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Wed11222017

Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 8pm

Local News

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.

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 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.

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.