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Mahinda is bowing out! What about Gota?

May 1 (CT) May Day this year arrives in the middle of an already month long political protest. The confluence of the two is a historically fascinating coincidence. The political implications of the current protests have proved to be quite consequential so far, but while their direction is clear there is no certainty as to when and how they will end. To be sure, there is no end game or end state in politics. Politics is always work in progress, a perpetual quest for something more perfect. more..

Workers’ responsibilities

May 1 (SO) Workers around the world will be celebrating International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, today. Workers in Sri Lanka are no exception. After all, it is their day. This year, May Day is being marked in Sri Lanka amid unprecedented conditions brought about by an economic and political crisis that has culminated in street protests. May Day has a long history internationally, having begun as a workers’ struggle in Chicago, USA in 1886. Just three years later, May 1, more..

'All parties should come together to find a solution to crisis'

May 1 (SO) Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said that the opportunity should be given for all political parties to come together to find a solution to the current economic crisis. “If we can bring all political parties in Parliament together and form a National Govt or Interim Govt, we would be in a much stronger position to face the current situation”. Minister said at this stage, we must forget about petty politics and come together more..

Aragalaya at GotaGoGama for system change!

May 1 (CT) What is the purpose of Aragalaya at GotaGoGama? Although Aragalaya initiated as GotaGoHome protest it has awakened all SL citizens from slumber to realise the dangerous rotten state they have been driven into by their leaders pretending as their protectors. It has awakened them to be aware that their leaders are riding on their back to extract the nation’s wealth. This awakening has rewarded the nation with unity among polarised multi-ethnic, multi religious & multi cultural more..

Resurrecting the People, Challenging Ethnos and De-Ethicizing Buddhism

May 1 (GV) The people as demos contra ethnos (that is devoid of sectarian ethno-religious identity) have spoken and continue to speak against the depredations visited upon them by this insidious regime of kleptocrats and Sinhalese ethnic authoritarians. From Jaffna to Matara the people are speaking (and singing) in a rarely heard unified voice. They are struggling to undo via legal-constitutional means (the destruction of Ceylonese/SL unity) discriminatory impact of more..

'Struggles of the working masses: Political solution needed to resolve economic crisis'

May 1 (TM) As Sri Lankans mark another Labour Day, there is a marked difference in the streets. Today, the worsening economic and political crisis has spurred the urban youth and middle class to take to the streets, demanding change. The protest or aragalaya that has taken root at the Galle Face is a rare display of synergy among the different strands that make up the social fabric of SL. Around this ecosystem of anti-Govt more..

Leave it to the people

May 1 (TM) Despite the ruling SLPP deciding not to hold any rallies today (1) for obvious reasons, thousands of people, essentially comprising the working masses, will take to the streets on this May Day not to fight for their labour rights as they would normally do, but to fight for survival. They will be raising their voices against the economic injustice meted out to them by an administration that has not only deprived them of the bare essentials but also threatened their livelihoods unlike ever before more..

A new Sri Lanka, or more of the old?

May 1 (Island) What happens to a mass scale uprising when it loses its radical potential? It loses direction, focus, and the will to continue. The protests unfolding in the country have cut across ethnic and social divisions, unifying disparate classes and groups that once warred with each other. One middle-class protester, a private university student, celebrates the IUSF’s entry into the protests and claims that class is a fictional construct that does not matter, more..

නාමල් රාජපක්ෂගේ දෑවැද්දට සංචාරක කර්මාන්තය...

Talking, waiting and walking, but no solution in sight

May 1 (Island) In a piece of clever wordplay, the editor of The Island on Friday wrote that the president is talking, the prime minister is waiting and the opposition leader is walking. Sarcasm apart, all this is happening while the people of the country have no clue where we are headed. No solutions to the problems they are confronting and the immense burdens they are carrying have been offered. There’s no light whatever at the end of a dark tunnel with everything in a state of flux. more..

Empowering local coaches

May 1 (Island) One of the key entities of Sri Lanka Cricket is the coaching department that functions away from the board headquarters at R. Premadasa Stadium for practical reasons. The board made a key policy decision this week appointing several local coaches into leading positions. A few years ago, the trend seemed to be entrusting foreign coaches with important positions. However, taking a leaf out of Board of Control for Cricket in India, SLC has empowered local coaches. more..

Power crisis: CEB at risk of bankruptcy

May 1 (TM) The CEB is on the verge of bankruptcy, with the State-owned utility provider trying to secure an overdraft to honour employees’ pay, The Sunday Morning learns. When contacted by The Sunday Morning, CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando stressed that there was an urgent need to increase the electricity tariffs as the Board was now struggling to pay the salaries of its employees. “We are now in a bankrupt situation. more..

To go or not to go?

May 1 (ST) My dear Mahinda maama, I thought I must write to you after hearing that various people are writing letters asking you to resign. It must be a difficult time for you when you see these people, who you brought into politics and nurtured when they were political babies, now being bold enough to call for your resignation. Pardon me, Mahinda maama, but we are also hearing different stories at different times. Last week we heard Dullas calling for your resignation & sending letters describing more..

Eight Sri Lankans qualify for Egyptian show

May 1 (SO) As many as 400 players from the provinces contested a basketball championship called the Red Bull Half Court tournament played for the first time at the SL Basketball Federation court last week where eight players qualified for a passage to Egypt to contest an international event. The Red Bull Half Court is a three-players a side basketball tournament that according to the organizers is on the lookout for the world’s best street-ballers from among 15,000 players more..

බෙහෙත් ටිකටත් අපමණ අගයක්

CIPM Sri Lanka and Vavuniya University sign path-breaking MOU

May 1 (Island) Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM Sri Lanka) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Vavuniya to promote the prospects of human resource principles, exchange and establish linkages to advance knowledge and practice in the field. The agreement was signed between Jayantha Amarasinghe President of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management and Dr T. Mangeleswaran, Vice-Chancellor, Vavuniya University. more..

Sri Lanka can use its potential, come back to stability: Israel envoy

May 1 (ANI) Calling the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka unfortunate, Israel's envoy to India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan Naor Gilon on Saturday said that the country can use its potential in tourism and agriculture to come back to stability. "Very unfortunate. I visited Sri Lanka to present my credentials just a couple of months ago. It's a beautiful country with huge potential. Very sad to see there is an economic and political collapse there," Gilon told ANI. more..

Uncommon gearing for Commonwealth Games

May 1 (ST) Over 150 Commonwealth Games-bound Sri Lankan athletes and officials are facing a major stumbling block after the bankrupt SL Govt decided to finance only athletes who have medal prospects at this year’s Games. Sri Lanka usually sends a planeload of athletes and officials to these quadrennial mega sporting events. At the last edition at Gold Coast in Australia had a Sri Lanka representation of 139. more..

SLR needs funding for Commonwealth 2022

May 1 (CT) Is rugby between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea? Covid forced Rugby away from the equation, and as rugby raised its head, the Sports Minister enforced a temporary suspension and appointed a Competent Authority. However, confusion reigned as SLR issued statements while the Director-General of Sports Development was appointed the Competent Authority. There is speculation about the non-acceptance of Competent Authority appointed to oversee Rugby, more..

Youth rugby to hit the turf with Open Sevens

May 1 (SO) In what could be a direct snub on the Sports Ministry which sacked an elected membership of Sri Lanka Rugby and stopped the high profile inter-club league rugby championship three weeks ago, the influential Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has come forward to organize an Open Sevens tournament for both clubs and schools. Thus rugby players in the top eight schools in the Western Province will also get an opportunity to showcase their talent and more..

විරෝධය නොතකා මයිනා ෙගා ගමට ලවුඩ්ස්පීකර්

Agribusiness Council issues alert on impending food crisis

May 1 (SO) There may be a disruption to the food supply chain of the country in the future, the National Agribusiness Council, the collective of entities making up the national food chain, states in a media release. Excerpts of the release: “After several meetings between the authorities and our member organisations, the council does not see any tangible solutions being offered to ensure the country’s food security in the coming year. “The country has two main harvesting seasons: more..

Woes of the working class: Bigger shocks ahead

May 1 (ST) If the May Day theme worldwide is workers of the world unite, SL’s labour force joined hands and flexed their collective muscle in a rare show of solidarity last Thursday as a prelude to today’s Int'l Workers Day. Last year, it was COVID-19 that prevented the workers from their annual parades. Their grievances have only aggravated since with the skyrocketing cost of living and wages that cannot keep up with rising prices. They have adopted the last resort — strike action — more..

Economic crisis: Project funds rescheduled to meet urgent needs

May 1 (TM) In the midst of a severe economic crisis with dwindling foreign reserves and a Govt unable to afford the cost of essential imports, the Finance Ministry has called on lending parties to repurpose some of the non-essential components towards managing the emergency crisis situations in the country, The Sunday Morning learns. It is learnt that the Govt has decided to go ahead with essential development projects more..

Pricing formula for LPG in the making

May 1 (TM) Treasury is currently in discussions to implement a pricing formula for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) that would benefit both manufacturers and the clients. Senior Treasury official confirmed that discussions had begun and were currently ongoing at the Ministry regarding implementing such a mechanism. However, the official said that since the discussions were at the initial stages, there was no confirmation on whether it would be implemented and refused to divulge further information more..

IRD amasses Rs. 58 b in Surcharge Tax

May 1 (TM) IRD Commissioner General H.M.W.C. Bandara​ ​​​said that IRD had collected around Rs. 58 billion during the first round, achieving 16% more than the target of Rs. 50 billion set for the first round of collection. Surcharge Tax, which was introduced by the 2022 Budget as a one-off tax, was passed in Parliament earlier this month and it is expected to generate Rs. 100 billion in tax revenue at a 25% tax rate from individuals, partnerships, or companies which had an annual taxable income of more..

SriLankan Airlines going ahead with re-fleeting subject to COPE request

May 1 (ST) SriLankan Airlines will go ahead with its re-fleeting plans subject to a 3-month delay as requested by the COPE in view of the country’s economic situation, Chairman Ashok Pathirage said. The lease agreements on nine of its aircraft will expire by the end of 2023, he pointed out. The national carrier recently issued requests for proposal (RFPs) to lease up to 21 aircraft, reportedly to support its long-term business strategy. more..

FR petition filed against police roadblocks hindering protesters

May 1 (AD) A fundamental rights (FR) petition has been filed with the Supreme Court, challenging the setting up of roadblocks by the police and cordoning off roads obstructing the people who are protesting within the legal framework. Put forward by a resident of Gampaha area named Shenal Jayasekara, the petition has named the Inspector-General of Police, OIC of Colombo Fort Police, the Road Development Authority, Human Rights Commission of SL and the Attorney General as its respondents. more..

Despite sanctions, CPC wants to buy oil from Russia

May 1 (ST) SL is looking into the possibility of buying fuel from Russia in a fresh bid to keep its import bill low, officials said. On a proposal of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the Treasury has consulted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into implication of sanctions imposed on Russia to go ahead with the purchase. Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Jayanath Colombage confirmed that the Treasury had contacted the Ministry to look into the possibility of going ahead with the purchases. more..

රාජපක්ෂවරු එලවන්න සංඝ සම්මුතියක් සඳහා වු...

Sri Lanka taking all measures PM says on May Day amid soft-peg crisis

May 1 (EN) SL’s govt is taking all measures to manage an economic crisis PM Rajapaksa said in a May Day message, as a soft-pegged exchange rate collapsed after money printed to target an output gap. “The Govt is currently taking all possible measures to manage the economic crisis and is seeking the necessary support at the local and international levels,” PM Rajapaksa said. “It is no secret that you, who have been facing various economic hardships in the face of more..

Painful reform process: Many taxes to be raised

May 1 (ST) Govt will increase income tax, withholding tax, pay-as-you-earn tax and value added tax to levels before the 2019 controversial tax cuts which reduced fiscal revenue to a paltry 8.6% of gross domestic product when it should be between 13 and 14%. First to be hiked will be income and PAYE taxes, Minister Ali Sabry said. “VAT is the last thing I want to raise because that will have a direct impact on consumer pricing,” he said. “All these taxes need to be revisited so we can take more..

NCM against President to Parliament

May 1 (TM) No Confidence Motions (NCMs) against the Prez and Govt are to be submitted to Parliament this week, it is learnt. The NCM against the President was drafted by a team of legal experts led by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran PC while the NCM against the Govt is being moved by the main Opposition SJB. MP Sumanthiran said that the NCM against the President was ready and would be presented to Parliament most probably on more..

No country offers loans to Sri Lanka: SJB

May 1 (Island) Main Opposition SJB says that the international rating agencies have downgraded the country, banks and financial institutions in April as a defaulter and watch negative status. As a result the country has been plunged into a dangerous financial crisis from political and economic crises where it cannot face the international community for any financial transactions. SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne said that no country offers loans to SL as a result of downgrading by the rating agencies. more..

Monks warn of Sangha edict if President, PM do not quit

May 1 (ST) Hundreds of Buddhist monks yesterday called on Prez and Govt to immediately implement the Mahanayaka Theras’ proposals to resolve the prevailing economic crisis. The monks who gathered at Independence Square warned that if the proposals were not implemented, the Mahanayaka Theras would issue a Sangha Convention edict calling on monks to shun politicians. The monks called on PM Rajapaksa to resign forthwith to make way for the appointment of an interim govt more..

Premier Mahinda in or out as moves take shape to form interim govt

May 1 (ST) Even if President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is yet to tell Sri Lankans how he will provide uninterrupted supplies of electricity, fuel, cooking gas and medical needs of the people once the supplies provided by India’s generosity end in the coming weeks and months, he found the time this week to discuss the formation of an all-party govt. This was with 24 MPs who were all once part of the SLPP-led coalition. more..

Financial crisis, street demos & political chaos

May 3 (DM) SL’s multiple crises caused by a lack of foreign reserves is at the heart of the country’s huge foreign debt and the inability to purchase the imported goods that Lankans rely on, including much of their food and medicine, and all of their fuel. Our country needs to repay at least around US$4-6 billion in 2022 alone, but have less than half-a-billion in usable dollar reserves. This has led to shortages of food, fuel, cooking gas, medicinal needs, and educational necessities which have more..

Undemocratic political culture paved way to the present disaster

May 3 (DM) As month long mass protests are continuing all over the country against govt’s failure to provide some of the most essentials such as fuel, cooking gas, fertiliser, and medicine and people are forced to go through daily long hours of power cuts, Social Scientists’ Association comprising country’s leading social scientists and social science academics viewed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa govt was primarily responsible for aggravating the financial crisis and bringing it to a head. more..

Is there value in hiking the Value-Added Tax?

May 3 (TM) The economic crisis has crippled almost every sector that has a direct impact on the general public’s lives, and the Govt seems to be taking some measures to face the crisis and alleviate its impacts. While foreign assistance, especially loans and credit lines, are obvious immediate solutions, Govt has now paid attention to long-term, domestic solutions to prevent the further collapse of the economy. more..

State Power, Working People and the Crisis

May 3 (DM) Great economic crises lead to tremendous political changes. At the heart of such changes is the state and the use of its power. The public anger mounting over the last two years and culminating in the protests demanding that the Rajapaksas go home, is focused on the ruling regime. However, there is a difference between a regime and the state. While larger and larger sections of our citizenry want to get rid of the Rajapaksa regime, there is little clarity on more..