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Sri Lanka’s very own Robin Hood: Saradiel

Nov 17 (Roar) Travelling along the Colombo-Kandy road, you may have heard stories of bandits from days of old. Narrated in awed tones, the storyteller would have pointed to a monolithic hill—Utuwankanda—in the distance, and told you of Saradiel, the highway-man who robbed coaches at gunpoint and then distributed his stolen goods among the poor, before disappearing into his hide-out in forest surrounding Utuwankanda. more..

Save Sri Lanka and her citizens

Nov 17 (Island) Prof. O. A. Ileperuma in The Island (16), supporting what I had written, stated that Fr. Fernando has labelled the President, PM and the Finance Minister as honest politicians. Though I do not fault Prof. Ileperuma for implying from what I wrote that the President, PM and the Finance Minister as honest politicians, I did not explicitly vouch for the honesty of anyone. Nevertheless I thank Prof. Ileperuma for hig1hlighting the commissions and omissions of power holders more..

Teenage orphans report violations at Darun Nusra

Nov 17 (DN) In sworn statements to Police, 18 young women who were living at the Darun Nusra orphanage in Dehiwala said they were systematically sexually harassed and abused by a long-time male employee. They said they repeatedly complained about the behavior to the man’s wife, the resident administrator of the orphanage, and were told “not to take it seriously.” In response she threatened them, saying that the orphanage would be shut down if they reported the abuse, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Car, bar and soor

Nov 17 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa has said the govt is using the controversial beer price reduction to distract public attention from its anti-national agenda being advanced through the Budget 2018. Maybe, he has a point. It is up to his Joint Opposition (JO) to flag up other dangers and educate the public on them while resisting sinister moves aimed at initiating Sri Lankans into alcohol consumption at an early age. Moderate drinkers who don’t let alcohol get the better of them, more..

Events within Budget

Nov 17 (DN) Local Govt elections are no longer a distant dream and will become a reality early next year. With the polls in sight the major political parties are jostling with each other to enter the good books of the voter. This was evident as Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presented his first budget last week. The two major parties in the National Unity govt, UNP and the mainstream faction of the SLFP loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena, will go their separate ways at the LG elections. more..

'Core values of the UNP are eroding'

Nov 17 (CT) Pradeep Jayewardene, eldest grandson of SL's first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene, pioneer of solar power in SL, cautioned the Govt, the Opposition and all southern political parties that the LTTE diaspora were waging a new kind of war against the Govt and southern SL and that the South should not fall prey to their machinations. Now that all their military options for a separate State have run out, more..

Rice Revolution: Role of Dairy Centres

Nov 17 (CT) The gist of the Rice Revolution is the Strength of Human Resources as the Pivotal Base for all the other activities, and the so far underutilized human resources becomes the Prime Mover that can generate the locomotion for the project. Raw and unskilled Human Resources shall have only a very low, and therefore negligible, cost against an enormous potential with an infinitive value. Once organized, it shall be a pool of labour of at least fifty persons more..

What is happening in the SL supreme court?

Nov 17 (GV) A quiet revolution is taking place in the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep that only a few close observers have so far noticed. During the course of 2017, the Court has made a number of decisions that are nothing if not remarkable when viewed in the context, both of the unimaginative timidity of the older SL judicial tradition, as well as the Court’s record in the last two decades. In one case, the Court determined that advocating federalism 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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

‘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..

‘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..

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..

'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..

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..

Legal aspect of Budget 2017

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..

Overstaffing

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..

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