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[Last Updated = Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 11:36 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka a potential location for Japanese SMEs to invest - Japan's State Minister

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's strategically located new infrastructure such as Hambantota airport and port make the island a potential location for Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to invest, a visiting Japanese minister has said today. Japan's State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kazuyoshi Akaba said Sri Lanka is an option for Japanese SMEs looking for locations to invest, when he called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Monday.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

July 28 (CP) Canberra- Australia's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison says the 157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers are economic migrants seeking to illegally enter Australia since they came from India, a safe country. "These people have come from the safe country of India....

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The Police Narcotic Bureau of Sri Lanka has intensified the operations to apprehend about 30 drug dealers who smuggle heroin to the island. The majority of these drug dealers have fled the country to escape arrest and operate from overseas in countries like Pakistan, India and Dubai.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka police seize nine kilos of heroin belong to drug barons living overseas

July 28 (Reuters) The fate of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers held at sea for almost a month before being brought to a detention centre in Australia was stuck in limbo on Monday, as lawyers for the detainees said they might sue the government for illegal imprisonment.

July 28 (Island) Nittambuwa police have decided to felicitate and present mementos to members of the pubic responsible for apprehending four members of a robber gang who entered a jewellery shop in the area on July 23. When the robbers got inside the shop its owner had slipped away through the backdoor after locking the doors and alerted the neighbours.

July 28 (DM) One person was hospitalised after he was shot by an unidentified man who arrived in a motorbike at the Rukmani Devi Junction in Ja-Ela this morning, Police said. The Colombo North Teaching Hospital said the injured was undergoing treatment at the Emergency Treatment Unit.

July 28 (DN) All seven accused in the Horana -Milllewa murder case were acquitted by Panadura Provincial High Court Judge S.K. Weerawardena on Friday as the prosecution was unable to prove the indictments against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

July 27 (CP) Kimberley, WA- A group of 157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers held on board an Australian Customs vessel for nearly a month have been taken to the Curtin Detention Centre in Kimberley, Western Australia.

** Related Story ::Australia to transfer Sri Lankan asylum seekers from boat to detention center in mainland

July 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police had vehemently denied that they have arrested a group of media personnel, who were traveling to Colombo to attend a workshop, at a checkpoint in Omanthai in the North. Police spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana has told local media that only the vehicle the journalists were traveling in was taken into custody

July 27 (DNA) India will be informing Sri Lanka about an official working with the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo who was allegedly playing a key role in planning terror strikes at the behest of ISI on the US and Israeli consulates in the southern part of this country.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Most of 157 are 'economic migrants': govt (28 - SBS)
* Eastern Province women - Gold smugglers’ new accomplices (27 - Nation)
* Poor turnout: Pro-LTTE demo in Glasgow on low key as President skips Commonwealth Games opening (27 - Island)
* SC upholds death sentence on killers of garment factory executive (27 - ST)
* LTTE responsible for 80 percent of alleged abductions (27 - SO)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Leader of Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Anura Kumara Dissanayaka was injured today in a road accident. Dissanayaka was injured when the vehicle he was travelling met with an accident on Horana - Ratnapura road at Ballapitiya and admitted to Ratnapura Hospital, the party said in a statement.

July 28 (CP) Colombo0 In a message to Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr in Sri Lanka, the British High Commissioner in Colombo John Rankin expressed hope that people of Sri Lanka will come respecting differences of faith or opinion.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The United States said today that it is deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a journalism training session in Colombo over the weekend.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan government has spent millions of dollars to lobbying firms in the United States to defends its status globally, especially in the U.S., but the relationship with the superpower has soured gradually over the last few years despite the colossal amount spent, a local media report said.


FINANCE

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The Chief Justice of Sri Lanka Mohan Peiris recused himself from the hearing of Golden Key case related to the deposits of a defaulted financial company. The Chief Justice cited conflict in interest as the reason for his recusal since he once served as the chairman of another financial institution that had linked with the defaulted credit company.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has been selected to host one of the world's leading conferences on natural rubber Global Rubber Conference (GRC) 2014. The three-day international event will be held from 27 to 30 October 2014 at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo.

July 28 (Island) Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC. continued its earnings growth in the first six months of 2014 with a 58% increase in group profit after tax, (excluding fair value gains on Investment property) to reach Rs 1,028mn. The Group Revenue increased by 57% to Rs 2,603mn fronted by healthy growth in Property Leasing, Trading and Service segments.

July 28 (DM) Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked stockbrokers to reduce interest rates charged on broker credit and margin trading in line with policy interest rates of the Central Bank.

July 28 (DN) Laksala recorded an increased and impressive revenue of Rs. 435 million in the first half of 2014 from both local and tourists’ sales. During the corresponding period last year the revenue stood at Rs. 292.7 million.

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Chevron Lubricants said profits rose 20 percent to 675 million rupees in the June 2014 quarter from a year earlier helped by wider margins.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to revise postage rates with effect from August 01. The proposal for the revision of the postage rates has been approved by the cabinet of Ministers, says Postal Department.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- The Chairman of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Dinesh Stephen Weerakkody will relinquish his office as a director/chairman on 28 July 2014, the Commercial Bank said in a disclosure to the Colombo Stock Exchange.

More : FINANCE
* Tobacco tax a double deception (27 - Nation)
* DFCC has consistently given shareholders handsome returns over a decade: Brito (27 - Island)
* EPF pulls back on some benefits for private sector workers (27 - ST)
* Tess Group to boost local canned fish production (27 - SO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 28 (CP) Colombo- A trilingual poster put out island wide by a hitherto unknown organization today has caught the attention of Sri Lankans. The poster displayed a slogan "To You, Defying Darkness" in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. The publisher of the poster was mentioned as First Front, a new organization.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Ranil Wickremasinghe, the Leader of Sri Lanka's opposition and United National Party (UNP) today met with the students in a popular tuition class. Wickremasinghe, addressing the students at their farewell gathering at the famous Advanced Level Sinhala teacher Upul Shantha Sannasgala's tuition class, promised that his party would create a better future for them.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Twelve leading local and foreign companies have lined up to invest in mass scale production facilities in the industrial city that is being developed adjacent to the Hambantota Ruhunu Magampura Port, a senior government official said.

July 28 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha, MP, yesterday said that a project undertaken by Opposition political parties and other groups to pressure President Mahinda Rajapaksa to do away with the executive presidency was a sure sign of their fear of facing the incumbent president at the next presidential election.

July 28 (DM) “May all women reborn as men in their next incarnation,” said SLFP general secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena when he addressed the Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women’s Federation meeting yesterday at the Mahaweli Prathibha Hall in Manampitiya.

July 28 (DN) Candidates of political parties and individual groups are not allowed to organise processions or rallies when they are handing over nominations, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. He issued this instruction at a meeting with senior officials and returning officers at the Election Secretariat on Saturday in preparation of the upcoming Uva Provincial Council Election.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- The reconstructed Colombo - Jaffna, Northern Railway Line up to Jaffna will be completed by September, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. The Minister said the Yal Devi train service to Jaffna, which was suspended for nearly 30 years, due to LTTE terrorist activities will resume operations on 15 September.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- The Director General of Department of National Botanical Gardens Dr. Cyril Wijesundara said that ten botanical gardens would be established in the island within the next two years. Recently, the government opened the fourth botanical garden of the island after 137 years and for the first time after the independence.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- The nomination board Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) for the Uva Provincial Council election will meet for the first time on July 29, party sources said.

July 27 (CP) Colombo- For the first time an international film festival is planned to be held in Sri Lanka to offer a great international cinema experience to Sri Lankan film enthusiasts. The 'International Film Festival of Colombo' (IFFCOLOMBO), organized by the Film Directors Guild of Sri Lanka in association with the 'Okinawa International Movie Festival' in Japan will be held from 2 to 7 September in Colombo.

July 27 (PTI) MADURAI- Only a fresh meeting between fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka will solve the problems of the fishing community of the state, TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan said here today.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Ruling party nominations for Sri Lanka's Uva Provincial Council election in a crisis (27 - CP)
* Basil lauds the media for responsible reporting (27 - Nation)
* ‘President didn’t ask me to leave’ – Navin (27 - Island)
* Public still unconcerned over dengue danger, say health officials (27 - ST)
* Harin, no challenge to UPFA- Deputy Speaker (27 - SO)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

July 28 (ESPNCI) It was riveting, un-Youtubeable Test cricket on the final day at the SSC. The stakes were high - for South Africa the No. 1 Test ranking and for Sri Lanka a formidable home record. The settings were dramatic - leaden skies for most of the day, four or more men poised round the bat, the indefatigable spinners rifling through their overs and some of the world's most flamboyant batsmen in the middle.

More : SPORTS

Sri Lanka 421 & 229/8d South Africa 282 & 68/2 (36.0 ov)

July 28 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka had one objective when the day began: score as quickly as possible and declare. They did exactly that as they rattled along at well above four runs an over - more than double what South Africa managed in the first innings - to swell the lead to 368, despite more than an hour being lost due to rain and bad light.

July 27 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka have not lost a Test series at home to South Africa since 1993. If they are to protect that record, the final day of the tour has to be about all-out attack, says Kumar Sangakkara. "Our objective is to win at all costs," Sangakkara said. "Our chances are pretty good. It would have been good if all the overs had been bowled today. I thought with the way that the wicket is, Rangana Herath is going to bowl well to the lefties.

July 27 (ESPNCI) "We are like a family" Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews likes to say this when asked about the mood in his camp. Sometimes, you can almost hear the room cringe in unison. The camaraderie in the dressing room is obvious, but you wonder what makes Mathews use the word "family". Do they accidentally use each other's toothbrushes on tour? Does Rangana Herath borrow Mathews' car without permission and return it with the petrol gauge on empty?


WORLD

July 27 (BBC) Dutch experts have cancelled plans to head to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, international officials say. Fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government troops in the area has prevented access to the site, they add.

More : WORLD

July 27 (IBT) British former deputy prime minister Lord John Prescott has likened the Gaza Strip to a concentration camp and branded Israel's bombardment of the region a war crime. As a temporary ceasefire between the sides broke down this morning, the peer writes in the Sunday Mirror that, "The military action supposedly targeting Hamas is so brutally disproportionate and so grossly indiscriminate that it makes it impossible not to view Israel's actions as war crimes.

July 27 (CNN) Islamabad- Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to climb seven highest peaks in seven continents in under eight months, media reported on Sunday. Baig, 23, has completed the challenge of climbing seven of the highest mountains around the world, including Mount Everest which she scaled in May 2013, Dawn online reported.


About Sri Lanka ::-
Introduction to Sri Lanka ::-

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island paradise in the Indian Ocean with white sandy beaches lush greenery, exciting adventures, amazing wildlife, cascading waterfalls and a rich heritage. The island of Sri Lanka is roughly pear-shaped. The total area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 sq km. Sri Lanka’s coastline is about 1,340 km (about 833 mi) around.

The people in Sri Lanka are warm and friendly. Sri Lankans are known for hospitality in all over the world. People in Sri Lanka ethnically fall into four main categories. The population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million. Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. Sri Lanka has a democratic government. Sri Lanka is mainly an agricultural country. Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy, famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of export, and further declined to 16.8% in 2005 (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments have reached 63%. The GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% during the early 1990s, until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000, with average growth of 5.3%.

Sri Lanka, with an income per head of $1,350, still lags behind some of its neighbors including Maldives and Mauritius but is ahead of its giant neighbor India. Its economy grew by an average of 5% during the 1990s during the 'War for Peace' era. According to the Sri Lankan central bank statistics, the economy was estimated to have grown by 7% last year, although inflation had reached 20%.

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