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The British Council launches compelling report – ‘Young People on Climate Change: A Perception Survey’



From left to right: Maarya Rehman – Country Director, British Council Sri Lanka, Malin Herwig – Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Sri Lanka and Anoka Abeyratne- Climate Lead for Royal Commonwealth Society

overwhelming 66% of participants agreed that climate change will be the biggest threat to Sri Lanka in the coming years

Notably six out of ten people in rural Sri Lanka think that climate change will be the biggest impending risk

Encouraging to know that 70% of the youth participants believe they can play the role of an awareness agent on climate change

Over 24% of the youth considered less or no access to knowledge resources as the biggest challenge with another staggering 62.5% not having access to affordable capacity building resources on climate action

Young people aged 18-35 years are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change impacts, particularly in developing countries like Sri Lanka. Seeing as young people are also the future leaders and decision-makers whose attitudes and actions will prove decisive for how the world addresses climate change mitigation and adaptation, it is critical to get a deeper understanding of their perceptions and understanding of climate change and action.

To understand the perceptions of young people in Sri Lanka on climate change and potential action to combat it, the British Council conducted an extensive survey with a respondent base of 1000 youth aged between 18-25 as well as 10 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with youth aged between 26-35 and interviewed over 25 policy makers, climate youth leaders, and other key stakeholders. British Council Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring Unit (REMU), South Asia together with SLYCAN Trust led on the research study.

The research report was formally launched on the 28 and 29 October, at a two-day Youth in Climate Action Virtual Conference hosted by the British Council, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka. The event was successfully concluded with valuable contributions made by the Ministries of Environment, Youth and Sports, Wildlife and Forest Conservation and Regional Corporation as well as Lisa Whanstall, , British Deputy High Commissioner, Sri Lanka, the UNDP Global Youth Program Manager together with the active participation of young people advocating for climate action. The virtual conference will serve as a much-needed platform and agency for setting up dialogue and conversation between key stakeholders, leading to recommendations and ideas for future, whilst discussing how young people can effectively contribute to climate action priorities set out by Government of Sri Lanka, UK and COP26.

“Action and innovation to address climate change is so important and harder to do than simple talking or tweeting about it. I hope to see real measurable action happening post conference, for us and for the future.” shared Anoka Abeyrathne, Climate Lead for Royal Commonwealth Society, who delivered the inspirational keynote session.

The research is part of the British Council’s Climate Connection programme, which aims to bring people around the world together to address the challenges of climate change, through arts and culture, education and the English language. The conference came ahead of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 – 12 November 2021, with the UK presiding as the Summit’s President.

Commenting on the collaboration, Malin Herwig, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, ‘COVID-19 has made people, the world over, experience the fragility of life on earth. Through UNDP’s extensive work in supporting Sri Lanka realize its climate priorities, young people are essential to play a key role in this transformation pathway – to put nature at the heart of sustainable development. It’s encouraging to hear that 70% of the youth interviewed believe they can play the role of an awareness agent on climate change. Let’s draw on the young people for the necessary transformation.’

The findings from the report have also been used to write a Global Youth Letter, a plan of action setting out young people’s aspirations and recommendations around climate change. The letter directly addresses the policymakers and world leaders who will attend the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

British Council Sri Lanka Country Director, Maarya Rehman said, ‘Climate emergency is the biggest crisis facing our planet so it’s no surprise that British Council research has found it’s the number one priority for young people the world over. I’m confident that the research will be a powerful piece of work that can be fed into the National Action Plan at a policy level and more importantly the findings are set to send a strong message about the importance of including youth voices in the climate action conversation.’

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‘Govt. lacks mechanism to recover USD 40 billion spirited out of SL from 2008 to 2018’




By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government doesn’t have any mechanism to recover the USD 40 billion that was siphoned out of the country illegally from 2008 to 2018 by Sri Lanka’s business elites, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Peradeniya Dr. Kalpa Rajapaksha said.

“Most people think that the IMF loan is a victory for Sri Lanka without knowing its risk factors. These are exceptionally high because one of the main impacts would be for the banking sector whose liquidity is due to weaken on account of high tax impositions and certain economic reforms, Dr. Rajapaksha told The Island Financial Review.

Dr. Rajapaksha added: ‘The tax relief given during President Gotabaya Rajapaksha’s tenure triggered this issue, which cost government coffers more than Rs 450 billion. However, Sri Lanka has to carefully follow IMF recommendations taking its history into consideration. It is said that Greece and Ethiopia and several other countries absolutely failed by following IMF recommendations in the past.

‘We are in the dark as to the method of economic recovery because the government is attending to deeper, burning issues in the country, such as reduction of poverty and ending economic inequities.

‘The imposition of heavy taxes on people, especially professionals, via a wealth tax and a heritage tax by 2025 and the increasing of direct taxes, such as VAT, on low income classes, without taking into account the need for a wage hike, will iraise the poverty level and widen wealth inequalities.

‘Inflation at the global level is very high and strategies are required to increase exports and cut down the heavy import dependency of the economy. This is a prerequisite to address all economic woes.

‘The previous ruling party squandered and stole billions of dollars but the present government not having any plan to recover that money is a tragedy. Therefore, promoting neo- liberal principles is impossible under the current corruption scenario.

‘Further, the IMF has set the target of reducing the debt to GDP ratio to 0.7 per cent in 2023, along with their recommendations. Many people doubt the achievability of these aims.’

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Global banking sector instabilities affect local bourse



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading got off to a positive start but later turned negative yesterday due to huge selling pressure. The reasons being investor worries over a domestic debt restructuring mechanism after having secured the IMF loan and the negative global scenario when it comes to the banking sector, market analysts said.

According to analysts, during the last week strategically important banks in the global economic system went through credit default swaps, especially Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse Group AG. But another leading European Corporate Bank possibly facing a credit default swap, created some ripple effects for economies like Sri Lanka, analysts said.

The All- Share Price Index went down by 134.1 points and S and P SL20 declined by 51.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 871 million with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in NDB, which crossed 1.2 million shares to the tune of Rs 51.6 million; its shares traded at Rs 43 and Aitken Spence 772,000 shares crossed for Rs 47.1 million, its shares traded at Rs 61.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, SLT Rs 82 million (717,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 52.8 million (8.2 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 50.1 million (298,000 shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Non- Voting) Rs 36.5 million (388,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 33.6 million (251,000 shares traded), ALC Cables Rs 33.3 million (406,000 shares traded) and Sunshine Holdings Rs 27.2 million (633,000 shares traded). During the day 45.4 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The market is generating revenue from SLT over news of it being divested; moreover, there has been interest for the hotel and tourism indexes, since tourist arrivals and earnings have been attractive, an analyst said.

It is said that Treasury bond yields opened steady on Monday, while the rupee opened weaker at spot market, dealers said.

A 01.07.2025 bond was quoted at 30.75/31.00 per cent on Monday, up from 30.90/31.20 per cent on Friday. A 15.09.2027 bond was quoted at 28.00/70 per cent, up from 28.00/50 per cent from Friday. The Sri Lanka rupee opened at 322/325 against the US dollar, weaker from 320/325 a day earlier.

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Holding ‘Raid Amazones’ for second consecutive year in SL, a rare honour for her – Head of Marketing Srilankan Airlines



Flying start to ‘Raid Amazones'

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

More than 250 female French athletes arrived in Sri Lanka for the challenging ‘Raid Amazones’ adventure event that took place last week in Kandy. They arrived in Sri Lanka for the second consecutive year, which was a big achievement for the country when it comes to the tourism sector, Head of Marketing SriLankan Airlines Saminda Perera said.

“For the first time in ‘Raid Amazones’ history they selected one country for two consecutive years, which could be considered a great honour for Sri Lanka. This would enable more French tourists to arrive in Sri Lanka in the future, Perera told the media recently during the event in Kandy. ‘Raid Amazones’ will hit the streets of the fabled hill capital, Kandy, with the participation of over 250 female athletes.

‘Raid Amazones’ is a well-known annual destination adventure event originating in France, which features female athletes competing their way through a range of challenges, such as, orienteering, mountain biking, canoeing, riding, running and archery.

“Sri Lanka was chosen over rival destinations by the event’s founders due to the unparalleled warmth of its people and support on the ground to pull off a successful event. Their decision is also due to SriLankan Airlines’ tireless marketing efforts to secure the popular trail on successive occasions for Sri Lanka in its hour of need for international tourism support, Perera said.

Saminda Perera

Tourism sources added: “During the 21st edition of the trail, the participants will be able to connect with a potpourri of natural and historical highlights as they trek through the Kandyan plateau in Central Sri Lanka.

“Their journey, though, would begin from the moment that they step onboard SriLankan Airlines to fly from Paris to Colombo, on an aircraft dedicated to ‘Raid Amazones 2023’.

“Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kandy, the iconic setting of ‘Raid Amazones 2023’, is renowned for two of the most recognizable cultural symbols that define Sri Lanka.

“SriLankan Airlines partnered Raid Amazones in 2022 soon after recommencing operations to Paris.

“SriLankan Airlines, together with Connaissance de Ceylan, the official ground- handling partner of the event, will go all out to ensure that the French group experiences the best in Sri Lankan hospitality.

“This event will especially help create more awareness of Sri Lanka as an adventure travel hotspot among French travellers and the rest of Europe, where ‘Raid Amazones’ is sought-after and attracts adventure-seekers.”

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