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[Last Updated = Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 09:01 am SL Time]
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Japanese Vice-Minister, Sri Lankan President discuss Colombo city development

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Japan's Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Manabu Sakai called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Tuesday (August 19). President Rajapaksa conveyed Sri Lanka's appreciation to Japan for its continued support at international forums, pointing out that Japan has always assisted Sri Lanka at times of need. He also briefed the Japanese Minister on Sri Lanka's post-war development.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Aug 20 (CP) New Delhi- Sri Lanka and India together shared concerns today over the growing menace of narcotic drugs and latest trends in narcotics smuggling in Indo-Sri Lankan sector during the firs-ever talks between the top anti-narcotics agencies of both the countries.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Following the death of a female doctor at the hand of an unqualified plastic surgeon, Sri Lanka's Health Ministry has decided to inspect all cosmetic clinics in the country. Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala has issued a circular directing all the provincial and divisional health service directors to inspect the places that provide cosmetology services island wide.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka today has assured India that it will not allow anyone to use its soil to carry out subversive acts against its neighbor. Meeting with the foreign journalists in Colombo Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris said the Sri Lankan government will not allow room for terror elements to plan anti-India activities.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed two more members to the panel of international experts advising the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka. The two appointees are Indian human rights activist Avdash Kaushal and a Pakistani law expert Ahmer B. Soofi.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L. Peiris Monday said that the relentless international pressure on Sri Lanka to probe alleged human rights violations is not only unhelpful, but is also absolutely harmful to the country.

Aug 20 (Island) Acting on tip off the Talaimannar Police arrested three suspects with 11 kilos and 828 grammes of gold worth Rs. 70 million hidden in a van parked at a particular location in the Talaimannar village in the early hours of yesterday. They were four to five inch gold strips wrapped in pieces of cloth.

Aug 20 (DM) Nuwan Udaya Gunathilaka alias ‘Kudu Nuwan’ was arrested on charges of possessing 300 grams of heroin in Meethotamulla by the Colombo Crime Division this morning, the Police said.

Aug 20 (DN) The Navy arrested 14 persons engaged in illegal fishing activity in Trincomalee and Mannar districts in two search operations. According to the Navy Media Unit the Navy arrested the persons with a haul of fish caught illegally and the vessels used in the illegal act.

Aug 20 (Hindu) The Dhanushkodi police have arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil, who attempted to clandestinely leave for Talaimannar, and two others, including a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who promised him a trip by boat.

Aug 19 (TOI) NEW DELHI- India and Sri Lanka are expected to finalize a strategy to jointly tackle cross-border smuggling of narcotics and syndicates running the illegal trade between the two maritime neighbours.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Drug lord nabbed last week is on Interpol wanted list (19 - Island)
* Measures taken to improve child protection and child rights (19 - DN)
* PC member arrested with illegal firearm (19 - DM)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 21 (CP) Islamabad- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has cancelled his visit to Pakistan that was scheduled for later this week due to the political unrest in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Office has said.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- India's foreign policy is very clear and will not agree to any foreign power interfering in Sri Lanka's internal matters, a senior leader of India's governing Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) Dr. Subramanian Swamy said. (Sri Lanka Army Photo)

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank said it has sought the services of lobbying firms in the United States to improve the communication between the two countries to create an environment conducive to attract more US investments. Issuing a statement Wednesday, the Communications Department of the Central Bank said the bank has launched a robust Communication Programme in the US.

Aug 20 (CP) New York- The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged Sri Lanka to cooperate with the international inquiry launched by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into human rights violations during Sri Lanka's war, his Spokesperson said Tuesday.


FINANCE

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has taken any decision to increase fuel prices despite the losses from selling fuel at subsidized prices, Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

Aug 19 (CP) Baar, Switzerland- Swiss specialty chemicals company Sika is expanding its presence in the Asia/Pacific Region with the establishment of new Sika subsidiary in Sri Lanka.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- A new venture has been set up by a construction company with Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, Hoard of Investment (BOI) to undertake the construction of housing units in urban areas of the country.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, UFJ became the first bank yesterday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Board of Investment (BOI) in Sri Lanka to encourage Japanese investments.

Aug 20 (Xinhua) COLOMBO - Sri Lanka will focus on increasing trade and investment with China as well as broadening the scope of a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a top official said on Tuesday.

Aug 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's short term interest rates seems to be bottoming out after falling steeply for multi-year lows in line with the key policy rates, and there is little scope for long term lending rates to come down, the central bank chief said on Wednesday.

Aug 20 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose on Wednesday, hovering near three-year highs, led by bank and finance companies as low interest rates and earning hopes helped boost appetite for risky assets despite an overbought market.

Aug 20 (Island) NSB recorded a profit before tax of Rs.2.7 billion for 1H 2014 up by 206% from Rs.0.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year and the net profit recorded an increase of 184% to Rs.1.8 billion from Rs.642 million recorded in the same period last year.

Aug 20 (DN) Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) was able to cross 300 million shares that closed Rs 5.00 higher at Rs 245.00 recording Rs 7.2 billion contributing 38 percent of the daily turnover for the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

Aug 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s MillenniumIT has been ranked the Most Respected IT Company in Sri Lanka for 2014 by the Lanka Monthly Digest’s annual rankings, the company says in the media release.

Aug 19 (Reuters) Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Sri Lanka totaled $817 million in the first half of this year, 51 percent more than the inflow during the same period a year ago, a minister said on Tuesday

More : FINANCE
* Outstanding regional employees of SLT rewarded for their service excellence (19 - Island)
* Aitken Spence to build 501 rooms in RIU Resorts Ahungalle (19 - DN)
* Hybrids boost July vehicle registrations (19 - DM)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today ordered the relevant authorities to resolve the trade union issues in the health sector within three months. The President instructed the relevant officials after considering a set of proposals presented to him by the representatives of 27 health sector trade unions today at Temple Trees.

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to immediately appoint the party senior Sajith Premadasa as the deputy leader and entrust him with the operations of the Uva provincial council election, a local media report said.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka main opposition to appoint Sajith Premadasa as deputy leader - report

Aug 20 (CP) Colombo- The junior workers of Sri Lanka's government hospitals have launched a work strike today to win several demands including a salary increase. Workers of the All Ceylon Health Services Union launched an island wide strike demanding the government to include implementation of 6/2006 circular on salary structure and paying the arrears, making the casual workers permanent and one-day night shift.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan government's E-Library Nenasala program conducted by the e-Sri Lanka Project of the Presidential Secretariat has received the 2014 Access to Learning Award. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Monday presented US$ 1 million award to the e-Library Nenasala Program (eLNP), in recognition of its work to provide free access to computers and the Internet to underserved Sri Lankans living in remote and rural areas.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Widespread degradation of Sri Lanka's coastal and agricultural resources due to climate change could cost the country's economy more than 6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this century, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) climate and economics report for South Asia.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has affirmed that there will be no General Election at least for another year. President Rajapaksa has announced this while addressing the Parliamentary Team meeting last night (18) at Presidential Secretariat Office, national news agency Lankapuvath reported.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Election Department will deploy some 10,000 election officers for election duties at the upcoming elections for Uva Provincial Council, the Department said. In addition, another group of election officials will be stationed for the vote counting process.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa may postpone his visit to Pakistan scheduled for some time later this month due to unrest in that country, government officials told reporters.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan President to visit Pakistan later this month

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will not allow the United Nations team investigating alleged war crimes committed during the last seven years of the three-decade long armed conflict with Tamil Tiger terrorists, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Tuesday.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense and Urban Development announced that the new floating market constructed in Pettah area in the capital city Colombo will be declared open Friday. The floating market was constructed under the Colombo city beautification project.

Aug 19 (CP) Colombo- To commemorate the 68th Independence Day of India, the Indian CEO Forum, in collaboration with the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, organized an Independence Day Concert by the famous Indian singer, Shaan (Shantanu Mukherjee) at Stein Studio in Colombo on 17 August 2014.

Aug 20 (OL) Sri Lanka has addressed India's security concerns over its soil being used by extremists to infiltrate into Tamil Nadu, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said today, a day after Colombo assured New Delhi that it will not allow any anti-India activities.

Aug 20 (Island) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday demanded to know from the government the complex issues that had arisen with regard to the proceedings of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances and Missing Persons, causing the need to obtain services of a panel of experts.

Aug 20 (DN) Sri Lanka is concerned about non state actors that can destabilise countries, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam said yesterday. “We take every possible measure to ensure that non state actors do not have the capacity to harm the very social fabric of the country,” he said.

Aug 20 (NIE) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should visit Lanka because Lankans are eager to host him. "People want him to come here. If the Japanese Prime Minister and the Chinese President can come here,"

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* PMO calls meeting tomorrow on India-Sri Lanka fishermen issue (19 - PTI)
* TNA asks UN to probe atrocities under SLFP, UNP govts since 1974 (19 - Island)
* Badulla has seen development in all sectors – Nimal (19 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Aug 20 (ESPNCI) Thisara Perera struck a brisk half-century and then took two wickets to help Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI beat Pakistanis by 13 runs according to the D/L method. Opting to bat, the President's XI openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Tillakaratne Dilshan raced to 48 in 7.2 overs, but Mohammad Talha struck twice in the space of three deliveries to peg the hosts back.

More : SPORTS

Aug 20 (Dunya News) COLOMBO– After facing defeat in the Test series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan is all geared up to improve its performance up a notch in the One-Day (ODI) under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq. Pakistan cricket team has been preparing perform well after being clean swept by the Sri Lankans in two Test matches. Under the supervision of the batting coach, Pakistan team would try to overcome its weaknesses in the practice session.

Aug 20 (AFP) Colombo: Sri Lanka are banking on young talent to see them through a transitional phase in Test cricket despite the departure of one batting great, another approaching retirement and an ageing spinner in the ranks. Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who ended his 17-year Test career on Monday following the 2-0 series win over Pakistan, said there was no cause for panic over the side's immediate future.

Aug 19 (ESPNCI) Emphatically reclaimed his status as Sri Lanka's chief match-winner after a quieter six months than he is used to. Herath had not lost his guile or accuracy in the series against England and South Africa, but against Pakistan, he rediscovered the rip that transforms him from a wily squeezer to an unchecked menace. He took more wickets at the SSC, but his spell on the fifth day at Galle was the turning point of the series.


WORLD

Aug 20 (BBC) At least 27 people have been killed in landslides that struck Japan's Hiroshima prefecture, officials say. The landslides happened in a residential area near a mountain in the Hiroshima city outskirts. They were triggered after the equivalent of a month's rain fell in the 24 hours up to Wednesday morning, Japan's weather agency said.

More : WORLD

Aug 19 (WSJ) South Asia—with so much of its population destitute and dependent on the land for their livelihoods—stands to suffer “severe” economic and physical consequences from climate change, according to a report released today by the Asian Development Bank.

Aug 19 (BBC) Six newlywed women in a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have returned to their parents because their husbands' homes had no toilets. The women, all from Khesiya village in Kushinagar district, said they would return only after their husbands had built proper toilets at home.

Aug 19 (BBC) Australia's foreign minister says a deal has been reached with Indonesia to end a row over claims Australian agents spied on the Indonesian president. Julie Bishop told the ABC that a "joint understanding" had been reached and preparations to sign it were under way.


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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