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Power Play in Sri Lanka
The government has been singing hosannas for America’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who was here on a brief visit. Is Samantha Power genuine genuinely interested in Sri Lanka or government politicians are gullible? Is Sri Lanka bending over backwards to please the US?

Power, who had a strained relationship with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is a much welcome guest in Sri Lanka these days though she did not receive the same welcome in India. In Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Samaraweera took it upon himself to host the US diplomat to dinner whilst in India only Joint Secretary Sujata Mehta in charge of Multilateral and Economic Relations which oversees the UN did so (Lankaweb)

Sri Lanka to eliminate casino entry levy while boosting casino taxes, fees
Sri Lanka has decided to scrap proposed casino entry fees while making up the budget shortfall by hiking casino taxes and doubling the cost of an annual gaming license.

The Sri Lankan government unveiled its proposed 2016 budget this week, in which it promised to eliminate the $100 casino entry levy. (Current Star)

Sri Lanka’s clothing industry looks to regain competitiveness
With an eye on the target of reaching $8.5bn worth of clothing exports per annum by 2020, Sri Lanka’s apparel manufacturers are backing a national bid to regain preferential trade concessions from the EU.

Sri Lanka has carved a niche as an international centre for clothing manufacturing despite tough regional competition, with the high-value segment performing particularly well. (Oxford Business Group)

Top cop, 5 others to death
A Sri Lankan court on Friday sentenced a top police officer, his son and four other policemen to death for the abduction and murder of a businessman in 2013.

The court in Colombo found Deputy Inspector General Vaas Gunawardena guilty of killing Mohamed Shiyam in return for 10 million rupees ($71,000) from a business rival, making him the highest ranking officer to be convicted of murder. (Arab News)

Gota discusses war crimes inquiry mechanism with president
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has discussed about the war crimes inquiry with President Maithripala Sirisena, multiple sources confirmed Asian Mirror.

The former Defence Secretary met President Sirisena at the latter's Paget Road residence, last week. (Asian Mirror)

Sri Lanka currency falls to record low
The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low of 143.25 per dollar on Friday, on track for its sixth straight session of declines on importer demand for the greenback amid lower dollar liquidity.

Exporters were also reluctant to sell dollars on expectation the local currency could fall further, dealers said. (Arab News)

Sri Lanka warns of action over LTTE commemoration
The Sri Lankan Police on Thursday warned that it will take legal action against anyone who publicly shows support to the now vanquished Tamil Tigers

The warning came as some groups in the Tamil dominated north of the country prepared to commemorate the birth anniversary of slain Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, Xinhua news agency reported. (Business Standard)

Sri Lanka to free 20 LTTE suspects
Sri Lanka on Thursday said it will soon release from jails 20 remaining LTTE suspects detained on terrorism charges, as part of its reconciliation efforts with the minority Tamil community.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the suspects are part of the 59 people who were identified as those not carrying serious charges against them and there is no threat to national security by their release. (Economic Times)

Yahapalanaya is no more: What gimmick next?
Friends of Yahapalanaya (good governance) are hard to find and an extinguished breed. Needs to search vainly among the coterie enjoying the spill-offs from the gravy train to spot an unseen, unheard chump. Most holding appointments are not the squeaky clean. The genuine good governance supporters have left in dismay after watching it sorrowfully unfold.

Easy as train spotting. See it all on the road and watch the fuel burnt in official vehicles carrying good governance lightweights on their worthless meanderings without checks. Holding such high office are names that have not earned value or without a touch of class. Many are nobodies of some bodies. (Daily Mirror)

Patali, Rajitha, Arjuna call for investigation
Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday requested IGP N. K. Illangakoon to initiate an immediate investigation into allegation that they had launched a campaign against the Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) because of its proprietor Nissanka Senadhipathy’s refusal to pay them.

Assuring the IGP that they had never demanded funds from Senadhipathy for their respective election campaigns or any other purpose, ministers called for a thorough investigation. (The Island)

Dissident SLFP MPs pick holes in the budget
Dissident SLFP Parliamentarians who met President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday voiced concern over the budget proposals noting that they were based on the policies of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and not that of the President.

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians representing what they call the joint opposition (Daily News)

Samantha Power trying to introduce federalism: Gammanpila
The objective of the visit of US permanent representative to the UN, Samantha Power to Sri Lanka is to promote federalism, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed today.

He said the UN’s Political Affairs Department has launched a programme to encourage third world countries which are caught up in ethnic conflicts to introduce a federal administration. (Daily mirror)

Presidential Commission probe: 15 out of 16 ‘mega corruption’ cases dropped
Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges has dropped investigations into at least 15 cases on the grounds that the state didn’t suffer revenue losses due to those transactions.

Having completed investigations into 16 cases, the Commission had recommended further legal action as regards only one of them, authoritative sources told The Island. (The Island)

US diplomat says Sri Lanka gives world hope in battle against terrorism
US representative to the UN Samantha Power began a three day visit to Sri Lanka on Saturday (November 21) and said the South Asian island nation gave the rest of the world hope in how it managed to eventually end a lengthy insurgency.

"There are a lot of difficult things that are happening around the world. As we have seen the attacks in Paris, yesterday Bamako Mali, before that Beirut, Baghdad, Ankara. It is a very difficult time for a lot of communities. Sri Lanka really stands out as a place and a people who have given the world a great hope. (UKRAINE TODAY)

Sri Lanka urges groups and individuals remaining in terror list to renounce separatism
After de-proscribing eight Tamil organizations and several hundred individuals, Sri Lanka today urged the groups and individuals remaining proscribed to make commitments to condemn violence and renounce separatism.

The government on Friday by an Extraordinary Gazette notification delisted eight Tamil organizations and 267 persons leaving eight pro-LTTE outfits and 157 individuals, who continue to espouse terrorism, on the list of banned outfits and personnel. (Colombo Page)

Lankan arrested with Rs.11mn foreign currency
A 58-year-old Sri Lankan duty free shop employee was arrested with foreign currency worth Rs.11 million at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning.

Customs media spokesman Leslie Gamini said the suspect from Naththandiya has been arrested by the Air Force officers and later handed over to the Customs officials. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena thanks India for funding several projects
President Maithripala Sirisena today thanked India for funding various welfare projects in Sri Lanka as he inaugurated an International Centre funded by the Indian government.

Sirisena, while thanking the Government of India for funding various projects in different parts of the country, inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre in the central town in Matale town (Economic Times)

Joint opposition in closed door talks
The joint opposition is conducting closed door discussions with the intention of creating a political change in the near future.

According to political sources, the pro Mahinda Rajapaksa factions are in the process of winning over those who had strayed from the party. (Sunday Leader)

Govt lifts ban on several pro-LTTE outfits
By a gazette extraordinary issued on Friday, the Sri Lankan government lifted the ban on several outfits and individuals previously thought to have been working for the LTTE.

On March 21, 2014, 16 organizations and 424 individuals were proscribed under the UN Act No: 45 of 1968. But the latest gazette notification bans only eight organizations and 155 individuals. (Daily Mirror)

DCB Funds: Each MP to receive Rs. 15 million in 2016
Each MP will receive Rs 15 million each next year (2016) from the decentralized budget, Parliament was told yesterday.

State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Niroshan Perera said that the government will add another Rs. 5 million each to the Rs. 10 million decentralized budgetary allocation of MPs for 2016. (Sunday Island)

The school uniform scandal
The late President R. Premadasa introduced the free distribution of school uniforms to ensure that poor children would not avoid schooling because of the non-availability of uniforms. Although governments changed several times, nobody stopped this vital project which has immensely contributed to keep Sri Lanka's literacy rate above the world average.

The United National Party (UNP) government in 2002, considered the distribution of school uniform clothes as a time consuming and tedious task. It found that the process of calling for tenders to distribute school uniforms was totally unnecessary (CEYLON TODAY)

Lal Kantha calls on UPFA Ministers to resign
JVP Political Bureau Member K. D. Lal Kantha called upon UPFA Ministers in government to resign from their ministerial portfolios and vote against the budget, since it does not recognize people’s aspirations.

“Pension for workers of the public sector is to be abolished. Workers who join government services after the 1st January, 2016 would not receive the current pension. A monthly sum would be reduced from their salary according to newly proposed pension scheme” Lal Kantha pointed out speaking to Asian Mirror. (Asian Mirror)

Mixed reactions from ministers and MPs
The 2016 budget presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake drew mixed reactions from Parliament with government members hailing it while the opposition, said it failed to meet expectations. ( Daily Mirror)

Joint Opposition lambastes budget
UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila yesterday said that the real Opposition would vote against the much touted first budget of the UNP-SLFP coalition government.

The grouping consists of a section of the SLFP loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and NFF (5 members) and one each from MEP, PHU and DLF (The Island)

Mahinda at 70: How Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa began his political journey
Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world at large as Mahinda Rajapaksa reached the magical age of 70 on November 18th 2015. The age of seventy or three score and ten regarded as the span of life has a special aura about it.

The Bible (psalm 90 verse 10) says “ The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away”.William Shakespeare observes in his “Macbeth” – “Threescore and ten I can remember well: Within the volume of which time I have seen Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night Hath trifled former knowings”. (dbsjeyaraj)

Weapons in ship from Sri Lanka raise alarm
The case of m.v. Avant Garde, a “floating armoury”, has acquired a new dimension since the Sri Lankan Navy boarded the vessel on October 6 to discover a massive stash of weapons on board.

The discovery has sounded a security alarm as the vessel, before being rested at the Galle harbour in eastern Sri Lanka, had been to the Indian territorial waters while carrying its cargo of weapons. (The Hindu)

Several concessions announced in 2016 budget
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake today announced several concessions during the presentation of the 2016 budget.

Among the concessions he announced was a reduction in gas and kerosene prices as well as a cut in the price of local milk powder. (colombo Gazette)

Govt’s first full budget today
The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s first full budget will to be presented to Parliament today at 2.00 pm by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake with total government expenditure for the next year estimated at Rs 1,941 billion

With today’s presentation of budget proposals commences the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill presented to Parliament on Oct. 24, by Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella. It is the first full budget of the new government, which previously presented a mini-budget on Jan. 29, this year. (The Island)

I don’t think govt will scrap Exec. Presidency-MR
Former president Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday, in Kandy, that the executive presidential system would not be changed by this government.

“What I feel is that the Executive Presidency will not be changed by this government,” he said. (Daily Mirror)

After abolition of executive presidency Maithri may contest again
Presidential advisor Shiral Lakthilake yesterday said that there couldn’t be any reason for President Maithripala Sirisena to refrain from contesting the next general election as his party’s prime ministerial candidate.

Having fulfilled the promises made in the run-up to the January 8 presidential poll, President Maithripala Sirisena could join the fray if the people wanted him to. (The Island)

Hopper, plain tea, milk tea prices up from Nov. 26
Prices would be increased on hoppers, plain tea and of all varieties of items sold at canteens from November 26, the national organizer of the All-Island Canteen Owners Association, Asela Sampath said today.

According to the association a price of a cup of plain tea would be increased by Rs.5 while a cup of milk tea would be increased from Rs.35 to 40. (Daily Mirror)

UN tells Sri Lanka to speed up investigations into disappearances
A UN team on Wednesday urged Sri Lankan authorities to expedite investigations into disappearances of thousands of people during two separate armed conflicts in the country.

The three-member UN team on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances that ended a 10-day fact-finding mission also urged the Sri Lankan Government to offer compensation to affected families. (Leadership)

Sri Lanka arrests 14 Indian fishermen
Sri Lankan authorities arrested 14 Indian fishermen for illegally poaching in local waters, navy officials said on Thursday.

The fishermen were taken into custody along with three fishing trawlers in the northern seas, in close proximity to Delft island, Xinhua news agency reported. (Business Standard)

Gender Gap widens in Sri Lanka in 2015 on lack of women participation in politics and labor force
Sri Lanka's gender gap increased over the last year and gender equality ranking declined from a 79 in 2014 to a 84 this year out of 145 countries, a report released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum showed.

The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2015 showed that Sri Lanka has been slipping from its privileged position in the top 20 since 2010. Sri Lanka fell from closing 74.6 percent of the gender gap in 2010 to 68.6 percent this year. (Colombo Page)

Akila explains why voucher system for school uniforms is better
Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today said that the government decided to provide students with vouchers instead of school uniform material in order to prevent students from receiving poor quality material and middlemen from pocketing commissions.

He stated that government will be able to save around Rs 500 million through this process and that it will be used to improve education in the country. (Ada Derana)

Cabinet okays proposal to cut president's power
Sri Lanka's cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to abolish the executive presidency and transfer most of its power to parliament.

President Maithripala Sirisena submitted a cabinet paper seeking to abolish the executive presidential system, Xinhua news agency reported.. (First post)

GMOA wants probe into Ven. Sobitha Thera's death
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) today requested President Maithripala Sirisena to launch a comprehensive, impartial, and swift investigation into the death of the Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera.

However, the GMOA said it was difficult to come to a conclusion regarding the cause of the death since several suspicious circumstances had arisen how the prelate was treated in the country before he was flown to Singapore. (Daily Mirror)

Jt. Opposition to quit APC over govt unilateral action
Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa said that parties in the joint opposition will consider withdrawing from the All Party Conference (APC) called by President Maithripala Sirisena if the government was not prepared to take decisions on reconciliation and accountability issues based on the APC resolutions.

Addressing the media at the N. M. Perera Centre in Borella, the National Freedom Front Leader said that the UNP government, especially Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had plunged the country into a difficult situation by jointly sponsoring the US resolution in Genera against Sri Lanka. (The Island)

Mahinda at 70 A historic leader, authentic hero
President Mahinda Rajapaksa to US Asst. Secretary of State Richard Boucher, May 2007

President Mahinda Rajapaksa to US Asst. Secretary of State Richard Boucher, May 2007 The terrorist barbarities wrought on Friday the 13th November 2015 in Paris remind us of the Tiger terrorist slaughter of civilians in Naiaru, Kokilai, Anuradhapura, Maradana, Pettah, Dehiwela, the Central Bank, Kebitigollawa, Arantalawa, Kattankudy and innumerable border villages—massacres which were at least as large as those in Paris when we regard the respective sizes of our countries’ populations. (Daily Mirror)

Dr Neville Fernando to sue Prof Carlo Fonseka
Chairman of the Dr Neville Fernando Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Teaching Hospital (NFTH) in Malabe, Dr Neville Fernando, says that he will take legal action against Professor Carlo Fonseka seeking Rs 500 million in damages for the comments made by the latter regarding the demise of Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero.

Addressing a media briefing at the hospital this morning, Dr Fernando completely rejected claimed that the late Ven. Sobitha Thero had been infected with a bacteria while receiving treatment at his hospital. (Ada Derana)

US Trade Show 2015 in Sri Lanka opens today
US Trade Show 2015, a trade show organized by the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka and the U.S. Chambers of Commerce opened today at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.

The two-day trade show will feature U.S. products and services and provides the opportunity for Sri Lankan businesses and public to meet the business representatives of over 30 world class U.S. corporations. (The Official Government News Portal of SL )

Cabinet paper on abolishing Exec. Presidency: MS
President (Daily Mirror)

President should not lead parties at LG polls: Gammanpila
There is a strong demand within the parties that President Maithripala Sirisena should not lead the UPFA and the SLFP at forthcoming local government polls, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader and Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila says.

He also pointed out his party would not extend its support to the UPFA as long as President Sirisena holds the leadership position. (Ada Derana)

HRC will look into AG’s Dept
Chairperson of the newly constituted Human Rights Commission (HRC) Dr. Deepika Udagama yesterday assured that she would certainly look into the Attorney General’s Department.

Addressing the media at the HRC head office at Kynsey Road, Borella, Dr. Udagama stressed the importance of protecting the independence of the AG’s Department, the judiciary and the police. She was flanked by Commissioners, attorney-at-law H. Ghazali Hussain, attorney-at-law Saliya Pieris, Ambika Satkunanathan and Dr. U. Vidanapathirana. (The Island)

Sri Lanka expects to restart port project
Sri Lanka is likely to give its nod to restart a stalled multi-billion dollar China-funded port city project in the island nation by early next year, a top official of the Sri Lankan government said yesterday.

The official said the Sri Lankan government is conducting high-level discussions with the Chinese government over the status of the Chinese projects on the island and the Sri Lankan government is likely to give its approval for the Port City project by February. (Shanghai Daily)

Innovation crucial for Sri Lanka’s future success: ex central banker
Sri Lanka’s ability to invent and innovate will be vital for economic development and developed country status, a former central banker says.

“The future of Sri Lanka will depend on the development of science and technology and how we combine inventions with innovations;” W.A. Wijewardena, former deputy governor of the Central Bank said. (Lanka Busines Online)

Sri Lanka breaking promise on amnesty to Tamil prisoners
DMK today charged the Maithiripala Sirisena-led Sri Lankan government with “breaking its promise” on granting general amnesty to Tamil prisoners there and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention

In a letter to Modi, DMK president M Karunanidhi said that Sirisena had secured a decisive win due to Tamils voting for him in large numbers following his many promises to them, including granting amnesty to prisoners from the community.” (NITI CENTRAL)

Sri Lanka suspends official over match fixing probe
Sri Lanka Cricket on Monday announced the suspension of Jayananda Warnaweera, a former administrator, for dodging an ICC match-fixing investigation.

Warnaweera was a member of the current interim committee governing the SLC until was suspended last month for failing to cooperate with the ICC anti-corruption probe. (Zee News)

Avant-Garde: PM warns Cabinet Minister
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly ‘strongly’ advised a senior Cabinet minister of his Cabinet not to engage with any parties about the Avant-Garde issue in the future. (Daily Mirror)

General strike launched as Tamil prisoners renew hunger strike
The entire northern province of Sri Lanka, an area mainly inhabited by Tamils, was "brought to a standstill" on November 13, according to the Tamilnet website, in support of Tamil prisoners on hunger strike for their freedom.

All private and public activities, except for medical services, came to a standstill. Students did not attend schools. Roads remained deserted except for the army and police. (Green Left)

'Lanka govt risks losing Tamil goodwill over inmate's death'
The Sri Lankan government risks losing the goodwill of Tamil minorities after the death of an inmate who was among over 200 Tamil political prisoners observing hunger strike demanding their immediate release, Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran today warned.

Tamil prisoners who are in a continuous hunger strike would not stop their action as the government had failed to fulfil a pledge to release them, Wigneswaran said in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena. (Business Standard)

Sri Lanka Army, Navy assist flood relief and rescue in the North
Sri Lanka Army has deployed more than 700 troops serving in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Wanni districts of Northern Province to provide immediate assistance for rescue and relief efforts of the District Secretariats in those areas.

The Army troops have provided assistance in evacuating and relocating the nearly 5000 flood-affected people to safer areas and provided them with cooked meals, medical assistance, sanitary and technical facilities. (Colombo Page)

Good governance shattered - Nimal Siripala
While claiming that good governance has now shattered, Transport Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that they joined the government at the invitation of the President in order to serve the people of the country but it is not possible to give all what they want which is only practicable through miracles of Aladdin’s Wonder Lamp or with the presence of God Sakra.

"President Maithripala Sirisena’s intention of abolishing the Executive Presidency is appreciable," he said addressing an event in Ella, Badulla. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka likely to join Iranian oil customers
Referring to the launch of new talks with Sri Lanka to resume oil exports, deputy oil minister expressed Iran’s readiness to resume oil sales to the Asian country during post sanction era.

Roknoding Javadi described the latest status of resumption of Iranian crude exports to Sri Lanka in time with the cancellation of international sanctions and announced the beginning of Iran’s oil negotiations with Sri Lanka. (Ada Derana)

MR stresses on global resolve to deal with terrorism
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa while expressing his condolences to the French government said the ‘barbaric act of terrorism perpetrated against ordinary citizens has once again underscored the need for global resolve in dealing firmly with terrorism’.

In a letter to the French President Francois Hollande, Mr. Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka had suffered the scourge of terrorism for well over three decades and such attacks were commonplace in the country. (Daily Mirror)

India to launch Sangam, a festival of confluence cultures in Sri Lanka
High Commission of India in Sri Lanka revealed that pursuant to an announcement made by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015, the High Commission will be launching a Festival of India in Sri Lanka later this month.

Various events will be held as part of the Festival themed "Sangam": a confluence of cultures of India and Sri Lanka in 2015-16. (Colombo Page)

Remove Wijedasa from portfolio: SF
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today urged the President and the Prime Minister to remove Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe from his portfolio on the grounds that he was a disgrace to the principles of good governance.

He said the minister was covering up those involved in fraud and corruption contradicting the government’s pledges to take action against such offenders. (Daily Mirror)

JVP summoned over case file by Wijeweera’s wife
The Commercial High Court of Colombo today issued summons on the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to appear before the court on November 27, regarding a case filed by the wife of the party’s founding leader Rohana Wijeweera.

Wijeweera’s wife Srimathi Chithrangani Fernando filed the case seeking a court order preventing the JVP from printing, publishing and distributing 7 books written by her husband. (Ada Derana)

KP has no criminal record Sri Lanka: government tells court
Top LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, wanted in India in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has no criminal record in Sri Lanka or links to any acts of terror, an appeals court was told today by the government A report submitted by the police headquarters to this effect was presented in the court here by Additional Solicitor General Jayantha Jayasuriya.

This was in response to an application filed by the JVP or the People s Liberation Front to arrest KP. (NITI CENTRAL)

Sri Lanka to amend Fisheries act, increase penalties for offences in international waters
Sri Lanka will change the law on governing the operation of fishing vessels in international waters, cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

“Cabinet of Ministers has approved the amendment of the Fisheries’ and Aquatic Resources Act 02 of 1996 for the increase of penalties for the offences done in the international sea,” he said. (Lanka Business Online)

EU evaluation team due in SL on seafood exports ban issue
A technical evaluation team from the European Union (EU) is due to arrive in Sri Lanka this week to observe local fisheries activities following the ban imposed by the EU on Sri Lanka’s seafood exports, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development sources said.

The objective of the delegation’s visit is to compile a report on the progress made by Sri Lanka in order to bring the local fish export industry in compliance with EU standards. The EU delegation will also hold discussions with Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, ministry sources told The Island Financial Review. (The Island)

Rajitha attacks Cabinet colleagues
Co- Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne criticized the behaviour of fellow Cabinet Ministers, at a press conference held in Colombo, a short while ago.

Responding to Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe calling those who levelled charges against him with regard to the Avant Garde issues are mere 'goda perakadoruwo', Senarathne said that Rajapakshe is the 'goda perakadoruwa', not him. (CEYLON TODAY)

President vows to abolish Executive Presidency
President Maithripala Sirisena today vowed before the mortal remains of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera that he would do everything possible under his command to abolish the Executive Presidency and introduce electoral reforms which the late prelate fought for in the past years.

The cremation of the Ven. Thera (1942 – 2015) took place under state patronage at the Parliament Grounds in Kotte last afternoon amidst a large gathering of Buddhist monks, Buddhists devotees, religious leaders, devotees of other religions, politicians, diplomats, Buddhist delegates from other Asian Buddhist countries, armed forces personnel and many others. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka poised for arrival of space debris; Planetarium announces special programme
The Sri Lanka Planetarium announced that a special programme is in place to observe and monitor the space debris which is expected to crash into the Southern Seas of the country on the morning of Friday, November 13.

Director of the Sri Lanka Planetarium Priyanka Koralagama said that the object will be observed from Tangalle. (News 1st)

A1 construction cost up by Rs. 2 billion, says Namal
The construction of the Colombo- Kandy highway has been estimated to be around Rs. 4.2 billion now, however, the former government had plans to finish the project for Rs. 2.2 billion, MP Namal Rajapaksa says.

“Two lanes of the A1 highway have also been removed, but the estimated cost has doubled. As the opposition, we have the responsibility to monitor these development projects,” he added. (Ada Derana)

Sri Lanka shares fall; budget uncertainty lingers
Sri Lankan shares fell for a second session on Wednesday to their lowest in nearly a week despite foreign buying, while speculation and uncertainty over the upcoming budget dented sentiment.

Brokers said investors kept to the sidelines, awaiting policy direction from the annual budget scheduled for Nov. 20.(REUTERS)

Pakistan, Sri Lanka need to diversify trading patterns: Pak. Comm. Minister
The Federal Minister for Commerce of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe at Temple Trees today, 10th November 2015.

The Minister was accompanied by High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain and a high level official delegation. The Sri Lankan Minister for Industry and Commerce, Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Sri Lankan Secretary Commerce and Industry T. M. K. B. Tennakoon and other high ranking officials were also present during the call on.(Lanka Business Online)

DEW sees danger in govt. move to merge EPF, ETF
Former Chairman of parliamentary watchdog committee on public enterprises D. E. W. Gunasekera yesterday told The Island that the move to amalgamate the EPF and ETF and move funds out of the Central Bank’s supervision wasn’t acceptable.

Former Minister and Communist Party General Secretary was responding to a statement made by Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva at the Information Department on Monday. The economist said that the funds would be managed by a newly appointed board of directors. The Colombo District MP also asserted that the proposed outfit could do a much better job than the Central Bank. The Deputy Minister questioned the safely of funds under the supervision of the Central Bank.(The Island)

Avant Garde operations handed over to Navy: Rajitha
Minister Rajitha Senaratne today said the President has ordered to hand over the operations of Avant Garde to the Sri Lanka Navy with immediate effect.

The decision was taken at a meeting held with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena this afternoon. (Daily Mirror)

MR: Now, country knows truth about Avant Garde thanks to Tilak Marapana
Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana, being an honest politician, had told the truth about the Avant Garde issue in Parliament, ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Rajapaksa told The Island that many thought that Marapana had been forced to resign for speaking the truth.(The Island)

Sagala Ratnayake tipped to be appointed as law and order minister
Minister of Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake is tipped to be appointed as Law and Order Minister following the resignation of Tilak Marapana, highly placed government sources said.

Meanwhile Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs DM Swaminathan is tipped to be appointed as Prison Reforms Minister.(Asian Minister)

What about Wijeyadasa?
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) explained that the allegations pertaining to the Avant Garde floating...... armoury controversy levelled against former Minister of Law and Order Thilak Marapana, which led to his resignation, still remain the same against Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

Elsewhere, Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had recently stated that it was the JVP who told him to arrest Leader of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) Kumar Gunaratnam and had subsequently admitted to his involvement in the abduction of Gunaratnam (along with FSP activist Dimuthu Attygalle) in 2012 in Kiribathgoda, was responsible for all the controversial abductions, which took place during the reign of the Government of former President and current MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.(CEYLON TODAY)

Tribute to a Golden Voice – Pandit Amaradeva felicitation
One cannot help listening to his deep, melodious voice in awe, which is almost like an antidote to sooth and calm one’s mind and takes out all that stress and pressure, and gives one a blissful feeling of relief.

It is because of this reason that he’s referred to as “Helaye maha gaandharwaraya.’’(Daily Mirror)

President to communicate course of action to Cabinet in a week
President Maithripala Sirisena assured yesterday that he would brief the Cabinet in one week over the government’s course of action on the Avant Garde private security firm.

The President addressing a special meeting held on the Avant Garde controversy last morning, said he would arrive at a final decision on the matter after discussions with the Prime Minister.(Daily News)

Marapana resigned under directions of Premier: Gammanpila
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary and MP Udaya Gammanpila today claimed that Law and Order Minister Thilak Marapana had to resign from his portfolio under the directions of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe because he disclosed the truth in Parliament last week, when he said that the Police raided Avant Garde ship in January to “score points”.

He said that former minister Marapana was pressurized from several parties to resign after he made the controversial statement regarding the Avant Garde issue.(Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka’s unexpected political opening won’t last forever
Sri Lanka’s new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, has now made a range of assurances via an extensive reform agenda and is now faced with the trickier task of implementation.

Elections in January (when Sirisena defeated the increasingly authoritarian Mahinda Rajapaksa in his quest to win an unprecedented third term) and August parliamentary polls, combined with the recently passed UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Sri Lanka, have presented the country with an unanticipated opening.(The Diplomat)

Tilak Marapana tenders resignation to President
Minister of Law and Order Tilak Marapana has tendered his resignation as a Cabinet Minister to President Maithripala Sirisena, a source confirmed.b>(Ada Derana)

Hakeem reveals split in unity govt.
‘Muslims are disappointed’ 
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem dropped a bombshell in public on Saturday when he revealed that there was a split in the government.

Addressing the 26th convention of the SLMC at Polgolla Hakeem declared: "There is a conflict of opinion within the government. This crisis is evident from President Maithiripala Sirisena’s decision to summon a special Cabinet meeting."(The Island)

Sri Lanka to release 126 Indian fishermen on Monday
All the 126 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody will be released by courts in the island nation on Monday.

Among the fishermen in Sri Lankan custody, 54 are from Rameswaram, 16 from Pudukottai, 49 from Nagapattinam and seven country boat fishermen from Tuticorin.(NYOOOZ)

Amnesty International calls on Sri Lankan government to fully cooperate with UN working group
The global human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) today called on Sri Lankan government to fully cooperate with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID), which will be arriving in Sri Lanka tomorrow for its first visit to the island in 15 years.

The UN Working Group will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 9 to 18 November 2015, at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka must rethink its tourism model
Although Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industry is not a fledgling sector anymore, industry stakeholders must rethink and relook into the existing model, opined one of Sri Lanka’s foremost environmentalists and world-renowned academics, Prof. Sarath Kotagama.

Prof. Kotagama made this observation at the first-day of the Third International Conference on Hospitality & Tourism Management (ICOHT 2015) and Inaugural International Conference on Biodiversity 2015 kicked off last Thursday (5 November 2015) at the Hotel Galadari organized by International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM). Sunday Leader partnered as the Official Print Media Sponsor. (Sunday Leader)

Chinese-built port terminal in Sri Lanka makes waves
The waves licking the giant of a ship docked at Colombo's spanking new terminal in the crisp autumn noon cut a stark contrast to the lifeless swathe of the ocean on the other side marked for a controversial reclamation project stuck in the cross-currents of local and international politics.

Majority-owned by Hong Kong-listed China Merchant Holdings International (CMHI), Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) may not get the headlines like its Chinese-funded twin next door, but it gets the job done. Unlike the stalled US$1.4 billion Colombo Port City, the CICT-run "South Terminal" is making the right kind of waves, raking it in for Colombo port like never before and transforming Sri Lanka into a regional shipping hub (China Morning Post)

Most Venerable Sobitha Thero passes away
Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero has passed away this morning at a hospital in Singapore - SL Mission in Singapore confirms.

SL mission in Singapore also says that steps have already been taken to send back remains of Sobitha Thero as soon as possible to Sri Lanka. The government has also decided to conduct the funeral of Sobitha Thero with full state honours. (Ada Derana)

President declares he will abide by stand taken by majority of Cabinet
With the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in deepening crisis over the stinking Avant Garde affair, a last-ditch-effort is being made to reach a consensus on the issue, political sources said.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet warring members of the cabinet on Monday morning (Nov 9) to discuss a way out of the turmoil. With those wanting to clear Avant Garde of any wrongdoing and other demanding action expected to stick to stand, Monday’s meeting is likely to be a stormy affair. (The Island)

Wijeyadasa hits back at Fonseka
"Fonseka an ungrateful, revengeful person"
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, yesterday alleged that the on-going onslaught on the Avant Garde Maritime Services was meant to pave the way for another local venture to take over the lucrative business

Minister Rajapakse alleged that the present government was under heavy pressure to move against Avant Garde Maritime Services to enable a takeover. (The Island)

U.S. Navy ship USS Anchorage rescues Sri Lankan fishermen stranded in Indian Ocean
The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage came to the rescue of six Sri Lankan fishermen stranded deep in the Indian Ocean.

The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) rendered assistance and provided aid to the crew of the stranded Sri Lankan-flagged fishing vessel, M/V Lakshan, on early Wednesday (November 4). (Colombo Page)

Govt to introduce liquor labels to control illegal liquor
Sri Lanka’s government plans to introduce liquor labels to control illegal liquor entering the market.

As the government has imposed a larger tax, illegal bottled liquor seem to be entering the market, Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.. (Lanka Business Online)

Buddhist Tourism: Odisha Mulls Air Route to Lanka
While Odisha has world class Buddhist heritage sites, it is yet to find a significant place in world tourism map. The State Government would soon propose to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for starting direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Colombo in Sri Lanka, Governor SC Jamir said here on Friday.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Kalinga-Lanka - Reviving old linkages and exploring new opportunities’ at Utkal University here on Friday, Jamir said Buddhism became internationally famous after the Kalinga-Ashoka war, following which the great emperor Ashoka shunned violence and adopted peace for ever. (Indian Express)

Justice Minister to sue Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka
Sri Lanka's Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapakshe says he will file legal action against former Army Commander and leader of the Democratic Party Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka for the defamatory statement made against him over the Avant Garde issue.

Refuting the allegations levelled at him by Field Marshal Fonseka over the Avant Garde controversy, the Minister said he will seek legal action demanding 500 million rupees as damages. (Colombo Page)

Somawansa Amarasinghe to join Weerawansa in new alliance
Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Weerawansa also said that they were planning to contest for LG elections along with the 10 parties of the United People's Freedom alliance (UPFA).

This would mean that Amarasinghe is now a member of the 'united opposition' which supports former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Asian Mirror)

Sri Lanka to give freehold lands and houses, 500,000 new houses to be constructed
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that the government plans to give freehold lands and houses to the people who have been enjoying it and will construct 500,000 new houses in rural, semi urban and urban areas.

Making a special statement at the Parliament today Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the government will empower 3 million citizens to become land and house owners. (Lanka Business Online)

MP Chatura named a suspect
Gampaha District UNP Parliamentarian Chatura Senaratne who is alleged to have threatened with death a group of young men in custody at the Ragama police was yesterday named as a suspect by police that made a further report in connection with the incident before Negombo Chief Magistrate Purnima Paranagamage.

The group of young men were arrested following a clash on September 14 between two parties over the lease of the Ragama hospital car park. Two men received injuries in the incident. Parliamentarian Chatura Seneratne had allegedly called over at the Ragama police and threatened the suspects in the police cell. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka looks to deepen tourism cooperation with China
Sri Lanka looks forward to deepening cooperation with China in the tourism sector, said Minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga on Thursday

Meeting with the CEO of the Asia Pacific Daily Jin Wensheng and his delegation in Colombo, Amaratunga said that his country is looking at becoming a globally recognized tourism destination. (Global Post)

Avant-Garde heats up cabinet
The Cabinet meeting heated up last evening over the Avant-Garde issue as several ministers were highly critical of the conduct of Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana regarding the controversy.

Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka vehemently criticized Marapana. They accused Marapana of trying to make a serious matter appear trivial and questioned him being the lawyer of the Avant-Garde Maritime Securities company. (Asian Mirror)

Ministers interfere with Avant Garde investigation –SF
Democratic Party Leader and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday emphasised that Minister of Law and Order and Prison Reforms Tilak Marapana and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, should be held responsible for undermining ongoing investigations into questionable operations undertaken by Avant Garde Maritime Services.

Field Marshal Fonseka said as President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had devolved powers to respective ministers, in this instance, Marapana and Rajapakshe they were accountable. The DP leader was responding to a query by The Island at a special media briefing called by the party at its new main office at Pelawatte, Battaramulla. (The Island)

Sri Lanka to minimise tax holidays, target rich for revenue
Sri Lanka is to minimise tax holidays and levy more on rich people through direct taxes, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday, reforms likely to win the praise of the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF had long asked Sri Lanka to boost revenues by reducing unnecessary tax holidays, especially since the end of a costly 30-year civil war in 2009. (REUTERS)

Sri Lanka wants you to visit… Especially if you're French
Sri Lanka wants to entice more tourists from France to visit its shores. The South Asian island nation will be hosting the annual French Travel Agents Association conference next year. This event will bring several hundred France-based outbound travel agents to Sri Lanka in October of 2016.

France is the fifth biggest source of tourists for Sri Lanka. However, tourism officials see an opportunity to raise this ranking. (Travel Pulse)

Avant-Garde raid similar to millennium city affair: Marapana
Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana today told Parliament that the Police had raided the Avant-Garde floating armoury ship at the Galle Harbour soon after the election to 'score point'. While dismissing allegations over the whole matter, the Minister stated that it was similar to the millennium city affair in 2002. “The reality was that,” he said.

Speaking during an adjournment debate on the company’s dealings in Parliament, minister Marapana said facts have been distorted to create a wrong picture in the minds of the people. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka fort: Out of the rubble
Sri Lanka: As an army of labourers churns out limestone bricks, archaeologist Prashantha Mandawala reflects on the ambitious task of restoring Sri Lanka’s centuries-old Jaffna fort, destroyed by ethnic war.

The project has so far included the dangerous task of clearing unexploded mines and shells from the seafront site and scouring the northern Jaffna peninsula for scarce limestone bricks to use for the rebuilding. (Gulf News)

Student protest influenced Kumar's arrest: FSP
Front line Socialist Party (FSP) Politburo member Duminda Nagamuwa said today FSP Central Committee member Kumar Gunaratnam, who was engaged in active politics for the last couple of months was arrested due to the influence on the Government after the recent attack at the protest launched by the HNDA students.

Mr. Nagamuwa said the Government attacked the protest campaigns launched by university students and people who protested for their rights for the last ten months whereas it came to power pledging to ensure student rights. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka needs a tax intelligence unit to adapt to economy: Treasury Secy
Sri Lanka needs to establish a tax intelligence unit to identify economic changes and developments taking place and adapt these changes into the tax structure of the country, Treasury Secretary R H S Samaratunga told a forum.

“What lacks in Sri Lanka’s tax system is recognizing economic changes that take place from time to time,” Samaratunga said. (Lanka Business Online)

Leader of FSP behind student protests Kumar remanded
Leader of the JVP-splinter group Frontline Socialist Party Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Mahattaya was arrested at his ancestral house in Kegalle by police yesterday.

The arrest had been made around 1.45 pm at Gunaratnam’s house at No 211/26, Anguruwella, Kegalle by a team of policemen from the Kegalle police on charges of violating immigration regulations, police said. Gunaratnam has been remanded till Nov. 18 by the Kegalle Magistrate. (The Island)

Sri Lanka ranks 61st in global 'Prosperity Index'
Sri Lanka has risen a notch higher this year and ranked 61st globally in the 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index, which ranks nations according to wealth and wellbeing of their people.

This year's Prosperity Index, compiled by London-based Legatum Institute, ranks 142 nations on their performance across eight equally-weighted sub-indices: Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Education; Health; Safety & Security; Personal Freedom and Social Capital. (Colombo Page)

Their startup survived a tsunami and Sri Lanka’s fledgling internet. Now it’s booming
It was in the early 2000s when a group of five young, ambitious high school graduates from Sri Lanka realized their burning desire to strike out on their own.

They were enthusiastic about entrepreneurship and yearned to make it big – building a company synonymous with quality and excellence. (TechinAsia)

Is Govt. using Sunny Leone to promote casinos?: Wimal
The good-governance proponents, who condemned casinos in the country, should confirm whether they are planning to promote the casino industry by bringing the well-known erotic actress Sunny Leone to the country, National Freedom Front Leader and Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa said today.

Ms. Leone is said to be planning to visit Sri Lanka in December and during her visit, she is expected to present a musical concert at the premises of a casino in Colombo. (Daily Mirror)

Tale of two govts or Two of the same!
Fortunes of a nation lie on a trunk of a leader. If the heart of Mahinda Rajapaksa were attached to the mind of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the nation could come smelling of roses after the war. Patriotic sentiments blended neatly with worldly wisdom. It was not to be. Becomes a land of a splintered torso.

Who is Boss? Need is for a Boss of Bosses - Capo di Cape. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka secures ADB loan of $800m towards latest road revamps
The Asian Development Bank will loan US$800 million to Sri Lanka toward phase three of the country’s Integrated Road Investment Programme.

The programme will improve more than 3,100km of rural roads and nearly 250km of national roads at a total cost $906 million. (WORLD HIGHWAYS)

Police attack on students throws House into turmoil
Opposition MPs shouting slogans and holding placards inside the chamber against last week’s attack on a group of protesting students in Colombo threw Parliament into turmoil yesterday.

All hell broke loose when MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena got up, demanding to know why the government had prevented university students from visiting Parliament yesterday. "Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa allowed the people to visit Parliament because it is a right of the general public to come here and see what is happening here. But, today, the police and the military have been deployed to prevent students from coming to Parliament to meet us."(The Island)

LandsLide warning!
The Disaster Management Centre has issued a landslide warning to three districts following heavy showers experienced islandwide. The landslide warnings have been issued to Kegalle, Ratnapura and Nuwara-Eliya Districts, Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Kodippili said.

The Anuradhapura District has been identified as the potentially most landslide prone district due to incessant heavy thundershowers experienced since Monday (2) night.(CEYLON TODAY)

Lohan frowns on UNP-SLFP tie-up, laments plight of real Opposition
UPFA MP Lohan Ratwatte yesterday alleged that those SLFPers who hadn’t accepted portfolios from the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government were deprived of an opportunity to address parliament.

Kandy District MP Ratwatte said that they really didn’t know how to overcome the obstacles created by the new coalition in power.(The Island)

Pro- Mahinda Opposition Coalition against Maithri-Ranil Govt may be named “Bosath Rajapaksa Peramuna”
When the government decided to launch a full-scale investigation into journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance, it stirred up a hornet’s nest where the country’s defence circles are concerned.

Many senior military officers were vehemently against such an investigation, saying it would jeopardize the intelligence wing of the Sri Lankan military. They said an inquiry of that nature would “expose” intelligence wing members and secret informants to the outside world.(dbsjeyaraj.com)

Sri Lanka targets revolutionary budget, Tax revenue should be increased: Ravi K
Sri Lanka’s tax revenue needs to be increased and expanded into more regions as the government may face difficulties in going ahead with low revenue generation, Finance minister told a forum on Monday.

“We are planning a radical and revolutionary budget and tax is a main component,” Ravi Karunanayake, finance minister of Sri Lanka said. (Lanka Business Online)

UGC contradicts acting police chief
Acting Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. P. S. M. Gunaratne has disputed a statement Acting IGP Senior DIG Pujitha Jayasundara made at a media briefing on Oct. 30 that the UGC officials had not been present to meet protesting Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) students the previous day.

Acting IGP SDIG Jayasundara said that he had tried his best to help students meet some UGC officials, but to his dismay there had not been anyone to listen to them and that was where everything went wrong. (The Island)

Sri Lanka willing to have joint patrolling
Sri Lanka Navy’s Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne on Monday expressed willingness to have joint patrolling with India to tackle the problem of alleged poaching by Indian (Tamil Nadu) fishermen in Sri Lankan waters.

“I have no objection,” he told The Hindu in reply to a question. Every three months, the Navies of the two countries, along with Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka, have been carrying out flag meetings. “This is equivalent to joint patrolling,” he explained. (The Hindu)

Sri Lanka’s gem industry eyes recovery: OBG report
i Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry will have to strive harder to gain hub status as flat global sales of luxury goods and labour shortages are holding the industry back, a recent research report says.

“Traders face a difficult operating environment industry wide, weighed down by the broader economic slump and weaker currencies in several key purchasing markets,” the Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global research and publishing firm, said in a recent industry report. (Lanka Business Online)

Transport Ministry says grateful to MRIA
The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation yesterday said that SriLankan Airlines enjoyed fuel savings and payload gains by diverting its flight UL 230 to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) instead of diverting it to Trivandrum, Chennai or Male due to heavy foggy conditions around the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

UL 230 from Kuwait to BIA with 253 passengers and 14 crew members on board was diverted to the MRIA last morning. (Daily Mirror)

Acting IGP summoned before police commission - HNDA Student assault
Acting Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara and Gamini Maturata, DIG of the Colombo Division will be called before the National Police Commission (NPC) today (2), regarding the police attack on the Higher National Diploma for Accountancy (HNDA) students at Ward Place, last Thursday (29).


Rainfall continues over Sri Lanka
The cyclonic circulation over the eastern coast of Sri Lanka has been bringing good showers for the last few days. As of now, the cyclonic circulation has moved in a westerly direction into South Arabian Sea

The easterly wave is strong over Sri Lanka, which is enhancing rainfall activity over the area. During the last 24 hours, fairly widespread heavy rainfall has occurred over Sri Lanka. The places where significant rainfall has been observed in the last 24 hours are: Anuradhapura 110 mm, Galle 65 mm, Trincomalee 51 mm and Vavuniya 49 mm. (Skymet)

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