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Rajitha hits back at Polgampola

Nov 16 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne refuted the allegations made by Ex-JVP MP Anuruddha Polgampola as reported in The Island, as a total lie and a fabrication. The statement sent by Minister: "The news item states that Polgampola’s complaint to CIABOC has claimed that Minister Rajitha Senaratne has imported 1.5 million worth of life jackets of poor quality through Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. more..

Sri Lanka to hunt for tax dodgers

Nov 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Inland Revenue Department will carry out islandwide raids on businesses to rope them into the tax net and crack down on tax evasion, its chief said. “Our aim is to widen the tax base,” Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Kalyani Dahanayake said.  “We will be going all over country even after office hours to get people not in the tax net to be brought in,” she told a forum on 2017 budget presented last week. more..

Turkey to support develop Marine University

Nov 16 (GDI) Turkey has agreed to offer support in developing the Marine University of SL in equipping SL youth with skills and knowledge related to fisheries industry. Mrs. Nezaket Emine Atasoy, made such statement during her discussion taken place with State Ministers, Dilip Vedaarachchi and Palitha Range Bandara recently where she was briefed on the leading role played by the Marine University in bestowing Sri Lankan fisheries more..

Fitch: Sri Lanka revenue reform a step toward stronger finances

Nov 16 (FR) Sri Lanka's budget for 2017 is broadly in line with the targets set out under its IMF programme, and contains a number of positive measures to boost the very weak revenue base. However, Fitch Ratings believes that the impact of the revenue reforms will depend on implementation; and some of the budget assumptions look optimistic, posing risks to the projections. 2017 budget targets a fiscal deficit equivalent to 4.6% of GDP, more..

Sivajilingam stirs the pot over incident in Batticaloa

Nov 16 (Island) Tamil civilian protests were held at Pattipola, Batticaloa yesterday while their political parties in the North and East accused the govt of not initiating legal action against a Buddhist monk who had allegedly abusing a state-official in derogatory language last Friday, for allegedly initiating action against an illegal encroachment. "Civilian groups lodged a complaint with Police, held strong but peaceful protests more..

JO to petition SC against moves to disable CB

Nov 16 (Island) The Joint Opposition said it would move the Supreme Court against the govt’s effort to disable the Central Bank and set up new unit under the Finance Ministry to oversee some of its functions including printing of currency notes. Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena said they would also take to the streets with the people against several budget proposals which were aimed at weakening the Central Bank. more..

That water hike

Nov 16 (CT) With State-owned National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS & DB) suspending the alleged 30% hike in water bills which was to have been effective from next month due to Presidential intervention yesterday, public relief in this connection may be but short lived. There are at least two reasons why public relief may be short lived: Primarily, donor pressure and secondly, the appointment of a ministerial committee to seemingly go into the nitty gritty of such a hike. more..

JO subjected to unfair treatment during budget debate: Dinesh

Nov 16 (DM) Members of the Joint Opposition were subjected to unfair treatment as its MPs were not allocated time to speak within the first two hours of the budget debate which was telecasted live on TV, leader of the group Dinesh Gunawardane told Parliament. "Please allow at least one joint opposition MP to speak during the first two hours of the debate so that our group will also get some publicity," he said while highlighting that other MPs get media publicity from the live telecast. more..

ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ හේමන්ත වර්ණකුලසූරිය

Lion Beer re-starts factory

Nov 16 (EN) The factory of Lion Beer, which was repaired after flood damage, has started operating and production is being gradually ramped up, CEO Suresh Shah said. Ceylon Beverage Holdings, owning company, said it lost Rs515 million after tax in the quarter to September 2016, down from a profit of Rs 689 million a year earlier, interim accounts filed with the CSE showed. In the six months to September, it lost Rs1.2 billion after tax, down from a profit of Rs2.0 billion. more..

Salley condemns Minister’s baloney talk

Nov 16 (Island) Responding to a news report in yesterday’s issue of The Island, where Minister Lakshman Kiriella alleged that some COPE members had "pre-determined outcomes even before they held the investigation, Chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) Reyyaz Salley said that it was "baloney talk of the Minister to hoodwink the public." "If the UNP or the Minister had known about it they should have opposed it even before the COPE committee sat for deliberations," more..

Secretary of Thawheed Jamath arrested

Nov 16 (CT) Just hours after BBS’s Galagoda Atte Gnanasara issued an ultimatum to carry out a blood bath in the country, the police has arrested Abdul Razick, the Secretary of Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath (SLTJ) group. He was arrested this morning by the Maligawatte Police. According to a statement from the Police Headquarters, Razick was arrested following a complaint lodged with regard to a statement more..

Budget 2007: Good, bad and indifferent

Nov 16 (CT) 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 purported objectives . Following his predecessors he assumes that the Budget is the key factor in more..

Sarath Weerawansa released on bail

Nov 16 (NR) The brother of UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa, Sarath Weerawansa, arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles has been released on bail. Colombo Fort Magistrate released the suspects on a 25,000 rupee cash bail and two surety bails. The Magistrate also issued a travel ban on Sarath Weerawansa. The case will be taken up for hearing once again on the 21st of this month. The suspect was arrested by the FCID on the 1st of Sept on charges of misusing state vehicles more..

'Aava Group receives weapons from TN'

Nov 16 (Island) Aava group had received weapons from Tamil Nadu and had an army deserter among its cadres, Parliament was told yesterday. Answering several questions raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said that an army deserter had been found among Aava Group cadres, while Minister Sagala Ratanayake said the group had received its swords from TN. more..

Ceylon Steel to get 100 acres for tyre factory

Nov 16 (EN) UDA will acquire 100 acres of private land in Gonapola Horana, for a tyre factory, promoters of the factory said. Ceylon Steel Corporation, a privately held firm, will be given the land on a 99-year lease. The firm has collaborated with Marangoni, an Itaian firm, to set up the tyre plant. The firm says 75 percent of the output will be exported and 25 percent sold in the local market. Sri Lanka has raised import tax on automobile tyres, allowing Indian manufacture CEAT to get more..

Minister Palitha Range Bandara indicted

Nov 16 (NR) Colombo High Court today issued indictments to State Minister Palitha Range Bandara and another individual. The indictments were issued by High Court Judge Kusal Weerawardene. State Minister Palitha Range Bandara and another individual are accused of illegally assembling a vehicle and forging documents. The suspects have been released on 200,000 rupees of cash bail and two 500,000 rupees surety bails each. The case has been adjourned till the 17th of March 2017. more..

Yahapalanaya: Paying high rent for an unused building and vehicle park

Nov 16 (DM) It made sensational news when certain authorities took out a lease on a building for a hefty monthly rent of some Rs.290 million to house a high office handling the country’s agriculture. They also had paid the film star owning the building a large sum of money as an advance payment as well. The authorities who had negotiated this lease transaction had failed to foresee the need of space for vehicle parking, more..

Petition against CSN Rights cancellation fixed for 5th Dec

Nov 16 (NR) The writ petition filed before the Court of Appeal against the cancellation of the broadcasting license of the Carlton Sports Network will be taken up for hearing on the 5th of Dec. Minister of Mass Media, Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Director General of the TRC have been named as respondents in the case. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka announced on the 24th of Oct that the broadcasting license of CSN had already been cancelled, more..

Labour Minister slams Housing Loan proposal

Nov 16 (CT) Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne, while claiming that he was not aware of the suspension of EPF housing loan in the Budget proposals, proposed instead that the 25% internet use charge on student be slashed in to. He said private sector employees were entitled to claim 30% of their EPF balance and that hid facility is still in force according to his knowledge. "Finance Minister should explain the correct position relating to this issue," he said. more..

Video: Gnanasara issues ultimatum, warns of blood bath If SLTJ Sec. Razick not arrested

Nov 16 (CT) BBS’s Galagoda Atte Gnanasara has issued a one day ultimatum on IGP Pujith Jayasundara to either arrest the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath (SLTJ) Abdul Razik within a day or face a blood bath from Maligawatta onwards. Speaking soon after the arrest of Dan Priyasad, who was arrested and remanded on Tuesday evening, Gnanasara said that, Razik must be arrested and also deported. more..

Gunmen kill police officer in Kurunegala

Nov 16 (NR) A suspect involved in the shooting that killed a Police Sub Inspector in Kurunegala has been arrested. A vehicle use for the shooting has been also taken into police custody. A Sub Inspector was killed after a mobile police patrol vehicle was fired at in Maspotha, Kurunegala. Two others were also sustained injuries in the shooting. Shooting was reported at around 10.45 last night when the officers were conducting investigations into a vehicle with a forged number plate. more..

Polio vaccine to children reduced

Nov 16 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament yesterday that action had been taken to reduce polio vaccines given to children, on the recommendation of the World Health Organization, as there was a shortage of polio vaccines the world over. Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, the Minister said that under the new system the vaccine is administered to the child as two 0.1 ml intradermal doses instead of a 0.5 ml oral polio vaccine. more..

'Freedom & democratic rights in the country should not be used for narrow political gains'

Nov 16 (PSL) President says the use of given freedom and democracy, to achieve narrow political gains or to spread racism and religious differences, is an obstacle to the future development of the country. He made these remarks participating at the 47th Anniversary of the Public Services United Nurses Association held at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, today. At present as a strong administration, govt fulfills its duties in more..

'Govt not responsible for actions of former regime'

Nov 16 (CG) Govt says it will not be responsible for the actions of the former regime. Minister John Amaratunga told Parliament today that the unity Govt will ensure a fair deal for the Tamils in the proposed new Constitution. “You can be assured of a fair deal in all affairs. But please don’t be in a hurry. We cannot be responsible for what took place during the previous regime,” he said. Minister, responding to a statement made by TNA MP S. Sritharan, said that efforts are being made to more..

'Central Expressway to be completed by end 2019'

Nov 16 (AD) Central Expressway project is being done in four stages and will be completed by end of 2019, said Minister of Lakshman Kiriella. For the first time in Sri Lanka the second stage which is 39.3 km from Mirigama to Kurunegala will be constructed by local contractors. The first stage consisting of 37.3 km from Kadawatha to Mirigama will be constructed by a Chinese firm while the third stage consisting of 34.1 Km from Pothuhera to Galagedara will be constructed by a Japanese company more..

Budget 2017 will shrink, not expand the economy: JHU

Nov 16 (DM) The JHU said today the 2017 budget was a frugal budget which would shrink the economic process instead of expanding it. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said proposals had been made to control the income and expenditure in the budget even though Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake claimed that it would be a revolutionary budget. “We expected considerable amount of funds more..

Anura Senanayake further remanded

Nov 16 (NR) Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake & Former OIC of Narahenpita Police Sumith Perera arrested over the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen remanded till 30th of Nov. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate. Senior Attorney Dilan Ratnayake today brought to the courts notice that important information has been revealed following investigation into a call received by the former DIG Anura Senanayake hours before Wasim Thajudeen’s murder. more..

Saviour of the Sinhalese remanded

Nov 16 (CT) A person, claiming to be the saviour of the Sinhalese, who had threatened to bomb the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, was arrested yesterday (15), Police said, adding that he was produced before the Fort Magistrate who remanded him till 25 November. The Police Media Unit told Ceylon Today, that the suspect was arrested by the Fort Police for inflaming racism. He had allegedly declared himself to be a 'saviour of the Sinhalese', Police said. more..

Sri Lanka ex-president offers 'finger-lickin' economic class

Nov 16 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa made a rare speech in parliament today to criticise concessions in the latest budget and comparing it to inviting a vegetarian to feast at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Former leader who turns 71 on Friday lambasted the 2017 budget unveiled last week as being too little for the common man. However, he said the budget offered generous incentives to foreigners to buy property and more..

Long distance buses to strike if minimum fine not reduced

Nov 16 (DM) Inter-Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) said it they would definitely go on a countrywide bus strike, if Finance Minister failed to provide a reasonable solution to the proposed increase in the minimum penalty of Rs.2,500 for traffic offences. President of IPPBA Sarath Vijitha Kumara said Minister Ravi Karunanayake should revise the minimum penalty of Rs.2, 500 for traffic offences proposed in the budget, after discussions with the IPPBA. more..

Cabinet discusses attempts to spread racial hatred

Nov 16 (CG) Cabinet has discussed attempts being made to spread racial hatred in the country once again, a Minister said today. Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said that some recent incidents had been brought to the notice of President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. Minister said that those incidents will be dealt with under the law. Concerns had been raised this week over a spate of events with ominous portents for ethnic and religious harmony and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. more..

Video: Govt robs people’s money in broad daylight: JO

Nov 16 (AD) Govt robs people’s money in broad daylight, JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage says. He expressed this view while speaking at a press conference. “The CBSL bond scam and move to get luxury vehicles released from the custom are among them,” Aluthgamage said. He also went on to say it was several MPs with Yahapalana govt who leaked information leading to fraudulent activities of ten pro-govt politicians. more..

SL’s two faced & fading good governance

Nov 17 (CT) With the support of 6.2 million, present SL Govt swept into power, winning both the presidential and general elections on the slogan of GOOD GOVERNANCE – it was believed, to end, the Bad Governance of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mahinda Rajapaksa hugely energised by his victory over the LTTE in 2009 – embarked on a path of family dictatorial rule, self-glorification and abuse of power. Rajapaksa’s victory, albeit not won solely by his effort alone but more..

Budget 2017: The good, bad and ugly

Nov 17 (GV) Mixed feelings prevail in the wake of Budget 2017 being presented in Parliament. Overall, Budget was fairly holistic in coverage, being broadly linked to PM’s statements to Parliament earlier this month, Economist Anushka Wijesinha said. Focus was on modernisation and innovation, social inclusion, investment and supporting the middle class. Govt had taken steps to expand tax collection, from the closure of exemptions, to proposals to raise more through direct taxes.  more..

Budget 2017: What the economists say...

Nov 17 (SO) Economists and think tanks, while commending the 2017 Budget for focusing on accelerating investments and promoting exports to boost economic growth in the ensuing years, stressed the need to improve the policy environment and business confidence. Professor in Economics, Sirimal Abeyratne said, the budget should reflect the current economic status of the country and the fiscal position of the govt on the one hand, more..


Nov 17 (DN) The govt, grappling with many a burning political issue and concerns about the country’s economy, presented its second scheduled budget last week- and appears to have performed reasonably well, considering the difficult juggling act it had to contend with. Understandably, govt was once bitten, twice shy. That was because its last budget in 2015 was a lesson in how not to present a budget. Almost of all of its revenue proposals were initially criticised and then amended more..

Feeling Sri Lankan in Canberra!

Nov 17 (DN) Canberra community came in large numbers to savour a bit of Sri Lanka at the Sri Lanka Festival organised by the High Commission in the High Commission premises recently. Over 3000 people representing the Commonwealth and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) govts, diplomatic corps, and the local community visited the Festival and enjoyed Sri Lankan food, culture and crafts of Sri Lanka. Australian Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs Senator more..

'Budget, a bizarre farce to deceive public'

Nov 17 (CT) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the recent Budget presented to Parliament is nothing but a bizarre farce to deceive the public. Q: How do you see the recent Appropriation Bill proposals presented to the Parliament? A: The proposals submitted by the Minister of Finance are a bizarre disguise. He has misled the public by drawing their attention to a fascinating picture stashing the conflicting more..

Get sick and pay tax

Nov 17 (NS) Senaratne is a driver of meager means, but when he was put on the waiting list of a govt hospital for a cataract surgery, he decided that he didn’t have months to spare. He managed to scrape the 20,000 rupees that it would cost to get the procedure done at a private hospital. Of course, Senaratne is not his real name, but his problem is very real. Although the Finance Ministry has not yet gazetted VAT medical goods and services, it wouldn’t be long before people like more..