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Revenue Vs. Expenditure

Nov 30 (SL) Presenting Appropriation Bill 2017 to Parliament last month, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake pledged to the august house that Budget 2017 was themed on accelerating growth with social inclusion and thus the goal of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) was not only to provide relief for the people of Sri Lanka but also pave the way for sustainable growth. more..

'Nationalism is the manifestation of a crisis, not a solution to it'

Nov 30 (DM) Colombo University's Senior Lecturer in History Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, in an interview with DailyMirror on the concepts of nationalism and internationalism in the wake of Donald Trump's victory at the US election spoke at length on nationalism in Sri Lanka. Q: With the conclusion of the election in the United States, there is a perception that nationalism is triumphing over internationalism. What are your views? more..

'We should strive to build a country on our own civilization values'

Nov 30 (DM) Book publisher and nationalist Gevindu Cumaratunga who is incidentally the grandson of the renowned Sinhala scholar of yesteryear, Cumaratunga Munidasa, has quite vocal regarding the concept of power devolution and other issues pertaining to the national question. He has expressed his opinion quite frankly on these issues in different fora. He speaks about Global march of nationalism with the victory of Donald Trump more..

‘Govt has plunged workers from frying pan into the fire’

Nov 30 (Island) Independent Trade Union Alliance said recent budget proposals had betrayed a govt plan to burden the working class further with taxes. Colombo President of All Ceylon Bank Employees Union S.B. Jayaratne, charged that the exploitation of the working class was on the increase as most garment factories were owned by powerful politicians. He said EPF money was being invested in loss making companies, some of which more..

Rs. 25,000 fines aimed at heart of accidents crisis, Govt says

Nov 30 (ST) Hard on the heels of a steep increase in fines for seven major traffic offences will come more penalties for errant drivers and motorcycle riders shortly with the decision to further revise fines for traffic offences and expedite implementation of a licence demerit system. Discussions among officials of the Transport, Justice and Finance Ministry and the police, Road Safety Authority, more..

PSC to investigate corruption at Foreign Ministry

Nov 30 (NR) The govt today agreed to appoint a parliamentary select committee to investigate financial discrepancies reported at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the tenure of the UPFA led govt. The proposal was forwarded by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti during the parliamentary proceedings this morning. Accordingly PM Ranil Wickremesinghe consented to appoint a Parliamentary select committee. more..

MPs’ duty-free vehicle permit controversy: Deputy Solicitor General reported to SC

Nov 30 (Island) The Supreme Court will hear on Dec. 08 a fundamental rights application seeking information from Director General, Customs, Chulananda Perera in respect of super luxury vehicles imported on duty-free permits issued to the sitting MPs. Petitioner Nagananda Kodituwakku has sought Supreme Court intervention after DG Customs declined to release the required information. The matter came up before a three-judge bench more..

Sri Lanka plans Treasuries auctions with non-competitive bids

Nov 30 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to revamp its Treasuries auctions with room for non-competitive bids, with new rules, which are now being vetted by international experts. CB Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy said the new rules will also be presented to market participants and other stakeholders including the govt to comment. Central bank does not have a strong record of making rules through public consultation. more..

PUCSL to introduce legal framework to promote household based solar generation

Nov 30 (AD) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has decided to remove the legal barriers for consumers who wish to enter into the electricity generation based on solar power.  Therefore, it has been proposed to exempt the electricity consumers, who generate electricity in small scale through rooftop solar power plants, from obtaining a license to sell electricity to the national grid, the PUCSL said in a statement. more..

Six passports of MPs impounded

Nov 30 (NR) UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena today urged the Parliament to intervene and release the passports of several members that have been held by courts over several chargers. He said six passports of MPs and several other passports of former MPs have been impounded by courts. He said it has restricted foreign travels of MPs adding it is unacceptable. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala in response said more..

2nd wave of apparel investments

Nov 30 (CT) Recent poverty statistics dished out by the Census and Statistics Department (CSD) shows that 56% (14 districts) out of the island's 25 districts, as per a poverty census carried out last month, are mired in poverty. This figure is unchanged from the previous month's poverty numbers. CSD for this purpose has taken the poverty cut off point as Rs 4,064 per capita. On the assumption that all of the country's 25 districts have an equivalent number of people (which for practical purposes more..

Senasinghe complains to parliament of JSC not heeding summons

Nov 30 (Island) Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was not responding to the queries of the Committee on Public Petitions, Committee Chairman and Int'l Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe told parliament. Minister, inviting the attention of the Speaker to the matter, stressed the need for a constitutional provision to make the JSC answerable to Parliament. He made this comment presenting the sixth report of Committee on Public Petitions (COPP) to Parliament. more..

Govt serving the Rich and Corrupt

SL shares edge up; tax proposals weigh

Nov 30 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly higher on Wednesday as investors sought bargains in blue-chips but concerns over recent budget tax proposals weighed on sentiment. The Colombo stock index ended up 0.15% at 6,241.10, ending three sessions of losses. The index hit a near-eight-month low on Tuesday on concerns that the proposed hike in various taxes and fees would reduce disposable income and challenge consumption-led growth, analysts said. more..

Premier to leave for Hong Kong tomorrow

Nov 30 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to travel to Hong Kong tomorrow to attend the World in 2017 dinner organised by the international Economist group. PM will deliver the keynote address at the main event of the dinner which will take place in Hong Kong. The dinner is attended by readers of The Economist, C-suite executives and business leaders, senior representatives from govt, leading academics and intellectuals. PM's delegation includes his more..

CCPI inflation down to 3.4% in Nov

Nov 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo accelerated 3.4% in Nov 2016 from a year earlier, but down from 4.2% in Oct. Year-on-year inflation of the Food Group decreased from 6% in Oct to 2.9% in Nov, while that of the Non-food Group increased from 2.5% to 3.8% during this period. For the month of Nov on yearly basis, contribution to inflation by food commodities was 1.43% while the contribution of on food items was 1.95%. more..

An anxious nation waits silently

Nov 30 (CT) It is indeed a great experience to commute between work and home in Colombo. The traffic jams, the painstaking waiting in traffic lights which are turned off during the worst hours so that a live constable could direct traffic without allowing the undisciplined motorists to beat the red light and thereby cause new jams which are beyond the realm of road-discipline and to unscramble the traffic gridlock is a herculean task, whether the duty officer is an experienced one or not. more..

Ajith Perera accuses Mahindananda of making false complaints against ministers

Nov 30 (Island) Legal action should be taken against MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage for filing 14 false complaints before the CIABOC in 2004, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said yesterday in Parliament. Participating in the Committee Stage debate of Budget 2017 under the expenditure heads of Women and Child Affairs Ministry, the Minister said: "Those who have been indicted before the courts of law on charges of corruption and fraud are now carrying files to the CIABOC. more..

Video: Medical services in island-wide hospitals come to standstill

Nov 30 (DM) Medical services in more than 900 hospitals island-wide, except children’s and maternity hospitals have ground to a halt today due to the token strike launched by doctors against certain budgetary decisions. Treasurer of the GMOA Dr. Nalinda Herath said strike was not carried out at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, de Soysa Maternity Hospital, and Castle Street Hospital for Women, National Cancer Institute, Maharagama more..

Video: Avaa members granted bail

Nov 30 (DM) Eleven Aava group suspects remanded in connection with committing offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) were today released on bail by Colombo Additional Magistrate. TID told court that it would not bring charges against the suspects under the PTA, but on the instructions of the Attorney General, would inquire the incident under money laundering allegations. They were released on two surety bails of Rs. 1 million each for every suspect. more..

Women's Asia Cup 2016: SL beat Thailand

Nov 30 (CB) Hasini Perera led from the front as Sri Lanka brushed aside hosts Thailand by 75-run margin to pick up their second win in the 2016 ACC Women's Asia Cup T20 at the AIT Cricket Ground on the outskirts of Bangkok. Electing to field in the afternoon game today double-header, the visitors posted a strong 120 for 6 from their allotted overs with Perera playing a captain's knock. Bowlers then backed up with disciplined line and lengths to restrict the home side to 45 for 9 from their quota. more..

4 deaths at National Hospital under investigation

Nov 30 (AD) A 3-member committee has been appointed to look into the death of four patients who underwent heart surgeries at the Colombo National Hospital.  It had been reported that four out of six patients who underwent heart surgeries at the Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital on Monday (28), had passed away. Minister Rajitha Senaratne has instructed, to appoint an investigative committee to probe the matter. more..

Video: Rathupaswala shooting: CID allowed to record statement from Anura

Nov 30 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today allowed the CID to record a statement from former senior DIG Anura Senanayake over the magisterial inquiry into Rathupaswala shooting. The CID is carrying out a magisterial inquiry at Gampaha Magistrate’s Court over the Rathupaswala shooting. Meanwhile, Ex-SDIG Senanayake and former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera were re-remanded till December 14 in connection with Thajudeen’s murder. more..

President draws attention to solving issues of external degree students

Nov 30 (DN) President Sirisena has drawn his attention on solving the issue of students following external degree programmes. These students claim that registration for external undergraduate courses are to be reduced, SLFP Youth Front Chairman Shantha Bandara said. President has instructed the UGC and the Higher Education Minister to look into the matter and come to a settlement within two weeks. Under this move, undergraduates registered for the 2014 and 2015 academic years will more..

China to keep close eye on external intervention in domestic matters of Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (AD) China takes a strong stand against external intervention in the domestic matters of Sri Lanka and disapproves of attempts to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka in the world using Humans rights as a political tool, Yang Jiechi, China’s State Councilor and Secretary General of the Foreign Affairs Leading Group has said. The observation was made when former President Rajapaksa, who is on a visit to China, more..

Lankan players’ statements sought in Lahore terror probe

Nov 30 (TN) An inquiry tribunal, comprising Justice Syed Shabbar Raza Rizvi of Lahore High Court, has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to manage within one week production or statements of Sri Lankan cricket team members who were attacked at Liberty Chowk on March 3, 2009. On Friday the tribunal recorded statements of SP Civil Lines Rai Ijaz, SP Model Town Abid Khan, DSP Racecourse Faisal Gulzar, DIG/Liaison Officer PCB Sohail Khan, SP Muhammad Nekukar & ASI Hafeezullah. more..

Mervin Silva ordered to pay Rs. 400,000 compensation

Nov 30 (NR) The Court of Appeal today ordered former Minister Mervin Silva to pay 400,000 rupees in compensation for damaging a house in Kelaniya in 2010. Considering a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the owner of the house, the Court ordered the former Minister pay the compensation. The petition cities, the boundary wall and a part of the house were damaged when the former Minister attempted illegally expand a road. Appeals Court also ordered IGP to launch an investigation more..

Sri Lanka to ban touting at airport

Nov 30 (AD) Cabinet of ministers have approved a proposal on prohibiting touting in the airport on providing transport, exchange of currency and loading packages. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that passengers as well as Airport and Aviation Services Ltd face many difficulties due to illegal touting in the arrival lobby and porch area of the airport on providing transport, exchange of currency and loading packages.  more..

Leave of SLTB workers cancelled for a week

Nov 30 (DM) Leave of all SL Transport Board (SLTB) workers including bus drivers, conductors and technical staff, have been cancelled for a week starting from Dec 1, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry said. It said this decision was taken to minimize the inconvenience caused to the public because of the sudden token strike in the private transport sector. SLTB Chairman said they would increase the number of buses to 6,000 from the current 5,300 for convenience of commuters. more..

Cyclone Nada: Coastal residents from Mannar to Trinco cautioned

Nov 30 (AD) The sea area off the coast extending from Mannar to Trincomalee via Kankasanturai will be very rough and dangerous, the Met Department said while also requesting people living in the said coastal areas to be more vigilant as sea waves could rise to about 3 meters. Due to the active cloudiness in the deep sea areas off the coast extending from Kankasanturai to Batticaloa via Trincomalee, sudden roughness of the sea areas associated with sudden increase of wind more..

Video: JO wants govt to probe Nilwala Project

Nov 30 (DM) JO requested the govt to probe into the President’s statement made in Galle that a whopping Rs. 3,012 million allocated for the Nilwala River Development Project going missing just a day before the last Presidential Election. President Sirisena said that Rs. 1,000 million had been issued by the Finance Ministry for the project in 2012 and the Treasury had issued a cheque for Rs.3,012 mil to Irrigation Ministry Secretary more..

Shashikala Siriwardene ruled out of 2017 World Cup Qualifiers

Nov 30 (CB) In a big blow to SL Women, Shashikala Siriwardene, the former captain and experienced all-rounder, has been ruled out of the upcoming 2017 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, to be held at home in February next year, due to a lengthy rehabilitation period after her knee surgery. Confirming the news, Vanessa De Silva, SL team manager, said that the 93-ODI veteran has successfully undergone surgery and is expected to be back to full fitness in 4 to 6 months time. more..

Voluntary retirement scheme debated in parliament

Nov 30 (NR) Govt today debated the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) during the debate on the expenditure heads of Ministry of Labour and Trade Unions Relations. Minister WDJ Senewiratne said the VRS has been misunderstood among many. In response to an allegation by MP Gamini Lokuge the Minister said discussions pertaining to the matter have been held. In response to labourers engaging in strike action, he said the usual norm is to refrain from paying an employee his daily wage. more..

Akram roped in to mentor Sri Lanka team

Nov 30 (WI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced the signing up of Wasim Akram as a mentor ahead of the team’s tough tour of South Africa next month. Akram, 50, will conduct a day-long coaching clinic in Colombo on Thursday, in what was expected to be the first of a series of programmes involving experts from foreign shores. “We are honoured that Mr Akram has accepted our invitation to be a part of this initiative,” more..

'RAW hasn’t reported Lankans joining ISIS'

Nov 30 (Island) India's intelligence service RAW had not reported any Sri Lankans joining the ISIS, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said. Responding to questions from the media with regard to reports of RAW having briefed SL of some of its Muslim citizens being recently drafted by the ISIS, Hettiarachchi replied that no such information had been received. He said that, neverthelesss, the intelligence services were on maximum alert with regard to ISIS operations. more..

Raja Samaranayake felicitated

Nov 30 (PMD) “The world today is not governed by monarchy, but it has a true democratic system.  Therefore, the politicians who take the leadership in this context should always have the qualities of democracy”, says President Sirisena. He was speaking at the felicitation ceremony for the former Minister Raja Samaranayake, held today in Bandaragama. “Though the power comes hand in hand with corruption, it is the corruption free magnanimous politician who will be honored more..

Foreign Minister unravels Gota's rent scam

Nov 30 (EN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament that former defence secretary's son had illegally occupied a house rented for a consulate in Los Angeles and caused millions of rupees in losses to the state. He said the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's only son  Daminda Rajapaksa occupied the rented premises even after the fall of his uncle Mahinda Rajapaksa at Jan 2015 presidential election. more..