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[Last Updated = Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 12:43 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka needs to increase revenues to maintain current economic growth - IMF

July 30 (CP) Washington, DC- Sri Lanka's economic growth has been one of the fastest among Asia's developing economies in recent years, but broadening the tax base will be essential to maintain the current growth momentum and foster economic development, International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Tuesday. The IMF Executive Board releasing its report after the conclusion of Article IV consultations with Sri Lanka said the country's recent economic performance has been better than expected, particularly, given some headwinds from chronic market turbulence and climatic shocks.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

July 30 (CP) Colombo- Former members of the Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberations Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had undergone rehabilitation, have recently visited the southern part of the country.

July 30 (Island) The police have obtained the CCTV footage of two unknown persons wearing full-face helmets on a motorcycle following President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya’s car recently.

July 30 (DN) Defence Attache of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka Senior Colonel Li Chenglin yesterday said defence cooperation plays an important role in bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka.

July 30 (DM) Police are investigating the kidnapping of a four year old boy named Damindu Yasen Ekanayake and an attack on his parents in Katugampalagama village in the Meegalewa Division.

July 29 (CP) Chennai- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again to take immediate action through highest diplomatic levels to secure the release of all the Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for poaching in the island's territorial waters.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Students' Collective of the Open University of Sri Lanka lodged a complaint yesterday at the Human Rights Commission against abolition of students' unions and several other administrative issues. The Student Collective mentioned in the complaint that the university authorities have increased the course fees by around fifty percent.

July 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) today asked the government to conduct an audit regarding the seized and destroyed heroin. UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said in parliament today said that the Auditor General's Department must conduct an audit on the seized drugs and such an audit would show if the seized drugs are passed into the hands of the drug racketeers, as the opposition had accused.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Navy on Monday night has arrested 50 Indian fishermen for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary line and fishing in the country's waters, Indian media reported.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Police have arrested the driver of Sri Lanka Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader, parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake in connection with yesterday's accident which caused injuries to the MP.

July 29 (CP) Washington, DC- Although Sri Lanka's Constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom, there was an overall decrease in societal respect for religious freedom, as Buddhist nationalist groups led campaigns targeting Muslims and Christians, International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 released by the United States yesterday said.

July 29 (TOI) CHENNAI- DMK chief M Karunanidhi and MDMK leader Vaiko on Tuesday said India should not participate in a defence conference to be held in Sri Lanka between August 18 and 20.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Army women nabbed at gambling den (29 - Island)
* Women nabbed with Rs. 10 m worth gold at BIA (29 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 30 (CP) Washington, DC- The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison says, if confirmed as the Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, she will work towards advancing America's interests at the UN.

July 29 (CP) Vatican City- The Vatican today confirmed the dates for Pope Francis' trip to Sri Lanka next year. The Holy See Press Office said in a Communiqué that accepting the invitation from the civil authorities and the Episcopate, the Pope will make an Apostolic Trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa sending his greetings to the Muslim community on the occasion of the Eid ul-Fitr today recalled the valued contributions made by them for the country.

Jul 29 (NU) Colombo: We are before yet another election. Uva Provincial Council has been dissolved and the nominations have been called. People of the Uva Province have a golden opportunity with this election to end the corrupt, ineffective, family rule. Time is up to end the suppression that has engulfed the entire social structure and it must be done now without calling off to tomorrow. S


FINANCE

July 30 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings has assigned the newly organized Ceylon Dollar Bond Fund a 'BB-' Fund Credit Rating and 'V-5' Fund Volatility Rating. This is the first time Fitch has assigned international fund ratings to a Sri Lanka based bond fund.

July 30 (Island) As Sri Lanka-Japan bilateral trade jumped $890 Mn and edged to $ 900 Mn mark, a keen Japan signalled towards a Lanka-Japan FTA for the first time-albeit with a qualifier. "In terms of country risk and future potential, I believe Sri Lanka is quite promising.

July 30 (DN) Two manufacturing facilities of Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Lingerie Cluster in Nittambuwa have been awarded Eco Factory Attributes by the global retail giant Marks and Spencer (M&S) in recognition of achievements in reducing their environmental footprint.

July 30 (DM) Further easing of the monetary policy may not solve the problem of extremely low private credit growth, which fell to more than a four-and-a-half-year low of 2.2 percent in May 2014, compared with 3.3 percent a month earlier, according to Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart).

July 29 (CP) Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia's state-owned utility company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has signed an agreement to invest in a hybrid wind and solar power project in Sri Lanka's Northern Jaffna peninsula.

More : FINANCE
* SEC sounds stockbrokers on lending rates on credit extension (29 - Island)
* Sri Lanka’s external vulnerability still high, but improving: Moody’s (29 - DM)
* Merchant Bank to merge with Merchant Credit, MBSL Savings (29 - DN)
* Sri Lanka eco-friendly hotel in Sigiriya (29 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan government has allocated nearly Rs. 5.8 billion under a national plan to develop the North Central Province. The Economic Development Ministry has allocated Rs 5.791 billion for developing the two districts North Central Province - Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts- under the House-to-House, Village-to-Village National Economic Development Plan.

July 30 (Island) Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry will introduce new legislation to restrict the percentage of licence duty that could be charged by local authorities from hotels, restaurants and lodging houses registered under Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority (SLTDA).

July 30 (DN) Reconstruction work of the road from Ratnapura to Wewalwatta has commenced in line with the Mahinda Chinthana accelerated road development program. The total cost of the reconstruction is Rs. 4,600 million.

July 30 (DM) A fleet of luxury and semi luxury buses from Colombo to the suburbs with facilities for differently-abled people to embark and disembark without a hassle will be operated by the SLTB and a purchase order has been placed with an Indian company, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The Election Commissioner of Sri Lanka Mahinda Deshapriya has summoned all the secretaries of the political parties expected to contest for the Uva Provincial Council election. The meeting will be held at the Election Secretariat in Colombo tomorrow at 10 a.m.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- A parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said that the party would visit corrupts state enterprises without prior announcement. Kalutara district MP Ajith P. Perera said the UNP parliamentarians'' group will again visit the three state enterprises where they were obstructed allegedly by pro-government mobs.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Leader of Sri Lanka Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka was discharged from the hospital this evening after receiving treatment for injuries sustained in accident yesterday.

July 29 (CP) Colombo- The National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has decided to contest the upcoming elections to the Uva Provincial Council separately.

** Related Story ::Coalition party may split from Sri Lanka's ruling alliance over nominations to Uva PC election

July 29 (SILive) STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.- Richmond County plays home to one of the largest populations of Sri Lankans outside of Sri Lanka. Now, with the help of Staten Island Buddhist Vihara temple in Port Richmond, the borough has an inaugural food celebration to fete that very fact.

Jul 29 (NU), Laggala : Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe visited the Laggala electorate in the Matale district as a part of the Janajaya program of the United National Party. He engaged in religious observances at Laggala Sri Isipathanaramaya in the morning.

July 29 (AFP) MAUBEUGE (FRANCE) - Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

July 29 (OL) Charging the BJP-led Union government with pursuing a "negative approach" in dealing with Sri Lanka by supporting it, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today urged the Centre to adopt a stance protective of Tamils there.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* LSSP tells govt. not to tar all NGOs with same brush (29 - Island)
* Chairman’s room locked: Committee to get back docs (29 - DM)
* Govt’s decisions not election oriented – President (29 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

July 29 (ESPNCI) A break out series, in which he was easily the most menacing Sri Lanka bowler on two spin-friendly tracks. There were occasional poor overs in Galle, but at the SSC, Perera's lines and lengths were impeccable. The deliveries to dismiss AB de Villiers and Vernon Philander in the first innings would have had virtually any batsman in the world in trouble. Bowled a few unplayable balls on the final day too, but did not quite have the luck.

More : SPORTS

July 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's World Cup winning T20 captain Lasith Malinga has decided to represent the Mumbai Indian in the Champions League T20 - 2014 over the Southern Express team. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) today announced that Malinga has informed the SLC that he will be choosing to represent Mumbai Indians, his IPL team.

July 28 (ESPNCII) Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake will get help from Daryl Foster, a human movement lecturer at the University of Western Australia, to correct his bowling action. Senanayake was banned from bowling in international cricket by the ICC earlier this month, due to an illegal action. Senanayake will leave for Australia in the second week of August, along with Sri Lanka Cricket's head of coaching, Jerome Jayaratne, and will undergo a week-long remedial course at the University of Western Australia under Foster's guidance.

July 28 (ESPNCII) Two slips and a gully. A leg slip and a leg gully. A short leg. Silly mid off. Dilruwan Perera lurks at short cover. Rangana Herath prowls the bowling crease. Crows patrol fine leg. Fresh air blows through deep point. Sri Lanka are in their third last-hour finish in four Tests. Drama follows them like a man with an axe after the pretty girl in a horror flick. This is the kind of stuff Sri Lanka's Test supporters - a meagre and masochistic, but passionate lot - live for.


WORLD

July 29 (BBC) More than 100 Palestinians are said to have been killed after Israel intensified its bombardment of Gaza and warned of a long conflict ahead. Gaza's only power plant caught fire as Israel carried out 60 air strikes, targeting sites associated with Hamas, the Islamist group which controls Gaza.

More : WORLD

July 29 (BBC) A major West African airline has stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid growing concern about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Asky said it took the decision to keep "its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time".

July 29 (BBC) India's largest e-commerce company Flipkart has raised $1bn (£590m; 60bn rupees) in fresh funding, the largest ever for an Indian internet firm. Founded in 2007 by two former Amazon employees, the company is hugely popular for selling books and electronics online.

July 29 (BBC) A suicide bomber has killed a cousin of President Hamid Karzai in the southern city of Kandahar, officials say. Hashmat Karzai was greeting a well-wisher to his house when the man blew himself up. One report said explosives were hidden in the bomber's turban.


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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