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77 fishermen return from Sri Lanka
Seventy-seven fishermen of Tamil Nadu, who were released by Sri Lanka, landed here on Thursday.

Officials led by S. Palanisamy, Nagapattinam District Collector, received them at the port here. The fishermen were later sent to their respective districts and villages.(The Hindu)

US$ 7.6 million Indian aid helps Sri Lanka set up emergency ambulance service
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickemesinghe on Thursday inaugurated an Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS) to be jointly run by the Ministry of Health and India’s GVK EMRI with an Indian government grant of US$ 7.6 millio

The first of its kind in Sri Lanka ,the EAS uses State of Art facilities, which will be available to one and all, free of charge. Anyone wanting the EAS can call the hotline 1990 and an ambulance, which is a mini ICU, will be there on the spot in 30 minutes. (Indian Express)

Sri Lanka central bank unexpectedly raises policy rate by 50 bps
Sri Lanka's central bank raised its main interest rates by 50 basis points each on Thursday in a surprise move aimed at curbing stubbornly high credit growth that is adding to concern about inflationary pressures.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka raised the standing deposit facility (SDF) rate and the standing lending facility rate (SLFR) to 7.00 percent and 8.50 percent, respectively. (REUTERS)

Modi says India’s aid to Sri Lanka will be as per Sri Lanka’s choice
Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi said on Thursday that India’s development assistance to Sri Lanka will be determined by the choices and priorities of Sri Lankan leaders and people.

“India’s development cooperation with Sri Lanka encompasses a wide spread of projects throughout Sri Lanka in different areas of economic activity. But it must happen as per your aspirations. (Indian Express)

Kumar Sangakkara interview: Sri Lanka cricket needs exposure, support, good quality games
Kumar Sangakkara, one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game, is currently in Florida about to play the first ever Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in the USA. Firstpost caught up with him to discuss the tournament, what goes into making a T20 league attractive to players, the current state of Sri Lankan cricket and the recent comments that have been made about his long time team mate Muttiah Muralitharan working with an Australian side touring Sri Lanka.

Right now Sri Lanka are taking on Australia in a Test series. The match has been quite hectic and has moved along briskly, even with rain interruptions. Sri Lanka are chasing the game, as they have been so often this year, but Sangakkara feels that the talk of the terminal decline of cricket in Sri Lanka is premature. (First Post)

Paada Yathrawa prevented from entering Mawanella town
The Jana Satana Paada Yathrawa organised by the Joint Opposition was prevented from entering into Mawanella town by the police officers near the Ganethenna area this evening as the procession was ordered not to enter the city limits. (Daily Mirror)

Protest march of the Joint Opposition commences
The protest march of the Joint Opposition was commenced from Peradeniya a short while ago on Thursday (28) morning.

Thousands of people were seen engaged in the march which started from near the bridge in Peradeniya along the Colombo-Kandy road, Ada Derana reporter said. (Ada Derana)

Australian streaker jailed for one week in Sri Lanka
" A Sri Lankan judge has jailed for one week an Australian cricket fan who ran naked onto the field during the first test match between Sri Lanka and Australia.

The man ran onto the covered field when play had been interrupted by rain during the opening day's play Tuesday. After running around naked for a brief period, he put his clothes back on before leaving the field.(NZ Herald)

Six army officers acquitted over Kumarapuram massacre
The six former army Corporals who were accused over the massacre of 24 civilians in Kumarapuram, Trincomalee in 1996 have been acquitted after they were found not guilty by the Anuradhapura High Court.

The verdict which was delivered by High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne this evening as per the decision reached by the jury, comes following a long trial into one of the country’s most high-profile cases. (Ada Derana)

Lasantha's killing: Suspect identified by driver
The suspect taken into custody in connection with killing of Sunday Leader Chief Editor Lasantha Wickramathunga has been identified by the man who was driving Mr. Wickramatunga's vehicle at the time he was killed.

The suspect Prem Ananda Udalagama served as a staff sergeant in the army intelligence unit. He was arrested on the 15th and then remanded till the date of the identification parade. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka’s pact with IMF faces flak
A recently-formed coalition of trade unions, student unions, progressive intellectuals, social organisations and activists has criticised the Sri Lanka government for its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The coalition, Alliance for Economic Democracy, has said the IMF's Extended Fund Facility, providing an assistance of $1.5 billion over three years, comes with a “number of conditions that will adversely impact the economic and social life of the people in this country.” Despite the “dangers inherent” in the agreement, there has been no critical public scrutiny of the arrangement.(The Hindu)

Sri Lanka to revise electricity price twice a year from 2017: regulator
Sri Lanka plans to revise electricity tariffs every six months starting from April 2017, in a bid to maintain cost-reflective pricing, the country's power regulator said.

The government has given the go ahead to revise power tariffs every April and October, director General of Sri Lanka's Public Utility Commission Damith Kumarasinghe told a forum in Colombo.(economynext)

Vigneswaran claims rights to Moragahakanda project
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran yesterday claimed rights to the Moragahakanda project as it supplied water to the Northern Province.

Chief Minister revealed these sentiments during a discussion with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday. He added that there would be issues if the central government had full authority over the project.(Daily Mirror)

MoD jolted into addressing disabled military personnel’s grievances
‘Wounded men shouldn’t be deprived of disability pension at retirement’
The Defence Ministry says it will soon submit proposals in respect of pension rights sought by retired disabled officers and men to Director General of Pensions Jagath Dias.

Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera, Director Pay and Records, Brigadier Sarath Perera and Brigadier Prasanna Chandrasekara of the Defence Ministry yesterday briefed the media at the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) as regards measures taken by the government in the wake of a group of disabled personnel launching protests opposite the Fort Railway Station.(The Island)

India and China to get special economic zones in Sri Lanka
India and China will be allotted Special Economic Zones in Sri Lanka for them to set up industries, the Minister International Trade and Strategic Development, Malik Samarawickrama told newspersons here on Tuesday.

“Indians will be setting up pharmaceutical and auto parts industries in their zone. The Chinese have asked for 55 sq km (15, 000 acres) of land in the Hambantota area in the Southern Province for their zone, and we are in the process of acquiring the land. When developed, this area will generate one million jobs,” Samarawickrama said.(Indian Express)

Doctors who treated Ven. Sobitha Thera to be questioned
Colombo Chief Magistrate allowed the special panel of Colombo National Hospital doctors who conducted an inquiry into the death of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera to question the doctors who treated the Thera in Sri Lanka.

The directive was given on July 18 by the Magistrate on a request made by CNH Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe on July 12.(Daily Mirror)

Sangakkara backs Muralitharan amid Cricket Sri Lanka row
Kumar Sangakkara has leapt to Muttiah Muralitharan’s defence after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) lodged a complaint against the legendary former spinner.

Muralitharan has been criticised for taking a consultancy role with Cricket Australia for the current tour of his homeland and relations appear to have soured in the build-up to the first Test in Pallekele this week.(Ada Derana)

Kin of Sri Lanka's missing persons demand "detailed information"
An overwhelming number of families of those who reportedly went missing during the 26-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka, demands “more detailed information” from the authorities on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons.

This is the highlight of a study undertaken by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during October 2014-November 2015 all over the country, by interviewing 395 families of the missing persons including those of members of security forces and the police.(The Hindu)

Moragahakanda project first initiated through Mahinda Chinthana - MR
The Moragahakanda project, the biggest multi-functional irrigation project, was first initiated through the Mahinda Chinthana program during my time, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says.

The observation was made while speaking to reporters in Colombo this afternoon (26).b>(Ada Derana)

No SLFP CC approval to extend UNP-SLFP agreement- JO
Neither the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Central Committee (SLFP CC) nor the Executive Committee had approved the extension of the agreement entered into with the United National Party (UNP) for five years, SLFP MPs of the joint opposition (JO) said today.

JO national organizer and SLFP CC member Dullas Alahapperuma said there were five MPs in the joint opposition, who represent the SLFP CC and they had not wetted any proposal to extend the agreement.(Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka hire ex-SA 'keeper as fielding coach
Former South Africa and Hamspshire wicketkeeper Nic Pothas has been appointed by Sri Lanka Cricket as their new head fielding coach, meaning he will leave his job as the Leicestershire Academy director.

Pothas, who played three ODIs for the Proteas before permanently moving to the UK and forging a long career with Hampshire, has been with the Foxes for a year, also helping with coaching the second XI.(Sport24)

PM’s remarks on media - Silence by Western Missions a shocker: JO
The joint opposition said today it was shocked by the ‘deafening’ silence of the Western missions over the statements made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week threatening newspaper editors.

Former MP G.L. Peiris accused the government of giving priority to carry out the Western agendas rather than fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka.(Daily Mirror)

Dental morphology and modern human origin
Dental crowns and Roots traits are now been used to trace the origins of anatomically modern humans. Sample of teeth are more durable are better preserved than any remains of human skeleton, bones etc Perhaps the best and only available item scientific methods for any analysis with the present knowledge.

A study conducted by Diane Hawkey of the department of Anthropology, ArizonaStateUniversityon samples available in South East Asia ‘Peopling of South Asia; Evidence for Affinities and Micro-evolution of India and Sri Lanka’. This book was published by the Department of Museums Colombo and for sale at the Museum Bookshop (Sirimunasiha)

Controversial bill now needs simple majority due to JO’s lapse
Office of Missing Persons:
Due to a serious lapse on the part of the Joint Opposition (JO), the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in now in a position to pass the controversial Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill with a simple majority, according to legal sources.

The JO comprises nearly 50 members out of 95 UPFA parliamentary group, including a dozen National List nominees. (The Island)

Canada, U.K. renew calls for reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Even as Sri Lanka observes 33rd anniversary of the anti-Tamil riots which triggered a long civil war, Canada and the U.K., both known for having a significant Tamil diaspora, have renewed their call to Sri Lanka to fulfil commitments on human rights and democracy

In a statement issued from Ottawa, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau felt that the war and the devastation it wrought “reminds us to heal the wounds of those who have suffered, and to promote unity over division and inclusion over prejudice”. (The Hindu)

Refrain from forming new fronts: MS tells JO
President Maithripala Sirisena , in a meeting last night, requested Sri Lanka Freedom Party( SLFP) MPs sitting in the Joint Opposition to refrain from forming any new political fronts and acting in a manner detrimental to the interests of the party.

The President called for this meeting with the SLFP members of the Joint Opposition ahead of the protest march they were planning from Kandy to Colombo under the guidance of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Daily Mirror)

Should the VAT be Abolished?
Sri Lanka needs complete and meaningful tax reforms. Where should we begin? I suggest that we should begin from economic fundamentals not from ad-hoc adjustments of VAT.

If you need a quick solution, then, I would say again, you have to begin from fundamentals by correcting what was wrong in the budget for the year 2016. Let me explain this matter very briefly. (CEYLON TODAY)

KP’s travel ban further extended
The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended the interim order for October 26 directing the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to prevent LTTE’s former leader of the International Wing Shanmugam Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP from leaving the country.

The Court of Appeal (President) Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice S.C.J Madawala made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Vijitha Herath who sought an order to institute legal proceedings against KP who was appointed as LTTE leader in 2009 (Daily News)

Muralitharan mounts furious attack on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan launched a blistering attack on Monday on his former bosses after they complained about his behaviour in his new role as a mentor to Australia.

After his former employers said Muralitharan was damaging his legacy, the 44-year-old accused Sri Lanka’s board of setting him up as a fall guy if the hosts lose a series to the visiting Australians. (Gulf News)

Sri Lanka courts order release of 49 Indian fisherm
Sri Lanka's courts have ordered to release 49 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by Sri Lanka Navy for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and poaching in the island's waters.

The fishermen from Rameswaram, Nagapattinam and Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu, were among 77 fishermen detained in Sri Lanka, according to a representative of Ramanathapuram Fishermen's Association. (Colombo News)

Don’t play with fire: Gammanpila tells PM
While criticizing the controversial statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Kandy on Saturday, regarding certain media personnel, Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila today said the Prime Minister should not play with fire.

Speaking at a media briefing, MP Gammanpila said Premier Wickremesinghe would soon learn a lesson from media personnel if he goes ahead with his decision to teach a lesson for certain print media institutions.(Daily Mirror)

Move to obtain enjoining orders to halt protest march - Ananda Thero
The Bhikkhu Voice organization on Monday (25) slammed the government over its alleged move to obtain enjoining orders to halt the scheduled protest march of the Joint Opposition

The observation was made by Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero while speaking at a press conference held in Colombo.(Ada Derana)

Ranil’s dream and The delusional Opposition
Arresting of an intelligence officer attached to Sri Lanka Army over the murder of late Lasantha Wickramatunge has sparked questions about the underworld of the state, and questioned the very ruling elements of the government.

The investigation of this blatantly committed daylight murder has turned into yet another all-consuming matter in the political arena. (Counter Currents)

Sri Lanka to resume Iran oil imports; USD251mn oil debt to Iran
Sri Lanka is planning to resume oil imports from Iran following the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions, Iran’s petroenergy information network reported

The network said following a meeting with Iranian Petroleum Minister in his Tehran office on Sunday, Sri Lanka’s Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody has expressed hope that Colombo will resume oil and gas purchases from Iran. (Lanka Business Online)

July’83 India’s sine qua non to first destabalize & eventually colonize Sri Lanka
33 years have gone by and we still fail to put the puzzle together. To safeguard the nation from becoming finally clinched as a victory by the enemy it is no better time than now to start putting the puzzle together.

Sri Lanka does not have a Tamil problem. Sri Lanka’s problem is India. The root of all Sri Lanka’s problems is India. We need to come to terms with this reality. (Lankaweb)

USS New Orleans arrives in Sri Lanka to provide training and disaster relief
The United States Navy vessel USS New Orleans (LPD 18) with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU arrived at the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka on July 24 on a goodwill visit. Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions welcomed the US ship on her arrival.rd.

This is the second U.S. Navy ship to visit Sri Lanka in the past four months, following the visit of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge in March. (Colombo Page)

"Opposition raises concerns over submissions sought from diaspora
The joint opposition today raised concerns over a call for submissions from the Sri Lankan diaspora on a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to take the reconciliation process forward.

Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader and joint opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament today that the submissions had been called for by the Foreign Ministry without informing Parliament. (Colombo Gzette)

Human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve this year but challenges remain - UK report
The human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve between January and June 2016 but much remains to be done for the island nation to fulfil the commitments made in the October 2015 UN Resolution, the United Kingdom said in its human rights report.

The UK welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's assessment of Sri Lanka's progress against Resolution 30/1 and the Sri Lankan government's continuing determination to address the legacy of conflict. (Colombo Page)

"Kotiyak Vatina Adahasak": Sri Lanka's first tech reality TV show
In the recent few years Sri Lanka has gained a lot of momentum in terms of technological innovation and a lot of innovators who have come up with brilliant technological solutions in order to solve problems faced by Sri Lankans.

Yet, we have come across instances where the people who are involved with such projects often give up on their dreams either due to various constraints. (README)

Sri Lankan Courts extend remand Of 49 Tamil Nadu fishermen
Two courts in Sri Lanka today extended till August 3 the remand of 49 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by the Lankan navy for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters.

Rameswaram Fishermen's Association President P Sesuraja said the 49 fishermen were among the 77 fishers arrested in June and July by the island nation's authorities for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters. (NDTV)

US to work with Sri Lanka Navy for maritime security and stability
The United States (US) says it will look to work with the Sri Lanka Navy for maritime security and stability.

The USS New Orleans (LPD 18) with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will arrive in Sri Lanka for a port visit on July 24. (Colombo Gzette)

Major restructuring in Sri Lanka national carrier - Minister
Sri Lanka's Minister of Public Enterprise Development Kabir Hashim says that a major restructuring process is in progress to make the debt-ridden national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines a profit making venture.

Speaking at a press briefing held today at the Ministry of Public Enterprises Development, Minister Hashim said the national carrier incurred heavy losses due to mismanagement during the previous regime (Colombo Page)

India to build USD 1.8 mn auditorium at Sri Lankan varsity
India today said it will build a1500-seat auditorium at a cost of USD 1.8 million at a university in southern Sri Lanka as part of its development partnership with the country in the field of higher education.

The government of India is undertaking a project to set up the'Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium' in the University of Ruhuna in the southern town of Matara at a cost of Sri Lanka rupees 265 million (USD 1.81million), a statement from the Indian High Commission said.(Business Standard)

US game plan in Sri Lanka Biswal, Malinowski playing Chinese chequers?
After yet another visit by the two US Assistant Secretaries of State, Nisha Biswal and Tom Malinowski one cannot help noticing the proximity of the visit to that of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi just four days before.

The most notable aspect of the US officials’ trip has been a change in tone (rather than substance) of their public remarks. (Daily Mirror)

Full list of bus fare revision
The annual bus fare revision which has been decided to be granted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation along with the National Transport Commission with effect from 1st August 2016, has been announced today (22).

The National Transport Commission said that stern action will be taken against any operator who charges fare in excess of the approved fare. (Ada Derana)

Custom Officers' Association meets Presiden
A discussion was held between President Maithripala Sirisena and the members of the Custom Officers' Association on the introduction of the new Customs Act, at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (21)

The Custom Officers' Association apprised the President that most of the provisions included in the Act have been taken from the Customs Acts of other countries and due to that the Act is not suitable for Sri Lanka. (CEYLON TODAY)

President assures Customs Laws won't be diluted
President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that he would not allow the Customs Law to be diluted by the proposed Customs Ordinance.

The President gave this assurance at a meeting with a group of Customs trade union representatives. (The Island)

Sri Lanka plans to close all 31 IDP camps in Jaffna
The Sri Lanka government is planning to close down all 31 camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Jaffna district of the Northern Province and complete resettlement of 971 families by August 15.

An official document, a copy of which is available with The Hindu , refers to the government’s plan. Sources reveal that 204 houses are being built in Palaly and Kankesanthurai with the help of the Sri Lanka Army. D.M. Swaminathan, Resettlement Minister, asserts that there is no time frame to close down the camps, but “we are doing all what we can”. (Ada Derana)

Tamil people’s proposals rejected – Sampanthan
The Tamil people's proposals were not included in Sri Lanka's Constitution when it was being framed in the past, Leader of the Opposition and Tamil National Alliance Rajavarothayam Sampanthan said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka – German Technical Training Institute in Kilinochchi on Monday (18), Sampanthan said that Tamil leaders had made certain proposals to be included in the Constitutions, when they were being framed in 1972 and 1978, but those proposals had all been rejected. (CEYLON TODAY)

UNP-SLFP marriage will lasts till 2020 – Duminda
Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanyake yesterday said that the national government would continue for five years and no one would be able to topple it.

Addressing a press conference at the Parliament complex yesterday, the minister said: "The SLFP and the UNP have signed the Memorandum of Understanding to form a government of consensus for only two years (The Island)

Kiriella offers five posts for JVP
While denying media reports that a Buddhist monk named Ven. Wattappola Rahula Thera was appointed as a consultant to the road development project, Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday he was even ready to offer five such posts to the JVP which raised the matte

JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa made this allegation during question time of the House the other day. (Daily Mirror)

Don’t make Sri Lanka a colony of the United States - Amarasekera
An effort is underway to make Sri Lanka a colony of the United States, Convener of the Jathika Emamuthuwa Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera says.

The observation was made while speaking at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (21). (Ada Derana)

PIA in talks with Sri Lanka for lease of four A-330 aircraft
n a press statement, PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said that Pakistan’s national carrier had advertised for leasing wide body aircraft last month and Sri Lanka’s national carrier expressed interest in leasing out its four new wide body A-330 aircraft to PIA.

A high-level team of PIA led by CEO, Mr. Bernd Hildenbrand recently visited Colombo to inspect these aircraft and to negotiate a contract. (Samaa TV)

Sri Lankan shares steady; led by large-cap consumer stocks
Sri Lankan shares ended little changed on Thursday as gains helped by foreign buying and led by financials were offset by some large-cap consumer staples, while the market awaited directions on the macro economy.

The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.05 percent, or 2.97 points, at 6,417.46 in thin trade. (REUTERS)

Heavy rainfall and heat swamp Sri Lanka's anti-dengue drive
High temperatures and unseasonal rains have combined to effectively scuttle Sri Lanka's efforts to curb dengue, experts say.

The island is facing yet another outbreak this summer, with infections more than doubling in June to 3,421 cases, up from 1,477 cases during the same period in 2015. (REUTERS)

Sri Lanka to respond to India after consulting its fishermen: Fisheries Minister
Sri Lanka has received a number of proposals from India to try and resolve the fishing row, but Colombo will take a decision only after consulting its fishermen, the Fisheries Minister said here on Thursday.

“We have not given consent to any of the proposals although there have been many” Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters. (Indian express)

Largest ever cocaine haul seized
A large haul of 274 kilos of cocaine had been found inside a sugar container in Peliyagoda this evening, police said.

DIG Priyantha Jayakody said there was another container at the yard and it had not been opened yet. (Daily Mirror)

Charge of depriving Vanni population of food and medicine: fact and fiction
About three weeks before the Army had breached LTTE defences on the Vanni east front, to rescue over 100,000 Tamils, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (R/HC) in wartime Sri Lanka, Neil Bhune, estimated the maximum number of civilians trapped there at 180,000.

Bhune made the revelation at a meeting of the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) on March 30, 2009, at the Defence Ministry, chaired by the then Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe. (The Island)

The indecisive tale of VAT
Since the formation of the new government, the debate regarding Value Added Tax (VAT) has caused a few tribulations along the way. The planned hike on the tax rate appeared to be unwelcome and has resulted in many protests and arguments.

A Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect consumption tax added to a product’s sales price. Under a VAT taxation system, all sellers collect the tax and then pay it to the government. (Ada Derana)

No other PM like Ranil
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday informed Parliament that he was unaware of any institution named the Task Force for National Reconciliation.

He made these remarks while responding to...... a question raised by National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa, who inquired as to whether an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation had been established with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga as its head. "I am not aware of such an institute. (Ceylon Today)

Why Mangala must exit and Amunugama must enter
Sooner, rather than later, there will have to be a ‘Mexit’: Mangala Samaraweera’s exit from the Foreign Ministry.

His abject West-fetishism instead of Realist multi-polarity is counter-productively anomalous as Sri Lanka returns to an Eastward reliance in foreign investment. (Daily Mirror)

Malaysia seeks Sri Lanka's cooperation in combating terrorism
Malaysia is seeking Sri Lanka's cooperation in combatting terrorism and the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a two-day working visit, will discuss the issue with Sri Lankan officials, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah said

Wan Zaidi said that among the issues expected to be discussed by the deputy prime minister during the visit was cooperation of the two countries in combating terrorism. (Colombo Page)

45 consultants paid Rs.65, 000 monthly by Highways Ministry
While admitting in Parliament today that 45 people were appointed as consultants of the Southern Transport Development Project of the Road Development Authority on a monthly payment of Rs.65,000 each, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the government should look after those who ensured a thumping electoral victory from the Kandy district at the two elections.

The Minister who is also the Leader of the House said this in response to a question asked by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa. (Daily Mirror)

Navy arrests 15 persons engaged in illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers
The Sri Lanka Navy Wednesday said it has arrested 15 local fishermen for allegedly engaged in illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers without a license.

Naval personnel attached to SLNS Welusumana located in Mandaitivu in the Northern Naval Area arrested the 15 individuals while harvesting sea cucumbers, without an authorized license, in seas off Mandaitivu on Tuesday (19). (Colombo Page)

SL in a mess; so many trying to govern it: Gammanpila
UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila said today the country was in a mess because too many groups including the US and India, apart from the President and the Prime Minister, are attempting to govern the country.

Responding to a question by a journalist outside the Colombo National Hospital he said at least five groups are holding the reins of the country. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka's SEC halts payment on controversial Agalawatte deal
Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered a stock broker to halt the payment on a 60 percent stake in Agalawatte Plantations, following a complaint by some shareholders of the privately held controlling Mackwoods group.

Members of Sri Lanka's Nonis family are involved in multiple legal battles alleging mis-management of the group by Chrishantha Nonis, who is de facto chairman.(economynext)

Sri Lanka police bust fake passport operation to send women to Kuwait
Sri Lanka Police have uncovered a racket sending women to Kuwait by providing them with fake passports, fake Kuwait visa and immigration and emigration seals..

The Police were able to uncover the information on the racket during an investigation into an arrest of a woman by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) when she was about to leave the country on such a fake passport and Kuwaiti visa. (Colombo Page)

Jaffna Uni. clash: one student gets bail
An undergraduate who alleged to have involved in the recent clash at the University of Jaffna has been granted bail today.

The student was released on two personal bails of Rs.100,000 rupees each after being produced before the Jaffna Magistrate, MP M.A. Sumanthiran who appeared on behalf of the suspect told Ada Derana. (Ada Derana)

US Militarization of Sri Lanka : Sri Lankans to provide Canteen Services
There are over 1000 foreign US military bases and installations. The 4 losers of World War 2 host the biggest bases located in Germany, Italy, Japan and Korea.

The newest strategy is to set up smaller detachments across the nations where US geopolitics pivots to. (Lankaweb)

Tamil Nadu fishermen to protest from July 22 demanding release of colleagues from Sri Lanka custody
Indian fishermen of Rameswaram have decided to hold a series of agitations from July 22, to make several demands including the release of 77 of their colleagues held in Sri Lankan custody.

A resolution has been passed to press for the demands at a meeting of fishermen associations of Rameswaram held on Tuesday, the Secretary of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Confederation of Fishermen's Associations, NJ Bose told The Hindu. (Colombo Page)

Govt has a ‘Jana Satana phobia’ - Gammanpila
UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila claims that the government clearly has a phobia of the Joint Opposition, members of the Rajapaksa family and the “Jana Satana Pada Yathra” movement.

He stated that the government has contracted a “very dangerous disease” which is a “Jana Satana phobia” (Ada Serana)

A top post for Mahendran
Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is to play a major role in finalizing trade agreements with foreign countries including the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ECTA), top government sources said today.

He is also expected to play a role in the government’s programme of providing one million jobs which was one of the pledges made by the Government during the recent elections. (Daily Mirror)

‘No Phobia’ on taking Chinese money - PM
Sri Lanka is agnostic about what countries it accepts foreign investment from, including China, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“There is no phobia,” Wickremesinghe, 67, said in an interview on Sunday in Singapore. “Basically, any agreement with China will be to accommodate everyone in investments, any agreements with India will accommodate everyone. And any agreements with Singapore or Japan will be that way. We have no problem with all our friends.” (Ada Derana)

Chinese-aided port city in Sri Lanka to boost economy
The Colombo Port City Project which is under construction as a joint venture between the Sri Lanka Government and China, is expected to positively influence the country’s economy on a large scale, Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Anuradha Jayarathne said.

Delivering a speech under the theme ‘Current trends in Sri Lanka on the global ocean management concerns’ during the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference 2016 held in Guiyang, China, he said the port city would be the highlight of the Indian Ocean and South Asia once it is completed. (Pakistan Observer)

China holds talks with Sri Lanka on future projects
China and Sri Lanka had talks today on future investments and projects in the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that he met the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang and had a long fruitful discussion on economic diplomacy between both countries. (Colombo Gazette)

Sri Lanka’s Port City to apply its own economic, commercial laws: PM
The proposed Financial City better known as the Port City will function as a special jurisdiction area with its own economic and commercial laws to facilitate operations of global multinational corporations, Prime Minister said.

Delivering the keynote address at the third South Asian Diaspora Convention, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the proposed city is ideal to fill the vacuum for a financial city along the trading route between the cities of Singapore and Dubai. (Lanka Business Online)

Caritas initiative to reconcile war-torn Sri Lanka
Caritas Sri Lanka organized an event last week to respond to what they say is an urgent need to reconcile individuals and communities who experienced three decades of ethnic-related civil war.

Over 100 Sinhalese and Tamils from Jaffna, Mannar, Kandy and Anuradhapura dioceses gathered at Our Lady of Madhu Shrine's Retreat House on July 15 - 16 to "bring hearts and minds together for national reconciliation." (Vatican Radio)

Mahinda Rajapaksa's son granted bail; brother arrested by Sri Lanka police
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's eldest son was today granted bail but was banned to travel abroad by a court here over allegedly accepting $500,000 from an Indian firm in connection with a multi-million dollar real-estate project in the heart of Colombo.

Namal Rajapaksa, a member of parliament, was arrested last week and kept under remand custody till today, becoming the second son of the former president to be remanded over financial irregularity. (Economic Times)

Sri Lanka detains ex-leader’s brother on suspicion over funds
Sri Lankan financial crime police arrested on Monday a brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a third time over suspicion of state fund misappropriation when he was economic development minister, a lawyer said.

Rajapaksa’s younger brother, Basil, is on bail after being arrested twice for alleged misappropriation of state funds and a land deal allegedly involving money laundering. Court hearings into the two cases are going on. (euronews)

Sri Lankan rupee ends lower on importer dollar demand
The Sri Lankan rupee fell on Monday as state-run banks bought dollars to meet demand for the U.S. currency from importers, even as inflows from a sovereign bond issue, which dealers say would lift the local currency, are expected starting later in the day.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said last week the rupee would "obviously appreciate" on inflows from Sri Lanka's first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds, which raised $1.5 billion. (REUTERS)

Instead of tax, Govt. eyeing to increase fuel prices - Wimal
The Government is eyeing to increase the prices of fuel instead of tax increase, National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa said.

The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (18). (Ada Derana)

Australian tourist describes the horrifying moment a swarm of WASPS attacked a tour group in Sri Lanka - as people screamed and writhed on the ground in agony
An Australian couple were among a panic-stricken tour group that was attacked by a swarm of wasps while climbing Sri Lanka’s Sigirya Rock.

Sue Lalor and husband Peter were nearing the top of the 200metre landmark when a stampede of screaming people ran down the narrow staircase towards them. (Daily Mail)

Do Sri Lankans wish to partner with India or China?
Like it or not the Sri Lankan public will have to come to terms with some hard realities.

Our political leaders have failed the nation since independence, their policies have been inconsistent and with the overall aim to only come into power and remain in power, our media have been serving as western lackeys, our rights activists and legal fraternity have not defended the nation and apart from a handful of people bringing out issues of vital concern to the future of the sovereignty even the general public have chosen to ignore their duties as citizens. (Lankaweb)

Sri Lanka police arrest Army intelligence officer over popular editor's murder
Sri Lanka Police on Saturday arrested an army officer, attached to the Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka Army, over the murder of journalist and former Editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickremetunga.

The police said the arrest came after recent appeals for public assistance in tracking down suspects. Earlier this month the police re-released sketches of two persons who were suspected to be involved. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lankan court rejects army’s list of missing LTTE surrendees
A Sri Lankan court has rejected a list of missing LTTE surrendees produced before it by the army.

The court rejected the list as the Army provided a list of LTTE surrendees, who have been rehabilitated but the petitions have been filed on behalf of the LTTE surrendees, who went missing after they surrendered to the security forces. (Financial Express)

Sri Lanka's national carrier should be run by state - poll
A nationwide survey conducted by research firm TNS Lanka exclusively for the business magazine LMD has revealed that a majority of people polled believe that the country's debt-ridden national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, should continue to be run by the state.

LMD says that nearly three-quarters (74%) of those polled are of the view that the state should continue to run Sri Lanka's national carrier with some among them noting that if the government operates it properly, it can earn huge profits. (Colombo Page)

Damage caused by Ranil Wickramasinghe, CBK, Maithripala trio to Sri Lanka
Ranil is acting as an agent of other countries in Sri Lanka even though he is the Prime Minister in Sri Lanka. I think he realized a long time ago that in order to come to power he needed some backing.

There is a good article on Ranil W’s psychological make up and his dependency on “big boys” from school days in “‘Whites Only’ Esmond Wickramasinghe Creates a Bridgehead in Sri Lanka for Corporate Colonialists (Lankaweb)

U.S. acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation
Implementing a U.N. resolution calling for the investigation of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during a war with separatist rebels is complicated and needs more consultations to build confidence, a senior U.S. official said.

The United States along with other Western countries have long demanded an international investigation into the killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, under then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (REUTERS)

No fraud in coal purchasing; AG was wrong - Jayamaha -
A wrong assessment by the Auditor General’s Department had led to the notion that a fraudulent deal had taken place when purchasing coal for the Lakwijaya power station, a government MP said today

UNP Kurunegala District MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha told a media briefing that a metric ton of coal had been purchased at US $ 51 and not $58 as stated by the auditor general. Accordingly he said the government had not lost Rs 1.8 billion as claimed by the Auditor General’s report. (Daily Mirror)

USA’s Imperial Embrace marked in 2015 … and now continuing
The Supreme Court on Monday (July 11) issued an interim order suspending the increase of VAT from 11% to 15%, after considering a petition challenging the tax hike.

The discourse regarding Sri Lanka within international media has intensified since 2009, when the then government of president Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that it had defeated terrorism in the form of the armed non-state group known as the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) [recognized as an international terrorist organisation by the US in 1997], that Sri Lanka had been in armed conflict with since the early 80s. (Thuppahi's Blog)

Sri Lanka urged to tap diaspora investments
The government should adopt a more focused approach to attract investments from Sri Lankans living abroad with special incentive schemes and a ‘one-stop-shop’ for diaspora investors, International Alert said.

The London-based conflict-prevention non-governmental organisation said that with nearly three million Sri Lankans living across the world (about 14% of the country’s population) Sri Lanka’s diaspora-to-population ratio is known as one of the highest in the South Asian region.(economynext)

57 hospitalised after wasp attack in Sri Lanka
At least 57 people, most of them students, were hospitalised after a swarm of wasps attacked a school in Sri Lanka on Thursday, sources from the school and a health centre said.

The attack occurred in the afternoon in the Padaviya locality, a remote area in Anuradhapura district, Efe news reported.(Business Standard)

Court case delays tabling of VAT (Amendment) bill in Parliament
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill will not be presented to Parliament on July 20 as previously scheduled due to the ongoing court case.

The Supreme Court on Monday (July 11) issued an interim order suspending the increase of VAT from 11% to 15%, after considering a petition challenging the tax hike.(Ada Derana)

2,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen chased away by Sri Lankan navy, fishing nets cut
Fishing nets of five boats of Indian fishermen were cut allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel on Thursday, who also chased away more than 2,000 fishermen off Katchatheevu islet.

The Lankan naval personnel cut the nets, warned them against fishing in their territorial waters and chased away more than 2,000 fishermen from the area, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association President, Sagayam said.(Indian Express)

Four held for trying to smuggle heroin to Sri Lanka
Four persons, including three Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested at Ramanathapuram Railway station near here today for allegedly attempting to smuggle heroin weighing 2 kgs to Sri Lanka, police said.

Based on a tip-off, the Q Branch police rushed to Ramanthapuram Railway Station and saw Kannan (29) of Ramanthapuram, Yogeswaran (50), Mohammed Kansoor (45) and Mohammed Niroz (55) from Sri Lanka, acting suspiciously, police said.(Business Standard)

Bharatha Killing: Judgment fixed for Sept. 8
Oral Submissions in connection with the case against former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva and 12 others over the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others was concluded today and fixed for judgment on September 8 by the Trial at Bar in the Colombo High Court.

The Trial at Bar comprising Justices Shiran Gunaratne, Pathmini N. Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Morais ordered to submit written submission over the case on or before August 12, 2016. (Daily Mirror)

Agencies identify Sri Lankan religious centre where missing Kerala youths stayed
Intelligence agencies have reportedly spotted the religious centre in Sri Lanka, where the missing youths of Kerala are suspected to have stayed before they disappeared.

“It is a centre run by one Nawaz ul-Hind who has connections with Kerala. He had studied at Darul Hadees at Dammaj in Yemen for 12 years before starting the centre at Nigombo in Sri Lanka,“ an intelligence officer told The Times of India.(News Minute)

NJC alleges move to shield those living under false names
Prez, MPs urged to torpedo Missing Persons Bill
The National Joint Committee (NJC) yesterday alleged that the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill would prevent revealing the identities of those who had been categorised as missing but found alive, and investigating them. Therefore, a major amendment to the controversial Bill was necessary, the NJC said.

Addressing the media at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, Gevindu Cumaratunga of behalf of the NJC pointed out that under Clause 13 the proposed Act, information pertaining to those who had been found alive after being reported missing couldn’t be revealed without their consent. (The Island)

Journalist in Sri Lanka assaulted after exposing environmental damage of mini-hydro plant
A journalists who had written about the environmental damage caused by a mini-hydropower plant in Neluwa, Galle in Sri Lanka, a media rights body said.

Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement said Daya Neththasinghe, Features editor of Sathanda, a newspaper, had been assaulted while speaking at a meeting in a temple in Dellawa village in Neluwa. (economynext)

Chinese checkers in Sri Lankan waters
China may have no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea but the undaunted juggernaut leaves footprints far and wide.

Closer home, India too needs to keep a hawk-eye on the other side of the Palk Straits because the Chinese have also strategically re-entered the Sri Lankan waters. (The Tribune)

Has CB Governor been truthful about Rajaratnam connection?
Author Anita Raghavan in an article about life after the fall of the mighty Galleon Group says that for most of its employees finding a job on Wall Street was tough after the financial crisis “and next to impossible if your résumé included a line that said “Galleon.” (The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund, by Anita Raghavan)

The Galleon Group, one of the largest hedge fund management firms in the world was co-founded by Sri Lankan born Raj Rajaratnam. The firm collapsed in 2009 when Rajaratnam and five others were arrested and charged with multiple counts of fraud and insider trading. (Sri Lanka Express)

Sri Lanka insists no licence in its waters for Indian fishermen
The Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry has denied claims that Indian fishermen are to be given a licence to catch fish in its waters on certain days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India has put forward a proposal to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish 75 days of the year. (Business standard)

Tamil party discusses pressing issues with U.S. officials
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance on Wednesday met with the top US officials visiting the country and discussed pressing issues affecting the Tamil community.

A TNA delegation consisting of party and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, MP M.A. Sumanthiran and few other senior leaders met with the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal and US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski this morning in Colombo. (Colombo Page)

President’s view should be government’s stance - Mahinda
While referring to an observation made by the President on not allowing foreign judges into the judiciary in the country, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserts this stance should be the view of the Government as well.

The observation was made while responding to the reporters after an event held in Colombo this morning (13). (Ada Derana)

Korea pledges USD300mn development loans to Sri Lanka till 2018
A Framework Arrangement enabling the Government of Sri Lanka to obtain soft loans from the Government of Korea up to U$ 300 million till 2018 was signed on July 13, 2016.

This Framework Arrangement is based on the agreement between the two governments signed in December 1995 concerning Loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (Lanka Business Online)

Sri Lankan rupee ends lower as foreign investors prefer new eurobonds
The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Tuesday on a lack of exporter dollar conversions and as foreign investors cut down on rupee bond buying in favour of a new higher-yielding sovereign dollar bond, dealers said.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake however said the rupee would "obviously appreciate" after proceeds from the sovereign bond issue starts flowing in, and as other expected inflows increase the foreign reserves to $8.3 billion from the current $6 billion. (REUTERS)

Sri Lanka Tamils raise concerns over release of political prisoners
Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party on Wednesday raised concerns over release of political prisoners and lands in the Tamil north with US officials visiting the country.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski are on tour for political engagements with the Sri Lankan government. (Indian Express)

Rights petition challenges PM's request to Speaker
A public interest litigant today filed a fundamental rights petition against the request made by the Prime Minister for a ruling from the Speaker on the implication and/or constitutionality of the “Singarasa Case”.

Petitioner N.Dharshana Weraduwage cited Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Attorney General naming him on the capacity as Attorney General as well as for the President Maithripala Sirisena. (Daily Mirror)

VAT test for MS
President Maithripala Sirisena finds himself in an unenviable position. Having lost the backing of a sizeable section of the SLFP, he is now at the mercy of the UNP, which undermines his authority.

He cannot assert himself and act according to the dictates of his conscience lest he should jeopardise the UNP-led government’s interests and run the risk of paving the way for a comeback of his arch rivals––the Rajapaksas. (The Island/Editorial)

UNWTO international conference on tourism opens in conflict affected Eastern Sri Lanka
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference, organized by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, opened Tuesday at the Amaya Beach Resort in the eastern coast resort town of Passikudah.

The international conference held from 11-14 July under the theme of "Tourism: a Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation" will provide an opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase the national reconciliation process, the priority concern of the government. (Colombo Page)

War crimes: TNA’s claim at Congressional hearing irrelevant – minister
Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday dismissed as irrelevant a statement made by Jaffna District MP M. A. Sumanthiran at a recent Congressional hearing on behalf of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in respect of foreign judges in a judicial mechanism to inquire into war crimes.

Minister Samarasinghe was responding to a query raised by The Island at a special media conference held by the President’s Office at the Information Department to explain President Maithripala Sirisena’s stand on Western intervention in Arab countries and proposed judicial mechanism to probe accountability issues here. (The Island)

Sri Lanka company earnings growth seen slowing
Earnings growth of Sri Lankan companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange are likely to slowdown in the second and third quarter of 2016, stockbrokers First Capital Equities said.

They attributed the slowdown to the likely slowdown in consumer demand resulting from the tighter monetary policy, higher interest rates and price increases in imports because of the depreciation of the rupee. (economynext)

Islamic State in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, which abuts India, is the latest country to face the merging threat of the Islamic State.

The United States Government in its latest report on terrorism entitled “Country Reports on Terrorism, 2015” states that “the security services focus on a possible LTTE resurgence affected the government’s attention to emerging threats, such as reports of Sri Lankan foreign terrorist fighters joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Geo Political Monitor)

US Commends Sri Lanka's Reconciliation Measures
A U.S. envoy on Tuesday commended the steps taken by Sri Lanka to foster reconciliation between the sides that fought a long civil war that ended seven years ago.

Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said on a visit to Colombo with another U.S. official that they have seen "Sri Lanka take concrete steps forward in its reforms in democratization and reconciliation" in the last few months. (ABC News)

Concern expressed over bid conditions for Sri Lanka’s East Container Terminal
An influential shipping industry body has warned that conditions set for investors to build and operate a container terminal in Sri Lanka’s Colombo may discourage larger operators and reduce overall interest.

The expression for interest (EOI) for Colombo’s East Container Terminal (ECT) by Sri Lanka Ports Authority requires one of the top 20 container shipping lines to be a member of the bidding consortium, who will also have to guarantee one million containers a year. (Hellenic Shipping News)

Sri Lanka’s BOI signs 46 new Investment agreements in June
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has signed 46 new investment agreements totaling 982 million US dollars, a statement said.

The projects cover manufacturing, construction, mixed development, hotel, mini hydro power, trading house, solar power, apparel, research and development and education. (Lanka Business Online)

Half of Gotabaya’s military security detail replaced by STF
Almost half of the military security detail of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been replaced with the Police Special Task Force (STF).

Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Ada Derana that 25 out of 50 military detail provided for his security was replaced with the STF personnel as of this morning (12). (Ada Derana)

Local judicial system politically biased: Dulles
While claiming that the arrest of Namal Rajapaksa’s was political witch-hunt, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Dullas Alahapperuma today questioned the integrity of the judicial system of the country.

Addressing a media briefing, MP Alahapperuma said it was evident from the recent arrest of Namal Rajapaksa, that the judicial system in this country was politically biased. He also said the court should take legal steps against such political personalities. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka court suspends government's tax hikes - media
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Monday temporarily suspended government tax hikes that came into effect on May 2 because they had not yet been approved by the parliament.

In a statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the interim court order is not expect to have any adverse impact on the government's revenue collection.(REUTERS)

No bail for Namal Rajapaksa, remanded until 18 July
Hambantota District MP and former President’s son Namal Rajapaksa, who was arrested by the FCID, has been remanded until 18 July by the Fort Magistrate, Ada Derana reporter said.

Namal Rajapaksa was arrested as he arrived at the FICD to give a statement on a financial irregularity this morning. The MP was summoned to obtain a statement regarding a financial transaction with Indian real estate company ‘Krrish Group’, an official said.(Ada Derana)

Namal arrest: MR asks if govt. happy now?
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he had to ask the government whether it was now happy after arresting his son Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa,

Mr. Rajapaksa who was arrested by the FCID today over an inquiry of allegedly misappropriating Rs. 70 million worth of funds belonging to 'Krish Company’, was later remanded by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne till July 18. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lankan rupee trades weaker ahead of sovereign bond sale
The Sri Lankan rupee fell as importers and banks bought dollars, speculating that foreign holders of the country's sovereign debt might sell them in order to invest in the higher-yielding dollar bonds the government launched on Monday, dealers said.

The new dual-tranche dollar bond float, which could result in some foreign investors exiting their positions on older government securities, comes with a 5.5-year tranche indicating a yield guidance in the area of 6.125 percent and a 10-year at about 7.125 percent.(REUTERS)

Sri Lanka Day celebrated with food, music and dance
The 13th annual Sri Lanka Day Festival, hosted by the Sri Lanka Foundation, brought a rainbow of colors, music and food to Paseo Colorado on Saturday. This all-day festival paid tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, also known as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean.’

As Mayor Terry Tornek said, “This [festival] is the essence of Pasadena diversity and culture.”(PASADENA NOW)

Northern Province stresses federalism as a solution to devolve power in Sri Lanka
The provincial administration of Sri Lanka's Northern Province has stressed the importance of adopting a federal system to devolve power to the provinces while keeping the country united.

The view of the Northern Province was recently presented to the 21-member Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly which comprises representatives from various parties with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chairperson. (Colombo Page)

ADB assures support for Sri Lanka including capital market reforms
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says that Sri Lanka can aim for higher growth by boosting its private investments, connectivity and capital market reforms.

“The government’s public finance management reform initiative will help maintain macroeconomic stability, which is important to the country,” Wencai Zhang, vice president, Asian Development Bank (ADB), who was on a three-day visit to the island, said.(Lanka Business Onlines)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski to visit Sri Lanka this week
United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski will visit Sri Lanka and Cambodia from July 12 to 20, where he will engage with government officials and local civil society representatives, the Department of State said in a release on Sunday.

In Sri Lanka, Assistant Secretary Malinowski will focus on Sri Lanka's continued progress in meeting the commitments made during last September's UN Human Rights Council session. (Colombo Page)

President slams Western interventions in Iraq, Libya
President Maithripala Sirisena has faulted the Western powers for their intervention in Iraq and Libya leading to many deaths and widespread destruction.

President Maithripala Sirisena also pointed out the culpability on the part of the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.”(The Island)

Joint opposition wants a no-confidence motion against FM now
Sri Lanka's self-appointed joint opposition in parliament now wants to bring a no-confidence motion against Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera.

Joint Opposition parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila has said that they are considering tabling a no-confidence motion against Minister Samaraweera for his stance on employing foreign judges in the probe on alleged war crimes. (Colombo Page)

Act against Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa tells PM Modi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the Indian government to undertake a strong diplomatic offensive against Sri Lanka to stop it from arresting Indian fishermen.

In a letter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi released to the media on Friday, Jayalalithaa said: "I have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the government of India undertaking a strong diplomatic offensive to uphold the rights and interests of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu."(Zee News)

China targetting Sri Lanka's cement sector in wake of Holcim's impending exit
The cement market in Sri Lanka appears to be heading for an irreversible change in the wake of speculation that China is making a strong bid to enter it, following last month's announcement by multinational cement producer LafargeHolcim to sell its subsidiary Holcim Lanka Ltd.

According to reports, a Chinese bidder has taken note of the Sri Lankan Industry and Commerce Ministry's expression of interest to buy out Holcim Lanka Ltd., and reportedly is ready to offer USD 500 million, a whopping 100 percent more than Holcim Lanka's USD 250 million value.(Business Standard)

Sri Lanka shares higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.88%
Sri Lanka equities were higher at the close on Friday, as gains in the Motors, Services and Investment Trust sectors propelled shares higher.

The biggest gainers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Madulsima Plantations PLC (CM:MADU), which rose 22.39% or 1.50 points to trade at 8.20 at the close. Finance Company PLC (CM:TFC) added 22.06% or 1.50 points to end at 8.30 and Colonial Motors PLC (CM:COLO) was up 17.02% or 14.40 points to 99.00 in late trade..(Investing)

Mangala violated collective Cabinet responsibility: JO
The joint opposition today urged President Maithripala Sirisena to take action against Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera whom it accused of violating the collective responsibility of the Cabinet.

Joint opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane told a media briefing held at parliamentary complex that Mr Samaraweera had challenged the President through his recent statement that the non-inclusion of foreign judges in the judicial mechanism to probe human rights violations was an opinion expressed by the President.(Daily Mirror)

JO appoints shadow cabinet
The Joint Opposition (JO) today appointed a shadow cabinet of 50 ministers, led by ex-president and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs.(Daily Mirror)

Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka to discuss strategic partnership
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will embark on a three day visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow to push forward strategic cooperative partnership.

During the visit, Wang will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and hold talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media briefing here today.(Indian express)

Sri Lankan shares post over 1-wk closing high on foreign buying
Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Thursday and posted their highest close in more than one week, as foreign investors bought into banking and diversified stocks.

Overseas investors, who have offloaded shares worth a net 5.81 billion rupees ($40 million) so far this year, bought equities worth a net 466.96 million rupees on Thursday.(REUTERS)

Hostile Tamil Diaspora activists invited again
Mangala denies Prez-PM rift, urges media not to cause trouble
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has invited Tamil Diaspora activists, including those still promoting a separatist agenda to visit Sri Lanka.

Minister Samaraweera has extended the invitation on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka during a meeting with expatriate Tamils on the sidelines of 32 session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)(The Island)

South China Sea issue: Sri Lanka seek peaceful solution
Sri Lanka said yesterday, that the only way the South China Sea issue could be resolved was through peaceful, constructive and meaningful negotiations among concerned countries.

Additional Media Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Athaudahetti told Xinhua that Sri Lanka firmly believed in resolving disputes through peaceful negotiations and called on all parties concerned to hold constructive talks.(Daily News)

Sri Lanka says it will create court to probe war abuses
Sri Lanka's government plans to set up a special court by next year to hear allegations of abuses during the country's decades-long civil war, the foreign minister said Wednesday.

Mangala Samaraweera made the comments after returning from a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva at which High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed concerns over the government's slow progress in implementing its pledge to investigate allegations of human rights violations and war crimes.(ABC News)

Dr. Coomaraswamy shouldn't be branded an LTTE ally: JO
A day after Pivithuru Hela Urumaya criticized the newly appointed Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, former MPs Tissa Vitharana and G.L.Peiris said he should not be branded as a person having links with the LTTE, just because he was employed by Raj Rajaratnam, who is alleged to have funded the LTTE.

They said this at the weekly media briefing of the joint opposition held in Borella today (Daily Mirror)

Cabinet approves amend law to allow witnesses to testify from overseas
The Cabinet approval has been granted to amend existing laws to allow witnesses to testify from overseas, the Government said today.

“The above act was brought into operation on 16th May 2016. There have been requests to give witnesses from overseas under this act. (Ada Derana)

TNA’s revelation in Washington as regards foreign judges stuns govt
The four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Friday (July 1) welcomed a hard-hitting statement, issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, in respect of war time and post-war accountability issues in Sri Lanka. The Human Rights HC reiterated the call for international

The TNA comprises the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and three former terrorist groups namely TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF formed by the government of India in the ‘80s. The TULF, too, had been part of the grouping at the onset of the LTTE-TNA relationship, though it subsequently quit. TULF, leader V. Anandasangaree, told the writer, some time back, that he quit the alliance as he didn’t want to contribute to the LTTE’s despicable strategy.(The Island)

Regime change in Sri Lanka is not serving US interests - Gota
It’s no secret: the fall of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government in 2015 was supported and backed by America and India. It was yet another “regime change” under Washington’s belt, albeit spearheaded by an electorate said to be tired of corruption, nepotism, and all the villainies that inevitably fertilize the sprouting of an Arab Spring.

Sri Lanka had drifted much too close to China, threatening, they said US and Indian interests in the region. (Sri Lanka Express)

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රට බෙදන ව්‍යවස්ථාව ගෙනෙන ද්‍රෝහීනි - කොටි ගහල මදි තොපිට
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