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Au Revoir Gowry Nenda



Appreciation – Mrs. Gowry Shankari Thavarasha

There exists an assemblage of people who are determined to make this world a better place for the rest of us just because it’s the right thing to do. If one sentence can paint a picture of who Gowry nenda was, it’d be that.

My recollections of that almighty bang down the hallway of our home in September of 2008 are quite shallow, possibly because I was only three, but one thing I do remember is that a friendly face showed up at our door early next morning and took us to a safe place. That face was hers and this was the only first of many, many more instances where that friendly face showed up, bringing with it the kindest and most compassionate heart one could dream of and a helping hand at the first sign of a day gone wrong.

We’d often find ourselves itinerant with her and her family. She was always glad to join us and would regularly invite us to join her as well. She added emphatically to the enjoyable experiences that were so profuse during those retreats by means of her bubbly and sociable personality.

We’d often go to see her at her place and we were greeted every time to a warm hug from her and a table full of the most appetizing food in the world – her signature Jaffna Chicken Curry was my favorite. She’d also come by our place quite often and never did she show up empty handed. Giving was in her blood.

I’m not qualified to speak to her standing in her profession, but from what I saw and heard she was as genuine as advocates for justice get. She didn’t see class or race or the other things that tend to so often divide Sri Lankans – she only saw the human in them and the injustices they faced.

I could go on about the time we had together but this serves as a rationale to why I was as delighted and excited as I was, every time I was told that we were going to see her and it is why I will always, for all time cherish the delightful experiences and memories we shared together.

I’m still in shock and misery at the utterly undeserved and depressing turn of events of August 23. To her I say thank you, thank you for your unconditional love and care for both me and my brother Maanikya – Podda.

You represent the best of humanity. May your Soul Rest in Peace. Om Shanti!

Au revoir Gowry nenda – Lokka.

Chithmina Weliamuna

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GL: Suspension of IMF bailout highlights failure to meet anticipated revenue targets



Prof. G.L

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Top Opposition spokesperson Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday (02) said that the government should take full responsibility for the suspension of USD 2.9 bn IMF bailout over Sri Lanka’s failure to achieve the anticipated revenue mobilisation.

The former External Affairs Minister found fault with the government for tax concessions granted to investors and the failure on its part to collect taxes, in spite of reaching an agreement with the IMF in that regard.

Referring to the declaration made by IMF delegation head Peter Breuer that the second tranche of about $330m would be delayed pending Staff-Level Agreement, Prof. Peiris pointed out that Sri Lanka and the lending agency had reached a staff-level agreement in early September last year.

Sri Lanka received the first tranche of USD 330 mn in the third week of March this year in terms of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), spread over a period of four years.

While pointing out that revenue mobilisation had improved, the IMF said revenue was expected to fall short of initial projections by nearly 15 percent by the end of this year.

Addressing the media at the Nawala Office of Nidahasa Jathika Sabhawa, Prof. Peiris said that though the government tried to put on a brave face, the consequences of the indefinite delay could be quite catastrophic. He said the suspension of the programme could undermine debt restructuring talks with external creditors, governments, lending agencies and the commercial market.

Prof. Peiris said that the suspension of the programme, just after the release of the first tranche, was a matter for serious concern as the unexpected development could cause further erosion of investors’ confidence in the Sri Lankan economy.

Sri Lanka has obtained IMF assistance on 16 occasions.

Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Economic and Physical Plans Mahindananda Aluthgamage on Sunday told The Island the country was paying a very heavy price for the failure on the part of the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise Department to collect the due taxes. Alleging that unpaid income taxes alone, over the past 15 years, amounted to a staggering Rs 904 bn, whereas revenue collecting authorities so far managed to collect Rs 1,643 bn though they were given a target of Rs. 3,101 bn for this year.

Prof. Peiris said that corruption in the public sector procurement process undermined the economic recovery process. The government defeated the Opposition moved no-confidence motion against Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella over corruption in the public health sector, Prof. Peiris said, asserting that the IMF must be aware of how the government encouraged waste, corruption, irregularities and mismanagement.

Prof. Peiris urged the government to take tangible measures to address the concerns of the IMF. Unfortunately, the government sought to deceive the public by claiming that the process was on track and would proceed following staff-level agreement, he said. He asked whether the government wanted the people to believe there would be staff-level agreements before the release of each tranche.

Prof. Peiris said that the government should correctly identify the warning issued by the IMF. It would be the responsibility of the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government to take remedial measures without further delay.

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LPBOA demands bus fare hike



By Rathindra Kuruwita  

Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) head, Gemunu Wijeratna on Monday (02) said they needed a five percent increase in bus fares following Sunday’s diesel price hike.

On Sunday, CPC, LIOC and Sinopec increased diesel prices by 10 rupees per litre.

Wijeratna said that the private bus owners had not increased bus fares when diesel prices were increased by 35 rupees per litre recently.

“With the latest price increase, short distance buses will lose Rs 1,000 a day. Long distance buses will lose Rs 2,500 a day. We can’t lose money like this. We want at least a five percent bus fare hike,” he said.

School transport providers have decided not to increase their charges.

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Discourse on crisis in Lankan health sector at CSR



A discourse on the crisis in Sri Lankan health sector, under the theme ‘What ails the health sector? What solutions?’ is scheduled to be held at 4.00 p.m. on Thursday, 05 October 2023, at the Centre for Society & Religion (CSR) Auditorium, 281, Deans Road, Colombo 10, under the auspices of the Socialist Study Circle. The speakers will be Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Consultant Community Physician, President, Sri Lanka Medical Association, Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, Consultant Physician, National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Ravi Kumudesh President, Academy of Health Professionals. The discourse is open to the public.

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