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COPA discloses administrative shortcomings and irregularities in Sri Lanka Customs

Nov 21 (AD) During the meeting of the COPA, it was disclosed that there are many administrative shortcomings and irregularities in SL Customs. This was disclosed when the committee met in Parliament recently, chaired by State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, to look into the AG’s reports of the SL Customs for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 and its current performance. The COPA drew attention to the financial advantage provided more..

J’pura University’s Management Faculty temporarily closed

Nov 21 (DM) The administration of the Uni of Sri J'pura decided to suspend students from entering the premises of the Management Faculty until further notice. This notice was issued by the Chancellor of the University today. According to the notice, all students of all years in the Management Studies and Commerce Faculty will not be permitted to enter the faculty premises from 6.30 p.m. today until further notice. Senior Professor of Sociology Mayura Samarakoon said that decision was taken more..

NDDCB opposes Excise-related Budget proposals

Nov 21 (TM) In the wake of several proposals being submitted by the Budget for 2024, to increase the Excise revenue, the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) stated that intensive stakeholder consultation is required before making such crucial changes. NDDCB Chairman Shakya Nanayakkara said that the Govt should not take any decision that could be harmful to citizens even though Govt’s revenue should be increased. He also claimed that most proposals presented more..

නාමල් බේබි ඔබ අමතයි

Man who paid Rs.2 Mn for forged Canada visa nabbed at BIA

Nov 21 (DM) A man who tried to leave for Canada with a forged Canadian visa, which he had prepared after paying Rs. 2 million, was nabbed by immigration officials at the BIA this evening. The 34-year-old passenger from Madahapola in Melsiripura had arrived at the BIA this evening to board a flight to Canada via Dubai, immigration sources said. The immigration officer at the departure counter, who felt suspicious about the authenticity of the traveller’s Canadian visa, had referred him to more..

High-level Korean delegation visits BOI and Port City Colombo

Nov 21 (FT) A high-level delegation on an official visit to SL from 14 to 15 Nov, visited the Board of Investment and Colombo Port City for a briefing on investment opportunities. The delegation discussed ways to strengthen commercial ties and investments, with the BOI Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody and Port City officials. The delegation included BMC Ambassador for International Relations Shin Chae Hyun, 2030 EXPO Bid Promotion HQ, BMC Director General more..

Vote on Second Reading of Budget today: Rebel MPs ratchet up pressure on SLPP

Nov 21 (Island) Dissident SLPP MP asked the ruling party whether it would back what it called Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s deplorable revenue proposals when Parliament vote on the Second Reading of the Budget is held today. The rebel group said that the move to privatise even the profit-making enterprises, such as SL Insurance and SLT and the increase of VAT from 15% to 18 with effect from Jan 1, 2024 more..

EDB, TVEC to develop several National Competency Standards

Nov 21 (DN) The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) with the assistance of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) has developed and released the Production Associate Manual Soldering (NVQ Level 4) National Competency Standard for the betterment of the Electrical and Electronics sector in Sri Lanka. In addition, the EDB and TVEC are in the process of developing several other National Competency Standards that are required for the sector. more..

Design Code unveils vision for design innovation and global collaboration

Nov 21 (DN) University of Moratuwa is set to host its annual design showcase, Design Code ‘23, from Nov 23-26, marking a four-day extravaganza organised by the Dept of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture. The event, revealed during a press conference at Trace Expert City on Nov 14, promises a showcase of creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Industry experts, present at the press briefing, emphasised the pivotal role of design in economic revitalization. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

SL, Bangladesh Business Council launched

Nov 21 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has announced the inauguration of the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Business Council (SBBC), the 21st bilateral trade council established by the Chamber. The Chief Guest at the event, and the Patron of the Council, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to SL Tareq Md. Ariful Islam hailed the launch of the Council, expressing enthusiasm for its mandate to promote business, trade, and investment between the two neighbouring countries. more..

32 families evacuated due to landslide risk

Nov 21 (CT) A total of 32 families, residing in Glanor Estate in Thangamale of the Haputale DS Division, were safely evacuated due to the potential landslide risk amid heavy rains, Gayani K. Ranatunga, the Divisional Secretary of Haputale said. A total of 89 members from these families, located in house row number 10 of Glenor Estate and neighbouring houses, have been successfully relocated. The evacuated families are currently housed in a temporary camp at Glenor High School, more..

Another VAT fraud: coal imports under-invoiced, COPA orders probe

Nov 21 (DM) The COPA will initiate a probe into incidents in which stocks of coal imported for the Norochcholai thermal power plant have been under-invoiced for the evasion of due amount of VAT, an official said. COPA Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that the COPA examined the audit reports of SL Customs for 2019, 2020 and 2021. He said the COPA ordered a further probe into this matter. “Coal imports have been more..

SC orders DWC to prevent unlawful deforestation by monk

Nov 21 (CT) Supreme Court (SC) yesterday, ordered the Dept of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to take prompt measures to prevent the unlawful deforestation activity, being conducted by a Buddhist monk, in a forest land of 4000 acres, in the vicinity of the Nakolagane Purana Raja Maha Viharaya in Ehetuwewa, in the Kurunegala District. The monk has been identified as Ven. Walaththewe Rahula Thera. Court also ordered the removal of the electric fence which has been erected illegally more..

Sri Lanka ready to join BRI phase two, China FTA to be expedited

Nov 21 (EN) SL is among countries ready to join the second phase of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), with a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries to be also expedited, according to a discussion between Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe and a top Chinese official. Wickremesinghe told visiting special envoy of the Chinese Prez, state councillor Shen Yiqin, that the BRI is expected to make a more substantial economic contribution, according to a statement from the PMD. more..

Every Sri Lankan NIC holder may have to open tax file in future

Nov 21 (EN) Every Sri Lankan who possesses a National Identity Card (NIC) may be urged to open tax files in the future, two top govt sources said, as Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s effort to expand the tax net with opening of one million new tax files this year has failed. Wickremesinghe in his 2023 budget last year urged all above 18 years of age to open a tax file as a first step, though many of those would not have to pay taxes because they will be more..

Sri Lanka, Thailand to sign trade agreement in February

Nov 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to conclude free trade agreement (FTA) talks with Thailand in December and sign a deal on Feb. 3, SL's cabinet spokesperson said on Tuesday. The island nation has been renewing a focus on trade deals to foster growth and help its battered economy recover from the worst financial crisis in decades. "Th agreement on the proposed SL–Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA) will be signed subsequent to the completion of the rounds of discussions," more..

Foreign Policy decisions: Too important to be left to Govt alone

Nov 21 (TM) The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest transshipment Port in the Indian Ocean. It has been operating at more than 90% utilisation since 2021, signalling its need for additional capacity. The United States (US) Govt investment of US$ 553 million in the Colombo Port has come as a surprise. There were no public indications of this massive investment in one of the country’s most strategic assets. The investment will be in the Western Terminal of the Colombo Port more..

සල්ලි ආයෙත් අච්චු ගහයි ද?

Sri Lanka anticipates record Rs 3 tn in revenue by end 2023: official

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka anticipates a record 3,101 billion rupees in revenue by the end of 2023, an official said, marking the first time the island nation will have surpassed three trillion rupees in revenue. Director of the Economic Stabilisation Unit at the President’s Office W M G Kumaratunga said at a discussion on Monday November 20 that the projected revenue is due to the combined efforts of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), SL Customs and the Excise Department. more..

Navy takes hold of Kerala cannabis valued over Rs. 40 million in Karainagar

Nov 21 (SLN) A special search operation conducted by the Navy in the coastal vicinity of Sampalodai in Karainagar, Jaffna in the wee hours on 20th Nov led to the recovery of over 101 kg of Kerala cannabis. SL Navy remains ever vigilant and regularly conducts patrols and search operations to prevent various forms of illegal activities emanating via sea routes and coastal areas. As an extension of these efforts, SLNS Elara in the Northern Naval Command mounted this operation in the coastal more..

ICC shifts Men's Under 19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa

Nov 21 (CI) ICC Board on Tuesday decided to shift the 2024 men's Under-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. The move, a unanimous decision by the board, was taken as a consequence of the ICC recently provisionally suspending the SLC due to extensive govt interference in the board's administration. The development will have no immediate implication on the daily running of cricket. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the ICC Board more..

6,000 paddy farmers to undergo training

Nov 21 (CT) Six thousand farmers from the Ampara, Badulla, Hambantota and Polonnaruwa Districts will be trained, by Agriculture Extension Officers, on applying the Integrated Plant Nutrient Management (IPNM) approach in their paddy cultivation, to promote the efficient use of fertilisers, water and other inputs. This programme is by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) together with the Dept of Agriculture and the Mahaweli Authority of SL with funding from the EU. more..

Evaluating performance in the public sector

Nov 21 (FT) Private sector and public sector organisations both use different types of performance management systems to measure performance and demonstrate performance through Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The performance management systems include various methods such as, balance scorecard approach, etc. Subsequently, it monitors the achievement of goals and makes adjustments to achieve the goals more effectively and efficiently. more..

Sri Lanka 2024 budget designed to avert another crisis: state minister

Nov 21 (EN) SL’s 2024 budget has been designed to avert the recurrence of a severe economic crisis and with aspirations of surpassing a growth target of 1.8% to 2% or more, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe said. The budget is also characterised by formal economic management, the state minister said at a discussion at the Ministry of Finance on Monday. The new budget is focused on providing relief to more..

Pramodya appears before SIU probing sports offenses

Nov 21 (DM) Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Chairman of SLC's Selection Committee, arrived at the Special Investigation Unit for the Prevention of Misconduct related to Sports, to provide a statement. Summons comes in the wake of a complaint by the Ministry of Sports, initiating an investigation into matters raised in Wickramasinghe's controversial media release issued last week after the World Cup defeat. Earlier, Wickramasinghe pointed fingers at certain individuals vying for power in SLC Board, more..

Four FR petitions filed over deferral of LG polls fixed for hearing

Nov 21 (AD) Four fundamental rights (FR) petitions filed against the repeated postponement of LG elections were fixed for hearing by the Supreme Court today. As such, the petitions will be heard on 9 March 2024. The petitions were supposed to be called before a 5-member SC consisting of Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda, Gamini Amarasekara and Murdu Fernando. Justice Jayawardena had not attended today’s proceedings. more..

රට බංකොලොත් කල රාජපක්ෂ නඩය...

Marikkar accuses COPE of inaction over major fraud

Nov 21 (FT) SJB MP S.M. Marikkar yesterday accused COPE Chairman MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara of ignoring complaints regarding serious fraud and corruption taking place in State agencies. The MP tabled three communications he sent to the COPE in the past year. In a letter dated 30 June 2023, the MP had highlighted his concerns about the procurement of LPG gas at an escalated cost. During that period, he said the then Chairman of COPE had called in officials from Litro to address the matter. more..

All decisions regarding financial management taken with MPs’ approval: MR

Nov 21 (DM) Refuting allegations made against the Rajapaksas on the economic situation, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said all decisions regarding financial management were taken with the approval of the MPs in Parliament. He told Parliament that no one can claim that decisions regarding financial management were taken arbitrarily. “Allegations were made against us in this House regarding the economic situation. We refute all those allegations. more..

Local psychiatrists oppose cannabis legalisation

Nov 21 (TM) Claiming that it does not endorse attempts to legalise cannabis in any form, SL College of Psychiatrists (SLCP) stated that meticulous research should be undertaken by experts in the field before undertaking such legalisation. In a statement signed by its Prez Dr. Sajeewana Amarasinghe, SLCP stated that several evidence-based implications may occur in the event cannabis is legalised, including de-stigmatisation more..

CAA investigates 31,000 tons of sugar imported amid shortage

Nov 21 (FT) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Special Raids Unit Director Sanjaya Irasinghe yesterday disclosed that 31,000 tons of sugar imported should be available in the country and they are investigating the sudden shortage in the market. The circumstance has raised concerns about the sudden shortage following an increase in sugar imports. “There are 16 main sugar importers in Sri Lanka. They have imported 31,000 tons of sugar when the tax was 25 cents and at Rs. 50,” more..

Gender equality, women’s rights laws: HRCSL writes to Prez

Nov 21 (TM) Human Rights Commission on SL (HRCSL), in a letter to President and Women and Child Affairs Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, submitted its observations and recommendations on several proposed legislations including the National Women's Commission Bill, the Gender Equality Bill, and the Women's Empowerment Bill. In the letter, the HRCSL stated that it welcomes the legislative initiative where these Bills aim to ensure the fulfilment of Sri Lanka’s obligations under more..

Second reading of Budget 2024 passed in Parliament

Nov 21 (AD) Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 2024 was passed in the Parliament today, by a majority of 45 votes. Announcing the results of the division at the end of the debate on the second reading this evening, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said 122 parliamentarians in total have voted in favour of the budget while 77 have voted against it. On Nov 13, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity more..

Video recording of sessions, going live on social media prohibited: Speaker tells MPs

Nov 21 (DM) Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana announced that video recording of sessions and going live on social media will be prohibited. “MPs who video record sessions and go live on social media will be severely dealt with,” he said after the chaos in Parliament this morning. Speaker announced his decisions when the sessions resumed. Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said action should be taken against ruling party members immediately. more..

Sri Lanka-China deal positive, all official creditors awaited for review: IMF

Nov 21 (EN) An agreement in-principle with China’s Exim Bank was positive and assurances from other official creditors are awaited to go forward with Sri Lanka’s program review, an IMF official said. “We have received a document describing the financial parameters of the agreement-in-principle reached between Export-Import Bank of China and SL on debt restructuring,” IMF Senior Mission Chief Peter Breuer said. “This is a positive step forward in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring. more..

හම්බන්තොටට පොල් රොම්බසයක්

Losing U19 WC hosting rights a blow to Sri Lanka’s economy: Kanchana

Nov 21 (AD) Minister Kanchana Wijesekara says that the country has lost an opportunity to support rebuilding the tourism industry and the economy as a result of the decision taken by the ICC to move the Under 19 World Cup to South Africa from Sri Lanka. During today’s parliamentary session, Wijesekara, commenting on the ICC’s decision to relocate the tournament’s venue, highlighted that on one hand, the fresh players will lose the opportunity to advance their talents, while more..

Misuse of internet, digital technology has led to many social problems: Minister

Nov 21 (DM) Unregulated use of the Internet and misuse of digital technology have led to many social problems, such as child abuse, in the country, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He expressed these views while participating in a programme organized to mark the Child Abuse Prevention Day. In many developed countries, the internet and digital technology are used with regulations. In the face of ever-increasing social and economic problems, the current society is more..

RM Parks Inc. secures USD 110 million investment for 200 fuel stations

Nov 21 (DM) US-based fuel distribution company RM Parks Inc. in California today signed an agreement with the BOI with an investment of USD 110 million to serve the SL petroleum sector in collaboration with Shell Plc to operate 200 fuel stations. Shell plc operates as an energy and petrochemical company in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, US, and the rest of the Americas. Company operates through Integrated Gas, more..