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SLFP threatens defeat of VAT
Friday, 22 July 2016 - 10:16 AM SL Time

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would defeat the VAT Amendment if SLFP proposals were not incorporated or if the tax was increased to fifteen percent, SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said today. We will definitely defeat the VAT Amendment if the amendments do not include our proposals and with the ideas taken from the affected communities in the country, he said. The issue regarding the recent VAT increase, was discussed by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake with the people who connected in the country recently, Perera said. All members of the SLFP participated at a discussion and we showed our proposals on how to obtain tax without hurting the people. The President assured that the VAT should be amended. So do not even dream of bringing back VAT again. Finally the VAT should be amended. Any Government cannot rely only on indirect taxes. The Government should focus on increasing the ways of gaining direct taxes and reducing indirect taxes and it should consider providing relief to the people who are below the income tax threshold. If the Government mainly relied on taxes, it should obtain it from the taxes that are levied on cigarettes and alcohol, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

President assures Customs Laws won`t be diluted
Friday, 22 July 2016 - 10:07 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that he would not allow the Customs Law to be diluted by the proposed Customs Ordinance.

The President gave this assurance at a meeting with a group of Customs trade union representatives.

The trade unionists met the President to discuss the controversial customs ordinance.

The Customs trade unionists stressed that the proposed customs ordinance would only serve the interests of racketeers.

The President said he needed about three weeks to study the draft customs ordinance with a view to acting on allegations made by the trade unionists.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

SL in a mess so many trying to govern it: Gammanpila
Thursday, 21 July 2016 - 10:18 AM SL Time

UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila said today the country was in a mess because too many groups including the US and India, apart from the President and the Prime Minister, are attempting to govern the country. Responding to a question by a journalist outside the Colombo National Hospital he said at least five groups are holding the reins of the country. President Maithripala Sirisena thinks it s he who runs the country and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe thinks it s him. Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga thinks it`s her. Similarly, India thinks they are the true leaders of Sri Lanka as it helped the government to come into power while the US also thinks they are the leaders here, Mr. Gammanpila said. He said this after visiting the student who was injured in the Jaffna University clash on Saturday. Commenting on the clash he said the government s approach to establish reconciliation had proved futile and therefore the leaders should reconsider their approach and techniques. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Women too affected by cigarette, alcohol price increases: Geetha
Thursday, 21 July 2016 - 10:16 AM SL Time

Joint Opposition MP Geetha Kumarasinghe yesterday said the impact of the increase in the prices of cigarette and alcohol would effect women as well because it was unlikely that those who were in the habit of drinking and smoking would stop or even reduce their alcohol and nicotine intake even if prices for these items go up. When a country s economy is collapsing, it is the women who are greatly affected by it. Even though the government increases the prices of cigarettes and alcohol, people will not cut down on smoking and drinking. Its impact will also have to be shouldered by women of this nation in the end. They do not get anything out of this, she said. Speaking further, Ms. Kumarasinghe said even though the government claimed that it had reduced the prices of essential commodities, people could not buy them at reduced prices from any shop. We cannot buy essential commodities at the reduced prices announced by them from any shop. I went to Sathosa yesterday and came to know that people have to buy goods worth Rs.1,000 to be able to purchase a kilo of sugar at Rs.95. At Lak Sathosa people need to purchase goods worth Rs.500 to qualify to buy four kilos of sugar, she said. Ms. Kumarasinghe said people were living without a clear future and added that they would join the Jana Satana Pada Yathra against the VAT and the cost of living on July 28. MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi said there was no point in accusing Mahinda Rajapaksa and the previous government for the failure of the government and added that the failure of the government was a result of its inability to perform and its lack of unity. If the country was given to Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow we would show you how to remove the VAT, provide fertilizer at concessionary prices, distribute free school uniform material and continue the development process, she said. Our economic policy is completely different from that of the present government. We are not a party dependent on the West, she said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Jana Satana Paada Yathrawa starts from Kandy on July 28
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 - 10:17 AM SL Time

The five-day Jana Satana Paada Yathrawa organised by the Joint Opposition (JO) against alleged suppression by the government towards the people and the JO members will be launched from Kandy on July 28. JO Leader and UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said there were several causes which had led them to launch the Paada Yathrawa and said postponing of the local government elections, tax increase, signing of ETCA, curtailment of farmer s relief, Constitutional trap and political witch hunt were among them. It seems we need to constantly remind the government to be on track. It s we who launched protests against the former governor of the Central Bank forcing the government to appoint a new governor. Therefore, we will launch a peaceful walk against the government s suppression, he told a media briefing held in Colombo. Meanwhile, outlining the Paada Yathrawa s schedule and route, its organizing committee member MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the preparations for the walk would be start on July 27 evening from the Sri Dalada Maligawa after seeking blessings from the Most Ven. Mahanayake Theras. He said the preparations will be held under the patronage of former president and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Paada Yathrawa would be launched in the morning of July 28 near the Queens Hotel, Kandy. The second day of the Paada Yathrawa will be launched from Mawanella, the next day in Nelumdeniya followed by Nittambuwa on 31 and will reach Colombo on August 1, he said. Recalling the court order on the JO s May Day procession s location, JO Organiser MP Dullas Alahapperuma said they would not reveal the location where the final rally would be held until the last minute as a precautionary and a strategic measure. He said the ministers were belittling attempts of the JO and its Paada Yathrawa saying the government could not be changed until the next general election in 2020. This is not so. The people of Brazil took it to the street against the government two months ago compelling the government to resign, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

CEPA, ETCA will benefit Asian region: PM
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 - 10:15 AM SL Time

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Singapore and India, the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) that is to be signed between India and Sri Lanka will help establish a tri party programme which will benefit the South Asia and the South East Asian Island, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Mr Wickremeisnghe who was speaking during the South Asian Diaspora Convention 2016 held in Singapore said these agreements would create a win-win situation for all the nations involved in it. Sri Lanka has achieved political stability which will be a foundation for a stable economy, the Prime Minister said. He said Sri Lanka would soon take away the barriers that had prevented international trade agreements Since we have identified poor infrastructure facilities, business environment and policies have been barriers for the development of international trade we have embarked on developing sea, air routes, highways , energy and communication facilities . This he said will help the Asian region as well as Sri Lanka. Singaporean National University`s Asian Affairs Studies unit Gopinath Pillai who welcomed the guests said the public focus on the Diaspora convention had increased almost daily. The biography of the first Singaporean Dr Wijeratnam was also launched during the convention. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Even Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe could be arrested: Wimal
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 - 10:14 AM SL Time

National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa today said the Government needed at least one of the Rajapaksas in prison at any given time and that it may even place Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in jail, because he was also a Rajapaksa . Addressing a news conference held by the Joint Opposition, he said this was why the FCID had arrested former MP Basil Rajapaksa, when his nephew MP Namal Rajapaksa was released. It seems anyone with the surname Rajapaksa could be put in jail, so the Government leaders could have a good night s sleep. At this rate, they would even take Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in, he said. He charged that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had become the mouthpiece of the Government announcing the arrest of political opponents. Full Story     Post Reply To This

President returns from London
Monday, 18 July 2016 - 10:03 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena today returned to the country concluding his four-day visit to London. He left for London on July 12, with a delegation of six persons. Full Story     Post Reply To This

VAT Bill: UPFA says won`t support if proposals ignored
Monday, 18 July 2016 - 10:02 AM SL Time

UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today that they will not support the proposed VAT amendments unless their proposals were accepted. Addressing an event held in Sooriyawewa today, he said the objective of the UPFA was to minimise the tax burden imposed on the people. `If we can`t do that, we won`t support the amendments,` he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

First local rifle manufacturing plant declared open
Friday, 15 July 2016 - 10:40 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka s first air rifle manufacturing plant was declared open in Ihala Biyanwila in Kadawatha by State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday. The plant is an investment by W. Thomas and Sons Ltd. Mr. Wijewardene is seen taking aim through a telescope mounted on a locally made brand new rifle. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Govt. has agreed on foreign monitors, not judges: SF
Friday, 15 July 2016 - 10:33 AM SL Time

The government had agreed to allow foreign monitors and obtain international technical assistance for machinery that would be set up to probe alleged human right violations during the war time, Provincial Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said today. Field Marshal Fonseka told a media briefing that both President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were favourable towards foreign monitors and obtaining technical assistance from countries to a machinery that would be set up to probe human right violations during the war time, while highlighting that the government was not in favour of including foreign judges. He was responding to a a statement made by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal who had called for a credible probe. Foreign judges cannot be allowed to engage in a probe as the Sri Lankan Constitution does not provide provisions for such a thing, the Field Marshal added. Further he dismissed the claim made by some international organizations that the security forces used cluster bombs during the war. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Country from a working land, now a graveyard: Basil
Thursday, 14 July 2016 - 10:42 AM SL Time

While claiming the Governments priorities have changed after coming into power, former minister Basil Rajapaksa said the country which was once a working land had now become a graveyard. Addressing the All-Island Samurdhi Development Assistant Officers Council, Mr. Rajapaksa said the Governments priority was to amend the Constitution by abolishing Executive Presidency and to introduce a new electoral system. Now, the Government has thrown away their promise of amending the Constitution and they are going to revise the national anthem, national flag and the States religion. The Government is also in a political which-hunt, he added. He said the rules and regulations that have been implemented by Geneva were harmful to the sovereignty of the country. He said the Government has curtailed the fertilizer subsidy and the farmers could not sell off their harvest. Students have been deprived to obtain their school uniforms. The current situation in the country under the Government is quite disturbing not only for the public but for us too, he added. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Ministers making a mockery of the law: MR
Thursday, 14 July 2016 - 10:31 AM SL Time

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today claimed that it was a mockery of the law for the ministers to have predicted Namal Rajapaksa`s arrest by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) 24 hours before the arrest. Mr. Rajapaksa told journalist that his son Namal had been arrested by the FCID even without a proper complaint and an aggrieved party. This is an era in which my son has been labelled as a suspect and made an accused despite there being no complaint and an aggrieved party. Even though the Government is in a political witch-hunt, none of the opposition politicians would run away from politics. These incidents only motivate us even more, he added. Meanwhile, he said there were many groups all over the world who approve this Government`s actions. They approve whatever this Government does including that of attacking the Rajapaksas, he added. Mr. Rajapaksa said this Government could be toppled like what had previously happened to even more powerful governments. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Yes we are happy now: Ajith P. tells MR
Thursday, 14 July 2016 - 10:24 AM SL Time

Power and Renewable Energy Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera today in response to a question -- asked by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as to whether the government was happy now that his son Namal had been arrested on charges of misappropriation -- said, `Yes of course we are happy because it clearly shows that the law of the country prevails and that the law takes its course.` He told today s weekly cabinet news briefing that there was prima facie evidence against Mr. Rajapaksa on three counts -- the misappropriation of funds, money laundering and cheating. `It is true that it was not the Krrish Group the Indian real estate developer in Colombo who made the complaint with regard to its payment of Rs.70 million to Namal but the president of the JVP-affiliated Voice Against Corruption President Wasantha Samarasinghe. It is the right thing to do in the public interest where any citizen has a right to complain to the law enforcement authorities against any kind of crime committed by whoever the person is, the deputy minister said. He said that though there was no complaint by the Krrish Group, it fully cooperated with the FCID inquiry and five witnesses -- former associates of Mr. Rajapaksa had given extremely incriminating evidence against him on the fraudulent transaction. Full Story     Post Reply To This

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