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Rumblings, grumblings & possible elections

Nov 1 (DM) Earlier this month, 21 October to be exact, Prez Wickremesinghe announced presidential elections would be conducted next year (2024). He added parliamentary elections and provincial council elections would follow in 2025. Wickremesinghe made these comments during his address at the Special General Convention of the UNP held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo. That simple statement has set the cat among the pigeons so to say. more..

Sri Lanka’s democracy under siege

Nov 1 (DM) In a startling revelation, businessman Dhammika Perera, who aspires to enter the presidential race, has made a striking statement that should raise alarm bells. According to a recent article, Perera is willing to pay a significant price for votes, boldly stating, “If SLPP vote base Pohottuwa rises to 30%, the remaining 20% will be bought over in cash.” This admission sheds light on a disturbing trend in the country’s politics and potentially dangerous implications for democracy. more..

'France has security, sovereignty stakes in the Indian Ocean like Sri Lanka'

Nov 1 (DM) French Ambassador Jean-François Pactet, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the bilateral relationship, takes questions from SL on the current status of bilateral ties and the way forward. Q: What are the new aspects of bilateral relations, and the new plans for their elevation of the wake French Prez’s visit to SL and the 75th anniversary of bilateral relationship? A: We are celebrating this year the 75th more..

Beware of pitfalls! Digitalisation with laws that have no protection for owners

Nov 1 (DM) Are we keeping up with the Joneses? The digital register is prepared by directly copying names of owners from an unreliable register, governed by a law enacted in 1927, where 1] forged deeds are registered 2] the Registrar has no power to reject invalid forged deeds 3] the Registrar has no power even to rectify mistakes. For example, if the name was entered as Wijewardena when the owners name was Wijesooriya it took over three months to rectify the mistake. more..

The shared plight of SL Tamils and Muslims

Nov 1 (GV) I was 10 years old when Muslims were forced to move out of their homes in the North in Oct 1990. I never again saw or heard about the two Muslim students who were with us in my town Christian school. We had one Muslim family in our village who had a meat shop. It was my routine to visit the shop on Sundays after the church to buy some meat. They also left their home when the LTTE demanded that all Muslims leave Jaffna. Our village Muslim shop owner returned to our village more..

Power and energy: Questions over changing price formulas

Nov 1 (TM) SL finds itself at a crossroads as proposed changes to fuel and electricity pricing formulas ignite controversy. Minister Kanchana Wijesekera’s plan to shake up the status quo by instituting quarterly adjustments to electricity tariffs, as opposed to the prevailing biannual revisions, has set off a wave of debate. In a parallel move, a new daily fuel price formula is on the horizon, designed to provide clarity and more..

Oceans, a need of policy and oversight

Nov 1 (TM) The Govt this week stated that there are plans afoot to establish a new institution to streamline the survey and cartography of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The new institution comes at a time where Sri Lanka lacks clear policies about the ocean and maritime affairs. The need for a National Oceans Policy for the SL marine and maritime sphere, and robust oversight on Oceans-related matters has been a long-felt need. more..

Train cancellations: A crisis in the making

Nov 1 (CT) Sri Lanka’s train cancellations have become an unfortunate routine, a source of frustration for both commuters and the broader public. If one were to browse the internet using the keywords Train cancellations Sri Lanka, it’s evident that this issue plagues the nation, occurring with alarming regularity. On Monday, Sri Lanka Railways has reported that a number of office trains, scheduled for the evening, were cancelled due to a shortage of railway guards. more..

රමේෂ් පතිරණ

A/L exams: SC calls for preliminary objections to FR petition filed by students

Nov 1 (ST) Supreme Court (SC) has ordered respondents to file preliminary objections over a fundamental rights petition filed by a group of GCE A/L students asking the court to issue an order further postponing the A/L Exam scheduled to begin on January 4, next year. When the petition was taken up before a three-judge SC bench comprising Justices Murdhu Fernando, Kumudini Wickramasinghe, and Priyantha Fernando, the court ordered the relevant authorities to file more..

Good intentions lost in implementation

Nov 1 (Island) The govt is coming up with many new laws, some of which have been positively viewed and others negatively. Among the positives have been the new anti-corruption law and the truth commission bill with the latest being the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) bill. The negatives, however, outnumber the positives with the Online Safety bill and the Anti Terrorism Act heading the list. They are both meant to suppress protests, both verbal and on the ground. more..

Two cruel killings, one controversial JMO

Nov 1 (FT) Two sad cases show the cruel suffering of the SL people these days, and how no one is safe. One is the case of the child Hamdi Fazlim, who died at Lady Ridgeway Hospital this August, and the second is that of businessman Dinesh Schaffter who was murdered last December. What is most curious is that these cases were both handled by the same Judicial Medical Officer (JMO). Both cases passed through the hands of one more..

WC Match 31: Pakistan beat Bangladesh

Nov 1 (CI) Pakistan put in their most convincing performance of the World Cup to end their longest World Cup losing run, trouncing a dismal Bangladesh by 7 wickets and keeping their faint hopes of semi-final qualification alive. The win was set up by a commanding performance from Shaheen Shah Afridi - now the fastest to 100 ODI wickets for quick bowlers and the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup - to dismiss Bangladesh for 204. Fakhar Zaman, freshly recalled to the side, more..

Editorial: Pay hikes, swings & roundabouts

Nov 1 (Island) Trade unions usually go into overdrive to secure pay hikes in the run-up to the annual national budget. This time around, they have become desperate beyond measure for obvious reasons. They are demanding a substantial pay hike commensurate with the soaring cost of living. They have held several street demonstrations recently to pressure the govt to grant them a 20,000-rupee salary increase from Budget 2024. They have even threatened to launch a strike unless more..

ටොප්බඩු තීන්දුව

Our middle order batsmen let us down says spin coach Wijetunga

Nov 1 (DN) As a team we can’t be satisfied the way we played against Afghanistan said SL spin specialist coach Piyal Wijetunga after losing Afghanistan game in Pune on Monday. I never talk about the result and it can go either way but our playing style was not enough to get success and we have to think twice said former SL test spinner and long time Spin specialist coach of the National team. At one stage we were 150 for 3 wickets and we should have got 300 or 320 runs more..

SL’s World Cup semi-final hopes fade away

Nov 1 (Island) After a clinical performance against defending champions England, SL’s World Cup campaign was back on track, but Monday’s loss to Afghanistan in Pune has brought it back to square one. When SL travelled to Pune, they had four games remaining and had to win at least three of those to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the competition. Now that they lost to Afghanistan, their chances of making it to the semi-finals are slim as they have got to win more..

Sri Lanka has not nurtured players: Murali

Nov 1 (DN) Champion sides are not made in one day, one year or one season and it s a long process and building players is more important. After 2015 SL haven’t nurtured players said ICC Brand Ambassador Muttiah Muralitharan in Pune before the Afghanistan game. He further said we just make sure if somebody does fail he goes out from the team .One example is, Avishka Fernando the opener who got two hundreds and more..

Hospitality industry grapples amidst talent exodus

Nov 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism capacity building arm, SL Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) yesterday said the hospitality industry is grappling with a massive shortage of skilled workers amid the talent exodus post-economic crisis. “The hospitality industry today has below 40% of its workforce deemed adequately qualified,” SLITHM Chairman Shirantha Peiris said. Describing the delicate, yet complex implications of the situation he likened it to a double-edged sword. more..

Proposed VAT increase a distortion of tax formula says Sajith

Nov 1 (FT) Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa accused the Govt of distorting the country’s tax formula by its proposed 18% increase in the VAT for next year. “In the context of the regressive tax hike, the weight of heavy taxation will fall upon the general populace, particularly affecting the underprivileged and the working class in our country,” he said. Premadasa made these comments addressing a discussion with the Federation of University Teachers’ Association. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism confident of 1.55 m visitors for 2023

Nov 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism expressed optimism to welcome 1.55 million tourists and generate $ 2.7 billion in revenue by the end of the year whilst setting its sights on increasing arrivals to 5 million and earning an impressive $ 21.6 billion within 7 years. Although the earnings target is slightly below the original target of $ 3 billion, the forecast reflects a commendable turnaround for the industry that has navigated through a series more..

Seylan Bank PAT surges 79% to Rs 4.49 b for nine months

Nov 1 (FT) Seylan Bank announced an impressive Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 4.49 billion for the nine months ended 30 Sept 2023, representing a 79.47% surge in growth compared to Rs. 2.5 billion in the corresponding period last year, demonstrating resilience in overcoming challenging market and economic conditions. Bank reported substantial growth in profitability for the first nine months of 2023. Profit before Tax (PBT) soared 100% to Rs. 7.18 billion versus Rs. 3.58 billion in the same more..

Sri Lanka raises prices of most fuel products; reduces Octane 92

Nov 1 (EN) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) reduced the price of most fuel products, effective from October 31 midnight, but reduced the price of widely used Octane 92. Petrol Octane 95 was increased by 3 rupees to 423 rupees a litre, Super Diesel was increased by 10 rupees to 431 rupees per litre, widely used Auto Diesel was increased by 5 rupees to 356 rupees, and the price of kerosene was raised by 7 rupees to 249 rupees. However, the price of kerosene was reduced by 9 rupees more..

අයවැයෙන් කුමක් වෙයිද?

Govt loses Rs. 500 bn annually for not developing transport system: Gemunu

Nov 1 (DM) Due to the public transport sector, including the railways in the country, not being developed, the government loses Rs. 500 billion every year, Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) chairman Gemunu Wijerathne said. He said that this loss was revealed following a survey conducted by him while taking into consideration the three-wheeler, public, and govt transport sectors. Accordingly, the survey revealed that at least 40 three-wheelers travel in one direction, more..

AKD, Harsha de Silva fly over Sri Lanka’s Graphene Dreams

Nov 1 (DM) In a recent development regarding NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake's statement about producing graphite for exportation, SJB MP Harsha de Silva has provided a clarifying perspective amid the light-hearted discussions on social media. Harsha de Silva suggested that Anura Kumara Dissanayake might have been referring to graphene, a material extracted from graphite. Graphene, composed of pure carbon, is renowned for its remarkable properties, including more..

Buddhika Pathirana copying incident: Law students demand probe

Nov 1 (TM) SL Law Students’ Union (SLLSU) demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident of SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana, who is currently sitting for the 2nd year of SL Law College (SLLC), being accused of copying during an examination held last week. Pathirana was reportedly caught copying during one of the law exams for his second year at the SLLC by one of the examiners. It was reported that the examiner has more..

SOE reforms seen as bedevilled by corruption and governance issues

Nov 1 (Island) The local State Owned Enterprises (SOE) reforms process is dogged by widespread corruption and governance issues. There was general agreement on this position at a wide-ranging discussion held under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Innovators’ Forum of the Dr. Gamani Corea Foundation on October 16 at the BMICH. The prime focus of the discussion was a paper presented by the Advocata Institute, Colombo, on Public Enterprise Reforms. Key presenters for more..

Israel-Hamas war: JVP backs UN Chief’s stand

Nov 1 (Island) The JVP said that it would stand by the position taken by the UN General Secretary António Guterres’ on the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine and the need of the hour was not to ascertain who started the latest round of atrocities but to find means to end the war immediately. Former JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa lauded the Foreign Ministry of taking a similar stand on the matter and insisted that SL should not take sides in the conflict, which had already claimed more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Uncertainty mars biz confidence

Nov 1 (TM) Business confidence remains clouded by ongoing developments – and heavily dependent on their outcomes. TIMF’s review of the four-year EFF, ongoing debt discussions with creditors, rapid disinflation, fluctuating fuel prices, and the added complexity of the Israel-Palestine conflict – not to mention the ongoing war in Ukraine – are influencing and shaping business sentiment these days. Regarding the IMF, SL’s advancement towards fulfilling economic targets and reforms more..

Workers’ remittances reach US$ 482 Million

Nov 1 (DN) Workers’ remittances amounted to USD 482 million in Sept 2023, in comparison to US$ 359 million in Sept 2022 and USD 499 million in August 2023. Meanwhile, based on the provisional data, total departures for foreign employment in Sept 2023 and during January to Sept 2023 amounted to 25,648 and 222,794, respectively, in comparison to the total departures of 311,056 recorded in 2022. Gross official reserves stood at USD 3.5 billion by end Sept 2023. more..

Minister alleges NARA causes massive revenue losses, opposes remedial measures

Nov 1 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe alleged that the country had been deprived of foreign exchange to the tune of billions of USD over the past three decades due to the failure on the part of NARA to establish a system to sell hydrographic maps for ships entering SL waters. He said that NARA not only neglected its responsibility but allowed external parties to exploit the situation for their benefit. more..

CID arrests owner of company responsible for importing substandard medicine

Nov 1 (AD) The owner of the company which had allegedly imported the vials of substandard immunoglobulin, has been arrested by the CID. On Monday, a court had imposed overseas travel bans on the owner of the company, which is accused of using forged documents to import the substandard medicines, and two other high-ranking government officials who were allegedly involved in this fraudulent activity. The relevant order was issued by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court after more..

Indian Finance Minister to visit Sri Lanka on 3-day official visit

Nov 1 (EN) Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will arrive in Sri Lanka on a three-day official visit on Nov 1, Press Information Bureau of the Indian govt said on Tuesday. Minister during the visit will deliver the Keynote Address at the NAAM 200 organized by the Sri Lankan Govt on Thursday to commemorate the 200th anniversary of arrival of India-origin Tamils (IOTs) to SL. On the same day, the Minister will also deliver the Keynote Address at the India SL Business Summit more..

President gets tough with IRD, Excise, Customs over revenue failure

Nov 1 (DM) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has raised stern concerns with the Chiefs of the Inland Revenue Dept, Excise and Customs Depts over their failure to gather the required revenue for the country and has queried as to why only an estimated 500,000 tax files continue to be on the tax base when the actual number of files should be far higher. In his latest attempt to streamline the functions at state institutions, Prez had sternly questioned more..

Gaza spells jungle

Nov 1 (FT) During her 2013 visit to SL, then UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay wanted to lay a wreath to commemorate the war-dead. “When I go to a country, I like to honour the victims, all victims, victims of LTTE, soldiers, families,” she explained. Rajapaksa regime refused permission and launched a campaign of lies against her. “Informed sources said that Pillay had initially been informed of her desire to offer a floral tribute to the late LTTE terrorist leader V. Prabhakaran,” more..

Is current form of free tertiary education system sustainable?

Nov 1 (FT) Many sectors in the country today need urgent attention and reforms by the Govt. This article primarily focuses on the sustainability of free education in the current form, a notion now outdated, but at the same time not intended to deprive anyone of tertiary education. Tertiary is not to limit admission to state universities, but to enter technical colleges to further one’s employability locally or internationally. Managing the extraneous forces that attack core ideology of free education more..

අයවැය කැටයම් විතරයි!

Court issues order against electricity tariff protests in Colombo

Nov 1 (AD) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (01 Nov) issued an order preventing a group of persons protesting against the revised electricity tariffs from entering several areas in Colombo. Accordingly, by way of a court order issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage, the protesters are prevented from marching towards the Presidential Secretariat, President’s House, and the Ministry of Finance premises through several roads in Colombo. more..