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April 18, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Pope visits Syrian refugees in Greece. Image credit - neneosan/depositphotos

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Sri Lanka among Asia’s top 10 FDI hotspots

The US based think tank, IHS Global Insight, recently named Sri Lanka one of Asia’s top 10 destinations for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

In a press release, the think tank stated that the Asia Pacific region is forecast to be the fastest growing region of the global economy, offering the biggest potential gains for FDI. 

VAT to be increased to 15%

The Finance Ministry has announced that Value Added Tax (VAT) will be increased from 11% to 15% with effect from 2nd May 2016. 

The VAT will be imposed on the supply of telecommunication and healthcare services. Amendments have also been made to the Nation Building Tax and the Share Transaction Levy.

New action plan to protect maritime border

A ten-year action plan on maritime security has been drawn up, at the request of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

This plan is expected to create a safe naval route in the region, as well as address issues such as piracy and drug trafficking.


Brazil Congress impeaches President

The Brazilian Congress has voted in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff, on the accusation of manipulating the national budget in 2014.

The impeachment motion will now be passed onto the Senate, and if it also votes in favour of impeaching President Rousseff, she would be suspended from office and be replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, as acting president.

Pope visits Syrian refugees in Greece

Last Saturday, Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos which hosts around 2500 refugees. The Pope returned to Rome with three Syrian refugee families, and the Vatican has taken upon itself to take care of these families.

This symbolic visit is envisaged to highlight the urgency in finding a resolution to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.

Czech Republic to be known as Czechia

The Czech Republic’s political leaders have proposed Czechia as an alternative one-word name for their country. 

Before official implementation, this change must be approved by both the Cabinet of the Czech Republic and the UN.

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