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About that jack in the bus

Feb 15 (TM) The arrest spree that started recently targeting those abusing females and children, in public transport, has attracted commendation from the public. Many support the authorities’ efforts aimed at addressing this long-drawn-out social issue, while emphasising the importance of stringent legal action against offenders. Last week, it was reported that the Police had initiated an islandwide operation to more..

JVP’s unmistakable turn

Feb 15 (GV) Amid the buzz surrounding the presidential race this year, the visit of the JVP-led NPP to India has raised much attention. As SL plunged into a historic economic crisis, its political stability deteriorated. People’s hopes in terms of mainstream political parties have plummeted. Against this backdrop, expectations have turned towards alternative forces that are not yet in power. In a survey conducted by the IHP, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka was seen as more..

Can we build a world-class city with third-world public transport?

Feb 15 (DM) Colombo is a city in a hurry. New hotels, shopping malls and highways are mushrooming everywhere, and the skyline keeps growing upwards, promising to take us to a world-class future. I went to Galle Face and Port City recently to soak in the Global City in progress. As I was admiring a brightly-lit skyscraper, I was jolted back to reality by a rickety old bus pulling up in front of it. Somehow, the blueprint to make Colombo world-class seems to have forgotten all about more..

Suraksha student insurance scheme hangs in the balance

Feb 15 (CT) From the moment the President mentioned that necessary provision has been made in respect of the Suraksha Student Insurance scheme for 2024 in his Budget speech to Parliament last year scores of parents and students alike were under the impression that this was a Scheme that has been in operation for some time. But, what was evident from the Prez’s Budget speech was that the activation of this scheme has been stalled more..

Issue of colourism and whitening creams

Feb 15 (CT) In a country where beauty standards are often dictated by unrealistic ideals perpetuated by the media, it’s no surprise that many individuals, particularly women and girls, feel pressured to conform to these standards. One such pressure revolves around skin colour, where fair complexion is often glorified while darker skin tones are marginalised. This societal obsession with lighter skin has not only fuelled insecurities but has also become a lucrative opportunity for scammers more..

Akin to deck chairs on the Titanic

Feb 15 (DM) There are worrying signs that policymakers and political parties simply have not grasped the magnitude of the problem at hand. The current direction of SL’s economy and the overall mindset of a majority of economic and policy elites within and beyond the State, suggests a trajectory that will keep Sri Lanka dependent on foreign debt-financed trade deficits, vulnerable to shocks from energy prices, and unprepared for the next wave of transformation and economic growth. more..

සජබේ ඊළඟ නායකයා

Health sector trade unions call-off strike

Feb 14 (AD) The collective of health sector trade unions have decided to call off their ongoing strike action, the Health Trade Union Alliance said. The 72 health sector trade unions have agreed to end the trade union action, launched over disparities in allowances, after Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana had agreed for a discussion with them on Monday (Feb. 19). Accordingly, the strike is to be suspended at 6.30 a.m. tomorrow (15), the trade unions said. more..

State Minister reveals plans to establish three international universities in SL

Feb 14 (PMD) State Minister of Higher Education Dr. Suren Raghavan has announced plans to offer multiple degrees through state universities, in a bid to enhance the educational landscape in SL. Drawing from insights of int'l education experts, Dr. Raghavan explained that plans are also afoot to establish three int'l universities within SL, adding that that two of these universities are currently in the establishment phase, with the third scheduled to commence operations by May of this year. more..

In Sri Lanka, India embraces a resurgent old foe to keep China at bay

Feb 14 (SCMP) For an alliance that won just 3.84% of the vote in the 2020 general elections, it marks quite the reversal of political fortunes. But much has changed in those four years. SL has been struggling with an economic crisis since declaring bankruptcy in early 2022, with massive protests leading to the ousting of its former president in July that year. Against this backdrop, analysts view Delhi’s outreach to the JVP-led NPP more..

Video: President says he had to ‘beg’ from countries for the sake of children’s future

Feb 14 (AD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he had to beg the other countries for help, against his will, for the sake of the children of the country and their future. Accordingly, the Head of State acknowledged that, while no one would be willing to regress to the daunting setbacks Sri Lanka experienced during the height of its economic crisis in 2022/23, it was a time where he, as the Prez, had to appeal to the world so as to provide a future for the country’s children. more..

CEB workers oppose any staff cadre reduction

Feb 14 (TM) The employees of the CEB denounced the CEB’s allegations about the prospective workforce reduction up to 18,000, claiming that the CEB should stop other unnecessary expenditures to make profits instead of reducing the number of employees. CEB Workers’ Union (CEBWU) General Secretary Ranjan Jayalal claimed that the CEB is spending millions of rupees on its contractors even when there is the ability to fulfill the particular services using CEB employees. more..

Under Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka is going fast – in reverse

Feb 14 (HRW) SL is still reeling from an economic crisis largely caused by misgovernance and lack of accountability. Public protests in 2022 forced the president and the prime minister, brothers Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa, to step down. But instead of focusing on social justice and rights, the new govt, led by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, is focused on suppressing dissent and limiting int'l attention on human rights. more..

IPKF veterans reminisce about their peacekeeping efforts in war-torn Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (OM) "My jawans were well-behaved. That's why we were able to come back without any casualty from war-torn Sri Lanka," said Brigadier P V Sahadevan, who is credited for bringing back the Indian Peace Keeping Force warriors from the island nation without any bloodshed. He recalled the bravery and thrilling services of his fellow soldiers during the first reunion of IPKF members of the 122 Infantry Battalion, Madras Regiment at West Hill barracks. more..

SC rules against an overholding tenant after 21 years legal battle

Feb 14 (DM) Supreme Court has delivered a judgement against an overholding tenant who continued to occupy a property after his rental agreement had expired, following a 21 year legal battle. Plaintiffs, Bopage Martin and Indrani Bopage, father and daughter respectively had filed a plaint before A'pura District Court in 2003 seeking ejectment of 3 defendants from the premises known as New Lanka Stores located at Horawpathana town, on the basis that the defendants more..

Sunil Handunneththi

International Bhagavad Gita Festival 2024 to be held at Nelum Pokuna

Feb 14 (CT) Cabinet approved the International Bhagavad Gita Festival 2024 or International Gita Mahotsav to be held in Sri Lanka. The International Gita Mahotsav is conducted by the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) in Haryana State in India to pay tribute to the sacred Bhagavad Gita along with the series of religious activities related to sacred Bhagavad Gita, which is considered to be the most sacred book of Hindu devotees. During recent years it has been held overseas more..

Sri Lanka anticipates profitable, self-sustaining postal service by end 2024

Feb 14 (EN) A 4 billion-rupee increase in projected revenue for 2023 and a halving of losses year-on-year for SL’s Postal Dept has prompted the govt to declare the state-run service will be profitable and self-sustaining by end 2024. A revenue projection for SL’s state-run Postal Dept’s has seen an increase from 9,268 million rupees in 2022 to 13,616 million in 2023, according to State Minister Shantha Bandara. Dept’s losses have been reduced from 7,173 million rupees in 2021 more..

HRC finds five sections of new Act inconsistent with SC determination

Feb 14 (Island) The ongoing controversy over the enactment of the Online Safety law (ONLINE SAFETY ACT, No. 9 OF 2024) in violation of the Supreme Court determination has taken a new turn with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) contradicting Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena’s declaration pertaining to the legality of the new law. Dissident SLPPer Prof. G. L. Peiris told a media briefing, on Monday (12), that the HRC, more..

Navy nabs 4 suspects attempting to smuggle in over 1177kg of Tendu leaves and...

Feb 14 (SLN) A special search operation conducted by the SL Navy in the sea area of Sinnapadu, Puttalam today (13) led to the apprehension of 04 suspects attempting to smuggle in Tendu leaves weighing over 1177kg (wet weight) and 150 bottles of insecticide. Navy remains vigilant around the clock and conducts regular search operations and patrols to prevent the influx of illegal items into the island via sea routes. As an extension of these efforts, SLNS Thambapanni and more..

Police recover vehicle used in Modara shooting

Feb 14 (AD) Police have reportedly recovered the vehicle suspected to have been used in the shooting incident reported from Modara on Tuesday night (13). According to police the car was found abandoned in a forest area in Ekala. Police further reported that a bullet was also found inside the vehicle, while the chassis and engine numbers of the vehicle in question had been scratched off. It is also believed that the suspects had used a forged number plate. A 51-year-old sustained injuries more..

COPF summons Fiscal Policy Dept’s DG over gaming regulator delay

Feb 14 (AD) The Committee on Public Finance (COPF) has summoned the Director General of the Fiscal Policy Dept of the Finance Ministry to inquire into the delays in establishing a gaming regulator. The inaugural COPF meeting of the 5th session of the 9th Parliament was held on Tuesday (13), chaired by MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, who was re-appointed to the position. Despite the agreed-upon deadline of Dec 31, 2023 more..

USAID chief urges President Ranil to address concerns about Online Safety Act

Feb 14 (AD) USAID Administrator Samantha Power has urged Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to address the concerns about the potential impact of the Online Safety Act on freedom of expression. The head of USAID brought this up during a virtual conversation with the SL leader on Tuesday. Power has “encouraged Prez Wickremesinghe to address concerns about the potential impact of the Online Safety Act on freedom of expression, as well as investment in SL’s vibrant digital economy" more..

Civil organization demands a 33% electricity tariff revision

Feb 14 (DM) The National Front of Civil Organizations (NFCO) today requested electricity consumers to gather in front of the BMICH premises to express opposition to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), which is set to finalize the collection of public opinions for the upcoming electricity tariff revision, NFCO president Priyantha Thilakarathna said. He said that the PUCSL had raised the electricity tariff without taking into account public opinions. more..

හරීන්ට ඇත්ත කියවුනාවත් ද?

Japan grants Rs. 2.8bn to install solar power generation systems at Sri Lankan hospitals

Feb 14 (AD) Govt of Japan, on Wednesday (14), provided a grant of JPY 1,230 million (approx Rs. 2.8 billion) for a project aiming to use renewable energy to stabilize power supply at hospitals in SL. Accordingly, the relevant grant assistance was provided by the Japanese Govt to install rooftop photovoltaic solar power generation systems at selected hospitals in SL. Rooftop photovoltaic solar power generation systems will be installed at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, more..

China-backed Hambantota Port eyes container transshipment

Feb 14 (EN) SL’s China-backed Hamtantota Port Group said it was getting ready for container transshipment in 2024 after gaining a key position in the roll-on-roll-off vehicle shipping business. “We continue to grow our RORO and bunkering businesses and saw exponential growth in 2023,” Lance Zuo, General Manager, Commercial and Marketing of HIPG said in a statement. “In 2024 we will be looking at container transshipment for which the port is now ready.” more..

SJB stalwarts waiting to support president, rival parties claim

Feb 14 (EN) All is not well at SJB according to several MPs from rival and newly allied parties who claim that a section of SJB stalwarts plan to extend their support to Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe. Both Wickremesinghe’s UNP and the ruling SLPP insist that a crossover is imminent. UNP general secretary Palitha Range Bandara told reporters that SJB and opposition leader Sajith Premadasa is trying to cobble together more..

5G Technology remains uncertain in SL

Feb 14 (DM) The timelines for the commercial launch of 5G technology remains uncertain over the high cost involved in infrastructure building and securing devices, a source from the Technology Ministry said. The auction for 5G spectrum is still ongoing, creating uncertainty for operators. However, the source said the govt and telecom operators remain committed to launching 5G technology commercially. “Building the necessary infrastructure across the country requires more..

SL officials in India to explore collaboration

Feb 14 (EN) A delegation of 14 senior SL officials, led by Prime Minister’s Secretary Anura Dissanayake, are in India for discussions with Indian institutions. The delegation will meet key Indian officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Personnel, and the Principal Secretary to the PM, to explore avenues for further collaboration, a statement by the president’s media division said. “The delegation aims to gain insights into India’s recent initiatives more..

Debt payers slam CB’s silence on unregulated online lenders

Feb 14 (DM) Leasing and debt installment payers voiced concerns over Central Bank’s silence regarding the questionable practices of unregulated online loan providers in SL. Under the banner Association of Leasing and Debt Installment Payers (ALDS), the group asserted that borrowers have no legal obligation to repay loans obtained from these unauthorised online lenders. “Despite numerous complaints passed over to the Central Bank (CB), there has been no response, more..

Removed Sri Lanka Medical Council member reappointed

Feb 14 (DM) Prof. Jayantha Jayawardana, a former member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has been reinstated as an SLMC member after being removed by former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella. The reappointment has been made by Minister of Health Dr. Ramesh Pathirana. Accordingly, the term of office for the reappointed member, is set for five years, unless voluntarily resigned or removed as per the ordinance. Expressing gratitude for the reinstatement, Prof Jayawardana highlighted more..

Mahindananda’s money laundering case: Date set to deliver verdict

Feb 14 (AD) Colombo High Court has fixed a date to deliver the verdict of a money laundering case filed against former Minister and SLPP MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Accordingly, when the case was taken up today, Colombo High Court Judge Nawarathne Marasinghe ordered that the verdict will be issued on April 25, 2024. Mahindananda Aluthgamage has been charged with failure to declare the source of funds used to purchase a luxury house worth Rs. 27.4 mil more..

ලංකාවේ FTA විලාසිතාව!

Fact, opinion, and truth

Feb 14 (FT) History will remember Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe elected by a secret vote in Parliament to serve the remainder of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidential term for another curiously distinctive reason. He will be remembered for the number of policy statements and ceremonial openings of Parliament during his tenure. Moral high ground is not a podium to preach from. It is an arduous mountain; one climbs on one’s own. In his latest address he asked - more..

Anura Bandaranaike: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride

Feb 14 (FT) What do Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dinesh Gunawardena and Anura Bandaranaike have in common? They were born a year after independence in 1949 and were classmates together at Royal College, Colombo. All three were from illustrious families involved in politics and went on to be brightly shining stars in the Island nation’s political firmament. Anura Bandaranaike born on 15 Feb 1949 was regarded as the crown prince of SL politics due to the fact that he was the son more..