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No French money for water supply project, govt to borrow Rs. 10 b from local bank

July 14 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was given approval to issue a Treasury guarantee for Rs. 10 billion from a domestic bank for the second phase of the Kelani Right Bank Water Supply Project. Cabinet has already approved the project, which includes the construction of a new water treatment plant with a capacity of 180,000 cubic meters to improve the capacity of the Kelani Right Bank Water Treatment Plant, construction of main pipelines to distribute refined water, more..

Joint Opposition demands probe on alleged coal tender fraud

July 14 (FT) Joint Opposition urged the Govt to appoint a special select committee to investigate the controversy-ridden coal tender for the Lakvijaya power plant. UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara charged that the alleged involvement of the previous Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka in calling for tenders from coal suppliers had led to the adoption of a higher bid. more..

Professor KKYW Perera heads probe team

July 14 (CT) A three-member committee chaired by Vice Chancellor of the Moratuwa University Professor K.K.Y.W. Perera was appointed to review the procedure for the controversial purchases of coal for the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant in the years 2015 and 2016. He has served as Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy during 1980-89 and in 2002 was Chairman of the CEB from 1976-77. The members of the Committee appointed by the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, more..

Court refuses to ban IUSF protest

July 14 (CT) Fort Magistrate rejected a request by Fort Police to ban the proposed protest march organized by the IUSF and six other student unions, from proceeding to the Presidential Secretariat today, Fort Police, making submissions to Court, stated that they had received information that the IUSF and six other student unions were planning a protest march, starting from the Fort Railway Station up to the Presidential Secretariat, before trying to enter the latter forcibly on 14 July. more..

SLFP to present several VAT amendment proposals

July 14 (DN) The SLFP group representing the govt has decided to prepare its set of proposals to amend the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill to be taken up in Parliament on July 20. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the set of SLFP proposals with regard to the Bill would be handed over to President on Sunday. He said the SLFP group in the Govt met on Tuesday to discuss the VAT (Amendment) Bill. more..

Sri Lanka back in business, Ravi K tells Credit Suisse investment forum

July 14 (FT) With 6% GDP growth forecast for this year, up from 4.8% in 2015, “Sri Lanka is on the move,” Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, said in a keynote address at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC). Since a new President and Prime Minister took office at the beginning of 2015, the Govt has worked to get the country back onto a path of strong economic growth, Karunanayake said. “It was necessary for fiscal consolidation to take place.” more..

Cardinal demands to know if proposed Customs Act beneficial to criminals

July 14 (Island) Bishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith demanded to know whether the proposed Customs Act contained a clause beneficial to criminal elements such as drug barons. He said a delegation of Customs trade unions had briefed him on the proposed Act and requested his intervention. Addressing a news conference at the Bishop’s House, the prelate said several students of Ragama Basilica College had been caught with kerela ganja in their possession within school premises. more..

President, MPs urged to torpedo Missing Persons Bill

July 14 (Island) National Joint Committee (NJC) alleged that the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill would prevent revealing the identities of those who had been categorised as missing but found alive, and investigating them. Therefore, a major amendment to the controversial Bill was necessary, NJC said. Gevindu Cumaratunga of behalf of the NJC pointed out that under Clause 13 the proposed Act, information pertaining to more..

Price control: Bargain before you buy

July 14 (DM) Apparently left with no option, the govt on Tuesday decided to impose price control or a maximum retail price for 15 essential items in a bid to curb the soaring living cost, which has caused widespread public disappointment or dissent. In the orthodox forms of capitalism and socialism practised till recently, imposing price controls was not part of the now globalised capitalist market economic policies. But with the digital technology revolution and worldwide structural changes, more..

Have we lost our way

July 14 (DM) The core mission of the govt established by J R Jayewardene in 1977, after a disastrous spell of economic stagnation generated and sustained by the preceding regime of Mrs. Bandaranaike, was to make SL an economically independent nation. The dependency syndrome that SL mindset had been infested with and the manner in which it had eaten into the very inner dynamic of our society, especially since the 1956-political transformation, was observable everywhere. more..

A reconciliation destined to be still-born

July 14 (CT) Reconciliation in Sri Lanka is a phrase doing the rounds in political circles, both national and international. True, there are problems to be discussed and deep rooted issues to be reconciled with if Ssri Lanka is to enjoy a sustainable peace. Adjustments have to be made by both the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. But, what is necessary for reconciliation? Well, many and varied things. It could be institutional and more..

India-Sri Lanka sign MoU to promote mythological significance of Ramayana

July 14 (IT) In a recent move to develop infrastructure at the sites that form a part of the Ramayana circuit, the Centre has signed a MoU with SL govt which says both the neighbouring nations will work jointly to promote mutual tourism interests. Narendra Modi-led govt is now initiating Ram diplomacy in the land of Ravana, following the sanction of a multi-crore project promoting mythological significance of Ramayana. more..

Mainstream political parties brace for 2020 polls

July 14 (DM) Less than one year has lapsed after the General Elections, but the mainstream political parties ready themselves for the future parliamentary election due in 2020 by giving their mind to the kind of strategies to be evolved for electoral success. As things stand at the moment, polarity of the national unity govt has waned drastically. On the other hand, there is no well-knitted political force to represent more..

Brave ranger killed in showdown at poisoned waterhole

July 14 (ST) Six Wildlife Department officers, two armed with rifles, waited in ambush for more than two hours in the Sinukkugala jungles 16km from Hambantota town. Their mission was to arrest poachers poisoning wild animals to sell their flesh. Leading the party, the OIC of the Hambantota Wildlife Range, Ajith Gunatunga, waited patiently in the scrub close to a pond to which poison had been introduced by the poachers; more..

Remarks by Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal on Sri Lanka’s Economic Potential

July 14 (USE) Good evening. It is such a pleasure to be with all of you here today. Robert, thank you. I don't know if you all know, but Robert just took up his charge as Deputy Chief of Mission a little over a week ago. Ambassador Keshap has such tremendous confidence in him that he felt comfortable one week into Robert's tenure going back to the United States so that he could take his oldest daughter off to college, more..

CMC in a spin over Barnes Place squatter

July 14 (SL) Sri Lanka Police have come under fire for not taking action against a squatter occupying a land in Barnes Place, Colombo 7 which belongs to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). All attempts taken by the CMC to get police protection to evict the squatter who is a businessman from Mt. Lavinia has failed to date, it is learnt. Recently the CMC had made an official request to the police to have protection for more..

Video: TNA on UNHRC resolution

July 14 (DM) TNA said that it would support the govt to implement the proposals of the UNHRC resolution on SL. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said the resolution clearly states how to implement the proposals and opinions should be expressed only when the mechanisms are being created to implement these proposals. “There are different opinions expressed with affect to the reconciliation mechanism and more..

Control prices of 16 essential items announced

July 14 (EN) Sri Lanka, which aspires to be a financial centre to equal Singapore and Dubai has set price news controls for poultry, dhal, gram following a collapsed rupee over the past year. Prices of some of the items, including canned fish, onions and potatoes are artificially kept up with import cesses to allow producer lobbies to exploit poor people. Many prices of good including drugs moved up over the past year as CB printed more..

Australia rope in Muralitharan as consultant ahead of Sri Lanka Tests

July 14 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has become the second former Sri Lanka cricketer to work with Australia's players ahead of the upcoming Test series on the island. Captain Steven Smith confirmed Murali had begun to work with Australia's spinners in their training sessions in Colombo, where the team arrived last weekend. Murali is expected to continue in this consulting role until the start of the first Test, in Pallekele. more..

National trade policy by end of August

July 14 (DM) The Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade said it would formulate the National Trade Policy by the end of next month by incorporating inputs from all stakeholders through a broad-based consultative process. “During the recent deliberations between Minister Malik Samarawickrema and his Indian counterpart, an agreement was reached to begin more..

China's relevance to Sri Lanka's future

July 14 (CT) Chinese President Xi Jingpin sent his Foreign Minister on a visit for a chat with Mangala Samaraweera, last week, ahead of the Hague Declaration on the disputed South China Seas and islands. Samaraweera said at a joint media briefing before Foreign Minister Wang had talks with President Sirisena, that "While recognizing the need to maintain peace and security in the region, we also agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea." more..

Suspects of statutory rape of a minor remain at large

July 14 (CT) Chinese President Xi Jingpin sent his Foreign Minister on a visit for a chat with Mangala Samaraweera, last week, ahead of the Hague Declaration on the disputed South China Seas and islands. Samaraweera said at a joint media briefing before Foreign Minister Wang had talks with President Sirisena, that "While recognizing the need to maintain peace and security in the region, we also agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea." more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

No nominations for jailbirds - Duminda

July 14 (Island) General Secretary of the SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that the party would not give nominations hereafter to anyone who had served time in jail. As a first step, the party would scrutinise all the applications from party members seeking nominations to contest the forthcoming local govt polls and those who had done time would be disqualified. He said that over ten thousand party members had applied for nominations to contest the local govt polls. more..

Sri Lankan shares end flat; blue chips down

July 14 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Thursday, after it hit a near three-week closing high in the previous session, as investors sold blue chip shares such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and John Keells Holdings. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.01% at 6,401.90. It gained 1.3% last week in its first weekly gain in four. "There was profit-taking in some blue chip companies," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Video: Govt has agreed on foreign monitors, not judges: SF

July 14 (DM) Govt had agreed to allow foreign monitors and obtain international technical assistance for machinery that would be set up to probe alleged human right violations during the war time, Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said. He said that both President, PM were favourable towards foreign monitors and obtaining technical assistance from countries to a machinery that would be set up to probe human right more..

Most of pregnant women throw away vitamins given free of charge

July 14 (Island) Most of pregnant women who obtain folic and iron tablets provided by the govt free of charge throw them away, a recent survey has revealed. Addressing the media at a seminar conducted at Health Education Bureau (HEB) Nutrition Specialist, Physician, Medical Research Institute (MRI), Dr. Renuka Jayatissa said the survey conducted last year had revealed that only 27% of those pregnant women who took the tablets consumed them as prescribed. more..

MR congratulates British PM

July 14 (EN) Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a congratulatory message to the new British Prime Minister Theresa May says internal stability is the most important political need in today's world. A nationalist backlash against poorer Europeans seeking work in Britain, a failure understand complex economic relationships by as well as laws of European parliament that was seen as undermining UK's sovereignty led to older white voters voting to take the UK out of the EU. more..

Sri Lanka to blood youngsters

July 14 (CT) Sri Lanka are set to blood some youngsters when the three-match Test Series against Australia begins later this month at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Kandy. Angelo Mathews' Team was beaten fair and square in the recently concluded tour to England where they had numerous setbacks with spearhead Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal all suffering injuries. more..

Tea prices rise at Colombo auction

July 14 (EN) Tea prices rose at this week’s Colombo auction with some types grown on plantation company estates on the western slopes of the central hills up by Rs.20-30 a kilo on better quality, brokers said. Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said there was excellent demand for the total of 6 million kilos came under the hammer this week. There was fair demand for low grown teas, which make up the bulk of the crop, with prices of most varieties up or steady, the brokers said. more..

Paramour kills woman, and her daughter

July 14 (Island) A 37-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter were hacked to death inside their house on the Moratottam Estate, Balangoda on Tuesday. Suspect alleged to be the mother's paramour had had a dispute with the victims. Suspect, a married man, had fled the area, police said. Victims were identified as Lechchaman Shashikala (mother) and Suwendran Sanjeewani (daughter). Suspect had attempted to rape his paramour's daughter provoking Shashikala. more..

JO wants govt to pay back illegally collected tax money

July 14 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) on Tuesday urged the govt to pay back the tax money illegally collected from the public during last two months following the Supreme Court suspension of VAT and NBT increases on Monday. Former Minister Prof. G.L Peiris told the media that the govt had no right to keep the tax money collected illegally by violating the constitution of the country. The money belonged to the public, he added. more..

Anandasangaree writes to President, raises concerns on war probe

July 14 (CG) TULF Secretary General V Anandasangaree has written to President Sirisena raising concerns over some of the proposals being made related to the investigations on the war. In his letter Anandasangaree noted that all sorts of suggestions have been made from all types of people, some of whom seem to be claiming that they are the authorities in this subject and some others expect that only a particular group should deal with this problem. more..

2,000 TN fishermen chased away by SL navy, fishing nets cut

July 14 (PTI) Fishing nets of five boats of Indian fishermen were cut allegedly by SL naval personnel on Thursday, who also chased away more than 2,000 fishermen off Katchatheevu islet. Lankan naval personnel cut the nets, warned them against fishing in their territorial waters and chased away more than 2,000 fishermen from the area, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association President said. Fishermen from Rameswaram had put out to sea on 617 mechanised boats on Wed. more..

Sri Lanka approves national payment platform for digital commerce

July 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved the setting up of a National Payments Platform (NPP) to handle online payments as part of govt efforts to encourage digital transactions, a spokesman said. The NPP will help overcome a key constraint on the use of credit cards whose use is now low because of high transaction charges levied by international payment card schemes, said Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. more..

Novel pilot bus service launched in Kandy

July 14 (Island) A private bus service that would operate without buses competing for passengers along the route would be launched in Kandy from July 20, Central Provincial Passenger Transport Services Authority said. The private bus service in the Central province had been reformed for the benefit of the passenger community, the private bus owners and the bus crews, Chairman of the Central Provincial Passenger Transport Services Authority (CPPTSA) Eric Weerawardana said. more..

Mobike accidents claim 621 lives

July 14 (CT) Traffic Police Headquarters said, since 1 January this year there have been 604 fatal motorcycle accidents to date which have taken the lives of 621 persons. 368 motorcyclists, 76 pillion riders, 133 pedestrians, three passengers, 40 cyclists and a three-wheeler driver were among the victims. There had been 567 fatal accidents claiming 596 lives in these categories during the corresponding period last year reflecting a near 10% increase in fatalities. more..

Bharatha Killing: Judgment fixed for Sept 8

July 14 (DM) Oral Submissions in connection with the case against former PM Duminda Silva and 12 others over the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others was concluded today and fixed for judgment on Sept 8 by the Trial at Bar in the Colombo High Court. The Trial at Bar comprising Justices Shiran Gunaratne, Pathmini Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Morais ordered to submit written submission over the case on more..

Sri Lanka urged to tap diaspora investments

July 14 (EN) The govt should adopt a more focused approach to attract investments from Sri Lankans living abroad with special incentive schemes and a one-stop-shop for diaspora investors, International Alert said. The London-based conflict-prevention NGO said that with nearly three million Sri Lankans living across the world (about 14% of the country’s population) Sri Lanka’s diaspora-to-population ratio is known as one of the highest in the South Asian region. more..

Sri Lanka loses all mixed matches

July 14 (CT) Sri Lankan team which participated in the mixed matches at the Asian Junior Badminton Championships being held in Bangkok, Thailand has dropped to last place since they were defeated in all the matches they played. They lost to Japan 5-0, were defeated by Hong Kong 5-0 and even lost to an inexperienced team Macao 3-2, and it was significant that they were thrown out of the mixed teams round as well. Preparations are under way for the Sri Lankan team participating in more..