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Sri Lanka can take high road with cannabis instead of IMF to solve debt crisis: Diana Gamage

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka can stand straight and solve the debt crisis by exporting cannabis oil instead of bending in two before the International Monetary Fund and other creditors, legislator Diana Gamage appointed to parliament on the SJB National List but now backing the ruling party told parliament last week during the budget debate..

“We do not have to beg and bend in two – inga kanna, dekata nemenna – before the IMF or other lenders,” Gamage now in court trying to block the SJB from expelling her, told parliament.

“We can earn billions from the export of CBD oil (Cannabidiol) if we throw out British era legislation, and allow cannabis to be grown commercially. This country has now been an independent for 73 years and we need not be under colonial laws.”

It was a practical solution to the debt crisis and no zonking out (being under influence of drugs and alcohol) was intended.

“I am not saying to allow cannabis to be used as an intoxicating substance,” she said. “Those laws can stay. But we need to throw out legislation banning this crop.”

Gamage said IMF was not needed when Sri Lanka joined the cannabis bandwagon.

If the British era law was junked under Section 08 of the Ayurveda Act, the Commissioner of Ayurveda can allow the crop to be grown commercially for medicinal purposes.

“Our gods and nature has given us a cash crop,” Gamage said. “The European Investment Bank has said global trade in Cannabis will grow 1000 percent in 10 years.

“In 2018 it was worth four to five billion US dollars. By 2027 cannabis trade will be worth 140 billion rupees. It is now mostly confined to North America and Europe.

She said CBD oil was being approved for treating several diseases already. These included multiple sclerosis, post-trauma and also Dravet Syndrome for children.

“We can earn billions of dollars from the export of Cannabis (CBD oil),” she said. “I hope this house will throw out this 19th-century British ordinance.”



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Holy month of Ramadan begins for Muslims around the world

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A Palestinian girl cleans the stone floor of the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary in front of the Dome of the Rock, as part of preparations for the holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City (pic Aljazeera)

Aljazeera reported that the holy month of Ramadan began at sundown on Wednesday, as the faithful prepared for a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting intended to bring them closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.

For the next 30 days, Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset. Many will strictly observe prayers, read the Quran and donate to charity as they seek to draw closer to God. They are also encouraged to refrain from cursing, fighting, gossiping and road rage throughout the holy month.

Muslims believe God began revealing the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan more than 1,400 years ago.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required for all Muslims, though exceptions are made for young children and the sick, as well as women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating. Travelers are also exempt, including athletes attending tournaments away from home.

 

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Sri Lanka will have best anti-corruption law in South Asia soon – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat with the heads of media organization on Thursday (23),  that  necessary steps will be taken to pass the best anti-Corruption Act in South Asia in Parliament soon

The President revealed that cabinet approval for the Bill has already been granted and said that he will discuss it with the Opposition representatives in the future and present it to the Parliament.

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Public sector will stop engaging in business and open it to the private sector in the future – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that due to the public sector engaging in business activities, the money that was available for the construction of 100 projects similar to the Mahaweli during the past decades, has been lost and  noted that in the future, the public sector will stop engaging in business and open it to the private sector to create a free and productive economy.

President Wickremesinghe mentioned this at the 71st commemoration ceremony of the late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake at Independence Square on Wednesday (22).

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