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TNA look to Trump

Nov 11 (CT) TNA NPC member MK Sivajilingam says that he will seek the support of US President-elect Donald Trump to win the demands of the Tamil people within a unitary SL. He said though he had dashed coconuts and prayed for the win of defeated Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, at the just concluded US Presidential Election, he has no qualms in accepting the verdict given by American people. "People of the US chose Donald Trump in keeping to their democratic process. more..

GMOA asks 3 weeks’ time to study proposals

Nov 11 (Island) GMOA said it had asked for three weeks to study the proposals and advise their members who were on the committee to formulate policy for a proposed law on Inquests into Deaths. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen Zoysa said the formulation of the legal framework of the proposed law had been handed over to a committee represented by all stakeholders. However, minutes of the committee meeting were not properly kept. The tenth version of the committee report more..

Sarath Jayamanne new Bribery Chief

Nov 11 (DN) Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanne has been appointed the new Director General of CIABOC. Jayamanne is a President’s Counsel and sixth in seniority at Attorney General’s Department. Position of Director General became vacant after former Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe tendered her resignation on Oct 17. Deputy Director General Sunethra Jayasinghe was appointed Acting Director General. more..

'Centre will retrieve 115 seized boats from SL'

Nov 11 (Hindu) Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said the Centre would secure the release of 115 boats of TN fishermen. He said ministerial-level meeting between India and SL, scheduled for Jan 2, 2017, would discuss the contentious issue and secure the release of the boats. On the outcome of the recent fishermen and ministerial-level talks in New Delhi, Radhakrishnan, who was part of Indian delegation, said it was a good beginning and the first step towards finding a sustainable solution. more..

2017 Budget highlights

Nov 11 (CT) Prices reduced: Dhal by Rs 10, Potatoes Rs 5, Sprats Rs 5, Green beans by Rs 15, Kerosene by Rs 5 and Gas by Rs 25 Maximum retail price for whole chicken (1kg) reduced to Rs 420 15,000 dairy cattle will be imported. Price of 400g milk powder pack reduced to Rs 250. Free Tablet computers to be provided for 175,000 A/L students and 25,000 teachers from next year. Rs 5,000 million will be allocated for this. Reduce expressway: prices by Rs 50 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. more..

SC proposed on lines of Constitutional Court

Nov 11 (Island) An 11-member parliamentary Sub-Committee has recommended the setting up of a Constitutional Court to settle disputes between the govt and the regions (Provinces) as well as among the regions (Provinces). Sub-Committee headed by TNA MP D. Siddarthan has asserted that Constitutional Court was required as powers currently enjoyed by Governors would be abolished. more..

Special emphasis on business development in the provinces

Nov 11 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunanayake proposed, among many other pro-business measures, a 200% capital allowance for new businesses in North and a 100% capital allowance for new investments above USD3 million in Uva and East. He said that prices of essential goods and fuel were reduced to support consumers. Investment Zones will be set up to support the private sector. Medium term proposals would be introduced to boost industry, agriculture. more..

Aussie company forced to pay thousands to underpaid Sri Lankan

Nov 11 (TG) A Melbourne removalist company has been forced to pay $9,000 to a Sri Lankan asylum seeker it underpaid for work over three months. Fair Work Ombudsman said the company, Shelly Removals and Storage Pty Ltd, had only paid the man for 38 to 40 hours a week when he regularly worked 50. It also paid him at a flat rate of $18 an hour, well below the award base rate of $23.75, up to $52.25 for overtime and public holidays. It was the man’s first job since arriving in Australia, more..

'Solving problems of Tamils is my obligation'

Nov 11 (Hindu) Emphasising his commitment to resolving SL’s Tamil question, President has said he has an obligation to address the concerns of SL Tamils, most of whom had voted for him. About 90% of the people in Tamil-dominated north voted for him in Jan 2015 elections, he said. “They have confidence in me that I will solve their problems. So it's not only my responsibility, but also my obligation to solve their problems" more..

SL to add new domestic air service in 2017

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka will introduce a new domestic airline by March 2017 to increase local connectivity, Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “This airline will be on a public private partnership agreement, which will include the Sri Lanka Air Force, the hotel industry, travel agents and other private sector stakeholders,” he said during his budget 2017 speech in Parliament. “I propose to allocate 50 million rupees as the initial govt contribution for this purpose.” more..

SL hikes taxes, targets lower deficit in 2017

Nov 11 (EN) Sri Lanka hiked taxes including on pension funds of private sector workers and held state salaries and pensions for the second year running, in a budget for 2017 that sought to fix finances which were damaged by steep wage hike and subsidies in 2015. Encouragingly the 2016 out-turn was in line with revised targets published by the Finance Ministry under a program backed by the IMF. The budget for 2017 ended tax free corporate debt and tax free dividends of more..

Ravi K presents Budget to win economic war

Nov 11 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake suggested that the purpose of the 2017 Budget, was to win the economic war to accelerate growth and social inclusion. According to Karunanayake, the 2017 Budget, the second by the coalition govt, offers relief to the people but also pays the way for sustainable growth. 2017 Budget has endeavoured to please all sectors of the economy or most of it and all segments of society. more..

Electoral lessons

Nov 11 (DM) One of history’s biggest political earthquakes which hit the US at the Presidential Election this week has vital lessons for democratic countries including Sri Lanka. In a stunning if not sensational turn of events, the billionaire businessman Donald Trump – who had not held any elected political office or govt post swept to a landslide victory in the Electoral College, winning 310 of the 530 votes. Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton – was predicted to win more..

Regime Change? Reading China Right

Nov 11 (DM) The spat Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang had with Minister Karunanayake last week, not only led to speculative news reports, more in the form of predictions than in the form of news with the Foreign Ministry intervening. Rarely do Chinese envoys meet the media to talk about Chinese interests in Sri Lanka or in the region. Yet when they do, does it necessarily mean a regime change is in the offing in Sri Lanka as speculated in the media? Question that was not asked and answered more..

Unrest simmers

Nov 11 (DM) When the annual budget is around the corner, people from all walks of life keep their fingers crossed looking for succour in terms of salary hikes, welfare measures, subsidies, price reductions of essential food items etc. Minister Ravi Karunanayake will present the 2017 budget to Parliament this afternoon. All indications suggest that he would present it with a broad outline of measures aimed at rejuvenating more..

Gymkhana set to rob the govt

Nov 11 (DM) Once the country’s most prestigious recreational and sports clubs, Gymkhana has fallen under the iron grip of a few shady officials who have been carrying out some corrupt activity for a long time at one of Colombo Seven’s most iconic landmarks to bring the club to its knees, while their latest unscrupulous adventure seems set to rob the country of a few billion Rupees. Prasantha Wimalasena, none other than the secretary more..

First the selection, now a showpiece tender

Nov 11 (ST) The Govt will float a two-week tender to allow three pre-selected Japanese companies to bid for construction of Section III of the Central Expressway, making a mockery of what was already a flawed bidding process. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has instructed the Ministry of Highways to write to the Japanese Embassy in Colombo requesting the companies to submit fresh bids within more..

SLFP opposes Mihin Lanka closure

Nov 11 (Island) SLFP said it was opposed to the decision to close down Sri Lanka’s budget airline Mihin Lanka or merge it with the national carrier SriLankan as Mihin Lanka had become a profitable venture. Former pilot officer cum Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando said that if the subject minister Kabir Hashim did not like the name of the budget airline he could change it without closing down the venture. more..

Constitutional process: JO’s participation favourable to govt - FNO

Nov 11 (Island) The Federation of National Organizations (FNO) accused members of the Joint Opposition too of contributing to a despicable political project meant to pave the way for the division of the country on ethnic lines. As the JO had been involved in the controversial constitution making process spearheaded by a Steering Committee headed by PM, the grouping was also responsible for the crisis, more..

SLFP flays UNP for protecting Mahendran, his son-in-law

Nov 11 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would be called Mr. Dirty if did not take action against former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran over the bond scams, SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said. Perera said the SLFP group in the govt wanted resort to legal action on the basis of the findings of the COPE report on the Central Bank bond scams after a parliamentary debate, but the UNP was still protecting Mahendran and his son-in-law. more..

Education a priority, free tablets for students

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka will prioritize education and give free tablet computers to students and teachers in 2017, govt said in budget proposals for next year. Almost 175,000 A/L students and 28,000 teachers will receive tablet computers in 2017, for which five billion rupees has been allocated. SL has lagged behind behind regional peers in investment in education, and govt’s focus was urgently needed, observers said. more..

41 Tamil refugees from TN arriving on 17th

Nov 11 (AT) 41 SL Tamil refugees in TN, India are arriving Sri Lanka under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are a voluntary repatriation movements on Thursday (17), consisting 41 persons (13 families) scheduled to arrive through Sri Lankan Airlines from Trichy. Govt initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee programme and the current trend of increased refugee returnees more..

UN aware of plight of SL Muslim community

Nov 11 (CG) The UN says it is aware of the plight of the SL Muslim community and it urged the Muslim community to work closely with the UN office in Sri Lanka to address any concerns. “I encourage you and the Muslim community at large to work in close collaboration with the (UN) Resident Coordinator to turn this complex agenda into tangible results,” UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca said. more..

SL raise taxes on smaller cars, 3 wheelers

Nov 11 (EN) Finance ministry has revised the tax rates on vehicles making smaller cars and three wheelers more expensive while lowering the price of electric cars which are already heavily subsidised. Govt reduced the tax on electric cars (less than 99 kw) to a tax rate of 40%, down from 50% of CIF earlier. However, unit rate of gasoline-powered cars with an engine capacity of less than 1,000 cc was more..

Budget 2017

Nov 11 (CT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake informed Parliament yesterday that the capital gains tax will be introduced from April. Minister presenting Budget 2017 said that imports would be digitalized from next year. He further said that personal income up to Rs 100,000 per mensem will be tax free. Karunanayake said that every (bank) transaction above Rs 10,000 will be taxed at Rs 5 per transaction. A telecommunications levy of 25% will also be charged. more..

SLFP split kicked off by GL

Nov 11 (DM) Who would believe that former foreign minister G.L. Peiris would voluntarily form a new political party or take the reins of an existing party to challenge the incumbent govt, without the blessings of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa? Peiris who was working with the so-called joint opposition or the Mahinda loyalists in Parliament definitely does not have any reason to form or join a new party abandoning the group loyal to Rajapaksa. However, since Nov 5, Peiris is the Chairman of SLPP, more..

ශ්රී ලංකාවේ චීන තානාපතිවරයා

AG’s left hand knows not what’s in his right hand

Nov 11 (CT) Attorneys for the defendants in the RADA case that was heard in Colombo High Court told Court that one of the reasons for this case being dragged on is that Attorney General's (AG) right hand does not know what his left hand does. The defendants in this case are former MP Tiran Alles, Emil Kanthan, Saliya Wickremasuriya and Jayantha Samarasinghe. Defendants' Attorneys condemned the 'vicious requests of Additional Solicitor General who appeared on behalf of the AG. more..

Trump win won’t impact on America’s Sri Lanka policy: SLFP

Nov 11 (Island) Republican candidate Donald Trump’s victory would have no direct impact on Sri Lanka, the SLFP said. SLFP Spokesman and State Minister Dilan Perera said: "We don’t think that America’s foreign policy would undergo any change under a Trump presidency. However, America’s policy on Russia and organisations like NATO might change." However, such change in the US policy towards powerful countries could be an indirect advantage for Sri Lanka, he said. more..

Opposition was silent when the budget was read: Finance Minister

Nov 11 (GDI) Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake presented the Budget for year 2017 yesterday in Parliament. Several ministers from both UNP and SLFP expressed their views before media after the Budget speech. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said those who spend luxury lives have been taxed by the budget but as a whole they had presented a budget which doesn’t increase anything. more..

Will reveal info on AAVA: Rajitha

Nov 11 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he will obtain important findings on the AAVA group and that he would make disquieting revelations when he has the information in hand. He added that he did not say that the military was behind the creation of the AAVA group. "I said only one Brigadier, with the knowledge of the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, was behind the creation of the AAVA group. It was Gotabhaya who said I was implicating the Army. more..

SL to encourage re-export of used cars

Nov 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is proposing the re-export of used cars older than five years to ease congestion on already overcrowded roads, according to the latest budget unveiled by Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake. The minister was offering a tax incentive for exporters who can ship a minimum of 20 cars at a price of $200,000 (at the rate of $10,000 each). Exporters will be offered a 50 percent duty waiver on the import of a new vehicle costing (CIF) below $50,000. more..

Five Indians who escaped from detention center arrested

Nov 11 (AD) Five Indian nationals, who recently escaped from the Mirihana detention center, have been arrested near the Pesalai Beach in Mannar.  The suspects were preparing to illegally travel to India via sea route when they were arrested by Pesalai Police, acting on information received. They will be produced before the Mannar Magistrate’s Court today. Police launched a manhunt after 6 Indians, arrested more..

ACJU strongly opposes changes to Muslim Personal Law

Nov 11 (AD) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), a Muslim clerics’ association in SL, says it strongly opposes bringing changes in the Muslim Personal Law either due to international pressures or stimulation of any evil forces acting against the Muslims. Organization said that Muslim Personal Law has been followed by the Muslim community in SL for centuries and that it is the duty of every one to protect these laws which has been implemented since a long period until today. more..

Sri Lankan shares edge down

Nov 11 (Reuters) Shares closed slightly weaker on Friday while volume slumped to a 32-month low after budget proposals on Thursday to revise corporate and withholding taxes to boost revenue. The govt aims to boost its 2017 tax revenue by 27% to 1.82 trillion rupees ($12.36 billion) year on year, to meet a commitment given to the IMF in return for a $1.5 billion loan in May. "There is nothing much to see in the budget. It has failed to give the expected boost to the market," more..

Sri Lanka budget 2017: main tax hikes

Nov 11 (EN) Govt increased several taxes to raise revenue in its budget proposals for 2017 presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Corporate Income Tax: Corporate income tax rate is proposed to be revised to create a three tier structure of 14%, 28% and 40%. Income tax rate applicable on liquor, tobacco, betting and gaming, etc. will be continued at the rate of 40%. SMEs, exporters of goods and services, agricultural sector and education more..

Vehicle insurance to pay Sri Lanka state hospital for accident victims

Nov 11 (EN) Sri Lanka's state hospitals will claim a minimum of 25,000 rupees for treating accident victims from the insurance cover of the vehicles involved, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "The cost to the state as a result of traffic related issues is quite high," he said in a budget speech. If casualties are admitted to state hospitals, a minimum of 25,000 rupees will be claimed from the insurance cover of the vehicle involved. SL will also raise the minimum fine for traffic violations to 2,500 rupees. more..

Railway Department recruits guards after eight years

Nov 11 (GDI) Railway Department has taken steps to recruit a batch of 114 guards to the department after eight years. After the new govt took office Minister Nimal Siripala de silva took step to recruit Station Masters, Engine Drivers as well as guards. There was a need to have 680 guards to provide an efficient service but the Department had only 432 therefore recruiting a batch of 114 guards will help to provide an efficient service to the public. Recruitment of the 114 guards was done in more..

Rs.130 million spent on UNGA delegation in 2010

Nov 11 (NR) It was revealed in Parliament today that a delegation comprising of 105 individuals from the UPFA led govt attended the United Nations General assembly in 2010. In response to a question, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said 130 million rupees was spent on the tour. 98 delegates representing Sri Lanka participated in the UN General Assembly in 2011 for which 170 million rupees was spent. more..

Unity & moral discipline essential to build a country: President

Nov 11 (PSL) “Even though some section of the society understood the process jointly carried out by two major political parties to develop the country while building national reconciliation, in contrary to that some are trying to spread hatred in the country”, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks participating in a special commemoration ceremony held at the Sarvodaya Headquarters, Moratuwa, to mark the 85th Birthday Celebration of Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Founder of Sarvodaya more..