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Won’t change decision to replace Gota’s military security: Def. Secy.
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said the decision taken by the Government, to replace the military security provided to former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Police and the STF, would not be changed under any circumstance.

On an earlier occasion, he had said that military personnel deployed for the security of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and former defence secretary would be gradually removed and replaced with Police and STF personnel, because deploying military personnel for VIP security was illegal. (Daily Mirror )

Sri Lanka shares end down; capital gains tax, Brexit weigh
Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Tuesday, falling for the seventh straight session, as comments from a senior minister on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities dented sentiment while fresh woes after Brexit also weighed.

Sri Lanka intends to impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a senior government minister said late on Monday, as the government attempts to shore up its finances to qualify for an IMF loan.(REUTERS )

Sri Lanka to focus more on India, China following Brexit
The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it will focus more on Asia, particularly India and China, to boost the local economy after Britain, in a historic referendum, decided to pull out from the European Union.

Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said the withdrawal of Britain from the EU (Brexit) will hurt Sri Lanka's economy, Xinhua news agency reported.(Business Standard )

Sri Lanka shares end down; capital gains tax, Brexit weight
Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Tuesday, falling for the seventh straight session, as comments from a senior minister on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities dented sentiment while fresh woes after Brexit also weighed.

Sri Lanka intends to impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a senior government minister said late on Monday, as the government attempts to shore up its finances to qualify for an IMF loan.(REUTERS )

Do not replace my military security - Gotabaya
Any official invitation has not been made by anyone so far to accept the Deputy Leader post of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

The observation was made while responding to media personnel after arriving at the Court to give evidence in connection with the 2006 suicide bomb blast on him.(Ada Derana )

US strengthens Sri Lanka nuclear counter-proliferation screening
The United States has concluded a training program for Sri Lankan port and military personnel under its International Counterproliferation Program (ICP) aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The US embassy said in a statement a five-day workshop was done in Colombo for members of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority and Customs, Police, Navy, and Coast Guard to provide training on eliminating the proliferation of WMD. (Lankaweb )

SriLankan to suspend flight operations to Paris and Frankfurt
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, will be suspending its operations to Paris and Frankfurt, from winter 2016, SriLankan Airlines said in a statement today (27).

Accordingly, the last flights between Frankfurt and Colombo (UL 553/554) will be operated on October 30, while UL 563/564 of November 6, 2016 will conclude the operations between Paris and Colombo. (Ada Derana )

Sri Lanka negotiating with Iran Air to dispose 3 Airbus A350-900
The Sri Lankan government met Iran Air manager and Iran government officials on Thursday to renegotiate the orders for the three A350-900 aircrafts ordered by the last government.

One official said that Iran Air CEO and an Iranian minister met with Deputy Minister Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne and other ministry officials to negotiate the three aircrafts, adding “the meeting was positive”. (Tehran Times )

SF to join UNP on Thursday
Democratic Party (DP) Leader and Minister Sarath Fonseka is expected to obtain United National Party (UNP) membership on Thursday.

UNP sources said party leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would hand over the membership to Field Marshal Fonseka. (Daily Mirror )

Fundamental Rights Application filed against GOSL by Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera for failure to translate OISL report in Sinhala & Tamil language
Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera deserves kudus from both Sinhalese and Tamils. He has come forward to file a case on behalf of over 90% of Sri Lanka’s population.

What the GOSL overlooked and ignored Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera has done in filing a public & personal interest case against the GOSL for failing to translate the OISL report into both Sinhala and Tamil while the Secretary to the President who represents the Head of the Executive Branch and the Foreign Minister under whose ministry the UNHRC Resolution was co-sponsored will now have to respond. (economynext )

COPE chief to quit if ...
Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) threatens to resign from the post if he feels the members of the committee are being influenced by outside forces trying to clear Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing in the alleged bond scams.

Handunnetti told The Island on Friday that he would resign as COPE chairman if there were attempts by the committee members to delay the report containing the findings of the committee's investigation into Mahendran's alleged involvement in the bond scams which resulted in a colossal loss to the national economy. (The Island )

Govt. has exceeded the borrowings limit - Vijitha Herath
The Government has exceeded the approved borrowing limits, JVP Propaganda Secretary, Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath says.

The observation was made during a press conference held in Battaramulla this afternoon (26).(Ada Derana)

'My resignation would have amounted to accepting guilt' says Arjuna Mahendran
Central Bank Governor, Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran is in the center of a controversy with not only opposition politicians but some elements within the government also demanding his resignation.

He gave up a lucrative career in international banking when he was asked to take charge of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. After assuming duties on January 27, 2015 as the 13th Governor of the Central Bank, he embarked on the Herculean task of clearing the financial mess and steering the economy towards prosperity. (The Island/ Business )

Sri Lanka's Pivot to China may anger President Clinton
In an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua on June 21, Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said the United States should stop polarizing some ally countries to isolate China and any attempt to draw or divide between countries will undermine the peace, stability and security in the Asia Pacific region

That was a bold statement officially coming from Sri Lanka. Hettiarchahi's insinuation is even bolder: " that the South China Sea issue has been hyped up by some countries outside the region". (Asian Tribune )

Right to Information Bill passed in Parliament with amendments
The Right to Information Bill (RTI) was passed in the Sri Lanka Parliament with amendments on Friday (24).

The long-awaited bill, which was moved in Parliament yesterday (June 23) for the second reading, was passed without a vote, Ada Derana reporter said. (Ada Derana )

Sri Lanka business chamber says Britain’s EU exit could hit trade, loans
Sri Lanka’s exports to Britain and the European Union could be affected by Britain’s exit from the EU and the island’s borrowing costs could rise, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.

But the full impact on international trade would take time to be felt with negotiations around the terms of Britain’s new engagement with Europe likely to take a couple of years, it said in a statement. (economynext )

Sri Lanka to build new tire plant
Sri Lanka has approved a proposal to establish a 3-million-unit tire plat in the country, the official website of the government announced on 15 June.

The proposal, which was made by the Sri Lankan minister of development strategies and international trade Malik Samarawickrama, envisages a $75-million (€66-million) investment at Gonapola, Horana district of Sri Lanka. (ERJ )

Sri Lanka’s benefits from IMF depend on reform effectiveness: Moody’s
Moody’s Investors Service says that whether or not Sri Lanka’s (B1 negative) credit profile demonstrates a temporary or more enduring improvement from its International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) program will depend on how effectively the program’s ambitious reforms are implemented.

Moody’s conclusions are outlined in its just released report: “Government of Sri Lanka: Reform Implementation Key to Lasting Fiscal, External Improvement from IMF Program”. (Lanka Business Online )

Will not get into Katchatheevu case: Madras HC
The Madras high court has declined to interfere with the India-Sri Lanka agreement, and subsequent executive orders, on the Katchatheevu issue saying the issue could be best resolved through diplomatic channels and not through court directives, the Times of India said today.

"This court has no jurisdiction to enforce a writ on the Sri Lankan government...These are matters which have to be left to diplomatic channels of the two countries. (Daily Mirror )

Sri Lankan shares hit 2-mth closing low ahead of cbank rates decision
Sri Lankan shares fell for a fourth straight session to hit a two-month closing low on Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of a rate announcement by the central bank.

The central bank will announce June monetary policy rates at 1230 GMT on Friday and the market broadly expects rates to be left steady for a fourth straight month, although a possible rate hike is not ruled out. (REUTERS )

Ulterior motives behind arrest of Govt.’s opponents: Wimal
Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) MP Wimal Weerawansa today charged that the government was imprisoning its opponents at a rate as it intended to hold a referendum to adopt its new Constitution which was aimed at dividing the country.

“The government is planning to implement a new constitution by obtaining a two thirds majority at a referendum and is doing the utmost to prevent a free and fair referendum. (Daily Mirror )

Nearly three percent of Sri Lankan schoolchildren are smokers: Dr. Palitha Mahipala
Around 1.89 million Sri Lankans smoke daily. Nearly three percent of school children in Sri Lanka smoke. The total annual health cost of tobacco and alcohol is Rs. 222.1 billion which is similar to the annual health budget of Sri Lanka, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said

Addressing a press briefing at the Health Education Bureau, Colombo yesterday, he said Sri Lanka annually spends Rs. 148.7 billion to treat victims of alcohol related health issues and another Rs. 68.4 billion for victims of tobacco related health issues. (Daily News )

Thajudeen murder: CID to get CCTV report in August
Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake today told court that the CCTV footage relating to the inquiry over the murder of Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, has been sent to the British Columbia Laboratory- Canada for expert examination and the progress of the examination would be received by the CID by the first week of August

Counsel Anil Silva who appeared for the suspect former SDIG Anura Senanayeke, said that according to the medical examination held by the specialist Dr Chula Herath on the suspect; the former SDIG had been diagnosed with the initial stages of cancer and has to be further examined under the supervision of his specialist doctor. (Daily Mirror )

Eighteen months of yahapalanaya: In retrospect
As the yahapalanaya government reaches the significant milestone of a year and a half, it is, perhaps, a worthwhile exercise to look back on the performance of an administration which held out abundant promise to the public on multi-faceted "Change", and to assess the degree of fulfilment of that promise.

Daily events involving almost every identifiable group across the country’s social spectrum now provide ample testimony to a deep sense of disillusionment; and it is timely at this point to examine the root causes of this disenchantment and to ask why this feeling is so pervasive. (The Island/Features )

Sri Lankan elephant rescued from drain dies
An elephant calf that was rescued from an uncovered drain in Sri Lanka last month has died at a transit home because there were no veterinary medics immediately available, officials say

The calf was in a critical condition but the home's one and only vet was on leave, officials told BBC Sinhala.. (BBC )

Tamils in Sri Lanka need a federal solution: Wigneswaran
The grievances of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka can only be addressed through a federal system of governance and the merger of north and eastern provinces, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said.

Mr. Wigneswaran said he had conveyed this to the Colombo-based ambassadors, including those from the European Union, during his recent engagements with them. (The Hindu )

I never said Mahinda siphoned off money - Rajitha
I never said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa siphoned off money, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says.

The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (22). (Ada Derana )

Minister Hakeem and Dy Minister Cassim cause furore in CPC
The Central Provincial Council at its meeting yesterday (21) strongly condemned the action taken by Water Supply and Drainage Minister Rauf Hakeem and Deputy Health Minister Faizer Cassim to hold a meeting at the Central Province Health Ministry in Kandy without informing Minister Bandula Yalegama of the event.

Provincial Minister Yalegama, in a statement at the meeting of Central Provincial Council at Pallekele assembly hall, said that Minister Hakeem and Deputy Minister Cassim had acted in an unethical and high handed manner (The Island )

Mahendran’s son-in-law pays Ravi’s hotel bill - Aluthgamage
UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage asserted that legal action will be taken against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for making false allegations against him.

Aluthgamage also claimed they got information that payments had been made amounting to Rs.1.5 million on monthly basis to a famous hotel where Minister Ravi Karunanayake accommodates by the son-in-law of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. (Ada Derana )

Pasikuda, Sri Lanka
"Beach barbecues and private dining, infinity pool and underground spa, pristine coral reefs and sandy shores… life’s peachy at this boutique five-star beach resort.

With a view of the Indian Ocean from every room, this is the ultimate laidback retreat on Sri Lanka’s resurgent, pretty east coast. " (The Telegraph )

Mahindananda demands Rs. 500 Mn each from Ranjan, Ananda
Joint Opposition MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage today sent a letter of demand to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and Kandy District MP Ananda Aluthgamage demanding Rs. 500 million each, over alleged defamatory remarks made against him.

Mr. Aluthgamage said he would take legal action against the duo, if they failed to pay the amount within two weeks.(Daily Mirror )

Sri Lanka on UNP’s neoliberal path: Will it succeed or lead to disaster
The UNP/SLFP Alliance government came together, ostensibly as a "National Unity" government, thereby escaping the restrictions placed on the number of Ministers by the 19th Amendment.

It had as its main objectives (a) the establishment of good governance and (b) the changing of the Constitution to restore democracy and to build national unity. (The Island/Features )

Sri Lanka: Is this your next holiday destination?
When you think of Sri Lanka you think of clear seas and golden beaches. And that's all true, except there's a lot more to it than that.

Nestled to the south of India, it's a holiday destination a little more under the radar than its neighbour the Maldives. But is that fair? Our Digital Writer Anna jetted off to learn a little more, and this is what she found... (LOOK)

The double delights of Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka
Our van momentarily picks up speed as we hurtle down the Colombo-Kandy Highway, which feels more like a back road than one of Sri Lanka’s major thoroughfares. Within seconds, we lurch forward as the driver slams on the brakes to avoid hitting a tuk-tuk that has darted out in front of us. This goes on for the majority of our three-hour drive through the mountains, from the capital, Colombo, to Kandy.

Later, at the Ozo Kandy hotel, we speak with Krishantha Damunupola, the property’s manager, over a delicious meal of dal curry and milk rice. He explains that construction of a major motorway is under way. (The National)

Docs to surround Education Ministry today: Akila says their demands illegal, unfair
The Education Ministry yesterday claimed that 95% of doctors who demanded schools for their children and threatened to surround the ministry today had not even submitted relevant documents..

The problem had arisen because all of them wanted their children admitted to about 20 popular schools in the country, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. (The Island)

Thilina Gamage granted bail
The Colombo High Court yesterday set aside the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court order to release former Colombo Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage on bail over the alleged possession of a baby elephant without a valid licence and decided to release former Magistrate Gamage on fresh bail conditions.

High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke made this order consequent to a revision application filed by the Attorney General and CID challenging the Nugegoda Magistrate’s bail order, on legal grounds. (Daily News)

JO wants Mahendran to follow Rajan
Though the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had decided to step down because of criticisms, Sri Lankan Central Bank (CB) Governor continues to hold on to his post, amidst severe allegations and criticisms, the Joint Opposition charged today.

UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan stepped down due to criticisms over his fiscal management, higher rates of loan interests, economic stability and inflation, followed by bad loans. (Daily Mirror)

Champika has threatened to kill everyone who oppose them – Nalaka Thero
“We will kill everyone against us,” Minister Patali Ranawaka has told a monk, according to the Leader of the Jathika Emamuthuwa Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero.

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

Ranjan and Aluthgamage exchange blows outside Chamber
Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and joint opposition MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage are reported to have exchanged blows in the parliamentary complex outside the Chamber over some allegations made in the social media.

Mr. Aluthgamage is reported to have inquired from Mr. Ramanayake about an allegation made against him in the social media and this had resulted in a heated argument including obscenities. The two had then exchanged blows but the fracas was prevented from going any further with the intervention of others such as JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. (Daily Mirror)

NEC not informed of LG bodies sans delimitation issues
The much awaited local government election could be conducted within two and a half months of receiving the final report of the Asoka Peiris Committee tasked with solving the problems arising from the report submitted by the National Delimitation Commission (NDC), Chairman of the National Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday.

Deshapriya said the Asoka Peiris Committee had informed the National Election Commission (NEC) that it would submit its final report by August 31.(The Island)

Sri Lanka inflation nears 4.9-pct IMF ceiling ahead of June deadline
Sri Lanka's central bank has generated 4.8 percent inflation up to May 2016, a tad short of the 4.9 percent ceiling set for June by an International Monetary Fund deal agreed with the authorities.

Under a 'monetary policy consultation clause' set in a 3-year Extended Fund Facility, consumer price inflation has been made a 'performance criteria' for the first time instead of a simpler reserve money target or the domestic assets ceiling of the central bank. (economynext)

Stranded Sri Lankans vow to continue to Australia if boat escorted to international waters
Sri Lankans on board a boat marooned in Indonesia for more than a week insist they will continue their journey to Australia if their boat is escorted back into international waters as planned by Indonesian authorities.

The 44 Sri Lankans, who were stranded in Aceh Besar on June 11 when their boat developed engine trouble, will be taken by bus to a nearby port in Lhoknga, and then escorted out of Indonesian territory.(Sydney Morning Herald)

No bail for Mohammed Muzammil
Media Spokesman of the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil, who was arrested by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), has been remanded until 04 July.

The former MP was remanded after being produced before the Fort Magistrate a short while ago on Monday, Ada Derana reporter said. (Ada Derana)

PM agrees to suspend re-appointment of Mahendran as CB governor
Sri Lankans on board a boat marooned in Indonesia for more than a week insist they will continue their journey to Australia if their boat is escorted back into international waters as planned by Indonesian authorities.

The 44 Sri Lankans, who were stranded in Aceh Besar on June 11 when their boat developed engine trouble, will be taken by bus to a nearby port in Lhoknga, and then escorted out of Indonesian territory. (Daily Mirror)

Udaya Gammanpila remanded till July 1
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader MP Udaya Gammanpila has been remanded till July 01 by Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.

The UPFA Colombo District Parliamentarian was arrested this morning by the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) at his office in Pagoda Road, Nugegoda. dpuf(Ada Derana)

Police STF chief in hot water over threats to journalists
Sri Lanka Police Saturday offered a rare unconditional apology and promised strict disciplinary action against the head of the Special Task Force, deputy inspector general Ranjith Perera, over his threats against journalists.

The police called a special press conference at the information department to announce that Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara had appointed a panel to investigate DIG Perera’s outburst captured on audio tapes of reporters.(Sunday Island)

Lanka to issue biometric passports to prevent forgeries
The Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration is taking measures to issue biometric passports (e-passports) early next year to prevent forgeries.

The announcement was made by SB Nawinne, Minister of Internal Affairs, North Western Development and Cultural Affairs, while participating in the ceremonial launch of Sri Lanka Visa Stickers and introduction of OnLine Passport Application filling facility. (Indian Express)

Sri Lanka welcomes EU decision to lift ban on fish products
Sri Lanka has welcomed a European Union decision to remove it from a list of countries that fail to control illegal and unregulated fishing, ending a ban on imports of fish caught by Sri Lanka-flagged vessels.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Friday that the EU decision will help boost Sri Lanka's fisheries industry. (ABC News)

Former Sri Lanka president urges more development projects with Japan
Amid a proliferation of development deals in Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says his country and Japan could work on more projects together, including hospitals and highways.

“I believe that the infrastructure projects are very important for Sri Lanka after the war,” Rajapaksa said during an interview with The Japan Times on Wednesday in Tokyo. (Japan Times)

Indonesian police fire warning shot as stranded Sri Lankan women disembark boat
Police fired a warning shot into the air after a group of Sri Lankan women who have been stranded off the coast of Aceh since June 11 disembarked from their boat in defiance of orders from Indonesian authorities.

An eyewitness told Fairfax Media the five women, who are among 44 Sri Lankans who claimed they were en route to Australia when they suffered engine trouble, had earlier pleaded that a child they said was sick be allowed to come to shore. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sri Lanka formally reapplies for GSP plus from the EU
Sri Lanka has formally reapplied to obtain the GSP plus trade concession from the European Union (EU).

Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, who is currently in London said that Sri Lanka hopes Britain will remain in the EU as almost 40% of Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU is to the UK. (Colombo Gazette)

Sri Lanka ties moved ahead after Maithripala Sirisena took over: Indian High Commissioner
Sri Lanka relations have moved ahead from ‘being focussed on the past’ after President Maithripala Sirisena took over from his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015, the Indian envoy in Colombo said on June 16.

Indian High Commissioner YK Sinha said bilateral ties have become robust and entered a new phase with highest-level engagements. (dna)

15% VAT on liquor, cigarettes; removed from Healthcare
Special Projects Minister Sarath Amunugama said today the government has decided to impose the 15 per cent VAT increase on liquor and cigarettes and to remove VAT on all medical tests and dialysis.

He said VAT imposed on international air tickets would also be removed while the VAT on domestic air tickets would not be changed. (Daily Mirror)

More Joint Opposition members to join govt soon – Range Bandara
Another six or seven members of the “Joint Opposition” are expected to join the government in the near future, State Minister of Skill Development and Vocational Training Palitha Range Bandara said.

Addressing a press briefing at UNP headquarters – Sirikotha in Colombo today, he said that the so called Joint Opposition is now slowly dissolving. (Adda Derana)

SL faces daunting task of probing disappearances
Close on the heels of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination on the night of May 21, 1991, in Tamil Nadu, the then government of India sought Sri Lanka’s assistance to verify the identity of the woman suicide bomber Dhanu (not her real name) as well as that of Pakiachandran alias Sivarasan, the leader of joint LTTE-Indian team tasked to carry out the operation.

Then President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s government swiftly responded to India’s request for assistance. Sri Lanka fully cooperated with India in spite of the absence of a formal agreement on such matters. (The Island)

Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe passes away
Former leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and General Secretary of the People’s Servants Party, Somawansa Amarasinghe has passed away at the age of 73.

He had passed away at his residence in Rajagiriya, according to reliable sources. The funeral is to be held on Saturday (18) at the Borella cemetery. (Ada Derana)

Sri Lanka approves capital gains tax after IMF loan
Sri Lanka's cabinet approved today the introduction of a capital gains tax for the first time in 14 years, as the island battles a revenue crisis that has forced an IMF bailout.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's tax plans come after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month released the first tranche of a USD 1.5 billion loan in support of the island's reform agenda. (Business Standard)

DOC Levies tariffs on OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has preliminarily determined that off-the-road tires imported from India and Sri Lanka are benefitting from subsidies, and should be subject to countervailing tariffs.

As for the Sri Lanka investigation, a subsidy rate of 2.9% has been assigned to all exporters and producers, including Camso Loadstar. (MTD)

Sri Lankan shares hit near 7-wk closing low; new tax hits sentiment
Sri Lankan shares ended weaker for a second straight session on Wednesday, their lowest in about seven weeks, as concerns over rising interest rates and foreign fund outflows weighed on sentiment.

Investor sentiment also took a hit after the government decided to reintroduce a capital gains tax, dealers said. (REUTERS)

Activists press for ouster of Sri Lanka bank chief
An influential group of Sri Lankan academics and professionals Tuesday called on the president to remove the country's controversial central bank chief over long-running insider trading allegations.

The powerful Anti-Corruption Front, credited with aiding President Maithripala Sirisena's election victory last year, said it would "take to the streets" if he did not terminate Arjuna Mahendran's governorship of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. (Global Post)

Govt. opens capital account to help those exposed by Panama Papers – GL
Former External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday alleged that the government’s decision to open the capital account was to protect those exposed by the Panama Papers.

Prof. Peiris told the media in Colombo that the capital account was being liberalised for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history since 1948. (The Island)

Cocaine worth Rs.1.8 Bn seized by Customs
Customs said the businessman had been a sugar importer for some 40 years and had declared the goods in the container as a consignment of sugar.

The container had arrived in Sri Lanka from Brazil. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka, ADB sign $2 million grant for relief efforts
The Sri Lankan Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $2 million grant agreement to finance the relief efforts in the country following the recent floods and landslides, which caused mass destruction.

"Considering the scope of the damage in Sri Lanka and the government's constrained resources, it is critical that we assist the people of Sri Lanka in this time of urgent need," Colombo Page quoted Sri Widowati, Country Director of the Sri Lanka Resident Mission, as saying. (Business Standard)

President Sirisena says Sri Lanka’s future lies on good international ties
Sri Lanka’s future and well-being lie on good international relations with all countries and reconciliation with Tamils based on good governance, President Maithripala Sirisena has said.

“I believe strongly that this country’s future lies in reconciliation based on good governance policies,” he said here last night in a foreign policy lecture. Sirisena said that he has been able to improve foreign relations in his tenure. (Indian Express)

Sri Lankan boat headed for Australia marooned in bad weather off Indonesian coast
A boat with 44 Sri Lankans who claim to be headed for Christmas Island remains marooned in bad weather off the Indonesian province of Aceh

Indonesian authorities have provided the Sri Lankans with food but will not let them disembark because they do not have passports or valid travel documents. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sri Lanka's Islamic party calls for removing excess army camps from Northern areas
Sri Lanka's main Islamic political party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), on Monday called for removing excess military camps in the former war zones in the country's north.

SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said his party does not agree with the proposal that the army should be fully withdrawn from the north, Xinhua reported. (First Post)

Sri Lanka reiterates not to allow foreign judges in war probe
The Sri Lankan government on Monday reiterated that it will not agree to have foreign judges in the domestic accountability process over its civil war and only accept technical assistance.

Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Mustapha said that President Maithripala Sirisena has been very clear that war crimes did not take place in Sri Lanka. (Shanghai Daily)

Sri Lanka needs special courts to try corrupts: minister
Sri Lanka needs special courts to expedite trials of graft cases involving former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's aides who were allegedly indulged in mass- scale corruption, a senior minister has said.

"We need special courts to try these people. Now they go to court, apply for bail, then come out and ask us if we had been able to catch them. Some even go to higher courts to prevent their arrests," Minister of Western Development and Megapolis Champika Ranawaka said at the southern town of Galle. (Business Standard)

Sri Lankan troops to stay in Tamil-dominated North, says military chief Senanayake
Sri Lankan troops will stay in the Tamil-dominated former war zone of North and look after the minority community, a senior army officer has said, virtually rejecting Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran's demand of withdrawal of military.

"We are here to look after you, we will attend to all your needs," military chief in the north Mahes Senanayake said. (First Post)

Hillary’s latest corruption scandal involves American of Sri Lankan descent
An American of Sri Lankan descent is at the center of a growing corruption scandal that accuses Hillary Clinton of appointing a totally unqualified person to a sensitive State Department security intelligence board only because he was a major donor to the Democratic Party and gave as much as $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

The scandal first publicized by ABC News is once again in the spotlight with details that have emerged from the latest set of Clinton emails released to the public. (Sri Lanka Express)

Sri Lanka seeks new agreement for Colombo Port City
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister has appointed a committee to look into the possibility of formulating a new agreement for the Colombo Port City project.

Deputy Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Lasantha Alagiyawanna told Parliament Friday that the 5-member committee comprising of secretaries is headed by the secretary to the Prime (Sunday Island)

Missing persons: Sharp difference in numbers quoted by govt and Presidential Commission
Govt claim even higher than NGO’s
Retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama, Chairman, Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons yesterday told The Island that the Commission had received approximately 19,000 complaints in respect of disappeared civilians during sittings held in various parts of the country.

Paranagama declined to comment on the sharp discrepancy in data available with his Commission and recent government declaration that various presidential commissions had received over 65,000 complaints regarding missing persons. (The Island)

Sri Lankan shares close steady; turnover falls to over 2-1/2 mth low
Sri Lankan shares closed steady on Thursday as positive sentiment after an IMF loan approval offset concerns over rising interest rates and foreign fund outflows.

Turnover was 326.9 million rupees ($2.25 million), the lowest since March 19, and less than half of this year's daily average of around 778 million rupees. (Gulf Times)

IPI concerned by attack on Sri Lanka editor
The International Press institute (IPI) today called on Sri Lanka’s government to bring to justice those behind the recent beating of a journalist who was attacked and struck in the head with a pole.

Freddy Gamage, editor of website Meepura and convener of Sri Lanka’s Professional Web Journalists Association was walking towards his car after covering a Negombo City Municipal Committee meeting last Thursday when two people wearing full-face helmets attacked him. (IPI)

Sri Lanka rises up global peace index
Sri Lanka’s strong gains in both internal and external peace enabled it to jump up 18 positions in the latest Global Peace Index, the second-largest rank improvement overall.

In a ranking of 163 countries, compiled by global think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Syria has been named the least peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. (Ada Derana)

Don’t import vehicles now -Ranil
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gave instructions to the treasury yesterday not to grant even a cent for the importation of vehicles for ministers and MPs until funds were allocated to build houses to replace those destroyed by the floods and the blast at Kosgama, and to renovate the partly destroyed houses.

He gave this order in accordance with the government’s primary policy (in the Yahapalanaya), which is to provide relief to the people. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka to abolish strict forex regulations
Sri Lanka on Thursday announced plans to lift six-decade-old restrictions on foreign exchange flows and allow free transfer of money in and out of the island, to encourage investment in the struggling economy.

The island tightly controls foreign currency transactions under a 1953 law that does not allow the free repatriation of capital, in an effort to protect its modest foreign reserves. (Gulf Times)

MR, Wimal flies to Japan
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Japan this morning on a special invitation from the Sri Lankan community there, Spokesperson for former president Rohan Weliwita said.

According to airport sources Mr. Rajapaksa had left at 12.30a.m with four others including National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa, his personal chief security officer and two others. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lankan President’s house opens its doors to commoners
Yoganandini, a resident of northern Colombo, is expecting her second child on Friday. Yet, on Thursday, she chose to visit the President’s House, a vestige of the Dutch colonial era and which is now open to the public.

“I do not think one will get another opportunity to come here,” the pregnant woman says. Her father, Sathi, a former employee of a tea plantation firm in Hatton, sees larger meaning behind the move by President Maithripala Sirisena to make the House accessible to the public. “This symbolic move demonstrates that no place including the President’s House is out of bounds for anyone in this country.(The Hindu)

No-faith motion against Ravi K defeated
The no-confidence motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was defeated by a majority of 94 votes, with 51 parliamentarians voting for and 145 voting against.

Twenty eight MPs abstained from voting. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka to abolish strict forex regulations
Sri Lanka today announced plans to lift six-decade-old restrictions on foreign exchange flows and allow free transfer of money in and out of the island, to encourage investment in the struggling economy.

The island tightly controls foreign currency transactions under a 1953 law that does not allow the free repatriation of capital, in an effort to protect its modest foreign reserves (Business Standard)

A bumpy bus ride through treacherous mountains in Sri Lanka
We decided that the best way to visit Sri Lanka would be a three-stage process.

The first stage would consist of settling into the culture and time zone. (Global Mail)

Vili Lajja!
No sooner had the exploding ordnance stopped raining on Kosgama and adjoining townships than the government chose to shower expensive gifts on its parliamentarians. People crying out for relief must have expected Parliament to get cracking to help them. Instead, a supplementary estimate to the tune of Rs. 1,175 million was presented to the House on Tuesday for purchasing 30 cars, of all things, for ministers!

It was only recently that floods and landslides destroyed hundreds of lives and displaced tens of thousands of people. But, come hell or high water, the ruling politicians are hell bent on feathering their nests. They are apparently making up for lost time!(The Island/Editorial)

Sri Lankan rupee forwards end slightly weaker on importer dollar demand
Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended slightly weaker on Wednesday as importer dollar demand outpaced greenback conversions by exporters and banks, while the spot currency was actively traded for the first time in nearly five months, dealers said.

The dollar/rupee forwards, known as spot next, ended at 145.95/146.05 per dollar, compared with Tuesday's close of 145.75/85. (REUTERS)

GTF confident US won’t dilute Geneva resolution
Full implementation of proposals demanded
The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) yesterday declared that the US stand on a resolution unanimously adopted on Oct 1, last year at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with the consent of the Sri Lankan government hadn’t been changed.

UK based GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran told The Island that the grouping hadn’t been told of the US changing its stance. (The Island)

Car wars: Yes we want'em
Three Ministers today justified the Government's move to seek Parliament approval to purchase luxury vehicles to various State and Cabinet Ministers and said Ministers need super luxury vehicles to travel to their electorate, various functions and ceremonies round the country.

Joint Cabinet Spokesmen Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatileka and Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana answering a barrage of questions from journalists, who repeatedly asked Ministers the merit of allocating Government MPs to import SUVs such Land Cruisers, Outlanders, Hummers and super luxury cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar and Audi, that cost between Rs. 50 million to Rs. 90 million each, they said the Government members needed those vehicles to attend to their work and travel thousands of kilometers round the country. (Daily Mirror)

Technical fault in Parliament resolved; sessions to commence tomorrow
The technical issue which resulted in the suspending of Parliament earlier today has been rectified while sessions are to commence at 9.30am tomorrow (09), Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said.

Parliament proceedings were suspended until tomorrow (09) by the Speaker due to the microphone system of the Parliament premises malfunctioning. (Ada Derana)

Chinese tourist arrival to Sri Lanka up 31.5 pct in May
Tourist arrival from China to Sri Lanka increased 31.5 percent in May, as China remained as second largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka, latest data released here on Wednesday showed.

The number of Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka increased 31.5 percent to 16,004 in May, which contributes to the rise of total tourist arrival to 125,044, up 10.1 percent compared to the same period last year, data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. (XinhuaNet)

Coping with loss after Sri Lanka's Aranayake landslide disaster
Over 2,000 people remain in temporary shelters after a massive landslide triggered by torrential rains buried three villages in Aranayake district in Sri Lanka on 17 May. Prior to the landslide around 220 families were living in these villages. So far only 28 bodies have been recovered and local authorities estimate that around 99 people are still missing.

Nimal Suraweera (43) lived with his family in Siripura village at the base of the Samasara Mountain before the disaster. He generated an income from cultivating spices such as cloves on a patch of land in the area. (Red Cross)

Special Courts, Special Prosecutors and Constitutional change in the Real Country
The UNP leadership is accelerating on two tracks: accountability and constitutional change. Will the political ammo dump explode?

The Prime Minister summoned the military brass and informed them that the government was to commit itself to an investigation with local judges. (Daily Mirror)

Gotabhaya ready to join campaign to protect country
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday declared that he was ready to join a political campaign to protect the country.

Addressing a gathering at the Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Mandira, Rajapaksa said that his support for any would be conditional.(The Island)

Here’s what makes Sri Lanka such a charming tourist destination
Sri Lanka is a perfect little world unto itself, replete with rivers and mountains, a constellation of historic sites, spectacular Buddhist temples, forests teeming with wildlife, endless beaches, cricket pitches, rice paddies, fruit orchards and plantations of tea, cardamom, cinnamon.

The strong and spectacular Lankan cultural canvas has been layered over time with brushstrokes by the people of India, Portugal, The Netherlands and Britain.(Hindustan Times)

Sri Lanka appoints four foreign banks as lead managers for eurobond
Sri Lanka, which last month announced plans to raise $1.5 billion from the sale of a 10-year sovereign bond, has mandated four foreign banks as lead managers, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Tuesday.

The banks are Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered, Karunanayake told Reuters.(REUTERS)

MR calls for inquiry into general state of morale in armed forces
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that several incidents since January last year have had the effect of seriously undermining the self esteem and morale of the armed forces to an extent unseen even during the years of the 2002 ceasefire.

“Any inquiry into the causes of the Kosgama disaster should also look into the general state of morale in the armed forces at present,” he said, in a statement issued today (7). (Ada Derana)

Fire may have erupted while fire drill was on - Def.Sec
The fire that erupted at the Salawa Army Camp may have occurred while a fire drill was being carried out in the camp and that may have been the reason for the minimal number of casualties, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said.

“A Court of Inquiry has been set up to inquire into the causes. Therefore, I can’t say anything more. Let’s wait till the investigations are over,” he said at a media briefing held at the Defence Ministry Media Centre and added that action would be taken according to military law against those found responsible for any lapses.(Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka gov't approves certificates of absence for missing
Sri Lanka's government says that it has approved a process to issue certificates of absence to the families of tens of thousands of people who were reported missing, largely during major armed uprisings.

The foreign ministry says in a statement Tuesday that the Cabinet approved a draft that will be put before Parliament to be made law. It says the new measure will help families resolve practical issues like transferring property, applying for compensation, social welfare payments and pensions, and accessing frozen bank accounts..(Fox News)

Sri Lanka to recognise around 65,000 people missing since civil war as dead
Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced a landmark law to recognise as dead an estimated 65,000 people still missing seven years after the end of a bitter civil war, allowing relatives to claim inheritances.

Ministers approved a draft bill to issue “certificates of absence” to the families of those who went missing during a 37-year war with Tamil separatists and a Marxist uprising..(Hindustan Times)

Top British officials arrive in Sri Lanka for discussions on progress on reconciliation, human rights
Two top-ranking officials of the UK government have arrived in Sri Lanka this morning, the British High Commission in Colombo said.

Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald and Permanent Secretary at the UK Department for International Development Mark Lowcock arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago.(Colombo Page)

‘VAT hike blunting Sri Lanka’s competitive edge in regional market’‘
The VAT hike from 11 percent to 15 percent since May has increased the cost of production in the local manufacturing sector. This will lead to lost competitive edge with other countries in the region, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) president Sarath Kahapalaarachchi said.

"Today Sri Lanka's cost of production in the manufacturing sector is highest in the region. This would affect the local export sector in the future. Because the cost of production in the manufacturing sector for other countries in this region is far below that in Sri Lanka, Kahapalaarachchi said at a media conference at Renuka Hotel, Colombo, recently.(The Island)

Sri Lanka falling short on HRC commitments, says report
Sri Lanka is falling short on commitments made at the Human Rights Council on addressing the legacy of war and implementing peace and reconciliation measures, the Sri Lanka Campaign said, releasing a score-card on steps taken so far.

The government responded to OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) findings by pledging measures including a process of truth-telling and reconciliation, security sector reform, prosecutions and de-militarisation contained in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1.(Lanka Business Online)

Can't stay with govt. if Gota comes in: CBK
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday said she could not stay in the government if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was trying to bring Gotabaya into power.

“We brought this government in order to wipe out the looting of the country. If the SLFP is trying to bring Goatabayas into power we cannot stay in the government any longer,” the former President said addressing an event in Attanagalle, where she distributed flood relief items to those who affected by the recent floods in the area. (Daily Mirror)

Renowned US war crimes lawyer joins Tamil peoples’ council team
Francis A Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, has joined the Tamil Peoples’ Council’s team to fight for an international Judicial Mechanism to investigate and try war crimes cases in Sri Lanka, the New Indian Express reported.

Francis A Boyle is also a a renowned expert on human rights, war crimes, genocide, and the Right to Self-Determination. (Ada Derana)

We'll support no-faith motion against Ravi: JVP
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today it would support the no-confidence motion to be moved against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

JVP MP Vijitha Herath told a news conference that the motion would be moved by a loyalist of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the country’s debt burden had registered a phenomenal increase over the years and the situation took a turn for the worse because of the graft and nepotism under the previous regime. (Daily Mirror)

Fire and blast at Sri Lankan armoury kills one, thousands evacuated
A fire that set off explosions and killed a soldier at an army camp near Sri Lanka’s capital has been put out, officials said on Monday.

Military spokesman Brig. Jayanath Jayaweera said soldiers had doused the fire, and that although small blasts were still happening they “are not harmful and are happening inside the ammunition dump of the camp.” (Indian Express)

Govt. zeroes in on ‘Gota’s men’ in state institutions
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed his officials to prepare a report on military officials appointed to ministries and statutory boards on recommendations of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, sources close to the PM’s office said yesterday.

The officials have been requested to submit their report to the Prime Minister within a week, the sources said. (The Island)

CID may file charges against Army top brass over failure to cooperate with investigations
The Criminal Investigation Department of Sri Lanka police is contemplating filing criminal charges against the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and the head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) for failing to cooperate with the CID's investigations into high profile murder cases, according to a report in the English weekly The Sunday Leader

According to the report, The Sunday Leader has learnt that the CID has continuously sought the assistance of the DMI in several murder probes, but he had failed to cooperate in the investigations by providing required information, and in some instances, evidence related to the investigations. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka will resettle all war-displaced by year-end: Minister
Sri Lanka will by year-end resettle all people, including the minority Muslims and the Sinhalese, who were displaced during the nearly three-decade-long war against the LTTE, a senior minister said on Sunday.

"We have six months to go, we will resettle all in the north by end of the year," Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan said, adding that even the Sinhala and Muslim minority communities who were chased out by the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would be given their lands back by inviting them to return to Jaffna. (dna)

Sri Lankan expert says Pentagon chief's China "self-isolation" claims counter-productive for regional stability
U.S. defense secretary's China "self-isolation" claims will do no good to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, a Sri Lankan expert said on Sunday on the sidelines of the 15th Shangri-La Dial

"U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's remarks will not help build bridges between countries. What's important to do at present is to have a collaborative approach, rather than harsh comments," said Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, a visiting lecturer in International Political Economy for University of London in Sri Lanka Royal Institute of Colombo (XinhuaNet)

Sri Lanka dengue cases near 18000 for 1st five months
During the first five months of 2016, Sri Lankan health officials have reported 17,801 dengue fever cases, which is more than 14,479 cases reported this time inn 2015.

The Colombo district remains the hotspot with nearly 6,000 cases, followed by Gampaha with 1983 and Jaffna and Kalutara both with a little more than 1200. (Outbreak News Today)

Financial support for LTTE continues: US
Despite the LTTE’s military defeat by the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the terrorist group’s international network of sympathizers and financial support continues, the US State Department said

The Country Reports on Terrorism issued by the US State Department said LTTE’s financial network of support had continued operations in 2015 (Daily Mirror)

IMF approves $1.5 bln loan to back Sri Lanka's economic reforms
The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) executive board has approved a three-year $1.5 billion loan to support Sri Lanka's economic reform agenda, the global lender said on Saturday

"The arrangement aims to meet balance of payments needs arising from a deteriorating external environment and pressures that may persist until macroeconomic policies can be adjusted," the IMF said in a statement.(Dail Mail)

KLM and Corendon cooperate on direct flights to Sri Lanka
KLM and Corendon have agreed that KLM will, twice a week, reserve seat capacity for Corendon customers on its flights to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

KLM will begin operating twice-weekly direct service to Colombo at the end of October, using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner..(Aviation Tribune)

Office of Missing Persons to receive US, NGO support
NPC wants foreign governments to share info with GoSL
The US will share information requested by the proposed Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to facilitate Sri Lanka's efforts to establish the whereabouts of those who had been categorized as missing during the conflict, particularly during the eelam war IV and post-conflict period.

However, US cooperation will be subject to rights enjoyed by US citizens and lawful residents in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974.(The Island)

Sri Lanka PM condemns assault on web journalist, calls for an immediate investigation
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed the Inspector General of Police to commence an immediate investigation into the assault on the Convener of the Professional Web Journalists Association Freddy Gamage in Negombo yesterday.

The PM strongly condemning the assault on the journalist said he instructed the IGP to immediately commence an investigation in order to identify the suspects and take swift action against those responsible.(Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka's focus on LTTE affects its attention to ISIS: US report
Sri Lankan security services' focus on a possible LTTE resurgence has affected the government's attention to emerging terror threats like its nationals joining ISIS, according to a US report on global terrorism.

The US State Department's terrorism report for 2015, released yesterday, also said that although the Sri Lankan government maintained a comprehensive counter-terrorism stance, counter-terrorism cooperation and training with the US last year was limited. (Zee News)

22 things to know before you go to Sri Lanka
Serendipity is not just the name of a New York bakery and a mediocre John Cusack movie. The word serendipity (“happy accident”) came from Serendib, an old name for Sri Lanka.

It may be a South Asian cliché, but it’s also a fitting expression for the-happy-go-lucky fatalism that governs life here (Roadsa & Kingdoms)

Sri Lankan refugees in India intercepted trying to board boat to Australia
Refugee activists have called on the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to ease restrictions on Sri Lankan refugees living in guarded camps after police intercepted a group who had escaped and were attempting to migrate to Australia

Campaigners said the case showed how desperate Sri Lankan refugees were to flee India where they have been confined to closed camps for years and have no right to work. (Channel NewsAsia)

Sri Lanka Monetary Board statement on treasury bond auctions
Sri Lanka’s Monetary Board, in a statement, says a market based mechanism has been in place since February 2015 in auctioning of Treasury bills and bonds, in response to allegations of lack of transparency in processes followed.

This refers to the recent articles and discussions relating to the Treasury bond auctions that took place during the latter part of March 2016, where allegations of lack of transparency were made with regard to the process that was followed. (Lanka Business Online)

Sri Lanka, Singapore ink deal to develop port city of Trincomalee
Sri Lanka’s government and Singapore infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop the port city of Trincomalee

It will see Surbana detailing a long-term development plan for the Trincomalee metropolitan area and surrounding cities in the island's Eastern Province. (Channel NewsAsia)

World Bank grants Sri Lanka US$ 55 million to develop Jaffna with Galle, Kandy
The World Bank said it has approved a $55 million loan to Sri Lanka to improve urban services, preserve cultural and environmental assets, and improve livability in Jaffna, adding the city to an existing project to develop Galle and Kandy.

The loan will add development of rapidly urbanizing Jaffna to the existing Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP), which is supported by the World Bank and was originally approved in 2014. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka stocks lower at close of trade; CSE All-Share down 0.07%
Sri Lanka stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Telecoms, Construction & Engineering and Trading sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share declined 0.07% to hit a new 1-month low. (Investing)

Justice Minister slams Chatura
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe slammed Government MP Chatura Senaratne for his disparaging verbal criticism of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA).

MP Senaratne, the son of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, launched a verbal attack against some GMOA members even calling them ‘Gevala Yakas’ (House Ghosts) (Daily Mirror)

Ravi has challenged President’s promise – Bandula
The motion of no-confidence against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be presented in Parliament next week, said UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena.

Addressing a “Joint Opposition” press conference in Colombo today (3), the former Minister said that there is a clear clash between the Finance Minister and President which is evident now. (Ada Derana)

Kandy House
" Kandy House, which was built in 1823, started life as the residence of Sri Lanka’s last king. Now it's a superb boutique heritage hotel that offers just nine large and elegant rooms on a six-acre property surrounded by paddy fields and jungle. (The Telegraph)

Sri Lanka calls off search for 100 missing in landslides
Sri Lanka today called off search operations to locate over 100 persons missing following the recent landslides and Buddhist monks performed religious rites to pay the last repect to those who died in the disaster.

Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, who oversaw the search- and-rescue operation, said the operation has been called off after relatives of the missing persons gave up hope. (New Indian Express)

If any harm comes to us, Chathura would be held responsible - GMOA
If any harm comes to members of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), MP Chathura Senaratne, the son of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, would be held responsible, GMOA secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said.

The observation was made while addressing a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (02). (Ada Derana)

Sri Lankan monks hold prayers for buried landslide victims
Sri Lankan Buddhist monks held funeral prayers Thursday for more than 100 villagers buried in a landslide two weeks ago, as rescuers formally ended the search for their bodies.

In a solemn ceremony near the side of the collapsed mountain northeast of Colombo, dozens of saffron-robed monks conducted last rites for the victims of the rain-triggered landslide that destroyed two villages. (Daily Mail)

Sri Lankan monks hold prayers for buried landslide victims
Sri Lankan Buddhist monks held funeral prayers Thursday for more than 100 villagers buried in a landslide two weeks ago, as rescuers formally ended the search for their bodies.

In a solemn ceremony near the side of the collapsed mountain northeast of Colombo, dozens of saffron-robed monks conducted last rites for the victims of the rain-triggered landslide that destroyed two villages. (Daily Mail)

CB Governor’s personal expenses totals Rs.14.5 Mn for 11 months: Wimal
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa said today Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had spent Rs.14.5 million for his personal expenses between February and December last year using the credit card issued by the central bank.

He asked President Maithripala Sirisena whether he would re-appoint such a person to the post. (Daily Mirror)

In Sri Lanka, scientists want to count some of the world's biggest leopards
Its home might be a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, but the Sri Lankan leopard is big on stature. And although the beautiful cats are top predators here, amazingly little is known about them. Now, a group of researchers is setting out to change that.

One of the nine recognised leopard subspecies, Panthera pardus kotiya has the familiar spotted coat and colouration, but these island cats are generally larger than their cousins elsewhere. And while leopards in other parts of the world must compete with bigger feline rivals like tigers and lions, Sri Lanka's cats have their pick of prey – and they've been known sample far and wide, from small lizards to large sambar deer. (Earth Touch)

LTTE’s rapid collapse after Kilinochchi debacle through the eyes of Thamilini
Commander of the Malathy Regiment, Vidusha, had started to cry as soon as she saw ‘Colonel’ Thamilini walking towards her.

The chance meeting had taken place at Sugandipuram, one of the last remaining LTTE bastions, east of the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road. (The Island)

Sri Lanka to gradually ban house maids abroad amid abuses, social cost
Sri Lanka will gradually stop sending house maids abroad, mainly to the Middle East, due to rights abuses, social costs and a local labor shortage, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka's expatriate workers, mainly house maids and unskilled laborers, send back remittances - the island nation's main foreign exchange earner - that help earn around $7 billion a year for the $82.2 billion economy. (REUTERS)

Pro-Christian Constitution aimed at stripping Sri Lanka’s Buddhist Land & Heritage
When out of 19 members selected by the Prime Minister only two (Kushan de Alwis & M K Nadeeka Damayanthi opposes the removal of Article 9 it revealed beyond doubt the objective. 70% comprise Buddhists in Sri Lanka and only 2 stood for the sacrosanct status of the country’s historical ethos.

The composition of the committee was clearly aimed to be a transit constitution enroute to fulfilling the unfulfilled goal of Christian colonial rulers. This constitution is nothing but a betrayal of our history, it is a conspiracy against Buddhism and the proposals to change the flag, the anthem, the Buddhist history, culture destined to be wiped out. (Lankaweb)

Explanation sought from those named in Panama Papers et al
FM Karunanayake says govt expects response within 2 weeks

The government has sought explanation from those who had been recently named in the leaked ‘Panama Papers’ as well as during 2013 for having offshore holdings. The 2013 revelation pertaining to 42 Sri Lankans had been made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) also involved in investigation into Panama Papers.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told The Island on Tuesday that they had been given two weeks to explain the circumstances under which they were named in leaked documents of a Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which allegedly helped clients to hide black money in safe havens. (The Island)

Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement being studied
A possible Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) is being studied, with both countries keen on pursuing the deal, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday (Jun 1).

The FTA is expected to comprise of commitments in trade in goods, services, investment and government procurement.(Channel NewsAsia)

Sri Lanka ends Rajapaksa-Era restriction on citizens in asylum
Sri Lanka today allowed those who sought asylum abroad due to political persecution back home to obtain a passport and return to the country, ending a Mahinda Rajapaksa-era restriction imposed on them.

A foreign ministry statement said that the government was ending the "restrictive practice".(Outlook India)

China to fund friendship village for Sri Lankan families affected by disaster
China announced on Tuesday it would fund the construction of a Sri Lanka-China friendship village to house families affected by the recent natural disaster.

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang made the announcement after handing over a consignment of emergency relief supplies donated by China to the Sri Lankan government at the country's main airport.(XinhuaNet)

Multi billion tax revenue fraud by Yahapālana group exposed
Wickremesinghe administration when keep on increasing tax in various forms, urged people to bare it, claiming that the new administration cannot run the government business without adequate funds in the treasury blaming MR regime

Since then people were burdened with more and more tax charged on every commodity, including hospital bill payments.(CPC).(Colombo Telegraph)

Vijitha Herath freed from drunken charges
Colombo Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansooriya today acquitted the JVP MP Vijitha Herath from the drunken driving charge in the inquiry conducted against him over the accident that took place on May 30 in the Rajagiriya area.

However, the Additional Judicial Medical Officer, K.K. Joozar, had mentioned in his Legal Medical Examination Form that the suspect’s breath, smelled of alcohol at the time of the examination, but the JMO had not mentioned that the suspect was under the influence of alcohol. (Daily Mirror)

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