An Echelon Media Company
Thursday December 7th, 2023

Sri Lanka to set up infant receiving counters for unwanted new-borns

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to set up ‘infant receiving counters’ to take in unwanted newborns, Minister for Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment Geetha Kumarasinghe said in the wake of incidents that included infanticide.

“None of these incidents were due to any financial issues. We have never heard the victims say that they did it out of hunger. A majority of these incidents occur as spousal revenge,” said Kumarasinghe.

The Minister explaining a sudden spate of child abuse cases she claimed had nothing to do with the Sri Lanka’s ongoing currency crisis, its worst in decades.

Cases of child abuse recorded in recent years are as follows: 2020 – 8165, 2021 – 11,187, 2022 – 10,497, followed by a number of cases so far in 2023.

Annually, the National Child Protection Authority receives around 8,000 complaints or around 500-600 a month. Most of the complaints relate to child harassment. Rape is a close second.

On March 11, an unmarried couple had abandoned a 13-day-old infant in the toilet of an express tran. In Chilaw, a mother had reportedly pushed her daughter into a tank at a prawn farm.

As much as 50 percent of child abuae cases are not reported.

“Any parents who feel their children are a burden or are unable to raise them can hand over the kids to these counters,” Minister Kumarasinghe told reporters.

In 2021, the Board of Directors of the National Child Protection Authority proposed Infant Receiving Counters but it was not implemented as it was within the purview of the Department of Probation and Childcare Services. Senior Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice and Chairman of National Child Protection Authority, Chanaka Udyakumara Amarasinghe said.

Child receiving counters are planned to be set up in hospitals in the nine provinces. Parents will be able to hand over their children anonymously.

Minister Kumarasinghe said single mothers are also under pressure from society. However, she does not advocate abortion.
“I don’t believe in abortion,” Minister Kumrasinghe said. “A single mother should be able to live in society.”

Abortion is illegal in Sri Lanka, despite many progressive and feminist movements supporting women’s bodily autonomy and their right to choose.

“This is a problem prevailing in the country. In foreign countries, nobody is interested in knowing whether they are married, or whether the baby gets the father’s name on his birth certificate. It’s only Sri Lankans who worry about such things,” said Kumarasinghe.

“It should be acknowledged that all women have a right to raise a child.” (Colombo/Mar18/2023)

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 *

COP28 sees new era for climate action with $57 bln pledge; Sri Lanka’s proposals need approval

ECONOMYNEXT – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has witnessed governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropies announcing support of over $57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the global event with eight pledges and declarations receiving historic support.

After a historic deal to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on the first day, announcements have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy.

On climate finance, the COP28 host United Arab Emirates launched a $30 billion catalytic fund, ALTÉRRA, with an emphasis on unlocking private finance across the Global South.

The host nation also has announced $200 million for SDRs and $150 million for water scarcity.

The World Bank has announced an increase of $9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, while the first two days of COP28 saw $725 million in pledges after a historic response to loss and damage was operationalized.

Eight new declarations have been announced which are expected to help transform every major system of the global economy.

These include the first ever declarations on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, as well as initiatives to decarbonize heavy emitting industries.

The eight declarations are:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge has been endorsed by 119 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate has received endorsements from 137 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health has been endorsed by 125 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace has been endorsed by 74 countries and 40 organizations.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance has been endorsed by 12 countries.
  • The Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge has been endorsed by 64 countries.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has been endorsed by 51 companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production.
  • The Industrial Transition Accelerator has been endorsed by 35 companies and six industry associations, including World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, International Air Transport Association.

Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender. The number of countries supporting these declarations and pledges is growing and demonstrates an unprecedented level of inclusivity at this COP.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced three new proposals: Climate Justice Forum (CJF), Tropical Belt Initiative (TBI), and International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka.

However, the proposals are yet to get approval from the general UN body though the island nation’s authorities expect wide support for the moves.

“What we have done is to talk to countries about the initiatives and launch them. Next step is for them to be formally recognized by the main body,” Ruwan Wijewardena, the Senior Advisor to President Wickremesinghe on Climate change, told Economy Next.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

  • Loss and Damage: $725 million
  • Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)
  • Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion
  • Technology: $568 million
  • Methane: $1.2 billion
  • Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)
  • Food: $2.6 Billion
  • Nature: $2.6 Billion
  • Health: $2.7 billion
  • Water: $150 million
  • Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion
  • Local Climate Action: $467 million (Dubai/Dec 6/2023)
Continue Reading

Sri Lanka to start international tourism branding campaign

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will soon start a tourism international marketing campaign under the theme ‘You will come back for more,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

“We have not had a branding campaign for 15 years,” Fernando told parliament. “A campaign has been developed by Ogilvy.

“It will help us reach the target of 2.3 million tourists next year.”

This year Sri Lanka is expecting a 1.5 million tourists with close to 1.3 million reached by November.

About 6,000 tourists are now coming each day, at the moment he said.

On December 10, three cruise ships are due. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka 3-month Treasuries yields fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasury bill yields eased across maturities with the tree month yield falling 19 basis points to 14.67 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

A total of 185 billion rupees in bills were sold, with sharply lower than offered volumes in 12-months sold.

The debt office offered 55 billion rupees of 3 -month bills and sold 87 billion.

92 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold after offering 60 billion at 14.38 percent down 14 basis points.

Only 5.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold after offering 70 billion rupees, at 12.88 percent, down 01 basis point. (Colombo/Dec06/2023)

Continue Reading