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SLPP and SLFP form new alliance to contest general election under “bud” symbol

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will contest the upcoming general election as a new alliance, named “Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Sandanaya” under the “bud” (Pohottuwa) symbol. The application to register the new alliance has been handed over to the Election Commission today.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who was arrested and remanded after returned to Sri Lanka, was further remanded until the 26th of this month. Udayanga Weeratunga was further remanded when he was produced before Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The Indian Navy, along with the Marine Police and Customs Department, has arrested three Sri Lankan fishermen smuggling 3.5 kg of gold worth Rs 1.48 crore (37 million Sri Lankan rupees) and seized the stock of gold.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The three-member Presidential Commission appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to look into alleged political victimization of public servants during the period from January 8, 2015 to November 16, 2019 will commence proceedings today.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan security forces and intelligence agencies have intensified surveillance and threats against families of victims of enforced disappearance and activists supporting them since Gotabaya Rajapaksa became president in November 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a new report on Sunday.
 

Feb 17 (Times) A Sri Lankan fishing vessel which sailed from Kiramam Thalaimannar on Saturday morning was arrested by the Tamilnadu Police , officials said.Three crew members were also detained. They were identified as A Suganth, S L. Alosious and D Sahaxavinistro
 

Feb 17 (Island) The Narcotic Division of the Excise Department, on Friday night, took into custody 10 suspects including a woman peddling drugs at a Valentine’s Day bash at a night club in Colombo.
 

Feb 17 (DM) Rifkan Bathiudeen, who was arrested over an alleged forged land deal had been released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. Rifkan is a brother of MP Rishad Bathiudeen.
 

Feb 17 (DN) The contempt of court action filed against Convener of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Prof.Sarath Wijesuriya was today fixed for April 28 by Court of Appeal. The Court was informed that the respondent, Prof. Wijesuriya is yet to file objections against the contempt of proceedings.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has arrested 11 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu for allegedly breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- The Police have arrested nine persons on suspicion of possessing 78 packets of heroin in the Mahawela area in Matale yesterday (15).
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Senior DIG Gunathilake takes over as new STF Commandant (16 - Island)
* Suicide attempt sparks rebuff of ragging as ‘culture’ (16 - ST)
* 61 NTJ suspects further remanded (16 - SO)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened in December 2019 Earnings from exports declined while expenditure on imports increased, the Central Bank reported Monday in its External Sector Performance review for the month.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s participation as a leading South Asian leader will bring forth new ideas at the Future of Asia Global Conference, the Ambassador of Japan in Colombo Akira Sugiyama said.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- A visiting bipartisan U.S. Congressional delegation has expressed the strong desire of their government to advance the multifaceted relationship with Sri Lanka as an important strategic partner, the Ministry of Foreign Relations said.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The preliminary report of the Committee of experts appointed to study the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement was handed over to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena summoned the U.S Ambassador Alaina Teplitz Sunday to the Foreign Ministry and formally conveyed Sri Lanka’s strong objections to the travel ban imposed by the U.S. on the country’s Army Chief and his family.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Feb 17 XXX (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has extended the regulatory action taken on primary dealer Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) for another six months in order to continue the investigations being conducted by the Central Bank.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s leading medium sized conglomerate reputed for its market dominance in the areas of financial services, manufacturing, real estate, technology and strategic investments, Ambeon Holdings PLC recorded a revenue of 15.9 billion at group level compared to the 13.4 billion achieved during the corresponding period of 2018/19, resulting in a growth of 18%.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Establishing a valuable new pathway aligned with the upward mobility of Sri Lanka’s most ambitious professionals, ANC Education announced the commencement of a new Executive MBA program launched in collaboration with The Claude Littner Business School of University of West London – UWL.
 

Feb 17 (Capacity)Huawei Marine Networks (HMN) has been awarded the contract to build a new subsea cable called the Maldives Sri Lanka Cable system (MSC).
 

Feb 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed lower for the seventh straight session on Monday, as losses in financials and consumer stocks weighed on the benchmark index
 

Feb 17 (Island) Sampath Bank’s Board of Directors has recommended a final cash dividend of Rs 11.75 per share to be paid for the financial year ended 31st December 2019 subject to the approval of the shareholders
 

Feb 17 (DM) Sri Lanka’s apparel exporters recently requested the authorities to revisit policies which restrict their access to the local market in order to develop their own brands, which can be later taken into the international market.
 

Feb 17 (DN) With the recovery in economic activity and company earnings, First Capital expects an upward trend in the market supported by stronger market multiples. The heavy tax cuts and the policy rate cut is likely to be an added boost for company earnings.
 

Feb 17 (FinanceAsia) Shortly after he became Prime Minister again on November 29 last year, Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the chief executives of the country’s banking sector to a meeting with his senior economics advisor and former central bank governor, Nivard Cabraal.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- According to the Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released by the Statistics Department of Central Bank, manufacturing and Services sectors expanded at a slower pace in January 2020 compared to the previous month.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Seylan Bank, First To Enter Market with SD-WAN Networking System (16 - Island)
* Global tech company Wiley buoyed by the talent of Sri Lankan software engineers (16 - ST)
* National industrial policy in the pipeline (16 - SO)
* The Secrets of Sri Lanka! (16 - AA)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The United National Party (UNP) Galle district parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardena says that the Elephant symbol of the UNP will not be pawned to any party.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG), an initiative of the Australian Government, have signed an agreement to work together to promote healthy diets. One of the key features is a collaboration with Supreme Chef, a popular competitive cooking TV show in Sri Lanka.
 

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena says the Vice Chancellors of all the universities have been given the authority to take prompt action against ragging incidents in the universities.
 

Feb 17 (Times) The Hambantota International Port (HIP), with the coronavirus epidemic becoming a serious cause for concern, has put in place several measures to ensure the safety of its staff, environment, and the general public.
 

Feb 17 (Island) Minister of Small & Medium Business and Enterprise Development, Wimal Weerawansa yesterday denied allegations made by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti that he had purchased a chair worth Rs. 600,000 for his use.
 

Feb 17 (DM) Expressing her displeasure over the postponement of the UNP working committee meeting from today (17) to tomorrow (18), UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra yesterday said the party should stop dilly dallying in making decisions like the way it did during the Presidential election.
 

Feb 17 (DN) Special trains will be deployed for the convenience of commuters during the long weekend. The Department of Railways stated that train will be running on February 20 to 23.
 

Feb 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is presently at a juncture of transition after near three decades of brutal separatist terrorism, to an era of reconciliation and sustaining the hard won peace.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says it will look into whether a case can be filed in the Supreme Court as a fundamental rights petition against the central bank bond scam.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Former President and Leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithripala Sirisena says that the decision on how to contest the next general election has already been taken. Former President Sirisena said the SLFP and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have decided to contest the general election as a broad alliance.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and representatives of the Progressive Trade Union Federation was held at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday (15).
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Matale district United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian and Deputy Chief Whip of Opposition, Ranjith Aluvihare today (16) said that all the crises in the UNP have been brought to an end and a decision has been made to contest the next general election under a common symbol. He said the final decision on the election will be taken tomorrow.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Colombo Port City, which is officially known as Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) Sunday afternoon and observed the ongoing construction on reclaimed land.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- United States Ambassador in Colombo Alaina B Teplitz has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Relations on Sunday over the ban imposed on the Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his immediate family from entering the US, a government official has said.
 

Feb 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa says the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban on current commander of Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his immediate family is “regrettable and unfortunate”.
 

Feb 16 (Mongabay) A big part of conserving any wildlife species is to conserve its natural habitat. But when that becomes an increasingly difficult task due to human-driven changes in those environments, the next best thing to do is to hold on to those altered habitats.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Govt. to fast-track LNG power plants as energy crisis looms (16 - Island)
* Govt. revenue plans in disarray (16 - ST)
* Parliament dissolution: Govt. to announce date on Tuesday (16 - SO)

SPORTS

Feb 17 (ICC) The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is officially up and running as all the 10 skippers gathered for the captain’s media launch on Monday, 17 February at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The 2020 edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup is set to be the most closely-fought yet
 

Feb 17 (BBC) Victory in the decider at Centurion on Sunday secured England an impressive Twenty20 series win over South Africa, but with the T20 World Cup just eight months away questions remain. From deciding how best to utilise Jos Buttler to asking if there is room in the team for Test captain Joe Root
 

Feb 16 (ICC) After two high-scoring encounters that both ended in narrow margins, another potential thriller could be in store in the decider.With so little separating the two sides, making predictions is a pointless game.
 

Feb 16 (ICC) shant Sharma has cleared his fitness test and is set to join the rest of the Indian squad in Wellington ahead of the first Test against New Zealand on 21 February. Ishant, 31, had suffered an ankle injury during a Ranji Trophy clash between Delhi and Vidarbha last month
 


WORLD

Feb 17 (BBC) Two planes carrying Americans from the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess have left Japan. The aircraft chartered by the US government departed Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in the early hours of Monday.
 

Feb 16 (BBC) College students living in a hostel in the western Indian state of Gujarat have complained that they were made to strip and show their underwear to female teachers to prove that they were not menstruating. The 68 young women were pulled out of classrooms and taken to the toilet,
 

Feb 16 (BBC) China has announced a drop in new cases from the coronavirus outbreak for a third consecutive day. On Sunday, authorities reported 2,009 new cases and 142 more deaths nationwide.
 

Feb 16 (BBC) Thousands of Buddhist monks in Thailand have gathered for prayer ceremonies to honour the 29 people killed in the country’s deadliest mass shooting. Public prayer ceremonies were held on Saturday, a week after the massacre in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima.
 


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 Lankas 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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