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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..

Face the Nation

High noon for PTA

Jun 15 (TM) Govt appears to be taking some desperate measures to sustain SL’s debt stricken economy, even though the situation calls for far more fundamental and tactical changes than mere price and import-related regulations such as the recent fuel price hike and the much debated turmeric and vehicle import restrictions. The fact that the country’s foreign reserves is in a sorry state has been discussed on many occasions in the past few months, although the Govt continues to more..

Chinese Checkers sans board

Jun 15 (CT) If someone wanted to know, who wanted the Colombo Port City Bill designed and drafted the way it now is (thanks to the Supreme Court’s uncompromising determination), then you now have the answer. Addressing the Sri Lanka Investment Forum-2021, Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong talked a lot about what in a single, worn-out phrase could be dismissed as red-tape (no reference this to that nation’s political colour or how it is red in other parts of the world). more..

February deaths in June

Jun 15 (TM) As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on in SL, concerns were raised about certain discrepancies between the statistics issued by Dept of Govt Information and Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit on Friday (11) and Saturday (12). The number and nature of newly reported Covid-19 cases was not the only concern, as deaths caused by Covid-19-related complications also became a topic of discussion last week, more..

European Union to withdraw GSP+?

Jun 15 (DM) The European Union Parliament on June 10 has adopted a resolution seeking the temporary withdrawal of SL’s GSP+ status. The resolution said “The European Parliament calls on the Commission and the EEAS (European External Action Service) to use the GSP+ as a leverage to push for advancement on SL’s human rights obligations and demand the repeal or replacement of the PTA, to carefully assess whether there is sufficient reason, as a last resort to initiate more..

Land for the People

Jun 15 (DM) One of the first books read to me as a child by my parents, was a parable on land drawing from one of Leo Tolstoy’s short stories, made available in Jaffna by affordable children’s publications from the Soviet Union. The parable goes like this: that a man was offered as much land as he wished, provided he walked the perimeter of the land from sunrise to sunset on a certain day. Having set his expectations too high, and worried that he could not return by sunset, more..

Please Help Me cry haunts land of Rising Sun

Jun 15 (CT) Migrant workers, asylum seekers, boat people, refugees fleeing their home country from poverty, oppression and war, have nothing to share but sorrows and the pathetic lives they spend in strange lands. But the death of Wishma Sandamali Rathnayake, who perished in a Japanese detention facility, is undeserved as Sri Lanka-Japan ties are deep rooted. The matter triggered a political upheaval in Japan more..

Pearl was ablaze way before X-Press Pearl Good, Bad, Ugly of Sili-sili and Oil

Jun 15 (DM) A step further from last week’s second to last of trilogy in Dollar seriesGood, Bad & Ugly. Watch!—is there any plastic around you; yogurt containers, water bottles, bags? Most of them do not make it to the recycling unit, or the landfill. This plastic—carried by waterways, rivers, and wind, will find its way to the Ocean, then convert into micro-plastics [ocean surge and ultraviolet light will accelerate the breakdown] which is easily mistaken by small fish and plankton, more..

From inorganic to organic Is Sri Lanka bracing for an agriculture disaster?

Jun 15 (DM) The old Sinhala adage, Mada sodagath kala goviya rajakamatath sudusui (when the mud is washed off, the farmer is fit to serve as king) has remained in the language used by the peasant. To date, no farmer has gotten an opportunity to be king; let alone washing off the mud. After a glorious period of agriculture attributed to the various kingdoms of yesteryear, colonial invaders made sure that they not only colonised our land, but our rich soil as well. With independence Sri Lanka thought more..

Will not increase bus fares but bus owners will be provided concessions: Minister

Jun 14 (EN) Sri Lanka will not increase bus fares following a controversial fuel price hike but will instead provide concessions to private bus owners, State Minister Dilum Amunugama said on June 12. He said the govt has already increased bus fares to the maximum possible rates the public can afford. “We will not increase bus fares by even one rupee,” he said. SL’s private bus owners have threatened to limit more..

Vietnam treasures ties with Sri Lanka: Party chief

Jun 14 (VNA) Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese State always treasure the traditional friendship and fruitful cooperation with Sri Lanka, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has said. The Party chief made the affirmation during his phone talks with President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa on June 14. He recalled President Ho Chi Minh’s stop-over in Sri Lanka 110 years ago as part of the late leader’s journey to seek ways for national salvation. more..

Drop fuel price without supplying jokes: Sajith

Jun 14 (AD) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says that the current govt continues to provide jokes, one not less funny than the other. Issuing a statement, Premadasa says that there no other joke funnier than the claim of the govt’s irrational argument that it intends to encourage local products by increasing fuel price, referring to the recent press release issued by Prez’s Media Division regarding the fuel price hike. Leader of SJB points out that if the local economy is to be boosted, more..

Sri Lanka’s observations on the resolution adopted in the EU parliament

Jun 14 (MFA) The Foreign Ministry regrets the adoption of a resolution on Sri Lanka in the European Parliament on 10 June 2021. The resolution entitled The Situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, contains factual inaccuracies, and does not take cognizance of the multifaceted progress made by Sri Lanka in reconciliation and development. At the outset, more..

Security on high alert in Tamil Nadu after infiltration threats

Jun 14 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu state police and Central intelligence agencies have stepped up vigil after threats of an armed group trying to infiltrate from Sri Lanka were received. An alert was issued by a Central intelligence agency on Saturday evening and the police have stepped up vigil in the towns of Kanyakumari, Toothukudi, Rameswaram, as well as in Chennai. According to intelligence sources, a boat carrying armed operatives was headed towards Rameswaram coast. more..

Consult paediatricians prior to reopening schools: PM advises Edu. Authorities

Jun 14 (DM) PM Rajapaksa advised the education authorities to seek advice from Paediatricians before reopening of schools that are closed due to the COVID-19. The advice was given during a meeting on vaccinating school teachers and children held yesterday at the President's Secretariat. PM pointed out that as soon as the pandemic situation is controlled, it is essential to reopen schools in many stages and said relevant vaccines could be obtained through the Health Ministry. more..

Fuel price stabilization account Rs26bn in the red

Jun 14 (EN) A fuel prices stabilization account, which was linked to a fund set up with printed money to fix oil prices according to an election promise given by the current administration to jettison a price formula, had a 26 billion rupee gap by the end of 2020, official data show. Policymakers of the current administration, who slammed market pricing of fuel in 2018, set up the fund as a key part of an economic more..

Health Ministry to change procedure on announcing COVID deaths

Jun 14 (DM) Health Ministry has taken steps to change the procedure on announcing COVID-19 related deaths in a single day with effect from today. Accordingly, Director-General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawardena said that a procedure would be in place only to report in a day, the deaths that occur within 48 hours or 24 hours. “We have been reporting deaths that occur several days ago in a day, which we are going to change from today,” he said. more..

COVID victim’s body removed from crematorium to allow VIP body

Jun 14 (DM) The body of a COVID-19 victim which was prepared for cremation was reportedly removed from the Panthiya Crematorium in Matugama, following an order received to allow another body, which was taken in a VIP vehicle, to be cremated. The body of a 93-year-old female, who died of COVID-19 at home in the Galmaththa area in Matugama, was taken to the Panthiya crematorium for cremation by an ambulance. The body was brought by health workers under more..