SriLankan Airlines increases capacity between Colombo and Singapore

SriLankan Airlines is significantly expanding its capacity on the Colombo-Singapore-Colombo route with the introduction of wide bodied Airbus A330 aircraft that are equipped with the latest inflight entertainment systems, luxurious seating and on-board cuisine that is among the finest in the sky, to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Sirisena and Modi hold bilateral talks in Nepal

President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are currently participating in a bilateral discussion on the sidelines of the the BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal.

The Indian PM is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina later today.

Both leaders will also attend a banquet and cultural programme hosted by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P.Sharma Oli in the honour of BIMSTEC leaders.

Family background report to be scrapped

Deputy minister Manusha Nanayakkara says a proposal will be submitted to the cabinet to scrap the requirement for female workers to submit a family background report before leaving for employment overseas.

He made the announcement during a health camp and mobile service by the Bureau of Foreign Employment in Galle.

Gotabhaya issued notice

The Special High Court has issued notices on seven persons including the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to appear before court on September 10.

The seven defendants including the former Defense Secretary are charged over the misuse of state funds amounting to Rs 49 million which had been used for constructing the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial.

Railway trade unions to strike next week

Railway Trade Unions today decided to commence a continuous strike from midnight on August 29 (Wednesday).

The decision was reached during their executive committee meeting held today (24), Ada Derana reporter said.

The strike is being launched due to the lack of a proper response from authorities with regard to rectifying their salary anomalies.

Cabinet approves areca nut and pepper re-exportation

The cabinet has approved a resumption of areca nut and pepper re-exportation.

Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera submitted the related paper at the request of primary industries minister Daya Gamage.

A ban was imposed after imported areca nut and pepper were sent to India under the FTA describing them as Sri Lankan products.

President rejects age restriction for three-wheeler drivers

President Maithripala Sirisena rejected a proposal submitted to the cabinet at its meeting yesterday (21) by transport minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to ban below-35-year-olds from driving three-wheelers.

Noting the proposal will affect fundamental rights, the president said the country will be in chaos if it was implemented.

He advised the ministers to consider from the side of the people when submitting proposals in the future.

US Pentagon’s report mentions China’s motive behind Hambantota

The Pentagon has released its annual report on China’s military capabilities, and it noted several developments that could be of concern for U.S. military planners. Notably, China’s bomber force has been much more active in “overwater” training flights in “critical maritime regions,” and the Pentagon assesses that these likely include trainings for attacks on U.S. targets or U.S. allies. In addition, the report notes, China is becoming a true “nuclear triad” nation, with nuclear weapons platforms on land, under the sea and in the air.

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.