The highlights of this week’s news were centred mostly on international news, in the aftermath of last Friday’s (November 13) tragedy in Paris, while deadly bomb attacks were also reported in Nigeria. Local news wasn’t entirely dull, however, what with budget anticipation, as well as a few incidents which kept law and order personnel on their toes. Here’s this week in news:
Budget Speech Today
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake is to deliver the budget speech in Parliament today (November 20). This is to be the first budget of the new government, and the 70th budget of Independent Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena met with senior government members yesterday to discuss the final budget proposals.
Cigarettes Worth Rs. 355 Million Seized
Sri Lanka Customs on Wednesday (November 18) seized a consignment of cigarettes worth Rs. 355 million, which had been originally declared as chest freezers. Evaded payment to the state was estimated at Rs. 300 million.
PRECIFAC Summons MR Again
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was summoned this morning (November 20) to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC). The Commission reportedly heard Rajapaksa’s statement with regard to alleged non-payment of money owed to ITN.
More Indian Fishermen Arrested
The Sri Lanka Coast Guard, with the help of the Navy, yesterday (November 19) arrested fourteen Indian fishermen and three fishing vessels near Delft Island. The fishermen had reportedly violated the International Maritime Boundary Line, and are currently being detained by the Navy.
Google Traffic for Sri Lanka
Google Maps has launched its Google Traffic feature in Sri Lanka, making it possible to keep a tab on real-time traffic conditions in Colombo and other locations. The feature is available on Google Maps for both desktops and mobile devices.
France: Aftermath of Paris Attacks
A series of terrorist attacks were carried out across France’s capital city on Friday, November 13, killing 129 and injuring 352 people. In the days that followed, police carried out raids across Paris, and also in Belgium, in an effort to track down the ISIL attackers responsible for the tragedy. On Thursday (November 19), it was finally reported that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, believed to be the mastermind behind the attacks, was killed in a police raid in Paris.
The aftermath of the Paris attacks also saw a number of Islamophobic hate crimes reported in the UK, while in the United States more than half of all governors declared that they will not be allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in their states.
Nigeria: Bomb Attacks
Bomb attacks in two different Nigerian cities have left dozens dead and more injured. At least 32 people were killed in an explosion at a market place in the city of Yola on Tuesday (November 17). A day later, two suicide blasts at another busy market place in the city of Kano killed at least 15 people, and injured over 50 others. The two suicide bombers are believed to be females aged 11 and 18. Terrorist outfit Boko Haram is the prime suspect for the bombings.
New Zealand: Tributes Paid to Rugby Legend Lomu
New Zealand rugby union legend Jonah Lomu died aged 40, after a long battle with a kidney disorder. Lomu was considered one of the greatest rugby players of all time, and his death this week prompted sadness and sympathy from across the world.
Botswana: World’s Second Largest Diamond Discovered
A 1,111-carat diamond was found in a mine in Karowe, Botswana, making it the world’s second largest diamond, and the largest diamond to be discovered in over a century. It is believed to be only second in size to a 3,106-carat diamond mined in South Africa in 1905.