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[Last Updated = Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 11:44 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka Tamil party delegation visits India to seek solutions to national issue

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A five-member delegation of Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), will leave for India today to hold discussions with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Indian leaders on a host of issues. The TNA delegation, led by its leader MP R. Sampanthan, will meet Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi on August 23. This is the first meeting the party will have with the new Indian PM and his government after the Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran turned down an invitation to accompany Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the swearing-in ceremony of Modi in May this year.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A 42-year old Sri Lankan woman and her two adult daughters who applied together for UK visas were arrested today for using deception in their applications by applying in multiple identities, the British High Commission in Colombo said in a release.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General's Department and UNICEF have teamed up to launch the development of an electronic database to speed up justice for abused children by tracking their cases swiftly. The Ministry of Justice is initiating the innovative web-based tracking system for the Attorney General's Department.

Aug 21 (AP) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to deny entry to U.N. investigators is intended to undermine the credibility of an ongoing war crimes inquiry, an activist said Thursday.

Aug 21 (Island) The Pamunugama police found a body of a male aged about 35 years washed ashore near the Navy camp at Uswetikeiyawa on Monday (18) morning. The headless body was minus both hands and a leg. The victim was wearing cream coloured trousers.

Aug 21 (DM) An analysis carried out by the Government Analyst on the 85 kilograms of substance seized by the Police Special Task Force (STF) on June 11 and described as heroin, has indicated that 31 kilograms of it was heroin and the rest extraneous matter, police sources said yesterday.

Aug 21 (DN) Five suspected of allegedly murdering a father and a son over a land dispute in Meegahatenna were remanded by Matugama Additional Magistrate Chamari Weerasuriya. K.G.Jinadasa, 72, and his son K.D.S. Upali Alwis, 42, were allegedly murdered on August 12.

Aug 20 (CP) New Delhi- Sri Lanka and India together shared concerns today over the growing menace of narcotic drugs and latest trends in narcotics smuggling in Indo-Sri Lankan sector during the firs-ever talks between the top anti-narcotics agencies of both the countries.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Following the death of a female doctor at the hand of an unqualified plastic surgeon, Sri Lanka's Health Ministry has decided to inspect all cosmetic clinics in the country. Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala has issued a circular directing all the provincial and divisional health service directors to inspect the places that provide cosmetology services island wide.

Aug 20 (Hindu) The Dhanushkodi police have arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil, who attempted to clandestinely leave for Talaimannar, and two others, including a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who promised him a trip by boat.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Rs. 70 million gold haul detected in Talaimannar (20 - Island)
* ‘Kudu Nuwan’ arrested (20 - DM)
* Navy nabs 14 engaged in illegal fishing (20 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 21 (CNN) Both Americans who were treated for the Ebola virus have been discharged from the hospital. "Today is a miraculous day," Dr. Kent Brantly said at a news conference in Atlanta with staff of Emory University Hospital. "I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family." The hospital announced he was being discharged Thursday.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Two more Members of Sri Lankan Parliament were sworn in as Deputy Ministers before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees this morning.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's external sector strengthened further and trade deficit narrowed for the ninth consecutive month in June 2014 by 35.3 percent to US$ 454 million as earnings from exports substantially increased while expenditure on imports declined during the month, the Central Bank said releasing the External Sector Performance review Thursday.

Aug 21 (CP) Islamabad- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has cancelled his visit to Pakistan that was scheduled for later this week due to the political unrest in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Office has said.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- India's foreign policy is very clear and will not agree to any foreign power interfering in Sri Lanka's internal matters, a senior leader of India's governing Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) Dr. Subramanian Swamy said. (Sri Lanka Army Photo)


FINANCE

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange's (CSE) All Share Price Index (ASPI) crossed the 7000 mark today (21) closing at 7,004.75 points. This is the first instance after 3 years the ASPI crossed 7000 points since closing on 7,030.85 points on August 18th, 2011.

Aug 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks hovered around three-year highs on Thursday, led by financials due to lower interest rates, but analysts said increasing speculative trading in fundamentally weak shares could impede the healthy growth the index has had this year.

Aug 21 (Island) The Richard Pieris Group ended its 1st Quarter on a strong note reporting a growth of 106% in its Net Profit when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The three months ended June 30, 2014 evidenced a steady performance in all its major sectors

Aug 21 (DM) A special board for the listing of the Board of Investment (BoI) firms in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will be set up within the next two months and six companies have already expressed interest in going public.

Aug 21 (DN) AIA Insurance Lanka and its subsidiaries has posted a profit after tax of Rs 146 million, compared with Rs 195 million of the first half of 2013 which excluded rebranding spend, a one-off item in 2013. Announcing the financial results of the company for the six months ended June 30 2014,

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has taken any decision to increase fuel prices despite the losses from selling fuel at subsidized prices, Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

Aug 20 (Xinhua) COLOMBO - Sri Lanka will focus on increasing trade and investment with China as well as broadening the scope of a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a top official said on Tuesday.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka's short term rates seem to bottoming out-c.bank chief (20 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka bourse edges up on banks; low interest rates (20 - Reuters)
* NSB records strong performance in 1H, 2014 (20 - Island)
* JKH crossing sees market turnover top Rs 7.2 b (20 - DN)
* Sri Lanka’s MillenniumIT ranked highest among the most respected IT companies in the island (20 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A delegation of members of the National Assembly of Vietnam led by the head of Justice Committee Nguyen Van Hien visited Sri Lankan Parliament Thursday and held bilateral talks with Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody at the Parliament complex, the official government news portal said.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka today expressed condolences to the Japanese people on landslide tragedy in Hiroshima that killed at least 39 people. "It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that the people of Sri Lanka learnt of the devastating landslide that had struck Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), has decided to reinstate two expelled members of the party in electoral organizer positions, party sources say.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday mourned the loss of lives and destruction due to the devastating landslides that struck Hiroshima, Japan on Wednesday . "My thoughts go out to the families of those killed and affected by the landslides in Hiroshima, Japan, yesterday," President Rajapaksa said in a twitter message.

Aug 21 (BBC) An unprecedented drought in Sri Lanka is exacerbating the longstanding potential for conflict between humans an elephants, reports suggest. But a "fence" of palmyra trees is starting to yield success.

Aug 21 (IRIN) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's government is scrambling to ease the impact of record harvest losses on millions of farmers as the country enters its tenth month of an acute dry spell.

Aug 21 (Island) General Secretary of the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well as its dominant partner, Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi, Mavai S. Senathirajah, MP, yesterday said that the party hadn’t authorised any of its members to seek a wider UN investigation against Sri Lanka.

Aug 21 (DM) Former Chief justice Sarath N. Silva said today it was illegal and unconstitutional to grant one million US dollars to Palestine without following the proper procedure to do so. Mr. Silva said spending of one million US dollars by the Finance Ministry Secretary and the President as the Finance Minister had violated Section 148 of the Constitution.

Aug 21 (DN) In the present context of Sri Lanka, the 13th Amendment itself is irrelevant, Expert on International Terrorism Prof. Rohan Gunaratne said. He was making a special lecture on "India under Modi: A turning point in Indo-Lanka Relations" at the Parliamentary complex yesterday.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today ordered the relevant authorities to resolve the trade union issues in the health sector within three months.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank said it has sought the services of lobbying firms in the United States to improve the communication between the two countries to create an environment conducive to attract more US investments.

Aug 20 (CP) New York- The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged Sri Lanka to cooperate with the international inquiry launched by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into human rights violations during Sri Lanka's war, his Spokesperson said Tuesday.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Japan's Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Manabu Sakai called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Tuesday (August 19).

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to immediately appoint the party senior Sajith Premadasa as the deputy leader and entrust him with the operations of the Uva provincial council election, a local media report said.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka main opposition to appoint Sajith Premadasa as deputy leader - report

Aug 20 (NIE) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should visit Lanka because Lankans are eager to host him. "People want him to come here. If the Japanese Prime Minister and the Chinese President can come here,"

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Lanka Has Addressed India's Security Concerns: Swamy (20 - OL)
* Ranil flays MR’s panel (20 - Island)
* Non state actors pose a common challenge in the region – envoy (20 - DN)
* Junior heath sector workers of Sri Lanka state hospitals launch strike (20 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake who was sent off to Perth, Australia to undergo remedial work to correct his bowling action has returned after completing the training, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced today. Sachithra was working on remodeling of his bowling action at the University of Western Australia with the aid of the University consultant coach Darryl Foster to correct suspected bowling actions.

More : SPORTS

Aug 20 (ESPNCI) Thisara Perera struck a brisk half-century and then took two wickets to help Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI beat Pakistanis by 13 runs according to the D/L method. Opting to bat, the President's XI openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Tillakaratne Dilshan raced to 48 in 7.2 overs, but Mohammad Talha struck twice in the space of three deliveries to peg the hosts back.

Aug 20 (Dunya News) COLOMBO– After facing defeat in the Test series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan is all geared up to improve its performance up a notch in the One-Day (ODI) under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq. Pakistan cricket team has been preparing perform well after being clean swept by the Sri Lankans in two Test matches. Under the supervision of the batting coach, Pakistan team would try to overcome its weaknesses in the practice session.

Aug 20 (AFP) Colombo: Sri Lanka are banking on young talent to see them through a transitional phase in Test cricket despite the departure of one batting great, another approaching retirement and an ageing spinner in the ranks. Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who ended his 17-year Test career on Monday following the 2-0 series win over Pakistan, said there was no cause for panic over the side's immediate future.


WORLD

Aug 21 (BBC) Pakistan's main opposition leader Imran Khan says he is pulling out of talks with the government until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns. The two sides began discussions last night, after thousands of opposition supporters occupied a high-security zone in front of parliament. Protesters say Mr Sharif came to power through electoral fraud.

More : WORLD

Aug 21 (BBC) A forensic investigation into clothing and swabs taken after the murder and alleged gang rape of two teenage cousins in northern India has concluded they were not sexually assaulted. The girls were found hanged from a tree in Uttar Pradesh state in May, in a case which sparked global outrage. Three suspected attackers were taken into custody along with two policemen.

Aug 21 (Xinhua) ISLAMABAD-- The Pakistani government on Wednesday opened talks with an opposition leader, who is leading thousands of supporters in a sit-in in Islamabad and is demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Dr Tahir ul Qadri, leader of the Pakistani Awami Party (PAP), started protest against the government on Aug. 14 and had earlier refused to hold talks with the government. He says he will bring out a revolution as the present system failed to deliver.

Aug 21 (BBC) A court in India has put on hold the execution of two sisters convicted of murdering children they kidnapped and forced to beg and steal, a lawyer said. Renuka Shinde, 45, and her step-sister Seema Gavit, 39, were convicted of carrying out the crimes in the state of Maharashtra between 1994 and 1996.


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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