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9 police officers suspended

Nov 25 (CT) Nine police officers attached to the Maturata Police Station who had been deployed for duty during the CHOGM, had been suspended, consequent to the allegation that they had shouted obscenities when they had found the dinner packets issued to them had gone stale, police sources said. The officers were suspended for their unbecoming conduct on the night of 13 November, when they had been given their dinner packets which they had found to be stale. more..

Budget with a clear Medium Term focus -CCC

Nov 25 (Island) The Chamber appreciates the continued commitment to fiscal discipline displayed in Budget 2014. We believe that efforts taken by the Govt to enhance tax revenue, continue with tax reforms announced in the Budget 2011 and the initiatives taken to improve the tax administration through computerization of the inland revenue department will contribute towards fiscal consolidation envisaged in the medium term. A predictable and transparent tax regime is more..

State owned carriers to get bailouts

Nov 25 (Island) The Sri Lankan state owned, loss making carriers will receive US$ 200 million bailout, while the sate bus service would receive Rs. 500 million to cover losses and Rs. 1,000 million to strengthen the fleet from the 2014 budget which was presented to parliament last Thursday. SriLankan Airlines will receive US$ 150 million, while the Sri Lankan budget carrier Mihin Lanka would receive US$ 50 million, more..

Four inmates escape from Mahara prison

Nov 25 (Island) Four inmates, serving long-term prison sentences at the Mahara prison, escaped after scaling the prison wall on Saturday during heavy rains accompanied by thunder and lightning. They had climbed the wall with the aid of ropes. All of them had been serving prison sentences after being convicted with robbery. "We are short of staff and some of the experienced officers have been transferred to other prisons. Such lapses helped the foursome to escape," more..

2014 Budget: Tax Proposals

Nov 25 (Island) 2 Income Tax: In the Budget speech delivered in Parliament today the Minister of Finance made the following proposals in relation to the taxation of corporates and individuals. 2.1 Corporate income tax: Under sections 51 and 52 of the Inland Revenue Act the concessionary rate of tax of 12% granted for qualified export profits which was to expire on 31st March 2014 and 2015 has been extended. Relief is granted under sections 51 and 52 for profit and income from an undertaking more..

Pardoned UNP rebels demand Ranil’s head

Nov 25 (Island) The two UNP MPs, Ashok Abeysinghe (Kurunegala) and Palitha Range Bandara (Puttalam), who despite having the disciplinary inquiries against them dropped by the party hierarchy last week demand that Ranil Wickremesinghe resign from the party leadership and from the Leadership Council. Abeysinghe said that the UNP’s popularity had hit rock bottom and the party could not be marketed as long as more..

Johnston says he has nothing against Dayasiri

Nov 25 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando says that he has nothing against former UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, who joined the UPFA to contest and win the North-Western Provincial Council elections and be appointed the Chief Minister. Fernando said so addressing a meeting at Divulegoda Maha Vidyalaya. He said that Jayasekera had been a strong personality in the UNP. "Jayasekera joined hands with the President and I, too, welcomed his decision", Fernando said. more..

He who convinced the world that Tamil is classical language

Nov 25 (Hindu) Rev. Prof. Xavier S. Thaninayagam Adigalar, whose birth centenary is being celebrated in Tiruchi on Sunday, is a renowned Tamil scholar who worked for promoting Tamil language and literature throughout the world. His efforts convinced the international scholars to accept Tamil as a most ancient and classical language of India. Thaninayaga Adigal, a Sri Lankan Tamil Catholic priest, was born in Karampon, Jaffna, his mother’s place while his father hailed from Delft. more..

Aluthgamage bows down to IOC demands

Nov 25 (CT) Sport Ministry last week bowed down to the pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which demanded to keep political interference away from sports administration as it had principally agreed to change certain regulations in the Sports Law ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with the IOC officials in Lausanne, Switzerland. The compromise was reached last week when Sports Minister met with the NOC officials more..

SLFP to be overhauled

Nov 25 (CT) The SLFP will undergo an overhaul in the coming week in the light of PC elections that are expected to be held next year. Sources said all trade unions affiliated to the SLFP will be restructured, and new office bearers will be appointed to these bodies. The decision comes in the wake of many allegations that have been levelled by union members against some trade union officials with regard to fraud and corruption, and the failure to take remedial action at the proper time. more..

56 Sri Lankans held for smuggling gold

Nov 25 (TOI) The long-suspected international gold smuggling racket centred on the Colombo-Kochi-Chennai axis was dramatically confirmed on Sunday, when the air intelligence unit of Cochin International Airport apprehended two groups of Sri Lankan nationals who arrived in the city with around 11 kg of gold ornaments worth more than Rs 3 crore. On Sunday morning, air intelligence unit seized 10 kg of crude gold ornaments from 42 Sri Lankan nationals of whom 28 were women. more..

Coke sales suspended

Nov 25 (CT) Kebetigollawa Magistrate issued an order suspending the production and sale of the fizzy drink, Coca Cola in Sri Lanka, for a period of three-months, to Pure Beverages, Biyagama, after the company was found guilty of distributing for sale, a bottle of Coca Cola, which does not mention the date of production or expiry, or the batch number. Under the Court ruling, the licence of the company to engage in production, storing, distributing and sale of more..

Tax incentives to company owners alone will not help economy- Marcus

Nov 25 (Island) The Secretary of the FTZ & GSEU Anton Marcus said that the Budget 2014 presented in Parliament by President Rajapaksa talks of providing incentives to export industries and turning Sri Lanka into a textile giant by 2020, but stresses that no industry would grow with incentives provided to company owners alone. He said that there are 7.2 million wage earners in the country of 21 million with a fast growing ageing population who has to be taken care of. more..

Chinese national allegedly violating liquor law discharged

Nov 25 (DM) While discharging a Chinese national from a case filed against him that he allegedly sold seven bottles of beer on the Ramazan Festival Day, the Colombo Fort Magistrate observed that the police cannot proceed with the case because the condition violations of a liquor licence comes under the purview of the Excise Department. However, Magistrate maintained that releasing the Chinese national from this case would only be valid until the Excise Department takes legal action more..

UNP faults govt. for taking country before Human Rights Court

Nov 25 (FT) One week after the UNP boycotted the CHOGM after State-sponsored demonstrators broke up a human rights festival at its headquarters, the UNP has found fault with the Govt for signing the CHOGM Communiqué in which world leaders have agreed in principle to the setting up of a World Human Rights Court. Accusing the Rajapaksa Govt of only making pretentions to patriotism domestically, the UNP issued more..

National Chamber welcomes 2014 Budget overall but frowns on few inconsistencies

Nov 25 (FT) The National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) welcomed the majority of the 2014 Budget components, but frowned upon a few inconsistencies observed in areas related to revenue proposals. NCC Senior Deputy President Thilak Godamanna, speaking on behalf of the institution at a press conference to put forward its views in this regard, said the Budget proposal presented by the Govt on Thursday is well received by the chamber as it is noted to be consistent with more..

Dr. PB’s broadside at DFCC, NDB: A home-and-home matter?

Nov 25 (FT) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera’s broadside at DFCC Bank and NDB on Friday at the Ernst & Young Post-Budget Forum saw some of those present quipping that given the State ownership in both, it was a home-and-home matter. When speaking about the 2014 Budget’s focus on the financial sector including encouraging mergers, he lamented that development banks despite their strong balance sheets couldn’t raise adequate funds internationally. more..

Galle Dialogue 4th edition attracts regional, global naval powers

Nov 25 (Island) Regional as well as global naval powers are participating in the fourth edition of the Galle Dialogue, scheduled to begin today at the Light House Hotel. Among the participants are those who had been supportive of Sri Lanka’s war against terror paving the way for the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. A record number of 35 countries, including the US, China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Israel, the UK, France, Germany, more..

Facing the shock of reality

Nov 25 (CT) To a people who were enthralled in the euphoria of having hosted the CHOGM, Budget 2014 presented in Parliament by President Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister, has come as a sledgehammer blow on their collective heads. That is because it has imposed on the people, already suffering beneath the weight of an unbearable cost of living, more burdens as a matter of course. In fact, all these had been predicted by analysts long before CHOGM was hosted. more..

Are we another “Ford Nation?”

Nov 25 (CT) For those of you unfamiliar with the manner in which the name of the man who created a very significant spin-off to the industrial revolution in his automobile manufacturing plant is often used, it might, perhaps, be necessary to describe what Henry Ford achieved, warts and all, in the matter of modern industrial production methods. However, in the age of Google and given the space constraints of this column, I don’t have the luxury of being able to delve into that particular piece of more..

Finding Way Out Of CHOGM Polarisation

Nov 25 (SL) Sri Lanka’s hosting of CHOGM was challenged by human rights organisations, sections of the Tamil Diaspora and by countries such as Canada on the grounds of the host country’s failure to abide by the stated values of the Commonwealth. Issues of independence of the judiciary and public institutions, separations of powers and also of corruption and abuse of power were brought up. But the most serious charge more..

Delta Corp will halt casino plans if laws unclear, no level playing field

Nov 25 (ST) Delta Corp Ltd, an Indian firm operating primarily in gaming and hospitality, will re-think its proposed casino resort in Sri Lanka if the legislation is not clear and there is no level playing field, Delta Corp officials said. “The Sri Lankan govt is still considering legislation for gaming in that country. Once we get clarity on the legislation and guidelines, we will start making plans. However, if the legislation is not clear and there is no more..

No specific portfolios for Chandrasena’s Ministry

Nov 25 (CT) The new Ministry of Special Project will be tasked to carry out development projects outlined by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which need accelerated implementation but will not have specific portfolios. The new ministry will not have specific activities or portfolios but will also not be limited to portfolios such as agriculture, irrigation and other conventional subjects, the new Minister of Special Projects, S.M. Chandrasena, told Ceylon Today. more..

Sri Lanka has made big strides in HR promotion - China

Nov 25 (GDI) The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombo in an emailed statement said that China’s position remains unchanged. Over the years, Sri Lanka has made considerable strides in promoting human rights and realising national reconciliation. “China’s position remains unchanged. Over the years, Sri Lanka has made big strides in promoting human rights and realising national reconciliation. We believe that the Sri Lankan govt and people have more..

I don’t know of any ‘hula’, cannot cancel transfer order - PM

Nov 25 (AD) PM D.M. Jayaratne today denied any knowledge of the man who goes by the alias ‘Hula’ who is alleged to be the man behind the Salaka Gambling Den located in Town Hall. Jayaratne stated this when questioned by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka in parliament today. Dissanayaka challenged the govt to reveal the figure behind the gambling den and also cancel the transfer orders of the police officials who more..

Top Vietnamese delegation here for unveiling of Ho Chi Minh statue

Nov 25 (Island) With UK Premier David Cameron threatening to push the UNHRC in Geneva against Sri Lanka, unless the government promptly addressed accountability issues, it would be of pivotal importance to brief members of the UN body in the run-up to the March session, govt sources said. Sri Lanka would have an opportunity to do so when Vietnamese Deputy Premier Pham Binh Minh met senior officials, more..

Indian coast guard seizes 4 Lanka boats

Nov 25 (ENS) In two different coordinated sea-air operations, the Indian Coast Guard officials rescued 12 Indian fishermen, who were missing before the cyclone Helen hit the Andhra Pradesh coast, besides apprehending 22 Sri Lankans in four fishing boats off the Krishnapatnam coast. Four Sri Lankan boats were apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard ship Rajveer and Sarang on Saturday and Sunday. more..

TNA against heroes’ day ban

Nov 25 (CG) TNA says it will strongly oppose moves to prevent families in the north from commemorating heroes’ day on Wednesday. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that while the TNA has no plans to hold any large scale events, party may have small events in their offices. Govt announced today that any attempt to promote the LTTE directly or indirectly is a punishable offence and will be dealt with under the law. more..

Sri Lanka budget good for rating: Fitch

Nov 25 (LBO) Fitch Ratings said the Sri Lanka's recent budget would help Sri Lanka's 'BB'' sovereign rating. "It also signals a strong statement of commitment to medium-term debt reduction," Fitch Ratings said. "The ability to maintain the fiscal consolidation trend provides support to Sri Lanka's' 'BB-'/Stable sovereign rating. "At the same time, both its fiscal deficits and government debt burden still stand at relatively high levels." more..

No need to change SL foreign policy: Gota

Nov 25 (DM) Refering to relations with China and India, Sri Lanka said today there was no reason to change its current non-aligned foreign policy. “China’s support for the Hambantota Port is commercial in nature, and should not be misconstrued as fitting the “String of Pearls” paradigm. Sri Lanka has always pursued a non-aligned foreign policy. We continue to provide logistical and other support to ships including more..

Locally a homerun – Internationally a potential disaster!

Nov 25 (CT) CHOGM-23, is over. Thank goodness! The traffic jams and the ensuing advanced departures and delayed arrivals could be all forgotten now, or could they be? The state-media harangue that worked overtime would take another couple of weeks to subside; yet they will find another set of ‘Goebbelsian’ half-truths and lies to keep them and their viewers and readers glued to their equipment. CHOGM is a rare kind of an event; it’s held only every other year and more..

The significance of the Commonwealth

Nov 25 (CT) The meeting in Sri Lanka in Nov 2013 of the Commonwealth Heads of Govt provides a great opportunity for our govt. This can be summed up in one word, engagement, which Sri Lanka has not been very good at over the last few years. The principles of engagement, which we need to understand, are very simple. First, we need to listen carefully to what others say. Second, we need to put our own perspectives and practices clearly and systematically. more..

CCTV to monitor bus services

Nov 25 (DM) Steps were being taken to network the Private Transport Services Ministry, the National Transport Commission and the Bastian Mawatha Bus Station through a CCTV camera system. This project would enable the Ministry to examine the passenger terminal of the National Transport Commission and the Bastian Mawatha Bus Station. “Minister C.B. Ratnayake has decided to implement this project with the objective more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Nov 25 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.29% lower with diversified stocks losing ground amid low foreign activity on the bourse. All Share Price Index closed 17.05 points lower at 5,775.67, down 0.29 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 14.94 points lower at 3,182.94, down 0.47%. Turnover was 193.48 million rupees, down from 306.59 million rupees last Friday, with stocks of 116 firms closing in the red against 54 gainers. Dialog closed flat at 9.00 rupees with market transactions of 32 million rupees more..

Major policy shift; the need of the hour

Nov 25 (Island) Citing apathy at the highest levels of policymaking, Merrick Gooneratne, Executive Director, Tos Lanka Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. — a fully Japanese owned BOI Enterprise in Hi Tech Electronics, has urged urgent action to revive the industrial production and place Sri Lanka on the path to success. One of the realities of the open economy was a gradual erosion of the manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka, Gooneratne has said in an interview with Eurolink in its Oct issue. more..

Sri Lanka gov't new taxes could deter foreign investment: report

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt decision to slap a 15% upfront tax on lease of State or private lands to foreigners will deter Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), according to analysts quoted by a local media outlet. Quoting industry experts, Daily FT said that as far as being attractive to FDI, the original move of banning sale of land to foreigners was a setback and the latest measure to impose upfront tax was a fresh blow. more..

Attempt to molest female doc at Kandy hospital probed

Nov 25 (Island) Kandy General Hospital authorities and the police are looking for a man who attempted to molest a female doctor around mid-night on Saturday. The doctor had been walking to her official quarters, within the hospital premises, from her ward after duties when an unidentified intruder suddenly grabbed her from behind and tackled her to the ground. The doctor had raised cries and as some people rushed to the scene on hearing her cries, the suspect had taken to his heels. more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority profits up in 2013

Nov 25 (LBO) Profits at Sri Lanka Ports Authority was up sharply in the first nine months of the year, helped by a weaker Japanese Yen and higher container volumes, a finance ministry report said. SLPA has recorded revenues of 25.9 billion rupees for the nine months to September 2013, Revenues were up 7% from a year earlier. This compares with a with 37.1 billion rupees for the full year 2012. A weakening Japanese Yen is helping profits, the finance ministry said. more..

Zero tariff for 10 categories of Indian imports

Nov 25 (DM) Despite the adverse impact on local industries, the Govt has allowed tariff-free imports on ten categories of Indian goods, which had hitherto remained in the negative list under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, Daily Mirror learns. It is also learnt that India has pushed for the removal of these items from the negative list of the bilateral pact. Govt, acting on a budgetary decision, has zero rated these items from Nov 22. more..

Murali is a great patriot – Minister Wimal

Nov 25 (GDI) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said that Cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan proved himself to be a patriotic citizen in the calibre of the late foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar when British PM and Channel 4 journalists tried to paint a dark picture of Sri Lanka. He said that Murali’s promotion of Sri Lanka’s dignity at a time when reactionary politicians make every effort to tarnish the country being stooges of the Tamil diaspora and anti Sri Lankan international pariahs should more..