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Govt urged to take over Sea Marshals Service

Nov 23 (DM) Sea Marshal Officers' Association urged the Defence Ministry to take over the sea marshals’ service from Avant Garde Maritime Service (AGMSL) and allow the sea marshals to carry out their duties independently and professionally. Sea Marshal Officers' Association Convener B.I. Abdeen said with AGMSL handling country’s sea marshals’ service, nearly $1700 had been cut from each sea marshal’s salary. more..

Sri Lankan navy denies reports of attacking Indian fishermen

Nov 23 (Xinhua) SL Navy denied reports that it had attacked an Indian boat in mid seas near Katchatheevu, an uninhabited island belonging to Sri Lanka. According to media reports, the attack which occurred on Sunday, had left one Indian fishermen injured when SL naval officers had allegedly attacked their boat by pelting stones and bottles. Boat had four Indian fishermen on board. Captain Akram Alavi however denied the reports and said that such an attack had not taken place. more..

‘Infamous Regaining SL re-implemented’

Nov 23 (Island) National Teachers’ Council alleged that the UNP-SLFP coalition govt was in the process of implementing the UNP’s infamous economic project, Regaining Sri Lanka, once rejected by the people. UNP-led UNF govt implemented project during 2002-2003 period. President of the National Teachers’ Council Nimal Premawansa claimed that the sharp reduction in the number of Year Five Scholarship beneficiaries, denial of public servants’ rights as well as offering of vouchers more..

China offers to assist SL maximize potential

Nov 23 (CG) Chinese Govt today offered to assist Sri Lanka maximize on the potential it has. The Ministry quoted the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang as saying huge investment and business opportunities are of a win-win nature and China would like to assist Sri Lanka to maximize on the great advantages, potentials and opportunities it has. He was speaking at the China Zhejiang-Sri Lanka Investment and Trade more..

Ravi can’t pronounce English either

Nov 23 (CT) “I guess I should have paid more attention during Sinhala class when I was in school. Oh, well. But it would absolutely stupendous, dear Speaker, if someone in Parliament sponsors me to improve my Sinhala; both writing and pronunciation. Or we could come to terms with me reading the Budget in English, which is easier for me, next year.” – Ravi Karunanayake. First, let us look at his claim that he cannot pronounce Sinhala words, at least some of them. more..

Shares post over 2-week closing high

Nov 23 (Reuters) Shares ended at their highest in more than two weeks on Monday after the govt proposed a slew of measures in its budget for next year to boost the capital market. Govt announced on Friday a raft of steps, including the removal of a 0.3% share transaction levy, to stimulate trading in the share market and increase liquidity. "This will help address one of the major drawbacks of the Sri Lankan share market," Vajira Kulatilaka, the CSE chairman, said in a statement. more..

JVP press conference

Harsha distributes cement to low income earners of Kotte

Nov 23 (Island) Deputy Minister of External Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva told low income earners of his Sri Jayewardenepura electorate that he was prepared to do everything possible to resolve their housing issues, during a ceremony held last Friday morning at the UNP office in Nawala. Presiding over a ceremony to mark World Habitat Day (20) Dr. De Silva also distributed 10 bags of cement each to 70 low-income earning families to get their homes plastered. more..

Tamil Diaspora: Good and bad of ban

Nov 23 (CT) An Extraordinary Gazette Notification [No. 1941/44], issued recently by the Ministry of Defence, lifted the ban on eight leading Tamil Diaspora organizations. The Tamil Diaspora organizations which were thus removed from the list of banned organizations included the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), British Tamil Forum (BTF), Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), World Tamil Movement (WTM), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), more..

Litro gas prices to be reduced from today

Nov 23 (CG) Litro Gas today announced that as per the provision made in the Budget – 2016 presented by the Minister Ravi Karunanayake Gas prices have been reduced with effect from today. Executive Chairman of the Litro Gas Shalila Munasinghe said that accordingly, the price of the 12.5 kg Cylinder of domestic Gas will be Rs 1346.00 within the Colombo area. Prices of the 5 kg and the 2.5 kg Cylinders will be more..

Ratmalana airport to be closed under megapolis programme

Nov 23 (DM) Minister of megapolis and Western Province Development, Champika Ranawaka said the Katunayake airport will be expanded from the 18th km post up to Minuwangoda for all aviation purposes and that the Ratmalana airport, used at present for internal aviation is to be closed under the proposed megapolis development programme. Addressing a meeting to create awareness on development projects for more..

'Samantha Power trying to introduce federalism'

Nov 23 (DM) The hidden agenda behind the visit of US permanent representative to the UN, Samantha Power to Sri Lanka is to promote federalism, PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed today. He said the UN’s Political Affairs Department has launched a programme to encourage third world countries which are caught up in ethnic conflicts to introduce a federal administration. more..

President, UK envoy discuss UN Resolution

Nov 23 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena and the British High Commissioner James Dauris met today and had talks on Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing the recommendations of the UN Resolution. They also discussed this week’s CHOGM in Malta, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) and other issues. The President met the High Commissioner after planting a Na tree in the garden of official residence of more..

Fate of Avant Garde-RALL agreement unclear

Nov 23 (SL) Avant Garde, which has been in the center of controversy in the recent past, has been allowed to operate an on board security service for ships at sea on a level playing field, SL Navy says. Earlier, Avant Garde was accused of holding a monopoly and was considered only private company allowed to operate the service and to also have a floating armory, under a deal reached with former govt. more..

Sri Lanka to promote ancient cinnamon trade internationally

Nov 23 (LBO) Govt will set up an authority to develop the cinnamon trade, its main spice export, along with strengthening research and undertaking an international branding exercise, minister of finance said. The spice trade in Sri Lanka dates as far back as 7th Century, but has underperformed in an economic sense, he said. “Value chain of Cinnamon is under many different agencies which stifles growth of the industry,” more..

Ten month National Govt brought changes nation longed for over 40 years: President

Nov 23 (DN) The 10 month national govt has brought about a number of outstanding political and social reforms that the nation aspired for over 40 years, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He was addressing a meeting after the inauguration of the newly constructed Imaduwa Township in Habaraduwa, Galle. President Sirisena inaugurated a number of completed new development projects at the new Imaduwa Town in Ahangama, Galle. more..

IUSF launches five-day protest march to pressure govt over contentious issues

Nov 23 (Island) State Minister for University Education Mohan Lal Grero has assured university students that he will willing to meet them and discuss their problem, the Inter University Students’ Federation yesterday announced a five-day protest march from Kandy to Colombo to highlight its grievances. It will commence today. Minister Grero said that he was ready to meet IUSF representatives anytime. more..

Ravi to liberate Sri Lanka's homeless from grip of protectionists

Nov 23 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has proposed to cut protectionist taxes on steel and sanitary wear which was making housebuilding expensive for struggling young families who were trying to put a roof over their heads. "To address the short supply and high prices of building materials such as steel, tiles and sanitary ware, import related duties will be revised downwards" he said in budget speech. more..

Helpful Budget not going all the way: Public

Nov 23 (ST) Public’s reactions to Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s Budget 2016 were mixed. The Govt focused on Economic reforms and granted allowances to farmers, public sector officers and others. It also introduced fixed prices for essential items such as food and gas. Here’s what the people had to say: Anthony Thisera - A farmer from Sigiriya: “I have been involved in paddy cultivation for the past 15 years. As a farmer, I am happy with more..

‘Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir’

Nov 23 (DM) The kitchen of the Wallside Restaurant and Bar was in turmoil that morning. Shelton Perera, the owner of the place was pitching into the man in charge of the gastronomy department of the booze and side-dish house, Jamis. (Peiris Gedera Don Jamis Singho was his real name). “I am telling you just once more; if I get any more complaints of under-fried pork bites from a customer, out you go. DO you understand? Do you understand that?” the bar owner shouted. more..

Budget for a better tomorrow

Nov 23 (DM) The much awaited 2016 budget presented to Parliament on Friday in a four and half hour speech by Minister Ravi Karunanayake received a generally good response from economic analysts and social justice advocates welcome the emphasis on job-oriented education and sustainable eco-friendly agriculture. Business Times said, business community was generally happy with the budget though it did not address foreign exchange crisis & problems of implementing proposals. more..

Wiggy spells out concerns to Power

Nov 23 (DN) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran during his meeting with US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, raised a number of issues concerning political prisoners, land rights and military presence in Jaffna. One of the main issues discussed during the 35 minute meeting was that of political prisoners. Power assured that US Embassy would continue to exert pressure on the govt for a sustainable solution, more..

GMOA unhappy with budget: Secretary

Nov 23 (DN) The GMOA is not happy with the Budget 2016 because it had not granted any salary increase or relief to professionals. This budget has also done away with the vehicle permits which had been granted to them, GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said. According to Dr. Herath, a special central committee meeting will be held on November 29 to discuss the issues. "During the meeting, we hope to discuss the above issues including the tax increase on electric vehicles. more..

‘Some estate workers may use uniform vouchers for boozing’

Nov 23 (Island) Education State Minister V. Radhakrishnan says that the govt may withdraw the school uniform voucher system if the desired objectives aren’t achieved within one year. A state institution which was expecting to secure the contract to provide school uniform materials in a bid to turn itself around has been left high and dry, according to sources. He said it was sad but true that some estate workers did not consider their children’s education important. more..

GTF calls for deproscription of all groups, individuals

Nov 23 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) called for delisting of all proscribed organisations and individuals in Sri Lanka. UK based spokesperson of the GTF, Suren Surendiran said that the grouping would continue to press for its demand. Surendiran was responding to govt declaration that eight organisations and 157 individuals continuing to espouse separatism would remain proscribed. The previous govt proscribed 16 organizations more..

TUs will protest budget: Lalkantha

Nov 23 (CT) Thousands of trade union members will gather in Colombo and protest the 2016 Budget proposals which failed to provide salary increments to public and private sector employees. National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) President K.D. Lalkantha said that Govt not only failed to increase the salaries of the public servants, but also failed to add allowances to the basic salary as well. "PM Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged to add all the allowances to the salary of public servants. more..

Four young Samaneras missing in jungle trip

Nov 23 (DM) A joint search operation was in progress by the police, army and the Special Task Force this evening when after four Samanera monks aged 11 to 13 years from a temple in Aralaganwila did not return after trekking into the jungle. The four Samaneras attached to Danajaya Raja Maha Viharaya in Kandegama had reportedly left the temple around 11.00am yesterday while its chief incumbent was away. Chief incumbent who returned to the Viharaya at about 6pm had learnt that more..

ITAK leader worried intra-party spat might not go down well with public

Nov 23 (Island) ITAK leader Mavai Senathirajah has, at a recent meeting, told party members that infighting should stop as it would ruin the image of the party. The spat between TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran and Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran may have prompted the ITAK leader to issue the warning. ITAK is one of the four constituent parties that make up the TNA. The simmering war of words between more..

Indian Navy chief RK Dhowan arrives in Sri Lanka for maritime conference

Nov 23 (PTI) Indian Navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan today arrived here for a two-day conference being attended by 36 countries with a focus on maritime security cooperation. Dhowan will take part in the 'Galle Dialogue' starting here tomorrow. "The focus of the Dialogue is cooperation on maritime security. India plays a crucial role in the region when it comes to maintaining security in the blue water," Navy sources said. At least 36 countries are being represented at the Dialogue. more..

Ranil seeks to fix pension anomaly for ex-Presidents

Nov 23 (FT) PM and Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs, Ranil Wickremesinghe will move a motion in Parliament on Saturday, increasing the pensions of former SL Presidents from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 97,500 per month. The surviving spouses of late Presidents will receive this increased monthly pension. The motion will be based in terms of Paragraph (1) of Article 36 of the Constitution where the Parliament is authorised to determine the salary, allowances and more..

Presidential Commission probe: 15 out of 16 mega corruption cases dropped

Nov 23 (Island) The PRECIFAC has dropped investigations into at least 15 cases on the grounds that the state didn’t suffer revenue losses due to those transactions. Having completed investigations into 16 cases, Commission had recommended further legal action as regards only one of them, authoritative sources said. The Commission late last week informed the Attorney General and the CIABOC to initiate action against more..

Sri Lanka Customs revises vehicle valuation twice within a month

Nov 23 (ST) Sri Lanka Customs has revised the vehicle valuation for the second time within a month based on actual manufacturers’ value of brand new vehicles cancelling the previous ad hoc valuation system which was introduced on Sept 30. The new revision in the basis on which Customs calculates the values of imported vehicles for the imposition of taxes came into effect from Nov 11 following the pressure exerted by vehicle importers’ associations, motor traders said on Wednesday, more..

London museum bird accidently lands in Sri Lanka with a stolen ring

Nov 23 (HN) The lesser crested tern is a seabird of the tern family has stolen a ring from London museum has landed in Sri Lanka. Lesser Crested tern which was used in London bird museum’s research has flown more than 12000 kilometers distance and has landed in Puttalam. An injury is to be seen on the bird’s foot. The bird has been spotted by a man near Puttalam lagoon and he has caught and made arrangements to hand the bird over to forest department officials. more..

Ex-NDDCB chief asks for asylum

Nov 23 (Island) Former Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Control Board, Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe, is planning to leave the country, claiming his life is in danger. He said that he had recently written to British, Norwegian, Canadian, Australian and US diplomatic missions in Colombo, seeking asylum. He had decided to leave the country due to threats from politicians and their henchmen involved in heroin trade. more..

SLTPB Chief’s post to be advertised

Nov 23 (ST) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB) will place newspaper ads to fill the organisation’s top post. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that currently the post of chairman was vacant since they have to “select the correct man” as it is a crucial post. He noted that they would be advertising for a competent person with experience in advertising and promotion in this regard. He pointed out that these matters in selecting a suitable candidate more..

SL believed to be in mix to host Ind-Pak

Nov 23 (CI) The much-anticipated meeting between the BCCI and PCB heads took place in Dubai on Sunday afternoon, at the ICC headquarters. BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who is in Dubai in his role as the ICC chairman, met PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan to discuss a way to break the deadlock over the staging of a bilateral series between the two countries. Although there has been no official information on the outcome of the meeting yet, it is understood that one possible solution more..