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Wed11222017

Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 8pm

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The World Bank’s Development Update for Sri Lanka observes gradual economic stabilization during the first six months of 2017

The most recent edition of the World Bank’s Development Update for Sri Lanka titled "The second Development Update for 2017", notes that corrective policy measures taken in the monetary and fiscal fronts have led to gradual stabilization. It stated that the country's overall economic performance remained broadly satisfactory in the first half of 2017. It also points out that the best chance of success lies in an ambitious and challenging shift from a "public investment non-tradable sector-driven growth model" to a "private investment tradeable sector-led model". It is a change that will allow the country to benefit from its location close to some of the largest, fast-growing economies in the world.

The report points out that a noteworthy milestone on the road to sustainable, revenue-led fiscal consolidation came in the form of a new Inland Revenue Law, passed by Parliament in September 2017. Value Added Tax reforms, in their first year of implementation, are expected to drive fiscal consolidation. The overall fiscal deficit is expected to fall to 5.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Production. As a result, the Debt-to-GDP Ratio which rose continuously since 2012, is expected to stabilize in 2017.

Laying out the challenges ahead, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Ralph Van Doorn said that to attain "upper middle income status", Sri Lanka must maintain macro-fiscal stability while increasing its resilience to natural disasters. He emphasizes that while pursuing structural reforms to promote competitiveness and attract more Foreign Direct Investments, the country cannot afford to forget the poor and vulnerable

The presidential commission to investigate into the issuance of treasury bonds due to submit its report to the president on the 8th of next month.

State minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says, that the Presidential Commission To Investigate Into The Issuance Of Treasury Bonds is due to submit its report to the president on the 8th of next month. Speaking at a media briefing held at the SLFP headquarters today he stated once the report is submitted legal action will be instigated. He pointed out that this a unique commission that has been appointed so far. The SLFP central committee is due to meet tomorrow. The committee members are due to discuss the matter with the president when they gather.  He further stated that although prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe had the option of testifying before the bond commission through affidavit, his decision to present himself before the commission in person is praiseworthy.

Sri Lanka allocates 59 billion rupees for higher education in 2018

Minister Lakshman Kiriella says, that through the 2018 budget state universities have been strengthened and free education has been given emphasis. Under the proposal in this regard 3 medical faculties, 7 technical faculties and an insurance scheme covering university students will be implemented. Another 3000 students will be covered under the Maha Pola scholarship scheme.  He pointed out that developed countries set aside funds for the development of private education. However, on the contrary, Sri Lanka has allocated a considerable percentage for free education. State minister Eran Wickremarathne stated that the sum allocated for higher education for the 2018 is 59 billion rupees.

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi hopes to strike a deal with Bangladesh this week on Rohingya repatriation

After addressing the 13th Asia Europe Meeting yesterday, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi today hoped to strike a deal with Bangladesh by the end of this week with regard to the “safe and voluntary return” of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh in the past three months. She hopes that the discussions would result in a Memorandum of Understanding which would enable Myanmar to start the Rohingya repatriation process. Her less than two-year old civilian government has faced heavy international criticism for its response to the crisis, although in reality it has no control over the military generals with whom it had to share power since Myanmar's transition to power after decades of military rule.

Tonia Couch retires

Three-time Olympian Tonia Couch has announced her retirement from diving, after a 12-year senior career. Couch, is one of Britain's most decorated female divers having won silver at Glasgow's Commonwealth Games in 2014 and three European medals. She last competed at the World Championships in July. She will now take up a coaching role in her home city of Plymouth.

Zimbabwe's ruling party is set to begin impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is set to begin impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe on charges that include allowing his wife "to usurp constitutional power". The motion is now due to be presented to parliament on Tuesday.

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The President says the government is committed to take forward the quality healthcare service in the country.

President Maithripala Sirisena says that the present government is committed to take forward the Sri Lankan health care service maintaining a high quality while updating the field of medical science which changes every second with the findings of the researches and innovations around the world.

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New court complexes will be set up to expedite court proceedings.

Proposed Expenditure of the ministry of Justice was taken up for discussion in Parliament yesterday. During the debate it was emphasized that the Attorney General’s department needs to be further strengthened. Participating in the debate Minister Thalatha Athukorala stated that all commissions are now functioning independently.

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Proposed Expenditure of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade taken up for discussion today.

Today is the 3rd day of the committee stage debate of the budget 2018. Proposed Expenditure of the ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade were taken up for discussion today. During the debate it was emphasized that the Attorney General’s department needs to be further strengthened. Participating in the debate MP Nalin Bandara stated that the era in which the law was lost in the wilderness is now over and good governance prevails.
State minister Sujeewa Senasinghe stated that with reinstating of the GSP plus facility textile exports increased by 15 percent during the first 6 months of this year. The government targets a revenue between 3 to 4 billion US dollars by the year 2020 under its strategy to establish factories throughout the country.
Participating in the debate minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama stated that Sri Lanka must capitalized on its strategic geographical location in order to increase its wealth. He pointed out that to attain this goal the ports around the country need to be Number One.
In reply minister Thalatha Athukorala stated that all commissions are functioning independently. She further stated that the ministry does not control judges. They come under The judicial services commission. She added that the general public is of the view that legal proceedings get delayed in courts. Steps are being taken to rectify this issue. She also proposed that new court complexes will also have to be constructed.

The Premier to leave on an official tour of India tomorrow

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to leave the island on an official visit to India tomorrow.

He is due to have bilateral discussions with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi and will also call on the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind during his stay in New Delhi.

He will also participate at the opening ceremony of the 5th Global Conference on Cyberspace to be held in The Aero City in New Delhi.

Sri Lanka tour of India ends in a draw due to bad weather

The first test match between Sri Lanka and India that was played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata resulted in a draw, due to bad weather. In the 1st innings India were all out for 172 runs, while Sri Lanka had scored 294 runs.  In the 2nd innings, India scored 352 runs. In reply Sri Lanka were 75 runs, for the loss of 7 wickets.

The GCE Ordinary Level Examination to begin on the 12th of next month.

The Department of Examinations announced that the 2017 G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination will commence on the 12th of December.

414,694 students will sit the exam under the new syllabus, while 14,799 students will sit under the old syllabus. It will be held across 5,116 examination centers.

The exam ends on the 21st of December.

A "Fisheries Week" announced in connection with World Fisheries Day

State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dilip Wedaarachchi says that the fisheries industry would be made the third largest foreign exchange earner in the country by the year 2020. He also pledges to create 100,000 employment opportunities in the sector by 2020. The Ministry has declared a Fisheries Week in connection with World Fisheries Day which falls on the 21st of November.

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Today is the 4th day of the 1st test between Sri Lanka and India.

Today is the 4th day of the first test match between Sri Lanka and India which is being played now at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

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Rare Tintin art fetches 500,000 dollars at Paris auction

A rare Indian-ink drawing of the cartoon character Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy has been sold for almost 500,000 US dollars at an auction in Paris. The picture from the 1939 comic album “King Ottokar's Sceptre” was among the many items sketched by Hergé, the Belgian artist who created The Adventures of Tintin.

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Enhanced security measures in Gintota to continue, even though law and order has been established.

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka states that the tense situation that occurred in the Gintota area recently has been brought under control completely. Law and order has been established in the area. He extended his gratitude to all parties who acted responsibly to avoid a bloodbath! The Minister, issuing a special statement said that there are elements who are now in the process of disseminating false videos on social media platforms with the ulterior motive of stirring up communal hatred.

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The premier’s decision to testify before the bond commission commended.

Intellectuals and social activists point out that Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s decision to testify before the bond commission is a commendable move. They point out that during the mahinda rajapakse era, such a move by the prime minister of the country was NEVER HEARD OF. As of then the president enjoyed judicial immunity  and  the  higher-ups in power were above the law! Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s appearance before the bond commission depicts that under the Good Governance Regime everyone is equal before the law.

Several arrests made in connection with recent assault attacks in Jaffna

41 individuals have been taken into custody pertaining to recent assault attacks that took place in Jaffna. Previously 6 suspects had been arrested. The police are continuing operations in the Jaffna, Kopai and Manipai police divisions. The police headquarters states that three teams have been deployed to apprehend those involved.

It is stressed that the Premier’s presence at the Bond commission voluntarily is to affirm the responsibility of the rulers

Former Professor of the Peradeniya University M O A de Soysa said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s presence at the Bond commission voluntarily is to affirm the responsibility and the purity of the rulers. It will be added to the history of presenting voluntarily by a State leader for a court activity.  He made these comments participating at a programme of SLBC.

The Government says its aim is to provide human rights for all through the reconciliation.

The United Nation Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the third Universal Periodic Review on Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Geneva. Making a special statement regarding this session Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said in Parliament last afternoon, Sri Lanka accepted 177 out of the 230 recommendations made by the 3rd UPR and noted 53.

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There is no truth on the false propagations made by some groups that the security in the country has collapsed.

The votes on Ministries of Defence, National Policies and Economic Affairs, Law and order and Southern Development were passed in Parliament yesterday. In the reply speech of the votes of Defence Ministry, Deputy Minister Ruwan Wijayawardena said that the budget presented in the Parliament is to strengthen the National security in the country.

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