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Reveal inflow source for forex reserves boost, opposition tells govt

Dec 30 (EN) Sri Lanka must reveal the source of recent inflows that helped boost its depleting foreign exchange reserves to US$ 3.1 billion, failing which the announcement may prove to be a major deception, SJB said. Hours after CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal had tweeted the news, SJB MP Dr Harsha de Silva suggested that the forex reserve boost was helped by a 10 billion yuan currency swap agreement signed with more..

Prisoners start getting booster

Dec 30 (TM) Prisons Department stated that the programme to administer the Covid-19 booster third dose to prison inmates commenced yesterday. The first phase of the programme commenced yesterday with the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine booster third dose to inmates at the Welikada, Magazine, Colombo Remand, Watareka, Mahara, and Negombo Prisons. Inmates at other prisons would be vaccinated in the next few days and that a total of 18,453 inmates had been identified more..

Sri Lanka’s Nalesha Bhanu crowned Queen of World Tourism 2021

Dec 30 (NF) SL’s Nalesha Bhanu was crowned as the Queen of World Tourism 2021 at a gala ceremony in the Philippines. Janine Quino from the Philippines & USA was named the Queen of Int'l Tourism while Rosie Abigail Smith from Canada was named as the Queen of Universe Tourism. Nalesha Bhanu was crowned Queen of World Tourism 2021 from amongst 30 contestants representing various countries and regions. She also won the Peoples Choice Award at the pageant and more..

Pakistan police detains 85 prime suspects in Sri Lankan man's lynching

Dec 30 (PTI) Authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province on Wednesday said they have detained 85 main suspects after determining their role in the brutal lynching of a SL national in Sialkot city earlier this month. In a shocking incident, a mob of 800 men, including supporters of the radical Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), attacked a garment factory in Sialkot on Dec 3 and lynched its 49-year-old general manager more..

The tangled diplomacy of Sri Lanka’s currency crisis

Dec 30 (EAF) Sri Lanka ends 2021 with foreign currency reserves in hand (US$1.6 billion) to support a month of imports. For much of the year, a shortage of dollars saw uncleared essential imports piling up at the Colombo port as domestic prices soared. Directions from the country’s central bank to maintain an artificially fixed rate have seen a parallel black market emerge, as businesses have struggled to find hard currency. Added to this, mandated conversion of foreign currency earnings into more..

Sri Lanka end Pakistan's hopes in Under-19 Asia Cup semi-final

Dec 30 (NN) SL ended Pakistan's hopes at the Under-19 Asia Cup after clinching a low-scoring semi-final at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Thursday. The islanders were bundled out for 147 but they hit back to dismiss Pakistan for 125 for a 22-run win that set up a final clash with India on Friday. Treveen Mathew was their hero. The off-spinner opened the attack and grabbed three early wickets before returning to provide a vital breakthrough towards the end to finish more..

කහ වූ ගොයමට ගොවීන්ගෙන් මැසිවිලි...

2021, struggle for survival, lessons learned

Dec 31 (DM) Sri Lankans experienced disappointments and heartaches in 2021, but when the talk started doing the rounds that there would be a food shortage people began thinking seriously about the past twelve months that they had survived. Twenty twenty one (2021) was nothing, but a struggle for survival. It was hard for people to even think of motivating themselves to be focused and stay clear of all the negativities around. Many perished to the deadly corona virus and more..

The appetite to avert a food crisis

Dec 31 (TM) The food shortage that Sri Lankans feared and the Govt continued to deny appears to be looming. However, despite the Govt’s promises which do not seem very promising, the situation has been worsening and speculation is rife that it can further worsen next year. The scarcity of consumer goods that the Govt said was temporary and was limited to only a few non-essential items, has now rendered the people unable to purchase essential food items such as rice, milk powder & sugar. more..

'Don’t want anyone to believe SL military was involved in Easter attacks'

Dec 31 (TM) Easter Sunday terror attacks of 21 Apr 2019 brought about tumultuous change to SL’s social and political landscape, and gave rise to several questions, which remain to be fully addressed, on the true cause and nature of the attacks. Chief among these questions, and ones that have even been raised by members of the clergy, concern the level of negligence on the part of key authorities in preventing the attacks, more..

Archbishop Tutu: He gave servant leadership to oppressed people

Dec 31 (DM) In international journalism, he is referred to merely as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, although the mentioning of his name warrants the prefix The Most Reverend. At a time when some clergymen are seen to be abusing their titles and positions and leading a life that contradicts the philosophy of the creed they are attached to, Archbishop Emeritus Tutu rose above titles to leave behind a legacy that will be a gold standard for the role of the clergy. He was different because, more..

Let’s bid adieu to Annus Horribilis

Dec 31 (CT) Year 2021 or rather the last three months or the fourth quarter of 2021, may be described as a Year of Price Hikes, driving a number of citizens of this country to survive on just one square meal a day and with Covid-19 taking a backseat. Part of the blame lies on the decision to ban chemical fertiliser imports in April of this year, which was rescinded only last month, but by then, the damage had already been done. Consequently, the average retail price of a kilo of rice, more..

Beware of malaria’s grim stinger

Dec 31 (TM) Malaria is a deadly disease that can affect humans through a single mosquito bite. Although not documented, the history of malaria in SL dates back to the Third Century BC. The initial case of malaria had been reported in the early 1900s, but had not been officially recorded since 1906, where it marked the major outbreak of malaria in SL, then Ceylon. Malaria is caused by a single-cell parasite more..

Editorial: Vultures galore!

Dec 31 (Island) SL is never short of self-proclaimed patriots who wrap themselves in the flag. They would have us believe that they are even ready to die for the country! One may recall that many of them took to the streets in 2017, when the yahapalana govt leased the Hambantota Port to China for 99 years. In a bid to scuttle the port deal, they even braved teargas, baton charges and stones hurled by good governance goons. They vowed to protect valuable state assets and asked for more..

Beyond the crisis: long term vision for SL

Dec 31 (CT) When I read news media about the current status of the country, it is clear that there are multiple issues facing the population and being discussed by various opposition parties and groups. The attention is being focused on issues that are either not resolved or the solutions are not in the favour of many. Govt policies and programs are being criticised on various grounds. ‘Understanding the historical evolution of issues faced by SL and its root-causes is imperative for thinking afresh more..

පොලීසිය මහජන අපේක්ෂාව සහ අභියෝගය

Notes to the People: Defaulting, Restructuring, Indebting?

Dec 31 (CT) Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the CB, has informed the country that by 31 Dec 2021 SL foreign exchange reserves will be increased from $ 1.6 billion to $ 3 billion. Dr Bandula Gunawardana gave the impression that the present crisis is not more than a short-term disequilibrium. Minister of Labour, Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Govt has two options to come out of this crisis. According to him, country can ask for assistance either from the IMF or from its friendly nations more..

Omicron: New coronavirus variant

Dec 31 (Island) There does not seem to be an end to the woes caused by this potentially noxious nasty bug of a coronavirus that is the causative organism of the disease COVID-19. The latest is the emergence of a brand-new variant that has been found to spread at frightening speed. It has already started to wreak havoc in many countries. Many scientists and researchers are of the opinion that this new variant is the one that causes most concern since the arrival of the Delta variant which more..

New Year bonanza for forex deposits

Dec 31 (FT) Akin to a New Year bonanza, Central Bank yesterday announced a higher interest rate for foreign currency (FCY) deposits whilst separately capping maximum rates on USD-LKR swaps. The twin moves were welcomed by the banking sector as positive. In a directive to banks, CBSL said that the maximum interest rate offered or paid on FCY should be with a maturity of less than or equal to one year, shall be based on more..

169,522 persons vaccinated against Covid-19

Dec 31 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 169,522 on Tuesday and 64.36% of the country’s population has received the first two vaccine doses to date. The first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 74.37% of the population. 15,989,319 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,840,279 persons have received the 2nd dose as well. Third dose has been administered to 3,857,504 persons. This includes 164,547 persons vaccinated on Wednesday. more..

563 persons test positive for Covid-19

Dec 31 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 case count rose to 586,746 with the detection of 563 COVID-19 patients yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 561 persons from the New Year cluster and two overseas arrivals. 6,224 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. On Wednesday, 419 COVID-19 patients were detected. Of this, 417 persons were from the New Year cluster and two were SL overseas arrivals. 9,797 PCR tests and 5,509 rapid antigen tests were conducted on Wednesday. more..

Uzbek women trafficked to Sri Lanka for sex

Dec 31 (DM) Women from Uzbekistan are being trafficked to Sri Lanka for sex after being promised employment at hotels or as childcare workers. Officials working to combat human trafficking in Sri Lanka revealed that a number of women trafficked to SL from Uzbekistan have been assisted over the past few months. Officials said that the foreigners either arrive in Sri Lanka as tourists or on a work visa and are forced into sex. more..

CDWCA women’s Cricket tournament in Jan.

Dec 31 (ST) A two-day All-Island Inter-Club Women’s 6-a-side Cricket Tournament, conducted by the Colombo District Women’s Cricket Association (CDWCA), will be held at the President’s College ground in Rajagiriya on Jan 8 and 9, 2022. The first of its kind hard-ball cricket tournament for women, will be played for the CDWCA Trophy and sponsored by Bio Extract (Pvt) Ltd, the manufactures of Baraka products in SL. The tournament will coincide with silver jubilee more..

BJP’s Subramanian Swamy castigates India for not helping SL at her hour of need

Dec 31 (FT) Indian politician, economist and statistician Subramanian Swamy has castigated his Govt for the failure to extend critical support to SL at her neediest hour. “If India wants an ally for the Indian Ocean long term, then India must give deferred interest $ 10 billion loan to the Rajapaksa Govt now or face China getting one more junior partner,” Swamy tweeted. “Modi Govt. has failed in so many foreign policy issues. Let not Sri Lanka be another,” he added. more..

'උඹ හදන්නෙ අනුර කුමාර ජනාධිපති කරන්නද ?'

Quotas and rationing will not solve Balance of Payments problem: Advocata

Dec 31 (FT) Independent policy thinktank Advocata yesterday, in a statement, said that a coupon system that enforces quotas and rationing will not solve the country’s Balance of Payments problem. It said the media has reported that the Govt intends to implement a system of quotas for imports and the rationing of food and fuel. This is the latest in the long list of interventions over the last two years to address the growing balance of payments problems. Similar to previous measures, more..

Anjalika is back with a bang after a break for studies

Dec 31 (Island) Young tennis sensation Anjalika Kurera has returned to tennis with a bang after a break for studies and bagged two major women’s open singles titles thus far. She is one of those players who knows where she is going, has a plan and works her plan. Stopping to complete her GCE O/L was intentional because she is hell-bent on balancing both studies and sport. And she agrees it was hard to comeback after the layoff because she had little practice and hardly any time for more..

Milk powder price soars

Dec 31 (FT) The prices of imported milk powder have been increased for the second time since October, a move justified by the trade but scorned by consumers. 1 kg packet of milk powder has been increased by Rs. 150 to Rs. 1,345 and the price of 400 g packet by Rs. 60 to Rs. 540. In August, the Govt decided to abolish taxes amounting to Rs. 175 on milk powder to prevent an upward revision in prices, more..

IRD records around Rs.70 m in VAT defaults

Dec 31 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has incurred a revenue loss of around Rs. 70 million last year, due to Value Added Tax (VAT) defaults involving Ceylon Fertilizer Company and seven other private institutions, the Auditor General Department’s recent report revealed. The IRD removed nearly 54,000 businesses from the books from VAT payments earlier this month, following the VAT rate revision to 8% from a previous 15%, with effect from December 2019. more..

17 years after tsunami catastrophe Naduni still hopes she would find her little sister

Dec 31 (ST) A tragedy, technology and togetherness, are what tsunami survivors and families have seen 17 years after the 2004 tsunami catatrosphe. Naduni Hansana is still in search of her sister Hiruni and said she found comfort and hope through technology. “Our family was heading to Hikkaduwa by train on that fateful day, we were swept away by tsunami waves at Telwatte in Peraliya. After a man said he helped a little girl, who resembled Hiruni, our parents searched more..

CEB thermal power plants being shut for want of fuel

Dec 31 (Island) Four turbines of the Sapugaskanda 72 MW power station A ceased to function due to a shortage of fuel yesterday. However, temporary measures were taken to run the power station B instead. A senior management official of the Power Ministry said that Barge Mounted Power Plant at the Colombo Port too had failed to function due to a fuel shortage. Plans are underway to go for emergency power purchases during more..

INSEE Cement invests USD 56 mn to expand 1mn ton grinding capacity in Galle

Dec 31 (DN) INSEE Cement announced a state of the art one million ton per annum grinding capacity expansion at its Ruhunu Cement Works (RCW) plant in Galle, investing in strengthening the local economy by increasing domestic production and manufacturing more sustainable construction products for SL. The USD 56million investment decision was presented and approved by the company’s Board of Directors, followed by the official announcement by Siam City Cement more..

Colombo stock market rebounds; ASPI returns to 12,000-point level

Dec 31 (FT) Colombo stock market bounced back yesterday with investor sentiment and turnover improving. All Share Price Index gained by over 104 points or 0.88%, and the S&P SL20 gained by 24 points or 0.56%. Turnover amounted to Rs. 6.5 billion involving 509.4 million shares. Co-Operative Insurance Company Ltd. debuted on the CSE yesterday with share price gaining by 30.5% or Rs. 1.10 to close at Rs. 4.70 as against the IPO price of Rs. 3.60. It saw 92.4m shares change hands more..

රාජපක්ෂ ප්‍රයිවෙට් ටුවර් ඇන්ඩ්ට්‍ රැවල්ස් ප්‍රයිවෙට් ජෙට්

SLIM inaugurates Agri-Business Management and Entrepreneurial program

Dec 31 (FT) SL Institute of Marketing (SLIM) recently inaugurated the first batch of 40 students of the first Agri-Business Management and Entrepreneurial program in Kandy at the Grand Kandyan Hotel. The Certificate in Agri-Business and Entrepreneurship (CABE) program is a first-of-its-kind qualification available in Sri Lanka. The colourful, grand launch took place with the patronage of State Minister Seetha Arambepola. Professor Gamini Hitinayake of the Faculty of more..

Money Printing debt at Rs 1.9684T

Dec 31 (CT) Govt of SL’s face value money printing (FVMP) debt fell by 7.14% (Rs 151,248.99 million) to Rs 1,968,372.66 million (Rs 1.9684 trillion) yesterday, thereby partially mitigating demand pull inflationary pressure. A complementary feature was market liquidity being uplifted by Rs 150,516.99 million (US$ 746.98 million), where conversions are made at the discounted administered, benchmark, spot rate of Rs 201.50 to the US dollar as at Tuesday, led by Central Bank of SL more..

FSP claims SL losing its energy sovereignty

Dec 31 (Island) Sri Lanka would lose its energy sovereignty in the coming months as it continued to sell energy assets to private entities owned by foreign countries, Education Secretary of the FSP, Pubudu Jayagoda alleged yesterday. Jayagoda said that on 26 Dec, Minister Udaya Gammanpila had said that an agreement would be signed with India within a month on the 99 oil tanks in Trincomalee. Gammanpila added that they had been more..

Trinco Petroleum Terminal Ltd will create a monopoly: TU

Dec 31 (CT) The financial crisis at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) would worsen with the establishment of the Trinco Petroleum Terminal Ltd., which is supposed to oversee the renovation of the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm, since the new Company would enjoy a monopoly status, Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers’ Union (CPCWU) alleged. According to Ranwala, CPC is generally operating at a loss, and when Trinco Petroleum Terminal Ltd,which is regulated by India, more..

Canteens stop milk tea after milk powder price hike

Dec 31 (TM) Milk Powder Importers’ Association (MPIA) has decided to increase the prices of imported powdered milk with effect from last (30) midnight, with canteen owners parallelly announcing the suspension of the sale of milk tea. The price of a kilogramme (kg) packet of milk powder which was priced at Rs. 1,195 has been increased by Rs. 150, making its new price Rs. 1,345. The price of a 400g packet of milk powder has also been increased by Rs. 60 and it will now be sold at Rs. 540. more..

Sri Lanka requests credit from India, Pakistan to buy essentials

Dec 31 (TM) Amidst warnings from various quarters that Sri Lanka is heading for a major food shortage, Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana has made a request from India and Pakistan to offer credit lines for the purchase of essential commodities, with discussions currently underway between the Trade Ministry and the two diplomatic missions. When contacted, Trade Ministry Secretary Bhadranie Jayawardhana said: more..