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Debt levy to be borne by banks

Nov 11 (DN) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday cleared any doubts on the newly imposed Debt Repayment Levy. He reiterated that the said levy must be borne by the banks and could not be passed on to the consumer. While recapping on his budgetary proposals for 2018, Minister Samaraweera termed the Debt Repayment Levy of Rs. 2 per Rs 10,000 on all cash transactions for three years from April 1, 2018 as the Medamulana Tax. more..

If you see a fallen feathered friend, show a little kindness

Nov 11 (ST) It’s the migratory season for our feathered friends and the public are urged once again to show a little kindness to these winter visitors who are exhausted after their long migratory flight. During the past few days many exhausted Indian Pittas (avichchiya) have been sighted in various parts of the country. In their exhausted state these birds could become easy prey to crows and domesticated cats and dogs. Almost half of the bird species found in Sri Lanka are migratory. more..

Chilaw doctors operate on man after freak accident

Nov 11 (ST) A man injured in a freak accident, which saw a branch pierce his face, was operated on by a team of doctors at the Chilaw hospital on Thursday. The man who had been cutting branches had slipped and fallen onto another tree and a branch had pierced his face. The 45-year-old man, N. Jayantha, had been rushed to the hospital with the part of the branch by villagers. A team of 30 doctors assisted in the operation to remove the branch, more..

New fines and safety rules

Nov 11 (ST) No changes will be made to the traffic fine system and the Gazette pertaining to three-wheeler safety despite protest by unions, the National Council for Road Safety said. The Council’s Chairman Sisira Kodagoda said the regulations were now with the Legal Draftsman Department and would be submitted to Parliament after they are approved. Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told there would be no changes in the proposed regulations. more..

Sri Lanka’s newest safari outpost puts an otherworldly spin on the classic tented lodge

Nov 11 (RR) Perched on a skinny spit of land between the Indian Ocean and the lush jungles of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park is a prime example of an entirely new generation of luxury tented camps. Opened early this month, Wild Coast Tented Lodge eschews traditional breezy, safari-style accommodations, instead featuring 28 otherworldly tented cocoon suites—each boasting vaulted ceilings and double-height glass façades that offer panoramic views of the jungle outside. more..

Budget: Vehicle prices may go up and down

Nov 11 (DM) Latest Budget proposals might trigger price increases of some motor vehicles including Aqua, Axio, Premio, Allion, Prado, Toyota Prius (Hybrid) while the prices of some might decrease, SL Vehicle Importers’ Association President Indika Sampath Merinchige said. Budget 2018 had suggested calculating levies of vehicles on a unit duty basis except for Freezer Truck vehicles. “The prices of Toyota Axio, Toyota Aqua, Honda Vezel and Honda Grace will increase by Rs.750, 000 more..

වසන්ත සමරසිංහ

Sri Lanka’s nightingale Latha Walpola completes 70 years in singing career

Nov 11 (FT) Latha Walpola, the greatest living legend of playback singing behind the Sinhala silver screen, the golden voice ever created with the Deshamanya title, the second highest National Award, completes 70 years this year 2017 in her career in singing. This is a remarkable milestone in her life arguably as the longest living legend. The most appropriate time to publish this article is her 83rd birthday which falls today, 11 Nov. Latha was born on 11 Nov, 1934 more..

Future of State Banks

Nov 11 (CT) Among the proposals in Budget 2018 which Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presented in Parliament on Wednesday was the partial privatization of Bank of Ceylon (BoC) and People's Bank (PB) which together are responsible for 50% of total lending in the market. This is a sound economic move for the Govt to make for the good of the larger economy. This proposal if implemented would help infuse much needed capital to these banks to be compliant with Basel 3 capital requirements more..

President urged to release Mullaitivu land

Nov 11 (Island) TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, MP, has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to release 132 acres of Army held land at Keppapulavu in the Mullaitivu district before 23rd of Nov as promised. Sampanthan released the following letter dated Nov. 9, addressed to President Sirisena: (1) I write further to my letters of 20th July and 11th Aug to your Excellency in regard to the above matter. more..

JVP questions practicality of Budget 2018

Nov 11 (FT) The Appropriation Bill 2018 Second Reading Adjourned Debate commenced yesterday, with JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti questioning the Unity Govt on the likelihood of completing the tasks set in Budget Speech 2018, compared to the considerably higher number of unfinished goals and promises made during the last four budgets. “The main aim of a budget is to explain the vision of a govt and to show the plan for more..

Price reductions for essential foods yet to come into effect

Nov 11 (AD) It has been reported that the granting of concessionary rates to several essential food items as declared by the Minister of Finance, will take another few days to be fully implemented. Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera declared that the prices of several essential food items were to be reduced from midnight on Nov 8. Reports confirm however that the gazette notification declaring these more..

Family members of dead asylum seeker seek asylum in Switzerland

Nov 11 (ST) Three of the four family members of the Sri Lankan asylum seeker who was shot dead by the Swiss Police are seeking asylum in Switzerland after that country on humanitarian grounds gave them one-week visitor visas to attend the funeral. In Colombo, Swiss embassy officials confirmed that an incident had taken place in the city of Brissago (Canton of Tessin), resulting in the death of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker. more..

Minister Amaraweera says no power struggles in SLFP

Nov 11 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said SLFP produced leaders at different levels and, therefore, there was no struggle for party leadership. Unlike other parties where there were cold wars between the party members to be the next leader, SLFP had already formed leadership for all levels, he said. It was Prez Sirisena who broken the tradition of limiting the party leadership to a single person or a family, more..

'Dual citizens among MPs -- If any, they must be jailed'

Nov 11 (DM) If there are any MPs who are dual citizens, they should not only be barred from Parliament, stripped of their parliamentary privileges and asked to pay compensation but should also be sent to jail, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said that the country's apex court has given a clear ruling on dual citizenship and as such no MP with dual citizenship has the right to sit in the House anymore. more..

Govt takes tough road with Budget: Eran

Nov 11 (FT) State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne staunchly defended the latest Budget, which proposed sweeping changes, insisting the Govt was being brave by taking the tough road and pushing for liberalisation even at potential political cost because it assured consistency.  Responding to questions at the KPMG Post-Budget forum, he emphasised that incremental change, despite being attempted by previous Govts, more..

'Beer healthier than sweetened soft drinks'

Nov 11 (CT) While noting that the Govt is determined to discourage hard liquor consumption in the country, Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday that drinking beer is healthier than drinking sweetened soft drinks. Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti during the first day of the second reading stage debate on Budget 2018, he said, "In many countries, 80% drink beer. more..

Polythene: Strict enforcement of ban from January

Nov 11 (ST) Just when the angry reaction to the polythene ban appears to be waning and supermarkets are generously handing out High-Density Polythene (HDPE) bags to shoppers, the Central Environment Authority (CEA) has expressed its determination to fully enforce the law. The CEA said it had been working intensely since the gazette notification was published on September 1 this year. more..

Prices rise, farmers and consumers suffer in middlemen’s tyranny

Nov 11 (ST) The already high vegetable and fruit prices are expected to rise further during the upcoming festive season, but farmers say their products could be sold at affordable prices if measures are in place to rein in middlemen and traders making undue profits. Vegetable prices were expected to increase by 40-50% in Nov and Dec. This was because production would be low during these months more..

Letter from a soldier to The President

Nov 11 (DM) The writer served in the Sri Lanka Army for over 27 years from 1973 to 2000 before he took early retirement for professional and personal reasons. He has the unique distinction of Commanding the 1st Battalion the Gemunu Watch an infantry battalion which was raised in December 1962 by his late father Brig. John F. Halangode. His grand uncle Albert Halangode fought in WW 1 as a 19-year-old school boy from Trinity College and was injured in the battle of Somme. more..

Profesionalism towards nation building

Nov 11 (DM) A profession is a vocation on specialized educational training and professionalism is any type of work that needs special training or practical skills after training a high level of education. The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), set up in 1974, is currently the most powerful professional body with 53 Professional Associations ever growing serving the community with professional uplift-men and development/prosperity in all sectors. more..

Mangala says banks must absorb Medamulana Tax

Nov 11 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera offered greater clarity on several of the contentious proposals of Budget 2018, justifying their inclusion as necessary for a progressive nation. Speaking to the media, Minister was emphatic on the benefits of the proposed tax for debt repayment, identified as the Medamulana Tax, that seeks to charge 20 cents per Rs. 1,000 worth of bank transactions.  more..

Sri Lanka offers scheme to attract former rebels for employment

Nov 11 (GT) Sri Lanka finance ministry has announced a programme to encourage former combatants to find jobs and fund private companies who recruit them. The programme due to come into effect next year was included in the country’s annual budget, which was the subject of parliamentary debate. Under the programme the govt will provide facilities for former rebels to obtain training and certificates in fields of technical education, enabling them to obtain jobs in line with their skills. more..

2.266 Kg of heroin seized in Vavuniya

Nov 11 (DM) The Vavuniya Division Anti-Vice Squad said 2.266 Kg of heroin worth more than Rs.30 million has been taken into custody on Thursday when it was on the verge of being transported to Colombo from Jaffna. A suspect from Jaffna who was about to board a bus to Colombo, was nabbed by officers of the Anti-vice Squad who had taken him into custody on a tip-off received by them at the Vavuniya bus stand. They had received information that suspect was a resident of Velvetithurai more..

State Owned Enterprise reforms in full steam

Nov 11 (DN) The govt has launched a major restructuring programme for State Owned Enterprises (SOE), Finance and Mass Media Ministry Senior Advisor, Mano Tittawella said. Answering questions posed by the business community, on the ailing public sector, he explained that they were looking at either listing non-strategic enterprises on the stock market or handing them over to private sector management. more..

Present govt’s alleged fraud, corruption: Handunnetti to reveal all in Parliament

Nov 11 (CT) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said, his Party had decided to present to Parliament after 17 Nov, a heap of information regarding alleged large-scale fraud and corruption committed by the current Govt. He said, that the committee stage debate of the Budget will be held in Parliament from 17 Nov to 9 Dec and that the JVP intends presenting to Parliament during this period, a number of extremely significant evidence regarding many large-scale frauds & corruption taking place in ministries. more..

Champika warns of Colombo, parliament going under water...

Nov 11 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka said in Parliament that there was the danger of the dam at the Ambatale reservoir collapsing during a heavy shower and the entire Colombo city and Parliament getting inundated. Action should be taken immediately to reinforce the dam, which was likely to give way come the next rain, he said, adding the danger of Nagalagam Street Dam also collapsing. Colombo and Kelaniya were protected by two dams built more than 100 years ago by the British. more..

UN to review Sri Lanka’s human rights record

Nov 11 (DN) Sri Lanka’s human rights record will be examined by the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Nov 15, in a meeting that will be webcast live. The delegation of Sri Lanka will be headed by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. Sri Lanka is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 6 to 17 Nov. more..

Business confidence crawls up in October

Nov 11 (FT) Business Confidence Index (BCI) has recovered marginally following its crash in the previous month to reach 106 basis points in Oct, latest edition of LMD. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant cautions in LMD that “large-scale concerns on the economy and business climate still persist.” He also notes: “While Vision 2025 has been welcomed by stakeholders, business leaders and consumers are looking for more on the ground and immediate action to rebuild lost confidence.” more..

Central Bank officer files FR petition against AG Department officers

Nov 11 (FT) Supreme Court fixed for support on 21 Nov the Fundamental Rights petition filed by a Central Bank officer seeking the Court to prevent him from being questioned by the Attorney General’s Department officers assisting the Bond Commission until the final determination of his petition. Bench comprised Justices Sisira De Abrew and Vijith Malalgoda. The Petitioner S. Pathumanathan in his petition cited Senior Additional Solicitors Dappula de Livera and Yasantha Kodagoda, more..

Bankrupting SL: Harsha details govt borrowing of Rs. 1.56 trillion last year

Nov 11 (FT) Govt has obtained Rs.1.516 trillion worth debt in 2016, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva confirmed in Parliament yesterday. The weighted average yield rate (WAYR) due to the total debt obtained in the form of treasury bills from the domestic market for short-term and long-term instruments were 9.99% and 13.58% respectively. WAYR for SL Development Bonds, which is a domestic US dollar denominated more..

Wilpattu Deforestation and settlement: CA re-fixes argument on 8 February

Nov 11 (FT) Court of Appeal fixed for argument on 8 Feb next year the Writ Petition filed as public interest litigation on the alleged deforestation and illegal construction of housing project in the Northern Sanctuary of Wilpattu National Park. The Bench comprised Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (President/CA) and A.L.S. Gooneratne. The Writ petition was filed by Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd. citing the Conservator General, Central Environmental Authority, more..

CA fixed for order on Dr. Padeniya’s preliminary objections

Nov 11 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for December 6 to deliver its order regarding the preliminary objections raised by GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya in respect of a charge sheet filed against him over contemptuous statements. The Court was informed that the partied have filed written submissions regarding the preliminary objections. The Court of Appeal bench comprised Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. more..

John Tarbet Junior Athletic C'ships: Joes, President’s Nawala champs

Nov 11 (Island) St. Joseph’s College, Darley Road, Colombo thrived on field events and relays, and President’s Balika, Nawala blossomed on the prowess of record-breaking sprinters Kavindi Edirisinghe and Ruwansa Weerakkody as the two schools won the overall championships in the boys’ and girls’ categories respectively of the 48th Sir John Tarbet Junior Championship concluded at Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium, more..

New Constitution should be drafted by the people, not a chosen few, says union

Nov 11 (ST) Proposed new Constitution should be the product of entire people of the country and not a chosen few, a trade union movement has said. Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees’ Union (FTZGSEU) in a statement which called for the new Constitution framework proposal to be through a People’s Process has urged the govt to present a work plan without any further delay to carry out the total programme of socialising the Constitution making process. more..

Banks must offer wider product suite to maximize digitalisation’s benefits: expert

Nov 11 (DM) Following is an interview with international trade finance expert Gary Collyer. The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) will be hosting an international trade finance seminar on Past Challenges and Future Opportunities in Trade Finance. The one-day workshop will be held at Hotel Kingsbury on Nov 22, 2017. The workshop will be conducted by international trade finance professional Gary Collyer. Here’s an interview with Collyer addressing more..