Rules pertaining to sale or lease of land to foreigners

Published : 1:28 am  September 12, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  2 Comments  |  2,143 views  |  

The intent of the Government to introduce restrictions on sale of land to foreigners was first announced in the annual Budget proposals for 2013 presented in Parliament in November 2012. This was emphasised again in the Budget proposals for 2014, presented in Parliament in November 2013 where President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated: “We have formulated laws to protect our land resources from outright transfers to foreign ownership. From this year, foreigners can have access to State and private land only through long-term lease arrangements. As infrastructure development has improved the value of all lands, it is necessary to implement a land lease tax structure to protect long-term value of lands.... 

Battling the ghosts of Aluthgama

Published : 1:05 am  September 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion and Issues  |  6 Comments  |  5,362 views  |  
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In the lead-up to crucial UN Human Rights Council Sessions in March next year, the Government is in overdrive to win over the new top Envoy on Human Rights Prince Zeid, and retain the support of the Islamic bloc in Geneva, despite the long shadows cast by the Aluthgama riots When the Sri Lankan Government pins its hopes too dearly on a particular thing, it is almost a certainty that disappointment, disillusionment and bitter resentment are soon to follow.  Major expectations were placed on Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, mere mortal and new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, successor to Navi Pillay who has pursued and plagued the Rajapaksa Government – or so it believes – with a vendetta... 

Bug power to our economy!

Published : 12:57 am  September 11, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  2,081 views  |  
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Why not get bugs to power our economy!? We can and we should and the sad aspect is that we have discussed very little about this. Of course liquor is generated courtesy of bugs and production taxes are perhaps an important source of revenue. Knowing that there is another unequal amount of State revenue consequently spent on health and accident expenditure, this perhaps is not the best way to use bugs to power the economy. A discussion is emerging. On 18 September there will be a conference with a difference in Colombo. It is the National Biotechnology Conference on the theme ‘Biotechnology for Wealth Creation’ and the venue is Hilton Residences. This conference is organised by COSTI (Coordinating... 

“Government is continuing its own domestic process of reconciliation”

Published : 12:01 am  September 10, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,592 views  |  

Ambassador Aryasinha reiterates Sri Lanka’s categorical rejection of UN resolution and its call for a ‘comprehensive investigation’ Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressing the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 8 September, welcoming the new High Commissioner Zeid Bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein on his appointment, said: “His wide experience in diplomacy, in-depth knowledge of the UN system and understanding and respect for social and cultural characteristics are useful assets that will guide the work of the OHCHR, consistent with the IB package and based on the fundamental... 

World War I and Ceylon

Published : 12:00 am  September 10, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  1 Comment  |  2,508 views  |  
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  Consequences of conflict   August 2014 marked a very sombre anniversary for most of Europe and the world. It was in this month that the Great War, or First World War as it was later known, broke out among the world’s great powers. Sadly, this is a conflict that is totally neglected in our schools. In this writer’s time, no mention was made of it in any textbook or classroom and it was only through personal interest in history that my interest in the subject has been sated. Many readers of this column must be asking themselves “How is this relevant to Sri Lanka in general and a financial newspaper in particular?” The answer to these two very appropriate questions is that... 

Jaffna as a production city

Published : 12:00 am  September 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues, Rohantha Athukorala  |  1 Comment  |  1,061 views  |  
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The challenge – 2008 My mind goes back to the year 2008 when I met the Security Forces Commander Major Chandrasiri in the Pallaly Army Camp under very heavy security given that the war was at its height and on a daily basis there were incidents. When the SF Commander realised I was heading the Economic Affairs Unit in the Government Peace Secretariat, he said the best development that can happen to Jaffna is to set up an Industrial Zone and pointed to the once thriving industrial estate –Atchchuvely, which was in shambles due to the war. Given that I had decided to serve the Government for three years as I had enrolled for my doctorate studies, I decided to champion this project for the... 

Customs Export Facilitation Centre- A giant step in trade facilitation

Published : 2:00 am  September 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  4,413 views  |  
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Critical that an independent trade facilitation unit be set up by government Quote from OECD report “Steady increases in trade volumes and complexity in recent years have significantly changed the operating environment for the international trading community. They have also highlighted the negative impact of inefficient border procedures on governments, businesses and ultimately on the customer and the economy as a whole. Governments may face smuggling, fraud and national security problems, which drain the public coffers, while businesses pay the price of slow and unpredictable goods delivery, costly customs procedures, and even lost business opportunities. And all these costs ultimately make... 

Work in life and life in work

Published : 12:40 am  September 9, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  629 views  |  
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We have often heard the term, “work-life balance”. What does it mean? Is it really possible to achieve? What are the related issues in the Sri Lankan context? Today’s column will attempt to find answers to the above. Overview We are living in a changing world where the rate of change is also accelerating. In such a context, consistent performance is increasingly becoming critical. This is particularly true for managers. They are supposed to achieve results in an efficient and effective manner utilising the existing resources, as any management textbook tells us. The crux of the matter is that they have to do so, whilst playing multiple roles in professional and personal fronts. Clarity... 

Sri Lanka can ‘leap-frog’ into the future through Nanotechnology

Published : 12:17 am  September 9, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues, W. A. Wijewardena  |  Leave a Comment  |  5,972 views  |  
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Open campaign for learning nanotechnology When the new students arrived in the Bangkok-based international university, Asian Institute of Technology a month ago, a poster displayed practically on every wall on campus had invited students to offer courses on nanotechnology. It had boldly announced: “Nanotechnology will be the future of the scientific world and students would immensely benefit by offering those courses. Such an open campaign for enlisting students in nanotechnology courses has been very common in universities in advanced countries supported by leading private firms. But it is still a rarity in higher educational institutions in Sri Lanka where the subject matter is not yet known... 

Did IFFCOLOMBO reawaken the soul of our city?

Published : 12:01 am  September 9, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,805 views  |  

By Sandya Salgado Colombo saw an overwhelming hunger for quality cinema that seemed to have been suppressed due to a lack of opportunity. People travelled the length and breadth of the country to experience world renowned Art-house movies which they would normally not get to see in the country; definitely not for free.           Even the 10 o’clock night shows were ‘House Full’ with audiences waiting patiently until 1.30 a.m. to listen to the post-movie discussions with renowned filmmakers. This is pure unconditional love for cinema. The mission of the festival was to introduce globally-recognized art-house movies to local cinema audience while exposing local films... 

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