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[Last Updated = Sat, Nov 22, 2014, 09:09 pm SL Time]
UNP deputy leader backs Sri Lankan President's challenger

Nov 22 (CP) Colombo- The deputy leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has pledged to extend his 'utmost support' to Maithripala Sirisena, the common opposition candidate challenging the incumbent president at the presidential polls. Premadasa, strongly approving the decision taken by the working committee of the party to name the former Health Minister as the common candidate, has expressed his support to ensure Sirisena's victory. The deputy leader declared his backing when he welcomed Maithripala Sirisena to a special discussion held at the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe's office Friday night to discuss the future plans
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Nov 22 (CP) Colombo- A local politician of the opposition United National Party was shot and injured in the first violent incident related to the presidential polls in Sri Lanka. Chamila Ranasinghe, a former UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member was wounded and hospitalized in a shooting incident in the Maggona area in Beruwala electorate of Kalutara district last night.

Nov 22 (Island) KANDY– A trishaw driver who pleaded guilty to driving without a driving licence and negligence was ordered to pay fines amounting Rs. 10,250 by the Kandy Chief Magistrate A. M. A. Wasantha Kumara. Eranga Lakshantha Gunawardana of Nadsa Colony of Wariyagala near Galaha was prosecuted after causing damage to the vehicle of a High Court Judge in an accident in the Peradeniya police division.

Nov 22 (DN) The Coast Conservation Department demolished an illegally constructed four storeyed building close to the Rumassala hillock at Unawatuna Galle on Sunday. The building had been erected along the Galle- Matara highway at Magalle in Galle.

Nov 21 (CP) New Delhi- India's Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy has asked the Indian government to ban a move in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sri Lanka's slain terrorist leader V. Prabhakaran.

** Related Story ::Pro-Eelam Tamil party in India calls to celebrate Sri Lanka terrorist leader's birthday

Nov 21 (CP) Jaffna- A Sri Lankan court Friday ordered to further remand 24 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu until December 05 on charges of illegally entering Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on two occasions for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and entering into Sri Lankan waters for poaching.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- The main opposition party of Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP) 'with shock' condemned the attack on the temple of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Chairman and MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero', who along with his party quit the government recently.

Nov 21 (CP) Chennai- The five Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were pardoned by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa after they were sentenced to death by a Colombo court for alleged drug trafficking, arrive in Chennai Friday.

Nov 21 (NIE) The release of the five fishermen, who were given death penalty by the Colombo High Court, is a victory for the Narendra Modi government. It became possible when Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa used his executive powers to commute the penalty to the period they spent in jail since their arrest in November 2011. Unlike other fishermen’s cases, the charge against them was not that they fished in Sri Lankan waters but that they were in narcotics business.

* Professorial unit of A'pura hospital destroyed by fire (21 - Island)
* SL fishermen will remain on death row: Ministry (21 - DM)
* Written exam to recruit WPCs (21 - DN)


Nov 22 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Petroleum Industries, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has been appointed as the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of Sri Lanka's ruling alliance.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today declared open another mega housing complex for the underserved communities in Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo. The newly constructed 'Sirimuthu Uyana' Housing Scheme situated at Bandaranayake Avenue in Colombo 14, was ceremonially declared open by the President in a grand ceremony this evening (Nov 21).

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Election Commissioner of Sri Lanka Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that the Presidential elections will be held on January 08, 2015. The nominations are to be closed at 12 noon on December 08. Election Secretariat, Sarana Mawatha, Rajagiriya is the place of nomination of candidates for the election.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- The General Secretary of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Minister Maithripala Sirisena today announced that he is the Common Opposition candidate contesting for the presidency against the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- General Secretary of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena speaking at an event at Battaramulla today said that he is committed to serve the country and the people in the future as he did in the last five years as the Health Minister.


Nov 22 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange announced Friday that it has in principle approved the application for listing the debt securities of Hatton National Bank (HNB). Accordingly, the HNB will issue 30 million, senior unsecured redeemable rated debentures at Rs. 100, each, with the option open to sell a further 10 million debentures in the event of an over-subscription.

Nov 22 (Island) AIA Insurance Lanka PLC announced the financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries (the "Group") for the nine months ended September 30, 2014. The main highlights are: Solid premium growth in both life and general insurance businesses

Nov 22 (DN) Amăna Takaful PLC, recorded a profit of Rs. 24.8 million for the period of nine months for the financial year ending September 30, 2014. The company recorded a 36% increase in profit after tax and 15% growth of total revenue over the same period of the previous year.

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka Fitch Rating has rated Sri Lankan based Union Bank PLC’s (UB) national long term rating to 'BB+(lka)' from 'BB(lka)' with a stable outlook the rating agency said in a statement.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings has assigned Abans Plc's proposed issue of senior unsecured redeemable debentures of up to LKR2bn an expected National Long-Term rating of 'BBB+(lka)(EXP)'. The rating is contingent upon the final transaction documents conforming to information already received.

Nov 21 (WSJ) The fall of the yen against the dollar has raised the specter of competitive depreciations that could upset Asia’s monetary order, the governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank said Friday.

Nov 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell sharply on Friday to a more than two-week low on political concerns, a day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared he would seek an unprecedented third term, prompting defections from his ruling coalition.

* Business Today fetes top 25 corporate entities (21 - Island)
* OZO Colombo Welcomes Festive Season Helping Needy Families (21 - DM)
* KVC to infuse new capital, technology with Danish partner (21 - DN)
* SriLankan Airlines to start operations to Kunming, China (21 - LBO)


Nov 22 (CP) Colombo- The secretary of Sri Lanka Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Tilvin Silva said that the party was observing the developments in politics and take a decision soon regarding the presidential poll.

Nov 22 (HT) To write about a train, you don't need to run with it. So I will, instead, first talk about Jaya Perera, a hairdresser from Muscat, who in the 1970s, had married a man from Jaffna, had his child, whom they had taken to meet his grandparents on a train, with her wearing a sari and speaking in self-conscious Tamil, to escape being noticed she was Sinhala.

Nov 22 (Island) Dissident SLFPer Maithripala Sirisena publicly announced his decision to switch allegiance to the Opposition yesterday soon after the main Opposition UNP unanimously accepted him as the Common Candidate. Both Sirisena and twice-President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had insisted that UNP officially approve Sirisena’s candidature before they went public.

Nov 22 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided when Parliament met at 9.30 a.m. yesterday. After the presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the committee stage debate on the Appropriation Bill 2015 for the 22nd day. The committee took up the expenditure heads of the Transport Ministry.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Another government Member of Parliament has reportedly joined the opposition United National Party (UNP) Sri Lanka political sources say. MP Perumal Rajadurai, who represents Nuwara Eliya district, has joined the opposition party following former minister Maithripala Sirisena's announcement that he is challenging the incumbent president at the presidential election.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- To mark the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), that was ratified by Sri Lanka in 1991, Sri Lankan Parliamentarians from all political parties Thursday launched the country's first ever Parliamentary Caucus for Children.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Officials from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met with Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy B.M.E.D. Basnayake today to commend Sri Lanka for designating Colombo City as a participant in the Cities Clean Air Partnership (CCAP) program.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Central Committee of Sri Lanka's ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will meet tonight, political sources say. Party leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an emergency meeting today at 7.30 PM at the Presidential Secretariat and will preside the meeting.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced that common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena and his colleagues have been sacked from the ministerial portfolios they held.

Nov 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the largest irrigation project in North Western Province, Deduru Oya irrigation and hydro power project Saturday. The Deduru Oya Reservoir built under the project is located in Kurunegala District.

Nov 21 (CP) Seattle, WA- Renowned Sri Lankan cinematographer Prasanna Vithanage's critically acclaimed movie "With You, Without You" was the winner at the 9th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival, in Seattle, Washington.

Nov 21 (NYT) COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s health minister quit on Friday to become the opposition candidate in the election set for January, surprising the incumbent with a united and robust challenge to his bid for an unprecedented third term.

Nov 21 (Hindu) Less than two months before Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga announced her re-entry to active politics, but not as a candidate.

Nov 21 (TOI) Lucknow- The fourth convocation of Bhatkhande Music University was held in the state capital on Thursday at Ravindralaya auditorium. DP Saranga Wickramage of Sri Lanka received the Putlibai gold medal and the Pandit Bhupendra Krishna Chaterji gold medal for making a mark in the instrumental department.

* The Presidential Elections Nominations on December 8 and poll January 8 (21 - CP)
* Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate - UNP (21 - CP)
* Back MR, preserve political stability - Mustapha (21 - Island)
* Face Book posting causes school principal to faint (21 - DM)
* “I am shadow boxing. There is nobody in the ring” (21 - DN)


Nov 22 (ESPNCI) Moeen Ali had readily admitted that he liked the sound of an opening role should it ever come along. His opportunity came sooner than he might have expected, in England's first warm-up match of their Sri Lanka tour. A scoreboard reading 25 for 0 after only two overs, one of which was a maiden to Alastair Cook, told that he could not have begun the job much more emphatically. "I said to Cookie at the end of the over that I didn't mean to hit six fours, it just happened," Moeen said, all matter-of-factly


Nov 21 (ESPNCI) Kumar Sangakkara's Test future remains undecided after Sri Lanka's selectors implored him to reconsider his decision to retire from all formats after the 2015 World Cup. Sangakkara told the selectors he would quit internationals in April at a meeting on Thursday morning but he is now rethinking that move upon request from the selectors, among others. He has repeatedly said he would not play ODIs beyond the World Cup, and that is unlikely to change.

NOv 21 (NDTV) Colombo- Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews wants a settled side to face England in their limited-overs series starting next week, and avoid the wholesale changes that resulted in a woeful tour to India in which his team lost all the five matches. Rival captain Alastair Cook said on Thursday that England was desperate to make amends for a 3-2 home series loss to Sri Lanka in May and June. The teams are playing seven one-day internationals, the first on Wednesday in Colombo.

Nov 21 (NDTV) England captain Alastair Cook on Thursday vowed to try and win a seven-match series in a tit-for-tat revenge against Sri Lanka ahead of next year's World Cup. Speaking to reporters at the start of the ODI series, seen as part of their preparations for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Cook said he was desperate to win the tournament starting Tuesday. The final ODI is due to be played on December 16 in Colombo.


Nov 22 (FP) It is to state the obvious that Narendra Modi is now emerging as a significant global leader in his own right and that the prestige of India has soared in the six months he has been our Prime Minister. This is the kind of prestige we have not commanded since the time of Jawaharlal Nehru, and if we play our cards right, India will be the world's sixth powerhouse - after the US, China, Germany, Japan and Russia - over the next decade.

More : WORLD

Nov 21 (Hindu) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the eastern Nepali city of Janakpur to offer prayers at the famous Janaki Temple has been cancelled, Nepal government officials said on Thursday. Issuing a statement, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi confirmed the cancellation, saying the decision was conveyed by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu.

Nov 21 (VOA) Officials in northwestern Pakistan say a bomb planted on a motorcycle has killed at least one soldier and wounded another. Officials say the bomb was remotely detonated as a security force vehicle passed by. Authorities say no one has claimed responsibility for the blast Friday in the Mithra area on the outskirts of Peshawar

Nov 21 (PTI) Dhaka- Indian and Bangladeshi security forces are planning to carry out simultaneous raids against Islamist militants along the porous border and the two countries have exchanged lists of terror operatives active on both sides of the frontier, officials said here today. “It's important to conduct simultaneous drives so that the militants don't find hideouts to escape arrest,” said a senior Bangladeshi police official.

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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