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Import taxes levied on vehicle spare parts to be reduced

Nov 18 (AD) Measures will be taken to reduce the import taxes levied on vehicle spare parts required for new production sectors to incentivize entrepreneurs in automobile industries engaged in vehicle repairing and vehicle assembly, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said in parliament. During the budget speech today (17), the premier noted that, the value of vehicles imported utilizing foreign exchange during the last 5 years has amounted to around USD 5,318 million which is significant in that more..

Pandemic has become beggar’s sore for inefficient govt: Champika

Nov 18 (Island) Statistical lies would not help the govt hide the mega financial crisis, foreign debt and recession in the country, former Minister SJB MP Champika Ranawaka said on Monday evening. Addressing the media at the SJB Headquarters in Pitakotte, MP Ranawaka said the incumbent govt soon before the advent of COVID-19 crisis, had given a neoliberal tax relief to the rich and that had boomeranged. more..

My11Circle is the title sponsor of LPL

Nov 18 (Island) In a major boost to the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), My11Circle, one of the leading fantasy sports platforms in India, has come on board as title sponsor of the T20 tournament in a multi-crore deal. With this new association, the T20 tournament will now be called My11Circle Lanka Premier League. My11Circle is the popular fantasy sports platform by India’s leading online gaming company Games24x7. Launched in 2019 with a unique proposition more..

SJB cannot expel me: Diana

Nov 18 (CT) SJB MP Diana Gamage said she continues to function as an SJB Member and that the Party cannot expel her or stop her from being an MP. She said she will not allow the SJB to suspend her Party Membership that easily and warned that she would seek legal redress over the actions of the SJB shortly. Gamage observed that former UNP MP Upeksha Swarnamali too had backed the then Govt and that her MP post had not been challenged in Court. She added that while being in SJB, more..

15 Synthetic tracks to be laid by 2024

Nov 18 (CT) Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s dream of building a USD 1 billion Sports Economy by 2025 got its first boost when Budget 2020 passed the proposed allocation of Rs 2,000 million as an initial investment towards that goal. It also proposed an additional Rs 3,000 million to develop rural school playgrounds and rural sports activities to make it a total sum of Rs 5,000 million for sports development. more..

I’m excited to be here: Kalana Perera

Nov 18 (ST) As the inaugural season of the much anticipated Lankan Premier League (LPL) is scheduled to get underway in less than two weeks, the focus shifts back to cricket which brings a sense of relief to the cricket loving public. Kalana Perera has been an emerging prospect for Sri Lanka cricket in the recent years. Due to his stellar performances in school cricket and consistent performances for Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) at the domestic level, his commitment & dedication were rewarded more..

Gone to pot?

Nov 18 (Island) Gone to pot, the sixteenth century phrase originating from England, referring to the leftovers and offal going to the pot for a soup for the next day, evolved to be a euphemism for those unfortunate enough to fall victim to cannibals, a century later. More recently it referred to those who opted to taste the pleasures of marijuana and pay with addiction. Of late, our politicians have given a new meaning to it: enriching rivers with pots full of a magic portion created by a hardly-known more..

PCR tests: Drop in tests this week

Nov 18 (TM) The number of PCR tests performed in the country has dropped to around 8,000 by Monday (16) from around 10,000 during the same period last week, according to statistics available with the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB). Accordingly, the number of total PCR tests carried out by the authorities on Monday was at 8,743, while the number stood at 10,207 in the same period last week. more..

Availability of food: Key to the spread of COVID-19

Nov 18 (ST) The emergence of the COVID-19 virus in the form of a pandemic has posed challenges to every Govt and every society in the world. None can envy the task of any Govt including the SL Govt in managing the pandemic. After successfully controlling the first wave, Govt is struggling to contain the spread of the virus that has emerged in the form of a second wave in the country. From a layman’s perspective the reasons could be many. Health experts could probably provide more more..

SLC likely to back Imran Khwaja for ICC Chairman’s post

Nov 18 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is likely to back the candidature of Singapore, Imran Khwaja over NZ’s Gregor Barclay when the elections for the post of Chairman of the ICC takes place in two weeks. Khwaja and Barclay are the only two candidates contesting for the Chairman’s post and the 16-member all-powerful ICC Board members are set to vote during the first week of December. Khwaja, Singapore-based Lawyer is currently the Interim Chairman of the ICC, former president of more..

Budget Highlights 2021

Nov 18 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday presented the 75th Budget of SL. Here we publish the highlights of the Budget. Speaking in Parliament Rajapaksa said: It is with great pleasure that I present the budget speech 2021, which focuses on strengthening 2021-2023 medium term programme of poverty alleviation and economic revival as envisaged within the Vistas of Prosperity & Splendour, policy framework of the govt more..

Editorial: Politics of clusters

Nov 18 (Island) The govt is of the view that the Minuwangoda garment factory cluster of coronavirus infections has been brought under control, according to a news item we published yesterday. This particular cluster, which triggered the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, may be over, and the health workers, the military, the police and the Civil Defence Force deserve credit for neutralising it. However, the Minuwangoda cluster may have given rise to a number of sub-clusters, more..

EO Sri Lanka kicks off Global Student Entrepreneur Awards 2021

Nov 18 (FT) Entrepreneurs’ Organization Chapter in SL is kicking off the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) competition on 20th November in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week on 16-21 Nov. Founded in 2008, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) now spans tens of thousands of activities, competitions, and events in 170+ countries every November, aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company. There are four themes for GEW 2020; more..

වෛද්‍ය අනිල් ජාසිංහට ඇත්තටම මොකද වුණේ?

Covid-Cremation Policy: Potentially deadly payback would be enormous!

Nov 18 (CT) Epidemics bring out the best and worst of the media. On the flipside, we have witnessed the development of numerous campaigns fighting back against a parallel epidemic of coronaracism. Sri Lanka’s COVID response is proof that demonization of particularly the Muslims has been normalised. The health crisis has been used to reinforce the narrative that the careless and undisciplined Muslim community has flouted social distancing and curfew laws. more..

Curbing online sexual exploitation of children

Nov 18 (GV) It was 30 years ago that UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) came into force. Today children all over the world are facing a very different situation. Their lives have altered in many ways and technology has played a significant role in these transformations. In 2020, children and their families are faced with a challenge that is unprecedented in history; the COVID-19 pandemic is requiring people to adapt to a new way of life. It is taking children away from more..

'Govt’s aim to make the public happy, not the politicians'

Nov 18 (DM) Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana shared his views on the current political and economic situation in the country and on COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated the country. But he is hopeful that Sri Lanka could emerge from this threat with a least possible impact and through a collective effort. Q: Are you confident that SL could surmount the uphill task of curbing COVID-19 which has reached its peak by now? more..

Cremation of Covid-19 dead bodies of Muslims: Science, human decency & racism

Nov 18 (DM) When your country is doing something totally different from what the rest of the world does, literally in exact opposition to the common sense practised and adopted by 194 countries in the world, things aren’t just right. That is what the govt should reckon of its flawed policy of compulsory cremation of dead bodies of Muslims. According to the religious belief of Muslims, the burning of the dead is tantamount to desecration. And the rest of the world has taken note of it and made allowances. more..

In the US, the chickens are coming home to roost

Nov 18 (DM) The US elections are over, but not quite done and dusted as many would like to think. On 14 Nov the media announced former US Vice President and presidential contender Biden, had won the State of Georgia. Earlier in the week, CNN and all other media sites informed audiences worldwide that ex-Vice President Joe Biden had won the presidency having passed the 270 mark needed to be declared president of the US. The beleaguered incumbent Trump, however, more..

Safety of street cleaners amidst the pandemic: Clad in orange, yet invisible

Nov 18 (TM) In the midst of a pandemic, and the anxiety the general public is experiencing as a result, there is a tendency to neglect the issues faced by certain factions of society – keeping them out of sight and out of mind. Among these vastly neglected groups who toil day and night are street cleaners and garbage collectors. Speaking to a representative from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office of the CMC, more..

No wild ass freedom!

Nov 18 (CT) The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge Sri Lanka faced since the end of the war with the LTTE. Even though the incumbent Govt seems to be managing the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country successfully, the number of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 related deaths are on an upward trajectory. After the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19, in laymen’s terms the Divulapitiya-Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster, it became evident that the COVID-19 pandemic, more..

PTA: Terrorising Sri Lanka for 42 years

Nov 18 (CT) This research was undertaken to highlight the socio-economic impacts faced by the families of those arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).The PTA has predominately targeted men belonging to ethnic and religious minorities (Tamils & Muslims), and their arrests leave the women and families vulnerable. The women have to bear the brunt of the socio-economic impact of these arrests. Women are left to care for the elderly and their children, and more..

Video: Budget 2021: Non-resident City University per district

Nov 17 (AD) A sum of Rs 3,000 million has been allocated to provide television sets for schools in difficult areas for students to access the Guru Gedara education channel. The Guru Gedara education channel is introduced to minimize the difficulties faced by students in rural and non-National Schools, due to a shortage of teachers, and ensure the provision of continuous school education in the face of COVID-19. more..

Sri Lanka to have special GST tax, investment relief for bonds, stocks

Nov 17 (EN) SL will have a special goods and services tax (GST tax) for items such as vehicles, cigarettes and alcohol, PM said. He said the value-added tax will be maintained at 8% for companies with a threshold of 25 million. Tax files relating to pre-2020 laws will be closed with a concessionary fee as a full and final settlement. Import duties on construction equipment will be abolished. Tax relief will be given for companies engaged in re-cycling building materials. more..

LPL: Sarfaraz pulls out, Malinga in two minds

Nov 17 (DM) Lanka Premier League (LPL) has suffered another withdrawal, with former Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed pulling out of the tournament. Ahmed was supposed to captain the Galle Gladiators franchise, but will now be unavailable because of commitments with the national team. Moin Khan, the Galle franchise coach, said, "Sarfaraz has been selected in the Pakistan squad for the NZ tour and hence he is not travelling (to SL). Now we have to decide the new captain. more..

Budget 2021 key tax changes and relief

Nov 17 (EN) SL will give a 100,000 rupee a month tax relief for personal income tax payers who invest in govt securities, shares of listed companies and housing loan and medical insurance will also be deductible, PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “To encourage private savings, I propose to treat medical insurance, interest on housing loans, investments in Govt Securities and shares of listed companies incurred up to more..

Social Media rumour mongering being dealt with: Another 28-yr-old arrested from Kandy

Nov 17 (CT) Another suspect has been arrested for spreading fake rumours via social media that a large number of COVID-19 infected persons are collapsing on the streets and have died. The 28-year-old, a resident of Kandy was arrested from Hantana and will be produced in Court. A 35-year-old resident also from Kandy was arrested previously and he is currently in remand custody until tomorrow (18). Pointing out that the suspect will be charged under the Quarantine Rules more..

Sri Lanka to change privatization agreement of firms that do not raise salaries

Nov 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will change the privatization agreements of plantations companies that do not raise salaries to 1,000 rupees a day, Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The companies were privatized in the 1990s as they were mismanaged after expropriating from foreign and local investors resulting in monthly losses to the Treasury. PM Rajapaksa claimed that plantations firms contributed about 25% of production while small holders have expanded. more..

Sri Lanka to raise retirement age for EPF to 60 years for men, women

Nov 17 (EN) SL will raise the retirement age for the purpose of the Employment Provident to 60 years and remove the difference between men and women, Finance Minister and PM Mahinda Rajapaska said. He said the retirement ages of men and women were different now with women having a lower age. The life expectancy of men is 72 and women 77 so having a lower retirement age for women did not make sense, he said. more..

Cyprus Social Security Fund: Ethera Api calls for State intervention to release monies

Nov 17 (CT) Secretary of the Ethera Api organisation, Lakshman Nipunarachchi claimed that the Govt has not taken any action to get the Cyprus Fund to Sri Lanka. “One of the major problems facing Sri Lankans abroad is the difficulty in obtaining the Cyprus Social Security Fund. The Fund is a post-employment Fund for Sri Lankans working in Cyprus and 7.5% of the salaries of SL employees working in Cyprus and 7.5% from the employers are credited to this Fund. more..

Budget 2021: Establishment of 10 sports schools proposed

Nov 17 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed for the development of 10 sports schools with synthetic race tracks during the 2021 Budget Speech today (17). Sports school and youth community organizations associated with cultural centers are developed with the aim of attracting the youth to sports and extra-curricular activities. Rajapaksa said that the govt considers sports development as a national investment and that it helps in preventing the youth from resorting to illegal activities. more..

Sri Lanka to give amnesty to those who broke tax laws or forex controls

Nov 17 (EN) SL will give an amnesty to businessmen who have hidden funds breaking tax or foreign exchange laws if the money invested in any scheme proposed by a budget for 2021, PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “For the benefit of the country, I request from all entrepreneurs to utilize the funds hidden locally or internationally in order to evade laws relating to taxes and foreign exchange,” PM said. more..

Health Ministry has lost interest in PCR testing: Ravi Kumudesh

Nov 17 (Island) Health Ministry has not taken steps to process a tender for reagents used for PCR tests that could drastically reduce the cost of a test, President of the College of Medical Laboratory Science, Ravi Kumudesh said. He said that 30 suppliers had made bids for the tender dated Oct 2, 2020. “Some of the suppliers have offered to sell a unit at Rs. 1,500 and these are good quality reagents validated by many countries. If we can purchase reagents at this price, more..

Non-executive office employees of public service allowed other jobs after office hours

Nov 17 (AD) PM proposed to implement a special loan scheme for public servants to obtain solar powered electricity, with a view to support the reduction in electricity bills of public servants. When appointing or transferring public servants, it is proposed to ensure that such postings are made giving preference to the districts of residence, he said, delivering the 2021 budget speech in parliament. He also announced that permission will be granted for non-executive office more..

Independent body to pick National Selectors

Nov 17 (FT) Creating a proper structure for sports, bringing proper governance to sports in Sri Lanka and picking National Selection Committees through an independent system are some of the objectives the newly appointed National Sports Council (NSC) have set out to achieve, according to NSC Head Mahela Jayawardene. Outlining the tasks ahead of them, Jayawardene, the former Sri Lanka cricket captain said, more..

Four projects for Batti fabric processing zone

Nov 17 (FT) Preparations are being made to handover proposals to the BoI to establish four projects at the newly approved 275-acre Industrial Zone for Fabric Processing Enterprises in Eravur Pattu, Batticaloa. Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAFF) Secretary General Tuli Cooray said that the industry was preparing initial paperwork to be handed over to BoI to set up four projects. However, he declined to give details due to the investment being in the early stages of development. more..