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Smart Policies & Economic Revival event highlights key policy points for growth

Nov 6 (FT) A recent event organised by Harsha de Silva’s team, titled Insights with Harsha: Smart Policies & Economic Revival, brought to light key policy discussions essential for Sri Lanka’s economic revitalisation. During the event MP Harsha de Silva, Chairman of COPF, addressed critical issues, starting with the pressing need for tax reform. He highlighted that tax revenue currently stands at only 8% of GDP, a stark contrast more..

President RW calls on officials to effectively implement directives related to...

Nov 6 (FT) During the Nuwara Eliya Special District Coordination Committee (DCC) meeting held recently at the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the crucial need for the efficient execution of directives concerning the country’s progress. Addressing the Nuwara Eliya Special District Coordination Committee (DCC), he emphasised that officials should promptly carry out decisions formulated during DCC meetings and affirmed his more..

Video: Let Cabinet decide anything but I will restore SL’s cricket: Arjuna

Nov 6 (DM) Chairman of the newly appointed interim Committee to administer cricket, Arjuna Ranatunga said he and the committee will be committed to restoring SL cricket no matter what the Cabinet decides upon. He made this comment in response to a question raised by journalists on the reports which said the Cabinet is to take up the matter with regard to the appointment of the interim committee. "Let the Cabinet decide anything. Let it decide to allow robbers to administer cricket. more..

Only 7.7% of Sri Lanka’s working-age women in formal employment: IPS

Nov 6 (EN) Only 7.7% of working-age women are engaged in formal employment with decent wages and decent working hours, the IPS said, noting that household and caregiving responsibilities and limited availability of jobs compound SL’s low levels of female labour force participation. “Decent work is multifaceted, incorporating productive work that delivers a fair income in conditions of freedom, equity, security & human dignity (ILO, 1999). more..

Viharamahadevi Park to be returned to CMC

Nov 6 (TM) Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has directed the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to handover the administration of the Viharamahadevi (VMD) Park (formerly Victoria Park) in Colombo to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located next to the National Museum in the heart of Colombo. It is the oldest and largest park in Colombo. Situated in front of the colonial-era Town Hall building, park is named after Queen Viharamahadevi, more..

Business confidence wanes

Nov 6 (FT) “Business confidence remains clouded by ongoing developments and heavily dependent on their outcomes,” pioneering business magazine LMD says, in its November edition. It explains, “The LMD-NielsenIQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) shed six basis points in October to register 75. The barometer has displayed a somewhat volatile trajectory since July, falling from 103 in June to 73 in August and rebounding to 81 in September, only to dip again in October.” more..

කිලිටු චණ්ඩි

Sri Lanka agrees to send 10,000 farm workers to Israel

Nov 6 (Globes) Israel's Minister of Interior Moshe Arbel and SL's Ambassador to Israel Nimal Bandaranaike have signed an agreement, which will allow Israel to immediately hire 10,000 SL farm workers. This follows cabinet approval last week allowing Israeli companies to bring 5,000 workers to the country for the agricultural sector. Israel's agricultural sector has been hit hard by the war. Since Oct 7, some 8,000 foreign agricultural workers have fled Israel out of 30,000 foreign workers more..

Lawyers’ Collective alleges service extensions for IGP unconstitutional

Nov 6 (Island) Lawyers’ Collective has strongly condemned the 4th extension granted to C.D. Wickremeratne, who passed the mandatory retirement age eight months ago. The group alleges that the extension has been granted unconstitutionally without the concurrence of the Constitutional Council. Lawyers’ Collective is an umbrella organization of several groups of legal professionals, individual lawyers and legal academics protecting democracy, more..

Health crisis: Doctors threaten action if Govt. fails to deliver

Nov 6 (TM) GMOA has issued an ultimatum to the Govt, warning of intensified strike actions, which risk plunging the nation’s healthcare system into chaos. GMOA Spokesman Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe made an announcement in an exclusive interview , stating that the association would unleash a wave of strikes if the Govt failed to formulate a concrete and comprehensive policy decision by the end of the week to the eightfold proposal more..

CID grills Health Ministry Secretary

Nov 6 (DM) CID has recorded a statement from the Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Janaka Sri Chandragupta. This move comes in the wake of an alleged incident involving the import of substandard Human Immunoglobulin to the country. Investigations are centered around Isolez Biotech, whose owner was recently arrested and subsequently remanded till Nov 15. The individual is facing serious charges of supplying substandard Human Immunoglobulin to MSD more..

4,672 new principals appointed

Nov 6 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha assured that by next year steps will be taken to fill all the principal vacancies in State schools. He was speaking at a ceremony to hand over appointment to 4,672 new principals, who were admitted to Grade III of the Sri Lanka Principals Service. The ceremony was held on Saturday, at D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo. Premajayantha said it was essential to fill existing vacancies in the education sector in order to maintain it continuously and systematically. more..

SJB anticipating negative growth in 2024 despite positive forecasts

Nov 6 (EN) SL’s economic growth will remain negative in 2024, SJB MP Tissa Attanayake claimed, despite forecasts to the contrary by a number of local and international financial institutions and a clear upward trend as highlighted in even the most pessimistic analyses, albeit with some caveats. Attanayake rubbished govt claims of recovery from the 2022 currency crisis that had all but decimated the economy. more..

Two arrested for aiding in extortion of former PUCSL chairman

Nov 6 (AD) Police have arrested two more suspects in relation to the incident of allegedly extorting money from the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Janaka Ratnayake. The two suspects, who were arrested in the Pelwehera area of Dambulla, are said to have provided accommodation facilities to the main suspect of the case and assisted him, according to police. Police said that the two suspects in question are aged 38 and 40 years. more..

Rs.1,000 million distributed to farmers’ accounts for paddy cultivation

Nov 6 (DM) A sum of Rs. 1,000 million has been given as the first installment of the financial subsidy to all the farmers who cultivate paddy, Agriculture Ministry said. It is said that the govt is expected to spend Rs. 12 billion on all the farmers, and it has been decided to cultivate 800,000 hectares of paddy this year. While taking into account how the paddy cultivation activities will be started, further steps will be taken to account for the relevant financial allocations. more..

අතුරු කමිටු සභාපති අර්ජුන රණතුංගේ

How sealed is this polythene deal?

Nov 7 (CT) New laws will be brought about in the near future, banning polythene seals on water bottle caps, authorities recently said. This decision, which should have been implemented a long time ago, comes following the announcement on the ban of manufacture and sale of single-use plastic products that went into effect on 1 Oct. The ban which is seen as an opportunity to promote local industries engaged in environment-friendly alternatives and reduce the foreign exchange involved in more..

Hunger, suffering and failed IMF strategies

Nov 7 (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 three 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. Dept of Census and Statistics reports 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 more..

Kantale Sugar Factory in Limbo: Revival Proposal Mired in Uncertainty

Nov 7 (CT) Ministry of Finance, on 2 Nov, decided to increase the special commodity tax imposed on sugar. As a result, the tax has been raised to Rs 50 for 1 kg of sugar, up from the previous 25 cents per kg. This marks a staggering 20,000% increase in the sugar tax. Further, recent data from the Central Bank reports that in January of this year alone, a substantial USD 32.8 million was spent on sugar and sweets. more..

We need strictly fixed time frames for elections

Nov 7 (DM) In spite of allegations by the Opposition parties about the govt’s repeated efforts to amend the election laws including the appointment of a 10-member commission by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe last month, indeed there is a genuine need for electoral reforms. What is lacking in the govt’s efforts is consistency which provokes suspicion among the people. The need for electoral reforms arises out of provisions in laws including in the Constitution about elections – more..

International Implications of Sri Lanka’s IMF solution

Nov 7 (DM) Last year, Sri Lanka exploded into international 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 eighteen months of austerity based on the IMF’s recommendations and its subsequent agreement in March 2023 more..

High child abuse cases: Authorities accused of failing children

Nov 7 (TM) Following a shocking revelation that 160 minors had been sexually abused in September alone, child protection advocates have called for the effective enforcement of laws while alleging that authorities have repeatedly failed in their duties, to the extent of bordering on State-sponsored child abuse. In response to the alarming rise in the number of child abuse cases in Sri Lanka, more..

Crop protection by pellet

Nov 7 (TM) A recent decision by the Govt to distribute air rifles amongst farmers as a measure against crop damage by wild animals may have unplanned consequences. Ministry commenced distributing air rifles to farmers at a concessionary price on 22 Oct, with a total of 250 rifles being distributed by then end of last month. However, the move has drawn criticism from conservationists. Agriculture Ministry earlier had designs to export endemic toque monkeys to China, more..

It is the victims who have no voice

Nov 7 (ST) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s cracklingly combative question as to why does the United Nations apply one rule to Israel and another rule to us? when declaring the opening of the Welimada courts complex this Friday must surely delight the hearts of his steadily growing band of nationalist cheerleaders in SL. Certainly these are repugnant hypocrisies, played out on the world stage to devastating effect. As thousands of bloodied children coated with dust are pulled out from more..

අර්ජුන ක්‍රිකට් කරයිද ?

Putting cart before horse with regard to electoral reforms

Nov 7 (Island) With prez elections due in less than a year, Prez Wickremesinghe has embarked upon a course of electoral reforms of major proportions, for which he has appointed a presidential commission of inquiry. He appears to have done so without consultations with opposition parties or civil society. Both these groups were caught by surprise when the initial announcement was made 2 weeks earlier. A group of senior lawyers soon issued a statement expressing their concerns. more..

Former PUCSL Chief predicts whopping Rs. 70 b profits for CEB in 4Q

Nov 7 (FT) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) former Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said the CEB is set to record profits exceeding Rs. 70 billion for the last quarter of 2023. Making startling claims regarding the profit projections he said in October alone, the CEB recorded a profit of Rs. 18 billion. He attributed this substantial gain to a combination of factors, including increased water levels in reservoirs surrounding power plants, which resulted in an energy production of 950 GWh. more..

Mathews on timed-out dismissal: 'Never seen a team or a player stoop so low'

Nov 7 (CI) In almost certainly the most explosive press conferences of his career, Angelo Mathews called the actions of opposition captain Shakib Al Hasan and the Bangladesh team obviously disgraceful. He said he'd never seen a team or player stoop so low in his 15 years of playing int'l cricket. It was unfortunate his helmet strap broke in a match against Bangladesh because he doesn't think any other team would do that more..

Editorial: Power of the corrupt

Nov 7 (Island) Lankans have first-hand experience of the ill effects of the corrupting influence of power and the power of the corrupt so much so that even the bitterest critics of the IMF must have welcomed its condition that SL take urgent action to combat corruption to qualify for the next tranche of its loan; desperate for dollars, SLPP-UNP govt has introduced tough anti-corruption laws. But it is only wishful thinking that laws alone can eliminate corruption however tough they may be. more..

Arjuna aims to rebuild Sri Lanka Cricket

Nov 7 (DN) Former Sri Lanka World Cup-winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe yesterday. This decision, made under the No. 25 SL Sports Act, grants authority to the Sports Minister. The committee, comprising seven members, includes former SLC President Upali Dharmadasa, legal experts like Attorney-at-Law Rakitha Rajapaksha (son of Justice Minister), more..

Bangladesh edge Sri Lanka after Mathews timed out row

Nov 7 (CI) Yet another chapter was written into the story of subcontinental cricket's most engrossing rivalry, in which Bangladesh came away deserved winners against SL, winning by three wickets and, crucially, 53 deliveries in Delhi. The margin of victory means Bangladesh have leapfrogged SL on the points table on net run rate, while Bangladesh, Netherlands and SL are all on four points and all three - and more..

Delay in GI law implementation hampers cinnamon exports

Nov 7 (FT) The protracted delay in implementing a Geographical Indication (GI) law in Sri Lanka has emerged as a significant roadblock in registering local GI products, thereby impeding their access to the associated benefits within export value chains. Despite receiving Cabinet approval to formalise it into law, spices and allied products, exporters pointed out that procedural slowness within the Trade and Commerce Ministry and Dept of Commerce has thwarted the timely dispatch more..

Govt takes action to regulate unregistered microfinance institutions

Nov 7 (FT) State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya announced that measures are underway to establish a separate regulatory authority dedicated to overseeing microfinance institutions. Disclosing shocking data regarding the microfinance sector, he noted that of the 11,000 microfinance institutions operating in the country, only five are registered. He said this underscores a significant gap in regulatory oversight within the sector. more..

වික්කමසිංහට වෙච්ච දේමයි රණතුංගට

FACETS: Sri Lanka to showcase historic masterpiece pavilion

Nov 7 (DN) FACETS Sri Lanka 2024, Asia’s Premier Gem and Jewellery Exhibition, collaboration between the SL Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA), the National Jewellery Authority (NGJA), and the Export Development Board (EDB) takes centre stage from Jan 6 to 8, 2024 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. Among these pavilions, the Masterpiece Pavilion will emerge as a grand attraction and is designed to showcase the exquisite beauty of Sri Lankan sapphires and rubies. more..

Central Bank Treasury Bond fraud: SC stops High Court from releasing 10 accused

Nov 7 (ST) Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar’s order releasing 10 accused including Perpetual Treasuries Limited indicted over the Rs. 15 billion Central Bank Treasury Bond fraud. SC also issued an interim order preventing the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar from hearing the case. SC issued the stay order as it gave leave to proceed for a special leave-to-appeal petition filed against the order given by the 3-judge Trial-at-Bar of Colombo High Court. more..

EDB Chief highlights export performance challenges in 2023

Nov 7 (FT) The Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Dr. Kingsley Bernard stressed the challenges of meeting 2023 export objectives in the face of global headwinds, but stated that efforts are actively in progress to seek innovative ways to boost exports. Considering the available data and global economic trends it seems that the sector is unable to achieve the set export target for 2023 amid the recession in more..

Shakib's pat on the shoulder that preceded the mayhem

Nov 7 (CI) In a match all over which Shakib Al Hasan emblazoned his name, it's the tender, half-smiling shoulder pat to Angelo Mathews that was the most Shakib of all Shakib moments. If, by sight, you could size up Mathews' emotions right around then, you'd have guessed he's about 20% bemused, 50% worried, 30% frustrated, 100% cannot-believe-this-garbage. He's pointing at the crease, pointing to his helmet strap, pleading with one umpire, pleading with other umpire, now explaining to Shakib. more..

Vish Gonvindasamy appointed to CBSL Governing Board

Nov 7 (FT) Business leader Vish Govindasamy has been appointed to the newly set up Governing Board of the Central Bank of SL. To pave the way for the appointment, Govindasamy resigned from the Board of HNB on 27 October after being appointed in June this year. The other members of the Governing Board (formerly Monetary Board) are CBSL Governor and Chairman Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Sanjeeva Jayawardena, Nihal Fonseka, Dr. Ravi Rathnayake & Anushka Wijesinha. more..

NPP New York Conference