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Critical tax issues for Budget 2019

Mar 5 (DN) The budget 2019 is much awaited by both the public and the business community. Some of the critical tax issues arising from the new tax regime have been already conveyed to the Ministry of Finance. Economic service charge (ESC) was introduced in 2004 to recover some tax in lieu of income tax from those entities that were exempt from income tax and those who were declaring loses in the accounts. In fact, this was done to recover loss of revenue due to tax exemptions, more..

Process of reconciliation in the SL context

Mar 5 (Island) Over the decades the term reconciliation has, unfortunately, been used in tandem with the phrase political solution, in the local context. There have been occasions when the terms were used interchangeably; Warnapala (1994) and Ghosh (2003). However, a close analysis would reveal that this would amount to an incorrect use of the terms. Different categories ought to be intended when the two terms are used and one should not be confused with the other. more..

Raavana-1: A first for Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (CT) With globalisation and rapid technical development of the world, space technology and space exploration have become essential elements if a country is to be a recognised member of the global community. However, Sri Lanka failed to reach the space era for decades due to the slow pace in economic development and of course the 30-year-long war against terrorism and related issues. more..

Revd Pitiduwe Siri Samanthabhadra: Pretender or savant?

Mar 5 (CT) Judging by the crowds he is gathering around him this latest monk – sensation in Sri Lanka is on a success tide. Thousands pilgrimage to him at home. The rich and the poor liberally donate pirikara or gifts. Ambitious politicians flock around hoping for sponsorship. Overseas, an eager diaspora awaits him. There is strangely little distinction between the educated classes and the barely illiterate when it comes to religious following among Third World people. more..

The terrible mess that politics makes

Mar 5 (ST) Somebody — I cannot quite remember who — once said that hypocrisy is the audacity to preach integrity from a den of corruption. The more I read the evidence presented before the PCoI inquiring into SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Lanka, the more I am reminded of the words quoted above by whoever had the prescience to foretell the disgraceful conduct of some of our leaders and their cohorts. A couple of days ago, the Commission was told that SriLankan had ordered a VIP kit more..

Survey shows elderly healthcare lacks focus

Mar 5 (DN) The median age of the population of Sri Lanka is increasing due to the decline in fertility and mortality rates. The growing number of older adults increases demands on the public health system, and on medical and social services. Chronic diseases affect older adults disproportionately, contribute to disability, diminish quality of life and increase health and long-term care costs. Increased life expectancy reflects, more..

Budget 2019: Minister Samaraweera’s thankless task

Mar 5 (ST) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has the most thankless task in govt just now. That is the management of public finances. Saying that SL’s public finances are in a mess is a serious understatement. Many people think that the budget is a magic wand that can reduce prices, create jobs and perform other economic miracles. It plays an important role in the economy but is not a panacea for all ills. Between 2010 and 2014 Rajapaksa administration spent Rs. 7,734 billion more..

Fiscal outcome of 2019 Budget important for economic stability and growth

Mar 5 (ST) The final financial out-turn of the 2019 Budget will have a significant bearing on economic stability and growth. It is not the budgetary figures that will be presented in parliament on Tuesday, March 5 that matters but the final fiscal outcome. Far too often the budgetary out-turn is significantly different from the budget presented in parliament. Achieving the planned fiscal targets for this year is challenging but crucial for economic stability and growth. more..

ප්රවීණ චිත්ර ශිල්පි බන්දුල හරිශ්චන්ද්රයන්

Is Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to be the sacrificial lamb at the altar of ...

Mar 5 (CT) The 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is currently underway. The report on Sri Lanka will be formally submitted on the 20th of March. Less than a week before the Geneva Sessions commenced on the 25th of February, former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda’s impending arrest hit the headlines as the 14th accused in connection with the investigations into the abduction and killing of 11 youths in 2008-2009. more..

Edtorial: JVP to meet MR

Mar 5 (Island) JVP is reportedly planning to meet Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, shortly, for talks on moves being made to abolish the executive presidency. JVP is doing its damnedest to sell its 20th Amendment Bill to the SLPP. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has gone on record as saying that one of the main beneficiaries of the abolition of the executive presidency will be Rajapaksa himself in that the latter will have a chance to become the Head of State again as the PM. more..

'Adamant UPFA will defeat UNP’s budget'

Mar 5 (CT) UPFA said that they will definitely oppose the UNP Govt’s 2019 Budget proposals, which is to be presented today, in Parliament. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the IMF had accepted the request to extend the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for an additional year, claiming that the 2019 Budget will be consistent with the EFF supported programme. He alleged that Minister Mangala Samaraweera is tied to the IMF and more..

Top panel at first public post-Budget Forum tomorrow

Mar 5 (FT) The first public post-Budget Forum will be held tomorrow from 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cinnamon Lakeside under the aegis of the Daily FT and Colombo University MBA Alumni Association with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera as the Chief Guest. Considered as the most sought-after post-Budget forum and held for the seventh consecutive year, the event is backed by Standard Chartered Bank as strategic partner. The forum this year features the best mix of private sector more..

National budget 2019: Will Khema's Boy dare to deliver?

Mar 5 (Island) On the occasion of marking 30 years in parliamentary politics, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera shared his thoughts, ideas and dreams for Sri Lanka, at a high-profile event held at the BMICH last week. Former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, a close friend of Mangala, delivered the keynote speech ther, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sent a message for the occasion which was read out by a younger Indian diplomat. more..

Budget 2018 figures show startling variances: COPF

Mar 5 (FT) Confronted with startling revelations in discrepancies in numbers presented in Budget estimates and actual numbers, the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) is calling for better transparency and accuracy in Govt finance. In analysing numbers presented in Budget 2018 in a report presented to the Parliament in February, the Committee has uncovered startling variances in the amounts presented, more..

South Africa’s quickest wicket awaits Sri Lankans in Centurion

Mar 5 (Island) The Sri Lankans will have a training session today at the SuperSport Park here at Centurion under lights ahead of Wednesday’s second ODI against South Africa. Considered the quickest wicket in the country, South Africa’s pace attack will enjoy the conditions here. Sri Lanka have an horrendous record at the Centurion. They have played ten games here across all three formats and won just one. The win in 2009 was thanks to T.M. Dilshan, whose 106 off just 92 balls more..

Budget to focus on entrepreneurs: Laws to be amended to encourage FDIs

Mar 5 (SO) The forthcoming budget which will be presented on the theme Empowering people and Development will focus on increasing the number of entrepreneurs in the country and eliminating all obstacles, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said the number of entrepreneurs in relation to the country’s workforce is dismal compared to Thailand and Vietnam which is around 19-27% of their workforce. Entrepreneurs as a percentage of the workforce is less than 3% in Sri Lanka. more..

SLPP wants stout defence of military at UNHRC

Mar 5 (FT) The SLPP yesterday called on the Govt to take measures to protect the Sri Lankan military at the UNHRC sessions. UNHRC sessions began last month and the latest update on Sri Lanka’s reconciliation progress is expected to be presented before the council on 18 March. The Got is expected to respond to the evaluation reports and co-sponsor a resolution with several countries including Britain. more..

Sri Lanka participates at ASTINDO 2019

Mar 5 (CT) Six SL travel and tour companies; namely, Apple Holidays, Bernard Tours, Figco Lanka Holidays, Luxe Asis, Nawamini Travels and Trip Fusion; jointly participated with representatives from the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau and Embassy at the ASTINDO FAIR 2019, held from 22-24 March 2019 at the Jakarta Convention Centre (ICC). ASTINDO FAIR is Indonesia’s largest and most comprehensive tourism forum held annually for promoting destinations. more..

Junior Davis Cup: Sri Lanka beat Oman 3-0

Mar 5 (DN) Sri Lanka Junior Davis Cup team commenced their Asia Oceania pre-qualifiers campaign in a dominating manner beating Oman 3-0 yesterday at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts. Sri Lanka left no room to their opponents and sealed their victory with ease. Thehan Wijemanne won the first singles beating his Omanian opponent Muneer Tufail Al Rawahi in easy straight sets 6/1, 6/3 while Chathurya Nilaweera followed Thehan in same fashioned second singles match more..

Suspect arrested with Rs 500 million diamond from Pannipitiya robbery

Mar 5 (AD) A suspect has been arrested at Keselwatte, Panadura along with a diamond valued at around Rs 500 million believed to have been stolen in Pannipitiya last year, Police Spokesman said. On 05th Nov 2018, a group dressed in police uniforms and casual clothing had forcibly entered the house of a gem businessman in Erawwala, Pannitpitiya. They had assaulted the house owner and stolen a diamond and more..

Biodiversity SL initiates private sector consultations on greening the ...

Mar 5 (Island) Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL) recently hosted a private sector consultation for a delegation from the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development (CCICED) visiting Sri Lanka to gain insights on local needs, for a Special Policy Study (SPS) on greening the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The meeting was held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and was attended by BSL members, representatives from international and local banking institutions, more..

Tourism overtakes Apparel in forex earnings

Mar 5 (CT) Apparel exports, which held the position of the country’s second-largest foreign exchange earner, dropped to the third position in January this year, as it only managed to earn US$ 452 million compared to US$ 458 million earned by tourism. Meanwhile, worker remittances still hold the helm as the leading foreign exchange earner for the country. In January this year, foreign workers sent home US$ 545 million, down 25% compared to US$ 729 million sent during the same month of last year. more..

Govt launches apex trade quality operation

Mar 5 (CT) Sri Lanka will be receiving the help of international trade catalysts – the European Union, Geneva’s International Trade Centre, UNIDO, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Germany's metrology institution, the PTB – to enhance the quality standards of its exports by implementing a National Quality Infrastructure and establishing a National Quality Council, more..

MR warns public not to fall for polls gundus in today’s budget

Mar 5 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, warned the public not to be fooled by today’s budget. He said that there would be a number of election gundus therein. "The Finance Minister has already said that he wants to promote open market policies and liberalisation. This is the ideology of the government. They know they are unpopular and that an election is coming soon and, therefore, they will also provide some concessions. Don’t be fooled by it." more..

ACMC stalwart warns against attempts to re-merge N & E

Mar 5 (Island) The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen will oppose moves to merge the Northern and Eastern provinces. "We will not be in any political alliance which supports the remerger of the two provinces," ACMC Western Province Chief Organiser Riyaz Salley said. He said that Minister Bathiudeen and all their members were against the proposed merger which, he claimed, would reduce Eastern Muslims to be a minority within a minority. more..

ICC denies SLC claim

Mar 5 (CT) ICC categorically denied the participation of former SLC Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala in the ICC board meeting or any other ICC meetings recently despite a SLC press release to the contrary. Referring to a recent statement regarding ICC’s release to SLC of heretofore frozen funds amounting to US $ 11.5 million, a SLC press release stated that the funds were released only after an ICC board meeting was attended more..

Sumanthiran orders check on vehicle mania

Mar 5 (Island) The Finance Ministry has not maintained a proper registry of the official vehicles provided to ministers, head of the Committee on Public Finance, M. A. Sumanthiran told the media yesterday. This was revealed when the Committee on Public Finance summoned Finance Ministry officials and instructed them to provide documents on the official vehicles hitherto used by ministers. "The officials have not been able to present us with the documents. more..

Political leaders need to respect independent institutions: NPC

Mar 5 (FT) National Peace Council (NPC), in a statement, has emphasised the need for political leaders to respect institutions. Full statement: Prez Sirisena and senior members of the Opposition, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, have harshly criticised the Constitutional Council and the Human Rights Commission. Their accusations range from failing to favourably consider the President’s nominations to the Judiciary, to causing the collapse of public administration, more..

No response from Dubai CID’s request for permission to grill Madush

Mar 5 (Island) The UAE Police have not responded favourably to a request made by the Sri Lankan Police for permission to question underworld leader Makandure Madush and 30 other suspects who were arrested in Dubai, last month. The CID made this request a number of days ago through Interpol. However neither the Dubai Police nor the UAE administration has provided any information on investigation to SL authorities. more..

UNP backbenchers to vote against President’s expenditure head

Mar 5 (DM) UNP backbenchers are planning to vote against the expenditure head of Prez Sirisena when it is taken up at the coming budget, UNP MP Mujibur Rahaman said. He said that UNP backbenchers have come up with a proposal that the party should not vote for the expenditure head in a situation where the Prez is continuously criticising the UNP. “Prez is always criticising continuously and calling us thieves. There is no reason why we should help in getting his expenditure heads passed,” more..

Govt Securities Market suffers $27.19 million Net Foreign Outflows

Mar 5 (CT) Fears of taxes in Budget 2019 to be presented today (5), and uncertainty in regard to the future of IMF’s current programme saw the Govt Securities Market (GSM) suffer net foreign outflows (NFOs) of US$ 27.19 million (Rs 4,886.90 million) in the fortnight which ended on 27 Feb, thereby causing renewed pressure on the rupee. However, on 28 Feb, the IMF in a statement signalled that the programme was on track. It’s now left to be seen whether foreign investors have bought more..

Govt to establish three more EPZs: PM

Mar 5 (DN) Export Processing Zones of this nature would have been confined to the foundation stone, if we did not fight for democracy, when former President Rajapaksa forcibly took over the govt,” PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM while refuting media reports that the incumbent govt does not give agriculture the pride of place, said that his govt succeeded in making the country more..

Rs.10 bn from budget to buy stents & lenses

Mar 5 (DN) It is proposed to obtain Rs. 10.5 billion from the budget to purchase heart stents, eye lenses etc, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. It is also proposed to obtain Rs.1,053 million for promoting mental health in the country while obtaining another Rs.2,225 to construct a modern drug storage at Welisara. He was speaking at a meeting held at Matugama recently. Minister pointed out that Rs.3,820 million is to be obtained in order to develop the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital. more..

China to help SL set up LNG power plants

Mar 5 (DN) China has expressed its willingness to assist Sri Lanka in setting up liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants to enhance the country’s electricity supply. This was conveyed by Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan to Power Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake during a meeting held at the Ministry office, recently. At the discussions, special attention was drawn towards Sri Lanka’s electricity generation sector, the Power and Energy Ministry said. more..

Big expectations on Budget 2019

Mar 5 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera will today present the Govt’s Budget for 2019 under the theme Empowering the People, Nurturing the Poor, which will set critical policies and priorities for an election year. Finance Ministry has outlined ambitious targets for the delayed Budget 2019 with plans to increase public revenue to 17% of GDP and shrink the budget deficit to 4.5% of GDP. This was a change from the deficit more..

Devolution: Leaders should be clear

Mar 5 (DM) The subject of Devolution of Power has come to the fore again. It has been reported that a committee has been appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to formulate a new set of proposals on the devolution of power to replace the current Provincial Council system. But is anyone confident that it would succeed? Does anybody believe that at least the Prez is confident that his committee would find a lasting solution to the ethnic problem, through a new devolution plan? more..

Alcohol: How much is too much?

Mar 5 (DM) These are common statements people make about alcohol. We will find out how accurate/healthy these views/ideas are. What is alcohol? All alcoholic beverages contain ethanol (the chemical name), in various concentrations. How it affects the body varies from person to person (whether one is a male or a female and one’s genetic make-up, what other illnesses one has and the medications one is taking), amount of ethanol one takes and the occasion on which more..

We must embrace modernity: Indatissa

Mar 5 (DM) The newly elected President of Bar Association of SL (BASL) Kalinga Indatissa Presidents Counsel speaks to the Daily Mirror in his first interview since assuming office. Speaking on a wide range of issues including the laws delays and the sustained cry by the public against the legal system as it is today, Indatissa shares his views on how progress should be made and the measures to be taken under his leadership. more..

SL draws from Latin devotional experience

Mar 5 (UCAN) Peter Ferdinando recalls a time when people in Sri Lanka viewed the use of traditional Latin rites at Mass or during other church services as not Catholic or even anti-Catholic. This attitude has eased, however, since Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith reintroduced Latin Mass to the country in 2016, said the 82-year-old. It has since become an annual event open to people of all denominations. more..