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[Last Updated = Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 12:28 pm SL Time]
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President to discuss amendments to the VAT to provide relief to people

June 29, Badulla: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday said steps will be taken in the future to make amendments to the existing tax systems to provide relief to the public considering the difficulties faced by the people due to the enforcement of new tax systems. He said the recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) will be discussed with a committee of economic experts on Monday and steps will be taken to present a new VAT amendment.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

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.

June 30 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, yesterday fixed for trial on September 5 the trial against former UPFA, member of Parliament Rohitha Abeygunawardena. The accused is indicted with being unable to explain how he accumulated money and property amounting to Rs. 41.2 million.

June 30 (DN) The demotion of Lieutenant Commodore K. C. Welagedara who was found guilty at the Court Martial has been suspended as he had appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena against the Court Martial judgement, Navy Media Spokesman Captain Akram Alavi said.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Traffic Court today ruled that there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka in the road accident involving the Minister's vehicle.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Nearly 9000 military deserters from the tri forces have obtained legal discharge during the first two weeks of the one-month long general amnesty period declared by the Ministry of Defense.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The administration of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Oluvil has suspended 331 second year students of the Management Faculty alleged of engaging in ragging. Among the suspended are 220 female students.

June 29 (Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR- The Sessions Court here today discharged, but not amounting to an acquittal, a Sri Lankan man on a drug possession charge.

June 29 (Hindu) Sri Lankan security forces have released 700 more acres and the Kankesanthurai railway station in the Northern Province, a few days before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is to give an update to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the status of implementation of the October 2015 resolution.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* JHU reiterates it had no hand in Gammanpila arrest (29 - Island)
* Magistrate reprimands Pavithra for disturbing Court (29 - DM)
* Former TID Head DIG Chandra Wakista questioned for three hours (29 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

June 30 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) launched an Anti-Torture Campaign with a public march today to eradicate torture, especially in police custody. "The HRCSL will conduct a public march today to kick off the anti -torture campaign," Chairperson of the HRCSL Dr. Deepika Udagama told media yesterday.

June 29 (CP) Geneva- The United Kingdom said Wednesday it remains committed to the full implementation of resolution 30/1 and stand ready to help the Sri Lankan Government to this end.

June 29 (CP) Geneva- Sri Lanka since January 2015 has taken 'giant leaps' to achieve reconciliation although they may seem like 'baby steps' for some, Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera told the United Nations Human Rights council (UNHRC) Wednesday.

June 29 (CP) Geneva- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein Wednesday presented an oral update on Sri Lanka to the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

June 30 (CP) Colombo- LAUGFS Corporation (Rubber) Ltd presented its comprehensive portfolio of high quality industrial solid tires at this year's CeMAT Exhibition held recently in Hannover, Germany.

June 30 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee one-week forwards rose on Thursday as a state-run bank sold dollars after the central bank intervened to lift the rupee, while dollar selling by a few exporters also helped the currency gain, dealers said.

June 30 (Island) GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK) demonstrated its prowess in a wholly unrelated sphere recently when the company’s A Team won the annual Bowling tournament conducted by the Pharma Promoters Association (PPA).

June 30 (DN) National Savings Bank has been reaffirmed AAA National Long Term rating by Fitch Ratings Lanka for the 14th consecutive year. This is a notable achievement by the Bank when consider the present challenging business environment.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's rapid growth is crucially hinged on attracting capital from abroad and Sri Lanka has to overcome stiff regional competition to attract foreign direct investment, the United States Ambassador to Colombo, Atul Keshap said.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government says the UK's decision to leave the European Union may impact the country's debt burden following the sharp rise of the dollar against the sterling pound. The pound fell more than 12 percent to its lowest level in 30 years against the dollar following the Brexit referendum on 23 June.

June 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth straight session on Wednesday as sentiment continued to be lacklustre following a minister's comments a day earlier on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities.

June 29 (CDM) KAHN Group has formed a partnership with Millennium Automotive Group in an agreement that sees Millennium appointed as the sole Kahn distributor for Sri Lanka.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee forwards rise on bank dollar sales (29 - Reuters)
* GSP Plus concessions by UK to SL seen as being hit with EU exit (29 - Island)
* AIA declares outstanding 9.55% dividend for customers (29 - DM)
* Plans to establish high tech agri, fisheries zones this year (29 - DN)
* CSE wins National HR Excellence Gold Award at the National HR Conference 2016 (29 - CP)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

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.

June 30 (Island) The Federation of National Organisations (FNO) yesterday sought an explanation from the government regarding the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) declaration that there had been a tripartite agreement on the inclusion of foreign judges and other international experts in the proposed war crimes court.

June 30 (DN) The Health Ministry is mulling the import of Denvaxia, the vaccine against dengue, to be used in Sri Lanka. A French company produces Denvaxia which has been used since 2015 in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, Colombia, with successful results.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has received the Cabinet's approval to establish a Consulate General Office in Nicosia, Cyprus as the Mediterranean island hosts thousands of migrant workers from Sri Lanka.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Cabinet of Ministers has given the government approval to obtain the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to construct a light rail transit system in the capital city of Colombo.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has handed over the report on the Central Bank Treasury bond deals during the period from February 2015 to May 2016 to the Speaker, Chairman of the Commission MP Sunil Handunneththi said today.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today paid an observation visit to the Central Bank and met with the staff ahead of anticipated announcement of the appointment of a new Governor to the Bank.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena said today that he will appoint a new Governor to the Central Bank today. "I will appoint a new Governor to the Central Bank in the coming hours," the President said in a Twitter message.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- For the first time in Sri Lanka a census of early childhood will be carried out as part of a World Bank project by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs with the collaboration of the Children's Secretariat and the Department of Census and Statistics.

June 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has introduced immediate development projects to uplift the infrastructure facilities in rural areas, based on the mid-term economic policy presented by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 5th November.

June 29 (Diplomat) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a hardline Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist group in Sri Lanka, has come under fire in recent years. Opponents have labelled it extremist and accused the group of inciting religious hatred, particularly against Muslims.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Organisation For Protecting Customs requests a meeting with President (29 - Island)
* COPE divided on bond issue (29 - DM)
* No concession for Indian fishermen in SL waters: Amaraweera (29 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

June 30 (CC) Born on 30 June, Sri Lanka’s former captain and cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya turns 46 on Thursday. Jayasuriya had quit as Sri Lanka’s selection head due to changes in the interim committee led by former cricketer Sidath Wettimuny on April 3. He was back as the chief selector following Sri Lanka’s performance in ICC T20 World Cup 2016 as they were crashed out in the group stages. Jayasuriya is currently touring England as his team is playing two-match Test series, five-match ODI series and a T20I match

More : SPORTS

June 30 (YS) OMAHA, Neb. – When Michael Phelps made his first Olympic team, the media asked him if he had a girlfriend. And whether he’d kissed her yet. The kid was 15 at the time. The year was 2000. “I remember him,” Phelps said Wednesday night, smiling at the memory of his younger self. “I definitely remember him.” A day shy of his 31st birthday, Phelps kissed his girlfriend in front of 14,000 people. He had just made his fifth Olympic team – most ever for an American male swimmer –

June 29 (ESPNCI) Former Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera is working with some Australia Test players ahead of their tour to Sri Lanka, in his brief consulting stint at Australia's National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Samaraweera has been hired as a consultant for the academy from June to August. Though his role is not specifically geared towards preparing Australia Test players for the forthcoming tour,

Sri Lanka 305/5 (42/42 ov)

June 29 (ESPNCI) Kausal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka produced a fine 119-run stand for Sri Lanka's second wicket, their highest partnership of the series to date, to make light of the early run-out of Kusal Perera and put their side into a dominant position before their momentum was halted by a lengthy rain-break.


WORLD

June 30 (Hindu) One man worked as a Turkish translator and was escorting tourists back to the airport. One woman, an airport worker, was looking forward to her wedding in 10 days. There were taxi drivers and a customs officer. And there was a Turkish couple who worked together, and died together, in the suicide attack on Tuesday night at Istanbul Ataturk Airport that killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 200. Details about the victims began trickling out on Wednesday.

More : WORLD

June 30 (Hindu) Warning that China’s motives to secure the South China Sea are “madness” and intended towards the Indian Ocean, a top visiting U.S. official said in unusually strong remarks that the U.S. will work to ensure India remains the “natural power” in the Indian Ocean, even as he expressed the U.S.’s commitment to help India attain membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

June 29 (BBC) Police in India are investigating claims by two climbers who say they are the country's first couple to scale the world's highest peak Mount Everest. Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod told reporters this month that they reached the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit on 23 May.

June 29 (Reuters) Expressing regret and sadness over Britain's decision to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday the country would not turn its back on Europe and would instead build the strongest ties it could.


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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