Markets update

On the markets at 9:50 a.m. (ET):In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index is down 26.60 points to 15,138.76.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44.28 points to 21,585.44.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 3.38 points to 2,455.76.The Nasdaq composite index slipped 4.25 points to 6,310.18.The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.36 cents US, up from Monday’s average price of 78.93 cents US.

Lankan fined jailed for poaching in Maldives

The boat was captured after the international environment protection group Greenpeace reported sighting two Sri Lankan fishing boats fishing in Maldivian waters while they were returning to Sri Lanka after their visit to the Maldives.Sri Lankan fishing boats tend to stray in Maldivian and Indian waters to catch fish.  (Colombo Gazette) Haveeru news online reported that Fernando has now been convicted and sentenced as he had confessed to the crime in court and was ordered to pay the fine within one month of the sentence. A Sri Lankan national has been convicted of illegally poaching in Maldivian waters and sentenced to six months in prison and fined MVR500,000 (USD32,425), the Maldives Media reported today.The captain of “Sea Shoal” Karunakalage Lalith Douglas Fernando was charged on November 19, 2012 with illegally fishing inside Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Last year the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) captured the Sri Lankan fishing boat in the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). read more

Sri Lankans escape bus blaze in India

Kesariya referral hospital medical officer P. Ojha, who is treating Somruna, a police officer in Sri Lanka, claimed that he was out of danger as he had sustained only 10 per cent burn injuries on his head.The three staff members of the bus are also safe. The tourist bus (registration number UP 65BT 4877) was hired by the group from Gaya and after their pilgrimage to Vaishali, Kesariya and Kushinagar, they were to take a flight from Varanasi on Tuesday, said Kesariya police station house officer Santosh Kumar. Indian media reports said that sixteen tourists from Sri Lanka had a near escape after the bus they had been travelling in was reduced to ashes in Kesariya.According to witnesses, one tourist, R.M. Somruna (50), who is also the team leader, sustained partial burn injuries. The incident has taken place yesterday while the tourists were busy climbing the Kesariya Stupa, the tallest such Buddhist stupa in the world. The Telegraph in India reported that the bus — parked outside the main entrance to the archaeological site — suddenly caught fire. Although the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, a rough estimate has put the loss to be worth $1 million as personal belongings like suitcases, bags, passports and visa documents were charred completely. He added that it was first such incident near the stupa site, about 45km southwest from here and 110km northeast from Patna.The fire was brought under control only after two fire tenders from Chakia and Motipur reached the spot.SHO Kumar said arrangements for a safe stay of the visitors have been made at the local tourist rest house and a suitable vehicle would also be arranged by early tomorrow morning enabling them to reach Varanasi in time. read more

More Indian fishermen arrested

Thirty five Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested and four boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy on Monday while they were fishing between Talaimannar and Dhanushkodi in the Palk Strait, the Press Trust of India reported.The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the fishermen for allegedly violating the International Maritime Boundary line, the sources said. The fishermen had been lodged in an army camp at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, the sources said. As many as 106 fishermen from Rameswaram, Nagapattinam and Karaikal are in Sri Lankan prison for more than a month on charges of crossing the IMBL and fishing in the island nation’s territory.

UPFA maintains opposition to National Government

He said that the UPFA has been able to take firm decisions when it was in power and so it will form a UPFA Government even after August 17 by correcting any mistakes it made in the past. The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has reiterated its opposition to a National Government and said that instead it will look to form a UPFA Government.Former UPFA Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said that the current National Government had failed to meet the expectations of the people. Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today, Alahapperuma said that the UPFA will form a UPFA Government with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and Maithripala Sirisena the President. The United National Party (UNP) has said it will form a National Government if it wins the election and will look to take forward the policy of Good Governance. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Constitutional Council picks Jayantha Jayasuriya for AG post

After considering the nominees of the President, the Constitutional Council decided that Jayantha Jayasuriya is the most suitable person for the job. The AG post has been left vacant following the retirement of Attorney General Yuwanjana Wanasundara.There had been concerns earlier that the Government will overlook Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath who was next in line to be the AG. The Constitutional Council has recommended that Senior Additional Solicitor General Jayantha Jayasuriya be appointed as the new Attorney General.The proposal was made when the Constitutional Council met with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today. However the Government had said that the due process will be followed to select the new AG and that there will not be any interference. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena had earlier nominated persons for the post of AG. read more

CEB given strict deadline to submit revised expansion plan

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has issued a directive to the Ceylon Electricity Board to submit a revised least cost long term generation expansion plan on or before August 01, 2016.PUCSL has written to the CEB saying that despite letters sent earlier the CEB has yet to submit the plan. The Commission says it has observed that under drought conditions, even with planned plant additions, Sri Lanka is expected to face energy and capacity shortages in the years 2018/2019 and beyond, and the Transmission Licensee’s delay in submission of LCLTGEP 2015-2034 could further aggravate this situation. “This refers to the Commission’s letter under reference PUC/LI/TL/2015/14, dated December 18, 2015, requiring the Transmission Licensee to resubmit the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2015-2034 with necessary amendments and also the Commission’s letter to Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy dated March 31, 2016, regarding Power Supply Situation 2022 (attached). The Commission has not received the revised LCLTGEP 2015-2034, to date,” the letter sent to the CEB states. Considering the above circumstances, the Commission decided to issue a directive under Condition 4 of the Transmission and Bulk Supply Licence issued to the Ceylon Electricity Board, to submit the revised LCLTGEP 2015-2034, including solution/s to meet the energy and capacity demand during 2016- 2021 on or before August 01, 2016. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Government asserts Aava group influenced by Indian films not LTTE

The Government today asserted that the Aava group in the North had been influenced by Indian films and not the LTTE.Responding to a question in Parliament today, Deputy Minister of Law and Order Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said that most members of the Aava group and under the age of 18. Bandara said that he had visited the North with the Minister of Law and Order recently and looked into the issue involving the Aava group. He said that most members of the Aava group had been arrested and investigations had revealed that they were influenced by South Indian films. Nalin Bandara said that the swords used by the Aava group were home made and a key member of the group had also cried while being questioned by the Police.The Deputy Minister also said that the Aava group has so far not committed any murders but had only assaulted people and caused injuries to people using their home made swords. Nalin Bandara insisted that the Aava group was not linked to terrorism and rejected attempts to spread fear in the South using the Aava group. (Colombo Gazette) read more