a third doing oil and radiator checks and more..

Believing Rajapaksa deceptions; Will Sri Lanka say never again?

Dec 27 (CT) That election was arguably not just the most dynamic, tough and competitive in SL’s turbulent history, but was also a decisive election which marked the resurgence of ethno-nationalism and identity politics producing fresh tensions and fault lines, along ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ continuum, thanks to the power hungry political vultures. Thus, on 16th Nov 2019, a gullible electorate with a slavish inclination to the Rajapaksas unfortunately fell for the biggest political deception of all time more..

Hypothesis: Is Sri Lanka a victim of an international plot?

Dec 27 (CT) It is well known that the real rulers of the world are a few multibillionaires, super-rich hegemonists, who control the economy of the US, and use their financial power to decide who becomes the US Prez and forms its Govt. So long as the USA remains the world’s number one economy it could control the global economy. The US dollar (USD) is still the currency of global trade. more..

No comment: Not from our loud-mouthed

Dec 27 (ST) When I heard some months back that fellow journalist Thalif Deen had published a book titled “No Comment! And Don’t Quote Me On That”, I did not have to read it. I knew what to expect. I was biding my time to write about Deen’s opus which was not exactly magnum at just 200 pages, particularly because an acquaintance who borrowed my copy seemed reluctant to return it blaming Covid as the govt does for every political misadventure. When you have known somebody for over more..

Chile turns a new page

Dec 27 (CT) Winning the 2021 Prez Election, 35-year-old Gabriel Boric became Chile’s youngest Leader and is being dubbed a symbol of hope for a new generation. The young Prez has work cut out for him helming a Chile battered by years of inequality and corruption, but in his speech, Boric said he was taking on the job with humility and a tremendous sense of responsibility, vowing to firmly fight against the privileges of a few. The presidential race was tight and Boric defeated more..

Talk with Sudhaththa

Expecting public service or lip service?

Dec 27 (TM) The string of losses among key public sector officials continues to grow, with the dismissal of former Agriculture Ministry Secretary Prof. Uditha K. Jayasinghe being the most recent incident. Like many of the others, Prof. Jayasinghe was not given a reason for his removal; only a prompt goodbye of sorts. Given this lack of an explanation, both himself and the general public can only point to comments he made just a day before his dismissal regarding the possibility of a food shortage more..

National green initiative by first-ever green political party in SL

Dec 27 (FT) We acknowledge that human beings are only a part of the natural world, and we respect the specific values of all forms of life, including non-human species. We acknowledge the wisdom of the indigenous people of the world, as custodians of the land and its resources. We acknowledge that human society depends on the ecological resources of the planet, and must ensure the integrity of ecosystems and conserve biodiversity and the resilience of life supporting systems. more..

CBSL unveils open-ended offer of maturing SLDBs for expats, forex holders

Dec 27 (FT) The Central Bank on Friday announced a first-of-its-kind, open-ended offer of SL Development Bonds (SLDBs) coming up for maturities over the next five years targeting Lankan expats and others who have forex. The unique initiative is to boost forex inflow and reserves and in response to requests by Lankan expats during CBSL’s multiple roadshows done in Middle East as well as others from elsewhere. more..

Pandemic pall over Christmas, Left cheer in Chile, going pro-rogue in SL

Dec 27 (Island) For a second year in succession Christmas has come under the pall of a global pandemic. It is not just Christmas, for the festivals of all religions have fallen under the same pandemic pall. But Christmas is more global than other religions if only because it is also the most commercial. So being is really an affront to its namesake, the Man from Nazareth. One week before his crucifixion & death, Jesus demonstrated a rare instance of inspired anger more..

Available agricultural expertise not passed down to farmers

Dec 27 (Island) Only 1.7% of paddy farmers here have received any kind of professional training in agriculture despite the Agriculture Ministry having the highest number of PhDs in agriculture related subjects and an extensive network of agrarian officials countrywide, it was revealed at a conference. Guest Speaker at the conference, consultant paediatrician and researcher on political history, Dr Ajith Amarasinghe, said that majority of our farmers have had less than month’s training. more..