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Galle Road obstructed between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa

Police says that vehicular traffic along the road from Usmudunawa in Ambalangoda to Kumarakanda in Hikkaduwa has been obstructed due to sea waves crashing on to the side of the road.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, police said. Meanwhile it is reported that the Alakanda Road is also risky for travel.

Earlier today, the Department of Meteorology issued a ‘Red’ alert for gusty winds and rough seas, advising the fishing and naval communities not to venture out into the sea areas off the coast extending from Colombo to Hambantota via Galle within the next 24 hours.

In its advisory, the Meteorology Department said the wind speeds can increase up to 60-70 kmph in the sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Pottuvil via Colombo, Galle and Hambantota due to the active south-west monsoon condition.

The swell waves (about 2.5 m – 3.5 m) height (this is not for land areas) are likely to increase in the above-mentioned sea areas and these sea areas will be rough to very rough.

There is a possibility that nearshore sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Matara via Colombo and Galle, may experience surges due to swell waves, it said.

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Nandalal Weerasinghe appointed CBSL Governor for Six more years

Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank for the next six years by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (30).

Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe first assumed duties as the 17th Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on the 8th of April 2022.

Dr. Weerasinghe is a career central banker, with extensive experience in Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy.

Dr. Weerasinghe was promoted as Deputy Governor on 27 September, 2011 while he was serving as an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund and assumed office as Deputy Governor of the CBSL on 01 September 2012.

Dr. Weerasinghe holds a PhD and Master’s Degree in Economics from the Australian National University and a B.Sc. Degree from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka.

As Deputy Governor, Dr. Weerasinghe has served as the Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Foreign Reserve Management Committee of the CBSL and has overseen the Departments of Economic Research, Statistics, International Operations, Domestic Operations, Macroprudential Surveillance, Exchange Control, Currency and Communications.

Prior to being released to the International Monetary Fund as the Alternate Executive Director for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan, from January 2010 to August 2012, Dr. Weerasinghe served as Assistant Governor from August 2009 to September 2012 as well as the Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research from January 2007 to August 2009.

Dr. Weerasinghe also served as Visiting Lecturer for the Master’s Degree Course in Economics at the University of Colombo, Visiting Research Economist at the SEACEN Centre, Malaysia and Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.

He has represented several Cabinet Sub-Committees on economic matters and was a member of the Committee appointed to review the Power Purchase Agreements, the Financial Sector Monitoring Committee of the Ministry of Finance & Planning, the Steering Committee on Market Program for Private Sector Development and the Petroleum Refinery Project Coordinating Committee. He was also a Director of the Board of Management of the Sustainable Energy Authority and the Board of Investment. He was responsible for negotiating Financial Services in bilateral trade and services agreements with China and Singapore. He has published several research papers in international and local journals, including the CBSL Staff Studies.

Dr. Weerasinghe retired from the Central Bank as the Senior Deputy Governor in January 2021 and worked as an Independent Consultant for economic and financial matters for multilateral agencies and Global Investment firms.

News 1st

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Four military personnel arrested over inmate’s death at Kandakadu

Four military personnel belonging to the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Airforce were arrested over the death of an inmate at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre in Welikanda.

The Sergeants arrested, aged between 35 and 39, are believed to have served as counselors at the Centre at the time of the incident, and are due to be produced before Court today (02).

Meanwhile, the postmortem is scheduled to be conducted on Tuesday (05).

Earlier this week, over 600 inmates escaped the Centre on Wednesday (29) after riots broke out with the Police following the suspicious death of an inmate.

Although the Army was later deployed to the scene, inmates refused to let them see the body of the deceased for hours, still in the midst of the chaos created.

The situation was, however, later brought under control.

While nearly all the escapees were arrested in the days that followed, 44 inmates are still on the run. Police have requested that the public contact the OIC of the Welikanda Police Station via 0718591235, in the event any information about these inmates is obtained.

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Bus Fares Increased by 22%; Minimum Fare Rs. 40/-

Bus fares will be increased by 22%, and the minimum fare will be Rs. 40/- with effect from 1st of July, said the National Transport Commission on Thursday (30).

The price hike will apply to both Sri Lanka Transport Board & Private Bus Operators. The previous minimum fare was Rs. 32/-.

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Japan denies media reports, reaffirms support towards SL

Deputy Ambassador of Japan, Kotaro Katsuki, has strongly denied recent media reports claiming that Japan has refused to extend its support to Sri Lanka.

In an e-mail addressed to the Prime Minister’s Secretary, Katsuki assured that the media report in question had ‘no grounds whatsoever’, and that the Ambassador of Japan would do no such thing.

Moreover, Japanese Ambassador Hideaki Mizukoshi met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (01), during which Japan’s willingness to maintain a robust bilateral relationship in the economic, social & cultural spheres was reiterated.

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500 inmates escape Kandakadu rehabilitation centre

Around 500 inmates of the Kandakadu rehabilitation centre at Welikanda have escaped following a tense situation.

Police spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that a group of inmates had resorted to unruly behaviour following the suspicious death of an inmate at the rehabilitation centre. They had escaped the centre earlier this morning (29).

Sri Lanka Police and the Army have launched a joint operation to arrest the inmates who had escaped.

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Three anti-govt activists including “Ratta” and Lahiru granted bail

Social activist and YouTuber Rathindu Senaratne alias “Ratta”, the national organizer of ‘Youth for Change’ Lahiru Weerasekara and Venerable Rathkarawwe Jinarathana Thero were granted bail today (July 01).

The case was taken up before Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.

On June 17, the Colombo Fort Magistrate ordered the police to arrest several protesters for their unruly and violent behaviour during demonstrations at Colombo Fort and Thalangama on the 9th and 10th of June and to produce them before the court.

Later, “Ratta”, Lahiru Weerasekara and actor Jagath Manuwarna, who were wanted over the said incidents, had surrendered to Maradana Police on June 22. They were accordingly placed under arrest and remanded along with four others, namely Jehan Appuhamy, Dhammika Munasinghe, Eranga Gunasekara and Ven. Rathkarawwe Jinarathana Thero.

Several charges including criminal coercion, obstruction of duties of police officers, unlawful assembly, causing injuries and causing damages to public property were levelled against them.

On June 22, four of them - Manuwarna, Appuhamy, Munasinghe and Gunasekara - were released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, while the remaining three activists, ‘Ratta’, Lahiru Weerasekara and Jinarathana Thero were remanded further.

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NO Petrol Shipment until 22nd July; 100,000 MT LP Gas available for next four months – Sagala Ratnayake

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will NOT be able to source a petrol shipment until 22nd July, said Sagala Ratnayake the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister on Wednesday (29).

He told a gathering of news media personnel that even if the CPC has funds, it is unable to access a fuel shipment.

The Chief of Staff of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka currently has 11,000 MT of Diesel, 5,000 MT of Petrol, 30,000 MT of Furnace Oil, and 800 MT of Jet Fuel.

He said that 38,000 MT of Diesel will be received between the 11th and 15th of July.

Ratnayake said the existing stocks of Diesel will only be available for essential services, until the new shipment reaches the country.

He went on to note that there will be no issue with regard to the supply of gas, as Litro will procure 100,000 MT of gas for the next four months and shipments of 33,000 MT will arrive on the 6th, 10th, 16th, 19th, 21st, and 31st of July.

Litro will be purchasing LP Gas with the Assistance of the World Bank and the purchasing agreement will be signed on Wednesday (29) or Thursday (30).

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Mervyn Silva quits UNP, joins SLFP once again

Former Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva became a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) this afternoon (01).

Silva was presented his membership by former President and SLFP Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, at Sirisena’s official residence in Colombo.

While having contested under the United National Party (UNP) in his last election, Silva also previously represented the SLFP and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

He later criticized the Rajapaksa regime, and withdrew from active politics for a short while.

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Ranil needs time to save a country subjugated to devastation for two years :Ruwan Wijewardene

A country that was subjugated to devastation for two years cannot be saved overnight and Ranil Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister, therefore, will be needing a sufficient time to work on it, said Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ruwan Wijewardene.

Addressing a discussion with a group of scholars and professionals in Colombo today (28), the former MP questioned why the factions of the Opposition who boast about their so called capacity of saving the country within six months do not allow the Prime Minister to do the same within a same period of time.

The Opposition shall not be dragging the Prime Minister back but supporting him to save the country from the crisis befallen it, Wijewardene went on, adding that the Opposition, however, has not exhibited such a support from their end to date. He alleged that the Opposition is attempting to gain the political advantage of the crisis.

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LITRO procures consignment of 100,000 MT of LP Gas

LITRO Gas yesterday (30) procured a consignment of 100,000 metric tonnes of Liquified Petroleum (LP) Gas, LITRO Chairman Muditha Peiris said.

Issuing a statement, LITRO, under the Ministry of Finance, signed an agreement with the World Bank procuring a consignment of 100,000 MT of LP Gas, worth USD 90 million.

While USD 70 million was finded by the World Bank, the remaining USD 20 million was funded by LITRO.

The consignment is expected to suffice for four months.

Accordingly, 70% of the consignment, an estimated 5 million 12.5kg cylinders, 1 million 5kg cylinders and 1 million 2.5kg cylinders, will be provided to domestic consumers, while the remaining 30% will be used for commercial purposes.

Litro Gas, under the Ministry of Finance, has successfully procured 100,000MT of LP Gas, Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

Furthermore, an initial consignment of 33,000 tons of LP Gas procured by Litro at a cost of USD 20 million is scheduled to reach Sri Lanka in the first week of July, after which distribution will commence immediately.

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Bus fares to increase, mimum fare to go up to Rs.40

Bus owners have requested the National Transport Commission (NTC) to increase bus fares by 30% from 01 July.

They also proposed that the minimum fare be increased to Rs.40.

The decision was reached following a round of talks between the NTC and private bus operators this afternoon (28).

Accordingly, the representatives of the private bus unions were instructed by the NTC to hand over the proposal on the price revision to the Ministry of Transport tomorrow (29).

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