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'Transcend individual ambitions for country’s progress'

Dec 3 (SO) In an interview, UPF Leader and MP, Patali Champika Ranawaka, provides a thorough analysis of the current Budget and economic landscape in Sri Lanka. Q: As a representative of an independent party, how do you assess the current Budget? A: This budget lacks realism. The projected income appears unattainable and falls short of covering expenses. Doubts also arise regarding the anticipated foreign funds. more..

Govt expected to give green light to new cricket constitution

Dec 3 (Island) Following the unceremonious axing of Roshan Ranasinghe as Sports Minister, you expected a few celebrations at Maitland Place. However, the celebrations have been muted. While most Sports Ministers had played ball with SLC, Ranasinghe had turned out to be the cricket establishment’s bete noire. Harin Ferando had a brief spell as Sports Minister from 2018 to 2019 and he had endorsed the current establishment during his previous stint. more..

Ranil’s last hurrah for a new parliament in March

Dec 3 (CT) Prez Wickremesinghe has now made repeated assurances that the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in 2024. Financial allocations for the two elections were also announced in parliament. Parliamentary elections are expected to come first, apparently in March 2024, according to news reports citing sources close to the President. Let us assume that the sources are correct and start the political countdown before the official call is made early in the new year. more..

RW appoints stop gap ministers while IMF fails to include SL in the agenda for...

Dec 3 (TM) Amidst the ongoing political chaos in the country with the sacking of a minister and appointment of new ministers while preparations are underway for national-level elections next year, the Ranil Wickremesinghe Govt was able to take a breather last week with the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) confirming its agreement in principle on specific financing terms to restructure SL’s debt in line with debt restructuring more..

More of the same

Dec 3 (TM) With the dawn of the festive season, elaborate plans are being drawn up to light up Colombo with decorative illuminations imported from China. But the intentions behind it are not lost on a people strangulated by economic hardship brought upon by the economic crisis. Last week it was announced that Colombo would be lit up from the Presidential Secretariat up to Duplication Road in Colpetty to mirror Singapore’s famed Orchard Road. The announcement led to an outpouring of more..

Towards a rational liquor policy

Dec 3 (SO) The Budget 2024 presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe contained many progressive proposals. Among them was a proposal to revise the opening hours of liquor outlets (commonly called Wine Stores in this country, though they hardly sell any wine per se), which can now be opened only from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on designated excise holidays. Restaurants and bars with liquor permits can remain open till 11 p.m. However, many analysts have pointed out more..

Court orders Sachithra Senanayake to assist in investigations into match-fixing allegations

Dec 2 (AD) The Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on Friday ordered for former Sri Lankan cricketer Sachithra Senanayake to assist in the ongoing investigations concerning his match-fixing allegations. Accordingly, Senanayake was ordered to assist the Govt Analyst, when requested by the police to do so. The order was issued when a complaint filed by the Special Investigations Unit of the Sports Ministry was taken up in court more..

Immigration rescues six Pakistani belly dancers exploited by bogus SL film maker

Dec 2 (DN) A group of young Pakistani females accompanied by their male manager, who had been brought into SL by a local man claiming to be a filmmaker and had exploited them to work as belly dancers at a Colombo nightclub, was rescued by the Dept of Immigration and Emigration yesterday. The immigration dept’s investigation division on information took six Pakistani females and a male whilst remaining in an apartment in Dehiwala. They had arrived in the country on Sept 18, more..

Special Commodity Levy imposed on multiple goods

Dec 2 (DM) President Ranil Wickremesinghe, acting in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, has officially announced the imposition of the Special Commodity Levy on a range of goods, effective today (01). The presidential directive, communicated through a special govt notification, indicates that the levy will remain in effect until Dec 31, 2024, subject to the provisions outlined in Sub Section (3) of Section of the Special Commodity Levy Act, No.48 of 2007. more..

With criticism, Sri Lanka leader strongly pushes for CJF, investment in TB at COP28

Dec 2 (EN) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe strongly pushed for a Climate Justice Forum (CJF) and investments in Tropical Belt and criticised the slow action against climate change-led disasters at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai. This year’s climate summit features a raft of issues for countries working to find common ground in tackling climate change, including whether to phase out fossil fuels and more..

CC crisis: Judiciary not yet formally responsive to Speaker

Dec 2 (DM) The judiciary is yet to respond formally to the request by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana as the head of the Constitution Council to submit the details related to the performance of judges nominated to be picked for key positions. Earlier, Speaker wrote to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya requesting him to submit such details such as the performance of the Judge concerned in terms of the number of Judgments delivered and pending delivery for the last more..

LTTE Deputy Mahattaya left out of Mahaveer Naal commemoration

Dec 2 (Island) Mahendraraja Gopalswamy alias Mahattaya, the deputy of the defeated LTTE, has been left out of its Heroes list displayed in Nallur, Jaffna, during the recent Mahaveer Naal celebrations. Sources based in Jaffna said that Mahattaya, who had been executed on Dec 28, 1994, on orders of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, wasn’t included in the list. Mahattaya was put to death after LTTE found him guilty of serving India’s premier intelligence agency more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

US Ambassador concerned over ‘continued use of PTA’ in Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (AD) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung has raised concerns pertaining to the continued use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), highlighting the importance of the need to protect certain fundamental freedoms. In a post on ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, Ambassador Chung raised concerns over the repeated use of the controversial legislation as a tool for the arrest of peaceful protesters and the inhumane treatment of detainees in prison. more..

Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm

Dec 2 (AD) The Meteorology Department says the depression over southwest Bay of Bengal is located near latitude 10.3°N and longitude 85.3°E, at 11:30 p.m. on Friday (Dec 1) and about 490km northeast of Trincomalee. It is likely to develop into a deep depression during next 12 hours and further into a cyclonic storm by tomorrow (Dec 3). The system is expected to move west - northwestward near North coast of Sri Lanka towards North Tamil Nadu coast of India by Tuesday (Dec 5). more..

New trainer and physio for national cricket team

Dec 2 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expected to get new trainer and physiotherapist for the National team to focus on next year National team assignments . SLC CEO Ashley de Silva has confirmed National team Trainer Grant Ludan and Physiotherapist Chris Clarke have already resigned form their respective posts after recently concluded ICC world cup cricket tournament held in India. Both of them had to complete two year contract more..

Cabinet nod for 100,000 MT of keeri samba to be imported

Dec 2 (DN) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said in Parliament yesterday (01) that the Cabinet has approved the import of 100,000 metric tons of keeri samba rice for the upcoming festive season. The Minister also stated that the Govt decided to import 50,000 metric tons of rice under the first phase and sell it only under the intervention of the state. He said this while replying to the question asked by Member of Parliament Rohana Bandara expecting oral answers. more..

Dialog Axiata Surpasses 200,000 Users on Sri Lanka’s largest 5G Trial Network

Dec 2 (DN) Dialog Axiata, the first telecommunications service provider in the South Asian region to demonstrate 5G capabilities in 2018, has enabled over 200K Sri Lankans to experience the power of 5G on Dialog’s 5G Trial network. Customers connecting to Dialog’s 5G trial network can get the opportunity to experience the extraordinary potential of 5G technology, along with download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps. Further, Dialog Roaming customers more..

අනුනාකි සහ රොබෝ සේපියන්ස්

Nalanda’s Susal and Wycherley’s Oshini claim top spots

Dec 2 (DN) Susal de Silva and Oshini Gunawardhana won runner-up positions in the Western Asian Juniors and Girls Rapid Chess Championship held on Nov 29 at the Board of Investors Auditorium, World Trade Centre. Susal de Silva, a student from Nalanda College, clinched the second runner-up spot after a four-way tie for the championship with 5.5/7 points. The title went to International Master GB Harshavardhan of India, with Vepaly Halynyazow of Turkmenistan more..

Swimming stars compete for World Championship spots

Dec 2 (DN) In a bid to secure spots for four swimmers at the World Aquatic Championship in Doha in Feb 2024, the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) is set to conduct a Selection Trial at the Sugathadasa Stadium Swimming Pool today (Saturday) starting from 8:30 AM for a three-hour duration. Sri Lanka has the opportunity to send two male and two female swimmers to the World Aquatics Championship in the Qatari capital, Doha, scheduled from February 2 to 18, 2024. more..

Higher taxes further inflate price tags of home appliances and electronics

Dec 2 (ST) Uncertainty continues in the electrical and electronic items market in view of the revision of VAT in January. Vendors and businessmen expressed concerns over price fluctuations and reduced purchasing power as salaries have not increased relative to the cost of living. Merchants expect sales to drop as the prices of newly imported electrical items rise due to VAT. They also expect greater availability of more..

Dismantling the bridle on the executive

Dec 2 (DM) A Fundamental Rights Petition has been filed on Tuesday before the Supreme Court seeking an order suspending the implementation of a decision taken by the Constitutional Council (CC) calling for a report from the Chief Justice regarding certain Judges of the Court of Appeal. The petition alleged that the CC had taken this decision in the context of those Judges being nominated by the President for appointment to the Supreme Court and different positions of the Court of Appeal. more..

Business confidence plummets

Dec 2 (FT) In its December edition, leading business magazine LMD reports that business confidence has plummeted to a 15-month low. It elaborates: “Biz confidence has nosedived. And we may have to tighten our seatbelts and prepare for a hard landing when businesspeople take cognisance of the 2024 Budget proposals presented in Parliament on 13 November.” The magazine notes that the Business Confidence Index (BCI) shed 17 basis points in November, to fall to 58. more..

Extension of deadline for tax returns urged amid system glitches

Dec 2 (FT) In an open letter addressed to the Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Lanka Tax Founder Mahesh Yogarajan has appealed for an extension of the tax return submission deadline, citing recent system errors that affected many taxpayers. The request comes following the IRD circulating that taxpayers facing difficulties in filing their returns due to system errors more..

CSE starts festive December in green and highest gain in a month

Dec 2 (FT) Colombo stock market yesterday began the festive month of December in green with both indices gaining by over 1%. The active S&P SL20 was up by 1.23% and the benchmark ASPI by 1.2%. Turnover was Rs. 962.2 million involving 38.7 million shares. During the week the ASPI and the S&P SL20 gained 1.8% and 2.2% respectively whilst recording an average daily turnover of Rs. 982 million. ASPI continued its positive momentum for a third consecutive session on Friday and more..

Shock to Sri Lankans – corruption encouraged from on high

Dec 2 (Island) Inconceivable, unbelievable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, unaccountable, perplexing and plain shocking are the terms that came to Cassandra’s mind as she read the stunning news that the Prez sacked the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs on 27 Nov, who was on the trail of allegedly corrupt SLC office bearers. The President was not voted in but selected by the SLPP, when its leader President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stole away to Male and elsewhere in a blue funk for his life. more..

පාතාලේ ගෝඩ් ෆාද පොලිස්පති වු වගයි

Editorial: Funds and bungs

Dec 2 (Island) The govt finds itself in such a situation with hardly any feats to preen itself on that it even flaunts the receipt of a foreign loan as an achievement. One may recall that the UNP went so far as to celebrate the approval of the IMF bailout by lighting firecrackers at its headquarters, Sirikotha, early this year, making as it did a spectacle of SL in the eyes of the international community. Now, Minister Bandula Gunawardena has boastfully announced that SL will receive more..

Pros and cons of loans on lines of credit

Dec 2 (Island) An MP is reported to have claimed that several types of vegetables and yams have been imported at a cost of $293 million. Following this disclosure, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Dept of Agriculture to investigate the allegation and submit a report. The country from which vegetables and yams were imported has not been disclosed. Furthermore, although serious attempts have been made and continue to be made to restrict imports to ease pressure on more..

Experts renew call to reverse oil palm cultivation ban

Dec 2 (CT) Oil palm cultivation in SL is a much-debated topic. Although the hype created around the introduction of oil palm to Sri Lanka was immense, as the plantations began to be established, many issues in the areas of health, land preservation and water retention began to surface which forced the Govt to revisit its decision to commence oil palm cultivation in SL. Accordingly, a special expert committee was appointed more..

Dog sensed imminent danger from landslide, 30 families evacuated

Dec 2 (ST) Over 30 families living in estate-line houses in Thangamale, Haputale, owe their lives to a pet dog, who alerted his owner to an impending landslide. The pet owner, recounting the day, said the dog had been barking incessantly for many hours. “Initially, I was annoyed. But then I noticed concern, and it seemed stressed and even started pulling me out of the house,” the owner said. When he stepped outside, he noticed signs of an oncoming landslide and immediately alerted more..

Fighting HIV through responsible sexual practices and comprehensive education

Dec 2 (GV) The HIV epidemic remains a significant global health challenge, affecting millions of people around the world. While advancements in medical treatments have improved the quality of life for those living with HIV, prevention remains a crucial aspect of combating the spread of the virus. Responsible sexual practices and comprehensive education play pivotal roles in reducing new infections and breaking the cycle of the HIV epidemic. On October 27, 1988, the UN General Assembly officially more..

අපේ ලේ විකුණලා බාල බෙහෙත්...

A safe haven under expert care

Dec 2 (ST) A cozy and safe little place all of their own with every facility for vulnerable mothers with mental health issues, and their babies, to recover and recuperate in the heart of the bustling city of Colombo! It is a first for a maternity hospital in Sri Lanka – this dedicated Mother Baby Unit down Francis Road, Colombo 8. The opening ceremony on Wednesday (Nov 22) was simple but the presence of influencers from both the health sector and medical education as well as more..

A Tiger without the Tell-Tale Stripes?

Dec 2 (CT) Critics may find fault with the newly-minted Dwaraka, supposedly the daughter of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, for delivering a lifeless, listless speech to mark the outfit’s annual Heroes’ Day on 27 November. With some of her promoters projecting her as Thalai-magal, or woman leader or leader’s daughter, as the case may be, the woman sold to believers as Dwaraka should have been tutored to emote better, speak better, if the idea was for her to touch more..