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[Last Updated = Fri, Jul 1, 2016, 11:57 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President launches national program to develop 10,000 Green Smart Villages

July 01 (CP) Kegalle- The inauguration ceremony of the National Programme for the development of 10,000 "Green Smart Villages" commenced Friday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Sanasa Education Campus at Paragammana in Kegalle, the town devastated by the recent landslides. The program is launched to create 10,000 eco-friendly "Haritha Suhuru" (Green Smart villages throughout the island by the year 2021 under the concept "Neela Haritha Lassana Lanka" (Green Environmental Beautiful Sri Lanka) covering all nine provinces.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Navy Friday said it has arrested 24 local fishermen in two separate occasions on 30th June for allegedly engaged in illegal fishing practices. Naval personnel attached to SLNS Vidura located in Sampur in Eastern Naval Command, arrested 14 local fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing activities in the seas off Norway Island yesterday (30).

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Fort Magistrate Court has granted bail to the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary and United People's Freedom Alliance parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila. Sri Lanka Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) on June 18 arrested MP Gammanpila who has been alleged of defrauding an Australian Businessman for more than Rs. one billion using a fraudulent power of attorney.

July 01 (CP) Tuticorin- The Tamil Nadu Coastal Security Group has busted a racket in ferrying Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to New Zealand on the promise of jobs, following the arrest of two persons from refugee camps in Vellore and Kanniyakumari districts on Tuesday.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Crime Investigations Division (FCID) of Sri Lanka police told Court Thursday that the Attorney General had instructed them to make arrests in the investigations into the money laundering charges against two companies reportedly owned by Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa.

July 01 (Island) Attorney-at-law Chrishmal Warnasuriya yesterday emphasized that foreign judges couldnít be included in proposed war crimes court under any circumstances. The civil rights activist was addressing the media at the inauguration of the Peopleís Intellectual Assembly, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute

July 01 (DM) The Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) yesterday alleged that Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma had assaulted the principal of Meegastenna Primary School in Matugama, while he was forcibly enrolling 9 students to the school.

July 01 (DN) A vast number of photos of slaughtered wild animals have surfaced on the Internet, invoking horror and outrage among animal lovers. The man in most of the photos, posing with the animals he has slaughtered, has been identified as Saad Sharaff, an individual who seems to be a supporter of former Kandy Mayor Mahendra Ratwatte.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- A Deputy Minister in Sri Lanka has been hospitalized in serious condition suffering a heart attack after a suicide attempt. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Palitha Thewarapperuma has been admitted to a private hospital in Colombo after suffering a heart attack.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- At the request of the Sri Lanka Customs, Sri Lanka Navy in coordination with Sri Lanka Coast Guard have intercepted and boarded a bulk carrier in the seas 7.5 nautical miles off Galle in the early hours of 29th June.

June 30 (CP) Chennai- India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday has assured the delegation of fishermen associations from Tamil Nadu that the Indian government would try to find a solution to their problems, including harassment at the hands of Sri Lankan Navy.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* MP Abeygunawardena goes on trial for being unable to explain his wealth (30 - Island)
* Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission kicks off Anti-Torture Campaign with a public march today (30 - CP)
* Navy officerís demotion suspended (30 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will appoint a new Governor for the Central Bank after receiving the recommendations from Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake when he returns to the island from an overseas trip, a government statement said on Friday.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Japan has granted Yen 1.83 billion (approximately Rs. 2.4 billion) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the implementation of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement project.

June 30 (CP) Geneva- While acknowledging Sri Lanka's progress that has taken place in implementing the resolution since its adoption in October last year, Norway called on the government of Sri Lanka to adhere to the resolution and include international judges and lawyers in the recommended judicial mechanism to investigate the allegations of war crimes.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS) rang the opening bell to commence trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) today. The market opening ceremony was organized to mark the first trading day for the month of July.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened 20.2 percent to US$ 620.7 million in March 2016 from US$ 516.2 million a year earlier, according to the Central Bank data released in its External Sector Performance Review Friday.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , increased to 6.0 percent in June 2016 from 4.8 percent in May, the Department of Census and Statistics reported on Thursday.

July 01 (NAR) TOKYO- Exports of used Japanese automobiles to Sri Lanka could fall by roughly half in unit terms because of import duty hikes implemented since October, the head of the auto importers' association there tells The Nikkei.

July 01 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for the first time in 10 sessions on Friday as investors bought beaten-down equities. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.06 percent firmer at 6,287.09, after shedding 2.83 percent in the nine sessions through Thursday.

July 01 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan rupee one-week forwards ended slightly weaker on Friday as importer dollar demand surpassed late inward remittances ahead of Ramadan while nervous investors awaited the appointment of a new central bank governor, dealers said.

Political disagreement delays appointment -govt sources

July 01 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka will have no central bank chief for a few days, the government said on Friday, an unprecedented leadership vacuum that fuels concern about daily operations after the previous governor declined to seek reappointment.

July 01 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- An increase in tourists mainly from China and India will help strengthen Sri Lanka's frail economy as tourism is poised to become the largest foreign exchange earner, an official said on Friday.

July 01 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's central bank finds itself in uncharted territory as the government failed to name a successor to Governor Arjuna Mahendran, whose term ended Thursday.

July 01 (Daily FT) Departing Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran on Wednesday played-down global volatility, asserting that Sri Lanka still had a few silver linings and called for greater private sector role in financing infrastructure development.

July 01 (Island) SANASA Development Bank PLC (SDB Bank) is currently undergoing a Transformation Process to become a fully pledged development Bank from the current status of a Microfinance and MSME Bank, SDB Bank has partnered with IFC (private sector arm of the World Bank)

July 01 (DM) Premier fabric manufacturer Textured Jersey Lanka (TJ), the head office of which is located in the industrial zone of Seethawaka, provided one of their neighbouring schools, Presidentís College, Avissawella with a state-of-the-art lab and technology centre.

July 01 (DN) This week's Colombo Tea Auction saw 6.55 Mnkg of tea were on offer and 2.84 Mnkg were Low Grown Main Grades and 2.32 Mnkg were High and Mid Grown Main Grades.

July 01 (IBR) Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year. AAGI provides general insurance products to its customers in Sri Lanka.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- By the end of April 2016, the total outstanding external debt of the Sri Lankan government stood at US$ 23.1 billion, the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2016 released Thursday by the Ministry of Finance said.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Blue Mountain joins hands with Palmer & Turner Group Singapore to launch the first ever 7-star luxury apartment complex in Sri Lanka (30 - CP)
* Sri Lanka shares fall for 9th session; capital gains tax weighs (30 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan rupee 1-wk forwards rise on bank dollar sales; stocks up (30 - Reuters)
* LAUGFS Rubber showcases customized tire solutions at CeMAT, Germany (30 - CP)
* GSK boosts employees' team spirit through sport (30 - Island)
* NSB retains AAA Rating for 14th year (30 - DN)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Auditor General Gamini Wijesingha said he has not been intimidated by the government or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and there was no truth in allegations that the Prime Minister was intimidating him on the report Treasury bond issue.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The government will take measures to hold the Local Government (LG) elections in April 2017, the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha said.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- During the first day of the three-day island wide dengue eradication program, which commenced Thursday (June 30), 139 persons have been cited for maintaining mosquito breeding grounds.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry rejected issuing a statement regarding the appointment of the next Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will participate in the third South Asian Diaspora Convention (SADC) in Singapore later this month. The SADC 2016 organized by the Institute of South Asian Studies will be held at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore from 18 -19 July.

July 01 (Hindu) Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran has said that a large number of Tamils, displaced from Sri Lanka during the civil war and now living in India as refugees, are prepared to come back but the uncertainty about assistance is preventing the people from returning.

July 01 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka's uneasy cohabitation between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe faced its toughest test Friday over the replacement of controversial central bank chief Arjuna Mahendran.

July 01 (Statesman) Twenty fifteen was a miraculous year for Sri Lanka. It saw a change in government in January 2015. Maithiripala Sirisena was elected President defeating firmly entrenched Mahinda Rajapaksa in spite of the latter getting a majority vote in 16 predominantly Sinhalese districts.

July 01 (AFP) COLOMBO Ė Expensive and high-maintenance, baby elephants have become the ultimate status symbol for Sri Lanka's wealthy elite - a trend that has horrified conservationists and prompted a government crackdown.

July 01 (Island) Alleging that the UNP-SLFP coalition had gone off the yahapalana track, Presidentís Counsel Srinath Perera yesterday warned of dire consequences unless remedial measures were taken immediately. UNP Western Provincial Councillor Perera said that the country was rapidly heading for an extremely dangerous situation with those who had earned the peopleís mandate at presidential and parliamentary polls in January and August, 2015, respectively, brazenly violating good governance promises.

July 01 (DM) Members of the LPBOA would not engage in the bus strike announced by the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association, LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said today. The ACPBOA earlier announced that it would launch an islandwide bus strike commencing July 3 midnight

July 01 (DN) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will complain to International Medical Councils regarding unacceptable political influences on Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) in connection with the SAITM issue, GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin De Soysa said.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has exported 78 tonnes of fish to the European Union during the past 7 days following the annulment of the ban on fisheries exports to the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development said in a statement.

June 30 (CP) Washington, DC- Although the Government of Sri Lanka demonstrated increased efforts to prevent human trafficking in 2015, the Government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, a United States report on human trafficking said.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran cannot be removed when the allegations against his are not proven yet.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former Army Commander and leader of the Democratic Party Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka joined the ruling United National Party (UNP) on Thursday. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka obtained the party membership from UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha today.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Thursday joined the public march organized by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) launching its Anti-Torture Campaign to eradicate torture, especially under police custody.

June 30 (CP) Washington, DC- The World Bank has approved a US$125 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to assist Sri Lanka in modernizing its agriculture sector to become more efficient and attractive as a modern business, more responsive to consumer demand, and more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- A new degree granting nursing faculty will be established in Sri Lanka fulfilling a pledge given by Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne during the last general election. Minister Senaratne said the facility will be built at a cost of Rs. 12.5 billion and the support of South Korea will be solicited for the required training and education.

June 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, strongly condemning Tuesday's terrorist attack in Turkey, has expressed his condolences to the people of Turkey. In his condolence message sent to President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, President Sirisena vehemently condemned the terrorist attack at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul that killed 42 innocent civilians and injured 239 others.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Term of 23 LG bodies end today, will not be extended - Minister (30 - CP)
* FNO calls for explanation from govt Sumanthiranís bombshell: (30 - Island)
* Health Ministry mulling import of anti-dengue vaccine (30 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

July 01 (ESPNCI) At the midway mark at The Oval on Wednesday evening, it appeared Sri Lanka had done enough to at least stretch England by putting more than 300 on the board in a match reduced to 42 overs per side. Yet it became another canter as Jason Roy plundered 162 to add another notch to the team's storied 12 months in white-ball cricket. It means that the series is decided heading into Cardiff, creating one of those 'dead' bilateral matches that is vexing those in charge of the international cricket as they attempt to remodel the calendar to bring greater context to the game.

More : SPORTS

July 01 (AFP) Dhaka- Test cricket's newest nations are in despair at plans to split the format into two divisions, fearing it could undo decades of hard-fought progress on the field and kill interest in the game. Cricket's governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) is meeting in Edinburgh this week to debate proposals for the seven top-ranked teams to establish a de facto premier league in a bid to boost waning interest in Tests.

July 01 (ESPNCI) Paul Farbrace, England's assistant coach, believes there are now more than 20 players who could be selected at any time in the one-day side and still give England a winning combination. England secured the one-day series against Sri Lanka with a barnstorming chase at The Oval on Wednesday led by Jason Roy's 162 off 118. They have used 12 players in the four matches - Chris Jordan replacing Moeen Ali in Bristol being the only change - with Steven Finn and James Vince remaining on the sidelines.

June 30 (SS) Sussex have signed Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara on a short-term deal for the NatWest T20 Blast. Kulasekara will be available for three matches, against Kent, Middlesex and Glamorgan. He will then be replaced by Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman for the last four group games. Kulasekara has played 50 T20 internationals and 173 one-day internationals. He has taken 242 wickets across the two formats.


WORLD

July 01 (BBC) Gunmen have stormed a popular cafe in the diplomatic area of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, taking hostages, officials say. Several foreigners are among those being held by eight or nine men in the city's Gulshan district, they add. A gun battle between the attackers and police wounded three people, including two officers.

More : WORLD

July 01 (BBC) The European Union's top trade official says the UK cannot begin negotiating terms for doing business with the bloc until after it has left. "First you exit then you negotiate," Cecilia Malmstrom told BBC Newsnight. After Brexit, the UK would become a "third country" in EU terms, she said - meaning trade would be carried out based on World Trade Organisation rules until a new deal was complete. A recent trade deal with Canada took seven years to negotiate.

July 01 (Reuters) Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 42 people and injured a further 239 in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul airport this week were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish government official said on Thursday. The official gave no further details beyond confirming the attackers' nationalities and declined to be named because details of the investigation have not yet been released.

July 01 (Hindu) A new generation Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM), developed by India and Israel, was successfully test-fired twice on Thursday from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha Coast, significantly boosting Indiaís efforts to fill gaps in its air defence capabilities. Developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the Indian Air Force, the missile successfully shot down pilotless target aircraft twice on Thursday, the Ministry of Defence said.


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 Lankaís 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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