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[Last Updated = Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 02:34 am SL Time]
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Sri Lanka President launches Mangrove Conservation Program uplifting coastal communities

July 26 (CP) Chilaw- Marking the World Mangrove Day on Tuesday Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena opened the world's first mangrove museum which will act as a center for educating the public on the ecological value of mangroves. With a joint program launched by the President a year ago in collaboration with U.S.-based nonprofit organization Seacology and Sri Lanka-based NGO Sudeesa, Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

July 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Defense has promised to provide pensions to retired and disabled veterans of the armed forces and police. The Ministry's pledge comes in response to a protest launched by the Collective of Retired or Disabled Military and Police Personnel urging the President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene to provide them with a pension scheme.

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Serious Financial Crimes has summoned the Leader of the National Freedom Front Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa today. MP Weerawansa has been summoned to the Commission to record a statement over alleged irregularities reported at the State Engineering Corporation, when he was Housing and Construction Minister in the previous government.

July 26 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's defence ministry on Tuesday vowed to solve the issues faced by disabled soldiers after they have protested in the capital for two days.

July 26 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilake yesterday issued notice on the respondent Attorney General returnable on Sept. 8, 2016. This notice is pertaining to the bail application filed by former retired DIG Anura Senanayake, who is indicted on allegations of conspiring to murder and concealing evidence, pertaining to the killing of ruggerite Mohammed Wasim Thajudeen.

July 26 (DN) Six suspects including former DIG Vass Gunawardena and his son Ravindu Gunawardena, arrested for the alleged possession of firearms, were ordered further remanded till August 8 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka law enforcement authorities have decided to seek the assistance of the Interpol on the investigations into the recent seizure of 274 kilograms of cocaine at the Peliyagoda Container Yard.

** Related Story ::Police seize a 274 kilogram cocaine consignment worth over Rs. 4 billion

July 25 (CP) Colombo- The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka will take up a Writ Application filed by the Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) seeking an order to arrest and prosecute former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP on 25 October.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo High Court today fixed the hearing of the bail revision application filed by former Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake, who is in remand custody over his involvement in the cover-up of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen's murder.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's courts have ordered to release 49 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by Sri Lanka Navy for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and poaching in the island's waters.

July 25 (CP) Riyadh- A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a US resident, convicted of killing his Sri Lankan wife, to five years in jail, according to a report in Arab News. The American is said to have hidden her body for eight months in a tube inside a pipe designed to detect gas in Al-Kharj desert.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- The United States Navy vessel USS New Orleans (LPD 18) with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU arrived at the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka on July 24 on a goodwill visit. Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions welcomed the US ship on her arrival.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Long delay in conclusion of corruption case highlights need for remedial measures - lawyer (25 - Island)
* Man held for triple murder in Batticaloa (25 - DN)
* Four killed, another four injured in two accidents (25 - DM)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the politicians' duty is to make the country a better place of for the people and it will be a betrayal or a disloyalty to the country if they did not fulfill this duty.

July 26 (CP) London- Commonwealth human rights experts are supporting the Parliament of Sri Lanka in drafting a new fundamental rights chapter for the country's proposed new Constitution, the Commonwealth Secretariat said.

July 26 (CP) Colombo- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has asked Sri Lanka to clarify the fate and whereabouts of 16,000 missing persons including over 5,100 security forces personnel Missing in Action, originating from all over Sri Lanka.

July 26 (CP) Colombo- The Foreign Minister of Canada Stéphane Dion will arrive in Sri Lanka on 27 July evening on an official visit. Minister Dion's official program will be on 28 and 29 July 2016. This bilateral official visit to Sri Lanka by a Foreign Minister of Canada takes place after 13 years, and within less than a year since the formation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Government.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Shippers representatives from Asia, Africa and Europe will meet in Sri Lanka this week to discuss key issues affecting shipping globally including air cargo. The Sri Lanka Shippers' Council (SLSC) will host the annual meeting of the Global Shippers� Forum (GSF) on 28 and 29 July in Colombo

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's leading construction firm, Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd was recently awarded the contract to rehabilitate and improve 634 kilometers of rural roads in four districts of Sri Lanka, including their performance based maintenance for three years.

July 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed at their lowest in two weeks on Tuesday as investors sold blue-chips such as John Keells Holdings Plc even as the market awaited directions on the country's economic policy.

July 26 (Island) Cinnamon Life, an iconic mixed development project by the John Keells Group, announced a tie-up with HSBC Premier, where Premier customers can obtain home loan facilities to own an apartment at ‘The Residence at Cinnamon Life’

July 26 (DM) MAS Holdings partners with Flextronics International Ltd, a leading Sketch-to-Scale solutions company that designs and builds intelligent products for a connected world. With approximately 200,000 professionals across 30 countries, Flex partners with companies around the world

July 26 (DN) Sri Lankan government tax collections remain insufficient with only a relatively few companies and individuals shouldering the burden of tax payments, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “For a country of 23 million people, there are only 48,000 corporate tax files,” he told the annual general meeting of the Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Strengthening the gathering momentum ahead of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2016, to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 12th and 13th of October, a trade delegation representing Sweden has confirmed their participation.

July 25 (Reuters) Siam City Cement Pcl (SCCC) , Thailand's second-largest cement maker, said on Monday it has signed a deal to buy a Sri Lankan cement company from Holderfin B.V., a unit of LafargeHolcim, for 13.1 billion baht ($374 million).

July 25 (DN) Ritz Carlton will be entering the Sri Lanka leisure market. The US based company will partner the Krrish group for the Krrish Tower project which has started piling. International Economic Affairs State Minister Suejeeva Senasinghe confirmed to Daily News Business that the Krrish tower construction has begun

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan shares end down; turnover slumps (25 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka’s NDB cancels EGM on concerns over required votes (25 - LBO)
* Increasing demand for property within Colombo and suburbs (25 - Island)
* Union Assurance shines at Insurance Industry Awards (25 - DM)
* Sri Lanka’s Amana Bank partners with Al Zaman Exchange (25 - Peninsula)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main international airport in Katunayake will undergo repair work to its runway beginning next year while the government is seeking a suitable investor to utilize the idling Mattala Airport in Hambantota, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected some media reports which said that there is no obstruction to the joint opposition's protest march, Pada Yathra, if it was not against the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

July 26 (CP) Colombo- The Estate Employers' Federation yesterday has agreed to pay an interim allowance relevant to the intended salary hike of plantation workers with outstanding amounts following a meeting with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

** Related Story ::Government warns plantation companies failing to pay Rs. 2500 wages increment to workers

July 26 (CP) Colombo- Japan and Sri Lanka will hold the Consultation on National Development Cooperation and the Economic Policy Dialogue on 26th July 2016 at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo, the Embassy of Japan said in a statement.

July 26 (BBC) Sri Lanka's prime minister has said mangroves' ability to swiftly absorb carbon make the forests vital in the fight against climate change. His comments come on a day marking the first anniversary of a project to protect all of the nation's mangroves.

July 26 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has told the SLFP MPs of the Joint Opposition that he has nothing against the Pada Yathra being organised by the Joint Opposition against the government.

July 26 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena , in a meeting last night, requested Sri Lanka Freedom Party( SLFP) MPs sitting in the Joint Opposition to refrain from forming any new political fronts and acting in a manner detrimental to the interests of the party.

July 26 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the SLFP rebels that they would loose their organiser posts, if they do not support the party’s future activities. According to UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, President Sirisena told them the party would be reorganised ahead of Local Government poll

July 25 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to immediately develop the vacant prime land in capital Colombo, the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faizer Mustapha has said.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga says the government is facing many difficulties paying off the US$ 1.2 billion loan taken for Hambantota Port and the profit earns from the Colombo Port is used to pay off the Hambanthota debt.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Germany has granted 13 million Euros to Sri Lanka to implement five development projects during this year, the Finance Ministry said. The grant was pledged to Sri Lanka during President Maithripala Sirisena's official visit to Germany in February this month.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said the implementation of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project is not only a fulfillment of a long awaited aspiration of the farmers but also a personal dream come true for him.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has started talks with Chinese investors on the $10 billion Hambantota Economic Project to be implemented in the southern region of the island nation. The project would encompass the establishment of oil refineries, a power generation plant and industrial zones, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's joint opposition, the group of parliamentarians loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, says the 'Jana Satana Pada Yathra' protest march from Kandy to Colombo will be held successfully against the government on July 28 as planned regardless of any obstacle.

July 25 (CP) Colombo- Families of deceased or disabled Sri Lankan migrant workers employed overseas will receive compensation and salary dues from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera will be handing over approximately Rs. 65 million in compensation and other dues to families of deceased or disabled migrant workers.

July 25 (Hindu) Sixteen statues of Thiruvalluvar, the author of Tamil treatise on ethics Tirukkural, will be installed across Sri Lanka in the coming weeks, according to V. Radhakrishnan, State Minister of Education.

July 25 (Daily Times) China, Sri Lanka's biggest donor of foreign aid this year, has assured its 'fullest cooperation' to develop the South Asian island nation amidst increasing concern by India.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* President calls for national policy on integration, reconciliation (25 - Island)
* Executive Presidency should go: President (25 - DN)
* Empty lands in Colombo city limits to be developed (25 - DM)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

July 26 (ESPNCI) Pallekele, following an embarrassing 48 hours for Sri Lanka's cricket administrators, Dimuth Karunaratne misses and angled ball, Kusal Mendis misses a straight one, Kaushal Silva edges to slip, and the cricketers themselves are perhaps beginning to feel embarrassed. By lunch, the team is 84 for 5. Soon thereafter, they are 117 all out. The Sri Lanka team has very many faults, but dishonesty is not among them.

More : SPORTS

July 26 (ESPNCI) Josh Hazlewood believes Australia have already opened up mental scars for Sri Lanka's unsteady batting line-up that may smooth a path for the tourists on less helpful pitches later in the series. Hazlewood, who took 3 for 21 to play a major role in rounding up the hosts for 117 - Sri Lanka's second-lowest total against Australia at home - in Pallekele, took advantage of some swing and seam with the new ball that he may not find in Galle or Colombo.

Sri Lanka 117 Australia 66/2 (20.0 ov)

July 26 (ESPNCI) Before this Test was 40 overs old, 12 wickets had fallen and just 124 runs had been scored. Three of the dismissals were bowled, four lbw. Forget about reducing the depth of bats, making them wider and longer seemed a better way to achieve balance between bat and ball on a day like this.

July 25 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka Cricket and Muttiah Muralitharan have traded caustic verbal blows following an altercation between Murali and the Sri Lanka team manager. SLC has made a formal complaint to Cricket Australia over the altercation, and has also contended Murali had conducted centre-wicket training at the Pallekele ground without permission.


WORLD

July 26 (BBC) Bernie Sanders has urged Democrats to put Hillary Clinton in the White House, in a speech to the party convention. The Vermont senator received a three-minute standing ovation when he took the stage in Philadelphia. "Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," he said as the crowd erupted in cheers.

More : WORLD

July 26 (BBC) Nineteen residents have been killed in a knife attack at a care centre for people with mental disabilities in Japan. Such attacks are extremely rare in Japan - the incident in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, is the worst mass killing in decades. Police have arrested a former employee, who went to a nearby police station and allegedly admitted to the attack.

July 25 (Hindu) A four-day long Inspector-General level meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) began here on Sunday to discuss and resolve border issues between the two neighbouring countries. A 21-member delegation of BGB led by its Chittagong sector Regional Director Brigadier General Mohammad Habibul Karim arrived here for the meeting with BSF led by Tripura frontier Inspector General J.B. Sangwan.

July 25 (AP) Flames raced down a steep hillside “like a freight train,” leaving smouldering remains of homes and forcing thousands to flee the wildfire churning through tinder-dry canyons in Southern California, authorities said on Sunday. The fire that has destroyed at least 18 homes in northern Los Angeles County gained ferocious new power two days after it broke out, sending so much smoke in the air that planes making drops on it had to be grounded for part of the afternoon.


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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