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[Last Updated = Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 11:34 pm SL Time]
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Rights of children are adequately protected in Sri Lanka - President

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- The rights of children in Sri Lanka are now being adequately protected and the country has become has become one of the best countries in the world for the children to live, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today. Addressing the World Children's Day national ceremony held at the premises of the Maharagama National Youth Services Council, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka has already achieved the millennium goals of overcoming poverty, provision of primary education to all children and minimizing child deaths.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government is taking measures to promote reconciliation and coexistence among communities as recommended by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, ceremonially welcomed today two Pakistan naval ships PNS NASR and PNS SAIF arrived at the Port of Colombo on a four-day goodwill visit. (Sri Lanka Navy Photo)

Oct 01 (CP) Chennai- The Indian Coast Guard has arrested 12 Sri Lankan fishermen along with their boat on Tuesday for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Chennai coast.

Oct 01 (Island) Two friends living in Dehiwala and Mount Llavinia were hospitalised last night after being shot by two unidentified men near a shop in Dehiwala on Monday night. The assailants had come on a motorcycle in heavy rain.

Oct 01 (DN) All arrangements are in place to provide telephone facilities to prison inmates to communicate with their families, relatives and friends, a Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry spokesman said yesterday.

Oct 01 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have told the Cabinet meeting that his discussions with US Secretary of State John Kerry had made him realize that the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka. According to Government sources the President had said the meetings he had with Mr. Kerry and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York were fruitful.

Oct 01 (NIE) KILINOCHUCI- Sri Lanka's Missing Persons' Commission will suggest issuance of "missing person" certificates to families of those who could not be traced even after the best efforts, Suranjana Vidyaratne, one of the members of the panel, told newspersons here on the sidelines of the public hearing here on Monday.

Oct 01 (SBS) The Sri Lankan Government has dismissed as 'baseless' the findings of an SBS investigation into the mistreatment of failed asylum seekers sent back to the country by Australia.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday ordered the release of 76 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody. Officials at the Indian High Commission in Colombo have confirmed the President's order which comes days after the President had discussions with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the United Nations general Assembly in New York last week.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- A British diplomat in Sri Lanka says she was continually being watched during a recent visit to the island's East and the people she met have been questioned by the Sri Lankan authorities.

** Related Story ::British Deputy High Commissioner visits Sri Lanka's Eastern Province

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- A minor Tamil party in Sri Lanka's North, has been urging the public to submit evidence against the alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka to the United Nations team conducting the international probe, a local media report said.

Sept 30 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka media rights groups said on Tuesday police had stopped an online journalists' association from holding a workshop on ethics and digital security at the weekend, the fourth disruption of media gatherings since May.

Sept 30 (AJ) As a journalist I always feel privileged and cursed for the ringside seat we have into peoples lives. Seeing the depths of despair, the agony of loss and the intensity of joy is a humbling experience.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Hardline Buddhists in Myanmar, Sri Lanka strike anti-Islamist pact (30 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka Customs arrests two with illegal gold stock (30 - CP)
* Sri Lanka Navy arrests 16 fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters (30 - CP)
* PS Vice Chairman (52) assaulted while trying to bring back his teen wife (30 - Island)
* More bogus job agencies uncovered (30 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 01 (CP) Chennai- The new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O. Panneerselvam today asked the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take "positive and concrete steps" to secure the immediate release of 20 fishermen and 75 boats still detained by the Sri Lankan authorities.

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government, downplaying the views expressed by the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization, stressed that the Government stands for co-existence among all communities.

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka is the best country in South Asia for older people, according to a new global index that was released Wednesday to coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons. The index measures how well 96 countries in the world are supporting their older populations of over age 60.


FINANCE

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- Hatton National Bank (HNB), one of the largest private sector banks in Sri Lanka, announced that it has entered into a Shareholders' Agreement on Tuesday with Prime Grameen Micro Finance Ltd to acquire 51% stake of the micro finance company.

Oct 01 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose on Wednesday, hitting their highest in more than three years, led by blue-chips such as John Keells Holdings and Dialog Axiata Plc, while lower interest rates and growth optimism boosted sentiment.

Oct 01 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's central bank rejected all bids at a weekly auction on Wednesday after offering 1.5 billion rupees in 182-day t-bills and 4.5 billion rupees in 364-day t-bills.

Oct 01 (Island) JKH accounting for over 45 percent of the business volume powered the Colombo bourse yesterday which closed strongly on a turnover of Rs.4.29 billion, up from the previous day’s Rs.3.45 billion,

Oct 01 (DN) CIC Holdings Plc will strengthen and expand the pharmaceutical sector business by investing in their pharmaceutical manufacturing plan in CIC Lifesciences Ltd. The company expects to invest more than Rs 130 million for it in order to strengthen its operations,

Oct 01 (DM) Despite Central Bank’s (CB) push to cut lending rates, the broad uncertainty prevailing in the market over the ability to sustain low interest rates in the foreseeable future is seen keeping prospective borrowers at bay, leading to low demand for credit.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- The French Development Agency (AFD) has agreed to provide a US$ 70 million to the Government of Sri Lanka for a water supply system improvement and energy saving project. Ms. Aude Flogny- Catrisse, Regional Director of AFD for South East Asia and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning signed the loan agreement yesterday at the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- The Monetary Board of Sri Lanka's Central Bank has approved eight more proposals for consolidation of island's financial institutions, bringing the total number of proposals approved to 37.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , remained unchanged at 3.5 percent in September 2014 on a year-on-year basis, the Central Bank reported on Tuesday.

Sep 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run budget carrier Mihin Lanka plans to add destinations and increase frequencies on existing route as it plans to meet the growing demand for flights due to an increase in tourism and trade.

More : FINANCE
* Brandix i3 signs agreement with Mayo Clinic to launch the Mortality Review System (30 - Island)
* LOLC Leisure rebranded as Browns Hotels (30 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it has begun relief operations to bring food assistance to tens of thousands of Sri Lankans affected by recent drought. WFP is providing food or cash for approximately 190,000 people in urgent need of assistance, the UN agency said in a release today.

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- A new Atomic Energy Bill incorporating several new provisions will be presented in parliament soon for approval. The cabinet of ministers approved a proposal made by Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka to publish the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Bill in the Government Gazette and present it in Parliament for approval.

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Cabinet of Ministers Tuesday gave its approval to initiate activities to establish a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka hosts IORA workshop to establish a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences & Environment

Oct 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has set an example to other nations by fulfilling most of its responsibilities towards the country's children, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his message to mark World Children's Day, today.

Oct 01 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga yesterday said that he would raise the inordinate delay in convening the Committee on Standing Committee at the next party leaders’ meeting.

Oct 01 (DN) A National Housing Policy for the country will be launched for the first time in Sri Lanka on World Habitat Day 2014, Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa said.

Oct 01 (DM) The Private Transport Services Ministry said that it would launch a programme effective from today for commuters to make private bus-related complaints via SMS through the hotline 071 655 0000.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today recognized the students who excelled at this year's Grade Five Scholarship Examination. The President today met the 9 students who earned the first, second, third and fourth places at the Exam at the President Secretariat and congratulated them.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has announced the approved electricity tariffs, in line with the government policy directive on the reduction of electricity tariffs for the domestic sector.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Cabinet Spokesperson and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella today denied receiving a resignation letter from Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to UK Dr. Chris Nonis.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will mark World Children's Day tomorrow with a national event at the Maharagama Youth Centre under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In Sri Lanka, Children's Day is celebrated on October 1. The ceremony, held under the theme 'Protect Us with Love' is organized by the Child Development and Women's Affairs Ministry, the Government Media Unit said.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo: All investment projects that are currently in commercial operation under Sri Lanka's Board of Investment (BOI) is recorded to be around Rs. 5.99 billion.

Sept 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's powerful doctors' union, the Government Medical Officers Association has threatened to take action against the government's decision to allow the students of the Private Medical College in Malabe to receive clinical training at the government hospitals.

Sept 30 (CP) Washington, DC- The United States Department of State has announced that the 2016 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program, popularly known as the Green Card Lottery, will be accepting on-line applications starting on Wednesday October 1, 2014.

Sept 30 (NIE) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan government today declined to comment on the conviction of Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa in disproportionate assets case, calling it an internal matter of India. "Our position is that it is an internal Indian issue which we should not comment on."

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Women’s Affairs Ministry asks NGOs for ideas to eliminate discrimination against women (30 - Island)
* BASL seeks expert opinion on MR’s third term (30 - DM)
* Botswana opens doors to Sri Lanka (30 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Sept 30 (ESPNCI) Srinath Silva, 66, died of a heart attack in his sleep on Tuesday morning. Silva, a right-handed opening batsman, was less than five feet in height but was one of the hardest hitters of his time. A former Sri Lanka poolist, Silva played domestic cricket at the highest level for three decades from the mid-sixties. He represented Moratuwa SC, Colts, Saracens and Bloomfield. Silva was a member of the Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee, chairman of the SLC umpires committee and president of Catamarans SC.

More : SPORTS

Sept 30 (E24/7) Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has questioned the timing of cricket authorities' crackdown against chucking just months away from the World Cup, and suggested that rules on bowling actions be relaxed for spinners. In an interview with AFP, the former pace great said key all rounder Mohammed Hafeez's confidence was left shattered after he was reported for a suspect action in an Indian domestic tournament, a fresh blow to Pakistan following the loss of Saeed Ajmal to a chucking ban.

Sept 30 (AFP) Incheon (South Korea)- Chinese athletes aim to show their class in the Asian Games track and field on Tuesday after a row over talented imported from Africa. Xia Wenjun will go for China s eighth successive 110 metres hurdles victory, taking up the mantle for injury-hobbled former Olympic champion Liu Xiang. Li Jinzhe leads the field in the men s long jump, and he appears well placed to set a new Asian record on day three of the athletics competition.

Sept 30 (ESPNCI) Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful has had his eight-year ban for involvement in corruption reduced to a five-year penalty, with two years suspended, by the BCB's disciplinary panel chairman. Ashraful had appealed to the disciplinary panel chief, Justice Mohammad Abdur Rashid, in July, asking that the ban he received a month earlier, for his involvement in match and spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, be reduced.


WORLD

Oct 01 (BBC) Afghanistan's new leader is resuming the investigation into a banking fraud said to be one of the world's largest. Ashraf Ghani said reopening the Kabul Bank inquiry was the first step in a fight against corruption.

More : WORLD

Oct 01 (Hindu) After discussions that ran overtime by about an hour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama decided to take the India-U.S. relationship “to the next level,” saying the “true potential of the relationship has yet to be realised.” Mr. Modi, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said: “My discussions have confirmed for me that India and the U.S. are natural global partners.”

Sept 30 (BBC) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met US President Barack Obama at the White House over dinner, ahead of formal talks on Tuesday. The two leaders "exchanged anecdotes about their first few days in office, to see if they had anything in common", India's foreign ministry said.

Sept 30 (BBC) Efforts to recover the bodies of at least 24 climbers have been suspended again after the eruption on Japan's Mount Ontake intensified. A BBC correspondent near the mountain on Tuesday said the volcano was shooting out even more ash, smoke and rocks than before.


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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