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Editorial: Schaffter and Diana

Nov 3 (Island) Last week saw determinations by the courts of two long-standing matters that had commanded widespread public interest. The first of these related to the death of Dinesh Schaffter, a leading businessman and the member of a well known business family in Colombo, on the night of Dec 15, 2022, while under intensive care at the Colombo National Hospital. The other was the case on whether State Minister Diana Gamage, who entered parliament on the national list more..

Save the Children – I

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is beset by an alarming crisis that is receiving scant attention from policymakers: online violence against and exploitation of children, including the production and widespread dissemination of child porn, cyber extortion, receiving indecent text messages, cyberbullying, and even online gambling for children among a string of other crimes. Three out of 10 SL children face some type of online violence, a 2021 study by Save the Children organisation has found. more..

සිරිධම්මගේ බොරු හැව ආයෙත්...

Progressive cosmetics, not-so-progressive politics

Nov 3 (Island) There is an important aspect to recent debates over the govt’s economic reforms and proposed laws, which include the Draft Online Safety Bill (OSB); and that is the govt’s perspective on them. The govt frames these reforms and laws as not just important but also essential. The reforms, it states, are crucial to securing IMF and World Bank funding, while the laws are crucial to protecting Sri Lankans from disinformation. These are laudable motives, & they must be pointed out as such. more..

Cricket’s time bomb explodes, fortress collapses as team is ripped apart

Nov 5 (SO) It eventually happened after numerous warnings were brushed off and fell on deaf ears as Sri Lanka’s south Asian neighbours Afghanistan and India dismantled the only pride of the island nation that triggered the common people to explode in all their anger and fury calling for the immediate sacking of cricket officials in a telling uprising on Friday. In damning and provocative scenes SL’s young and old alike threatened to pull down what was left of a ruined administration more..

Anti-Terrorism Bill: Concerns continue with calls for further review

Nov 5 (TM) Sri Lanka’s proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill, which was recently revised, has come under scrutiny from the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL), raising concerns over its potential infringement on fundamental rights. The commission has submitted observations and recommendations to Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, calling for further revisions to ensure compatibility with more..

WC Match 36: Australia beat England

Nov 5 (CI) It's over. And that's not simply the worst World Cup defence in the history of international sport. Everything that, for eight heady years, had been taken for granted about England's white-ball batting has vanished without trace, as if some Hollywood baddy had pinched a sports almanac(k) from the future and set the dials on the team's Delorean for the 2015 World Cup. We've re-entered an epoch of endless, desperate failure - the miracle of 2019 lost forever to some branch-line more..

From mastermind to never mind

Nov 5 (Island) When former captain Mahela Jayawardene was handed the reins of running cricket, everyone agreed that it was the right call. He was coming with some unprecedented success having guided Mumbai Indians to multiple titles in the IPL. MJ was keen on working with the Under-19 side first, smart move you thought because that was exactly the blueprint Rahul Dravid had followed. Dravid had prepared the nucleus at youth level and by the time he became India coach, more..

අපරාධකරුවෙක් වු ටිරාන්...

Understanding corruption: How SL’s economic system favours a select few

Nov 5 (TM) Dr. Sharmini Cooray, one of the Advisors to the SL Govt on the IMF, at the 73rd Anniversary Oration at the Central Bank made an interesting comment: “Lots of Sri Lankans say nothing works in SL. That’s not true. Things work well for a small group of people”. Unfortunately, Sri Lankans do not understand how things are set up to work for a small group of people. The common narrative is that corrupt individuals created the system we are in today, but the stark reality is that more..

Sri Lanka midnight sugar tax goes against IMF governance reforms: Harsha

Nov 5 (EN) SL’s new 50 rupee sugar tax, slapped suddenly while people were sleeping is against reform advocated in an IMF report on reducing corruption, SJB MP Harsha de Silva said. Sri Lanka issued an order to raise an import tax on sugar from 25 cents to 50 rupees overnight, without in a type of pre-parliamentary sovereign prerogative delegated to the minister in charge. SL's parliament later rubber-stamps such midnight taxes, imposed under a law on special commodity levy and a cess. more..

Diplomats face war at door-step and war with bosses at home

Nov 5 (ST) A diplomat expecting to be appointed as SL’s Ambassador to a newly established mission in an Eastern European nation has written to the Foreign Ministry raising concern over the delay in confirming his appointment. The career diplomat, who is from the SL Foreign Service (SLFS), has written the letter after coming to know that his appointment had been put on hold until a suitable successor has been found for more..

Mayon in a zone of his own

Nov 5 (Island) Emerging young talent Mayon Chiran of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa lived up to his billing winning the Under 14 shot put with a new record mark on day one of the Sir John Tarbat Junior Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday. He was scheduled to compete in the other two throwing events on Saturday and Sunday and will be the hot favourite to win the best athlete title in his age category at the end of the championship today. While almost all of his counterparts more..

WC Match 35: Pakistan beat New Zealand

Nov 5 (CI) Against all odds, Pakistan somehow remain alive in this World Cup. In a game where they turned in one of their most ordinary bowling displays in World Cup history, a century from Rachin Ravindra and 95 from the returning Kane Williamson saw New Zealand amass 401 - their highest World Cup total - to leave Pakistan on the ropes. But an astonishing counterattack from Fakhar Zaman saw him smash an unbeaten 126 in 81 balls to keep Pakistan up with the DLS asking rate with more..

SLC Secretary steps down, but on health reasons

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Mohan de Silva tendered his resignation from the position citing personal and health reasons. His resignation comes in the wake of the Sports Minister’s call for a resignation of the cricket board officials and the national cricket selectors following SL’s dismal performance against India on Thursday. “I am writing to convey my immediate resignation from the position of Honorary Secretary of SLC, more..

Navy arrests five suspects attempting to smuggle 2.15 kgs of gold in Mannar

Nov 5 (SLN) SL Navy successfully dismantled a smuggling racket in the evening of 03rd Nov, seizing about 02 kg and 150 g of gold, attempted to be smuggled from the country via sea, during a special operation mounted off Oluthuduwai, Mannar. The operation also led to the apprehension of 05 suspects, a dinghy, a motorcycle and a three-wheeler used for this illegal act. The Navy carries out regular search operations and patrols in the coastal and sea areas around the island, more..

Businessman Dinesh Shafter’s remains released to family

Nov 5 (DM) The remains of businessman Dinesh Shafter, which were kept under police protection for six months at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, have been received by his relatives today. The remains were handed over following an order made by the Colombo Additional Magistrate's Court to hand over his body to his relatives. The body of businessman Dinesh Shafter was exhumed on May 25 before a panel of medical experts who were appointed to perform a fresh post-mortem inquiry. more..

ණය ‌නොගෙවන රටේ අයවැයෙන් සහන...

Let us not panic, please!

Nov 5 (ST) Thursday’s World Cup debacle against India, revived memories of the humiliation of the Asia Cup final. The anger of fans, their frustrations and resentments vented on social media, were therefore all perfectly understandable as are the increasingly loud cries for change and accountability. However when emotions are given time to subside let us sit back and review objectively the circumstances that led to both events. In the Asia Cup final, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that more..

Satyagraha campaign in front of SLC Hq

Nov 5 (AD) Several groups of people have staged a Satyagraha in front of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) premises, protesting the current administration of the cricket board. The current administrative authorities of SLC and the Cricket Selection Committee attracted backlash after the national team’s crushing defeat to India in ODI 33 of the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Against this backdrop, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe yesterday (3) urged the Executive Committee (ExCo) more..

Migrant worker permits: 119 luxury cars imported, causing millions in losses

Nov 5 (TM) A total of 119 luxury vehicles have made their way into SL under the pretext of electric vehicle imports, it is learnt. It is further learnt that permits initially issued for the country’s migrant workers, sanctioned by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment, have been systematically exploited, leading to massive financial losses for the Govt. These imported vehicles include 22 BMWs, 13 Mercedes Benzes, 5 Porsches, 6 Ford more..

CEB incurs nearly Rs. 80mn in losses due to electricity thefts

Nov 5 (AD) CEB says it has suffered a loss to the tune of nearly Rs. 80 million within the first 8 months of 2023 due to unlawfully altered electrical installations and electricity meters. CEB said some people have resorted to illegal tapping into power lines and tampering with meters in an attempt to avoid making payments for the energy consumed. As such, CEB has incurred a loss amounting to Rs. 79,074,856 between January and August this year as a result of electricity thefts. more..

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh players impacted by air pollution in Delhi

Nov 5 (CI) Sri Lanka cancelled their training session in Delhi on Saturday afternoon following advice from team doctors, owing to the severe air pollution in the city. Bangladesh, however, trained from 6pm onwards on Saturday evening, having called off their practice on Friday. The two teams are scheduled to play their World Cup league match in Delhi on Monday. As the air quality index (AQI) rose above 400, an ICC spokesperson said that the situation was being monitored. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

World Rugby lifts ban on Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (SO) A meeting between the president of the Asian Rugby Federation Qais Al Dalai and the Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe was held in Dubai last morning and it was confirmed that World Rugby has lifted the ban on the island nation that was imposed more than six months ago. The ban prevented Sri Lanka from sporting the country’s emblem and colours and playing under its Lion flag at the Asian Games in China in September this year. Team instead played under the banner more..

Free education only nominal today: Dr. Harini

Nov 5 (DM) The free education policy introduced by C.W.W. Kannangara after a long struggle is only nominal today as the access to quality education is decided while based on the economic power of the people which is against the principles of free education, NPP MP Dr. Harini Amarasuriya said today. She said the free education policy was introduced by C.W.W. Kannangara on the basis that access to quality education should not be decided upon by the economic power of the people more..

Second sugar scam after questionable sugar tax hike

Nov 5 (ST) The govt’s decision to increase import taxes on sugar to Rs.50 per kg from 25 cents this week has triggered a second sugar scam (the first one in 2020) and opened another can of worms. It will incur a loss of Rs. 422 million in tax revenue from the stock of 8500 metric tons of sugar imported by an importer recently as a result of the govt’s decision to increase the Special Commodity Levy. General Cargo Vessel SEA STELLAR more..

Supplementary estimate of Rs. 238.9 billion to settle CEB, SLA debts

Nov 5 (ST) SriLankan Airlines (SLA) and the CEB will together receive Rs. 238.9 billion from the Treasury to settle their debts, enabling the two entities to restructure their balance sheets ahead of their divestment process. A top official said the Finance Ministry would present this supplementary estimate in Parliament shortly, seeking its approval to allocate this money to these two state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the restructuring programme. more..

Harak Kata offered Rs. 700 million for his release, Tiran Alles says

Nov 5 (AD) Minister Tiran Alles states that the notorious criminal figure Nadun Chinthaka Wickremeratne alias Harak Kata who is currently detained in the custody of the CID tried to offer him Rs. 700 million to avoid being extradited to Sri Lanka. Public Security Minister revealed this while speaking at an event held in Unawatuna, Galle on Friday, with the participation of the Officers-in-Charge (OICs) of police stations in the Southern Province and several other govt officials. more..

Amid Naam 200 show, people take to the street, demanding relief in 2024 Budget

Nov 5 (ST) “In the tapestry of SL’s cultural diversity, the Indian Tamil Community has woven a unique thread over two centuries.” Those historic words were emblazoned on top of the card that invited guests for the 200th anniversary (1823 to 2023). It was so true of the arrival of the plantation workers of Indian origin in SL. During the days of the British Raj, they arrived on the shores of Talaimannar and walked all the way to more..

Hunger, suffering and failed IMF strategies

Nov 6 (DM) In our editorial on Saturday this paper highlighted the fact that it would cost a family at least Rs. 126,000/- a month to have 3 meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner per day. This meal would not consist of fish, beef or chicken. In other words, the meal lacks proteins needed for the development of children. During the two years of the pandemic the country saw its incomes falling amid hyperinflation resulting in families losing 40% of the value of their nominal incomes within just one year more..

Where is the pride of the Lion?

Nov 6 (CT) The most recent crushing defeat at the hands of our neighbours in the ongoing Cricket World Cup has been the last straw for many avid Sri Lankan cricket fans which ‘cured’ their cricket fever for good. However, the latest thrashing is not something that came out of nowhere, but one that many neutral cricket fans would have easily predicted given Sri Lanka Cricket’s track record. If there’s any silver lining to the humiliation, it is that we suffered it on cricket’s biggest stage more..

IMF conditions: Are tax collection proposals feasible for Sri Lanka?

Nov 6 (TM) The EFF of the IMF forces SL to look into tax revenue collection, in the backdrop of the first review of the programme being delayed due to SL falling short of the revenue targets. The IMF wanted the SL Govt to commit to increasing revenues, improving governance and tax administration, and actively eliminating evasion while removing all tax holidays as the main three revenue collection agencies – Inland Revenue Dept (IRD), more..

Electing a new parliament & ending the old presidency

Nov 6 (CT) A select band of 32 academics and attorneys, many of them also activists, have signed a public appeal calling upon the Govt of SL and Parliament to immediately launch a meaningful and sincere process to abolish the executive presidency as part of a package of democratising reforms, and for “all political parties in parliament to sponsor and vote for such a Bill and to unveil to the citizens their overall agenda with a time frame for restoring democratic govt in Sri Lanka.” more..

International implications of Sri Lanka's IMF solution

Nov 6 (DM) Last year, SL exploded into int'l attention with severe shortages of fuel and food, and tremendous protests. While the uprising chased away the Prez, Rajapaksa-led illegitimate parliament elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as president, who in turn used the security forces to unleash tremendous repression on the protesters. On the economic front, close to 18 months of austerity based on the IMF’s recommendations and its subsequent agreement in March 2023 have been devastating for more..

Pharmaceutical purchases: Startling exposé on irregularities in procuring nine meds

Nov 6 (TM) In a shocking turn of events, recent audit report issued by the AG’s Dept has laid bare a multitude of alleged irregularities in the procurement of medicines by State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC). This revelation has set off a firestorm of controversy in the medical supply sector. Audit report has unearthed a series of concerning issues that have sent shockwaves throughout the healthcare community, more..

Getting disaster resilience right

Nov 6 (TM) Thirty seven years ago, disaster struck early one April morning taking the lives of 126 Sri Lankans. Many may have forgotten, but they might be excused as the mid-1980’s was filled with mass casualty incidents due to insurgency, terrorism and war. However, nineteen years ago the Boxing Day tsunami left the coastal belt of the island devastated, robbing us of so many. Sri Lanka has been through many tragedies, both man-made and natural. more..

The day Sri Lankan Cricket died

Nov 6 (ST) My dear Sri Lanka Cricket fans, It is with deep regret that I write to you today, to announce the death of SL Cricket which died tragically last Thursday in Mumbai. The cause of death is under investigation, but murder and foul play is suspected. The prime suspect for the death of SL Cricket is Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Those who are old enough will recall that Sri Lanka Cricket came of age in 1981, when it was granted Test status. more..

අපේ ක්‍රිකට් කෑවේ Cricket Board එක

Editorial: Thus spake Prez

Nov 6 (Island) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Friday, flayed the western bloc for its double standards on human rights. He said that all nations had to abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He pointed out the absurdity of the western nations adopting different approaches to human rights issues in Gaza and Sri Lanka. Whoever would have thought a few years ago that Wickremesinghe would ever tear into the western members of the international community in this manner? more..