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Has US opted for a Mussolini populist?

Nov 13 (Island) Donald Trump has defied forecasters and stormed to victory. It is a repudiation of the Obama legacy, a rejection of the Washington establishment and a mandate for racial prejudice. It is also the beginning of a new period in US foreign policy if he keeps the threats he flung on the campaign trail. The white working and lower middle class vote was a wall Hilary Clinton could not scale. They were angry with Obama, with Washington and with non-whites. more..

President requests nutritionists to help improve nation’s health

Nov 13 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena has requested the nation’s nutrition professionals to help the govt’s efforts to build a healthier nation. Speaking at the inauguration of the first Clinical Nutrition Annual Academic Sessions organized by the Sri Lanka Medical Nutrition Association, the President requested the nutritionists to serve the nation when they can, without leaving the country. more..

Sri Lanka hikes carbon tax 80%; fears of trouble ahead for motorists

Nov 13 (EN) Sri Lanka is raising a carbon emission tax for cars by 80% to 2,000 rupees, while the fees will be collected not at the point of testing but by a state agencies. The taxes are being raised after so-called economists called upon the rulers to increase the tax-to-GDP ration instead of cutting their spending. At the moment the carbon emission tax is directly paid to private firms that carries out the test, more..

'Historic budget made by both UNP-SLFP ministers'

Nov 13 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe described the budget 2017 as a foundation for a national economic policy that would not change the country’s development process whenever there is a govt change. Participating in the second reading stage debate on the budget proposals, the premier said that they had been formulated with the input from both two main parties – the UNP and the SLFP. more..

'Gotabhaya trying to wind up military against govt with false allegations'

Nov 13 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, under investigation on corruption charges was trying to revive his flagging fortunes by making false allegations aimed at winding up the military against the govt, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said on Friday. He emphasized  that Gotabhaya like any other citizen of this country would have to face in courts the criminal charges that had been framed  against him. more..

Police slow on Weerawansa: Ministers accuse Sagala

Nov 13 (ST) Minister Sagala Ratnayake came in for strong criticism at last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. It was over the alleged inability of the Police to deal with cases relating to NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa. His party colleague Sujeewa Senasinghe was the first to raise it when he was acting for his Minister Malik Samarawickrama. Raising issue for a 2nd week in succession more..

Engineers blame drought, not Uma Oya project for latest water shortages

Nov 13 (Island) Standing in front of her house in a village in Uva Province and holding her two-year-old son, Shobha says life has not been easy for her family of four in the past four months. Rainfall in many parts of Sri Lanka has been less than 50% of the average, say meteorologists. Many farmers in different districts of the country have been affected by prevalent drought as a result, according to the DMC. more..

Extremist monks appear at demo

Nov 13 (SL) A demonstration by several disabled soldiers in Colombo last week demanding pensions turned violent and has been a talking point ever since. Notable among the protesting soldiers were a group of monks, best known for attempting to incite violence in the past. Concerns have now been raised if the monks had been behind the peaceful protest turning violent resulting in the police using tear gas more..

Minimum traffic fine won’t be changed: Ravi

Nov 13 (DM) Responding to a demand  made by private bus operators to abolish the proposed minimum traffic fine of 2,500 rupees, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the proposal was made to save the lives of motorists as well as pedestrians and that the decision won’t be changed. Why are the private bus operators so much against the law asked the minister. He noted that a section of bus operators making such a demand more..

Prez Obama was ready to visit SL in May

Nov 13 (CG) US President Barack Obama was ready to visit Sri Lanka in May but the visit was put off as it was Vesak, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told The Hindu newspaper. Samaraweera also said that Obama developed a very close relationship with President Maithripala Sirisena. He said that Sri Lanka has had very good, cordial relations with the US ever since Sri Lanka got Independence in 1948. more..

Consumers shocked! Water tariff up 30%

Nov 13 (CT) Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has decided to increase the water tariff by 30% effective 1 Dec. A fixed tariff of Rs 250 will be added to the bill. In addition to the 15% VAT, the water tariff is being increased by 30%. NBT does not add on to the water bill. According to the new taxes, an average five-member family household that consumes 15 units of water will have to pay a bill of Rs 621 effective Dec 2016. more..

A Global Contagion

Nov 13 (Island) Brexit, that successful revolt of Little England against not just a United Europe but also a UK, was the biggest warning sign. But the first churnings of the tidal wave of retrogression which swept Donald Trump to victory began several years previously, in Maghreb and the Middle East. The tragic failure of the Arab Spring not only killed hope for progress in the Arab world; it also opened a path to relevance for radical reaction in Europe and elsewhere. more..


Nov 13 (Island) On Nov 9 Donald Trump became President elect of the US. 27 years ago to the day, Berlin Wall, which far more than just a daunting physical structure, was a symbol of division and oppression, came down. Today, incredibly, another one, dividing Mexico and the US is a real and disturbing prospect. A tectonic shift in American politics has taken place, more significant than the election of a black American as President eight years ago. But rubble for some is also more..

Ada Cartoon

VIP migrants find haven in Colombo wetlands

Nov 13 (ST) This is the bird migration season and the remaining wetlands around Colombo are attracting some special migrant birds, particularly in the wetlands around Thalawathugoda. While testing his new camera, Erich Joseph was lucky to capture the comb duck in a spot close to the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital. This is a rare migrant and the sighting in our capital city indicates the importance of protecting the remaining wetland habitat in Colombo and its suburbs. more..

Arrest of robber gang that tricked its way into gold shop

Nov 13 (ST) Seven weeks after a robber gang of four claiming to be officials from a Foreign Bureau checking on Indian nationals working illegally as goldsmiths in jewellery shops got away with 3.7 kg of gold worth nearly Rs 30 million and Rs.100,000 in cash the mastermind – a former sub inspector of police – and seven others have been arrested. The sub inspector (SI) and a former Special Forces deserter were arrested in Galenbindunuwewa this week after they were placed under more..

Alliance for Economic Democracy calls on Public to resist Yahapalanaya budget

Nov 13 (CT) While emphasising that the Yahapalanaya Govt’s budget will accelerate a financial crisis and lead to social exclusion, the Alliance for Economic Democracy has urged the citizenry and peoples’ organisations including trade unions, estate workers, farmer and fisher organisations, and student and teachers unions, to resist the 2017 budget the people cannot afford and build a movement to reverse these policies. more..

St. Coombs and Delmar estates achieve record tea prices

Nov 13 (Island) St. Coombs estate, Talawakelle achieved an all-time record price of Rs. 860/- for a Dust 1 grade in the Western High Grown category by bettering its own previous record price of Rs. 850/- set in 2013. This line of tea was purchased by the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, and the sole broker for St. Coombs is M/s Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers (Pvt) Ltd. St. Coombs is situated in the Dimbulla planting district at an elevation of 1350 mts above sea level and more..

Excise Department renews strategy to deal with tax evasion

Nov 13 (ST) Excise Department (ED) has renewed a strategy to deal with excise duty evasion by some local companies. The ED has cracked down on smuggled ethanol which was used to produce hard liquor without paying taxes depriving the govt of excise duty revenue amounting to millions of rupees, he disclosed. Report released by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently revealed that three liquor companies have defrauded defrauded excise duty amounting to over more..

Budget under fire for offer to CTC

Nov 13 (ST) Govt has committed a major faux pas in its fight against tobacco and alcohol consumption by seeking sponsorship from the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), as per a proposal in Budget 2017. Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s request for “CTC to donate Rs. 500 million to the Presidential Fund to be utilised by the Presidential Task Force for the anti-smoking campaign” is in direct violation of Article 13 of more..

Sri Lanka all set for a retail boom?

Nov 13 (Island) While SL has been witnessing a noticeable growth in per capita income over the past couple of years, its retail industry still remains underpenetrated. However, this is set to change as the sector is about to witness a phase of enormous growth. Currently, the size of the SL retail market is estimated to range between USD 25-30 billion and it is expected to deliver early double-digit growth in the short term. Moreover, per capita income in Sri Lanka now stands at USD 3,912, more..

70 Judicial officers transferred

Nov 13 (DM) Seventy Judicial Officers including District Judges, Additional District Judges, Chief Magistrates, Magistrates and Additional Magistrates have been transferred by the Judicial Service Commission with effect from Jan 1, 2017. Deputy Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission said the move was in line with annual transfers and stated that any appeals regarding the decision should reach the Judicial Service Commission Secretariat on or before Nov 25, 2016. more..

SL–Turkey trade talks resume in Ankara

Nov 13 (CG) As bilateral trade surged by more than 130%, trade talks between Turkey and SL re-opened on 11 Nov in Ankara-after 26 years. Turkey has also been invited by SL to exploit SL’s present and future Trade Agreements with South Asia, for bigger trade gains. “Turkey is a very important trading partner for SL. "Strong relationship between the two countries has grown steadily over the past years” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen more..

UPFA questions initiative to provide tabs to students

Nov 13 (NR) UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama has alleged a problem may arise regarding the productivity of the initiative of providing tablet computers to students when there still existed an issue on the efficiency of Mahindodaya technology laboratories in the country. Joining the debate on second reading of Budget, he added that there was also a problem with the shortage of teachers in the IT field. He said no one can accuse any single party regarding the Budget proposals. more..

Trump’s victory shows people are sick of career politicians: Gota

Nov 13 (DM) Commenting on the election of business tycoon Donald Trump as the next President of the US, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the results showed that common citizens are fed up with career politicians who simply deliver speeches which had no outcome. In a tweet, Mr. Rajapaksa said “One of the reasons Donald Trump won was because people are sick of career politicians delivering rhetoric instead of results. This is a lesson for SL to consider,” more..

Budget set to be passed come what may

Nov 13 (Island) The JVP and Joint Opposition have already stated that they would vote against Budget 2017.  A day after Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake presented the budget proposals, the JVP held a press conference where MP Vijitha Herath announced his party’s decision. On the same day former President Rajapaksa too stated that the JO too would vote against the budget. The reason for their opposition to the budget more..

Trishaw unions at loggerheads

Nov 13 (SO) Trishaw drivers’ associations are currently at loggerheads over implementing a 25-year age limit for the profession. According to the Chairman of the All Island Three Wheel Owners Association (AITWOA), Sudhil Jayaruk his association along with several others have requested that the age limit be imposed after the proposed regulatory authority for trishaws is set up according to the recent budget proposal. ¨We have had several discussions with the authorities more..

Budget continues to provide for losses in State Corporations

Nov 13 (Island) Minister of Finance has continued the tradition of expressing lofty sentiments, pious hopes and good objectives without relating them to the specific measures he has proposed in his budget. In short there is no attempt to relate his budget proposals and actions to such objectives and hence the public cannot see the connection between his budget measures and his purported objectives to be achieved. Following his predecessors he assumes that the govt budget is more..

Video: Chandrika exposes Mahinda Rajapaksa lock, stock & barrel

Nov 13 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga exposed as to how her immediate successor former President Rajapaksa had demanded and received bribes from Chinese companies. She stated as to how her immediate successor and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa demanded monies to the value of 50% from all six projects she had signed with the Chinese govt prior to her departure from office. more..

President yet to ratify two RTI Commission nominees

Nov 13 (ST) President Sirisena is yet to ratify appointments for the remaining two posts of commissioners on the Right to Information (RTI) Commission, nearly three weeks since the Constitutional Council (CC) sent its recommendations. Three members of the five-member commission received their letters of appointment from the President on September 30 after they were recommended by the CC. Last month, CC forwarded the names of two more..

Villagers who protested release of MP’s nephew in fatal accident to be arrested

Nov 13 (DM) Thelikada Police had informed the Court that it would soon arrest five more villagers, who protested over a release of a 17-year-old nephew of Opposition MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena, in connection with a fatal accident in Hikkaduwa.. Around 500 villagers in Gonapeenuwala, Hikkaduwa took to the streets in a protest against the release of the under-aged suspect, who was charged in the fatal accident which killed a 27-year-old and a 28-year-old more..

Budget ignores ethnic reconciliation: TNA

Nov 13 (ENS) The TNA, which accounts for 16 of the 18 MPs from the Tamil-speaking north and east, said Sri Lanka’s annual budget ignores the pressing issue of ethnic reconciliation. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said, PM appears to have consulted the SLFP, but did not consult the TNA. The absence of consultation with the TNA is reflected in the lack of concern for reconciliation in the budget, he said. more..

Video: PCs got step motherly treatment in budget: WP Chief Minister

Nov 13 (DM) Provincial Councils had been ill-treated in the budget and we would bring this to the notice of the President, Western Province CM Isura Devapriya said. “We are not concerned with the new budget as a whole but Provincial Councils were discriminated against in the allocation of funds. “Funds allocated to PC is Rs. 9 million less compared to 2016,” he said at a ceremony held in connection with the opening of Physical Training Centre, in Bandaragama. more..

Govt Hospitals to launch e-channelling

Nov 13 (SO) Govt in a move to revitalize the health sector is holding discussions to introduce a private channeling service in govt hospitals. Proposal brought by Minister Rajitha Senaratne is to provide a channelling service at a lesser cost and more affordable. Director General of Health Services, said that still the ground work is being laid as more discussions needs to to be done regarding logistics, payment schemes and as to the practicalities of this project. more..

New Public enterprise act to be introduced

Nov 13 (SO) State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) will be restructured to reach optimal performance levels, Minister Eran Wickremaratne said. Ministry hoped to introduce a Public Enterprise Act to Parliament soon. Act will set up a Public Enterprise Board, tasked with overseeing the boards of individual SOEs, he said, “Public Enterprises Board will, for one, ensure that fit people are placed at key positions in each of the enterprises” more..

A lifetime of scientific thinking

Nov 14 (CT) At St Joseph’s College Colombo I had a vivid image-memory of the young Carlo Fonseka as an artist who drew together an informal kind of singing club at Bonjean Memorial Hall. The radio was the mass media device during those days and I remember him and his soulmates flock around it to join the singing during Listeners’ Request. As a junior who held seniors in awe, I gravitated toward the flock with some trepidation in order to add my humble input into the vocal outpour. more..

The GTF submission is an agenda for failure

Nov 14 (CT) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) published its submission for a new constitution last week. The submission contains counterproductive power-sharing suggestions, hypocrite statements, and an agenda for failure. The submission calls for institutional arrangements of inclusive decision making, partitioned decision making and predetermined decision making. Inclusive decision making mechanisms that the GFT proposes aim to share state power by including more..

Mixed reactions to 2017 budget

Nov 14 (SL) Some experts and factions of the mass are somewhat disturbed with the much awaited 2017 budget proposals. However, some others praise the budget saying that it strongly focuses on the issues of the universities, education and other areas that needed to be addressed. Sunday Leader highlights some views they expressed on the 2017 budget such as the proposed new Bankruptcy Laws that other countries more..

Editorial: Dump Trump

Nov 14 (Island) Everyone is keenly watching the post election tumult in the US, the biggest exporter of democracy in the world. Riots, which broke out following the recent shock win of President elect, Donald Trump, who proved his detractors, pollsters, media moguls, political analysts and animal oracles wrong, have raised serious questions about the wellbeing of US democracy. No one expected Americans to kick over the traces in this manner without respecting a popular verdict. more..

I did it my way refrain rings as Trumpzilla takes US of A

Nov 14 (ST) If Donald Trump’s race to the White House had consisted of a consistent barrage of surprises, bombshells and shocks, he delivered the biggest shock, surprise and outrage to America and to the world this Tuesday when, having groped the electorate’s contours from tip to toe and felt its pulse wanting, willing to embrace him and welcome to his advances, he bushwhacked his way to the Oval Office to occupy the supreme seat of temporal power. It was an astounding victory made more..