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Sri Lankan stocks post over 2-wk closing low

Aug 31 (Reuters) Shares edged down on Wednesday to post over two-week closing lows as investors sold large caps to book profits while retail investor participation rose a day after the central bank held its key policy rates steady. The central bank left the key policy interest rates unchanged on Tuesday, as expected, saying previous tightening measures are being gradually transmitted to the economy. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.21% weaker at 6,528.21, more..

SL consumer prices rise 4.3% y/y in August

Aug 31 (Reuters) Consumer prices rose by 4.3% in August from a year earlier, slowing down from the previous month's 5.5% growth. They had hit a 32-month high of 6% in June. Core annual inflation, which excludes fresh food, energy, transport, rice and coconuts, rose 4.7%, slowing down from the previous month's 5.8%. It hit a 38-month high of 6.6% in May. On a month-on-month basis, Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) fell 1.7% in August, compared with 0.2% rise in July. more..

Video: Solheim gained valuable lessons as peace negotiator in Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (AD) The new head of United Nations environment agency, Erik Solheim, says that he had gained valuable lessons, including the importance of dialogue and compromise while serving as a negotiator of the peace process in Sri Lanka. “In my view you should always try to talk even with political leaders as well as guerrilla leaders or terrorists leaders who do not seem to be amendable to compromise – let’s try talking,” more..

Sri Lanka to ease restrictions on foreigners acquiring land for investment

Aug 31 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is taking measures to ease the restrictions imposed on foreigners acquiring land in the island nation for investment projects. A new draft bill is being prepared with the aim of providing provisions to provide ownership of land without being affected by the Land Restriction and Alienation Act of SL. Local and foreign investors as well as entrepreneurs will be encouraged to expand their businesses clearing impediments in obtaining land and buildings under more..

Rameswaram fishermen plan series of protests from Sept 2

Aug 31 (PTI) The fishermen here today announced a series of agitations from Sept 2 pressing their charter of demands, including release of four of their colleagues and boats detained in SL. A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting of various fishermen's associations here, president of Harbour Mechanised Boat Fishermen's Association P Devadass told reporters. The fishermen would stand in neck-deep water in agnitheertham (the sea here) and stage a demonstration on Sept 2. more..

Video: Protesting Uni. students met with tear gas by police

Aug 31 (AD) Police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse university students staging a protest march and blocking the Galle Road near the Kollupitiya junction, a short while ago. The protest was organized by the IUSF against the SAITM and demanding an increase in the university intake. The protest march commenced from the University of Sri J'pura this morning and was heading towards Temple Trees in Colombo. more..

Police fire tear-gas to disperse protesting fans in Dambulla

Aug 31 (CG) Police fired tear-gas to disperse a group of protesting cricket fans near the Dambulla cricket stadium today. The fans blocked the streets and protested after not being able to enter the stadium to watch the match between Sri Lanka and Australia. A tense situation developed between the police and protesting cricket fans and it was reported that some fans pelted stones at the police. The police then used water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. more..

HC grants permission to Prasanna’s wife to travel abroad

Aug 31 (Island) The Colombo High Court yesterday granted permission to Maureen Stella Ranatunga, wife of Prasanna Ranatunga, to travel overseas between the period, Sept. 10 and Sept. 20, 2016. Former Chief Minister of Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife Maureen are indicted in the High Court for obtaining Rs. 64 million from a businessman promising him some land at Meethotamulla. The Fort Magistrate imposed a travel ban on Maureen Ranatunga. more..

Sri Lanka to set up secretariat with Japan to expand cooperation

Aug 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka said it will set up a secretariat with Japan to expand cooperation in several areas including agriculture, science and technology for industries & advanced infrastructure. Japan-SL Joint Comprehensive Partnership Secretariat will be set up in Colombo and Tokyo to facilitate a co-operation arrangement with Japan agreed upon during the official visit of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Tokyo in Oct 2015. more..

Video: SLFP members who form new party will become empty cups: SB

Aug 31 (AD) Minister S.B. Dissanayake says that members of the SLFP who attempt breakaway and form new alternative parties, after the party’s 65th convention in Kurunegala, will simply be joining history as empty cups. He said that past experiences of those who have left the party including himself shows what will eventually happen and that even they returned to the party as mere sheets of paper. Minister said that the SLFP’s central committee convened last night and more..

Holidaymaker is hospitalised by severe illness in Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (LBO) A physiotherapist from Leighton Buzzard is urgently seeking other holidaymakers to come forward after she was left severely ill for the duration of her stay in Sri Lanka. Rebecca Lindsay, 30, travelled to Abu Dhabi in October 2015 with her husband for four days before flying to Sri Lanka. Mrs Lindsay arrived at the Club Dolphin Hotel in Waikkal, on a Monday evening. By Wednesday morning she had developed a painful stomach ache with sickness and diarrhoea. more..

UN chief to discuss issue on foreign judges in war probe

Aug 31 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon may discuss the issue of having foreign judges in Sri Lanka’s domestic accountability process on the war. Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the UN chief will address a number of issues related to justice and accountability. “It’s a forward‑looking message of the need for, obviously, for accountability, for reconciliation, and for development. more..

Kidney racket: CCD to file charge sheets against Indians

Aug 31 (DN) Seven Indians arrested in connection with the investigations into a kidney racket involving Indians and Sri Lankans are to be charged for violating visa rules, Police told Court yesterday. The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) conducting investigations into the incident informed Colombo Chief Magistrate that it would file charge sheets against the suspects for over staying without valid visas, at the next hearing date. The CCD had informed Court they were able to seize more..

SLFP leadership not snatched away as MR claims: Dilan

Aug 31 (DM) SLFP Spokesman Minister Dilan Perera today rejected the statements made by Kurunegala District MP and former President Rajapaksa that President Sirisena had snatched the party away from Mr. Rajapaksa. During a public gathering in Anamaduwa, last week, Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that the party leadership was snatched by his successor President Sirisena. While addressing a press briefing Minister said the transfer of the SLFP leadership took place amicably. more..

Bribery Commission files action against Gotabaya

Aug 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's anti-graft panel Wednesday charged former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others, including three ex-navy commanders, for illegally allowing a private floating armoury. The CIABOC filed action against Rajapaksa and six others for allowing private Avant Garde Maritime Services to operate the armoury and provide sea marshal services. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to ratify Paris agreement to minimize climate change

Aug 31 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan cabinet today agreed to ratify the Paris agreement in order to minimize the impact and risk of climate change. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed by 178 countries including Sri Lanka at the UN headquarters on April 2. Sri Lanka has been identified by the agreement as an island state that face the impacts of climate changes such as prolonged droughts, flash floods, rise in the sea level, landslides, and inundation of lowlands. more..

Shrine room vandalised in Mankulam

Aug 31 (DM) A Buddhist shrine room erected within the premises of STF camp in Kanagarayankulam, Mankulam in the North had been vandalised on Monday, Police said. The camp, established after the war victory in 2009, does not exist in that location at present. The shrine room has been constructed at the time for religious observances of the STF personnel. The Buddha statue has also been broken to pieces, the Police said. The Police have started investigations into the incident. more..

War-battered Tamils pin hopes on UN visit

Aug 31 (PTI) Joseph Rasanayagam jumped on his bicycle as soon as he heard rumours the army would be handing back his ancestral land in SL's battle-scarred north to mark a visit by the UN chief. But when the 59-year-old fisherman arrived at a major military compound in Jaffna, soldiers turned him away -- dashing his hopes of finally returning home. "I can see my land over the (military) fence but I can't access it until it's released," more..