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To go solo, or form alliances?

Feb 18 (CT) With the announcement of the Prez Election or General Election in the latter part of this year, major political parties such as the UNP, SLFP and SLPP have been engaging in discussions with mainstream political parties to form alliances in a bid to contest the election. Citizens are also eagerly waiting to elect a Prez who will effect system change, providing equal opportunities to everyone. The ACMC, a Muslim political party, more..

What is the price rise doing to the voter?

Feb 18 (CT) On the face of it, harsh winter in parts of the country may have been among the reasons for the turnout in the recent Pakistani National Assembly Polls, dipping below the halfway mark, to 47.6% from an already low 52.1% in 2018. But, the mood of the voter, triggered by the poor state of the nation’s economy and the anticipation of political violence even otherwise for the low poll percentage should not be overlooked either. Over the past two years of economic crisis, more..

Executive Ranil turns constitutional interpreter, as AKD arrives via India

Feb 18 (CT) 2024 is election year practically everywhere. In South Asia, it is two down and two to go. Bangladesh and Pakistan are done with their elections. Next up is India with the mother of all elections which will be held over two months in April and May. Farther east, Indonesia had its own massive elections last week. SL is waiting for its election dates. Unlike other Asian countries, including Pakistan where the army calls all the shots, SL is the only country where election more..

RW speaks of begging for the future while govt looks at holding back on controversial

Feb 18 (TM) The Ranil Wickremesinghe Govt’s inability to rally the people around its policies, especially the economic recovery path, is indicative of several failures of the Executive and his administration, including its failure to read the people’s pulse. Although the Wickremesinghe administration managed to somewhat arrest the rapidly-declining economy the country witnessed in 2022 by stopping the long fuel queues more..

Big Brother’s forever baby

Feb 18 (TM) It was around a decade ago that the people of this country first raised the cry for good governance, having endured years of waste, corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, and what not – all of which had contributed to making life that much harder for the ordinary citizen. In fact it was that cry for good governance that ultimately resulted in the creation of the Yahapalanaya regime shortly after in 2015. Ten years later, Chief Executive of that original good governance project is more..

Follow Ethiopia’s example

Feb 18 (SO) Many countries, including SL, are waiting till 2025 or even 2040 to impose a ban on Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles powered by either petrol or diesel. However, some other countries such as Norway, while not banning ICE cars yet, have given incentives and concessions for the import and use of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to the extent where almost 80% of the new cars registered are BEVs. However, one unlikely country has taken a big leap forward, more..

AKD: JVP-led NPP will not undermine India’s national security

Feb 17 (Island) A NPP administration will not do anything that will undermine Indian security, but it will maintain economic and political relations with China, NPP delegation to India told Indian officials, JVP/NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. In his first interview since his return to the country, Dissanayake said India had extended an invitation to the NPP in December. “However, we had other commitments in Dec. more..

108,100 MSMES shut down due to 2022 economic crisis

Feb 17 (CT) 2022 economic crisis saw the closure of 108,100 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) resulting in job losses amounting to a minimum of 119,100 to a maximum of 475,800, extrapolation of data provided by the CSD showed. In a publication titled Impact of Economic Crisis on MSMEs 2022 released by CSD this week, segmentalising the MSMEs closed, said that 105,600 businesses in micro sector, 2,400 in small sector and about 100 in medium sector more..

Lankan fishermen rescued from pirates by Seychelles Coast Guard complains...

Feb 17 (Island) Fishermen who were on board a multi-day fishing vessel named Lorenzo Putha 4, which was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea, in late January, and were subsequently rescued by Seychelles Coast Guard on 29 January, urged the govt to facilitate their return to the country as soon as possible. The skipper of the boat, who spoke to Sri Lankan journalists via video during a press conference in Chilaw on Friday, said they are not even given water on a regular basis. more..

SJB blames flawed Govt policies for SME sector collapse

Feb 17 (FT) The main opposition party, SJB, this week attributed the collapse of the country’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to the current Govt and rejected claims that the COVID-19 pandemic had any involvement in the sector’s downturn. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, SJB stalwart MP Kabir Hashim emphasised that the sector’s downfall was not due to the COVID-19 pandemic but rather stemmed from more..

Stock market struggles its way to close marginally up

Feb 17 (FT) Colombo stock market struggled its way to close marginally up this week amidst relatively low turnover. The indices continued their positive performance, securing a weekly gain for the third straight week. ASPI gained 18.8 points (0.2%) and S&P SL20 gained 21.9 points (0.7%) during the week. In contrast last week ASPI gained by 1.31% and the S&P SL20 by 2.85%. Daily turnover for the week averaged Rs. 862 million as against Rs. 3.74 billion on account of an internal transfer more..

Police release photos of three Beliatta shooting suspects

Feb 17 (DM) Police released photographs of three suspects wanted over the shooting in Beliatta, where five persons were killed on Jan 22. Police said the Beliatta Police are investigating into the incident and three wanted suspects over the shooting are absconding. One of the suspects has been identified as Mahagamage Dinesh Priyankara alias Chootiya, a 35-year-old resident of Waragoda, Kahawa in Ambalangoda. Police said another suspect has been identified as more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

PMI points to uptick in manufacturing and services in January

Feb 17 (FT) SL Purchasing Managers’ Index for Manufacturing (PMI – Manufacturing) recorded an index value of 55.6 in Jan 2024, indicating an expansion in manufacturing activities. This improvement was attributable to the increases observed in all sub-indices. The expansion in new orders and production was largely driven by the manufacture of textiles and apparel sector. However, new orders and production in the manufacture of food and beverages sector decreased on more..

CEB says it has been producing most costly power in Asia

Feb 17 (Island) Sri Lanka needs to reduce the cost of producing electricity by about 25 percent in the next three years, General Manager of CEB Narendra de Silva said on Thursday during a consultation on the proposed electricity tariff, organized by the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) at the BMICH. “Right now we spend about 40.76 rupees to produce a unit of electricity (a kilowatt hour). This is very high compared to the rest of Asia. This should be around 31 rupees per unit.” more..

Sri Lanka risks expulsion from OGP over Online Safety Bill, etc.

Feb 17 (Island) Sri Lanka runs the risk of being expelled from the Open Govt Partnership (OGP) over its decision to enact the controversial ‘Online Safety Bill’ (OSB) and also go ahead with another contentious piece of proposed draconian legislation, titled Anti-Terrorism Bill. Sources said it would be inevitable unless a consensus could be reached with co-convenors -Transparency International SL and Sarvodaya Shramadama Movement (SSM) – more..

Night watchman Nirmal slams double century against Joes

Feb 17 (Island) D. S. Senanayaka College paceman Daham Nirmal who was promoted up in the order to play the night watchman role created a piece of history when he went on to score an unbeaten double century against St. Joseph’s in their Under 19 Division I Tier ‘A’ tournament match at Darley Road on Friday(16). Nirmal who generally bats at the number 11 position was asked to play the night watchman role when DSS were two wickets down for 42 runs on day one evening. more..

Sri Lanka out to maintain winning mindset at Dambulla

Feb 17 (DN) The SL T20 team led by Wanindu Hasaranga will play their first game in the three-match series against Afghanistan today at the Rangiri Dambulla Int'l Cricket Stadium, commencing at 7 pm. This is the first time Afghan team is playing on the Dambulla wicket under the new modern light system. After winning the ODI series against Afghanistan, SL will go in to this game with confidence while Afghan team led by new skipper Ibrahim Zadran hope to put up a good fight. more..

Conversations with Dr. Harini Amarasuriya

Govt vows relief as it presses ahead on reforms

Feb 17 (DM) In a bid to accelerate the revival process, the government affirmed yesterday that it is on track to implement the long-neglected economic reforms crucial for the country’s progress. However, despite the stabilisation of the economy, the people’s income has not kept pace with the rising cost of living, Prez’s Senior Adviser Sagala Ratnayaka said. He assured that the government is actively pursuing reforms across all sectors, to provide maximum relief to the people. more..

Only 11 beneficiaries received assistance

Feb 17 (CT) Although the Api Wenuwen Api Fund had intended to provide housing assistance to construct 30 houses completely and 400 houses partially between 2022 and 2023, only 11 selected beneficiaries have received the assistance. A senior official from the management team stated that a total of Rs 7,351,078 has been allocated as partial housing assistance to these 11 beneficiaries, who were chosen from the requests submitted during the public days of the Ministry of Defence. more..

Childhood cancer cases climb

Feb 17 (CT) The number of childhood cancers has increased from around 500 to 1000 in the last 15 to 17 years. This is not a sudden increase, as some have indicated, but is something which has occurred systematically over a considerable period, Dr. Suraj Perera said. Commemorating Int'l Childhood Cancer Day, yesterday (15), Dr. Perera said, 2% to 5% of all reported cancers are childhood cancers. more..

Sri Lanka Development XI have it easy

Feb 17 (DN) The SL Development XI team defeated the Uganda national team by seven wickets (nine balls remaining) in Galle yesterday during the ongoing Uganda tour. Continuing their dominance at the venue, Sri Lanka notched their third consecutive victory out of the seven scheduled matches. Batting first, the Cricket Cranes, led by Brian Masaba, faced a formidable challenge from SL’s bowlers. Simon Ssesazi’s valiant 70 off 51 balls (6 fours, 4 sixes) earned him the Man of the Match award, more..

Former Speaker calls for timely polls

Feb 17 (FT) National Movement for Social Justice Chairman Karu Jayasuriya has strongly emphasised that his organisation will vehemently oppose any attempts to postpone the elections. This assertion was made during a special discussion titled A new electoral system for a strong democratic country, which was organised by the organisation led by the former Speaker in Colombo earlier this week. Former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga, Professor G.L. Peiris, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, more..

Fuel sales: Formula continues to rev up prices

Feb 17 (TM) Upon the introduction of the current fuel price formula, the administration committed to ensuring that any reductions in int'l market prices would be reflected in lowered costs for consumers while simultaneously preventing financial losses for the State-run CPC. The formula’s intended function was to align fuel prices with int'l market fluctuations. However, an analysis of the data since its implementation reveals a consistent upward more..

Little Aswi ran to the playground as the bell rang little knowing what would befall him

Feb 17 (ST) Tragic incident of a tree crashing down on a preschool playground and snatching away the life of a 5-year-old student once again brought attention to the safety of students at preschools and schools. The student, fondly known as Aswi, had only been at the Montessori at Gampola Benhill Int'l School for 3 weeks. When the bell rang for break time, the little students, including Aswi, had run outside to the playground with their class teacher & another assistant keeping an eye on them. more..

Sri Lanka’s para athletes set Paris Paralympic standard

Feb 17 (DN) SL’s para athletes, a team of 5 members, came back home yesterday with six shiny medals from the 2024 Dubai Grand Prix, Fazza Championship. They grabbed four gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. The athletes did really well, hitting the 2024 Paris Paralympic qualifying standard too. During the 4-day event, Nuwan Indika and Dinesh Priyantha won three gold medals together. Then, on the last day, Saman Subhasinghe scored another gold in more..

හොර ගුහාවකට ගියෙමි...!

Govt makes major strides towards economic transformation: Ravi K

Feb 17 (FT) The Govt has made major strides towards transforming the economy while making growth more inclusive during the past 19 months as it cannot afford another economic crisis of such magnitude as that in 2022. But, much remains to be done to create a better future for all Sri Lankans, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said adding that a unique opportunity is now open to implement permanent structural reforms that may be difficult under normal circumstances. more..

ITF World Junior Tennis Drama: SL boys cruise to finals, girls fall short in nail-biter

Feb 17 (DN) SL’s junior boys’ team triumphed over Kyrgyzstan in the semi-final, securing their spot in the finals at the ITF World Junior Asia Oceania Pre-Qualifying Tournament held at the SLTA courts in Colombo yesterday. However, the girls’ team, despite a strong effort, faced defeat against Nepal and was eliminated from the competition. The boys’ team, featuring Risith Somaratne of Ananda College and Ashlin de Silva of St. Peter’s College, will face India in today’s final. more..

'In world cricket, we're one of the best bowling outfits'

Feb 17 (CI) There might be a little over three months left for June's Men's T20 World Cup, but for Afghanistan and SL that leaves just six competitive fixtures each before the start of the tournament - three of which will take place over the next week, starting on Saturday with the first T20I in Dambulla. This means that any flaws that crop up or game-plan tweaks that need doing take on added significance - essentially, this is the time to more..

The judicial power of the people & A Prez Interpretation of our constitution?

Feb 17 (CT) We as citizens of the country have witnessed in the past weeks some grave political developments that impact the governance of our country. On 31 Jan the President’s Media Division (PMD) released a public document. This document indicates that it is meant to be the Secretariat’s interpretation of the Prez’s powers under our constitution. Just before the PMD release, Online Safety Bill was signed into law by the Speaker. This Bill was brought to Parliament after more..

Sex education and stronger justice system can prevent child rape

Feb 17 (GV) In 2023, 1,502 girl children were raped in Sri Lanka and of them 167 became pregnant. These figures were disclosed by DIG of Police and head of the Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Women and Children (CWB), Renuka Jayasundara, who has been disseminating statistics to the public with the intention of raising awareness with regard to child rape. The majority of rape cases are statutory rape. The usual victims are girls below the age of 16, mainly from broken homes. more..

මී මැස්සාගේ කොළම

Ballots, do all have equal value?

Feb 17 (CT) The latter part of 2019 was quite a heated period in SL’s political landscape. It was during this period that amidst much social discourse it was announced that Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be nominated to contest the 2019 Prez Election. In this report, I do not expect to delve deep into such hypothetical content but wish to bring to the reader’s attention another related fact. The exceptionally large number of expatriate Sri Lankans who returned to the island to vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Editorial: Public bearing cost of corruption

Feb 17 (Island) Trade unions are on the warpath, demanding pay hikes, and the ordinary people are struggling to keep their heads above water mostly due to unconscionably high tax and tariff hikes. The govt insists that such painful measures are necessary to help the country come out of the present economic crisis. But it will be possible to ease the economic burden on the public if action is taken to eliminate corruption and waste in the state sector. It has now been revealed that more..