Sri Lankan doctors strike to demand tax-free cars

Updated 03 December 2015
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Sri Lankan doctors strike to demand tax-free cars

COLOMBO: Thousands of doctors in Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals went on strike Thursday to demand the government reinstate their right to import tax-free cars after withdrawing the perk in the latest budget.
Sri Lanka imposes import taxes of between 200 and 300 percent on cars, but government workers have always been able to buy them at concessionary rates — a privilege withdrawn in the 2016 budget.
“We are maintaining only emergency services,” said Nalinda Herath, secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) of the one-day strike.
“We have had talks with the health minister, but he was unable to give us an assurance to restore the permits” to import cars tax-free, he added.
Civil servants are also taking action to protest the government’s decision, with a “work to rule” campaign from Thursday.
The finance ministry said last month it was abolishing the special car permits for government workers, including police and military, because it was costing the state too much money.


Moon back in NASA’s court 50 years after 1st lunar landing

Updated 45 min 16 sec ago
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Moon back in NASA’s court 50 years after 1st lunar landing

  • The White House wants US astronauts on the moon by 2024, a scant five years from now

CAPE CANAVERAL: The moon is back in NASA’s court 50 years after humanity’s first lunar footsteps.
The White House wants US astronauts on the moon by 2024, a scant five years from now. The moon will serve as a critical proving ground for the real prize of sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
The billionaires’ space club including Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk is on board.
But Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins prefers a beeline to Mars. Buzz Aldrin, too, is a longtime Mars backer.
NASA’s Project Artemis aims for a landing on the moon’s south pole. The space agency says astronauts on the next moon landing will spend a longer time on the lunar surface unlike the Apollo missions.