Dual citizens disallowed from being PC councilors

The provincial councils act has provisions to disallow dual citizens from holding membership in the PCs, the legal division of the election commission says.

The relevant act, in its Sinhala version refers to it as ‘being loyal to another country’, whereas the English one says ‘being loyal to a country outside the Commonwealth.’

Sri Lanka to get another female CJ?

Legal circles are talking about as to who will succeed chief justice Priyasad Dep, who is due to retire in October this year.

Every time he was abroad, Eva Wanasinghe acted in his capacity, since she is the senior most judge in the Supreme Court after Dep.

The seniors after her are Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena and Sisira de Abrew.

Iran agrees to accept Sri Lankan rupees

Iran has agreed to accept Sri Lankan rupees when trading in view of the US sanctions, minister Sarath Amunugama told the cabinet at its meeting yesterday (14).

Sri Lanka mainly buys its petroleum products from Iran, while exporting tea to that country.

Plot to kill Dilantha Malagamuwa!

Several special police teams have commenced investigations regarding allegations of a plot to kill renowned motor racing champion Dilantha Malagamuwa.

These investigations have commenced subsequent to a complaint made to police by Dilantha regarding the threat to his life.

According to police sources, the threat to Dilantha’s life is over a land dispute of a tea estate in Mathale, where a former Kelaniya provincial politician had given a contract to kill Dilantha to an underworld member currently in prison. This was revealed during the questioning of an arrested underworld gang member.

Fuel prices revised from midnight today

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera said that the fuel prices have been revised with effect from midnight today (10), based on the fuel pricing formula.

The price of 95 Octane Petrol has been increased by Rs 2 per litre while the price of Super Diesel has been increased by Rs 1 per litre.

Accordingly the new price of 95 Octane Petrol is Rs157 per litre while the new price of Super Diesel is Rs 130.

Gnanasara Thera in hospital as his case verdict due today

The court of appeal will this morning (08) deliver the verdict in the case pertaining to the contempt of court charge against Bodu Bala Sena general secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera.

The attorney general filed the case on a complaint in early 2016 by the Homagama magistrate.

3 private mobile service providers in serious setback

The private mobile service providers Etisalat, Airtel and Hutch are all in a serious setback, reports say.

Of them, Etisalat has been the worst affected, being even unable to guarantee the job security of its employees.

Economists cite the state’s decision-making powers, together with its ownership of Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel, as the main reason for the present plight of the private service providers.

Police entrusted with polythene raids

Although the use of polythene has been banned, there are reports of polythene still being used. Hence, the Central Environmental Authority has decided to hand over the polythene raids to the police.

According to the Central Environmental Authority, their organisation and the Consumer Affairs Authority had been conducting these raids so far and now they intend to obtain the assistance of the Environmental Police as well.

Ranjan refuses ministerial salary increment

He would refuse the proposed 215% pay hike for ministers and he has notified his stance on the matter to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in writing, said Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake.

He also challenged the Joint Opposition and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to refrain from obtaining this salary increment of possible.

Vehicle prices further increased

The Finance Ministry has taken a decision to increase the import duty on vehicles which are less than 1000cc. The Finance Ministry noted that this decision has been taken to curb the increase in vehicle imports to the country during the recent past.

Accordingly the import duty on normal vehicles less than 1000cc has been increased from Rs. 1.4 million up to Rs 1.5 million while the duty on Hybrid vehicles less than 1000cc has been increased from Rs. 8.5 lakhs up to Rs 1.25 million.

Danushka Gunathilaka banned for 6 international games

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to suspend Danushka Gunathilaka from six international cricket matches for breaching the ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’ today (27).

Out of the total six matches, three matches have been handed over for the latest violation of the ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’ he has entered to with the SLC.

SLC gives cricket coverage to parliamentary correspondents!

Certain officials of Sri Lanka Cricket are accused of misusing the complimentary tickets given to sports journalists, sports editors, sports directors and to the SLC staff, according to reports.

The person in charge of distributing the tickets to the media is media manager (logistics) Dinesh Ratnasingham.

Together with a female employee known as Nilushi Shiranthika  he is giving the complementary tickets to parliamentary correspondents.

Norwegian girl was at hotel room with cricketer with her consent

A Norwegian girl says it is with her consent that she had been in a room of Hotel Mövenpick with cricketer Dhanushka Gunatilake.

That came to light when Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday (23) took up a case against a friend of Gunatilake, who is accused of raping another Norwegian girl.

The magistrate ordered that the suspect, Sandeep Jude Selliah, a British passport holder, be remanded until July 26.

EU awaits govt. response over death penalty decision

An imposition of death penalty for drug trafficking will definitely come in the way of Sri Lanka getting the GSP plus export concession, head of the political, commerce and communication division of the European Commission Paul Godfrey has told ‘Ravaya’.

He said the EU expected a response from the president and other relevant authorities to a statement it has issued with regard to the matter.

France secures historic world cup victory

France won the Fifa World Cup for the second time by overcoming Croatia's bold challenge in a thrilling final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Didier Deschamps' side repeated the success on home soil at France '98 by a margin that hardly looked possible as Croatia stood toe-to-toe with the favourites for an hour.

France's victory meant Deschamps, who captained them 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach.

Arjuna fights for fuel price revision !

Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunge has presented a Cabinet proposal requesting that the petroleum price control be handed over to him.

From June 26, the fuel revision rights was handed over to a committee and subsequent to this committee deciding on the fuel pricing and notifying the Finance Minister, he would revise the fuel prices.

Mangala opposes reintroducing death penalty

Mangala Samaraweerea has objected to a cabinet proposal by president Maithripala Sirisena that death penalty should be reintroduced in order to curb the narcotic drugs menace.

When the president presented the proposal yesterday (10), most ministers received it with applause, but Samaraweera remained indifferent.

When inquired, Samaraweera said that as a policy, he opposed the death penalty, adding that drug smugglers should be given a life imprisonment.

Chaminda Vass to enter politics on UNP ticket?

Renowned fast bowler and former Sri Lankan cricket star Chaminda Vass is preparing to enter politics through the UNP, Sri Lanka Mirror learns.

His political entrance is set to take place through a movie which is said to be directed by famous South Indian film star and Director Prabhu Deva.

He had met with several prominent Indian astrologers recently, it is also reported.

President’s Secretary to resign?

President’s Secretary - Austin Fernando is to resign from his post, reports from the Presidential secretariat say.

Austin Fernando a highly experienced and versatile state administrative officer as served previously in the capacity of Defence Secretary, and is considered a close and trusted advisor to President Sirisena.

Part of commission bond report now available

The national archives has publicized the C 350 part of the presidential commission report into the Central Bank bond sales, says the Centre for Human Rights.

This follows a request by CHR from the secretary to the president seven months ago.

C 350 contains the COPE report and the telephone details of the former finance minister.

Sigiriya-Dambulla to be made a tourist zone

The Central Environmental Organisation has focussed its attention on connecting Sigiriya, Dambulla, Ibbankatuwa and Namal Uyana and developing it as a tourist zone, said its Director General Priyashantha Gunawardena.

He said this subsequent being handed over the operational activities of the National Namal Uyana and rose quartz deposit sites.

Fmr. SLC administrators urge to appoint interim committee

Several past administrators of Sri Lanka Cricket have appealed to Sports minister - Faiszer Mustapha to maintain rule of law of the institution.

In a letter, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Sidath Wettamuny, Upali Dharmadasa, Hemaka Amarasuriya, Ana Punchihewa, Arjuna Ranatunga and Vijaya Malalasekara have urged the minister to look into the misdeeds that had taken place in the institution since the Thilanga Sumathipala-led administration came to power.

Issuing of passports is likely to be halted completely

The issuing of passports is likely to be halted completely for around one month, Neth News reports.

The Department of Immigration and Emigration is running out of passport stocks.

The Home Affairs Ministry submitted a cabinet paper last November to obtain fresh stocks, but the Finance and Digital Infrastructure Ministry raised objections.

Aloysius’s prison cell phone conversations exposed!

The owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena and other prisoners in the “H” ward Colombo Magazine Prison are said to be enjoying privileged facilities including access to mobile phones, according to prison sources.

In a recent raid of the ‘E’ and ‘H’ wards the authorities had found three mobile phones that were hidden.

Aloysius and Palisena had been remanded in the ‘E’ ward previously and had been shifted to the ‘H’ ward recently.

Legal redress against MPs who took money from Aloysius

Attorney-At-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku says he will seek legal redress against politicians who had obtained money from Arjun Aloysius for elections, based on section 70 of the Bribery Act.

Section 70 of the Bribery Act states :

Any public servant who, with intent to cause wrongful or unlawful loss to the Government, or to confer a wrongful or unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on himself or any person, or with knowledge, that any wrongful or unlawful loss will be caused to any person or to the Government, or that any wrongful or unlawful benefit, favour or advantage will be conferred on any person”.

Kim talks, honest, direct & productive - Trump

US President Donald Trump says his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that ended in a joint agreement were "honest, direct and productive".

Mr Trump said he would halt "war games" while Mr Kim had promised to destroy a missile testing site.

Their agreement also included a commitment from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Suren Ratwatte retires from SriLankan

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SriLankan Airlines, Captain Suren Ratwatte, has decided to take an early retirement.

Ratwatte has submitted a letter announcing early retirement, the national carrier said yesterday (07).

The announcement comes just a few days after Presidential Commission on SriLankan and Mihin commenced witness hearings.

CID to record statement from MR over Keith’s abduction

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), probing the abduction and assault on Keith Noyahr, the Associate Editor, The Nation in May 2008 is expected to record a statement from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon.

A senior police officer told The island that investigators had decided to clarify some issues with the former President following a statement recorded from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Southern Expressway bus fare reduction from July 01

The bus fares charged for busses plying the Southern Expressway will be reduced from July 01 and accordingly, the bus fare of Rs. 600 charged from Matara to Colombo would be reduced to Rs. 460, said the Chairman of the Passenger Transport Company Aruna Halpe.

He said this addressing the media at the Matara Thanayama. He noted that by having two separate standards and laws for the Southern Expressway and the Colombo Katunayake Expressway the people are being treated unfairly.

Commission on SriLankan, Mihin and SriLankan Catering commences recording evidence

The Presidential Commission appointed to investigate financial irregularities which are said to have taken place at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering (Pvt.) Limited and Mihin Lanka Airlines, commenced recording of evidence today (04).

The company Registrar and an official were summoned before the commission to record statements this morning, Commission’s Secretary, Ariyadasa Coorey said.

SLC bribes journalists covering West Indies tour

Sri Lanka Cricket has given Rs. 500,000 each to four newspaper journalists who are covering the national’s team’s tour of West Indies.

The tour begins today (30) with a three-day practice match in Trinidad.

The journalists in question are from three Sinhala language newspaper and one English language newspaper.

What Thilanga has to say about allegations

Sri Lanka Cricket has on occasions said that it would fully support any investigation into match fixing allegations.

Galle international stadium is featured in a latest Al Jazeera television programme into alleged match-fixing.

The Australian cricket board has said that it has the fullest confidence in its players, while Pakistan’s cricket authorities say they are looking into the allegations contained in the TV programme.

Indian HC invites applications

the High Commission of India invites applications from eligible Sri Lankan students (excluding PIO, OCI Card holders & NRIs) seeking admission to Undergraduate Courses in MBBS, BDS, BE, B.Tech, B.Pharm & B.Arch under the Self Financing Scheme for the academic year 2018-19.

The candidates who wish to apply for MBBS/BDS courses should have obtained minimum of Marks at 50th percentile in NEET exams conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi in May 2018.  B.Arch aspirants are required to pass the aptitude test as prescribed by the Council of Architecture, New Delhi.

B’desh businessmen worried by Sri Lankan workers’ presence

Bangladesh’s annual loss due to the presence of mainly Sri Lankan and Indian workers in the country amounts to thousands of millions of dollars, say businessmen of that country.

Of that amount, nearly 5,000 million dollars are sent to India, mostly through executive level workers, they say.

Former president of the employers’ federation of Bangladesh Fazlul Haque was quoted by BBC Sinhala Service as saying that most of the foreigners were doing jobs in multinational and pharmaceutical companies and in the garment sector.

Despite dismal performance, SLC ups cricketers’ salaries!

Sri Lanka Cricket had taken a decision to increase the wages of cricketers by 34% for the financial year 2018-2019.

SLC had taken this decision based on the strong results achieved during the concluded financial year.

However, according to critics, cricket administrators’ salaries are increased only when their players display improvement.

Reduce state taxes to bring down fuel prices!

Claiming it as a measure to minimize losses, the CPC has raised fuel prices, but it continues to incur losses than before, reports say.

For instance, the CPC increased the price of a litre of 92 Octane petrol to Rs. 137, but it has to spend Rs. 150 for its production and distribution.

That means a loss of Rs. 13 per litre.

China asks for another island – Major issue!

The Chinese Company that took over the Hambantota Port has notified the Sri Lankan government that if Sri Lanka fails to hand over the special island located near the Hambantota Port to them, they would not pay the next instalment in the agreement, it is reported.

Accordingly, they have suspended payment of $500 million, until the island is given to them.

A shortage of school textbooks alleged

The Ceylon Teachers Union alleges a prevailing severe shortage of school textbooks.

According to its secretary Joseph Stalin, only 28,210,600 of the required 41,189,027 textbooks have been printed this year so far.

This has adversely affected both students and teachers.

Japan assists to enhance SL's counterterrorism capabilities & public security

The government of Japan provided equipment worth of Japanese Yen 102 million (approximately 149 million Sri Lankan Rupees) under the non-project grant aid for Economic and Social Development Programme to enhance the capacity of the Government of Sri Lanka in the area of counterterrorism and public security of the Airport.

The handing-over ceremony was held on 14th May 2018 at the Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayaka in the presence of Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lank - Mr. Kenichi Suganuma and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation - Nimal Siripala De Silva.

Rupee weakens against the dollar

During the recent past until May 11 the Sri Lankan rupee had depreciated by 3.2% against the American Dollar, according to the statement published by the Central Bank Economic Research Department.

This report indicates that in relation to the rupee depreciating against the dollar, the rupee has also depreciated against other foreign currencies. It indicated that with the rupee weakening the American dollar had further strengthened.

China approves USD 1 billion loan for Central Expressway

The Chinese government has approved a loan of USD one billion to Sri Lanka for the construction of the first phase of the Central Expressway.

“Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan met Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe today to break the good news of Chinese Government approving USD 1 billion for the phase I of the Central Expressway construction.”