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Sri Lanka raises crop planting subsidies

Nov 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's govt will increase subsidies to encourage small farmers expand tea, rubber and coconut cultivation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Small farmers account for the bulk of the production of the three main agricultural export commodities, Rajapaksa, who is also finance minister, told parliament while presenting the budget for 2013. The replanting subsidy for tea small holders will be increased to 350,000 rupees per hectare from next year from 300,000 rupees. more..

Sri Lanka bank profits for farmer insurance

Nov 8 (LBO) Banks will be asked to pay one percent of their profits to a national insurance fund to help farmers from next year, president Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Rajapaksa, who is also finance minister, said farmers who get a fertiliser subsidy will also be asked to contribute to the fund. Financial sector companies will have to pay one percent of their profits to the National Insurance Fund from next year, he said while presenting the got's budget for 2013 to parliament Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka raises state worker salaries, pensions

Nov 8 (LBO) The govt plans to raise salaries of workers in the overstaffed state sector with the increases being staggered to limit inflationary pressures, according to the budget for 2013. President Rajapaksa told parliament he plans to increase allowances given to public servants by 1,500 rupees a month from next year. A cost-of-living allowance of 750 rupees a month will be paid from January 2013 to all public servants, more..

India, Sri Lanka origin of virulent dengue genotypes

Nov 8 (Island) The more virulent genotypes of the dengue virus — GIII of DENV-3 and GI of DENV-4 — which show higher dissemination potential, evolved and dispersed in India and Sri Lanka, according to new research. The researchers from National Institute of Virology, Pune, looking at the history of strains circulating in the subcontinent, have also identified a new DENV-3 lineage and a new DENV-4 genotype. Between 1960-80, all four serotyopes — DENV-1, DENV-2, more..

Sri Lanka promises elections for former war zone

Nov 8 (AP) Sri Lanka's president has promised to hold provincial council elections next year in the island nation's former northern war zone. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's pledge comes amid international criticism that he has failed to devolve power to the northern region since the nation's quarter-century civil war ended in 2009. The majority of the region's population are minority ethnic Tamils. While presenting the government's annual budget in parliament Thursday, more..

Sri Lanka extends value added tax to retail trade

Nov 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka has extended value added tax to the retail trade starting with supermarkets with a turnover above 500 million rupees a quarter, President said presenting the budget. A so-called non recoverable nation building tax will also be charged from supermarkets. The state is expecting to raise 5.2 billion rupees from the tax in 2013. Value added tax is expected to be a neutral simple tax with minimal exemptions more..

Sri Lanka promotes new stock listings, debentures with tax breaks

Nov 8 (LBO) Companies that list on the Colombo Stock Exchange will be given a 3-year concessionary tax and listed bond interest will be freed from income tax among incentives given to capital markets President said in a budget for 2013. A presidential task force will be appointed to co-ordinate and implement a capital market development plan. New listings will be taxed at half the rate for three years. Listed debenture interest is now subject to a 10% withholding tax. more..

'Sri Lanka should cut high food taxes to reduce malnutrition'

Nov 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka should cut high food taxes which will make proteins more accessible to the poor and reduce malnutrition among small children, minister Tissa Vitharana has said. "Growth is expected to be broad based in 2013 with the performance in all sectors of the economy expected to improve," the Central Bank said in a report released ahead of an annual budget to be presented later on Thursday. "Global economic recovery and less uncertainty over policy responses, more..

Chief Justice replies the most serious four charges on her finances

Nov 8 (CT) The Lawyers for Chief Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake replied to allegations related to her bank accounts in the impeachment motion. It replies the most serious four charges on finances. According her lawyers all operative bank accounts have been declared by her. Only accounts not declared are those which are closed or with zero balances- so there are no assets. The much talked of apartment is more..

Will SLMC and Left parties give the 2/3 majority needed?

Nov 8 (CT) An interesting constitutional issue has arisen consequent to the determination of the Supreme Court in the matter of the Divineguma Bill. The Supreme Court has ruled that as the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has not been constituted, it was not possible for the Bill to have been sent to the NPC for the expression of its views. However, the Court has also ruled that the Governor of the Northern Province could not have expressed a view on behalf of the NPC. more..

Bandula needs to change his attitude: CTU

Nov 8 (DM) Upon the govt’s indifference to the ultimatum issued by teachers’ and principals’ unions in granting their demands, the Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Union Collective is due to hold a decisive meeting today, with regard to the future course of action to win their demands. The representatives of the 15 teachers’ and principals’ trade unions said they would be taking a decision at today’s meeting concerning the trade union actions that would be taken against the govt’s more..

WikiLeaks: US on LTTE fundraising activities and Prabhakaran’s monetary board

Nov 8 (CT) “(SBU) Reftel provided background on LTTE fundraising and financial activities, as well as specific information about LTTE activities in particular countries. In the past few months, there has been an upsurge in media reporting on increased LTTE fundraising activities abroad – often via coercive practices – in order to finance a potential return to war. Over the past year, we have continued to receive information more..

Case against UNP leadership over suspension of UNPers

Nov 8 (DM) Mount Lavinia District Court today issued notice of enjoining order on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and others sequent to a case filed by several UNP parliamentarians and provincial councillors over the suspension of their party membership. UNP MPs Ashoka Abesinghe, Palitha Range Bandara and Palitha Thewarapperuma and Provincial Councillors Shrilal Lakthilake and Maithree Gunaratne filed action against the UNP leader, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, more..

Govt. members appointed to PSC ordered to probe CJ

Nov 8 (AD) The government members appointed to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the impeachment of the Chief Justice were announced today. Anura Yapa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Susil Premajayantha, R. Senaratne, Wimal Weerawansa, Dilan Perera and Neomal Perera were appointed. Eleven members are to be appointed for the Parliamentary Select Committee which will probe the allegations contained in the impeachment motion brought against the Chief Justice. more..

UNP to vote against budget proposals

Nov 8 (AD) The UNP has decided to vote against the 2013 budget proposals, the Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga stated. President Rajapaksa as minister of Finance presented the budget for the year 2013. The Cabinet of Ministers had approved the US$ 19.5 billion Appropriation Bill 2013 at the Cabinet meeting held on Sept 26. Budget 2013 is expected to contain fiscal proposals that will accelerate the post-war more..

Jobs for resettled youth

Nov 8 (MoD) Under an army initiative to assist the reintegration and economic uplifment of the resettled community in the Mullaitivu district, 25 resettled youth have received employment at Sri Lanka Mobiltel, the national mobile services provider. In response to a request made by military authorities Sri Lanka Mobitel has recruited these youth who have fulfilled the required qualifications to work at their newly established regional centres. The military has initiated a number of programmes to more..

A budget that deceived the whole working masses – NTUC

Nov 8 (LT) The budget presented by Mahinda Rajapaksa govt for 2013 is one that has deceived the whole working masses states the National Trade Union Center (NTUC). The statement emphasizes that the budget has not considered the plight of the working masses. It states, “The miracle of the budget is the failure to consider the demand by working masses including university teachers, school teachers and health employees who have been struggling throughout the year for more..

Sri Lanka budget aims to cut 2013 deficit to 5.8%

Nov 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka aims to reduce its fiscal deficit to 5.8% of GDP in 2013, while attaining 7.5% economic growth next year, President Rajapaksa said, announcing the island nation's annual budget. The govt expects to meet this year's fiscal deficit target of 6.2%, the level agreed with the IMF under the terms of a $2.6 billion loan, which was fully disbursed in July. The deficit was brought down to 6.9% in 2011, the level agreed with the IMF more..

Devolution Talk: A response to Malinda Seneviratne

Nov 9 (NS) If I try to sway the ‘Harvard Boy’ to my side of thinking, not necessarily on devolution, then I would ask him to ponder further on the ‘17th and the 18th syndrome’ of Rajapaksa administration. I know it is not an easy task given his political past. Anyway, this is in response to his “Devolution Talk and Devolution Talkers” and his comments on my previous article, “Gotabhaya’s Talk About Abolishing the 13th Amendment,” in it. The difference between us seems to be mainly based on more..

Impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka: A comparison

Nov 9 (CT) The impeachment motion filed against the chief justice of Sri Lanka a few days ago (Nov 1) has resulted in bringing a political storm especially within the legal and political sphere of the island. The voices of politicians and political parties are heard around on the theme while the legal community is coming forward with various constructive criticisms regarding the whole national drama. In this developing situation it is worthwhile to look in comparison another friendly more..

Rehabilitated LTTE cadres: Three marksmen promote sports to NE

Nov 9 (SO) The youngest and the most cheerful of the three was 24-year-old Suresh Kumar. The determined one was Thavendran (26), and the studious, Rajeevan (34). Different in character, yet the decision they took years ago gave them almost a similar result in life. The life they spent as LTTE cadres is now over. These three young men are turning a new leaf in life – a much greener and luscious one indeed. more..

Impeachment will not be solution to country’s problems

Nov 9 (CT) The govt’s decision to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on the grounds of alleged misbehavior is a controversial one. It is extraordinary in a democratic society for a chief justice to be faced with charges that are said to merit impeachment. During her long tenure on the Supreme Court Justice Bandaranayake since 1996 she has maintained a low profile. She was also the country’s first woman judge of the Supreme Court. She was appointed to more..

Culmination of a long-drawn-out cold war

Nov 9 (NS) It is now almost official: the ruling UPFA is about to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Signatures for the impeachment motion were collected from ruling party MPs this week, reports said. This is the culmination of a long drawn out cold war between the Executive and the Judiciary. Unsavory though it may be, it is a tussle that is interesting because it will illustrate the extent to which the govt will act to retain its dominance over all spheres of activity in the country. more..

When disaster stares in the face

Nov 9 (NS) At least four persons have been killed, 16 injured and around 125,000 people throughout the country have been affected by heavy rains and strong winds that lashed much of the island all through last week. The severe weather, mostly spawned by Cyclone ‘Nilam’ which swept over the Bay of Bengal to South India, wreaked havoc, with roads being flooded, power lines being felled and rivers overflowing in several more..

Editorial: Obama's crown of thorns

Nov 9 (Island) President Barack Obama has secured a second term in spite of speculation in some quarters and several pre-polls forecasts that he might not make it. There were moments when he betrayed the unsettling effect of anxiety which arguably cost him an otherwise easy win in the first debate with his formidable Republican rival, Mitt Romney. The Obama Care scheme which has tremendously benefited the marginalised Americans desperate for affordable health care, his more..

Monsoons and Intermonsoons

Nov 9 (GV) The New Zealand cricketers should not be surprised that their matches are being rained on. The following is from an article titled “The Language of Climate in Sri Lanka” (Daily News 28/04/09): “In an article published a few years ago (Daily News, 4th Dec 2003) we found the schedules and venues of the Test cricket matches for a decade were out of sync with the climate. Most of our test matches had been scheduled at the start of the Maha season – a time to make a good muddy field.” more..

Boston Lanka News: November 08, 2012

US reelects President Obama as Sri Lanka impeaches Chief Justice Bandaranaike

Nov 9 (DBS) Earlier this week, two important events occurred in two very different worlds, in the United States, the American electorate after a long and grueling political campaign reelected President Barack Obama, their first African American President, to a second term in office. At the same time, in Sri Lanka, the Speaker of Parliament, Chamal Rajapakse, entertained a motion by more than half the MPs in Parliament to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike, more..

SEC Chief welcomes 2013 Budget boost

Nov 9 (FT) SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa yesterday welcomed several capital market specific proposals in 2013 Budget, saying they will help create greater vibrancy. “Budget 2013 has taken into consideration several proposals submitted by the capital market stakeholders and this is very encouraging. We hope the investing public, the private sector, and all market participants and intermediaries will take strength and benefit from the 2013 Budget and create a vibrant capital more..

Balancing Budget!

Nov 9 (FT) President Rajapaksa Govt’s 2013 Budget drew a mixed response, with some hailing it and others writing it off. Whilst most chambers of commerce are due to make their views public today, the initial take from the private sector is that given the challenging local and global conditions, the Budget was good or above expectations. As predicted by the Daily FT, 2013 Budget has focused on import replacement, exports and new economic sectors. more..

New graduate recruits want maternity leave on par with rest of State sector

Nov 9 (Island) Newly recruited graduates have urged the govt to permit them to obtain the same amount of maternity leave as the other public sector employees. In a letter to the Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne, they have called for the cancellation of the circular, which states that newly recruited graduates are entitled to only 45 days of maternity leave. General Secretary of the Graduate Employees’ Union Chandana Suriyarachchi, told The Island that the govt more..

Sri Lanka ups protectionism in autarkist budget

Nov 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has upped protectionist taxes in foods and building materials allowing more profits for producers allowing producers as citizens try to eat and build homes for themselves. Raising import duties allows producers to engage in tax arbitrage, the act of collecting as profits the equivalent of amount of tax by turning out an item within a national border without actually engaging in competitively priced production. A budget for 2013 said import taxes or cesses would be raised more..

'SL should have a peaceful evolution to a prosperous state'

Nov 9 (SL) Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to Sri Lanka, Bernard Savage says the Sri Lankan govt needs to carry out further efforts on the issue of accountability. He noted that there are issues such as disappearances, particularly the enforced disappearance along with a number of outstanding cases that need to be addressed. He explained that although the EU is not represented in the UNHRC, more..

Sri Lankan civic body to visit Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation

Nov 9 (TOI) A 10-member team from Kotte Municipal Corporation from neighbouring Sri Lanka is slated to visit Bhubaneswar as a part of a 'Sister City' exchange programme. Kotte civic body is only 14 years old and is interested in learning from the practices adopted by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). Sri Lankan mayor Ranawaka along with nine other officials, arriving on Nov 25, will visit the BMC and some places of Buddhist interest here. The Sri Lankan civic body more..

Editorial: Casting that that First Stone

Nov 9 (CT) A senior govt minister on Wednesday described the impeachment motion instigated against the Chief Justice as “taking measures to protect the people’s sovereignty.” Given how that sovereignty is cherished by a govt that constantly places the people’s welfare at the bottom of the list, it is not a statement that deigns a response. But such inanity, juxtaposed with the seriousness of an action that reflects a disregard for the fundamentals of democratic governance, does compel more..

A budget for the super-rich - UNP

Nov 9 (DM) The UNP said today the budget was meant for the country’s super-rich and contained no relief to the ordinary people as evident by the exemption of taxes on sports cars and the permission granted to transfer funds deposited in foreign banks. UNP MP and economist Harsha De Silva said that 99% of the population had been left in the lurch. “It was presented by 1% of the country to the 0.1% of the country’s population. more..

Monk arrested with porn videos

Nov 9 (CT) Kebitigollewa Magistrate ordered to place Middeniye Uditha Thera, a senior monk attached to the Kataragama Kirivehera Rajamaha Vihara, in protective custody until 21 December for allegedly keeping pornographic material in his possession. The monk, together with another youth, was ordered to be placed in custody after police found a laptop containing letters from the Presidential Secretariat, several employment applications, pornographic videos, and over more..

A budget that cheers, say tea exporters

Nov 9 (Island) Tea Exporters’ Association, Chairman, Rohan Fernando yesterday observed that much needed funds had been allocated in the 2013 Budget to the tea Small Holders Sector. Having done a preliminary assessment, he said, allocating such funds was distinctly salutary and a positive recognition of the vital sector, considering that the small holders were the main stay of the tea industry, because they were producing about 70 % of the Tea exported. Fernando said incentives offered more..

Chinthaka Jayasinghe quits cricket in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (CI) Sri Lanka Twenty20 cricketer Chinthaka Jayasinghe has retired from first-class cricket in Sri Lanka, citing frustration with continued non-selection for the national team as a major reason. Jayasinghe, 34, played in five T20 matches from Dece 2009 to May 2010, making a high score of 38 from three innings in the lower-middle order. He played as a fast-bowling allrounder for his domestic sides, and has 104 wickets more..

Why is Sri Lanka abandoning court centered justice?

Nov 9 (Scoop) The 16th murder of a woman took place at Kahawatte last week. The woman is said to be 65 years old and was staying alone in the house until her son came back, when she was brutally murdered. Her body was found in the parlor of the house when the son returned. People of Kahawatte have been under the threat of these kinds of mysterious murders. The police from time to time claimed that they have solved the problem and the now the situation is under control. more..