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Geopolitical tensions; repaying external debt

Dec 1 (DM) On different occasions, information released to the public, regarding our external sovereign debt have not been very exact. Originally our debt was said to be around US$ 50 billion. Even now discussions are ongoing with creditors for a debt restructuring facility to qualify for US$ 2.9 billion, 4-year IMF loan. According to treasury figures published earlier this month, we owe US$35 billion in total, which includes bilateral, multilateral, and commercial loans as of June 30, this year. more..

System Change: An Aragalist touch-me-not?

Dec 1 (DM) Such diversity! Such passion! Such innovation and creativity! Such courage and heroism! Such were and still are the encomiums floating around in mainstream and new media about the Aragalaya. Yes, there was diversity, passion, creativity, innovation and courage. These however do not necessarily constitute good, healthy, wholesome etc. For example, the LTTE, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban and other such outfits had little diversity as is the case in identity based struggles, but more..

Water tariffs: Another hike in the pipeline?

Dec 1 (TM) Another water tariff hike is in the pipeline as the NWSDB continues to incur losses amounting to billions of rupees each month despite the tariff revision introduced two months ago. It is reliably learnt that the Cabinet of Ministers has already given the green light to increase the tariffs to prevent the board incurring massive losses due to the significant gap between the selling price and the production cost. more..

The taxing task of unrealistic tax collection

Dec 1 (TM) Govt remains determined to increase its revenue, especially through newly imposed and increased taxes, and the Budget 2023 is considerably dependent on this increased tax revenue the Govt expects to collect. However, there are doubts as to whether the Govt is being overly optimistic about this expected tax revenue and whether its tax plans are realistic. According to IRD Comm. General Ranjith Hapuarachchi, achieving next year’s tax revenue target of Rs. 3.04 T more..

RW’s oracle for peace, stability & growth

Dec 1 (CT) Before becoming Prez and prior to that PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared as the man for the season and peacemaker in a chaotic political environment created by aragalaya youth. RW sympathized with their cause for systemic change and even appealed to the police not to invade Galle Face Green to chase out the agitators by force, but to protect them from an angry mob that was marching to attack them after listening to a provocative address by then PM, Mahinda more..

Is SL's education dependent on the Saree?

Dec 1 (Roar) On 21 November, Iresha* (33) and roughly a hundred other public school teachers from around the country wore smart casual clothing to school in protest of the state forcing female teachers to wear sarees to work. The anti-saree movement was the result of school teachers being exempted from a recent circular that allowed all public sector workers to come to work in casual clothes, considering the rising cost of more..

Central Bank’s independence

Dec 1 (ST) It was an early morning call that woke me up on Thursday. It was Ruwanputha, the young economist, calling. “Did you read the latest news,” he asked. “About what,” I queried. “Well the chairman of the National Police Commission has gone and welcomed former Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the airport. That isn’t the right thing to do for the head of an independent commission,” he said. “What you say is interesting about independent institutions. more..

Birth certificates must have race, ethnicity

Dec 1 (TM) SL can never progress, for there are too many pundits who enjoy upsetting society while promoting sponsored notions. Each govt and its stooges are guilty of this. Decision to exclude race (ethnic identity) in birth certificates was reversed in 2020 and has now re-emerged. Every change always ends up chopping something or the other. Thus, birth certificate removed the provision for parents being married, claiming it prejudiced some children – as though a major percentage more..

බැසිල් සහ සජිත්ගේ agreement එක..!

Rising costs of stationery keep children away from schools

Dec 1 (CT) An incident where a child who comes from a poverty-stricken family is punished by the class teacher for taking notes for two subjects in the same notebook had been a great seed for SL poets for many years. Those poems, written from the perspective of the child who was punished by the teacher, used to melt hearts of the SL middle-class, before the economic crisis gripped the tear-drop island. Moved by these poems and stories, the generous people came forward to help needy. more..

NOC, NOA to conduct 4-day event in Bandarawela

Dec 1 (CT) National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Olympic Academy (NOA) will conduct its 18th Annual Proceedings at National Holiday Resort Bandarawela from 1 to 4 Dec. As a responsible organization, NOCSL with its academic wing NOA has decided to continue playing an accelerated role of responsive leadership to contribute to our culture, education, and sport. To achieve this final aim: the character of the country, the NOA’s programme including its events contributes to provide more..

Sri Lanka level series 1-1 after Asalanka, Wellalage help ace 314 chase

Dec 1 (CI) Charith Asalanka produced the innings of his ODI career so far, hitting 83 high-pressure runs off 72 balls to help Sri Lanka orchestrate a record chase of 314 at Pallekele and help his side level the three-game series 1-1. While Asalanka produced the roaring finish SL's ininngs required, with some help from Dasun Shanaka and Dunith Wellalage, Kusal Mendis had delivered the early impetus, more..

Editorial: When House oozes with religiosity

Dec 1 (Island) We have been wondering, during the past few days, whether the ongoing parliamentary debate is on Budget 2023 or Buddhism. Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa have been arguing over some Suttas, or different interpretations thereof. Yesterday, Premadasa treated the House to a brief lecture again on some Suttas in response to what the Prez had said the previous day. more..

Passion for tennis re-ignites at Royal

Dec 1 (ST) Royal College received a state-of-the-art tennis complex on Nov 11, the first of its kind here in SL. Equipped with a Laykold cushion court, the all-weather hard-court top surface built to the same standards as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, home of the US Open. The BayLed purpose designed flood lighting using dilux simulation was designed and manufactured in Turkey to ITF standards. The manufacturer of this lighting system had done similar work for more..

වලව්වක ඉපදුණු නාස්තිකාර පුතා වගේ රනිල් හැමදේම...

SEC warns YouTubers, social media content creators

Dec 1 (ST) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is constantly and consistently warning social media content creators on the repercussions of promoting stocks on social media and also taking action against capital market manipulators. The SEC on Oct 26 issued a letter of warning to K.G.D.C. Rukshan for publishing certain posts on social media, making recommendations and comments on securities trading on CSE without a proper basis, and without being registered by the SEC more..

Premadasa questions Govt over brutal killing of Easter Sunday suspect

Dec 1 (FT) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has demanded answers from the Govt on the killing of a man believed to be connected to the Easter Sunday attack. The man identified as 38-year-old Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas was hacked to death by a group on Sunday morning in Mattakkuliya. He was declared dead on admission to the National Hospital in Colombo. Harnas was out on bail at the time of his killing. “What is happening in this country? Is this not lawlessness? more..

Pramodya claims Chamika keener on ladies than cricket

Dec 1 (TM) In a letter drafted by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Chief Selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe to SLC Secretary Mohan De Silva regarding recently axed national cricketer Chamika Karunaratne, it is claimed that the player was more interested in meeting ladies, and that during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup held in Australia last month, Karunaratne had taken female companions to his hotel room, skipping training sessions. more..

Remiss RAMIS irks taxpayers on last day of filing returns

Dec 1 (FT) Troubled IT system at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) caused frustration among tax payers yesterday which was the last day for filing returns for the financial year ended 30 March 2022. Private sector sources said there were difficulties in logging into the IRD’s Revenue Administration and Management Information System (RAMIS) hence many couldn’t file their tax returns for FY 21/22 on the final day which was yesterday. Verbal complaints to IRD saw officials more..

CB to soon begin diagnostic study on banks to identify cracks in asset quality, capital

Dec 1 (FT) The Central Bank will soon launch a study to identify the undue cracks in the banking sector asset quality and thereby its spillover effects into banks’ regulatory capital coming from the pandemic, which became more pronounced with the economic crisis. The Central Bank first announced the study, which it referred to as a diagnostic study, in early October to ascertain banks’ overall condition in terms of asset quality and capital. Central Bank officials said the study would more..

SL steps up efforts to boost air connectivity

Dec 1 (FT) SL is stepping up its efforts to overcome the rising concerns on costs of landing as well as settling the due payments for the airlines amidst the foreign exchange crisis, to boost connectivity and attractiveness as a top holiday destination. “This is one of the key issues we are trying to overcome. We are trying to arrange a new rate for landing & CB has given a certain percentage to be released from the outstanding amounts, more..

Egg traders and egg producers at odds

Dec 1 (TM) Even though the All-Ceylon Egg Traders’ Association claims that an egg can be sold at Rs. 30 as the production cost per egg is less than Rs. 25, and that the price will soar to Rs. 75 if the Govt does not intervene, the All-Ceylon Egg Producers’ Association has charged that if an egg can be sold at Rs. 30, it would be a miracle, as the production cost alone, not to mention other costs, is Rs. 47. Egg Traders’ Association stated that the actual cost per egg is less than Rs. 25, more..

Marikkar reveals those behind mudslinging campaign against CB Governor

Dec 1 (FT) SJB MP S.M. Marikkar claimed the Ranil faction in the Govt together with JVP are carrying out a mudslinging campaign against CB current Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. “Is this an attempt to appoint a person involved in the bond scam as the new Governor? Who are they trying to bring in?” he asked. Marikkar said if there are any concerns about Weerasinghe’s decisions relating to interest rates or other policies, he can be called to either Prez Secretariat or Finance Ministry more..

රටට උපායමාර්ගික සැලැස්මක අවශ්‍යතාව

Money printing drops by 7.8% compared to 2021: State Finance Minister

Dec 1 (FT) State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the money printing has dropped by 7.8% compared to last year, noting that bills were printed only for essential matters which had no impact on inflation. He made these remarks in Parliament yesterday presenting the proposal to raise the State borrowing ceiling limit for the year 2022. “The credit limit approved by the Parliament for the year 2022 was Rs. 3,844 billion. However, considering the urgency of the payments that are slated to be more..

Listen to people, not just to technocrats to resolve issues in economy

Dec 1 (DM) SL needs to listen more to what its people are saying, instead of paying heed to only technocrats, said senior economist Prof. Shantha Devarajan. By not paying attention to the call of citizens, the real problems of the national economy will not be solved, he cautioned. As successive govts focused more on establishing advisory committees, and task forces to help iron out issues faced by the people of the country, such efforts did not help understand the ground realities and more..

15% of teacher’s pay spent on saree: Study

Dec 1 (DM) 15% of a teacher’s salary is spent on purchasing sarees and related garments to conform with the Education Ministry’s dress code, a study found. The study conducted by Lasni Jayasooriya, a doctoral candidate of Kyushu Uni, Japan found that teachers in SL spent a considerable portion of their salaries on their attire alone. “Teachers spend quite a lot of money on sarees. In our research we found that 15% more..

Inflation eases to 61% in November

Dec 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s 12-month inflation in the capital Colombo fell to 61% in November 2022 from 66% in October as price stabilized after interest rates were allowed to go up and the exchange rate was pegged around 360 to the US dollar. The widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index fell absolutely 0.5% to 242.6 points in November after falling .04% in the October. Food prices fell 1.5% after falling 2% a month earlier. The sub-index containing gas fell 0.5%, transport fell 3.6%. more..

Video: FHB survey reveals increase in malnourishment amongst children due to...

Dec 1 (AD) An evident increase in the rate of malnutrition amongst children has been revealed by HPB following an analysis of data collected from across the island regarding the nutritional status of children. Dr. Chithramalee De Silva explained that the main focus of the survey was on children aged below five years. The analysis revealed that 15% of the children remained underweight, while there was an increase of 2% in growth stunts, compared to the data retrieved last year, she said. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Video: Health professionals raise alarm on serious medicine shortage in hospital system

Dec 1 (AD) The health professionals have raised concerns that a serious drug shortage prevails in the hospital system. The President of the Association of Health Professionals, Ravi Kumudesh stressed that there is a shortage of about 185 types of drugs at present, a figure which previously stood at about 90. “Now it is 185, by tomorrow it may become 250”, he added. Further, Kumudesh requested the authorities to appoint a technical committee to look into this issue. more..

Lankan charged with stealing $250k meant for international cricket stars in Australia

Dec 1 (BT) A man accused of stealing almost $250,000 meant for 10 high-profile int'l cricketers to take part in local competitions in Melbourne’s south-east allegedly siphoned the money from his employer’s bank account over more than a year. Navishta Desilva, 35, from Doncaster, faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with 19 theft- and deception-related offences. Police allege that Desilva falsified tax invoices and purchase orders for his Mulgrave employer more..

SJB presents a Private Member Anti-Corruption Bill

Dec 1 (TM) SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that he had submitted a Private Member Motion to introduce an Anti-Corruption Bill to Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake, yesterday, adding that therefore, the fate of this Bill now lies with the Govt, as the Govt can choose to expedite or delay the legislation. “I have submitted this motion to Dasanayake. Whether they wish to expedite more..

231,982 first time O/L students qualify to follow A/L; no plans to identify top 10

Dec 1 (ST) Almost 75% of students who sat the GCE O/L examination for the first time this year have qualified to follow the GCE A/L and those who have a minimum of five passes can join A/L classes even if they have failed in mathematics, Examinations Commissioner General L.M.D. Dharmasena said. Of the 311,321 students who sat the exam for the first time, 231,982 or 74.5% qualified for the A/L. A total of 518,245 school and private candidates sat the 2021 exam held in May-June this year. more..

Businesses can collapse due to electricity tariff increase next year: Patali

Dec 1 (Island) The Cabinet has approved increase in electricity tariffs in two stages in January and June 2023. The disclosure was made on Tuesday (29) at a meeting of the Sub Committee on Identifying the Short & Medium-Term Programmes, related to Economic Stabilisation of the National Council. The govt increased power tariffs in August this year. Parliament announced that although the electricity tariffs had been increased in the recent past, the CEB was still running at a loss. more..

Around 80 civil applicants for Constitutional Council

Dec 1 (TM) Around 80 applications that were received for the vacancies for the three non-Parliamentary civil society members to the Constitutional Council (CC) are now being processed. Parliamentary sources said that while the shortlisting of the applications is currently underway, the process is taking place at a slow pace owing to the ongoing reading of the 2023 Budget. The period for applications for the three civil society members ended on Monday (28). more..

President Wickremesinghe and Mr. Hyde

Dec 1 (FT) I loved The Penguin in Tim Burton’s surreal darkening of Batman. Burton’s new production of the horror comedy Wednesday is a perfect gem; a black onyx. It picks up the Addams family story with an indelible performance by California-born Puerto Rican-Mexican teenager Jenna Ortega (an actress since age 6) as the snooty, 16-year-old Goth loner Wednesday Addams, the oldest kid of the family, who has been enrolled in Nevermore, the Edgar Allen Poe themed more..

The crisis in Sri Lanka: Human rights in peril

Dec 1 (FT) In 2022, a youth-led citizens’ movement succeeded in ousting Sri Lanka’s all-powerful President, Prime Minister, and the Cabinet whom they held responsible for the island nation’s painful economic crash. The movement was the result of the people’s outcry for basic needs, seeking relief from economic distress and demanding justice and accountability for the crisis. The events that followed, however, saw the old political guard manoeuvre structures of power to cling on it. more..

ඡන්ද සිතියම අකුළයිද?

Over 100,000 LP gas cylinders released to market from today

Dec 1 (AD) Litro Gas Lanka Limited, one of the primary suppliers of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas in the country, says more than 100,000 domestic gas cylinders will be released to the market from today. According to the company’s chairman, Muditha Peiris, a limited number of LP gas cylinders were released to the market recently due to the delays in the arrival of shipments. However, the LP gas consignments ordered by the company are now arriving in the country, he mentioned further, more..