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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..

ඒ කාලේ ගියා බං නාමල්...

Trying to take the world for a ride

Jun 21 (ST) Foreign Minister GL Peiris must surely find his right hand terribly sore. Turn over the pages of local newspapers and even some news sites and there he is shaking hands with numerous foreign politicians and diplomats that he must need a good rub down at the end of the day. More recently he was seen greeting the new Australian deputy PM in Singapore where Foreign Minister Peiris had turned up to attend (possibly) the Shangri-la Dialogue which I suppose is still sponsored by more..

Right royal mess

Jun 21 (ST) Have some trade unions, not all, become a harbinger of bad news? This is what a colleague asked me the other day when there was outrage over reports of high salaries of a few top officials of the CEB who are powerful union leaders. No one would grumble if officials are paid handsomely for a hard day’s work (that’s an example followed by Singapore) but only if it is within the means of such state organisations to adequately compensate their workers. more..

Salvaging the X-Press Pearl: progress so far

Jun 21 (CT) With one of the worst marine disasters followed the need for the wreck of the MV X-Press Pearl’s removal in a manner that would not result in further damage to the already immensely affected environment. Chartered Engineer attached to the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Mangement, D.T. Rupasinghe said the removal of distressed ships from the sea is a complex scientific more..

Saboteurs hijack GotaGoGama?

Jun 21 (CT) Domestic and external forces working together to further destabilise the country wracked by three corrupt Rajapaksa regimes including the current, have hijacked GotaGoGama, Galle Face by trying to block a visiting IMF US dollar bailout mission opposite the Finance Ministry yesterday. The current cause of SL’s misery is the lack of dollars to import essentials originating in the two terms that former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power, from 17 Nov 2005 to 8 Jan 2015. more..

Strengthening parliamentary committees is critical for making 21A meaningful

Jun 21 (DM) The proposed 21 st. Constitutional Amendment (21A), which is meant to reduce the powers of the Executive Prez and enhance those of parliament, will be of no use if parliament continues to be lackadaisical in making use of the powers that it already has, or if the parliamentary committees have built-in weaknesses. One of the significant ideas mooted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is the need to strengthen parliament vis-ŕ-vis Executive Presidency in matters of public finance more..

'Future of the country is precarious, hopeless and bleak'

Jun 21 (DM) The SLPP MP and former Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa shared his views on the current economic, political and social upheaval in the country with the Daily Mirror. Q: Prez Rajapaksa has appointed a cabinet of 21 ministers but many of them including the President and PM have lost credibility among the public with their dubious past and questionable performance. Do you think Prez Rajapaksa more..

Fighting in a minefield

Jun 21 (DM) Clashes at filling stations and at cooking gas distributing centres are increasing with the heightening uncertainty over the fuel and gas supply in the near future. Number of reports of police and the army using firearms to control the angry mobs at fuel stations and gas distributing centres are also increasing. This seems to be a bad omen of an impending disaster, as the fuel and gas scarcity is likely to exacerbate in the coming weeks which might intensify angry reaction by the people. more..

Why Gotabaya should go? Why now?

Jun 21 (DM) Those who have followed this column might know that I have regularly expressed strong reservations about Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his previous stint as the secretary of defence and later his reincarnation as the president. Those concerns would be vindicated when the Sri Lankan judiciary is unshackled from routine political meddling and inherent bias toward the powers that be. Nonetheless, after the other Rajapaksas resigned and their dynastic project crumbled, I, more..

ඉන්ධන පිරවුම්හල් රැසක නොසන්සුන්තා

Cannot afford to allow protesters to disrupt economic recovery: UNP

Jun 20 (DM) Claiming that a group of individuals surrounded the Finance Ministry and attempted to prevent the Finance Secretary from attending the IMF talks, UNP Working Committee member Dinouk Colombage said such groups cannot be allowed to disrupt the economic recovery efforts of the country. He said in a statement that the protesters are not part of the groups who have been calling for a genuine change in the country, but rather those who have ulterior political motives. more..

President will martial this country out of this crisis:MR

Jun 20 (DM) Former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has extended his wishes to his borther President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the latter’s birthday saying that “I have every assurance that he will martial this country out of this crisis.” “A very happy birthday to President and all the very best as he steps into another year of his life. His presence has always been a source of strength and I have every assurance that he will martial this country out of this crisis,” former PM Rajapaksa tweeted. more..

Australia to assist Sri Lanka to overcome economic crisis within framework of IMF

Jun 20 (PMD) Minister for Home Affairs of Australia Clare O’Neill has said that the Australian govt will assist SL in overcoming the present economic crisis in compliance with the IMF framework. Mrs. Claire O’Neill, who is on an official visit to SL, made these remarks when she called on Prez Rajapaksa at the Prez’s House in Colombo, today. The Zero Chance campaign for illegal migration & human trafficking was the policy more..

Prez and PM must step down: Kiriella

Jun 20 (DM) Gotabaya Rajapaksa – Ranil Wickremesinghe regime must stop forthwith further aggravating the misery of millions of families in Sri Lanka and step down immediately making way for Parliament to elect a new President, a PM and a cabinet under an all-party interim govt, SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella said today. Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime has hoodwinked the global financial agency, the IMF. Therefore no other international financial agency like the World Bank and the ADB or more..

Kanchana to submit Cabinet Paper

Jun 20 (CT) Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera said, he will be submitting a Cabinet Paper seeking approval to allow other fuel distribution companies, based in other countries, to open their own filling centres, similar to what Lanka IOC is doing. He said, the CPC cannot on its own handle the fuel distribution across the country, because it is a difficult task. He highlighted that because they have discovered that distributing and importing fuel is difficult, more..

Leasing customers group to default until Govt provides solutions

Jun 20 (FT) Joint Association of Leasing and Debt Instalment Payers has unanimously decided to default for 3 months starting 9 June until the authorities give solutions based on five key demands. Five demands are 1) revise 11.5% additional interest levied on the capital outstanding unjustly, 2) stop seizure of vehicles and property arbitrarily till 31 Dec, 3) provide a concessionary period to repay lease and debt instalments till more..

Sri Lanka announce 19-member squad for white-ball series against India

Jun 20 (ANI) The Chamari Athapaththu-led squad will compete against India in a three-match T20I and a three-match ODI series, as SLC announced a 19-member squad on Monday. Athapaththu will again lead both the squads, which include important players like Hasini Perera, Nilakshi de Silva, Oshadi Ranasinghe and Inoka Ranaweera. SLC also gave a maiden call-up to Vishmi Gunaratne in both the squads. She is yet to make her ODI debut for SL. The tour consists of 3T20Is and 3 ODIs more..

Parliament to give more powers to Labour Tribunal Presidents

Jun 20 (Island) Parliament will take up for debate this week the Industrial Disputes (Special Provisions) Bill to give more powers to the Presidents of the labour tribunals as Additional Magistrates “to hear, try, determine and dispose of all suits or prosecutions under the provisions of specified enactments and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” The decision to take up the Bill for debate was made at the last Ministerial Consultative Committee on more..

'Unresolved national question a major economic impediment for Sri Lanka'

Jun 20 (Hindu) Addressing SL’s Tamil national question is imperative for the island nation’s recovery from the crushing economic crisis it is facing, veteran Tamil leader R Sampanthan said, contending the unresolved issue had proved a major impediment for the country’s economic progress since Independence. The 89-year-old MP recounted the many historic opportunities that SL leadership missed, allowing the ethnic conflict to fester, more..

Flights between China and SL to increase

Jun 20 (PMD) It has been decided to increase the number of flights between China and SL. Accordingly, China will operate three flights to SL from this week. SriLankan Airlines too offers frequent flights to China. This was revealed by the Chinese Ambassador to SL Qi Zhenhong when he paid a courtesy call on Prez Rajapaksa at the Prez’s House in Colombo. Ambassador briefed the Prez on the economic and humanitarian assistance provided and expected to be provided by Chinese govt more..

Kusal Mendis becomes father for first time

Jun 20 (DM) Kusal Mendis has become a father for the first time. This was revealed by his father, Dinesh Mendis. "Kusal's wife Nishelle gave birth to a baby girl between 7 and 8 a.m. on Monday. Both the newly born baby and her mother are absolutely fine,” he said. The 27-year-old right-handed batter, who scored 87 runs in the third ODI against Australia on Sunday night, saw his daughter on Monday morning. "Kusal came to the hospital on Sunday night immediately after the match. more..

Sri Lanka to resume flights from Jaffna to India in July

Jun 20 (Hindu) Sri Lanka will resume flights from the northern Jaffna peninsula to India next month, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has said, asserting that the move would support the country’s tourism industry and help in easing the SL economic crisis. SLTDA plans to attract 800,000 tourists during the rest of the year. “The northern Jaffna peninsula’s Palaly airport is to resume flights to India from next month,” Aviation Minister said on Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka: Govt must ensure human rights are central in its response to economic crisis

Jun 20 (AI) Responding to media reports that the govt is currently in conversations with a range of lenders regarding its debt obligations and announcement of austerity measures amidst a serious economic crisis, Thyagi Ruwanpathirana, Amnesty International’s South Asia Regional Researcher said, “AI is particularly concerned that govt’s response to the crisis may result in a further erosion of economic and social rights. We would like to use this opportunity to remind the govt more..

Kusal Mendis available for fourth ODI, Gunathilaka unlikely to play

Jun 20 (CI) Kusal Mendis is available for the fourth ODI against Australia on Tuesday, but Danushka Gunathilaka appears unlikely to play, while Wanindu Hasaranga may only be risked if SL feel they need him. Mendis retired hurt on 87 off 85 balls in SL's win on Sunday, having put on a match-defining 170-run stand with centurion Pathum Nissanka. But he left the field because of neuromuscular cramps, SLC's chief medical officer Dr Daminda Attanayake said, and as such, will be fit for Tuesday. more..

අන්තරේ සිසු ගඟක් කොළඹට

Buoyant Sri Lanka look to close out series win as Australia search for right balance

Jun 20 (CI) Other than the opening T20I which was a very one-sided affair, Sri Lanka have heaped the pressure on Australia during this tour. They nearly stole a low-scoring clash in the second T20I, thrillingly won the third game off the bat of captain Dasun Shanaka, were only beaten by a Glenn Maxwell special at the start of the one-dayers and have now taken back-to-back ODIs against Australia for the first time in 20 years to stand on the cusp of a series victory. more..

Roshan Mahanama serves tea, buns to people waiting at fuel stations

Jun 20 (ANI) Amid the unprecedented fuel crisis in the country, former SL cricketer Roshan Mahanama was spotted serving tea and buns to people waiting in lines outside the stores to buy fuel and cooking gas. "We served tea and buns with the team from Community Meal Share this evening for the people at the petrol queues around Ward Place and Wijerama mawatha. The queues are getting longer by the day and there will be many health risks to people staying in queues," h2 tweeted. more..

Cabinet approval for 21st Amendment to Constitution

Jun 20 (AD) The 21st Amendment to the Constitution has received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers today, according to Minister Harin Fernando. In a twitter message, he said that draft constitutional amendment was tabled and passed by the Cabinet and that it will be tabled in parliament soon. Minister also expressed his gratitude to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe for pushing it through. more..

Team India arrives in Dambulla for white-ball series against SL

Jun 20 (ANI) Indian women's cricket team on Sunday arrived in Dambulla for the upcoming white-ball series against SL. The Sri Lanka tour will be the first series for the India women's team in the post-Mithali Raj era, as the country's long-time captain recently announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket. "India Women's Team led by Harmanpreet Kaur arrives in SL. India and SL will play three T20Is in Dambulla on June 23, 25 and 27 followed by as many ODIs on July 1, 4 & 7," more..

UN treaty body urges Sri Lanka to decriminalise consensual same-sex conduct

Jun 20 (AI) A joint statement by ILGA Asia, Amnesty International, Equal Ground, and Int'l Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on the landmark decision, of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which found that the criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual activity between women under Section 365A of SL’s Penal Code 1883 violates their right to non-discrimination under Article 2 (a) and (d)–(g) of the UN Convention on the Elimination of more..

FUTA opposes UGC decision to close universities temporarily

Jun 20 (Island) Federation of University Teachers Union (FUTA) has opposed the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to close the universities temporarily. It has written to the UGC, taking exception to the latter’s decision to allow Vice Chancellors to decide when to reopen universities. Full text of the FUTA letter to the UGC Chairman: The FUTA is writing this in response to the UGC decision to allow the VCs of more..

China-backed Hambanota port gets STS cranes for bulk cargo

Jun 20 (EN) China-backed Hambantota International Port said it had taken delivery of two ship to shore (STS) cranes which will be used for bulk cargo operations. “The new cranes will hugely increase vessel turnaround times which will have a highly desirable impact on our productivity,” Chief Operating Officer of Hambantota Int'l Port Group (HIPG) Tissa Wickramasinghe said in a statement. he Port began handling bulk cargo in 2018, after the HIPG took over. more..

Leading French travel agents arrive to experience authentic Sri Lankan hospitality

Jun 20 (FT) Seven leading French Travel agents arrived in SL on Saturday for an eight-night, nine-day tour to experience all that SL has to offer. During their stay they will be visiting tourism hotspots such Kandy, Passikudah, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa while also exploring lesser-known destinations such as Mandaramnuwara, Galoya and Inginiyagala. The familiarisation tour is organised by leading destination management company Connaissance De Ceylan and Theme Resorts and Spas, more..