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[Last Updated = Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 12:43 am SL Time]
TOP STORY
Sri Lanka shows only slight improvement in reducing corruption in 2017

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has been successful in its efforts to reduce corruption in 2017 albeit slightly as the country improved its ranks by four notches on the 2017 Corruption Perception Index released on Wednesday by Transparency International, the global movement against corruption.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Supreme court has postponed the hearing of a fundamental rights petition filed by joint opposition parliamentarian Kumara Welgama seeking the issue of an order preventing his arrest by the Police Financial Investigations Crime Division (FCID) to 15th October.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police have recorded statements from 13 people on the explosion of a hand grenade in a private passenger bus in Kahagolla area of Diyathalawa yesterday.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court on Thursday ordered a senior navy officer to appear before the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of police for questioning in connection with the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth, including Tamils.
 

Feb 22 (Oneindia) The legendary movie Scarface opens with a scene where 1,000s of refugees from Cuba land into the United States. Antonio Montana played by the greatest actor of our times, Al Pacino is one among them. What follows is chaos and dark, dirty world of drugs.
 

Feb 22 (Island) President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Udaya Rohan de Silva, PC, yesterday filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal, requesting the Court to quash the decision of the Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABO) to impose any personnel criminal liability upon Justice A. H. M. D. Nawaz, Judge of the Court of Appeal, for acts done in and official capacity on behalf of the Attorney General, while he was serving at that Department as the Deputy Solicitor General.
 

Feb 22 (DM) Former Senior Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Hemantha Adhikari yesterday made a confidential statement regarding the murder of former Sunday Leader Editor late Lasantha Wickrematunge before Mount Lavina Magistrate Mohamed Mihail.
 

Feb 22 (DN) A 56-year-old man was stabbed to death by a sharp object in Haldummulla, last night. Initial investigations had revealed that the incident occurred following a quarrel. The deceased man identified as Nimal Bandara, residing in Marangalawela succumbed to injuries
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police say preliminary investigations have revealed that the explosion in a private bus early this morning in Diyathalawa was caused by a grenade that had been carried by an Army solider in his luggage.

** Related Story :: Army denies any terrorist involvement in Diyathalawa bus fire, 12 security forces personnel among 19 injured
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Brigadier Priyankara Fernando, the Defense Advisor at Sri Lanka High Commission in London, has been summoned to Colombo. Army Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said Brigadier Fernando was summoned to obtain information regarding the recent incident
 

Feb 21 (ABC) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who claims he once built warships for the Tamil Tigers says he will be tortured and possibly killed in his home country if he is deported by the Australian Government on Thursday.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Summons still not served on accused Senadheera Insulting judges case (21 - Island)
* Witness says Karunajeewa gave Rs. 30 MN cheque to be encashed (21 - DN)
* Army denies any terrorist involvement in Diyathalawa bus fire, 12 security forces personnel among 19 injured (21 - CP)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The National Economic Council (NEC) appointed by the President Maithripala Sirisena to take decisions on strengthening national economy has focused its attention on introducing a new policy for providing the fertilizer subsidy in order to minimize the problems farmers are facing.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The Asia-Pacific's largest humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief preparedness mission will return to Sri Lanka for a second time as the United States continues to cultivate partnerships in the region, according to the U.S. military's news source Stars and Stripes.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- Despite a double-digit growth in exports surpassing US$ 1 billion for the fifth time in the year, Sri Lanka's trade deficit also widened to exceed US$ 2 billion mark in December 2017, according to the Central Bank data released in its External Sector Performance Review on Thursday.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The two-day Technical Group Meeting of the G- 24 countries will be inaugurated by the Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera at 9.00 am on February 27, at the BMICH in Colombo.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan Government has received the cabinet approval to award the contract for the construction of the 3rd phase of Central Expressway to M/S Taisei Corporation of Japan.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) will hold a one-day workshop on "Import Procedures and Documentation" with special attention on WTO Goods Valuation Agreement, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and Goods Classification and Harmonized System.
 

Feb 22 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka will launch a global marketing campaign starting from next month to attract more and more tourists to the country, an official here said on Thursday.
 

Feb 22 (Reuters) COLOMBO- The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker on Thursday in dull trade as importer dollar demand outweighed selling of the greenback by exporters
 

Feb 22 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan shares on Thursday snapped a five-session winning streak and eased from a more than three-month high on profit-booking, while foreign buying in Commercial Bank Plc boosted the daily traded turnover.
 

Feb 22 (Island) HNB successfully weathered the challenges that arose in 2017 while leveraging upon new growth opportunities to post a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 16.5 Bn reflecting growth of 16.4% Year-on-Year (YoY).
 

Feb 22 (DM) The cabinet has taken a decision to award further tax concessions for state lands provided on a long-term lease basis for commercial agriculture. Land and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said such lands will be exempt from charge
 

Feb 22 (DN) Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Felix Fernando requested the Indian government to either improve the existing apparel quota system to a sizable amount or remove it.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- The India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) - Colombo 2018-Exhibition cum Buyer Seller Meet organized by the Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) of India was inaugurated at Hotel Galadari today.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's nationwide inflation in January 2018 determined under the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) declined to 5.4 percent from 7.3 percent recorded in December 2017 on an year-on-year basis, the Department of Census and Statistics reported Wednesday.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer on bank dollar sales (21 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan stocks hit over 3-month high; bluechips lead (21 - Reuters)
* Amăna Bank profit-after-tax tops Rs. 500 mn, records 10-fold growth (21 - CP)
* Sri Lankan e-waste management company partners Belgian hybrid-battery recycling company (21 - Island)
* Governor calls for audit regulators’ collaboration (21 - DM)
* Over 350, 000 construction employment opportunities not filled - Wijeratne (21 - DN)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Ministry denied media reports that island's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Amari Wijewardene has rendered her resignation.
 

Feb 22 (CP) Colombo- The Central Environment Authority of Sri Lanka says measures have been initiated to provide relief to the biodegradable polythene manufacturers. According to the Central Environment Authority, tax concessions will be granted for the imports of equipment used for the manufacture of biodegradable products.
 

Feb 22 (Gulf News) Abu Dhabi- The number of complaints from Sri Lankan housemaids in Abu Dhabi has dropped considerably in recent years thanks to employers being more sensitised towards their rights, a top Sri Lankan diplomat told Gulf News.
 

Feb 22 (Arab News) RIYADH- A domestic aide who left Saudi Arabia 22 years ago will soon receive his end-of-service awards in Colombo. His Saudi sponsor, who died six years ago, requested his next of kin to pay the benefits to the man if he could be found after his return to Sri Lanka.
 

Feb 22 (Island) The government is likely to rescind its decision to make simple passes for Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the GCE AL the minimum educational requirement for entry into medical education, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday (21) said in Parliament.
 

Feb 22 (DM) The chief incumbent of the International Meditation Centre at Rathmalkanda Aranyaya (hermitage) in Kitthalella, Bandarawela Ven. Madawala Upali Thera has received the patent license for his invention of solar-power operated motor vehicle.
 

Feb 22 (DN) The 2018 International Mother Language Day celebrations jointly organised by the Bangladesh High Commission, Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, National Unity and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Sri Lanka Scout Association and university of Visual and Performing Arts was held at the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo yesterday.
 

Feb 22 (ER) Sri Lanka’s National Economic Council (NEC) will introduce an accelerated program to strengthen the national economy by introducing the necessary reforms and selecting new priorities in economic management in the country, co-cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said Wednesday.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Co-cabinet spokesman Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said a ministerial subcommittee was appointed to provide a report regarding the projects which are to be given priority pertaining on the fields of most effective on the general public within the next two years.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- It has been decided to enroll the students of the Medical Faculty of the abolished South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in the Medical Faculty of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (KDU).
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the agreement between the United National Party led by him and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party led by President Maithripala Sirisena forming the national government is still valid and will continue to function.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- The European Union (EU) says the Sri Lankan Government must honor their commitments on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and Transitional Justice.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has stressed the importance of improving the efficiency and regulating the Mahaweli projects to provide quick benefits to the farmer community.
 

Feb 21 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has drawn up a master plan to develop the Ratmalana Airport to provide efficient domestic and international flight services.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Victors who bribed voters face legal music courtesy monitors? (21 - Island)
* 25% women reps not possible in 10 LG bodies (21 - DM)
* Rs. 4 BN school tab project halted (21 - DN)
* Sri Lanka's Unity government's second Cabinet reshuffle is expected tomorrow (21 - CP)
* Education Minister says will recruit permanent principals to national schools promptly (21 - CP)

SPORTS

Feb 22 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka batsman Asela Gunaratne's injury woes continue, having now been ruled out of next month's T20 tri-series - the Nidahas Trophy - with an injury to his right arm. An SLC release said he sustained a "grade II rotator cuff strain with contusion" while taking part in a fielding drill on their recent tour of Bangladesh.
 

Feb 22 (IT) India skipper Virat Kohli and pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah's workload is expected to be a topic of discussion when the national selection committee headed by MSK Prasad meets this weekend to decide on the Indian squad for the Tri-Nation T20 meet in Sri Lanka next month, from March 6-18.
 

Feb 22 (ICC) South Africa finally made chasing in a white ball game against India look straight forward when they reached their target of 189 with eight balls and six wickets to spare at Centurion. They got there thanks to a brilliant innings of 64 (40) from stand in captain, JP Duminy, and a breathtaking knock of 69 (30) from Heinrich Klaasen.
 

Feb 21 (CB) Sri Lanka's injury woes continue as all-rounder Asela Gunaratne and fast bowler Shehan Madushanka have now been ruled out of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy starting in a fortnight's time in Colombo.
 


WORLD

Feb 22 (ANI) Former Maldivian Deputy Minister of Education Dr Ahmed Riyaz, who lately resigned, underscored that the State of Emergency (SOE) in the country, which has been extended for an additional 30 days, is "against our Constitution".
 

Feb 21 (BBC) Survivors of a Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead have marched to the state capitol to press lawmakers to take more action on gun control. One student said she was disappointed in meetings with lawmakers, who "danced around" their questions on gun control.
 

Feb 21 (BBC) Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as head of his party. Mr Sharif was ordered to step down as prime minister last year amid corruption allegations that he denies.
 

Feb 21 (BBC) The Queen has appeared in the famous front row at London Fashion Week for the first time. Wearing a duck egg blue dress and jacket, she sat alongside Dame Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor-in-chief.
 


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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