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[Last Updated = Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 01:47 pm SL Time]
Decrease in respect for religious freedom in Sri Lanka as extremists target religious minorities - Report

July 29 (CP) Washington, DC- Although Sri Lanka's Constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom, there was an overall decrease in societal respect for religious freedom, as Buddhist nationalist groups led campaigns targeting Muslims and Christians, International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 released by the United States yesterday said. The U.S. Report criticized the local authorities for failing to respond effectively to communal violence, including attacks on members of minority religious groups, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
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July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Navy on Monday night has arrested 50 Indian fishermen for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary line and fishing in the country's waters, Indian media reported. The Tamil Nadu fishermen from Nagapattinam and Karaikal have been arrested in the northern seas off Jaffna along with their boats.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Police have arrested the driver of Sri Lanka Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader, parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake in connection with yesterday's accident which caused injuries to the MP.

July 29 (Island) Sleuths of the Panadura-Walana based Anti-Vice Strike Force busted a gambling den at Athurugiriya, Panagoda and nabbed nine persons including two female soldiers while rolling the dice and casting lots for money yesterday morning. The two females a private and a corporal are attached to the Pangagoda Military Cantonment.

July 29 (DN) Three women were nabbed when they attempted to smuggle gold worth over Rs. 10 million on Saturday morning at Bandaranaike International Airport, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. Two of the arrested women had attempted to board a flight to Bangalore ....

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- 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) 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

Jul 28 (NU) - Through a gazette notification issued on July 15th by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka government has agreed to a probe on war crimes allegedly taken place at the last phase of the war. The gazette has broadened the scope of the committee appointed to probe the disappearances and a new international advisory committee also has been appointed including three former adjudicators of the UN war crime tribunals.

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.

* Most of 157 are 'economic migrants': govt (28 - SBS)
* Cops to felicitate public for helping to catch robbers (28 - Island)
* Man shot in Ja-Ela (28 - DM)
* Murder case: Seven accused acquitted (28 - DN)


July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa sending his greetings to the Muslim community on the occasion of the Eid ul-Fitr today recalled the valued contributions made by them for the country.

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.

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 29 (Island) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), has called on stockbrokers to align their lending rates on credit extension with the policy rates prescribed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka’s short-term debt obligations against its official reserves - a measure of the country’s external sector vulnerability - still remains elevated but the United States-based rating agency said it was on a declining trend.

July 29 (DN) Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, one of the subsidiaries under the Bank of Ceylon will merge with Merchant Credit of Sri Lanka and MBSL Savings Banks soon under the Central Bank regulations in order to consolidate its position in the sector.

July 29 (LBO) A 650 million rupees eco-friendly hotel will be build in Sigiriya in central Sri Lanka by Union Resorts and Spa Ltd, the state investment promotion agency said.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's top private bank Commercial Bank of Ceylon (CBC)said in a stock market disclosure Monday that it has decided to appoint deputy Chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe as chairman of the bank with effect from July 29.

** Related Story ::Chairman of Commercial Bank to step down

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.

* Overseas Realty posts Rs.1.5bn half-year profit (28 - Island)
* SEC asks brokers, margin providers to cut lending rates (28 - DN)
* Laksala records Rs.435m revenue in first half (28 - DN)
* Sri Lanka Chevron Lubricants net up 20-pct (28 - LBO)


July 29 (CP) Colombo- The National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has decided to contest the upcoming elections to the Uva Provincial Council separately.

** Related Story ::Coalition party may split from Sri Lanka's ruling alliance over nominations to Uva PC election

July 29 (Island) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) while condemning the NGOs responsible for activities detrimental to the country has called on the government not to tar all of them with the same brush. Following is the full LSSP statement on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs):

July 29 (DM) A committee will be appointed to retrieve the documents lying inside the office room of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman amidst allegations that the Chairman who is in jail now had locked his office and taken away the keys.

July 29 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that whatever decision taken by the government has never been election oriented. “All decisions of the government were taken for the well being of the country and we did not gain any kind of advantage by these decisions,” he said.

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has donated sacred Buddha relics to be placed in temples in the United States and Korea for the Buddhists in those countries to worship. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the caskets of sacred Buddha relics to the delegations of the Missouri Buddhist Center in the US and Sokvansa Buddhist Center in South Korea this evening at the Temple Trees.

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.

Jul 28 NU - The opposition leader Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe says that his primary hope is to create a good society for the young men and women who will be the future of our country. He expressed this when he attended an event on August 28th at Nugegota Rotary Institute to convey good wishes to students of Mr. Upul Shantha Sannasgala's Sinhala class who are sitting for their Advanced Level examination.

* Opposition can’t defeat MR by calling for abolition of presidency (28 - Island)
* May all women reborn as men: Maithripala (28 - DM)
* Handing over of nominations: no processions, rallies (28 - DN)


July 28 (ESPNCII) Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake will get help from Daryl Foster, a human movement lecturer at the University of Western Australia, to correct his bowling action. Senanayake was banned from bowling in international cricket by the ICC earlier this month, due to an illegal action. Senanayake will leave for Australia in the second week of August, along with Sri Lanka Cricket's head of coaching, Jerome Jayaratne, and will undergo a week-long remedial course at the University of Western Australia under Foster's guidance.


July 28 (ESPNCII) Two slips and a gully. A leg slip and a leg gully. A short leg. Silly mid off. Dilruwan Perera lurks at short cover. Rangana Herath prowls the bowling crease. Crows patrol fine leg. Fresh air blows through deep point. Sri Lanka are in their third last-hour finish in four Tests. Drama follows them like a man with an axe after the pretty girl in a horror flick. This is the kind of stuff Sri Lanka's Test supporters - a meagre and masochistic, but passionate lot - live for.

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.

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 28 (BBC) A koala in Australia has had a lucky escape surviving a 54.5 mile (88km) ride clinging to the bottom of a car. Timberwolf the koala was said to have been hit by a car but managed to hang on as it drove down a busy highway. The Australia Zoo hospital where he is recovering said he survived with no injuries except a broken nail.

More : WORLD

July 28 (Xinhua) KATHMANDU- A Bangladeshi aircraft was caught a minor fire while landing at Kathmandu-based Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said. Airport police said the wheels of Biman Bangladesh Airlines BG702 flight was caught a fire when it started landing at around 2 p.m. local time.

July 28 (BBC) Authorities in India's Uttar Pradesh state have relaxed a curfew in the city of Saharanpur after clashes between Sikhs and Muslims left three people dead and 20 others injured. The police said 38 people have been arrested in the connection with the incident.

July 28 (BBC) Security officials in Ukraine say the downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure after it was punctured by shrapnel from a missile. They say the information came from the plane's flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts.

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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