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The absurdity of Independence & The myth of Public Mandate

Feb 1 (CT) “..A Small Island of many people, whose political machinery is running down in an environment of increasing fragmentation and factionalism. The hopes of yesterday…have (thus) become fast evaporating fantasies”’ – S.J. Tambiah, in his lucidly written book, SL–Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy. Despite a deceptive sense of stability, it is open secret that SL is still navigating its way out of a serious economic and political crisis, since it gained independence more..

The demands of the Adivasi community at Sri Lanka’s 75th Independence Day

Feb 1 (GV) Despite the unprecedented socio-economic and political setbacks SL is currently facing, Govt is making preparations to celebrate the country’s 75th Independence Day in grand style. Within this climate, however, there is notable emerging social discourse; including visible strands of dissent from various parties, as to whether the people of this country do have a legitimate social, economic and political environment to mark the 75th Independence Day in a celebratory manner. more..

'Ongoing brain drain a challenge to IT sector'

Feb 1 (TM) Govt aims to introduce 100% digital transformation of all the services of the Govt sector in 2024 under its Next Gen programme, while also leaping from Industry 2.0 to Industry 4.0, said State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath. Asserting that SL was lagging far behind its regional counterparts in terms of technology, Minister Herath said: “Everybody talks about the Industrial Revolution; they talk about Industry 4.0. more..

State healthcare in peril

Feb 1 (TM) While Tanzania’s Prez called off their Independence Day celebrations and directed the funds to be utilised to build dormitories for children with special needs, SL will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day extravagantly, against a backdrop of State Hospitals running short of essential medical supplies and equipment. The plight of the country is such that State Hospitals have displayed boards outside their Intensive Care Units specifying the supplies and equipment more..

What Sirisena can learn from Jacinda Arden

Feb 1 (TM) Former Prez and incumbent Opposition MP Maithripala Sirisena, who many thought would not run for President again, is planning to contest at the next Presidential election, with the support of the SLFP of which he is the Chairman. Speaking to the media, he expressed confidence about winning the election, adding that he is not the type of person that retreats or fears conspiracies against him. “No matter how many votes I receive, I am confident that I can win the election,” were his words. more..

The crises that require solutions

Feb 1 (TM) Although the pressing need to address the prevailing crisis situation in the country has received the attention of many parties, for Sri Lanka to garner the attention that could truly alleviate the impacts of the crisis, it is crucial that the island nation stops viewing the current conditions as a mere economic crisis and instead attempts to find solutions to the wider-scale crisis, of which the economic crisis is just a part. more..

The Lotus Tower: A vanity project the country can ill afford

Feb 1 (ST) With the country going through one of the worst economic crises in its history, economic experts as well as other concerned citizens continue to examine the possible reasons for the predicament that the nation faces today. In the words of Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, the year 2022 was the worst year in the country’s history. In a public pronouncement last week he expressed hope that the country will never have to undergo a similar experience again. more..

RW govt grapples to finalise IMF deal while taking firm stand on 13th Amendment

Feb 1 (TM) As SL gears up to celebrate its 75th Independence Day, chaos and confusion seem to have become the order of the day for Prez Wickremesinghe and his Govt on several key fronts. The first issue faced by the Govt is the race against time to finalise the country’s debt restructuring programme in order to secure the proposed Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the IMF. The next is the impending LG Elections scheduled to be held this March, which has now become more..

Satana: කොළඹ පුරපති සටන

SLR together with Central Prov. RU launch U16 10-a-side tourney

Feb 1 (TM) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR), together with the Schools’ Rugby Football Association, announced that it is ready to conduct a two-day Nippon Paint 10-a-side Under-16 boys’ all-island schools’ rugby tournament, which is scheduled to take place at Trinity College Rugby stadium in Pallekele, Kandy on 25 and 26 Feb. Organising committee, headed by Central Province Rugby Union President Kavinda Jayasena mentioned that a total of 30 leading rugby-playing schools are expected to take part more..

JKH excels in top line in 3Q; high interest costs impact PBT

Feb 1 (FT) Diversified blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) yesterday reported impressive growth in revenue and operating profit for the third quarter but profit before tax (PBT) was impacted by much higher interest costs in comparison to a year earlier. JKH said 3Q witnessed the continuation of normal day-to-day consumer and business activity, supported by continued political and social stability and less disruptions on account of the macroeconomic challenges. more..

Dangerous drugs have breached the walls of health service?

Feb 1 (CT) While doctors have rung warning bells that the prolonged shortage of medicinal drugs could lead to patient deaths, it appears that dangerous drugs such as Cannabis and Ice have breached the walls of the health service and were in plenty. If the showdown between Deputy Director of the National Hospital, Colombo, Dr. Rukshan Bellana and the hospital minor employees was anything to go by on 19 Jan, it shows that more..

SLNS Samudura leaves for Pakistan to attend AMAN - 2023

Feb 1 (SLN) SLNS Samudura today (31) left for the Port of Karachi from Colombo to take part in the multinational naval exercise AMAN hosted by Pakistan Navy. At the directives of Commander of the Navy, ship is scheduled to take part in the 8th edition of AMAN representing SL Navy. Departing ship was sent off amidst customary naval traditions at the port of Colombo. This year’s exercise has been organised on the theme Together for Peace and Security and it will be held in Karachi more..

EDB Chief upbeat on achieving $ 18.5 b exports target in 2023

Feb 1 (FT) Despite global recession fears, EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel was upbeat about giving the best shot at realising an over $18.5b target for 2023. This confidence stems from a plethora of new initiatives as well as fine-tuning existing policies to develop and boost exports. “We are forecasting performance of $18.51b in merchandise and service exports in 2023. This comprises over $15.93b from merchandise exports up from $13.01b achieved in 2022 and $2.58b from services exports,” more..

අධිකරණය ඉදිරිපිට වසන්තගේ නිදහස සමරපු හැටි

Mathews to play unofficial ODIs against England Lions

Feb 1 (ST) Former skipper Angelo Mathews will return to 50-over cricket, nearly after two years during the unofficial 3-match ODI series against England Lions in a bid to revive his limited over career. Mathews, though has the best average among current SL cricketers (41.67) the second only to legendary Kumar Sangakkara among SL batters, was among several senior players who were sacked from limited over cricket in 2021. Major overhaul was part of a youth based long term strategy more..

JKH wants public sector reforms, privatisation expedited

Feb 1 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) is urging the Govt to expedite public sector reforms as well as privatisation. “We urge the authorities to expedite the implementation of much needed public sector reforms, including privatisation, as done by countries when faced with similar challenges in the past, to address the structural and governance issues of the economy to achieve long-term sustainable growth and emerge from this crisis stronger,” JKH Chairperson Krishan Balendra said more..

Central Bank profits for 2023, transfer not finalized: CB Governor

Feb 1 (EN) Central Bank’s profits for 2023 have not yet been finalized to decide whether they could be transferred to the govt, Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said. “On the central bank profit transfer, we have not finalized yet, the central bank balance sheet,” Governor Weerasinghe said. “It has to be finalized, audited and then only according to the Monetary Law Act provisions, Monetary Board will make a decision on more..

PUCSL unanimously rejects retrospective tariff hike by govt

Feb 1 (TM) The Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) has unanimously decided not to implement the retrospective interim electricity tariff hike put forward by the Power and Energy Ministry and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. “The members of the PUCSL unanimously decided not to implement the interim tariff revision with retrospective effect,” PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake noted in a media statement. more..

Ravi Waidyalankara appointed President of Association of Chiefs of Police Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (FT) Senior DIG (Rtd) Anil Ravindra Waidyalankara, has been appointed as the President of Association of Chiefs of Police SL for the year 2023 to 2024 at the AGM of the Association of Chiefs of Police SL held at the Senior Police Officers’ Mess on 29 January. Waidyalankara counted 40 years of continuous service in SL Police. He joined as a Sub Inspector in 1979, and rose up to the rank of Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police at the time of his retirement in 2018. more..

Full implementation of 13A: NFF vows to torpedo Ranil’s move

Feb 1 (Island) The NFF, a constituent member of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya (NJS), has declared that it would oppose President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid to fully implement the 13th Amendment. Patriotic people were ready to defeat such plans, even at the expense of their lives, the party has vowed. The breakaway JVP faction consists of six MPs, including fmr minister Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Consumer prices up 0.5% in Jan 2023, annual down to 54.2%

Feb 1 (EN) SL’s consumer prices rose 0.5% in Jan 2023, with food prices up 0.6%, while annual inflation fell to 54.2% from 57.2% due to a so-called based effect. Food prices which fell absolutely for three months, reversed direction in Jan 2023. Food components of the widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index which hit a high of 323.3 points in September fell to 311.3 points up to Dec 2023 amid tight monetary policy. The broader CCPI Index went up from 311.3 points to 313.3 more..

Undertaker gets hearse and papers; Customs decision buried

Feb 1 (ST) The Court of Appeal (CA) has quashed the Customs’ decision preventing the release of a hearse and the relevant import documents on excise duty paid by the importer. A two-judge bench comprising Judges Sobitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola issued the judgment considering a petition filed by undertakers Jayaratne V.I.P Services (Pte) Limited, which imported the hearse. The company filed the case to get the release of the documents relating to more..

වසන්තගේ තීන්දුව - මුල සිට අගට සරලව

Sepal ready to apologise

Feb 1 (TM) Social activist and YouTuber Sepal Amarasinghe – who is currently in remand custody for allegedly causing a disturbance among the Buddhist community by making insulting comments on the tooth relic which is placed at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy – through his attorney, informed the Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday that he is ready to make an apology over the statement in question. When the case against Amarasinghe was taken up before Colombo Magistrate more..

Hathurusingha returns as Bangladesh coach

Feb 1 (AFP) Former Sri Lankan batsman Chandika Hathurusingha will return as head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team after a largely successful tenure with the side between 2014 and 2017, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said. The 54-year-old Sri Lankan has reached a two-year term with the board that starts from Feb 2023, the BCB said in a statement. “Chandika’s experience and knowledge of Bangladesh cricket will be an advantage for him and will benefit the players,” more..

Govt still hoping for Q1 bailout as US says process has sped-up

Feb 1 (TM) State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said that the Govt is confident and optimistic that it would receive the IMF Board-level approval for the desperately needed Extended Fund Facility (EFF) within the first quarter of this year, shortly after US Ambassador to SL Julie Chung assured Semasinghe that assistance due from the IMF to SL is likely to speed up with the co-operation of all countries. US is by far the largest contributor more..

President directs State officials to control expenditure

Feb 1 (FT) Prez has directed all State officials to control the expenditure, warning that those who violate the order will be held responsible for financial misuse. “Prez issued a Note to the Cabinet to control the public expenditure. Ministry Secretaries are directly responsible as they are bound by an agreement,” Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He asserted that the Prez who is also the Finance Minister has issued several directives to limit govt expenses, amidst ongoing economic crisis. more..

Exporters exempted from Social Security Levy

Feb 1 (TM) Cabinet has approved amendments to Social Security Contribution Levy (SSC) Act to exclude certain exporters and other foreign exchange-earning entities from the tax net while the Govt has recorded a revenue shortfall of about 45% than estimated in January. Based on requests made by certain exporters and other foreign exchange-earning entities to the Finance Ministry, Cabinet has decided to approve the amendments to the Act to be presented at Parliament. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Karu to be Sri Lankabhimanya

Feb 1 (TM) Cabinet has granted its approval to confer Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya with the honorary title Sri Lankabhimanya. The decision to award the accolade was announced in a special gazette notification published on 24 Jan. Accordingly, Prez Wickremesinghe will personally confer this honour on Jayasuriya at a Ceremony of Investiture scheduled to be held at the Presidential Secretariat on 3 Feb. Sri Lankabhimanya is the highest civil honour in Sri Lanka more..

SJB not afraid of NPP: Marikkar

Feb 1 (FT) SJB deputy national organiser S.M. Marikkar says his party is unafraid of the NPP led by the leftist JVP. “We are not afraid of the 3% group. They speak of the curse of 74 years but it is our responsibility to tell the country and the people about them. Those who were born after 1983 are not aware of acts committed by the JVP,” he said. Accusing the JVP of sabotaging the country for the past 53 years, Marikkar said only the SJB can speak about it as it is the only party that has not more..

Court slams Police before releasing Mudalige from PTA

Feb 1 (TM) The Colombo Magistrate's Court – which held that IUSF Convenor Wasantha Mudalige, who was in remand custody under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act (PTA), has not committed any offence coming under the PTA and hence ordered his release from the relevant case after discharging him from all related charges – stated that the Police have misused the PTA by providing statements more..

Self-retirement for inefficient public sector employees: Bandula

Feb 1 (DM) Steps were being taken to reduce the number of public sector employees in all govt institutions and a self-retirement mechanism would be introduced for that effect, Minister Bandula Gunawradena said. He said that inefficient public sector employees would be removed through this self-retirement mechanism. Minister said the decision was taken in accordance with the instructions given by the Treasury to all Ministries to curtail their expenses in all departments more..

CID goes high-tech to trace EC death threats

Feb 1 (TM) CID is to obtain assistance from field experts to trace the suspects connected to the alleged death threats made against Election Commission (EC) members recently, with Police Spokesman, SSP Nihal Thalduwa noting that investigators have so far observed that the suspects may have used high-tech equipment to cover their tracks. Thalduwa noted: “While assistance from experts in the field is being obtained, the suspects could not be identified directly, maybe more..

Gazette on local govt election date published

Feb 1 (AD) The gazette notification pertaining to the holding of the LG election on 9 March has been published. Chairman of the Election Commission on Monday said that all relevant documents received from District Returning Officers to hold the LG Election on March 9, were sent to the Govt Printer to be gazetted. Dept of Govt Information (DGI) had stated recently that the Gazette notification to commence the LG more..

PTA as a bludgeon

Feb 1 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis, who heard a case against Convenor of the IUSF, Wasantha Mudalige, yesterday, ruled that the latter had not committed any offences under the PTA. Mudalige was cleared of the PTA charges, but taken back to remand prison over some other cases pending against him. Why was the PTA ever used against Mudalige? The govt, the police and the state prosecutor should answer this question. There are situations where protesting uni students turn more..

Corruption, large debts and road to recovery

Feb 1 (FT) The tragedy in our country is that politicians have been making money and making decisions that will get them votes and not what is best for the country. Victor Ivan’s excellent article written 12 years ago provides an interesting insight into bribery and corruption… “The foundation of the political system of SL is based on bribery or corruption. Power politics of SL may be defined as the right to plunder public property. There is a competition among political parties to win more..

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කල් තිබ්බේ ඇයි?

CTU files petition demanding uninterrupted power supply during national exams

Feb 1 (AD) Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has filed a petition at the Supreme Court, requesting that an order be issued preventing the imposing of power cuts during national examinations. The relevant petition was filed by CTU’s General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, with the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Human Rights Commission of SL being named amongst the respondents. more..