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Bids called for five million e-passports with embedded chips

Nov 14 (ST) Ministry of Public Security has called for int'l competitive bidding for the procurement of 5 million e-passports in keeping with the govt’s initiative to introduce electronic chip-embedded digital passports to citizens. In the bidding brief released this week, Ministry’s Cabinet-Appointed Procurement Committee (CAPC) said the process would adhere to the int'l competitive bidding method. In terms of this, the bidder should have a minimum average annual turnover of USD 17 million, more..

රටේ සල්ලි වලින් ගල් අදින සාගලලා

Senior DIG Deshabandu refutes claim

Nov 14 (DM) Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon refuted the claim that he had accepted a confidential consultancy role with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and asserted that if there were any substantiated proof demonstrating that he had received any form of benefits from SLC, he would promptly resign from his current position. According to letters shared on social media, SLC offered Tennakoon a secret consultancy role as an advisor to the Consultant Security and Marshalling on Aug 7, 2021, more..

Budget 2024: TUs and Professionals

Nov 14 (TM) Govt has not responded to our tax concerns: FUTA. FUTA Media Spokesperson Charudaththa Illangasinghe: “Considerable attention has been paid to education reforms. We, as university teachers, have been discussing tax-related concerns for about a year. The Govt has not responded to that concern through this Budget. We might have to take certain actions in this regard in the future, perhaps as a broader group that includes other parties as well.” more..

Supreme Court rules de-radicalisation regulations unconstitutional

Nov 14 (EN) Supreme Court has ruled that the Prevention of Terrorism (De-radicalisation from holding violent extremist religious ideology) Regulations No. 1 of 2021 violated Articles 10, 12(1) & 13 of the constitution and were null and void. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) challenged the validity of the guidelines in April 2021, and a stay order preventing the application of the rehabilitation scheme was issued in Jan 2022, more..

Sri Lanka to hand land title deeds to two million rural families: President

Nov 14 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to give 2 million title deeds to rural families across Sri Lanka, with the allocation of 2 billion rupees meant for the process, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe said in the budget speech for 2024. “We are handing over the lands to farmers who lost the ownership of their traditional lands during the British colonial era,” Wickremesinghe said. “As mentioned in the drama Chalk Circle, “farmers with good conduct should win the land and villages,” he said, more..

Budget proposes to steer economy through same failed economic path: AKD

Nov 14 (DM) The budget 2024 has proposed to steer the country through the same failed economic path instead of finding permanent solutions to the grave economic issues faced by the country, NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. Commenting on the budget, he said the Prez in his budget speech said that the country had adopted an economic policy of obtaining loans, printing money and selling state for the last 75 years and he proposed the same old policies as solutions. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Critics decry lack of vision for tourism in 2024 Budget

Nov 14 (FT) The 2024 Budget has come under scrutiny as critics perceive it populist agenda that has overlooked the important contribution of tourism to overcome the ongoing crisis. “Tourism is a key economic driver contributing significantly to a country’s GDP. However, from the estimated total expenditure of Rs. 7.8 trillion in the 2024 Budget proposal, a scanty Rs. 2.3 billion has been allocated to the tourism industry. This shows the lack of recognition given to tourism more..

Sri Lanka to introduce flexible operating hours for liquor outlets

Nov 14 (AD) A new excise licensing system allowing for more flexible operating hours of liquor stores, in a bid to discourage the illicit selling of liquor and to maintain industry discipline is set to be introduced for the Excise Dept, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed. The new licensing system also allows for the streamlining of the guidelines issued for various types of liquor licenses, the revision of those regulations related to activities concerning tourism promotion, the introduction of more..

2024 Budget faces opposition scepticism over enforceability

Nov 14 (FT) Opposition MPs shared varying opinions in response to President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Budget speech for 2024 yesterday with many voicing unfavourable views on the proposals presented and questioning their enforceability. SJB MP and economist Harsha de Silva, sharing his perspective on the budget proposal, expressed that it will not ease the challenges faced by the country’s people. more..

SC rules commercial banks entitled to parate law

Nov 14 (CT) Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, yesterday, has overturned the ruling of the five-Judge Supreme Court Bench in the case of Chelliah v Ramachandran and held that banks are entitled to parate execution concerning any property mortgaged to them. Parate execution, rooted in Roman Dutch Law, grants licensed commercial banks the authority to sell mortgaged property as collateral without Court intervention. Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act of more..

Prez pulls off feel-good budget as govt puts on show of unity

Nov 14 (FT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday in Parliament presented his Govt’s 2024 Budget, the second since taking office in July 2022 and the last before the country goes to the polls to elect a new Head of State late next year. Though the Prez made it a point to say it was not an Election Budget, it was characteristic of what most finance ministers would do ahead of an election year with incentives for public servants, pensioners and those on State welfare programs as well as promises of more..

Ranil unveils relief and reforms in Budget 24; rallies parties to join revival revolution

Nov 14 (FT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday unveiled a plethora of relief and reforms via the 2024 Budget and urged all political parties to join in to usher an economic revolution. Relief announced, including an increase in allowance for 1.3 million public servants and 700,000 pensioners as well as two million beneficiaries of Aswesuma (cost of which is Rs. 183 billion up from Rs. 60 billion) is following more..

Tackling non-transparency in Sri Lanka to attract sustainable Foreign Direct Investment

Nov 14 (FT) In recent years, spectre of corruption and the lack of transparency have clouded SL’s appeal as a location for foreign investments. Tackling corruption and lack of transparency is both a moral and an economic need if SL is to take advantage of the rewards that foreign investments can offer. FDI inflows to SL have supported the growth of industries, employment creation, and export promotion as it drives the transfer of capital, knowledge, and technology know-how from more..

The stumps of controversy: A tale of cricket, politics, and power

Nov 14 (FT) Cricket, a game interwoven deeply into the fabric of SL’s national identity, now finds itself at the crossroads of corruption, political upheaval, and the overpowering influence of international cricket. The recent allegations by the Sports Minister against SLC, involving corruption, mismanagement, and dubious money transfers, have cast a long shadow over the island’s beloved sport. Historically, cricket in SL transcended mere sport; it was a unifying force, a cultural phenomenon. more..

මොකක්ද මේ ගිග් ආර්ථිකය?

First round of Sri Lanka – Sweden political consultations held

Nov 14 (DN) Sri Lanka and Sweden convened the first round of bilateral political consultations virtually at senior official level last week. The consultations took place on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries which will be celebrated in 2024. The consultations focussed on consolidating existing multifaceted partnership and identifying new avenues for increased cooperation. Strengthening the bilateral partnership in ICT, more..

Approval granted for export-based strawberry cultivation project

Nov 14 (DM) Since there is a high demand for strawberries in the world market, the Agriculture Ministry has approved a project to grow strawberries for export. The approval for this project was granted by Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera after a proposal was presented by a group of local investors for the implementation of the project as soon as possible. "There is still a minimal demand for strawberries grown in our country since they are not cultivated using modern technology. more..

Gotabaya, Mahinda, Basil & others responsible for economic crisis: SC rules

Nov 14 (AD) The Supreme Court today ruled that former Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and several others are responsible for the economic crisis that Sri Lanka is grappling with. On that account, the country’s highest court’s judge bench determined that the three Rajapaksa brothers as well as former Central Bank governors Ajith Nivard Cabraal more..

Upskill soldiers to reduce future defense spending: Opposition MP

Nov 14 (EN) Sri Lanka is among the top 10 countries with highest ratio of soldiers to civilians, an opposition MP said in parliament on Tuesday. “For every 100 citizens, we have 1.5 soldiers,” Eran Wickramaratne of the SJB said. “We are among the top 10 countries with the highest number of soldiers per 100 civilians.” Wickramaratne, who did not use the whitewashed term ‘war heroes’ when referring to military personnel, said he had special respect for Sri Lanka’s soldiers. more..

PM urges new Sri Lankan envoys to take new initiatives to attract investments

Nov 14 (DM) Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has asked the Sri Lankan envoys to focus mainly on economic diplomacy as the country needs the cooperation of other countries for rapid economic progress of the country. Addressing the 10 newly appointed Sri Lankan envoys at the Temple Trees on Monday (Nov.13), Gunawardena urged them to showcase Sri Lanka’s ability to interact with the rest of the world, take new initiatives to attract investments and joint ventures. more..

Sri Lanka consumer confidence continues slide in Oct ahead of budget

Nov 14 (EN) Consumer confidence in SL fell in October, continuing a slide from an April 2023 peak, ahead of the 2024 budget reading. Institute for Health Policy (IHP) said that all indices remain at pessimistic levels with the biggest decline in the Index of Current Conditions, which fell 5 points to 13 points. Index of Consumer Sentiment, broadest measure of the public’s view of their personal economic status and the national economy, more..

GMOA unhappy with budget proposals; Nurses demand salary hike from January

Nov 14 (AD) GMOA alleges that the govt has not presented any of the proposals which were previously discussed and agreed with their union, through the 2024 Budget. Secretary of GMOA Dr. Haritha Aluthge highlighted that they are paying special attention to what the govt’s policy is with regard to doctors. “One thing that can be seen in this budget is that there is a huge gap between what the govt promised us and what was read out. There is no proper explanation even from more..

CEB introduces e-billing system to more consumers

Nov 14 (DM) While marking the discontinuation of the conventional practice of issuing printed paper bills, CEB is implementing the CEB e-billing system for their consumers in many areas, CEB media spokesman Noel Priyantha said. Accordingly, the e-billing system will be introduced to customers in the Dehiwala, Kelaniya, Sri J'pura, Matara and Ambalangoda areas. The people in these areas will exclusively receive their electricity bills in a digital format, such as SMS or email. more..

Eran Wickramaratne Full Speech

Appeals Court Prez recuses himself from consideration of Sports Minister’s motion

Nov 14 (AD) Court of Appeal President, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne has recused himself from the consideration of the motion filed by the Minister of Sports seeking the revocation of the stay order issued against the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee. Accordingly, Justice Karunratne excused himself from the relevant legal proceeding on account of various criticisms being levelled at him since of late, by not only the Minister but also other Cabinet Ministers and MP. more..

Easter attacks: Justice Minister on progress of compensation payments to victims

Nov 14 (AD) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on Tuesday made revealed about the progress of the payment of compensation to the victims of Easter Sunday bombings by the respondents of the fundamental rights (FR) petitions filed over the 2019 carnage. Just over Rs. 36 million out of the total amount of Rs. 311 million due to be paid in compensation to the victims as per the orders of the Supreme Court, has been received by the Office for Reparations, Minister said. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee Chief exposes conspiracies behind cricket

Nov 14 (DM) Chairman of SL Cricket Selection Committee Pramodya Wickramasinghe pointed fingers at certain individuals vying for power in the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, brokers involved in match-fixing and those attempting to secure spots in the national team as contributors to the challenges faced by SL cricket. In a letter, Wickramasinghe exposed various conspiracies behind the downfall of SL Cricket over the past 2.5 years. more..

2024 Budget unveils transformative plans to boost tourism: Minister

Nov 14 (FT) Tourism Minister Harin Fernando hailed the 2024 Budget as a game-changer, positioning tourism as a catalyst for economic development. With a focus on making Sri Lanka a premier global tourist destination, the Budget has allocated a substantial Rs. 2.3 billion to improve the tourism sector. These allocations were not mere proposals but a well-thought-out execution plan to propel Sri Lanka into a top travel destination,” he told the Daily FT. more..

Suspension of Bimputh Finance and Rs 69 mn loss for HDFC: Charitha admits lapses

Nov 14 (Island) Former Chairman of COPE Prof. Charitha Herath said that undue delay on the part of a particular parliamentary watchdog committee to call certain state enterprises should be inquired into against the backdrop of some hidden facts and perhaps political interference. In the case of HDFC Bank, massive loans had been granted to some politicians though the Auditor General’s Department and COPE failed to ascertain the situation, the rebel SLPP lawmaker claimed. more..

You have my sympathy, Sharmini Coorey tells SL’s economic policymakers

Nov 14 (Island) Dr. Sharmini Coorey last week expressed her understanding and sympathy with the SL economic policymakers and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) for getting the blame from the general public as they were taking corrective measures to rescue a faltering economy, without which it could give way to another economic collapse in the years to come. Dr. Coorey, Member of the Presidential Advisory Group on more..

NATA to urge for ban on sale of single cigarette

Nov 14 (CT) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) is planning to urge the govt to take necessary action to ban the sale of single cigarette, NATA Chairman Dr. Alen Ludowyke announced yesterday. Dr. Ludowyke, citing a 2020 WHO report, on tobacco-related deaths, highlighted that 50 per cent of chain smokers succumb to lung-related diseases, including lung and oral cancer. Sri Lanka, he noted, has become a global front-runner in reducing the number of smokers, more..

Storage facility of leading importer sealed for hoarding 270 MT of sugar: CAA

Nov 14 (AD) The Raids and Special Investigations Unit of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has sealed the storage facility owned by a leading sugar importer in SL, for hoarding over 250 metric tonnes of sugar. The relevant storage facility was sealed during a series of raids carried out by the CAA in the Peliyagoda and Grandpass areas on Tuesday (14). Another wholesale distributor was also sealed off by the CAA during these raids, on account of hoarding 5 metric tonnes of sugar, more..

අය වැය දෙවන වර කියවීමේ විනෝදය

Committee’s report on Diana incident in Parliament handed over to Speaker

Nov 14 (AD) The report of the committee appointed to look into the recent incident involving State Minister Diana Gamage and SJB MPs Sujith Sanjaya Perera and Rohana Bandara within the parliamentary premises, has been handed over to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. The relevant report was handed over to the Speaker by the chairman of the committee, Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapakse today. The committee appointed by the Speaker to probe the incident also includes more..

Bodies of family of four reported missing after landslide in Balangoda recovered

Nov 14 (AD) The bodies of the family of four who were reported missing after a landslide buried a house in Balangoda on Sunday night, have been recovered on Tuesday (14). Accordingly, the bodies of all four persons who were reported missing after a landslide in the Gavaranhena area in Balangoda on Sunday (12), were recovered today following a search operation, he said. The bodies were discovered during the search operation carried out with the assistance of disaster management more..

SriLankan Airlines launches self check-in and self-bag-drop services at BIA

Nov 14 (DM) SriLankan Airlines said today that they have advanced their passenger services at the BIA with the introduction of self-service check-in and self-bag-drop services. This initiative is set to redefine the travel experience, placing convenience and efficiency at the forefront. The new self-service kiosks aim to minimize waiting times during peak periods, allowing passengers to seamlessly navigate through the check-in process and more..

Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hits Indian Ocean: No threat to Sri Lanka

Nov 14 (DM) An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit the Indian Ocean on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said. According to the US agency, the earthquake, with its epicenter in the southern Indian Ocean, struck at around 0700GMT. Its depth was recorded at nearly 10 km (6.2 miles). The earthquake came days after a major earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hit the South Asian nation of Nepal. Around 150 people were killed following the strong tremor in the landlocked Himalayan nation. more..

Supreme Court dismisses contempt cases against Treasury Secretary

Nov 14 (TM) Supreme Court (SC) dismissed two contempt cases lodged against Secretary to the Treasury, Mahinda Siriwardana. Filed by SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara and NPP MP Vijitha Herath, cases alleged non-compliance with an SC order related to LG elections. The dismissal, based on preliminary objections raised by the Treasury Secretary, was backed by the bench, including Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwanaka Aluwihare, more..