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Scandal-scarred Sri Lanka cricket needs no more screw-ups

Oct 2 (SO) One of the country’s most appallingly indisciplined public figures Dhanushka Gunathilaka can look at himself as a man who was legally freed after a woman in Australia claimed in court she was raped by him at the same time he was carrying the SL Lion flag as an ambassador at the T20 cricket World Cup last November. Taking Gunathilaka’s infamous history into account, he is no stronger to violating the Players’ Code of Conduct and the terms and conditions of his contract more..

NPP Press Conference

Anti-Terrorism Bill should not normalise what is done in emergencies

Oct 2 (FT) Some believe that acts of terrorism can be dealt with under normal law. I do not. The fact that the UNGA has adopted 10 conventions dealing with terrorism since 1973 is evidence that the phenomenon has novel features for which adequate responses are not found in the Penal Code and the codes of procedure. It is not difficult for Sri Lankans to understand what constitutes terrorism. The complex, coordinated, countrywide bombing attack that was carried out in April 2019 more..

Domestic debt rating upgrade: Does it provide sufficient rewards?

Oct 2 (TM) Despite the past week being overshadowed by the first review of the EFF by the IMF, the country achieved a special milestone as it saw the first sovereign rating upgrade since the start of 2020, with Standard & Poor’s (S&P) raising its long and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings on Sri Lanka to ‘CCC+/C’ from ‘SD/SD’ (Selective Default). S&P said that it had raised its outlook on the long-term local currency rating to stable, reflecting balance of improvements more..

Delving deeper into D.J. Wimalasurendra’s life work

Oct 2 (CT) D.J. Wimalasurendra is known locally as the father of hydroelectricity. However, following extensive research into the life of Wimalasurendra by Senior Lecturer of the Open University, Dr. Dileepa Witharana, it has been revealed that the late visionary had laid the foundation for development nationalism via industrialism. A detailed symposium into the work of the late Wimalasurendra is scheduled to get underway at more..

The online safety bill indicates a govt frightened out of its skin

Oct 2 (ST) Four months ago, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe was quick to retort to his detractors, (friendly or otherwise), who were outraged by the Broadcasting Regulatory Commission Bill that he is a media defender and, as such, had abolished criminal defamation laws in SL. Apparently stung by strident public criticism of badly framed laws, the Prez rebutted with a deceptively devious attempt at diversion. Reassuring his captive audience at the Homagama DS, he said more..

Global economic crises & need for financial structure overhaul

Oct 2 (DM) UNCTAD in its update Trade and Development Report released on 12 April warns that developing countries are facing years of difficulty as the global economy slows down amid heightened financial turbulence. Many developing countries face a deepening development crisis as soaring debt levels and higher servicing costs squeeze productive investment in both the public and private sectors. A shortfall of international liquidity has already turned unforeseen shocks into a vicious financial more..

'Local students ill-prepared for real challenges'

Oct 2 (TM) SL’s traditional examination-driven education system prioritises memorisation over practical and applicable skills, potentially leaving students ill-prepared for real-world challenges, said IPS Research Economist Priyanka Jayawardena. According to Jayawardena, IPS research also underscores the challenges faced in delivering quality education, particularly in disadvantaged schools, where shortages of more..

Working people, IMF, Regime of repression

Oct 2 (DM) SL’s economy is now on autopilot. The Govt – emasculated of making any economic policies – is merely following the IMF and the World Bank. SL’s Finance Ministry may as well sit in Washington, or all the same it can be in Colombo following what is printed in the IMF agreement of March 2023 and the World Bank Country Partnership Framework released in June 2023. Indeed, a close reading of both these documents makes it clear there is no role for the Govt more..

Against elections or against economics?

Oct 2 (GV) In his latest column, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka criticises two economists for what he interprets to be a call for postponing presidential elections next year. Both economists, Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Nimal Sanderatne, have not, to be sure, actually called for elections to be postponed or cancelled; they have only pointed out that economic imperatives tend to take a backseat when elections, particularly divisive elections, are around the corner. more..

Basil offers support to President on condition he disowns Lanza’s alliance

Oct 10 (ST) A political alliance that sought to support Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe at an election has become shaky due to recent developments. Triggering the unease is the outcome of a recent meeting Prez Wickremesinghe had with SLPP founder and main strategist Basil Rajapaksa. The latter sprung a surprise offer – full support for Wickremesinghe’s candidature at a prez election. more..

British-born Lankan girl to represent Britain in gymnastics

Oct 10 (Island) British-born Sri Lankan girl Minuli Sohansa Adikari, aged 11, daughter of a gymnast and gymnastic coach, has been selected to represent Great Britain at the upcoming Gutenberg International Acro Cup in Germany in October. Talking to Sunday Island, Minuli said that her aim is to participate both in the Olympics and the World Championship and get gold medals in Acrobatic Gymnastics one day. “I would also like to be a gymnastics coach and a judge”, she said. more..

Minor flooding hits Southern Province amidst South-Western monsoon

Oct 10 (Island) As heavy rains continue to lash the southern province due to the South-Western monsoon, DMC on Friday reported minor flooding in multiple areas. The incessant rainfall has caused rivers, including Kalu, Gin, Benthara, and Nilwala, to overflow, leading to localized flooding incidents. DMC has taken proactive measures to address the situation, deploying army personnel to the Galle and Matara districts to assist residents who may be affected by the floods. more..

Mullaitivu Magistrate’s resignation: Lawyers call for probe

Oct 10 (TM) The legal fraternity called for an impartial investigation into the controversial resignation of Mullaitivu Magistrate T. Saravanarajah, who has cited death threats and intimidation as causes for his notice. Bar Association of SL (BASL), Young Lawyers’ Association, and Lawyers’ Collective issued statements calling on the Govt and the Judicial Service Commission to launch an inquiry into the sudden resignation. more..

Good news: Animal lovers can now insure their pets

Oct 10 (ST) Animal lovers are in for some good news with a comprehensive pet insurance scheme to be launched next Wednesday, coinciding with World Animal Day, by the SL Insurance Corporation (SLIC). The insurance cover, Petsurance, in the initial stage will focus on pet dogs. It is expected to be extended to other animals if the pet project succeeds. Petsurance offers medical insurance coverage for sudden illnesses and sickness, except for congenital and pre-existing conditions. more..

Rs. 11 billion for EC to conduct presidential poll next year

Oct 10 (ST) With prez elections expected next year, Election Commission has been allocated Rs. 11 billion through the 2024 Appropriation Bill that is due to be presented to Parliament this month. Constitutionally, prez election must be concluded by October next year. Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected by Parliament on July 20 last year, following the resignation of former Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. As such, Mr. Wickremesinghe is presently serving out the remainder of Mr. Rajapaksa’s term more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Air Traffic Controller shortage hits Sri Lanka’s airports

Oct 10 (SO) SL is on the brink of a major aviation breakdown due to lack of Air Traffic Controllers’ who have migrated in large numbers to Oman and other countries for unmatched financial benefits. An official from Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (SLATCA) said SL should have 150 air traffic controllers to man airports in Katunayake, Ratmalana, Mattala and Jaffna but they currently have only around 80. “Of this 10 moved out to Oman and 10 more are due to go for jobs in Oman and other countries. more..

Police officer involved in Harak Kata’s escape bid arrested

Oct 1 (AD) A police constable has been arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting notorious underworld figure Harak Kata’s recent escape bid at the CID. The officer, who was taken into custody by the CID, will be handed over to the TID for further probes. However, the other police constable, who was identified as Harak Kata’s aide, is still at large. On Sept 10, Harak Kata, who was being interrogated by eight CID officers, had reportedly laced the officers’ tea with poison, more..

Pharmaceutical purchasing: MoUs with 3 countries for direct purchases

Oct 1 (TM) SL is actively pursuing MoUs with India, Bangladesh & Pakistan to directly purchase medicines, bypassing the established procurement process, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said that this decision was aimed at saving a substantial sum of foreign exchange that is currently being drained out of the country through third-party medicine purchases. Moreover, it intends to mitigate potential more..

National Christian Council opposes Online Safety Bill

Oct 1 (EN) National Christian Council of SL (NCCSL) in a statement on the Online Safety Bill, said that the existing legal regime is adequate to deal with instances of harmful speech, making it unjustifiable to enact such stringent laws. Council called upon the govt to withdraw the bill immediately. The body expressed deep concern over the proposed bill, detailing its potential to curtail freedom of speech and how, according to the Council, the piece of legislature is inconsistent more..

Social media regulated to avert mounting protest against govt: Hadunnetti

Oct 1 (DM) The govt is plotting to introduce laws to regulate the media and social media in a move to prevent the mounting protests by the people against the govt, JVP politburo member Sunil Hadunnetti said. He said during a meeting with a group of Sri Lankans in South Korea that the govt has introduced various laws to regulate the media as it was well aware that the people are against its actions. "The media disseminate information to the people. If the govt is working to the expectations and more..

කියන හැටියට ඉන්න බැරිනං...

Bank bad loan expansion slows in June quarter

Oct 1 (EN) Bad loans at SL’s banks, measured as Stage 03 loans to total loans and advances expanded by 0.5% to 13.7% in the second quarter of 2023, which is a slower pace than the previous three quarters. Bad loans went up 1.9% in the Sept 2022 quarter, and 1% in the December quarter and 1.3% in the March quarter, as debt moratoria also ran out. In SL and other countries, large spikes in bad loans are usually hangover of macro-economic policy deployed target growth. more..

LOLC next stop Congo

Oct 1 (ST) After wrapping up acquiring 28 per cent of the shares of Rwanda’s Unguka Bank from Belgium’s Incofin Investment Management, the LOLC Group in its latest plans is looking to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ghana in the financial industry in line with its African region expansion underscored by the rapidly expanding global footprint, officials said. “DRC will be our next target and we will be involved in the micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),” more..

Asian Games: SL sprinters fail to impress

Oct 1 (ST) SL’s hopes of winning possible medals at the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China were shattered after all three 400m sprinters – Kalinga Kumarage, Aruna Darshana and Nadeesha Ramanayake – failed to live up to their expectations in the finals yesterday. Ramanayake, who became the fastest woman in SL history in the 400m at the recent Asian Athletic Championship, clocking 52.61s to claim the gold medal, finished fifth more..

CoPA takes the mickey out of MoS; ignorance is bliss, was blatantly on show

Oct 1 (ST) Our best athletes have copped out of the Asian Games. Our cricket team has been decimated in the Asia Cup, even as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is indulging in a charity spree to make amends it appears, the national rugby team made its way to Hangzhou with its stepmother and the football clan has been sniffing at the elections, which is now done and dusted. So, one may legitimately ask the question, what does the Ministry of Sports (MoS) do about all this? more..

Online Safety Bill, an assault on freedom of expression, opinion & information: ICJ

Oct 1 (ICJ) ICJ is concerned that the newly proposed Online Safety legislation, if adopted in its present form, would serve to crush free expression and further contract an already shrinking civic space in SL. On 18 Sept 2023, Ministry of Public Security gazetted a bill titled Online Safety intended to dramatically regulate the content of online communication, including by the general public. ICJ considers that several provisions of the bill would serve to undermine exercise of human rights more..

ICC refuses Sports Minister’s request to meet Cricket Coordinating Committee

Oct 1 (ST) ICC has categorically refused to meet a 3-member Sports Coordination Committee in Cricket appointed by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. Minister’s latest move is seen as yet another attempt to creep into cricket administration via the committee that has been set up to handle int'l affairs of the country’s richest sports body. Team includes Sidath Wettimuny, former SLC Prez Upali Dharmadasa and Rakitha Rajapakshe, son of Minister more..

Sri Lanka can build strong tourism eco-brand: UN official

Oct 1 (EN) Sri Lanka can build an eco-brand catering especially to younger tourists who feel strongly about the environment, UN Resident Representative to SL, Azusa Kobota said. About 70% of global travellers prioritise sustainability in their holiday choices, marking a ten percent increase from 2021, while around 30 percent of travellers feel guilty about flying, due to carbon emissions, she said. “As the world embraces green thinking during this time of economic recovery efforts, more..

Discarded Chandimal goes back to school with golden gift

Oct 1 (SO) Unsung, unassuming and unwanted Dinesh Chandimal will have his name etched in letters of gold when he declares open an indoor practice facility at Dharmasoka College in Ambalagoda this morning. Having being at the receiving end of many a raw deal in his desire to sport the SL colours, Chandimal will be the undisputed toast at his old school where he learnt and nurtured his cricket and went to the extent of spending from his own pocket Rs. 20m more..

දුම්රිය ටෙන්ඩරයේ ඉන්දීය සමාගමෙන්...

AASL defends Rs. 700 ride levy decision

Oct 1 (TM) Airport and Aviation Services SL (AASL) has defended its decision to charge a levy of Rs. 700 on PickMe and Uber rides operating from the BIA by contending that the revenue generated will be utilised for the modernisation of airport infrastructure. In June 2023, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva announced in Parliament that permission had been granted to Uber and PickMe to operate at the BIA for a fee, following a series of reports of harassment and overcharging by the taxi mafia at the BIA. more..

Little known World Cup snippets

Oct 1 (Island) Cricket World Cup is just around the corner and the national cricket team has enjoyed both unprecedented success and unexpected lows over the previous 12 editions of the competition. One-time champions, SL were also runners-up on two occasions and semi-finalists on one other time. Their campaigns in 1999, where as defending champions they were knocked out in the first round and the 1987 tournament where they failed to win a single game remain disappointments. more..

Election assignment after assignment for SL envoy in Kenya; will we need him here

Oct 1 (ST) In Kenya, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner V. Kananathan is setting records by getting invited to be an independent observer of election after election on the African continent. This time, Liberia’s National Elections Commission has asked him to be part of an observer team for its October 10 elections for a President, Vice President, almost a third of its Senate, and all 73 members of its Lower House, House of Representatives. more..

Domestic debt restructuring: An alternate view

Oct 1 (Island) There have been substantial and wide spread criticisms of the recently instituted Domestic Debt Restructuring (DDR) scheme carried out by Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), to reduce the Sri Lanka Govt’s requirements for funding. In this article I argue that the scheme, as structured and carried out by CBSL, is appropriate, given the ground realities in the country, and that the critics have ignored a number of factors which forced CBSL to design the scheme as it did. more..