“Opened” Lotus Tower still closed to public; TRC and military to run it View(s):The Lotus Tower, which was ceremoniously “opened” in September this year, remains barred to the public with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) now planning to run it with the use of the military. He also said the date on which the Lotus Tower will finally be accessible to the public is “not yet decided”. While Cabinet approval was granted in September to create a new State-owned enterprise to commercialise the Lotus Tower and handle its financial operations, this company has still not be formed. Matters surrounding the Lotus Tower have been repeatedly highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO), including its 2018 annual report released this week. The Auditor General has repeatedly highlighted how neither a project report nor a proper feasibility study was prepared.
Post-election political stability crucial for economic recovery View(s):In two weeks’ time a new President will be in office. Political stability after the election is an immediate requirement for economic recovery. Their plethora of promises would worsen the economic crisis rather than lead to an economic recovery and economic development. PoliciesWhile in the short term, an element of political stability could revive some sectors and turn the stock market to be bullish, an economic recovery would require not only political stability, a multiplicity of economic reforms, pragmatic economic policies and their effective implementation. It is less than half the economic growth of the South Asian region and almost the lowest economic growth in South Asia.
Elections Commission, Fb working to bar hate speech View(s):The Elections Commission has set up a fast track with Facebook in a bit to monitor and bar harmful messages during the period of the Presidential election. He said that since last year’s riots in Kandy there is a concern on harmful messages in social media, especially Facebook. “In the advice that it has given, the ICTA has said that the rapidity of takedowns of the hate speech posts should be fast,” he said. “This included advice on how hate speech and disinformation is dealt with in other jurisdictions, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Germany,” Prof Samarajiva said. Here, the guidance is broader than hate speech, but seeks to equip young people to distinguish between true and false and to engage in responsible behaviour,” Prof. Samarajiva added.
Eagle Group marks 14 years of logistics excellence View(s):Established in 2005, Eagle Logistics Colombo recently celebrated 14 years of delivering innovative solutions to the shipping and logistics industry in Sri Lanka. Since 2005, Eagle Logistics has diversified into many areas and was established as a group in 2017. The company began many other ventures such as Eagle Express which is the only GLS network Partner in Sri Lanka, and Eagle Visible which handles Shipping Desk Solutions and Supply Chain Management as well as 4PL. Eagle also partnered with Interglobe Freight Solutions and also more recently with NTC Logistics India as a joint venture partner in Sri Lanka. Today, the Eagle Group is one of the biggest supply chain and logistics companies in Sri Lanka with over 140 members on its staff.
Government’s total public debt sky-high by 71% By Bandula Sirimanna View(s): View(s):Sri Lanka government’s total debt has skyrocketed to unmanageable proportions by an increase of 71 per cent since the current administration came into power in 2015, Finance Ministry statistics showed. According to Finance Ministry data, public debt has increased to over Rs. Sri Lanka’s public debt has continued to escalate placing huge pressure on the Government budget as well, Treasury sources said. Interest payments on public debt had consumed a large part of Government revenue representing a large portion of Government expenditure. Therefore the Treasury had to finance budget deficits through more borrowings, thereby increasing the amount of public debt, sources revealed.
Breaking down stereotypes and prejudice with music The team behind ‘Clefolution’ speak with the Mirror Magazine about their passion for music and creating awareness on mental health issues View(s): View(s):Founded by Kumuduni Perera – David and Shehan Wijemanne, Clefolution is a new choral ensemble comprising a group of passionate individuals, brought together through their love of music. Clefolution aims to change the stigma surrounding mental health and raise awareness on this subject. As such, all of their efforts place emphasis on building awareness around mental health and to lend a hand to those who are working for the betterment of it. “Clefolution is a music learning environment with a focus on mental health wellbeing. Clefolution also aims to make choral music somewhat different from what the usual choirs sing.
The Spirit of 2019: Another unfinished spring? But although the temptation to seek historical comparisons is understandable, the 2019 uprisings also have a distinct flavour of their own. US disengagement from the region has helped Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro remain in power, despite massive popular protests against his rule. For that reason, the year 2019 could end up resembling the “unfinished spring” of 2010-2012. But given the unique spirit of the current protests and the current state of geopolitical flux, almost any prediction is mere speculation.
De Silva representing Gateway College, Dehiwala set 200m freestyle record in 2:17.86 minutes erasing the previous record of 2:20.21 minutes of Ramudi Samarakoon set in 2016. Wasalathanthri, who held the previous record of 1:12.64 last year, clocked 1:12.93 to win the silver medal. New national records:Girls (Junior)200m backstroke: Minagi Rupesinghe (SBC) 2:35.88 previous record 2:40.56 2018. Boys (Junior)200m freestyle: Chris Pavithra (SPCC) 2:05.92 min previous record 2:06.08 of Amrith Perera (GCC). Boys (Senior)50m backstroke: Akalanka Peiris (SPC) 26.27 sec previous record 26.33 in 2018.
They came in their hundreds from the south to an area denied to them for almost three decades with the ‘north-south’ bridge former President Rajapaksa built. Women use bicycles and scooters to travel, perhaps more than in any other part of Sri Lanka. A top SLPP leader said they are confident of mustering a two thirds majority in Parliament to resolve to conduct parliamentary elections. A group styling itself Api Sri Lanka or we are Sri Lanka signed an MoU with the New Democratic Front at a ceremony at the Taj Samudra Hotel on Friday. The other fact – the news release speaks for the Government of Sri Lanka whilst local ministers and officials maintain a stoic silence.
What happens to the United Kingdom now? By Chris Patten, exclusive to the Sunday Times View(s): View(s):LONDON – The United Kingdom’s Brexit psychodrama continues. In fact, one of Johnson’s senior ministers has said that we might not know the full economic impact of Brexit for 50 years. But what will life be like after Johnson’s deal is in place? But let’s see what happens when we have less money for all the things we want to do as a country and as individuals.
Taiwan raises issues on Ceylon Tea By Sunimalee Dias View(s): View(s):Just as Sri Lanka had eased its problems of residues in tea with Japan, Taiwan has now raised concerns over the maximum residue levels (MRL) found in Ceylon Tea. The issue had arisen about 3-5 months back and the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is currently working on the matter. SLTB Chairman Lucille Wijewardena explained that the glyphosate levels recommended by Taiwan are “very low” at 0.01. Taiwan purchases annually around 4 million kg of Ceylon Tea on average. Sri Lanka sells some of its high end teas to Taiwan and in this regard if one buyer stops purchasing Ceylon Tea it could impact on sales to other buyers in that market as well.
Lankan born Kerrigan at Melbourne Radio View(s):Popular Country singer, Senior Pastor and Planter of Gethsemane Church Kerrigan La-brooy has just added another feather in his cap by becoming a Radio Presenter on Melbourne Radio Station, 97.7 FM 3SER. Kerrigan La-brooy was a popular name in the Country Music scene in Sri Lanka some time back. Founder and Creator of Gethsemane Charity, Kerri however, in the city, he is known as Berwick Pastor Kerrigan La-brooy and has been widely recognised for his mind-blowing involvement in the local community. As Gethsemane Radio can be tuned into every Saturday from 1-2 pm Australia EST. Both programmes can be heard live all around the world on www.caseyradio.com.au or on the Gethsemane radio Page: https://www.facebook.com/gethsemaneradio/Kerrigan’s renowned experience as popular singer, songwriter, entertainer has seen this Sri Lankan born personality show a natural flair when it comes to radio presenting.
A ‘teatastic’ afternoon with Lankan delicacies By Tera Jayewardene View(s): View(s):Think afternoon tea and the quintessentially British fare of cucumber sandwiches and scones may pop into your mind. So there were surprises aplenty but it was after all, a competition for ‘Sri Lankan Afternoon Tea for the 21st Century’. Shangri-La Colombo had the best tea inspired beverage and Club Hotel Dolphin the best tea food pairings. Cinnamon Bey Beruwala served their afternoon tea adorned with traditional Sri Lankan masks.Cinnamon Wild Yala’s display had glasses of water with flowers on top of which were glass platters with the food. The hotels that competed on the first day were Gateway Hotel Airport Garden Colombo, Heritance Kandalama, Grand Hotel, Citrus Hotel Hikkaduwa, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo and Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
All You need to know about Apple Arcade By Mahesh De Andrado View(s): View(s):One key highlight at the recently held Apple September event was Apple’s entrance to the world of cloud gaming. Similar to how Google Stadia operates, Apple Arcade also works across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Mac computers. If you’re running a beta of iOS 13 or the official iOS 13 version, then you’re good to go. Then there’s also the fact that you need an Apple device for Apple Arcade whereas Google Stadia can run on just about anything. Apple Arcade launched in September, whereas Google Stadia launches in November for the Founders Edition and 2020 for the free edition.
The curious case of Mellony Wijesinghe By Sajeewa Jayakody The life of Sri Lanka's rising netball star comes to a tragic end, after losing the battle with AML View(s): View(s):A few days after returning from the Asian Youth Netball Championship in Japan, Mellony Wijesinghe complained of a shoulder pain. She was the highest scorer at her last international competition and, had it not been for her tragic death, she would have led the Sri Lanka youth team next year. Sri Lanka became third behind only Singapore and Malaysia. Her remarkable talent is better than Tharijini Sivalingam, the current national player, on whom Sri Lanka depends heavily as the tallest national player. “Mellony would definitely have captained the Sri Lanka junior team in the 2021 Youth World Cup,” said Gamage.