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[Last Updated = Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 07:55 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka political parties gear up to mark the May Day amid heavy security

Apr 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's political parties and affiliated trade unions are preparing to hold rallies to mark the May Day honoring the country's laborers and other workers tomorrow. It has been reported that 18 rallies and 17 parades will be held island wide to mark the International Workers' Day. A majority of the political parties will hold their rallies in Colombo while the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will hold its May Day rally at the Samanala Grounds in Galle.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Apr 30 (DN) A motorcycle travelling from Thirukkovil to Akkaraipattu ran off the road at Thambaddai in the Thirukkovil DS division killing the rider. The rider Ravindran Vijaya Prabakar, 24 of Panankadu, Akkaraipattu was rushed to the Akkaraipattu Base Hospital and transferred to the Batticaloa General Hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Apr 30 (Island) The Additional Magistrate of Colombo, Nishantha Pieris yesterday allowed the CID time till June 9, to submit to court advice obtained from the Attorney General pertaining to the investigations made in respect of an unlicensed baby elephant kept by the Venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera at his temple, Allan Mathiniyaramaya Temple, Narahenpita.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Hundreds of Sri Lankan journalists and media rights activists staged a protest today in capital Colombo to demand the new government start a fresh investigation into the abduction and killing of a popular Tamil journalist 11 years ago.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Former Minister of Civil Aviation and current State Minister of Law, Order and Prison Reforms Priyankara Jayaratne and former Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickremesinghe have appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, welcomed a French naval ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on Friday. The French Navy frigate 'Aconit' arrived at the Port of Colombo on 29th April 2016 on a goodwill visit, the Navy said.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today has issued an interim order preventing the group of parliamentarians called 'joint opposition' from holding their May Day rally at the state-owned Shalika Grounds in Narahenpita on Sunday.

Apr 29 (CP) Chennai- India's Coast Guard has arrested over 1200 Sri Lankan fishermen in the last five years on charges of illegally entering and fishing in Indian waters, according to a senior Coast Guard official. A total of 1,205 Sri Lankan fishermen and 241 fishing boats were arrested in the last five years, Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma has said

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* LTTE revival bid confirmed: TNA youth leader arrested (29 - Island)
* Question MR over Udayanga’s whereabouts - Nalin Bandara (29 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 30 (CP) Colombo- France and Sri Lanka are sharing common concerns in the Indian Ocean and therefore it is important for the navies of the two countries to increase cooperation and form a solid partnership, Captain Laurent Machard De Gramont the Commanding Officer of the French Naval Ship 'Aconit' said.

Apr 29 (CP) Washington, DC- Sri Lanka's Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema led a delegation to the 12th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting on Thursday April 28, in Washington DC.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today held discussions with medical experts from Cuba and El Salvador on launching a trilateral cooperation for eradication of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu).


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Apr 30 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka - Italy Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will launch the third batch of its successful Italian Language Course on 14th May 2016. The classes will be conducted during Saturday's over an eight week period.

Apr 30 (Hindu) Post-civil war, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has witnessed a rapid growth both in terms of tourist arrivals and earnings. In 2009, the year in which the 26-year-long civil war came to an end, the tourist arrivals accounted for 4,48,000.

Apr 30 (DN) Sri Lanka is looking to China to develop Hambantota as a mega Asia hub, Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said at the Maritime Co-operation and Management meeting last week.

Apr 30 (Island) Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC recorded a Group Profit after tax of Rs. 723Mn, for the 1st Quarter ended 31st March 2016. Rs. 476Mn revenue was recorded from Property Leasing at the World Trade Center (WTC)

Apr 30 (DM) Phone call charges will increase because of the removal of the exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) from the telecommunication services, Minister of Digital Technology Harin Fernando said yesterday.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Following the immensely successful launch of its Young Entrepreneurs Development programme last year, Colombo Leadership Academy (CLA) is hard at work grooming the latest generation of young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , increased to 3.1 percent in April 2016 from 2.0 percent in the previous month, the Department of Census and Statistics reported on Friday.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that it has reached a staff level agreement with Sri Lanka on a three-year US$ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lanka shares hit over 15-week closing high on IMF loan (29 - Reuters)
* Union Bank records strong growth in 1st quarter 2016 (29 - Island)
* Vehicle prices go up with VAT: Importers (29 - DM)
* Domestic savings decline in 2015 (29 - DN)
* Sri Lanka Secures $1.5 Billion IMF Loan to Help Bolster Finances (29 - Bloomberg)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 30 (CP) Colombo- The Norwegian government has taken actions to give more Investment opportunities to Sri Lanka in their fish market with the lifting of the ban imposed by the European Union on exports of Sri Lankan fish and fishery products, the Finance Ministry said.

Apr 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought explanations from the Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media on his recent statement to media on not to use the term "Joint Opposition" to identify the group of parliamentarians loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

** Related Story ::Media Minstry Secretary advises media against using 'joint opposition' to represent group of MPs

Apr 30 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said when Mahinda Rajapaksa was nominated as the Presidential candidate in 2005 many party leaders did not support him. “However, I did,” President Sirisena said in Galle.

Apr 30 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that a controversial missive issued by newly appointed Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Secretary Nimal Bopage advising the media not to use the term ‘Joint Opposition’ to denote the dissident group of the UPFA should be examined against the backdrop of the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) recognising the group loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Apr 30 (DM) Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had been given a contract to divide the SLFP and weaken President Maithripala Sirisena allegedly funded by a neighbouring country, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera charged yesterday.asked whether it was a South Asian country, Minister Jayasekera did not deny it.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Two special rapporteurs of the United Nations have arrived in Sri Lanka today on a joint visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Mönica Pinto and Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez will visit the island from 29 April to 7 May 2016.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Harsha de Silva blasted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for misleading people on the new VAT increase, saying that there is no new increase of the VAT has been introduced for the education sector.

Apr 29 (CP) Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed will lead a trade and investment mission to India and Sri Lanka next week in a continuous effort to promote Malaysia as a profit and regional center for businesses and investments, state news agency Bernama reported.

Apr 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan Government plans to take action against the estate sector employers who avoid passing the benefit of the Rs.2,500 salary increase, which was made compulsory earlier this year, to the workers, the Government Information Department said.

Apr 29 (CP) Washington,DC- Highly praising the "extraordinary progress" Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's administration has made in the sixteen months since his election in January 2015, a high ranking United States official said Sri Lanka's leadership is committed to seeking a durable peace, an accountable democracy, a new relationship with the outside world, and expanded opportunities for all.

Apr 29 (Hindu) Sri Lanka, which is in the midst of a crisis over the deterioration of the balance of payments (BOP) position, has got the much-needed reprieve with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreeing to provide $ 1.5 billion through a three-year-long Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Young SLFP MPs ready to face any punishment after attending Kirulapone rally (29 - Island)
* ‘Converting SL into PPP: Profits to go to health, education sectors too’ (29 - DM)
* None can divide SLFP – Sarath Ekanayake (29 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 29 (ESPNCI) The Pakistan Cricket Board has joined Sri Lanka Cricket in agreeing in principle to a proposal from the England & Wales Cricket Board to implement a points system for their tours of England later this summer. The PCB have given their blessing to the same suggestion that was put to SLC earlier this month, ahead of their own tour of England in May and June. The idea comes in the wake of the successful implementation of a similar system for the last three Women's Ashes contests.

More : SPORTS

Apr 29 (Cricket.com) Allan Donald will preach a 'go hard or go home' message to his troupe of quicks when he takes over as Australia’s fast bowling coach for the three-Test tour of Sri Lanka later this year. Donald, the former South African pace ace who says he would "love" to stay on with the Australia team at the completion of his interim stint in Sri Lanka, brings to the role a wealth of experience in sub-continental conditions as well as a reputation as one of the game’s most feared fast bowlers.

Apr 29 (ESPNCI) Mumbai Indians batting coach Robin Singh lauded Kieron Pollard's maturity in finishing games after his unbeaten 51 off 17 balls sealed a six-wicket victory against Kolkata Knight Riders. With 49 runs required off five overs, Pollard smashed three sixes in the space of four balls off R Sathish. Two overs later, he hit three more sixes within four deliveries, off Jaydev Unadkat, to take Mumbai to their fourth win of the season.

Apr 29 (ESPNCI) Cricket Australia has struck another obstacle in its plans to play back-to-back day-night Tests next summer, with Australia's players arguing that one is sufficient. The final Test of the summer's first series against South Africa will be a day-night fixture in Adelaide if CA can convince the players of both sides to agree, while the first Test of the second series will be a day-nighter against Pakistan at the Gabba. However, South Africa's cricketers have expressed their concerns about playing under lights with a pink ball,


WORLD

Apr 30 (Hindu) The United States wants Pakistan to have dialogue with its neighbours to resolve differences, a top State Department official has said underlining that the country’s ties in the region have seen “some ups and downs”. “We do believe, frankly, that Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and with the region — frankly, there’s been some ups and downs, but we believe it’s trending towards greater dialogue to resolve differences. We want to see that continue,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

More : WORLD

Apr 30 (Hindu) The situation is “very complex” and there is a threat “on the ground” in Bangladesh, the U.S. has said after a series of bloody attacks on secular writers and minorities in the Muslim-majority country were claimed by ISIS and al-Qaeda. “It is a very complex situation on the ground,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters when asked about the series of killings of activists in Bangladesh.

Apr 29 (BBC) The US will no longer subsidise the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a senior state department official has told the BBC. The decision means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) - two-and-a-half times the original cost - if it wishes to buy the aircraft. It comes after Congress refused to approve funding for the deal.

Apr 29 (BBC) A 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who set himself on fire at Australia's detention centre on the island of Nauru has died. Australia's immigration department confirmed the man died at Brisbane Hospital on Friday. His actions were a "political protest", according to the Nauruan government.


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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