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Health Minister observes inequitable distribution of resources among hospitals

Nov 30 (Island) Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has requested the Secretary to the Ministry to submit an evaluation report on the distribution of medical equipment and human resources among govt hospitals. There was an excess of doctors in some hospitals and there was a shortage of doctors in some rural hospitals, Minister said at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Health. The govt was taking over the Base Hospitals to more..

M.V. Kanamaylnathan: Veteran journalist and jewel of a human being

Nov 30 (ST) Jaffna-based veteran journalist M. V. Kanamaylnathan, better known as Kanam, passed away on Monday (22). I first came to know him when we were working together at the now defunct Independent Newspapers Ltd during 2nd half of 1960s. It didn’t take long for us to understand each other. In him I found an honest and sincere friend. He lived at Wellawatte and I lived at Kollupitiya and we often travelled together after work. There were rainy days when we shared lunch together. more..

Secs. told to work out post-covid project proposals within weeks

Nov 30 (ST) The Finance Ministry has given Ministry Secretaries just a month to formulate project proposals and action plans–complete with cost estimates–for implementation next year under the post-COVID economic recovery programme announced in the Budget. In a circular issued on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle says the Govt has embarked on a development path to stimulate the economy amidst the global and local challenges that arose from Covid pandemic. more..

Harsha de Silva

Top experts to shed insights to a secure new normal

Nov 30 (FT) Several international and local experts will today shed key insights to how SL can move towards a secure new normal in the use of technology via a top forum organised by the Daily FT and subject specialist CICRA Holdings Ltd. The popular and eighth annual full day Cyber Security Summit will kick off today at Waters Edge, followed by a CEOs Forum tomorrow at the same venue. The Day Conference has innovative and informative sessions, including discussions on payments more..

Slowdown in private sector credit continues in October

Nov 30 (DM) The subdued growth in private sector credit in September has continued through October, despite the lifting of the virus-related lockdowns, largely as a result of the lingering effects of the liquidity shortage in domestic money markets, uncertainty over the direction of the interest rates and persistent anxieties over the future trajectory of the economy, ahead of the budget and evolving pandemic. After holding up against initial restrictions and the subsequent lockdowns continued more..

CSE on the brink of Rs. 5 trillion market cap milestone

Nov 30 (FT) The Colombo bourse is on the brink of achieving a significant milestone of Rs. 5 trillion closing market capitalisation if bullish investor sentiment is sustained today. If not for a bit of profit taking, the CSE would have closed yesterday with the milestone as the ASPI recovered mid-day after falling in early trading but couldn’t sustain the rally. However, the market capitalisation amounted to Rs. 4.999T, up from Rs. 4.997T. more..

Expolanka becomes Sri Lanka’s first half-a-trillion company

Nov 30 (FT) Most profitable listed corporate Expolanka Holdings saw its market value surpass the half-a-trillion mark to close yesterday at Rs. 515.1 billion or over 10% of CSE’s total. This was following a 6.57%, or Rs. 16.23, increase in its share price to Rs. 263.50. Last year, Expolanka was ranked at number 13 with a market capitalisation of only Rs. 56.7 billion and 2020 closing price of Rs. 29. Yesterday’s standing reflects a near ten-fold increase, or up by Rs. 460 bil, year-to-date. more..

NSB achieves highest ever 9-month pre-tax profit of Rs. 20.3 b

Nov 30 (FT) Generating a record-breaking profit for three quarters straight, NSB yesterday announced impressive performance, beating all the odds during a pandemic. With its highest-ever profit for a period of nine months with a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 20.3 billion and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 15.6 billion, National Savings Bank (NSB) has shown its COVID resistance, strength and continuous financial resilience. Against the backdrop of COVID-19 impact on the economic activities, more..

Sri Lanka to largely stick with current travel guidelines for tourists for now

Nov 30 (EN) SL will stick with travel guidelines currently in place for the time being, officials said, as at least two countries closed their borders for all inbound travellers in the face of the newly detected Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SL on Saturday (27) announced that it will ban travelers from SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia & Zimbabwe after the detection of the variant in the region. more..

Generic system failure or inherent deficiencies in corporate ethics?

Nov 30 (Island) Having been a regular contributor to The Island, I have ventured again into expressing my opinion in public spaces after an extended period of silence, as I felt compelled to, after I read the excellently argued piece by Prof R.P. Gunawardane titled ‘SLIIT should remain non-state and non-profit institution’ in The Island of November 23. Prof. Gunawardane explains why Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) should remain non-state and non-profit. more..

The beginning of the end for the regime, but no new beginning for the country

Nov 30 (CT) The countrywide people’s protests and the Nov 16 Colombo political protest have made one thing clear. Rajapaksa brand is now irreparably damaged in the SL political market. The regime is not going to fall tomorrow. The 160/60 budget vote in parliament proves that. For all the turmoil in the country, Opposition Leaders cannot make all their MPs vote against the govt on a budget that everyone is laughing about. But there is no mistaking the beginning of the end for more..

Exploding cylinder and declining standards!

Editorial: Gas bombs and Occam’s razor

Nov 30 (Island) Sri Lankans have a remarkable ability to forget. That may be the reason why Prabhakaran failed to achieve his goal despite all his bomb blasts on civilian targets. Zahran, in his wisdom, emulated Prabhakaran, carried out bomb attacks, but got nowhere near his goal posthumously. The local gas companies have gone a step further; they charge for causing explosions that kill people and destroy property! It is in fear and trepidation that every SL woman steps into more..

Lanka’s comic opera ends, so one hopes

Nov 30 (ST) That long running comic opera has reached its denouement. Or so, one hopes! For hope is all that is left for a public that lies battered by a pandemic on one side and problems in governance on the other that have brought a people to their knees with no one left to raise their hopes but the deities. Not that appeals to the powerful have not been tried before. At one time magic pots were sent floating down rivers to save us from Covid. Then magic portions were turned out and more..

Invitation to Tamil Diaspora & TNA’s dilemma

Nov 30 (CT) SL is totally committed to achieving a tangible progress on the entire range of issues relating to accountability, reconciliation, human rights, peace and sustainable development and will continue to work with the United Nations mandated human rights system. However, this will be done in keeping with the Constitution and the international obligations voluntarily undertaken. This is the message conveyed to the UN ASG for more..

Nonchalant over LPG accidents

Nov 30 (CT) An LPG (domestic gas) leak reported from a house in Polgasowita on Sunday and a death, three injuries and damages to house and property reported from six other LPG related accidents that have taken place in Colombo and elsewhere this month, coupled with a few other LPG related accidents, though not officially reported as yet, further having had taken place this month, is SL’s current LPG story. Previous to these LPG related accidents, the LPG story in Sri Lanka more..

Budget 2022 on Education: Past mistakes are repeated again

Nov 30 (DM) “Even though the budget analysed real problems facing Sri Lanka’s economy, there was no solution to address the crisis. The solutions proposed are flawed and the priorities are misplaced. And when it comes to education, the diagnosis of the problem and solutions are both flawed,” stated Dr. Ahilan Kadirgamar, Senior Lecturer at the University of Jaffna at a press conference on Budget and Education, organised by the Law and Society Trust. more..

The mystery of kitchen bombs and the science of consumer safety

Nov 30 (TM) “During the past few weeks, we struggled in queues and exposed ourselves to Covid-19 just to get a cylinder of gas, and now, we have to live in fear because we don’t know when that cylinder will cause an explosion.” These were the words of a liquid petroleum (LPG) consumer, who expressed fear of LPG-related explosions and fires that are becoming worryingly more common in Sri Lanka than before. more..

Politicians waiting for disasters to happen?

Nov 30 (DM) The ferry tragedy in Kinniya on Nov 23 and the current fertilizer crisis are two cases in point that are sufficient to explain how authorities in Sri Lanka view issues affecting the ordinary people and how they save their skin putting the blame on the people themselves, when things end up in disasters. The ferry service in Kinniya has been run by a private operator subsequent to the laying of foundation stone for a bridge across Kurinchankerny lagoon. According to State Minister Nimal more..

Right to mourn and festering of old wounds

Nov 30 (DM) Nov 27th used to mark the culmination of the week-long remembrance of fallen cadres of the LTTE. On that day, cyanide capsules-necked Tiger cadres paraded in the day and the grieving mothers flocked to the cemeteries in the night to light a candle in memory of their dead sons and daughters. Every detail was planned and rehearsed with a near-religious zeal, not least because the ritualistic glorification of martyrdom in these ceremonies was a key driver of indoctrination more..

'කොහෙවත් ගෑස් සිලින්ඩර පුපුරලා නෑ'

Activists urge IGP to convert Police Dept. to an institute that respects Human Rights

Nov 29 (DM) In a letter to the IFP, 44 civil society activists and 14 organisations have demanded an independent investigation into the killing of suspects while in police custody. The civil society organisations and activists are urging IGP Chandana Wickramaratne to convert the SL Police Department to an institute that respects human rights. Among the civil society activists signing the public petition were Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, senior journalist Victor Ivan, Attorney-at-law Dr Nimalka Fernando, more..

Present documents submitted to IMF in Parliament: Ranil

Nov 29 (TM) UNP Leader MP Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that the documentation which was due to be presented by the Govt to the IMF has been sent, but not yet presented in Parliament. He also stated that if in fact the same has been presented, he would like to see the documentation. “The reason as to why I am asking for this documentation is because I want to see what has been done in regards to the Foreign Exchange issue we are currently facing. In the Budget for 2022, it spoke about purchasing more..

Pathum Nissanka fifty lays solid base for Sri Lanka on rain-hit first day

Nov 29 (CI) Pathum Nissanka breezed his way to a half-century, Dimuth Karunaratne fell eight short of a fifty that would have seen him equal a world record, and on a day in which rain washed out the first two sessions, SL gained a significant advantage, moving to 113 for 1 in the 33.4 overs that were possible. Before Roston Chase caught-and-bowled Karunaratne late in the day, SL's openers had put on 106 runs in 31 overs more..

SOE given import monopoly on desiccated coconut

Nov 29 (EN) SL’s state-run BCC Lanka Ltd has been allowed to import desiccated coconut after paying 1 rupee special commodity levy from November 24, 2021 in a further addition to existing trade controls in the island. Minister Basil Rajapaksa has imposed a 300 rupee import tax per kilogram on desiccated coconut, HS Code 08.01 in the form of the special commodity levy for six months, starting from Nov 24. However from state-run BCC Lanka Ltd only 1 rupee per kilogram tax will be collected and more..

CTSU urges teacher TUs: Support closed teacher-principal service

Nov 29 (CT) Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) urges all teacher unions not to hinder the process of declaring the teacher-principal service as a closed service. Expressing his views on his official Facebook page, CTSU General Secretary, Mahinda Jayasinghe said they are ready to resume their trade union struggle if it is thwarted again, by protesting against the declaration of a closed service. He further said there was an urgent need for a closed teacher-principal service to resolve more..

Ex-IP nabbed with gun used for VIP protection

Nov 29 (CT) The Western Province Police Intelligence Division arrested a former Inspector of Police, who was in possession of automatic firearm used in the protection of VIPs. The arrestee had, at one stage of his career, been attached to Ministerial Security Division (MSD) and had been in charge of the weapons store of the MSD. He had also maintained a weapons store in a house at Welipenna. An organised gang of criminals more..

Loan repayments in 2022: US$ 1.46B owed to State banks: SJB

Nov 29 (CT) SJB claimed that the Govt owes US$ 1.46 billion in loan repayments to State-owned banks in 2022. MP Dr. Harsha de Silva cautioned that failure to make such payments would result in a black mark against the entire local banking system. He asserted that 99% of the US$ 2.3 billion in SL Development Bonds were purchased by a private bank and a State bank, and that SL will be required to make bond payments totalling US$ 60 mil on 6 Nov, US$ 23 mil on 9 Nov, US$ 15 mil on more..

Two suspects wanted over Weeraketiya murder arrested

Nov 29 (TM) Two suspects wanted in connection with a recent murder in Weeraketiya have been arrested by police while they were in hiding. The two suspects were arrested by Weraketiya Police at Mahajjawa and Kumbakgoda-ara areas. They had been wanted in connection with an incident where an individual had been shot and hacked to death in the Weeraketiya police area on November 20. Following the interrogation of one of the arrested suspects, a 29-year-old from Debokkawa more..

Arjuna quits UNP, says his service served no purpose

Nov 29 (DM) Former Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has resigned from the membership of the UNP. Sri Lanka’s former World Cup-winning cricket captain has reportedly tendered his resignation to UNP leader and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. In his resignation letter to the UNP leader, Ranatunga gives reasons for his decision to quit the party and also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Wickremesinghe for the responsibilities more..

Power cuts reported around the Island

Nov 29 (TM) Several areas around the Island are currently facing a power outage. Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge says that the reason for the power outage was due to a breakdown in the supply line and transformer from Kotmale to Biyagama. “The supply will be given as soon as possible. Already the breakdown team has managed to supply electricity to a few areas, and within the next hour or two, all areas will have electricity again,” he confirmed. Areas such as Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala, more..

Sri Lanka bond market steady

Nov 29 (EN) Sri Lanka bond market remain quiet on Monday (29) with only a handful of bonds quoted on muted trading with the ongoing treasury bond auction, dealer said. SL’s debt office has offered 30 billion in bonds to be sold in an auction held on Monday (29). Dealers said the market is quiet with the ongoing auction. Bonds maturing on 15.03.2024 was quoted at 9.18/22% on Monday, steady from 9.17/22% on Friday. A bond maturing on 01.12.2024 was quoted at 9.35/45, down from 9.38/45% more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Tourist arrivals exceed 100,000 this year

Nov 29 (DM) More than 100,000 tourists have visited the country from January up to date. Accordingly, 101,872 tourists arrived from Jan 1 to Nov 28 this year and 41,177 tourists have arrived in the country from Nov 1 to yesterday. Highest number of tourists have arrived from India this month. A total of 13,368 tourists have arrived in the country from India in November this year while the second highest number of tourist arrival of 3,449 reported from Russia in the last 28 days after India. more..

'Sri Lanka doesn’t have a LP gas cylinder testing facility'

Nov 29 (TM) SL does not have a gas cylinder testing facility or laboratory says Minister Lasantha Aligiyawanna. “Since the 1960’s when LP gas cylinders came into the market, we had no testing facility for the gas cylinders. We have received gas cylinder samples from various areas in SL, and these samples have been sent to the CEYPETCO and the Moratuwa Uni for testing. Moratuwa uni has reported back stating that they cannot guarantee the safety of the cylinders and cannot give a valid report on the samples,” more..