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Opposition will support a new PTA to protect freedoms, get GSP+: Eran

Jun 14 (EN) The SJB said it would support the govt to bring a new prevention of terrorism law, as the mis-use of the current one against the public and minorities was reducing civil liberties. European parliament has cited SL’s existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been cited as one of the tools through which democratic freedoms were being stripped away and minorities targeted, which may lead to the GSP+ trade benefits more..

Editorial: Govt vs Govt

Jun 14 (Island) It never rains but it pours. There is no end in sight to the various shocks the public frequently receives from the govt. The Covid-19 pandemic is ripping through the country, destroying scores of lives daily. The inoculation programme is moving at a tardy pace as there is no steady supply of vaccines. Travel restrictions are causing hardships to the public and hurting the economy badly but have not yielded the desired results. The poor are asking for food and farmers fertiliser. more..

Niluka determined to raise the bar high

Jun 14 (CT) SL’s most decorated Badminton player Niluka Karunaratne, will make his third consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games, and is determined to raise the bar high for Badminton in SL. “I am proud to be among very few sportspersons in SL to make three appearances at the Olympic Games. No Badminton player in SL has achieved this feat. This will be my last Olympics and my prime objective is to sign off with a win and do my best to raise the bar high for future of SL badminton” more..

JVP press | Sunil Handunnetti

Olympians to receive financial assistance from Sports Ministry

Jun 14 (DN) SL Olympians will be rewarded with financial benefits and other incentives when they participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan from July 23. Already four athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and another 3 to 4 athletes are expected to join the Sri Lankan contingent through the wildcard system. “We have decided to grant an allowance of US $10,000 for each Olympian with a further sum of US $40 as a daily allowance” Minister Namal Rajapaksa said. more..

Seylan Bank hosts webinar to help SMEs elevate biz through Facebook

Jun 14 (FT) Seylan Bank recently conducted a skills and knowledge sharing webinar exclusively for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to help them adapt to the current digitally-driven business environment. The live webinar was hosted via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. The interactive session gathered approximately 1,000 registrations. The webinar ‘Let’s use Facebook effectively to promote business growth in the current environment’ was a part of the Bank’s ongoing efforts more..

Rs. 5,000 as compensation for fisher families affected by Xpress Pearl ship disaster

Jun 14 (FT) Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda held a special meeting to resolve the difficulties of the Negombo fishing community affected by the MV-Xpress Pearl and to inform them of the decisions taken by the Govt in this regard. The discussion held on Saturday at the Negombo Town Hall was attended by State Ministers Kanchana Wijesekera, Nimal Lanza, representatives of fisheries societies from Palliyawatta, Wattala more..

CBSL offers concessionary scheme for Businesses, Individuals affected by Covid-19

Jun 14 (DN) Considering the difficulties faced by the borrowers of Licensed Finance Companies and Specialized Leasing Companies (NBFIs), due to the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Central Bank of SL (CBSL) is requesting NBFIs to provide concessions to affected borrowers for C-19 affected businesses and individuals. These concessions issued under circular No. 06 of 2021 are concessions granted for performing credit facilities. For credit facilities that are more..

Virtual meetings for prisoners with their families with the help of ICRC

Jun 14 (Island) State Minister Lohan Ratwatte said here yesterday that as prison visits had been suspended, inmates would be afforded an opportunity to communicate with their loved ones via Zoom. The facility had been made available in six prisons of the country, including Welikada and Angunakolapelessa, State Minister Ratwatte said. He disclosed that the now vacant Bogambara prison buildings and its land would be developed as a tourist attraction in the near future. more..

Trinco oil tank reclamation at snail’s pace

Jun 14 (TM) Regardless of an agreement being finalised between SL Govt and its Indian counterparts in February for SL to develop the Upper Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee, discussions are still ongoing with the relevant officials to proceed with the next step. Minister Udaya Gammanpila stated that the progress is very slow despite the discussions held with official Indian counterparts to develop the Upper Oil Tank Farm. more..

Environment, Fire and Petroleum

Jun 14 (DM) On World Environment Day UN highlighted the fact that we cannot turn back time. But, we can grow trees, green our cities and clean up rivers and coasts. The UN calls on all people to Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. With the Covid crisis raging the world over, the usual large-scale cleanup involving thousands of volunteers, children and the public involving themselves in mass tree planting schemes, clearing of garbage and plastics on our beaches was out of the question and more..

Hidden and discounted: Child Labour in Tea and Tourism

Jun 14 (GV) In the South Asian region, Sri Lanka is a success story when it comes to tackling child labour. The widely prevalent forms of child labour in the 1990s and before, such as children in domestic servitude and children’s engagement in hazardous labour in industries, have drastically declined. This transformation has been the result of greater awareness among the public, law reform and enhanced law enforcement as well as more businesses steering away from employment more..

රතු ඉර - කාලීන දේශපාලන සංවාදය

The public’s responsibility

Jun 14 (CT) On-going travel restrictions that were scheduled to be lifted at 4 a.m. tomorrow (14) were further extended until 21 June, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva announced on Friday. The restrictions that were first imposed on 21 May were supposed to last until 7 June, with a plan to relax restrictions on 25 May, 31 May and 4 June. However, taking into consideration the high number of positive cases reported daily, after 25 May, restrictions had been strictly imposed. more..

Necessary but unpopular decisions

Jun 14 (TM) Govt’s decision to increase fuel prices last week led to a furore among the pandemic-stricken people who were awaiting some form of relief, not price hikes. In SL, regardless of the amount, any form of price hike receives criticism under normal circumstances, and the recent fuel price hike coming during a pandemic, intensified that criticism. Fuel price hikes, especially, receive more opposition than other goods, as the price of fuel decides the price of a large number of other more..

Covid-19 vaccination programme: No decision on university and school students

Jun 14 (TM) While the national vaccination rollout for Covid-19 is slowly progressing in SL, many other countries have been rolling out their vaccine drives quite rapidly. With the support of the medical regulatory authorities in Americas, Europe, EU, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Covid-19 vaccination programmes have been commenced for children above the age of 12. In SL, however, we are still at the stage where the rest of the country more..

Replacement of political-governing with political-management

Jun 14 (CT) The whole political world is in chaos with many political ideologies, which have in a way turned upside down the ordinary systems of people or rather obstructed people-building capacities. As I have discussed in one article published in a journal called Colombo Telegraph, it is the dominant world system that has harmed the conscientization of people in which peoples’ genuine socio-political capacities have been destroyed[1]. The etymological meaning of the word governing is to have more..

Hard questions that the govt must answer to an anarchic populace

Jun 14 (ST) Fast on its way to illustrating South Asia’s frightening object lesson on how to reduce one of the region’s oldest democracies to a dystopian nightmare of rampant disease, poverty and pathetically dependant people made to grovel for handouts, SL’s unfortunate citizenry watch with surreal fascination this week as PM Rajapaksa blandly asks the world to pick Sri Lanka as an investment destination of choice. There is a hard question that PM together with his brother, more..

'Covid-19: Not reached community spread level’

Jun 14 (TM) A surge of Covid-19 cases will endure for another couple of weeks and the downward trend can be expected subsequently, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said. He shared the importance of the current lockdown and explained the community transmission of the virus. Q: What is the current Covid-19 situation in SL? A: The total number of cases have already passed 200,000 mark. more..

Mirage of Rajapaksa Magic being exposed!

Jun 14 (CT) Another Annus Horribilis indeed! Sri Lanka appeared to be continuing on its disastrous path on all fronts, this year too, (thanks) to its disoriented, beleaguered leadership as it faces further domestic woes and foreign policy hurdles. Yes! the people are now increasingly getting disgusted and angered, and now baying for the blood of yet another govt that had failed them. However, as it is often said, the lesson of history is that no one learns. more..

Inland oil leak nearly made capital run dry

Jun 14 (ST) With a container ship leaking dangerous chemicals on fire at sea for over 12 nerve-racking days despite the best efforts of the fire-fighting crew to extinguish its wind swept flames, a major disaster on land broke out last Friday night when oil stored in the tanks at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery started to flow into the inland waters of the River Kelani, raising grave fears that the capital and its environs will be rendered dry should the water supply be contaminated as a result. more..

SJB frontliners claim fictional reasons prompted confidence vote on Sajith’s...

Jun 13 (ST) From a private hospital in a crowded part of the city, Sajith Premadasa, leader of the country’s main opposition SJB, then recuperating from an attack of COVID-19, had to fight another threat – the fear of losing his leadership. He has overcome the deadly virus attack but not the other. Other than SMS messages to thank those who had wished him a speedy recovery, he was telephoning stalwarts in his party. more..

Ruling party kindles resignation drama over fuel price hike

Jun 13 (EN) SL’s ruling party in a dramatic move called for the resignation of Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila a day after fuel prices were raised ending an election promise to fix oil prices, in bid to bolster the cash-strapped state energy firm. Minister Gammanpila said the on Friday the price hike was decided by a cabinet subcommittee as the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had 330 billion rupees of accumulated losses and over US$ 3 bil in foreign exchange which was in short supply. more..

Gas companies also seek price hike, CoL likely to soar

Jun 13 (ST) While the cost of living is likely to soar in the wake of yesterday’s fuel price hikes, a govt-appointed ministerial committee is due to study a proposal to increase gas prices. Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the committee would meet tomorrow to discuss a request made by two companies – Litro Gas & Laugfs — seeking permission to increase gas prices. He said the companies had requested that the price of a cylinder of domestic gas be increased by Rs 700, more..

Luxury vehicle import plan for fieldwork suspended – not cancelled

Jun 13 (ST) The decision to buy a large number of tax-free SUVs using money from the Treasury was held back or postponed at the suggestion of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Cabinet, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. “The subject initially came up when there was no COVID-19. It was decided to bring down vehicles instead of issuing permits which are usually sold. They were to be for various government institutions to be used as more..

Sri Lanka yet to learn of delivery date: US’s Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Jun 13 (TM) Sri Lanka is yet to be informed of a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine delivery date from the US despite the country’s name having been included in the list of countries to be receiving vaccines from the US, according to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC). SPC General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake said that although Sri Lanka has been included in the list of countries to receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses from the US, they have yet to confirm any delivery dates. more..

Vaccinations: Eminent group follows-up with Prez., PM and ministers

Jun 13 (Island) The group of eminent academics, professionals and civic activists, led by former Colombo Uni Vice Chancellor, Prof. Savitri Gunasekera, who wrote to the Director General of Health earlier this month together with some others have now written a follow-up letter to Prez, PM, Health Minister and state ministers of health. We reproduce its text below: “We are writing to you as a follow up to our letter to the Director General Health, which appeared in Sunday Island of June 6. more..

Sharing fake news on social media: Govt warns of re-enacting criminal defamation

Jun 13 (TM) By sharing fake news on social media networks, some people are pushing the country towards re-enacting the criminal defamation law which was repealed in 2002, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said this on Friday while responding to The Sunday Morning’s query on the conflict which would arise with the exercise of the freedom of expression when arrests are made for the purported cognisable offence of sharing more..

Don’t take seafood off the menu: Round Island urges concerned consumers

Jun 13 (Island) While SL grapples with the after effects of the MV X-Press Pearl marine disaster off the South and West coasts of the island, the Ministry of Fisheries has assured citizens that in suspending fishing activities from the affected coasts, all seafood that makes its way to the markets has officially been declared safe for consumption. In light of recent events, and in order to reel in greater confidence towards the fisheries industry as a whole, Round Island – consumer face of Oceanpick ltd more..

Four new state-owned businesses to be listed in the CSE

Jun 13 (ST) Four new state-owned business enterprises (SOBEs) are to be added to the existing 52 strategically important SOEs as limited liability companies, and these four will be listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange soon. These enterprises are now functioning under the Ministries of Finance, Urban Development and Technology with the Secretary to the Treasury being the sole shareholder. The govt is in the process of fully operationalising these four new SOEs more..

Excise Department grapples with billions of rupees in lost tax revenue

Jun 13 (Island) The continued prohibition on liquor sales due to existing travel restrictions in the country has dealt a crippling blow to the Excise Department with the loss of tax revenue exceeding a whopping Rs. 10 billion (Rs. 10,000 million) so far. “We have been deprived of around Rs. 600 million per day in excise duties”, says M. J. Gunasiri, Commissioner-General of Excise. Since the sale of alcohol was banned with more..

Apparel TUs to enter MOU with JAAF

Jun 13 (ST) Apparel industry worker-related issues are to be discussed between the factory owners and trade unions once they reach agreement through an MOU in the wake of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. “We have agreed to discuss a possibility of entering a MOU to resolve the disputes through social dialogue,” FTZ and General Services Trade Union General Secretary Anton Marcus said. Draft of the MOU is yet to be considered by the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF). more..

Germany deports 23 SL asylum seekers

Jun 13 (SO) A group of 23 SL Tamils were deported from a detention centre in Pforzheim, Germany on Wednesday amid noisy protests from asylum seekers and rights activists. A large number of German Police personnel from Pforzheim surrounded the detention centre and took into custody the 23 SL Tamils to be deported to Colombo. When the police operation was taking place, a large number of SL Tamils living in various parts of Germany gathered outside more..

Deposits under SDA exceed $ 400 m

Jun 13 (TM) The special deposit account (SDA), which was announced during the peak of a potential foreign exchange crisis amidst the Covid-19 outbreak last year, has significantly raised more than $ 400 million in deposits as of last week. A senior official from the CB, stated that the SDA is performing exceptionally well since its implementation last year. “In April, SDA was extended by another year more..

Aftermath of X-Press Pearl

Jun 13 (Island) The recovery of the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the dangerous cargo laden container ship, X-Press Pearl, the burning and subsequent sinking of which caused this country an unprecedented and unimaginable environmental disaster may help ongoing investigations to establish where culpability for alleged negligence or irresponsibility lie. VDR is the equivalent on a ship of black box voice & data recorder in the cockpit of an aircraft vital for investigation of a plane crash. more..

Fraud on a power: Exercised in vaccinations management?

Jun 13 (Island) The doctrine Fraud on a Power (also known as improper purpose doctrine) was one of the key fundamental building blocks in framing the potential charges in a high profile suspected corruption and money laundering case investigated under the Yahapalanaya regime. This investigation was assisted, by a set of independent professionals acting as authorized independent volunteers. It appears that the prosecutors of AG’s department make limited use of these concepts. more..