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The LTTE’s Great Heroes Day

Dec 4 (FT) Maaveerar Naal or Great Heroes Day (GHD) is observed on 27 November by sections of Sri Lankan Tamils regarded as being generally supportive of the Tigers. It is the day on which fallen members of the LTTE are commemorated. It was at one time a very important event in Sri Lankan politics. However after the military defeat of the LTTE and the demise of its leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran in May 2009, more..

A Muslim response to One Country, One Law

Dec 4 (TM) The Muslim Civil Society Alliance issued a letter in response to the Govt’s call for written representations to be submitted to the One Country, One Law Task Force appointed by Prez Rajapaksa, under Gazette Extraordinary notifications No. 2251/30 dated 26 Oct 2021 and No. 2252/56 dated 6 Nov 2021. Following are excerpts from the letter: At the very outset, we wish to emphatically and unequivocally state that we have no confidence in the impartiality and competence of more..

Development & Loans: Truth behind the statement by the PM

Dec 4 (CT) At the inauguration ceremony of New Kelani bridge, PM said that the Previous Yahapalana Govt had done no development projects but just borrowed money. During his tenure as the Prez he had done massive development projects such as the Port, Airport and Dakshina Highway. The political rhetoric on Viyathmaga stages during the last elections was that the Rajapaksha govt had a 6-7% economic growth during the 2005 – 2015 tenure and Yahapalanaya only had a 2-3% growth. more..

SLFP tells Prez to guard loose cannons before losing simple majority

Dec 4 (CT) If any action is not taken on SLPP MPs who are loose cannons and are overconfident about the two-third majority, Prez Rajapaksa is deemed to end up with a Govt without even a simple majority, the SLFP warned, recently. Senior Vice President of SLFP and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said if the SLFP along with the constituent parties who are disgruntled within the SLPP, were to opt out of the current Govt, more..

A nation in darkness

Dec 4 (CT) All the lights have gone out in Sri Lanka. It is an island wide power failure. In truth, it is more than a mere electricity failure. It is the dashing of the hopes of the People in the Govt of the Rajapaksas. One by one all the light bulbs have burst leaving the People gnashing their teeth and rending their hair in darkness. They curse the folly of trusting and voting with renewed hope in a Govt that was routed at the polls in 2015 inter alia for corruption, nepotism, and inefficiency. more..

People denied a basic human right

Dec 4 (CT) Govt of SL is fiddling while the voter is suffering for the lack of a basic human right – electricity and safe cooking gas (LPG) due to no fault of theirs – but because of sins of commission and omission committed by the State. One gas company suspended gas supplies on Friday (3) due to explosions related to LPG leakages reported since 4 Nov, which thus far has killed one, injured at least four and have caused damages to several houses and properties including restaurants more..


Editorial: Beware of virus bomb

Dec 4 (Island) It never rains but it pours, as they say. A Sri Lankan infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected. There must be many other infections in the country, and the detection thereof may be only a matter of time. Most nations hastened to impose travel bans on South Africa, etc., in a bid to prevent the spread of the much-dreaded variant, but all their efforts have manifestly gone pear-shaped. The new variant is smarter than it was thought to be; it is believed to have more..

From industrial agriculture to natural farming

Dec 4 (CT) Without questioning the honesty of the Govt’s initiative to move away from the system of industrial agriculture in spite of the presence of some contrary evidence it is not difficult to reach a conclusion that the Govt’s effort has ended with abject failure. Although many had anticipated the Finance Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, in his maiden Budget would have reversed the import ban on chemical agricultural inputs in the face of growing protest by the farmers and small scale more..

IPG incurs loss of USD 2.4 mil from LPL 2020

Dec 4 (CT) Rights holder of Lanka Premier League (LPL), Dubai based Innovative Production Group FZE (IPG), had incurred a loss of approximately USD 2.4 Million by hosting the inaugural edition of the LPL, and hence, made several requests from SLC to cover the losses. In a letter dated 29 Sept to SLC, Anil Mohan Sankhdhar, who is founder/CEO of IPG, had revealed that they incurred the loss in the inaugural edition, more..

Public scrutiny of state secrets

Dec 4 (ST) Some years ago, when the Business Times sought information from the SLBFE about MOUs and/or bilateral agreements pertaining to migrant workers between Govt of SL and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, the point blank response was that these agreements were confidential and cannot be released. This was information that should have been made available to the public as it affected migrant workers. This information was then sought under RTI Act & received a similar response. more..

Back to inflationary times!

Dec 4 (ST) The announcement of the latest headline inflation rate as 8.3% for the month of October caught the attention of all sorts of media – electronic, print and social. The rate has moved beyond the medium-term flexible inflation targeting (FIT) framework of the Central Bank as well. Even before the increase in prices was confirmed by the statistical evidence, the consumers had already been nervous about it when they visited vegetable sellers, grocery shops, rice stalls, gas outlets, more..

LP gas disasters: A wakeup call for tougher product standards

Dec 4 (CT) Imagine being trapped inside your house with a ticking time bomb. This is exactly how many Sri Lankans are feeling at the moment, with dozens of explosions related to domestic LP gas cylinders being reported from many areas around the country. Sri Lankans have been using LP gas for domestic use for a number of decades, which over the years, has proven to be one of the most cost-effective, efficient, more..

Biz confidence trends downward amid uncertainty

Dec 4 (FT) Following three consecutive months of increases, the results of the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey – which was conducted before Budget 2022 was presented in Parliament – registered a slight decline of two basis points to 109 in November. However, LMD says this marks an improvement compared to where the index stood a year ago (91) and places it three points above the 12-month average. NielsenIQ’s Director – Consumer Insights more..

Pawan and Wanuja guide Sri Lanka U19 to win over England

Dec 4 (DN) Pawan Pathiraja made a fine knock of 113, while leg spinner Wanuja Sahan had a 5 for 21 as SL under 19 recorded a 148-run victory over England under 19 in their second ODI of the five-match series played at SSC grounds yesterday. The SL under 19s chose to bat first, making 251 for 4 wickets in their 50 overs, while the England under 19s were all out for 103 in 31.4 overs with wicketkeeper James Rew top-scored with fifty runs off 58 deliveries, as Wanuja Sahan was more..

අපේ ජනාධිපති ඥාන අක්කා ගාවට ගියාට ඔයාට මොකද

Mickey Arthur is like a father to me: Dimuth

Dec 4 (DN) "Mickey Arthur, our head coach, is like a father to me; he was always there for me and the team, and I'm happy to hold a good farewell for him," said SL Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne after a memorable West Indies series win at Galle yesterday. "We are worried that our coach is leaving after this test series, but I wish him good luck for the future," added Karunaratne, who was leading from the front to claim the series win. This was a real team effort; bowlers, batsmen, and fielders more..

Galle stats: Spinners 36, pacers 1

Dec 4 (CI) Spinners took all ten wickets in an innings three times during the Galle Test, as SL claimed a 164-run win. 49: West Indies' lead at the end of their first innings. Only three times did they lose a Test match after taking a higher first-innings lead when batting second. This defeat extended West Indies' wait for their maiden Test win on SL soil to 13 matches, played across six tours in 28 years. 1: Wicket for pace bowlers in this match, the joint-second fewest in a completed Test match. more..

Power paralysis

Dec 4 (FT) A countrywide six-hour power blackout during the daytime yesterday dealt a big blow to economic and household activities as the Govt faced severe public and private sector outcry over the failure to prevent it as well as restore electricity in quick time. Govt initially attributed the blackout to a failure in the transmission line but later CEB General Manager M.R. Manatunga said he suspected it was more..

Health checks on the cards for Yala

Dec 4 (ST) As SL’s new agriculture policy sent the Maha season on an adventure drive in search of organic farming but ended up using chemical fertiliser instead; plans are now underway to venture into the Yala season with new enthusiasm and a soil health card. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that while maintaining the same stance adopted in Maha for the Yala season in terms of prioritising for organic farming techniques govt plans improving on it by giving farmers soil health card. more..

Ambassador of Japan to SL MIZUKOSHI Hideaki called on FM Prof. G.L. Peiris

Dec 4 (MFA) Newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to SL MIZUKOSHI Hideaki paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister G.L Peiris on 30 November 2021. The Foreign Minister warmly welcomed the new Japanese Ambassador and recalled the long-standing diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister emphasized that Japan has continuously been providing extensive assistance and training opportunities to SL in several areas under more..

Freezing illegal money exchanges not viable: CBSL

Dec 4 (TM) Following the Central Bank of SL’s (CBSL) decision to tackle the unauthorised money exchanges that provide a higher rate for the US dollar and freeze their accounts, economists and experts have raised concerns over the feasibility of CBSL’s decision. Eminent economist Prof. Sirimevan Colombage described the new strategy as unfair and claimed that foreign workers should have the freedom of choice, more..

Coconut industry products raking in forex to the tune of $ 7000 yearly: State Minister

Dec 4 (Island) Earnings from exporting coconut products amounted to $ 7000 annually. Such exports include jaggery and treacle, which are key products relating to the coconut industry, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion Arundika Fernando said. Although coconut, as part of the plantation industry, was not given due recognition, it was now a distinct contributor to forex earnings and was of significant importance to the economy of the country, Fernando said. more..

Unsolicited proposals for CPC Debt restructuring to be evaluated

Dec 4 (DN) The Finance Ministry would appoint a committee and go through the unsolicited proposals which have been submitted to the Government on the restructuring of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation debt, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. After the evaluation, we will implement them, he said. “When they went through the proposals most of them required either a guarantee from an AAA-rated bank or a guarantee from one of 25 largest global banks,” he said. more..

අම්මලාට මරණ බය ගෙනා ගෑස් මගඩිය...

Ban on rice importation should be done only with proper forecast: COPF

Dec 4 (FT) Members of Committee on Public Finance (COPF) recommended that if the import ban on rice, which was enforced last April, is to be allowed again, it should be done only after a proper forecast of the forthcoming Yala season. COPF Chairman Anura Priyadharshana Yapa pointed out that under the prevailing special circumstances, the local paddy farmer has to logically analyse the situation and make predictions in order to give a fair price for his harvest, more..

LPL Kandy franchise get new owners

Dec 4 (CT) Lanka Premier League (LPL) Kandybased franchise has new owners, as Vernost Marketing Technology Solutions CEO Pankaj Tripathi and Safexpay Founder and CEO Ravi Gupta have stepped forward to co-own the franchise in the upcoming second season of the premier T20 tournament of the country to be held from 5 to 23 Dec. The Kandy franchise was named Kandy Tuskers in last year’s LPL and has been renamed as Kandy Warriors for the new season. more..

Nirupama yet to appear before investigators

Dec 4 (Island) Former lawmaker Nirupama Rajapaksa, named in Pandora Papers that dealt with secret financial transactions, is yet to appear before the CIABOC. Secretary to the CIABOC, Apsara Caldera confirmed that the outfit hadn’t been able to obtain a statement from the former MP before it handed over an interim report on the issue at hand to Prez Rajapaksa. Prez on Oct 6 asked for a report within a month from more..

'Carcinogenic coconut oil back in market'

Dec 4 (CT) All Ceylon Traditional Coconut Oil Manufacturers’ Association (ACTCOMA) said the company accused of importing carcinogenic coconut oil has begun distributing coconut oil to the market under its brand name. Convener, Buddhika de Silva said it is questionable what approval the company has to import coconut oil at a time when cases filed against the company are ongoing, adding that when the Association lodged complaints in this regard in April, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) found more..

725 persons test positive for COVID-19

Dec 4 (FT) Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 566,196 with 725 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. The patients detected yesterday include 723 persons from the New Year cluster and two overseas arrivals. 7,274 PCR tests were conducted yesterday. The previous day, 7,836 PCR tests and 4,025 rapid antigen tests were performed. On Thursday, 735 persons from the New Year cluster and three SL overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19. more..

Chinese firm denies reports it withdrew from green power project for northern islands

Dec 4 (Island) China’s SINOSOAR- Hybrid Technology had not withdrawn from the execution of northern power projects as reported by certain SL and Indian media outlets, Project Manager, Paul Cao said. He said that SINOSOAR was the pre-winning bidder for the three islands mini-grid project in northern SL. “In the last couple of days, we noticed some misrepresented reports in some local media, claiming that our company took the initiative more..

Social security benefits for several informal sectors

Dec 4 (DN) Arrangements have been made to commence the social security benefit scheme for insurance agents, journalists, carpenters, masons including labourers and domestic workers in the informal sector too in the future, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. “It is the responsibility of the govt to form a social security benefit scheme for all segments in the country who do not have any social security or protection. Scheme will provide adequate income support for them in their old age” more..

COVID-19 vaccines administered to 61,362

Dec 4 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 61,362 persons on Thursday and 74.12% of the country’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Second dose coverage in the country is 63.98% of the country’s population. 15,935,634 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,756,417 persons have received the second dose. The third or booster dose has been administered to 796,207 persons. This includes 57,632 vaccinated on Thursday. more..

Basil concludes successful visit to India

Dec 4 (FT) Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday concluded a successful two-day official visit to India, with support from India on four key areas to revive the economy in crisis amidst the COVID pandemic. Rajapaksa made the visit on the invitation extended by the Indian Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on 1-2 Dec. This was also the maiden overseas visit he undertook since assuming office in July. more..

New scariant and pandemic follies

Dec 4 (FT) This alert comes from the same people and institutions that spawned the last COVID scare, and the one prior, and the one prior, dating all the way back to the dawn of hysteria. This variant, Nu until a few days ago, Omicron now, has been detected in South Africa and Botswana. Statistically a non-event with over 100,000 mutations of the coronavirus and we don’t know what we don’t know. In Botswana it was located in the body of fully vaccinated people! more..

Imagining Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa in India

Dec 4 (FT) When Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to Delhi was announced, my imagination ran riot. What I imagine here is based on the behaviour of SL govts and how they have related to Indian leaders. I imagine the following scenes and conversations between Minister Rajapaksa and the Indian leaders: Namaskar, Good Morning Your Excellency is the friendly greeting from Minister Basil Rajapaksa to Indian Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman. Ayubowan! Good morning Your Excellency more..

ශාන්ත කෝට්ටේගොඩ

85 persons held for engaging in illegal fishing last month

Dec 4 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy held 85 persons for engaging illegal fishing, during special operations conducted in the Eastern, Southeastern, Northwestern, Northern, Southern and North Central Naval Commands from 01st to 30th November 2021. The operations also led to the apprehension of 24 fishing vessels and fishing accessories used for these illegal acts. The Navy conducts regular operations to prevent destruction to the marine ecosystem due to illegal fishing practices. more..

SJB MPs walk out during parliamentary session

Dec 4 (AD) Members of main opposition SJB have left the Parliament chambers demanding that their security in the House be ensured, says Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella. A heated debate ensued in the House today with regard to SJB MP Manusha Nanayakkara not being given five minutes to address the parliamentary session yesterday. A group of nearly 15-20 lawmakers of the ruling party approached MP Nanayakkara and attempted to assault him when he requested more..

President asks PM Khan to ensure safety of remaining Sri Lankans in Pakistan

Dec 4 (AD) Sri Lanka trusts PM Imran Khan’s response on the brutal assassination of a SL national at Sialkot in Pakistan, says Prez Rajapaksa. “This act of barbarism is a great shock to the Sri Lankans as well as to all those across the world who value humanity,” Head of State said in a statement issued today. He appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure the safety of the other Sri Lankans living in Pakistan. more..