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Budget 2016 will make life easy for all: Ravi K

Nov 5 (LBO) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has said that the upcoming budget 2016 will make ordinary people’s life easy, especially the fixed wage earners. But 60% of the affluent class are not paying taxes. Accordingly, the economy needs to be properly structured, reformed and strengthened, Karunanayake said. The Budget 2016 would be one exercise, he was quoted as saying in a statement. The govt has no intention to put burden on the wage earners but In terms of taxation, more..

Sri Lanka to set up sunset Agency for Development, Trade Agency

Nov 5 (EN) Sri Lanka will set up a sunset Agency for Development for three years, an international trade agency while the investment and tourism promotion offices will be reformed, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "The very best people from the state and private sector will be taken to the development agency," Wickramasinghe said. "It will be closed after three years." Sri Lanka will also completely revamp the Board of Investment and Tourist Board, he said. more..

Video: Police acknowledges HNDA attack, claims HNDA, Jathika Balaya

Nov 5 (DM) Jathika Balaya Organisation and the HNDA Students today said the Police had acknowledged at Human Rights Commission, the responsibility for attacking HNDA students during the protest held last Thursday. A group of Police officers, including Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara, DIG Gamini Mathurata, and SSP Champika Siriwardana, HNDA students and the representatives of the Jathika Balaya, which more..

Four new envoys present credentials

Nov 5 (PSL) Four new Ambassadors presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today. They were: Dr. Daniel Peter Othol – Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan; Bulat Sarsenbayev- Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan; Vladimir Maric – Ambassador of Republic of Serbia; Khalaf Bu Dhhair – Ambassador of State of Kuwait. Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon were present at the occasion. more..

PM's economic policy speech - full text

Nov 5 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered a policy speech to parliament on Nov 5, ahead of a budget on the Nov 20. The full text of the speech is given below: Hon. Speaker, On the 8th of Jan, the people of Sri Lanka elected Maithripala Sirisena as the President in pursuit of much needed change. This was confirmed at the Parliamentary Election held in August. Our final goal is to improve and enhance the living standards of the people; it is the goal for which we have obtained more..

Sri Lanka to give freehold lands and houses : 500,000 new houses to be constructed

Nov 5 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe today said that the govt plans to give freehold lands and houses to the people who have been enjoying it and will construct 500,000 new houses in rural, semi urban and urban areas. Making a special statement at the Parliament today PM Wickramasinghe said that the govt will empower 3 million citizens to become land and house owners. As per land development ordinance of 1835, more..

Australia calls for probe on alleged war crimes

Nov 5 (CG) Australia says it continues to encourage the Sri Lankan govt to ensure that allegations of serious international crimes committed by both sides to the conflict are investigated. Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, was Chief Guest today at the opening of the Advanced Seminar on International Humanitarian Law for members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, jointly organised by the Faculty of Law of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and the ICRC. more..

SAITM controversy raised in Parliament

Nov 5 (CG) The controversy over the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe was raised in Parliament today. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged that SAITM was involved in fraud and the failure by the new Govt to take action against the institute proves that new Govt is also supporting fraud and corruption. He said that SAITM continues to deceive the public by offering degrees not recognized by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). more..

PM outlines economic reforms in parliament

Nov 5 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament outlined third-generation reforms of the new govt to increase jobs, improve economic growth and international competitiveness of the island. “After second world war the mentality was for greater state intervention. We know the impact this has had on the economy. This was changed after 1977,” he said. Second generation reforms, led by Prez Premadasa more..

Political participation of oppressed castes

Nov 6 (CT) The question of why a single person from oppressed caste groups could not become as a member of parliament in the last parliamentary election held on 17th Aug 2015 has not yet been asked or answered. Seven members of parliament from Jaffna electoral division were selected as qualified members according to the population ratio. Among them, a single member is not from the oppressed caste groups, while such caste groups occupy more than half of Jaffna population. more..

Attack on students & The larger crisis

Nov 6 (CT) Last week’s brutal attack by police on protesting HNDA students, exposes yet again, the severe problems in the country’s education sector. Images of riot police chasing after students and beating them with poles, and the bloodied faces of young female students, has created a furore and to a certain extent, a backlash against the police action and indeed the govt. The govt has responded as every govt in the past has done: the appointment of committees to conduct inquiries. more..

6 out of 10 stroke victims women

Nov 6 (SO) A new study –the first of its kind conducted by Health Ministry – has revealed that 64% of low income groups in SL, have never heard about stroke and referred to it as another disease entity or an unknown disease. The preliminary results of interviews carried out by health personnel in Colombo city targeting 100 respondents, (48 males and 52 females) randomly selected from mostly low income communities, more..

Editorial: Another drama ends

Nov 6 (Island) The govt with both the UNP and the SLFP at its helm  is like a two-headed donkey struggling to move in different directions at the same time only to get nowhere and make a spectacle of itself. What a song and dance some of its top guns once made, a few moons ago, about an illegal floating armoury in Sri Lankan waters! Now, we are told officially that there has been nothing illegal about that arms ship. The Avant Garde floating armoury became one of the main planks of more..

Of Tamils and Tigers & Palmyra Fallen

Nov 6 (GV) These three books are essential reading for those interested in the events in the North and East of this Island, and their impact on the people of that region as well as on national reconciliation. I am not attempting a review of these books. That would be much too big a task for me to take on. I found these 1000 pages most rewarding, and will go on to offer some comments in the hope that these comments will not only be useful but also encourage many others to secure these books more..

Fake Police investigations on the beach

Nov 6 (CT) Another couple not second to this couple is seated further away. The boy arrived on the beach as if he was a dog being led by a woman. The boy is a mere youth. The woman seems to be middle-aged. In one way it can be said that she is relatively young. A simple description is that she was not white but pale. The main couple in the story was watching this couple. It is possible that the young man was wondering what the boy more..

Student Protests: Public nuisance or genuine activism?

Nov 6 (GV) Tertiary education system in Sri Lanka is once again the subject of public scrutiny following a series of high-profile protests by university students. Many on social media dismissed the student protests. “People should learn to protest without blocking roads and inconveniencing others,” one commenter wrote on Groundviews’ Facebook page, while another on Twitter called the IUSF protest against private universities sour grapes. And what of the violence by the Police? more..

Sri Lanka demand seen mainly for smaller, cheaper cars

Nov 6 (EN) Demand for cars in Sri Lanka are likely to be mainly for smaller and cheaper vehicles after prices went up following the depreciation of the rupee and higher Customs valuations, on online retailer said. “Recent events resulting in vehicle values going up have definitely affected the market,” said Firaz Markar, Managing Director of retailer Carmudi Sri Lanka. “We see lower sales in vehicles since news broke of this increase. Interest rate changes are not expected to more..

'Avant garde deal criminal'

Nov 6 (CT) This week Red Carpet spoke to Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Performing his role in the Opposition, Dissanayake highlighted various issues that plague the current administration and noted that, "The Maithri-Ranil Govt was elected to power to restore order against the ruling system that allowed shots to be fired at protestors and killing of innocent people. They were not voted in to aggravate the situation. more..

Police arrest All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams

Nov 6 (Island) It was midnight when the PM of England David Cameron woke up former Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to London Dr Chris Nonis. Cameron said, "Chris, I am making this request since I still consider you the High Commissioner to London even though you shouted at me during the Commonwealth Summit. Could you please arrange a special call to my rugby playing friend your PM?" Chris was pleased that Cameron still regarded him as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to more..

Tourism to become main exchange earner

Nov 6 (DN) Tourism will be the number one foreign exchange earner in less than three years, Tourist Hotels Association President Hiran Cooray said. Speaking at the Press Conference at the World Tourism Market Cooray said this year the revenue is expected to pass the US$ 2.5 billion mark and they are expecting a target in the excess of US$ 3 billion by 2015 year end. Tourism has already moved to the third position overtaking tea. Foreign remittances and apparel export are the top two. more..

SLC staff members to be permanent

Nov 6 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara at a recent meeting held with Interim Committee of SLC was concerned about employees' being on contract. He requested them to consider the position of their current contracted staff members and arrange for them to be in permanent cadre of SLC. Most of these staff members, who have been employed for many years, have had their contracts extended on a regular basis. more..

Sampath Bank to list up to Rs 7bn debt securities

Nov 6 (Island) Sampath Bank, a leading commercial bank in the country , has decided to list up to Rs. 7 billion debt securities of the company on the Main Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The company said in a stock market disclosure that the opening issue will offer 50 million debentures at an issue price of Rs.100.00 each amounting to Rs. 5 billion. In the event of an oversubscription, further 20 million debentures will be issued to raise up to Rs.7 billion. more..

Sri Lanka looks to deepen tourism cooperation with China

Nov 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka looks forward to deepening cooperation with China in the tourism sector, said Minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga on Thursday. Meeting with the CEO of the Asia Pacific Daily Jin Wensheng and his delegation in Colombo, Amaratunga said that his country is looking at becoming a globally recognized tourism destination. Asia Pacific Daily is an international news website operating under the wing of China's official Xinhua News Agency. more..

Pro-Tamil outfits denounce ex-NSA's attacker, deny ties

Nov 6 (TOI) Who is M Prabakaran, the 36-year-old man who created a kerfuffle at a seminar here on Wednesday by hurling a slipper at former West Bengal governor and NSA M K Narayanan, in protest against what he claimed was the former bureaucrat's role in the massacre of 1.5 lakh Tamils in SL? Leaders of pro-Tamil outfits in the state, who one may expect to be of his acquaintance, certainly haven't a clue. more..

Suspect deliberately used fictitious name to gain entry

Nov 6 (Hindu) M. Prabhakaran, the man who attacked former National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan at the close of a meeting here on Wednesday night, deliberately used a fictitious name to gain entry into the venue. After a night-long interrogation, police produced the accused before a judicial magistrate and lodged him in Puzhal central prison early on Thursday. Though the colloquium on the ‘Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India’ was open to public, participants were asked more..

Aitken Spence buys 20% stake in Fiji Ports Corp for $ 16 m

Nov 6 (FT) Aitken Spence PLC, has further expanded its footprint in the South Pacific by acquiring a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation (FPCL), for US$ 16.2 million (Rs. 2.8 billion). FPCL manages all the major Ports in Fiji and is a wholly-owned Govt company. The pioneering conglomerate in 2013 entered into the first-ever Public-Private Partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminals Ltd. and more..

Video: Ghosts of previous regime chases private bus: Wijeratne

Nov 6 (DM) No political revolution had taken place in the country, while the shadow operations of Mahinda Rajapaksa had emerged especially in the transport sector, Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said today. “Extorting money from private bus owners had not stopped so far and no solution had been provided by govt in 100-Day-Programme as promised during the election time,” more..

Perera shoots 66 to set the pace

Nov 6 (DH) Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera shot six-under-par 66 to lead in the opening round of the US$400,000 Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Club here on Thursday. 28-year-old, who has five wins on the domestic PGTI Tour but none on the Asian, sank seven birdies, including four on the closing five holes, to hold a one-shot advantage over an in-form Chiragh Kumar of India and Sattaya Supupramai of Thailand. Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman, N Thangaraja of SL, India’s Abhijit Chadha more..

Democratic Party to challenge CA verdict

Nov 6 (DN) Democratic Party Leader Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said the Party would file a petition against the Court of Appeal determination that decided the expulsion of three Provincial Councillors from the DP membership was invalid. He stated that the Party is preparing to file the petition without delay against the CA determination that held that the expulsion of Ashoka Dayaratne of WPC, Padmasiri de Silva of SPC and Malhami Ratnayake of NWPC following a disciplinary inquiry, was invalid. more..

Sri Lanka's new regime faces major split over arms scandal

Nov 6 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's coalition faced the first major threat of a split Thursday as two key ministers threatened to either quit or bring down cabinet colleagues defending the Avant Garde arms scandal. Clashes erupted at Thursday's cabinet meeting which followed a parliamentary debate during which two govt ministers made stunning declarations that were diametrically opposed more..

Writers, politicos slam Narayanan slipper slur

Nov 6 (TOI) A host of well-known personalities have strongly condemned the attack on former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan. On Wednesday evening, a pro-Tamil activist threw a footwear at the former West Bengal governor at the end of a seminar where he delivered a speech on The Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India. The man, who shouted slogans blaming Narayanan for the massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka and for misleading Rajiv Gandhi on sending IPKF troops to more..

Yahapalanaya: Deputy Tourism Minister visits only on the last day

Nov 6 (Island) To the surprise of all the travel agents and hospitality industry personnel attending the leading travel exhibition in London, World Travel Market (WTM) Deputy Tourism Minister Arundhika Fernando visited the event only the last day. This day is known as the visitors day and the event is open to the public. Fernando switched allegiance to President Sirisena having supported former President Rajapaksa’s candidature as the UPFA’s PM candidate at the Aug 17. more..

'People’s consent needed for infrastructure development'

Nov 6 (Island) Sri Lanka’s future infrastructure development projects should be done in consultation with the people, without resorting to any adhoc and haphazard measures, Minister of Megapolis and Western Regional Development Champika Ranawaka said. "We have identified some of the previous mistakes that were done with regard to infrastructure development during the past regimes. more..

The sound of thavil from Jaffna

Nov 6 (Hindu) Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy Pillai may not be a familiar name for most people. But the fact remains that he was a name to reckon with in the field of thavil playing. Veteran percussionists, including the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer, have lauded his playing skills, and even hailed him as the eighth wonder. Now, this maestro is the subject of a new documentary made by film-maker Amshan Kumar. But how did Amshan end up making a film on a thavil artist from Sri Lanka? more..

Dinesh stages walk out followed by others

Nov 6 (Island) UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday staged a walkout in Parliament protesting against the govt debating an order under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act and several resolutions under the Customs Ordinance and Excise Ordinance. Several UPFA MPs followed him and abstained from participating in the debate. When the time came for the notice of motions and orders of the day, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Bandula Gunawardena more..

Sri Lanka admits illegal expulsion of Maldivian youngster

Nov 6 (EN) Foreign Ministry admitted a breach of local laws in expelling an 18-year-old Maldivian man simply at the request of the autocratic Maldivian regime. Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said an internal investigation into the conduct of Foerign ministry officials involved in the controversial arrest and expulsion of Ahmed Ashraf on Monday was already underway. "It is not only this ministry, but immigration dept more..

Sri Lanka navy slaps criminal cases against Tamil Nadu fishermen

Nov 6 (PTI) A Sri Lanka court has slapped criminal cases against 10 of the 19 fishermen from Pudukottai, 27 days after they were arrested at Killinochi. S Emirit and P Sesuraja, President and Secretary respectively of TN Coastal Fishermen's Association, said the navy had charged them for deliberately colliding their boat with the Sri Lankan high speed modern patrol boat and damaging it. The Judicial Magistrate Jawahabdeen remanded the fishermen till Nov 18. more..

UPFA Uva PC summoned before PRECIFAC

Nov 6 (DN) Uva Provincial Councillor Anura Vidanagamage was yesterday summoned before the PRECIFAC to record a statement into the alleged malpractices which took place when allocating govt lands in the Monaragala area. Meanwhile, Members of Mahiyanganaya Pradeshiya Sabha have been summoned to the PRECIFAC yesterday, Secretary of the PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva said. In addition, several govt officers of the PC and PS have also been summoned before more..

Video: Kumar: It’s all political says FSP

Nov 6 (DM) Granting Sri Lankan citizenship to Kumar Gunaratnam was not a question of law, but a political consideration, FSP Politburo member Pubudu Jagoda said. “Granting of citizenship is therefore not a matter for legal institutions such as courts of law, but rather for the executive arms such as the Cabinet and the subject minister,” he said. “Even Kegalle Magistrate’s Court and Supreme Court more..

SLC elections on 3rd January 2016

Nov 6 (PTI) The elections of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) governing body will be held on January 3, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said today. Jayasekera has been pledging to hold the elections in January after the ICC had expressed concern over the politically appointed interim committee. The government appointed the interim committee headed by the former Test opening batsman Sidath Wettimuny late March. The election was due to be held in April. more..