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Divisional Secretary’s Facebook post stirs bribery battle in Presidential Secretariat

May 12 (ST) Presidential Secretariat has written to the CIABOC requesting that an inquiry be conducted into a Facebook post by a Divisional Secretary in the Puttalam District, levelling bribery allegations against a Media Director of the Prez Secretariat. In his Facebook post, Divisional Secretary claimed he had received a call from a person claiming to be a media director at the prez’s office asking for the number of a person more..

Opposition questions Government’s economic recovery efforts

May 12 (ST) On the day Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed Parliament to brief the House regarding the Govt’s economic programme, Govt had to push back at accusations from the opposition over a lack of transparency regarding its economic recovery efforts. Speaking after the Prez made a special statement to Parliament, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa claimed that whatever the picture the Prez may have tried to portray, the new normal that is in effect today has heaped pressure, more..

Outsourcing visas: Unsolicited passport to corruption

May 12 (ST) A Cabinet Minister’s assertion this week that the Govt did not need to call for tenders because who else is there to tender, before awarding a lucrative 12-year visa processing contract to a foreign joint venture is the cementing of an alarming trend that makes a mockery of all new anti-corruption and governance related laws rushed into place at the IMF’s behest. This was confirmation that the deal to vet online and on-arrival tourist visa applications was granted to a three-party more..

RW Govt. faces issue of sustainability of debt treatment post-polls while SJB faces...

May 12 (TM) If the Ranil Wickremesinghe Govt thought that the country was coming out of its economic danger zone and had built confidence in the minds of creditors and investors alike, it needs to think twice. The upcoming election period – Prez and Parliamentary Elections – has now brought caution back to the minds of creditors and investors. These sentiments were stated by none other than CB Governor more..

A tipping point for Renewable Energy

May 12 (SO) Sri Lanka, located in the equatorial belt, is blessed with an abundance of sun and wind. It is, therefore, somewhat surprising that we are still lagging behind in the Renewable Energy (RE) race. However, other countries, both developed and developing, have raced far ahead. In fact, some countries can already generate 100% of their power demand from RE alone for short periods. Soon, they will be able to do so 24/7. We are penning these words in the context of the latest reports more..

Indeed, a land like no other

May 12 (TM) In this land like no other – the country’s tourism tagline some years ago – it has been determined that SL’s State Minister of Tourism was, in fact, a tourist; and, to boot, one who had overstayed her welcome by almost a decade. The magnitude of the matter is such that here is a foreigner in the eyes of the highest court of the land who has conned her way for four long years in occupying a seat in the country’s Legislature while also presiding over Govt policy as a Minister more..

Diana under immigration radar for overstaying visa since 2014

May 11 (DM) In the wake of UK citizenship holding Diana Gamage losing her parliamentary seat following a ruling by the Supreme Court, the immigration authorities are planning to consult the Attorney General to inquire into how she lived in Sri Lanka without a valid visa since she last arrived in the country on a tourist visa since around 2014, an official said. She lost her parliamentary seat on grounds that she is a UK citizen. more..

Election Commission of SL: Only 250 computers out of 500 operational

May 11 (CT) With the Election Commission of SL facing an acute dearth of technology and expertise, overcoming challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in addition to misinformation and fake news circulating on social media platforms during the election period has become next to impossible. Commissioner General of Elections, Saman Sri Ratnayake, speaking at a recent forum held in Colombo, said his institution lacks basic tech facilities to monitor or debunk misinformation more..

Verité Research shares structure for rational, efficient Govt in Sri Lanka

May 11 (FT) Verité Research yesterday launched a Blueprint for a Rational Govt in Sri Lanka. The publication shows how all the duties, functions, institutions, and laws in Sri Lanka can be structured and organised in an efficient and effective manner – even with just 15 ministries. It draws on the work of the acclaimed 1988 Administrative Reform Commission as well as exemplary international practices, to design a highly functional structure for organising Govt and all its activities in SL. more..

GL cries foul over govt misusing state machinery to fight election

May 11 (Island) None of the actions and initiatives of the Ranil Wickremesinghe govt are sincere and the state machinery is being blatantly misused for election purposes, MP G.L Peiris says. He that in recent months the govt had established an independent Commission for Truth, Unity and Reconciliation & Community Advisory Committees (CAC). “Usually, govts make these big gestures in first 100 days of being elected. more..

Death of senior journalist, Editor A. D. Ranjith Kumara

May 11 (DN) Senior journalist and former Sarasaviya Editor A. D. Ranjith Kumara passed away yesterday. Hailing from Kosgas Handiya in Grandpass, he was the eldest among four siblings and was the only member of his family to venture into the field of journalism. Ranjith Kumara worked as a journalist and Editor of Sarasaviya for 25 years while organizing the Sarasaviya cinema awards. During this time, he was honoured with two prestigious literary awards in recognition of more..

Different standards for govt. and street vendors in setting prices for visitors

May 11 (ST) The recent incident involving the arrest of a street food vendor in Aluth Kade, Colombo, for allegedly selling food at a higher price has sparked questions about the perceived discrepancy involving the govt. Netizens questioned why the govt enforces strict measures against vendors while imposing higher charges for foreigners at tourist sites. Some argue that it is understandable that vendors adjust prices for foreigners to cope with rising operating costs. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Excessive heat causes another death in Jaffna: Six persons have succumbed so far

May 11 (DN) Another person from the Punnalaikattuwan area in Jaffna has died on Thursday (9) from getting exposed to excessive heat. Sivagnanam Jayakumar aged 45, who had consumed alcohol with a group of friends in the afternoon, has returned to his home afterwards and was found fallen in the garden, Police said. The daughter of the victim has checked his condition after seeing the father fallen and has admitted him to the Thelippalai hospital upon noticing that more..

Patali: Some Western countries’ response to pro-Palestinian protests reveals...

May 11 (Island) EJP leader Patali Champika Ranawaka has questioned the deployment of a bulldozer by the Netherlands to break up pro-Palestinian protests at the University of Amsterdam on 9 May. Had that happened in Asia, Western diplomatic missions would have promptly issued statements condemning the relevant govts over the threats such actions posed to democracy and freedom of expression. The former Minister was commenting on the reportage of more..

Advocata Institute Chief warns on economic challenges ahead

May 11 (FT) Advocata Institute Chairman Murtaza Jafferjee cautioned against complacency, urging policymakers to prioritise economic stability and enact meaningful reforms to navigate the economy, noting that the country still faces significant hurdles. “We have gone through a stabilisation program and there is a long way ahead of us. We have to make the necessary policy changes and build the institutions and more..

Three cops arrested for bribery to halt action against selling sexual stimulants

May 11 (DM) In a startling turn of events, three police officers from the Sapugaskanda Police, including a sergeant and two constables, were arrested today on suspicion of accepting a bribe amounting to Rs. 150,000 to stop proceeding with legal action against the sale of aphrodisiacs (a food, drink, or other thing that stimulates sexual desire) by an Ayurvedic medicine dealer. The saga began when the medicine dealer filed a complaint with the Sapugaskanda Police, more..

Authorities on alert as illicit fags flow from airport

May 11 (DM) Law enforcement agents are on alert as illicit cigarettes in bulk arrive at the airport and were also found within the country during the last couple of days amounting to the value of over Rs.1.5 million. Two separate attempts to smuggle in imported brands of cigarettes were thwarted by the PNB officials at the BIA on Tuesday and Wednesday. A SL passenger returning from Muscat, Oman was intercepted by the officials at the Arrival Terminal while in possession of illicit cigarettes more..

ගමට බලය බෙදන හැටි ලාල් කියයි

Automobile component exports to grow from USD 200 Mn to USD 1 Bn soon

May 11 (DN) The SL govt is promoting automobile component manufacturing as a trust sector for growth and the industry has plans to grow exports from current USD 200 million to USD 1 billion soon, said Chairman of the Sector Advisory Committee for Automobile for the Ministry of Industries, Dimantha Jayawardena. “SL automotive component manufacturers went through one of the toughest business cycles from 2020 but has now recovered and is to become a major exporter,” he said. more..

Basil says SLPP willing to forge or break alliances in national interest

May 11 (FT) SLPP founder Basil Rajapaksa said the party stands ready to align with or disengage from any group in the interest of the country. Rajapaksa, speaking to the media at the opening of the party elections operations office, revealed that the SLPP has not yet finalised its candidate for the upcoming Prez election. However, he expressed optimism that a decision on the party’s Presidential nominee will be reached soon. He emphasised that the party leadership will be briefed more..

Seaweed farming tangled in bureaucracy, politicisation

May 11 (ST) When the war widows of Valaipadu returned to their village in 2010 after over a year of displacement, they did not think there would be much opportunity awaiting them. But an unusual new product would soon transform their lives: seaweed. Seaweed farming is relatively straightforward. Nursery plants are grown for 45 days in shallow waters before being dried, dusted and packed. In Valaipadu, more..

Largest ever housing and construction expo kicks off at BMICH

May 11 (FT) The premier three-day Build SL Housing and Construction International Expo organised by the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) kicked off yesterday at the BMICH. It is the 19th annual exhibition organised by the Chamber. Build Sri Lanka 2024 showcases the latest developments in the building and construction industry, with eminent industry experts, stakeholders and decision makers in attendance, making it an ideal event to source new products, network and more..

Dinara de Silva powers into ITF Junior Circuit final

May 11 (DN) Dinara de Silva, SL’s top girls tennis player, excelled on the court as she defeated Indonesia’s Abigall Elham in straight sets in the semi final to advance to the final of the ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Circuit J30 at SSC Colombo. First week of this exciting tournament was played at the SSC courts yesterday. In an impressive display, 2nd seeded Dinara secured a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Abigall Elham, third-seeded player from Indonesia, securing her place in Women’s Singles final. more..

ප්‍රවීණ රංගධර කමල් අද්දරආරච්චි

Benchmark All Share Price Index tops 12,500 points mark after 2 years

May 11 (FT) ASPI of the Colombo stock market crossed the 12,500 points mark for the first time in 2 years thanks to the sustenance of positive investor sentiment. ASPI gained by 122 points or almost 1% to close at 12,518.97 points. The active S&P SL 20 gained by 1.56%. During the week the ASPI and the S&P SL20 gained 0.9% and 1.6% respectively. Year to date, ASPI has gained by 17.5% and the S&P SL20 by 21.57%. Turnover yesterday Rs. 2.5 billion involving 111.38 million shares. more..

Shortage of 3,000 midwives puts mothers and newborn at risk

May 11 (ST) International Day of the Midwife, which falls today, is a reminder that the shortage of midwives in the state sector negatively influences maternal care and is taking a heavy toll on the families they care for. Typically, one midwife should assist 1,500–2,500 mothers, according to Family Health Bureau (FHB) guidelines. It says it is taking measures to address the shortfall of 3,000 midwives. In addition to being the foundation of healthcare for women and children, midwives have more..

Dengue unit seeks community help to prevent possible rise in dengue cases

May 11 (ST) National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) foresees that the present dengue incidence could increase due to the upcoming south-west monsoon in June. There have been 22,528 dengue patients and nine reported deaths throughout the country as of today (5). Western Province (WP) accounted for the majority of all cases. NDCU further highlighted the absence of proper prevention measures, more..

Pasindu leads SL ‘A’ against Afghanistan

May 11 (DN) Sri Lanka ’A’ Team led by new skipper Pasindu Sooriyabandara is expected to adopt a positive approach in their one and only four day game against Afghanistan ‘A’ which commences today at P. Sara Oval Stadium. After successful five match unofficial ODI series between two teams Sri Lanka ‘A’ team won the series 3-2 while both teams will field new look sides in this four day game . Two different venues ODI’s at Hambantota Mahinda Rajapaksa International cricket stadium while more..

How far can we go with only hope?

May 11 (FT) A month ago, I had a frantic call from a distant contact who wanted to know if I could arrange for cancer treatment at Apeksha that same day, as they have been very curtly told, come next week. They had come on a confirmed appointment, he told me. His problem was, the hire for the van was over Rs. 30,000 and they simply cannot afford that fare yet again in a week. Apeksha in Sinhala is Hope though not the most apt name for a hospital. A hospital should hold more than mere hope more..

Unhealthy situation in the medical training sphere

May 11 (CT) Patients and the public of this country face the dilemma as to whether medical practitioners were not satisfied merely by taking the Hippocratic Oath but also wanted to assume the role of the hypocrite. Judging by the recent fiasco regarding the human immunoglobulin and medicinal drug scandal, which landed former Health Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, former Health Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta, along with more..

Seven reasons why I would not vote for a socialist utopia

May 11 (FT) There is a certain age that socialism sounds super sweet. Who wouldn’t appreciate a system in which everyone lives merrily, receives free education and healthcare, shares their food with others, and experiences a sense of community and compassion? Who would not want a highly paying govt job whether you study hard or not? In this ideal society, there are no grievances about the contributions made for the greater good. Individuals are duly recognised with bronze medals more..

Leptospirosis preventive measures: Farmers have satisfactory knowledge, poor practise

May 11 (TM) Despite possessing a highly-satisfactory level of overall knowledge and attitudes on leptospirosis preventive measures, local farmers have not practised leptospirosis preventive measures adequately. These findings were made in an original research article on the Knowledge, attitudes and practises of preventive measures in leptospirosis among farmers in a lower-middle income country: Evidence from a divisional health area of SL which was authored by more..

අහිංසක පූසිගේ දේශපාලනය

Editorial: Diana under pursuit

May 11 (Island) Now that Diana Gamage has lost her parliamentary seat owing to a Supreme Court ruling that she is not eligible to be a MP, a campaign has got underway to have state funds spent on her as an MP and State Minister recovered from her. The fact that she, a British citizen, had herself appointed a National List (NL) MP and held a ministerial post amounts to deception, according to her critics. This argument is tenable. Ironically, among those who are all out to have ex-MP more..

Scams alert shakes banking sector?

May 11 (TM) Cybercrimes and alleged unethical hacking are happening in SL and worldwide. A global example is where hackers breached the production systems of the cloud storage of DropBox for its DropBox Sign eSignature platform and gained access to authentication tokens, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) keys, hashed passwords, and customer information. In a local example, Dialog Axiata has issued a notice concerning specific WhatsApp groups and social media more..