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Tharushi smashes girls’ 400 metres national junior record

Sep 16 (Island) Asian Games hopeful Tharushi Karunaratne smashed the National Junior record in the girls’ 400 metres with a remarkable 52.62 seconds feat to win the Girls’ Under 20 400 metres on the penultimate day of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday. Ratnayake Central Walala prodigy who recently hogged limelight breaking the 800 metres meet record at the Asian Athletics Championships skipped her pet event as more..

සහරාන් අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්න ගිය CID ටීම් එකට ශානි...

Midwife shortage increases to 3,000, raising maternal health risks

Sep 16 (ST) Govt Midwifery Service Association (GMSA) has expressed concern about shortages of maternity staff, with some 3,000 vacancies islandwide. GMSA president Devika Kodithuwakku said that the public sector midwife shortage had affected maternal care in a negative manner and was taking a heavy toll on the families they cared for. Midwives are important members of the healthcare system and contribute to ensuring that quality maternity services are extended to patients. more..

Gift packages used as bait for large-scale ripoffs

Sep 16 (ST) A spate of recent financial frauds carried out using information related to SL Customs has led to Customs issuing warnings. However, according to Customs Director General Seevali Arukgoda, these frauds are not new. “To my knowledge, this has been happening for over three years now,” he said. Customs letterheads, telephone numbers, and officials’ names are being used to commit these frauds. Mr. Arukgoda remarked that con artists contact potential victims via more..

Contraction in economy slows to 3.1% in 2Q

Sep 16 (FT) The contraction in the economy during the second quarter had reduced to 3.1% year-on-year (YoY) reflecting rebound from 11.5% shrinkage in the first three months of 2023. Dept of Census and Statistics, yesterday released the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current price and at constant (2015) price in the production approach and the other macroeconomic indicators for the second quarter (1 April to 30 June). more..

Editorial: Curiouser and curiouser …

Sep 16 (Island) Channel 4’s recent programme on the Easter Sunday terror attacks has yielded the intended results. It influenced the UNHRC ahead of the latter’s 54th regular session in Geneva. Although it said nothing new in its self-styled exposé, and its claims remain unsubstantiated, it has been able to foment discord and stir up strife among SL political leaders, who go for each other’s jugular at the drop of a hat. Even those who oppose the internationalisation of domestic issues more..

C 4 narrative reminiscent of its previous ones on the eve of the annual Geneva sessions

Sep 16 (Island) Hanzeer Azad Maulana, who had been with S. Santhirakanthan aka Pilleyan (formerly of the LTTE), till he fled the country and decided to seek political asylum in the West last year, in an interview with Channel 4 (C4) Television last week accused Maj. Gen. Suresh Sallay of facilitating the 2019 Easter Sunday carnage to get Gotabaya elected as the Prez. How could Sallay have had engineered such a big clandestine operation that included meeting would-be terrorist suicide more..

පාස්කු ප්‍රහාරය ගැන සුවිශේෂීම අනාවරණය එළියට

Sri Lanka, leading in green lending

Sep 16 (ST) Third Global Conference of the UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) was held in Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu, India in March 2018. One of the members of the SL team, who received a special invitation to attend the meeting was Dr. Shan Fernando, Chief Manager, Research and Development division of the Commercial Bank. At a panel discussion on Green Financing, Shan unveiled SL’s early moves by many commercial banks to promote ‘green lending’ practices, more..

Save ozone, reduce global warming!

Sep 16 (CT) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer falls on 16 Sept. It is a UN-recognised int'l day of observance, dedicated to the preservation of the ozone layer which protects the Earth from harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. The significance of this invisible blanket that essentially filters the harmful rays has been etched in our minds from a very young age. Even those with little to no idea about the composition of the ozone layer and and its positioning know that, more..

President bans Military top brass from tackling allegations alone

Sep 16 (CT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe left for a tour of Cuba, at dawn last Wednesday. He took wing to Havana to attend the Heads of State Summit on the theme G 77 Team and Cuba. Prez was accompanied by Education Minister Susil Premajayantha due to a symposium being included in the summit encompassing the subject coming under his Ministry’s purview. Prez and his entourage landed in Cuba more..

Easter Sunday attacks: Unanswered questions and complex theories

Sep 16 (DM) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that he would appoint a committee headed by a retired SC Judge to investigate the claims made by Britain’s Channel 4 on the Mastermind of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks of 2019 and a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into the statement made by former Attorney General Dappula de Livera on the Conspiracy behind the same attacks. Mr Livera speaking during an interview conducted in May 2019 more..

The health sector in crisis; causes & possible curse

Sep 16 (CT) Of all the crises that affect us, the most damaging is that of the medical sector. It is the poor, the old and the sick, who are not able to meet the prohibitive costs of private health services, who are the most affected. Pictures of elders turned away from empty clinics by sudden Trade Union actions by nurses, attendants and (quite deplorably) doctors, are heart-breaking. Now we are being told that consultants, experienced specialist doctors are leaving the country in droves, more..

Who is Hanzeer Azad Maulana the Whistleblower on Channel 4?

Sep 16 (DM) Britain’s Channel 4 TV aired the documentary SL’s Easter Bombings in its Dispatches programme on Tuesday (5), at 11. 05 p.m. Prior to the telecast, Channel 4 Dispatches stated that the documentary has “exclusive interviews with high-placed whistleblowers, who allege that some SL Govt officials were complicit in the bombings. The Channel 4 documentary featured three whistleblowers. more..

Strong criticism & weak excuses: SL at HRC

Sep 16 (GV) On the opening day of the 54th session of the UNHRC on Sept 11, member states were considering yet another report detailing abuses by the SL regime. “One year after the remarkable protest movement demanding deep political and democratic reforms, the transformation that was hoped for to address long-standing challenges has still not materialised,” UN Deputy High Commissioner Nada Al-Nashif said. “Accountability is central to secure SL’s present and future.” more..

Old people never die, they just fade away

Sep 16 (DM) America’s famous Nathaniel Adams Coles, known professionally as Nat King Cole, wrote a beautiful song about growing old. It goes like this: “You will never grow old, while there’s love in your heart, time may silver your golden hair, as you dream in an old rocking-chair; So keep my love in your heart, remember the love-tales we told, for with my love in your heart, my darling, you will never grow old; Don’t be fretful, or regretful, that you will grow old much too soon, more..

දයාසිරි ජයසේකර සමඟ ඉලක්කය

Court issues order relating to petition against 8 locally-produced vaccines

Sep 15 (AD) Court of Appeal has ordered the Health Minister and other respondents to file objections pertaining to a petition seeking to revoke the registration of 8 types of vaccines manufactured by a local company. The petition, filed by two activists representing the United Human Rights Organization (UHRO), was taken up for consideration before an Appeals Court bench on Thursday (14). Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, NMRA and several others are listed as the respondents of the petition. more..

Tamil Nadu CM Stalin urges immediate release of 17 fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (OI) TN Chief Minister M K Stalin requested External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take up immediate diplomatic efforts to secure their release. Flagging the arrest of 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lanka, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday urged the Centre to secure their immediate release. Writing to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Stalin said, "earlier today, three mechanised boats and 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended by the SL Navy, more..

Sri Lanka's economy shrank 3.1% in Q2 amid financial crisis

Sep 15 (Reuters) SL's economy shrank 3.1% in the April-June quarter, official data showed on Friday, as the country struggles to claw out of its worst financial crisis in decades. The downturn was driven by high inflation, a depreciating currency and lower purchasing power, Census and Statistics Dept said. The agriculture sector grew 3.6% from a year earlier, but output from industries contracted 11.5% & services dropped 0.8%, more..

Port City food stalls will be removed by March 2027: Commission tells CoPF

Sep 15 (DN) Members representing the Colombo Port City Economic Commission stated that the food stalls at the Colombo Port City falls under leisure activities and will be removed by March 2027. This was stated in response to the questioning of the Committee on Public Finance as to the legality of the establishment of such food stalls while the Colombo Port City was designed mainly targeting foreign investments. The discussion pertaining to the said was held at more..

SLPP and MEP to seek more relief for citizens from President

Sep 15 (FT) The SLPP held a key discussion with one of its main allies, the MEP led by PM Dinesh Gunawardena on Wednesday. The discussion took place under the leadership of Gunawardena and SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa. In light of the IMF’s recommendation to increase assistance for individuals impacted by the ongoing economic challenges and those with lower incomes, a decision was reached to formally request the Prez, who also serves as the Finance Minister, to allocate more..

Controversial new central bank law certified by speaker

Sep 15 (EN) Speaker Mahinda Abeywardana had certified into law a new central bank law, parliament said, which controversially allows inflationists to print money to boost growth (target potential output) with discretionary policy. Law also legalizes money to be printed to target inflation, under a so-called flexible inflation targeting regime, despite the lack of a clean floating exchange rate. Analysts have warned that cutting rates more..

New Anti-Corruption Act comes into effect today

Sep 15 (AD) The provisions of the new Anti-Corruption Act, which aims to enhance transparency in governance and public confidence in the government, come into effect today. New legislation also intends to establish an independent commission to detect and investigate allegations of bribery, corruption and offenses related to the declaration of assets and liabilities and other associated offenses. It further seeks to give effect to obligations under the UN Convention against corruption more..

References to judges: PCs take Parliament, Prez to task

Sep 15 (TM) The Lawyers’ Collective, which includes President’s Counsels (PCs), expressed concerns on the recent instances where certain MPs have drawn references to the Judiciary and the conduct of Judges in relation to specific cases pending before courts. The Collective cited the cases of Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, MPs Dr. Sarath Weerasekera and Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

නිවැරදි දේශපාලනය කරන හැමෝම NPP තමයි...

Paddy harvest has not reached pre-2021 level yet: Prof. Marambe

Sep 16 (DN) Peradeniya Uni Agriculture Faculty’s Prof. Buddhi Marambe said that the country’s paddy harvest has not yet reached the pre-2021 level. He said that in order to reach the pre-2021 level, in the upcoming Maha Season the farmers should prepare the land at the right time and start cultivation according to the instructions of the Agriculture Dept. He said that about sixty thousand acres of paddy cultivated land was destroyed without water in this year’s Yala season and more..

Sri Lanka ranked as one of best 50 islands in the world for travel in 2023 by Big 7

Sep 16 (DM) SL has been listed as one of the 50 best islands in the world for travel for 2023 by Big 7 Travel. The island nation was ranked 13 in the annual round up of the world’s best islands. “SL has been off the tourism radar for a few years now due to protests, economic crises and the pandemic, but its doors are now wide open. “There are a thousand reasons to visit the beguiling island, not least its friendly people, flavourful food, endless beaches and timeless ruins. more..

PAFFREL calls upon CC to make Election Commission financially independent

Sep 16 (Island) Constitutional Council (CC) is responsible for creating a legal framework to ensure that independent commissions are financially independent, but even after 20 years the CC has not done this, says Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi. Hettiarachchi said that the public’s interest in democracy had dropped because there had been no elections. Election Commission had been appointed to ensure more..

State Minister Lohan Ratwatte granted bail

Sep 16 (CT) Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Nalaka Jayasuriya granted bail for State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, in the case where the latter is charged with illegally entering the Anuradhapura Prison premises and threatening an inmate with a firearm two years ago. Bail was set at two sureties of Rs 200,000 each and the case was fixed for 4 Jan next year. The Chief Magistrate instructed the State Minister to appear before him on that date. He also instructed the first witness P. Sooriyapalan more..

Sri Lanka explores opportunities at Bangkok Gem and Jewellery Fair

Sep 16 (FT) EDB in collaboration with the SL Embassy in Thailand organised a SL pavilion at the 68th Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair (BGJF) 2023 held from 6 to 10 Sept, in Bangkok, Thailand, with a view to strengthen the gem and jewellery industry and increase the sector’s contribution to the economy. Thailand is considered the gems and jewellery hub in Asia as most of the world’s major gem and jewellery buyers source their requirements from Thailand, the second largest market more..

NMRA to act strict on pharmacists selling drugs sans prescription

Sep 16 (DM) The National Medical Regulatory Authority (NMRA) will act strictly on the instances of selling medicines sans prescription when a growing trend of issuing antibiotic drugs without doctors' advice has been evident recently. A senior official of the NMRA said that the authorities have made six separate raids in the Kurunegala District in the past two days and nabbed law breakers. more..

India reminds Sri Lanka of 13A at UNHRC Session

Sep 16 (CT) India, at the 54th Session of the UNHRC, reminded Sri Lanka to implement the 13A and conduct the Provincial Council elections to ensure a life of respect and dignity for the Tamils in SL. Indian Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative during the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL at the Human Rights Council on 13 Sept reiterated that India has always been guided by more..

Colombo Lotus Tower embarks on trailblazing journey of success

Sep 16 (FT) In the wake of a triumphant year of operations, the Colombo Lotus Tower Management Company Ltd., stands on the cusp of a continued growth trajectory. Since its inauguration to the public on 15 Sept 2022, the company has made steadfast strides in establishing and enhancing its facilities, transforming it into a commercially viable State-owned enterprise (SOE). The Lotus Tower, once a modest stem, now stands as an awe-inspiring architectural marvel, symbolising Sri Lanka’s more..

ආදරය තහනම් රටක සාගර ජනපති

Fitch downgrades SL's Long-Term Local-Currency IDR to ‘RD’

Sep 15 (NR) Fitch Ratings has downgraded SL’s Long-Term Local-Currency (LTLFC) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘RD’ (Restricted Default) from ‘C’. Fitch added the ratings on the local-currency bonds tendered in the domestic debt exchange have been downgraded to ‘D’ from ‘C’ while its other four local-currency bonds not tendered in the domestic debt exchange have been affirmed at ‘C’. Meanwhile, the Long-Term Foreign-Currency (LTFC) IDR has been affirmed at ‘RD’, and more..