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Green chilli causes heartburn at Rs 1,150 a kilo, vegetable prices rocket

July 18 (ST) The eye-watering price of green chilli in the market is leaving a pungent taste in the mouths of millions who get by on pol sambal and rice, especially the poor. Green chilli, mainly grown in the dry zone districts including Moneragala, Vavuniya, Ampara, Kurunegala, and Puttalam, is now retailing at an unprecedented Rs 1,150 a kilo in Colombo and the suburbs. What is worse for the average household more..

Businessman & Politician: Minister Daya Gamage: Basil Rajapakse of Yahapalana govt

July 18 (SL) Minister Daya Gamage is alleged to have been involved in the illegal land encroaching in Panama in the Ampara district. Environmentalists claim that this very minster, during the previous regime, encouraged people living in close proximity to Panama to voice their protest against the illegal land grab. The land in question had been taken over by security forces on govt initiation to be sold to foreign companies and businessmen more..

Sri Lanka starts drafting framework for Independent Media Commission

July 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s govt has convinced media institutions of the need for establishing an Independent Media Commission in the country. As per the Information Department, a five-member committee has been appointed to prepare the draft. Wijayananda Jayaweera who was a former communication director at UNESCO has been appointed as its chairman. Other members are Seetha Ranjani, Convener of FMM, more..

SLFPers in govt threaten to oppose VAT bill unless ...

July 18 (Island) SLFP MPs in coalition govt warn that they will be compelled to vote against the controversial VAT Bill to be presented to Parliament unless the amendments proposed by them are accommodated to bring relief to the people. UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the SLFP was against any tax that would unjustly burden the people who were already struggling to make ends meet. more..

Mahinda accuses present rulers of claiming credit for what his govt did

July 18 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a public rally at Beliatta. Hambantota District MP D.V. Chanaka and Chairman of the SPC K.A. Somawansa are also present. Former President says the present govt has not done anything for the people, but claims the credit for the development projects launched by his administration. He said several projects launched by the previous govt were being opened by more..

Interpol warrant on Udayanga denied

July 18 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne denied the request by the FCID of the Police, to issue a warrant on Udayanga Weeratunga. At the hearing on July 15, the FCID requested Magistrate Jayaratne to issue a warrant through the Interpol to arrest Weeratunga who is charged with financial misappropriation. Magistrate had fixed today to consider the request by the prosecuting FCID. more..

Video: Basil Rajapaksa arrested by FCID

July 18 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was arrested by the FCID, today. The former Minister was arrested on charges of misappropriation of Divi Neguma funds, an official said. He will be produced before a Magistrate this afternoon. Rajapaksa and three other senior ministry officials were also arrested on April 22, 2015 in connection with a complaint alleging financial fraud in the Divi Neguma Department, more..

Video: JHU condemns Jaffna Uni clash

July 18 (DM) JHU National Organiser Nishantha Warnasinghe condemned the clash between two student factions, which occurred at the Jaffna University campus last Saturday. He said they could not condone the clash, which had aroused separatism and racism once again in the country as the clash had erupted due to a cultural performance. “The cultural performance was included in the welcome ceremony, more..

'Country being pushed into abyss'

July 18 (Island) History was compelling the people to understand the depth and breadth of the abyss into which the country was being pushed and they had to act fast to avoid disaster, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He said: "Present day rulers are leading the country towards an abyss. We with progressive forces have always struggled to save the nation. Today, we have to stand up against what is being done against more..

Singapore signs deal to help develop Sri Lanka's Western Region

July 18 (CNA) International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MoMWD) of Sri Lanka signed an agreement to collaborate on business development in SL's Western Region Megapolis today. IE Singapore said the MOU was the first between Sri Lanka and a Singapore govt agency, paving the way for "stronger Singapore-SL investment and economic partnerships". more..

Supreme Court bench refers car permit abuse issue to Chief Justice

July 18 (CT) A two-judge bench today referred the car permit abuse issue to Chief Justice K Sripavan. The decision was taken when the case filed by rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku came up before Supreme Court today, presided by Justice Priyasath Dep. Kodituwakku filed the case, on grounds that MPs who were granted the car permits were abusing the permit by selling it in the open market, which has resulted in the State losing millions in revenue. In early July, even though AG informed more..

Combatting dengue: Health Minister submits paper to Cabinet

July 18 (DN) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has submitted a paper seeking Cabinet approval to recruit a team of 15,000 persons to inspect homes and other premises for possible dengue mosquito breeding sites, Health Services Director General Dr. Mahipala said. He said the team of 1,500 would be deployed to inspect all private, public and state premises, without prior notice. This was because the ministry found that many people would clean their premises of possible dengue breeding sites more..

කිෂානි ජයසිංහ

Shares end down ahead of policy statement

July 18 (Reuters) Shares ended weaker on Monday, from their more than three-week closing high hit in the previous session, as investors turned cautious ahead of the govt's policy statement next month. The bourse touched a three-week high on Friday after investor sentiment was boosted with SL raising $1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds last week, as over $5.5 billion in offers for the issue showed that global investors were bullish about prospects of the $82 billion economy. more..

Deviyo Sakki

July 18 (Island) Two devotees who entered the Kataragama Devale of Kandy to receive blessings of the god created tension at the sacred place as they began exchanging blows in front of the other devotees on Friday morning. The police intervened and prevented a major situation. The quarrel was between a resident of Mapanawathura and a resident of Kandy. The police arrested the resident of Mapanawathura, who caused injuries to the latter. Injured was admitted to Kandy Hospital. more..

Video: Namal released on bail

July 18 (DM) Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa, who was in custody, has been granted bail today. The suspect was released on a cash bail of Rs.50,000 and three personal bails of Rs.500,000 each after being produced before the Fort Magistrate a short while ago on Monday (18). A protest was also staged in Tangalle in protest over the decision to arrest and remand the Hambantota District MP yesterday. more..

Dual Citizenship

July 18 (CT) Dr. A. Baheerathan, the son of late Opposition Leader and TULF Leader Appapillai Amirthalingam obtained his dual citizenship and took his formal oaths to determine his Sri Lankan citizenship in Colombo last week. Like Dr. Baheerathan thousands of Sri Lankans, mainly from the Northern and Eastern Provinces, were compelled to seek refuge in various countries due to the ethnic strife in the country. Following the '83 Black July communal outburst and civil war more..

Govt instructs police to revise transfer, promotion procedures

July 18 (Island) The Govt is planning to revise police transfer and promotion schemes soon, Minister Sagala Ratnayake said. He said that he had already instructed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to take actions necessary to introduce new transfer and promotion schemes to the department to avoid inconveniences faced by police personnel. Addressing a ceremony to launch a book by a retired senior police officer, he said: "We are aware of the fact that frustration and disappointment prevailing among more..

Sri Lanka's ex-police, military top brass risk arrest over Lasantha murder

July 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's Police Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has hinted of high-profile arrests as the authorities close in on the assassins of anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. The latest arrest of a military intelligence officer last week has led the authorities to piece together the individuals involved in ordering the Jan 8, 2009 assassination as well as the well orchestrated cover up of the murder. more..

Now, SAITM parents on warpath

July 18 (Island) Convenor, SAITM Students Parents Circle, Gemunu Wijeratne said that govt was trying to shirk its responsibility as regards the Malabe private medical college issue and the Higher Education Ministry and the Health Ministry under whose purview it came were passing the buck. Convenor accused Minister Lakshman Kiriella of ignoring his responsibility by claiming that the UPFA government had to take the blame for SAITM as it started when the UPFA was in power. more..

Commander of the Navy at PALS 2016

July 18 (GDI) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the invitation of Commander U.S. Marine Corps and Pacific Commanding General Fleet Marine Force, Lieutenant General John A. Toolan, took part in the Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium (PALS) 2016. He was accompanied by Naval Secretary, Commodore Udaya Hettiarachchi. The event took off ground on 11th July and held until the 14th in Southern California, USA. more..

'Coal tender scams: 4 ministers involved'

July 18 (CT) Anti Corruption Front (ACF) charged that previous subject ministers of Ministry of Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka, John Seneviratne, Pavitra Wanniarachchi and the incumbent, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya have solicited unscrupulous financial benefits through coal tender scams committed by the ministry's officials. It was revealed last January and March that the controversial more..

TNA condemns Jaffna Uni. clash

July 18 (AD) The TNA has condemned the clashes that took place at the University of Jaffna on Saturday. The TNA in a statement today said, “We regret that several students have sustained injuries and that the Sinhala students had to be evacuated from the University and Jaffna as a precautionary measure. The TNA appeals to all students not to permit any recurrence of such incidents or anything that will hinder genuine reconciliation amongst communities in our country. more..

O'Keefe five-for studs Aussie dominance

July 18 (CI) Steve O'Keefe, the left-arm spinner, used the bounce available on the P Sara Oval surface to make a potent start to his first Test tour of Sri Lanka. He claimed wickets in batches to finish with 5 for 43 as Sri Lankan XI were bowled out for 229 on the the opening day of their three-day fixture. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon, the offspinner, went for 72 in 13 wicketless overs. But it is unlikely that Australia will depose senior spinner Lyon given his good returns through the recent home summer. more..

For sale: The world's emptiest int'l airport

July 18 (Forbes) SL govt announced at the end of June that it is looking for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from investors looking to undertake commercial operations at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), the country’s number two international airport. With just two daily flights — the second just being added in May — this international airport can be argued to be the world’s most underused, and has been a consistent more..

Sajith sticks his neck out for ETCA

July 18 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader and Minister Sajith Premadasa has thrown his weight behind the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India. Addressing a gathering at Ranminithenna, Tissamaharama, on Saturday, Hambantota District MP Premadasa declared that ETCA would be immensely beneficial to Sri Lanka. Early conclusion of the agreement would pave the way for Sri Lankan exports to find a huge Indian market, Minister said. more..

Rupavahini black-out of Jaffna Uni clash

July 18 (CT) I watched Rupavahini news the night (16) Jaffna University students clashed. The purpose was to find out about the clash that had taken place at Jaffna University. Let’s consider the time allocated by this state-run tv station for various news stories, in the order telecast: 1. The Turkish coup attempt: 3.12 minutes. 2. A rubbish story about an Army Intelligence Officer arrested over allegedly connection to the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge: 1.07 minutes more..

India likely to set up LNG fuelled power plant in Western Sri Lanka

July 18 (ENS) India is likely to set up a Liquefied Natural Gas-fuelled 500 MW power plant at Kerawalapitiya on the Western coast as requested by the Lankan govt. On environmental grounds, the SL govt is keen on switching over to LNG from coal as fuel for its future power plants. During his last visit to India, SL President Sirisena had requested Indian PM Narendra Modi not to proceed with 500 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur in the East more..

Ranil to highlight SL growth model, investment priorities, challenges

July 18 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in Singapore yesterday for a three day official visit during which he will hold bilateral talks and also deliver the key note address at the high profile 3rd South Asian Diaspora Convention. He was received at the Changi Airport by Singapore’s Minister Janil Puthucheary. PM was accompanied by his wife Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Ministers Managala Samaraweera, Malik Samarawickrama and Dushmantha Mithrapala. more..

Wang Yi’s visit boosts China-Sri Lanka ties, sparks concern in India

July 18 (AT) China, Sri Lanka’s biggest donor of foreign aid this year, has assured its fullest cooperation to develop Sri Lanka amidst increasing concern by India. During a recent meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged his govt’s continued assistance to help develop the country. Yi, who was on a three-day official visit that concluded on July 10, was the first highest ranking Chinese official to visit SL under Sirisena’s administration. more..

Tamil-Sinhalese clash leads to indefinite closure of Jaffna University

July 18 (ENS) A violent clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students of Jaffna University has led an indefinite closure of the university, the only institution of higher learning in Tamil-majority Northern Province. Four Sinhalese students were injured, one of them seriously, when students belonging to the two communities attacked each other following a sharp difference of opinion over allowing Kandyan dancing more..

Levy on imported sugar reduced

July 18 (DM) The special commodity levy on imported sugar has been reduced from Rs. 30 per kilogramme to 25 cents with effect from midnight today, the Finance Ministry said. The govt on July 12 amended the prices of 15 consumer goods including sugar, dhal, potatoes, big onions, dried chilies, dried fish and milk powder. Sugar is now imported to Sri Lanka at Rs.115 a kg and the tax was reduced to facilitate the sale of sugar at the new control price, Consumer Rights Protection said. more..

Hurdles cleared for LG elections

July 18 (DM) All hurdles will be cleared for conducting the local authorities’ elections once the committee appointed to sort out delimitation issues submits its report on Aug 15. Committee headed by senior administrative service official Asoka Peiris said he had, more or less, finalised his work in sorting out discrepancies in the delimitation of electoral wards to conduct the next election under a new system - a mix of Proportional Representation System and the First Past the Post System. more..

All educational institutions should act as reconciliation centers: President

July 18 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has stated that all the educational institutions, including the universities and vocational training centers should act as reconciliation centers as well as the field of reconciliation should be included in the school curriculum as a subject. President referring to the incident occurred last week at the University of Jaffna expressed his deep concern in this regard and he further said that more..

Amateur artists paint the town Cinnamon Red with street art walk in Colombo

July 18 (AI) When it comes to contemporary art, SL scene is still in its infancy. Colombo Art Biennale is only on its 4th edition, opening this Nov 25, and many of the contemporary art galleries in the city are just a decade old, including the Red Dot Gallery (2007) and the Saskia Fernando Gallery (2009). Opportunities for new artists are opening up though, and one place in particular has loaned its walls to aspiring teenagers, letting them paint the town red across several floors of their tower. more..

Even Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe could be arrested: Wimal

July 18 (DM) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa today said the Govt needed at least one of the Rajapaksas in prison at any given time and that it may even place Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in jail, because he was also a Rajapaksa. He said this was why the FCID had arrested former MP Basil Rajapaksa, when his nephew MP Namal Rajapaksa was released. “It seems anyone with the surname Rajapaksa could be put in jail, so the Govt leaders could have a good night’s sleep. more..

Port City to apply its own economic, commercial laws: PM

July 18 (LBO) Proposed Financial City better known as Port City will function as a special jurisdiction area with its own economic and commercial laws to facilitate operations of global multinational corporations, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Delivering keynote address at 3rd South Asian Diaspora Convention, PM said the proposed city is ideal to fill the vacuum for a financial city along trading route between Singapore & Dubai. more..

International pressure on govt eases

July 19 (CT) The international community appears to be accepting the Sri Lankan govt’s position that international judges will not sit in judgment regarding war crimes committed during the course of the country’s civil war. The UNHRC resolution of Oct 2015 which the govt co-sponsored left the situation ambiguous. It stated that there would be international participation of foreign and Commonwealth judges but did not specify in what form that participation would be. more..

Where SL’s long term energy security?

July 19 (CT) We are all quite aware of the mess in the electricity sector in the country. Both quality and continuity have been compromised and there seems to be little done to rectify the matter. Consumer suffers constantly due to blackouts, breakdowns, price hikes and manipulation, horror service and customer response, insane engineering decisions, all sorts of rumors related to corruption, citizen confusion and trade union thuggery. Pressure is seen not only in macroeconomics but in more..

‘Credibility of process is key’

July 19 (SO) European Union (EU) will to call for a foreign judicial role, only if SL Govt fails to appoint a credible truth seeking and accountability mechanism to probe allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses. EU Charge d’Affaires and Head Political, Trade and Communications, Paul Godfrey said they supported the UN Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid Al Hussein’s opinion that the proposed judicial more..