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Duration of power cuts revised 

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SL to stop sending women overseas as housemaids

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The Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara has urged the management of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies to submit a set of proposals to completely stop sending Sri Lankan women overseas to work as housemaids.

He has said this yesterday (Feb. 20).

The Minister has emphasized the importance of halting the usual practice of sending women for overseas employment as domestic workers and sending them for foreign jobs in high paying skilled categories instead.

The Minister has said that the proposals should include views and suggestions of all stakeholders in the sector.

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Special commodity levy on several items, upped

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A government notification has been issued, increasing the special commodity levy imposed on several items including black grams, green grams and cowpeas.

As such, the special commodity levy on black grams (skinned, either split or not) has been increased to Rs. 300 per kilogram. 

Meanwhile, the tax on green grams, cowpeas, Kurakkan (seeds), Kurakkan (other), millet (seeds) and millet (other) has been raised from Rs. 70 to Rs. 300.

In addition, a special commodity levy of Rs. 25 is in place on maize.

The communiqué, issued by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance Minister, says the order is valid from February 20, 2024 through December 31, 2024.

It also notes that importation of maize, black grams, green grams, and Kurakkan is allowed on the recommendation of the Agriculture Ministry.

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Notice issued to Asiri Medical Hospital Directors

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The Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court has issued a notice to the Director Board of Asiri Hospitals, ordering them to appear before open courts today (Feb. 21).

This is with regard to a case where the hospital had previously pleaded guilty to selling 11 drugs beyond the MRP set as per the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Act.

Notice has been issued to all 11 respondents in the case which includes the group’s directors – Vishal Bali, Ashoka Kariyawasam Pathirage, Ankur Nand Thadani, Karunamuni Manjula Prasanna Karunaratne, Sudarshan Ahangama, Gardiyar Lokuge Harris Premaratne, Sivakumar Sellaiya, Haresh Kumar Kaimal and Ajith Karunaratne as well as Assistant Billing Manager – B.D. Sadathisaru.

The Maligakanda Magistrate – Ms. Lochani Abeywickrama had issued notice to the respondents, rejecting the objection of the defense lawyers.

When this case had been called before the Acting Magistrate on Jan. 17th, neither the aggrieved party nor the NMRA, which was the plaintiff in this case had been present while the defendant had failed to inform of their motion before the scheduled date.

Accordingly, the Acting Magistrate had not received the opportunity to listen to both parties on the relevant date.

Noting all this, Justice Abeywickrama had said that therefore the verdict by the Acting Magistrate is legally flawed and the court is of the opinion that the case cannot be considered as closed since the defendants of this case are yet to appear before court.

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