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Massive tax protests in Colombo

Feb 9 (TM) Warning of a series of actions against the newly introduced tax revisions, thousands of public servants representing several trade unions (TU) of many sectors, including petroleum, ports, water supply, electricity, health and education held a massive demonstration jointly in Colombo yesterday, while separate trade union actions, including strikes, were also launched urging the govt to revoke the tax revisions in question. more..

Thousands protest against tax hike

Feb 9 (EN) Thousands of Sri Lanka’s highly paid state workers protested against tax hikes, citing it as unfair with most of them have been caught into the tax brackets for the first time. The tax hike protest also saw hundreds of private sector workers also gathered in Colombo Fort, demanding a downward revision of the newly implemented taxes. The protesters later went to a central Colombo Hyde Park to continue their agitation after a court order issued them to clear the area. more..

Under pressure Govt revises PAYE tax with several exemptions

Feb 9 (FT) Under mounting pressure, Govt yesterday announced revision to the circular on personal income tax relaxing certain incentives provided for an employee whose monthly income exceeds Rs. 100,000. As per the revised circular issued by Inland Revenue Department to exempt non-cash benefits of employees primarily include; company shares, residence, transport and communication facilities provided to an employee. The calculation of an employee’s gains more..

Video: Schaffter’s death caused by ingestion of cyanide, and not strangulation, court told

Feb 9 (AD) It has been revealed that the death of prominent businessman Dinesh Schaffter, the director of Jana Shakti, was caused by ingestion of cyanide, when the case was taken up before the Aluthkade Magistrate’s Court today (8). Further, the post-mortem examination report has also concluded that the injuries which have been caused by strangulation were not fatal. Homicide and Organized Crime Investigation Division of more..

EC takes up misuse of LG funds for election work of political parties

Feb 9 (Island) Election Commission (EC) has taken up alleged misuse by Local Govt bodies of public funds in the run-up to the LG polls with the Ministry of Public Admin, Home Affairs, PCs and LG. PM Dinesh Gunawardena, who is also the leader of the MEP, serves as Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister. Authoritative sources said that the EC had advised Ministry Secretary Neil Bandara Hapuhinna to take tangible action in this regard. more..

President excludes Election Commission (EC) from Treasury’s essential list

Feb 9 (TM) Against the backdrop of the Election Commission (EC) requesting the Treasury to release Rs. 770 million for LG poll expenditure for the month of February, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policy, has instructed the Treasury and Finance Ministry Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana to only provide provisions for essential Govt expenses in order to maintain public services until the State revenue situation improves, more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Islandwide trade Union action cost Sri Lanka over Rs.1 bn: Economists

Feb 9 (DM) The country has lost an estimated revenue of Rs.1 billion due to several crucial sectors launching a protest today, inconveniencing millions of citizens and leading to roads being blocked in the business hub of Colombo, senior economists said. Colombo Uni Dept of Economics Prof Priyanga Dunusinghe said that more than Rs.1 billion of losses had been faced by the country today due to the massive trade union action staged by doctors and several other professionals over more..

GMOA says strike successful; Lifesaving services unaffected

Feb 9 (Island) Medical professionals had taken steps to ensure that patients’ lives were not threatened during their 24-hour token strike yesterday, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. Dr. Aluthge said the strike was a success. “While those who are working in emergency services and other specialized sectors were on duty, others had withdrawn from duties in support of the nationwide protests, organized by trade unions. Not only the doctors but all health sector unions more..

Throne speech mania boycotted by Opposition, minority parties present

Feb 9 (TM) Claiming that the prorogation of Parliament on two occasions within a short timeframe reflects a serious threat from the Executive Presidency to Parliamentary Legislative democracy and that the Govt led by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed to provide solutions to the people’s issues, over 30 MPs representing the Freedom People’s Alliance chanted Rajaasana (throne) mania and walked out of Parliament more..

How Sri Lanka rejected Singapore monetary advice and politicians, people paid the price

Feb 9 (EN) SL’s politicians, especially from the UNP have taken extremely difficult decisions to fix the country each macro-economists who do not appreciate sound money created monetary instability and economic collapses. Ranil Wickremesinghe is now taking very difficult political decisions. People are also watching with an unusual degree of patience – so far. Brakes have been put by the current CB governor after inflation ran up to 70%, & currency has fallen from 200 to 360 more..

Net foreign inflow tops Rs. 3 b mark at CSE; locals still wary despite RW talk

Feb 9 (FT) The net foreign inflow to the Colombo stock market crossed the Rs. 3 billion mark year-to-date but locals remained wary resulting in mixed closing for indices. Foreigners accounted for net buying of Rs. 291.5 mil boosting the YTD figure to Rs. 3.2 bil and month to date to Rs. 2.8 bil. Net foreign buying topped in JKH at Rs. 180.9 mil followed by Tokyo Cement X (Rs. 85 mil) and Aitken Spence (Rs. 25.7 mil). Whilst bullish foreign outlook remains the sole silver lining, more..

ජනවරමින් පසු රට කරවන හැටි අනුර කියයි

Japanese giant Mitsubishi Corp. to wind up Lankan operations next month

Feb 9 (FT) Japanese giant Mitsubishi Corporation has decided to wind up operations in Sri Lanka next month after being an integral part of bilateral ties and some of the country’s key infrastructure projects for nearly 60 years. The closure of Colombo Office by Mitsubishi by 31 March has come as a big shock to the private sector, both local and foreign which described the move as a big setback for SL. For Mitsubishi, Sri Lanka was one of its first overseas offices as it contributed immensely towards more..

100 MW solar power project on SLBC land

Feb 9 (Island) SL has recently engaged with the American Clean Energy Solutions Inc. of Ontario, Canada to develop a 100 Megawatts solar power project on SLBC land at Nilaweli, Trincomalee. This project is in line with the Govt policy directive and vision of achieving 70% of electricity generation from renewable energy resources by 2030. American Clean Energy Solutions Inc., will invest over USD 150 million to develop the Nilaveli Solar Power Project with the support from SL developer; more..

Monks burn 13A near the Parliament

Feb 9 (TM) Despite a Court injunction preventing protests near the entrance to Parliament, a section of the Buddhist clergy marched towards the Parliament entrance yesterday during Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s throne speech and Statement of Govt Policy following the inauguration of the fourth session of the ninth Parliament, protesting against the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Dharmasena bags Sri Lanka Open Wheelchair Tennis Title

Feb 9 (DN) Suresh Dharmasena came from behind with a tremendous performance to win the Men’s Singles title at the SL Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, which continued at the SLTA Courts in Green Path, Colombo yesterday. The Asian Para Games Bronze Medallist and the top seed continued his excellent form in this format and went on to beat his rival Sung Bong Han from South Korea in an exciting final encounter. Dharmasena made a disappointing start to the all-important final as more..

Future SJB Govt will facilitate the return of Sri Lankan economic migrants: Marikkar

Feb 9 (FT) SJB MP S.M Marikkar says, SL immigrants who moved abroad recently due to the economic crisis will be able to return to Sri Lanka under an SJB Govt. He says the party will create a background in which they will be able to return to the country. The MP made these comments at a press conference held at the Opposition Leader’s office yesterday. Slamming Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statement of Govt Policy, Marikkar said the speech was nothing but empty words. more..

‘Everyone should change lifestyles for nation’s sake’

Feb 9 (TM) Emphasising that religious leaders, political parties, trade unions, academics, NGOs and all other parties should unite and commit to implementing one policy with one objective within a certain period of time, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a social convention should be established in this regard while a change of the lifestyles should be adopted by everyone for the sake of the nation. more..

BOI-approved saline production venture saves Rs. 1.5 b in foreign exchange spend

Feb 9 (FT) Board of Investment approved, Kelun Lifesciences Ltd., one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka has saved over Rs. 1.5 billion by manufacturing saline locally. This was revealed during an official visit to the Kandy Industrial Park by State Minister Dilum Amunugama, BOI Director-General Renuka M. Weerakone and Executive Director (Zones) M.K.D. Lawrance. The company fulfils 40% of the total demand for saline in the country at present. more..

Coal tender in quagmire: Bid winner makes fresh demands over LCs

Feb 9 (ST) SL’s latest coal tender has also run into problems, with the Indonesian company it was awarded to requesting a change to a crucial term that Lanka Coal Company (LCC) has deemed unacceptable, authoritative sources said. The hitch is likely to cause delays in procuring crucial coal supplies beyond March, they warned, adding that it was essential to replenish stocks before the monsoons set in to keep the Lakvijaya plant running without interruption, thereby avoiding more..

සංඝරංගන සහ රාජ මේනියාව

Port City basic infrastructure works to be completed by end-2023

Feb 9 (FT) The infrastructure development activities of the Colombo Port City, the largest FDI-driven project in SL, are slated to be completed by the end of this year, said Investment Promotion Ministry Secretary M.M. Nayeemudeen. He stated this during the National Steering Committee meeting held at the Ministry of Investment Promotion on Tuesday. “The project implementation is now in full swing with the land reclamation work already completed in 2019. As such, the infrastructure works and more..

Alex and Jamie hit half-centuries as England Lions pile up 234

Feb 9 (DN) Opener Alex Lees (75) and wicketkeeper Jamie Smith (86) shared an unbroken 112-run fourth wicket partnership as England Lions were 234 for 3 wickets in a bold reply to SL A's first innings total of 332 after the second day's play of the second four-day unofficial Test match played at the Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium yesterday. It was nice to see England Lions batsmen made a very positive reply to SL's A team at Galle wicket. The opener Alex Lees the 29-year-old left-hander from more..

Air controllers granted meeting with Treasury

Feb 9 (TM) Although Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had agreed yesterday during a discussion with the SL Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (SLATCA) to arrange a discussion with the Treasury to review their salaries and allowances and to recruit 30 graduates to fill up the shortages of air traffic controllers, the SLATCA expressed dissatisfaction in this regard, claiming that the meeting had only provided part of the solution. more..

Dispute over Kinthusity Cemetery as caste issue surfaces

Feb 9 (DM) *Velayuthan and his family live next to the Kinthusity Cemetery in Kalaimathy, off Puttur in Jaffna. Every day when they wake up, they worry about the possibility of smoke drifting over from the open-air cemetery and the risk to their health of inhaling it. He and his family have joined the rest of the villagers in nudging the authorities to close down the cemetery land in question. Kalaimathy is home to 1500 families of the Pallar caste. It’s an agricultural community which more..

Women, girls need to play bigger role in science

Feb 9 (DM) With the continuing turmoil in Sri Lanka with the country being bankrupt and the cost of living soaring higher than ever before, the gender issue does not get much prominence these days though it is widely accepted that women and girls could play a key role in science, technology and other important areas. Women and girls form a majority in our country and a law was passed to give them a 25% representation in Parliament and other local councils, but it had not happened. more..

රනිල්ගේ කතාවේ දරුණු ඒකාධිපති ලක්ෂණ 12ක්!

Editorial: Thus spake Prez

Feb 9 (Island) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, who presented his govt’s policy statement in Parliament, yesterday, sounded like a seasoned insurance sales agent with glib phrases rolling off his experienced tongue; he sought to scare the public and infuse them with hope, at the same time, to sell his policies. The knee-jerk reaction of the Opposition was to denounce the Prez’s address as snake oil, but it, in our book, is not devoid of substance and deserves critical appraisal and not cynical dismissal. more..

Improving quality of teaching

Feb 9 (CT) This paper, quoting Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, reported on Wednesday (8) that after 2028, teaching appointments will be given only to those who hold Bachelor of Education degrees. Premajayantha said a National University of Education will be set up combining all 19 National Colleges of Education in the coming years. Students will be enrolled to this university based on the number of vacancies available for each subject from G.C.E. Advanced Level Z-Scores. more..

Loan sharks fish in troubled waters

Feb 9 (TM) With more people than ever being driven below the poverty line amidst a volatile economic situation, predatory microfinance loans have become a rising concern for the more vulnerable segments of the population. According to a World Bank projection, Sri Lanka’s economy is estimated to contract 4.2% this year, primarily owing to ongoing foreign currency shortages, the effects of higher inflation, and policy measures more..

LG elections & Ranil’s narrowing options

Feb 9 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe did not call for this; nor did he expect it. Political crises are more or less stations a stream of evolution halts for a little while where new comers embark and the old ones alight. There is no exception to this rule. Ranil is not stupid not to comprehend this natural phenomenon. However, in this instance, he seems to have been blinded by the rush of years, years being added to his age. He realizes that chances visiting him with such charity from his traditional political more..

The International dimension of Sri Lankan state formation

Feb 9 (GV) This month the SL state celebrates 75 years of independence from British colonialism. This is a good to opportunity to remind ourselves about the link between SL state formation and the global context. This is because SL gained independence not only because of what happened within the country but also because the British empire became weaker from the time of the First World War. It was in this larger int'l context that negotiations between British & colonial elite in SL led to more..

Sri Lankan graduates lured to work in online dating scams in Laos

Feb 9 (DM) The ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka had hampered his marketing job and thus, when he heard he could earn US$1,000 a month at an IT job in Thailand, he jumped at the chance. Little did he know that his job would be to flirt with well-to-do Americans online in an organised crypto-currency scamming network handled by East Asian syndicates in Laos. “By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late to flee,” said Jay* more..

13th Amendment: Some thoughts & reality

Feb 9 (DM) There are some uncomfortable truths about the 13th Amendment, devolution of power and of course provincial councils. Let’s begin with the here-and-now. Provincial Council elections haven’t been held for years. It is more than 10 years since the Eastern Provincial Council elections were held and more than nine since they were held for the Northern Provincial Council. Did the people in the Northern and Eastern provinces complain? Did their representatives complain? more..

Cutting Ministries down to size

Feb 9 (TM) In what appears to be a response to the people’s demands that the Govt must be mindful of and limit its own expenses before imposing austerity measures on the people, Cabinet has granted approval for an initiative that will look into the expenses of 10 Ministries for which a large amount of financial resources have been allotted through the Budget. Under this initiative proposed by Prez Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and more..

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