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Export target to be lowered

Jun 15 (TM) SL’s annual export target for the current year is set to be revised after a consultation with all the export industries due to the prevailing third wave of the pandemic and resultant travel restrictions that have hindered day to day operations. Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh de Mel stated that the export targets need to be revised for this year. It is because of the twist that has taken place due to more..

Sri Lanka to discuss preferential trade deal with Bangladesh

Jun 15 (EN) Cabinet of ministers had cleared a proposal to start talks on a preferential trade agreement with Bangladesh as bilateral exchanges with the two nations were at a low level despite being party to a number of regional agreements. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa tour of Bangladesh in March had agreed to start a free trade accord to strengthen economic relationships. SL’s Trade Minister had submitted the proposal to started talks with Bangladesh on a preferential trade more..

Container transport charges up by 15% from July 1: AIUCTOA

Jun 15 (DM) Due to an increase in vehicle spare parts and the recent fuel price hike, the All Island United Container Transport Owners' Association (AIUCTOA) today decided to increase its transportation fee by 15% from July 1. AIUCTOA Chairman Sahan Manjula said that they are unanle to bear the current cost of vehicle spare parts that went up by 50%. "Prices of spare parts, such as tyres, tubes, batteries and lubricants, have shot up by 50%. Every spare part vendor sells more..

SL has cancelled 216 LCs for 14,000 vehicles after March 2020 import ban: trade group

Jun 15 (EN) SL has canceled 216 letters of credit involving 14,000 vehicles after a vehicle import ban imposed on March 2020, the island’s motor traders said appealing for the vehicles to be imported amid state proposal to import luxury SUVs for members of parliament. When Sri Lanka banned vehicle imports in March 2020 LCs of 10,780 motor cycles, 2,640 trishaws and 537 cars specially ordered to suit SL’s market conditions more..

CID to record statements from reps of X-Press Pearl’s local agency

Jun 15 (AD) The govt analyst has stated that the assistance of the parent company that manufactured the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the fire-stricken cargo ship X-Press Pearl needs to be sought in order to further analyse its data. Accordingly, relevant coordination work is now underway to consult the company in question, DIG Ajith Rohana said. He said the CID is planning to record statements from the representative of the local agency of the Singapore-registered vessel. more..

Heroin in Weligama: Main suspect identified as Harak Kata operating from Dubai

Jun 15 (AD) Probes into the massive consignment of heroin busted earlier this week have managed to identify the main suspect who operated the narcotics racket, says DIG Ajith Rohana. According to the police spokesman, the contraband belongs to the notorious criminal gang member Nadun Chinthaka alias Harak Kata who is currently in hiding in Dubai, UAE. On Sunday (13), SL Navy seized nearly 220 kilograms of heroin smuggled into the island via sea routes on a multi-day fishing trawler. more..

මේ ගැහුවේ මහින්දට මිසක් ගම්මන්පිලට නෙවෙයි

Engaging the Sri Lankan diaspora in US, EU and Australia: Policy options

Jun 15 (FT) Following trends in the increase in SL diaspora in EU, US, & Australia, developing a sense of shared identity between Sri Lankans living abroad and their home country comes with practical benefits that the SL Govt should exploit. The increase in the population of the SL diaspora in the US, EU and Australia has been a critical reason for the emergence of the SL diaspora as a foreign policy resource. TSL diaspora is relatively large compared to the country’s overall population. more..

Swap from Bangladesh: A loan or an investment?

Jun 15 (FT) Defending the recent $ 250 million currency swap agreement with Bangladesh, State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal is reported to have stated at a recent webinar on the Colombo Port City that it was not a disgrace for Sri Lanka to enter into such agreement. He expressed similar sentiments at the Sri Lanka Investment Forum held last week. It is reported that he mentioned, “Bangladesh is loaning more money to the US than to anybody else, the same way Sri Lanka is. more..

Will not import, Finance Ministry reiterates

Jun 15 (TM) Despite allegations made by various parties that the relevant Letters of Credit (LCs) have not been cancelled even though the Govt has decided to suspend the importation of 225 luxury vehicles, including SUVs, for MPs, Ministry of Finance has reiterated that the importation of said vehicles would not take place. When contacted Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said the 225 vehicles in question would not be imported more..

SJB insists there is no rift

Jun 15 (Island) The SJB yesterday insisted that there was no rift among its members. SJB Chairman, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said the SJB was united. Asked by journalists to comment on recent reports of a rift in the SJB, especially between party leader Sajith Premadasa and MP Champika Ranawaka, Fonseka said that the govt was attempting to give the impression that there was a rift in the SJB just to divert attention from the real issues in the country. more..

60,697 persons vaccinated on Sunday

Jun 15 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 60,697 persons on Sunday, raising the number of persons to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 2,285,572 and the number of persons to receive the second dose to 544,898. Administration of the second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine commenced during the weekend, with 390 persons receiving the jab on Saturday and 1,724 persons receiving the jab on Sunday. A total of 2,114 persons have received the 2nd dose of vaccine more..

‘Port officials let fire spread’

Jun 15 (TM) President’s Counsel (PC) Sarath Jayamanne, appearing on behalf of the Captain of the ill-fated vessel MV X-Press Pearl, Russian national Tyutkalo Vitaly, at the Colombo High Court yesterday (14), alleged that officials of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had allowed the fire to spread onboard the ship without controlling it, in the hope of receiving compensation for the damages. more..

Court orders to provide list of those received 2nd dose of Covishield vaccine in Galle

Jun 15 (DM) Galle Chief Magistrate Harshana Kekunawela ordered health authorities to hand over the list of persons who were given the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine at the Galle Health Services Director's Office on June 5 and 7, to the police. The orders were issued after considering the facts provided by the Police over the investigation that a large number of people from the Western Province had arrived in Galle on the Southern Expressway in vehicles on the 5th and 7th June to receive more..

Govt holds high-powered talks on MV X-Press Pearl compensation

Jun 15 (FT) On the instructions of Prez Rajapaksa, Justice Minister Ali Sabry yesterday chaired a high-powered special meeting seeking compensation and legal action covering all sectors, regarding the impact and damage caused to Sri Lanka by the burnt cargo ship, the MV X-Press Pearl. Ministers Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, President’s Counsel Sanjaya Rajaratnam, Justice Ministry Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, more..

2,284 persons test positive for COVID-19

Jun 15 (FT) Daily Covid-19 detections continue to average over 2,000 with 2,284 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday, as health authorities warned of a slight increase in detections in the coming days. A drop in COVID-19 detections has been apparent while travel restrictions were in place. However, he explained that daily detections fluctuate and that a gradual drop in detections in the future will be more..

Special courts for monks requested

Jun 15 (TM) SL Ramanna Sect Southern Chapter Chief Sanghanayake (Leader of Monks) Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera has written to Prez Rajapaksa requesting the establishment of courts and tribunals dedicated to the Buddhist clergy. In the letter, the Thera has urged the President to enforce Article 105 (4) of the Constitution which provides for the creation and establishment of courts, tribunals, or institutions for the settlement of matters specifically relating to bhikkhus, more..

Confectionery prices to go up by 3-15% by next week

Jun 15 (FT) Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA) confirmed that a price hike ranging from 3-15% on 90% of its products will come into effect from next week. “With great reluctance we have decided to increase the prices across the board,” LCMA President S.M.D. Suriyakumar said. Last week the Daily FT story titled Confectionery, bakery prices set to go up highlighted both confectionery and bakery stakeholders’ views that a price hike was inevitable, citing the survival more..

Crisis over fuel price hike: SLPP constituents crank up pressure on party General Secy

Jun 15 (Island) Eight lawmakers representing political parties affiliated to the ruling SLPP have urged Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa to take action against SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam, MP, for challenging the govt decision to increase fuel prices. The group consists of National List MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana (OPPP), Wimal Weerawansa (NFF), Vasudeva Nanayakkara (DLF), Tissa Vitharana (LSSP), more..

Consumer prices soar as lockdowns cripple supply chains

Jun 15 (DM) The consumer prices are surging at exponential levels, as lockdown-styled restrictions on wide swathes of economic activities have crippled supply chains in almost every sector, leaving the hapless consumers to contend with sky-high prices for even their essentials, while millions of low-income families struggle to make their ends meet. Vegetable prices at both wholesale and retail markets this week saw surging at multiple times from a week earlier, predominantly due to more..

Vidullanka successfully raises Rs. 253 m via Rights Issue of non-voting shares

Jun 15 (FT) A pioneer in renewable energy developer, Vidullanka PLC has successfully completed raising additional capital of Rs. 253 million to fuel its expansion drive in the solar power sphere. The move also marks the issuance of non-voting shares of the company for the first time. The rights traded from 19 May to 28 May following the shareholder approval at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 5 May. The rights were traded in the range of Rs. 0.40 to Rs. 4 with more..

Fuel price stabilisation fund empty

Jun 15 (TM) Amidst public displeasure over the Govt’s decision to increase fuel prices, The much-hyped Fuel Price Stabilisation Fund – set up in April 2020 to ensure that local retail fuel prices remain unaffected by global oil price fluctuations – has been exhausted. Top sources at the Ministry of Energy told The Morning that the said fund, which had accumulated between Rs. 18 and Rs. 20 billion at one point, is currently empty. more..

How to help flood and landslide victims

Jun 15 (Roar) With the floods receding and other risks posed by the recent inclement weather conditions now waning, people evacuated from high-risk zones are slowly returning home. At least 172,132 people were removed from their homes in the last week, according to the DMC. Although some areas are now safe to return to, many homes have been greatly impacted by the floods and landslides. The DMC estimates that at least 21 houses have been completely destroyed & 1,095 damaged more..

Ahimsa says Shani’s arbitrary detention must end if prosecutors have found him innocent

Jun 15 (FT) Reacting to former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale’s revelations, Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of slain The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, tweeted that the prosecutorial discretion afforded to the Attorney General was a shield to defend the innocent. “If prosecutors have independently concluded that Shani is innocent, his arbitrary detention must end at once. Attorney General's prosecutorial discretion is a shield to defend more..

Govt’s political witch-hunts threatening economic security, warns Thalatha

Jun 15 (FT) Former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale has issued a passionate appeal to officials at the Attorney General’s (AG) Department urging them to rise above politics, as she warned the incumbent Govt that its thirst for revenge against critics was now threatening the economic security of the country. Athukorale, a main Opposition lawmaker, said that the EU Parliament had taken note of former CID Director more..

CIMA elects new team to steer the future

Jun 15 (FT) Paul Ash, FCMA, CGMA has been elected as the 88th President of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), world’s largest professional body of management accountants, and the sixth Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) – the combined strength of the American Institute of CPA and CIMA, His leadership will be supported by Sri Lankan, Melanie Kanaka FCMA, CGMA, who became Deputy Prez more..

Alagic on mission to uplift football

Jun 15 (CT) Naturalizing players so they can join national sports teams is standard practice internationally, and following those steps Technical Director and head coach Amir Alagic believes Sri Lanka will be more competitive at the upcoming SAFF Championship with inclusion of more foreign based SL players in the national squad. “I have found a total of 14 overseas players who are eligible to play for Sri Lanka. So far, only Dilon de Silva and Marvin Hamilton are eligible to play for us. more..

AG’s department official gung-ho to keep Shani In jail

Jun 15 (CT) A senior official at the Attorney General’s Dept (AGD) is determined to keep Shani Abeysekera, SL’s most widely respected criminal investigator, behind bars, On the eve of his much-anticipated bail hearing in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday (15). AGD official has decided that the case against SSP Shani Abeysekera will continue despite written reports to the AG from three senior prosecutors inside more..

Are Arjuna, Aravinda, Sanath NOT famed enough?

Jun 15 (TM) The ICC announced a special-edition intake of 10 cricket icons into the ICC Hall of Fame to celebrate the prestigious history of Test cricket, and to coincide with the first ever ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final, starting on Friday (18). “The 10 legends of the game to be inducted have all made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket, and join an illustrious list of ICC Hall of Famers, taking the total number to 103 as a result of this intake,” ICC said in a release. more..

JAAF appeals to apparel buyers for fair treatment

Jun 15 (DM) SL’s hard-hit apparel sector yesterday expressed serious concerns in the manner in which its buyer communities are treating the industry and stated it is saddening to note the lack of partnership shown by them during the ongoing challenging times. In an open letter to brands and buying communities, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) expressed it is not just for some of the buyers to ask manufactures to airlift the goods to make up for the delays. more..

Importers who made billions in profit reluctant to provide sugar at lower prices...

Jun 15 (ST) Sugar importers who made massive profits due to a tax concession given by the Govt have expressed reservations to a Trade Ministry request to provide sugar to the state-owned Lak Sathosa franchise at lower prices for the next 3 months. Sugar importers expressed their reservations during a meeting attended by Minister Bandula Gunawardena. At the meeting, a request was made to make available sugar to be sold more..

I’m not retiring just yet: Malinga

Jun 15 (CT) Former Sri Lanka T20 skipper and pace bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga said that he is not retiring just yet, though he is not actively involved in Cricket practices these days. He said this during a YouTube programme conducted by former Sri Lanka cricketer and commentator Russell Arnold, Chilling with Russel. Malinga, 37, last played for Sri Lanka on 6 March last year against West Indies, and has not played cricket since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country. more..

Editorial: Of that mystery boat

Jun 15 (Island) Time was when SL remained on high alert to prevent the movement of armed groups from Tamil Nadu, a haven for terrorists who brought boatloads of arms and ammunition here. It has now been reported that TN is worrying about such a security threat from this side of the Palk Strait; its police and the Indian Central intelligence agencies have reportedly been placed on the highest alert level following a warning that some armed persons from SL are trying to enter India via the sea. more..

Full cream milk powder importers await nod for critical price hike

Jun 15 (FT) Not linked to the fuel hike but for sheer survival, the full cream milk powder importers are urging for a 37% increase in price, first in two years, a formal request for which the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has not yet responded favourably. Imports satisfy 80% of Sri Lanka’s Full Cream Milk Powder (FCMP) demand as well as over 65% of Sri Lanka’s total dairy requirement. Imports are mainly sourced from NZ & Australia. more..

Avoiding necrocapitalism in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zones

Jun 15 (GV) Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers are employed in global factories deeply embedded in global supply chains. Historically, they contribute significantly to SL’s export income and economic development goals. Women, who make up the majority of workers in the zones and are employed in the apparel sector that constitutes the majority of factories in the zones, have been lauded as queens & the pride of SL. Yet their experience during Covid pandemic has been anything but queenly. more..

Banning the import and use of synthetic chemical fertilizers

Jun 15 (Island) I read with interest and concern the conflicting and controversial views expressed by many experts and stakeholders, regarding the SL govt’s decision to ban the importation of agrochemicals, including synthetic chemical fertilizers. Undoubtedly, some have genuine concerns regarding the negative impacts of synthetic chemical fertilizers on the environment and human health, while others see the potential threat of a food shortage if synthetic fertilizers are totally more..