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[Last Updated = Sat, May 30, 2015, 12:39 am SL Time]
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Government to strengthen Sri Lanka's construction industry to provide quality service

May 29 (CP) Colombo- Observing that the construction industry is a significant component in the country's national growth, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today promised to sort out the problems and strengthen the construction sector in order to provide the people a quality service. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Housing and Building Exhibition at the BMICH today (29), the President said previous regimes have failed to provide the people with quality services in the construction field, despite growth and development in the industry.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Sri Lanka police has begun a comprehensive investigation into a financial fraud occurred at a commercial bank, according to the Police Media Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekara.

May 29 (CP) Nagapattinam- The Indian Coast Guard has arrested 5 Sri Lankan fishermen along with their boats on Thursday night for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and poaching in the Indian waters.

May 29 (ABC) A man who fatally stabbed a fellow Sri Lankan refugee has been found guilty of murder by an Adelaide jury, which earlier heard the crime was committed after the victim called his killer a "lady boy".

May 29 (Island) The Police yesterday evening used tear gas and water cannon to disperse angry villagers of Kotakethana, who obstructed roads over the High Court decision earlier in the day to acquit the three accused in the 2012 double murder there.

May 29 (DM) Several provincial politicians who pledged their support to the candidacy of President Maithripala Sirisena have been provided with security from Ministerial Security Division (MSD), the Daily Mirror learns.

May 29 (DN) Colombo High Court Judge Devika De Livera Tennakoon yesterday acquitted the three accused charged with the murder of Liyanagahewage Premawathie (63) and her daughter Hewagamage Pushpika Kumarai (23) on June 17, 2012, at Kotakethana in Kahawatte.

May 29 (TOI) AHMEDABAD- The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of customs department on Thursday morning held a man from Sri Lanka for smuggling 1kg of gold worth Rs 27.4 lakh at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

May 29 (Hindu) Notwithstanding the four-month-old Sirisena government's repeated assertions of attaching priority to ethnic reconciliation in the country, the regime has been found to be "reluctant" in demilitiarising the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where Tamils live in large numbers, according to a study of Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based policy think tank.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan engineer, who was kidnapped by a terrorist group in Nigeria on May 18 and held for more than a week, has been released unharmed. Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera told media that the 68-year-old engineer D.A. Karunadasa was freed last night ending the trauma in a satisfactory manner.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today granted bail to the former Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister of Sri Lanka Johnston Fernando. The Kurunegala Magistrate court on Thursday released the former minister, who was in remand custody, on a cash bail of Rs. Rs. 25,000 and three sureties of Rs. 2.5 million each.

May 28, Colombo: Over 700 Sri Lanka security forces personnel have been deployed to provide emergency medical services at the country's hospitals hit by the trade union action of the minor staff of the health sector.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy's Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Sayura has attended the Asia Pacific's premier international maritime defence show IMDEX Asia 2015 in Singapore.(Sri Lanka Navy Photo)

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* What happened to Vithiya can happen to anyone, Women’s rights activists say: (28 - Island)
* Kotakethana killing: Three accused acquitted (28 - DM)
* Avant Garde Director allowed to travel abroad (28 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to cut the debt and plans to increase the foreign reserves, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The government has been able to bring the country's economy into the right path

May 29 (CP) Colombo- One Cabinet Minister, three State Ministers and one Deputy Minister were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (29). Former Minister of Investment Promotion, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena was sworn in as the Cabinet Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

May 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Thursday signed a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to obtain US$ 107 million of a US$ 800 million assistance package to rehabilitate and improve the island's road network.

** Related Story ::

May 28 (CP) Colombo- As bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan crossed US$350 million in 2014, the two countries are aiming to boost the annual trade to US$ 1 billion.


FINANCE

May 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ceylon Hotels Corporation (CHC) has rejected a media report which said that the company failed to remit Employee's Provident Fund (EPF) to its employees since 31 December 2013.

May 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI), increased marginally to 0.2 percent on a year-on-year basis in May 2015 from 0.1 percent recorded for the previous month, the Central Bank reported on Friday.

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Sri Lankan government has launched a US$ 650 million 10-year International Sovereign Bond issue at a yield of 6.125 percent per year, the Central Bank said Thursday in a release.

May 29 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- India's flag carrier Air India will start daily flights from capital New Delhi to Sri Lankan capital Colombo from June 15, a local media report said on Friday.

May 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended near a three-week low on Friday led by large-caps and foreign selling in blue-chips while investors cautiously bought the island nation's risky assets due to political uncertainty ahead of a parliament poll.

May 29 (Island) Profit Before Tax (PBT) of the National Savings Bank recorded a 32% increase in 1st Quarter in 2015, as compared to the same period last year. This is despite a Rs. 1.1 billion one off gain reported during 1st Quarter last year. Therefore, on an organic business as usual basis, the growth is most impressive at 137%.

May 29 (DN) Cable Solutions which has its main production facility at the Flinth Industrial Park, is a BOI enterprise with a state-of-the-art industrial environment set up by Swedcord Development, Sweden.

May 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host the second International conference on marine mammals in the Indian ocean to help promote and encourage conservation of the species around the island, an official said.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- A unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment arose recently when a delegation from Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, Board of Investment (BOI), Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion headed by Eran Wickramaratne, addressed 150 members of the Indo German Chamber of Commerce.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka's Stock Exchange sees significant price appreciation of stocks this year (28 - CP)
* Fitch rates Sri Lanka's USD bond 'BB-(EXP)' ratings (28 - CP)
* Sri Lanka Development Bonds issue oversubscribed to US$ 338 million (28 - CP)
* Lux launches limited edition fragrance soap collection in Sri Lanka (28 - LBO)
* Sri Lanka's Bank of Ceylon starts year with Rs.4.4 billion PBT in 1Q 2015 (28 - CP)
* Banks keep turnover buoyant, but indices down & foreign selling seen (28 - Island)
* MTD Walkers 4Q net down; full-year profits surge over 80% (28 - DM)
* Dialog partners with Odel (28 - DN)
* Sri Lanka marketing 10-yr dollar bond to yield 6.375% (28 - Reuters)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to ensure that voters with disabilities can access the polling places to cast their vote at elections, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said.

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Japan has agreed to provide a Rs. 49 billion loan under the Japan International Cooperation Institution (JICA) to Sri Lanka to develop the infrastructure facilities of the country's main international airport at Katunayake.

May 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government plans to establish an investigation unit in the field of highways to probe whether there was any corruption that would cause losses to the government.

** Related Story ::Fraud and corruption in highway projects will be revealed, says Sri Lankan minister

May 29 (Island) With former President Mahinda Rajapaksa demanding that he be nominated as the SLFP’s Prime Ministerial candidate at the next General Election, the government said yesterday that if his wish was granted, he would lose the privileges that the Executive Presidency had conferred on him.

May 29 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told the representatives of the UPFA that he could not agree to offer nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the next election under under its betel symbol as the prime ministerial candidate, informed sources said yesterday.

May 29 (DN) Breaking his silence over the controversy surrounding the Treasury bond issue, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he was ready to go before the Police FCID, or any other law enforcement body, to defend his case.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Thursday has undertaken an inspection tour of the J.R. Jayawardene Centre in Colombo. This is the first time in 20 years that a President has visited the Centre. The J.R. Jayawardene Centre is an institution which comes under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's opposition plans to present a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe on June 9, former ruling party, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government on Thursday said that it had appointed a special committee of high rank officials to study the possibility of continuing the China-funded Colombo Port City Development Project.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan government clears Chinese-funded Colombo Port City Project of corruption

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The Cabinet of Ministers of the Sri Lankan government which met Wednesday (27) to discuss the 20th amendment to the Constitution could not reach a final decision and decided to discuss the final draft of the legislation at its next meeting.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The striking health sector employees of the All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) have ended their two-day strike and returned to work as of 6:30 a.m. Thursday, local media reported.

May 28 (CP) Singapore- The Government of Singapore has appointed a new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced on Thursday (May 28). Mr S Chandra Das has been appointed Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- India is committed to working together with the Government of Sri Lanka to find a mutually acceptable solution to the vexing fishermen's issue and in that context, Sri Lankan minister's remark on the issue is 'not helpful', the Indian government said Wednesday.

May 28 (NIE) COLOMBO- The Indo-Sri Lankan conflict over fishing in the Palk Bay and Palk Strait will be settled through talks between the fishermen of the two countries because it is a "humanitarian and livelihood issue", a ranking Lankan official said here on Wednesday.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* EC seeks pvt. media help to ensure fair play (28 - Island)
* No need to change President or Prime Minister- Champika (28 - DM)
* 20A Deadlocked? (28 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

May 29 (ESPNCI) Several club cricket administrators have voiced opposition to the changes to domestic structure proposed by Sri Lanka Cricket. The Sidath Wettimuny-led interim committee has sought to revive provincial tournaments that would serve as Sri Lanka's top domestic competition, but some within the cricket establishment have said provincial tournaments are a drain on resources. "To my mind, Sri Lanka is way too small to have a provincial set-up," Tamil Union cricket chairman Suresh Murugaser said.

More : SPORTS

May 29 (PO) Mumbai—Two officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board will travel to Pakistan and watch their final ODI against Zimbabwe on Sunday. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited officials from the ICC and several cricket boards including Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh to oversee the security arrangements they have made for the visiting Zimbabwe team.

May 29 (Oneindia) Lahore- Zimbabwe will take on Pakistan in the second match of their three-match one-day international series at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Friday. Zimbabwe made history after becoming the first side to tour the troubled Asian country after a gap of six years but they are yet to produce anything magical on the ground so far to make the trip more memorable.

May 28 (The Nation) KARACHI- Managing to impress the visiting Zimbabwe cricket team with its security arrangements, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is now targeting a tour by the Sri Lankan outfit sometime in April next year. A well-informed source in the PCB told PTI that the PCB had managed to convince the head of the Sri Lankan cricket interim committee, Siddhart Wettimuny to visit Lahore for the last one-day international against Zimbabwe this Sunday.


WORLD

May 29 (BBC) A volcano has erupted on an island in Japan, spewing black clouds of ash up to 9km (5.6 miles) into the sky and forcing the evacuation of inhabitants. One person was reported to have suffered minor facial burns from falling debris as Mount Shindake erupted on Friday morning. Most of the 137 residents of Kuchinoerabu island were evacuated by boat.

More : WORLD

May 29 (BBC) Everest Sherpas say they have seen potentially dangerous changes in their landscape after Nepal's 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks. They say they are living in fear of flooding and tumbling rock and ice because they have witnessed cracks in the ground and in glaciers.

May 29 (BBC) India's economy grew 7.5% in the three months ending in March, higher than the previous quarter and above expectations. It means the country has outpaced China's economic expansion for two quarters out of the last three. Forecasts were for growth of about 7.3% for the period compared with a year earlier.

May 29 (BBC) Asian countries have agreed to work together to try to stem the region's migrant crisis, as Myanmar brought to shore another boat full of migrants. Countries agreed to intensify search-and-rescue operations as well as address root causes of migration at a regional conference in Bangkok.


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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