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The next three years

Nov 29 (GV) In Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, a god gets turned into a tortoise. Omnia is great god Om’s fief. Everyone worships him there, out of habit or in fear of his human enforcers. But no one believes in him. When belief diminishes, gods fade. Om would do anything, absolutely anything, to rekindle belief. Like the Rajapaksas. Two years after Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s spectacular victory, the Terminator appears more like a joker. more..

Editorial: Zorro back to zero

Nov 29 (Island) Maithripala Sirisena did not want to remain a Cabinet minister in the UPFA govt, which he left in Nov 2014 mainly because the Rajapaksas were riding roughshod over him. He ran for President and became Zorro, as it were, in SL politics by defeating Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, a little over six years on, he has chosen to stomach many indignities at the hands of the Rajapaksas and remain an ordinary MP in the current SLPP administration. Zorro is back to zero. more..

Exploding gas cylinders and household accidents

Nov 29 (DM) During the past two weeks, the country has witnessed around six explosions in households caused by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as cooking fuel. At least one person has died as a result of exploding LPG cylinders. Unfortunately, up to today, the public has not been informed as to what exactly is causing the cylinders to explode. Whether it was the users’ fault or that of the manufacturer, or damage caused during transit is not known. What makes these accidents scarier is the fact that more..

Prof. Rohan Gunaratna

A glimmer of hope

Nov 29 (CT) There is a glimmer of hope today after nearly two years of the Coronavirus disease ravaging the country with varying intensity, the Govt trying its level best to bring it under control, despite attempts by the Opposition, putting the proverbial spanner in the works, to bring it down by hook or by crook. There is reason for being optimistic vis-à-vis the current situation in the country above all with saner counsel prevailing at last regarding the fertliser issue, Coronavirus disease afflicted more..

Land of unholy political matrimony

Nov 29 (TM) The pernicious perversion of party policies for personality politics is the pervasive principle of political posterity. In SL. Last week, Prez Rajapaksa and his immediate predecessor, incumbent SLPP coalition Govt MP and SLFP Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, exchanged veiled threats on different platforms, albeit not directly at each other, but which nonetheless have the effect of boomeranging on the duo. A troubled Rajapaksa, speaking at the opening of a bridge, more..

Who will monitor govt’s quota system?

Nov 29 (CT) The Govt is sticking to its organic farming policy and has strategically revoked the chemical fertiliser ban, saying that the private sector can import it, but the govt sector will stick to their policy of providing subsidies for organic farming, but the question remains as to how the Govt will monitor who is using which fertiliser when using chemical fertiliser or a combination of organic & chemical fertiliser producing higher yields. more..

The reversal of revolution

Nov 29 (ST) It is becoming increasingly clear that the promised vistas of prosperity and splendour are rapidly moving further distant with the govt habitually reversing gazettes that proclaim major policy decisions at the drop of a hat. This ridiculous trend has led to loss of governmental credibility beyond measure whilst these vacillations, these turnarounds faster than the spins of a weathercock in gusty winds, have set back the nation leagues from its intended destination and turned awry more..

The evil that our constitutions do, live after those who gave them life

Nov 29 (ST) Has the law been forgotten to such an extent in Sri Lanka that individuals who happen to antagonise the politically (or militarily) powerful are being summoned to the CID on the basis that they have offended repealed laws? Does no one know what laws are in force in the country and what have been repealed? What is this colossal joke that is being inflicted upon us? In the absence of infantile foundational knowledge on the laws which may be invoked to allege that a violation more..

How one bookshop is trying to revitalise Sri Lanka’s love for Russian literature

Nov 29 (Roar) Sarath Lal Kumara was about 27, and newly married, when the SL govt began hunting down socialists in the country. This was during 1987 - 1989 — a period later described as the years of terror — when the Marxist JVP, today a political party, then an armed rebel group, launched its second insurgency against the govt. At the time, Kumara, then still in university, and living in Moratuwa, was pressured by his wife and more..

Price of BRINJALS, the men had to Pay

Nov 29 (DM) Watching news in the company of a lady relative at her house, I had a feeling of shameful discomfort when I saw Tissakutti denying the use of any unparliamentarily terms, and even challenging the opposition, offering to quit politics if it was proved. The amazed elderly lady inquired as to what really transpired; and making it more embarrassing, the lady’s husband avoided involvement in the ruckus when she reprimanded me, “Aren’t you a journalist who pretends more..

The Sandahiru event: Celebrating failure

Nov 29 (Island) A few days ago President Gotabaya Rajapaksa(GR), the first military man and, unarguably, the most ignorant in the ways of governance to occupy the presidential seat, celebrated the completion of two years as the eighth president of the Republic of Sri Lanka. The salutation coincided with the formal vesting with the Sangha, of the “Sandahiru Seya” in Anuradhapura, a project commenced during brother Mahinda’s last term as president. more..

SLPP-SLFP spat deepens as ship of Govt veers off course

Nov 28 (ST) Second Reading of Budget 2021 was passed in Parliament on Monday with a thumping majority of 93 votes. A total of 153 MPs voted for the motion — a two third majority, while the Opposition could muster just 60 votes against it. On paper, it showed that the SLPP-led Govt continues to be united and enjoys overwhelming superiority in numbers in the Ninth Parliament. more..

Allegations of Diesel Mafia in CEB with claims that union officers no longer in office

Nov 28 (Island) Sections of the CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) have amid rumbles of a blackout over the New Fortress Energy (NFE) deal say that all decisions taken by the President and Executive Committee of the CEBEU since Aug 31 are null and void because their mandate to hold office has already expired, CEB sources said. They said no AGM had been held this year as required by the union constitution despite ample opportunity to hold one. It requires the union president and more..

Kiriella warns government to prepare to face more charges at UNHRC

Nov 28 (Island) The main opposition SJB warned the govt to get ready to face more charges at the next UNHRC sessions in Geneva of not doing justice to the Easter Sunday victims. Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella, speaking during the committee stage of the budget, said on Thursday that the govt has to face eight major human rights allegations against it in Geneva. The newest of these would be the allegation of not doing justice to the Easter Sunday victims. more..

President warns of unpopular measures as stimulus hits external stability

Nov 28 (EN) Prez Rajapaksa has warned of unpopular measures ahead as unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus has shattered the country’s external sector, putting pressure on the rupee and depleting forex reserves. Sri Lanka is among countries in the world that has handled the Coronavirus better than most, keeping exports up and vaccination levels, boosted by Chinese vaccines are higher than many developed nations. more..

Cardinal unhappy as Easter attack trial starts

Nov 28 (UCAN) As SL’s High Court began the trial of 25 men accused of plotting the Easter Sunday terror attack, a Catholic leader repeated his demand for further investigation to reveal a suspected larger plot linked to the atrocity. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo demanded to know the real culprits behind the serial blasts, suggesting attempts to cover up the crime. "I urge all Catholics to stand together until the issue is resolved," he said on Nov. 23, asking all Catholic priests and nuns to prioritize more..

'WI need smart tactics to beat SL's spinners'

Nov 28 (CI) Be precise and decisive with your footwork against spin. Oh, and don't drop catches off Dimuth Karunaratne. Nkrumah Bonner, who top-scored for WI with 68 not out off 220 said the above would help his team be more competitive in the second Test. Bonner was one of only two West Indies batters to cross fifty in the first Test, the other being Joshua da Silva, with whom he was involved in a 100-run stand. Pitch for 2nd Test is expected to be just as spin-friendly as the first. more..

Tight security in North over LTTE Maveerar Day events

Nov 28 (ST) Tight security was maintained throughout the Northern Province yesterday with temporary checkpoints and patrolling of military personnel in streets as residents and organised groups held events to commemorate those killed in the separatist war. Remembrance events were mostly held in homes and in a few selected public places with people lighting oil lamps and candles to remember the dead. more..

Seven Lankan women cricketers afflicted by COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

Nov 28 (ST) SLC yesterday confirmed that seven members of the national women’s team, including six players, tested positive for COVID-19 during the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, one of the countries where the new COVID-19 variant Omicron has been detected. ICC called off the tournament after some countries imposed travel restrictions on visitors from a number of African nations, including host Zimbabwe, following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa. more..

53 international, 11 local speakers at World HR Congress 2021

Nov 28 (ST) CIPM Sri Lanka, the country’s leader in human resource management, has announced a line-up of 53 international and 11 local speakers including Chairpersons, CEOs, and General Managers of top SL blue-chip companies together with leading academics in SL who will share their knowledge and insights at the World HR Congress 2021. The World HR Congress will be held in virtual mode from Dec 6 to 8 on the theme Exalting People Professionals Amidst a Planetary Pandemic:, more..

Loss-making Airport and Aviation Services expects profit by March

Nov 28 (TM) Regardless of state-run Airport and Aviation Services SL (AASL) incurring a loss of Rs. 1,792 million up to August 2021, it is confident that by February/March 2022, its revenue would be revived to pre-pandemic levels. AASL Chief Operations Director Shehan Sumanasekara stated that the target of achieving the pre-pandemic revenue level is highly plausible due to the revised health measures they have taken, more..

Shanthikumar takes over THASL leadership

Nov 28 (Island) Tourism industry veteran M. Shanthikumar was elected to head The Hotels Association of SL (THASL) following his appointment as the President of the association on Thursday at THASL’s 56th anniversary celebrations held at Taj Samudra. Shanthikumar takes over the leadership from Mount Lavinia Group Chairman Sanath Ukwatte whose term ended. Shanthikumar said: “The hotel sector investment in Sri Lanka is by far the highest in the Tourism Industry more..

Crescat Boulevard re-opens

Nov 28 (ST) Crescat Boulevard shopping mall, adjoining the Cinnamon Grand hotel, re-opened its doors on Nov 19 after an extensive refurbishment in time for seasonal shopping. The newly revamped mall features sleek, enhanced interiors and fresh shopping and dining experiences within the well-loved and familiar venue in the heart of the city, the company said in a media release. “As one of the pioneering shopping malls in the city, Crescat Boulevard holds fond memories for more..

කුමාර තිරිමාදුර

Creating innovative spaces and world class construction projects

Nov 28 (Island) The Access Group consists of some of the country’s pioneering and innovative companies that have contributed to SL’s corporate landscape. Access Projects is among them – they commenced their own unique journey into creating iconic buildings with their flagship Access Towers 25 years ago. At the time, it was a unique building with its own footprint. Heading the Access Projects is Managing Director Dilshan Ferdinando who has been associated with creating more..

Economy poised for faster recovery next year: Cabraal

Nov 28 (SO) CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the economy will notch around six percent growth next year following a re-bounce in the tourism sector boosting foreign exchange inflows to the country. At the media briefing on the monetary policy stance last week, Cabraal said there is no need to seek a bailout from the IMF if debt restructuring is done scientifically. The former regime had opted for a program with the global lender as the value of Int'l Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) had shot up more..

SL courts automation tender embroiled in controversy

Nov 28 (ST) Startling revelations have emerged on alleged procedural irregularities in awarding the Justice Ministry tender for the design, supply, implementation and maintenance of a Court Automation System in SL. This project envisages automating the Court hearing process and related activities with key modules of e-filing, case management and transcription along with other related sub-modules, officials said, more..

Indian line of credit next week

Nov 28 (ST) The US$500 million credit line for fuel from India would be received next week, officials said. Negotiations on petroleum-linked credit lines from West Asia and other regional economies are ongoing, according to senior Central Bank officials. They said that the regulator is currently arranging high-level discussions with respective Governments to secure short to medium-term govt to govt financing to buttress inflows as was mentioned in the six-month road map presented on Oct 1. more..

Cricket’s finest gentleman Michael Tissera

Nov 28 (Island) Next week, as the second Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies comes to a conclusion, Michael Tissera will be in Galle to give away Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne a trophy that bears his name and that of West Indies legend Sir Garry Sobers. Irrespective of the result of the second Test, Sri Lanka will retain the Sobers-Tissera Trophy having won the first Test. West Indies can only square the series and as the holders of the trophy, Sri Lanka will retain the title. more..

Sri Lanka’s women’s WC dream shattered

Nov 28 (ST) SL women’s cricket team is officially out of next year’s ICC World Cup after Women’s World Cup qualifiers, being played in Zimbabwe, was called off yesterday owing to the introduction of travel restrictions from a number of countires, including the hosts Zimbabwe, and the breakout of a new COVID-19 variant in southern Africa. Cancellation of the qualifiers means top eight teams in the ranking along with hosts NZ more..

Sri Lanka on the travel map at WTM, London

Nov 28 (SO) The global travel and tourism event, World Travel Market (WTM), was launched earlier this month, as a hybrid event this year, promoting international travel. WTM was initially held at the Excel Exhibition Hall in London, which was then followed by a virtual event. SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) along with 20 travel and hospitality organisations participated in the event. SL HC in London extended its support to promote SL as a renowned destination in world travel. more..

Target for $3 b ICTA industry as planned

Nov 28 (ST) The target to make US$ 3 billion ICT industry in three years from the current $ 1.5 billion is underway with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) incubating 450 start-ups by year-end, officials said. “In the next year, we aim to have 600 start-ups and bring it to 1000 more start-ups. Within three years we need start-ups to bring the industry to the targeted $3 billion,” Oshada Senanayake, Chairman Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRC) said. more..

Kinniya ferry tragedy : Innocent lives lost

Nov 28 (CT) “It was around 7:10 in the morning when my kids kissed me goodbye and left for school. When leaving they told me that they might get onto the motor ferry with the other kids to get to school on time, since the ferry stops close to the school. I left them on the road as I usually do. As soon as I reached home I saw a neighbour, who usually travels in the ferry at the same time, coming back. When I inquired from him, more..

Sri Lanka football hit by discontent, indiscipline

Nov 28 (SO) SL football may be rising from the abyss gradually after some creditable performances in the SAFF Cup in Male and the Mahinda Rajapaksa Trophy four-nation invitation tournament at home, but the discipline of players has sunk to alarming levels, according to a former national star. Hooliganism in sport is usually associated with spectators who are fiercely loyal and tend to go overboard sometimes when they openly display their allegiance to club or in some cases country. more..

Slippery pole stops vaulting Sachini from further record

Nov 28 (SO) Vaulting queen Sachini Perera once again renewed her own SL record with a leap of 3.60 metres at Army Athletics C'ship held at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Sachini, who leaped 3.57m last year renewing her own record during the National Athletics C'ship in October, was back in action at this meet where she cleared 3.60m with ease. She then attempted one chance at 3.70m without success. “It was hard to grip the pole after the heavy rain and wet conditions hence more..