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[Last Updated = Tue, May 24, 2016, 11:51 am SL Time]
TOP STORY
Pakistan hands over first consignment of relief items for Sri Lankan flood victims

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The first cargo flight of relief goods from Pakistan, for the victims of the recent devastating floods, landslides and torrential rains in Sri Lanka, arrived today at Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake. The relief items containing generators, shelters, tents, medicines, etc. were handed over by the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Major General (Retd.) Syed Shakeel Hussain to the Sri Lankan Minister for Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa in a solemn ceremony.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

May 24 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court Monday postponed the trial against former Judge, who is alleged of sexual assault on his domestic employee, to September. Colombo High Court Judge, Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne yesterday re-fixed the hearing against retired Supreme Court Judge Sarath de Abrew for 14 and 15, of September 2016.

** Related Story ::Former Judge alleged of sexual assault of domestic employee granted bail

May 24 (Island) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) yesterday arrested former Secretary to the Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development, Willie Gamage and former Chairman of Sri Lanka Savings Bank Ariyathilake Dahanayake in connection with a land deal at Oruthota, Gampaha.

May 24 (DM) Commercial High Court of Colombo has recently issued an interim order against Dr. Chris Nonis et al, in a case filed by majority shareholders of Mackwoods Securities for alleged oppression, mismanagement and misappropriation of assets belonging to Mackwoods Group of Companies.

May 24 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son, United People’s Freedom Alliance Hambantota District Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa arrived at the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) of the Police yesterday morning.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army troops engaged recovery operations at the landslide site in Aranayake in Kegalle district recovered seven more bodies bringing the death toll from the flash floods and landslides to 92, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Sri Lanka Police have arrested a former senior police official in connection with the murder of national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Following several days of continuous interrogation, the CID on Monday arrested the former Western Province Senior Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Anura Senanayake for concealing evidence in the rugby player's murder.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy Medical Officers along with Medical Assistants have conducted a series of health camps for the people affected by the floods. The camps were conducted in Biyagama, Wellampitiya, Malwana, Mapitigama, Orugodawatta, Kaduwela and Avissawella areas from 20th to 22nd May 2016

May 23 (AM) Two people were arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division over a land deal of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Accordingly, Willie Gamage and A. Dahanayake were arrested by the FCID after they appeared to give a statement on a land in Oruthota allegedly owned by Rajapaksa.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Racketeers defraud donors, fleece flood victims (23 - Island)
* Investigation against Manusha Nanayakkara (23 - DM)
* Stay away from affected areas (23 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Port and Shipping Minister Arjuna Rantunga says that now is the time to speed up providing relief to the flood-displaced people. He made this remark when he inquired about the progress in providing relief to the port employees displaced by the floods.

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) launched its first roadshow in Australia from Melbourne, on 17th May with a great success. Following the first show in Melbourne two more roadshows were conducted in Brisbane and Sydney.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- A United Nations agency says there is a need for longer term alternative shelter options for the landslides-displaced people in Sri Lanka because the communities in landslide affected areas will not be able return to their place or origin because of the ongoing threat from further landslides.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the officials to establish a special Environmental Relief Task Force to restore suitable living conditions for the affected people while managing the damage to the environment caused by the recent natural disaster outbreaks.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

May 24 (CP) Colombo- The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won two more prestigious international accolades, being adjudged the 'Best Bank' in Sri Lanka in 2016, and presented a Platinum award for 20 years of excellence by the Hong Kong based 'FinanceAsia,' magazine, one of the most respected financial publications in the region.

May 24 (Island) Banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest rates paid and charged to depositors and borrowers respectively. The process performed by banks of taking in funds from a depositor and then lending them out to a borrower is known as financial intermediation.

May 24 (DM) VMware Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today reinforced its commitment toward enabling digital transformation in Southeast Asia, by displaying a strong focus on enabling business mobility, future proofing the cloud and enhancing security.

May 24 (DN) Sri Lanka is following up on the disclosure of Sri Lankan individuals who were named in the Panama Papers leaks, Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran said.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Siemens, a renowned global leader in the area of Smart Cities, strengthened its partnership with Sri Lanka by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to offer expertise and best practices from its globally-proven, state-of-the-art, Sustainable, Smart City solutions portfolio, a media statement said.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's nationwide inflation in April 2016 determined under the new National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose to 4.3 percent from 2.6 percent recorded in March 2016, on an year-on-year basis, the Department of Census and Statistics reported on Monday.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) has called worldwide for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for surveys to gather geophysical data in its search for offshore petroleum deposits.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Fitch affirms Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata at 'AAA(lka)', outlook Stable (23 - CP)
* Insurance claims likely to mount as businesses suffer in rain havoc (23 - Island)
* Join hands with EAP Sathkara to help out flood victims (23 - DM)
* HNB launches Disaster Relief Fund to help flood victims (23 - CP)
* Vehicle registrations drop sharply (23 - DN)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

May 24 (CP) Colombo- The government of South Korea plans to sign an initial deal with Sri Lanka on the development of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo and adjacent areas in the Western Province under the megapolis development plan, Yonhap News Agency reported.

May 24 (Strait Times) SINGAPORE- Singapore said yesterday that it will contribute US$100,000 (S$138,000) in support of immediate relief efforts in Sri Lanka where hundreds of thousands of people were forced into shelters after major floods hit the island.

May 24 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday cautioned lactating mothers to beware of the ploys used by manufacturers of infant milk food formula, during the present disaster situation.

May 24 (DN) The government will provide funds without any restrictions to provide relief to the displaced, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says the government aims to resettle the flood-displaced families housed in welfare centers in their homes as soon as possible.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today declared all flood and landslide affected areas as High Security Zones and instructed the officials of the newly established special Environmental Relief Task Force to mark those areas accordingly.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- If the term of the Central Bank's Governor Arjuna Mahendran is extended, the confidence placed by the financial sector and the stock market in the Central Bank will be lost completely, the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has stressed.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Major cause for the constant threat of flooding along the Kelani River Valley is improper and illegal construction, the Department of Irrigation says. According to the Director of Department of Irrigation, Mrs. Chandrika Ethugala a 33-feet wide reservation on either side of a Kelani River or any major river should be maintained to minimize the flood threat.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- India has the honor to participate in the Buddha Rashmi Vesak celebrations at the kind invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, High Commission of India said in a statement. India will be displaying a Vesak lantern modelled on the stupa at the Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya, Bihar, India.

May 23 (Anadolu) The Turkish Red Crescent has delivered emergency supplies to Sri Lanka, which has been hit by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain since last week.

May 23 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's China funded Port City project distributed relief items to thousands of people affected by flash floods in the island country through a flood relief program, a statement by the Colombo Port City said here on Monday.

May 23 (IBT) The Sri Lankan government said Monday the cost of the country’s landslides and floods would be at least between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. The official death toll in the catastrophe has reportedly risen to 92, with 109 people still feared buried in landslides.

May 23 (TWC) The second event of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau’s (SLTPB) Australian Roadshows was heralded as an overwhelming success. Eclipsing other tourism roadshows by generating more delegates than ever before in Brisbane, The Sri Lanka Roadshows attracted 74 Australian travel agents, media and tour operators.


More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Astrologer cum Governor predicts Maithri-Ranil govt. will last till 2021  There is no SLFP at grassroots level – Kiriella (23 - Island)
* Rain brings positive results (23 - DM)
* Most schools reopen today (23 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

May 24 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of the England tour after suffering a stress fracture to his lower back. Chameera has been advised rest for four months and will return to Sri Lanka to continue his treatment. The Sri Lanka selectors are expected to meet by Wednesday to pick a replacement for Chameera. The loss of Chameera is the second big blow to Sri Lanka's bowling attack as pacer Dhammika Prasad returned home last week after picking up a shoulder injury during a tour match.

More : SPORTS

May 24 (ESPNCI) Oman coach Duleep Mendis praised Munis Ansari after the fast bowler took a career-best 5 for 27 in a 58-run victory over Jersey at WCL Division Five on Monday, calling him a 'unique' player for his game-changing ability. "We are fortunate to have a person like Munis Ansari," Mendis told ESPNcricinfo after Oman's win at St Saviour. "This is not the first time that he came and got the breakthrough for us.

May 24 (ESPNCI) Moises Henriques was a hotel room key away from being among the players suspended for "Homework-gate" on the 2013 India tour, but may now play a key role in Australia's effort to build subcontinental momentum by beating Sri Lanka at home in July and August. The recalls of Henriques alongside the fit-again Mitchell Starc were the key outcomes of the 15-man touring party announced for Sri Lanka on Tuesday

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Kent high performance director Simon Willis is leaving the county to take on a similar role with Sri Lanka Cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been appointed as the high performance manager at Sri Lanka Cricket and will take up his appointment overlooking the National Academy from the 1st of June 2016, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.


WORLD

May 24 (BBC) The former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has been granted refugee status in the UK, according to his lawyer. Nasheed, the opposition leader, was controversially jailed for 13 years under anti-terror laws last year. He was allowed to travel to the UK to receive treatment on his spine.

More : WORLD

May 24 (BBC) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India will build and operate a key Iranian port after his talks with President Hassan Rouhani. India would invest $500m (£344m) to develop the strategically important Chabahar port, close to Iran's border with Pakistan, he said.

May 23 (BBC) About 30 climbers have suffered frostbite or become ill on Mount Everest after two others died, apparently from altitude sickness. Two Indian climbers have also been reported missing in the mountain's so-called "death zone" near the summit.

May 23 (BBC) India has launched an unmanned model space shuttle, joining the race to develop reusable spacecraft. The 7m scale model took off from Andhra Pradesh and was expected to fly about 70km (43 miles) into the atmosphere before coming down at sea.


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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