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Tambapanni Academic Publishers (TAP) launched

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Tambapanni Academic Publishers (TAP), a Colombo-based independent publisher of academic books in social sciences and humanities was formally launched in an online event on Aug 21.

TAP is initiated by four friends, Karnika Jayatilake, Sasanka Perera, Coralie Pietersz, Nira Wickramasinghe and is guided by a board of advisors composed of eminent professionals and academics.

An international board of editors ensures the high standard of the publications. Jayatilake and Coralie Pietersz are from the corporate sector, while Professors Wickramasinghe and Perera are academics initially from the University of Colombo but now based in Leiden and New Delhi respectively.

Prof Nira Wickramasinghe addressing those present said that the goal of TAP was to bring the best practices associated with globally renowned university presses to academic publishing in Sri Lanka. She noted that one of the main activities of TAP is to publish locally, key academic texts focused on Sri Lanka published elsewhere in the world to make these books accessible to local scholars, students and universities and to make them more affordable.

Beyond this, she said that Tambapanni will also publish original texts in addition to initiating a niche publication programme via translations first in Sinhala and later in Tamil as well. Professor Perera in his address outlined the state of Sri Lankan social sciences and humanities and academic publishing in the country, and noted that it is not an exaggeration to say these fields are in a “state of decay and crisis” in institutional terms though there are always individuals who try to do their best within the existing system.

He said that the initiators of TAP hoped their efforts “will bring knowledge into the country and will also take our knowledge out, and more importantly, make knowledge affordable.”

The event also launched the first two books of Tambapanni, Prof Wickramasinghe’s Slave in a Palanquin: Colonial Servitude and Resistance in Sri Lanka (TAP, Colombo, 2021) initially published by Columbia University Press in 2020, and can be ordered online via SL Books and Perera Hussein Publications. The other book is the e-edition of ‘Imagining Modernity: The Architecture of Valentine Gunasekara’ by Anoma Pieris (e-book, TAP, Colombo, 2021) first published by Stamford Lake in 2007, and is available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble Online. Forthcoming publications by Tambapanni for this year include Professor Nihal Perera’s Sihala translation of Society and Space: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Postcolonial Identity in Sri Lanka’ initially published by West View Press in 2011 and Professor Ronit Ricci’s Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon first published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press.

Speaking on behalf of its initiators, Prof Wickramasinghe said interested academics with book ideas or manuscripts can get in touch with TAP and explore possibilities of future collaboration. More information on Tambapanni is available on its website: https://www.tambapannipublishers.lk/



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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries

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The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.

(SF)

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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter

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The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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