COVID-19 demands democracy and Fundamental Rights ensured

Much hyped stories about Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers being inhumanly exploited by employers in Sri Lanka during this pandemic period, did make rounds here and travelled beyond our shores as well.

Did Vaas really need a TV?

Cricket has become a hot topic with Sri Lanka securing a series win against South Africa after 08 years and social media posts reflect this renewed interest in the game.

A popular social media post circulating locally has been demanding a TV for Sri Lankan bowling coach Chaminda Vaas.

This is because Vaas was seen rushing to the dressing room to watch replays of bowlers during the match. He was seen doing this each time a Sri Lankan bowler became highlighted during the game.

Upon inquiring whether Vaas really did or did not have a TV, we learnt that although the dressing rooms were fully equiped with TV and the required technology, they just prefered to watch the match from the stairs in front of the dressing rooms. Hence, he had to rush back and forth to the dressing room whenever he felt it was needed.

Vaas has been highly commended on his energy and enthusiasm when it came to the bowlers coached under him.

I have not received a single cent as pension – Cabraal

State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal has responded to the reports which claimed that he called for a pension scheme from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) for himself.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Cabraal reiterated that he has not received a “single cent” as pension.

“Neither have I availed myself of the DUTY FREE vehicle from the Government after working as the Governor [of CBSL] for nearly 9 years,” he said further.

In a previous tweet, the state minister noted that he was not paid a pension even after four years of resigning.

Cabraal also pointed out that he is entitled to the pension as per the appointment letter handed over to him in 2006 when he took office as the Central Bank governor.

US dollars not available anywhere at Central Bank’s rates - Harsha

Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva says that Sri Lanka is today facing its worst economic crisis since independence and that there are no US dollars available anywhere at the rates specified by the central bank.

He stated that in the unofficial market the US dollar is being sold for around Rs. 235-240 and sometimes for even more, despite the exchange rates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka stating that the buying price and selling price of the US dollar is Rs. 198 and Rs. 202.89 respectively.

“Dollars are not available at these rates anywhere,” he said, referring to the Central Bank’s exchange rates.

Dr. de Silva added that a Gazette notification has been issued stipulating a price of Rs. 98 per kilogram for rice, however rice cannot be purchased from anywhere at that price. He said the same can be said for the prices of salmon tins and gas cylinders as they cannot be purchased for the prices declared by the government.  

The SJB MP stated that unfortunately for the first time the Central bank is saying that a US dollar is Rs. 202, however the general public is unable to buy US dollars at that rate from anywhere.

The former State Minister emphasized that what is happening is that Sri Lanka is today facing its worst economic crisis since independence and that the biggest challenge in the short term is the fact that within the next couple of months the country has to payback massive loans obtained is US dollars.

No-confidence motion against Minister Udaya Gammanpila defeated

The Motion of No Confidence brought against Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila by the opposition has been defeated by a majority of 91 votes.

A total of 61 MPs had voted in favour of the motion while 152 parliamentarians voted against it. 

Ranil calls for debate on country’s foreign exchange crisis

UNP MP and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a debate on what he called a major foreign exchange crisis that the country is facing at the moment.

Sri Lanka seeks USD 150Mn loan from ADB for Responsive Vaccines for Recovery project

The Government of Sri Lanka is planning to borrow two loans amounting to USD 150 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement the “Responsive COVID-19 Vaccines for Recovery (RECOVER) Project”.

Indian team touring Sri Lanka is a strong squad, not a second-string side: SLC

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday issued a statement, saying the current India team which arrived in the island to play three ODIs and three T20Is is a “strong squad”.

This clarification from SLC comes on the very day when former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga criticised the board for letting India send their ‘second-string’ team while the main team stayed back in England to play the Test series which commences in August.

Ranil’s name gazetted as UNP National List MP

The Election Commission has gazetted the name of United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the party’s one and only National List Member of Parliament.

The extraordinary gazette notification was published today (June 18) by the Chairman of the Election Commission Nimal G. Punchihewa and the members of the election body, S.B. Divaratne, M.M. Mohamed, K.P.P. Pathirana and Jeevan Thiagarajah.

Port city is part of the growth story of Asia - Cabraal

State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal says that the Colombo Port City, the Hambantota Port and other new development projects will be key factors in taking Sri Lanka forward over the next few years.