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[Last Updated = Thu, Aug 25, 2016, 12:26 am SL Time]
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Will make the Samurdhi movement efficient and productive service, President says

Aug 24, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says the Samurdhi Movement, which has become an unsatisfactory state agency with a dissatisfied workforce due to the inefficient state service under the former government, will be made an efficient and productive agency that will be useful to the country. The President made these remarks when he joined a special meeting held Tuesday at the President's Office with the Samurdhi managers to discuss their professional issues.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Sri Lanka Police conducting investigation into the murder of national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen informed the Colombo Magistrate Court on Wednesday that the telephone records on calls made from the Presidential Secretariat to the Narahenpita Police on the day of Thajudeen's death, have been erased.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government plans to strengthen the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) which is tasked with the design and implementation of Sri Lanka's reconciliation mechanisms.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Navy on Tuesday has arrested 24 local fishermen in three separate incidents for allegedly engaged in illegal fishing practices and sea cucumber harvesting. In one incident, naval personnel attached to SLNS Vijayaba located in Nilaweli belonging to the Eastern Naval Command arrested 22 local fishermen who were engaged in illegal fishing practices using unauthorized nets in Nilaweli sea area yesterday.

Aug 24 (Global Voice) The corner of Bauddhaloka mawatha near Independence Arcade was relatively quiet at 4:30 p.m., apart from a small group holding white umbrellas. These were participants of “Different Yet Equal,” an online-led campaign aiming to hold a peaceful vigil to advocate for a pluralist Sri Lanka, united against hatred and divisiveness.

Aug 24 (Island) Colombo Magistrate Aruni Attygalle yesterday issued notice on Officer-In-Charge of the Crimes Investigation Unit of the CID, Colombo to be present in court on August 30. This notice pertains to the application for anticipatory bail filed by Professor Ananda Samarasekera, the retired Chief JMO, Colombo.

Aug 24 (DM) Two women and a man were arrested while trying to smuggle in cigarette cartons, valued at Rs.2.8 million, into the country this morning, Deputy Customs Director Parakrama Basnayake said. The suspects were arrested by customs officials when they arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport from Dubai.

Aug 24 (DN) The CID informed courts that their investigations into journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, revealed that Ekeneligoda had no links with the LTTE, neither had he funded them or was there any legal action taken against him for terrorist activities,Ekneligoda’s wife Sandya Ekneligoda, making a statement to the media outside the Homagama Magistrate’s court said yesterday.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) of Police today arrested the former Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Kithsiri Ranawaka over misappropriation of funds of the Authority amounting to Rs. 5.7 million.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) of Sri Lanka Police has commenced investigations against eight individuals including the former Minister of Sports over financial fraud alleged to have taken place at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) since 2010.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena says he is always committed to safeguard the pride of country's three-armed forces personnel and will ensure their safety and dignity. The President was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the ninth Defense Services Sports Tournament held at the Panagoda Sri Lanka Army indoor stadium on Monday. Addressing the event the President stressed that as the Commander-in-Chief and the Minister of Defense he will not undermine his responsibilities to ensure the safety and dignity of the members of the tri-forces.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The United States and Sri Lanka conducted humanitarian assistance operations from August 15-20, 2016, as part of Operation Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) 16-3. The multinational team led by United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) concluded their week-long assistance program yesterday in Jaffna

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The United States Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus visited the Sri Lanka Navy Dockyard in Trincomalee Monday (22) to witness the ongoing bilateral training between the Sri Lanka and US Navies. The visiting US Secretary of the Navy was received by Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on his arrival at the Naval Dockyard.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* UNP-SLFP clash leave two hospitalised (23 - Island)
* Millionaire businessman disappears: Wife says she heard Sulaiman knocking at the door (23 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- Australian Federal Police (AFP) is investigating a leading engineering firm in Australia over allegations of seeking approval to pay kickbacks to the previous Sri Lankan government in return for a dam construction contract.

Aug 24 (CP) Bali- Sri Lanka and Indonesia have agreed to cooperate in the management of elections and the General Election Commission (KPU) of Indonesia on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sri Lanka Election Commission further strengthening the cordial relations between the two countries.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- Providing assistance to promote and rehabilitate agrarian community of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, the Government of Pakistan, through its High Commission in Colombo handed over a Pakistan-made tractor worth US$ 10,010 to the Palayadivadai Farmers Association, Pottuvil at a ceremony Tuesday at the High Commission.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Port's Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority has anchored four large ships at the same time, the Ministry of Ports and Shipping said. The four ships arrived at the Jaya Terminal on the 21st and on the 22nd of August 2016.

Aug 24 (CP) New York- Sri Lanka for the first time showcased its artisan products at the prestigious New York trade fair 'Artisan Resource @ NY NOW 2016' that is being held from 20 - 24 August 2016 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

Aug 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Wednesday, slipping from their highest close in more than three-months posted in the previous session, due to month-end settlements, brokers said.

Aug 24 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker on Wednesday as importer dollar demand surpassed declining sales of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.

Aug 24 (Island) "The government can no longer borrow funds from any source for development projects as borrowings have reached the saturation point. Therefore, investment banks could play a catalyst role in bringing private funds into the country for future development projects

Aug 24 (DM) The Planter’s Association of Sri Lanka, which represents the regional plantation companies (RPCs), warned that the tea industry is facing an imminent threat of coming to a grinding halt if the trade unions do not sign a new productivity-based wage agreement this month.

Aug 24 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka's corporate earnings grew 6.6 percent from a year earlier in the June 2016 quarter to 50 billion rupees, slowing from 15.9 percent in the March quarter, an equities research report said.

Aug 24 (DN) Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd will invest Rs 1.5 billion to build three mini fresh milk processing plants in the North starting this year.Pelwatte Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said that in addition he will also build a milk powder processing factory in Jaffna as well.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) under the direction of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen will be enforcing plastic mineral water bottling standards starting September 1.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The world's largest chemicals manufacturer BASF inaugurated its first manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka to help meet increasing demand for construction chemicals in the country, the German chemical company announced Monday.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Telairity Consolidates Its Position in Asia with Win at Sri Lanka Telecom (23 - PRNW)
* Sri Lankan stocks post 3-month closing high in high turnover (23 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan rupee ends steady; importer dollar demand weighs on mkt (23 - Reuters)
* CSE seen as consolidating as local and foreign interest in stocks renews (23 - Island)
* Colombo Supply Chain Forum to begin in October (23 - DM)
* Insurance industry thrives in first quarter of 2016 (23 - DN)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today assured the Parliament that an Indian Economic Zone will not be constructed in the area affiliated to the Trincomalee Harbor.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- India will provide an assistance of Rs 300 million to Sri Lanka for livelihood development, including the fisheries sector, in the southern Hambantota district, the government said today. Co-Cabinet spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilake addressing the cabinet briefing on Wednesday said the Indian government has agreed to provide the grant for livelihood development in Hambantota district under 'Wewak samaga Gamak' program.

Aug 24 (CP) Geneva- Sri Lanka has affirmed its support for the convening of a conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally - binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.

Aug 24 (CP) Geneva- Sri Lanka has affirmed its support for the convening of a conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally - binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- No Sri Lankans were affected by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which struck central Italy today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome has informed the government that there were no reports of Sri Lankans affected by the quake.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- The new legislation for the formation of the Western Province Megapolis Authority, which will remove many obstacles for development, will be brought in soon, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka says.

Aug 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has decided to send a delegation of fishermen to India to discuss the issue of illegal fishing by the Indian fishermen fishing in island's waters by the destructive bottom trawling practice. A fishermen delegation comprising 12 fishermen from both the South and North will visit India on August 25

Aug 24 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday warned the government against bringing the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India through backdoor while promising to formulate a national policy on international trade agreements.

Aug 24 (DM) The controversial Coal Tender process has taken a different turn with the Power and Energy Ministry deciding to continue to purchase coal from Swiss Singapore despite damning observations by the Supreme Court.

Aug 24 (DN) Leader of the House, Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said the new constitution would be put forth to a referendum, after being presented to the Parliament. He made these comments at at a ceremony at the Eastern University.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- When taking decisions, in order to solve issues of the Sri Lanka Port Authority as well as the country, the intellectual experience and knowledge is essential from the professionals, Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga has said.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe making a clarification of the preliminary conditions of establishing the Port City with China said the government agreed to resume the project following the approval of the environmental report and the agreement by the Chinese company not to purchase land.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- The outgoing Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives says he was very pleased that Sri Lanka was able to make the necessary progress that enabled the EU to lift its fisheries ban and to reconsider the GSP+ facility.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- Officials of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) have been summoned to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) today. The officials have been summoned with regard to investigations on last year's controversial bond issuance.

Aug 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Tuesday signed the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill making it a legal act, the Speaker's Office announced. The Speaker has signed the OMP Bill at his office at the Parliamentary Complex this morning.

Aug 23 (CP) Washington, DC- The Sri Lankan government in a move to expand its presence in Texas in line with the unprecedented expansion in bilateral relations with United States has appointed Sri Lankan-born entrepreneur Susantha Shan Halamba as the honorary consul for Sri Lanka to the state of Texas.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lanka to rehabilitate degraded agricultural lands in central highlands under five-year US$ 11 million project (23 - CP)
* SLFP rebels to ask party organisations whether to attend convention (23 - Island)
* Threats will only motivate us: MR (23 - DM)
* Many JO MR fans ready to support govt: Dewapriya (23 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Sri Lanka 288 (48.5 ov) Australia 206 (47.2 ov)

Aug 24 (ESPNCI) Angelo Mathews, also the Man of the Match: Chandimal and Kusal batted brilliantly upfront, to set the platform. That's a collective performance from SL to make it 1-1. The first innings saw a lot of momentum shifts with three fifties and three wickets for each of Starc, Faulkner (hat-trick) and Zampa.

More : SPORTS

Sri Lanka 288 (48.5 ov) Australia 111/4 (24.2 ov)

Aug 24 (ESPNCI) stralia will need a record chase to claim victory at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo after fifties to Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera pushed Sri Lanka to 288 in the second ODI. James Faulkner became the sixth Australian to take an ODI hat-trick, Adam Zampa bowled well for three wickets

Aug 23 (ESPNCI) With Mitchell Starc now extending his impressive form from the Tests into the ODIs, Sri Lanka have settled on a batting plan: see Starc out safely. Starc was already miserly during the first ODI. He did not concede a boundary in his 10 overs, which cost only 32. But he was also penetrative, taking three wickets. Each of those dismissals, however, was the result of an expansive drive gone awry.

Aug 23 (SLC) The Dialog Sri Lanka Cricket Awards 2016, the pinnacle of achievement on Sri Lanka’s domestic and international cricketing stage will take on the 21st of September at The Water’s Edge, Colombo. The gala ceremony will recognise the stars amongst ‘Our Lions’, and the accomplishments of our cricketers at domestic and international level.


WORLD

Aug 24 (BBC) At least 73 people have been killed in an earthquake that hit a mountainous area of central Italy, authorities say. The magnitude 6.2 quake struck at 03:36 (01:36 GMT), 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome, not far from Perugia. Many of the dead were in the historic town of Amatrice, where the mayor said three-quarters of the town was destroyed, and in nearby Accumoli.

More : WORLD

Aug 24 (BBC) A 6.8 magnitude earthquake has hit central Myanmar, damaging pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan and killing at least one person. The quake struck 25km (15.5 miles) west of Chauk, at a depth of 84km, the US Geological Survey said. Tremors were felt as far away as Thailand, Bangladesh and India, sending fearful residents into the streets.

Aug 24 (BBC) A militant attack is taking place at the American University in the Afghan capital, Kabul. A large explosion has been heard and students barricaded inside rooms in the building say they can hear gunfire close by. The emergency hospital says it has received five injured people from the scene so far.

Aug 24 (BBC) North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from a submarine off its east coast, say the US and South Korea. The KN-11 missile was launched from waters near Sinpo and flew about 500km (300 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan, a US official said.


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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