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[Last Updated = Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 07:01 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President vows to take strict action against lawbreakers, not to permit religious discord

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- There is no religious disharmony in Sri Lanka as some groups are attempting to create an opinion that there are such religious conflicts in the country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted today. However, the President assured that he will not allow any individual or an organization to take the law into their hands and create such a situation in the country. Addressing heads of electronic and printed media chiefs and chief editors at the Temple Trees this morning the President said he hopes to discuss the issue with the religious groups.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Attorney General's Department has taken measures to strengthen its presence in the provinces as well as in the capital to ensure the progress in implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Apr 24 (CP) Canberra- The Australian government says it is engaging proactively and positively with Sri Lanka to prevent the illegal migration of people through the sea route and the measures taken in cooperation with Sri Lanka are successful in reducing the number of people illegally entering its borders.

Apr 24 (BBC) A British tourist arrested in Sri Lanka because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm said she had not been "shown compassion" as she faces deportation. Naomi Coleman is expected to be flown to London later, despite having plans to continue travelling to The Maldives.

Apr 24 (Island) Former manageress of Nature holiday resort in Tangalle, Tharanga Peiris, yesterday said that she didnít know why Tangalle police had failed to record her statement made in the immediate aftermath of the killing of British national, Khuram Shaikh and the gang rape of his Russian girlfriend, Victoria on the Christmas Eve in 2011.

Apr 24 (DM) A four-year-old girl and her two-year-old brother, who were thrown into the Nilvala River by their father this morning, were rescued by the army personnel on duty at a nearby security post, police said. They said the suspect has fled the scene after committing this act of cruelty.

Apr 24 (DN) The Hyderabad city police has found that the kidney racketeers, who had sent deceased victim Dinesh Maroo to Sri Lanka, had sent as many as 21 people from different parts of Andra Pradesh to Colombo for kidney surgeries in the last few months.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The extremist Sinhala Buddhist organization, Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), today surrounded a government ministry to protest the alleged resettlement of Muslims in Wilpattu National Park. The BBS surrounded the Ministry of Industries, charging that Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thero was hiding in the ministry building.

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NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- A parliamentary delegation of Balochistan Provincial Assembly of Pakistan, headed by Speaker Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali will be arriving in Colombo today on a four-day visit. The visit from April 24-28 aims at further strengthening Pakistan - Sri Lanka bilateral parliamentary relations and exploring ways to enhance bilateral ties between the two friendly countries in regional and global context, the Pakistani High Commission said in a release.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka today provided a comprehensive briefing to the diplomatic community on the action taken by the government to counteract the recent attempts to revive terrorism in the country. Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris Thursday briefed the Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Sri Lanka with the assistance of representative of the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development Major General K.H.G. Hendawitharana.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's cricket authority, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Wednesday has appointed Lasith Malinga as the captain of the of the Twenty20 team till March 2015. At a Selection Committee meeting held Wednesday, the National Selectors appointed Lasith Malinga as the Captain of the National T20 Team while Lahiru Thirimanne has been appointed as the Vice Captain of same until March 2015.


FINANCE

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's business chamber, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce together with the Sri Lanka Press Institute will conduct a three day course on "Media Strategies for the Corporate Sector," next month. The course will be held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute from the 7th to 9th of May, 2014 between 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended a tad firmer on Thursday, led by telecom and banking stocks while block deals in George Steuart Finance PLC boosted turnover amid continued moderate foreign inflows into the island nation's risky assets.

Apr 24 (Island) Adam Investments Limited (AINV), a newly formed investment company which looks at investment, revival and management of a growing number of subsidiary companies as its core business, confirmed that it has received approval to list its shares on the Diri Savi Board, a release said.

Apr 24 (DM) Palm oil mills are in an enviable position to harness enormous amounts of renewable energy with high efficiency, the potential which remains largely unrealised, palm oil expert Krishna Moorthy says.

Apr 24 (DN) Hot on the heels of its recent outstanding achievement of having been selected as the Offshoring Destination of the Year 2013 by the National Association for Outsourcing (NOA) in UK, ri Lanka's Outsourcing Industry has achieved another significant achievement by getting shortlisted for the Offshoring Destination of the Year Award by the European Outsourcing Association.

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom said it would invest 415 million US dollars to expand its network, build data centres, and expand its pay TV and services to businesses over the next two years.

Apr 23 (Reuters) Colombo- The Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad firmer on Wednesday, recovering from early losses on dollar sales by exporters in late trade. Dealers expect the local currency to remain stable until imports pick up sharply. The spot rupee, which had hit a low of 130.64 per dollar earlier in the day on importer demand, closed at 130.60/61, firmer than Tuesday's close of 130.62/67.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan shares fall after five days of gains (23 - Reuters)
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POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka said it will conduct a tsunami pre-warning test in coastal districts of the country today. Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre, Pradeep Kodippili said the drill will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. local time in 14 coastal districts in the country.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Japan will award scholarships to Sri Lankan students to pursue studies in Japanese Universities and Colleges for 2015 under the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Scholarship scheme.

Apr 24 (Island) Amidst allegations levelled by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over illegal settlements within the Wilpattu National Park (WNP) 60 journalists including foreign correspondents on a fact finding mission on Tuesday were shown the ground situation by the authorities in the area .

Apr 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said a special Police unit would be established within the Religious Affairs Ministry to inquire complains on religious matters, the government information department said

Apr 24 (DN) The latest Abimansala 3 wellness resort will be ceremonially opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Pangolla, Kurunegala tomorrow, for dependent War Heroes of the North Western Province who were rendered differently abled during the operation to eradicate terrorism and safeguard the countryís territorial integrity.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), will call for Tamils' right to self-determination at its May Day rally scheduled to be held in Chavakachcheri. TNA Jaffna District parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah has said the TNA would celebrate May Day this year under the theme of the right to self-determination as well as issues including the cost of living, unemployment, resettlement and land grabbing.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) will hold a protest tomorrow against the government's attempt to get parliamentary approval for legislation that would grant tax concessions for two projects to set up casinos and gaming facilities in the country. The protest by UNP parliamentarians will be held at the proposed site of the Crown Multi-Purpose Development Project at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo.

Apr 23 (BBC) The Sri Lankan authorities have ordered the deportation of a British tourist because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm. Here are some other ways tattoos can get you into trouble, writes Vanessa Barford.

Apr 23 (Guardian) The arrest and pending deportation of a 37-year-old British nurse, Naomi Coleman, from Sri Lanka for sporting a tattoo of a meditating Buddha on her right arm has once again raised the issue of tourists being woefully unaware of religious and cultural sensitivities in places they visit.

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Colombo- Sri Lanka's government is opening up its public university system attracting significant investment with plans to allow 10 private universities to operate locally by 2020, an official said Wednesday. Higher Education Ministry Dr. Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne outlined ambitious plans to reporters that aim to attract 50,000 foreign students to study at these private universities in addition to local youth. "The plan is to allow these universities to establish themselves in different parts of the country," he said.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 24 (ICC) Paul Farbrace was today confirmed as England's Assistant Coach by Paul Downton, the Managing Director England Cricket, and he will begin work with immediate effect. Following negotiations between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) an agreement was reached to allow Farbrace, 46, to join the England management team under Head Coach Peter Moores.

More : SPORTS

Apr 23 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka have been rendered "helpless" by Paul Farbrace's sudden exit, weeks from their biggest overseas tour of the year, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said. Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those series, with SLC left with too little time to name a permanent replacement.

Apr 23 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka's selectors have relieved Dinesh Chandimal of all his leadership positions, appointing Lasith Malinga as the T20I captain and Lahiru Thirimanne as vice-captain across all formats untill March 2015. Chandimal had had a poor run in limited-overs cricket, particularly in Asian conditions, but had maintained a good record in Tests, averaging 63.75 in 10 innings, since being named vice-captain in February last year.

Apr 23 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka's cricketers have agreed to sign the board's annual contracts after SLC decided to award the players a 10% cut of the ICC and ACC-events participation fee for the next five years, bringing the seven-week dispute to a close. The players have not yet put pen to paper, but Test and ODI captain Angelo Mathews had struck a deal with the three-member SLC committee appointed to review the issue, after a meeting on Tuesday, an official release said.


WORLD

Apr 24 (BBC) Narendra Modi, the man expected to be India's next leader, has submitted his election nomination papers as Indians vote in the sixth phase of their poll. He arrived in the holy city of Varanasi as supporters from his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) poured onto the streets.

More : WORLD

Apr 24 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Maldives president Abdulla Yameen will leave on Thursday to attend the country's first ever investment forum in Singapore where over 300 global investors have registered, the President's Office said. As many as 15 countries have registered for the investor forum, which is expected to be the glittering platform for the Maldives government to launch bids for key projects.

Apr 24 (BBC) Three Americans have been shot dead by a policeman at a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, US officials say. A spokesman for Afghanistan's interior ministry described those killed as "medical staff". It was unclear whether the policeman was dead or in custody.

Apr 24 (BBC) US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his support for Japan in its row over islands with China, after talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr Obama, who is on a four-nation Asia tour, warned against escalation in the dispute and said he wanted to see the row resolved peacefully.


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 Lankaís 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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