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LTTE ban should continue, India tells UK

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India has told the UK that the ban on the LTTE or Liberation Tigers from Tamil Eelam should continue. New Delhi “shared information” on why the ban should remain with the group which was responsible for the 30-year insurgency in Sri Lanka, but also for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, according to Indian media reports.

The development comes after the UK’s Outlawed Organizations Appeal Board (POAC) in October removed the group’s terrorist label.

Earlier on Tuesday, in response to a question from WION, Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson on whether India raised the issue said: “I cannot comment on individual conversations that we had. But we had a detailed discussion on a range of issues, especially around this type of issue with the Indian government in a different format”.

The POAC’s decision comes after an appeal was filed in May 2019 by an LTTE front organization that challenged the UK Secretary of State for Home Affairs’ decision. The decision rejected the request to remove the LTTE from the list of organizations banned under the UK Terrorism Act 2000.

Sri Lanka had protested against this development and appealed the POAC ruling on the delisting of the LTTE as a terrorist organization.

In a statement, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said: “The government of Sri Lanka has sufficient evidence to prove that the remnants of the LTTE and groups aligned with its terrorist ideology are active in foreign countries, working to incite to violence and destabilize the country “.

Explaining that “Sri Lanka remains vigilant in the face of threats to its national security as well as that of the region, and will always support members of the international community in the global fight against terrorism.”

The UK listed the LTTE as a terrorist group in 2000. The UK Home Secretary will make the final decision on its listing.



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UNDP: Rs 600 bn tax cut a huge mistake

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Director of the Sustainable Finance Hub of the UNDP Marcos Neto has called the decision to do away with a range of taxes here a fundamental mistake committed by Sri Lanka.The comment was made at the Parliament complex during an interactive dialogue on ‘Revenue Generation as a Pathway to Sri Lanka’s Economic Recovery’ on Tuesday (09). It was organised on a request by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, former Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Opposition as well as several other parties alleged that the government had lost as much as Rs 600 bn due to the controversial decision to do away with a range of taxes including PAYE, NBT (Nation Building Tax), Withholding tax, Capital Gain tax imposed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, Bank Debit tax and unprecedented reduction of VAT (Value Added Tax). The 15% VAT and the 2% NBT which amounted to 17% imposed on all goods and services were unified and reduced to 8%, effective from the first of December 2019.

The decision was taken at the first Cabinet meeting of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government on 27 Nov. 2019.Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe is on record as having said that the powers that be ignored the IMF warning not to do so and also the immediate need to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt (SF)

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Debate on power tariff hike on 29 Aug.

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Party leaders have decided to debate the electricity tariff hikes in parliament on 29 August.The date was fixed for the debate following a request by the main opposition SJB.The debate will be held from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm on 29 August.

Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament on Wednesday (10) that as per the proposed tariff hike the monthly electricity bill of domestic consumers would increase by 75 percent to 125 percent. “This is unbearable. This is like sending the people to an electric chair while they are struggling to make ends meet amidst a massive increase in cost of living.

How does this government expect people would be able to pay such an exorbitant price for electricity? We demand a debate in parliament before this proposed tariff hike is implemented,” Kiriella said.

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British national to be deported

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Department of Immigration and Emigration has ordered Kayleigh Fraser, a British national whose passport has been taken into custody after she posted on social media anti-government protests, for violating her visa conditions, to leave the country by 15 August. The Department has already cancelled her visa.

Earlier this month Immigration and Emigration officials visited Fraser at her home and took her passport into custody. The Department said Fraser had been in Sri Lanka for medical reasons since 2019. She had returned home several times, it said.

The Immigration and Emigration officers told her to visit them within the next seven days.Fraser on 02 August said that a group of immigration officers had visited her and asked for her travel document. She said that officials told her that they would return her passport when she visited the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Fraser added that she had received an anonymous call asking her to leave Sri Lanka as soon as possible before facing ‘big problems.’ Immigration officials visited her house a few days after the call.

Fraser has shared a number of photographs and videos from the ‘Gota Go Gama’ site. Human Rights groups and activists have accused the Sri Lankan government of using Emergency regulations to harass and arbitrarily detain activists seeking political reform and accountability for the country’s economic crisis.

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