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[Last Updated = Sat, May 28, 2016, 10:39 pm SL Time]
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Japan extends Rs. 50 billion ODA assistance to promote Sri Lanka's socio-economic development

May 28 (CP) Nagoya- Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has expressed his intention to provide Official Development Assistance Loans to Sri Lanka amounting to Yen 38 billion (Rs. 50.6 billion) in order to further promote socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Abe announced the economic assistance to Sri Lanka during a bilateral meeting with the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena held Saturday (May 28) in Nagoya, Japan, following the Outreach Meeting during the G7 Ise-Shima Summit.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense said due to requests made by the genral public it has decided to announce another Amnesty Period to handover illegal firearms. The Amnesty period will be in effect from 30 May 2016 to 17 June 2016.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued Directives to be followed by designated officials arresting persons under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No 48 of 1979 (PTA). These Directives are being issued to ensure the fundamental rights of persons arrested or detained are respected and protected, and such persons are treated humanely, the HRCSL said.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- An Australian Federal court has dismissed an application filed by a Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker application to grant him a protection visa and ordered him to return to Sri Lanka. The Federal Court of Australia on Friday dismissed the Tamil man's application to have a previous decision not to grant him a protection visa re-heard.

May 28 (AFP) COLOMBO- Around 100 people still missing following landslides in Sri Lanka last week are believed dead, authorities said Saturday (May 28) after failing to find signs of life under tonnes of mud.

May 28 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has commuted 187 death sentences to life imprisonment on recommendations by an expert committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Nimal E. Dissanayake.

May 28 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday requested Tri Forces’ chiefs to investigate whether the incident at Sampur Maha Vidyalaya, Trincomalee was premeditated and targeted at the G7 Summit. He requested them to look into whether there was a ploy to embarrass the President and the country in the face of world leaders who invited the latter to the Summit.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Several places in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo including Thunmulla, Armour Street and Panchikawatta areas were flooded due to heavy rain Colombo experienced on Friday night, according to local media reports.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Director General of the Bribery or Corruption Commission Dilrukshi Dias has said that a special inquiry is launched to determine whether the assistance given by the Government for the people impacted by the extreme weather conditions is being distributed properly.

May 27 (CP) New York- A global human right organization while commending Sri Lanka for ratifying the Convention against Enforced Disappearance says Sri Lanka has created a Missing Persons' Office without the consultations of the families of missing.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a report from the Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed over the incident that took place at the Sampur Central College in Trincomalee where the Chief Minister had verbally abused the senior officer-in-charge of Sampur naval base 'Vidura' in public.

May 27 (SLRC) Almost two weeks have passed since a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal brought heavy rains and flooding to much of Sri Lanka. In the central hill country, the ceaseless rains caused a series of deadly landslides,

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Anura Senanayake won’t make confession (27 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

May 28 (CP) Nagoya- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, during the bilateral discussions held Friday (May 27) at the Hilton Nagoya Hotel in Japan, agreed to further strengthen the trade relations between the two countries.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- A special cargo plane from Pakistan carrying relief goods for the Sri Lankan flood victims arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake this afternoon. The Pakistani cargo plane brought the 3rd consignment of relief good containing medicine, raincoats, rain boots, mosquito repellents, shelters and tents.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, who is not satisfied with the progress of flood relief efforts in the country, has called for the government to give immediate cash assistance to the affected families.

May 27 (CP) Ise-Shima- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who was the first head of state in Sri Lanka ever to be invited as a guest to a G-7 summit, received a warm welcome at the Outreach Sessions of the G 7 Summit held in Japan Friday (May 27).


FINANCE - TRAVEL

May 28 (BS) Sri Lanka has reduced import duties on cars with engine capacity of 800 and 1,000 cubic centimetre (cc) while increasing duty on higher engine capacity cars, a move likely to benefit India-made smaller vehicles.

May 28 (Island) A new tax structures introduced on Thursday by the government for imported cars and three wheelers would cause massive price increases in those vehicles, importers said yesterday. The price revisions for the imported vehicles had come into force from midnight May 26, the importers said.

May 28 (DM) The triumphant mountaineer Jayanthi Kuru – Uthumpala reached the summit of Mt. Everest, which towers 8,848m above sea level on May 21, 2016, to become part of a group of elite mountaineers from around the world to have completed this stupendous feat.

May 28 (DN) Sunshine Packaging Lanka is poised for further expansion following the receipt of US$ 2 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Primeco Holdings Limited , a conglomerate incorporated in Hong Kong.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Tourism, which was earlier referred to as the Ceylon Tourist Board marked its Golden Jubilee Friday at an official ceremony held at the BMICH in Colombo. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and the Executive Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are expected to attend the official ceremony on May 27.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has issued a set of accountancy guidelines to licensees who are in the business of electricity generation; transmission and distribution, in order to gain more information for the process of regulatory decisions making.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has completed a five-day visit to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand some of the work being implemented under World Bank-supported projects in the island.

May 27, Colombo: In May 2016, the standard rate of value added tax (VAT) jumped from 11% to 15%. The Sri Lankan economy will thus have to adjust to this higher rate but what are some of the possible macroeconomic consequences? everjobs spoke to Sirimal Abeyratne, Professor in Economics, University of Colombo recently about whether the rise in VAT is a tax on jobs.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Leading insurer, Ceylinco Life has announced that the company's Life Fund crossed Rs 70 billion at end April 2016, making it the only local life insurer to achieve the feat in just 28 years.

May 27 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- "If the Colombo South Harbour Terminal did not exist, I would probably still be seeking employment overseas to earn money to support my 5-member family," said Yuri S. Kannangara, the assistant general manager of the operations department of the Colombo South Harbour Terminal located in Sri Lanka's capital.

May 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Friday as gains led by consumer shares were offset by losses in the telecom stocks amid investor sentiment dented by foreign outflow and rising interest rates.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* DFCC Bank expands reach by joining LankaPay common ATM network (27 - Island)
* Customs bigwig in vehicle racket (27 - DN)
* Apparel sector must not depend on EUs GSP + alone (27 - DN)
* SL Funds: Equity Unit Trusts now outperform market, says Guardian Acuity (27 - LBO)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

May 28 (CP) Nagoya- Sri Lanka, which was limited to tourists in the past, now has become a paradise for the investors, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera says. While touring with the President Maithripala Sirisena in Japan, the Foreign Minister said due to the good governance principles of the current government of President Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President received the highest reception from world leaders during the G7 summit in Japan.

May 28 (CP), Colombo: Sri Lanka's Northern Provincial Council, controlled by the major Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has aborted an attempt to adopt a motion to congratulate the re-elected Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state of India Jeyaram Jayalalithaa.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Tore Hattrem, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from 31 May - 2 June 2016, a Foreign Affairs Ministry statement said. The State Secretary will meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera on 31 May

May 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe accompanied by Professor Maithri Wickremesinghe left for South Korea early this morning to participate in the annual convention of Rotary Foundation. The 107th Rotary International Convention will be held from the 29th of May till the 1st of June in Seoul.

May 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan parliament has scheduled to debate the No-Confidence Motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on June 8 and take a vote on it. Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake has said that the decision to schedule the motion on June 8 was taken at the party leaders' meeting, presided by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, on last Wednesday.

May 28 (AP) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday that Japan will provide two patrol vessels to the South Asian country as part of their maritime security cooperation.

May 28 (VNN) Hanoi— Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh hosted a reception in Hanoi yesterday for a delegation of the Sri Lanka-Viet Nam Solidarity Association led by Most Venerable Baddegama Samitha Thero, a member of the association's executive board.

May 28 (Island) Rear Admiral (Rtd) H.R. Amaraweera yesterday said President Maithripala Sirisena should order Eastern Province Chief Minister Ahamed Nazeer to tender an apology to the Naval officer Captain Ranjith Premaratne for scolding the latter in public.

May 28 (DM) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today rejected reports of an alleged incident that had taken place during a parent-teacher meeting at the Madina Central College in Madawala, a national school in Kandy as being racially motivated.

May 28 (ANTARA News) Jakarta- Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has met with Sri Lankas president Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the sale of train carriages to that country. The meeting took place on the sidelines of his visit to Japan to attend the Outreach G-7 Summit at Orion A Room, Hotel Kanko, Nagoya, on Thursday.

May 28 (DN) The Left Circle (LC) along with the Anti Corruption Front (ACF) activists strongly deplored the appointment of Anusha Palpita and R.A.A.K. Ranawaka as additional secretaries to ministries by the government.

May 28 (Economy Watch) Sri Lanka's balance of payments is in dire straits. The country's mounting foreign and domestic public debt, a huge fiscal deficit and a severe foreign exchange shortfall have led to potentially calamitous economic circumstances.

May 28 (Hindu) The option of building 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for conflict-affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been termed by a panel of experts as a "fair solution".

May 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa says the government will repair all the houses damaged by the recent floods and landslides in the country. Speaking to the BBC Sinhala service, the Minister said he will accept the responsibility of rebuilding the houses damaged by the disaster.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has ordered the ministry officials to promptly submit a full detailed report on the damage caused to the fisher community by the extreme weather prevailed in the country last week in order to provide necessary relief.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- The government of China will provide US$ 1.5 million in cash to help Sri Lankan flood relief, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday, China's national news agency Xinhua reported. The Ministry said China will deliver more assistance to Sri Lanka according to the development of the situation and at the request of the Sri Lankan government.

May 27 (CP) Ise-Shima- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today called on the Group of Seven richest countries meeting in Japan at the G7 summit to steer economic growth to sustain well-being of Asia and countries like Sri Lanka.

May 27 (CP) Colombo- The Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the Prime Minister on 26 January has extended its deadline for the public to make submissions to 24th June, the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms announced.

May 27 (Wired Gov) Over 300,000 victims including women and children have been affected by the tropical cyclonic storm 'ROANU' which has caused landslides and heavy rains in 22 districts of the 25 districts in the country.

May 27 (NIE) COLOMBO- The on-going conflict between Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando and Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed, which has led to the Sri Lankan armed forces declaring an indefinite boycott of the Chief Minister, is rooted in the way Centre-Province relations have developed in Lanka and the nature of Muslim politics in the island nation.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lankan Prime Minister to leave for South Korea tomorrow (27 - CP)
* JO demands punitive action against those responsible for voting miscount (27 - Island)
* Minister Vajira unaware of Palpita’s appointment (27 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

England 498/9d Sri Lanka 67/4 (20.1 ov)

May 28 (ESPNCI) A batting promotion worked wonders for Moeen Ali as he scored his second Test century, and the fourth-highest score by an England No. 7, to build an imposing total of 498 for 9 before Alastair Cook declared before tea on the second day at Chester-le-Street. James Anderson then made an early breakthrough to leave Sri Lanka 32 for 1 and with a huge task ahead to salvage something from the match.

More : SPORTS

May 28 (CC) England once again emerged as the dominating team at the end of the Day 1 of the second Test between Sri Lanka and England at Chester-le-street. England got off to a shaky start before the lunch, losing Alastair Cook and Nick Compton early on in the innings. The pitch was opposite to what everyone expected as it kept low and refused to offer any pace to the bowler. Sri Lanka’s wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal had to collect a good length ball from a fast bowler on a bounce.

May 28 (Reuters) England's batsmen failed to take full advantage on a first day of swinging fortunes in the second test against Sri Lanka, finishing on 310 for six after outstanding catching kept the touring side in contention on Friday. A late cameo from Jonny Bairstow, who oozed confidence after his first-test 140, steadied an innings that had been in danger of falling away but he departed for 48 just before the close as Sri Lanka fought back on a slow pitch in Durham.

England 281/5 (83.5 ov)

May 27 (AFP) Captain Alastair Cook and opening partner Alex Hales missed out on contrasting landmarks but England made a strong start to the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Riverside on Friday. Cook failed to score the 20 runs he needed to become the first England batsman to reach 10,000 in Tests. And for the second time in as many innings, Hales fell in the 80s when in sight of a maiden Test century.


WORLD

May 28 (Hindu) The U.S. military on Saturday announced a 30-day period of mourning at its bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, where the killing of a woman has reignited resentment of the heavy U.S. military presence in the region. A 32-year-old American civilian working at a U.S. military base in Okinawa was arrested this month for dumping the body of the 20-year-old Japanese woman, a procedural step in murder cases.

More : WORLD

May 28 (AFP) An open letter signed by 150 international doctors, scientists and researchers on Friday called for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to be moved or postponed due to the Zika virus. To press on with the Games in Rio, the second most affected city in Brazil by the Zika crisis, would be "irresponsible" and "unethical," the letter argued.

May 28 (BBC) Barack Obama has become the first serving US president to visit Hiroshima since the World War Two nuclear attack. Mr Obama said the memory of 6 August 1945 must never fade, but did not apologise for the US attack - the world's first nuclear bombing. Mr Obama spoke to two survivors and in an address called on nations to pursue a world without nuclear weapons.

May 27 (Hindu) Cordial and clear discussions on sensitive issues marked India-China talks on Thursday during President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Beijing but no significant change in divergent positions was realised. Meetings with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and National Peoples’ Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang marked a busy third day of a four-day visit by Mr. Mukherjee to China.


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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