MONLAR: Govt. has fallen for millers’ ruse
By Rathindra Kuruwita
Farmers would be harvesting their paddy by the time the government imports 100,000 tonnes of rice and it would lead to a decrease in prices they received from millers, Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) warned yesterday.
Addressing a post-Cabinet Press Conference on Monday, co-Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella announced that the Cabinet had approved the import of 100,000 tonnes of rice to increase competition in the market.
Rajapakshe commented that successive governments had been importing large quantities of rice close to the harvesting period.
“Several large mill owners create an artificial shortage of rice when the harvesting season nears. The government responds by importing large quantities of rice, often of dubious quality. The paddy prices collapse, allowing mill owners to buy paddy from farmers at dirt cheap prices and then the mill owners release some of the stocks they have to the market. Given that Sri Lankans prefer to eat Sri Lankan varieties and that the imported rice is of poor quality; no one buys the imported rice,” Rajapakshe said.
The MONLAR moderator said that there was an assumption that the Yala harvest would be low because of the impact of fertiliser shortages on rice production. There had been reports that rice plants were yellowing and their growth was retarded due to a shortage of nitrogen.
Commenting on the allegations that there was a shortage of fertiliser, Minister of Plantation, Ramesh Pathirana told The Island that by the next paddy season the government would be able to provide adequate amounts of compost fertiliser. “There will be some difficulties in the next few months. We must work together to face them. Everyone agrees that organic agriculture is good, but some think the government’s decision was too hasty. However, by the time the Maha season starts we will have enough fertiliser stocks. We are also ready to compensate farmers if there are issues in the current season.”
In response, Rajapakshe said that it was not too late to address the issues that had arisen from nitrogen shortages and questioned how the government had decided that it needed to import 100,000 tonnes of rice, given that it had not studied the impact of fertiliser shortage on the paddy harvest.
“How on earth did they come up with this number? Obviously, this is a scheme to enrich a few businessmen, politicians and some officials. The government should empower farmers’ associations, cooperatives and small mill owners if it wants to find a permanent solution to annual rice shortages experienced by the people,” he said.
J’pura Uni’s Accounting Dept felicitates its alumnus
The Department of Accounting of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura recently felicitated Sanjaya Bandara, the 26th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) for the term 2022/2023.
The event took place on March 24, at the University’s Senate Board Room in the presence of a distinguished audience comprising Past Presidents and Council Members of CA Sri Lanka, top government officials, business leaders, senior academics and administrative staff of the Sri Jayewardenepura university and other universities as well as members of AAA and present students of the Department of Accounting. Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge (Chairman, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka), and Manil Jayasinghe, (Immediate Past President, CA Sri Lanka and Managing Partner, Ernst and Young, Sri Lanka) graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively.
The citation on the services rendered by Sanjaya Bandara was read by Emeritus Professor M W Wickramarachchi.
The English Writers Collective of Sri Lanka (EWC) Creative Writing Competition 2023
Entries are invited from Sri Lankans above 18 years of age for the above titled competition consisting of two sections: prose and poetry. Short stories of up to 2,500 words and poetry of 32 lines or less to be submitted, abiding by the stated guidelines. Three poetry entries are permitted each competitor, a news release on the event said.
First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each category. Payment of a submission fee of Rs 1,000/- per competitor (Reintroduced due to rising costs of printing and publication) to The English Writers Collective of Sri Lanka, account number 0076463484 at the Bank of Ceylon, Kiribathgoda Branch. Cheques could be registered posted with the hard copies of entries.
Proof of payment direct to bank should be WhatsApped to 077 727 4483 along with the payer’s name and title/s of work.Entries of poetry to be emailed to: email@example.com. Two paper copies of each entry to be register-posted to: Nelani Goonawardena, 197/22, Pattiyawatte Road, Kothalawela. Kaduwela.
Prose entries to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Two copies of word processed/typed short stories to be registered-posted to: Rukmini Attygalle, 37/2, Gregory’s Rd, Colombo 7.
The prize winning entries and highly commended poems and short stories will be published in the EWC journal Channels 2023. Closing date for all entries extended to June 16, 2023
Title of ‘Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka’ conferred on Ven. Veligalle Pannaloka Thera
A ceremony to marking the conferring of the title of Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of the Colombo Four Gravets on Ven. Veligalle Pannaloka thera is scheduled to be held at Sri Sambuddhalokha Vihara in Kotte, Madiwela at 3 pm today (28).
The sannaspathra presentation with regard to the conferment of the title took place on Thursday at the Malwatte Maha Vihayara in Kandy.Born on May 10, 1959, in Veligalla, Mawanella, he entered the monastic life at the age of 10 and received his novice training under Ven Dehimaduwe Sarananda Thera.
Ven Veligalle Pannaloka Thera received his basic education from the Polambegoda Sri Sudarshanarama Pirivena and Hunupitiya Gangarama Pirivena and tertiary education from the University of Kelaniya.
Ven Veligalle Pannaloka Thera commenced his teaching career at the Stanley Tillekeratne College in Nugegoda and served at the Vidayaraja Vidayalaya in Hokandars as the school’s deputy principal.
The Malwatte chapter in recognition of Ven Veligalle Pannaloka Thera’s services to the Buddha sasana and civil society conferred on him title the Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of the Colombo Four Gravets.
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