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Renewable energy generation: Delay in revising tariffs sparks concerns

Nov 4 (TM) Power and Energy Ministry’s recent failure to honour its commitment to revise the variable tariff formula for renewable energy, as promised in June, has sparked growing concern among the public. The crux of the matter is the concern that much-anticipated improvements in key economic indicators may not effectively translate into tangible benefits for ordinary citizens. With the tariff review originally slated for completion by more..

The absent voice in labour law reform consultations

Nov 4 (TM) Even though improving labour laws is a necessity in the current socio-economic climate, the manner in which the Govt is attempting to achieve it through the ongoing labour law reform process is questionable, and could in fact be counterproductive, ineffective, and detrimental. One reason is that the consultations held to identify the necessary reforms have allegedly failed to take into account the workforce’s true sentiments. In addition, some of the proposed reforms are ludicrous, more..

From King Elara to Narendra Modi, evolution of a geopolitical impasse

Nov 4 (CT) India has been our enemy, as most of Sinhalese intelligentsia portrays her to be. Treatment and evaluation of India in the geopolitical context, whether it’s in the ancient times or the twenty first century, and India’s geographical proximity to SL has created a sense of fear amongst Sri Lankans. That evaluation is firstly based on the deferential between the size of population of each country and secondly on the belligerence shown every now and then by the TN State govt. more..

Budget 2024 will decide if next year is going to be an election year or one of protests

Nov 4 (CT) The second high- level roundtable discussion on Crisis to Recovery was held, on 31 Oct 2023, in Colombo. This event follows the previous session in Dec 2022 and provides a forum to discuss the progress of the Govt’s reform programmes aimed at addressing key economic and structural issues. It also focuses on transitioning from crisis recovery to a sustainable growth path, challenges and opportunities for attracting investment, more..

Exercising sovereign rights of a coastal state

Nov 4 (Island) Coastal states, such as SL, could claim up to 200 nm as its Exclusive Economic Zone, according to the General Principles of the Law of the Sea. Consequently, SL’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is nearly eight times its land area. According to Article 56 (1) of the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS): “1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has: (a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting conserving and managing the natural resources" more..

A marvel of murals and cooperation

Nov 4 (ST) Near century-old murals in the main hall of the iconic Mulaghandakuti Vihara built by Anagarika Dharmapala in holy Isipathana (Sarnath, Varanasi) have come to life once again. The vihare is where the most revered sacred relics of the Buddha, discovered by British archaeologists near Taxila in colonial India in 1913-14 and handed over for safe custody to the Maha Bodhi Society of India, are enshrined. With the withered paint peeling off the murals due to inevitable decay caused by more..

රොෂාන් ජනපති; අර්ජුන අගමැති

Challenges in addressing impunity for crimes against journalists in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (GV) In a report on SL presented to the UNHRC in Sept 2023, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had stated, lack of accountability at all levels remains the fundamental main human rights problem. This is also relevant to serious crimes against journalists and although this report lacks specific focus on media freedom, there is reference to emblematic cases, which in past reports by the High Commissioner for Human Rights included killings and disappearances of more..

52nd Junior Athletics Championships: Three new meet records set up

Nov 4 (DN) Dilki Dewmini Karunaratne, representing Visakha Vidyalaya, and two other exceptional athletes, showcased remarkable performances on the first day of the Ritzbury 52nd Sir John Tarbat Junior Athletic Championship, held at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Their efforts led to the establishment of three new meet records. Karunaratne competed in the Under-14 Girls Discus Throw category and set a new meet record with a remarkable throw of 34.88 metres. more..

Teachers and principals dig in their heels on overdue pay

Nov 4 (ST) Teachers and principals have voiced their discontent over a delay in paying their arrears stemming from salary anomalies. The teachers and principals who came out to protest over the issue were tear-gassed, and now they have been holding protests at the provincial level against the police action. Indications are that protests will continue. In 2021, 24 years after the crisis emerged in 1997, govt paid one-third of the arrears more..

Editorial: When a fish rots …

Nov 4 (Island) Cricket is said to be a game of glorious uncertainties, but the present-day SL cricketers seem determined to disprove this aphorism; they have made their humiliating defeats almost certain and predictable, if their pathetic performance in the past several international tournaments is any indication. It looks as if they specialised in queering the pitch for themselves and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, so to speak. Cricket has come to a pass where more..

WC Match 34: Afghanistan beat Netherlands

Nov 4 (CI) Netherlands were undone by four run-outs, a stumping and a spin chokehold in Lucknow, as Afghanistan improved their outside chances of making the semi-finals with a fourth win in seven games, this time also boosting their net run-rate along with it. Their 111-ball win chasing 180 was swiftly wrapped up courtesy contributions of 52 from Rahmat Shah and 56 from Hashmatullah Shahidi, but the meat of the action took place in the first half where Afghanistan bowled well in parts, but more..

Hiru TV Balaya Live

Rat fever danger increases in flooded provinces

Nov 4 (ST) Make sure to wear gloves and slippers or boots when gardening, farming, and during cultivation, health officials advise, as they warn of an increase in leptospirosis (rat fever) cases. Floods, mudslides, soggy marshy areas, paddy lands, muddy gardens, and vegetable and green leaf cultivations are breeding grounds for this bacterial infection, which enters waterways through the urine of rodents, mainly rats, and then affects humans. “A cut or wound in the body can attract bacteria; more..

EC seeks Rs 30 bn for polls next year

Nov 4 (Island) The Election Commission (EC) has asked the Treasury for Rs. 30 billion for elections in 2024, Commissioner General of Elections (CGE), Saman Sri Ratnayake says. However, the Constitutional Council (CC) had not yet appointed all members to the EC, Ratnayake said. According to the CGE, only four out of five members have been appointed to the EC so far.Given that the quorum was only three, the commissioners were carrying out their duties and functions, more..

'Young SL have more World Cups in them'

Nov 4 (CI) SL's poor performance in the World Cup is not part of a wider decline of SL cricket, their batting coach Naveed Nawaz said. This is a group, he said, that's pretty young, and has more World Cups in them. And perhaps there is some truth to the latter statement especially. Of the 11 that took the field on Thursday, only four are over 30. And even among those over 30, it is not inconceivable that the likes of Kasun Rajitha (30), more..

Mixed fourtunes for Lankan golfers

Nov 4 (DN) SL landed in 9th place, tallying a combined gross score of 242 (79, 81, 82). South Korea B dominated the team event, securing the lead with an overall gross score of 221 (72, 73, 76) in the opening day of the Selangor Int'l Junior Golf Championship at Malaysia’s Seri Selangor Golf Club yesterday. Following closely in the team standings were the Philippines with a gross score of 223 (74, 74, 75) securing the 2nd spot, with the host nation Malaysia at 227 (74, 76, 77) taking 3rd place. more..

Edelweiss returns to SL for winter season

Nov 4 (FT) Swiss leisure airline, Edelweiss Air resumed operations to SL ahead of the winter holidays at the BIA yesterday. The flight carrying 221 passengers arrived at 8:50 a.m. was extended the traditional SL welcome at the BIA. The airline will operate weekly flights from Zurich to Colombo till 17 May 2024. The airline based at Zurich Airport, a sister company of Swiss Int'l Air Lines (SWISS) and a member of the Lufthansa Group that primarily operates charter and holiday flights to more..

The curious death of Dinesh Schaffter

Nov 4 (CT) Last year, well-known businessman Dinesh Schaffter (52) embarked on a seemingly normal trip from his home on Flower Road. Little did anyone know that this journey would lead to a perplexing crime scene at the Borella Cemetery, leaving the entire country in shock. The businessman made a stop at a local restaurant to grab some snacks for two. However, things took a dark turn when he failed to respond to calls more..

CSE ends week on the up despite Friday fall

Nov 4 (FT) The Colombo stock market ended the week marginally up whilst activity on Friday remained lacklustre and negative. During the week, the ASPI and the S&P SL20 gained 0.9% and 0.5% respectively as against a loss of over 1% last week. Average daily turnover was Rs. 689.5 million down from Rs. 977 million and Rs. 1 billion in the preceding two weeks. On Friday, the ASPI was down 0.3% and S&P SL20 by 0.7%. Turnover was only Rs. 513.5 million involving 16.4 million shares. more..

Nine drug peddlers including a police officer arrested with heroin

Nov 4 (AD) Nine suspects including a police officer have been arrested in a drug bust carried out in Denagama, Hakmana. The arrests were made during an operation mounted by the officers of Hakmana police officers based on a tip-off they had received. Additionally, 6g and 470mg of heroin were also seized during this drug bust. One suspect was arrested this morning (3), and acting on the information he had divulged during interrogations, the police officers had inspected the house more..

උපාලි විජේවර්ධනගෙ කැමරා ශිල්පියා...

One Sri Lankan decides to stay in Gaza, 11 crossed Egypt border; five to reach border

Nov 4 (EN) One SL national has decided to stay in Gaza while 11 people have already crossed the Egypt border to return to the country, an official of the island nation’s Foreign Ministry said. “Other six Sri Lankans want to cross the Rafah (Egypt) border and come to Cairo. But they have not come yet,” the official said. Israeli forces on Thursday encircled Gaza City – the Gaza Strip’s main city – in their assault on Hamas, but the Palestinian militant group resisted their drive with more..

Sri Lanka’s total volume of digital retail payments poised to reach Rs.77tn by 2027

Nov 4 (DM) SL’s total volume of digital retail payments can potentially reach up to Rs 77.2 trillion by 2027, 128% more than the 2022 level, analysis from Robocash SL has revealed. The company’s optimistic forecast is based on the assumption that all major macroeconomic indicators in the next 5 years reach their equilibrium level or have stable positive dynamics over 12 quarters, starting in 2024. In the worst long-term scenario, the company expects the total volume of digital retail more..

More Lankan women are becoming dependent in old age, a survey finds

Nov 4 (ST) I go begging and get around 1,500 rupees a day; with that, I buy things and cook, and once the money finishes, I beg again. No one invites us for anything, as we are old and poor. We must buy medicine, too, but we don’t buy it all at once as we don’t have the money.” This is the story of 62-year-old Muhiya from Puttalam. She had no access to education and got married to a fisherman when she was 20. more..

New mushroom species found in home gardens and university

Nov 4 (ST) The rain has become a hassle for most Sri Lankans these days, but keep an eye on your garden as these damp conditions could wake up sleeping mushroom beauties. “SL has very good mushroom diversity, but as these are largely understudied, perhaps the mushroom in your garden too can be a species new to science,” says Dr Aseni Ediriweera, a scientist who studies mushrooms. Dr Ediriweera made this comment as two mushroom species new to science that she discovered more..

USAB rules senior Jaffna University lecturer’s dismissal unlawful

Nov 4 (ST) Uni Services Appeals Board (USAB) has ruled that the dismissal of a senior university lecturer from the Uni of Jaffna (UoJ) over examination malpractices was contrary to law. While Prof. Sarvananthan has been deemed guilty of improper conduct in relation to official duties, USAB has recommended the payment of back wages and allowances to him, subject to any pecuniary punishment that may be imposed. USAB has left it to the UoJ Council to decide whether more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

GMOA: 20 govt hospitals already closed down; number could rise to 70

Nov 4 (Island) Media spokesman for the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe disclosed yesterday that about 20 rural hospitals in the country had closed down. In another month or so another 50 rural hospitals will close down, he said. Of late so many doctors, along with other professionals, have been leaving the country in droves as they cannot maintain a certain standard of living they are used to with the current high taxation. more..

Strategic plan for national security in 6 months?

Nov 4 (CT) Higher echelons of the Govt have issued directives to the committee, appointed to prepare a strategic plan for country’s national security, to submit their preliminary report to Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe within six months. Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake has said instructions were given to prepare a strategic plan for the security of the country’s land and ocean, which should be given at the earliest possible instance, when the committee met at Security Review Committee meeting more..

Prez hits at US, West for double standards on human rights after Gaza failure

Nov 4 (EN) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe in a public speech hit hard on the double standards of the US-led West over human rights citing what they have done to the South Asian Island nation and Palestine where over 10,000 civilians including children have already been brutally murdered. Since an Oct 7 surprise attack by Palestine militant group Hamas, Israel military has been bombing the Gaza strip where tens of thousands of native more..

Sevanagala sugar factory is to be given to a govt ally: Sajith Premadasa

Nov 4 (DM) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has voiced concerns about the future of the state-owned Sevanagala sugar factory, alleging that it is to be handed over to a close ally of the govt. Speaking during a ceremony at Nugegolla MV in Matale, Mr. Premadasa emphasised that the people of the country, including schoolchildren, have the right to know the fate of this publicly-owned entity. He asserted that the recent Cabinet reshuffle is linked to the privatization of the Sevanagala factory. more..

Security beefed up at Sri Lanka Cricket premises

Nov 4 (CT) The Police took steps to tighten security in the vicinity of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) premises following the nightmare 302-run defeat to India in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023, on Thursday. Following the national cricket team’s pathetic performance against India, fans have voiced their frustration. Many are not pleased with the team’s performance and have also criticised the management of cricket in SL. As tensions rise, there are concerns that fans may stage protests at SLC premises. more..

Ranasinghe emphasizes blame should be borne by SLC, Selection Committee

Nov 4 (CT) Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe issuing a media release in the wake of the national team’s ignominious 302-run defeat to India in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup in Mumbai last Thursday, says that he understands the frustrations and emotions of the country’s millions of cricket-loving fans. However, he urged them to support the national team in its bid to rise phoenix like from the ashes, as Sri Lanka possess more..

AI: Challenges and opportunities

Nov 3 (SO) While this editorial was certainly not written by or with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is certainly possible to do so using freely available AI programs and web software such as ChatGPT. Such is the power of AI now. AI, along with Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision (CV) and the Internet of Things (IOT) have become somewhat controversial concepts in our tech-driven world. Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX and more..

Stem the rot

Nov 3 (TM) The Budget 2024 that is to be presented to Parliament on 13 November will supposedly be full of surprises, according to its presenter, the Minister of Finance, who is on public record stating as such. For a nation that is accustomed to surprises on a daily basis – more by default than by design, courtesy of its leadership – a budget full of surprises therefore is very much par for the course. Given that this will be the last budget before the next Presidential Election, more..

'Restructuring State-owned enterprises vital'

Nov 3 (SO) In a candid and insightful interview, SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne shared his perspectives on various pressing issues in SL. From concerns about the Online Safety Bill to the need for a new Constitution in Sri Lanka Cricket, Wickramaratne provided comprehensive insights into the challenges facing the nation. He also discussed the state of the country’s health sector, foreign relations, and the importance of more..

SLPP reaping what it sowed

Nov 3 (DM) Are we witnessing another Yahapalana Govt, not in its literal sense, but in its political sense? One would recollect that the Yahapalana Govt was a cart pulled back and forth by two horses. Prez Maithripala Sirisena ran one govt while PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was running another. Ultimately, one sacked the other in 2018, but the Supreme Court saved the latter. However, there is a difference between then and now; the two leaders of the Yahapalana Govt were digging each other’s more..

How I was released by police and cleared of charges by courts

Nov 3 (DM) As stated last week, one of the CID officers quizzing me on the fourth floor had told me confidentially that I was going to be detained indefinitely to prevent me from reporting on the fighting between the Indian Army and the LTTE. Though I had been taken into custody under the emergency regulations, I was going to be charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) soon. While conversing further this Police Officer who seemed genuinely sympathetic towards more..

Govt gears to present 2024 IMF budget while debt talks on hold until China agrees to share

Nov 3 (TM) Govt, which is still awaiting a green light from the IMF Executive Board on the second tranche under the EFF and a final outcome on the country’s debt restructuring programme that was scheduled for late October, is now gearing to present the 2024 Budget in Parliament. Paris Club consortium of SL’s bilateral creditors was expected to finalise its debt restructuring proposal for SL during end of the Oct. more..