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Apparel mall proposed to market SL brands

Nov 25 (F2F) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has proposed a 400,000 square feet mall to help apparel manufacturers find domestic and foreign buyers, according to a report. Karunanayake said there is a need to operate a permanent exhibition centre where manufacturers will have their own stall with required facilities to offer only Sri Lankan branded goods made in Sri Lanka of comparable quality with labels and a complete range of products from head to toe. more..

India urged to halt Tamil Nadu poaching in Lankan waters

Nov 25 (Island) A group of fishermen yesterday protested outside Indian High Commission in Colombo against India’s failure to stop poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The group affiliated to the National Fisheries Federation handed over a petition to the High Commission. Protesters accused India of depriving the local fishing community of their livelihood. Federation also handed over a petition to President Sirisena, urging him to take more..

Opposition slams tax imposed on electric cars

Nov 25 (CG) The opposition today slammed the tax imposed on electric cars through the 2016 budget presented to Parliament last week. SLFP opposition member Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that Sri Lanka has created history by becoming the only country to increase taxes on environmentally friendly vehicles. He said that the price of a Nissan Leaf electric car which was sold for around Rs. 2.8 million has now increased to nearly Rs. 6 million as a result of the new tax. more..

In Sri Lanka, a monk's death unites Catholics and Buddhists

Nov 25 (UCAN) Sri Lankan church officials paid a rare tribute to an influential Buddhist monk who died in November, calling him an inspirational figure who promoted religious harmony in an often divided country. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who supporters say played a key role in changing SL’s political landscape, died Nov. 8 in Singapore, where he was receiving treatment after heart surgery. He was 73. On Nov. 23, Catholics in SL paid tribute to Venerable Sobitha with a Mass more..

President Sirisena resorts to half-truths to conceal his brother’s greed

Nov 25 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has deliberately tried to conceal that his brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena wanted to triple the salaries he gets as Chairman of SLT and Mobitel. Although claiming that his brother draws the same salary as his predecessor, President did not reveal that in fact, Kumarasinghe Sirisena has submitted Board Papers to both SLT and Mobitel Boards, requesting that his salaries and those of more..

Glimmers of hope among Sri Lanka’s poor human rights record

Nov 25 (SO) SRI Lanka’s human rights record is again under scrutiny. In September last year, the UN released a detailed report into the alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Govt during 2009. The civil war, and its resulting broad violation of human rights, has overshadowed oppressive conditions of the increasingly visible LGBTI community. Like many other South Asian states, Sri Lankan society and govt tend to be highly religious and socially conservative. more..

UN notes efforts by Sri Lanka towards gender equality

Nov 25 (CG) Sri Lanka has made important strides in the journey towards gender equality, the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women said today. In a statement to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, the Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka noted that Sri Lanka adopted a Women’s Charter in 1993, two years before more..

Mahinda S. slams tax on electric vehicles

Nov 25 (CT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in Parliament called for the reduction of the vehicle emission tax and the tax on electric vehicles, proposed in Budget 2016. He said that the Rs 5,000 vehicle emission tax was too high. "An increase of 500% from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 for vehicle emission testing is far too steep, not only for motorbikes and three-wheelers but also for a lot of car owners. more..

Poverty as a business: Financial institutions

Nov 25 (CT) Majority of Sri Lankan’s, almost 84% are either financially struggling or suffering according to the survey done by Gallup Healthways in 2014. In other words, people are unable to meet their current financials and future obligations while making choices that allow enjoyment of life. Everything can be attained higher education to dream house however only at the cost of obtaining a loan. Increasing debt levels not only erode earning potential of the targeted population more..

Pro-LTTE posters in Jaffna Uni premises

Nov 25 (DM) Posters have been put up within the Jaffna University premises requesting everyone to celebrate LTTE’s Mahaviru day that falls on Nov 27, University students claimed. Posters with the message, Tamil People’s desire is Tamil Eelam, Our aim is Tamil Eelam, let’s Celebrate Mahaviru Day, were seen in several places within the university premises. Students said that they were unaware as to who had put up these posters. Few days ago, posters displaying the same message, more..

A split in the Rajapaksa camp imminent

Nov 25 (CT) A major split in the Rajapaksa camp is imminent with at least five UPFA MPs who have opted to sit in the opposition slated to reverse their decisions. Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajith Senaratne confirmed that four members of the UPFA opposition group in parliament will join the Sirisena-Ranil led, so-called national govt in the next few days. Senaratne said that the four will vote for the budget after joining the govt. more..

Ravi pooh-poohs no-confidence motion

Nov 25 (DM) People who were personally benefitted by the public money were now trying to bring a no-confidence motion against him as they were no longer able to misappropriate the people’s money, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said that several privileges that people were deprived of for the last 11 years were restored by the new budget. He further said the no-confidence motion was not a challenge for him. He was speaking at the event of granting Rs 50,000 donation for development more..

3 estate workers injured in leopard attack

Nov 25 (DN) Three estate workers have been hospitalized following a leopard attack in an estate in Dikoya, Hatton, yesterday. The injured men were attempting to save a tea plucker who was being chased by two leopards. The men managed to chase away one leopard, but, the other charged towards them. One person which escaped the attack was able to finally chase the animal away by throwing stones. Upon admission to hospital, one of the victims needed surgery, while more..

Govt insists no rift with coalition partners

Nov 25 (CG) Govt today insisted that there was no rift with its coalition partners despite some differences of opinion. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that anyone in govt has a right to be critical of any issue and that is part of democracy. However he insisted that when the Cabinet decides on something then the entire Govt stands by that decision. “It is a democratic right for anyone in govt to express their views on any matter. more..

Nine new HIV infections every week in SL

Nov 25 (DN) It is estimated that every week there are nine new HIV infections that take place in Sri Lanka and only four of them are reported (detected). Five new HIV infected persons join SL society without getting detected (hidden) which pose a significant risk, National STD/AIDS Control Programme Director Dr. Sisira Liyanage said. According him, it is the responsibility of the media, medical professionals and the common society to raise awareness and encourage more..

Her bid to cover mistake proved a bigger mistake

Nov 25 (DM) The New Big Boss who was on an official visit to Bangkok recently was due to meet the compatriot community in that country at a special function on the sidelines of his official engagements. Meanwhile, our fair envoy based in the Thai capital had also organized a dance performance by a well-known troupe from here to enliven the occasion. Before attending the function, new Big Boss had wanted to know who the Sri Lankan artistes were billed to perform on the occasion. more..

Finance minister in hot water over alleged creative budget

Nov 25 (EN) Some of opposition legislators are planning to move a motion of no confidence on Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for allegedly inflating spending in education with imputed costs. Bandula Gunewardene, a former Deputy Finance Minister now in the opposition, dropped a bombshell in parliament Monday complaining that recurrent spending in education had been falsely boosted to show a high figure. more..

Strike after engine driver changes 2 engines

Nov 25 (DM) A strike by engine drivers launched for few hours this morning was called off on an assurance that disciplinary action will be taken against an engine driver who had changed two railway engines without permission, Railway Station Masters' Union said. Its Vice President Piyal Wijesiri said this particular engine driver had changed the two engines without obtaining the prior permission of the Station Master and the Controller on duty at the Peradeniya Railway station. more..

President wants to re-impose tax on beer

Nov 25 (DM) President Sirisena has instructed finance minister Ravi Karunanayaka to increase the tax on imported beer (5% alcohol content) which was reduced by Rs.30 in the budget proposal, PMD said Finance Ministry had reduced the tax imposed on a liter of beer with low-alcohol percentage to Rs. 160 from Rs. 190 to remove tax discrepancy on import beer. President had instructed the Finance Minister to increase tax on import beer as reduction of tax would lead to promote such beer. more..

Video: EPF, ETF will be merged, so its easy to manage: Ravi

Nov 25 (AD) The Govt decided to merge the EPF and ETF so it is easy to manage them in the future, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. He also denied allegations that the funds will be misused by the govt. Earlier, the govt clarifying its stance on the new move announced that the EPF and ETF will not be privatized as well. “For the new national pension scheme, a Board of Directors will be appointed through Constitutional Council,” more..

TNA NPC members demand Tamil speaking Govt Agent

Nov 25 (CG) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members of the TNA today demanded the appointment of a Tamil speaking Govt Agent (GA) for Vavuniya. Health Minister of NP, TNA member Dr. P. Sathiyalingam said that TNA had raised the issue with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He says Wickremesinghe had given an assurance that it will address their concerns but they later found out that someone who cannot communicate in Tamil had been appointed to the post. more..

Yahapalana deal making: Three directors for special presidential projects

Nov 25 (DM) President Sirisena has appointed three Directors for Special Presidential Projects in the Uva, North-Western and Central Provinces while another Special Presidential Project Officer has been appointed for the Polonnaruwa District. Former deputy minister Eric Weerawardena was appointed to Central Province, former deputy minister Shantha Bandara to North-Western Province and former minister Jagath Pushpakumara to Uva Province as directors for special presidential projects more..

Town Hall meeting with SL Youth: Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power

Nov 25 (USE) Thank you so much, all of you, for being here. Thank you, Dharisha. And let me say the – there is a mutual admiration society that we can create, because, as all of you know, Dharisha is a very distinguished journalist. And what’s most impressive about her work is the risks that she takes to report the stories that many others have shied away from – like her coverage on corruption, erosion of judicial independence, more..

The heart of the matter

Nov 26 (FT) “From eight-thirty in the morning until eleven he dealt with a case of petty larceny; there were six witnesses to examine, and he didn’t believe a word that any of them said. In European cases there are words one believes and words one distrusts: it is possible to draw a speculative line between the truth and the lies; at least cui bono principle to some extent operates, and it is usually safe to assume, if the accusation is theft and there is no question of insurance, more..

Extravagant Katina processions

Nov 26 (DM) Today is last Full Moon of the Wassana (Rainy Season), Il Poya. It is a significant day in the Buddhist calendar for a number of important happenings on this day. Writer lives in a famous Buddhist town where there are 31 Buddhist temples. At least 7 of them are within half a mile radius from his residence. Authorities have mutually drawn up a schedule for the Katina dates so that they do not clash, presumably, in an attempt to stress their importance over others. more..

The right to return

Nov 26 (SO) Minister Rauff Hakeem said although his party became a part of the UPFA Govt in 2011, they were treated as outsiders and it was not fair to blame his party for inaction on this particular issue because their opinions were never taken into account. Emphasizing the need to speed up the resettlement agenda of the govt, he welcomed the President's move to immediately call up a meeting to discuss the stumbling blocks more..

Transitional injustice

Nov 26 (DM) France’s President dubbed Syria the biggest factory of terrorists the world has ever seen. In his path-breaking study of suicide terrorism, Chicago’s Prof. Robert Pape concluded that the Tamil Tigers fielded more suicide bombers than all the Islamist groups put together. This makes Sri Lanka’s North and East arguably the biggest factory of terrorist suicide bombers the world has ever seen. Yet, in the eyes of the West, the victims are mainly in Northern Tamil society, more..

Should Sri Lanka abandon Port City project?

Nov 26 (CT) Farmers of Uddandarayunipalem in Andra Pradesh, India are living in a new dream these days. They dream of shopping malls, apartments and jobs instead of Hyderabad Biriyani or Thelagana's signature cuisine Tamarind rice, as they seemed to be convinced that they have hit the jackpot. Their optimism is fuelled by a daring decision by political hierarchies to split what was India's fifth-most-populous State of Andhra Pradesh and build a new city, to compete Singapore: more..

'TUMSJ ready to strike'

Nov 26 (CT) Convener of Trade Union Movement for Social Justice (TUMSJ) Saman Ratnapriya spoke about the state of affairs in the country, and what the working class expected from the Budget. Q: What do you think on the progress govt has made so far? A: The country's civil society was instrumental in changing the Executive on 8, Jan and Parliament on 17, Aug. Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera was pivotal in this. more..

Privatization must be guided by Private Sector

Nov 26 (CT) The concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was born at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. Previously, in the year 2000, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was approved with a common 15-year agenda. The 2030 Agenda with new objectives containing 17 SDGs had been duly approved by the international community at a dedicated UN Summit during 25-27 Sept last. 2030 Agenda is also a universal agreement. more..

Hemas Hospitals partner Credence Genomics to offer genetic diagnostics

Nov 26 (Island) Hemas Hospital laboratory services which believe in cutting edge technology and has the largest laboratory network in Sri Lanka, entered into a collaboration with Credence Genomics, the pioneer in genomic research and diagnostics in Sri Lanka. The collaboration allows Hemas hospitals to offer high end molecular biology and genetic tests that have been developed by Credence Genomics for diagnosis of infectious diseases, tumour treatment, breast and colorectal cancer more..

'Political witch-hunts continue'

Nov 26 (CT) Former Minister of External Affairs and jurist Prof. G.L. Peiris spoke to Ceylon Today about political witch-hunts; the threat posed to national security by the recent de-proscription; implications of the visits of foreign officials to the country; our relations with both China and India; the state of affairs of the Joint Opposition at present and also made some preliminary observations on the Budget 2016. more..

Of Khan Market and party at Kapoors

Nov 26 (Island) India and New Delhi again though there is really nothing new about NEW Delhi unlike New York, which becomes new all the time. It was after several years that I visited New Delhi. The airport was very welcoming and of course much more modern and things did move quickly. However, I was sorry that the old Immigration officer apparently had some problems with the technology he was using. The car park at the airport looked active too with several tea and coffee shops more..

Will Presidency actually revert to its ceremonial role?

Nov 26 (DN) Last week’s announcement by President Sirisena that he would commence the process of abolishing the Executive Presidency, though not wholly unexpected given the pledges he made during his election campaign, adds an entirely new dimension to the political equation. President had re-iterated his commitment during the funeral of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. The late prelate’s political ideology in later years revolved around abolishing the Executive Presidency. more..

Those who accomplished the revolution can defeat counter-revolution: President

Nov 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says persons who accomplished the revolution can defeat the counter-revolution. “We should make an attempt on what we should do at present and for what we do for the future by not forgetting the memories of November Revolution”, he added. President made these remarks at the launching ceremony of the book Great November Revolution, written by Dinesh Weerakkody. more..

Murali Harmony Cup Unity Tour to UAE

Nov 26 (Island) Foundation of Goodness confirmed that it is organising a Murali Harmony Cup Unity Tour to the UAE following an invitation from Kevin Pietersen’s KP24 Foundation. Unity Squad includes exceptionally talented Under-19 cricketers from different schools island-wide, including five boys from previously war-affected areas in the N&E. The young cricketers were invited to participate in the tour after their outstanding performances during the 2015 Murali Harmony Cup completed in Oct. more..

ICC appoints women umpires for first time

Nov 26 (AFP) Female umpires will officiate for the first time in the women's World Twenty20 qualifiers, cricket's governing body announced. In a move designed to further the development of the women's game, ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, in Bangkok, Thailand, from Nov 28 to Dec 5, will feature four female officials. "Experienced New Zealander Kathleen Cross will be joined by Australia's Claire Polosak, England's Sue Redfern & WI Jacqueline Williams for the qualifier," more..

Wijewardena wisdom!

Nov 26 (FT) Taking an independent view, Budget 2016 fails to fall in line with the Economic Policy Statement outlined by National Govt, insisted Economist Dr. W.R. Wijewardena and warned it included significant deficit and taxation loopholes that could create conundrums for fiscal management. Delivering a clear and concise analysis of the latest Budget, former Central Bank Deputy Governor pointed out new proposals more..

Editorial: Of that long march

Nov 26 (Island) Hundreds of undergrads are marching from Peradeniya in protest against alleged threats to free education etc. They expect to reach Colombo tomorrow. People have a democratic right to protest. Rights are like muscles; they must be exercised lest they should suffer disuse atrophy. Protests also help keep rulers on their toes and alert people to threats to their democratic rights. They are also necessary for mobilising the masses for various causes. more..

Udaya and Nuwani win singles crowns

Nov 26 (DN) Young table tennis prodigy from Vidyartha College, Kandy, Udaya Ranasinghe proved his supremacy by retaining the men’s singles crown for the second successive year at the 69th National Table Tennis Championship concluded at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. Udaya won a double when he partnered Nirmala Jayasinghe to win the men’s doubles final. Udaya who was in great form defeated Prasad de Silva 4/1 in the men’s singles final and went on to win doubles final more..