Connect with us

News

Cardinal sounds govt. about large scale deforestation

Published

on

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has stated that if ecosystems are protected, the country’s water resources will become a major source of income in the future. The Cardinal said at a meeting with the Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who paid a courtesy call at his official residence on Tuesday (22).

The Cardinal said: “Deforestation is rampant, and the government must stop it as a national priority. Laws should be enacted to punish those who destroy forests. There will be water shortages in the world in time to come and our water resources will be in high demand.”

Minister Gunawardena said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement was clear on the government’s intention to save forests and increase the country’s forest cover. Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena was also present on the occasion.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Powerful CEBEU says yes to restructuring but on its terms

Published

on

Sri Lanka will experience periodic power cuts until 2027 if the government did not take steps to increase electricity production, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) said yesterday.Due to electricity shortages, the Norochcholai Power Plant had been operational non-stop, sometimes even without scheduled maintenance, CEBEU President, Saumya Kumarawadu said.

“A generator is down. We will get it back online within 14 days. We had started maintenance on another plant in June and it was to be back online in September. But it has been delayed till November,” he said.

Kumarawadu said there would be 10-hour power cuts without Norochcholai. However, the power cuts could be reduced in two weeks when the generator was restored, he said.

He added that while they support restructuring of the CEB, they oppose de-bundling and selling the CEB to various private actors.

“Power cuts might have to go on till 2026 or 2027 unless new plants come up. A proposal to build an LNG power plant is still languishing in the Cabinet,” he said.

The CEBEU President also said that the electricity tariff was last increased in 2012. In 2014, the tariff was reduced. Without increasing electricity tariffs, the CEB will have to get increasing amounts of money from the treasury.

“The government should have increased the tariff at regular intervals. We haven’t increased in a decade and suddenly we have increased by a large amount.That’s why it has come as a shock to people,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

SJB opposes blanket privatisations

Published

on

… questions logic of selling cash cows like Telecom and Insurance

The SJB was opposed to the privatisation of profit-making government entities, Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella, said yesterday, in Colombo.Kiriella said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had told The Economist magazine that they are thinking of privatising Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Insurance.

“These are two institutions that make a profit. What is the point in privatising these?” he asked.

MP Kiriella said that they are not opposed to privatizing SriLankan Airlines, which has been making losses for years.

“We can talk about these things in Parliament. Even when we privatize loss making entities we have to take a number of things into consideration. What will happen to the workers? How will we compensate them? How will we re-skill them? We have to talk about these things openly before doing anything,” he said.

The Chief Opposition Whip said that one of the main reasons why people oppose privatization is because everything is done in secrecy.

“People wonder why things are hidden from them. We need to be open and transparent when we restructure,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Asian Century will not happen if China and India could not join hands – Jaishankar

Published

on

Bangkok:External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday that the relationship between India and China is going through an “extremely difficult phase” after what Beijing has done at the border and emphasised that the Asian Century will not happen if the two neighbours could not join hands.

Jaishankar made the remarks while responding to a series of questions after delivering a lecture on ‘India’s Vision of the Indo-Pacific’ at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University.

Responding to a question, Jaishankar said that the Asian Century will happen when China and India come together but the Asian Century will be difficult to happen if India and China could not come together.

“At the moment (the India-China) relationship is going through an extremely difficult phase after what China did at the border,” he said.

Chinese and Indian troops are engaged in a prolonged standoff in Eastern Ladakh. The two sides have so far held 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level talks to resolve the standoff which erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

“I think if India and China have to come together, there are many reasons to do so, not necessarily only Sri Lanka,” he said, adding that it is in India and China’s own interest to join hands.

“We very much hope that wisdom dawns on the Chinese side,” he said while replying to another question from the audience.

Jaishankar said India has done the best of its abilities to assist Sri Lanka. This year alone India has extended USD 3.8 billion of support to Sri Lanka, including line of credits and swap arrangements, he said.

Sri Lanka, a nation of 22 million, is in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis that has led to severe shortages of fuel and other essentials. The Sri Lankan government is negotiating with the IMF for a bailout package.

“Any help we can give to Sri Lanka at the IMF that we will naturally do,” Jaishankar said.

On the issue of Rohingya refugees, he said the issue has been discussed with Bangladesh. “What matters for them is repatriation. We have been supportive of Bangladesh,” he said.Currently, Bangladesh is hosting more than 1 million Rohingya refugees, who fled Myanmar following a military operation against them a few years ago.

Responding to another question, Jaishankar dismissed criticism for importing discounted Russian oil, saying India is not the only oil importing country.The US and European nations have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

India has raised oil imports from Russia after the Ukraine war despite criticism from the west and continues to engage with Moscow for business.Jaishankar, who arrived here on Tuesday, co-chaired the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting with his Thai counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai on Wednesday during which they discussed advancing bilateral contacts in political, economic, security and defence, connectivity and health domains. – NDTV

Continue Reading

Trending