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[Last Updated = Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 12:17 am SL Time]
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Reconciliation cannot be achieved overnight, Sri Lanka tells US

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Reconciliation in a Sri Lanka after a three-decade long war cannot be achieved overnight, Sri Lanka Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya has said. Brigadier Wanigasuriya made this remark in response to media queries on a statement made by the United States Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal that U.S. will resume "more comprehensive" military relationship with Sri Lanka once the government makes progress towards reconciliation and accountability.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Apr 18 (CP) Polonnaruwa- At least ten people were killed Friday when the tractor they were traveling in fell into an irrigation canal in Polonnaruwa, north central Sri Lanka, the police said. The accident happened when the tractor, attached with a trailer, transporting a group of people for a New Year celebration lost control and toppled into an irrigation canal in Aluthoya, Aralaganwila of Polonnaruwa.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- An organizer of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) wanted in connection with assaulting four persons including a woman has surrendered to the police. Four suspects including Moratuwa UNP organizer cum Western Provincial Council member, Senaka Damayantha Perera involved in assaulting four persons have surrendered to the Moratumulla Police.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's ruling party Mayor of Hambantota Eraj Fernando has denied being involved in the attack on several main opposition United National Party (UNP) MPs who were on an inspection tour in Hambantota yesterday.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- In a wave of massive robberies in Sri Lanka, six armed men broke into a jewelry store and a money changer in the Negombo town Thursday and robbed jewelry and cash estimated to be worth around Rs 10 million.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police media spokesman Ajith Rohana, SSP, said that an investigation is underway into yesterday's incident of a mob attacking a group of MPs of the major opposition United National Party (UNP) at Mattala Airport and Hambantota harbor. The investigation is being conducted to determine whether there was any negligence by the police as there were media reports that the police at the two sites had ignored the skirmish.

Apr 18 (Island) Two inmates warded at the Welikada prison hospital escaped after scaling the wall of the medical facility yesterday. One of the escapees was a convicted heroin dealer, prison sources said. The other was an accused in a High Court case. The drug dealer had escaped from custody on an earlier occasion. Later he was caught and was being detained at the Welikada prison.

Apr 18 (DN) Attempts to revive terrorism in Sri Lanka which surfaced in certain areas in the North seeking to herald another phase of LTTE terror have been effectively neutralised, Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday.

Apr 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police have obtained Interpol Red Notices on 40 suspected LTTE operative, the Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohan said Thursday. The spokesman addressing a media briefing at the Headquarters said the Interpol has issued Red Notices to apprehend operatives of LTTE, the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization, operating in foreign countries.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka seeks Interpol's assistance to nab overseas LTTE leaders

Apr 17 (CP) Hambantota- A violent mob attacked a group of parliamentarians from Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) today when they visited the newly built Hambantota port and Mattala international airport.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan public have been asked to be vigilant on suspicious terrorist activities in the island, according to the national radio. At a press briefing held in Colombo Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana has asked the people to be vigilant on possible terrorist activities in their areas and inform the police of such activities.

Apr 17 (CP) New Delhi- India's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged role of the Indian Army in Sri Lanka's war. A two-judge bench dismissing the plea by Ram Sankar, an advocate and human rights activist said the issue is beyond the jurisdiction of the court.

** Related Story ::Indian Supreme Court to hear case against role of Indian Army in Sri Lanka war

Apr 17 (NIE) Indian Coastguard today rescued two Sri Lankan fishermen when they were caught in the sea due to a snag in their boat near Kodiakkarai in this district today.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Indian Supreme Court to hear case against role of Indian Army in Sri Lanka war (17 - CP)
* Police get court order for BBS video (17 - DM)
* Wellampitiya drug case: Suspects further remanded (17 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's prolific batsman, wicketkeeper and former captain Kumar Sangakkara today announced his retirement from the game's short format. Sangakkara has tendered his retirement from T20 International cricket, cricket governing authority, Sri Lanka Cricket announced Friday.

Apr 18 (CP) Polgahawela- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Sri Lanka's first and only auto assembling plant of the Micro Car Private Limited in Polgahawela export processing zone. After opening the facility, the President took an observation tour in the plant, which according to its Chairman Dr. Lawrence Perera will have the facilities to assemble 2,800 vehicles monthly.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry together with the Defence Ministry has decided to brief the diplomatic community in Colombo and accredited to Colombo next week on banning 16 Tamil diaspora groups including LTTE.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Former President of the Maldives Abdul Gayoom, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Nasreena Gayoom, is in Sri Lanka for a visit, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement Thursday. Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris welcomed the former President and his wife at the Bandaranaike International Airport by, on Wednesday, 16th April.


FINANCE

Apr 18 (Island) Standard Chartered was awarded the "Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka" at a ceremony in Sydney recently at The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2014 by The Asian Banker and the International Panel of Advisors.

Apr 18 (DN) The management of Water’s Edge, the Urban Development Authority will begin building a five star hotel this year. The hotel will consist of 250 rooms and 16 suites thus making the venue a one stop shop for Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibitions (MICE).

Apr 18 (HW) APET/coir easyGrow Tea Bag plants have been launched by B&Q across all its stores to replace 22,500cu m of polystyrene trays used each year. The tea bags prevent the blocks from drying out and they use a thin-wall plastic tray made of corn starch and coir.

Apr 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock and foreign exchange markets are closed on Friday for a public and bank holiday. Normal trading will resume on Monday.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Abu Dhabi-based airline Rotana Jet commenced flights to Sri Lanka's Colombo and Mattala airports from Wednesday April 09. As a part of airline's expansion, Rotana Jet has added Sri Lanka as the airline's first international destination outside the Gulf region.

Apr 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan share index rose to a near 2-1/2-month peak on Thursday and posted its biggest gain in almost seven weeks with high networth investors buying banking shares on hopes of high profits due to an expected rise in private sector credit in the second half of the year.

Apr 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Thursday in dull trade as many factories were closed for business after the Sinhala-Tamil new year ahead of a long weekend, dealers said.

Apr 17 (TDN) BANGKOK- Sri Lanka is slowly emerging as a desirable destination for world travellers, following the return of peace in the last decade. Growing popularity is observed through high growth rates of international travellers:

Apr 17 (DN) Tapro Spa Resorts (Pvt) Ltd, Foot prints’ total Beruwela will invest over Rs. 175 million this year to introduce four suites and also for a minor refurbishment of the property placed in a picturesque location in Moragolla Beruwela.

More : FINANCE
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POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- A top United Nations official has confirmed his participation at the 2014 World Conference on Youth scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka next month. The President of the United Nations General Assembly Dr. John William Ashe has confirmed his participation at the World Conference on Youth 2014 to be held in Colombo from 6th to 10th May, 2014 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- The National Peace Council (NPC), a nongovernmental organization promoting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, has urged the government and other political parties in the country to urgently set up institutions to enable giving a measure of autonomy to the Tamil people.

Apr 18 (CP) Ramanathapruam- A Bhaathiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led government under Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister would solve the nagging issue between the Tamil Nadu fishermen and their Sri Lankan counterparts, the party has asserted.

Apr 18 (Island) The Wildlife Department yesterday that no one had built houses within the Wilpattu National Park (WNP), but some Northern Muslims driven out of their homes in 1990 by the LTTE and subsequently displaced by the Navy, had put up temporary shelters within the sanctuary bordering the WNP.

Apr 18 (DN) The third phase of the national program to distribute land deeds among Mahaweli settlers will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Girandurukotte tomorrow. Arrangements will be made to distribute 45,000 land deeds under this program.

Apr 18 (DM) Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera has requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take steps to stop the print media from publishing pictures of the Buddha.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of condolence to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the passenger ferry accident that took place off the southern resort island of Jeju yesterday.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Health authorities in Sri Lanka have warned the public not to purchase medicines through the internet. Director of the National Drugs Authority Dr. Hemantha Benaragama has said that sale of drugs online is not regulated and many places sell low quality drugs which do not meet the standards.

Apr 17 (CP) Boston- The United States is looking for resuming a "more comprehensive" military relationship with Sri Lanka once the Sri Lankan government makes progress towards reconciliation and accountability, a top U.S. official said.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- A Mahanayake Thero (Chief Prelate) in Sri Lanka has threatened to take to the streets with the Maha Sangha over the government's failure to amend some land laws. Chief Prelate of the Asgiriy

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's governing United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is unlikely to act against party members who voted against the budgets in their respective local government bodies.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has commenced preparation work for the Uva Provincial Council election expected to be held this year. The term of the Uva Provincial Council will end this September.

Apr 17 (Harvard Crimson) Every year, Glamour Magazine honors a group of women ranging from future astronauts to fencers on its list of Top Ten College Women. This year, Harvard’s very own Inesha N. Premaratne ’15 and Ishani D. Premaratne ’15 (that’s right, both of them) were recipients of the award.

Apr 17 (Hindu) For M. Haroon Cassiere, Senior Project Manager with the Habitat for Humanity in Sri Lanka, the city Corporation’s housing projects for the poor in Kalladimukham and Karimadom Colony came as a revelation.

Apr 17 (Hindu) At her only public rally in Tamil Nadu for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi refrained from any criticism of the DMK or the AIADMK, save for a brief reference to the latter, on Wednesday.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Prelate to take to the streets against ‘Bim Saviya’ Act (17 - DM)
* Space technology promoted (17 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 18 (ESPNCI) Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole new statistics database. Day-night Test cricket has been the ICC's beloved project of late. It has been experimenting pink-ball cricket in the UAE, and has also been encouraging its member boards to keep trying it in their domestic first-class cricket.

More : SPORTS

Apr 18 (ESPNCI) Ever wish international cricket's schedule was set up like a league? That every team played every other over a set period of time, and at the end a deserving winner emerged? That's exactly how it works, just not at the level you think. The World Cricket League (WCL), which all ICC member countries apart from the ten Test-playing nations are eligible to participate in, is a well-structured and organised competition and has been for the last seven years.

Apr 18 (FPJ) Abu Dhabi- He shone with the ball with a four-wicket haul but Mumbai Indians’ pacer Lasith Malinga feels responsible for the team’s IPL loss to Kolkata Knight Riders, saying that a dropped catch by him cost the defending champions dearly. Mumbai lost by 41 runs in the IPL opener last night after Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis’ 50s helped KKR post a fine total of 163 on the board. “We bowled really well in the first 10 overs, but let them off the hook after that.

Apr 17 (ESPNCI) The Supreme Court has turned down N Srinivasan's reinstatement request, and has revealed that he is one of the 13 named in the sealed envelope submitted to it by the Justice Mudgal committee. In response to the BCCI counsel CA Sundaram's argument that the court was responding only to prima facie evidence and not secondary evidence, Justice AK Patnaik for the first time revealed details about the sealed envelope. He said that there were 13 names of "very important personalities in cricket" in the sealed envelope, with Srinivasan's name being the 13th.


WORLD

Apr 18 (BBC) Japan says it will begin hunting whales in the Pacific Ocean next week, after cancelling whaling off Antarctica in line with an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling. Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the target would be 210 Pacific whales - about half the current catch. Japan's defiance of a worldwide ban on whaling has angered environmentalists.

More : WORLD

Apr 18 (BBC) At least 12 local guides have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest, Nepali officials say. The avalanche struck around 06:45 local time (01:00 GMT) in an area known as the "popcorn field", just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft). A spokesman for Nepal's tourism ministry told the BBC some missing climbers had been rescued, but more are still missing.

Apr 18 (BBC) Prosecutors in South Korea have asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for the captain of the ferry that sank on Wednesday, officials say. It was earlier revealed that a junior officer - and not the captain - was at the helm of the ferry when it capsized. Efforts to find the 268 people still missing have been hampered by low visibility and strong currents.

Apr 17 (Xinhua) NEW DELHI- India Thursday appointed Admiral Robin K. Dhowan as the country's new naval chief, two months after his predecessor, Admiral D.K. Joshi, resigned in wake of a series of disasters involving naval warships and submarines. The 59-year-old new Indian navy chief will have a tenure of a little over two years. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College in the U.S., Admiral Dhowan has commanded frontline warships


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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