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Nuclear power in SL: Committee on legal/regulatory framework to finish by June

Feb 22 (TM) The committee appointed to look into forming the laws and regulations necessary for SL to commence nuclear power generation projects is expected to complete that process by June of this year (2024). This was stated by SLAEB Chairman Prof. S.R.D. Rosa, who serves as a member of the said committee. He said that the committee in question has taken into account the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks more..

Heat wave warning issued for Colombo and several other Districts

Feb 22 (DM) The Meteorology Department today issued a Caution level heat warning for some places in North-Western province and Gampaha, Colombo, Hambantota and Moneragala District. The Heat index Advisory issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre said that the heat index, the temperature felt on the human body is expected to increase up to Caution level at some places in North-western province and Gampaha, Colombo, Hambantota and Moneragala District. more..

Govt ups special commodity levy on several items

Feb 22 (FT) Govt has increased the Special Commodity Levy imposed for the importation of maize, black gram, green gram, cowpeas and kurakkan. The Extraordinary Gazette by the Finance Ministry noted that the revised levy will come into effect from 20 Feb to 31 Dec 2024. Accordingly, the special commodity levy on black grams (skinned, either split or not) has been increased to Rs. 300 per kg, green grams, cowpeas, kurakkan (seeds), kurakkan (other), millet (seeds), millet (other) more..

Rising trend of drug addicts turning to pharmaceutical drugs in Western Province

Feb 22 (DM) Amid the Yukthiya Operation crackdown in the Western Province, there has been a concerning trend of drug addicts increasingly turning to pharmaceutical drugs as alternative sources due to the shortage of heroin, ice, or cannabis and the authorities have launched a major operation in the western province targeting dozens of errant pharmacies that sell psychoactive drugs to drug addicts. more..

JAAF hails ECTA with India

Feb 22 (DN) Secretary General, Joint Apparel Association Forum SL (JAAF) Yohan Lawrence hailed the proposed signing of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) with India. “The ECTA will create renewed export opportunities to the SL apparel sector,” he said. Under the current FTA, Sri Lanka is only permitted to export 8 million pieces of ready-made apparel to India without applicable duties. He opined this at the launch of CEMS Lanka (Pvt) Ltd more..

Colombo University lecturer dies in accident

Feb 22 (DM) An Assistant Lecturer of the Colombo Uni who was knocked down by a lorry at Wickremesnghe Pura Junction in Battaramulla succumbed to her injuries on admission to the National Hospital in Colombo. The victim Lakmini Bogamuwa (24) was an Assistant Lecturer of the Arts Faculty of the Colombo Uni and a resident of Wickremesinha Pura. She was on her way to the university to report for duty when she met with the accident. The injured was admitted more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

LOLC Divi Saviya initiative garners national recognition

Feb 22 (FT) LOLC Holdings, has received a prestigious recognition from Ministry of Education at national level, for its outstanding humanitarian endeavour, LOLC Divi Saviya, dedicated to enhancing the educational prospects of the nation’s children. LOLC said this historic accolade signifies the first time a private sector entity has been honoured by Ministry with such an esteemed national level acknowledgment for its impactful efforts in enriching the educational space more..

Proven Athletes eligible for High Performance Programme, says Sports DG

Feb 22 (DN) SL selected 58 athletes, including para-sports players, for the National High Performance Programme for Road to Paris 2024 Olympics. According to Dept of Sports Development, any player with a proven talent can join this system, says Director General of Sports Professor Rear Admiral Shemal Fernando. He highlighted the inclusivity of the system, stating, “Any player with a proven class can access this system.” He emphasized the importance of recognizing SL's top athletes, more..

COPF queries non-implementation of VAT exemption recommendations

Feb 22 (TM) The COPF had recommended to the Ministry of Finance to reconsider VAT exemptions for medical equipment, ambulances, high-protein agro foods for children, and agricultural items, which had not been considered by the ministry. The COPF, which previously considered the VAT (Amendment) Bill that removed all VAT exemptions back in November of last year (2023), inquired as to why the ministry has not more..

Billie Jean King Cup/Junior Davis Cup: Sri Lankan teens enter quarterfinals in style

Feb 22 (DN) SL’s young tennis stars, Ganuka Fernando and Lithum Jayabandu, triumphed over Iraq in the boys’ category, while Ivanka Samarasinghe and Dinara de Silva secured victory against the Maldives in the girls’ division. Both teams have advanced to the quarter-finals in both singles and doubles events at The Billie Jean King Cup Junior/Junior Davis Cup Asia Oceania Pre-Qualifying Tennis Tournament, hosted by the SL Tennis Association at SLTA courts yesterday. more..

Protest by specialist: Further delay in implementing doctors’ End-post List

Feb 22 (ST) The implementation of the much-awaited End-post List 2024 for medical specialists is further delayed, causing severe discontent among those serving the country without seeking greener pastures, the Sunday Times understands. The End-post List which should have been implemented from January 1 this year is on hold as a specialist who has allegedly gone abroad on special no-pay leave for less than two years, has sent letters of protest to the Health Ministry and more..

2024 මහජන ආණ්ඩුවකදී අපි හැමෝම...

Dumindu only Lankan medalist at Li Ning Badminton Series

Feb 22 (DN) Dumindu Abeywickrama the 21-year-old shuttler became the first Sri Lankan to get a medal at International Badminton Series held in SL recently. Abeywickrama a product or Royal College coached by RSBA Academy’s Tony Wayuidi the Indonesian who also a former SL National coach made a superb display to clinch men’s single bronze medal at recently concluded LiNing Int'l Badminton Series held at Dadalla Indoor Stadium in Galle. “Reaching semi final is great achievement more..

SLTB to import 1,000 buses for fleet

Feb 22 (TM) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) said that there will be no shortage of buses in the SLTB fleet as Cabinet of Ministers’ approval has been received to import 1,000 buses during this year (2024). When contacted yesterday amid various speculations of a shortage of buses in the SLTB fleet, SLTB Chairman S.M.D.L.K.D. Alwis, said that the programme is in its initial stage and that the SLTB is working to get it finalised within this year itself. He noted that most likely, more..

SL should not become Indianized: Govt MP

Feb 22 (DM) A govt MP said that Sri Lanka should not be subjected to Indianisation, claiming that he was against the Indian rupee being used in SL and to provide SL airports to Indian investors. SLPP MP Sarath Weerasekara told Parliament that the President's efforts to rescue the country from economic shambles was praiseworthy and that he was against it if Sri Lanka was gradually subjected to indianisation. more..

DFCC Bank says resilient amidst economic headwinds

Feb 22 (FT) In a demanding banking landscape, DFCC Bank said yesterday it demonstrated resilience amidst significant local economic disruptions. DFCC Bank PLC, the largest entity within the Group, reported a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 10,960 million and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 7,220 million for the year ended 31 December 2023 compared with the previous year’s PBT of Rs. 2,439 million and a PAT of Rs. 2,513 million. Group recorded a PBT of Rs. 12,508 mil more..

ComBank stays on growth trajectory in 2023 with notable Q4 performance

Feb 22 (FT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon Group said yesterday it lent Rs. 56.82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 at a monthly average of Rs. 18.94 billion to end the year with a loan book of Rs. 1.30 trillion, continuing its trend of strong lending growth in support of economic revival. Robust deposit growth of Rs. 109.41 billion was also witnessed in the three months ending 31 Dec 2023 at a monthly average of Rs. 36.47 billion, demonstrating the Group’s strong deposit franchise and focus on more..

Parate action to be partially suspended

Feb 22 (FT) State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya announced plans to suspend Parate execution temporarily and revealed that a Cabinet paper outlining it would be presented for approval next week. The move comes in response to ongoing discussions and concerns regarding the impact of Parate laws on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Speaking in Parliament, he said the move is taken to more..

Direct tax to make 40% of state revenue

Feb 22 (TM) SL Govt anticipates to further increase its direct tax revenue to 40% reducing the weight given on indirect tax revenue as currently the direct tax income makes 30% contribution to the state revenue while indirect tax makes 70% from the total revenue from taxes, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. Speaking at Parliament, State Minister said: “Earlier the indirect tax income to the Govt was a whopping 80% while direct tax was a mere 20% contribution. more..

Post debt restructuring: ‘SL will be in a whirlpool till 2028’

Feb 22 (TM) SL will face difficulties till 2027-28 in order to gain international market access due to high debt despite its post debt restructuring phase according to the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) targets, a global sovereign debt expert said. Speaking at the Committee on Public Finance (COPF), Global Sovereign Advisory Research Analyst Theo Maret said that IMF has used a different model to assess the DSA of SL than it has used for low-income countries, providing more..

මත විමසුම් වල අළුත්ම තත්ත්වය

Isn’t cleansing hearts a political issue?

Feb 22 (Island) In his policy statement during the inauguration of the 5th session of the 9th parliament, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe insists that the solution to the economic crisis lies in economic and scientific measures, not political ones. However, he draws inspiration from Confucius and urges citizens to introspect and cleanse their hearts, which can be seen as a political measure beyond being framed as moral or ethical. In the meantime, he has asserted that his govt has achieved more..

Editorial: Schools closed; taverns opened

Feb 22 (Island) Govt politicians wax eloquent, to the point of queasiness, about their grand plans to develop the education sector and prepare the country for future opportunities and challenges. They claim to be on an ambitious mission to align education with job market requirements, both there and overseas, by modernising the state-run schools, universities and other seats of learning. But between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is said to be worn out. more..

Gurbaz, spinners give Afghanistan winning end to tough tour

Feb 22 (CI) Afghanistan withstood onslaughts at both ends of the innings, first from Pathum Nissanka and then Kamindu Mendis, to close out a nervy three-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third T20I in Dambulla. It means Afghanistan end the series on a high, securing their solitary victory at the last time of asking; Sri Lanka win the series 2-1. The difference in the end proved to be the final two deliveries of the respective innings. more..

Spa Ceylon wins coveted Global Best Beauty Product at World Spa Awards 2023

Feb 22 (FT) Spa Ceylon, the iconic Ayurveda Wellness brand, has won three international accolades at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2023, including the prestigious Global Award for Best Beauty Product, alongside Awards for Best Luxury Ayurveda Spa Global and Best Spa Group Global. “These awards come at an important and exciting time for us, as we accelerate our European expansion with a heightened focus in the UK. The award for Beauty Products of the Year more..

Seylan Bank records strong performance in FY23, despite challenging environment

Feb 22 (FT) Seylan Bank said it posted strong performance in FY23 despite the challenging environment. The Net Interest Income of the Bank was reported as Rs. 40.1 billion in 2023 compared to Rs. 40.5 billion reported in 2022, a slight 1% drawback due to volatility in interest rates during the year. Bank’s Net Interest Margin on Average Total Assets stood at 5.76% in 2023 compared to 6.33% in 2022. Net fee and commission income of the Bank has shown a notable growth of 16% more..

පාඨලී චම්පික රණවක

Review of tourism regulation

Feb 22 (TM) SL has pegged its hopes on increasing tourism revenue, to sling shot its recovery. And the island has fared well in improving tourism prospects, with inflow increased and revenue up over the year 2023. Last year, tourism earned SL US$ 2 billion, with around 1.5 million visitors arriving in the island. Tourism earned SL a record US$ 4.4 billion in 2018, an uphill trend which changed by a string of incidents which began with 2019 Easter Sunday bombings and the onset of the Covid-19. more..

Beggars can’t be choosers!

Feb 22 (CT) Sri Lanka’s inflation, based on the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), for Jan 2024 was recorded at 6.5%, Year-on-Year (YoY), the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) revealed in its latest report published on Wednesday. This is an increase of 4.2% compared to the headline inflation recorded in Dec 2023. Compared to December, the reported inflation for January was mainly due to the higher prices in both food and non-food groups, according to the DCS report. more..

Small-scale bakeries: Crumbling under tighter scales

Feb 22 (TM) With ordinary Sri Lankans already undergoing painful adjustments on the economic front, a new gazette regulating the weight of bread loaves is signalling a further tightening of belts in the offing. Issuing an extraordinary gazette on 2 Feb, CAA announced that any manufacturer or trader of bread should ensure that each such type of bread contained the standard weight specified in the gazette and that every trader should more..

If the economy has stabilised, why do so many feel poor?

Feb 22 (GV) Economists tell us that Sri Lanka’s economy has stabilised but what does this mean if so many are struggling? To economists stability means that the imbalances in the economy have been resolved. The symptoms of the imbalances appear as rising prices, shortages of foreign exchange and goods. These have indeed disappeared but what does it mean to ordinary people? It only means that the rate at which people were being impoverished has slowed. more..

Comrade Dissanayake must visit Nuwara Eliya

Feb 22 (DM) At the time of writing this column, personal information of an individual such as where he was born and bred, his family name, political affiliation and if he can be known play a major role in SL politics. NPP has hinted that all would change if a govt is formed under this newly formed alliance. NPP Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake has stated on numerous occasions that the alliance he leads will appoint as Heads of State Institutions, professionals with a proven edu background. more..

Families struggle as education costs soar in 2024

Feb 22 (CT) With the beginning of a new school year, parents are grappling with the substantial price increases of school supplies and transportation. Still recovering from the economic downfall of 2022, which resulted in over 108,000 micro, small and -medium enterprises (MSMEs)shutting down and over 400,000 job losses, a turbulent export and import market and an excessively depreciated rupee, more..

Restore the Senaka Bibile policies

Feb 22 (DM) With SL facing its most painful public health crisis since independence, a sub-committee to formulate a Charter for Ensuring Patients’ Safety and Well-Being was set up in Parliament on Oct 19 last year by MP Mayantha Dissanayake, Chairperson of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Health established in terms of Standing Order 111 of Parliament. This sub-committee is chaired by MP Upul Galappaththi and consists of two members. As the committee is focused on considering more..

Election fever to grip country after March

Feb 22 (DM) The country is abuzz with election fever, despite prez election, constitutionally scheduled for this year, not yet being officially declared. The JVP-led National People’s Power (NPP) is engaging grassroots level individuals and organizations in view of the elections. The early engagement is aimed at tailoring their electoral message effectively. The party is channeling its energy into capitalising on the widespread dissatisfaction with traditional parties. more..

 Afghanistan in Sri Lanka