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Industrial output up by 4.8% in 1Q of 2016

June 30 (Island) The country’s overall industrial production has increased by 4.8% during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the production in the previous year, Director General of Department of Census and Statistics Dr. A.J. Satharasinghe said. The volume of industrial production has increased by 3.4% in Jan 2016 with respect to the average monthly production in 2015. The volume of production has increased during the month of February and March as well and more..

Cigarettes, Beedis killing more imbeciles...

June 30 (CT) Sri Lanka's fight against tobacco addiction has, as in many other countries in the region, focused on the cigarette industry. Discouraging cigarette smoking is one aspect of it. Sri Lanka was the fifth country in the region to sign the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the first country in the region to ratify it. The focus on curbing other forms of tobacco consumption including that of chewing more..

Case against Rohitha on 5 Sept

June 30 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Bandula Karunaratne put off for hearing, the case, filed by the Bribery Commission, against former Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, to 5 September 2016. The Bribery Commission has alleged that Abeygunawardena had illegally earned a sum of Rs 43 million, while being an MP. Abeygunawardena was in Court when the case was called for hearing yesterday. The case has been filed under clause 23 A of the Bribery Act. more..

Navy officer’s demotion suspended

June 30 (DN) The demotion of Lieutenant Commodore K.C. Welagedara who was found guilty at the Court Martial has been suspended as he had appealed to President Sirisena against the Court Martial judgement, Navy Media Spokesman Captain Akram Alavi said. In response to a question by a media personnel, Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe instructed to submit details of the appeal of the Lieutenant Commodore to him as he was the chairman of the Appeal Committee & assured more..

Video: PM hindering new CB Governor slot

June 30 (DM) NFF yesterday claimed that President Maithripala Sirisena had to retract his decision to appoint a new Central Bank Governor on Wednesday due to the alleged intervention of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. NFF leader MP Wimal Weerawansa told a media briefing, that President had arrived at a discussion held at Central Bank on Wednesday evening with a letter containing more..

Sri Lanka shares fall for 9th session

June 30 (Reuters) Shares ended lower for the ninth straight session on Thursday as comments from a minister earlier this week on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities continued to dampen sentiment. Sri Lanka will impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a minister said, as the govt tries to shore up its finances to meet conditions for an IMF loan. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.12% down at 6,283.27. It has fallen 2.83% in the last nine sessions. more..

‘No SLPA land or terminals will be privatised’

June 30 (DN) SLPA Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said that there is no room for privatisation, but, the expansion of the proposed East Container Terminal will be developed under a public-private partnership. Asked whether any property of the Colombo harbour such as lands and container terminals including Jaya Container Terminal are going to be privatised, he stressed that no property of the harbour will be privatised even though certain elements level baseless allegations for political gain. more..

CB governor’s appointment strains dual leadership

June 30 (EN) President Sirisena promised a new governor within hours, but almost a day later there was no appointment announced leading to speculation over a deepening rift between him and his Prime Minister. Sources at President's office leaked to reporters of a possible appointment on Wednesday afternoon during the President's previously unannounced visit to the Central Bank headquarters in Fort. more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 6% in June 2016, a 32-month high

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's inflation accelerated 6% in the 12-months to June 2016 from 4.8% a month earlier, a 32-month high. Colombo Consumer Price Index rose 2.1% to 192.5 points from 188.5 points during the month. The CCPI core index is up 6.4%, down from 6.6% a month earlier. The food and non-alcoholic beverage component rose 4.3% during the month pushing the 12-month rise to 8.2%. Sri Lanka's Inflation is now at the highest since 6.7% in Nov 2013, based on current revised index. more..

Bribery Commission files contempt of court case against Namal Rajapaksa

June 30 (AD) CIABOC today filed a case against UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa with Supreme Court on defamation charges. The case was filed by the Director General of the Commission, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, stating that the MP had insulted Bribery Commission by failing to appear to give a statement with regard to an ongoing investigation despite being summoned. Therefore the application requests the Supreme Court to issue notice on the defendant to appear before the court and more..

Thewarapperuma attempts to commit suicide, hospitalised

June 30 (DN) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma who was engaged in a satyagraha protest outside the Matugama Zonal Education office the past three days, has attempted suicide. The Deputy Minister was protesting the failure of authorities to enroll 10 students to Grade 1 of the Matugama Meegahatenne Primary School. The Deputy Minister, yesterday said the 10 rejected students had met the requirements stipulated more..

Protests over VAT increase continue

June 30 (Island) While Collective of Trade Associations protested in many parts of the country yesterday against the increase in Value Added Tax , the government lashed out at what it called false propaganda being carried out by disgruntled elements with ulterior motives. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo said that the demonstrations were based on a whole lot of lies and had a political agenda. more..

Gamini Senarath’s brother to be grilled

June 30 (DN) The hearing of initial evidence in the investigation conducted into the alleged misappropriation of Public Funds amounting to Rs 144 million by Former Executive Director of the SLPA Sanjeewa Senarath by transferring the ship Mahapola received as a gift to the Sri Lanka govt from Japan to a private company belonging to his wife and later selling the ship for scrap metal will take place before the PRECIFAC tomorrow. Former SLPA Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickreme, more..

HRW tells UNHRC Sri Lanka has failed to meet key commitments

June 30 (CG) UNHRC was told today that Sri Lanka has failed to meet some its key commitments to the Council. Human Rights Watch (HRW) told the Council this morning during the 32nd session, that in Sri Lanka, the Govt has taken important steps to address the serious human rights problems in the country, including by supporting the Council’s Oct 2015 resolution. Among these actions is a draft bill to create an Office of Missing more..

GMOA locks horns with Health Minister over another controversial move

June 30 (Island) GMOA locked horns once more with Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne over a Cabinet memo to recruit doctors for the Deputy Medical Administrative Grade. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen de Zoysa appealed to President Sirisena and the Cabinet to refer the paper submitted by Minister Senaratne back to the Health Ministry as the issue had not been discussed with stakeholders. Minister’s arbitrary decision had caused concern in the govt health service doctors said. more..

Charitha Ratwatte to take up Governor position for two months: Source

June 30 (LBO) Charitha Ratwatte is expected to take a temporary position as the Governor of the Central Bank, a govt source said. The appointment of the former Treasury Secretary would be for two months. An official announcement has not been made yet. On Wednesday, Presiden Sirisena stated a new appointment would be made soon, after Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he won’t seek re-appointment until an investigation into bond auctions last year were completed by COPE. more..

Video: Minister Sarath Fonseka obtains UNP membership

June 30 (DM) Field Marshal and Minister Sarath Fonseka, who was the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), has joined the ruling UNP today. The appointment letter was handed over to Fonseka by the PM a short while ago at the Sirikotha, the UNP headquarters in Kotte. “From now on, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be my leader,” Sarath Fonseka said. He also went on to say he is no longer the leader of the DP. more..

Navy intercepts suspicious Pakistan ship

June 30 (DM) Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard intercepted a ship along with 27 crew members onboard yesterday on the request of the Customs in the seas off Galle. The Navy said the vessel suspected to be from Pakistan had left Colombo anchorage without proper clearance amidst investigations of Sri Lanka Customs. Navy Spokesman said the Customs officials had requested Naval assistance for the seizure of the vessel. He said two Naval Fast Attack Craft more..

Bogollagama travel ban lifted

June 30 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday gave former Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama permission to go abroad for a five-month period. Bogollagama was in Court for a hearing into charges of financial impropriety, filed against him by the Bribery Commission and was granted leave to proceed abroad on a special request made by him. The former Minister had an open-ended overseas travel ban slapped on him effective 1 April 2015. more..

Video: ACPBA bus strike from Sunday

June 30 (DM) An islandwide bus strike would be launched from Sunday (3) midnight, All Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association (ACPBA) Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said. He confirmed that their island-wide bus strike would be held as planned from July 3 since the authorities had failed address their demands. He said there were no discussions arranged by National Transport Commission (NTC) as claimed. more..

Video: Johnston released on bail

June 30 (DM) Former Minister Johnston Fernando and two others were released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate today over five cases filed by the Bribery Commision on the charges of deploying employees of the CWE for political activities from 2010 to 2014 and causing a loss of Rs.40 million to the govt. The suspects, former Minister Johnston Fernando, Eraj Fernando (former Chairman) and Mohamad Shakir (former working director) were released on Rs. 50,000 bail more..

Video: CCTV shows businessman brutally assaulted by gang

June 30 (DM) A CCTV footage, which shows a businessman being assaulted in an inhumane manner by a gang at a hotel in Godagama, Homagama had been released to media. Earlier a complaint had been lodged with the Athurugiriya Police against former Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Indika Koralage as assaulting a businessman. The assaulted businessman had been hospitalised. The former PS Chairman denies having assaulted the businessman. more..

Partners in Crime: Arjuna Mahendran not proven guilty: Ranil

June 30 (DM) Allegations against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran should be proven for the govt to take action against him, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. “A three-member committee was appointed to investigate the allegations against Mr Mahendran. They decided he was correct. Then the police carried out an investigation and they said there were no facts to file a case against him. more..