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Abolishing Executive Presidency would be Opposition Presidential candidate’s manifesto - Wickremeratne
A draft constitutional amendment abolishing the Executive Presidency within a definite time frame and reintroduction of the 17th Amendment would be the manifesto of the Oppositions Common Presidential candidate.

Leading Constitutional lawyer Jayampathi Wickremeratne, addressing a meeting organised by the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) at the New Town Hall yesterday, calling for the abolition of the Executive Presidency said that a draft constitutional amendment was in the making and would be made public soon. (The Island)

Sri Lanka condemns loss of civilian lives in Gaza
Sri Lanka expressed deep concern at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives, and extensive damage to property and condemned "all acts of deliberate attacks causing mayhem and loss of life of civilians."

"One cannot remain unmoved by the cruel fate of children who are innocent victims of violence. We offer our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and for the devastation and grief they have suffered recently," Sri Lanka's. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said. (Colombo Page)

Jaya urges PM to give visa to UN team
Expressing surprise over reports indicating denial of visa by the Centre to a United Nations team probing human rights violations in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant them visa to enable them to hold a fair probe.

In a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday which was released to the media today, Jayalalithaa said, "if the media reports are true, this would be a bitter disappointment to the people of Tamil Nadu who are determined to ensure that the Sri Lankan regime is held to account for its heinous acts against Tamils." (Daily Mirror)

Boycott won’t deprive GoSL of chance to counter charges
‘Inquisition’ team still remains a mystery
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Spokesperson Rupert Colville said that the Sri Lankan government could provide comments on both the oral statement and comprehensive report in September and March 2015, respectively, though it wasn’t cooperating with the investigation.

Colville was responding to a query by The Island as regards a July 5, 2014 dated letter sent by Human Rights chief Navanethem Pillay to External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris seeking Sri Lanka’s cooperation to proceed with the investigation. Pillay assured Prof. Peiris that an opportunity would be given to the government of Sri Lanka to comment on both the oral statement and the comprehensive report. (The Island)

ont face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="5" color="#3333FF"> SC allows Muslim dress sans face cover
The Supreme Court today directed that Muslim mothers could enter schools wearing their traditional dress but with the face uncovered so that the wearer could be easily identified.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices K. Sripavan and Priyantha Jayawardane gave this direction to the Rajagiriya Janathipathi Balika Vidyalaya and the Western Provincial Secretary of Education. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka shares slip on profit taking; foreigners buy
Sri Lankan stocks slipped on Thursday for a second straight session, moving further away from Tuesday's 34-month closing high as investors booked profits, brokers said.

The main stock index ended 0.04 percent, or 2.58 points lower at 6,781.40, slipping further away from the highest close since Sept. 20, 2011, hit on Tuesday. It has gained 6.35 percent so far this month. (REUTERS)

No foreign funds without approval: Ministry
The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all Non-Governmental Organisations that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds.

The notice comes hot on the heels of the Government strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka to conduct survey on mental patients
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health will conduct a census on mental patients in the island to identify the extent of the mental disorders prevailing among the population.

The Ministry has felt the need to conduct a survey as currently not enough data is available from general population other than the information from the patients who seek treatment for mental disorders at the hospitals. (Colombo Page)

No foreign funds without approval: Ministry
The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all Non-Governmental Organisations that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds.

The notice comes hot on the heels of the Government strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka plans to deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan refugees
Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.

According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo. (Global Voice)

How the ICRC exonerated SLA from genocide charge
Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka (1997-2009) commissioned by the Norwegian government largely dealt with eelam war IV.

The report, officially released in September 2011 by Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) much to the surprise of those wanting to blame the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) for the bloody end to the conflict examined a series of classified US diplomatic cables that shed light on the situation here. (The Island)

Don’t bother about probe: Swamy
Chairman of the BJP Committee on Strategic Action and BJP's National Executive Committee Member Subramanian Swamy in an exclusive interview with Daily Mirror said Sri Lanka should not bother about the international inquiry led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as it could not take any unilateral action.

Dr. Swamy, famous for his outspoken mannerisms called the OHCHR a ‘scarecrow’ adding that it had no powers to take any action without seeking a mandate from the UN Security Council. (Daily Mirror)

GoSL in trouble because it reneged on promises
Sampanthan responds to BJP's Swamy
Had the Sri Lankan government fulfilled its commitments and addressed contentious issues it wouldn't have been in crisis today and, therefore, the ruling coalition should accept the responsibility for the current situation, TNA leader, R. Sampanthan told The Island yesterday.

The TNA leader said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had repeatedly assured India of his commitment to 13 Amendment and in some instances even talked of 13 Amendment Plus. Indian Premier Narendra Modi raised the devolution issue at his first meeting with President Rajapaksa following his swearing in ceremony in New Delhi. (The Island)

Sri Lanka concerned over 7,000 migrant workers in Israel
Sri Lanka's government is in touch with Israeli officials over the safety of some 7,000 migrant workers, an official said on Tuesday, after 14 Sri Lankan workers were flown back from conflict-torn Libya.

Assurances were made by Sri Lanka's Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera who insisted any workers would be immediately evacuated if there was any threat to their security. (Global Post)

India, Sri Lanka must engage in strategic dialogue: Swamy
There is a need for India and Sri Lanka to engage in a strategic dialogue, chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said after a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa here on Tuesday.

“We discussed a gamut of issues, and felt such a strategic dialogue would be mutually beneficial,” Dr. Swamy said. (The Hindu)

Sri Lankan president expresses condolences over MH17
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has conveyed condolences via twitter to families on the loss of loved ones on Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

The president sent messages via twitter to the Prime Ministers of Netherlands and Malaysia, saying prayers of the Sri Lankan people are with them during this difficult time. (Global Post)

President skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his office said Tuesday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance.

Rajapakse's spokeswoman denied he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demonstrations over Colombo's alleged human rights abuses. (Bangkok Post)

Lessons to learn from Muslims and Islam
The Middle East is home to many faiths beside Islam. Yet strict laws govern how people behave. From public displays of holding hands to other forms of behavior are clearly identified as being unacceptable and taboo.

In many of these Islamic countries a strict dress code prevails. Whatever laws declared have to be strictly followed to the word. (Lankaweb)

Sri Lanka needs no pacts to promote goodwill with India:Peiris
Sri Lanka today said it will not act in any prejudicial manner against India's interests so that no agreements are needed to maintain its goodwill with its neighbour.

"We will not let our country used by anybody to act against security and safety of India," External Affairs Minister GL Peiris told Lankan Parliament today. (Business Standard)

Reduce sacrificial animals: CJ tells M’waran Kovil
Chief Justice Mohan Peiris yesterday advised the Munneswaram Badra Kali Amman Kovil trustees to reduce the number of animals that are sacrificed at its annual festival and that it should be done in a more scientific way.

He told them the numbers could be reduced from the 300 to 400 animals sacrificed annually.(Daily Mirror)

Jayalalithaa opposes buoys on India-Sri Lanka maritime border
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday termed as “inappropriate” the Centre’s proposal to conduct feasibility study on installing buoys on International Maritime Boundary Line as the State government has not accepted IMBL with Sri Lanka as a settled issue.

The proposal by Department of Boarder Management and Ministry of Home Affairs came up in the Inter-ministerial meeting on India-Sri Lankan Fishermen’s issues, she said, adding, her government has filed a case in the Supreme Court “challenging the constitutionality” of ceding Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka, she said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(The Hindu)

Tamil girl accuses naval personnel of rape in Sri Lanka
An 11-year-old Tamil girl has accused Sri Lankan naval personnel of rape, police said on Monday.

Spokesman Ajith Rohana said the girl told police she had been "molested by a person at the navy detachment" from Krai Nagar, the site of Sri Lanka's main naval base in the northern peninsula of Jaffna.(Financial Express)

Federal Government files defence in Sri Lankan asylum seekers' case, 19 hours after deadline
Federal Government documents filed in the High Court today have revealed 157 asylum seekers are being held on board an Australian Customs ship.

Lawyers for one of the asylum seekers have gone to court to challenge the legality of their detention on the high seas, and the latest hearing in the case is getting underway today.(ABC)

Sri Lanka's militant Monk rejects Dalai Lama as spiritual leader
A firebrand Sri Lankan monk on Tuesday criticised the Dalai Lama for urging the island's Buddhists to halt violence against minority Muslims and rejected him as a global spiritual leader.

Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara said the Dalai Lama was ignorant of the "true situation in Sri Lanka" and accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a victim of "Islamic extremist propaganda".(NDTV)

Scott Morrison to talk SL Tamil issue with Sushma
Australia will be raising the issue of the 153 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers with India on Tuesday, when Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and home minister Rajnath Singh.

The asylum seekers, who are now at the centre of legal wrangles, had set off for Australia from a refugee camp in Podicherry.(Daily Mirror)

UNP appoints committees for the Uva Provincial Council election
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) media spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said that the party had appointed the nomination board and the operational committee for the Uva Provincial Council election.

The nomination board comprises Karu Jayasuriya, Kabir Hashim, Tissa Attanayake, Daya Gamage, Sajith Premadasa, Ravi Karunanayaka, Lakshman Kiriella, Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Harin Fernando, Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Ruwan Wijewardena and Daya Pelpola.(Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka oil and gas trends, market opportunities and outlook to 2025
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Sri Lanka oil and gas sector is constantly undergoing active transformation from the past few years. The country is expected to witness significant growth and attract new investments in the medium to long term future.

Amidst the series of recent developments, the report from the author proves a strong guide for strategy formulation of all the players interested in Sri Lanka oil and gas. (Fort Mill Times)

Sri Lanka main opposition hands over petition to Supreme Court against redistribution of seats in Uva Provincial Council
Main opposition United National Party (UNP) Badulla district parliamentarian Harin Fernando who is slated to hand over nominations to contest to the Uva Provincial Council election filed a petition Monday in Supreme Court against the Election Commissioner.

The MP cited in his petition that the change of the distribution of seats of Uva Provincial Council violated his human rights.(Colombo Page)

Targeting Sri Lanka has gone too far – Subramanian Swamy
The targeting of Sri Lanka over human rights issues has gone too far and has to stop, Chairman of the BJP Committee on Strategic Action and Former Union Minister of the Government of India Dr. Subramanian Swamy said.

Furthermore, he said that India will give Sri Lanka much more support than before at the United Nations Human Rights Council. He made these remarks at a panel discussion on the topic of “India under Modi: Relevance for the Region and the World” organized by the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies and held at the BMICH. (The Nation)

Sri Lanka welcomes BRICS initiative to establish a development bank
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today welcomed the formation of the New Development Bank (NDB) by the five BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"Sri Lanka welcomes the initiative of BRICS leaders to establish a new Development Bank. It will assist emerging nations significantly," the President said in a Twitter message(Colombo Page)

Huge heroin haul in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Customs Department on Monday seized three industrial grinding machines packed with heroin in one of the largest hauls detected in the country, news agency Adaderana reported.

The industrial grinding machines had arrived in the country from Karachi, Pakistan, Customs Department sources were quoted as saying.(The Hindu)

Sri Lanka's opposition to promote a common platform instead of common candidate
Sri Lanka opposition parties, groups and organizations are trying to form a common platform with a common aim at the next presidential elections, political activists say.

The idea of a common platform is different from the common candidate and the common platform aims to abolish the executive presidency, according to the political activists.(Colombo Page)

Iran denies selling oil to Sri Lanka, South Africa
The National Iranian Oil Company on Sunday rejected claims that it sold crude oil to Sri Lanka and South Africa, the IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Mohsen Qamsari, the NIOC director for international affairs, said that some news outlets have published data based on unofficial sources about selling crude oil by Iran to Sri Lanka and South Africa in recent months.(Tehran Times)

Opposition MP Harin Fernando to resign from parliament next week
Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) Badulla district MP Harin Fernando will resign from the parliament next week, UNP sources say.

The MP will resign to contest to the Uva Provincial Council election as the party's Chief Minister candidate.(Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka’s first boutique cinema
Ceylon Theaters combines history with modernity with its new boutique cinema, Empire Cineplex at Arcade Independence Square. Ceremoniously opened by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The new Empire Cineplex offers a unique cinematic experience that is more intimate and luxurious than ever before.(Colombo Gazette)

Sri Lanka's NGO crackdown triggers free speech fears
A Sri Lankan government crackdown this month on NGOs has sparked claims that President Mahinda Rajapakse, paranoid that he could be toppled, is again attempting to silence critics and tighten his grip on power.

The defence ministry this month banned non-governmental organisations from holding press conferences, awareness campaigns, training for journalists, workshops and disseminating press releases on everything from voter rights to exposing corruption.(Global Post)

Sri Lanka to deport all overstaying foreign nationals
Sri Lanka Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said that all overstaying foreign nationals including the Pakistan and Afghan nationals who had applied for refugee status would be deported.

Last week, the government took steps to deport five Afghan nationals who had been overstaying in Sri Lanka, said the Controller of Immigration and Emigration.(Colombo Page)

Rajapaksa wants world leaders to see Sri Lanka's reality
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he wishes to see more foreign leaders visiting his country to experience the island's post conflict progress.

Rajapaksa commented on the progress of the country while receiving the Prime Minister of Portugal, Pedro Passos Coelho. The Portuguese leader arrived here on a two-day visit. (Business Standard)

Sri Lankan commission probing missing seeks more time
A Sri Lankan commission appointed to investigate reports on people who went missing during the war, has sought more time to complete its work, the chairman of the commission said on Sunday.

Chairman of the Missing Persons Commission Maxwell Paranagama told Xinhua that the term of the Commission ends next month and he has now written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking another six month extension. (Global Post)

Sri Lanka to expedite legislation permitting 'limited abortions'
The Sri Lankan government is taking measures to legalize "limited abortions" under special circumstances, the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs says.

The Ministry has said that a consultative committee is now working on the mechanism to legalize "limited abortion" in Sri Lanka as a way of addressing issues faced by women who have been victimized by rape and other similar problems. (Colombo Page)

Top LTTErs arrested in Malaysia brought to SL
Three top LTTE members, who were arrested by the Malaysian authorities few weeks ago, were handed over to the Sri Lankan police and are being interrogated by the Terrorist Investigation Department in Colombo, Police said.

“The three LTTE suspects- Edmond Singharaja alias Seelan, Angurukankanamlage Indika Sanjeewa alias Mohamed Sanjaya Abdul and Abdul Saleem Bin Mohamed- were brought to Sri Lanka last night,” the Police media unit said in a statement. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lankan pepper makes inroads
Pepper importers are reported to have imported 1,300 tonnes of pepper from Sri Lanka in recent weeks using the South Asian Free Trade Agreement route.

According to the trade, it has been registered with the DGFT and a Mumbai-based trader has imported 800 tonnes. As usual, no activities were reported from the national exchange while some day trading continued to take place on the IPSTA platform on Friday.(The Hindu)

Angelo Mathews has become Sri Lanka’s most dependable batsman after taking Test captaincy
Angelo Mathews took over as Sri Lanka’s Test captaincy in 2013 and in 10 Tests since then, he averages 79.61. The Sri Lankan skipper is calm and has a very good temperament to take the Sri Lankan team forward. So far, his performances have been encouraging. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about Mathews’ test as captain of Sri Lanka.

Some say captaincy is a burden! Pushing the responsibility on one of your stars can burden him to an extent that he can’t focus on the intricacies of his own trade. Ricky Ponting admitted in his book At Close of Play, that towards the end of captaincy, his focus was divided between his teammates and his own game. Coming from the most successful captain the world has seen, it certainly describes the pressure on a skipper of an international side.(Cricket Country)

I’m not ready to forgive initial delays: Nasser Sheikh
Murdered British Red Cross Worker Khuram’s brother Nasser Shaikh today said he was not ready to forgive the initial delays involved with the prosecution of his brother’s murder, that took close to two and a half years before a trial date was set for the case.

Speaking to a few journalists at a hotel in Colombo, Nasser said, “I am not ready to forgive the initial delays just because of today’s verdict; because only I am aware of the effort and the dedication I had to put in and the adverse issues I had to face. This was a journey I was thrown into – one that I don’t wish on anyone else.”(Daily Mirror)

Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy – GL
External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV.

Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’(The Island)

Khuram murder trial: PS chairman convicted
Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidana Pathirana and three others found guilty of the murder of British tourist Khuram Sheik and of raping his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna were sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment on each of the two counts.

Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama sentenced the accused: Lahiru Kelum, Saman Deshapriya, former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Chandrpushpta Vidana Pathirana and Prageeth Chaturanga for 40 years RI on the charge of murder and rape with the jail terms to run concurrently.(Daily Mirror)

Asia’s Buddhism-Islam conflict spreads to LA Sri Lankan community
By Hassina Leelarathna
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Waving Sri Lankan and American flags, Muslims in Los Angeles rallied outside the Consulate General’s office on Wilshire Boulevard, June 21, calling on the Sri Lankan government to step up efforts to protect religious minorities and bring to justice leaders of the recent clashes in the southern town of Aluthgama.

Peace and harmony are among the core values of Buddhism and Islam. Yet in parts of Asia, notably Burma and Southern Thailand, recent fissures have developed with deadly consequences between the continent’s two largest religious groups, marring centuries of harmonious coexistence.(LA Beez)

UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team
OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday (July 16) said that it wouldn’t release the names of the investigation team tasked with probing the war crimes allegations against the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) as well as the LTTE, though Ms Sandra Beidas was named its coordinator.

OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville was answering a question by The Island on the ongoing investigation, as mandated by the UNHRC Resolution 25/1 adopted in last March.(The Island)

Sri Lanka joins world's largest Head and Neck cancer Phase III trial
CEL-SCI Corporation today announced that Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health has cleared the Company to commence patient enrollment for its Phase III Head and Neck Cancer clinical trial of its investigational cancer immunotherapy treatment Multikine in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is the 15th nation to join the world's largest Head and Neck cancer Phase III trial following similar entries by the UK and Austria.(Colombo Page)

UNP fact finding mission blocked

A group of United National Party Parliamentarians who were on a fact finding mission to the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery was prevented from entering by a group of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation employees.

The MPs were heading back as they were blocked by employees (Daily Mirror)

Ministry of Education takes measures to prevent students failing mathematics
Sri Lanka Cabinet of Ministers granted approval today to a proposal presented by Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena to prevent the school students leaving schools due to failing the subject of Mathematics at the G.C.E. (O/L) Examination.

The proposal with the view to retaining them in the school system will allow the students who fail mathematics at G.C.E. (Ordinary Level) examination can study for Advanced Level with the promise of passing Ordinary Level mathematics in two years, if they have necessary number of passes and credits.(Colombo Page)

President appoints Int’l Experts Panel to advise Missing Persons Commissio
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appointed an International Advisory Panel to the Presidential Commission to investigate cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Sir Desmond de Silva has been named as Chairman of the three-member panel which also comprises of Sir Geoffrey Nice and Professor David Crane. (Ada Derana)

Election mechanism manipulated to help Govt.: SF
Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka said today that the Elections Commissioner was changing the election mechanism in a tactful manner to suit the needs of the government and was making various statements with regard to the elections to the Uva Provincial Council.

“The Elections Commissioner is making various statements about the Uva Provincial Council election. He is trying to change the election mechanism to cater to the needs of the government. (Daily Mirror)

Navy arrests 13 Indian fishermen
Sri Lankan Navy on Wednesday arrested 13 Indian fishermen for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary line and fishing in the country's waters, the Navy said.

The Tamil Nadu fishermen from Ramanathapuram have been arrested off Thalaimannar in the north western coast along with their three mechanized boats.(Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka stocks slip from over 33-month high; telecommunications, banks lead
Sri Lankan stocks fell on Thursday from over 33-month highs hit in the previous session, ending a three-session winning streak as investors booked profits in an overbought market.

The island nation's share index had risen 5.71 percent up this month through Wednesday as the yields in risk free treasury bills and the central bank's key monetary policy rates have fallen to multi-year lows while continued foreign buying also boosted sentiment.(REUTERS)

FR petitions filed on Aluthgama riots
Several people affected by the recent riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala have filed fundamental rights petitions alleging that the police had failed to carry out their duties to prevent the riots from taking place.

They are seeking the Supreme Court to direct the Police Chief to formulate instructions and guidelines to prevent people from spewing out hate speech and prevent ethnic unrest.(Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka's Commercial Bank to buy Indra Finance
Sri Lanka's Commercial Bank of Ceylon said it will acquire Indra Finance, a finance company linked to a top vehicle retailer for 870 million rupees.

Indra Finance had 507 million rupees in equity 73 million rupees in profits and 2.0 billion rupees in assets according to the last balance sheet date.(Lanka Business Online)

Sri Lanka urges U.S. to reduce human rights focus as China gains
“We welcome the U.S. as we welcome China...."- Prasad Kariyawasam
Sri Lanka is urging the U.S. to avoid letting human rights concerns dominate the relationship between the countries five years after the end of a civil war that killed as many as 40,000 civilians.

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka is occurring at a “rapid pace” and the government is focused on strengthening its economy, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, a lawmaker and coordinating secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in an interview in Washington. Human rights issues shouldn’t hinder closer economic ties with the U.S., he said.(Bloomberg)

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