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Military too strong at 247,000 in peacetime: legislator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s military strength at 247,000 is too expensive to maintain and reserve force should be considered, ruling party legislator Mahindanda Aluthgamage has said.

“Our tri-forces amount to 247,000,” Aluthgamage, a former agriculture minister of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Party who is now without a portfolio told parliament.

“In other countries of the world, when the war is over they voluntarily leave. Or they leave and are kept in reserve.

“We spend 100 billion rupees for food alone.”

According to Globalfirepower.com, an online defence information portal, Australia which had a population similar to Sri Lanka had 59,000 regular servicemen and 20,000 in reserve, the Netherlands which had a population of 17 million had a 35,000 regular servicemen and 5,000 in reserve.

Canada which had a population of 37 million maintained 70,000 regular servicemen and had 19,000 in reserve.Sri Lanka expanded its military during its civil war which ended in 2009.

Sri Lanka from 2015 went on a peculiar strategy called revenue based fiscal consolidation increasing taxes and not engaging in regular fiscal consolidation which involves both tax increases and cost – cutting (spending based consolidation).Sri Lanka’s state workers now take home a large share of taxes.

In early 2022 Sri Lanka increased the retirement age from 60 to 65. An interim budget announced that it would be reversed. Sri Lanka has about 1.5 million state workers, which is growing partly due to giving lifetime jobs to graduates of state universities following a campaign launched by the opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna which was adopted by the Rata Perata regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa and continued.

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A Dutch cultural delegation led by State Secretary for Culture and Media in the Netherlands, Gunay Uslu, will be visiting Sri Lanka from 27th to 31st August. The State Secretary is making a special visit to Sri Lanka to sign the legal document transferring the ownership of the cultural artifacts that will be returned to Sri Lanka later this year. The objects include the famous Lewke’s canon, two Gold kastanes (ceremonial sword), Singalese knives, Silver kastane and two guns. The visiting State Secretary is expected to meet with the senior officials of the Sri Lankan government to mark this historic moment. Legal transfer of ownership will be signed at the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka on Monday 28th August 2023. The delegation will visit a few places with religious and Dutch historic value in Sri Lanka. There will also be a public lecture conducted by the State Secretary on 29th August at 4 pm at the Auditorium of the Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka. (Attendance on pre-registration only!) About the return of cultural artifacts While acknowledging both the tangible and intangible heritage of Dutch colonial times in Sri Lanka, the Netherlands is also critically looking at its own role in the history. In 2021 the Dutch government approved the policy for the return of cultural heritage objects that are in the possession of the Dutch State. The indigenous populations of colonial territories were served an injustice through the involuntary loss of objects that formed part of their cultural heritage, says the Dutch government. Therefore the Dutch government is keen to help rectify this historic injustice by returning cultural heritage objects to their country of origin and by strengthening international cooperation in this area. In December 2022, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands appointed an independent commission, the Advisory Committee on the Return of Cultural Objects from Colonial Context, chaired by Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, to assess and facilitate the return of colonial objects to their respective countries of origin. At the request of Sri Lanka, this committee decided, in July this year, to advise the return of six objects of cultural significance that were wrongfully brought to the Netherlands during the colonial period. About Provenance research In 2021, researchers from both countries studied the provenance (background) of these objects extensively. In 1765, these items were taken as loot by the Dutch from the Kandyan Kingdom during the siege of the Palace. The people of the Netherlands feel a moral obligation to return looted or otherwise wrongfully acquired objects to their rightful owners. Righting the wrongs of the past is needed to heal the historic wounds. The return process is expected to form the basis for further cooperation between the two countries and the cultural institutions concerned. The cooperation will mainly be focused on the exchange of technical expertise, knowledge sharing and education. About the delegation The official delegation will consist of Ms. Barbera Wolfensberger, Director General, Culture and Media in the Netherlands, Ms. Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You (Chairperson, Dutch Colonial Collections Committee) and Dr. Alicia Schrikker (member of the Committee). This committee earlier presented a report with recommendation to the Dutch government regarding the returning of colonial artifacts.

Lincoln

நாளாந்த மின்சார உற்பத்திக்கான செலவு 600 மில்லியன் ரூபாவால் அதிகரிப்பு

Lincoln

ஸ்ரீலங்கன் ஏர்லைன்ஸ் தொடர்பில் புதிய அறிவிப்பு..!

Lincoln

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