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මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන

Practicality in prioritising fuel for health

Jun 22 (TM) In a context where procuring fuel is becoming exceedingly difficult, minimising the impacts of the fuel crisis has become a priority. In a bid to prevent the country’s health sector from coming to a halt due to difficulties faced by healthcare workers in obtaining fuel, the Government recently announced that new measures are being considered to facilitate the procurement of fuel for those in the sector. On Monday (20), Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella posted more..

Narrative revisited

Jun 22 (CT) SL economist N. Balakrishnan in a book titled Asian Survey published in Feb 1975 had this to say about SL under a heading SL in 1974: Battle for Economic Survival. “SL has been faced with a worsening economic situation in 1974. It became virtually a battle for economic survival and one that is far from over. “World food shortages, the oil crisis and global inflation have had such a severe impact on the economy that SL came to be listed by the IMF among the most seriously affected countries. more..

Why foreign investors face hostile responses in Sri Lanka

Jun 22 (CT) As the country’s energy crisis reaches a boiling point, Sri Lankans have warned the govt not to offer foreign investors like the Adani Group the mega renewable energy project in Mannar, which will have the capacity to supply 500MW to the national grid. Such backlash is common when successive govts offer unsolicited proposals to foreign investors, which is an open secret. However, India has consistently been more..

From the depths of despair King Cricket rises again

Jun 22 (DM) Whenever the Lankans have been at a seemingly bottomless pit of despair, it has been cricket that has helped the nation, irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion raise its collective head. Not so long ago - in 1996 - when the country was being wracked by the horrors of a terrorist war and Lankan spirits were drooping, SL defeated Australia by 7 wickets in the final to win their first ever World Cup. Explosions of canon fire and AK-47s - the sounds of war, gave way to explosions of more..

Excessive Govt borrowing deepens the economic crisis

Jun 21 (FT) Sri Lanka being the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to default on foreign debt in this century is facing its worst economic crisis since Independence. Pakistan was the last Asian country that defaulted in 1999. Amidst the lack of foreign currency, there is a severe shortage of food, medicine, fuel, and other essentials throughout the country. Shipments carrying diesel, petrol, and LP gas remain anchored off the port from time to time awaiting payments. more..

Are young politicians the solution to toxic political culture?

Jun 22 (TM) The need to change SL’s political culture for the better has been under discussion for a long time, although with little results, and the country’s political leadership has, from time to time, come up with various suggestions to achieve this objective. The most recent such suggestion comes from Opposition MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, who submitted a private member bill to amend parliament elections act, more..

Open letter to Sajith: Lead or leave

Jun 21 (FT) Dear Sajith, When Ranil Wickremesinghe became PM, I wrote an open letter to him and urged him to respond to the magnitude of the moment by directing his focus towards uniting the Opposition and avoiding the mistakes of the past. Although I have deep reservations over how the Rajapaksas manoeuvred him into the premiership, I sincerely hoped that he would succeed in uniting SL to face the greatest crisis we have encountered since independence. more..

Uni dons propose plan to tackle food crisis

Jun 22 (DM) SL’s economic crisis has caused immediate uncertainties regarding whether (a) required food supplies are and will be available, (b) the agri-food sector is and will be able to sustain the livelihoods of those engaged in crop, livestock and poultry farming, fishing, food manufacturing, food distribution and allied activities and (c) the agri-food sector is and will be able to provide food security for those most affected by the crisis. As these concerns are particularly pertinent to agriculture sector, more..

Exclusive Friday fuel allowance for health sector

Jun 21 (TM) Fuel allowances have been allocated exclusively for healthcare workers, allowing them to obtain a weekly allowance from allocated fuel sheds every Friday. “Following a discussion with Minister Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, an allowance of fuel has been allocated exclusively for eligible health care workers, every Friday. This will greatly aid our essential service workers in the execution of their duties,” more..

Dhammika settled casino taxes 10 days before National List nomination

Jun 21 (TM) Dhammika Perera had paid overdue taxes totalling Rs. 1,150 million incurred through his casino businesses on 30 May, when it was reported that he would take a position in the Govt, IRD Deputy Commissioner General Manjula Gunatunga revealed to the COPA. In 2015, the then-Govt imposed a Rs. 1 billion one-off tax on each of the four casino businesses operating in SL, but the four casinos, which are owned by leading businessmen in SL, had not paid the amount in one go. more..

Alagiyawanna slams ICTA for providing failed software

Jun 21 (TM) MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna, during a COPA meeting, stated that he was not satisfied with the role of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in the development of the Institutional Integration Computer Programme 2015 related to the licensing process of the Department of Imports and Exports. He further stated that ICTA does not provide any intervention or assistance to Govt institutions, especially those that do not have knowledge to develop computer programs. more..

Dhammika Perera gives undertaking not to take oaths as MP until SC decides

Jun 21 (DM) Businessman Dhammika Perera through his lawyer today gave an undertaking before Supreme Court that he would not to take oaths as a MP or a govt Minister until SC make an order regarding several Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging his appointment as a MP. President's Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for businessman Dhammika Perera gave this undertaking when 4 FR petitions more..

'Schools islandwide to function as usual'

Jun 21 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha said school textbook printing paper and other materials are being imported under the indian loan assistance and that plans were in place to meet the basic needs of the school system without a shortage by 2023. He said arrangements have been drawn up with local businessmen and the Chinese govt to supply school uniforms for next year. Premajayantha said there were no plans to reduce the number of school days or reduce the number of periods for subjects. more..

Govt pharmacists contemplating TU action

Jun 21 (DM) Society of Govt Pharmacists (SGM) warned the Health Ministry and said they will join a decision making process in collaboration with other trade unions in the health service, if the ministry does not take action to provide transport for health service professionals by Wednesday. SGM Chairman Ajith Thilakarathna said the responsibility of providing transport facilities lies with the Health Ministry, but as health service professionals, we were unable to get any transport facility. more..

CPC monopoly to end with govt. inviting multinational companies

Jun 21 (Island) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said that giving the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) the monopoly over the oil industry was a mistake and the govt was taking steps to allow multinational oil companies to recommence operations in SL. The petroleum sector was nationalised in the early 1960s and the CPC was given a monopoly. Minister said that several other companies must get involved in more..

Essential, life-saving drugs in hospitals running out rapidly: GMOA

Jun 21 (DM) With the increasing number of patients in the country, the essential and life-saving drug categories in hospitals are running out rapidly, so now it has become a serious crisis, GMOA Media Committee Member Dr. Prasad Kolabage said. The number of patients getting admitted in hospitals is currently increasing, and there is a shortage of more medicine categories in every hospital unlike ever before, Dr. Kolabage said. He said with the current economic difficulties, the pandemic situation more..

Justice Min. chairs discussion on amending Prevention of Money Laundering Act

Jun 21 (FT) A discussion on how the Prevention of Money Laundering Act could be amended was held under the patronage of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday. The discussion focused on matters relating to properties including vehicles, houses and lands etc., purchased expending monies illegibly earned. At the discussion, it was raised concerns on how the present Act ought to be amended to ensure measures to be taken pertaining to such properties and as well as more..

මුන්ගේ හොරකම් නිසා ලැබෙන්න තියන ආධාර ටිකත්...

'Economic turmoil could send 1 million SMEs out of business'

Jun 21 (DN) SL Trade Development Council (SLTDC) expressed serious concern over the near collapsing of business activities of one million Small and Medium Scale Business Enterprises in the country owing to the present economic crisis and requested state authorities to take stringent measures to revamp their business enterprises considering the country’s future economic prospects. SLTDC said the deterioration of small and medium scale business enterprises in the country more..

Sri Lankans trapped in livability crisis as wages massively fall behind inflation

Jun 21 (DM) Sri Lankans are entrapped in a massive-scale livability crisis, as their incomes do not keep pace with the prices, after the authorities plunged the country into an unprecedented economic crisis characterised by hyperinflation. According to the latest data, the wages of the Sri Lankans are lagging far behind the rise in the prices of what they buy daily for their sustenance, reflecting they are becoming financially worse off much faster than their earlier generations. more..

Doctors and health staff struggling to report to work

Jun 21 (TM) The fuel crisis is beginning to cripple the health sector in the country, as significantly fewer doctors and minor staffers are reporting to work due to the difficulty in obtaining fuel, severely impacting the day-to-day operations at hospitals. Dr. Sagari Kiriwandeniya said that fewer doctors are able to report to work at the hospital, as they are unable to travel due to the difficulty in procuring fuel. more..

JAT Holdings posts best ever financial year on record and delivers IPO promise

Jun 21 (Island) SL multinational conglomerate and market leader in wood coatings, JAT Holdings PLC, has posted its best ever financial year on record, doubling its Profit After Tax (PAT) during FY2021/22. Demonstrating resilient performance amidst the most challenging economic environment ever experienced in Sri Lanka, the Company’s Revenues rose by 66% percent to LKR 8.897 billion, from LKR 5.36 billion in the year prior. Meanwhile, Gross Profits grew 58% to LKR 2.603 billion, more..

We planned well to win 3rd ODI: Pathum

Jun 21 (DN) We had a good plan for the third ODI and made the maximum effort to win the game said SL opener Pathum Nissanka after the match at R.Premadasa cricket stadium on Sunday night. Nissanka the prolific right hander made a superb knock of 137 in 147 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes and also had a record second wicket partnership with Kusal Mendis. In fact this was the 15th ODI for Nissanka and he was lucky to score his maiden ODI century against Australia. more..

Litro gets green light for 100,000 MT of LPG

Jun 21 (TM) SL’s national liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) provider, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd., has received Government approval for bulk-buying as opposed to ad-hoc purchasing to manage the domestic demand moving forward sans long queues. The spokesperson for Litro Gas Lanka said that the Government had given it the green light to pursue the proposed plan in order to mitigate the current national shortage of LPG. more..

SLT-Mobitel and NWSDB sign agreement to provide Call Centre solutions

Jun 21 (CT) SLT-Mobitel, National ICT Solutions Provider, has signed a landmark agreement with the National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB), the statutory body responsible for the provision of safe drinking water and facilitating sanitation services, to provide a Call Centre solution for the benefit of all citizens. The agreement was signed recently at the National Water Supply & Drainage Board premises in Ratmalana between authorised signatories for NWSDB, more..

Colombo YMBA helps digital entrepreneurs contribute to economy

Jun 21 (ST) Having identified the immense potential and bring about a solution to the foreign exchange crisis in the country, the Colombo YMBA is helping digital freelancers to set up business, marketing their services, and help solve day-to-day problems. Mahendra Jayasekera, President, Colombo YMBA said that so far the organisation has conducted two online programmes and a physical workshop will be held on June 28 at the Colombo YMBA, Borella main hall free of charge. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Travis Head feeling sharp ahead of Sri Lanka Test challenge

Jun 21 (CI) Travis Head claims he is already feeling comfortable on Sri Lanka's wickets after working his way to a second big score of Australia's tour in their six-wicket ODI loss in Colombo. Head played a starring role in Australia's innings of 291 for 6 on Sunday, hitting an unbeaten 70 from 65 balls as he anchored the middle overs before exploding late. He hit 53 in his final 35 balls, turning it on in the final overs of Australia's innings before Sri Lanka chased down the target with ease. more..

The Sunday Times wins Publishers’ award for investigative reporting

Jun 21 (ST) The Sunday Times is among partners in Asia of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that won the Carlos Tejada Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting at the annual Society of Publishers’ in Asia (SOPA) Awards. The Sunday Time’s entries in this category were its reports on the secretive use of shell companies by Ramalingam Paksaralingam, a former top bureaucrat with powerful political connections, to invest in a private school in SL and more..

CEB’s bid for new gas turbines at Kelanitissa blows a fuse, once again

Jun 21 (ST) CEB's long overdue tender to design, manufacture, supply, install and commission three 35MW gas turbines at Kelanitissa Power Station has suffered another blow with the selected party China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) saying it cannot meet the financing terms. When the CEB called tenders early last year, it required bidders to come forward without 100% financing on suppliers’ credit basis. more..

UK monitoring SL situation, ready to support

Jun 21 (FT) United Kingdom on Monday said it is monitoring the developments in Sri Lanka and ready to support to come out of its crisis. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will encourage a peaceful, democratic and inclusive approach to help support Sri Lanka through its economic and political challenges,” MP Vicky Ford told the UK Parliament yesterday. She was responding to a query on UK’s development aid by UK Democratic Unionist Party MP Jim Shannon. more..

Editorial: Way to go, Prez, but …

Jun 21 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa has taken swift action to prevent a shady deal some state officials strove to cut with a foreign company, which sought to secure a contract, for a song, to extract ilmenite found in overburden red soil removed for limestone quarrying on a 5,352-acre land belonging to the SL Cement Corporation (SLCC) at Aruwakkalu. Last Thursday, the President instructed Minister of Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana to look into the matter, and sort it out, we are told. more..

Sajith sirens Prez, PM to quit; says SJB-led interim all-party Govt will end crisis

Jun 21 (FT) SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa reiterated that an interim all-party Govt led by his team can provide solutions to current economic crisis and once again called on Prez Rajapaksa to step down since latter and PM do not have the support of the people. Premadasa stated the Prez, nor the present Govt and PM hold the confidence of the local or int'l community and are therefore unable to provide solutions to the crisis as promised. more..

Hamaduru ethics or deontology? The challenge before modern Sri Lankans

Jun 21 (CT) In ethics there are two major branches. This article argues that Sri Lanka is overwhelmed by just one of these, Hamaduru Ethics – with apologies to the few upright Hamadurus who do not fit this generalization. Most of us practise this. It is formally known as Utilitarian Ethics. It is the norm for people in authority such as Hamadurus, village headmen, and other religious leaders (especially in free churches where the pastor is god). Their authority carries their decisions, more..

A patient and humane approach to tired and frustrated queues

Jun 21 (TM) A state of pandemonium prevails in the country, and what started as a mere shortage of essentials has now morphed into a humanitarian and social crisis that affects almost all aspects of the people’s lives and future. No one – not even the Govt that keeps making the stale promise that the economic crisis will be over soon – seems to have the answers that the people are desperately seeking. Endless queues to get food and fuel are the main issue. more..