Sri Lankan doctors strike to demand tax-free cars

Updated 03 December 2015
0

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and 300 percent on cars, but government workers have always been able to buy them at concessionary rates — a privilege withdrawn in the 2016 budget.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


British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

Updated 36 min 19 sec ago
0

British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

  • The MP of the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship
  • Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians

A prominent British politician has called for Asma Assad, the British wife of the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, to be stripped of her UK citizenship. 

The foreign affairs spokesman of the centrist party, the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship after her social media posts in support of her husband’s regime.

 “The first lady of Syria has acted not as a private citizen but as a spokesperson for the Syrian presidency... Boris Johnson has urged other countries to do more about Syria, but the British government could say to Asma Assad, either stop using your position to defend barbaric acts, or be stripped of your citizenship,” Brake was cited by British daily the Guardian as saying.  

Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

She posted a message saying: “The presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that what America has done is an irresponsible act that only reflects a short-sightedness, a narrow horizon, a political and military blindness to reality and a naive pursuit of a frenzied false propaganda campaign.”

Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, also joined the call to revoke her British nationality, calling Asma “very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes.”

Asma was born and raised in London to Syrian parents and left the UK in 2000 to live in Syria where she married Assad.