An Echelon Media Company
Wednesday July 24th, 2024

Sri Lanka airline readying to start scheduled flights in June 01

AFRICAN AIRLIFT: Three SriLankan Airlines discharging supplies at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines is getting ready to resume scheduled flights by June if health authorities give the go head, Chairman Ashok Pathirage said as the carrier is battling a to survive a Coronavirus crisis.

“We are working with Airport and Aviation Services to resume our scheduled commercial flights by the first of June,” Pathirage told an online forum organized by Sri Lanka’s National Chamber of Commerce.

“We can be ready, but it is up to the government and health authorities… they will have to evaluate and tell us when this could be possible.”

SriLankan stopped scheduled flights as airports closed and travel restrictions came in.

Pathirage said airports are gradually opening up. India had just given the nod to resume domestic flights.

“We have to learn to live with this pandemic,” Pathirage said. “I do not think we think this is going to go away in three months.

“We have to take all the important measures and walk with this. We have to think about the economy and the government revenues side.”

Lockdown curfews have brought many economic activities to a halt and the fiscal deficit is expected rise in 2020. The government has selectively let many businesses operate.

The airline is now selling tickets on a few flights to Japan, Hong Kong and London, which are operated to bring back SriLankans or take cargo.

SriLankan is also operating to over two dozen airports carrying cargo from Sri Lanka. It is also carrying cargo for third countries. Last week SriLankan airlifted supplies to South Africa.


SriLankan Airlines outbound flights to London, Tokyo, Hong Kong

Sri Lankan to operate cargo flights to 27 destinations in Coronavirus crisis

Sri Lanka airline airlifts 7mn face masks to South Africa

Sri Lanka has aggressively contact traced and contained infections though the effort was partially de-railed after infected sailors were given leave and allowed to cross district lines during curfews.

Sailors who were involved in contact tracing and quarantine work were also not tested due to reluctance to test anyone outside of existing clusters linked to symptomatic index cases. The gaps have since been closed.

Though Sri Lanka is ahead of many countries in fighting Coronavirus, the island’s economy has been hit by monetary instability which started shortly before the Coronavirus crises.

Sri Lanka printed money and cut rates from late February and cut rates before the pandemic started triggering a currency panic sending the rupee crashing to 200 to the US dollar from 182 to the US dollar before rate cuts and money printing.

However private consumption and credit has fallen after a lockdown curfews reducing demand. After printing money authorities also slapped import controls. (Colombo/May16/2020)

Leave a Comment

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

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

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

Sri Lanka presidential candidate cash deposits not updated in 43 years: MP

MP Dullas Alahapperuma

ECONOMYNEXT — The cash deposits Sri Lanka’s presidential candidates are required to pay have not been revised in 43 years, opposition MP Dullas Alahapperuma said, calling for a significant increase in order to save money and to prevent proxy candidates.

Alahapperuma told parliament on Wednesday July 24 that, as per the Presidential Elections Act No. 15 of 1981, a candidate nominated by a recognised political party has to deposit only 50,000 rupees while an independent candidate, or a candidate nominated by any other party or by an elector, must pay only 75,000 rupees.

The MP said the cabinet of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa had approved an amendment to the act to increase these amounts.

“The election commission proposed that this be increased to 2.5 million rupees for political parties and 3 million for independent candidates. This was a pertinent proposal. There were 35 candidates who contested the last election,” he said.

The Act notes that “Where the number of votes polled by any candidate does not exceed one-eighth of the total number of votes polled at the election, the deposit made in respect of such candidate shall be declared forfeit and shall be transferred by the Commissioner from the deposit account to the Consolidated Fund, and in every other case the deposit shall be returned to the person who made the deposit, as soon as may be after the result of the election is declared.”

At the 2019 presidential election, said Alahapperuma, the deposits made by all candidates besides the top two contenders were transferred to the Consolidated fund.

“The number of candidates might be 80 or 85 this election. Many candidates have no basis for contesting, and it costs a vast sum of money to print ballots and other expenses, not to mention the time consumed for counting votes. This is not just to prevent proxy parties from contesting but also to save a lot of national wealth,” he said.

Leader of the House Susil Premajayantha responding to Alahapperuma said, however, that it would not be possible to pass the proposed amendment in time for the 2024 presidential election.

“The election commission made this proposal some time ago. But we know that to gazette a bill, we need to first draft the bill, the cabinet has to decide on it, send it back to the Legal Draftsman, and receive clearance from the Attorney General. So there is no time to bring this amendment for the upcoming presidential election. You can propose it at the next one,” he said. (Colombo/Jul24/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka deaf driver license project to be expanded islandwide

ECONOMYNEXT – A pilot project that allowed hearing-impaired persons to obtain light-vehicle driving licenses has been successful and will be rolled out island-wide, Sri Lanka’s Motor Traffic Department said.

The project was implemented in the Gampaha District initially where 50 licenses were provided to drivers who qualified.

The project was expanded to the Kurunegala District, where 150 drivers obtained licences. The drivers were given a probation period.

“Actually, this was a very successful project. It has been almost a year and we haven’t received a single complaint yet,” Motor Traffic Department Commissioner – Driving Licence Wasantha Ariyarathna told reporters on Wednesday.

“We plan to roll it out to all 25 districts islandwide.”

The issuance of driver’s licenses to hearing impaired persons will be done on a bi-annual renewal basis.

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka election commission to announce poll date before weekend

File photo of polling booth

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka’s Election Commission will announce the date of the election before the end of this week, commission chairman R M L Ratnayake told a private news network.

Ratnayake told the privately owned NewsFirst Wednesday July 24 morning that the gazette notification in this regard would be published before the weekend.

“As I stated before, we will announce the date before the end of this week. There is no backtracking at all. We have selected a date that is nearest and most suitable after September 17 for the election,” he said.

Ratnayake told the media at a press conference on July 16 that the commission will publish the notice announcing nomination and election dates before the end of July.

“Our first task is to publish the notice on the election. From the day the notice is published, nominations have to be accepted between 16 and 21 days. The election should be held within four to six weeks of from the day of accepting nominations,” said Ratnayake.

“The candidates must have enough time to do their campaigns after handing over nominations. Time is also needed to cast postal votes and carry out other duties. The election date should also be convenient for the voters. For the acceptance of nominations, we have to consider cultural factors unique to a country like Sri Lanka. Some people consider things like the Rahu period. So we have to find a date that is suitable for everyone,” he said.

Ratnayake said the election commission intends to issue the notice before the end of July.

“This notice will contain the nominations date and the election date. We plan to then hold the election on the most suitable day after September 17.

“Some people had suggested that we have delayed this to end July to the benefit of one party or another. I want to point out that we can delay we can extend it to August 20 if needed,” he said. (Colombo/Jul24/2024)

Continue Reading