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Sri Lanka pays off $200m loan from Bangladesh with $4.5m interest

Sep 24 (FE) Sri Lanka has repaid its lender, Bangladesh, the entire $200 million loan taken through a currency-exchange agreement called SWAP more than two years ago. Amazingly, the island nation, which had been in dire financial and economic straits even months ago, also paid total interest amounting to over $25.537 million. "SL has paid its third and final instalment amounting to $51.044 million (principal plus interest) on Thursday night," said a central banker of Bangladesh. more..

Power supply: CEB struggles to finance coal payments

Sep 24 (TM) CEB is facing challenges in financing coal payments due to a drop in income. It is learnt that, during a recent meeting with Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, CEB had repeatedly requested the Minister to approve a tariff increase, citing the financial strain faced by the institution. Drop in income is a consequence of deploying high-cost diesel-fired power plants and the reduced tariff range that was approved by more..

Five arrested over supermarket staff brutally assaulting female

Sep 24 (DM) At least 5 persons, a group of staff members of a leading supermarket outlet in Borella were arrested over an incident of brutally assaulting a female customer. Police launched investigations after a video showing a group of staff members from a supermarket outlet brutally assaulting a female customer went viral on social media. Initially, it was reported that the incident had occurred in the Hanwella area. However, later it was revealed that the incident had been at an outlet in Borella. more..

Loss of over Rs. 1bn to be incurred by cancelling LG poll nominations: PAFFREL

Sep 24 (AD) The PAFFREL has claimed that the recent decision made to cancel the nominations submitted for the Local Govt (LG) elections is likely to incur a loss of over Rs. 1 billion to the state. Commenting on the matter, Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi, stated that the relevant decision is not one that should have been made by the govt at a time when the country is amidst an economic crisis. “Who is going to be held responsible for the loss incurred to state more..

Pharma supply allegations: 30-strong team to probe deals worth Rs. 30 b

Sep 24 (TM) A group of 30 investigators has been deployed by the Auditor General’s (AG) Dept to probe the allegations of misappropriation of public monies to the tune of Rs. 30 billion as a result of procuring certain types of medicines at significantly high prices over the past several years and to submit a report within two months. When contacted, Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella acknowledged more..

Malaysian Police tracking down two Sri Lankan triple murder suspects

Sep 24 (Bernama) A police manhunt is underway for two male Sri Lankan suspects over their alleged involvement in the murders of three of their fellow countrymen at a shophouse on Perhentian Street in Lower Kovil Village, Sentul here last night. Kuala Lumpur police chief said both suspects were staying at a married couple's place on the second floor of the shophouse before the murder occurred. The police found the bodies of three men piled on top of each other at the couple's home, more..

Restrictions on all imported goods, except vehicles, to be lifted in Oct

Sep 24 (AD) Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe says the restrictions imposed on imported goods, except vehicles, will be lifted in October. He mentioned that import restrictions are currently maintained on 600 HS codes. “By October, we will be able to lift the import restrictions on all these items except 270 HS codes for vehicles.” The move will help price stabilization, Semasinghe explained. Due to these restrictions, he said an increase is observed in the prices more..

'කාදිනල් හිමියනුත් කුමන්ත්‍රණයට පාවිච්චි කළා'

Sri Lanka, India discuss to resume ETCA negotiations

Sep 24 (EN) Chief Negotiators of SL and India held talks to resume Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) negotiations years after it was stopped following political-led opposition in 2016. “The Chief Negotiators of SL and India recently held a virtual meeting on September 19th to discuss the resumption of Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) negotiations,” the PMD said. This marks the continuation of talks after 11 previous rounds of negotiations.” more..

JRJ’s 117th Birth Anniversary: Open Economy & Executive Presidency

Sep 24 (Island) President Ranil Wickremesinghe interrupted his busy flight schedule between conferences to issue a commemorative message on Sept 17 to mark the 117th birth anniversary of President JR Jayewardene. I am not aware of any special significance associated with #117, nor can I remember Mr. Wickremesinghe issuing birth anniversary statements in the recent past. What is special this year is that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the incumbent President. more..

AG slams CIABOC for poor prosecutions; hundreds of cases languishing for over 5 yrs

Sep 24 (ST) The Auditor General has raised issue over the poor performance of the CIABOC. In its observations on the Annual Performance Report of the CIABOC, the Auditor General’s Department has pointed out that while the Commission had completed 69 cases in 2021, 40 of these cases or 58% were withdrawals. Accused individuals in 18 cases filed by the Commission were found to be innocent while accused more..

Let’s find solutions to problems, not scapegoats

Sep 24 (Island) The Asia Cup final last Sunday was a bitter pill to swallow. While 35,000 adoring fans turned up at RPS paying through the nose to witness a good game of cricket, most streets in the country were deserted as millions of ardent fans watched the proceedings on television with keenness hoping for SL to defend their title. Alas, it was all over in two hours. SL had been shot out for their lowest total at home – 50. The final was an anti-climax no doubt. Rather than discussing conspiracy theories more..

A man despised by many

Sep 24 (ST) Aiyo Sirisena, I thought of writing to you because you are always in the news now and not many people seem to like you these days. It began when the Channel 4 documentary on the Easter attacks was aired, then you fought with your secretary Dayasiri and now you are fighting with the Field Marshall! We heard you say after the Channel 4 documentary that the highest court in the land which asked you to pay compensation in millions should review their decision. more..

Tilvin Silva

No Anthem, SL’s Rock concert ends in rip-off

Sep 24 (SO) SL cricket followers went through their worst hour watching their adored team dismantled brick by brick after being told to rush for tickets or be shut out from what was touted as a blockbuster Asia Cup final at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Sunday last week. Many left aside everything else to beat the deadline for seat reservations as some paid as much as 40,000 bucks and nearly 15 percent according to estimates took their seats with half the Sri Lanka team blasted out from the crease. more..

Corruption: Open season for next two years

Sep 24 (ST) Bribery and corruption are now the second-most significant unlawful activity generating criminal proceeds in the country, states the National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NRA) of SL released last week by the Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). This is an alarming, though not entirely surprising development. Bribery, corruption and money laundering are predicate offences indicative of a deeper web of crime. more..

'Poverty levels in SL have more than doubled'

Sep 24 (TM) Poverty levels in Sri Lanka have more than doubled from 2019 to 2022 from 11.3% to 25% according to World Bank estimates and inequality has also worsened during this period, indicating a widening gap between the rich and the poor, stated Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Director of Research Dr. Nisha Arunatilake, in an interview. Outlining steps that should be taken to bring households out of poverty, more..

Editorial: How we must play the game

Sep 24 (Island) We are all familiar with the famous lines of American sportswriter Grantland Rice that When the Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, he writes not if you won or lost but how you played the game. Well as far as we Sri Lankans are concerned, we played the game abysmally badly last Sunday when we took on India at the Asia Cup final under overcast conditions at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The lines quoted above, of course, refers to sportsmanship. more..

Anti-Terrorism Bill version 2.0: Still worse than the PTA

Sep 24 (GV) On Sept 15, govt published an Anti-Terrorism Bill, referred to as the ATA. Bill is presented as a revision of an earlier version that was gazetted in March 2023, when it received widespread public criticism, including from local and int'l human rights groups. An analysis of the revised Bill reveals that although minor changes have been made, the ATA continues to be an unprecedented expansion of executive power, both in form and in its potential for the repression of citizens. more..

RW concludes NY visit while Govt faces pressure on IMF review, new laws...

Sep 24 (TM) The past week was one similar to a political potpourri for the Ranil Wickremesinghe Govt, with chaos in the local political scene while a composed Prez Wickremesinghe was seen meeting with members of the international community in New York. Govt’s move to gazette an Online Safety Bill, which has come under fire by the Opposition and civil society, as well as the debate on the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks probe, more..

A soft sporting power?

Sep 24 (SO) That SL is a sporting brand of sorts cannot be underestimated. In the Asian context, the fact that we are the most successful next to mammoth India in terms of Asia Cup success, is a fact. The next most successful team Pakistan is not even close in terms of how many finals they figured in and how many of those they actually won. None of the bad moments we have had, including the debacle in the final of last week, can change the reality that we are generally punching more..

Mixed priorities

Sep 24 (TM) Political observers are finding it increasingly difficult to discern as to who exactly is calling the shots in the Govt these days given the contradictory nature of what is being said and what is being done. While the Prez is busy globe-trotting, spearheading a public relations drive with a delegation in tow to convince the int'l community of the country’s democratic credentials in return for economic assistance, events at home are increasingly pointing towards the contrary. more..

Lawyers urge Govt to withdraw new anti-terror and online safety laws

Sep 23 (FT) Lawyers’ Collective, a civil society group consisting of legal practitioners in SL issued a statement condemning the recently proposed Anti-Terrorism and Online Safety Bills which were published through gazette announcements this year. The collective said the Govt has failed to respond to the serious and fundamental concerns raised about the Anti-Terrorist Bill and adopt any transparent and accountable process through which the bills were explained, more..

Harin flawn abroad for urgent medical treatment

Sep 23 (DM) Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando has been flown abroad for urgent medical treatment following doctor’s advice. Minister Fernando said a condition he had in his knee had worsened over the past few days and had apparently seen his doctors who had advised him to get treatment overseas. "I participated in the opening of the Hilton Hotel in Yala and attended a TV talk show thereafter. The knee ailment which I had worsened after these two events and I sought doctor’s advice. more..

Friend speaks fondly of Sri Lanka woman allegedly killed by husband in S’pore

Sep 23 (ST) The Sri Lankan woman who was allegedly murdered by her husband at a hotel in East Coast Road was fondly remembered as a friend to many and always had kind words and a smile to give. Ms Elizabeth Campher wrote about the tragic death of her classmate, Ms Diyawinnage Sewwandi Maduka Kumari, in her LinkedIn post last week. They are classmates in La Trobe University, Australia. Both are pursuing a master’s degree in Chemical Sciences. more..

Easter attacks: State Minister alleges sinister attempt to discredit SL forces

Sep 23 (Island) State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said in Parliament that Sonic-Sonic was the code name given to a local intelligence official, who was entrusted with extracting information from the National Thawheed Jamma’ath (NTJ). Abu Hind was an official attached to a foreign intelligence service. Sonic-Sonic and Abu Hind were individuals who had been in contact with NTJ and ISIS, according to previous investigations more..

AKD asks Pilleyan if he is still paid by intelligence services

Sep 23 (DM) Claiming that the group led by MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan has been paid Rs.3.5 million per month by the intelligence services, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned whether the group is still being paid that amount. He told parliament that Pilleyan’s group has been maintained and paid from the account of the Intelligence Services. MP said this during a cross-talk with Pilleyan after Dissanayake alleged that most of those who were accused of more..

Two suspects arrested for aiding policeman complicit in Harak Kata’s escape bid

Sep 23 (AD) Two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aiding the police constable who was complicit in notorious criminal figure and drug kingpin Harak Kata’s escape attempt at the CID recently. The arrest was made by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). The organized criminal gang leader Nadun Chinthaka Wickramaratne alias Harak Kata’s, had reportedly attempted to flee from the custody of the CID on Sept 10. According to the CID, Harak Kata had been aided by more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

'We will target top-three finish at Asian Games'

Sep 23 (DN) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) Deputy President, Group Captain Nalin de Silva expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka has a great chance to finish among the top-three teams at the 19th Asian Games Sevens Rugby Tournament, which begins in Hangzhou, China on Sunday. The Sri Lankan Tuskers will participate in this 13-team tournament under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Flag as SLR are currently serving a suspension from World Rugby from May 2023. more..

Sajith tells Parliament about undeniable evidence linking Zahran group to Army intelligence

Sep 23 (Island) SJB leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday that irrefutable evidence had emerged, linking the Zahran group, which carried out the Easter Sunday terror attacks, to the Army intelligence. Participating in the debate on the Channel 4 exposure on the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Premadasa said that there were instances that pointed to links between the Army intelligence and the Zahran group. Firstly, there was an IP address of an intelligence officer who used more..

Mannar, Chilaw shrimp farms face scrutiny over effluents

Sep 23 (ST) After a recent field study found that a majority of shrimp and aquaculture farms across the country have failed to comply with environmental regulations, Fisheries Ministry directed relevant govt agencies, NAQDA and NARA to take immediate legal action against those farms. “Take legal action against all the shrimp farms in Mannar and Chilaw areas that don’t release wastewater in a proper way,” Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda directed more..

Prisoner art revives concern about rehab failures and inhumane conditions

Sep 23 (ST) An art exhibition has drawn attention to the untapped talent and creative potential of prisoners in SL’s overcrowded jails. Siranovu Sithuvam (unimprisoned paintings) was held this week at the Colombo Public Library as a recovery programme in celebration of National Prisoners’ Day on Sept 11. According to the exhibition organisers, Lanka Prisoners’ Fellowship, 30 exhibits were sold. The fellowship collaborated with the Prisoners’ Welfare Association and more..

Minister discusses power and energy sector reforms with IMF, World Bank officials

Sep 23 (AD) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera on Thursday held constructive discussions with the officials of the IMF and the World Bank with regard to reforms in the energy and power sectors. The meeting with IMF officials, which took place at the Presidential Secretariat, focused on the progress of reforms and cost-reflective pricing mechanisms implemented in the electricity and energy sectors. Additionally, attention was also paid to the progress of the Aswesuma more..

ගණේමුල්ල සංජීව ඝාතන සූදානමක් ?

Dropping inflation stimulates business sentiment elevation in bourse

Sep 23 (Island) The overall business sentiment at the CSE improved yesterday following the DCS announcement that SL’s national inflation rate has come down to 2.1%, which at one time moved up close to 70% last year, market analysts said. Further, the market also got a boost when world leaders and international donor agencies expressed and confirmed support for the SL economy to Prez Ranil Wickremeisghe, who is currently in New York attending the UNGA annual sessions. more..