Victor Melder

7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor



                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  MARCH  2019


  1. Amazing Grace, The Memoirs of Tara Bolling, 2012  (Donated by Ms Hilary Koch, Middlesex, UK)
  2. A Different Kind of Madness by Pauline Schokman, 2019.  (Donated by the Author, South Yarra, Vic)


  1. Hi Magazine, The Society Magazine, Series 16, Vol 6, 2019
  2. SilverKris, (Singapore Airlines Inflight Magazine), March 2019)
  3. Silkwinds,  (Silk Air Inflight Magazine), March 2019.

(No’s 2 – 3, Donated by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborough, Vic)


  1. Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Summer Newsletter, March 209.
  2. The Journal of the Australia Ceylon Fellowship Inc (ACF), Vol 61, No 1, March 2019.
  3. Newsletter – Ceylonese Welfare Organisation Inc (CWO), Vol 37, Issue 2, April 2019.
  4. Newsletter – Eighty Club Melbourne, 1st Edition, March – June 2019, Newsletter No 148.  
  5. “The Harbinger” Family Magazine – Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No2, March 2019.
  6. Newsletter – The Burgher Welfare League of WA Inc, Vol 29.3, March 2019.


  1. The Sorrowful, The Death Railway, 1942-1943, by U.Wan Htain. (The Myanmar-Thailand Railway)
  2. CD – The Death Railway Museum, Thanbyuzayat, 1942-43 (Myanmar)

(No’s 1 -2, Donated  by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborou

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SRI  LANKA  NEWS  IN  BRIEF  –  MARCH 2019 – By Victor Melder

Victor Meldor    The International Monetary Fund on Friday revived a $1.5 billion bailout for Sri Lanka that was suspended over a government power struggle last year that seriously slowed economic growth. The Washington-based lender said officials visiting Colombo agreed to re-activate the three-year loan, which started in 2016 and spread the instalments over an additional year.”The team reached understandings at the staff level with the Sri Lankan authorities… to allow more time for the completion of the economic reform agenda,” the IMF said. The Fund had been due to release an instalment in October when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his Prime Minister and called fresh elections, triggering a two month power struggle in the island nation. Because of the crisis, the economy grew by just 3.0 percent last year, making it the slowest expansion in 17 years, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The IMF said it expected Sri Lanka’s growth to improve to 3.5 percent in 2019. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court eventually held that Sirisena’s actions were unconstitutional, allowing Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to resume his duties. Wickremesinghe told parliament in January that his dismissal on October 26 was a “coup” and a “death blow” to the economy. During the crisis, three international credit rating agencies downgraded the country’s debt and the extra borrowing costs forced Sri Lanka to abandon plans to raise loans abroad .But the IMF noted that Sri Lanka’s economy was “gradually stabilising after the weak economic performance in 2018, in the context of external shocks and domestic political uncertainty.” Official figures show that Sri Lanka will have to repay a record $5.9 billion in foreign loans in 2019. One of the biggest drags on the balance sheet is national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, which has accumulated losses and debts of over $2 billion. The government has failed to privatise the airline, but the president has revived attempts to find a partner who could inject new capital to keep the airline afloat. (Sunday Island, 3.3.2019)

Sri Lanka’s biggest mass grave predates the country’s bloody civil war by hundreds of years, according to an independent carbon dating report unveiled in a court. The remains of over 300 men, women and children were found last year at a site in the northern Mannar district, where ethnic Tamil guerrillas fought security forces during a 37-year ethnic war that ended in May 2009. Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP) funded tests on the remains to determine whether the victims were killed during the conflict, which claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people. But a Miami-based laboratory concluded that the victims likely died up to 615 years ago – predating even the first European colonisation of the Indian Ocean Island by the Portuguese – according to testimony in the Mannar Magistrates’ Court. The mass grave in the former war zone was discovered by construction workers. The OMP, which is independent of the Government but has a State mandate, said just over 300 skeletal remains had been found, including the remains of about 20 children. (Daily Financial Times, 8.3.2019)

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, yesterday, announced that all public servants would receive an additional allowance of Rs. 2,500 from July 1, and that a pension adjustment would be made on the same day to rectify all pension anomalies in respect of those who retired before 2016. The government has made an additional allocation of Rs. 40 billion for the increase in public servants’ allowance and Rs. 12 billion to rectify the pension anomalies. Presenting the government’s delayed budget, the Finance Minister reminded the House that the salaries of public servants had been increased by 107 percent under the current government. The Finance Minister, delivering the 2019 Budget speech, themed, ‘Focusing on Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor’, said that several salient budgetary proposals were the removal of production tax imposed on small trucks, provision of milk to students in rural schools free of charge, increasing allocation for development of temples from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1 million, increasing allowance for persons with special needs from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000, allocating Rs 1,480 million to provide a 5,000-rupee allowance to kidney patients, increasing the allowances given to armed forces and increasing the salaries of teachers. Another salient feature was the proposal to give full scholarships to the top scorers at GCE AL students for them to study at prestigious international universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge. Samaraweera said 14 students would be selected for the programme in the current year and the number would be increased to 28 next year. The scholarship recipients would be required to return and serve here for 10 years in Sri Lanka. “Expressway rush hour toll fee has been increased by Rs. 100. According to the new tax revisions on vehicles, the Production tax on Petrol vehicles less than 1000cc has been increased by Rs. 175,000 and that on the petrol vehicles less than 1300cc has been increased by Rs. 500,000. Production tax on Petrol vehicles less than 800cc will be increased by Rs. 150,000. (Daily Island, 6.3.2019)

Presenting the fifth budget of the current government and the 73rd national budget of Sri Lanka Samaraweera also said: Cigarette prices will be increased by five rupees from mid-night yesterday. Fees charged for the issuing of passports will be revised from July 1 and accordingly fee for one day service has been increased to Rs 15,000 and fee for regular service has been increased to Rs 3,500. “Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme will be spread across the country. Rs. 500 million has been allocated for the programme and Rs 60 billion already disbursed to over 30,000 recipients.  Action will be taken against bank officers who discourage Small and Medium Enterprises,” the minister said, adding that a hotline ‘1925’ is available to lodge complaints. The Finance Minister observed that only 30 percent of women were represented in the labour market of the country though 50 percent of university students were female and, therefore, he proposed amending labour laws to allow women to work from home and under flexible working hours. Samaraweera also stressed the need for more women in decision-making positions in the business sector. Tax concessions would be provided to companies that grant three-months of maternity leave. The Budget encouraged firms with over 250 workers to provide day care facilities for children of workers, he said Referring the need to combat the drug menace, the Minister proposed to establish special rehabilitation camps in Weerawila and Ambepussa for drug addicts. Females in prisons would be given the opportunity to learn arts and craft at a special facility in Dompe with an allocation of Rs 50 million, Samaraweera said. The budget also proposes a series of new loan schemes in the Budget 2019. It proposes to introduce a housing loan scheme ‘Home Sweet Home’ for newly wedded couples to repay within 25 years at a 6 percent interest rate. Rs 10 million concessionary loan will be given to middle income earners to buy their first house. He said that ‘Dream Home’ loans would be introduced for registered migrant workers to obtain Rs.10 million with two year grace period to be paid within 15 years. Students who could not get into universities after the AL exam would be provided ‘My Future’ interest free loans up to Rs 1.1 million with two years grace period to enrol at non-state universities. It has also been proposed to allocate Rs.600 million to expand ‘1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance Service’ throughout the country and improve parking places for them. With reference to foreign investments, the minister said foreign companies would not be allowed to bid without establishing a joint venture with a local company. The Minister said that Rs 48 billion had been allocated for the Gamperaliya development programme. He also disclosed that an expressway to Jaffna would be finished before the end of the tenure of the government. He said that the Outer Circular Highway construction would be completed this year and Ruwanpura Expressway construction too would commence this year. The Budget 2019 also proposes to construct two new harbours at Pesalai and Mandaitivu as fish exports to Europe increased after the restoration of GSP+ tariff concession. Other budget concessions and revenue measures were announced. (Daily Island, 6.3.2019)  

Sri Lanka has raised $2.4 billion as it returned to the international bond market for the first time since a political crisis triggered rating downgrades, the central bank announced. A power struggle between the president and the prime minister late last year prompted three international rating agencies to downgrade Sri Lanka, forcing the government to abandon plans to borrow overseas. With the end of the dispute, the International Monetary Fund has revived a bailout program with Sri Lanka, and Colombo has resumed its international sovereign bond sales. Sri Lanka’s central bank said it went to market on Thursday following the strong backing from the IMF which last week lifted its suspension of a $1.5 billion bailout agreed in June 2016. The issue of $1 billion in bonds with a five-year tenure and a 10-year $1.4 billion bond were hugely oversubscribed. Both bonds attracted offers of $7.5 billion, the bank said. The bonds were bought at an average yield of 6.58 percent for the five-year tenure and 7.85 percent for the 10-year bonds. Because of the political crisis, economic growth slowed to 3.0 percent last year, the weakest in 17 years, according to the central bank.  The IMF said it expected Sri Lanka’s growth to improve to 3.5 percent in 2019. (Sunday Island, 10.3.2019)

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 7% in February 2019 compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The month recorded 252,033 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 235,618 arrived in February 2018. India, United Kingdom, China, France and Germany were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of February this year. India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 13% of the total traffic received in February 2019. United Kingdom accounted for 12% of the total traffic; while China, France and Germany accounted for 11%, 7% and 7% respectively. Arrivals from North America rose 61.7 percent to 16,280 in February and the arrivals from US rose 61.7 percent to 9,678 during the month while arrivals from Canada increased 61.8 percent. Tourist arrivals from Europe increased by 11.4 percent with the arrival of 135,934 tourists. Most of the tourists came from UK (29,750), followed by France (17,295), Germany (17,268), and Russian Federation (13,008). Tourist arrivals from Middle East declined by 5.2 percent with the arrival of 3,691 visitors compared to the 3,894 arrived in February 2018. Tourist arrivals from Asia & Pacific declined by 3.8 percent with 94,058 arriving in the island. Tourist arrivals from India declined by 1.9 percent with 32,286 visitors arriving while arrivals from China fell by 22.0 percent to record 28,039 arrivals. Arrivals from Australia recorded 54.8 percent increase with 8,810 visitors entering the country in February 2019. (Daily Island, 11.3.2019)

A concessionary loan agreement for JPY 30,040 million (approx. Rs. 48 billion) was signed yesterday between the Government of Sri Lanka and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for engineering services and construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line between Malabe and Colombo Fort. 
The loan will finance Sri Lanka’s first rail-based, electrified urban mass rapid transit line. It will serve to connect the Colombo’s commercial hub with the administrative capital, and significantly reduce travel time in the most congested transport corridor in the country, and the only major corridor currently not supported by railway. The Malabe-Fort LRT line has a total length of approximately 16 km, with 16 stations. The stations are placed at frequently accessed locations and include Malabe – IT Park, Battaramulla, Rajagiriya, Cotta Road Railway Station and National Hospital up to current Fort/Pettah Railway Station. The entire rail track and stations will be on elevated viaducts to minimise requirement of land acquisition. At peak travel times in the morning and evening, trains are planned to run every two to three minutes (headway). Each four-carriage train will have a passenger capacity of over 800, which could be increased by adding more carriages in future when necessary. With an 80km/h top speed, travel time from Malabe to Fort will be approximately 30 minutes (incl. stopping time at stations) with the LRT. The Government of Sri Lanka has requested for the cost of infrastructure, rolling stock and engineering services to be financed through a series of time-slice loans from JICA, in line with the annual fund requirement for the project. High quality Japanese technology would be used to establish Sri Lanka’s first urban electric light rail line. In order to promote technology transfer and economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Japan, JICA’s loans for this Project are provided under Special Terms for Economic Partnership, with interest rates of 0.1% p.a. for civil works and equipment cost, 0.01% p.a. for engineering services cost and 40 year repayment period including 12 years’ grace period. To facilitate inter-connectivity with other public transport modes, multi modal terminals are proposed at Malabe (together with bus terminal) and Cotta Road (connecting with railway). At Fort/Pettah the LRT line will connect to the planned Multi Modal Transport Hub accessible to both railway and bus. Station facilities and LRT carriages will be designed to ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities, as well as passengers with small children and senior citizens. Although the elevated viaduct will minimise the requirement, some land acquisition is needed at the Depot and some of the Station locations. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the executing agency for the Project, will conduct such acquisition in accordance with the National Involuntary Resettlement Policy, and JICA’s environmental and social considerations guidelines to ensure inclusive development through public projects. Since the railway tracks and stations are constructed at high elevation and over national roadways with high traffic volume, appropriate safety measures during construction are critical to ensure the safety of the construction personnel and the general public. JICA will continue to pay special attention to safety aspects in implementation of the project. (Daily Financial Times, 12.3.2019)

Land prices in Colombo, in the second half of 2018, have increased by 18% compared to the 2nd half of 2017, according to the Land Price Index (LPI) for Colombo District, compiled by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). “The index has reached 125.9 during the 2nd half of 2018, recording an increase of 18 per cent compared to the 2nd half of 2017. The three sub–indices of LPI, namely residential, commercial and industrial have contributed to this increase,” CBSDL said issuing a press release. CBSL adds that LPI is compiled covering all Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions of  the Colombo District using per perch bare land prices collected from the Government Valuation Department in order to monitor the developments in the real estate sector. To maintain homogeneity, three separate sub-indices for residential, commercial and industrial lands are computed, considering the diverse nature of the land use, and the overall LPI is calculated by taking the average of these three sub-indices Daily Island, 12.3.2019)

Tourist earnings rose to $ 4,381 million in 2018, in comparison to $ 3,925 million in 2017, the Central Bank said this week but workers remittances declined by 2.1% to $ 7 billion last year.  Workers’ remittances in December 2018 declined by 13%, year-on-year, to $ 584 million. On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances recorded a decline of 2.1% to $ 7,015 million in 2018, from $ 7,164 million in 2017. Tourist arrivals recorded a growth of 3.5% in December 2018, resulting in a total of 2.3 million arrivals during 2018, compared to 2.1 million arrivals in 2017. Tourist arrivals from all major regions, except East Asia and the Middle East, increased in 2018.India remained as the leading source country for tourist arrivals in 2018, while China remained the second largest origin, albeit with a marginal decline, followed by the UK, Germany, and Australia. With the growth in tourist arrivals, and an increase in estimated average spending by tourists, earnings from tourism recorded a healthy growth of 11.6% during 2018. (Daily Financial Times, 16.3.2019)

Sri Lanka has obtained a US$ one billion (Rs 178 billion) loan from China Exim Bank for the construction of first stage of the Central Expressway project.  The loan is required for the construction of the Kadwatha-Mirigama section – a stretch of 37.09 km — began in 2015 soon after the United National Front Government was elected to power. “Sri Lanka’s financial situation, political issues and adverse reports about utilisation of funds for various projects delayed the approval of the loan,” ERD  Director General R.M.P. Rathnayake said..  The expressway’s first phase was due to be completed by June next year, but it would now take about three more years. Road Development Authority Chairman Nihal Suriyaarachchi said the completion of the Kadawatha-Mirigama stretch would enable the linking of the southern expressway to the first phase. The extended sections of the Southern Expressway — Matara to Beliatta (30 Km), Beliatta to Wetiya (26Km) and Wetiya to Andarawewa (15 Km) and Andarawewa to Mattala and Hambantota (25 Km) — would be ready for opening in August this year, he said (Sunday Times, 17.3.2019)

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) commenced the implementation of the cloud seeding project where moderate artificial rainfall was experienced in the catchment areas of the Maussakele reservoir. Sri Lanka Air Force deployed a Y-12 aircraft to introduce the chemicals into the cloud in order to induce the showers. The Y-12 aircraft hovered above the reservoir at 8000 feet which is reported to have produced a moderate rainfall for about 45 minutes, according to a senior Sri Lanka Air Force official .A team of artificial rain experts from Thailand had provided the necessary technical assistance to carry out the project upon a request put forward by the CEB. A CEB official noted that a similar artificial rain project was carried out successfully in the catchment areas of the Maussakele and Castlereigh reservoirs in 1980. (Times online, 22.3.2019)

Inflation rose to 2.4% in February from 1.2% in January, largely on non-food items, the Census and Statistics Department said.  Headline inflation as measured by the year-on-year change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) increased to 2.4% in February 2019 from 1.2% in January 2019 mainly due to the base effect. Meanwhile, year-on-year Non-food inflation increased to 6.7% in February 2019 from 6.5% in January 2019 while Food inflation also increased to -2.9% in February 2019 from -4.8% in January 2019.
The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis marginally decreased to 1.7% in February 2019 from 1.8% in January 2019. The month on month change of the NCPI was -0.5% in February 2019. This was mainly due to decrease in the prices of the items in the Food category where vegetables, green chillies, rice, coconuts, limes, big onion and banana recorded significant decreases. However, on month on month basis, the prices of the items in the Non-food category increased among which the Education sub-category recorded the highest increase. Further, Health, Transport, Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels sub-categories also reported increases during the month.  The core inflation, which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, increased from 5.1% in January 2019 to 5.5% in February 2019 on year-on-year basis. Meanwhile, annual average core inflation also increased from 2.7% in January 2019 to 3% in February 2019. (Daily Financial Times, 22.3.2019)

The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) of China has agreed to provide a concessional loan of US$989 million covering 85% of the contract price for the Central Expressway Project Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama. The loan is to complement the existing expressway network, Central Expressway Project (CEP) has been initiated with the purpose of linking Colombo with Kandy and Kurunegala. Section 1 of the CEP will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayaka Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange. This will create an uninterrupted connectivity from Hambanthota to Katunayaka or Hambanthota to Kandy linking several provinces and economically important ports, airports and commercial cities. The Export- Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to US$ 989 million covering 85% of the contract price, for the Central Expressway Project – Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama. The total estimated cost of the project is US$ 1,164 million. Furthermore, this loan is the single largest loan approved by the EXIM Bank for Sri Lanka. (Daily Mirror, 23.3.2019)

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said the government would grant on arrival visas for tourists from 36 countries free of charge from May 1 onwards for a trial period of six months. Minister Amaratunga said that tourists from the countries such as those in European Union, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Japan would be given this facility. Afterwards, the Minister said it would be implemented for six months initially. “Depending on its success, we will decide whether to proceed with it further or not. They will be allowed into the country without a fee. Every year, there is a drop in tourist arrivals during the six months period starting from May. We will implement this program during this period in a move to boost tourist arrivals,” he said. The Minister said his target was to attract three million tourists to the country by the year’s end. (Daily Mirror, 25.3.2019)

The depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee between January 2015 and November 2017 has increased the foreign debt by Rs.626.4 billion, the Government told Parliament yesterday, but stressed that foreign investment increases showed that confidence in the Sri Lankan economy was improving. Responding to a question for oral answer, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne held the rupee had depreciated by 14.6% during the period in focus affecting the amount of total foreign debt of the central Government.  Rejecting impact on rupee depreciation from failing investor confidence on bonds, the State Minister said: “Depreciation of the rupee will lead to increase the foreign debt. This wouldn’t have happened if we took rupee loans.” “Foreign Direct Investment in 2016 was $1.5 billion. This has gone up to $ 1.7 billion in 2017 and was increased to $2.34 billion last year. This shows the growing foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka,” he confirmed. According to research, Sri Lanka’s total external debt decreased to $ 53,177.39 million in the third quarter of 2018 from $ 53,487.28 million in the second quarter of 2018. The external debt in Sri Lanka averaged $ 44,865.87 million from 2012 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of $ 53,487.28 million in the second quarter of 2018 and a record low of $ 37,098.10 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Daily Financial Times, 27.3.2019)

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Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Australia beat the touring Sri Lankans by 366 runs to win the second and final day/night Test, played at Manuka Oval, Canberra. Scores”
Australia, 1st Innings – 534/5 dec (Burns 180, Head 161, Patterson 114no, Paine 45no, Fernando 3/126, Karunaratne 1/130)
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 215/9 dec (Karunaratne 59, Thirimanne 41, De Silva 25, Dickwella 25, Starc 5/54, Lyon 2/70, Cummins 1/32)
Australia, 2nd Innings  – 196/3 (Khawaja 101no, Head 59no, Rajitha 2/64, Fernando 1/43)
Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings –  149 (Mendis 42, Thirimanne 30, Dickwella 27,  Starc 5/46, Cummins 3/15, Labuschagne 1/6, Richardson 1/29)
Australia won the 2-match series 2-0.
Man of the match: Mitchell Starc (Australia)

The touring Sri Lankans beat South Africa by 1 wicket to win the first Test played at Kingsmead, Durban. Scores:
South Africa – 1st Innings – 235 (de Kok 80, Bavuma 47, du Plessis 35, Fernando 4/62, Rajitha 3/68, Lakmal 1/29, Embuldeniya 1/51)
Sri Lanka – 1st Innings –  191 (Perera 51, Karunaratne 30, Embuldeniya 24, de Silva 23,  Steyn 4/48, Philander 2/32, Rabada 2/48)
South Africa, 2nd Innings –   259 (du Plessis 90, de Kok 55, Elgar 35, Embuldeniya 5/66, Fernando 4/71, Rajitha 1/54)
Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings –  304/9 (Perera 153no, de Silva 48, Fernando 37, Thirimanne 21, Maharaj 3/71, Steyn 2/71, Olivier 2/35)
Man of the match: Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

World Cup-winning skipper and Minister Arjuna Ranatunga failed to take control of Sri Lanka Cricket, yesterday. Ranatunga, 55, contested for one of two vice-president posts but only came third in voting. His brother, Nishantha, who was nominated as secretary, was also defeated. Ranatunga ally Jayantha Dharmadasa also failed in his bid to become Sri Lanka Cricket president, losing out to Shammi Silva a loyalist of former SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala, Ranatunga’s arch-rival. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to victory at the 1996 World Cup, had vowed to clean up the board, which the International Cricket Council recently described as the sport’s most corrupt national body. The former skipper had hoped to wrest control of the SLC ahead of the World Cup tournament, which commences in England on May 30. Former SLC chief Sumathipala was in power for more than two years until early 2018 and decided against contesting again. He backed Silva and other candidates opposed to Ranatunga. Ranatunga had promised to “kick out” players he accused of being corrupt. (Daily Island, 22.2.2019)

The touring Sri Lankans beat South Africa by 8 wickets to win the second and final Test played at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. Scores:
South Africa, 1st Innings – 222 (de Kok 86, Markram 60, du Plessis 25, Rabada 22, Fernando 3/62, Rajitha 3/67, de Silva 2/15)
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings –  154 (Dickwella 42, Thirimanne 29,  Perera 20,  Rabada 4/38, Olivier 3/61)
South Africa, 2nd Innings –  128 (du Plessis 50no, Amla 32,  Lakmal 4/39, de Silva 3/36, Rajitha 2/20)
Sri Lanka, 2n d Innings – 197/2 (Mendis 84no,Fernando 75no, Olivier 1/46, Rabada 1/53)
Sri Lanka won the 2-match Test series, 2-0.
Player of the match: Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Player of the series: Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)

Cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after admitting two breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code, the sport’s governing body announced. The 49-year-old — regarded as one of the greatest One Day International batsmen of all time and was pivotal in winning the 1996 World Cup — accepted the punishment. “This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations,” said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit in a statement. “Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.” Jayasuriya was charged in October after failing to provide his mobile phones to the ACU. He was also accused of obstructing or delaying any investigation into corruption in the game. Jayasuriya in a statement said he had pleaded guilty to the charges expecting a mitigated punishment. “Consequent to correspondence between the ICC ACU officials and my lawyers we agreed to a sanction of a period of ineligibility of two years, which period is to take effect from the 15th of October 2018,” Jayasuriya said. Jayasuriya who also captained the country played 110 Tests, 445 one-day internationals and 31 Twenty20s during his illustrious career between 1989-2011. Sri Lankan cricket has been mired in corruption allegations in recent years, including claims of match fixing ahead of an international Test against England last year. In November, former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption linked to a limited-over league in 2017. Lokuhettige was the third Sri Lankan player charged for violating the ICC’s anti-corruption code, following those levelled against Jayasuriya, and former paceman Nuwan Zoysa. (Daily Island, 27

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor





  1. Ceylon the Portuguese Era, Vol 2 by Paul E.Pieris, 1983 

   (Donated by Ms Diane Inman, Sydney)

  1. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai, 1994.
  2. It’s  Not in the Stars by Rizvina Morseth de Alwis,2015.
  3. Colombo Heat by Christopher Hudson, 1986.
  4. A Decade in the Village by Mahinda Jayaweera, 2010

(No’s 2 – 5, Donated by Jeremy De Lima, Vermont South, Vic)

  1. The Island of Singing Fish, a Colonial Childhood in Ceylon  by Tina Faulk, 2014
  2. Kakiyan, The Story of a Crow by Elmo Jayawardena, 2018
  3. After the Flames by Roderic Grigson, 2017
  4. Journey for Justice, The Life & Work of Rev. Fr Michel Rodrigo. OMI
  5. Colonial Mixed Blood, A Story of The Burghers of Sri Lanka by Allan Russell Juriansz, 2013

(No’s 6 – 10, Donated by Keith Bennett, Noble Park, Vic)

  1. A  Review of the Southern Border of Sinharaja by F. Hudha & A.Gunawrdena, 2018.
  2. Mandalarama (Vattarama) & Alokalena (Alulena) by G. R. Gunawardana Banda, 2017
  3. Sri Lanka Sculpture – Bodhisattva by N. Chutiwongs, L. Prematilleke & Roland Silva, 2011.
  4. (No’s 11 – 13, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)
  5.  Kakiyan, The Story of a Crow, by Elmo Jayawardena, 2018

 (Donated by the Author, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)


  1. The ‘Ceylankan’ – Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, Journal 85, Vol XXII, No 1, February 2019.
  • ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 38, No 11, January 2019.
  • ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 38, No 12, February 2019

    (No’s 2 – 3, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights)



  1. ‘The Harbinger’ – Family Magazine, Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 44, No 1, February 2019.



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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF – FEBRUARY  2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne, Guest of Honour at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka ( NCCSL) AGM recently said the political coup of October 26 last year cost the country in excess of 21 billion rupees. Reflecting on current economic developments he said that considering some reparation action taken by the government to correct the position of revenue which was 33 percent of GDP in 2008, this was drastically reduced to 12.6 percent of GDP by 2015. Wickremeratne added – ‘Inflation from 8.8 percent was brought down to 1 percent in November 2017. Financial progress was badly affected by the political coup of October 2018. The country faced the largest debt repayment in those few days amounting to 5.9 billion dollars. The impact of those few weeks was being consistently evaluated. Conditional loan repayment of 1.3 percent continued but a sharp rise in unconditional loan repayment amounted to 54 percent. Such was the impact of what happened in October last year. ‘Irrespective of the downgrading impact of politics the government is determined to ensure a viable financial position as quickly as possible. ‘The value of the dollar, a subject mentioned by the incumbent President of the NCCSL Asela de Tissera was governed by outside influences. For instance, fiscal action taken by US President Donald Trump strengthened the dollar. This was felt in most financial markets. Although the rupee against the dollar saw some stability, we are not out of the woods. ‘Sri Lanka’s advantage is its location and human resources. Its physical position is the gateway to the Indian subcontinent and substantial market conditions stand open to us. This advantage must be exploited. Our human resources are under developed. This needs urgent attention if we are to get ahead economically. This is the only way our country could progress. ‘Conspiracies to destroy the country would never work. Action  (Daily Island, 2.2.2019)

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  1. Ceylon Daily News Cookery Book by Hilda Deutrom, 2011 edition (Donated by Shenon Fernando, Roxburgh Park, Vic)
  2. Persaudaran (Brotherhood), Malay Life in Sri Lanka by Tuan M. Zameer Careem, 2016 (Donated by Tony Saldin, Wattala, Sri Lanka)
  1. A Man in his Time, The Jetwing Story and the Life of Herbert Cooray by Shiromal Cooray. 

(Donated by Ms Sharlie Pickering, Alderley, Qld)

  1. General Denis (Perera), The Epitome of Leadership by M. D. D. Pieris, 2018

(Donated by the Perera family, Etul Kotte, Sri Lanka)     


  1. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 16, Vol 5, 2018


  1. Newsletter – Ceylonese Welfare Organisation Inc (CWO), Vol 37, Issue 1, January 2019.
  2. “Silverscene” – Newsletter of the Silver Fawn Club Inc, Qld, January/February 2019 issue.


  1. Article – ‘Defend Lanka Your Home’: War on the Home Front in Ceylon, 1939 – 1045, by Ashley Jackson, pp 213-238 (War in History, Vol 16, No  2, 2009) –  (Forwarded by Ms Yvette Paulusz, Glen Waverly, Vic)



7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.

Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (JANUARY 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder                                             

Victor Meldor - eLankaForeign reserves had declined by USD 1 billion within the 51-day political crisis completely upsetting the debt management plans of the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, yesterday, making a ministerial statement in Parliament. The PM said he was confident of overcoming all the challenges in the economic front and the government would present a “people-friendly budget”. Wickremesinghe remained focused on stabilising the rupee. “The rupee depreciated by 3.8 percent within the 51 days of the crisis while other currencies gained value. From October 26 to December 16, 2018, USD 312.9 million in Treasury Guarantees, USD 29.1 million in Treasury Bills and USD 29.8 million in Treasury Bonds flowed out of the country. We previously had a target of reaching USD 8 billion foreign reserves by the end of this year. We had USD 7,991 million foreign reserves as at October 26, but this had dropped to USD 6,985.4 million owing to the political crisis. As per the estimates, we need a total of USD 5,900 billion to pay for foreign loans and interests this year. Sri Lanka’s highest ever loan installment of USD 2,600 million is due on January 14. Our effort was to manage this debt in manner that it does not burden the ordinary masses. That is why we had made far-sighted plans, but now we have to start again.” The Reserve Bank of India had agreed to provide USD 400 million under SAARC swap facility, the PM said. Asked by NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa whether the government had promised to lease out China Bay and Kankasanturai ports, Mattala airport and Colombo Port’s East Terminal to India in return, the PM answered in the negative, adding that only the terms and conditions of SAARC swap facility would apply to it.   The PM also said that another USD 500 million was expected from Chinese Panda Bonds and Japanese Samurai Bonds. He said that USD 1 billion was expected to be obtained from the international monetary market, adding that Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera would fly to Washington next week to discuss about it. The Premier expressed confidence that those would help arrest the depreciation of Rupee and stabilize it in the market. (Daily Island, 11.1.2019). 

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor


                               ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  DECEMBER  2018


  1. A Heritage of Song, Book 2 . The Musical Journeys of Musicians with Sri Lankan Roots who have performed mainly in English, compiled by

Ishan Bahar, 2017  (Donated by Dallas Achilles, Clayton South) 

  1. A Naturalists Guide to the Reptiles of Sri Lanka by Anslem de Silva & Kanishka Ukuwela, 2017.
  2. A Field Guide to the Bats of Sri Lanka by Wipula Bandara Yapa, 2017

(No’s 2 & 3, Donated by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborough, Vic)

  1. Kakiyan, The Story of a Crow by Elmo Jayawardena, 2018 (Donated by the Author, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
  2. The Big Girl by Alagu Subramaniam, 2018.
  3. Mission Impossible, Geneva. Sri Lanka’s Counter-Hegemonic Asymmetric Diplomacy at the UN Human Rights Council by Sanja De Silva

           Jayatilleka, 2017.

  1. Geoffrey Manning Bawa Decolonizing Architecture by Shanti Jayewardene 2017
  2. Yantra Drawings on Palm Leaf, Sri Lanka by L.S.D.Pieris, 2018

    (No’s 5 – 8, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)  


  1. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 16, Vol 2, 2018. (Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)
  2. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 16, Vol 4, 2018.
  3. ‘Serendib’, The In Flight Magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines, Vol 38, No 5, July 2018

           (No 3, Donated by Roger Thiedeman, Keysborough, Vic)


  1. “Outreach” Newsletter – Voluntary Outreach Club Inc, December 2018
  2. News Bulletin – Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Summer 2018
  3. “The Old Aloysian”, Journal of The old Aloysians Sports Club (Australia) Inc, December 2018. 


  1. Souvenir, Sri Lankan Study Centre for the Advancement of Technology & Social Welfare (SCATS), 25th Anniversary, October 7, 2017.
  2. Souvenir, Melbourne Talents “Autumn Breeze”, Dinner Dance, May 26, 2018
  3. CDF Patient Transport Charity, Bi-Annual Edition, Issue IV, 2018

  (No’s 1 – 3, Donated by Hemal Gurusinghe, Chelsea Heights, Vic)

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SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS – (DECEMBER 2018) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Sri Lanka Flag

Victor MeldorSri Lanka’s off-spinner Akila Dananjaya has been suspended from international cricket with immediate effect after an independent assessment has found his bowling action to be illegal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced. The ICC said the assessment revealed that his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations. “In accordance with Article 11.1 of the ICC Regulations For The Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspect Illegal Bowling Actions, Dananjaya’s international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction. However, according to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Sri Lanka Cricket, Dananjaya may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of the SLC,” it said. Dananjaya was reported with a suspect bowling action during the first Test against England, which the visitors won by 211 runs in Galle and had undergone an independent assessment of his bowling action on November 23 at the National Cricket Centre, Brisbane. The ICC said Dananjaya can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the Regulations.(Daily Mirror, 10.12.2018)

Batting Coach Tilan Samaraweera has become the second casualty after Sri Lanka’s humiliating 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England as Sri Lanka Cricket did sweeping changes to the national cricket team’s support staff. Accordingly, Samaraweera along with Fielding Coach Manoj Abeywickrama will relinquish his duties midway through the tour of New Zealand. Samaraweera is expected to return home after the Test leg of the tour that gets underway next week. Sri Lanka’s batting was a letdown during the England series with not a single batsman managing a century during the three match series. The team’s batting also failed miserably during the Asia Cup campaign where Bangladesh and Afghanistan handed Sri Lanka heavy defeats. He is now expected to be part of the High Performance Center where coaches work with second string players. Sri Lanka Cricket were yet to make an official announcement at the time this edition went to print, but sources told The Island that SLC had signed up with the 48-year-old Jon Lewis. Lewis like Steve Rixon is believed to have been signed up on a short seven month stint that will take him through to the World Cup in England. The Island learns that Lewis had been signed up due to his extensive knowledge about conditions in north England where Sri Lanka will play most of their World Cup games. Lewis is expected to arrive in the island shortly. He will accompany the ODI specialists to New Zealand later this month. Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and a T-20 International in New Zealand apart from two Tests. Sri Lanka also hired Australian Steve Rixon as Fielding Coach after Chairman of Selectors Ashantha De Mel made a scathing criticism of the team’s fielding. (Daily Island, 12.12.2018)

Sri Lanka’s leadership roulette continues with Lasith Malinga now being appointed as the limited-overs captain, and Niroshan Dickwella as his deputy, for the upcoming ODIs and a lone T20I in New Zealand. The board took a big call in reinstating Angelo Mathews into the side, after dropping him for the England series, citing fitness concerns. The Mathews axing episode got quite ugly, with the all-rounder accusing the board of making him the scapegoat of an abysmal Asia Cup campaign. Sri Lanka will be without their lead spinner Akila Dananjaya, who is under suspension after being called for illegal bowling action. Upul Tharanga, who played just the first two of the five-match series against England (didn’t bat in the first, scored a duck in the second) – has also been left out. The pair of opener Sadeera Samarawickrama and left-arm spinner Amila Aponso – who played three and four fixtures respectively in the England series – also didn’t find a place in the 17-man shortlist. SLC went with Danushka Gunathilaka at the top of the order, while Asela Gunaratne also comes in after having played his last ODI in Bangladesh in January this year. Sri Lanka also recalled leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna who played the last of his 38 ODIs in October 2017. Top-order batter Kusal Perera has recovered completely from his quad strain that he sustained in the second ODI against England and missed the remainder of the series. Kusal Mendis, who came in as his replacement and scored a half-century, has managed to hold on to his spot.

ODI and T20I Squad: Lasith Malinga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara

Sri Lankan cricketer Lahiru Kumara has been fined 15% of his match fee and has also received one demerit point after being found guilty of using an audible obscenity during the third day’s play in the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington on Monday, the ICC said. In a statement, the ICC said the bowler was found to have violated Article 2.3 of the code, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity during an international match”. “Kumara used an audible obscenity after an outside edge off Tom Latham’s bat in the 96th over went for a boundary. These comments were heard by the on-field umpires and also picked up by the stump mic. After the day’s play, Kumara admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Richie Richardson of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing,” it said. The charge had been levelled by on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Michael Gough, third umpire Richard Illingworth, all from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, as well as fourth umpire Tim Brown. (Daily Mirror, 18.12.2018)

Sri Lanka’s new Sports Minister Harin Fernando has invited three former cricketers-Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva, to present their views on the development of cricket in the country. Former ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama is set to be the president of the SLC new Interim Committee, the Pakistan Observer reported. This news was revealed exclusively to a reporter in Mumbai. Speaking exclusively from Colombo, he says, ‘I want to discuss with former Sri Lankan players about how the game can achieve its best height in the country. Earlier they had prepared a presentation but nothing had happened thereafter. I am sure they will come forward now for the betterment of the game in Sri Lanka’, he hoped. Elaborating more about his future plans, he also revealed, ‘the selection committee will soon be replaced and Sidath Wettimunny will be appointed the Chief Selector. Mahanama has worked with the ICC and he will be the ideal candidate to head the interim committee’, he added. All these new appointments will be subject to these players’ availability. Ashantha de Mel and other selectors very recently replaced Graeme Labooy and company and in a few weeks’ time, the new selection committee will be announced. ‘I have also decided to write to the ICC and propose to have its Anti-Corruption Unit be head-quartered in Sri Lanka’  (Daily Mirror, 23.12.2018)

The first Test between the touring Sri Lankans and New Zealand, played at Wellington, ended in a draw. Scores:

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 282 (Mathews 83, Dickwella 80no, Karunaratne 79, Southee 6/68, Wagner 2/75)

New Zealand, 1st Innings – 578 (Latham 264, Williamson 91, Taylor 50, Nicholls 50, Kumara 4/127, de Silva 2/54)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 287/3 (Mendis 141no, Mathews 120no, Southee 2/52, Boult 1/62)

Player of the match: Tom Latham (New Zealand) 


Sri Lanka’s chances of saving the second Test against New Zealand suffered a major blow after Angelo Mathews retired hurt with an apparent hamstring trouble during the fourth day’s play on Saturday. Mathews has been sent for a scan later last evening to see the extent of his injury and the chances of coming out and resuming play will depend entirely on the results of the scan. On day four. Sri Lanka were batting in chase of a mammoth 660, Mathews felt his right hamstring pull up while taking a couple of runs. He struggled at first and had the medical staff attend to him immediately. He continued to bat on until tea as he opted not to come out to bat after the break. The former Sri Lanka skipper has had recurring injuries in his hamstrings and calves over the past two years and had missed several entire series. The latest injury could keep him out of the limited over series that follows the New Zealand Tests and also the two Test series against Australia late in January. (Sunday Times, 30.12.2018)


Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match ODI series against New Zealand and is also doubtful for the subsequent two Tests against Australia due to a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old was forced to retire hurt after picking up the injury during the afternoon session on the fourth day of his side’s second Test against New Zealand, which the latter went on to win by huge 423 runs in Christchurch. Now, the scans have revealed that a grade two strain in his left hamstring, something which will keep him out of action for at least four weeks. Mathews was earlier dropped from Sri Lanka’s limited-overs squad before Lasith Malinga, who was named the side’s skipper for the New Zealand tour, decided to pick him for the three ODIs and lone T20I against the Kane Williamson-led side.  Sri Lanka and New Zealand will lock horns in the ODI series from January 3 at the Bay Oval while they will face Australia in the two-match Test series, beginning January 24 at the Gabba in Brisbane.(Daily Mirror, 31.12.2018)


New Zealand beat the touring Sri Lankans by 423 runs to win the second and final Test played at Hagley Oval, Christchurch. Scores:

New Zealand, 1st Innings – 178 (Southee 68, Watling 46, Taylor 27, Lakmal 5/54, Kumara 3/49, Perera 1/13)

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 104 (Mathews 33no, Silva 21, Boult 6/30, Southee 3/35, Grandhomme 1/19)

New Zealand, 2nd Innings – 585/4 dec (Latham 176, Nicholls 162no, Raval 74, Grandhomme 71no, Williamson 48, Kumara 2/134, Chameera 1/147, Perera 1/149)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 236 (Mendis 67, Chandimal 56, Perera 22, Mathews 22 ret hurt, Wagner 4/48, Boult 3/77, Southee 2/61)

New Zealand won the 2-match series 1-0.

Player of the match: Tim Southee (New Zealand)



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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (DECEMBER) 2018) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor                             

One-year no pay leave will be granted to female public officers to obtain fertility treatment to have a baby, according to a decision taken by the Cabinet recently. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has, in a circular informed all state institutions that the rules have been revised to include this benefit for women employees in the public sector. No-pay leave up to one year would be granted for female public officers to spend in or out of the island to obtain treatments for sub fertility on the recommendations of a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. These provisions are effective from November 21, 2018. Fertility transition in Sri Lanka began in the mid-1960s and the declining trend continued over the decades. The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) showed the total fertility rate (TFR) reaching 2.3 births per woman, a level below replacement fertility. The analysis of factors affecting the likelihood of having a larger family (more than 2 children) revealed that lower educated women were more likely to have a higher number of children than their counterparts with a higher level of education. (Daily Financial Times, 3.12.2018)

Trade union action demanding Rs. 1,000 daily wage in the plantation sector continued for the second day, dimming hopes for a breakthrough, with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) insisting on an alternative productivity-based wage model, and politicians calling for fair reasoning. United National Front (UNF)-linked MPs, National Union of Workers (NUW) Leader MP Palany Thigambaram, Up-Country People’s Front (UCPF) Leader V. S. Radhakrishnan, and UNP MP Vadivel Suresh yesterday called on the estate workers to think before they take part in the strike, noting that they would have to face issues in January without a proper salary.
“The union that had called for the strike hasn’t even been able to work towards in getting the arrears from the strike that took place in 2015. So, be thoughtful in taking part in this strike,” the MPs told journalists in Colombo. Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Leader MP Arumugam Thondaman on 3 December requested all plantation workers to join in an indefinite strike, until plantation companies agrees to increase their daily wages to Rs. 1000, which continued to day two. Shifting entirely into a productivity-based wage model is the only sustainable way that can benefit the industry, companies, workers and the national economy, said the plantation industry stakeholders.

“Rising productivity is an absolute must, amidst the internal and external challenges. It is critical that wage is linked to productivity for the sustainability of the industry, and the national economy as a whole,” sources told Daily FT on condition of anonymity. It was pointed out that if the daily wage is increased to Rs. 1,000 the impact would be as high as Rs. 9.1 billion, while gratuity impact is Rs. 10.9 billion totalling to Rs. 20 billion. Furthermore, annually the companies have to absorb Rs. 9.6 billion, including the Rs. 437 million as gratuity impact.DFT, 4/12
Sources said that the impact for the RPCs for the proposed wage package of Rs. 940 is, for wages alone, Rs. 6.3 billion, and for gratuity, Rs. 5.5 billion, totalling to Rs. 11.8 billion.  Furthermore, annually the companies have to absorb Rs. 6.5 billion every year, as the cost of the wage increase and the annual gratuity impact of Rs. 218 million. Currently the average annual plucking average per worker is around 21 kilos.  The norm is a worker should pluck between 16 kilos to 18 kilos per day.  If they pluck more than the norm, the workers are entitled to an additional payment of Rs. 28 per kilo over and above the daily wage package at present. “Therefore, the worker has to increase only one kilo output if they are to reach the Rs. 1,000 per day, based on the productivity-based wage of Rs. 46/- per kilo, including the EPF/ETF,” they pointed out. (Daily Financial Times, 6.12. 2018)

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