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Hambantota Port: Chinese loan not included in SL’s external debt

Jun 24 (TM) SL Govt, in its official accounts of external debt, has not included the loans obtained from China, amounting to $ 1.89 billion in principal and interest, to construct the Hambantota Port, revealed Auditor General (AG) W.P.C. Wickramaratne at the meeting of the COPE. At the meeting held between COPE & SLPA on Wednesday, AG had said that none of the Govt balance sheets contain the loan obtained more..

Govt to handover 1,215 hectares of Kandakadu farm to Army and 500 acres...

Jun 24 (Island) The govt has approved the handover of 1,215 hectares of underutilised land on the Kandakadu farm to the Army and 500 acres to the Department of Rehabilitation for maize cultivation. Ministry has also decided to use Polonnaruwa Kandakadu farm belonging to National Livestock Development Board for cultivation in the forthcoming Maha season. Accordingly, the Cabinet had approved the handover of 1,215 hectares of Kandakadu Farm to the SL Army and more..

Dilshan Wirasekara assumes office as new CSE Chairman

Jun 24 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced the appointment of Dilshan Wirasekara as the Chairman of the Board of Directors with effect from today. Wirasekara has served on the Board of the CSE since 21 Nov 2017 and succeeds Dumith Fernando, who steps down as the Chairman after completing his two-year tenure. Wirasekara is the Director/CEO of one of the leading investment banking firms, First Capital Holdings, offering a diverse range of financial services in more..

Cops permitted to pump fuel into cans, bypass queues

Jun 24 (TM) Following numerous clashes between police officers and fuel consumers, Police clarified that police officers are permitted to fill fuel into cans at filling stations islandwide, as fuel is needed to power generators at police stations amidst the ongoing daily power cuts, while police officers are not encouraged to stay in queues owing to the nature of their work. SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that police officers can be authorised to pump more..

CAA to take 479 rice traders to court

Jun 24 (TM) CAA is to file cases against 479 traders for selling rice in excess of the maximum retail price (MRP), not displaying the prices of rice and refusing to sell rice. When contacted, an official of the CAA Raids Unit said that the CAA is currently conducting raids islandwide to find traders selling rice in excess of the MRP. During such raids, he said that 479 traders have been arrested for selling rice in excess of the MRP, not displaying the prices of rice and refusing to sell the rice, more..

2.5 hour power cuts from June 24-26

Jun 24 (EN) Sri Lanka will impose power cuts up to 2.5 hours on June 22, 23, and 24 from 9.30 am. All areas (ABCDEFGHIJKLPQRSTUVW) will have power cuts for 2 hours and 30 minutes between 12 noon and 10 pm on June 24 and between 9.30 am to 10 pm on June 25. The duration will be reduced to 2 hours in all the areas on June 26 from 2 pm to 10 pm. Sri Lanka will maintain a 2.5 hour power cut until the 300 MW Norachcholai coal-fired unit power plant is back in operation. more..

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී විජිත හේරත්

Sri Lankan Airlines flies in donated medicine in soft-peg crisis

Jun 24 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said it has brought down internationally donated essential medicine free of charge as the country reels from the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s intermediate regime central bank. “The corporate social responsibility arm of Sri Lankan Airlines aims to provide timely relief to hospitals that are struggling to cope with the ongoing drug shortage and patients who depend on life-saving medicines in the country through the initiative,” Airlines said. more..

COPE questions disbursing of Hambantota Port lease funds

Jun 24 (FT) The money received from the leasing of the Hambantota Port in 2017 had not been used to pay off the loans taken for the construction of the Port and instead been used for other Govt expenditure; it was revealed at a meeting of the COPE held on Tuesday. SLPA has given the balance loan amount as well as the monies received after releasing the Port to the Treasury. However, this money had not been used to settle the loan and was instead used for other Govt expenditure as more..

Sri Lanka makes compelling case for more Indian support

Jun 24 (FT) Sri Lanka made a compelling case for more Indian support to come out of the worst economic crisis though the response from the giant neighbour wasn’t over enthusiastic but will be given due consideration. A high-powered official delegation from India led by its Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met President Rajapaksa, PM Wickremesinghe and Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardena. more..

Credit card interest rates flirt with 40% as banks respond to ward off pressure on...

Jun 24 (DM) In what appears to be a second round effect of the April 8 mega policy rate hike, banks delivered another hike in interest rates charged on credit cards as the CB lifted administrative caps on credit card and other select loans, giving complete leeway for banks to set the prices of such loans. Banks which initially raised their rates from 20% to 30% from May onwards in response to the April policy rate hike are now raising their rates again to the north of 40% as one bank announced more..

Sri Lanka ranks low in progress made on achieving gender equality

Jun 24 (DM) Sri Lanka stands among the nations that has made little progress in achieving the gender equality target under Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, the latest assessment by UN Women revealed. Sri Lanka ranks low on the list of Central and South Asian countries in this regard, and stands with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030 is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more..

සටන: වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය

COPE to hold special meeting to discuss CEB

Jun 24 (FT) COPE yesterday decided to hold a special meeting to look into power generation, procurement, distribution and projects of the CEB. The decision was taken when the Committee met to discuss the AG’s reports for the years 2017 and 2018 and the current performance of the CEB. Committee members said that at the last meeting held with CEB officials, there were discrepancies in the information they provided regarding the purchases, distributions and projects of CEB. more..

Pramod Madushan likely to make his debut in final ODI against Aussies

Jun 24 (DN) The uncapped fast bowler Pramod Madushan is likely to play in today’s fifth and final ODI game against Australia scheduled to be played at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium commencing at 2.30 pm. The 28-year-old right arm medium paceman Pramod Madushan Liyanagamage performed well at the recently concluded domestic tournaments and he took 4 for 50 in his 8.3 overs spell at the recently concluded SL ‘A’ match against Australia ‘A’ in their more..

Prez pardon for Royal Park murderer: Ven. Rathana denies Sirisena’s accusations,...

Jun 24 (Island) Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thera, MP, denied that he had financially benefited from arranging a prez pardon for convicted killer Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha. Ven. Rathana said that he hadn’t received a cent from Jude Shramantha’s family or any other benefit. An irate MP said so when The Island sought his response to ex-Prez Maithripala Sirisena’s recent declaration that those who had sought his intervention more..

SL fans to turn up in yellow to thank Aussies

Jun 24 (Island) Gold has always been an expensive commodity. These days with a hand to mouth existence many Sri Lankans can’t afford it whatsoever. So they seem to settle for yellow, the closest thing to gold. Australia’s team colours are gold and green. As an appreciation for the Australian cricket team for touring SL, spectators are going to turn up at RPS in numbers today wearing yellow shirts. An appeal was launched to all cricket fans through social media yesterday and more..

Editorial: Dudley’s Drama

Jun 24 (Island) The incumbent govt has become a metaphor for failure, and earned notoriety for its callous disregard for the woes of people. It does not care to safeguard the interests of consumers, who are being fleeced by producers and traders alike. Some help for the hapless public has come from an unexpected quarter—a member of the Rice Mafia; the proprietor of the Araliya Rice Mills, Dudley Sirisena, who is one of the millers blamed for market manipulations and the exploitation of farmers more..

Ban ends, hundreds of mechanised Indian fishing trawlers in Lankan waters again

Jun 24 (ST) As a two month breeding ban that was imposed on Tamil Nadu mechanised bottom trawlers came to an end on Wednesday, Indian fishermen have started returning to the northern waters of SL. Northern fishermen who are struggling to secure adequate kerosene to go fishing these days due to the ongoing fuel shortage, called for the intervention of the TN Chief Minister to resolve the conflict between more..

Frustrated pole vault national record holder Sachini leaves Sri Lanka

Jun 24 (Island) Pole vault national record holder Sachini Kaushalya Perera is the latest track and field athlete to leave the sport and the country seeking greener pastures abroad. A former gymnast, Perera improved the national record several times under the guidance of former champion Sanath Gunaratne. Her record breaking spree made pole vault one of the looked forward to disciplines in the women’s category at track and field events during the last couple of years. more..

No gas even at unprecedented prices: The growing plight of the housewife

Jun 24 (Island) The problem of LPG supplies has now reached epic proportions with the distinct possibility of the prices going up even further. The possibility of adequate supplies even at such higher prices is so remote to be non-existent. As such even for those who can afford to pay such high prices, which is a minute proportion of the population, there is no relief insight by persisting on this failed option. The plight of those who can ill afford the day to day food purchases, this is a double whammy, more..

චණ්ඩි රැජින

Paying foreign debt from domestic income

Jun 24 (ST) One of my friends sent me a text message seeking clarification on the country’s foreign exchange problem. The foreign exchange shortage has resulted in domestic supply shortages in fuel, gas, food, medicines and others; and it’s getting worse in the coming weeks, as the govt keeps announcing. Our export income remains nearly the same as it was a few years ago. The number of migrant workers in West Asia hasn’t gone down. Although we lost tourism earnings, more..

Future of Engineers, Engineering sector & SL

Jun 24 (DM) Ceylon was known as the pearl in the Indian Ocean in ancient times and as well as at present. Hence, it was known to other countries for centuries. We have 2500 years of written history and that was one of the developed civilizations in Asia. The famous historical remains in our ancient cities such as Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Panduwasnuwara etc. are the evidence to our ancient engineering marvels. The Chaithya stone bridges and buildings are the examples of more..

Homelessness rising as economic collapse draws closer

Jun 24 (CT) As darkness begins to rule the city and parents are rushing back home with their children from Viharamahadevi Park, Ruwani, a 28-year-old mother slowly settled herself on the pavement under a street lamp with her 10-month-old baby and other belongings and started breastfeeding her infant. Ruwani is one of the dozens who, over the past few months, have lost a roof above their heads due to deteriorating more..

Listen to the voice of the children and respond to their needs: Religious Leaders

Jun 24 (CT) We just returned from a workshop in Kathmandu organised by UNICEF, which brought together religious leaders from different faiths from across South Asia. From SL, our delegation consisted of all our faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. The theme of the workshop was Faith and Positive Change for Children, Families and Communities. The timing and theme of the workshop couldn’t have been more relevant to SL, given the economic and political crisis more..

Rebuilding broken bridges

Jun 24 (CT) It’s the duty of the Govt to pass on the benefits of the current fall in global crude oil prices and freight rates backed by a stable local exchange rate, according to reports filed by CME Group, USA and Drewry Supply Chain Advisers, UK, yesterday, to the masses of this country. However, falling global crude oil prices or not, there is not only no fuel at the pump for the masses, but also cooking gas and kerosene as well to name a few unavailable essentials, underlined by miles-long queues more..

Insecurities over the social security fund

Jun 24 (TM) People of all social strata can be seen in queues these days, and regardless of their financial situation, almost everyone is affected in some way by the economic crisis. Govt has thus identified the need to provide fiscal relief to the public as a short-term measure, while long-term measures are being discussed. Last week, it was announced that a Bill will be presented to the Parliament to impose a 2.5% tax on more..

A four day working week for public servants: A comment

Jun 24 (CT) I refer to the Daily Mirror report of 13th June under the above caption, and wish to express my comments as follows: 1. It is indeed a brilliant idea emanating from a senile mind to solve the twin crises (a) the food crisis and (b) the transport issue arising from the Fuel crisis. 2. Govt had declared a four Day working week for Public Servants apparently that it would ease the demand for Public Transport and consequent saving of fuel, by a reduction in the number of buses & coaches, more..

Revisiting, reforming & reordering our agriculture

Jun 24 (CT) Replanning Agriculture has become a virtual annual exercise. Usually, such deliberations are held as a Multi-day Residential Meeting at one of the plush Tourist Seaside Hotels, attended by a large number of participants. The word Policy is also smuggled into the title somewhere, to give it an air of seriousness and respectability. This is an expensive exercise both financially and in Staff Time. Therefore at the present time, deliberations must factor in the realities of (i) The Coronavirus pandemic more..

මෛත්‍රීට එරෙහිව රතන හිමියෝ CIDයට වඩිති

Investigations against Deshabandu Tennakoon: CID acted in biased manner

Jun 23 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage yesterday observed that the CID has acted in a biased manner when handling investigations against Western Province Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon relating to the attacks on peaceful protesters at Galle Face. Accordingly, Magistrate Thilina Gamage ordered the IGP to take necessary action against ASP Chanaka Silva for acting in a biased manner when presenting facts to Court regarding SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon. more..

President has violated Constitution: Sirisena

Jun 23 (CT) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena charged his successor, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had violated the Constitution, when appointing UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister last May. He said it has been clearly stipulated in the Constitution, that an MP, who commands a majority, should be appointed as PM. Thus, Sirisena argued that Rajapaksa had flouted the Constitution when he had invited the UNP Leader to take up the post, vacated by former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Why SL's economy collapsed & what's next

Jun 23 (AP) Sri Lanka’s prime minister says the island nation’s debt-laden economy has collapsed as it runs out of money to pay for food and fuel. Short of cash to pay for imports of such necessities and already defaulting on its debt, it is seeking help from neighboring India and China and from the IMF. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took office in May, was emphasizing the monumental task he faces in turning around an economy more..

PM appeals to social media activists not to insult Hirunika

Jun 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made an appeal to the social media activists and users not to publish photos of Hirunka Premachandra who is a mother of three, causing insult to her. He said motherhood should not be insulted in a decent society. PM said the concept of motherhood should be respected before everything else. He said this responding to insulting photos shared on social media, which were taken while Premachandra was participating in a protest outside the PM's more..

Margarine to be imported through Indian loan?

Jun 23 (NR) Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security Nalin Fernando says the possibility of importing a quantity of margarine from India under the Indian loan assistance is being considered. The Minister requested the All Island Bakery Owners’ Association to submit a detailed report on the import prices and quantities required to import margarine for future activities. A meeting was held today between Minister Fernando and the Association to discuss the issues faced by bakery owners. more..