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Latest News from Sri Lanka: LankaPage wishes its readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays... [Last Updated = Fri, Jul 30, 2021, 12:43 pm SL Time]
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Prime Minister opens new Urology and Nephrology Institute at the National Hospital

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday (29) declared open the new building of the Institute of Urology and Nephrology at the National Hospital in Colombo. With the noble objective of bringing the benefits of the free health service closer to the entire people, EAM Maliban Textile (Pvt) Ltd. has constructed the three-storey building.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

July 30 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today (30) ordered the release of former Petroleum Industries Deputy Minister and former Chairman of Development Lotteries Board (DLB) Sarana Gunawardena in eight cases filed by the Bribery Commission.
 

July 30 (CP) Colombo- The body of the 16 year-old girl who died of burn injuries while working as a house maid at MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence has been exhumed.
 

July 30 (CP) Colombo- Kalutara District Crime Investigation Unit arrested a suspect in the Renukana area in Bandaragama early this morning (30) with a stock of heroin worth over Rs. 400 million, said Police Media Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana.
 

July 30 (Island) There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies
 

July 30 (DN) The Thalangama Police launched investigation after a 36-year-old man has died while being treated at a Spa at Thalawathugoda in Thalangama yesterday. Police said the deceased was a resident of Homagama.
 

July 30 (DN) 113 persons were arrested yesterday for not wearing face masks and failing to maintain social distancing, said the Police Media Spokesperson Ajith Rohana.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrema today (29) ordered the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to ban all harmful websites in Sri Lanka. The Magistrate also directed the Commission to submit a report to the court containing all information pertaining to malicious websites accessing the internet, registration of such website names, payments and provision of services.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 2,370 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Thursday. Among the cases confirmed today, 2,329 are from the New Year cluster and 41 are foreign arrivals currently in quarantine.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Thursday reported that 66 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. The Director General of Health Services has confirmed that 66 deaths occurred on Wednesday, July 28 due to the COVID-19.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Supreme Court today concluded oral submissions on petitions seeking a ruling that the Finance Amendment Bill submitted by the Minister of Finance to Parliament is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has announced that it will soon refer its decision to the President and the Speaker of Parliament.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Attorney General informed the Supreme Court yesterday (28) that several amendments would be made to the Finance Amendment Bill submitted by the Minister of Finance for Parliamentary approval.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and 10 other organizations including Amnesty International have urged the Government of Sri Lanka to release lawyer and civic rights activist Hejaaz Hizbullah and others held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
 

July 28 (TOO) Muscat- Tyron Thomas, a 31-year-old Sri Lankan national employed on Masirah Island, was so scared of what would happen to him, his wife, and young daughter if he was infected with COVID-19 that he made a 200 km trip to Jalan Bani Bu Ali to get vaccinated.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- A special police team from Colombo recorded statements from the family members of the broker, who brought 16-year-old Ishalini Jude Kumar to work at the MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence and from several other women who served in the MP’s house, at the Dayagama Estate yesterday (27).
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Over 17,000 child pornography videos uploaded to internet in Sri Lanka (29 - DN)
* Special team of experts to conduct second post mortem on under-aged maid at MP Bathiudeen’s house (29 - CP)
* Coronavirus update: 1,940 new COVID-19 cases identified Wednesday, total exceeds 300,000 (28 - CP)
* Sri Lanka confirms 63 Covid-19 deaths occurred on Tuesday, toll rises to 4,258 (28 - CP)
* Two years in prison, Rs. 15,000 fine for trafficking heroin (28 - DN)
* Army helps police catch two suspects transporting gold plated antique statues (28 - Island)
* Lankan in UK demands ransom from woman threatening to release her private pics (28 - DM)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 30 (CP) Colombo- As an initiative to uplift the reviving tourism industry in the country, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) has introduced the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform to all registered guides to enhance their knowledge and skills.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya and first resident High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka Michael Appleton discussed means of strengthening economic ties between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- A disciplinary committee has found three Sri Lankan players guilty on Thursday for leaving their hotel and breaching the bio-secure bubble during their tour in England last month and recommended lengthy suspensions from all forms of cricket.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) Program was introduced to Sri Lanka in 2010 by the Government of Japan in order to provide opportunities to the executive level public sector officials to undergo Master Degree programs in prominent universities in Japan.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Afghanistan Ambassador to Sri Lanka M. Ashraf Haidari called on Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa on July 27, 2021, the Afghan Embassy in Colombo said. The Minister was accompanied by his senior staff and Additional Secretary Ambassador Pakeer Amza of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

July 30 (CP) Colombo- Pelwatte Dairy, one of the leading dairy brands in Sri Lanka that locally produces a range of dairy products and saves foreign exchange for the country, has made a significant financial turnaround in 2020/’21 recording a huge Profits Before Tax (PBT) that YoY surged by 148%.
 

July 30 (DN) Following the successful full payment of the maturing International Sovereign Bond, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is expecting to rebuild reserves to a comfortable position by the end of August.
 

July 30 (Island) The brand-new component manufacturers have surpassed the granting of 5,000 new employment appointments in the Western Province over the past few months.
 

July 30 (DM) Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC continued to see robust sales for its luxury apartments at its Havelock City project, reflecting the country’s real estate sector has recovered strongly irrespective of virus-related restrictions and other challenges, which marred most of the June (2Q21) quarter.
 

July 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Thursday, boosted by gains in industrials and consumer staples stocks. The CSE All-Share index settled up 0.54% at 8,140.76.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in association with the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) under the guidance of the Ministry of Trade organized a stakeholder forum on organic agricultural exports, which was chaired by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena, on 27th July at NSBM Green University.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- National Development Bank PLC, Sri Lanka’s fourth largest listed bank continued to demonstrate its resilience to external shocks and ability to deliver consistent results, as reflected in financial statements released to the Colombo Stock Exchange for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC showed resilient performance in first quarter as the Group revenue at Rs.38.80 billion for the period under review is an increase of 80 percent over the Rs.21.51 billion recorded in the previous financial year.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) successfully concluded yet another virtual forum organized as part of an awareness drive for island-wide Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan shares end flat as financials offset gains in industrial stocks (28 - Reuters)
* Airtel Lanka invests heavily to upgrade to 4G (28 - DN)
* Altair on track (28 - Island)
* Lanka IOC 1Q earnings reflect travel and other restrictions (28 - DM)
* Colombo-bound container vessel impounded at Chattogram port (28 - TDS)
* ComBank once again ranked the Strongest Bank Brand in Sri Lanka (28 - CP)
* Dialog introduces Apple AirTag, the easiest way to locate important items (28 - CP)

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 30 (CP) Colombo- The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has granted permission for all passenger Airlines arriving in Sri Lanka to carry fully vaccinated passengers without any limitation of passenger numbers per flight.
 

July 30 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association’s (GMOA) Executive Committee had unanimously decided that the Kotelawala National Defence University bill would have a disastrous impact on education and social stability, GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said yesterday.
 

July 30 (DN) The highest number of vaccines given in a single day in relation to the COVID-19 immunization programme in the country was recorded yesterday with 515,830 persons getting vaccinated, said the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana.
 

July 30 (DM) SJB MP- Rajitha Senaratne said he will cross over to another party if he feels necessary. Dr Senaratne told a press conference that what mattered to a politician were the policies rather than the political party to which he or she belonged to.
 

July 30 (NYTIMES) COLOMBO- A tale making the rounds in Sri Lanka this week had all the gleaming ingredients needed to rivet a pandemic-weary nation that had been caught in a cycle of debt even before the coronavirus ravaged the economy.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- According to the Presidential Media Center, preliminary work is underway to administer the Covid vaccine to people between the ages of 12 and 30 from September on the instructions of the President.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open a Regional Consular Office of the Foreign Ministry in Kurunegala virtually on 27 July 2021.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Presidential Media Centre (PMC) was declared open today (29) under the patronage of Senior Advisor to President, Lalith Weeratunga. The Media Centre is located at the ground floor of the old Chartered Bank building in front of the President’s House in Colombo Fort.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Dr. Hemantha Herath, Deputy Director General of Health Services, said that although the need for oxygen in the treatment of Covid infections has increased, the government has the ability to supply enough oxygen to patients.
 

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated at Temple Trees yesterday (28) that a program has been prepared to provide clean drinking water to the people in rural areas who cannot be covered by large water supply schemes through community water supply schemes.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has summoned the Sri Lanka Football Federation before the Committee on August 03rd whilst The Department of Probation and Child Care Services have been summoned before the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) on August 04th.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Minister of Labor Nimal Siripala de Silva says that the relevant laws will be enacted within the next three months to raise the minimum age for employment of a person in the country to 18 years.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that it is ready to promote a number of sectors, including exports and tourism, as soon as the country returns to normalcy with the vaccination drive, President’s Media Division said.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- Seven political parties that are not represented in Parliament have been summoned before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) to identify appropriate reforms of the election laws and the electoral system and to recommend necessary amendment, said its Secretary and Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff Kushani Rohanadeera.
 

July 28 (CP) Colombo- The final decision on the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue and the transformation of the teacher-principal service into a closed service will be taken after the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said at Temple Trees yesterday (27).
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Laws to increase employment age to 18 - Minister (28 - DN)
* Land permits issued to 230 families living in ancient Meemure village (28 - Island)
* Nurses to stage one-hour protest outside 100 main Hospitals today (28 - DM)

SPORTS

July 29 (Reuters) Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga celebrated his birthday by taking four wickets as Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets and took the three-match Twenty20 series 2-1 in Colombo on Thursday, securing their first series win in the format since 2019.
 

July 29 (BBC) American Sunisa Lee won gymnastics all-around gold as defending champion Simone Biles celebrated in the stands following her withdrawal from the event. The United States also enjoyed success in the pool on day six of Tokyo 2020, with Caeleb Dressel continuing his pursuit of six gold medals by earning his first individual Olympic title.
 

July 29 (HT) Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka defeated India by 7 wickets in the final T20I to win the 3-match series 2-1. Indian leg-spinner Rahul Chahar was the only wicket-taker for the visitors as he returned with three wickets to his credit. Earlier, Team India suffered a horrendous batting collapse
 

July 29 (HT) Team India suffered a horrendous batting collapse as they were restricted to 81/8 - their third-lowest T20I total - in the final T20I against Sri Lanka. The visitors opted to bat first but failed to set a challenging target as the Lankan bowlers wreaked havoc
 


WORLD

July 30 (HT) Saudi Arabia announced Friday it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated foreign tourists after a 17-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state news agency said. However, Riyadh did not announce any lifting of restrictions on the umrah,
 

July 29 (BBC) People in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan were buried under mud and debris when heavy rain brought flash floods during the night. Children and women are said to be among the victims in Kamdesh, with at least 60 people dead and dozens more missing. Many homes were destroyed.
 

July 28 (BBC) The Malaysian government has been asked why it revoked emergency Covid regulations as cases continue to spike. Malaysia has reported more than a million cases and 8,000 deaths so far, but experts warn the real numbers are much higher as testing rates are low.
 

July 28 (BBC) Hospitalisations soared in India during a deadly second Covid wave. Now, hobbled by patchy insurance, Indians are turning to crowdfunding to pay the steep medical bills, reports Astha Rajvanshi. Supraja Reddy Yeruva was unable to breathe properly for days
 


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 Lankas 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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