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Resettlement funds Allocation to Bathiudeen comes under fire

Nov 16 (CT) Govt's decision to allocate funds for resettlement to Ministry of Industry & Commerce under the Budget 2018 came under severe criticism, by the Opposition. This was when JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa queried as to why the Ministry of Industry & Commerce should implement resettlement, while there is a separate Ministry for the purpose. Govt proposes to allocate Rs 2,500 mil to resettle internally displaced Muslims more..

Despite divisions, the two main parties can work together

Nov 16 (DM) Despite regular disputes on policy issues and personal agendas, National Unity Govt’s coalition partners -- UNP and SLFP -- have little or no option but to stay together. This is not only for their personal survival but more so for the common good of all people of Sri Lanka, specially the future generation.   According to our sister paper The Sunday Times, the UNP’s main concern is over some developments in the Presidential Commission probing the Central Bank bond issue.  more..

Wijeweera and the nation’s lost Brigade: An Ode in November

Nov 16 (DM) The month of November is a gloomy and sombre one in the calendar. It is the start of winter in certain parts of the world with bleak sceneries, dreary days and cold nights. It starts with Halloween, where all the ghastly and macabre images surface giving the heart a tremulous premonition of what awaits the after life. Christians all over the world remember their dead during this month in a sombre mood with black, white and grey dominating their rituals. more..

'UNP has a healthy working relationship with President'

Nov 16 (DM) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake, spoke about the progress of the investigation into various cases and the plans for reforming the police and current politics. Minister Ratnayake, who is also the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, said that the Govt would serve till 2020 without an iota of doubt. Q: How do you view the performances of this Govt in terms of the implementation of the law and order? more..

New conditions and extended deadline for 50,000 brick- and -mortar houses in N&E

Nov 16 (ST) The Govt has extended the deadline to submit proposals for the construction of 50,000 brick-and-mortar houses for conflict-affected families in the North and East, and changed some of the specifications to make the units cheaper and easier to build. The new conditions go some distance in quelling concerns that the estimated price of a brick-and-mortar house would be so high as to validate efforts in other quarters to more..

Fuel crisis: report places blame on CPC officials

Nov 16 (FT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) officials of the were at fault for the recent fuel crisis faced by the country, the report of the Cabinet Subcommittee appointed by the President to investigate the issue, has found.  The subcommittee inquiry had identified that the officials of the CPC had known of the imminent crisis but had failed to take the necessary actions or alert the relevant authorities.  more..

GSP+ boosts SL apparel exports to EU by $1.67 bn

Nov 16 (DN) GSP Plus has delivered its most prominent success for Sri Lankan exports to-date since its announcement, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the launch event of the third edition of Intex South Asia 2017 in Colombo yesterday. “As a result of regaining GSP Plus, our apparel exports from January to September this year has increased by 11.3% to US $ 1.67 billion,” more..

Cabinet spokesman provoked by query on govt response to Naseby move

Nov 16 (Island) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that a statement made by Lord Naseby in House of Lords would be used by the govt appropriately at the right time, though the cabinet was yet to discuss it. Jayasekera said that they wouldn’t take up issues pursued by The Island the way the newspaper wanted. It had not been taken up by the Cabinet on the basis it wasn’t considered so grave a matter, minister said. more..

Temperance Association strongly objects to beer price reduction

Nov 16 (Island) The Temperance Association has strongly objected to the Finance Minister’s decision to reduce the price of beer, through the new budget. Deputy President of the TA, Dr. Anula Wijesundere, in a statement, says; This decision, if implemented will most certainly increase the beer consumption especially among the youth of our nation. This decision of Minister of Finance expressed in the budget speech, more..

GMOA says funds allocated to set up three medical faculties inadequate

Nov 16 (Island) The GMOA said that the budgetary allocations to set up medical faculties affiliated to the Sabaragamuwa, Wayamba and Moratuwa Universities was inadequate. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge in a letter addressed to Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera said the Rs. 1250 million allocation could hardly be stretched to establish Medical faculties for three major universities in the country. more..

Sea combat training for Malaysian security personnel in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (NST) Malaysian security and enforcement personnel will undergo sea combat training in Sri Lanka to strengthen and upgrade their skills in maritime security control. Training would be conducted next year with SL’s security forces. Dubbed Sea Combat Course, the training is aimed at equipping the Esscom team with added skills. “The expertise of Sri Lankans in safeguarding their waters are recognised worldwide” more..

Hathurusingha not expecting a big salary at Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (DS) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara suggests that Chandika Hathurusingha is not expecting a big salary when he takes up the Sri Lanka job. The sports minister openly admitted that he would like to see Hathurusingha become head coach and said: "I (would) certainly welcome Hathurusingha to prepare our team for the next World Cup." Chandika Hathurusingha will visit Bangladesh within a short time and more..

Bankrupting SL: Sri Lanka likely to overshoot budget deficit continuously till 2020

Nov 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s economy is heading towards a tumultuous ride in the next 3 years as widespread policy uncertainty & macroeconomic imbalances will slowdown the economy, push up prices and scare away the investors.    According to an independent analysis by senior economist Prof. S.S. Colombage, Sri Lanka will overshoot the budget deficit consecutively during the 3 years to 2020, as fiscal slippage is inevitable, more..


Nov 16 (CT) National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) Mannar District Engineer G. Nimalan told the media in a recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized tour to the arid Northern Zone, that NWSDB's Mannar operation was profitable because it has kept its employment numbers (31) constant over the years. He accounted this profitability to not by selling water at a higher rate, in any case that cannot be done because as per Govt/NWSDB policy water rates more..

Rising incomes help improve SL tax revenue

Nov 16 (EN) SL govt revenue generated from Pay-As-You- Earn (PAYE) tax increased by 18.6% to Rs. 22.4 billion in the eight months to August 2017 from a year ago. This was because employee incomes rose and tax administration became more efficient, according to the finance ministry’s Fiscal Management Report – 2018. PAYE revenue increased “due to improved tax administration and enhanced high wage employment in high earning categories such as professional services,” more..

Legal aspect of Budget 2017

An analysis of the Budget from an automotive perspective

Nov 16 (FT) Historically, Customs duty on motor vehicle imports has been calculated on the CIF value of the vehicle. In Customs terminology, the value for Customs duty is assessed on the price “paid or payable” by the importer. The assessment of value for duty computation has a significant impact on the selling price of a vehicle, because duty in Sri Lanka is so high. Duty for a 2,000 CC1 petrol vehicle used to be an effective rate of 184% of the price paid or payable. more..

'Govt welcomes investment in the private education sector'

Nov 16 (CT) Govt always welcomes investors who are interested in investing in the private education sector, if they agree to operate within a certain framework of standards and regulations implemented by the Govt, Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He noted that if the citizenry wants to get education by spending their own money, a Govt cannot stop them. "Everyone has a right to get an education according to their will. A Govt should not deny, but must ensure that more..

No proposals to overcome country's economic crisis: MR

Nov 16 (DM) While claiming that fraud and corruption of the govt had put the country into an economic crisis, former President Rajapaksa said no plan had been proposed in the budget or future development programmes by President and PM to come out of it. Speaking during the budget debate, he said the debt obtained by the govt during last 3 years had increased by Rs. 2,773 billion from Rs. 7,391 in 2014 to Rs. 10,164 billion. more..

‘Taxes on liquor will be beneficial to society’

Nov 16 (NR) Minister Wajira Abeywardena says the decision reached by the govt to impose taxes on liquor according to international standards will be beneficial to society. Speaking at an event in Hiniduma the Minister said accusations directed by some factions due to misunderstandings was disappointing. He said if the population of Sri Lanka in 2016 was 22.5 million, according to excise tax reports the legal consumption of liquor in the country was 129 million litres. more..

‘Premachandran’s withdrawal will not affect TNA’

Nov 16 (NR) Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan says Former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran’s resignation is not a grave concern for the party. He referred to the former MP as simply another individual. Opposition leader said he believed that the youth and other parliamentarians within the party will not be influenced by Premachandran’s resignation. R Samapanthan further said the true result will be made clear through the results of the upcoming LG election. more..

2nd reading of the 2018 Budget passed

Nov 16 (NR) Second reading of the 2018 Budget proposal was passed in Parliament a short while ago with a majority of 93 votes. 58 votes were cast against the 2018 Budget while 151 votes were cast in favour. 15 MPs were absent during the vote on the second reading. Vote on the second reading of the 2018 Budget proposal got underway at 5.30 this evening. Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake called for a division and more..

Water research centre construction begins

Nov 16 (Island) The construction of a modern Water Technology Research Centre, a gift from China, under the China-SL Cooperation Research Project begins on Friday with the laying of the foundation stone at Peradeniya. The site is a block land close to the Engineering Faculty of the University of Peradeniya. Chinese Ambassador to SL and Minister Rauf Hakeem will lay the foundation stone at 9 a.m. on Friday. Research centre will cost the Chinese govt about Rs. 3,600 million. more..

FCID seeks AG’s advice on case against Namal and four others

Nov 16 (DN) FCID sought Attorney General’s (AG) advice on future legal action to be taken against five suspects including MP Namal Rajapaksa for their involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.15 million. When the case filed under money laundering charges came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya, the FCID said that the preliminary investigations regarding the incident have been concluded and sought AG’s advice in this regard. more..

Lakmal 6-6-0-3 tortures India in tough conditions

Nov 16 (CI) Only 11.5 overs of cricket were possible in the first two sessions of the Kolkata Test, but they were 11.5 difficult overs for India, asked to bat on a damp green pitch under overcast skies. Suranga Lakmal made good use of the conditions to send back the openers and Virat Kohli without conceding a run in his six overs. If the impression that India had been thinking of SA even before finishing this series is correct, more..

MPs picking up fight for Sri Lankan family in Queenstown

Nov 16 (Stuff) Southland MP Hamish Walker has written to the immigration minister requesting a temporary work visa be issued to the father of a Sri Lankan family facing deportation. The other local representative, NZ First list MP Mark Patterson has also said he would present the case of the Queenstown-based family, if their attempts to stay in New Zealand fail. Dinesha Amarasinghe, her husband Sam, and their three sons are facing deportation in five days, on November 21, more..

World Bank clarifies media report on its role in Sri Lanka's plantation sector reforms

Nov 16 (WB) The World Bank today released a statement clarifying a media report on the Bank’s involvement in modernizing the plantation sector in Sri Lanka.  World Bank has recently engaged with relevant authorities and key stakeholders in the tea plantation sector to better understand the constraints that the sector is facing and to participate in the consultations on the possible ways forward to strengthen productivity, competitiveness and sustainability in the sector.  more..

Prez opens Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo

Nov 16 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena today opened Shangri-La Hotel built in front of Galle Face. This hotel is another stride in expansion of the facilities for the tourists coming to Colombo. This is the 101st hotel of the chain of Shangri-La Hotels world-wide. Hotel consists the fine and modern accommodation in the country, with 500 luxurious guest rooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments. more..

China considering investments in SL Media

Nov 16 (Island) China was considering investments in the Sri Lankan media, an official said in Beijing. Asked if China had plans to expand investments to include the field of mass communications, among other projects such as the Colombo Financial City, Hambantota Port and the proposed Industrial Zone in Hambantota, Deputy Director at the Department of Press, Radio, Television and Film, Yan Cheng Sheng said that an increase in bilateral trade and investments would be mutually beneficial. more..

President worships Malwathu Maha Viharaya & Asgiri Gedige

Nov 16 (PSL) President Sirisena who visited Kandy, today (15) to participate in the Annual Prize Giving Ceremony of Pushpadana Girls’ College, Kandy, also visited the Malwathu Maha Viharaya and engaged in the religious observances. Later, President called on the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera of the Malwatte chapter. Thereafter the President arrived at the Asgiri Gedige Raja Maha Viharaya. The President called on the chief incumbent of more..

Sampanthan appeals to Rajapaksa and genuine SLFPers

Nov 16 (AD) Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan today called on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to support the making of a new Constitution as it is his fundamental duty and to refrain from using the Constitution as a means to capture power. Addressing the Parliament today, the TNA leader urged the PM and members of the Steering Committee to ensure that the draft constitutional proposals are put before more..

Sri Lanka commences Automatic Dependence Surveillance Operations

Nov 16 (GDI) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva inaugurated the Automatic Dependence Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) Operations at the Ratmalana Colombo Airport Area Control Centre. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is considered as one of the latest developments in the surveillance technologies used for Air Traffic Control purposes. ADS-B system in-fact provides Radar-like information to the Air Traffic control Centres on ground to determine the position, altitude, more..

Sri Lanka plans to reduce debt to GDP ratio to 70% by 2020

Nov 16 (LBO) The govt has endeavored to reduce its debt to a risk-free and manageable level through revenue enhancement and mobilization efforts, the Finance Ministry says. The debt to GDP ratio increased to 79.3% in 2016 from 77.6% in 2015 reflecting the debt financing of budget deficit, lower nominal GDP growth rate and the significant rupee depreciation on the stock of foreign currency denominated debt. According to the finance ministry’s Fiscal Management Report – 2018, more..

LCs opened prior to Budget: Vehicles can be cleared under previous duty rates

Nov 16 (DM) Those who have already opened Letters of Credit (LC) in their names to import vehicles prior to the Budget proposals announced on Nov 9 will be allowed to clear those vehicles at the duty rates that prevailed before the Budget. Ministry said however, these vehicles should be cleared before April 30, 2018. Tax concession announced in the budget-2018 for imported brand new electric car will be more..

Video: SF claims flower bud behind petition aiming to delay polls

Nov 16 (AD) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says that those who are afraid of the forthcoming Local Government election are now submitting petitions. Responding to questions from reporters following an event held in Kelaniya today, he claimed that it is the individuals contesting under the flower bud that are now behaving in that matter.  However, the sole intention of the entire govt including the President is to hold the election, the Minister said. Fonseka stated that postponing the election would be more..

Looters as Rulers: PM asked to appear before Bond Commission on Monday

Nov 16 (AD) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the issuance of treasury bonds has requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to appear before the commission next Monday. The PM has already submitted a testimony to the commission via an affidavit.  Wickremesinghe had previously stated that he was prepared to appear before the Commission for any clarifications that need to be made. In a statement to the media last month the PM’s Office declared that more..

Corrupt MPs negotiating deals with Arjun?: Aloysius spoke to COPE MPs during sittings

Nov 16 (DM) Evidence at the Bond Commission today revealed that Arjun Aloysius spoke to several members of the COPE committee during COPE hearings including 63 times to Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe during the period of hearing. The evidence presented by the AG revealed that Arjun Aloyisus had also been in constant contact with MP’s Hector Appuhamy, and Harshana Rajakaruna, whilst they were sitting in COPE committee more..

Some strengths & weaknesses of the Budget

Nov 17 (CT) Under the prevailing circumstances, the Budget 2018 may appear reasonable on paper. The govt expenditure is kept under reasonable control, and the deficit expected to be 4.8% of the GDP. In addition, as the maiden budget of the new Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, the delivery of the budget was praiseworthy and the rationale explained is very clear, whether one agrees or not, or however flawed. Although the rationale is called the social market economy, it's more towards more..

Dr Nalaka Godahewa’s speech at UNHRC: II

Nov 17 (CT) Pre-colonial Lanka was a very hierarchical feudal society, characterised by regional kingdoms and a mixture of conviviality between the Tamil and Sinhalese feudal nobility in which caste consideration trumped issue of religion and ethnicity. Tensions arose because of inter dynastic rivalry, not ethnic rancour. Capitalism in the Island did not come out of local conditions but was imposed by the colonial masters to suit their economic and structural interests. more..

Debt-Trap drives them to suicide

Nov 17 (SO) The recent heart-rending suicide of a young mother in Jaffna after poisoning her three children, allegedly due to a family friend’s betrayal on money transaction appears to be an example of how low a society, once famed for its honesty and hard work, has morally deteriorated after the three-decade-long war fought basically on the concepts of Tamil Eelam and separatism. Sunethra (28) and her three children more..