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Video: 2017 Budget: Deficit bridged with taxes, loans and fine

Nov 12 (DM) The JVP said, the 2017 Budget based on the conditions imposed by the IMF, had pushed the people from the frying pan to the fire. “Minister Ravi Karunanayake has assured the IMF that the govt would take steps to reduce the budget deficit by imposing taxes,” JVP MP Vijitha Herath said and added that JVP was opposed to this anti-people budget and would vote against it in Parliament. more..

Remembrance Day helped one Sri Lankan immigrant develop his Canadian identity

Nov 12 (CBC) Vathanan Jegatheesan was in the third grade when he first felt a sense of connection to Remembrance Day. 30-year-old immigrated to Canada in 1990 as a refugee from Jaffna province in Sri Lanka. His family was fleeing the country's civil war. "I remember every November, more specifically around Remembrance Day, the teachers used to assign us the task of creating poppies with construction paper and we used to cut it out and stick it around the walls," said Jegatheesan,  more..

Deputy Minister at Regional Consultations on Transitional Justice in Asia-Pacific

Nov 12 (GDI) Remarks by Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs at Regional Consultations on Transitional Justice in Asia-Pacific. It is a pleasure to be here with you this morning, and I extend to all of you, a very warm welcome to Sri Lanka. I understand that this meeting brings together State representatives, representatives of transitional justice mechanisms, national human rights institutions, NGOs, victims groups, UN officials, and representatives of more..

PM promises to sack cops if found guilty of attacking disabled war heroes

Nov 12 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that if any policemen were found guilty of attacking disabled servicemen near the Presidential Secretariat last week they would be sacked from the service. PM said so responding to a query raised by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who accused govt of setting police anti-riot squads on disabled military and police personnel demanding their pension rights. more..

US being taught the lesson of its life

Nov 12 (DM) A time-tested lesson of history is that if we sow the wind we will reap the whirlwind. In the aftermath of the Donald Trump hurricane in the US -- where the billionaire businessman without political or govt experience swept to an unexpected electoral college victory in the US presidential election -- tens of thousands of Americans in about 25 cities were yesterday  planning further protests and acts of dissent against the election of Mr. Trump. The tough-talking billionaire had during the long more..

Bonsai: A growing art spreading its roots across Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (DM) If you are looking for a venue to relax and unwind this coming Sunday afternoon, the Bonsai exhibition will be the ideal location. The word Bonsai is a Japanese term which directly translates to planted in a container. Though the direct definition of Bonsai does sound bleak, the art form is certainly not. Bonsai is derived from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice initiated by Chinese monks travelling the globe around 1000 years ago. The ultimate goal of growing a Bonsai is more..

Price control on 48 drugs: Hotlines kept busy

Nov 12 (ST) While pharmacies and drug importers scrambled to implement the recently-announced price control on 48 medicinal drugs, the Health Ministry set up two hotlines on Friday for public complaints. On the first day alone there were around 60 calls on the hotlines handled by the ministry’s Disaster Preparedness & Response Division from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. “Complaints were about Maximum Retail Price (MRP) not being more..

Duelling buses cause a death every day

Nov 12 (ST) Every other day someone dies in a bus accident as the authorities struggle to discipline recklessly competitive bus drivers. “They bet who is the fastest or try to get more passengers in order to earn more money but forget that they are supposed to protect 75 passengers aboard and the people on the roads,” the Chairman of National Council for Safety, Dr Sisira Kodagoda, said. In the 10 months of this year more..

CCTV in cells plan under fire

Nov 12 (ST) Govt’s plan to have CCTV cameras installed in police cells to monitor detainees and prevent cell deaths has come under severe criticism by crime experts and human rights lawyers who say the expensive exercise violates the human rights of the suspects. The decision follows the controversy over a series of deaths in the recent past where suspects arrested for minor offences have been found hanging in their cells. more..

Nationalists see message in US polls result

Nov 12 (Island) Convenor of Federation of National Organization (FNO) Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara said that Republican candidate Donald Trump’s comfortable victory at recently concluded US presidential election had proved a national level polls could be won without the overwhelming support of minorities as well as those promoting false values. He emphasized that Trump victory had really cheered them up more..

Budget 2017 favours vehicle importers

Nov 12 (DM) Sri Lanka Vehicle Importers’ Association Chairman Dinesh Senanayake said the 2017 Budget proposals were good for the vehicle sales industry. He said prices of vehicles with an engine capacity of less than 1000cc would be increased by Rs.200,000 while there would be no price change on vehicles with an engine capacity between 1000cc and 1800cc. From 1800cc to 2000cc, would see an increase of Rs.900,000 more..

Constitutional Assembly receives 6 subcommittee reports

Nov 12 (NR) The Constitutional Assembly says it received the reports of the six sub committees pertaining to Constitutional reforms. Member of the Board MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said the Steering Committee of the Board will table a compilation of the reports in Parliament prior to the conclusion of the 2017 Budget debate. Dr. Wickramaratne said the Constitutional Assembly will convene next week to observe the 6 reports. more..

Ven. Nalaka denies instigating disabled soldiers

Nov 12 (Island) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka thera has accused the govt of trying to implicate him and some other monks in last Monday’s bid to storm the Presidential Secretariat by a group of disabled soldiers. The monk accused State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna as well as Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi of propagating lies regarding the high profile campaign to more..

Registration details of ministers, MPs sought from Customs, Registrar of Motor Vehicles

Nov 12 (Island) Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku has sought relevant documents pertaining to registration information of duty-free super luxury vehicles imported by sitting members of parliament. Former head of Customs Revenue Task Force Kodituwakku has written to Commissioner General of Motor Traffic requesting certified copies of registration, including details of the current and previous owners. more..

Police probe calls made by youth found dead at Wimal’s house

Nov 12 (AD) Police investigations are being carried out with regard to several calls made from the mobile phone of the youth, who was found dead at residence of UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa.  Police said that, acting on a court order, they are looking into certain numbers recorded in the mobile phone’s call history. Police has also confirmed that former Minister was not present at home on the night of the incident. more..

Water bills to increase by 30% from Dec

Nov 12 (AD) The water tariff will be increased by 30% on average with effect from December 01, the Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board K. A. Ansar said. He stated that low-income households, religious institutions and schools will be exempted from this tariff hike.  The water tariff is increased every 3 years, however this increase comes after 4 years as the last water tariff hike was in 2012. more..

Having faith paved the way

Nov 12 (CT) SL cricketers in Zimbabwe have so far got two out of two Test match wins. This achievement has been done without the best team being sent and with a stop gap captain in charge. An achievement in whatever sort is a great achievement. What is most interesting is the fact that this team is in transition at the moment and this victory should boost the youngsters who were involved in it. The events taking place getting closer to the tour was the fact that the originals more..

Pandit Amaradeva: Quintessential singer and musician

Nov 12 (CT) The demise of Dr. Pandit W. D. Amaradeva, widely acclaimed to be the maestro of SL music, occurred on 3 Nov 2016 at the age of 88. Govt announced a week's mourning as a mark of respect to the great musician. The final rites of Pandit Amaradeva took place at the Independence Square last Saturday with full State honours. His remains were placed at the Independence Square to give an opportunity for music lovers and fans to pay their last respects to him. more..

JVP press conferece

Supermoon on November 14

Nov 12 (DM) The planetarium in Colombo has planned to present the moon’s closest encounter with Earth in over 68 years, which is called the Supermoon, on Nov 14, 2016. The full moon on Nov 14, 2016, will feature the closest full moon until Nov 25, 2034. On Nov 14, at perigee, the moon can come as close as 356,509 km to Earth. On average, the distance from Earth to the moon is 384,400 km. A perigee full moon can be as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than full moon at apogee. more..

Local authorities, biggest polluters

Nov 12 (ST) Ambuluwawa mountain in Gampola was known for its bio-diversity and was a popular tourist attraction. Today however the area is associated with the huge garbage mountain which has been growing over the years. The effect of this garbage build-up has now begun spilling onto the other side of the mountain in the Mawanella region. The situation has got so bad that one of the roads (the Gampola – Hemmathagama Road) in the Mawenella area is been now covered with more..

Customs fines importer Rs. 4 million following seizure of rotting canned fish

Nov 12 (ST) The Sri Lanka Customs this week imposed a fine of Rs. four million on a fish importer and its manager for importing a large stock of fish unfit for human consumption. Customs also ordered the entire stock be returned to Singapore under its supervision through the same shipper and at the expense of the importer. The stocks had arrived in Colombo from Singapore. SL Customs last week seized a container-load more..

Lankan domestic need not clean high-tower windows in HK

Nov 12 (ST) Sri Lankan domestic helpers in Hong Kong and those arriving in the city to begin working in households will be spared the death-defying window-cleaning task in the skyscraper flats of their employers. A few foreign helpers have plunged to their deaths trying to clean windows in tower blocks that millions of Hong Kong people call home. The most recent tragedy was that of a Filipina who fell and died in August. This year, four women have perished. more..

Govt must address unemployment: JVP

Nov 12 (NR) JVP today said the govt has burdened the public further by reducing concessions through the 2017 Budget proposal. Joining the debate on the second reading of the 2017 Budget, JVP Parliamentarian Vijith Herath said, the govt has also not addressed the unemployment issue through the next year’s budget. MP Herath said over 350,000 qualified youth in the country are forced to drive three-wheelers to increase their family income. He said the govt should focus on more..

Research on brain diseases: SL in front

Nov 12 (ST) Tiny red and blue-capped containers and several scientific publications in top international journals have placed Sri Lanka in a niche by itself. With the world concentrating on that all-important command centre of the central nervous system which governs everything we do, Sri J'pura University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Innovation in Biotechnology & Neuroscience has taken a lead in the race to shed light on more..

Treasury busts Rs 26.8 million on propaganda ads on debt

Nov 12 (Island) National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry had spent Rs 26.8 million on advertisements on debt crisis in print and electronic media from April 2016.  An answer was tabled by Minister Niroshan Perera in response to a question raised by MP Udaya Gammanpila. It said Rs 8.1 million had been spent on newspaper advertisements, Rs 13.5 million on TV ads and Rs 3.1 million on radio ads. Funds had been released from the Treasury, Parliament was told. more..

Keshap optimistic admiration towards Sri Lanka remains same

Nov 12 (DM) With the election of Republican Candidate Donald Trump as the President of the US, US Ambassador for Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said he hoped the admiration of the new administration towards Sri Lanka would remain the same. In a comment to a local radio channel, Mr. Keshap said “I can’t speak for the new administration but I think that the sense of admiration for Sri Lanka will long continue because of the leadership your people have shown,” he said. more..

Multi-pronged war waged against diabetes, NCDs

Nov 12 (ST) Hectic is the activity in a room on the ground floor of Wijerama House in Colombo 7, the office of the SL College of Endocrinologists (SLCE), based at the SL Medical Association (SLMA). Stacked high against the walls are drawings, while the tables are piled high with essays and CDs, all from schoolchildren across the country who have shown their prowess at competitions, organised by SLCE in all three more..

District Judge visits Duminda in prisons hospital

Nov 12 (DM) A District Judge has gone to the Welikada Prisons hospital on Thursday night to visit former MP Duminda Silva who was convicted in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case and spent some time before leaving. Two days after the conviction Duminda Silva was admitted to the prison hospital after he caught fever and there was also an arrangement to send him to Sri J'pura Hospital on the recommendation of doctors. It is also said this judge had come to the prison more..

Budget : NCE wants Sri Lanka to be branded in International Market Place

Nov 12 (Island) The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) has called for the branding of Sri Lanka in the International Market Place, with a view to boosting exports. The recommendations contained in a 20-point formula submitted by the NCE to the Finance Ministry, would come up for discussion at a Forum to be held in Colombo on November 16, its President Sarada de Silva said yesterday. "Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke would be the keynote speaker." De Silva noted that the forum would more..

Ravi imports super luxury Benz, while ordering public to tighten their belts

Nov 12 (CT) While the public was ordered to tighten their belts, and pay up increased taxes, Minister Ravi Karunanayake this month imported a brand new super luxury Mercedes Benz from Germany with a duty free vehicle permit, which resulted in the country losing millions of rupees in revenue. Total tax waived off for Karunanayake’s luxury Benz which was imported on Nov 2, 2016 is approximately Rs. 29 million on the vehicle. more..

Trump’s policies will benefit Sri Lanka: Eran

Nov 12 (NR) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne says the election of Donald Trump as the President of US will benefit Sri Lanka and developing countries in the future. Joining the debate on the second reading of the 2017 Budget, he said, if the economic policies proposed by US President-Elect Trump were implemented, developing countries will receive several benefits. Commenting on the statement made by Donald Trump on the re-evaluation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, more..

Sanitary laborers to get Health insurance

Nov 12 (GDI) The sanitary laborers collecting garbage in the Municipal councils will be given a health Insurance said Minister Faiser Musthafa. He made these comments after a meeting with laborers of Municipal Councils. On a concept of Minister, from Nov 1 classified garbage collection was started. He met the people of Municipal Councils as well as the sanitary laborers to get their views on the progress of the program. Issues encountered by these laborers were observed by the minister. more..

Only about half of HIV infected persons identified in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (Island) Health Ministry revealed there were an estimated 4,200 HIV infected persons in the country, but only 2,502 of them had been identified so far. According to statistics, 495 of the identified patients had died of the disease. Only 1,000 of those identified had sought treatment. Some of them being treated abroad. There was a strong need to identify more HIV positive persons. SL had been able to contain HIV infection more..

High Commissioner Sunil De Silva presents Credentials in Zambia

Nov 12 (GDI) High Commissioner Sunil De Silva presented his Credentials to President Edgar Lungu of the Republic of Zambia, as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Zambia (resident in Pretoria), in a ceremony held at State House, on 3rd Nov in the capital Lusaka. During the ceremony, in a brief speech, the High Commissioner conveyed warm personal greetings from the President of Sri Lanka to President of Zambia and reiterated on the friendly ties between the two countries. more..

Police to investigate Keith Vaz over alleged drug offences

Nov 12 (TG) Police are investigating suspected drug offences after allegations were made against the former chair of the influential home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz. A Sunday Mirror article on 4 September this year said he had paid male escorts and had been secretly recorded offering to pay for cocaine if it was brought to a future meeting, though he stressed that he did not want any himself. He was also accused of encouraging others to use poppers. more..

LMD’s Sri Lanka’s leading corporate personalities in 2016

Nov 12 (LMD) Despite the challenges it has faced in the past, our island-nation has much to be proud about. This, is even more so, when one considers how the leading business houses have performed in the pre and post-war eras – in the face of adversity, let it be said. Amid war and other impediments, on the one hand, and development and progress, on the other, Sri Lanka’s corporates have clamoured for the powers more..

Hambantota port loses Rs18.8bn a year

Nov 12 (EN) Hambantota Port, built by a Chinese firm with a loan from China during the ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, has lost Rs18.8 billion ($147 million) a year, a Finance Ministry document said. The govt has so far spent Rs175 billion on the project ($1.19 billion), and taxpayers have to service loans taken from China to build it. It was a design-build-transfer project. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said Sri Lanka plans to sell 80% of the port to China for $1 billion. more..

Johnston permitted to travel abroad

Nov 12 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilpitiya yesterday granted permission to former Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs Johnston Fernando to travel to go overseas between Nov 14 to 18 to seek medical treatment for his wife. Fernando has been charged in the Magistrate’s Court of Colombo by the CIABOC for non-declaration of assets. Five separate cases have been filed against him in the Magistrate Court in that regard. more..

Banks, customers, hit by contradictory debit taxes

Nov 12 (EN) SL budget for 2017 has slapped penal debt taxes on bank withdrawals which claimed to boost banking transactions, but another debit tax may discourage people from using the banking system, analysts say. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said a 2% tax will be slapped on withdrawals above 5 million rupees. "Let me also emphasis very clearly that the proposed 2% fee is not applicable on any transaction carried out thro banking channels more..