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[Last Updated = Fri, Oct 31, 2014, 01:12 am SL Time]
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UN Human Rights Committee asks Sri Lanka to repeal 18th Amendment to the Constitution

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. Presenting the Concluding Observations on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka, the UN human rights treaty body, which reviewed Sri Lanka on 7 and 8 October, said the Committee is concerned by the 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which, inter alia, discontinues the Constitutional Council and empowers the President to dismiss or appoint members of the judiciary and other independent bodies.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

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 ::http://www.colombopage.com/archive_14B/Oct30_1414692786CH.php

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) 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.

Oct 30 (Island) Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya yesterday said foreign passport holders would not be prevented from travelling to the North if they were able to meet the requirements specified by the Defence Ministry. "The government has imposed no restrictions on foreigners travelling to the north and some have been stopped from going there as they could not give valid reasons for their travel, the Military Spokesman, said.

Oct 30 (DM) A-28-year-old motor cyclist and a-seven –months-old infant were killed and three others injured at Arakavila in Ingiriya when their motor cycle plunged into a precipice this morning, police said.

Oct 30 (DN) The former manager of the Badulla Cooperative Society (BCS) East Rural Bank arrested for swindling Rs.10 million from the bank was produced before the Badulla magistrate and remanded until October 31. The CID led investigations following a complaint by the BCS General Manager.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan authorities have temporarily halted the operations to rescue the people trapped under the rubble from the massive landslide that had levelled the Meeriya-badda village of Haldummulla in Badulla district. (AFP Photo)

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Six people were killed and over 300 are missing on Wednesday after a massive landslide buried around 70 line-houses in the Meeriyabedda Estate of Haldummulla village in Badulla District.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Hundreds of people are feared dead in Sri Lanka after a massive landslide early Wednesday morning buried a row of line houses in Haldumulla, Badulla in the island's upcountry. Rescue workers have found two dead bodies while clearing the buried area and many more are trapped under the earth and feared dead.

Oct 29 (BBC) About 100 people are feared dead following a landslide in central Sri Lanka, the government says. The landslide, which came after heavy monsoon rains, engulfed about 140 houses in Badulla district.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Constable injured as SI’s pistol fires accidentally in real life drama (29 - Island)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- Leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe will visit Koslanda tomorrow to meet the people distressed by the massive landslide. The Opposition Leader will meet the affected people at Koslanda School at 9 a.m. tomorrow and proceed to tour in Meeriyabedda area where the landslide took place.

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 States today expressed deepest condolences to the Sri Lankan government and the families affected by Wednesday's landslide in Koslanda in Badulla district and offered assistance for the government and the affected people.

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.

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- India today has offered assistance to Sri Lanka to help hundreds of people affected by Wednesday's landslide in the central hills of tea plantations. Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha spoke to Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris and offered the assistance to deal with the landslide disaster, the PTI reported.


FINANCE

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).

Oct 30 (DM) Sri Lanka’s non-interest based banking pioneer Amăna Bank has tied up with consumer electronics giant Singer to facilitate convenient purchasing through its Easy Payment Plan.

Oct 30 (Island) ‘For SMEs to advance, conglomerates need to flourish because the prospering of conglomerates is advantageous for SMEs, Ronnie Peiris, Group Finance Director, John Keells Holdings said on Tuesday.

Oct 30 (DN) Haycarb reported a turnover of Rs. 5.2 billion and profit before tax of Rs. 362 million for six months ending September 30, 2014. The profit after tax stood at Rs. 304 million.

Oct 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka planter association estimates increase of two kilograms in the daily plucking average of tea of each worker can bring down unit cost of production by 30 rupees or 6.5 percent.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Rubber Research Institute (RRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China's state-owned CETC International for the development of the RRI, the government announced.

Oct 29 (CP) Washington, DC- Limitations to freedom of contract and the lengthy times taken to resolve standardized disputes through the courts have made doing business harder in Sri Lanka next year, according to a global survey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank comparing 189 countries.

More : FINANCE
* Casino entry levy would require services of a govt. gate keeper (29 - Island)
* Blue Ocean to invest Rs 2b on ‘King Alfred Palace’ (29 - DN)
* Staten Island's best Sri Lankan food (29 - Silive)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

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's Ministry of Health will launch a pilot study next week to take census on mental patients in the island to identify the extent of the mental disorders prevailing among the population.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka to conduct survey on mental patients

Oct 30 (CP) Colombo- The Supreme Council of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the Muslim ally of the Sri Lankan government, will meet on October 31 under the patronage of the SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem, party sources said. The major purpose of the Supreme Council meeting is to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

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) Washington, DC- The United States said Wednesday that government of Sri Lanka has not made any specific requests for assistance in search and rescue operations after an early morning landslide in the upcountry plantations area believed to have buried about 300 people.

Oct 30 (Island) Ongoing high profile talks between the SLFP and the JHU to resolve a simmering dispute over the latter’s constitutional and political reform proposals primarily meant to dilute presidential powers have failed to produce the desired results. JHU proposals are about political reforms and a range of other contentious issues including police and land powers in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Oct 30 (DN) The Child Development and Women's Affairs Ministry has been allocated Rs. 700 million in addition to the Budgetary allocation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the betterment of women and children, Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe united in expressing their sympathies to the landslide victims and bereaved families in Haldummulla of Badulla District today.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Expressing his sorrow in a media statement the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe requested all Sri Lankans to come forward and help the victims of the massive landslide that struck the MeeriyaBedda village in Koslanda, Haldummulla of Badulla district.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- A civil movement in Sri Lanka, People's Movement for Democracy will hold a rally in Colombo tomorrow to protest President Mahinda Rajapaksa contesting for a third election. The movement argues that President Rajapaksa calling for a Presidential election two years before his six-year second term ends is illegal.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Pakistan has awarded fully funded higher professional Engineering Scholarships to three Sri Lankan students under the Higher Education Scholarship Programme for 2014. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Qasim Qureshi met the selected students at the High Commission of Pakistan and congratulated them on their selection for higher education in Pakistan.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- The Commonwealth today encouraged the Sri Lankan government to accelerate its efforts towards sustainable reconciliation and consolidation of its "successful and hard won peace" through continued implementation of the recommendations of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Oct 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Catholic Church has confirmed that the Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka from January 13-15 as scheduled amid the fears that Pope's visit may be cancelled due to the presidential elections anticipated in January.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* ax evasion a big cancer engulfing country - DEW (29 - Island)
* President to inaugurate Int'l Health Conference in Colombo (29 - DN)
* Sri Lanka parliament adjourns early as no MPs to address budget debate (29 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Oct 30 (ESPNCI) Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey and Karn Sharma made the most of their opportunities for India A while the Sri Lankans didn't have much to gain from the warm-up one-dayer at the Brabourne Stadium. With Sri Lanka deciding to give all fifteen members of their squad a go, the match didn't have any statistical relevance. Still Rohit's innings showed that he has recovered from his injuries while Pandey's and Karn's efforts in the comprehensive 88-run victory will help push their case for national selection.

More : SPORTS

Oct 30 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka have enlisted the help of sports psychologist and former England offspinner Jeremy Snape for their upcoming home series against England. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made the decision with a view to having a performance coach on board for ther 2015 World Cup campaign. The board is also understood to be in talks with former India fielding coach Trevor Penney about a full-time position with the Sri Lanka side.

Oct 29 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket is proud to announce that the 1st ever Turf Wicket built in the North of Sri Lanka was opened today at 9.30 am. at St. Patrick’s College Jaffna by Chief Guest Hon. Sanath Jayasuriya and The Guests of Honour Secretary of SLC Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga, SF Commander General Udaya Perera, and the Principal of St. Partick’s College. The Blessing of the Turf was done by Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr.Thomas Savundaranayagam.

Oct 29 (ESPNCI) In the absence of Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath, the Sri Lankan team management is hoping for the experienced batsmen to flourish and inexperienced bowlers to step up. "Those two are the backbone of our bowling line-up and we don't have many experienced guys on this tour," Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said hours after the team landed in Mumbai for a hastily-organised five-match ODI series.


WORLD

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.

More : WORLD

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).

Oct 29 (BBC) An unmanned supply rocket bound for the International Space Station has exploded during its launch from the US state of Virginia. Antares, a 14-storey rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp, combusted seconds after leaving the seaside launch pad at Wallops Flight Facility. The cause of the cargo ship malfunction has yet to be determined.

Oct 29 (BBC) The Indian government has given a list containing names of all Indians suspected to have parked untaxed wealth in foreign banks to the Supreme Court. The list with 627 names was submitted to the court in a sealed envelope on Wednesday.


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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