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Ex-‘Maco’ adds his voice to the growing protests

Ex-‘Maco’ adds his voice to the growing protests

The now retired Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya joined a public protest in Ambalangoda yesterday wearing a placard, telling the Police Chief to apprehend the Rambukkana “devil” who killed a protester who was in a crowd asking for fuel at affordable prices.  

More blows to Lanka: UAE fuel supplier imposes credit squeeze

Sri Lanka has run into further crisis in fuel purchases with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) facing a credit squeeze from one of the major suppliers from the United Arab Emirates, a senior CPC official said yesterday. Similar situations were expected from other suppliers in the coming months after the Government announced its decision to [...]

IMF, WB cite Sri Lanka as case study for tackling rising debt

Sri Lanka’s debt crisis, among other global topics, figured prominently at this week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which discussed the growing debt problem of countries in the post-pandemic era. It was revealed that Sri Lanka waited too long to resolve its debt crisis. While Sri Lankan negotiators [...]

Health services “critical”, says Minister; Govt. seeks life line from professional and foreign donors

The Health Ministry has sought assistance from medical associations and professionals within the health sector to help manage the country’s essential medicines and medical equipment shortage over the next “critical” 90-day period until fresh stocks arrive. The ministry has sought assistance from health sector unions including the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), the Association of [...]

Foreign airlines cut flights; cargo carriers insist on payments in dollars

International airlines, including Emirates, have drastically pruned flights to Colombo while cargo carriers this week turned down point blank a proposal by the Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders’ Association to consider taking rupee payments as the dollar crisis worsens. Emirates has reduced its daily flights from four to two and Air Arabia has cut [...]

Sabry outlines three-pronged strategy to resolve debt crisis; apologises to the people

The Government is relying on bridge financing with friendly countries and global lending agencies to face the current economic challenges in the short term before International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance is finalised, Finance Minister Ali Sabry said on Friday. “For emergency financing, the Government is considering options from various countries such as India, China and [...]

Cancelled light rail project: Lanka rejects claims for billions as compensation

The Sri Lankan Government has turned down billions of rupees worth of claims from consultants of the cancelled Japan-funded Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, citing advice from Sri Lanka’s Attorney General’s Department. The consultants–who indicate that they were blindsided–have now asked the funding agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to help secure their unpaid project [...]

Controversy over Colombo Uni’s new VC: Three council members resign in protest

The University of Colombo (UoC) has been hit by a spate of resignations following the appointment of its new Vice Chancellor (VC) Senior Professor H.D. Karunaratne. So far, Prof Thilak Karunaratne, Prof Ajith Gunawardena and Sumith Cumaranatunga have resigned as Members of the UoC Council in protest. More are expected to leave over the next [...]

Bond scam: SC stays order of High Court

The Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the order given by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar discharging 11 accused including former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran over the Central Bank bond scam perpetrated in 2016. The accused had been charged with defrauding Rs 15 billion during the Treasury Bond auction [...]

Barbara, way ahead of her time

Barbara, way ahead of her time

Barbara Sansoni, the well-known Sri Lankan artist and designer, passed away on April 23rd at around 1.10 a.m., just one hour after her 94th birthday. Dominic, her devoted son and Kavi, her faithful right hand, were by her side – Simon, her eldest, could not make it as he was in London. On the 22nd, [...]

High interest rates cause consternation among businesses running on loans

The Central Bank’s decision to raise interest rates has caused consternation among businesses surviving on loan repayment moratoriums. “Most of these Covid 19 moratoriums relate to loans granted to businesses at floating rates. This means the new interest rate hikes will hit them hard,” noted Colombo Business Association Chairman Chaminda Vidanagamage. As the moratorium period [...]

Rambukkana eyewitnesses contradict police version of deadly shooting

Rambukkana eyewitnesses contradict police version of deadly shooting

Some eyewitness accounts contradict the police version of the shooting in Rambukkana on Tuesday where a young father of two was gunned down by police amid protests by residents demanding petrol and diesel at a filling station. The last rites for Chaminda Lakshan, 42, who was shot to death, were held on Saturday at the [...]

Cop saying; Liar Man saying; Tom Pachaya

GotaGoGama: Peaceful protesting through art and performance

Two weeks after it kicked off, ‘GotaGoGama’ has transformed from a satirically-named protest site to a community of people expressing themselves through art, performance and public service. “This is a new generation of dissent,” said 59-year-old advertising professional Jude Marlon Silva. “I have never seen a revolution like this before.” He recalls the clashes of [...]

Fares shock forces workers to skip the bus

Fares shock forces workers to skip the bus

The latest increase in bus fares to near 50% following the haphazard fuel price revision within weeks has made travelling much more expensive for the average wage earner. Bus operators said fewer people are travelling and services have been limited to the mornings and evenings for school children and office workers. Lanka Private Bus Owners [...]

Uniting in grief

The third anniversary of the Easter Sunday attacks was marked with several commemorative events on Thursday. The main events took place at St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church, Katuwapitiya in Negombo and Zion Church in Batticaloa. Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, along with other religious representatives, took part in the commemoration programme at St [...]

2019 Easter Sunday attacks: Actor Jehan Appuhami asks for justice

On Friday, stage drama actor Jehan Appuhami completed a three-day walk from Katuwapitiya to Galle Face Green carrying a wooden cross, demanding justice for victims and families affected by the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings. Mr Appuhami who reached Galle Face Green on Friday evening covering a distance of 40 km was welcomed by thousands of [...]

Flag bearers waive respect for the flag

Flag bearers waive respect for the flag

The national flag which is being widely used in protests is being misused by some. Protest participants have been seen wearing the flag as a cap, a shawl and a cape. Others drape it on vehicles. Some groups at the protest area at Galle Face in Colombo have been seen using flags as blankets. The [...]

Fuel crisis a chance to create tracks for pedal power

Fuel crisis a chance to create tracks for pedal power

Senior manager of the Nations Trust Bank Wattala branch, Ruwan Kolitha leaves his residence at Udahamulla, Nugegoda every day around 6.30 am,, while his colleagues spend hours in fuel queues Mr. Kolitha rides his bicycle from Udahamulla to the office, about 20 kilometres, which takes him about one hour. “If I use my car, it [...]

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit

Protestors at the Galle Face Green have been spending many sleepless nights during the past two weeks. Some of them have been staying on continuously while others keep on returning to the site which has attracted tens of thousands to the location. At nights some of them take a break while some others keep their [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Heated accusations aplenty but House remains in political gridlock

Even as police bullets claimed the life of a father of two and left more than a dozen injured in Rambukkana, the political gridlock in the country’s legislature remained. There were plenty of heated debates and finger pointing among MPs over who was ultimately responsible for the crisis, and sittings had to be suspended on [...]

President must appoint a more capable Cabinet, says in-out-in Media Minister

Confusion and uncertainty reign over the newly appointed cabinet, amid resignations, change of subjects and new appointments. Newly appointed Media Minister Dr Nalaka Godahewa told the Sunday Times that he tendered his resignation on Wednesday (20), two days after he was appointed, to create greater political stability. He said the remaining memebers of the cabinet [...]

The two 21st Amendments: Similarities and differences

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and a group of 41 MPs who are sitting with the opposition as independents this week presented two draft constitutional amendments that they propose Parliament passes to end the prevailing political crisis. The drafts were presented as private member’s bills. The SJB’s 21st Amendment to the Constitution was presented by [...]

BASL puts forward proposals for governance

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has released a set of 13 proposals to “restore political and economic stability in the country.” A key proposal made by the BASL is the immediate introduction of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution by repealing the provisions of the 20th Amendment and restoring the 19th Amendment. Other [...]

Private hospitals ring alarm bells over essential drugs; put forward 2 proposals to regulatory body

Private hospitals ring alarm bells over essential drugs; put forward 2 proposals to regulatory body

Private hospitals have put forward two urgent plans to bring in the critically needed life-saving drugs to treat their patients. Cautioning that this is an emergency and disaster situation, the Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH) has held discussions with the Health Ministry about the possibility of securing donations from people abroad or [...]

Solar and wind energy could end blackouts but funds not available

The country’s annual electricity demand could be met by oil-fired power plants and a similar amount comes from coal and hydro power. However, because of the lack of sufficient rain hydro power generation has been impacted and this has resulted in the ongoing power crisis. However, independent social analysts say a lack of facilities such [...]

Mother and daughter die after home generator explodes; son in critical condition

Tragedy struck a family in Keppetipola, Welimada, after the home generator that was on during a power cut caught fire and exploded leaving two dead and a third in a critical condition. Wasnatha Hemamali, 38, an employee of the Keppetipola Pradeshiya Sabha Sub office and her nine-year-old daughter Kawisha Hasini Ratnayake succumbed to their injuries [...]

Signal failure: Railway crossings now death traps due to power outages

Railway crossings have become a death trap for many as the number of deaths reported is rising due to the failure of signal lights caused by hours-long power outages. On Friday, an 11 year old boy was killed when a minivan collided with a Jaffna bound express train at an unprotected railway crossing near Mirusuvil [...]

Ongoing campaign against National Archives DG takes another turn

Ongoing campaign against National  Archives DG takes another turn

A fresh Cabinet-approved subcommittee appointed to revisit unresolved dispute from 2018 after 4 employees alleged that DG Nadeera Rupesinghe had sold copies of historical Dutch records to outsiders Dr Rupesinghe, a Netherlands-educated historian whom senior staff are battling to retain, has repeatedly denied the allegations and called for proof Two repositories at the National Archives [...]

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