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Private bus strike on Colombo–Kandy route

Nov 28 (AD) The private buses operating on the Colombo – Kandy route (Route No. 01) have withdrawn from passenger transport services as bus operators on this route have launched a strike since this morning (Nov. 28). The strike action was reportedly launched protesting over an alleged incident of employees of a passenger transport bus attached to Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) assaulting a conductor of a private bus. Accordingly, most of the private buses operating on more..

October sees 20% decline in apparel exports

Nov 28 (DM) The apparel exports from SL continued their downward trend, with October exports declining 20% year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 330.95 million, data compiled by industry body Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) showed. Since Sept 2022, apparel export earnings have been on a downward trend on a YoY basis, primarily due to the economic slowdown in major Western markets. Exports to all major markets fell during more..

'SL should receive USD 132 to 220 Mn in carbon debt from responsible countries'

Nov 28 (DM) The countries that are responsible for carbon emissions should pay what is called carbon debt amounting to USD 132 to 220 million to SL which is now engulfed in an economic crisis, UPF leader MP Champika Ranawaka said. MP said he once tried to establish a carbon fund but it never became a reality because of a lack of response from the then govt. He said carbon emissions should be considered in the assessment of development along with the GDP of the respective countries. more..

Trade union reps and civil society activists briefed on 2024 Budget proposals

Nov 28 (AD) A meeting pertaining to the proposals included in the 2024 Budget was convened yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat presided over by State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Senior Advisor to Prez on Economic Affairs with representatives from numerous trade union leaders, National Youth Service Council and youth organizations, along with civil society activists. Dr. R.H.S, Samarathunga, emphasised the inclusion of substantial more..

CID grills Finance Ministry Secretary, officials over Immunoglobulin import case

Nov 28 (DM) CID recorded statements from three officials of the Ministry of Finance, including Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena, regarding the controversial Immunoglobulin import case. Statements were recorded in compliance with a court order from the Maligakanda Magistrate's Court. The CID extensively recorded statements from Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena, along with the Deputy Director of the Ministry and more..

Prez outlines plans to transform Colombo into an entertainment hub

Nov 28 (PMD) In a landmark address at the 58th Annual General Meeting of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) held yesterday at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, President Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined a comprehensive strategy to propel the country’s tourism sector to new heights. Focused on surpassing the target of 5 million tourists and redefining traditional approaches, the President’s vision extends to achieving 7.5 million visitors in the coming years. more..

Immigration Dept. issues details on visa-free entry to Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (AD) Dept of Immigration and Emigration announces that a free Visa regime is implemented for nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan with immediate effect, until 31 March 2024, launching as a pilot program to rebuild the tourism industry in line with the Cabinet approval. The department mentioned that the foreign nationals of the above-nominated countries possessing Diplomatic, Official, Public Affairs, Service, and Ordinary passports more..

රාජපක්ෂලා කියන්නේ කෙලෙහි...

It is time to change, or scrap the UN

Nov 29 (DM) In its sessions in February - March next year, once again United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) - UN arm, whose mission it is to promote and protect human rights around the world - will once again rake up investigations into allegations of human rights violations in our country during its war on terror. The UN was set up to take effective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace. It is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members. more..

Gratitude in short supply

Nov 29 (TM) During the height of the economic crisis, when the SL Govt was failing to provide basic necessities such as food, medicine, fuel, cooking gas and uninterrupted electricity, the island was spared from a worse fate due to the continued inflow of dollar remittance from SL migrant workers and expats living overseas. They were SL’s safety net, and will likely continue to be so for years to come. For SL, remittances from migrant workers are a major source of foreign exchange inflow. more..

‘Romance is the only genre judged by its worst examples’

Nov 29 (TM) Romance is a genre that tends to be seen as frivolous easy-reads in the world of fiction, with many judging readers and writers of the genre rather unfairly. However, it is a genre with a strong readership, and research data and analytics group WordsRated says romance, selling over 39 million printed units during the 12-month period ending in May, is the highest-earning genre of fiction. Jeevani Charika is a British SL more..

The repercussions of the shape theory on our economy

Nov 29 (DM) There is a famous or infamous Sri Lankan theory, that any mistake or violation can be shaped up or can can be swept under the carpet if you know someone influential . From a traffic violation to tax evasion, things can be turned in your favour with the santhosam approach. It is tragic that Sri Lanka has not been able to keep to its rules and regulations and ethics due to this shape theory. If we as a nation do not get together, we are in serious trouble. more..

Is providing free sanitary napkins to schoolgirls enough?

Nov 29 (CT) In a significant move towards menstrual hygiene and gender equality, the SL Govt has announced that schoolgirls above Grade 6 will be provided with free sanitary napkins starting from next year. This decision, announced by Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, aims to address the pressing issue of girls missing school due to menstruation, as also highlighted by a UNICEF survey in 2015. The UNICEF survey, conducted in collaboration with the then SL Govt, more..

Destructive activities by bigwigs threaten Tissa Wewa

Nov 29 (DM) When this newspaper inquired from former Deputy Minister W.P.B Ekanayake whether he constructed a house near Bank of Tissa Wewa near the reserve area and whether the construction gets inundated during floods he responded by stating, “I didn’t build a house near the reserve. The house was made in 1968. At that time the water level of Tissa Wewa was quite low. Due to the construction activities in sacred land more..

Rebuild trust with people to revive economy

Nov 29 (Island) The govt is facing an uphill task to rebuild the country which continues to be in a state of economic and moral decline which was evident in parliamentary proceedings last week. The initial hopes of a quick transition from the economic and moral decline that accompanied the pre-Aragalaya period ended with the accession of Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to the presidency. Prez made skillful use of the security forces, in the first instance, and the parliamentary majority thereafter, more..

Editorial: Games kleptocrats play

Nov 29 (Island) The SLPP-UNP govt finds itself in the same predicament as the proverbial cat that defecated on a rock and struggled to cover the stinking mess. Having sacked Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe for taking on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and ruffling the feathers of some members of Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s kitchen Cabinet in the process, SLPP-UNP combine is trying to justify its action to protect the corrupt responsible for ruining cricket in this country. more..

අයවැයෙන් පසු දේශපාලනය

Samanthabadra assassinates Prince Siddhartha’s character

Nov 29 (ST) On Oct 31, Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thera stood before the Malwatte Mahanayake at the Sri Dalada Maligawa to beg forgiveness for assassinating Prince Siddhartha’s character on various social media platforms. This was not, of course, the first time that Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thera, better known as Samanthabadra—who claimed nine years ago he had become an Arahant Buddha, and was on par with the Buddha—had stood before the Malwatte Mahanayake more..

Player unity stands tall despite rugby’s divisions

Nov 29 (Island) Inter-club Nippon Paint sponsored league rugby tournament is set to make an ambitious start on Dec 1 for the 2023/24 season with Havelocks Sports Club hosting Air Force Sports Club at the Park Club under lights. The kick-off is scheduled for 6.30 pm. Rugby is a game of nerves and knowledge more than a contest between muscled men as of now. Today one needs the knowledge to take the ball forward and enough of information about where the opposition more..

President pushes tourism to go above minimum room rate

Nov 29 (FT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday urged the hotels to go above the Minimum Room Rate (MRR) harnessing SL’s culinary prowess, culture, diversity and scenic beauty. Prez said the industry must move away from MRR and seek higher revenue. He commended the industry’s anticipated achievement of 1.5 million tourists in 2023 but noted “Looking back at 2021, yes, it is good, but next year we must more..

Sri Lanka looks to sign agreement with Nepal on higher education

Nov 29 (EN) SL’s cabinet this week approved a proposal submitted by minister of education Susil Premajayantha, to enter into an agreement with the Nepal govt to facilitate student and teacher exchange programs. “It has been proposed to enter into an agreement for cooperation in higher education with the aim of strengthening and expanding the mutual cooperation in this sector, and developing higher education institutions of the two countries,” minister Bandula Gunawardena more..

EDB to collaborate with International Fair-Trade Networks

Nov 29 (FT) Cabinet of Ministers approved signing a cooperation framework aimed at enhancing collaboration with the International Fair-Trade Networks. Recognising the potential for mutual benefit, the SL Export Development Board (EDB) submitted a proposal to formulate a comprehensive action plan in collaboration with the partners of the International Fair-Trade Network. The primary objective is to promote and integrate the Fair-Trade Concept within economic framework of SL. more..

මී මැස්සාගේ කොළම

Sri Lanka’s junior rowers ready to shine in Asian Championship

Nov 29 (DN) A team of eleven talented SL junior rowers is all set to participate in the upcoming Asian Rowing U-19 and U-23 Championships. The event, organized by the Asian Rowing Federation, will take place in Pattaya, Thailand, from Dec 14 to 18. These young athletes underwent rigorous training for approximately four months under the guidance of National Coach Pedro Sanz at the Diyawanna Rowing Centre. Their hard work is aimed at competing against top rowing nations like more..

Four new Universities: A premature budget proposal for cheats

Nov 29 (CT) With the 2024 Budget, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced 4 new universities! While I welcome more opportunities for qualified students who have no university places, I am truly concerned that he is playing politics with money we do not have to cater to elections next year. And staff? May be Peradenya and the Colombo Universities can poach from the others. So those vacancies need to be filled in addition to staff for the new universities. more..

Drugs scandal: No action against those who signed paperwork authorising purchase

Nov 29 (ST) CID this week arrested four Health Ministry employees in connection with the procurement and distribution of counterfeit human immunoglobulin from an unregistered local company. But action is yet to be taken against the senior officials who signed the paperwork authorising the purchase of the immunoglobulin and of two more drugs from Isolez Biotech Pharma AG—Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody that treats more..

JAT Holdings reports topline growth amidst export growth of 130%

Nov 29 (FT) JAT Holdings, has reported robust financial performance for Q2 of FY 2023/24, recently. Most notably, the Group recorded its highest-ever Export Turnover at Rs. 1,827 million, against Rs. 795 million in the corresponding period in the year prior, a growth of 130%, driven in part by market expansion. Alongside this, the Group also recorded a healthy 11% growth in Revenue to Rs. 4,878 million, up from Rs. 4,392 million in the in the first six months of FY 2023/24, more..

38 SOEs now earn profits following reform process

Nov 29 (ST) Some 38 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) out of 52 strategic ones with powerful trade unions are now running at a profit after massive losses in the recent past. This SOE transformation to profitable entities was the result of the govt’s reform measures adopted during 2022/23 including cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustment, implementation, of fuel price formula and revision of water tariff, among others, Finance Ministry’s latest fiscal report revealed. more..

Farmers’ Trust Fund fails to utilise Rs 5.4B for farmers’ welfare

Nov 29 (CT) Contrary to the primary objective of introducing the Govisetha lottery, designed to generate funds for the Farmers’ Trust Fund, the administration of the fund has failed to utilise a substantial sum of Rs 5.4 billion remitted to the fund over the past 28 years, since the lottery’s introduction. A senior official at National Lotteries Board (NLB) said although a portion of the Govisetha lottery income was credited to more..

SL to implement QR code-based refund system to tackle single-use plastic pollution

Nov 29 (DM) Sri Lanka is calling for proposals from suitable parties to implement a QR code-based deposit refund system to tackle the environmental harm created by single-use plastic pollution. Cabinet of Ministers this week greenlighted a proposal in this regard by the Minister of Environment. The environmental harm caused by Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles, High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) cups and other single-use packaging materials is a growing concern more..

'Lankan private sector keen on 4-5% economic growth'

Nov 29 (DN) SL Private sector cannot be happy with an economy growing under 3% and they need it to expand at least by 4 to 5% annually to create new jobs and innovate. This was opined by President Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Duminda Hulangamuwa at the opening of the SL Economic Summit 2023 in Colombo. “We could term 2023 as a year of stabilization with decline in inflation, interest rates, appreciation of the rupee and progress in the fiscal and monetary reforms. more..

හරීන්ව ක්‍රීඩා ඇමති කළේ ශම්මිද ?

Appointing judges to Apex Courts: Petition filed against Constitutional Council

Nov 29 (DM) A Fundamental Rights petition was today filed before the Supreme Court seeking an order suspending the operation of a decision taken by the Constitutional Council, calling for a report from the Chief Justice regarding certain judges of the Court of Appeal. The petition alleged that the Constitutional Council had taken this decision in the context of such judges being nominated by the President for appointment to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. more..

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti 2023 culminates in Pune

Nov 29 (ANI) The joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka culminated on Tuesday at the Southern Command Foreign Training Node, Aundh in Pune. Joint army drills are a key component of military diplomacy between countries across the world. They have emerged as a crucial tool for building rapport, confidence, and trust within the Armies, all of which might be helpful in the future for combined military operations like UN peacekeeping missions. more..

MR speaks out on origins of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis

Nov 29 (FT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday issued a statement detailing the true origins of the country’s economic crisis and urging people to base their decisions on proper data and not noise. “The people of this country should base their decisions on proper data and not on noise, lies and propaganda. Sri Lanka cannot afford another political mistake like that of Jan 2015,” said Rajapaksa who is also SLPP Leader. more..

Protest against electricity tariff, fuel prices today

Nov 29 (TM) A number of civil society organisations, including the Electricity Consumers' Association (ECA), have organised a protest in front of the Ministry of Power and Energy today (29), urging the Government to lower electricity tariffs and fuel prices. ECA General Secretary Sanjeewa Dhammika claimed that Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera has implicitly stated on several occasions that the Govt would have to raise electricity tariffs and fuel prices again. more..

Ceylon Tobacco secures 87 acre land on 30-year lease for sustainable forest farming

Nov 29 (FT) Ceylon Tobacco Company has secured a 30-year long-term lease for a forest farming project in Ratnapura district. A land extent of 87 acres with three roods and 25 perches is in Maduwanwala Nindagama Watte, in the Panamura Grama Niladhari division within the DS division of Embilipitiya, located in the district of Ratnapura. The decision follows a formal request by Ceylon Tobacco to the Land Reforms Commission, seeking a portion of land for a forest farming project. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Govt attempting to revive racism ahead of polls: Nalin Bandara

Nov 29 (FT) SJB MP Nalin Bandara expressed that Wickremesinghe, who had previously refrained from incorporating racism into his political approach, is now raising doubts about his endorsement of it since aligning himself with the Rajapaksa Govt. “Racist sentiments in the form of statements have resurfaced. It is concerning that certain persons are attempting to promote racist ideologies once more. The Rajapaksa camp has historically employed the strategy of fuelling racial divisions, more..

Yohani attends F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi as TAG Heuer Brand Ambassador in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (FT) South Asian pop music sensation of SL origin – Yohani, made an appearance at the Paddock Club of the Formula 1 Grand Prix event in Abu Dhabi on Sunday (26) as the Brand Ambassador for TAG Heuer in SL. The association with the prestigious Swiss luxury watchmaker comes ahead of Yohani’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Kella’ scheduled for release in early December. Considered to be the ultimate reference in luxury chronograph watches, more..