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Dial 1977: Sri Lanka unleashes enforcers to police price controls

July 20 (EN) Sri Lanka has unleashed 200 enforcers to police price controls and citizens can inform on shop keepers selling above controlled prices by dialling 1977. SL had price controls, shortages black markets and rationing, before 1977, when an administration led by the country's UNP opened the economy. Current price controls are coming under an administration led by the UNP. It is not clear to many observers what has happened more..

Jaffna University Clash: Student leader released on bail

July 20 (DM) Jaffna University Students' Federation President T. Sasidaran was today released on bail by the Jaffna Magistrate after he surrendered to Court in connection with the recent clash among two student factions at the Jaffna University. He surrendered to Court through his Attorney, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran after the Police launched an investigation based on the statement provided by a student who was seriously injured in the clash. Jaffna Magistrate granted bail more..

Three lawyers complain to IGP

July 20 (CT) Three lawyers have complained to the IGP that they were forcibly detained, assaulted, threatened and intimidated by the Kollupitiya Police on 18 July. The lawyers, Sajitha Jayawardena, Ishantha Mendis and Samitha Warnakulasuriya, are representing the Chairperson of a Company, who had lodged a complaint with the Kollupitiya Police, against former SL Ambassador to England Chris Nonis. They said they had gone to the Kollupitiya Police Station on 18 July, more..

O'Keefe ten-for crushes Sri Lankan XI

July 20 (CI) Australia's spinners will move into the Test series well-heeled and confident, after setting in motion a dramatic collapse that yielded seven wickets for 33 runs on the third and final day of their tour fixture, at P Sara Oval. On a surface that had begun to take fast turn, Steve O'Keefe collected his second five-wicket haul of the match, in only 6.5 overs. At the other end, Nathan Lyon tuned up with 2 for 14 from five overs; more..

Anuradhapura docs’ struggle to save twins successful

July 20 (Island) Doctors at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital performed an emergency cesarean operation to save the lives of twins recently. The womb of the mother had got separated into two and that kind of operation had not been conducted in the country before. An examination previously conducted in Colombo on the 27-year-old woman, had revealed the condition of her womb and she had been warded at A'pura Hospital for 3 months before she was operated on. more..

Sri Lankan shares end little changed; large caps lead losers

July 20 (Reuters) Shares ended little changed on Wednesday as gains led by top conglomerate John Keells Holdings were offset by losses in large caps, while investors turned cautious ahead of a policy statement by the govt in early August. Colombo stock index ended down 0.02%, or 1.32 points lower, at 6,414.49 in thin trade. "Though the market ended in negative note, we have seen some interest in blue chip counters," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

South Asian geopolitics from Sri Lanka’s perspective

July 20 (CT) Building understanding and confidence is a tremendous task that will require great courage, political will and perseverance. But we have a useful example in the region in the form of ASEAN. Both South Asian and East Asian countries have a great deal to learn from this example as we navigate the transitions in the short, medium and long terms. And just as Singapore has over the years helped stakeholders come together and work towards their common interests in South-East Asia, more..

Invest in skilled labour and technology

July 20 (CT) PM Wickremesinghe who addressed 3rd South Asian Diaspora Convention in Singapore expressed aspirations of pursuing free trade agreements with potential partners in the region and the world. He predicted that by next year, Singapore-India CEPA, Indo-SL ETCA and SL-Singapore FTA will permit the Southern Sub-region of South Asia and Singapore to enter into a tripartite arrangement for trade and investments. Stressing such an arrangement will create a favourable more..

China’s Hainan frontrunner for SriLankan

July 20 (DM) On a quest to find a strategic investor to help revive the loss-making national carrier, it is learnt that the government is close to finding a prospective partner to manage SriLankan Airlines. Informed sources told Mirror Business that the firm likely to come on board to manage the debt-laden carrier would be China’s largest privately-owned air transport firm, Hainan Airlines Company Limited (HNA). more..

Sri Lanka must show progress on human rights to get GSP+: EU

July 20 (LBO) European Union has drawn the attention of SL officials to the importance of continued positive progress in fulfilling SL’s commitments in parallel to obtaining GSP+. At the 20th EU-SL Joint Commission meeting which took place in Brussels on 19 July, the representatives of EU welcomed Sri Lanka’s GSP+ application as a sign of renewed commitment to meeting its wider international obligations. more..

Mahinda fears missing persons office will betray armed forces

July 20 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa today charged that the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill has many provisions designed to persecute armed forces personnel. Issuing a statement, he said if the draft legislation becomes a law, every MP who votes for it will be held responsible by the people for betraying the country and the armed forces. “In the midst of all the political and economic chaos in the country, more..

'Coal import racket: I was never involved'

July 20 (CT) Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne says that when he was the Minister of Power and Energy in the previous govt he did not intervene in any way or apply any influence in connection with the purchase of coal. Referring to an article in this paper's 18 July issue under the caption Coal import racket – four Ministers involved, Minister said in a letter: I served as the Minister of Power and Energy in the previous govt from 2006 to 2010 April. more..

Boys apologize, classes reopen

July 20 (CT) Several Faculties of the Jaffna University which were closed down temporarily due to a clash among students will open tomorrow (21). Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said that this, as well as the fact that all studies at the University will commence on Monday, was made possible by discussions held at the Jaffna University between several ministers, administrators, teachers and students yesterday at Jaffna University. more..

'We are open to any country bringing business'

July 20 (DN) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva who met the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka recently to discuss ongoing Chinese investments in Sri Lanka, said they focused on issues of economic diplomacy. “We also discussed issues of investment and politics,” de Silva said. Stating that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is the focal point for economic diplomacy, de Silva said it was important to be open to any country more..

Malabe private college issue reaching crisis situation

July 20 (ST) As the controversial Malabe private medical college issue reached flashpoint with cross-country protests, heads of the eight state Medical Faculties held an emergency meeting yesterday in the backdrop of fears of a 1987-89-like situation breaking out. They are due to meet Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella on Thursday, after which they will issue a joint statement, the Sunday Times understands. more..

Coal War continues

July 20 (SL) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) has urged Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to probe massive frauds said to have taken place in coal procurement. When contacted, CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi said the union believes it is a good move to appoint a committee to probe whether there were any underhand deals in the procurement of coal. more..

'Office of Missing Persons a Trojan horse'

July 20 (Island) President’s Counsel Manohara De Silva spoke about the provisions of the innocuous sounding Office of Missing Persons Bill which is now before Parliament. Many people in Sri Lanka are not likely to stand up and take notice when something is described as an Office of Missing Persons. Sri Lanka has had such mechanisms in the past and another such body would not be anything new. more..

I am the perfect Sri Lankan: Mano

July 20 (DM) Minister Mano Ganesan spoke on the process of reconciliation, issues surrounding the implementation of the official languages policy and many more. Q: You’ve been given a very pivotal ministry, but you are a representative of Colombo, while the militancy emanated from an entirely different territory. How do you reconcile these two? How does Mano Ganesan from Colombo reconcile these two facets? more..

Story behind cigarette and alcohol portrayal in popular films

July 20 (DM) Some popular films portray the use of alcohol and cigarettes in a very noticeable way. One tends to wonder if this is just a part of the story line or deliberate manipulation of the script. We may be able to find an answer by reading some letters exchanged between a now defunct company in the USA called Associated Film Promotions (AFP) and famous actor Sylvester Stallone. Sylvester Stallone, sometimes called Sly, is recognised worldwide as an actor, writer and director more..

Media should have acted responsibly

July 20 (DM) Two points cited by the students union of the Jaffna University on the clash between two factions of students of the uni on Saturday were so important that they invite attention. The union called on the media to report such incidents with responsibility and objectively while claiming that outside forces had infiltrated into the students to rouse the clash. The involvement of outsiders in the clash pointed out by the student union had been confirmed by two other statements by more..

Top post for Mahendran: Ranil's jobless friend back in SL for more easy money

July 20 (DM) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is to play a major role in finalizing trade agreements with foreign countries including the proposed Indo-Lanka ECTA. He is also expected to play a role in the govt’s programme of providing one million jobs which was one of the pledges made by the Govt during the recent elections. Mr. Mahendran is expected to be assisted by several top personalities from the private sector more..

Obtainging loans: Only thing that govt is capable of doing

July 20 (DM) Govt is to obtain US$1 billion from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for various projects, Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake said. AIIB was founded as a counter to the World Bank. During the previous regime, Sri Lanka also became a founding member of this new bank which is expected to lend US$ 10 billion to US$15 billion a year for the first five or six years. New govt enacted legislation in Parliament ratifying Sri Lanka’s membership in the bank, more..

Ravi K. as Finance Minister: Businessman doing Politics: Conflict of interest?

July 20 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake vowed to proceed with the proposed Customs Bill despite objections from some quarters. Only a white paper had been presented for discussion on the proposed legislation. The Customs Ordinance was introduced in 1864 and that such antiquated laws should be amended to cope up with the present situation. He said however there were crooks who opposed any changes to this archaic law and regretted moves by some of those in authority. more..

Jaffna University will take disciplinary action; Govt won’t

July 20 (FT) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that necessary disciplinary action concerning the student involved in the recent clash would be taken by the administration of the University of Jaffna and that the Got would not get involved in the matter. He said that they had had a very constructive meeting with the VC and the rest of the university staff. He was joined by Minister D.M. Swaminathan and more..

Senior Ministers visit Jaffna University

July 20 (Hindu) Three Central Ministers on Tuesday rushed to take stock of the situation at Jaffna University, where two groups of students clashed last week. Cabinet Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa of the SLFP) and D.M. Swaminathan of the UNP, and Deputy Minister of Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana interacted with students from Sinhalese and Tamil communities, academics, officials of the University, social and religious leaders, and leaders of the TNA. more..

TN fishermen plan stir from July 22

July 20 (PTI) Fishermen of Rameswaram on Tuesday decided to hold a series of agitations from July 22, pressing for a charter of demands including the release of their 77 colleagues held by Sri Lanka. A resolution to this effect was passed at the meeting of fishermen associations of Rameswaram here, Secretary of TN and Puducherry Confederation of Fishermen’s Associations, NJ Bose said. The fishermen said they would hold a series of agitations on July 22, 26 and 28 in all fishing hamlets more..

Controversial Coal Deal: SOC summons AG

July 20 (DM) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has been summoned to Parliament today to testify on the alleged coal purchasing deal which is alleged to have caused the govt to incur a loss of Rs.1.8 billion. MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha a member of Parliament Sectoral Oversight Committee (SOC) on Power and Energy said that the Committee had summoned Mr. Wijesinghe today to testify on the matter. more..

SLC concerned over Murali’s role

July 20 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Mohan de Silva expressed his views on Muttiah Muralitharan's role with the Australian Cricket Team ahead of the Test Series. He said that Muralitharan should have thought twice before taking up the role as Consultant of the Australian Cricket Team when they are playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. In fact the Test Series between Sri Lanka and Australia is played for the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy since 2007/08. more..

AIA signs MoU with Government Medical Officers Association

July 20 (DN) Creating awareness about the importance of healthy living is a priority at AIA Sri Lanka and bringing this to life in a meaningful way, the insurer signed a MoU with the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) recently. The partnership opens the door for AIA to add greater value to its Healthy Living endeavours while enhancing awareness among the doctors of the importance of retirement planning and ensuring protection for their families. more..

Fish shortage leaves Sri Lanka at sea over EU demand

July 20 (FT) Due to a shortage in fish supplies, SL is unable to satisfy growing demand among European countries, which mostly order tuna, following the removal of the ban imposed by the EU on the country’s fish exports. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that there was demand for 1,000 metric tonnes of fish from EU countries but the country had failed to meet this demand due to a sharp decline in local fish stocks. more..

'Seven JO MPs to be arrested before 27 July'

July 20 (FT) Seven new MPs of Joint Opposition are likely to be arrested before the Jana Satana Paada Yathrawa kicks off, MP Udaya Gammanpila alleged. He claimed the arrests would be made before 27 July to discourage the JO as well as to sabotage the Jana Satana March scheduled to commence on 28 July from Kandy. “We have learnt that there is an ongoing conspiracy hatched by the Govt to disrupt the Paada Yathrawa. The arrest of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was a part of it,” more..

Green Valley Township concept launched

July 20 (DN) The Green Valley Apartment which will be constructed according to a Township concept was formally launched recently at the construction site in Homagama. This project was initiated under the Accelerated Program for the construction of 500,000 middle- income houses. The project is a Private-Public-Partnership with Home Lands Skyline, Ministry of Housing & Construction and National Housing & Development Authority to design, develop & construct luxury apartment more..

VAT Bill not required in view of SC intervention: JO

July 20 (Island) Declaring that the Joint Opposition (JO) wouldn't vote for the VAT (Amendment) Bill under any circumstances, top JO spokesperson former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday alleged that the govt move was aimed at doing away with the relief obtained through the Supreme Court intervention. Prof. Peiris said that NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa had successfully moved the SC on behalf of JO, more..

Blue Ocean Group to build in London, Toronto

July 20 (DN) For the first time Blue Ocean Group, will be building apartments and housing units in London and Canada. Blue Ocean Group Chairman, S. Thumilan said that they see better opportunities in doing business in London with the country exiting the European Union. “We are targeting the Sri Lankan and expatriate population who are in London and suburbs with Sri Lanka architecture.” He said they have decided on three properties in London and suburbs and hope to refurbish them more..

Sri Lanka blocked free trade while Singapore allowed freedom

July 20 (EN) SL has lost free trade which made the country a strategic trading hub from ancient times, but Singapore gave trade freedoms making it an example to follow, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said in Singapore. Though Singapore had admired SL (then Ceylon) under PM D S Senanayake (first PM) PM Wickemesinghe had said the country then took away trade freedoms from citizens. President J R Jayawardene had to follow Singapore's example (SL economy was closed until 1977), more..