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President wants to re-impose tax on beer
Thursday, 26 November 2015 - 8:48 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed finance minister Ravi Karunanayaka to increase the tax on imported beer (5% alcohol content) which was reduced by Rs.30 in the budget proposal, Presidential Media Division (PMD) said Finance Ministry had reduced the tax imposed on a liter of beer with low-alcohol percentage to Rs. 160 from Rs. 190 to remove tax discrepancy on import beer. President had instructed the Finance Minister to increase the tax on import beer as reduction of tax would lead to promote such beer. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Govt. justifies political appointments in SL missions
Friday, 20 November 2015 - 11:00 AM SL Time

Though the new government recalled all politically appointed heads and senior officials of Sri Lankan missions overseas back to the country, the government had not said it would not make political appointments in the future, the Foreign Ministry said today. Responding to a question that eight out of the new 13 Sri Lankan heads of missions appointed by the Ministry were political appointments, Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said the government had never said that no further political appointments would be made. We have to resort to suitable and senior officials who didn t belong to the Foreign Service to serve in Sri Lankan missions overseas as the Ministry doesn t have a sufficient number of senior officials to both serve in the ministry and embassies at a given time. Therefore, we have to balance that void. Appointing officials out of the Foreign Service is not something new and practice only in Sri Lanka. Even the US does that, she told a news conference. The Ministry today announced the names of 13 heads of missions appointed to Sri Lankan embassies and high commissions overseas. Accordingly, new ambassadors were appointed to Austria, China, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Myanmar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. Mr. Wadiwel Krishnamurthi was appointed as the Deputy High Commissioner to Shanghai. Former Minister Dr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku was appointed ambassador to China, Darshana Perera to Indonesia and Priyani Wijesekara to Austria. D.S.L. Pelpola was appointed as the Ambassador to Italy, A.L.M. Lafeer to Jordan, K.W.M.D. Karunaratne to Myanmar, A.M. Thaseem to Saudi Arabia, Sunil De Silva to South Africa, S.J. Mohideen to UAE, M.S. Anwar to Palestine, Nimal Weeraratna to Singapore and C.M. Anzar to Turkey. (Lahiru Pothmulla) Full Story     Post Reply To This

President s, PM s residencies to be relocated: Champika
Friday, 20 November 2015 - 10:58 AM SL Time

Describing the government s plans regarding the proposed Megapolis, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the official residences of the president and the prime minister would be moved to Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte close by the Parliamentary Complex. He said so at the Gampaha District Development Committee meeting held last evening. According to the plans, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital of the country will be expanded towards Kadawata, Kaduwela and Kottawa to create one large administrative city, in which government offices will be located. A space observatory is to be set up in Homagama, which is to be made an IT city. He said coastal area between Mutwal and Wellawatte will be developed into a mega harbour city. He said this would not be the Chinese funded Port City but a different project. The foundation stone for this mega city will be laid on January 8, 2016, the first anniversary of President Maithripala Sirisena`s elevation to office. Ja Ela is to be developed as a new city. He said all these projects would be implemented with the approval of the people. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene who also participated in the meeting stressed the need to ease traffic congestion in Kiribathgoda and prevent flooding in Gampaha District. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Hopper, plain tea, milk tea prices up from Nov. 26
Thursday, 19 November 2015 - 12:39 PM SL Time

Prices would be increased on hoppers, plain tea and of all varieties of items sold at canteens from November 26, the national organizer of the All-Island Canteen Owners Association, Asela Sampath said today.

The LTTE had been the most feared terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka and black marketing has now become another form of terrorism, he said.

To fight against the black market terrorism, we have decided to increase prices from November 26, Sampath said.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

Ranil returns
Monday, 16 November 2015 - 10:31 AM SL Time

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who went to Singapore for a medical checkup has returned to the country this morning, sources said. The Prime Minister left for Singapore on Friday morning . Full Story     Post Reply To This

Good governance shattered - Nimal Siripala
Monday, 16 November 2015 - 10:29 AM SL Time

While claiming that good governance has now shattered, Transport Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that they joined the government at the invitation of the President in order to serve the people of the country but it is not possible to give all what they want which is only practicable through miracles of Aladdin s Wonder Lamp or with the presence of God Sakra. `President Maithripala Sirisena s intention of abolishing the Executive Presidency is appreciable,` he said addressing an event in Ella, Badulla. He also said they cannot leave the SLFP to dilute for the sake of National Government and we should determine to win the on-coming local government election. During the last election period people were duped through Face Book and presenting tinsels but they have all vanished today. `The Face Book miracles and good governance has shattered.Those who spoke of good governance and corruption today oppress the people in the name of good governance,` he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Rajitha retaliating: Wijeyadasa
Saturday, 14 November 2015 - 10:55 AM SL Time

Buddhasasana and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe claimed Minister Rajitha Senaratne was accusing him falsely that he was protecting Avant Garde, as an act of revenge as the latter lost his parliamentary seat in 1994 as a result of a case filed by him in the Appeal Court. Minister Rajapakshe said he never appeared on behalf of Avant Garde but he only spoke of the appropriateness of the Attorney General s decisions. `Rajitha Senaratne is always blaming other ministers when speaking as the cabinet spokesman and the President had advised him on such matters. He was appointed as a national list member in 1994 by the present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Then he was a consultant to the Health Advisory Committee. During this period he continued to supply dental medicine and equipment to the army,` he said. The Minister also said he filed a case against corruptions committed during this period. He was found guilty and expelled from the parliament membership. He said a cabinet spokesman should be intelligent and speak decently. Full Story     Post Reply To This

SLFP can t win under current chairman: Lohan
Saturday, 14 November 2015 - 10:54 AM SL Time

UPFA MP Lohan Ratwatte said today the person who defeated the SLFP was the party chairman and as such the party could not win under the present chairman. SLFP supporters at grassroots level are not in favour of the present party chairman as he was the one who worked against the party and defeated it. I like to tell our supporters to be patient until the right opportunity comes, he said. He said the party should either remain in the opposition or in the government. Mr. Ratwatte said the situation in the country was so complicated now and seems as if the war victory would be reversed. The LTTE is raising its head again. LTTE prisoners should not be released. I m completely against this move, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Sagala, Swaminathan sworn in as Ministers
Thursday, 12 November 2015 - 8:50 AM SL Time

Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake was sworn in as the Minister of Law and Order while D.M.Swaminathan as the Prison Reform, before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Kumar: It s all political says FSP
Saturday, 7 November 2015 - 9:55 AM SL Time

Granting Sri Lankan citizenship to Kumar Gunaratnam was not a question of law, but a political consideration, Frontline Social Party (FSP) Politburo member Pubudu Jagoda said today. Granting of citizenship is therefore not a matter for legal institutions such as courts of law, but rather for the executive arms such as the Cabinet and the subject minister, he said. Even the Kegalle Magistrate s Court and the Supreme Court have stated that this was not a legal problem but a political problem. Everyone is trying to create a strange image of Kumar Gunaratnam. He is a Sri Lankan by birth. Everyone is trying to treat him as foreign national, who overstayed his visa, Mr. Jagoda said. He said the crisis emerged due to different views of groups other than those in the government. While addressing the media the New Left Front Leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne said the problem was related to immigration and emigration. A problem had occurred on possessing several passports by the former Minister Wimal Weerawansa. But no passport was recovered from Kumar Gunaratnam.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

Avant Garde: Statement by two ministers not opinion of Govt. Rajitha
Saturday, 7 November 2015 - 9:43 AM SL Time

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today the statements made by two ministers in parliament on the Avant-Garde floating Armoury did not in anyway reflect the opinion of the Government on the matter. Law and Order Minister Thilak Marapana on Wednesday told parliament that the police raid on the Avant-Garde floating armoury was similar to the millennium city affair in 2002. Dr. Senaratne said this was not the opinion of the Cabinet or the government on this matter and that Minister Marapana and Law and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had been heavily criticised by Cabinet ministers for defending Avant-Garde. Even Minister Rauff Hakeem asked the Cabinet meeting as to how two ministers could make such statements in parliament without the consent of the Cabinet. When they make such statements, they could be considered as the opinion of the government. It s a regrettable to hear them defending various companies in parliament. This sets a bad precedent, Minister Senaratne said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Court allows CID to detain Pillayan till Dec 10
Thursday, 5 November 2015 - 8:43 AM SL Time

Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan was further detained with the CID till December 10 for questioning over the killing of Batticaloa District Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham in 2005.

Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya detained Chandrakanthan till December 10 when he was produced before the Magistrate yesterday for physical examination of the detainee.

The CID producing him before the Magistrate submitted that they were further investigating to ascertain whether the vehicle and the weapon of the Chandrakanthan were involved into the killing of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member Joseph Pararajasingham.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

Is Govt. using Sunny Leone to promote casinos?: Wimal
Thursday, 5 November 2015 - 8:35 AM SL Time

The good-governance proponents, who condemned casinos in the country, should confirm whether they are planning to promote the casino industry by bringing the well-known erotic actress Sunny Leone to the country, National Freedom Front Leader and Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa said today. Ms. Leone is said to be planning to visit Sri Lanka in December and during her visit, she is expected to present a musical concert at the premises of a casino in Colombo. Ms. Leone is reportedly being sponsored by a businessman who has a chain of casinos in Sri Lanka. Mr. Weerawansa said Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera should raise his voice against actress Leone s visit to the country because he was one of those who spoke against the casinos during the previous government. We can t imagine what will happen to the country at this rate. We saw an organization calling itself the Centre for Sex Worker s Rights (CSWR) requesting the President to legalise sex workers and provide them legal recognition. There were reports asking for legal rights for gays as well and in the meantime we hear that the well-known erotic actress Sunny Leone is visiting our country to promote casinos. Where are the religious groups and other politicians who protested against casino projects? This concert will definitely help to expand the casino industry. We should not let it happen, Mr. Weerawansa said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Sajin s passport surrendered to courts
Wednesday, 4 November 2015 - 8:47 AM SL Time

Former UPFA MP, Sajin De Vass Gunawardana, who has a case for allegedly failing to reveal his assets, surrendered his passport today to Colombo Chief Magistrate s Court after his return from abroad.

Earlier the Magistrate permitted to release the impounded passport of the former MP and allowed to travel to Singapore for a five-day visit to seek medical treatment and ordered to return the passport following his return to Sri Lanka.

Appearing for Sajin, Counsel Kamal Gunawardane produced the passport and medical treatment reports before the Magistrate today.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

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