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On the migration trail

Dec 1 (ST) Enter Romania. This country in Eastern Europe is the latest source market for jobs for Sri Lankans. While the recruitment fees for a job in Romania can vary from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1 million, there are reports that Romania has also become a stepping stone to Italy as the final destination. “I am told it costs Rs. 1 million for a job in Romania and another Rs. 1-1.5 million to sneak into Italy,” said a participant at a recent discussion on migration trends organised by the IPS. more..

Give relief where needed

Dec 1 (TM) The Govt last month stressed that the Budget for 2024 will include a stronger social safety net for an estimated 6.9 million poverty-stricken Sri Lankans amidst heavy increase in public expenditure. Govt has also argued that the absence of long queues for energy, food and medicine, and power outages which lasted days, is a clear sign of improvement from the crisis situation faced last year. While many Sri Lankans may be a bit better off than they were last year, more..

'Community-led development: Solution for microfinance crisis’

Dec 1 (TM) Microfinance loans disbursed at usurious interest rates have trapped thousands of low-income women in a vicious cycle of debt. Since 2017, female victims have been demanding solutions to the microfinance crisis manifested as unpayable debt, the loss of property, family disputes, migration, mental distress, sexual violence, suicides, and courts flooded with money recovery cases. The Executive Director of a community-based more..

The Cost of Maintaining an Officer decorated with Medals

Dec 1 (DM) A long wait by the people to know who would be their next Inspector General of Police (IGP) came to an end when the Executive appointed Deshabandu Tennakoon as the Acting IGP on Nov 29. People are eager to know about appointments within the police department compared to other security establishments because men in khaki uniform have to mingle with the people when dispensing their duties. This is not so with regard to officials serving the defence establishments. more..

Responsible investment of borrowed money; could this be a way forward?

Dec 1 (CT) Recent financial distress and the promise of financial help by the IMF, opens up a healthy opportunity to consider the manner in which we use the granted relief. Any lender must be convinced that there is a near certainty, that the borrower would exercise prudence in using such monies. Thus the finance should be used in projects where there is more than a fair chance of being successful enough to enable the beneficiary to pay back monies due. It is reasonable to expect more..

Chinese company dismisses 12 local workers for protesting over their rights

Dec 1 (CT) The challenges faced by SL workers abroad, enduring harassment and exploitation, is a common global concern, with paymasters having the upper hand on their hapless workers. Yet, an alarming and unusual trend has emerged with workers facing mistreatment, being denied time for meals and encountering deceit regarding EPF, ETF, and insurance schemes by a particular Chinese company operating more..

Kissinger, power politics and Israel’s war on Gaza

Dec 1 (DM) In Israel’s Gaza carnage and its militarism, Henry Kissinger, who passed away yesterday at the age of 100, comes alive in one form or another. Hamas’ open act of aggression must be met with some penalty, said Kissinger in a recent interview with the Brussels-based Politico, backing Israel’s war in response to Hamas fighters’ October 7 attacks. Kissinger, however, warned of the danger of the war escalating into a region-wide conflict. His for-and-against-war reply more..

Credit Regulation Authority bill soon to tackle loan sharks: CB

Dec 1 (ST) SL’s Central Bank (CB) indicated that the monetary policy easing will be paused in the near term after lowering interest rates on Friday for the fourth time this year to make economic growth positive next year from around minus 3 per cent expected this year. Monetary Policy Board has taken this decision with the aim of achieving and maintaining inflation at the targeted level of 5 per cent over the medium term, CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters on Friday. more..

Hiru TV Balaya

Editorial: Govt-sponsored corruption

Dec 1 (Island) Health Ministry has unfortunately become a metaphor for corruption, and public faith in the state health service is eroding. What’s the world coming to when high-ranking health officials and their political masters stoop so low as to work hand in glove with pharmaceutical racketeers and amass ill-gotten wealth at the expense of the sick? Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama is reported to have told Maligakanda Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama that the drug company, more..

The Emperor at 60!

Dec 1 (Island) Arjuna Ranatunga hasn’t spared any sacred cow. All those years ago, he targeted Shane Warne calling him an ordinary cricketer and there was no love lost between the two of them. Yet, when there was a ceremony remembering Warne in Galle last year ahead of the Australia – Sri Lanka Test match, he not only showed up but urged a few of his team mates to come along. Exterior is rough and tough but interior is soft and kind. Sportsmen rewrite record books. more..

Power consumers complain to CID, CIABOC

Dec 1 (TM) Electricity Consumers Association (ECA) has written to several parties including the CID and CIABOC, seeking an investigation into the alleged financial irregularities of nearly Rs. 30 billion (Bn) in the importation of fuel and crude oil for the CPC in 2022, and action against the responsible individuals. ECA General Secretary Sanjeewa Dhammika said that a report compiled by AG's Dept in Aug 2023, more..

JKH Chief Krishan champions global campaign rollout to boost tourism

Dec 1 (FT) Top blue chip John Keells Chairperson Krishan Balendra insisted on the importance of stepping up efforts through a well-executed global marketing blitz to woo tourists and elevate SL’s position in the global tourism market. Speaking at the CCC SL Economic Summit 2023, he expressed regret over Sri Lanka's failure to launch a comprehensive global tourism campaign in the aftermath of the war, identifying it as a substantial missed opportunity to invigorate the industry. more..

Sri Lanka listed among Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024 by Conde Nast Traveler

Dec 1 (FT) Sri Lanka is among 11 best places to visit in Asia in 2024 according to the influential Conde Nast Traveler. “From SL’s shores to Uzbekistan’s Silk Road, Asia offers reasons galore to pack your bags and head east,” said CNTraveler editors in a posting on its website. CNTraveler said, “It’s official, Asia is back—brighter, bolder, and more ambitious than ever. The region took longer than others to shake off pandemic-related travel restrictions and border closures, but more..

ටිල්වින් සිල්වා

Anti doping programmes are important for clean sports, says Harin

Dec 1 (DN) I came here not to protect any person as Sports Minister but as a former Sportsman, I like to face any challenge and handling sports is a big challenge during this hard period said Sports, Youth Affairs, Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando at his first official sport event of the “A decade of fair play joint discussion organized by the SL Anti Doping Agency (SLADA) yesterday at the Sports Ministry Auditorium. I never fear any challengers and when I was the sports Minister more..

BOI inks $ 4.5 m deal to unveil first cable car experience in Ambuluwawa

Dec 1 (FT) The BOI announced that an agreement was signed with Amber Adventure for $ 4.5 million for SL’s first cable car experience at Ambuluwawa. The BOI also said the agreement is in collaboration with the Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Centre. The project will be constructed with technical and product expertise from the China Machine-Building Int'l Corporation. The total length of the cable car rides is 1.5 kilometers and three stations will provide the exit and entry facilities. more..

Sri Lanka not keen on ad hoc abrogation of tax holidays: Treasury Sec

Dec 1 (EN) Sri Lanka is limiting future tax holidays but does not want to take ad hoc measures involving unilateral abrogation of tax holiday that will undermine the investment environment, Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena said. In SL questions have been raised about excessive tax holidays given by Strategic Development Project law where targeted, and apparently discretionary, tax concessions are given. more..

AIDS prevention lacks aid

Dec 1 (CT) HIV / AIDS is no longer the scary death sentence that ended many lives prematurely and destroyed many others permanently a few decades ago. The great strides made in medical science as well as the successful spreading of awareness about the virus, along with dispelling many myths, have led to thousands of those who have contracted the virus to live fairly normal lives, albeit with precautions. The debilitating virus rose to prominence in the 1980s and spread a wave of dread across more..

Info request on executive grade payments

Dec 1 (TM) Dept of Govt Printing has decided to go before the Court of Appeal (CA) against an order issued by RTI Commission in relation to an information request regarding payments made to its executive grade officers in addition to the basic salary in the past few years. Young Journalists’ Association President Tharindu Iranga Jayawardhana had requested month-wise information about the payments made in addition to the basic salary, including overtime and more..

SLMA urges docs, pharmacists, public not to misuse antibiotics, painkillers

Dec 1 (TM) SL Medical Association (SLMA) urged doctors, pharmacists and the public to adhere to the recommendations and guidelines provided by the health authorities when using antibiotics and painkillers since the misuse of those medicines could cause harmful consequences to life. SLMA President Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne said that a huge responsibility is placed upon the NMRA in this regard as the principal regulatory body more..

Lottery winner fails to claim Rs. 12 Mn within 6-month window

Dec 1 (DM) National Lotteries Board (NLB) has come under fire following revelations in the country's 2022 annual audit report regarding unclaimed prize money and uncredited funds. The report highlights several instances where the NLB has failed to adhere to financial regulations and has retained funds that should have been credited to the Consolidated Fund. One particularly concerning issue is the failure to credit unclaimed prize money from the Hadahana lottery. more..

SLPP to unveil on 15 Dec. new political program aimed at polls

Dec 1 (DM) The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is preparing to introduce its new political program at the second party conference, slated for December 15 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Speaking at a press conference, SLPP MP Sanjeewa Edirimanna emphasised that 2024 would be an election year, and the party would therefore introduce its new political plan at the forthcoming conference. According to Edirimanne, the party has effectively strengthened its presence at more..

වැඩබලන පොලිස්පති පත් කරද්දී...

Sri Lanka secures Rs. 20 Billion from ADB for rural road renovations

Dec 1 (DM) In a significant move towards infrastructural development, Minister Bandula Gunawardena, announced today that the renovation of dilapidated rural roads across the island nation is set to commence next week. This ambitious project, aimed at reviving essential transportation networks, has received substantial support from the ADB, which has agreed to provide a loan amounting to nearly Rs. 20 billion. He emphasized the pivotal role the loan will play in rejuvenating more..

Kandana Police Anti-Vice OIC arrested while accepting bribe

Dec 1 (AD) The The Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Kandana Police Anti-Vice Unit has been arrested by Bribery Commission officers while soliciting a bribe. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) stated that the police officer was arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs. 75,000 from a hotel owner in Kandana. He has reportedly demanded a bribe of Rs. 100,000 for the relevant hotel to be operated without any interference from the police. more..

RTI law: Secy Gen, not Speaker, gatekeeper of parliament

Dec 1 (Island) The releasing of information in response to the Right to Information (RTI) queries was the prerogative of Secretary General of Parliament, Hansa Abeyrathne, Assistant Secretary General, Parliament and Information Officer (IO) said. The House official said so in response to a recent The Island RTI query pertaining to the landmark Court of Appeal ruling that information sought by journalist Chamara Sampath of more..

Parakrama predicts 10-20% shortfall in 2023 tourism earnings target

Dec 1 (FT) Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Parakrama Dissanayake predicted SL may not achieve the $ 2.7 billion earnings target in 2023. He anticipated a potential shortfall of 10-20% in the earnings target, citing concerns despite the reported tourist arrival numbers by authorities. “A significant portion of the arrival numbers dished out comprises individuals visiting friends and relatives rather than contributing to the tourism revenue,” he pointed out. more..

Marikkar demands elections as an outlet for public frustration

Dec 1 (FT) SJB MP S.M. Marikkar urged the Govt to hold elections without delay to provide the public with an outlet to vent their frustrations. “If the Govt wishes to prevent public protests, they should expedite parliamentary elections to alleviate public pressure, allowing for a clear demonstration of public sentiment,” he said. He noted that a Government elected by the will of the people can garner international support, and establish new sources of income. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Budget has allocated money for wasteful highway projects

Dec 1 (CT) Capital borrowed at high cost and used for projects such as road development that do not give an adequate return on investment, is nonetheless implemented because it paves the way for corruption, SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne said. The development of a country can be determined by the development of public transport, he further said. Wickramaratne, in this connection, questioned the Government whether the Rs 354 billion allocated to the Transport and Highways Ministry, more..

National education non-academic employee policy for all schools soon: Minister

Dec 1 (DM) It has been proposed to prepare a national education non-academic employee policy that is common to all educational institutions, including govt and provincial schools, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said this while joining the Education Non-Academic Employees' Day celebration organized by the Education Non-Academic Employees Union, which was held under the chairmanship of the Education Minister. While preparing the new policy, more..

COPF govt to re-evaluate a number of VAT exemptions

Dec 1 (EN) COPF has asked the ministry of finance to reevaluate VAT exemptions for medical equipment, ambulances, high-protein agro foods for children and agricultural items. A statement from parliament said that the COPF has instructed the ministry of finance to submit a report on provisions to release 119 imported that have vehicles yet to be cleared from customs. COPF has also said the removal of VAT exemptions more..

New Kelani Bridge closes for repairs under three phases from tomorrow

Dec 1 (DM) Road Development Authority (RDA) announced the closure of the New Kelani Bridge, popularly known as the Golden Gate Kalyani bridge, in three phases, beginning today (1). As construction work on the New Kelani Bridge has been completed, it has reached the point where all responsibilities related to the project have to be reviewed before releasing the contracted company, and in some instances, certain changes would be required to be carried out by the contractor. more..

Results of 2022 G.C.E. O/L exam released

Dec 1 (AD) The results of the 2022(2023) GCE Ordinary Level Examination have been released last night (Nov.30). Department of Examinations said the results can be viewed on its official websites: / Meanwhile, applications for re-scrutinization of the results will be accepted from Dec 14 – 18. The exam was held from May 29 to June 08 this year at 3,568 centres island-wide and with 472,553 candidates in total sitting for the exam. more..

Fuel prices revised

Dec 1 (DM) CPC, LIOC and Sinopec franchise filling stations have decided to revise their fuel prices. Accordingly, a litre of Lanka Petrol 92 Octane (Rs. 356) has been reduced by Rs. 10, and its new retail price will be Rs. 346. A litre of Lanka Petrol 95 Octane Euro 4 (Rs. 423) has been increased by Rs. 3, and its new retail price will be Rs. 426. A litre of Lanka Auto Diesel (Rs. 356) has been reduced by Rs. 27, its new retail price will be Rs. 329. more..

Red alert issued as low-pressure area over Bay of Bengal intensifies

Dec 1 (AD) Meteorology Dept, on Friday (01), issued a Red alert for strong winds and rough seas over Bay of Bengal sea areas. Accordingly, fishing and naval communities in the deep and shallow sea areas in the Southwest Bay of Bengal were warned of strong winds and rough seas as the low-pressure area over the Southeast Bay of Bengal has developed into a depression, and is likely to further intensify into a cyclone by 03 December. The advisory read that the low-pressure area more..

Strategic asset or economic burden? The debate over Hingurakgoda Airport’s new role

Dec 1 (FT) SL aviation stands at a pivotal moment as it considers the transformation of Hingurakgoda Airport, also known as Minneriya Airport, from a primarily Air Force facility to a fully-fledged int'l civilian airport. This initiative, underlined by a substantial Budget of Rs.2 billion, has enthused a national debate. It’s not merely a matter of financial allocation but also financial economics with extensive consequences that could reshape SL’s aviation landscape and its position more..

දෙසැ.03 : අබාධ සහිත තැනැත්තන්...

Screen patients who received Immunoglobulin IV for AIDS, Hepatitis B

Dec 1 (CT) Those who received the contentious substandard Immunoglobulin IV should be screened for HIV AIDS and hepatitis B, former State Minister of Health Channa Jayasumana said in Parliament yesterday (30 Nov). Jayasumana, who was participating in the Committee Stage debate on the Expenditure Head of the Health Ministry, urged the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to screen the patients who received the said medicine for AIDS and hepatitis B. more..