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Market expects no policy rate cut

June 17 (CT) The money market witnessed a dull day of trading yesterday, which sources attributed to the fact that the market was not expecting a policy rate cut, when the Central Bank (CB) Monetary Board releases its monetary policy review for the current month tomorrow. CB's standing lending facility (SLF), the rate at which it lends banks to meet its liquidity requirement on an overnight basis is currently at 8% and its standing deposit facility (SDF), the rate at which more..

Prasanna Jayawardene out of second Test

June 17 (CI) Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene will be unavailable for selection for the second Test, thanks to a finger injury to his right hand, which he sustained while keeping during the first day at Lord's. He will be replaced in the squad by batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage, with Dinesh Chandimal likely to take over the gloves at Headingley. The injury will not prevent Jayawardene from batting in the second innings of the first Test. Jayawardene had had an X-ray on the more..

Aluthgama in anguish

June 17 (FT) Police curfew remains in force in Aluthgama and Beruwala as sporadic incidents continued in the area throughout Monday and Police and religious leaders appealed for restraint from all sides. Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds about 300 strong in Welipanna late last night. Religious clashes in Aluthgama on Sunday night claimed three lives and injured more than 70 people, Minister Rauff Hakeem and more..

ADB Chief in town

June 17 (FT) The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Takehiko Nakao, will be making a three-day visit to Sri Lanka from 17-19 June. Today, he will give a speech at the Academy of Financial Studies and, later in the day, meet with Govt and Central Bank officials and development partners. Tomorrow, 18 June, he will meet with President Rajapaksa at the President’s office and visit the Colombo Port, which has been expanded under a recently-completed ADB project. more..

Lending a helping hand to Sri Lankans, prosthetically

June 17 (Hindu) Based on the success in parts of TN and Kerala in donating the LN-4 functional prosthetic arms to those who lost their arms amputated in road or industrial accidents, Rotary Club of Coimbatore West has planned to extend its service to Sri Lanka. A special camp is scheduled to be held in SL shortly where those who had lost their arms during the course of the ethnic war will get the assistive device. Exact number of those who lost their arm will be ascertained by a survey. more..

Alutgama violence under probe by three separate police units

June 17 (Island) Investigations into the Alutgama violence on Sunday night had been handed over to three separate teams, CID, CCD and Kalutara Police Division, IGP N. K. Ilangakoon said. Addressing a media conference at the Kalutara SP’s office, the IGP said that no Buddhist monk had been killed in violence at Dharga town contrary to claims made by rumour mongers. He asked people not to get provoked by such lies. more..

'Allowing UN team to visit Sri Lanka: Open discourse in the House'

June 17 (DN) An open dialogue is required on whether Sri Lanka is to allow a UN team to visit the country to conduct an international investigation on the last phase of our humanitarian operation. The Sri Lankan Parliament is the best place to have this dialogue. There is no better place than the Parliament to discuss this, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. He pointed out that in history, many other countries which faced similar outside interference and international pressure had more..

Fears that the Khuram Shaikh murder trial could collapse and start again

June 17 (ITV) There are fears that the murder trial of a Rochdale aid worker killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka could collapse and start from scratch due to interference from the country's President. The trial has been underway in Colombo for several weeks, but reports say the presiding High Court judge, Rohini Walgama, has been put forward for a promotion to the Appeal Courts. If her promotion is accepted by President Rajapaksa, a new judge will be appointed to the trial and more..

BBS claims no hand in deadly mob attacks

June 17 (FT) The BBS disassociated itself from the mob attacks in Aluthgama and Beruwala on Sunday, but urged the govt to intervene alleging that extremist elements were fanning tensions and rumours. “The violent clashes in the Aluthgama and Beruwala areas are a direct result of the false information propagated by certain extremist quarters,” claimed BBS Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero at a press conference. more..

Canada tells Govt act quickly

June 17 (CG) Canada has called on the Govt to act quickly to ensure the safety of all communities adding that the attacks on Muslims in the country are completely unacceptable and a clear violation of the right to religious freedom. Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom said Canada condemns the outbreak of communal violence against Muslims, which resulted in the loss of lives and extensive damage to property in the south of Sri Lanka. more..

Nigeria should not look to Sri Lanka: HRW

June 17 (AP) Human Rights Watch says Nigeria’s military should not use the example of Sri Lanka’s defeat of LTTE in its war against Boko Haram. Nigeria’s Defense Ministry said Sri Lanka’s military brass made presentations to Nigerian counterparts and Nigeria is “seriously considering” using Sri Lankan model against Boko Haram Islamic extremists who have killed thousands in a 5-year-old insurgency that is spreading. HRW said it is “hard to imagine a worse idea.” more..

Buddhist-Muslim unrest boils over in SL

June 17 (NYT) In some of the worst religious violence in Sri Lanka in decades, three people have been killed and 78 injured in riots between Buddhists and Muslims in this southwestern coastal town after months of rising tensions, officials said Monday. The riots on Sunday followed a protest march by a hard-line Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena, which is led in part by monks. Its name roughly translates as Buddhist Power Force. more..

Great religions are torn apart by shortsightedness

June 17 (DM) Responding to criticism against the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that provided for the awarding of citizenship to people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka in 1988, then President J.R. Jayawardene questioned whether his critics wanted him to dump those people into the Indian Ocean. The remark by the veteran in Sri Lankan politics earns a great amount of validity today in the face of the latest round of ethnic-religious riots that had sprung up in Aluthgama and Beruwala more..

Boat People to Australia: No chance of reaching the shore!

June 17 (DM) he sorry saga of numerous Sri Lankan people being duped into making the treacherous life threatening journey by sea to Australia appears to be on the rise once again. The many who think that they could find the end of the rainbow and their eventual pot of gold at the completion of this journey, merely continue to live in hope and believe in a myth. No “boat people” seeking refugee could enter Australia’s mainland shores illegally by sea anymore. more..

Govt. has failed to address plight of milk farmers

June 17 (DM) Sri Lanka is a country which has an abundance of cattle for milk. Unfortunately none of the govts managed to make the maximum use of it. The farmers were in a continuous struggle to get a reasonable price for their milk but they never got it. At a moment when milk prices were down in the world market, Ministry of Finance and Planning increased the import duty on milk powder by Rs. 25 per kg with effect from June 2. more..

Govt and OHCHR on warpath

June 17 (SL) The Govt and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have been on a virtual warpath with OHCHR going ahead with the investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. In a strongly worded statement to OHCHR which was made public at the ongoing session of the UNHRC, the Govt refused to assist the investigation or play any part in anything linked to investigation. Meanwhile with pressure building from more..

Expressways shoved through wetlands and now we face floods, group says

June 17 (ST) An environment group has raised concerns of flooding in areas surrounding expressways, stating that wetlands, river basins and sensitive flood plains have been ignored, blocked and filled during construction. Environment Conservation Trust Director Sajeewa Chamikara, said that inland natural fresh water wetlands, such as rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, marine and salt water wetlands such as lagoons, more..

Family of dead asylum seeker denied visa to attend his funeral

June 17 (ABC) The Tamil asylum seeker who died recently after setting himself alight will be buried in Australia later this week without any of his family being allowed to attend his funeral. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison offered to send Leo Seemanpillai's body back to Sri Lanka or India, but his family says that would only cause the family more grief as they fear being targeted at a funeral in either country. more..

CEB deaf and dumb on tariff reductions

June 17 (Island) The CEB will neither bring down the electricity tariffs nor waive off the Fuel Adjustment Charge (FAC) in spite of pressure from the public. Energy sector regulatory body, PUCSL confirmed that there were no proposals from the CEB to revise the tariff structure. Last year, CEB announced plans to give the benefit of increased hydro power generation to the consumers before the year end. more..

Govt to grow 10,000 HA rubber in N&E

June 17 (PRIU) Sri Lanka will add 10,000 hectares of rubber plantation to the North East in three years, said Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Speaking at the 95th Annual General Meeting of Colombo Rubber Traders Association, he said that plans were mooted to complete 1,000 hectares by the end of 2013. SL produces only 2% of the World Rubber Market and the increase of production was a prerequisite to increase that percentage. more..

New travel advice issued by Australia after clash

June 17 (CG) The Australian Govt has issued a new travel advice on Sri Lanka following the violence which erupted in the South on Sunday, particularly in the Aluthgama and Beruwala areas. Australia’s Foreign Ministry has told Australian citizens to exercise a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka at this time because of the unpredictable security environment. “You should respect the curfew and follow the instructions more..

UNP submits its amendments to govt. MPs’ motion

June 17 (Island) The UNP yesterday submitted its amendments to be incorporated to the motion moved in Parliament by nine UPFA members against the UHNRC investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. The amendments had been signed by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera and were handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament yesterday, party sources said. Sources said that MP Samaraweera would commence more..

Sri Lankan and Bolivian Presidents hold bilateral discussions

June 17 (GDI) President Rajapaksa, who travelled to Bolivia to attend the Summit of Heads of State and Govt of the Group of 77, held bilateral talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales on Monday at the Presidential Palace. During the discussion, President Morales expressed his willingness to work closely with Sri Lanka. While stating that his visit to Bolivia is a new beginning in diplomatic, economic & trade relations more..

President Rajapaksa receives award for contributions to Peace and Democracy

June 17 (GDI) President Rajapaksa, on Monday, was awarded the “Parliamentary Order Merit Democratic Rep. Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruza” by the Bolivian Govt. Vice President of Bolivia Álvaro Linera presented the award to President Rajapaksa at the Legislative Assembly in La Paz. Award, which is the highest honor presented by State of Bolivia, recognizes contributions to peace and democracy. more..

RRI scientists say their boss has made a false claim

June 17 (Island) In response to the report headlined, Protracted tug-of-war at RRI over key posts published in The Island of June 11, the Scientific Staff Officers’ Association of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka has issued the following statement: "We thank you very much for giving publicity to the great injustice that is taking place at the RRISL through your paper on 11.06.2014. Further, we appreciate if you can give publicity for some clarifications given herewith. more..

Is the BBS the Boss? The BBS bid for power and how to beat it

June 17 (CT) There are scarier things, worse things, than Black July ’83. Aluthgama signaled the possibility of such things. The sequence of events, the lethal violence, the horror of Aluthgama were reminiscent of July ’83 –and to go by Tarzie Vittachchi’s Emergency ’58, the anti-Tamil riots of that year. That is the element of dark continuity, which we must never forget in our haste to define the present as the worst of times. But there is also the element of discontinuity more..

Pakistani General cancels visit to Sri Lanka

June 17 (NT) Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif postponed his visit to Sri Lanka in regard to ongoing operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan. Inter Service Public Relations released an official statement announcing that Army Chief will not go to his official visit to Sri Lanka in respect of operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ by Pak Army in North Waziristan. Sharif was supposed to leave for Sri Lanka today for 4-day visit. more..

Law and order: gone to the dogs

June 17 (CT) SSP Ajith Rohana, was quoted by Ceylon Today on Monday as saying the police officers are afraid to man check points during the night due to the fear of armed robbers and criminals. His confession sheds light on the increasing lawlessness and the collapse of law and order in the country. The police incompetence was vindicated in no uncertain terms in Aluthgama on Sunday, where police had been ham-fisted in controlling the riots in the coastal town. more..

'Sri Lanka credit will grow faster if long-term rates fall'

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka credit growth will accelerate if longer term lending rates fall further, Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said. "Short term rates have adjusted to a certain extent, especially for prime customers," he said. "Treasury bills, money rates all have adjusted. But long term rates, especially for housing and SME loans are still too high. Long term interest margins are still high. Deposit rates were around 7 and 8% but banks were still lending around 16 to 17 or even 18%. more..

BBS leader Kirama Wimalajothi Thera resigns from organization

June 17 (AM) Founding Leader of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Kirama Wimalajothi Thera has resigned from the organization in protest of recent activities of the BBS, Asian Mirror reliably learns. The BBS was formed by Kirama Wimalajothi Thera and Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera in 2012 with Wimalajothi Thera as the founding Leader of the organization and Gnanasara Thera as the General Secretary. more..

Sri Lanka shares close flat

June 17 (LBO) Shares closed flat Tuesday despite net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 0.31 points higher at 6,344.41. The S&P SL20 closed 0.40 points higher at 3,521.07, up 0.01%. Turnover was 1.08 billion rupees, up from 957.31 million rupees a day earlier with 93 stocks closed positive against 89 negative. Hayleys Mgt Knitting Mills closed 1.20 rupees higher at 12.40 rupees with two off-market transactions of 282.39 million rupees changing hands at 12.50 rupees per share more..

Rupee weakens from near 1 year high

June 17 (Reuters) Rupee traded little changed on Tuesday, from its highest level in nearly a year on Monday, as light importer dollar demand outpaced inward remittances and state bank dollar-buying ironed out volatility. The rupee, was traded at 130.23/26 per dollar at 0540 GMT, its highest close since June 28 last year, and little changed from Monday's close at 130.24/25. One of the two state banks, through which the central bank directs the market, bought dollars from select banks more..

Video: Sri Lanka does not belong only to Buddhists – Vajira Thero

June 17 (AD) A group of religious leaders today urged the country’s masses not to be deceived by any false rumors and to work towards establishing peace in Sri Lanka, in the wake of recent religious clashes and unrest. As religious leaders we always work with great effort towards building peace, coexistence and unity between all races in order to transform the country into a peaceful one and thereby reach prosperity, said more..

Presidential intervention sought to overcome MLT shortage at NHSL

June 17 (Island) The Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SLSMLS) yesterday called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to obtain required human resources to enable the OPD medical laboratory at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka to provide a better service to dengue patients. President of the SLSMLS, Ravi Kumudesh said that the NHSL was the only govt hospital capable of testing a suspected dengue case and issuing a report within half an hour. more..

England fined for slow over-rate

June 17 (Reuters) England captain Alastair Cook has been fined 20% of his match fee for a slow over-rate during the drawn first test with Sri Lanka at Lord's, the ICC announced on Tuesday. His team mates were fined 10% after England were found to be one over short of its target. "Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after the side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration," the ICC said. more..

More deadly riots flare in SL resort region

June 17 (AFP) More deadly violence flared in a Sri Lankan coastal resort where Buddhist hardliners set shops and homes alight for a second night running in defiance of a curfew, police and residents said Tuesday. Amid mounting international concern at the unrest, residents of a town which has borne the brunt said an unarmed security guard was killed in an attack outside a Muslim-owned farm, raising the overall death toll to four. more..

President tweets to soothe

June 17 (CT) Issuing trilingual tweets early yesterday, President Rajapaksa assured investigations will be held to make those responsible for the incidents in Aluthgama accountable. Urging all parties to exercise restraint, President vowed the govt would not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. "I urge parties concerned to act with restraint. An investigation will be held for the law to take its course of action to bring to book those responsible for incidents in Aluthgama," more..

12% jump in HIV/AIDS cases so far this year

June 17 (Island) There had been a 12% increase in HIV/AIDS cases in the country so far this year with 90 new victims detected compared to last year’s 81 cases, Director HIV/AIDS Dr. Sisira Liyanage revealed. During first 6 months of this year 16 persons had died of AIDS in Sri Lanka. Studies carried out by the sexually transmitted diseases clinic had revealed that from 50 patients detected in 2000, number of new detections had gone up to between 180 to 200 patients per year. more..

Sri Lanka police calls off hardline Buddhist rally to stop clashes

June 17 (Xinhua) Police called off a rally by a hardline Buddhist organization on Tuesday to stop the sectarian clashes between Buddhists and Muslims from spreading. The clashes have killed three and wounded 80 since Sunday. The hurriedly organized rally by hardline group BBS was to have been held in Mawanella, a town near Aluthgama and Beruwala that have been under a police curfew since Sunday evening. more..

BBS urges Police to arrest those who planned a protest in Mawanella

June 17 (AM) In an interesting turn of events, BBS has now requested Police to arrest those who organized an anti-Muslim rally in Mawanella. CEO of the BBS, Dilantha Withanage said the organizers of the Mawanella protest did not have any connection with his organization. "They pretended that they had connections with the BBS so everyone thought the BBS was behind it. In fact, the BBS never wanted to hold a protest in Mawanella. That's why we urged the police to take action against them," more..