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[Last Updated = Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 12:40 am SL Time]
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EU expresses concern over restrictions on NGOs and on freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The European Union delegation in Sri Lanka today expressed concerns about the Sri Lankan government imposing restrictions on the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the country. The European Union delegation in Colombo today issued a joint statement in agreement with the Embassies of EU Member States in Sri Lanka, as well as the Embassies of Norway and Switzerland on restrictions on non-governmental organizations and on freedom of expression in Sri Lanka.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

July 23 (CP) Sheffield- A British court in Sheffield today found a suspect guilty of murdering a Sri Lankan pizza delivery worker, who was on his last shift delivering pizza on his last day as a delivery worker before embarking on an IT career.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Thousands of university students in Sri Lanka today marched in the streets of Sri Lankan capital Colombo demanding the authorities to revoke a suspension imposed on 28 of their fellow students at the Rajarata University.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Finance and Planning Ministry of Sri Lanka yesterday has informed all Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs ) in the country that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry before receiving any foreign funds.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka to prevent NGOs from receiving foreign funds - report

July 23 (CP) Madurai- The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court in Chennai, hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed on the proposed sale of two naval warships to Sri Lanka, has called for the records of the written correspondence between the central Indian government and the state government of Tamil Nadu over the issue.

** Related Story :: Indian government ordered to file counter affidavit on warship sale to Sri Lanka

July 23 (BBC) A man has been found guilty of murdering a pizza delivery worker who was making his last deliveries before moving to his "dream job". Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, 25, was found stabbed in his car in Southey Crescent, Sheffield, on 27 October.

July 23 (Island) The exact weight of the heroin retrieved from three plastic moulding machines imported from Pakistan was 93 kilos and 760 grammes with a street value of Rs. 656.32 million, Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said yesterday. Customs were retrieving heroin secreted in the three machines the previous night and they had only got one machines examined by the time yesterday’s edition went to press.

July 23 (DM) The Customs Revenue Task Force discovered 27,000 kilogrammes of fraudulently imported Turmeric from India in two containers, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. ”The consignment had been declared as rice, defrauding Rs. 5.6 million of tax revenue,” he said.

July 23 (DN) Three suspects involved in trafficking heroin and possessing three grams and 380 mgs of heroin valued at Rs. 100,000 were remanded by Panadura Additional District Judge and Chief Magistrate Ruchira Welliwatte.

July 23 (Janes) Rising Buddhist violence in Sri Lanka peaked in June when monks ostensibly instigated anti-Muslim riots in the tourist towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala in Western Province, in which three people were killed.

July 22 (CP) Chennai- The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa has written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again to express her disapproval to a proposal that suggested installing buoys on the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between India and Sri Lanka as a measure to address the fishermen issue.

July 22 (CP) Kankasanthurai- Sri Lanka Navy on Monday arrested 38 Indian fishermen along with their nine fishing trawlers on two separate occasions when they were engaged in poaching well within Sri Lankan waters.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's Western Provincial Council Prasanna Ranatunga is accused of attacking a voter. The victim, who is receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital for injuries allegedly suffered during the assault, has complained to the police that the Chief Minister and a group of his supporters assaulted him with a cricket bat on a dispute over a king coconut tree.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Sri Lankan university students to hold protest march in Colombo tomorrow (22 - CP)
* About 100 kg of heroin in 3 machines (22 - Island)
* Wasp attack at a pre-school: 35 injured (22 - DM)
* Absconding ruling party legislator in Sri Lanka surrenders to court (22 - CP)
* Ganja plants come to light during dengue inspection (22 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 23 (CP) Colombo- India has agreed to upgrade facilities at 70 child development centers (créches) in Sri Lanka's estate regions, where a majority of the Indian origin Tamil people live and work in tea plantations. Following the conclusion of the tendering process, India Tuesday signed the 'Contract Agreement' with a private company in Sri Lanka for the Project to be implemented at a cost of Rs. 58 million.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Standard Chartered joins hands with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to continue its efforts to raise funds and awareness for the Sri Lankan Visually Handicapped XI and its bid at this year's World Cup in South Africa in November.

July 22 (CP) Ha Noi- Vietnam and Sri Lanka have agreed to step up cooperation in fighting transnational crime, especially those involving e-commerce and credit. During a meeting between the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the visiting Sri Lankan Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Nanda Mallawarachchi in Ha Noi yesterday, Phuc has asked Sri Lanka to work closely with Viet Nam to fight crimes, especially those involving e-commerce and credit, as per their signed agreements.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Tanzania was extremely satisfied with the bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and looks forward to further strengthening those ties, Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Bernard K. Membe has said.


FINANCE

July 23 (CP) Singapore- Moody's Investors Service affirmed Sri Lanka's 'B1' sovereign bond rating with the stable outlook today, citing strong growth potential of the island nation, but said the weakness of government finances is a rating constraint.

July 23 (Telegraph) More of a country estate than a hotel, Ulagalla offers high quality Sri Lankan hospitality combined with an exemplary sustainable setup. A rural retreat deep in the cultivated jungle of central Sri Lanka.

July 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks slipped on Wednesday from their 34-month closing high hit the previous day as investors booked profits in diversified and banking shares, brokers said.

July 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is building up its foreign exchange reserves while keeping its rupee currency stable as the island nation seeing more dollar inflows, Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said on Wednesday.

‘July 23 (Island) The Rs 1 billion debenture issue of Dunamis Capital PLC opens for subscription on July 28 and will be kept open till August 15, 2014 unless oversubscribed before the closing date, the company has announced.

July 23 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to family members of those who had died of smoking-related ailments to sue the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) taking a cue from a US Court ruling that the tobacco company should pay US$23.6 billion (nearly Rs.3000 billion) to the victim’s wife.

July 23 (DN) The government has not taken a decision to sell shares of the People's Bank to the private sector, said Finance and Planning Deputy Minister and International Monetary Cooperation Minister Sarath Amunugama.

July 23 (LBO) Profits at Sri Lanka's HDFC Bank, a mortgage lender, surged over five fold to 82 million rupees in the June 2014 quarter from a year earlier as borrowing costs fell, interim accounts showed.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to abolish taxes imposed under the 1857/8 special gazette notification. The President ordered to remove the taxes imposed on employees of state and private banks, financial institutions, and other profit/loss institutions including insurance agencies under the Special Gazette 1857/8.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka stocks hit 34-month closing high; banks lead (22 - Reuters)
* SUBWAY sandwiches make strong, aromatic entry (22 - Island)
* BOC ranked above all Sri Lankan banks again (22 - DN)
* Ceylon Leather Products invests Rs306mn in Sri Lanka textile mill (22 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health will conduct a census on mental patients in the island to identify the extent of the mental disorders prevailing among the population. The Ministry has felt the need to conduct a survey as currently not enough data is available from general population other than the information from the patients who seek treatment for mental disorders at the hospitals.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Leader of National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of the Sri Lankan government, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has expressed his opposition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's recent decision to broaden the scope of the Missing Persons Commission and allow investigations into alleged human rights abuses by the security forces during the war.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled that the Hindu temples can perform animal sacrifice under controlled conditions. The apex court on Monday hearing an appeal filed by the trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil at Munneswaram in Chilaw ruled that the Hindu Temple can slaughter the animals under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

July 23 (Island) Had the Sri Lankan government fulfilled its commitments and addressed contentious issues it wouldn't have been in crisis today and, therefore, the ruling coalition should accept the responsibility for the current situation, TNA leader, R. Sampanthan told The Island yesterday.

July 23 (DM) India has sought details about the proposed US$40 million investment by China National Aero-Technology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC) to establish an aircraft maintenance base in Sri Lanka, External affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said in Parliament yesterday.

July 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday launched a Public Grievance Redress Mechanism prepared by the Ministry of Public Management Reforms. The mechanism named “Public Grievance Management” aims at resolving problems faced by citizens in obtaining public services.

July 23 (Himdu) There is a need for India and Sri Lanka to engage in a strategic dialogue, chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said after a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa here on Tuesday.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives John Rankin today said sport is a wonderful way of uniting young people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Leader of an extremist Buddhist movement in Sri Lanka Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero today hit back at Dalai Lama for making a statement against Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Project Minister of Ports and Highway Nirmala Kotelawala said that the government has decided to pay compensation and acquire the state and private land within 26 weeks to expedite the construction of the Colombo - Pelmadulla expressway via Ratnapura.

July 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) media spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said that the party had appointed the nomination board and the operational committee for the Uva Provincial Council election.

July 22 (Hindu) Tracing the history of maritime trade with Sri Lanka through traditional mode of shipment by vessels from Tuticorin, S. Lasington Fernando, secretary, Coastal Mechanised Sail Vessel Owners Association, said maritime relations between people of these countries were still evolving.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Drought gripped Yala to be closed for one month (22 - Island)
* India will stand by Sri Lanka's position at the UNHRC - Dr. Swamy (22 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

July 23 (ESPNCI) Stuart Poynter scored a fighting century to rejuvenate a sinking Ireland chase but his innings couldn't quite take his team over the finish line, as Sri Lanka A wrapped up a 28-run win in the first unofficial ODI in Belfast. Chasing 284, Ireland were 107 for 7 when Eddie Richardson, who had taken a five-wicket haul in the visitors' innings, retired hurt. Craig Young then added 81 with Poynter before he became medium-pacer Dushmantha Chameera's fourth victim.

More : SPORTS

July 23 (ITV) Four members of Sri Lanka's Commonwealth Games cycling team caused a police response after being spotted going for a ride down one of Scotland's busiest stretches of motorway. STV News reported that four Glasgow 2014 athletes were seen cycling down the M74 before police intervened and informed them they were breaking the law. Johnathan Brownlee, the 2012 Triathlon World Champion, snapped the cyclists before tweeting: "I suppose it's a nice wide road!"

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to extend the tenure of the interim national coach Marvan Atapattu till August, the SLC announced today. The Executive Committee at its meeting held yesterday (July 22nd) has decided to extend the appointment of Marvan Atapattu as the Head Coach of the National Team until the end of the Pakistan Tour of Sri Lanka. Atapattu was appointed as the interim head coach for Sri Lanka's tour in England after the newly hired national coach Paul Farbrace left the team to become the assistant coach for England before Sri Lanka began its tour to England.

July 23 (ESPNCI) Things that have been more lively than the SSC Test pitches in recent years: the planet Mars, the SLPL's twitter account and the third floor of London's Langham Hotel in the dead of night. The last three Tests there have been draws. But with Sri Lanka requiring a win there to level the series, perhaps the groundstaff have produced a surface more akin to what first-class teams regularly encounter at SSC.


WORLD

July 23 (BBC) A passenger plane has crashed after a failed emergency landing in Taiwan, killing more than 40 people, local officials say. The domestic flight crashed near Magong airport on the outlying Penghu island, reports said. There were a total of 54 passengers and four crew on board, Taiwan's CNA news agency reported.

More : WORLD

July 22 (BBC) At least 60 people died in a recent outbreak of viral encephalitis in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, a top health official has said. Doctors say patients come from seven affected districts in northern Bengal. The disease usually occurs during the monsoon season across northern India and West Bengal is normally not among the worst-affected states.

July 22 (BBC) Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a series of oil and mineral deals with Venezuela. They include a $4bn (£2.34bn) credit line in return for Venezuelan crude and other products. The agreements came on the latest stop of a four-country visit to Latin America.

July 22 (BBC) A suicide bomb outside Kabul airport has killed at least four people, three of them reportedly foreigners, officials say. The nationalities of the foreigners, described as "advisers", are not known so far. The Taliban said they carried out this attack, Reuters news agency reports.


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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