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What to know about the upheaval in SL

Jul 10 (WP) President of SL agreed to step down later this month, the speaker of the country’s parliament announced, after protesters stormed the presidential home and office Saturday in a dramatic escalation of public anger over the govt’s handling of a deepening economic crisis. Thousands of demonstrators descended on the presidential palace in Colombo, the capital, demanding the resignation of Prez Rajapaksa, whose family is held responsible by many for country’s dire economic straits. more..

A new dawn for Lanka

Jul 10 (TM) It is said that the darkest hour is just before dawn and yesterday, Saturday, 9 July 2022, will go down in history as the day on which the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka saw its darkest hours give way to a new dawn, with the promise of a new, more enlightened nation in the making. The writing was on the wall for a long time that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s days in office were numbered and we in these very columns echoed those sentiments week after week. more..

'Doors open for Opposition MPs to join Govt'

Jul 10 (SO) Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said there is no need to form an All-Party Govt at present. The Minister in an interview said if the Opposition MPs want to join the Govt, doors are open for them. Minister said except the TNA and the JVP, almost all other parties are represented in the Govt. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe came forward and accepted the premiership. It’s only six weeks since the Premier assumed duties. more..

A firm No to external intervention

Jul 10 (SO) Regime Change is a popular phrase that denotes a subtle intervention by a foreign power or powers (mostly Western) to change Governments in the developing world. Sometimes this intervention is not so subtle, as seen by the debilitating wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The aim is to dislodge Govts which are perceived to be anti-Western and to replace them with regimes that are not hostile to Western interests, if not outright friendly. more..

Jeered & sent home: Ominous sign of an impending peril

Jul 10 (CT) It is obvious that the citizens were not flabbergasted or shamed when the Executive President was jeered and sent away from the parliament of Sri Lanka on July 5th, 2022, as he has lost public trust. It was a historical commotion lead by SJB within the legislature, the tyrant was grinning from ear to ear and was surrounded by few political turncoats whose survival depends on the survival of Rajapaksa clan and hastily exited the house of the legislature. more..

'Economic crisis: Sri Lanka will become a failed state or a tiger economy'

Jul 10 (TM) How Sri Lanka responds to the ongoing crisis will define if the country breaks or emerges stronger, Colombo-based think tank Advocata Institute Chairperson and JB Securities Ltd. CEO Murtaza Jafferjee told The Sunday Morning. Sri Lanka’s economy may contract for several years, and unless robust economic and governance reforms are enacted, rebuilding trust and spurring growth may remain a challenge. more..

Achieving food security

Jul 10 (TM) Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, the general expectation in the world was that food security would take a positive turn. The ability to work from home again was expected to lead to a rise in food production, resulting in a reduction in food insecurity. However, this was not to be the case. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN last week indicates that world hunger rose further in 2021, more..

Coming colour?

Jul 10 (Island) As this is being written on Friday morning, the country is awaiting signals of what the future holds. Those who think that Gota will go are more than optimists. How can a man who admits blunders that have plunged this country to depths far below the worst we have ever known, even when LTTE terror was at its zenith, who says as he did recently that he cannot go as a failed president, ever see the light? Not until his head is held towards the sun. He will not go until he is driven out. more..

තීරණාත්මක අවස්ථාවක්! රනිල්ගේ ගෙදරට ගිනි!

Leaked: Security deployment plans to obstruct July 9 protests

Jul 10 (CT) Extensive security plans and protocols to protect Prez Rajapaksa in the wake of massive public demonstrations planned for Saturday morning in the capital Colombo have been leaked, revealing sinister orders to police filming units and surveillance teams to record and monitor leaders of the aragalaya and the intelligence networks that will be operational in the area during the protest. The orders dated July 7, 2022 have gone out to all DIGS, SSPs, SPs and ASPs and police divisions, more..

Lanka’s misery should be warning to us all on global food, fuel and finance crisis: UNDP

Jul 10 (Island) Countries already under pressure from the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, risk seeing the same economic turmoil and human misery as Sri Lanka, with the war in Ukraine dragging on, unless the international community agrees to radical financial measures to help countries saddled with debt, the UN said on Thursday. “We’re witnessing a tragic series of events that are unfolding in SL right now that should be a warning to anyone who thinks that, you know, more..

How not to run the economy: A lesson from Lanka for the region

Jul 10 (ST) Thanks to the poor management of the country’s economy by successive govts and deep-rooted corruption of the political class, Sri Lanka has become a lesson to other countries on how not to run the economy of a state in the region. For Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (97), the SL crisis is something very familiar since he oversaw the re-emergence of Malaysia from its worst economic catastrophe more..

BOI targets USD 2 bn in FDIs this year

Jul 10 (SO) The BOI targets USD 2 billion in FDIs this year of which USD 1 billion will be realised, BOI Director General Renuka Weerakone said on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the Long Term Residence Visa for BOI enterprises recently. “We are confident of reaching our investment targets this year with the commitment of the new minister and the team,” Weerakoon said. However, she said it all depends on the situation in the country which hopefully would ease in the coming months. more..

Bishops urge relief package for poor

Jul 10 (Island) Lankan bishops have urged the govt to provide a relief package for the poor amid the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.The foreign exchange crisis has led to a shortage of essential commodities while people queue for hours at petrol stations amid continuous power cuts. “People are stranded without the basic needs such as food, fuel and gas,” Bishop Harold Perera, president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of SL, said in a statement signed by 15 bishops. more..

Mini Tsunami pounds Southern coast

Jul 10 (CT) Two people were killed when the Punchi Tsunami struck the island last week; in addition, fishing boats on the coast of the districts of Kalutara, Galle, and Matara sustained significant damage. This was brought on by the enormous tidal wave that pounded the southern coast. The DMC and Met Dept then made the announcement that it was only a tidal wave caused by the south west monsoon and allayed fears after people fled more..

Yupun aware of the tougher road ahead

Jul 10 (SO) Marcel Jacobs from Italy became the gold medal winner in the 100m dash at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, but had his personal best of 9.95 seconds leading up to Tokyo. It is interesting to note that he had just two sub 10 second races in his entire career before winning the Olympic Gold with a time of 9.80 seconds. SL’s Yupun Abeykoon who is also based in Italy has run alongside Jacobs in previous meetings only to emerge behind Jacobs at those events. more..

Dickwella in a spot after missed stumping chances

Jul 10 (Island) At a time when teams were favouring wicketkeepers who could significantly contribute with the bat in Test match cricket, SL reversed the trend when Ashantha de Mel took the wicket keeping gloves off Kumar Sangakkara and handed it to Prasanna Jayawardene in 2006. By no means it was a popular decision then. The Chairman of Selectors bore the brunt of criticism. It took some time for results to come and then you realized that de Mel in fact had killed two birds with one stone. more..

රනිල්ගේ නිවසට ගිනි තැබීම පිටුපස ඇති කුමන්ත්‍රණය...

Yellow Cards in Schools Rugby

Jul 10 (CT) Around thirty Yellow Cards have been shown in the first two weeks of Schools Segment ‘A’ Rugby. A red is shown after two yellow cards to a player. Some were lucky not to have been shown a red card considering the persistent calls by World Rugby to stamp out dangerous play. Almost every Division 1 Segment A match produced two cards each. Some are reaching a high of four yellow cards. The only game with no yellow cards was Science vs Isipathana, but lucky to have got away with more..

Govt expenditure surpasses revenue by 83%

Jul 10 (CT) During the first four months of this year the Govt expenditure surpassed revenue by 83% resulting in a budget deficit of Rs 524.1 billion, up 0.7% from Rs 520.5 billion recorded during the same period of 2021. Total Govt revenue including grants increased 30.9% to Rs 631.1 billion in the first four months of 2022 from Rs 482.3 billion recorded during the same period of 2021. The collection during the four months amounted to 28.4% of the annual estimation of Rs 2,223.0 billion. more..

Hard times trigger surge in people-smuggling; 700 arrested in past 20 days

Jul 10 (ST) The prevailing economic crisis continues to fuel a surge in illegal migration attempts despite local and international efforts to thwart them. More than 700 persons have been arrested by the SL Navy alone while attempting to illegally flee the country from May 18 up to July 8. They included infants as young as three months and adults who are nearly 60 years of age. In the latest such attempt, 67 people who were allegedly more..

Manusha and Harin resign from ministerial portfolios

Jul 10 (AD) Ministers Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara have resigned from their portfolios with immediate effect. Fernando and Nanayakkara were sworn in as the Minister of Tourism & Land and Minister of Labour & Foreign Employment, respectively, on May 29. They had accepted the ministerial portfolios in the incumbent govt without the support of SJB and their party membership was later suspended pending disciplinary action. Announcing their resignation today, more..

Pharmaceuticals: No foul play in procurements: SPC

Jul 10 (TM) Allegations of corruption have been levelled against the Govt’s medicine procurement process, with the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) remaining steadfast that no misconduct had taken place, The Sunday Morning learns. The GMOA last week alleged that the ongoing medicine shortages had now become a blessing to the drug mafia as it had now paved the way for certain suppliers to gain massive profits under the guise of emergency purchases. more..

IMF hopes for Sri Lanka political crisis resolution to resume deal talks

Jul 10 (EN) The IMF said it was hoping a political crisis will be resolved to resume discussions on a program as Prez Rajapaksa and PM Wickremesinghe decided to resign after historic protest in Colombo. “We are closely monitoring the ongoing developments in SL,” Peter Breuer, IMF Senior Mission Chief for SL, and Masahiro Nozaki, IMF Mission Chief for SL said in a statement. “We hope for a resolution of the current situation more..

Unceasing waves and uncertainties

Jul 10 (ST) Yesterday’s mass protests against the incumbents in Govt remind one of the one-time LTTE codeword Unceasing Waves, which itself took its cue from the tsunami of 2004, for what the terrorists felt would be their final assault on Govt Forces. These days, the Armed Forces have been pitted against the masses on a mission to topple the Govt through People Power. Yesterday’s protests led to the storming of the Prez’s House, the Secretariat, Temple Trees and, last but more..

Paradise in turmoil

Jul 10 (ST) My dear friends at the aragalaya, I wrote to you last almost three months ago when you had just launched your struggle, or aragalaya. Many events have happened since then. I daresay that we owe a lot of that to the aragalaya. So, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write to you again this week, especially after yesterday’s events. You had your share of critics who said that you were not really apolitical as you claimed you were. There were also those who thought that more..

Demonstrators storm presidential palace

Mob sets PM’s house ablaze, prevents firemen from dousing fire

Jul 10 (ST) A mob stormed the private residence of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last night around 8 p.m. and set it ablaze. A crowd of around 200 persons had been gathering outside the residence, located at 5th Lane, Colombo 3 since last evening demanding Mr Wickremesinghe step down as PM. Police had fired tear gas and water cannon at the protesters as they attempted to make their way towards the residence. STF personnel stationed outside the residence also attacked several journalists more..

Firms assist staff to endure economic crisis

Jul 10 (ST) With the cost of living hitting the roof and rising rapidly, SL companies are helping their staff to weather the crisis by launching different initiatives. Krishan Balendra, Chairman John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Chairman Employer’s Federation of Ceylon (EFC) said on Wednesday that employers have taken various initiatives such as one-off payments, higher than normal salary increases, and extra allowances for staff to help them cope with the current economic crisis. more..

Video: PM’s private residence set on fire

Jul 10 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's private residence on 5th Lane in Colombo has been set on fire by the protestors. A group of protestors entered his house a short while ago and set the place on fire after a tense situation erupted between the protestors and security forces on the ground. Several journalists were also attacked by the security forces after which more protestors gathered in the area. more..

Protesters hold parties and dance under chandeliers in President’s House

Jul 10 (ST) The game plan had always been to storm the Prez’s official residence. To do so, protesters marshalled by the IUSF needed to breach several layers of security, risking a maximum force response from heavily armed police and military guards. But they advanced, undeterred by several rounds of teargas and firing of live ammunition into the air. The agreed time to break through the final barrier had been 2pm, to allow for the largest possible crowd. more..

Protesters continue to occupy President’s House, Secretariat and Temple Trees

Jul 10 (ST) Thousands of protesters continued to occupy the Prez’s House, the Presidential Secretariat and Temple Trees last night after breaking into them earlier in the day as they demanded the immediate resignation of Prez Rajapaksa and PM Wickremesinghe. Protesters also converged on Parliament and Premier Wickremesinghe’s private residence located at 5th Lane off Thurstan Road in Colombo 3. Police fired water cannon and teargas last evening to more..

People’s power to the fore

Jul 10 (TM) Sri Lankan citizens in their thousands flocked to Fort in Colombo yesterday (9) to mark yet another milestone in the country’s history as they braved many obstacles – from transport issues to barriers and tear gas attacks – to take charge of the President’s House and the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. This comes following months of protests which started on 31 March this year when citizens surrounded more..

New twist in the controversial LPG tale

Jul 10 (ST) A highly- influential company won an unsolicited bid to supply LP gas but as it failed to supply the gas, the contract was given to others in a never —ending saga of the controversial LP deal that has thrown open a fresh controversy. This information emerged when on Tuesday the COPE summoned the chairman of Litro Gas and its officials to inquire into allegations that a recent deal with Omani company OQ Trading was marred by irregularities. Avant Garde Surface Safety more..

Prez to step down on Wednesday; PM will also resign

Jul 10 (ST) Prez Rajapaksa has decided to step down from office next Wednesday (13), Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced last night. “The Prez was agreeable with the decision. However, due to the need to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, the Prez informed me to convey to the country that he will step down from his post on Wednesday, July 13,” Mr Abeywardena said. He said given the Prez’s decision, there was no need for further unrest and, appealed to everyone to more..

The heat is on: A beleaguered President increasingly being isolated

Jul 10 (ST) It is the closest the message Gota Go Home could get since the agitation to oust Prez Rajapaksa began nearly three months ago. A group of opposition MPs, some carrying handwritten posters, displayed them from one side of the well of the House last Tuesday. They chanted what is now a household oneliner – Gota Go Home. A few feet away, seated next to PM, a distraught Prez watched in awe. I more..

The resignation of the President and a despicable arson attack

July 11 (DM) On Saturday hundreds of thousands of protestors descended on Colombo demanding the resignation of Prez Rajapaksa -the culmination of a non-violent protest movement demanding his resignation- blaming him, his brothers and cabinet colleagues whom the country holds responsible for leading it, to its worst economic crisis since independence. Protestors laid siege to the President’s official residence and finally stormed what is seen as the bastion of prez power. more..

Back to peddling! reminiscing raleighs & humbers

July 11 (DM) The usually awfully busy A2, an all-engulfing sprawl of dizzying traffic in the morning, was almost deserted as I pushed my old Raleigh bike down Galle Road, enjoying the cold morning breeze. With deflated tires on both wheels and corroded parts giving away, it was a tough task, but motivated by nostalgic memories of peddling down the lanes with friends, twinkling the bells at many a spot, and appreciating each bloom and bird; I walked imagining I am cycling down more..

'Economic crisis: Critical for govt to restore confidence'

July 11 (TM) SL is facing a complete collapse in people’s trust and confidence in the system across the board, asserts Economist Chayu Damsinghe, noting that as long as people don’t have confidence in the economy and systems functioning properly, even external support is difficult to achieve. “A system that people don’t trust is not one in which hard policy reforms can be put in place. Therefore, an absolutely critical step that more..

Underestimating the power of the human spirit

July 11 (TM) “People should not be afraid of their govts; govts should be afraid of their people,” is a well-known quote from Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel V for Vendetta published in the 1980s, which scores of Sri Lankans, fed up with Prez Rajapaksa’s incompetence, short-sightedness, and failures, proved on Saturday (9). Thousands of people thronged the official residences of the President and PM, the PM’s private residence, and the Presidential Secretariat, more..