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MR details unsuccessful policies of the Govt

Mar 12 (NR) The decisive vote on the Second reading of the 2019 Budget is scheduled for today. 2019 Budget proposal, Enterprise SL – Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor was presented in Parliament on the 5 of March by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet following which Minister Samaraweera delivered the fifth budget of the Good Governance Govt. According to the 2019 Appropriation Bill, state expenditure has been set at rs. 4,550 billion. more..

UK, Canada submit resolution on Sri Lanka to UNHRC

Mar 12 (DM) A resolution on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka was submitted to the UNHRC on Monday by six main sponsors including the UK and Canada. The main sponsors are Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia, UK and Northern Ireland. In their resolution, sponsors requested the Govt of SL to implement fully the measures identified by UNHRC more..

PS member assaulted in brawl with traffic police officer

Mar 12 (AD) A member of Nattandiya Pradeshiya Sabha has been hospitalized following an alleged assault by a police officer. It was reported that the assault took place last evening in Marawila town. A heated dispute had occurred between the two owing to a vehicle parked in front of a shop. The dispute had then escalated to a brawl and the police officer in question had reportedly assaulted the PS member. The police officer, constable attached to the traffic control unit of Marawila Police, more..

100,000 lenses donated

Mar 12 (DN) Health Ministry has already provided over 100,000 eye lenses and it is expected to increase this number to 200,000 by the end of this year, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. A total of 67,000 eye surgeries had been done at the national Eye Hospital in 2017. Only 0.05% of the patients were infected with germs. This is a significant success and the dedication of doctors contributed to achieve this success. He was addressing a ceremony held at the national eye Hospital more..

Video: Fuel prices go up

Mar 12 (AD) The Ministry of Finance announced that fuel prices have been increased with effect from midnight today, based on the pricing formula. The price of 92 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 3 per liter while 95 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs. 7 per liter. The price of Super Diesel has also been increased by Rs. 8 per liter, and the price of Auto Diesel has been increased by Rs 1 per liter. more..

Dual intervention can lead to reduced international pressure

Mar 13 (CT) The report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights would give an indication of the forthcoming decision of the UNHRC with regards to its resolution on Sri Lanka. The report is primarily a fact based one. Almost every assertion made is backed by evidence. Particularly damning are the large number of cases given in which serious human rights violations and crimes took place, but which have got stalled somewhere or other in the legal system. more..

A plea for helping Tamil women in Sri Lanka in their search for justice

Mar 13 (CT) As the world marks International Women’s Day, my thoughts are with Tamil women back in the homeland. Tamil women and girls in the island of Sri Lanka once known as Ceylon have been fighting against oppression, against marginalization, against violence, against the relentless persecution of their race for more than 70 years. Their struggle for freedom and justice hasn’t ended yet. At the beginning Tamil women agitated for parity in language rights. more..

Taxing feminine physiology

Mar 13 (SO) Samanthi (not her real name), in her late teens, from Elapatha, Ratnapura, belongs to a family with mountains of financial burdens. Her parents are day labourers earning a meagre salary which makes even getting basic provisions a battle. In that situation, buying sanitary towels all the time is not something they can even think of. “My sisters and I use pieces of cloth, cut and folded, as sanitary napkins. more..

Time to discard Executive Presidency

Mar 13 (SO) Is the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution all but dead or is it still a viable option for the nation to re-chart its political direction? Its principal sponsor, the JVP is persisting with the legislation although the chances of it becoming a reality are remote. The JVP this week met even with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who held the office of Executive President twice, and said that its discussions with him were successful to some extent. more..

Chain saw registration: Another step to curb deforestation

Mar 13 (SO) Chainsaw registration is the newest piece of regulation that has been introduced to fight the fast depletion of Sri Lanka’s forest cover. While chain saws allow fast and precise felling of trees, unauthorised deforestation thrives on chainsaws using temporary saw-mills mounted on hand tractors. They allow unlawful tree-fellers to travel deep into forest reserves unnoticed, and cut down decades old trees mercilessly. Make-shift timber milling equipment such as more..

Inside Welikada, Art paves the way to better prospects

Mar 13 (Roar) Welikada prison is a massive correctional complex on Baseline Road, home to over 3,000 prisoners. It is a high security zone, where the incarcerated include drug addicts, petty criminals, murderers and those convicted of financial fraud. Prison walls are a neutral cream, adorned with artwork and a message reading Prisoners are humans too. Despite that truism, Welikada has made international headlines for its inhumane more..

Budget sans A vision

Mar 13 (CT) Though the Budget is always given huge publicity, by the Media, and becomes the topic of the town, majority of people remain clueless as to what it contains. The ordinary citizen whose discipline is not in accountancy or economics, do not know how to analyse the Budget and find the many digit numbers mind boggling. Politicians’ wisecracks about the presented Budget do not make the deciphering any easier. Usually the Ministers praise it whilst the Opposition vows to defeat it. more..

Night the Lights went out

Mar 13 (Island) No, this is no panegyric on the great Maha Disawe but an account of some liberties I took in his name. The year was 1967. The Prime Minister of Ceylon – as we were then – was Dudley Senanayake and it been had decided that we would commemorate National Heroes on Jan 1st. There had to be a political reason for this. The previous govt had done away with the traditional holiday on Jan 1st. This was most unpopular with the middle class voters who did not fancy going to work more..

Harsha de Silva & Bandula Gunawardane

Anti-SL project suffers setback as US report on Mannar mass grave site clears Army

Mar 13 (Island) A recent report by a reputed Miami-based laboratory, on the Mannar Sathosa mass grave samples, cleared, the war-winning Sri Lanka Army (SLA) of the responsibility for extra-judicial killings. The remains of over 300 men, women and children were found, beginning early last year, at the site in the northern Mannar district, where terrorists fought the military during a 37-year war that ended in May 2009. In terms of the Indo-Lanka Accord, forced on then President JR Jayewardene, more..

Edtorial: Women’s woes

Mar 13 (Island) It is said that in days of yore, a young woman, bedecked with jewellery, could travel, unaccompanied, anywhere in this country, at any time of the day, without fearing for her safety. Today, a woman cannot walk at least a few metres, on a public road, without fear of being relieved of her necklace or handbag. Political leaders, past and present, never miss an opportunity to crow about their achievements and contribution to what they call the progress of the nation, more..

Can SL snap their losing streak in ODIs?

Mar 13 (CI) When Sri Lanka last won an ODI, farming had not been invented, and woolly mammoths were roaming the planet. Don't look it up on Statsguru, but that is what it feels like. Every recent series plays out the same way. The captain - generally there is a new one every couple of series - arrives confident that Sri Lanka's long-standing one-day problems have been sorted. They are sure that the last clot of losses has been learned from, more..

Girls Under-19 Cricket Tournament 2019

Mar 13 (ST) With Devapathiraja Girls School, Rathgama, emerging champions in the 6th Singer Sri Lanka Under (U)-19 Girls Cricket tournament for the 4th consecutive year, the curtain came down on the 2019 Girls’ Cricket season at Thurstan College Grounds recently. The 6th Edition saw 34 Girls Schools again competing in the tournament. The Sunday Times spoke to Ms Champika Weeratunga, Tournament Secretary of the Girls segment of the SL Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) and more..

Budgets and the Economy

Mar 13 (Island) A number of factors indicate the state of economy of a country. Among these are the growth rate, trade deficit (TD), exchange rate (Rs/US$) and debts. During the period 2010-2017, as shown in the table indicated below, the growth rate has declined after 2015. It dwindled to 4.5% in 2016 and 3.1% in 2017 and in the year 2018 it is expected to hover around 3%. Trade Deficit (difference between exports and imports- TD) has increased from US$ 4825 million in 2010 to more..

NCCSL commends budget for its consistency

Mar 13 (DN) President of National Chamber of Commerce of SL (NCCSL) Asela De Livera commended the budget 2019, commenting that “it was a very good job under the circumstances.” He had a favorable view of Enterprise Sri Lanka and commended the proposal to allocate considerable amount of funds around Rs 15-20 billion for projects in the North and East. He reminisced of years before the war wherein Jaffna was a more..

2019 Budget risks ruining Economy to win votes

Mar 13 (CT) The 2019 Budget comes as the last one of this Govt. The people have experienced four years of an open market economy and practically everyone in different walks of life complain that they feel dissatisfied, find it difficult to work and live the way they did earlier and want a change. Before 2015 the economy grew by 7%, now it is down to 3%. This Budget seeks not only to continue the downward path but with greater intensity, when it has failed both here and abroad. more..

CDB raises US$ 60 million in foreign funding

Mar 13 (Island) With its ethos of nurturing and fostering micro and SMEs in the country to optimize their contribution towards the nation’s macro growth, Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB) raised USD 60 Mn in FY 2018/2019 to uplift and develop this vital engine of growth in the country’s economy. Having already gained a first loan of USD 6 Mn by BIO in 2013 which CDB disbursed to micro and SMEs in the country and paid back fully, the platform of trust and credibility given to CDB more..

Budget 2019 lacks focus, says economist

Mar 13 (DM) Perhaps levelling the sharpest criticism so far against the Budget 2019 presented last week, a top economist and a commentator of socio-political issues charged that the budget lacks clear direction as it tries to be everything for everyone and its attempt to micromanage the economy is futile with a bloated cabinet and an inefficient public sector. While appreciating the candid attempt made by more..

Corporal Punishment has no place in school sports

Mar 13 (ST) There is a debate on the act of physical assault on a Rugby player, on the basis that it is an internal issue or, the premise that the World Rugby (WR) Code should not be applicable in this case. Well, what would happen if the flow of funds from WR or the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) were to be closed, if we do not look at governance, when they ask. The benefactors of School Rugby are asking for foreign Referees for key games. A key observation by a Coach was the attitude of more..

Greater social protection for Sri Lankan women through better jobs

Mar 13 (IPS) Globally, 740 million women are employed in the informal economy, with limited access to social protection. In Sri Lanka, female labour force participation has been stagnating at around 30% – 35% for many years. In 2017, out of the 8.5 million females who were 15 years and above, only 3.1 million females were in the labour force, while only 2.9 million were employed. Out of this, as many as 1.5 million women were working in the informal sector. more..

'Poverty alleviation amazing victory for Chinese people and model for rest of world'

Mar 13 (Xinhua) Poverty alleviation in China is an amazing victory for the Chinese people and a model for the rest of the world, said Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku said. Official figures show that over the past 40 years, China has lifted more than 700 million rural residents out of poverty. "It's a remarkable achievement of China, because there is a population of 1.4 billion (people)," more..

Bullish and successful IFS expands investments and operations in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (FT) A global leader in enterprise software, IFS, the second largest IT company in SL, is further expanding its investment and operations here by doubling office space and increasing staff by over 40%. Operating in Sri Lanka for over two decades, IFS has 1,100 employees (31% of the global team) at present and aims to increase it to around 1,500-600 in the next 12 months. In June it will relocate most of its operations to six floors of Orion City’s new tower, occupying double the space more..

NCE applauds methods introduced to promote key export sectors

Mar 13 (DN) National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) welcomed the national budget 2019, as it reflects the govt policy of pursuing an outward oriented growth strategy to better garner set economic targets. NCE also hailed the support of the govt to the export market access program and the National Export strategy. “These programs will improve Sri Lanka’s export performances and the diversification of exports, the budget also recognises the importance of high quality products more..

French tyre giant Michelin to commence operations in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (DN) A delegation from Michelin, the French tyre manufacturing giant met with the BOI Chairman Hemasiri Fernando and Champika Malalgoda, Director General of the BOI. By acquiring Camso Lodestar the leader in the manufacture of solid rubber tyres in the country and a BOI enterprise, Michelin are now established in the island and will set to start their operations through that Company. more..

ODI team needs a Durban miracle to uplift it

Mar 13 (DN) It seems that Sri Lanka’s flagging fortunes in one-day international cricket can only be resurrected by a miracle like the one that took place at Durban in the first cricket Test against South Africa where from nowhere they produced a champion who bolstered the confidence of the team sky high with an epic innings that brought victory from the jaws of defeat and made the players believe that they were not easy beats after all as they were made out to be. more..

Income Tax revenue up 14.5% Jan-Nov 2018

Mar 13 (CT) During the first eleven months of last year, Govt revenue from Income Tax increased 14.5%, revenue from Domestic Consumption-Based Tax increased 4.6%, Import-Based Tax increased 0.2%, and Licence Taxes and Other decreased 1.3%. According to the Fiscal Management report published by the Ministry of Finance, during the period under review, Govt revenue from income taxes reached Rs 297.8 billion, up 14.5% compared to Rs 260 billion recorded a year ago. more..

Thalatha in all-out move to reduce law’s delays

Mar 13 (CT) In a welcome move to reduce cumbersome buying time by the Police, Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms Thalatha Atukorale, told Parliament, “We have now decided to inform the Police Department to send samples to the Govt Analyst’s Department within one week of a Court Order. Sometimes, they take months to refer the cases to the Govt Analyst’s Dept and this causes delays in the entire legal procedure. more..

Sri Lanka launches first Swiss-affiliated tourism degree

Mar 13 (CT) The hospitality and tourism school, Universal College of Learning (UCOL), based in Wattala, which held its 3rd annual convocation ceremony at the BMICH last week, launched SL’s first Swiss-affiliated Degree in hospitality and tourism with the Business and Hotel Management School in Switzerland. Swiss-based Business and Hotel Management School (BHMS) has seen a steady influx of students from SL for the completion of a higher education degree; more..

China to enhance cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of agriculture

Mar 13 (MFA) Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China Dr. Qu Dongyu met with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Beijing Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku on 07 March 2019 with a view to enhancing cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of Agriculture. The Vice Minister appreciated the uninterrupted friendship between Sri Lanka and China and stated that the Rubber-Rice pact was the milestone, which paved way for the flourishing Sri Lanka – China relations. more..

Mannar Mass Grave: Sri Lanka to inform UNHRC the US lab test results

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka is expected to inform the OHCHR and the UNHRC of the conclusion of the radiocarbon dating analysis by the Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory in Florida, US, in respect of six skeletal samples sent there in January 2019 with the intervention of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) established in accordance with Oct 2015 Geneva Resolution. US lab tests have revealed that the skeletons belonged to more..

Gota contests Permanent HC order: CA directs to re-issue notices

Mar 13 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday directed Petitioner Gotabaya Rajapaksa to re-issue notices pertaining to his Writ Petition contesting the Order of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar, which is hearing the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum Case, on the Respondents. The Bench comprising Justices Achala Wengappuli and Arjuna Obeysekere fixed the matter for 26 March. The Petitioner cited sitting judges of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar Sampath Abhayakoon (President), more..

Sri Lanka requests to increase skilled labor migration to EU countries

Mar 13 (MFA) The 5th meeting of the Joint Readmission Committee between Sri Lanka and the European Community was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo on 11th March. Meeting was co-chaired by Additional Secretary (Multilateral Affairs), Ahmed A. Jawad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Head of Unit of Irregular Migration and Return Policy, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG-Home) of the European Commission, Dan Rotenberg. more..

Budget passes first hurdle

Mar 13 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday batted away criticisms, defending Budget 2019 as an engine for creating entrepreneurs, while outlining measures to resume vehicle permits from 1 May, and create more space for local e-commerce sites by charging 3% NBT on credit card transactions on foreign transactions. Second reading of the Appropriation Bill 2019 received parliamentary approval, more..

Video: Milk powder shortage in the country?

Mar 13 (AD) According to consumers and traders, currently, there is a shortage of milk powder in the country. As several reports on a milk powder shortage in the market were received within the past few days, Ada Derana conducted a consumer query on the matter. However, Minister of Agriculture P. Harrison stated that there has been an issue on the pricing of milk powder and that the request of milk powder companies on hiking the prices will be presented at the cabinet meeting today. more..

STF nabs Jee-Bumba in Gampola

Mar 13 (AD) STF personnel have arrested the criminal known as Jee-Bumba who is an accomplice of notorious underworld figure Kanjipani Imran. Zamoor Shiyam (33) alias Jee-Bumba was arrested by the STF while he was in hiding at Gampolawela in Gampola this morning. The suspect is believed to be connected to a series of shootings in Colombo. He had been wanted in connection with several murders as well as the shooting of the woman identified as Asha Fari alias Kudu Chooti, more..