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Getting labour regulations right

Nov 30 (TM) Govt is gearing up to introduce new labour law reforms, aimed at the ongoing restructuring of the bloated public sector. SL’s labour law’s have often been called archaic and ineffective, much like the state sector. While the trade unions and the collective-political-left have been up in arms about labour law reforms, many in the private sector have welcomed the anticipated changes. This, indeed, is why drug rehabilitation programmes are crucial and must be integrated with stringent more..

Good demand at tea auctions

Nov 30 (FT) This week’s tea auction offerings totalled 5.1 m/kg and there was good general demand, according to Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers. Ex-Estate offerings were maintained at 0.6 m/kg. Overall quality of teas were irregular and barely maintained. Best Westerns – A few select BOP/BOPF invoices were firm and up to Rs. 100 per kg dearer following special inquiry, whilst the others were barely steady. In the Below Best category, brighter BOP’s appreciated by Rs. 50 per kg, more..

ජාතික ජනබලවේගය පා.ම. විජිත හේරත්

Editorial: Cricket, popular will & franchise

Nov 30 (Island) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, launched a broadside against President Ranil Wickremesinghe for sacking Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, who has taken on the Cricket Mafia. He said it was the first time a President without a popular mandate had stripped a popularly-elected MP of his ministerial positions. Some other Opposition MPs also inveighed against Prez Wickremesinghe and highlighted the fact that more..

Bomiriya Central College: turning point in education excellence

Nov 30 (SO) Even in the last half of the 19th century, there was no school for the boys and girls of Kaduwela Bomiriya area to study. The rich people who worked to provide their children with certificates as required by the English administration sent their children to the English schools run by the missionaries. Some rich people also secured private tutoring for their children. The history of Bomiriya Central College can be traced back to Sri Lanka’s colonial past. more..

Glyphosate & hard water: Is it a deadly CKDu combination for farmers?

Nov 30 (ST) The cause of the kidney disease felling the farmers of the Dry Zone has been established as being multi-factorial over the years. Another piece of the puzzle linked to Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) has now been found by a SL-US research team collaborating across the seas to shed more light on it. The combination of glyphosate – found in a commonly-used herbicide – more..

Educational updates urgently needed to prevent high school student exodus: Minister

Nov 30 (DM) If education is not updated, it is inevitable that children will leave high school and resort to other options. Therefore, everyone involved in the field of education should understand this and work responsibly and carefully, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Reducing the aging of children and increasing their opportunities to advance in their educational levels is one of the main objectives of the new education reforms, the Minister added. more..

Harin directs relocation of State Ministry of Sports to save over Rs. 4 m monthly

Nov 30 (FT) New Sports Minister Harin Fernando has directed the relocation of State Sports Ministry from the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Colombo 1 to the Sports Ministry building in Colombo 7. Ministry noted that the move will save Rs. 4.2 million to the Govt coffers in maintaining the State Minister’s office at the WTC. Fernando mentioned the practicality of utilising existing infrastructure, noting that the State Minister can efficiently fulfil duties from the Sports Ministry office. more..

අයවැය මැද වූ ඇමති මාරුව

Govt says SL to propel climate initiatives at COP 28 Conference in Dubai

Nov 30 (FT) As the world gears up for COP 28, Govt said Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe is spearheading SL’s delegation to the conference, which is set to tackle pressing climate change issues and to address critical decisions. The conference will convene world leaders, public-private representatives, environmentalists, and scholars Prez envisions three key focal points: the launch of the Climate Justice Forum, the Tropical Belt Initiative and establishment of a Climate Change Uni. more..

Unique ID and Blockchain technology to upgrade SL tax administration

Nov 30 (ST) Govt has made a tax identification number compulsory while planning to introduce Blockchain technology with the aim of digitising the way tax authorities operate, allowing for greater transparency, accuracy, and efficiency in tax collection. Budget 2023 had proposed to introduce compulsory tax registration for all residents who are above 18 years of age without considering their annual income and tax-free thresholds. IMF approved economic reforms programme more..

Alleged youth abductions: Parents of the missing protest near SC

Nov 30 (TM) Parents of 11 youths who were allegedly abducted by a group of navy officers staged a demonstration yesterday, in front of the Supreme Court (SC) seeking justice for their missing or deceased children. A mother of an abducted youth said that they hoped that they would get a final verdict when the case is heard before the relevant High Court Trial-at-Bar. She also claimed that AG Dept's lack of attention towards this case more..

Percy: The Unusual Brand

Nov 30 (Island) If any student growing up wants to learn how to create a brand of your own, what Percy did can be an example, not necessarily replicating what he did which is his own unique benchmark- a hard act to follow. The point I’m trying to make is that one should not be afraid to establish one’s identity following their passion, but do it the way he did- relentlessly, which eventually became a global one-man-brand that is most extraordinary. It is time that we recognize such a personality, more..

Bingumal suggests bankruptcy court in SL

Nov 30 (FT) SCB CEO Bingumal Thewarathanthri underscored the need for a bankruptcy court in the country to address debt repayment challenges faced by individuals and businesses. Speaking at the CCC SL Economic Summit 2023, Thewarathanthri explained that having a dedicated court for bankruptcy proceedings would provide a structured and fair mechanism for resolving financial difficulties preventing the premature demise of businesses without exploring alternatives. more..

Ex- HRC Chairman warns against allowing one man show in governance

Nov 30 (Island) No country could be described as democratic if there is no separation of powers that ensures one branch of govt does not exceed its powers, former head of the HRCSL Prof. Deepika Udagama said. “The three branches of govt, i.e., the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, must keep an eye on each other so that there is a balance. The 1978 Constitution centered power on the executive president. more..

Youth Under 15 Cricket Tournament 2023 Unbeaten Colombo South emerge champions

Nov 30 (DN) Unbeaten Colombo South U15 emerged champion of the SL Youth Under 15 Cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday. Unbeaten Colombo South U15 beat Colombo North U15 by runs in the final played at MCA on yesterday. 5 Super province teams participated in this tournament named Colombo South U15, Colombo North U15, Galle U15, Kandy U15 and Dambulla U15. Colombo South U15 and Colombo North U15 entered the final as more..

Over 1000 shuttlers vie for 71st Badminton Nationals

Nov 30 (DN) “My target is to build a Badminton complex with all facilities and organise an Int'l-standard national championship next year in 2024. I hope to find a suitable location or building for this Badminton Complex,” said SL Badminton President Rohan de Silva at the 71st National Badminton Championship press conference held at the 80′ Club. 71st National Badminton Championship has attracted more than 1000 shuttlers, and all leading ranking players are expected to participate more..

මහින්දගේ ලියුම

Dip in non performing loans of banking sector: ADB applauds Govt’s tough reform...

Nov 30 (DN) The tough reform agenda currently carried out by the government in many sectors including the unbundling of the energy sector must be applauded, said Country Director for SL, ADB Takafumi Kadono on day two of SL Economic summit organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo yesterday. He however said that more powers should be given to the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) and a system should be created where they could act more more..

Fitch expects SL to report broadly improved banking sector results in 2024

Nov 30 (Island) Fitch Ratings expects greater divergence in the performance of banking sectors in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2024, with five countries set to report broadly improving results and three to see deterioration. These outlooks stand in contrast to those leading into 2023, when we projected a broadly stable performance for the vast majority of APAC banking sectors, with only our outlook on Sri Lanka judged to be deteriorating at that time. The difference in outlooks is particularly more..

External debt restructuring achieves landmark step

Nov 30 (FT) Sri Lanka’s External Debt Restructuring (EDR) yesterday achieved what the Govt described as a landmark step with an agreement reached in principle with the Official Creditor Committee on treatment of debt worth $ 5.9 billion. The agreement in principle consists of a mix of long-term maturity extension and reduction in interest rates, Finance Ministry said. “This agreement marks a landmark step for Sri Lanka. more..

SJB proposes Prez & Parliamentary Polls on same day

Nov 30 (TM) The SJB proposed to the Govt to hold the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on the same day in order to reduce the related expenditure. SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna said that the SJB is ready to support if any new legislation should be passed in this regard. He also said that this proposal would reduce the cost of Elections at a time when the Govt is postponing Elections claiming that the country is not in a position to make such expenditure. more..

ILO & EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace

Nov 30 (Island) Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees. True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

'Several new FTAs on the cards'

Nov 30 (DN) SL will have several new Free Trade Agreements and already the country has successfully concluded the FTA with Singapore, said Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe at the opening ceremony of the Economic Summit in Colombo. “Our intention is to extend this initiative by expressing our desire to open discussions for an FTA with Malaysia. We have also resumed talks with India and they have conveyed that they prefer separate agreements for investment and trade. more..

600 NWP principals’ transfer issue resolved

Nov 30 (TM) With the intervention of the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL), the issues pertaining to the appointment and transfer of principals in the North-Western Province have been resolved, stated the Ceylon Principals’ Union (CPU). CPU had recently filed a complaint with the HRCSL regarding the alleged appointment and transfer of principals in the NWP based on the wishes of politicians, without following the procedure adopted by the relevant Provincial Council in 2010. more..

Sri Lanka receives 7 EOIs for starting businesses at MRIA

Nov 30 (TM) SL has received seven expressions of interest (EOIs) to invest in direct and indirect aviation-related business ventures at the Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) which will be finalised in two weeks, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said that they had received the seven EOIs from the private sector. These are being evaluated by the Technical Evaluation Committee, which will make a final announcement more..

French Development Agency AFD strengthens its base here

Nov 30 (Island) The French Development Agency’s (Agence Française de Développement also known as AFD) Regional Directorate is strengthening its base in Sri Lanka in line with the commemoration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and France. It also marks the enduring partnership between AFD Group and its Sri Lankan partners, which began in 2005 when supporting the post-tsunami reconstruction. AFD, which finances the public sector, NGOs, research and training, more..

Catholic Church furious over new acting IGP appointment

Nov 30 (FT) The Catholic Church yesterday expressed its displeasure over the President’s decision to appoint Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennekoon as the Acting Inspector General of Police. Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith condemned and rejected the appointment with deep disgust. The Archbishop said the appointment is the greatest insult to victims of the Easter Sunday attack. He highlighted that the President’s Commission of Inquiry into more..

CIABOC resolved only two out of 4,415 complaints

Nov 30 (CT) Although the CIABOC received 4,415 complaints from January 2022 to Sept 2023, only two of these complaints have been resolved, MP Dullas Alahapperuma revealed in Parliament. Alahapperuma submitted a question for Oral Answers on this issue, and he is scheduled to receive a response only in late Jan 2024. Expressing concern about the significant delays in resolving complaints by the Bribery Commission, more..

The last endgame: AKD-NPP positioned to win, but should beware

Nov 30 (FT) The welcome Supreme Court judgment pertained to the Gotabaya presidency (2019-2022) during which Mahinda was deprived of his powers by his irrational sibling. Demanding the deprivation of Gotabaya’s civic rights is righteous (criminally wrecked harvests, lethally exploding gas cylinders, fatally interminable queues). Demanding that Mahinda’s civic rights be removed isn’t. I write as someone treated unfairly and unwisely by Mahinda who succumbed to pressure and removed more..

Sri Lanka to exempt electricity, kerosene and naptha from VAT

Nov 30 (EN) SL is likely to maintain the exempt status from value added tax for electricity, kerosene and naptha, Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena said. “There the policy would be to remove the exceptions; except electricity, kerosens and naptha,” he told an economic forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. There are a number of taxes on petrol and diesel including excise tax, & border taxes. “We are considering removing, or reducing, PAL more..


Screen those who received controversial immunoglobulin for Aids, hepatitis B: MP

Nov 30 (DM) Patients who had received the controversial substandard immunoglobulin medicine should be screened for Aids and hepatitis B, former State Health Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said. He said that controversial immunoglobulin medicine is a blood-based product and therefore could pose a serious health risk for those who had received it. Prof. Jayasumana said a drastic increase in the spread of Aids could be observed in the country during the past few years where more..

E-ticketing system will minimise SLTB losses: Sri Lanka minister

Nov 30 (EN) Transport and highways minister Dr Bandula Gunawardena said that steps are underway to digitalize functions of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) within the next year. “The govt is working to implement many digital projects in the SLTB in the coming year,” Gunawardena said at the presentation of appointment letters to a group of new drivers and conductors recruited to fill vacancies. “All new appointees should be determined to work towards that,” more..

Video: Pastor Jerome leaves CID after recording 8-hour statement

Nov 30 (AD) Pastor Jerome Fernando has reportedly left the CID, a short while ago, after providing a statement for around 08 hours. The self-styled prophet, who was under fire for his much-disputed comments on several religions during sermon, made an appearance at the CID this morning, as per the court orders, to record a statement with the CID’s Cyber Crime Investigation Division within 48 hours of his arrival in SL. more..

SL’s inflation picks up to 3.4% in Nov 2023

Nov 30 (EN) SL’s 12-month inflation in the capital Colombo rose to 3.4% in November 2023, from 1.5% in October, state statistics office said. The widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index grew 1% in the month to 193.4 points with electricity and housing sub-index growing 4% following an electricity tariff hike. The food index grew 0.3 points to 230.3 but the 12-month change was down 3.6%. Colombo Consumer Price Index has grown only 2.1% since monetary stability was reached more..

A plea for sanity

Nov 30 (FT) Let’s not over dramatise and or politicise yesterday’s removal of the portfolios of Sports and Irrigation of Roshan Ranasinghe (RR). At the outset let me declare total impartiality, no supporter of either RR or Shammi Silva. I am only concerned about the future of Sri Lankan sports, cricket in particular. Whether one likes it or not Shammi and SLC Admin team were voted in a legally accepted election and duly sanctioned by the world governing body of cricket, the ICC. more..

Sri Lanka families of the missing join international conference

Nov 30 (EN) Around 700 families of missing persons from around the world connected to share their experiences at the third International Conference for Families of Missing Persons on Nov 21-23. The forum brought together families whose loved ones have gone missing due to armed conflict, migration, or other situations of violence. “37 families of missing persons from all communities in SL joined from Colombo, Vavuniya and Batticaloa more..

US welcomes Sri Lanka’s debt deal with creditor nations

Nov 30 (AD) The US has welcomed the in-principle agreement reached between SL and the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) on specific financing terms to restructure the island nation’s debt in line with the parameters set in the IMF program. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the US Ambassador in Colombo, Julie Chung said this agreement supports a viable path to economic stability for SL. Chung emphasized that the agreement on debt restructuring and sound economic policies more..