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SL Catholic church rejects acting president’s call to review Easter attack probe

Jul 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Catholic church has rejected a call by Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe to review a probe into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings and enlist the help of UK police authorities to carry out an impartial investigation. Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, a spokesman for the Colombo archdiocese, said on Tuesday Jul 19 Wickremesinghe had enough opportunity to seek international assistance in carrying out the attack, which killed 269 people and injured over 500. more..

Rescuing Sri Lanka: India emerges as top lender, ADB second

Jul 19 (ANI) At a time when SL is facing an unprecedented economic fiasco, the country's finance ministry said that in the four months through April India has emerged as a top lender for the island nation. India's disbursements of foreign loans and grants from Jan 1 to April 30, 2022 were 376.9 USD million compared to China which was only 67.9 USD million. India has come to rescue SL which is currently under a severe economic crisis. more..

'If Dullas wins, Sajith will be PM in all-party govt'

Jul 19 (EN) If SL’s ruling party Prez candidate Dullas Alahapperuma wins an all-important election to be held in parliament, an all-party govt will be formed with incumbent opposition leader Sajith Premadasa as PM, SJB general secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. “We’re forming an all-party govt. We laid the foundations of this all-party govt about two to three weeks ago. This is the beginning of the programme that people want to see, of everyone coming together to save the country,” he said. more..

Railway dept. faces difficulties in issuing tickets

Jul 19 (DM) Station masters and visiting station masters are facing difficulties when issuing train tickets as the stock of printed train ticket at the main and sub railway stations are fast running out. In response to a letter from the Railway Dept's Accountant in Maradana yesterday, SL Railway Station Masters' Union (SLRSMU) said there is a delay in receiving train tickets to meet the demand. The demand for trains has increased in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. more..

‘Mortgage crisis to limit Chinese loans to SL’

Jul 19 (TM) China’s ongoing mortgage crisis will not have any impact on debt restructuring negotiations with SL, but will limit the outflow of new funds with tighter financial conditions in China, said Advocata Institute Chair Murtaza Jafferjee. Jafferjee said that tighter financial conditions in China will reduce the flow of new Chinese funds, but since SL’s debt is money that has already been lent, it will have no impact more..

Schools to reopen on Monday: Ministry

Jul 19 (DM) Education Ministry today decided to extend the school holidays until next Sunday and the schools will open on Monday. A discussion was held on this matter at the ministry with the participation of the additional secretaries, including the Ministry Secretary, National Institute of Education (NIE) Director General, directors and provincial directors of education through online. The decision was taken based on the current fuel crisis, transportation difficulties and the views of trade unions. more..

SL ruling party majority behind Dullas; Sajith to be PM: G L

Jul 19 (EN) A majority of the ruling SLPP are behind the candidacy of SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma with opposition leader Sajith Premadasa tipped to be prime minister in a crucial election to be held on Wednesday July 20 to choose SL’s next executive Prez, an official said. Party chairman MP G L Peiris told reporters in parliament on Tuesday that parliament reflects the views of the public. In terms of debt restructuring with SL, he noted what matters to the Chinese is setting a precedent in SL, more..

රනිල්ගේ නීච ක්‍රියාවක් ගැන සිරිල් ගාමිණි පියතුමා

Countdown to end Lanka’s political vacuum has begun

Jul 20 (DM) Our country has proved itself to be an exceptional. Just this month alone, we, the people peacefully and bloodlessly unseated powerful Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. Though for a day the country was in a political vacuum, the military made no attempt to seize power, but allowed the political process to playout. Subsequently PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed Acting Prez as per Contitutional requirements. Yesterday, again as per Constitutional procedure, more..

New Law or the same old wine in new glasses?

Jul 20 (DM) What is transpiring in SL now, is unprecedented. A constitutional scheme which in its default mode, was supposed to select it‘s Executive Prez through peoples direct vote, as opposed to the majority in the legislature, now has been turned on its head. Not only is the Constitutional trap that has been there all this time, has now come to frown at the people with a sinister sneer, in terms that it is not the people at a Prez Election who will have the opportunity of choosing the person more..

Is the Executive Presidency necessary for economic revival?

Jul 20 (TM) It is for the first time that SL will see the election of an interim Prez by MPs today (20), and it is the first election being held with SL experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence. All three candidates – Acting Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, and NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake – are familiar faces who have been in politics for decades, and the country has more..

Ranil-Rajapaksa rearguard must meet its political Nandikadal today!

Jul 20 (CT) This may come as a surprise to you, but we’ve been here before. In August 1953 there was a twoay work stoppage and civil disobedience campaign by the island’s people, called by the left parties. Protest covered the South & North. LSSP and CP led, Federal Party participated, and though the SLFP did not do so actively as a party, SWRD Bandaranaike chaired the massive kick-off rally at Galle Face Green. Women baked hoppers on railway tracks and stopped trains. more..

Parliament’s role in electing the President

Jul 20 (CT) On 13 July 2022, Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled from SL under cover of darkness to an unknown destination. Even before his departure he had been in hiding. On the day he left, the country was informed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had appointed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as his stand-in during his absence abroad. Reason that Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave for the appointment was that by virtue of his absence abroad he was unable to discharge the powers, duties, and functions of his office. more..

Taking Aragalaya ideas seriously

Jul 20 (GV) The emergence of Frontline Social Party (FSP) in July as a major voice of the aragalaya movement has led to many negative reactions. Searching questions are being raised and debated particularly among the urban professional and business classes as well as politically active citizens with strong liberal-democratic convictions, expressing concern about the ultimate intentions of FSP and its radical agenda. more..

Editorial: Unite!

Jul 20 (Island) Parliament will elect a new Prez today. The contest is actually between two candidates, Acting Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe and SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma. NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake will be an also-ran. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa pulled out of the race at the eleventh hour following an understanding with Alahapperuma; if the latter wins today, the former will be appointed the PM. One may argue that Sajith has only made a virtue of necessity, but more..

Voting for stability and consensus

Jul 20 (TM) Today marks one of the most important and decisive days in the history of SL’s Parliament, as it votes to elect the new Prez of SL for the first time. Only once has Parliament elected a Prez, when Prez R Premadasa was assassinated & D.B. Wijetunga was elected unanimously by Parliament to complete the remainder of Premadasa’s term. While this unfamiliar burden of directly voting in Parliament to elect the Prez of the country may be weighing on the shoulders of each MP, more..

කෝටි 45 මඩ කැම්පේන් එක පිටිපස්සෙ...

Ranil has no mandate to become caretaker President

Jul 20 (TM) Due to the untenable situation that we, the citizens of SL, have been brought to, by the Govt of SL, we stand united to ensure that our voices too are heard. We are several citizens’ groups, who have come together in an effort to support the people in any way we can, and to demand that the politicians, more fully the MPs, adhere to democratic principles and not to party lines, in order to choose a successor to the role of President. One who is able to appoint a multi-party interim group, more..

The new Prez must learn from Gota!

Jul 20 (Island) I am proud that I have served all Executive Presidents of SL from Presidents JR Jayewardene to Gotabaya Rajapaksa at some stage or another. I may be the only public officer to have done so. With Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was secondary, but I was his lifesaver along with Ranil Wickremesinghe. (See My Belly is White (2008) pages 140 to 142). Hence, I claim I have accumulated a mixed bag of experiences. I do not intend to sound like a Pundit; I only mention more..

Are you ready for another great Galle drama?

Jul 20 (CI) Are we ready for this? A nerve-wracking final day? Come out from behind the couch. You can face this. Let's do it together. Pakistan need only 120 runs, and have seven wickets in hand. One of the not out batters is centurion Abdullah Shafique. Since coming on the scene, he's quelled a bowling attack containing Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. Now he's got a fourth-innings hundred in Galle. more..

Pradeep Amirthanayagam appointed again to People’s Leasing Board

Jul 20 (FT) Pradeep Amirthanayagam has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Board of the People’s Leasing and Finance PLC with effect from 15 July. He previously served as the Chairman of People’s Leasing and Finance. Amirthanayagam is a reputed advertising and media personality in SL who counts over 35 years of experience in the advertising industry. He is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of the leading advertising agency more..

Evolving world of work may require reshaping of social security in SL: EFC Chief

Jul 20 (FT) The newly appointed Director General of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Vajira Ellepola, in this exclusive interview, shares his views in shaping the organisation to address the evolving needs of the world of work. Ellepola, the 13th Director General to steer the EFC, is an Attorney-at-Law and has been serving the organisation since 2000 in multiple professional capacities. He also had a stint as a State Counsel at the AG’s Dept before coming on board at the EFC. more..

Lawmakers, Speaker challenged to reveal their choice to counter bribery allegations

Jul 20 (Island) Senior FSP spokesperson Pubudu Jagoda urged all members of Parliament, including Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, to reveal whom they would support at today’s vote to elect a President. Acting Prez and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, SLPP’s Dullas Alahapperuma and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake are in the fray. Acknowledging that the scheduled process would be a secret vote, more..

NPP presents series of proposals to revive country

Jul 20 (FT) The JVP led NPP party yesterday put forward several proposals to stabilise the country through an interim govt. Its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake shared the proposals relating to the number of ministers, the period of the interim govt, and its possible composition among many others. Concerning the structure of governance, the party has suggested the new govt should be an interim govt set up for a short period of time and consist of a maximum of ten cabinet ministers. more..

Battle of the Saints ends in a draw

Jul 20 (Island) A back to the wall century by SL U-19 player Sadeesh Jayawardena helped pre match favourites St. Joseph’s avert a possible defeat at the hands of St. Peter’s as the latter dominated the 88th Battle of the Saints which ended in a draw at the P. Sara Oval on Tuesday. Given a target of 321 runs to chase, the Joes lost their fourth wickets for 91 runs when spinner Niman Umesh dismissed their key middle order batsman Dunith Wellalage for the second time in the Big Match. more..

සටන: වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය

Sri Lanka’s instability has led to massive portfolio outflows: Fitch Ratings

Jul 20 (Island) SL’s economic and social instability have led to massive portfolio outflows and weakened disposable incomes, Fitch Ratings said yesterday in its quarterly frontier markets recap. “Many Asian frontier markets are net energy importers. South Asia is particularly exposed to the commodity price shock, with SL and Pakistan already facing external and fiscal challenges as well as high inflation. There are subsidy spending pressures in frontier markets such as SL more..

'Chinese white elephant projects in Sri Lanka create jobs for Chinese people'

Jul 20 (ANI) China has invested in white elephant projects in SL that primarily produce jobs for Chinese people while benefiting no Sri Lankan, said Chennai-based policy expert N. Sathiya Moorthy. Policy commentator Sathiya Moorthy said, "The problem with Chinese debt is about investment in white elephant projects like expressways that did not have use and did not produce revenue to repay the loan. It generated jobs for Chinese in China and SL, but no Sri Lankan benefited in terms of jobs more..

Health authorities warn of 30%-40% spike in COVID cases

Jul 20 (FT) Health authorities warned of a sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country, whilst renewing its call to the public to obtain the second booster or fourth jab against coronavirus. “There is a spike of around 30% to 40% COVID-19 daily cases reported at present since the past two weeks,” Dr. Samitha Ginige said. Although during the past two to three months the daily case count stood at between 10 and 15 persons, more..

Agriculture Department begins to distribute urea fertiliser countywide

Jul 20 (FT) Dept of Agriculture has distributed 3,000 tons of urea fertiliser to Agrarian Service Centres across the country within three days. The stock was from the first batch of 44,000 tons from the total of 65,000 tons of urea fertiliser received under the Indian Credit Line commenced after it was stored at warehouses belonging to the State-owned Ceylon Fertiliser Company & Colombo Commercial Fertiliser. It was reported that the paddy yield decreased rapidly due to the decision to more..

Some TNA, SJB, SLFP MPs to vote for Ranil: Harin

Jul 20 (DM) A section of TNA, SJB and SLFP MPs will vote in favour of Acting Prez Ranil’ Wickremesinghe, MP Harin Fernando said. Fernando said he was confident that Wickremesinghe will win the Parliament vote for presidency tomorrow as he had the numbers. "It is a secret vote and we have assurance from several SJB, TNA and SLFP MPs that they will vote for Ranil Wickremesinghe despite their parties deciding to vote for Dullas Allahapperuma," he said. more..

මීළග ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ කාර්යභාරය කුමක්ද ?

Plantation shares on the rise at the bourse

Jul 20 (TM) Plantation shares at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) were on the rise on Tuesday (19) with the depreciation of the rupee and fertiliser shortages yielding low production, as the CSE recorded a turnover passing Rs 1 billion for the second consecutive market day. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained by 107.51 (1.43%) to 7,644.12 from the previous day’s close of 7,536.61, and the S&P SL20 gained by 51.03 (2.11%) to 2,474.11 from its previous close of 2,423.08. more..

Sri Lanka: On the painful path to recovery

Jul 20 (MM) When SL’s financial crisis started to deepen a few months ago, I decided to visit the country to observe first-hand the political and social developments. At the time, street demonstrations were still peaceful and power outages were few and far between, at least in the hotel I stayed at, where private generators were running at full steam. During the one week I was there, I could still see tourists arriving at resorts along the coast from Colombo, Bentota to Galle, and businesses continued more..

Fiscal prudence figures at Indian all-party meeting on Sri Lanka

Jul 20 (ANI) Fiscal prudence and learning from Sri Lanka were discussed at the all-party meeting on the situation in the island country with some parties opposing and questioning the move to bring in the issue while some parties also supported the idea to discuss fiscal prudence. TRS sources said that the party strongly objected to the mention of state borrowings. "We strongly objected to the mention of state borrowings. more..

Sri Lanka overnight money markets dry up as soft-peg drives up counterparty risks

Jul 20 (EN) SL’s overnight call money markets have dried up in rising counterparty risks contradictory money and exchange policy continue and authorities fail to establish a working peg or floating exchange rate amid interventions. Though policy rates have been raised the central bank has continued to print money to accommodate various activities with its Treasury bills stock representing permanently injected money rising to 2,269 billion rupees from 2,234 billion a week earlier. more..

Dullas, Sajith agree to fulfill TNA demands in return for support

Jul 20 (DM) Prez candidate Dullas Allahapperuma and his prime ministerial candidate Sajith Premadasa have agreed to fulfill demands put forward by the TNA in a meeting held today evening which included the release of all political prisoners and the release of all private lands, including those occupied by the army and archeological sites in the N&E. A senior TNA source said that some of the other demands put forward included the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) restarting more..

GTF believes political changes should lead to empowerment of parliament

Jul 20 (Island) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has said that the change of govt should lead to a truly democratic and pluralistic modern state, enshrined with a Constitution that would empower the Parliament to be the centre of power with sufficient checks and balances and full accountability to the people. GTF stressed that these reforms comprehensively address the ethnic issue through meaningful power devolution to the regions more..

India to invest more in SL: Indian Envoy

Jul 20 (CT) India’s view is that the continuing transition in Sri Lanka won’t be easy, and that India will additionally assist the island nation to stage an early and efficient financial restoration, Indian High Commissioner in SL Gopal Baglay said. To that effect, India, which has helped Sri Lanka with nearly $4 billion in assistance, would going ahead, like to usher in extra funding to assist the nation construct capacities to overcome the financial challenges, Baglay stated. more..

NGO cries halt to Aragalaya

Jul 20 (Island) Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies (IRES) Manjula Gajanayake said that it was time for the youth at Gotagogama to put their protest on hold and think of ways in which they can contribute to develop the country’s political sphere. “IRES believes that the youth at Gotagogama should be represented in Parliament and that they should contest the next Parliamentary election” Gajanayake said. more..