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[Last Updated = Wed, Jun 1, 2016, 12:16 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President claims tobacco and alcohol use reason for poverty and poor health

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena blames the use of tobacco and alcohol for the increasing poverty level and deterioration of the health among the poor people in the country. The President says more than 500 million rupees was being spent per day in Sri Lanka on tobacco and alcohol and the low income groups are spending 35 percent of their earnings on tobacco and alcohol. As such this is the cause for increase in poverty and the deterioration of the health of the poor.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

June 01 (CP) Colombo- An independent and nonpartisan organization working towards peace in Sri Lanka says credibility of transitional justice mechanisms is essential and has called for a credible mechanism to probe the fate of the 20,000 persons who went missing during the ethnic conflict.

June 01 (Island) The Galnewa police have so far failed to arrest four armed men, who shot and injured a 12-year-old girl during an abortive robbery at the victim's house in the same police area on May 28. The girl being treated at the Anuradhapura hospital is out of danger as she is recovering and she is able to walk now.

June 01 (DM) Five underworld gangsters, who wanted for the shootout in Dematagoda where Chaminda Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda was shot and injured in a prison bus, were arrested with latest firearms and ammunitions.

June 01 (DN) Former Defence Ministry Monitoring MP Duminda Silva, through his lawyer informed Court yesterday that his client was not pleading guilty over three corruption cases filed against him by the Bribery Commission.

May 31 (CP) Chittagong- A Bangladesh Navy ship has started for Colombo with another 105 tonnes of relief for the victims of the recent floods and landslides in Sri Lanka. Carrying the relief items, 'BNS Bangabandhu', which will also join the rescue efforts there, left the navy's Issa Khan Base in Chittagong on Tuesday afternoon, bdnews24.com reported.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is to deploy an Aviation Unit under the United Nations helicopter deployment in South Sudan (UNMISS) in June. The Heli-deployment comprising 17 Officers and 87 Airmen and is scheduled to proceed to South Sudan next month.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy said it has assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard on Wednesday to arrest seven Indian fishermen for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Woman who preyed on flood relief arrested (31 - Island)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

June 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake said that Japan has assured Sri Lanka to extend its full cooperation to strengthen the manufacturing economy of Sri Lanka.

June 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's premier telecommunications service provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, announced this week, the connection of Sri Lanka to the Ultra High Capacity 100G-PLUS Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) Submarine Fiber Optic Cable via its state-of-the-art Cable Landing Station (CLS) at Mount Lavinia (South Colombo).

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the government plans to launch housing programs that are beneficial to the people. He added that the government had to provide houses to those forcibly evacuated from houses in the Colombo region under the development programs of the previous regime.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

June 01 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. announced that it will host the Sovereign and Corporate Forum on Thursday, 16 June 2016, at 5.30 pm-8.30 pm at Bougainvillea Room, Galadari Hotel, 64 Lotus Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

June 01 (CP) Colombo- In order to join hands with the Pakistan Government's relief activities for Sri Lanka flood affected, Pakistan's leading bank, Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) presented a check for Rs. 1 million to the President of Sri Lanka -Pakistan Trade and Investment Association, Mr. Iftikhar Aziz in a ceremony held Monday at the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo.

June 01 (Island) Mihin Lanka recently partnered with Aitken Spence Travels to promote tourism to Sri Lanka from Pakistan. With Mihin Lanka offering 5 direct flights a week between Pakistanís capital, Lahore and Colombo, this route is an affordable choice for Pakistaniís looking for the complete holiday experience

June 01 (DM) The largest business conglomerate in the country, John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), will be looking at taking part in more public private partnerships (PPPs) and purchasing shares in government corporations that will be divested soon

June 01 (DN) CEAT Sri Lanka will invest Rs 800 million over the next 12 months to expand its radial tyre manufacturing capacity in the country to supply growing local and export demand. The company supplies nearly half of Sri Lankaís overall requirement of pneumatic tyres.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- People's Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC) rang the opening bell to commence trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) today. The market opening ceremony was organized as part of the Company's celebrations to mark two decades in the financial services industry.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , increased to 4.8 percent in May 2016 from 3.1 percent in the previous month, the Department of Census and Statistics reported on Tuesday.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka signed an agreement with "London Stock Exchange Group" (LSEG) to set up their global business services arm in Sri Lanka.

May 31 (BNA) Manama- Chairman of Bahraini-Asian Traders Committee (BATC) of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohammed Sajid Izhar-Ulhaq, today met with Sri Lankan Ambassador to Bahrain Dr. A. S. U. Mendis.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee forwards weaker on importer dollar demand (31 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan shares end at over one-month closing low (31 - Reuters)
* Insurance payments expected to rise to Rs. seven billion in floods aftermath (31 - Island)
* Complex land laws-biggest bottleneck, says Iconic MD (31 - DM)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

June 01 (CP) Colombo- The attention of the government has been drawn to implement a housing project to provide houses for the families of the kidney patients who do not possess permanent residences. This issue was considered during a meeting regarding the National Programme on Prevention of Kidney Diseases, held at the Presidential Secretariat, Monday, President's Media Division said.

June 01 (CP) Colombo- A senior official of the Ministry of Health has assured that there are no epidemics in Sri Lanka after the floods and landslides ravaged the island in the past weeks leaving over 400,000 people affected. Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala has confirmed that the flood affected areas are free from epidemics.

June 01 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were of the opinion that the proposed judicial mechanism to inquire into alleged wartime atrocities would be handled by local judges, the media was told yesterday.

June 01 (DM) The joint opposition has written to President Maitripala Sirisena urging him not to reappoint Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran when his current term ends. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane yesterday told Daily Mirror the letter was signed by him and the other party leaders of the joint opposition.

June 01 (DN) Functions of OPDs and clinics of a few state hospitals were affected yesterday due to to the token strike by the Government Medical Officersí Association (GMOA). All the other hospitals functioned smoothly.,Secretary to the Health Minister Nupun Ekanayake said .

June 01 (Arab News) RIYADH- Shifting the Sri Lankan Embassy to the Diplomatic Quarter is one of the goals of the 2020 Vision set out by the mission, said the country's Ambassador Azmi Thassim here on Saturday.

May 31 (CP) Chennai- Immediately after the arrest of seven Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka Navy for illegally poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa wrote to the Indian Prime Minister seeking the release of the fishermen.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- The Public Services Commission (PSC) of Sri Lanka, which has power to formulate rules, regulations and procedures relating to the Public Service, has suspended the controversial appointment of Anusha Palpita after uproar from civic society organizations.

** Related Story :: NGO condemns appointment of an official accused of financial misuse as an Additional Secretary to a ministry

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday launched its campaign against the government's decision to increase Value Added Tax. The JVP launched a leaflet campaign under the theme "Struggle against unfair taxes people are burdened with" at Colombo Fort Railway Station Monday

May 31 (CP) Colombo- A team of thirty six newly inducted Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers visited Sri Lanka from 22 to 26 May 2016 as part of the foreign exposure component of the IAS induction program at the Institute of Management in Government, Thiruvananthapuram, Trivandrum, Kerala, the High Commission of India said in a release today.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Norway's State Secretary Tore Hattrem visits Sri Lanka 31 May - 1 June with the aim to hold bilateral meetings and to develop further the business cooperation between Sri Lanka and Norway. The visit follows the successful visit of Foreign Minister BÝrge Brende in January.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran will be visiting Sri Lanka from 31 May to 2 June 2016 aiming to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka and open up business opportunities for Singapore companies, the Singapore Mintry of Trade and Industry said in a release.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's state doctors' union, Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) says they will launch a token strike today to protest the transfers of doctors that have been made violating the medical transfer policy.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has advised the relevant officials to finish the process of identifying lands for the resettlement of the displaced people in the North by Friday, June 03.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Geneva-sanctioned Office for Missing Persons to succeed Paranagama Commission (31 - Island)
* Laws soon to ban animal sacrifices (31 - DM)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

June 01 (ESPNCI) Nuwan Kulasekara, the 33-year old Sri Lanka seamer, has announced his retirement from Test cricket. "I would like to retire from playing Test cricket with immediate effect," he was quoted as saying by a Sri Lanka Cricket press release. "After much thought I believe it is the right time to retire and I hope it will allow me to better prepare for ODI and T20 cricket,

More : SPORTS

June 01 (ESPNCI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has informed Sri Lanka Cricket that he will be unavailable for the limited-overs series in England and Ireland, owing to personal issues. The limited-overs squads for England have not yet been named, but Sri Lanka are scheduled to play five ODIs and a T20 international in the country, as well as two ODIs in Dublin soon after the third Test.

May 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka fast bowler Shaminda Eranga has been reported with a suspect bowling action during the second Test against England, which the host won at Chester-le-Street on Monday, the International Cricket Council said in a media release.

May 31 (ESPNCI) Former India team director and allrounder Ravi Shastri has said Virat Kohli is ready to take over the captaincy from MS Dhoni across all formats, and this is the right time to make the switch "in the interest of Indian cricket". Kohli already captains India in Test cricket, from which Dhoni has retired, but Dhoni still leads in the shorter formats.


WORLD

June 01 (BBC) At least 2,234 Indians have contracted HIV while receiving blood transfusions in hospitals in the past 17 months alone, say officials. The information was revealed by the country's National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) in response to a petition filed by information activist Chetan Kothari. Mr Khothari told the BBC that he was "shocked" by the revelation.

More : WORLD

May 31 (BBC) North Korea has attempted to fire a ballistic missile off its east coast but the launch appears to have failed, South Korean military officials say. It is unclear what type of missile it was, but it follows three failed tests of the medium-range "Musudan" missile in April.

May 31 (BBC) Wildlife authorities in Thailand have begun removing tigers from a Buddhist temple, after accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse. Three of the 137 tigers at the temple in Kanchanaburi province were moved on Monday. The 1000-personnel operation will last all week.


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 Lankaís 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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