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Forex reserves reach US$ 6.8bn

June 9 (EN) Forex reserves had reached US$ 6.8 billion by this week, up from US$ 5 billion in April, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. The reserves were helped by a sovereign bond sale and central bank dollar purchases, he told a forum. Sri Lanka plans to end 2017 with US$ 7.2 billion of forex reserves, he said. The Central Bank had purchased US$ 700 million from currency markets so far this year and intends to purchase 500 million dollars more, he said. more..

Sri Lanka stun India in record 322 chase

June 9 (CI) They may be coming off an awful run of form, two of their players might have been ruled out, and their No. 4 may damage his hamstring during a crucial innings, but still, if the wind and the light and the time of day are just right, Sri Lanka can still summon up a little of their old big-tournament magic. They can rally, they can surge, they can surprise. That India's batting went more or less perfectly to plan made more..

Another 6 new secretaries for Ministries

June 9 (NR) Another six new secretaries have been appointed to several Ministries. Accordingly PS Withanage was appointed secretary to the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation while JA Ranjith has been appointed to the Ministry of Plantations. Upali Marasinghe has been appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development. Furthermore Shirani Weerakoon has been named secretary to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research while LD Senanayake more..

We'll inform President about health minister

June 9 (DM) GMOA said it would inform President Sirisena about Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne's unethical behaviour when handling various matters. GMOA Secretary Naveen De Soyza said the minister had violated World Health Organization (WHO) rules and the regulations. “Instead of supporting the victims of floods and landslides, the Health Ministry has appointed the head of one of the dairy product companies to head the Health Ministry's Disaster Management Centre,” more..

Video: John A. threatens journalists

June 9 (DM) Furious over the questions asked by some journalists regarding garbage disposal at Bopitiya in Wattala, Minister John Amaratunga is is reported to have threatened them with death while leaving the party office in Kandana. According to some journalists who had videoed the entire episode, the minister had turned furious asked the journalists to leave the vicinity when they told the minister that the people were blaming him for more..

Sangakkara inspired SL stunner: Mathews

June 9 (AFP) Angelo Mathews says an inspirational session in the nets with Kumar Sangakkara laid the foundations for Sri Lanka's stunning Champions Trophy victory against India. Sangakkara is retired from int'l duty, but the legendary SL batsman is currently playing for Surrey and he took the opportunity to spend some time with his country's emerging youngsters before Thursday's crucial clash with India. Still in fine form with Surrey, Sangakkara opted against coming out of retirement more..

Sri Lanka's ruling class could curb property rights, freedoms, of sportstars

June 9 (EN) SL's parliament which has robbed the language freedoms of citizens and expropropriated their land in the past using its lawmaking powers, will be moved to stop sports stars from selling their medals, island's sports minister has said. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera had told parliament that laws should be brought  to block sportstars from selling any medals acquired at int'l sports events. The move to impose state controls on sportspersons come after Susanthika Jayasinghe, more..

Mystery man asked Perpetual to bid for 30-year bond auction

June 9 (EN) Perpetual Treasuries had been told by a man to bid at a controversial bond auction on Feb 2017, according to a taped telephone conversation between the firm and a state bank that was replayed at a commission of inquiry. Presidential Commission is inquiring into allegedly rigged auctions from Feb 2015, where long bonds were bought at low prices by primary dealers including Perpetual Treasuries, more..

Beware of the poison in imported food

June 9 (DM) One of the national govt’s positive missions has been to grow the food that we need in Sri Lanka instead of busting up millions of dollars to import junk food or processed rubbish. As a tropical paradise, Sri Lanka has been blessed by being Asia’s rice bowl till recently. In addition we have hundreds of varieties of nutritious vegetables, grains and fruits and we need to be aware of the need not just to eat well but to eat wisely. This week the country was stunned by charges that more..

Flood recovery: Govt mulls donor conference

June 9 (DM) As the floodwaters receded, the govt encountered fresh challenges in the reconstruction of affected areas with measures for mitigation of damages from future natural disasters. All in all, the govt did not face any major issue in feeding the displaced because donations out-poured from people’s largesse. Yet, the state machinery is riddled with shortcomings in the delivery of aid for people. At the Cabinet meeting conducted last Tuesday, President assigned Minister Ravi more..

Colombo now a hard target for drug peddlers

June 9 (SL) Colombo has now become a hard target for drug peddlers and this is evident with the number of arrests made by the police over the past several weeks. There are concerns of political influence in the smuggling of heroin into Colombo but the police insist they have no evidence to back those claims. A senior police official stressed that the law enforcement agencies are geared to put an end to the drug menace more..

Safety precautions were good: SLMMC

June 9 (CT) Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club (SLMCC) denied all allegations pertaining to the death of champion racer Ananda Wedisinghe and stated all safety precautions were taken by SLMCC in a proper manner. "There were many comments and criticisms on the safety aspects and the legitimacy of the Nuwara Eliya Road Race which was held on 23 April. We had obtained official approval from all the relevant authorities more..

Over 450,000 children in 5-17 age group not attending school: Survey

June 9 (DN) A total of 452,661 children in the 5-17 school going age group are not attending school and 51,249 children among them have never attended school. The survey titled Child Activity Survey 2016 reveals that the main reasons for children not to attend school are awaiting for G.C.E (O/L) results, disinterest in education, non consideration of the valuae of education, too young (not eligible to enter school), disability, more..

Indebted Lankans paying heavy price on essential goods and services

June 9 (ST) Millions of Sri Lankans are struggling every day to stretch the value of the biggest denomination note in their hands. It does not go far. The cost of goods and services is rising faster than their wages. Real wages declined in the public and private sectors, while wages have risen in the informal private sector. People’s incomes can’t keep up with housing and education costs, bus and rail fares, medicine, gas, more..

Treasury issues Rs825bn guarantees in 2016

June 9 (LBO) The Treasury Operations Department has issued treasury guarantees and sovereign guarantees of 824.73 billion rupees at the end of the 2016. The Department, releasing a report, said out of 824.73 billion rupees, 42.31% of guarantees have been issued to the power and energy sector. CEB and CPC are among state-owned institutions that were guaranteed credit in the recent past. more..

Pension scheme for sports personnel

June 9 (DM) Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jaysekera is to seek Cabinet approval for a pension scheme for all sportsmen and sportswomen who had brought fame to Sri Lanka. He came out with this plan of his in response to a question raised by the MPs in Parliament on the issue with regard to Olympic Medal winner Susanthika Jayasinghe who is in the centre of a controversy currently over a plan to auction her silver medal. more..

CCTV footage: Another Muslim-owned shop torched in Maharagama

June 9 (CT) Another Muslim owned shop Just for you, a shoe store has been set ablaze just a kilometre away from the leather shop that came under petrol bomb attack in Wijerama junction less than twenty four hours before. CCTV footage obtained by CT shows a lone man in a bicycle throwing a petrol bomb and running away. A strategy to drive the Muslims away from this Government is in full swing. more..

Premier holds discussions with Commonwealth Secretary General

June 9 (DN) Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland held discussions with PM Ranil Wickramasinghe at the UN Permanent Representative Office in New York. PM and the Commonwealth Secretary General discussed ties between Commonwealth Countries and SL and bilateral relationships at a deeper extent. PM also invited Commonwealth Secretary General to pay a state visit to SL. more..

Foreigners can open accounts with $500,000

June 9 (DM) The govt is reported to have prepared legislation to permit foreign nationals to open foreign currency accounts in Sri Lanka with a minimum deposit of US$500,000 or more. The legislation titled Special Deposit Account has been gazetted. In addition to US dollars, the other permitted foreign currencies for such purposes are sterling pounds, Swiss francs, Australian dollars, Singapore dollars, Canadian dollars, more..

'Sri Lanka has been living beyond its means'

June 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been living beyond its means, with recurrent expenditure higher than revenue, Governor of CB Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. “Due to concessional loans from WB and ADB, with a grace period of 10 years, and maturity of 20-30 years, we were able to get away with it. Since 2010 Sri Lanka moved to a middle-income country and was exposed to ratings agencies and international capital markets,” more..

Growth, Agriculture

June 9 (CT) A govt is elected to power on the promise and on the premise of giving a good and a better life to its peoples, whilst at the same time ensuring their freedom and the perpetuation of democracy. Those translate to prosperity and security. Since the advent of the Unity Govt after the election of Maithripala Sirisena as President on 8 Jan, 2015, Sri Lanka has made wide strides in the fields of law and order and the perpetuation of freedom and democracy to its peoples. more..

Yahapalanaya: A game of patience?

June 9 (FT) I am neither a political science expert nor a commentator, but I know some basic universal principles and ethics that should go with politics in the civilised world. Do we hear of politicians crossing over, switching parties or forming destructive cults within parties in mature democracies? I believe that this happens very seldom there. First and foremost, in those countries, the people, who aspire to become career politicians, check the most compatible party for them based on more..

News Line

Vaiko denied entry into Malaysia over LTTE links

June 9 (ENS) MDMK general secretary Vaiko, a vociferous Tamil rights campaigner who just got released on bail in a 2009 seditious speech Case, was denied entry into Malaysia this morning, charging him of being a member of rebel LTTE and thus a dangerous person to their country. "You are being restricted from entering Malaysia because you belong to LTTE in Sri Lanka," the officials reportedly told him. He will be sent back to India by tonight, party sources said. more..

Dhananjaya replaces injured Kusal

June 9 (DM) Sri Lanka will fly in Dhananjaya de Silva as injury cover to Kusal Perera who injured his right leg hamstring during his brilliant 47 in Sri Lanka’s historic run chase against India on Thursday. Perera was in discomfort during the last stages of his innings and retired hurt just three runs short of his half century. He is likely to miss the rest of the tour. According to SLC preliminary medical investigation ns have revealed a possible lateral mid-hamstring injury. more..

Plastic Rice in Sri Lanka

June 9 (DM) Social media was abuzz this week over a video claiming that Lanka Sathosa was responsible for the sale and distribution of a variety of rice dubbed plastic rice. The viral video claimed that a type of rice labelled Imported Basmati Rice, purchased from a Sathosa outlet in Pitakotte did not stale even after 24 hours had lapsed since its preparation. The highlight of the video however, was when the lady appearing more..

SAITM hospital handover this month

June 9 (Island) Chairman of the South Asian Institute for Technology and Medicine (SAITM), Dr. Neville Fernando, yesterday said the Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Teaching Hospital (SLRFTH) Hospital, constructed to facilitate clinical training of SAITM medical undergraduates would be handed over to the govt by the end of this month. Dr. Fernando said the hospital worth three billion rupees and its equipment would be handed over to the govt on June 30. more..

Gota denies connection to BBS and recent attacks

June 9 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa denied allegations of any connection with the BBS or the recent attacks aimed at Muslim owned shops. In a facebook post, Rajapakse strongly condemned the false rumours linking his name with the BBS and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in connection with the atrocious burning of Muslim owned shops in the recent past. “I strongly deny such allegations and decry the attempt to tarnish my reputation once again. more..

'Ven Rathana’s criticism food for thought'

June 9 (Island) UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said that UNP National List MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera’s severe criticism of yahapalana policy in respect of tax and revenue proposals should provoke constructive dialogueon the issue. Such discussions could certainly lead to consensus among the UNP parliamentary group on matters o national importance, MP Jayamaha said. MP defended the right of the MPs of the ruling more..

Grease Yaka arrested in Thalangama

June 9 (DN) The CID of the Thalangama Police arrested a man also known as Grease Yaka, for allegedly sneaking into houses to sexually assault women. Police said that Battaramulla and Thalangama residents complained that the suspect has carried out this menace for some time. Police said that the suspect enters into houses at midnight, naked and sexually assaults women. Several complaints have also been filed against the suspect for peeping into places where women bathe. more..

Three-wheeler falls into canal: 1 dead, 2 missing, 3 injured

June 9 (AD) An individual has been reported dead following a traffic accident in Mapakadawewa, Mahiyangana, Police say. The accident occurred at around 10.20 pm yesterday, when two three-wheelers collided head-on and one fell into the Mahaweli Canal. The deceased is said to be a 21-year-old female resident of Alliyadde Gedara, Karadagahamada. Police stated that a 42-year-old male and 2 females who sustained injuries were admitted to the Meegahakivula Hospital, more..

John Amaratunga regrets but yet stands by his behaviour

June 9 (CG) Minister John Amaratunga expressed regret yet stood by his behaviour yesterday where he had threatened a journalist. He said a meeting was held at his private residence to discuss issues faced by area residents with regard to the garbage disposal issue. “No journalists were invited for the meeting as it was strictly a discussion between the area residents and me, MP representing that area” more..

Humanitarian train from North to South

June 9 (PMD) Presidential Secretariat and Railway Department have jointly organized a special train titled Puravesi Athwela humanitarian train, to collect relief material to be distributed to those who were affected by the recent floods and landslides. The special train will leave the Kankesanturai Station tomorrow at 6.30 a.m. and will stop at Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Madawachchiya, A'pura, Maho, Ganewatta, Kurunegala, Polgahawela, Alawwa, Ambepussa, Meerigama, more..

ADB grants US$ 2mn to SL for disaster relief

June 9 (EN) Manila-based Asian Development Bank said it is giving $2 million for disaster relief following floods and landslides in Sri Lanka. "Considering the scope of the damage in SL and govt’s constrained resources, it is critical that we assist the people of Sri Lanka in this time of urgent need," Sri Widowati, ADB Country Director in SL, said. The grant comes from ADB’s Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund to purchase emergency relief materials and help restore community services. more..

Billions of corporate debt issues held up over tax uncertainty

June 9 (EN) SL's listed corporate debt issues are grinding to a halt on uncertainty over taxes proposed in the budget for 2017, which has not been legislated and no certainty is available on the tax treatment of interest income. Maninda Wickramasinghe, Head of Fitch Ratings in SL said there is a 30 billion rupee pipeline of corporate debt issues awaiting clarity over taxes. Fitch had issued expected rating for around 30 billion rupees more..

JVP says funds insufficient for disaster compensation

June 9 (NR) JVP says the funds allocated as compensation for those affected by the recent disaster situation are insufficient. Joining the Parliament debate on the disaster, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said funds allocated as compensation to the next of kin and funds for the reconstruction of houses is insignificant. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa responded to the charges on behalf of govt. MP said 100,000 for the next of kin of 292 persons amounts to Rs. 29.2 million. more..

Wigneswaran not destroying public property like some southern mobs: Rajitha

June 9 (Island) Demonstrators led by the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran did not damage public property unlike some southern mobs, engaged in destroying places of worship belonging to religious minorities, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that one had to differentiate between racially motivated attacks backed by power hungry groups and people demonstrating against what they believed were grievances that had not been addressed. more..

Ravi Karunanayake

Bribery Commission files case against former Minister Priyankara Jayaratne

June 9 (AD) Bribery Commission filed a case against former Minister Priyankara Jayaratne and his Private Secretary today for allegedly causing unlawful loss to the govt after appointing an individual as the Development Plan Coordinating Officer of Civil Aviation Authority in contrary to Civil Aviation Act. Director General of CIABOC filed this case against former Minister Priyankara Jayaratne and his Private Secretary B. Dayawansha under section 70 of the Bribery Act on five charges.  more..

Plea in Madras HC to refer Lankan navy attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen to ICJ

June 9 (PTI) A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Madras High Court on Friday seeking that the issue of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy be referred to International Court of Justice (ICJ). When the PIL by an NGO came up, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sunder directed Assistant Solicitor General Su Sreenivasan and state government pleader M K Subramanian to get instructions on the plea. more..