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Sri Lanka approves bill paving the way for Starlink internet service

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In a step closer to the introduction of Starlink satellite internet service in Sri Lanka, the Committee on Public Finance has approved Sri Lanka Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill subjected to amendments to ensure consumers are ensured the benefits from advanced telecommunication technology.

The current law is amended in this manner for the first time in 28 years, providing for the regulation of the industry in keeping with advanced technology.

State Minister Kanaka Herath said this bill, if enacted, would provide for regulation of satellite based internet services in the country among others.

A statement from the Parliamentary Media Unit said approval was given when the Committee met recently under the Chairmanship of Dr. Harsha de Silva with the presence of MPs from both sides, Officials representing Attorney General’s Department, officials of Technology, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and other institutions (TRC).

The Speaker recently announced that the Supreme Court has made recommendations regarding the Bill, suggesting that certain sections need to be amended.

Accordingly, the officials who were present stated that amendments recommended by Supreme Courts will be accommodated. They have stressed that the legislation has to be amended to be in line with the technological trends in the globe.

The officials also stated that this Bill was prepared after extensive discussions with all stakeholders in the telecommunication sector in accordance with the accepted standards of the world. Thus, in a more competitive market, there is scope for a regulation that is fair to the consumer.

It was also disclosed that the legislation will provide provisions to introduce a mechanism to provide telecommunication frequencies under a competitive system. Accordingly, the relevant regulations should be compiled by the Parliament and thus the opportunity to introduce the new technology to the telecommunications sector of the country as well as it will be possible to properly regulate the institutions that are involved in the business, the officials pointed out.

It was also disclosed that in addition to the existing telecommunication system licences and frequency licences, 3 other types of licences will be introduced. Accordingly, it will provide provisions to issue licences to companies that provide infrastructure, in addition to the companies that provide telecommunication services. The officials also stated that the powers of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will be strengthened through these amendments.

Furthermore, the officials also pointed out that through these amendments, there is an opportunity to give the customer the advantage of reducing tariffs in the market competition. It was also discussed that provisions that have been provided in the legislature to ensure security of undersea telecommunication cables.

The Chair of the Committee emphasised that given the world is changing rapidly with the advancement of telecommunication-related technology, Sri Lanka must ensure its legislation to leverage and benefit from such technology. Furthermore, the Chair of the Committee stated that these amendments will be a more positive step forward to introduce the new technology in the telecommunication sector.

Moreover, de Silva, stated that this Bill is being considered by the Committee on Public Finance to investigate matters related to public finances, market competition and transparency and consumer fairness.

State Ministers Anupa Pasqual, Dr. Suren Raghavan, Members of Parliament Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Harshana Rajakaruna, Premnath C. Dolawatte, Sahan Pradeep Withana, Madhura Withanage were present at the meeting. Officials including, Additional Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department, Sumith Dharmawardene, Director General TRC Madhusanka Dissanayake were also present.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Sri Lanka to Host ICC Annual General Meeting, July 19-22

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In a statement, SLC mentioned that the mega cricket conference will bring together over 220 delegates from 108 ICC member countries from across the world, covering regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The pinnacle gathering of cricket administrators and stakeholders from around the globe, the ICC Annual Conference provides the platform for discussions on the strategic direction of the sport, governance, and the development of cricket worldwide, it added.

This year’s conference, themed “Capitalizing on the Olympic Opportunity,’ will discuss topics such as ‘Diversity and Inclusion,’ ‘environmental sustainability and the sport,’ and ‘Cricket’s triumphant return at LA28.

“This is a significant occasion for Sri Lanka, and we wish to warmly welcome the delegates from around the world to our beautiful island. We intend to use this conference to contribute to the future of cricket and showcase the beauty and heritage of our country to the world,” said Mr. Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The annual conference will consist of a series of key meetings, workshops, and networking sessions, and key decisions will be taken for the benefit of the future of the game.

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Mervin Backs Wijeyadasa for President

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Former Sri Lankan Minister Mervin Silva is backing Minister (Dr) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne, as potential candidates for President.

“This country needs a leader who can take it forward,” Silva asserted.

As election campaigns intensify, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to make extravagant promises. 

Drawing from his experience serving under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Silva recalled the distribution of various items, including material and undergarments, during campaigns. Despite these efforts, Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

Similarly, Silva pointed out that Sajith Premadasa’s massive rallies at Galle Face Green did not secure victory. 

“We need a leader,” Silva emphasized, *”who can uphold law and order, enforce laws effectively, and collaborate with experts.”

In his opinion, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stands out as the best candidate for the presidency. Silva also mentioned ongoing discussions with President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne.

“Deceitful politicians,” Silva concluded, “must be held accountable and sent home.”

newsfirst.lk

(This story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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