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[Last Updated = Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 08:35 pm SL Time]
TOP STORY
Sri Lanka, China end stalemate over Colombo Port Project

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka and China have ended the stalemate over the Chinese-funded US$ 1.4 billion mega development project suspended by the new government and agreed to put the project back on track. Sri Lanka's new President Maithripala Sirisena, who is visiting China for the first time since he assumed office, had successful discussions with the Chinese leaders affirming them Sri Lanka's committeemen to continue the longstanding ties between the two countries, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Crimes Investigation Division of Sri Lanka police conducting investigations into the controversial MIG-27 aircraft deal has questioned the former Chief of the Sri Lanka Air Force and Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Roshan Goonetileke today.

** Related Story ::Financial Fraud Investigation Unit of Sri Lanka police investigates MIG- 27 deal

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan parliamentarian Mervyn Silva says that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is linked to the murder The Sunday Leader founding editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga.

** Related Story ::CID questions former Sri Lankan minister over journalists' murder

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Fraud Investigation Division of Sri Lanka police has begun investigation into the controversial MiG-27 procurement deal carried out by the Defence Ministry in 2007.

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigations Department of the Sri Lanka Police has recorded a statement yesterday day from former minister and United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Mervyn Silva over the killing of a journalist .

Mar 27 (Island) Acting Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday denied Indian media reports that Sri Lanka had agreed to allow Indian fishing vessels to enter the Sri Lankan waters 83 days per year for the next three years.

Mar 27 (DN) Samarappuli Niraj Roshan who is alleged to have possessed five elephants without valid documents was refused bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday and further remanded until April 2, 2015.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- The suspect who was wanted in connection with the attack on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's brother Priyantha Sirisena Thursday has been arrested after he surrendered to the police.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today issued a directive to the Criminal Investigations Department to probe the bank accounts of several persons involved in Galle floating armory. The Galle Magistrate has accordingly directed the CID to inspect the bank accounts of former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Defence Ministry's former Additional Secretary D.M.S. Jayaratne and the directors of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Limited.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Four ships from Indian Navy's First Training Squadron will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow for a three-day training exercise, the High Commission of India in Colombo said in a release today.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Crimes Investigation Division of Sri Lanka police was not able to deliver a court order to the former minister and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, the Police Media Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka Police seek to bring back former minister Basil Rajapaksa

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), currently undertaking an assessment in Sri Lanka to understand all the humanitarian needs of the families of missing persons, says clarifying the fate of missing persons in Sri Lanka requires sustained commitment.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy Wednesday assisted the repatriation of 54 Indian fishermen released from Sri Lankan custody just ahead of the talks held in Chennai on Tuesday between the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen.(Sri Lanka Navy Photo)

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Sri Lankan President's brother critically injured in axe attack - report (26 - CP)
* Fishermen reach home (26 - Hindu)
* Cops get caught lying over full face helmets (26 - Island)
* Two bullets penetrated through face and neck (26 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Mar 27 (CP) Washington, DC- The United States President Barack Obama Thursday announced his intent to nominate the current Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Atul Keshap for Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Mar 27, Fort Wayne, USA - Thursday March 26, 2015 was a busy day for Indiana Buddhist Temple. At 9 am, the monks welcomed students from Bluffton University, Bluffton OH. At 3 pm, another group of students came and visitted the temple. They came from Taylor University, Philosophy and Religion Class.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka deeply appreciates the assistance provided by Pakistan to Sri Lanka at crucial times during the island nation's fight against terrorism, a government minister said. Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake speaking at a reception hosted by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo on the occasion of the National Day of Pakistan on 23rd March 2015 recalled that the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka established in 1948, after regaining independence.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Despite that innovation is becoming an important policy agenda for Sri Lanka, the country lags far behind its South Asian neighbors in innovation and technological adoption, a recently released report of the Asia Development Bank (ADB) said.


FINANCE

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed HSBC Sri Lanka Branch's (HSBCSL) National Long-Term Rating at 'AAA(lka)'. The Outlook is Stable. HSBCSL's rating is at the highest end of the National Rating scale and reflects the credit profile and financial strength of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HKSB; Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR): AA-/Stable).

Mar 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for a fifth straight session on Friday and closed at their lowest in nearly eight months as investors sold their stocks to settle margin trading ahead of quarter-end, while political worries also weighed on sentiment.

Mar 27 (Island) Sri Lanka’s new government targets 100 percent clean indigenous energy to develop the island as a green country while importing fossil fuel, an official from the Ministry of Power and Energy said. "We want to develop the country but it has to be more green and environment friendly development," Suren Batagoda, secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy said

Mar 27 (DN) For the first time Sri Lanka’s brand value of US$ 79 billion would surpass the country’s GDP of US$ 79 billion in 2015, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Rohantha Atukorale.

Mar 27 (DM) Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today unveiled its most-awaited smartphones – GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 edge – in Sri Lanka. Beautifully crafted from metal and glass and with first-of-its-kind technology, the Samsung GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 edge define the future of mobility.

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s micro-finance industry is looking at developing a separate credit information database for their clientele with the help of the Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) of Sri Lanka.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka,a globally well-known tourist destination, with the objective of promoting trade and tourism will participate in the "Expo Milano 2015" World Trade Fair this year in Milan, Italy from 1st May to 31 October 2015.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan shares fall for 4th session on margin calls, political woes (26 - Reuters)
* Softlogic Finance rights oversubscribed ‘with strong investor interest’ (26 - Island)
* Industry first 'mAuction' app for tea brokers (26 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe says a decision will be reached on the proposed electoral reforms by political parties within the next 10 days. Wickremesinghe at a meeting with media heads at Temple Trees Thursday said that there was consensus on eliminating the Proportional Representative System and move towards a mix of the First-past-the-post and the PR systems.

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Treasurer of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Minister S.B. Nawinna has said party will take disciplinary action against any representative who violated party directives. Nawinna has made this comment in reference to the SLFP members who yesterday participated in a rally in Ratnapura

Mar 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will make an official three-day visit to the Northern Province from today to hold discussions with the Northern Province leaders on the issues people in the north are facing.

Mar 27 (NIE) COLOMBO- Faced with the challenge of showing by September this year, concrete progress towards reconciliation with the Tamil minority, the Sri Lankan government has taken several steps to take the reconciliation process forward.

Mar 27 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a statement read out at yesterday’s rally in Ratnapura, called upon the people to stand united against enemies of the nation as the separatists were still active. Rajapaksa said sinister forces had emerged stronger since Jan. 08.

Mar 27 (DN) In implementing the Government's 100 Day programme as promised during the January Presidential Elections, by now 30 proposals have got off the ground to ensure swift relief to the masses, Director General, Projects Management and Supervision Department of the Finance and Plan Implementation Ministry, Dharshana Senanayake said.

Mar 27 (DM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday said a decision on the new electoral system would be taken by political parties within the next 10 days. Speaking at a meeting with newspaper editors and media institution heads at Temple Trees, the Prime Minister said there was consensus on eliminating the Proportional Representative System and move towards a mix of the First-past-the-post and the Proportional Representative systems.

Mar 26, Colombo: A group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarians have violated a party directive and attended rally organized by several allies in the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

** Related Story ::SLFP to take disciplinary action against members participated in rally to support ex-president

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Ports and Shipping Minister of Sri Lanka Arjuna Ranatunga has in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the two leaders to ensure that nominations are not granted to opportunistic and corrupt persons who cross over from major parties when they are not able to secure nominations in their own parties.

Mar 26 (CP) New Delhi- The Atmosphere and receptivity during the recent discussions between the representatives of Sri Lankan and Indian Fishermen were better compared to the two previous meetings they held, India said.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka fishermen agree to consider Indian proposals

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga has been appointed to lead a special presidential task force to identify urgent reconciliation needs of the minority Tamil community, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced Thursday.

Mar 26 (CP) Beijing- Sri Lanka' new President Maithripala Sirisena, who is paying a state visit to China and to attend the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday pledged to continue the longstanding friendship between the two countries.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- A group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarian is to support the call for a change in the post of Opposition Leader in parliament. Accordingly, 50 SLFP parliamentarians are to sign a letter calling for the appointment of United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Dinesh Gunawardena as the Opposition Leader of parliament replacing the current Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva.

Mar 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has declared the week from today to 1st April as a National Dengue Prevention Week to launch island wide cleaning campaigns for mosquito eradication and raising awareness.

Mar 26 (Reuters) BEIJING- China said on Thursday that Sri Lanka's visiting president had promised work would resume on a controversial Chinese-backed port development in Colombo that his administration had earlier suspended.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Opposition Leader wants SLFP Ministers to act as watchdogs (26 - Island)
* Immigration Dept. receives 10 dual citizenship applications (26 - DM)
* SLFP Ministers to keep away from UPFA meetings (26 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Mar 27 (ESPNCI) Home advantage has helped carry New Zealand through the World Cup, amid frenzied atmospheres that peaked during the astonishing semi-final against South Africa. Now, though, the players have left the feeling of familiarity behind to play the biggest match of their lives. And the contrast in venues does not come much greater than Eden Park to the MCG. Some of the shortest boundaries in the world will be replaced by some of the longest. Both grounds have hosted four matches in the World Cup:

More : SPORTS

Mar 26 (ESPMCI) MS Dhoni has not ruled out playing another World Cup for India. Speaking at the post-match press conference after India's defeat to Australia in their semi-final at the SCG, Dhoni said he would probably think about his long-term future after next year's World T20. "I'm not sure about it," Dhoni said, when asked if he would play another World Cup. "I'm 33, I'm still running, I'm still fit,

Mar 26 (ESPMCI) Four months ago, India arrived in Australia as holders of both the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and the World Cup. Then they ran into Steven Smith, who ensured they will fly home with neither. Smith tormented India with a century in every Test of the summer, and like the ghost of series past, returned to haunt them with another hundred in this World Cup semi-final. The summer of Steve just keeps rolling on.

Mar 26 (ESPNCI) On Tuesday it was the hard-luck teams from past World Cups; on Thursday it is the powerhouses. Neither New Zealand nor South Africa had ever made a World Cup decider despite playing in nine semi-finals between them; Australia and India have collectively reached nine World Cup finals. It will soon become 10. The only question is which team will take on New Zealand on the last Sunday in March. Some people collect souvenir spoons when they go travelling, for a while Australia picked up cups in much the same way.


WORLD

Mar 27 (BBC) At least 10 Hindu pilgrims have been killed in a stampede during a bathing ritual at a holy site in Narayanganj, Bangladesh, say local media. The incident happened during the Astami Snan, one of the largest annual Hindu ceremonies in Bangladesh, when pilgrims wash in the Brahmaputra river.

More : WORLD

Mar 26 (BBC) Police investigating the rape of an elderly nun in the Indian state of West Bengal have made their first arrests, more than 12 days after the crime. They say they are holding two men, after earlier detaining several others for questioning. The incident caused outrage in India and led to street protests in many cities across the country.

Mar 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday greeted the people of Bangladesh on their 44th Independence Day. "Independence Day greetings to the people of Bangladesh, a nation that has always been an enduring and important friend for India," Modi said in a statement.


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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