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Public servants’ pay hike demand shot down

Nov 19 (TM) Claiming that there is no possibility of raising the salaries of public servants under the present circumstances, the Finance Ministry called on the public servants who are demanding a salary increase to suggest how to obtain the necessary monies to make such a hike. When contacted to inquire whether the Finance Ministry would consider the said demand, Finance Ministry and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said: more..

15 more Covid fatalities raise total to 14,072

Nov 19 (FT) SL’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 14,072 after health officials confirmed 15 more fatalities on Wednesday. Fourteen deaths were over the age of 60 and one was between 30 and 59 years. Zero deaths were confirmed from the under-30 age group. 76.54% of the total fatalities are over 60 years, 22.29% of the fatalities are between 30 and 59 years, and 1.17% of the fatalities are below 30 years. Of the total fatalities, 7,861 are male and 6,211 are female. more..

26,064 persons vaccinated against COVID-19

Nov 19 (FT) COVID-19 vaccines were administered to 26,064 persons on Wednesday. 63.65% of the country’s population have received two vaccine doses. Our World in Data states that the first dose has been administered to 73.91% of the population. As of Tuesday, two vaccine doses had been administered to 93.6% of the population over 20 years. 15,894,375 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 13,688,710 persons have received second dose as well. more..

Four participants kicked out of LPL

Nov 19 (Island) Four individuals have been kicked out of the second edition of the Lanka Premier League after the ICC informed SLC that they are ineligible to take part in the competition having played unsanctioned cricket. All 4 had represented SL in the last 15 years at some stage and they had been picked to be involved in the LPL. One of them was to function as a coach while the other three had been picked from the draft to play. more..

Gem industry welcomes Basil’s hub proposal

Nov 19 (FT) The gem industry has welcomed Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s Budget 2022 proposal of positioning SL as an int'l hub for precious stones. “Reviving the ailing gem industry will help increase exports and contribute generously to the country’s dwindling dollar reserves,” SL Gem & Jewellery Association said. It said incoherent strategies by successive govts enabled non-gem producing countries such as Thailand and Hong Kong to steal the status of a gem hub from SL. more..

Asian 7s Rugby: SL underdogs in opener

Nov 19 (CT) Underdogs Sri Lanka will open their campaign today when they take on Asian powerhouse and defending champions Japan at 4.12 p.m. (SL time) in the Dialog Asian Sevens Series here at Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City. With less experienced players under the leadership of skipper Adeesha Weerathunga, Tuskers prepared themselves with much confidence to take on host UAE in the second game at 8.12 p.m., followed by China at 10.54 p.m. It is only against UAE more..

පොහොට්ටුවේ බිළි බෝයි - සරත් වීරසේකර

Rohan Karr heads newly incorporated Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association

Nov 19 (FT) On Wednesday, top professional Rohan Karr was appointed as the President of the newly incorporated The Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association (TCCTHA), which aims to re-position this dominant segment of SL’s leisure industry to enhance more value to all stakeholders. The predecessor to TCCTHA was the informal Colombo City Hotels Association, which had been in existence for over two decades, championed by veteran hotelier M. Shanthikumar. more..

CA Sri Lanka and CAPA hold largest hybrid conference

Nov 19 (FT) The Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka (CA SL) and the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) jointly organised the 42nd National Conference and the 20th CAPA Conference over three days, from 6-8 October live from Colombo. The theme of the joint conference Heritage: Many Businesses, One Planet inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), brought together over 2,000 delegates comprising accounting, finance and business leaders more..

Listed corporates’ profits beat pandemic to reach record of Rs. 110 b

Nov 19 (FT) Listed companies have reinforced their resilience with combined profits in the quarter ended 30 Sept 2021, reaching an all-time high of Rs. 110 billion; thereby propelling nine-month earnings to Rs. 292 billion, surpassing all historical full year results. The stellar performance of listed corporates, amidst the third and fourth waves of COVID-19, was revealed by Softlogic Stockbrokers, which analysed earnings of more..

Easter Sunday attacks and harassment of Fr Cyril Gamini

Nov 19 (Island) On Nov 15 and 16, two consecutive days, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini was asked to come to the CID and has been questioned for almost eight to nine hours each day, from 9 am to 5 or 6pm. On the second day, in the afternoon, he was asked to come on the next day, and it was on his request, or protest, that the statement taking was completed on the same day. Otherwise he would have been asked to come another day. As he clearly expressed to the media after returning from the CID, more..

Cigarette price hike a welcome measure for the times

Nov 19 (FT) The Govt’s Budget proposals for 2022 effected a Rs. 5 price increase for cigarettes, which is a welcome measure to control tobacco incidence in the country. At Rs. 65 a stick, SL cigarettes were reportedly the most expensive in the world in the run up to the Budget presentation. Despite speculation this may prompt the Treasury to hold prices, the Govt took a bold and commendable step to increase prices by a further Rs. 5. The outcomes of this measure are manifold. more..

Confectionery exporters look to relocate overseas

Nov 19 (FT) With the high cost of manufacturing, supply constraints and no policy direction from Budget 2022, the $ 150-200 million-worth confectionery exporters are looking to move their production to more favourable overseas locations. Despite having orders, confectionery exporters are finding it extremely difficult to match prices quoted by buyers and be competitive in the international market. “We agree on orders for two years. more..

One reference to Budget 2022; congratulations to a newspaper printer

Nov 19 (Island) Cass does not know enough to comment on budgets but one point she noted as given in headlines in the The Sunday Island of November 14 roused her approval plus ire. Budget transfers 'black' profits of Perpetual Treasuries to govt coffers. Cheating must be avenged. However, to her this statement smacked of partisanship, punishing one financial offender who benefited stupendously by being favoured during the Yahapalana Govt and reaped illicit gains. more..

Appointment of unqualified persons as University Chancellors in SL

Nov 19 (CT) University Teachers Union, GMOA and various other associations had protested against the appointment of Chancellor without qualifications at the Uni of Colombo (vide attachments). Unfortunately the Universities Act stated “The President shall nominate the Chancellor of each University. The Chancellor shall be the Head of the University, hold office for a period of five years reckoned from the date of his nomination, and shall, preside at any Convocation of the University. more..

2022 අයවැය සහ ජනතා අපෙක්ෂා

Hiding behind the virus

Nov 19 (DM) Can the main Opposition, the SJB give an assurance to the country that its demonstrations on Wednesday in Colombo and several other parts of the country against the rising cost of living did not at all contribute to the spread of COVID 19? Supporters of the SJB travelled from faraway places to Colombo for the protest which they had titled Enough of the Curse, but police prevented some of them from proceeding in many places. However, the party managed to muster a considerable more..

Editorial: Chronic trust deficit

Nov 19 (Island) Long lines of vehicles and people with cans are still seen near filling stations in many parts of the country despite repeated govt assurances that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has adequate fuel stocks, and there is absolutely no need to panic. Why does the panic-buying of fuel continue? It is basically due to a severe trust deficit. The people do not believe govt assurances, announcements and claims, and draw their own conclusions from what they consider facts more..

Nuggets on the Budget

Nov 19 (TM) On 12 Nov, the Govt presented what, in economic terms, can be referred to as a recovery Budget, in a context where the country has just started paying attention to and supporting the revival of sectors that did not receive adequate attention last year. In other words, unlike in the pre-Covid-19 pandemic era, this Budget is expected to ease the economic burden on almost all segments of the society, not only a select few. more..

Address supply constraints

Nov 19 (CT) ‘Economics’ is ‘demand’ and ‘supply.’In a functional economy, ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ works in tandem, fuelling growth. If either fails or perceived to have had failed, that makes the economy dysfunctional. Recently, Sri Lanka, ‘beginning’ with the lowly turmeric and ‘ending’ with fuel suffered a plethora of economic malfunctions due to supply constraints, real or imaginary. Such economic malaise was last seen 44 years ago, during the seven-year period from 1970 to 1977 more..

Taking the arts seriously

Nov 19 (TM) It was reported that at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 15 Nov, the Cabinet had granted approval to a joint proposal submitted by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs Minister & Minister Wimal Weerawansa, to register the cinema field as an industry, as the first step in promoting and gaining international recognition for SL cinema. This proposal comes in a context where the industry remains crippled, more..

The time-tested landmarks of Maradana

Nov 19 (Roar) Maradana — Colombo 10 — is one of the busiest areas in the city. But this was not the case, perhaps a century or so ago, when Maradana was a quiet suburban area in which a number of theatres, cinemas and schools were located. Popular schools from all the faiths — the Buddist Ananda College (established in 1886), Catholic St. Joseph’s College (1896) and Zahira College, one of the first Muslim schools more..

The epic economic fall

Nov 19 (DM) Bad policies, more often than not, lead to bad outcome. Still, you might get out of the rot with a light touch, before it sets in, of course, only if you are not demagogic enough to stick to your folly, despite their devastating consequences. Failing in that commonsensical decision leads to a certain disaster. Look no further than the plight of the SL economy. The entire agricultural sector is in shamble. One ill-informed decision to ban chemical fertilizer has wreaked havoc. more..

Thoughts on the death penalty in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (DM) Sri Lanka is a strange country when its comes to the application of the law. Just the other day we heared of the news that a person convicted of murder was sentenced to death by the Presiding Judge at the Tangalle High Court. The news of the verdict largely received the attention of the print media because the judge disregarded the norms practised in the court when reading out a death sentence. Generally a death sentence in SL is automatically transferred to life imprisonment more..

ජනපති පදවි ප්‍රාප්තියට දෙවසරක් සපිරේ...

Longest partial lunar eclipse on Nov.19; not visible to SL: Prof. Jayarathne

Nov 18 (DM) The longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years will take place on the daytime of Nov 19, Professor Chandana Jayaratne said. He said the lunar eclipse will be visible while having the opportunity to see the three brightest planets in the solar system Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in a line in the western skies just after sunset these days. The eclipse, however, will be visible to a large portion of the world, including America, North Europe, East Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, more..

‘Help Maldives, SL in its economic recovery’ Maldives Pres tells international community

Nov 18 (DM) Maldives President Mohamed Solih who was on a recent two-day visit to Sri Lanka said the Maldives economy which was heavily dependent on its tourism industry, is on its way to recovery after being hit by the virus, and had managed to bounce back to around 70% of what it used to be before the pandemic. He said despite all of this, there was still a long way to go and countries such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives needed further access to global fiscal resources to assist the ongoing more..

Legalising cannabis would lead to untoward issues: NATA Head

Nov 18 (CT) Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, said that with tobacco being a gateway drug, legalising cannabis for commercial purposes would incur more problems for the country. Contacted for comment following MP Diana Gamage’s call to make cannabis a commercial crop for export purposes, Dr. Rajapaksa said the Govt would take a final decision more..

Union refutes charges

Nov 18 (CT) Customs Trade Union Alliance (CTUA) refuted the Committee on Public Accounts’s (COPA) charge that Customs officers receive substantial amounts as rewards from fines imposed on defaulters at the expense of the Treasury. The Trade Union slammed the report submitted by Prof. Tissa Vitarana, COPA Chairperson to Parliament, accusing that COPA finalised the report, without subjecting it to the Customs Ordinance. The report contained misrepresentations, they alleged. more..

'Vaccines may not be necessary for children'

Nov 18 (TM) As children between the ages of 5 to 12 years have shown more resistance to the Covid-19 virus, the administration of anti Covid-19 vaccines to this age group may not be necessary. Pediatric Chest Physician Dr. Channa De Silva expressed that children infected with Covid-19 do not show signs of severe disease. “Children in this age group have proven to be more resistant to the virus. We barely see infection transmitted between children, whereas transmission from adults to children is higher. more..

Doctors sound alarm as dengue cases rise

Nov 18 (AN) Health experts in SL warned on Wednesday of a rapid rise in dengue fever cases in the wake of monsoon rains, which have caused flooding in several districts. Health Ministry reported that 16,042 people have contracted the mosquito-borne viral disease this year, but ongoing monsoon rains and flooding — which provide perfect breeding sites for mosquitoes — have led to a surge in cases since the beginning of November. more..

Sirisena slams Health Ministry for oversight

Nov 18 (CT) Former President Maithripala Sirisena expressed displeasure over the Health Ministry failing to operate the National Renal Treatment Hospital in Polonnaruwa at full capacity despite Prez Rajapaksa’s instructions. Participating in the debate on the Appropriation Bill 2022, Sirisena said the President ordered the hospital to be fully functional within three months of its opening. “However, it is sad to say that the Health Ministry has failed to appoint a Director to the hospital yet. more..

Sri Lankan lawmaker wants to legalize cannabis cultivation

Nov 18 (UCAN) A SL MP has urged the govt to legalize cannabis cultivation amid protests by religious leaders. Diana Gamage, a govt lawmaker, said cannabis cultivation can solve the foreign exchange crisis by bringing in billions of dollars to the country. "The country can be freed from debt through the legalization and export of cannabis cultivation," she said in parliament. "We do not have to beg or borrow money from anyone. This resource given by nature should be legalized more..

Video: Sandahiru Seya to be vested with Maha Sanga today

Nov 18 (AD) The Sandahiru Seya in Anuradhapura will be vested with the Venerable Maha Sanga today, thereby officially opening the sacred site for devotees. The Venerable Maha Sanga and a number of distinguished invitees are expected to attend the Crest Gem unveiling ceremony today, which will be graced by the Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. Families of the deceased veteran war heroes and differently able ex-servicemen more..

ASG urges Court to summon Dr Coomaraswamy

Nov 18 (CT) Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana yesterday urged the three-Judge Bench of the Colombo High Court to issue summons for ex-Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, the first witness in the case filed against former Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake and seven others over misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 15 billion linked to the third CBSL Treasury Bonds auction held on 31 March five years ago, via video more..

Milch cow racket throws Parliament into turmoil

Nov 18 (Island) Rs 325.23 billion had been spent on importing milk and milk-related products during the Yahapalana govt, Parliament was told yesterday. Responding to a question by SLPP MP Mohamed Muzammil, State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said that 488.48 million kilos of milk powder and milk-related products had been imported between 2015 to 2019. Minister Semasinghe said Sri Lanka had imported 86 million kilos of milk powder and milk-related products in 2015, 99 m kilos in 2016, more..