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Minister Roshan Ranasinghe

Sri Lanka releases 22 Rameswaram fishermen within a day of arrest

Nov 20 (ENS) Just a day after their arrest, as many as 22 Rameswaram fishermen were released by the SL govt on Sunday following the intervention of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. According to sources, the fishers, hailing from Pamban area, were arrested and two of their boats seized by SL Navy for alleged violation of the IMBL on Saturday. A delegation of fishermen met Nirmala Sitharaman, who was on a visit to Rameswaram to attend PM SVANidhi outreach programme. more..

CNCI optimistic over govt’s ability to meet revenue targets in 2024

Nov 20 (DN) Challenging the Fitch rating stance that Sri Lanka would not be able to achieve the revenue targets spelt out at the 2024 budget the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) says that these can be met as the authorities aim to raise revenue in 2024 by deploying several new tools. Fitch believes there are significant risks to the govt’s revenue goal for 2024. Sri Lanka has a record of fiscal slippage and revenue collection fell 29% short of target over 9M23. more..

Nearly 200,000 new tax payers in 2023: IRD

Nov 20 (FT) Nearly 200,000 new tax payers have been registered in 2023 so far whilst COPA last week urged expeditious upgrade to the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS). This and other recommendations figured when the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) was questioned in COPA whether the Govt is properly receiving the VAT paid by the public for various goods. more..

China seeks permission for another vessel to visit Lanka

Nov 20 (ST) Foreign Ministry has received a request from the Chinese embassy for permission for another Chinese research vessel to enter SL waters early next year. Fresh request came less than a month after the arrival of the Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6, which received permission to enter SL waters despite security concerns raised by India. A Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson confirmed receiving the request from the Chinese embassy but stressed that request is yet to be processed. more..

Golfer Chanaka Perera out to give of his best in Indian Tourney

Nov 20 (DN) In a remarkable journey from the greens of DS Senanayake College to the international stage, Chanaka Perera, aged 29, is preparing to represent SL at the 122nd Amateur Championship of India. Perera, the country’s top-ranked golfer for the past few years, has been with Certis Lanka for seven years, where he not only works but also finds unwavering support for his golfing aspirations. Expressing his heartfelt gratitude, Perera credits the late Sanka more..

Power generation: At least 2 weeks to fix Norochcholai breakdown: CEB

Nov 20 (TM) CEB stated that it would take a minimum of 14 days to repair the Unit 2 generator of the Lakvijaya Power Plant in Norochcholai, which broke down, resulting in the loss of 300 MW of generation capacity to feed the national grid. Norochcholai coal power plant – built by a Chinese State-owned firm – has been in the spotlight for numerous controversies, including multiple breakdowns & all-island power outages. more..

State denied substantial VAT revenue collected from consumers

Nov 20 (DM) In what appears to be a staggering disclosure, the number of VAT (value-added tax) files registered is found to be way below the actual figure denying substantial revenue collected from end consumers of goods and services to the state coffers, an official said. The Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) State Minister told the Daily Mirror that the difference between the actual number and the registered number could be unbelievable. more..

Akalanka, Oshini cap remarkable year with best athlete titles

Nov 20 (Island) Ambagamuwa Central hurdler Ayomal Akalanka and St. Lawrance’s Convent, Wellawatta athlete Oshini Kodikara capped a remarkable year in track and field bagging the best athlete titles in the Under 20 age category at the National Youth Athletics Championships concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday. The athletes, who competed in the Under 18 age category at junior schools competitions this year featured in the Under 20 events more..

බබා හම්බෙයිද

Election year budgetary allocation for public sector overlays actual expense

Nov 20 (ST) SL’s election-year budget 2024 salary expenditure has overlapped the actual salary bill exposing discrepancies in financial allocations, several economic experts disclosed. Details in the annexure of public expenditure and revenue collection measures have to be revisited to arrive at a final conclusion relating to this incomplete budget, they said. Public sector employees are to receive a substantial salary increase with effect from April 2024 in form of cost of living allowance hike. more..

Sri Lanka should adopt sports science culture: Nishanthe Piyasena

Nov 20 (ST) Sri Lanka should adopt the culture of sports science if its athletes are to compete on par with their international counterparts, highlighted Nishanthe Piyasena, Chef de Mission of the country’s 19th Asian Games contingent. Identifying sports injuries and placing a proper plan to have athletes fully fit and recovered for major international events became a subject of interest with cricket taking centre stage after the recent accusations connected to corruption & mismanagement more..

Head's magnificent 137 leads Australia to sixth World Cup title

Nov 20 (CI) India may be where the heart of the game now resides, but the coolest Head in cricket has once again been shown to be Australian. Travis Head, to be precise, who set up his side's record-extending sixth World Cup victory with a triumphantly paced 137 from 120 balls in Ahmedabad, but whose most significant contribution arguably came some 6.5 hours beforehand, with one of most match-turning catches in ODI history. more..

Positive action needed to prevent a new aragalaya

Nov 20 (DM) In July 2022, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country after thousands of protesters stormed his presidential residence and other govt buildings, demanding his resignation. Widening violent protests, the country’s bankruptcy and acute shortages of food, fuel and other basic supplies forced then Prez Gotabaya to flee the country. Protesters also called for the resignation of then premier Mr Wickremesinghe and burned down his (Wickremesinghe’s) private residence. more..

POKE during COPE: Professor’s finger stirs Parliament

Nov 20 (DM) As you read this, Cup’s fate has been decided, leading to a collective sigh of relief from cricket enthusiasts worldwide. The uproar by Diyawanna’s Papara Band, diverting attention from the Budget continues with allegations of 15 lawmakers being hired by the SLC perpetrators. Money’s influential voice echoes loudly, as previously disclosed by Aloysius, citing 116 OF THE 225, who allegedly shared the CB Bond’s loot, are making a hue and cry. more..

මිනීකුරුල්ලන්ට රට පාවාදුන් රාජපක්ෂ...

Editorial: When heroes shiver

Nov 20 (Island) The so-called cricket crisis has led to the postponement of the COPE meetings, with some members of the parliamentary watchdog committee accusing their chairman of partiality to the SLC officials. The executive presidency is generally thought to be the most powerful institution in Sri Lanka. But the cricket administration, we believe, dwarfs all other institutions. The UNP preens itself on having saved the country from the JVP’s reign of terror in the late 1980s. more..

Net the Big Fish

Nov 20 (TM) Indian fishermen poaching in SL waters has been a contentious issue for the cross-strait neighbours for the past decades. While there have always been promises of tougher action by the SL authorities, a visit to Colombo from New Delhi, and a few ministerial level discussions, saw many measures in the pipeline, shelved, and measures enacted, backpedalled. While there are disputes about traditional fishing grounds and what happened before the IMBL was drawn, more..

'Public debt at around Rs. 1.6 m for every Lankan'

Nov 20 (TM) Sri Lanka’s total public debt translates to around Rs. 1.6 million for every man, woman, and child in the country and if we are to get out of this economic crisis once and for all, we have to be serious about addressing the issues in the fiscal sector, asserted public policy specialist and Advocata Institute Senior Research Fellow Dr. Roshan Perera. Commenting on the recently-unveiled Budget 2024, she said more..

Budget 2024: Revolutionary or a fairytale; depends on which side of the House one is in

Nov 20 (ST) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe presented his govt’s Budget 2024 on Monday (13) under the theme Prelude to a Bright Future. MPs from the govt praised his budget as revolutionary during the seven-day debate on the Second Reading that started on Tuesday. The opposition, however, dismissed it as a fairytale that would not have a happy ending. Prez’s budget speech was like being taken on a holiday to Disneyland. “But today, we have to look at Disneyland from the outside,” more..

Is there light at the end of the ‘SLR’ tunnel?

Nov 20 (CT) It was reported that shortcomings in Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) operations have resulted in the cancellation of 45,000 train journeys in the last 10 months, averaging around 150 daily train schedule cancellations. Moreover, about 64,000 train journeys were delayed within the same period, averaging 214 train delays a day. Considering SLR operates only 390 daily train journeys, the numbers suggest that around 55 per cent of daily train journeys on average have been delayed more..

Still, the Mirage

Nov 20 (GV) Supreme Court judgement about the Rajapaksa culpability for Sri Lanka's economic ruin couldn’t have come at a better time. The sense of hope generated by the ending of chronic shortages and the partial restoration of normalcy has waned. The forward movement of the economy has grinded to a halt, impeded by multiple malaises solidified through inaction and indifference into components of the governance landscape. more..

Pummelled by presidency

Nov 20 (ST) My dear Mahinda maama, Gota maama and Basil maama, I thought I must write to you this week to congratulate you on your great achievement in finally being granted official recognition–by the highest court of the land, no less. They declared that it was you–and a few of your cronies like Cabraal and PB–who led us to where we are today, a bankrupt nation. If you are wondering why I am congratulating you, why shouldn’t I? You brought about the country’s biggest economic crisis, more..

Don’t let Ice freeze Sri Lanka’s youth

Nov 20 (Island) The menace of dangerous drugs in SL has taken a drastic change for the worse after the introduction of Methamphetamine or Ice, as it is called in the streets. Until 2007, it was heroin that was mainly used; Methamphetamine was almost unheard of. In 2007, however, following a detection by the Customs at the BIA, 09kg of the substance were submitted to the Govt Analyst’s Dept, thereby indicating that the drug was probably already being widely used. more..

New appointments to Superior Courts: CC delays approving President’s nominees

Nov 19 (ST) Presidency and the Constitutional Council are locked in a serious controversy over filling vacancies in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe recommended the appointment of Court of Appeal President Justice Nissanka Karunaratne to the Supreme Court. That is to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare. more..

Appointments to superior courts must be on merits, integrity rather than seniority

Nov 19 (DM) The Lawyers’ Collective, a prominent legal advocacy group in Sri Lanka emphasized that appointments made by the Prez to the superior courts in consultation with the Chief Justice and as approved by the Constitutional Council must be on merit and integrity rather than merely on seniority. The Lawyer’s Collective has requested for a prompt response to recent allegations of abuse of judicial office against the President of the Court of Appeal by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe more..

Over 1million three-wheelers to have access to affordable electric battery swapping

Nov 19 (DM) One million two hundred thousand three-wheelers in SL to be able to offer clean and affordable transportation solutions, with Lanka E-mobility Solutions (Pte) Ltd (LEMS) introducing electric three-wheel battery swapping technology, branded as e-wheel, in SL. The novel battery-swapping technology means the three-wheeler owner no longer has to purchase a costly battery or worry about end-of-life replacement. The battery-swapping process takes a mere two minutes. more..

Suspect drug company involved in another scandal: Health Ministry collects details...

Nov 19 (ST) The Health Ministry has started gathering details of all patients who were treated with the counterfeit Rituximab 500mg injection sold to the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) by Isolez Biotech Pharma AG, the company that sold fake human immunoglobulin to the govt. An MSD circular states that it is “collecting details of all patients who were treated with the above-mentioned products [Rituximab Inj 500 mg] and more..

45,000 train journeys cancelled in 10 months

Nov 19 (CT) A staggering number of 45,000 train journeys were cancelled in the past 10 months and an average of 150 daily scheduled train journeys continue to face cancellations, presenting a stark contradiction to the Dept of Railways’ vision of becoming the most efficient transport provider in Southern Asia. This was revealed by a senior official from the Department of Railways. The official highlighted that as a result of several issues within the department, more..

IMF second tranche by December: Minister

Nov 19 (EN) The disbursement of the second instalment of the loan under the extended funding facility provided to SL by the IMF is anticipated to occur in December, minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. “We anticipate the disbursement of the second instalment from the IMF by December. Beyond the financial inflow, the paramount significance lies in the trust instilled by other lenders through this transaction,” minister de Silva was quoted as saying at a press briefing on Friday (17). more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Sajith tables SLC letter to ICC over undue interference

Nov 19 (DM) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa revealed that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Shammi Silva had sent a letter to ICC alleging that the Sports Ministry had made undue interferences in its activities and claimed that this had paved the way for the ICC ban on SLC. He told Parliament that the communique which contained five serious allegations with an additional point had been sent to ICC Chairman Greg Barclay on Aug 28, 2023, and he tabled the letter in Parliament. more..

IRD officials claim Rs. 453 m as incentives, but Treasury to insist on targets first

Nov 19 (ST) Treasury is set to maintain a strict policy of payment to Inland Revenue Dept (IRD) officials, who have claimed up to Rs 453 million as incentive payments due to them for collecting taxes. At a meeting with IRD officials next week, the Treasury will insist that the incentive should be paid in accordance with reaching targets set by the govt. The move came as the Treasury directed the IRD to open 30,000 new tax files next year with a revised income target of Rs 2,200 billion more..

VAT net widens: Range of exempted items included

Nov 19 (ST) The govt has proposed to Parliament that it remove a host of VAT exemptions. Once approved, everything from books and magazines to fruit seeds, pearls, diamonds and public library services by the state, a provincial council or local authority will be liable to taxation at the new rate of 18% that comes into effect in January next year. Also included are cellular mobile phones, computers and computer accessories; more..

High-powered unit to woo Diaspora investments

Nov 19 (SO) Govt has set up a unit to attract the Sri Lanka Diaspora to invest in the country on favourable terms to uplift the economy, a senior official said. The unit known as the Office for Overseas SL Affairs (OOSLA) under the Presidential Secretariat will work with 23 other partners, both from the State and private sector, the head of the unit V. Krishnamoorthy said. Among the partners will be the Foreign, Labour, Finance and ministries along with the Chamber of Commerce, more..

Ultra-luxury liner Celebrity Edge arrives in Colombo with over 2,700 tourists

Nov 19 (DM) Celebrity Edge, a cruise ship operated by Celebrity Cruises, will arrive from Kochi, India to Colombo, with 2,780 passengers, primarily from US, Australia and Canada, along with 1,273 crew members. 306m-long vessel boasts 15 decks and modern amenities. Having set sail from Dubai on Nov 13 and docking in Mumbai on Nov 16, the Celebrity Edge is en route to Phuket, Thailand, as part of its 12-day voyage. The final destination is Singapore, where the journey will conclude more..