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COPA discussion on Education Sector: Part I

SC dismisses FR petitions against appointing Dhammika Perera as MP

Jun 22 (AD) Supreme Court has rejected granting leave to proceed with the five fundamental rights (FR) petitions challenging the appointment of business magnate Dhammika Perera as a MP. The petitions were taken up by a three-judge bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Yasantha Kodagoda and Arjuna Obeysekera. Delivering the verdict, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, who leads the three-judge bench, said that it would not grant leave to proceed more..

Justice minister calls for opposition support for his 21st amendment

Jun 22 (EN) Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has called for wide support for his version of a 21st amendment to the constitution after the Supreme Court determined that the provisions of a competing draft by the main opposition required a referendum. Rajapakshe told parliament on Tuesday June 21 that the Supreme Court had determined that virtually none of the provisions in the main opposition SJB’s draft 21st amendment could be passed in parliament without a referendum. more..

Crisis-hit SL’s priority is making drugs available than affordable: Health Minister

Jun 22 (EN) SL’s health sector priority is to make drugs available than making them at affordable price, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said as the island nation’s economic crisis has hit the availability of drugs including some key essential and life-saving medicines. The US dollar shortage has resulted in lower drug imports and Prez Rajapaksa’s govt has requested from bilateral donors and multilateral finding more..

Youth activist Anuruddha Bandara released from court case

Jun 22 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the release of youth activist Anuruddha Bandara, who was arrested on suspicion of publishing of various posts and articles on social media in a manner that allegedly causes unrest among the public. Saliya Pieris, PC, who appeared on behalf of the defendant, had earlier stated in court that it is not possible to pursue the relevant charges against his client. Accordingly, tSaliya Pieris had requested the court to release him from the case. more..

JKH borrows USD75 mln from Canada to fund India’s Adani Group JV port terminal

Jun 22 (EN) John Keells Holdings (JKH) will borrow US$ 75 million (Rs. 27.1 bil) from a Canadian financial institution through privately placed debentures to fund dollar based investments such as West Container Terminal in Colombo, firm said in a disclosure to the stock market. Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd will lend the required dollar amid the crisis-hit and sovereign debt defaulted economy is desperately looking for dollars to fund its essentials including fuel & gas. more..

COPA discussion on Education Sector: Part II

Chinese fertiliser saga: Govt making an effort effort to reclaim compensation

Jun 22 (DM) Sri Lankan govt would make every effort to reclaim the US$ 6.9 million paid to the Chinese fertiliser company, Quingdao Seawin Biotech group in 2021, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said that the Agriculture Ministry held a discussion with the local agent of the Chinese fertiliser company last week to find a way how Sri Lanka could reclaim the US$ 6.9 million or obtain a consignment of safe carbonic fertiliser to the value of the payment. more..

CB owned Treasuries tops Rs. 2 trillion

Jun 22 (EN) Central Bank’s own Treasuries holding has topped 2 trillion rupees with 48 billion rupees in permanent money injected after the latest Treasury bill auction. CB’s Treasury bill and bond stock reached 2,045 billion rupees on June 17 from 1,997 billion rupees a day earlier. CB had additionally injected 746 billion rupees against Treasury securities overnight into money markets allowing banks to give loans without raising deposits and trigger balance of payments deficits and more..

300,000 public servants threaten union action over fuel

Jun 22 (TM) Unless the designation of a separate location in each Divisional Secretariat (DS) or any other means is not arranged for the issuance of fuel to public servants within the course of next week, at least 300,000 public servants would engage in a continuous trade union action from the first week of July, SL Govt Officers’ Trade Union Association (SLGOTUA) warned. SLGOTUA National Organiser Pradeep Basnayake said: more..

Nipun, Lahiru and Sahan take batting honours for SL ‘A’

Jun 22 (DN) Nipun Dhananjaya (92), Lahiru Udara (63) and Sahan Arachchige (61) made useful contributions as Sri Lanka 'A' scored 330 for 9 wickets at close of the first day in their second four day game against Australia 'A' played at Mahinda Rajapaksa International cricket stadium yesterday. The 21 year old former National under 19 Skipper Nipun Dhananjaya made a fluent knock of 92 in 130 balls with 4 fours unfortunately missed his third first class century while opener Lahiru Udara 63 more..

Another anxious wait for Nilani ahead of World Championships

Jun 22 (Island) With another outstanding solo run at the hastily arranged athletic event held at Diyagama over the weekend, Nilani Ratnayake has once again exhibited her prowess in the demanding endurance event of 3,000 metres steeplechase. But will the near record-breaking feat be enough for her to maintain her current position in the Road to Oregon World Championship rankings before the qualifying period for the major athletics event expires this week? With the qualifying period for more..

යළිත් අගමැතිකම දකුණට

COPE to take oath from officials before making statements

Jun 22 (DM) The COPE decided to take an oath at the commencement of the statements made by the officials when summoned before the Committee. The decision was taken at a special COPE meeting held today (21) chaired by COPE Chairman Charitha Herath. Accordingly, officials who will be appearing before COPE in future, will have to take an oath at the beginning of the Committee meeting that their statements are accurate and truthful. Chairman of COPE also tabled the statement withdrawal more..

Autonomy & University: Critical remarks

Jun 22 (Island) In a brief span of two months, we have seen a massive overturning of our political perceptions. Anger at the Rajapaksa regime was building over a long time, but it was the shortages and the long queues, the failed crops after the fertilizer ban, and prior to that women protesting micro finance loans, lock down protests against layoffs, that was the tipping point. People poured into the streets, even as property became the street. Protests had as their baseline, a simple call more..

Teachers label online teaching a failure

Jun 22 (TM) Against the backdrop of schools in main cities, including Colombo, being directed to carry out teaching activities online given the prevailing fuel shortage, teachers’ trade unions have pointed out that online teaching has proven to be a complete failure. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said: “We continued to point out that online teaching activities conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic period, were a failure. more..

Beijing restless as QUAD comes to Colombo's aid

Jun 22 (AN) A more proactive role in SL is looming for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). The discussion forum between the United States, Japan, Australia and India is poised to provide aid to the country, grappling with the worst political-economic crisis in the post-independence era. Economic and political analysts told AsiaNews that Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Indian PM Narendra Modi have agreed to work together to assist the island nation. Japan's initiative comes despite more..

Sri Lankan economy heading towards a dangerous phase

Jun 22 (CT) Sri Lanka is moving into an uncharted territory and a dangerous one with negative economic growth and critical shortages in consumer essentials. Economic crisis has now turned into humanitarian crisis and unless supply shortages are eased and consumer queues are shortened the situation may soon develop into a law-and-order crisis. The nation is confronting the effects of a double whammy. A self-inflicted catastrophe at home is coinciding with adverse market reaction more..

Sri Lanka Seal ODI Series Against Australia

Jun 22 (CI) Australia seemed to be flying towards their target at one point, but were ambushed by SL's spinners with 70 to get. They limped their way through the late overs, and fought valiantly to take this twisting match to the last ball. But SL held on by their fingertips to send a raucous Khettarama into raptures. Having let what seemed like a comfortable final over become dire by conceding three fours to Australia's No. 10 more..

Editorial: Opposition flogging a dead horse

Jun 22 (Island) SJB, and JVP-led NPP yesterday staged a walkout in Parliament, which they will boycott for one week to pressure the govt to sort out the economic crisis and grant relief to the public. Their right to protest cannot be questioned, but one questions their wisdom of cranking up pressure on the govt in this manner. On the one hand, they call the govt an abject failure, and on the other, they ask it to deliver! How could anyone with an iota of intelligence expect a failed govt to reveal, more..

Food security crisis: Social safety net spread to console vulnerable segments

Jun 22 (DM) Tudor Rajapaksa’s vegetable plot is now a centre of attraction at GotaGoGama. A variety of plants from red spinach to curry leaves, lime, pandan leaves have already been planted on his plot. This is his way of showing the masses how SL could transform into a toxin-free nation. While Rajapaksa is busy educating people on how to setup a home garden with organic components, several community kitchens have been setup to feed children and adults in vulnerable segments more..

මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන

Practicality in prioritising fuel for health

Jun 22 (TM) In a context where procuring fuel is becoming exceedingly difficult, minimising the impacts of the fuel crisis has become a priority. In a bid to prevent the country’s health sector from coming to a halt due to difficulties faced by healthcare workers in obtaining fuel, the Government recently announced that new measures are being considered to facilitate the procurement of fuel for those in the sector. On Monday (20), Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella posted more..

Narrative revisited

Jun 22 (CT) SL economist N. Balakrishnan in a book titled Asian Survey published in Feb 1975 had this to say about SL under a heading SL in 1974: Battle for Economic Survival. “SL has been faced with a worsening economic situation in 1974. It became virtually a battle for economic survival and one that is far from over. “World food shortages, the oil crisis and global inflation have had such a severe impact on the economy that SL came to be listed by the IMF among the most seriously affected countries. more..

Why foreign investors face hostile responses in Sri Lanka

Jun 22 (CT) As the country’s energy crisis reaches a boiling point, Sri Lankans have warned the govt not to offer foreign investors like the Adani Group the mega renewable energy project in Mannar, which will have the capacity to supply 500MW to the national grid. Such backlash is common when successive govts offer unsolicited proposals to foreign investors, which is an open secret. However, India has consistently been more..

From the depths of despair King Cricket rises again

Jun 22 (DM) Whenever the Lankans have been at a seemingly bottomless pit of despair, it has been cricket that has helped the nation, irrespective of race, ethnicity or religion raise its collective head. Not so long ago - in 1996 - when the country was being wracked by the horrors of a terrorist war and Lankan spirits were drooping, SL defeated Australia by 7 wickets in the final to win their first ever World Cup. Explosions of canon fire and AK-47s - the sounds of war, gave way to explosions of more..

Excessive Govt borrowing deepens the economic crisis

Jun 21 (FT) Sri Lanka being the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to default on foreign debt in this century is facing its worst economic crisis since Independence. Pakistan was the last Asian country that defaulted in 1999. Amidst the lack of foreign currency, there is a severe shortage of food, medicine, fuel, and other essentials throughout the country. Shipments carrying diesel, petrol, and LP gas remain anchored off the port from time to time awaiting payments. more..

Are young politicians the solution to toxic political culture?

Jun 22 (TM) The need to change SL’s political culture for the better has been under discussion for a long time, although with little results, and the country’s political leadership has, from time to time, come up with various suggestions to achieve this objective. The most recent such suggestion comes from Opposition MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, who submitted a private member bill to amend parliament elections act, more..

Open letter to Sajith: Lead or leave

Jun 21 (FT) Dear Sajith, When Ranil Wickremesinghe became PM, I wrote an open letter to him and urged him to respond to the magnitude of the moment by directing his focus towards uniting the Opposition and avoiding the mistakes of the past. Although I have deep reservations over how the Rajapaksas manoeuvred him into the premiership, I sincerely hoped that he would succeed in uniting SL to face the greatest crisis we have encountered since independence. more..

Uni dons propose plan to tackle food crisis

Jun 22 (DM) SL’s economic crisis has caused immediate uncertainties regarding whether (a) required food supplies are and will be available, (b) the agri-food sector is and will be able to sustain the livelihoods of those engaged in crop, livestock and poultry farming, fishing, food manufacturing, food distribution and allied activities and (c) the agri-food sector is and will be able to provide food security for those most affected by the crisis. As these concerns are particularly pertinent to agriculture sector, more..

Exclusive Friday fuel allowance for health sector

Jun 21 (TM) Fuel allowances have been allocated exclusively for healthcare workers, allowing them to obtain a weekly allowance from allocated fuel sheds every Friday. “Following a discussion with Minister Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, an allowance of fuel has been allocated exclusively for eligible health care workers, every Friday. This will greatly aid our essential service workers in the execution of their duties,” more..

Dhammika settled casino taxes 10 days before National List nomination

Jun 21 (TM) Dhammika Perera had paid overdue taxes totalling Rs. 1,150 million incurred through his casino businesses on 30 May, when it was reported that he would take a position in the Govt, IRD Deputy Commissioner General Manjula Gunatunga revealed to the COPA. In 2015, the then-Govt imposed a Rs. 1 billion one-off tax on each of the four casino businesses operating in SL, but the four casinos, which are owned by leading businessmen in SL, had not paid the amount in one go. more..

Alagiyawanna slams ICTA for providing failed software

Jun 21 (TM) MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna, during a COPA meeting, stated that he was not satisfied with the role of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in the development of the Institutional Integration Computer Programme 2015 related to the licensing process of the Department of Imports and Exports. He further stated that ICTA does not provide any intervention or assistance to Govt institutions, especially those that do not have knowledge to develop computer programs. more..

Dhammika Perera gives undertaking not to take oaths as MP until SC decides

Jun 21 (DM) Businessman Dhammika Perera through his lawyer today gave an undertaking before Supreme Court that he would not to take oaths as a MP or a govt Minister until SC make an order regarding several Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging his appointment as a MP. President's Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for businessman Dhammika Perera gave this undertaking when 4 FR petitions more..

'Schools islandwide to function as usual'

Jun 21 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha said school textbook printing paper and other materials are being imported under the indian loan assistance and that plans were in place to meet the basic needs of the school system without a shortage by 2023. He said arrangements have been drawn up with local businessmen and the Chinese govt to supply school uniforms for next year. Premajayantha said there were no plans to reduce the number of school days or reduce the number of periods for subjects. more..

Govt pharmacists contemplating TU action

Jun 21 (DM) Society of Govt Pharmacists (SGM) warned the Health Ministry and said they will join a decision making process in collaboration with other trade unions in the health service, if the ministry does not take action to provide transport for health service professionals by Wednesday. SGM Chairman Ajith Thilakarathna said the responsibility of providing transport facilities lies with the Health Ministry, but as health service professionals, we were unable to get any transport facility. more..