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[Last Updated = Sun, Aug 30, 2015, 01:06 am SL Time]
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Time has come to focus on economic development, Sri Lanka tells international community

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Having taken solid measures to address human rights issues that had been at the center for years, Sri Lanka says the time has come to focus on strengthening the economy now. Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera addressing the Diplomatic Corps based in Colombo on Friday (August 28) said for far too long Sri Lanka's relationship with the international community has been dictated by 'human rights' and now the country needs to focus its attention on the economy.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan military authorities have removed the security check point located at Omanthai in Vavuniya with effect from Saturday, August 29. The check point, established during the war at Omanthai along the main north-south A9 road, was the main entry/exit point between LTTE controlled areas and Government controlled areas during the war.

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Tamil political parties in Tamil Nadu have strongly condemned the United States for supporting Sri Lanka to conduct a domestic inquiry into the alleged war crimes. DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and PMK founder S. Ramadoss have strongly criticized the U.S. government's decision to support the new Sri Lankan government's plans for a local inquiry, according to a report in The Hindu.

Aug 29 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judges Manilal Waidyatillake yesterday remanded till Sept. 18, 2015, a woman who had left the country while the trial was pending without getting permission from Court. She had been indicted with possessing 13.7 grams of heroin.

Aug 29 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday (28) ordered the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to ban the suspect businessman Rienzie Mahesh Kumara Edwards and his wife Punya Priyanthi Menike from leaving the country as the Nugegoda-based couple is alleged to have smuggled in more than 40 million US dollars.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Army said today that it has been investigating the contents in the videos produced by the Britain's Channel-4 TV since 2013. The Army has launched the investigations upon directions given by the then government of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Former Secretary to the Finance Ministry and Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera has been summoned to the police Special Investigations Unit. He arrived at the police Special Investigations Unit this morning to record a statement.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka's former Treasury Secretary questioned over oil hedging deal

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lanka court today dismissed the petition filed against former UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and former SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka court removes UPFA and SLFP party general secretaries from posts

Aug 28 (Hindu) A resolution calling for international intervention to probe alleged war crimes, moved by a Tamil National Alliance member at a meeting of the Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday, fell through.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Domestic probe will do the bidding of US - PNM (28 - Island)
* MoD issues detention order on suspects (28 - DM)
* Disappearance of Eknaligoda Sandhya urges for fair probe (28 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- The former Sri Lankan government under Mahinda Rajapaksa paid US$ 6.2 million last year to a private equity fund manager and a political fundraiser for consulting services which included influencing the U.S. government, according to a report in Foreign Policy Magazine.

Aug 29 (CP) Kandy- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena says he would enforce strict laws from January 1, 2016 to prevent use of polythene which is a major threat to the environment and the health of the people. The President has said that he would totally ban the production of polythene from January 1, 2018, according to the President's Media Division.

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today said the leader of its main constituent party, Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), should become the opposition leader of Sri Lanka's eighth parliament.

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera says meaningful reconciliation for durable peace and prosperity will take time and it is an essential process for the country involving the broad areas of truth seeking, justice, reparations and non-recurrence.


FINANCE

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Two AkzoNobel Paints Lanka sales professionals were recognized with Silver Awards for excellence at SLIM NASCO 2015. SLIM NASCO panel, which seeks to appreciate outstanding performances by sales professionals in Sri Lanka, chooses from a substantial number of applicants every year for recognition at its annual awards ceremony.

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Shareholders of DFCC Vardhana Bank and DFCC Bank have approved the proposed amalgamation of the two banks at an extraordinary general meeting held Friday, a stock market disclosure said.

Aug 29 (DM) Illegal alcohol manufacture is continuing to thrive with the aid of public officials as the state refuses to take action against provided information, said Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC (DCSL) Chairman Harry Jayawardene.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Despite doing business with Sri Lanka for a long time, the bilateral trade between Nigeria and Sri Lanka has not been improved and the country was not represented very well in Sri Lanka, Nigeria's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, S. U. Ahmed said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today declared open the Construct 201trade exhibition at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Center (SBMEC) Colombo.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Having closed the 75th year on a high note by delivering the highest ever profit by a single entity in Sri Lanka, Bank of Ceylon (BoC) continues to lead its growth course in first half of 2015 with Rs. 9.1 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT) achieving 6% growth over the previous year.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will hold its first ever Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC) next month in line with International Maritime day & UN observance day. The three-day event will be held in Colombo from 24 to 26 September 2015 under the theme "Maritime Education and Training".

Aug 28 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan shares rose more than 1 percent on Friday, rising for a third straight session, as investors bought into select battered stocks like conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc after recent falls.

More : FINANCE
* POLL-Sri Lanka c.bank seen keeping rates steady on Monday (28 - Reuters)
* Hayleys Fabric recognised by CMA - SL (28 - Island)
* Pelwatte Dairies moots ‘Butter-Oil’ pact with Iran (28 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has given instructions to expedite the process of purchasing the Yala season paddy crop from the farmers across the country.

Aug 29 (CP) Kandy- The final Randoli Perahera of Sri Lanka's premier Buddhist pageant, the historic Esala festival, will parade the streets in the hill capital of Kandy Saturday night. The final Perahera will showcase many cultural dances and more than one hundred beautifully decorated bejeweled elephants.

Aug 29 (CP) Colombo- The United States has agreed to grant US$ 3.2 million for the development of schools in the Eastern Province. The signing of the agreement took place under the patronage of Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando at his office Friday, the state-run Independent TV said.

Aug 29 (PTI) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's allies are planning to form a new opposition alliance, breaking away from President Maithripala Sirisena's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition, senior leftist leaders said today.

Aug 29 (Island) The majority of UPFA members elected to the eighth parliament supported President Maithripala Sirisena and that meant the National Government first established in January this year would continue, but questions remained about its effectiveness, the SLFP’s Chief Organiser for Chilaw Neomal Perera said yesterday.

Aug 29 (DM) Local election watchdog People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) yesterday said strict election laws should be introduced to make it compulsory for candidates to maintain only one bank account for election campaigning.

Aug 29 (DN) Former Speaker and UPFA MP-elect Chamal Rajapaksa is to join the National Unity Government. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Rajapaksa said he would stand along with the position of the SLFP Party Chairman and President Maithripala Sirisena on forming a Unity Government.

Aug 29 (NIE) COLOMBO- Seven months after he was made de jure Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the opposition United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena became its de facto head on Friday.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today entrusted President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Chairman of the party to make the final decision on making parliamentary and ministerial appointments.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The 69th anniversary of Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party (UNP) will be held on the 6th of September under the patronage of party leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena today pointed out the necessity for a national plan and policy to take the country's construction sector, which is a major contributor the economy, to international level.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Sri Lanka with the concurrence of the Government of Myanmar has decided to appoint Mr. K.W.N.D. Karunaratne as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Myanmar, Foreign Affairs Ministry said today.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has unveiled a program to address human rights issues at the regional level. The program aims to sort out complaints through regional committees before they reach the Commission, the Government Information Department said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will celebrate its 64th anniversary in Polonnaruwa on September 2 under the patronage of party leader, President Maithripala Sirisena, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Leaders of two minor Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka have expressed their support to the national government formed by the two major political parties United national Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom party (UNP) .

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* We can form a govt, says SLFP Gen. Secy (28 - Island)
* Swearing-in date further pushed back (28 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

India 292/8 (95.3 ov)

Aug 29 (ESPNCI) Cheteshwar Pujara, previously out of the side to presumably accommodate a more forceful batsman and an extra bowler, scored his first Test century since the last month of 2013 to deny Sri Lanka clear advantage in the rain-hit SSC Test. He was helped along by Amit Mishra's third Test fifty, an enterprising effort, to rescue India after Dhammika Prasad had reduced India to 180 for 7. It was thanks largely to Prasad that Sri Lanka didn't lose the advantage of bowling first on a pitch with uneven grass covering, which offered seam movement and variable bounce.

More : SPORTS

India 129/5 (49.1 ov)

Aug 29 (ESPNCI) The sun might have come out, but the conditions underfoot continued to test India as the ball seamed around. In a 135-minute session, Sri Lanka, bowling with discipline, managed to get rid of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and conceded just 69 runs. Only towards the end of the session, especially with the introduction of the inconsistent offspinner Tharindu Kaushal, did India manage to breathe easy, but Dhammika Prasad struck with what turned out to be the last ball of the session.

India 50/2 (15 ov)

Aug 28 (ESPNCI) Asked to bat on a testing, grassy pitch, India held on grimly - with some luck on their side - to keep the damage down to two wickets on a day that rain allowed only 15 overs of play. KL Rahul fell shouldering arms in the first over, Ajinkya Rahane was done in by seam movement soon after, but Cheteshwar Pujara - getting an opportunity in the absence of two injured openers - and Virat Kohli stayed together for 36 runs before heavy showers forced an early lunch.

India 42/2 (12.3 ov)

Aug 28 (ESPNCI) Over the years, the SSC has earned a reputation of being a batting paradise and a draw-friendly venue, and with good reason. The deciding Test of this series, however, was going to be played on a re-laid pitch, one that had an extraordinary amount of grass on it at the time of the toss. Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews said it had been a "pretty easy decision" to bowl first on this surface.


WORLD

Aug 29 (BBC) Police in Bangkok say they have arrested a man in connection with a bomb that killed 20 people in the Thai capital nearly two weeks ago. The man, a foreigner, was arrested in Nong Jok on the outskirts of Bangkok, a police spokesman said.

More : WORLD

Aug 29 (Dawn) KARACHI- A three-member observer team of the United Nations (UN) visited the Working Boundary at Kundanpur village in Sialkot on Saturday to review damages caused by firing at the border, said a report published on Radio Pakistan. At least 11 civilians — eight Pakistanis and three Indians — were killed and several others wounded on Friday

Aug 29 (BBC) Tens of thousands of Malaysians are protesting in the capital Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere, calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down over a financial scandal. Protesters are angered by a $700m (£455m) payment made to his bank account from unnamed foreign donors.

Aug 28 (BBC) Australia's border protection agency has sparked outrage with a snap announcement it would carry out visa checks on the streets of Melbourne. Australian Border Force (ABF) said its officers would be checking for visa fraud as part of a general crime crackdown involving several agencies.


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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