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Sri Lanka seeking billion dollar repo from New York Fed

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking a billion US dollar repo from the New York Federal Reserve to boost dollar liquidity, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said as the island re-opened most economic activities after controlling Coronavirus. The repo facility would be done by pledging Sri Lanka assets in the US, he said. Sri Lanka had US$ 6.49 billon by end May of which US$ 4.52 billion were securities and US$ 796 million more..

Suspension of PTL further extended

Jul 6 (AD) Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has decided to extend the suspension of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) from carrying on the business and activities of a Primary Dealer for another six months. The Monetary Board, acting in terms of the Regulations made under the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance and the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance, has decided to extend the suspension for a period of six months with effect from 4.30 p.m. on Sunday (July 5). more..

Election voting period extended by an hour

Jul 6 (NR) The voting period at the August 5 General Election has been extended an hour. Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya issuing a statement said voting at the 2020 General Election will take place between 7 am and 5 pm on the 5 of Aug. Election Commission considered extending the voting period as the usual 7 am to 4 pm voting period will be insufficient given the health guidelines that are required to be adhered to by voters and officials on election day. more..

Govt breaking the COVID rules at election meetings: SJB

Jul 6 (EN) The SJB is complaining that the governing SLPP is not abiding by the COVID prevention regulations for public meetings laid down by the Elections Commission (EC). Party’s National Organiser Tissa Attanayake accused the EC of turning a blind eye to the recent rallies where PM and Prez participated violating these regulations. Attanayake said that the EC gave guidelines to the opposition about certain restrictions when more..

Eight suspects of Sunil Jayawardena murder further remanded

Jul 6 (AD) The eight suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Chairman of the Self-Employed Professionals’ Three-Wheeler Association, Sunil Jayawardena, have been further remanded. The suspects have been ordered to be remanded until July 17 as per the order of Nugegoda Additional Magistrate Tissa Wijeratne when the case was taken up today (6). Jayawardena, who was critically injured following an assault which took place in front of a leasing company located in Mirihana more..

Video: Kusal Mendis released on bail

Jul 6 (AD) Cricketer Kusal Mendis who was arrested over a fatal accident in Panadura has been released on bail by the Panadura Additional Magistrate’s Court. He was produced before the Panadura Additional Magistrate’s Court this morning (06). Mendis has been released on two surety bails worth Rs 01 million each. Further, his driving license has also been temporarily suspended by the court. The next hearing date of the case was set as September 09. more..

Insaf studied Arabic at Wellampitiya factory

Jul 6 (CT) Mohamed Ibrahim Insaf Ahmed, who carried out the suicide bombing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, studied the Arabic language with his brother Mohamed Ibrahim Ilham Ahmed (Shangri-La Hotel suicide bomber) and Abdul Latif Jameel Mohamed, bomber at the Tropical Inn Lodge in Dehiwala, at the factory located in Wellampitiya in 2017, said Sanun Mohamed Ishad, Manager of Colossus company, owned by Insaf Ahmad. more..

Video: Indian Coast Guard rescues six SL fishermen from rough seas

Jul 6 (WION) Six SL fishermen who were stranded at sea for 4 days, are headed for Visakapatnam, after being rescued by a Merchant's vessel on Sunday. The rescue was coordinated by Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC) in Mumbai and Chennai. The capsized fishing vessel and the six survivors were sighted around 170 nautical miles east of Chennai, by merchant vessel YM Summit, after which the Indian Coast Guard authorities were alerted. more..

Sri Lanka hotels see weekend trippers, delayed weddings as Covid-19 curfews end

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka hotels outside of Colombo has seen rising occupancy as curfews ended with the domestic spread of the disease controlled and housebound weekend trippers fanning out, while delayed weddings are also helping, officials said. “I do not have the exact details but the occupancy rate of hotels out of Colombo are doing 60-70% during the weekend,” Sanath Ukwatte, the President of The Hotels Association of SL, and the Chairman of the Mount Lavinia Hotel Group said. more..

Video: Universities authorized to reopen for second and third-years

Jul 6 (AD) Vice-Chancellors of all universities have been given the authority to recommence academic activities for second and third-year students on a date of their choosing, Chairman of the UGC Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunga. This was mentioned at a special media briefing of the Ministry of Higher Education today. Accordingly, the universities may reopen for second and third-year students from today (6) onward under more..

Shanthini urges voters to reject criminals and corrupt in politics

Jul 6 (Island) Sri Lanka needed civilized politicians and the voters must ensure that they elected people who could take the country to a prosperous future, Kandy district leader of the UNP team for the coming General Election, Shanthini Kongahage told a seminar organised by the Kandy District Inter-Religious Committee in Kandy. The former Central Provincial Council member told the meeting that election of civilized politicians to Parliament would begin from the Kandy District from Aug 5. more..

Tax revenues drop 26% up to April 2020, Rs200bn printed

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tax revenues dropped 26% to 408.5 billion rupees up to April 2020 and the finance ministry has halved capital spending to keep total spending below last year in the same period, amid a fiscal and monetary stimulus compounded by a Coronavirus crisis, data shows. Total revenue was down 20 percent to 476.8 helped by non-tax revenues which grew 53% to 68.2 billion rupees helped by a 24 billion rupee central bank profit given as new liquidity. more..

Polonnaruwa farmers urge President not to allow artificial rice shortages

Jul 6 (PMD) The farmers in Polonnaruwa made a strong plea to the President not to allow the intermediaries to create an artificial rice shortage. They pointed out that there was a bumper harvest in the previous seasons. ‘Hence, should not allow the attempts to create a rice shortage to succeed”, the farmers said. The farmers made this request to Prez Rajapaksa when he joined a public gathering held at more..

President calls for full report on shortcomings in Polonnaruwa schools

Jul 6 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa in Polonnaruwa was briefed by the public regarding several issues including the teacher shortages affecting many schools in the district. Prez paying his swift attention to this matter requested the former State Minister Roshan Ranasinghe to prepare a full report on the shortcomings in schools. Prez made these remarks joining the SLPP election campaign in Polonnaruwa, today (5). Prez also advised the Alahera people who are engaged in small scale gem mining to more..

Anandasangaree lists his grievances against of Sampanthan

Jul 6 (Island) TNA leader R. Sampanthan used the LTTE to build up an empire of his own and had used the Tamil diaspora to isolate other independent Tamil leaders, V. Anandasangaree, Secretary General of the TULF has said in a media statement. Sampanthan seems to have assumed a superior role in Tamil politics and from time to time changed his tactics, giving the impression that he had the exclusive right to speak on behalf of the Tamil people, Anandasangaree has said. more..

Employers’ Federation says ‘No’ to staggered working hours

Jul 6 (DN) Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, (EFC) says that it’s not practical to implement working hours for the private sector in the manner proposed as it will greatly inconvenience employers and employees alike, especially working women. “Setting working hours is a prerogative of employers, but it is done in consultation with employees and Trade Unions representing employees for good reason”, said Dir Gen EFC, Kanishka Weerasinghe. more..

Explosion at Palai house critically injured ex-LTTE cadre

Jul 6 (AD) An individual suspected to be an ex-LTTE cadre has sustained critical injuries in an explosion that occurred at a house in Iyakachchi, Palai-Kilinochchi. Meanwhile, the police have recovered three locally manufactured bombs, banner containing a message on Black Tigers Day commemoration, explosives, and a photograph of an ex-LTTE cadre. A female who serves as a teacher has also been apprehended along with the items, said Palai Police. more..

Physical distancing forgotten in campaign trail: CaFFE

Jul 6 (Island) Most political parties cared little about maintaining physical distancing during their election campaigns and that could lead to devastating consequences, Director of the CaFFE, Surangi Ariyawansha said yesterday. "We have seen footage of some political events where people are packed together. Health ministry and Elections Commission have issued guidelines to ensure that the election is held safely. Physical distancing is an important part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. more..

SJB a cat’s paw of communal political parties: PM

Jul 6 (DM) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa today requested all voters to give them an overwhelming mandate exceeding even that of the prez election of 2019, in order to put an end to narrow minded communalism in the politics of this country. Issuing a statement the PM said; The leader of the newly formed Samagi Jana Balawegaya was the UNP prez candidate in 2019. The manifesto that Sajith Premadasa issued for the prez election more..

28 mobile phones seized from female ward of Welikada prison

Jul 6 (Island) Prisons Intelligence Unit seized 28 mobile phone, 200 phone batteries, eight SIM cards and a stock of other electronic equipment including phone chargers during a raid on the female ward of the Welikada prison. They had been hidden in the ceiling, toilets and waste bins. Sources said that 13 prisons officials including eight female officers of the Prisons Intelligence Unit had taken part in the raid. During the raids conducted at 28 prisons during the past four weeks, more..

Safeguarding our franchise: The triple dangers to our democracy

Jul 6 (FT) Today we are opening a new living quarters for our Election Commission’s man-in-charge in Batticaloa. I am so glad because Assistant EC, R. Sasilan is a man I am proud of. He stands up for what is right without fear or favour. When a Minister distributed gifts in elections some years ago, he confiscated a gift pack and filed a complaint with the Police. The Police, as often happens, disappeared the evidence. Sasilan sent a report to the Commission and that too disappeared. more..

Sri Lanka’s descent to lower middle income: Strategies to move up to high-income level

Jul 6 (FT) The World Bank in its latest country classification by incomes, released last week, has downgraded Sri Lanka from upper middle income to lower middle income. This was just one year after SL had been elevated to the status of an upper middle-income country in July 2019. The first elevation was based on the per capita Gross National Income or GNI per capita, calculated according to WB’s Atlas Method, for 2018. more..

COMBank makes history: only SL bank in top 1000 World Banks for 10 successive yrs

Jul 6 (FT) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has brought honour to the country’s banking industry by moving up 51 places on the World’s Top 1000 Banks ranking for 2020, and become the only Sri Lankan bank to be on this prestigious list for 10 years in a row. In its milestone 50th Top 1000 World Banks ranking, The Banker magazine, published by the Financial Times of the UK, has ranked Commercial Bank at No 878, primarily on the basis of the Bank’s Tier I capital. more..

Residual forests allowed for Chena cultivation

Jul 6 (DN) Govt aims to develop a mechanism to reduce land problems of the rural people who are dependent on livelihoods such as Chena cultivation. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the govt’s attention has been focused on transferring State Residual Forests to the District or Divisional Secretariats to minimise land problems of the rural people who are dependent on small scale farming such as Chena cultivation. The administrations of State Residual Forests, which were more..

උතුරේ දේශපාලනය වෙනස් කල යුතුයි: අරුන් සිද්ධාර්ත්

Coronavirus case count in Sri Lanka at 2,077

Jul 6 (AD) Another COVID-19 case has been detected among recent foreign arrivals hiking the number of cases in the country to 2,077. The latest case is a person who had arrived from the Maldives. Currently, 149 active cases are under medical care at selected hospitals across the country. Meanwhile, with 14 more patients regaining health and being discharged from the hospital today, the tally of recoveries in the country has spiked to 1,917. SL has witnessed 11 deaths from the virus so far. more..

Crime-busting must continue effectively

Jul 6 (CT) The STF, supported by CID, is successfully continuing with the raids and arrests in the past few days, for the appreciation of the law-abiding citizens in the country. Within a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday last week STF personnel, with the help of Police sleuths, had arrested 2,165 suspects involved in various types of criminal activities in the country. During the lightning operation involving well-equipped and trained STF men, a large amount of narcotics, illicit liquor, more..

Major revamp in country’s jails

Jul 6 (CT) The authorities are planning a major revamp in all prisons throughout the country in a bid to stamp out corruption and other irregularities that continue to rock the system. At present there are an undisclosed number of prison cadres from all ranks who are under investigation and they will be dealt accordingly on completion of the inquiries, the newly appointed Commissioner General of Prisons T.N. Upuldeniya said. more..

All will be revealed soon: Ravi K

Jul 6 (CT) UNP Deputy Leader, Ravi Karunanayake, said that he will take steps to reveal a lot of information on irregularities and illegal activities in relation to Leader of the JHU, former MP Champika Ranawaka. Karunanayake pointed out that he has in his possession, information regarding many irregularities which have taken place with the knowledge of Ranawaka, not only while he was a Cabinet Minister in the Good Governance Govt, but when he was in other govts as well. more..

LTTE Leader would have been N&E Governor: Vijayakala

Jul 6 (CT) If elections were held in North and East during the ceasefire period, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would have won that election and LTTE Leader Prabhakaran would still be alive and perhaps even be the Governor of the North-Eastern Province, UNP Candidate Vijayakala Maheswaran has said. She has made this comment while participating in an interview with a private Tamil Radio Channel. The former MP has also said on this occasion that the North needs the kind of more..

KOICA provides Rs. 11.4 m to UNICEF in support of education sector post-COVID

Jul 6 (FT) The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have formally signed a grant agreement that will see KOICA provide a $ 600,000 (Rs. 111.4 million) grant, funding and supporting the Ministry of Education’s critical response to COVID-19 in the education sector. The $ 600,000 grant will support activity that will enable the safe operation of schools and more..

Will give concessions: Ranil pledges

Jul 6 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today pledged to grant a package of concessions to people if his party was elected to office at the August Parliamentary Election. Speaking during an election rally in Athurugiriya Mr Wickremesinghe pledged to introduce a system under which he said people would be allowed to pay utility bills in installments. "The present govt which initially said the people will be given a grace period to pay their water and electricity bills have now asked the people more..

Security beefed up at churches in Vavuniya

Jul 6 (Island) Police and army increased security at Christian churches in Vavuniya yesterday after receiving a tip-off that an attack was possible. Police and army personnel were deployed at all churches and a large number of vehicles and people were checked. However, the churches went ahead with their services and the security forces took necessary action to ensure their safety. Police, STF and army personnel guarded the churches until Sunday services were over. more..

Rajitha insists on retaining 19A

Jul 6 (Island) Former Minister and SJB frontrunner Rajitha Senaratne says that they will campaign for the preservation of the 19th Amendment and calls on all those who treasure democracy to vote for the SJB at the Aug 5 general election. "Our campaign is based on ensuring democracy, citizen rights and freedom. Therefore, we campaign for the sustenance of the 19th Amendment while there are other parties campaigning for more..

290 Lankans stranded in Bahrain arrive

Jul 6 (FT) A SriLankan Airlines flight carrying 290 Sri Lankans who were stranded in Bahrain due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived at the BIA yesterday. The SriLankan Airlines special flight UL-202, carrying the passengers from Bahrain’s Manama Airport, arrived at BIA at 6.00 a.m. Most of the passengers on board were Sri Lankans working in Bahrain. In addition, two Sri Lankan passengers arrived at the BIA on Emirates flight EK-648 from Dubai at 11.45 p.m. Saturday. more..

Promoting preferential numbers is a violation of law: EC

Jul 6 (TM) Election Commission (EC) warned candidates that promoting their preferential numbers at the upcoming general election was a violation of election laws. EC Director General Saman Sri Rathnayake said that candidates were not allowed to use their preferential numbers for any campaign activities. “The preferential number of a candidate cannot be promoted or displayed in any form, whether in a cut-out, poster, handbill, or otherwise. It is a direct violation of election laws,” he said. more..