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[Last Updated = Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 12:16 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President leaves for New York to address the UN General Assembly

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, along with First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa, left Sunday evening on a six-day visit to New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly. He will address the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), taking place at the U.N. headquarters in New York City this week. President Rajapaksa will participate in the general debate of the UNGA and is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, Sept. 24. This is the seventh time the President is attending the global gathering of leaders.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- The Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), the main constituent of Sri Lanka's Tamil political party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today in an affidavit to the Supreme Court affirmed that neither the ITAK nor the TNA will seek a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka.

Sept 22 (CP) Hali-Ela- Supporters of Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the main opposition United National Party clashed today in the Hali-Ela in the Badulla district of the Uva Province.

Sept 22 (Rediff) The recent arrest of Sri Lankan Tamil national Arun Selvarajan by the National Intelligence Agency in Chennai may have exposed the sheer audaciousness – or, utter stupidity -- of Pakistani ISI operations in southern India.

Sept 22 (Island) A Director of the Human Rights Commission was killed and three others were seriously injured yesterday afternoon in a road accident at Beligala, Balangoda. The injured were admitted to the Balangoda Hospital. Police identified the dead HRC Director as Welikalage Thusitha Ruwan Kumari (44).

Sept 22 (DN) A farmer attacked by an elephant in his paddy field at Alicumbe in the Ampara district was admitted to Akkaraipattu Base Hospital. C.Karunakaram, 55, after working in the field had gone to another paddy field at Palaimadu to share his lunch with colleagues when a wild elephant had attacked him after smashing the bicycle the farmer was riding.

Sept 22 (DM) Ruwan Dhammika alias ‘Kudu Ruwan’ was arrested on charges of possessing 804 grams of heroin by the Borella police in Mount Lavinia last night. Police officers opened fire at the vehicle he was travelling as he had defied police orders.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* ‘Pilfering and re-selling’ oncology drug from NCI: Supplier cleared of wrong going (21 - Island)
* Two children fall to their deaths at Koneswaram temple (21 - ST)
* More accidents on Kurunegala - Dambulla main road (21 - SO)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Sept 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka Monday expressed concern at the 27th session of the United Nations Human Right Council in Geneva about the increasing use of remotely controlled armed drones for countering terrorism violating other States' air space and causing civilian casualties.

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) tomorrow will appoint the Hambantota district parliamentarian and former deputy leader Sajith Premadasa to the deputy leader post once again, according to sources close to the party.

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government had given assurance to assist the Maldivian health sector in providing medical specialists needed for that country's hospitals. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said on Monday that Sri Lankan Minister of Health had given assurance to provide medical specialists...

Sept 22, Colombo: The present ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, especially the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa is now electorally vulnerable as evident by yesterday's provincial election results, the main opposition party of Sri Lanka, the United national Party (UNP) said.


FINANCE

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- The U.S. Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (AmCham) are jointly organizing a U.S. Trade Show to be held on September 29th at the Hilton Residence, Colombo.

Sept 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks gained for the fifth session on Monday to touch their highest in more than three years, led by banking and diversified stocks on bullish sentiment due to lower interest rates, higher foreign fund buying and positive economic outlook.

Sept 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Monday as inward remittances and exporter dollar conversions helped offset demand for the greenback from importers, and dealers expect the local currency to be steady until the nation's budget announcement.

Sept 22 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to retain its key monetary policy rates on Tuesday for an eighth straight month, a Reuters poll showed.

Sept 22 (Island) Jayant Rikhye, Head of International Asia Pacific for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Limited is in the country on a two day visit. During his stay from 22 (today) to 24 September 2014, he is scheduled to meet with the Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, customers and employees of the Bank.

Sept 22 (DN) Indonesia is going to be one of the biggest and emerging economies in the world and given that situation Sri Lanka should consider to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in future to reap real economic benefits,Sri Lanka-Indonesia Business Council (SLIBC) President Jatinder Biala said.

Sept 22 (DM) Six young professionals and two young students from Sri Lanka’s advertising industry, have been selected to represent the country at the annual Young Spikes competition which will take place at the Spikes Asia Festival 2014 in Singapore from 23 to 26 September 2014.

More : FINANCE
* Kotmale profits dip due to capacity constraints etc. (21 - Island)
* Port City project: Sweeping tax concessions to China (21 - ST)
* Govt intervention stabilises onion prices (21 - SO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Sept 22 (CP) Jaffna- Sri Lanka's famous north-bound Yal Devi train reached the northern-most Jaffna Railway Station today after 24 years. The express train made a test run from Pallai to the newly constructed Jaffna Railway Station on Monday prior to resuming services next month after a 24-year gap.

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- General Secretary of ri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) and senior member, parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake has stepped down from his post in the Leadership Council of the party. He has requested his resignation from the nine-member council in a letter to the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Sept 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says the party has been able to come out of the recession it underwent in the electoral front and become a decisive force.

Sept 22 (Trend) President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa received Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan Dulat Kuanyshev in connection with completion of his diplomatic mission, the Kazakh foreign ministry said September 22.

Sept 22 (Island) The ruling UPFA yesterday alleged that a section of the media had tried to take the gloss off its victory at the Uva PC poll by blaming the coalition for an incident in the Bandarawela police area on the day of the poll.

Sept 22 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement said that the UPFA landslide victory at Saturday’s Uva Provincial Council election is an endorsement of the government’s massive development drive.

Sept 22 (DM) Plans are afoot to appoint provincial council member elect Harin Fernando to a national level post in the UNP, party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said yesterday. Mr. Attanayake said at a media briefing that the party’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was planning to hand over some important jobs to Mr. Fernando.

Sept 22 (NIE) COLOMBO- The results of the crucial Uva Provincial Council (UPC) elections should be a wake-up call for the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. If Rajapaksa is to win the snap Presidential election, likely to be held in January 2015, he has to take quick steps to meet the felt needs of the poor and the middle class and not harp on the war victory alone.

Sept 21 (CP) Colombo- The chief minister candidate of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, Harin Fernando has received the highest number of preferential votes at the Uva Provincial Council elections held Saturday.

Sept 21 (CP) Galle- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday declared open a modern shopping complex established by transforming an old Dutch building within the historic fort in the southern city of Galle.

Sept 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Democratic Party Western Provincial Councilor Susil Kindelpitiya is slated to join the major opposition United National Party (UNP). Sources linked to Kindelpitiya leaked the news to media today after a series of discussions with the UNP hierarchy.

Sept 21 (CP) Colombo- The United Kingdom said today that peace has brought many benefits to Sri Lanka and the British government will continue to support the island nation's reconciliation process.

Sept 21 (CP) Colombo- Harin Fernando from the United National Party (UNP) topped the preferential vote in Badulla District, while Shashindra Rajapaksa from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) took the preferential vote in Moneragala District.

Sept 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's ruling party saw its popularity significantly eroded in a narrow local election win seen as a bellwether for a snap presidential election, official results showed Sunday (Sep 21).

Sept 21 (CP) Colombo- While Sri Lanka's ruling party United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) claimed victory in the Uva Provincial Council elections held on Saturday (Sept 20), the main opposition United National Party (UNP) had made substantial gains in the heavily contested election.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Moragoda off to Delhi for talks with Indian leaders (21 - Island)
* BASL tells President to go for integrity, seniority and merit in appointing judges (21 - ST)
* Over Rs. 700m for welfare of women and children - Minister Karaliyadde (21 - SO)
* Final results for Monaragala district at Sri Lanka's Uva Provincial Council election (21 - CP)
* Final results for Badulla district at Sri Lanka's Uva Provincial Council election (21 - CP)
* Election results for Monaragala district of Uva Province (21 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Sept 22 (PCB) Karachi- The Pakistan Cricket Board have defended the timing of their new domestic T20 competition, saying the event gives the Pakistan players enough time to prepare for the UAE series against Australia next month. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Waqar Younis were reportedly annoyed by the tournament's placement, which does not allow the national players time to go to the UAE early to prepare for the Aussies.

More : SPORTS

Sept 22 (FPJ) Incheon- Playing their first match of the Asian Games at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium here, the Indian men’s team defeated neighbours Sri Lanka 8-0 in a Pool B contest here on Sunday. It was Rupinder Pal Singh’s hat-trick and Ramandeep Singh’s double that put India in more than a comfortable position and a goal each from V.R. Raghunath, Chinglensana Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah gave the opponents a big setback.

Sept 22 (ESPNCI) Lasith Malinga has suggested Sri Lanka would be wise to groom another bowler as a World Cup failsafe as he prepares to undergo surgery on Monday that will keep him out for around 16 weeks. Malinga consulted his orthopaedic surgeon in Melbourne on Sunday, and decided his long-term ankle complaint had degenerated to an extent that it required surgery. If there are no complications during the arthroscopic procedure or recovery, Malinga is expected to return to full intensity at training in mid-January,

Sept 22 (ZN) Karachi- Although the PCB is leaving no stone unturned to allow suspended off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal a chance to make a comeback to international cricket, the national selectors and head coach, Waqar Younis are already planning for the World Cups sans Ajmal. "What happened is unfortunate and a big blow to the team. But we have to plan thinking Saeed could not be available for the World Cup," Waqar said on Sunday.


WORLD

Sept 22 (BBC) Sept 22 (BBC) Australian PM Tony Abbott says certain freedoms may have to be forfeited in the name of security, after major anti-terror raids last week. His government would seek broad powers to fight the rising threat of militant Islamists, he told parliament. New laws would criminalise travel to conflict areas declared off limits.

More : WORLD

Sept 22 (BBC) Pakistan's army has named a new head of the country's feared spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Rizwan Akhtar was promoted from major-general to lieutenant-general to assume the new role and is considered an ally of army chief Gen Raheel Sharif.

Sept 22 (BBC) A three-day curfew aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has been declared a success by authorities. The wide-ranging curfew ended at midnight on Sunday (GMT) and will not be extended, authorities said.

Sept 22 (BBC) Hong Kong students have begun a week-long boycott of classes to protest against China's stance on electoral reform in the territory. Thousands of students from more than two dozen universities and tertiary institutions have vowed to take part.


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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