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and 300 percent on cars, but government workers have always been able to buy them at concessionary rates — a privilege withdrawn in the 2016 budget.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.


Bosnia arrests Syrian, Algerian migrants with weapons

Updated 24 September 2018
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Bosnia arrests Syrian, Algerian migrants with weapons

SARAJEVO: Two migrants, a Syrian and an Algerian national found in possession of firearms were arrested in the Bosnian capital at the weekend, police said Monday.
It was the first time that police found weapons with migrants who have been passing through the Balkan country in growing numbers since the start of the year as they head toward western Europe.
“For the time being we do not know what they were planning to do with (the weapons),” a police spokeswoman told AFP.
“The two men tried to flee when police asked them for documents but they were quickly arrested,” spokeswoman Suvada Kuldija said.
The arrests were carried out on Sunday evening.
Police searched several locations linked to the two where they found and seized a “rifle, four guns, a silencer and more than 100 bullets of different calibres,” the spokeswoman added.
The 34-year-old Syrian national was officially registered with the authorities in charge of migrants, while police were verifying the status of the 23-year-old Algerian.
Since the start of the year, 15,000 migrants trying to reach western Europe have been registered in Bosnia, a minister said Sunday.
So far the influx does not compare with the hundreds of thousands who arrived in Europe via the ‘Balkans Route’ in 2015 and 2016, fleeing war and poverty across Africa and the Middle East.
The route was effectively closed in March 2016.
Now, most of the migrants, who enter Bosnia from Serbia or Montenegro, stay for a few days in Sarajevo before heading toward the northwestern town of Bihac.
Bihac is on the border with Europan Union member Croatia, where they try to sneak into the bloc.
Since the 1990s wars that marked the collapse of Yugoslavia, the Balkans have been considered a center for arms trafficking.
Militants who have carried out attacks in western Europe in recent years are also believed to have passed through.