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Electricity Tariff: Relief measures proposed for affected consumers

Jul 8 (DM) A five-member committee appointed to look into public complaints regarding the unreasonable increase in electricity tariffs during the curfew period, has reportedly proposed that relief measures be granted to electricity consumers, an official said. He said the report will be taken up for discussion during the Cabinet meeting today. The Committee chairman, Power & Energy Ministry Additional Secretary more..

Work on 10 Colombo Port City bridges expedited

Jul 8 (DN) As per PM Mahinda Rajapaksa’s instructions the Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities Ministry has expedited the construction of 10 bridges within the Colombo Port City and expects to complete the projects by the end of next year. As the construction of the Colombo Port City was disrupted for the last few years PM Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities to expedite construction work last December. more..

40,000 migrant workers who lost their jobs to be repatriated

Jul 8 (CT) Sri Lanka is in the process of expediting the return of nearly 40,000 migrant workers who have lost their jobs. Acting Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Dayani Mendis noted on 6 July in the statement made by Sri Lanka at the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. As of 6 July, 14,006 Sri Lankans have been repatriated over two months, out of which 5,125 (36.6%) were migrant workers. more..

Zaharan treated as one of the common criminals: Former Kattankudy OIC

Jul 8 (CT) Although a warrant had been issued by January 2019 for the arrest of National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) Leader Zaharan Hashim on charges of spreading extremism, it was treated as a warrant for the arrest of a common criminal, said the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Crimes Division of the Kattankudy Police at the time, Mohamed Jesuli. He made this statement when he appeared before the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday bombings. more..

White clothes women wear to temples found in jihadist safe house

Jul 8 (Island) Three Muslim women purchased white clothes similar to those worn by women attending temples, on April 19, 2019, and these were discovered in the jihadist safe house at Sainthamaruthu, PCoI was informed. Testifying before the PCoI, Nuwan Bandara Nawaratne, head of the ladies wear section of Jayasundara Textiles, Giriulla, told PCoI that those women arrived at the store with a man on April 19, 2019. They selected 21 items of white clothes and three toys, he said. more..

Video: First records of Baby Elephant Twins reported from Minneriya National Park

Jul 8 (NW) The wildlife enthusiasts in Sri Lanka have been thrilled ever since they have received the news that an elephant who frequents in the Minneriya National Park has given birth to baby elephant twins. It is understood that this is a rare and special occasion, as this is the first time in the recorded history of Sri Lanka that twin baby elephants has been observed, as per the Director General of Department of Wildlife Conservation Dr. Tharaka Prasad. This observation was made by one of more..

CB kicks off work on blockchain-based KYC platform

Jul 8 (FT) Central Bank (CB) yesterday kicked off the process of developing a blockchain-based Know-Your-Customer proof of concept, with the monetary institution entering into agreements with three applicants. It has entered into agreements to begin the process of developing blockchain-based shared Know-Your-Customer (KYC) proofs of concept (POCs) on 7 July. CB identified the potential benefit for more..

Rathana Thera calls for banning burka, madrasas

Jul 8 (Island) Leader of the Ape Jana Bala Party Ven. Aturaliye Rathana Thera, yesterday, asked the government to ban madrasas, burka and Kathi courts within one week. Otherwise, he said, his party would launch a nationwide campaign to boycott Muslim businesses. Addressing the media at the Sadaham Sevana in Colombo Rathana Thera said some elements in the Muslim community promoted communalism and it was high time the govt took cognizance of the situation and took action. more.. mobile app by NTC is out

Jul 8 (CT) A mobile passenger application ‘’ was introduced by the National Transport Commission (NTC), for both private and Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus commuters, said the Chairman of the NTC, Shashi Welgama. He noted that this app will provide the timing of the buses, the live location of the buses, bus fares, and bookings along with a complaint placing mechanism. Welgama noted that all Android users can download app via Play Store and that for iPhone users; more..

Govt to regulate construction industry

Jul 8 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has promulgated new regulations under the Construction Industry Development Act dealing with registration of skilled workers, issuing of ID cards, sanctioning and penalty for errant contractors, and disciplinary procedures for qualified persons in the industry. The new regulations have been promulgated under the Act by the PM, who is also the Minister of Urban Development, more..

Imported cars sell faster after ban

Jul 8 (CT) Secretary of the Vehicle Importers’ Association of SL (VIASL) Prasad Kulathunga said as the Govt has taken a decision to temporarily defer the import of vehicles, all vehicles that had been imported, had begun to sell fast. Govt decided to temporarily put on hold the import of vehicles including motorcars with effect from 19 May, in order to manage the economic situation prompted by the spread of COVID-19. Kulathunga said after the complete lifting of curfew restrictions, more..

EC bans canvassing at public institutions

Jul 8 (FT) Elections Commission (EC) prohibited canvassing or distribution of handbills at Govt institutions, including public departments, State corporations, Statutory Boards and even Provincial Councils. “There should be no canvassing or distribution of hand bills or conducting of meetings in any public or Provincial Council office or any Govt school or any local Govt office or in any institution belonging to any State Corporation or Statutory Board for and on behalf of any candidate more..

DCSL says recent clearing of imported ethanol shipments licenced & approved...

Jul 8 (FT) Distilleries Company of SL (DCSL) yesterday said its recently cleared imported shipments of ethanol were legitimate, hence allegations and opposition by certain parties were unwarranted. “We cleared shipments of imports that were duly licensed and approved by the authorities mid to late last year, and long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” DCSL Chairman Harry Jayawardena said. more..

Sri Lanka No: 2 destination among startup ecosystems for talent

Jul 8 (DN) The annual domestic eCommerce sales and services in Sri Lanka is estimated to be at $40 million and expected to grow $400 million by 2022, the 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network which was launched yesterday at The Ecosystems Couch Conference said. The report also identified the strong potential of SL startups in the eCommerce and FinTech sectors. It has identified the SL govt’s support for more..

Health guidelines for election: Monitors say governing party not following guidelines

Jul 8 (TM) Election monitors and opposition political parties are accusing the ruling SLPP of violating the election-related Covid-19 guidelines issued by the health authorities. Speaking to The Morning, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi alleged that the meetings conducted by the ruling party under the patronage of Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa have been seen not following the election-related Covid-19 guidelines. more..

EDB Chief opines WB downgrade is blessing in disguise for exports

Jul 8 (FT) Export Development Board (EDB) opines the recent downgrading of Sri Lanka to a lower-middle income country by the World Bank could be a blessing in disguise to secure preferential access to key exports of EU and the US. World Bank last week downgraded Sri Lanka from an upper-middle income country to a lower-middle income one from 1 July, under its 2020-2021 country classification by income level. more..

SAG Committee Report: Sports Ministry to conduct inquiry against swimmers

Jul 8 (DN) The Ministry of Sports has decided to launch an inquiry based on the recommendations made by the South Asian Games (SAG) Review Committee Report which has highlighted as many as 11 points for serious consideration. The four-member SAG Review Committee headed by Gregory de Silva has highlighted several irregularities in the team selections, mismanagement and malpractices after considering Sri Lanka’s performances at the 2019, 13th SAG more..

Malaria cases: Eight under quarantine test positive

Jul 8 (TM) For the year 2020, Sri Lanka has reported 20 imported cases of malaria with the latest patient incidents being reported form quarantine centres that are holding returnees under observation for Covid-19 infection. Anti-Malaria Campaign Acting Director Dr. Prasad Ranaweera noted that in the first five months of 2020 only 10 such patients were recorded, while in the last 10 days eight patients were discovered from the Pelwehera Quarantine Centre in Dambulla. more..

All National players to play for clubs

Jul 8 (DN) All the National cricketers are expected to represent their respective clubs at the first class cricket tournaments which will re commence this month. We are planning to start this tournament on July 14 but that also has not being finalized yet said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) CEO Ashley de Silva yesterday. Due to the covid-19 epidemic no International matches will be played and already England, South Africa, India more..

Thewarapperuma threatens to withdraw from election

Jul 8 (DM) Kalutara District UNP candidate Palitha Thewarapperuma has threatened to withdraw his candidature because of being constantly harassed by the police since the general election was declared. He said the police had removed a cutout displayed during the alms giving to mark his son’s death anniversary and had pushed his wife aside. Mr. Thewarapperuma said she was now undergoing treatment at the Nagoda general hospital. He said he was concerned about the harassment more..

CBSL likely to maintain deposit rate at today’s meeting

Jul 8 (CT) Central Bank (CB) should keep its key deposit rate unchanged at today’s monetary policy meeting of its Monetary Board, in the context that CB’s key deposit rate is marginally above inflation. Currently, CB key deposit rate is at 5.5%, while its key lending rate is at 6.5%. While CB’s key deposit rate is at 5.5% at present, islandwide inflation, according to latest data by the CSD increased to 5.2%, year-on-year (YoY) in May, marginally below CB’s key deposit rate of 5.5%, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism lobbies for inclusion in travel corridors

Jul 8 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism said yesterday it is working closely with the Foreign Ministry to be included in developing travel corridors for travel with no quarantine overseas, for returning tourists or visiting Sri Lankans. “We are working closely with our Ambassador in the UK and other Ambassadors who are talking to the relevant govts. We are also in regular contact with the UK Ambassador Sarah Hulton. more..

Sampath Bank conducts webinar series to help SMEs revitalise businesses

Jul 8 (Island) Sampath Bank recently conducted two webinars under its Sampath Saviya entrepreneurship development programme to offer advice to SMEs on how best to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses. These webinars were facilitated by top professionals and conducted free of charge for any SMEs that wished to attend. The first webinar focused on creating a positive business mindset and planning for rebuilding business more..

Rising demand for export of face masks and surgical products

Jul 8 (ST) Manufacturers of BOI companies and other export oriented companies will be exempt from an import ban, as their contribution is through value addition and exports. The main purpose of introducing new regulations relating to imports and exports was to stem the flow of outward remittances to protect the local manufacturing industry, said the Controller-Operational, Dept of Imports and Exports Control K.G.R. Wimalasooriya during a recent National Chamber of Commerce webinar more..

Lack of Single Window Service, major dampener for investments in North

Jul 8 (DN) Finding suitable land for commercial use, poor access to finance and lack of financial literacy continues to be significant constraints and key challenges for private sector investments to the Northern Province a study by Ernst & Young SL (EY) and revealed. Absence of a Single Window Service was also identified as a major dampener for investments while inadequate Infrastructure and Human Resource deprives more..

Placing nature at the centre of change: Preserving biological diversity

Jul 8 (DM) The loss of biodiversity is a loss for humanity. When we re-examine our relationship to the natural world, we find that despite technological advances, we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for day to day needs. International Biological Diversity Day was marked on 22 May, under the timely theme; Our solutions are in nature, bringing home the importance of living in harmony with nature. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, more..

Wijeyadasa’s revelation: How a Bill to abolish and repeal H’tota port agreement stymied

Jul 8 (Island) One-time Justice Minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, recently questioned serious shortcomings in the parliamentary as well as political party system to address contentious issues which may have major security implications. Against the backdrop of recent trouble, at the Colombo port, over the handing over of the East Container Terminal (ECT) to India, SLPP Colombo district candidate Rajapakse discussed the controversial and highly dangerous deal with China over H'tota port. more..

Ramesh Pathirana

Editorial: Early warnings and second waves

Jul 8 (Island) Many Sri Lankans perish in disasters because early warnings of such events go unheeded. Moments before the landfall of the Boxing Day (2004) tsunami, the sea rolled back; there was an eerie clam and animals ran away, but people ignored those signs. The second wave barrelled across the ocean and made landfall. The rest is history. Landslides have snuffed out so many lives because people inhabiting vulnerable areas take early warnings such as cracks and more..

Reverberations of the Ladakh Crisis

Jul 8 (CT) China’s strategic assessment of the Ladakh clash that began 5 May this year and ended with 20 Indian soldiers and an estimated, though unconfirmed, 40 Chinese soldiers being killed in those treacherous slopes , has been a solitary Indo-Chinese geopolitical tussle for over 50 years of bloody dispute from the times of Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru. This arose out of a soldier entrusted with drawing the delimitation lines between China and India across more..

A world of beautiful colour

Jul 8 (TM) Last week, 1 July, saw the passing of one of SL’s most prolific children ‘s book authors, Sybil Wettasinghe. Wettasinghe (Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe) passed away at the age of 92 while receiving treatment at the Sri J'pura Hospital. Her funeral was held on 3 July. Born in Gintota, near Galle, in 1927, Wettasinghe was an alumna of Holy Family Convent, and moved on to work in publishing. more..

Hot coffee and cold tea

Jul 8 (ST) During a recent meeting, some of us ordered tea while others opted for coffee. Prof. W.N. Wilson who is now retired from the university was also with us. While sipping a cup of tea, he started to share some thoughts on coffee. Listening to our older generation always brings new insights and in this context I was keen to hear what he had to say. Prof. Wilson had done his postgraduate studies in the Netherlands in the late 1970s. A few years later, he had an opportunity to go back to Europe more..

Regimes in times of crisis: Authoritarian populism, bonapartism and fascism

Jul 8 (DM) The crisis we face now is like a tectonic shift in the economy. Global production, the labour used for it, and the demand to realise it, are all in free fall. What will be the political consequences, and what kind of regimes will emerge out of such a deep crisis? In Sri Lanka, as we approach a significant parliamentary election, my question is not about the character of the parties and the personalities of the candidates that may win or lose. The victory of the SLPP and more..

Is Sri Lanka on it’s way to becoming a dictatorship?

Jul 8 (CT) A new infographic reveals how Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa is ruling SL, as if he is autonomous, through powerful militarised task forces that bypass the usual checks and balances of a democratically elected parliament. These bodies are unelected and report directly to the Prez requiring the full cooperation of the SL civil service and are not subject to the usual scrutiny and oversight of parliament. more..

Economic recovery & Development without reconciliation: Gota’s Machiavellian strategy

Jul 8 (CT) At the beginning of this month, while SL’s Acting Permanent Representative at UN, Dayani Mendis, was urging, “all parties … to recognise the realities on the ground, and appreciate the approach of focusing on deliverable measures of reconciliation … instead of opting to continue with a framework driven externally that has failed to deliver genuine reconciliation for over four-and-a-half years”, the World Bank, almost coincidentally, reclassified and downgraded Sri Lanka from more..

An appeal to the voting citizens of Sri Lanka on behalf of caring elders of society

Jul 8 (CT) Your Vote at the forthcoming General Elections is a Constitutional Right endowed on you, to be exercised thoughtfully, in order to assure that the nation’s governance of the future is placed in the hands of political parties and representatives, who will strive with commitment to discharge their obligations post-elections, solely for the advancement of the nation Sri Lanka, ensuring the long-term benefit of all citizens of today, including yourself and your family, as well as more..

 England in Sri Lanka