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[Last Updated = Sat, Nov 1, 2014, 02:30 am SL Time]
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United States offers Sri Lanka immediate assistance for disaster relief

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- To meet the urgent needs of victims of the recent landslides in Koslanda, the United States Government has provided Rs. 6.5 million (US$ 50,000) for emergency humanitarian assistance, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a release. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working closely with Sri Lanka's National Disaster Relief Services Center and international aid partners to coordinate the donation of most urgently-needed items.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Oct 31 (CP) New Delhi- India said Friday that it will exhaust the legal process and challenge the death sentence passed on five Indian fishermen by a lower court in Sri Lanka. Spokesperson of India' Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin addressing a media briefing Friday said the Government of India through a lawyer will contest the Colombo High Court's ruling.

Oct 31 (CP) New Delhi- India's Ministry of External Affairs has said that it will appeal the death sentences handed over to five Tamil Nadu fishermen by a lower court in Sri Lanka on charges of drug smuggling. The Colombo High Court Thursday sentenced the five fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in November 2011 and three Sri Lankan fishermen to death on charges of smuggling heroin into the island.

** Related Story :: Sri Lankan court sentences 5 Indian and 3 Sri Lankan fishermen to death for heroin trafficking

Oct 31 (Island) A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, dismissed the appeal filed by the interdicted DIG of Police Vass Gunawardena, his son Ravindu, and four other persons accused of the abduction and murder of businessman Shyam, on May 22, 2013. The Supreme Court refused to grant bail to these accused persons.

Oct 31 (DN) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) deployed 56 airmen and two officers to assist the rescue operations on the ground from Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Diyathalawa. "However, the prevailing inclement weather and the ground conditions are preventing helicopter utilization," a military spokesman said.

Oct 31 (AFP) KOSLANDA, SRI LANKA- Sniffer dogs were brought in Friday to join the search for bodies at a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, two days after a major mudslide buried alive scores of people.

Oct 30, (CP) Chennai- The Chief Minister of India's Tamil Nadu State O. Panneerselvam today strongly condemned the Sri Lankan Court's ruling of death sentences to five Tamil Nadu fishermen on charges of drug trafficking.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan court sentences 5 Indian and 3 Sri Lankan fishermen to death for heroin trafficking

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court Thursday handed out death sentences to five Indian and three Sri Lankan fishermen accused of trafficking heroin into the island. The Colombo High Court on Thursday sentenced five Tamil Nadu fishermen to death along with the three Sri Lankans on charges of drug trafficking.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Appellate Court today rejected a petition filed against the Tamil National Alliance alleging violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The petition was filed by a Sinhala organization called Patriotic National Movement.

Oct 30 (CP) Geneva- The United Nations Human Rights Committee, while welcoming several measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure human rights of its citizens, asked the government to repeal the 18th Amendment to the Constitution approved by the parliament in September 2010.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army Wednesday deployed a contingent of over 500 troops from the Security Forces Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C) to rescue the buried victims of the landslide that wreaked havoc in the Koslandawatta-Meeriyabedda estate areas of Haldummulla Divisional Secretariat in Badulla district Wednesday morning.

Oct 30 (BBC) The deadly mudslide hit the Meeriyabedda tea plantation near the town of Haldummulla, about 200km (120 miles) east of the capital Colombo, on Wednesday morning. Part of a mountainside crashed into the tea estate, burying some of the workers' homes in 9m (30ft) of mud and debris.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* No restrictions on travellers to North – Military spokesman (30 - Island)
* Two killed; 3 injured in motor cycle accident (30 - DM)
* Co-op manager arrested for swindling over Rs. 10 m (30 - DN)
* India offers help for Sri Lanka landslide rescue operations (30 - CP)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 31 (CP) New Delhi- India has pledged Indian rupees five million as immediate relief for victims of landslide in Sri Lanka and is also considering medium and long-term assistance. "India has pledged as immediate relief assistance of Rs 50 lakh for the victims of landslide in Sri Lanka," the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said.

Oct 31 (CP) Badulla- The Leader of Sri Lanka main oppositional United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe visited Koslanda Meeriya Bedda village in Badulla district today and met the victims of the massive landslide that devastated the area Wednesday morning.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Expressing sympathies to Sri Lanka's landslide victims, the Government of Pakistan said it has considered assistance requirements put forward by the Sri Lankan Government and offered relief assistance.


FINANCE

Oct 31, Colombo: SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, has taken delivery of its first A330-300 becoming a new operator for the type. The wide-body aircraft arrived today at Colombo International Airport, having flown from Toulouse, France, and joins the airlines' existing fleet of A320, A321, A330-200 and A340-300 aircraft.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , declined considerably to 1.6 percent in October 2014 from 3.5 percent in the previous month on a year-on-year basis, the Central Bank reported on Friday.

Oct 31 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose for a seventh straight session Friday to hit a three-week high, led by banks and foreign investors as corporate earnings and lower rates helped lift sentiment.

Oct 31 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose for a seventh straight session Friday to hit a three-week high, led by banks and foreign investors as corporate earnings and lower rates helped lift sentiment.

Oct 31 (DM) Etisalat Lanka recently signed up with mCash, Mobitel’s mobile money platform, signifying the addition of the second m-Commerce platform to its portfolio of mobile transaction services this year.

Oct 31 (Island) UltraTech Cement Lanka took initiative to develop and facilitate the flow of information in the construction industry throughcollaborative technical meetings recently.

Oct 31 (DN) MMBL Leisure Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. is set to invest Rs. one billion on a hotel in the Delft Islands under the Board of Investment (BOI). The hotel project is placed under the strategic development plan of the BOI’s tourism and infrastructure expansion around the country.

Oct 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka, Janashakthi limited is to offer 5,000,000 rated senior unsecured redeemable debentures at a rate of 100 rupees per share, the company said in an announcement of Colombo Stock Exchange.

Oct 31 (Star) He said MICCI invited Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Ansar to a dialogue session at Ramada Plaza on Monday to cement the relationship of the local business community and entrepreneurs.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- Australian livestock exporter Wellard Group has secured two contracts worth almost $ 100 million from Sri Lanka to supply 22,500 dairy cattle to the Sri Lankan Department of Economic Development (SLDED).

More : FINANCE
* Amăna Bank tie up with Singer to offer Easy Payment Plan (30 - DM)
* Conglomerates power up SMEs: JKH director (30 - Island)
* Haycarb posts turnover of Rs. 5.2 b, Rs. 304 m PAT in 1H 14/15 (30 - DN)
* Sri Lanka Planters’ Association says sustainability of tea industry in the hands of workers (30 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to establish a new Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to monitor the thousands of multi day fishing boats in the Sri Lankan seas. The government has observed that new technology has to be incorporated for the sustainable management of the island's fisheries industry and the implementation of the global concept of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) has become mandatory.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Four new ambassadors and one high commissioner to Sri Lanka presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (Oct. 30) evening. Seen here is High Commissioner of Bangladesh Tarik Ahsan presnting credentials to the President.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Catholic Church has denied that the Sri Lankan President has pressured the Church to stop Pope's visit to the island scheduled for January next year. Issuing a statement, the Media & Information Secretariat - Pope's Visit denied the reports circulated among some social media with the title "Stop the Papal visit in January" MR pressurizes the Church".

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Officials of India's state-owned IRCON International and Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) authorities today conducted a successful test run on the reconstructed Madhu Road- Thiruketheeswaram railway track of the Northern Railway Line.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's nationalist coalition partner of ruling alliance, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has decided to abstain from the second reading vote of the government's 2015 budget as the talks with the ruling party on the constitutional amendments submitted by the party were not yet completed.

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations said today that it is saddened by the loss of human life caused by the deadly landslide in the Koslanda village of Badulla district in Sri Lanka."We at the United Nations and Humanitarian Community are saddened by the human loss

Oct 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday (30) has instructed the relevant officials to do a thorough study on the European Union's ban of Sri Lanka's fishery products exports and get the ban removed.

Oct 31 (CP) Washington, DC- The United States said Thursday that has received an official request for assistance from the Government of Sri Lanka for rescue and relief efforts after a massive landslide devastated the Koslanda- Meeriya Bedda village in Badulla district.

Oct 30 (CP) London- The Secretary-General of Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma has sent his solidarity and condolences on behalf of the Commonwealth to the President of Sri Lanka following yesterday's devastating landslides in the country.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Catholic Church today expressing deep concern and shock at yesterday's landslide in the Koslanda Miriyabedda area in Haldummulla village of Badulla District called upon its faithful to help the affected community in "whatever way possible" to restart their lives.

Oct 30 (CP) Badulla- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning visited the Koslanda-Meeriya Bedda Estate village in Haldummulla devastated by the deadly landslide yesterday and met the people affected by the disaster.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stands ready to support Sri Lanka after heavy rains have caused deadly landslides in the tea estates villages of Badulla in central Sri Lanka.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Water levels reach spill level; several areas flooded: DMC (31 - DM)
* Opposition lays the blame on govt. (31 - Island)
* Common Presidential candidate' concept, only a dream for the opposition - Minister Sirisena (31 - DN)
* Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader to visit landslide affected people tomorrow (30 - CP)
* Ministry of Health to conduct a census on Sri Lanka's psychiatric patients (30 - CP)
* Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Supreme Council meets to discuss presidential election (30 - CP)
* U.S. stands ready to assist Sri Lanka, commends government's rescue efforts after landslide (30 - CP)
* Talks deadlocked: JHU threatens street protests (30 - Island)
* More funds for women, child welfare (30 - DN)
* US help not sought for Sri Lanka landslide rescue (30 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Oct 31 (ESPNCI) While Tillakaratne Dilshan has been slapping and scooping his way through opposition attacks since 2009, Sri Lanka have rifled through opening batsmen at the other end. Lahiru Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne have had their dash, Mahela Jayawardene has sometimes stepped in to replace misfiring batsmen mid-tour, Kusal Perera began with promise but is yet to deliver consistently,

More : SPORTS

Oct 31 (ESPNCI) Somewhere in Sri Lanka Cricket's drive to justify a sudden ODI tour of India, the board enlisted the spirit of 1996 for moral assistance. "All Sri Lankan cricket fans will remember," a line in an SLC press release began, "how India and Pakistan toured Sri Lanka to show their solidarity when Australia and West indies refused to play in Sri Lanka in the 1996 Wills World Cup."

Oct 31 (ICC) ICC Chairman Mr N. Srinivasan has congratulated Nepal and Uganda for qualifying for Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div.2), which will be played in Namibia from 17 to 24 January 2015. Nepal and Uganda sealed their progression after reaching the final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday.

Oct 31 (ESPNCI) The top four Asian Associates - Nepal, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and UAE - are set to tour Sri Lanka after the SLC approved a request from the ACC development manager Bandula Warnapura. Nepal and Hong Kong will be the first two teams out of the four to tour Sri Lanka in November. The decision was taken "to support the region's non-Test playing countries," the SLC said. "It's a very beneficial offer by Sri Lanka," Warnapura said.


WORLD

Oct 31 (BBC) Australia has removed sanctions against Fiji after elections in the Pacific island nation last month ended eight years of military rule. Ahead of visiting Fiji, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was committed to "normalising" relations between the two countries.

More : WORLD

Oct 31 (BBC) Myanmar's president is holding rare roundtable talks with the opposition, military and ethnic groups, as the US called for "credible" polls next year. The meeting comes days after officials announced the next general election would be held in late 2015.

Oct 30 (BBC) A nurse who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is fighting the US state of Maine over its right to quarantine her against her will. In a test case for returning US health workers, Kaci Hickox has vowed to leave her home on Thursday if the state does not lift the restrictions.

Oct 30 (BBC) Authorities in India have begun evacuating tens of thousands of people as a powerful cyclone heads for the western coast. Cyclone Nilofar, categorised as "severe" by weather forecasters, is expected to hit Gujarat state on Saturday morning. India's Meteorological Department has predicted the storm will bring winds of up to 130km/h (80 mph).


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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