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[Last Updated = Wed, Jun 29, 2016, 08:55 pm SL Time]
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President to discuss amendments to the VAT to provide relief to people

June 29, Badulla: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday said steps will be taken in the future to make amendments to the existing tax systems to provide relief to the public considering the difficulties faced by the people due to the enforcement of new tax systems. He said the recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) will be discussed with a committee of economic experts on Monday and steps will be taken to present a new VAT amendment.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Traffic Court today ruled that there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka in the road accident involving the Minister's vehicle.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Nearly 9000 military deserters from the tri forces have obtained legal discharge during the first two weeks of the one-month long general amnesty period declared by the Ministry of Defense.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The administration of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Oluvil has suspended 331 second year students of the Management Faculty alleged of engaging in ragging. Among the suspended are 220 female students.

June 29 (Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR- The Sessions Court here today discharged, but not amounting to an acquittal, a Sri Lankan man on a drug possession charge.

June 29 (Island) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Propaganda Secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe yesterday said Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila now in remand over an alleged financial fraud was trying to take mean political advantage by accusing the JHU and its General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka of being behind it.

June 29 (DM) UPFA parliamentarian Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who was disturbing court proceedings by repeatedly instructing her attorney while Court was in session, was yesterday reprimanded by Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attigalle.

June 29 (DN) The Police Special Investigations Unit questioned the former Head of the Terrorist Investigations Unit (TIU), retired DIG Chandra Wakista for three hours today. He was questioned on the status of valuables, including gold, belonging to LTTE suspects arrested during his tenure with the previous government that are unaccounted for.

June 29 (Hindu) Sri Lankan security forces have released 700 more acres and the Kankesanthurai railway station in the Northern Province, a few days before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is to give an update to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the status of implementation of the October 2015 resolution.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Navy said the naval personnel attached to Northern Naval Command has arrested nine local fishermen in two separate incidents on Monday (27) for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing practices.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- A group of 36 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees lived in camps in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka on 28th June 2016 Under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation program. According to the Secretary to Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs V. Sivagnanasothy, a group of 20 male and 16 female refugees are scheduled to arrive on a Mihin Lanka Airline flight MJ 130 at 11.45 a.m. from Chennai.

June 28 (CP) Tuticorin- The Q Branch of Tamil Nadu Police on Monday arrested nine Sri Lankan Tamils including a woman in Tiruchendur for allegedly planning to travel to Australia in a clandestine manner.

June 28 (NIE) COLOMBO- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has called for a probe into allegations that cluster bombs were used by the Sri Lankan Security Forces in the final phase of Eelam War IV.

June 28 (Mirror) A British backpacker has plunged 80ft to his death during a late-night cliff-top walk with a girl in Sri Lanka, it has emerged. Tom Perry, 23, died after falling onto rocks at the foot of the sheer cliff at Weligama, a popular tourist destination on the south of the island.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Petition demands arrest of politicos responsible for attack on journalist (28 - Island)
* FCID to quiz Namal over Gowers law firm today (28 - DM)
* Gota testifies before Court on Dec 2006 LTTE assassination attempt (28 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

June 29 (CP) Geneva- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein Wednesday presented an oral update on Sri Lanka to the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has handed over the report on the Central Bank Treasury bond deals during the period from February 2015 to May 2016 to the Speaker, Chairman of the Commission MP Sunil Handunneththi said today.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today paid an observation visit to the Central Bank and met with the staff ahead of anticipated announcement of the appointment of a new Governor to the Bank.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's rapid growth is crucially hinged on attracting capital from abroad and Sri Lanka has to overcome stiff regional competition to attract foreign direct investment, the United States Ambassador to Colombo, Atul Keshap said.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was presented with a National HR Excellence Gold Awardat the recently held National HR Conference for 2016. Organized by the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM), the conference is tagged as South Asia's largest HR event.

June 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended firmer on Wednesday as a private bank and some exporters sold dollars, and foreign investors bought the local currency to buy bonds.

June 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth straight session on Wednesday as sentiment continued to be lacklustre following a minister's comments a day earlier on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities.

June 29 (CDM) KAHN Group has formed a partnership with Millennium Automotive Group in an agreement that sees Millennium appointed as the sole Kahn distributor for Sri Lanka.

June 29 (Island) "Some of the GSP-Plus concessions will no longer be on offer by the UK to Sri Lanka when the UK is out of EU, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies Dr. Saman Kelegama said.

June 29 (DM) Against the economic scenario last year, which showed the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowing down while inflation increased, AIA Sri Lanka was able to declare an outstanding dividend of 9.55 percent for its policyholders. This showcased the strength and the superlative investment strategy of AIA’s life fund, which now stands at Rs.30 billion.

June 29 (DN) Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said plans are underway to establish 23 high-tech agricultural zones and ten fisheries zones in selected areas shortly. Out of ten fisheries zones, five will be established within this year.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), the first private container terminal in the Port of Colombo hosted members of the Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) and members of the Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO) recently to an interactive information session on the implementation of the International Maritime Organization's SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) regulation at its terminal.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- Despite the sudden uncertainty in European market, Sri Lanka is eager for opportunities unfolding in the Brexit aftermath, Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera says the locally manufactured boats currently has a high demand in the international market.

June 28 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said that it will focus more on Asia, particularly China and India, to boost the local economy after Britain had recently decided to withdraw from the European Union (EU).

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee forwards rise as foreigners sell dollars to buy bonds (28 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka shares end down; capital gains tax, Brexit weigh (28 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka to impose capital gains tax on stocks - minister (28 - Reuters)
* Softlogic and Fairfax Asia establish key partnership (28 - Island)
* Local soft drink leader disappointed over govt. decision to intervene in beverage market (28 - DM)
* Mercantile Investments posts Rs. 505 mn profit (28 - DN)
* Mahindra Imperio launched in Sri Lanka at LKR 3,495,000 (28 - IAB)
* Commercial Bank launches Sri Lanka’s first Remittance Card (28 - LBO)
* Global tourism giants to speak at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016 (28 - CP)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said today that he will appoint a new Governor to the Central Bank today. "I will appoint a new Governor to the Central Bank in the coming hours," the President said in a Twitter message.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- For the first time in Sri Lanka a census of early childhood will be carried out as part of a World Bank project by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs with the collaboration of the Children's Secretariat and the Department of Census and Statistics.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government says the UK's decision to leave the European Union may impact the country's debt burden following the sharp rise of the dollar against the sterling pound. The pound fell more than 12 percent to its lowest level in 30 years against the dollar following the Brexit referendum on 23 June.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has introduced immediate development projects to uplift the infrastructure facilities in rural areas, based on the mid-term economic policy presented by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 5th November.

June 29 (Diplomat) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a hardline Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist group in Sri Lanka, has come under fire in recent years. Opponents have labelled it extremist and accused the group of inciting religious hatred, particularly against Muslims.

June 29 (Island) The Organisation For Protecting Customs (OFPC) on Monday handed over a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena seeking his intervention to thwart attempts being made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to overhaul Customs Ordinance and implement a new customs law.

June 29 (DM) The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is divided on the controversial bond issue, informed sources said yesterday. "Some members hold a moderate view on the subject, others support the Central Bank Governor and yet others oppose him,” the sources said.

June 29 (DN) No decision has been taken or would be taken to allow Indian fishermen to engage in fishing in Sri Lankan waters two days a week as claimed by a certain trade union, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said

June 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today said the President and Prime Minister have avoided taking responsibility for the issue of the Central Bank Governor by handing it over to the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to probe the allegations.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan Government today rejected diverse opinions and ideologies giving misleading information on the proposed Constitution, the Government Information Department said. Issuing a special statement the Prime Minister's Office has affirmed that no document or a draft has been prepared by the government up to now on the proposed Constitution and the utterances from different political parties are false.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that it is the responsibility of all the officers to fulfill their responsibilities and duties appropriately while taking part in the Government's initiatives to protect the environment for the future generations.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap hosted leaders from the Sri Lankan Muslim community, government officials, civil society activists, and media representatives for an Iftar on Monday night in Colombo.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- Canada has welcomed the Sri Lankan government's commitments to reconciliation and the government's efforts to mend relations among communities so that all Sri Lankans can live in peace and dignity, free from discrimination based on ethnic, religious or linguistic identities.

June 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka was ranked at 50th position globally on the Human Capital Index, which quantifies how 130 countries are developing and deploying their human capital, and tracks progress over time.

June 28 (CP) Geneva- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has concluded that overall the steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement some of the key commitments made in UN Resolution last year are encouraging but more rapid and sustained progress could have been made on some other issues.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lanka to focus more on China, India following Brexit (28 - xinhua)
* National Audit Draft Bill in Cabinet for approval today (28 - CP)
* GL: UNP trying to influence AG (28 - Island)
* Mano wants details of all land in Colombo North and Central (28 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

June 29 (PTI) Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar did not find a place in Kumar Sangakkara’s list of all-time XI while Rahul Dravid was the lone Indian in the team selected by the former Sri Lankan skipper. Sangakkara believes Dravid, who is currently India A coach, will be the best to complement former Australian batsman Mathew Hayden in the opening slot in the squad led by former Lankan batsman Aravinda De Silva.

More : SPORTS

Sri Lanka 127/1 (18.1 ov)

June 29 (EPSNCI) Despite a grey and drizzly morning in London, the fourth ODI at The Kia Oval was nevertheless set to get underway promptly after Eoin Morgan won the toss for England and chose to bowl first. Despite enjoying the better of the past two matches, England go into the match with a slender 1-0 series lead, following a get-out-of-jail tie in the opening rubber at Trent Bridge and a washout in Bristol on Sunday.

June 29 (ESPNCI) By now it's official. Break out the Brexit gags and wallow in whatever the Icelandic is for schadenfreude. England really, really, really doesn't want to be involved with Europe in any way, shape or form. What a time to be alive. Happily, for those of an escapist bent, the nation's cricketers have rarely had much need to engage with the continent - save for their biennial ICC-tournament humiliations at the hands of the Netherlands and Ireland, of course. But, when it comes to being upstaged by plucky islanders who thrive on their underdog status, well, they more or less wrote the book.

June 28 (ESPNCI) When Upul Tharanga first toured England a decade ago, he opened the batting with such devastating élan that he amassed 347 runs at 69.40 in Sri Lanka's 5-0 whitewash. Five years later, he scored an unbeaten century against the same opponents to complete a ruthless 10-wicket victory in the World Cup quarter-final. This time around, however, rather than furrowing his brow to face down the new ball, Tharanga has been asked to do a job down the order,


WORLD

June 29 (BBC) The death toll in a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport has risen to 41, 13 of them foreign nationals, with 239 injured, the Turkish city's governor says. Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance late on Tuesday. They blew themselves up after police fired back. PM Binali Yildirim said early signs pointed to so-called Islamic State.

More : WORLD

June 29 (BBC) Police in India are investigating claims by two climbers who say they are the country's first couple to scale the world's highest peak Mount Everest. Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod told reporters this month that they reached the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit on 23 May.

June 29 (Reuters) Expressing regret and sadness over Britain's decision to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday the country would not turn its back on Europe and would instead build the strongest ties it could.

June 29 (Hindu) Two years ago, Bharati Veerath became the first woman in India to partner with cab aggregator Uber, and left a lasting impression on thousands of passengers with her positive attitude to life. But in a tragic end to a tale of inspiration, Ms. Veerath (40) was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her Sanjay Nagar residence on Monday.


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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