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Last Updated = Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 01:17 pm SL Time

* Considerable increase in number of tourists visiting botanical gardens in Sri Lanka

Aug 01 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government says a considerable increase in the number of foreign and local tourists visiting the botanical gardens in Sri Lanka has been observed last year and as well as this year.
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* GMOA Rift Widens: NHSL docs set to establish branch union

Aug 01 (Island) Director of National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) Dr. Anil Jasinghe yesterday said that a group of over 30 consultants had met at the auditorium of the Neuro-Trauma Unit (NTU) consequent to the disruption of their meeting at the canteen of the doctors’ quarters earlier in the day.
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* Sri Lankan President discusses ICAPP arrangements

July 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this evening at Temple Trees, met with officials to discuss arrangements for the next meeting of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). Sri Lanka will be hosting the next International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) from September 18- 21, 2014, under the theme "Building an Asian Community."
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* Coalition parties of Sri Lankan government raise concerns over ruling alliance's path

July 31 (CP) Colombo- A coalition party of the Sri Lankan government, Jathika Hela Urumaya said today that the party is worried about the path the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has taken.
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* Sri Lanka Election Commissioner bans Muslim women wearing burqa or niqab when voting

July 31 (CP) Colombo- The Election Commissioner of Sri Lanka has informed the secretaries of the political parties that the according to the country's law Muslim women may not be allowed wear burqa or niqab when visiting polling stations to cast their vote.
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* U.S. actions seriously hampering reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka, government charges

July 31 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government today charged that the actions of the United States targeting a specific community in the island can seriously hamper the fragile reconciliation process. "Given the sensitivities involved when the country is going through a sensitive process of national reconciliation, restrictively targeting a specific group of people from a particular community or region can lead to a perpetuation of mistrust among communities, seriously hampering reconciliation efforts," the External Affairs Ministry said. The External Affairs Ministry was responding to a statement issued by the United States Embassy in Colombo on July 28 expressing concerns on media freedom in Sri Lanka.
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* Committee appointed to draft amendments to Constitution to abolish executive Presidency in Sri Lanka

July 31 (CP) Colombo- A Committee has been appointed in Sri Lanka to draft an amendment to the Constitution to limit the powers of the executive president and reinstate the 17th Amendment with further amendments, and to completely eliminate the preferential vote system. The Committee will be headed by the former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva,
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* Switzerland extends continuous support to Sri Lanka

July 31 (OW) New Delhi- Switzerland Ambassador in Sri Lanka Thomas Litscher said that Switzerland is willing to continuously extend its utmost support to Sri Lanka. He also pointed out the need to strengthen trade ties between the two countries.
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* Some hospital workers stage strike

July 31 (Island) Hospital employees belonging to over 20 categories under the Health Ministry staged a sick note campaign yesterday making several demands including the rectification of their salary anomalies. The Director of the National Hospital, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that as a result only a few minor employees had reported for duty.
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* Government embroiled in corruption and drug deals would not survive for long - Ranil

Jul 31 (NU), Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe met with the National Professionals' Association today in Colombo. Addressing the professionals, the Opposition Leader said that a government that is engaged in corruption and drug deals would not survive for long.
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* Jaffna aquifer in Sri Lanka depleting from overuse

Aug 01 (OW) The single limestone aquifer, which is the main source of freshwater in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, is gradually depleting through overuse, researchers say. "The area suffers from severe groundwater imbalance which might reach crisis proportions in the future," Shanti de Silva, one of two scientists who carried out the research for the agricultural department of the University of Jaffna, said.
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* Separate desk to issue IDs for Uva voters

Aug 01 (DN) separate desk has been opened at the Department of Registration of Persons to provide National Identity Cards for those who don't have NICs and have to vote at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council Election.
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* Chairman of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation proposes moves to streamline the national radio

July 31 (CP) Colombo- The Chairman of the Sri Lanka's state owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Hudson Samarasinghe has proposed several measures to streamline the national radio, the oldest radio station in South Asia, its trade union sources say.
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* Korean language proficiency test for Sri Lankan applicants in October

July 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion announced that the Korean language proficiency test for the Sri Lankans applying for jobs in Korea will be held on October 11 and 12.
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* Sri Lanka President names a road in honor of the artist slain by the Marxists party

July 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today officially named the road between the national television station Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the national radio Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation as Premakeerthi de Alwis Mawatha in honor of the artist.
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* Sri Lanka, Singapore bilateral discussions focus on expanding economic and defense relations

July 31 (CP) Colombo- Bilateral discussions that took place between Sri Lankan and Singapore recently focused on expanding economic relations and cooperation in defense and security spheres. Expansion of economic relations in the atmosphere of peace and stability prevailing in the country was the central focus.
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* Sri Lanka launches drought relief measures for farming families

July 31 COLOMBO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) Sri Lanka's government will roll out a relief programme to help vulnerable farmers cope with the effects of a worsening drought, as part of a wider effort to protect people from the frequent extreme weather events that are threatening the country’s steady economic gains.
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* Per Capita income to top US$ 4000 in 2015 - President

July 31 (DN) The government has now drawn up plans to take the country’s economic development into the next level by 2020 and has already laid the foundation for it by investing heavily on infrastructure projects in the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
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* Buddha Sasana under threat: Ranil

July 31 (DM) Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today proposed the setting up of a parliamentary monitoring committee to look into the threats faced by the Buddha Sasana.
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