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Confectionery exporters look to relocate overseas

Nov 19 (FT) With the high cost of manufacturing, supply constraints and no policy direction from Budget 2022, the $ 150-200 million-worth confectionery exporters are looking to move their production to more favourable overseas locations. Despite having orders, confectionery exporters are finding it extremely difficult to match prices quoted by buyers and be competitive in the international market. “We agree on orders for two years. more..

One reference to Budget 2022; congratulations to a newspaper printer

Nov 19 (Island) Cass does not know enough to comment on budgets but one point she noted as given in headlines in the The Sunday Island of November 14 roused her approval plus ire. Budget transfers 'black' profits of Perpetual Treasuries to govt coffers. Cheating must be avenged. However, to her this statement smacked of partisanship, punishing one financial offender who benefited stupendously by being favoured during the Yahapalana Govt and reaped illicit gains. more..

Appointment of unqualified persons as University Chancellors in SL

Nov 19 (CT) University Teachers Union, GMOA and various other associations had protested against the appointment of Chancellor without qualifications at the Uni of Colombo (vide attachments). Unfortunately the Universities Act stated “The President shall nominate the Chancellor of each University. The Chancellor shall be the Head of the University, hold office for a period of five years reckoned from the date of his nomination, and shall, preside at any Convocation of the University. more..

2022 අයවැය සහ ජනතා අපෙක්ෂා

Hiding behind the virus

Nov 19 (DM) Can the main Opposition, the SJB give an assurance to the country that its demonstrations on Wednesday in Colombo and several other parts of the country against the rising cost of living did not at all contribute to the spread of COVID 19? Supporters of the SJB travelled from faraway places to Colombo for the protest which they had titled Enough of the Curse, but police prevented some of them from proceeding in many places. However, the party managed to muster a considerable more..

Editorial: Chronic trust deficit

Nov 19 (Island) Long lines of vehicles and people with cans are still seen near filling stations in many parts of the country despite repeated govt assurances that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has adequate fuel stocks, and there is absolutely no need to panic. Why does the panic-buying of fuel continue? It is basically due to a severe trust deficit. The people do not believe govt assurances, announcements and claims, and draw their own conclusions from what they consider facts more..

Nuggets on the Budget

Nov 19 (TM) On 12 Nov, the Govt presented what, in economic terms, can be referred to as a recovery Budget, in a context where the country has just started paying attention to and supporting the revival of sectors that did not receive adequate attention last year. In other words, unlike in the pre-Covid-19 pandemic era, this Budget is expected to ease the economic burden on almost all segments of the society, not only a select few. more..

Address supply constraints

Nov 19 (CT) ‘Economics’ is ‘demand’ and ‘supply.’In a functional economy, ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ works in tandem, fuelling growth. If either fails or perceived to have had failed, that makes the economy dysfunctional. Recently, Sri Lanka, ‘beginning’ with the lowly turmeric and ‘ending’ with fuel suffered a plethora of economic malfunctions due to supply constraints, real or imaginary. Such economic malaise was last seen 44 years ago, during the seven-year period from 1970 to 1977 more..

Taking the arts seriously

Nov 19 (TM) It was reported that at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 15 Nov, the Cabinet had granted approval to a joint proposal submitted by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs Minister & Minister Wimal Weerawansa, to register the cinema field as an industry, as the first step in promoting and gaining international recognition for SL cinema. This proposal comes in a context where the industry remains crippled, more..

The time-tested landmarks of Maradana

Nov 19 (Roar) Maradana — Colombo 10 — is one of the busiest areas in the city. But this was not the case, perhaps a century or so ago, when Maradana was a quiet suburban area in which a number of theatres, cinemas and schools were located. Popular schools from all the faiths — the Buddist Ananda College (established in 1886), Catholic St. Joseph’s College (1896) and Zahira College, one of the first Muslim schools more..

The epic economic fall

Nov 19 (DM) Bad policies, more often than not, lead to bad outcome. Still, you might get out of the rot with a light touch, before it sets in, of course, only if you are not demagogic enough to stick to your folly, despite their devastating consequences. Failing in that commonsensical decision leads to a certain disaster. Look no further than the plight of the SL economy. The entire agricultural sector is in shamble. One ill-informed decision to ban chemical fertilizer has wreaked havoc. more..

Thoughts on the death penalty in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (DM) Sri Lanka is a strange country when its comes to the application of the law. Just the other day we heared of the news that a person convicted of murder was sentenced to death by the Presiding Judge at the Tangalle High Court. The news of the verdict largely received the attention of the print media because the judge disregarded the norms practised in the court when reading out a death sentence. Generally a death sentence in SL is automatically transferred to life imprisonment more..

ජනපති පදවි ප්‍රාප්තියට දෙවසරක් සපිරේ...

Longest partial lunar eclipse on Nov.19; not visible to SL: Prof. Jayarathne

Nov 18 (DM) The longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years will take place on the daytime of Nov 19, Professor Chandana Jayaratne said. He said the lunar eclipse will be visible while having the opportunity to see the three brightest planets in the solar system Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in a line in the western skies just after sunset these days. The eclipse, however, will be visible to a large portion of the world, including America, North Europe, East Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, more..

‘Help Maldives, SL in its economic recovery’ Maldives Pres tells international community

Nov 18 (DM) Maldives President Mohamed Solih who was on a recent two-day visit to Sri Lanka said the Maldives economy which was heavily dependent on its tourism industry, is on its way to recovery after being hit by the virus, and had managed to bounce back to around 70% of what it used to be before the pandemic. He said despite all of this, there was still a long way to go and countries such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives needed further access to global fiscal resources to assist the ongoing more..

Legalising cannabis would lead to untoward issues: NATA Head

Nov 18 (CT) Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, said that with tobacco being a gateway drug, legalising cannabis for commercial purposes would incur more problems for the country. Contacted for comment following MP Diana Gamage’s call to make cannabis a commercial crop for export purposes, Dr. Rajapaksa said the Govt would take a final decision more..

Union refutes charges

Nov 18 (CT) Customs Trade Union Alliance (CTUA) refuted the Committee on Public Accounts’s (COPA) charge that Customs officers receive substantial amounts as rewards from fines imposed on defaulters at the expense of the Treasury. The Trade Union slammed the report submitted by Prof. Tissa Vitarana, COPA Chairperson to Parliament, accusing that COPA finalised the report, without subjecting it to the Customs Ordinance. The report contained misrepresentations, they alleged. more..

'Vaccines may not be necessary for children'

Nov 18 (TM) As children between the ages of 5 to 12 years have shown more resistance to the Covid-19 virus, the administration of anti Covid-19 vaccines to this age group may not be necessary. Pediatric Chest Physician Dr. Channa De Silva expressed that children infected with Covid-19 do not show signs of severe disease. “Children in this age group have proven to be more resistant to the virus. We barely see infection transmitted between children, whereas transmission from adults to children is higher. more..

Doctors sound alarm as dengue cases rise

Nov 18 (AN) Health experts in SL warned on Wednesday of a rapid rise in dengue fever cases in the wake of monsoon rains, which have caused flooding in several districts. Health Ministry reported that 16,042 people have contracted the mosquito-borne viral disease this year, but ongoing monsoon rains and flooding — which provide perfect breeding sites for mosquitoes — have led to a surge in cases since the beginning of November. more..

Sirisena slams Health Ministry for oversight

Nov 18 (CT) Former President Maithripala Sirisena expressed displeasure over the Health Ministry failing to operate the National Renal Treatment Hospital in Polonnaruwa at full capacity despite Prez Rajapaksa’s instructions. Participating in the debate on the Appropriation Bill 2022, Sirisena said the President ordered the hospital to be fully functional within three months of its opening. “However, it is sad to say that the Health Ministry has failed to appoint a Director to the hospital yet. more..

Sri Lankan lawmaker wants to legalize cannabis cultivation

Nov 18 (UCAN) A SL MP has urged the govt to legalize cannabis cultivation amid protests by religious leaders. Diana Gamage, a govt lawmaker, said cannabis cultivation can solve the foreign exchange crisis by bringing in billions of dollars to the country. "The country can be freed from debt through the legalization and export of cannabis cultivation," she said in parliament. "We do not have to beg or borrow money from anyone. This resource given by nature should be legalized more..

Video: Sandahiru Seya to be vested with Maha Sanga today

Nov 18 (AD) The Sandahiru Seya in Anuradhapura will be vested with the Venerable Maha Sanga today, thereby officially opening the sacred site for devotees. The Venerable Maha Sanga and a number of distinguished invitees are expected to attend the Crest Gem unveiling ceremony today, which will be graced by the Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. Families of the deceased veteran war heroes and differently able ex-servicemen more..

ASG urges Court to summon Dr Coomaraswamy

Nov 18 (CT) Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana yesterday urged the three-Judge Bench of the Colombo High Court to issue summons for ex-Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, the first witness in the case filed against former Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake and seven others over misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 15 billion linked to the third CBSL Treasury Bonds auction held on 31 March five years ago, via video more..

Milch cow racket throws Parliament into turmoil

Nov 18 (Island) Rs 325.23 billion had been spent on importing milk and milk-related products during the Yahapalana govt, Parliament was told yesterday. Responding to a question by SLPP MP Mohamed Muzammil, State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said that 488.48 million kilos of milk powder and milk-related products had been imported between 2015 to 2019. Minister Semasinghe said Sri Lanka had imported 86 million kilos of milk powder and milk-related products in 2015, 99 m kilos in 2016, more..

'Govt is bankrupt, expect power outages'

Nov 18 (TM) Despite the Govt claiming that they have enough funds, SJB MP Champika Ranawaka claimed that the Govt is actually bankrupt and added that there will not be electricity in the near future. “The govt said that they would be constructing a Rs 600 billion oil refinery when they came to power, but today even the existing oil refinery is closed. The contract for LP gas will be expiring by Feb, they are not talking about more..

Sri Lanka, US review growing bilateral ties

Nov 18 (FT) US State Dept’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly Keiderling this week held wide-ranging discussions covering bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest with Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage. Ambassador Keiderling was on an official visit to Sri Lanka from 13 to 15 Nov. The Foreign Secretary extended a warm welcome to the visiting senior official from the US Dept of State to SL, Foreign Ministry said. more..

Cabinet nod for carrying out tourism promotion programmes in UK, Germany,...

Nov 18 (Island) Cabinet of Ministers on Monday approved a proposal by the Minister of Tourism to carry out tourism promotion programmes targeting the UK, Germany, France and India, the main sources of tourists in the Asian region. Co-Cabinet spokesman, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the govt wanted to implement tourism promotion programmes aimed at the upcoming vacation season. “All parties involved in the tourism sector, including airlines, are making a collective more..

Govt slammed for failing to build foreign reserve buffers

Nov 18 (DM) In the absence of policy guidance, the govt has failed miserably to build up its foreign reverses in contrast to other South Asian govts, which have beefed up reserves to meet the external challenges, a senior Opposition lawmaker charged. “All South Asian nations, except Afghanistan, have been able to increase their foreign reserves, despite the pandemic; even foreign reserves of Pakistan have risen. more..

Embassy in Moscow promotes Lankan gems among Russians

Nov 18 (FT) The Embassy of SL in Moscow in collaboration with the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of SL and the Russian Club of Jewellery Trade organised a B2B virtual meeting between SL gem and jewellery exporters and Russian jewellery companies on 11 November with the objective of promoting SL precious stones in Russia. The virtual B2B promotion was attended by around 35 Russian jewellery trading and manufacturing companies and aroused keen interest in the SL gem and more..

Tourism sector received over US $ 100mn investments in last 9 months: Prasanna

Nov 18 (DM) SL’s hard-hit tourism sector has received investments amounting to US $ 101 million in the last nine months, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 22 projects worth of US $ 92 million have received the nod to kick off, Tourism Minister Pransanna Ranatunga said. Ranatunga affirmed that efforts are underway to obtain the approval for the remaining 11 projects put forward this year, while steps have been taken to uplift the tourism infrastructure across the island more..

සජිත්ගේ විරෝධය සාර්ථක ද ?

Governor Thiagarajah reads riot act to northern politicians

Nov 18 (Island) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has misused the annual allocations from the government for a long time, Governor of the province, Jeevan Thiagarajah alleged on Tuesday in Vavuniya. The NPC had not spent the annual budgetary allocations it received from the govt and there were many irregularities in the way money was spent, he said. During a meeting with government officials at the District Secretariat – Vavuniya, Governor Thiagarajah said NPC politicians more..

Increase in COVID infection among children after re-opening schools: PHI union

Nov 18 (DM) There is an upward trend in COVID positive cases among school children including primary schools after re-opening schools for educational activities, the Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Union said. PHI Union President Upul Rohana said that many school children, especially teachers and academic staff members had tested positive for the Covid virus. Most of the schools in the Southern, Western and Central Province, including many districts, found many positive cases, he said. more..

President amends institutional, legal framework of several ministries

Nov 18 (EN) An Extraordinary Gazette notification has been issued by the President amending the institutional and legal framework of several ministries. Prez Rajapaksa has issued the gazette, dated yesterday (Nov. 17), exercising the powers vested in him under Articles 44 (1), 45 (1) and 47 (1) (a) (b) respectively of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the institutional and legal framework Presidential Secretariat – more..

GR’s year 2: Crumbling cult and SJB surge

Nov 18 (FT) In March-April 1992, President Premadasa permitted Opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 18-day-long march of anti-Govt protest and agitation from Colombo to Kataragama—the Paada Yatra—to proceed unimpeded though it was a time of intense terrorist attacks and war and could have been banned on grounds of security. Almost 30 years later, Prez Rajapaksa, who having migrated to the USA by then didn’t participate in his brother’s Paada Yatra, sought to suffocate more..

Only Pfizer vaccine will be imported hereafter

Nov 18 (Island) Sri Lanka would import the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the future, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Channa Jayasumana said yesterday. Prof. Jayasumana said that there were enough stocks of other vaccines in the country for the first and second doses. He said that the govt was currently focused on vaccinating schoolchildren and administering the booster dose to those who had received first two doses of the vaccine. more..