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[Last Updated = Fri, Oct 24, 2014, 10:52 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President prepares to present the budget 2015 to parliament tomorrow

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning will present the 2015 budget to parliament tomorrow (October 24) for its first reading. The President and the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr. P.B. Jayasundara reviewed the budget proposals at the Temple Trees yesterday. The 2015 budget proposals have been formulated targeting the next five-year period from 2015 to 2017.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Oct 24 (CP) Chennai- Three Sri Lankan nationals alleged of spying for Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI were charged in an Indian court Thursday. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the alleged espionage attempts by the Sri Lankans filed preliminary charges against Zahir Hussain, Siva Balan and Mohammed Saleem in Chennai city court.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police have launched a special operation with effect from today to round up beggars who use children in begging. The move by the police comes after a missing child was found in the custody of a beggar who claimed he was the child's father.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today ordered the lawmakers of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) who visited the Sri Lanka Port Authority to appear before the court.

** Related Story ::Opposition MPs say election materials are being prepared in Sri Lanka Port Authority Defense Training School

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- An explosion at a Sri Lanka Air Force camp this morning has injured three airmen, local media reported. The airmen were reportedly injured in a blast at the weapons testing range of the Kandakuliya Air Force Training Camp.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, ceremonially welcomed the Russian naval ship "Moskva" arrived at the Port of Colombo today. The Russian naval ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on 23 October 2014 on a replenishment and goodwill visit, Sri Lanka Navy said.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- A raging fire broke out last night in a three-story building at the First cross street, Colombo, has completely destroyed a row of shops, the Police said. Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said that the fire was extinguished with the assistance of the fire brigade and the Fort police, within few hours. Ten fire brigade units have assisted to douse the fire.

Oct 22 (CP) Chennai- Tamil political leaders of India's southern Tamil Nadu state have advised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government not to keep close security ties with Sri Lanka as it would amount to a major "diplomatic blunder".

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Two right organizations in Sri Lanka, the Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) and Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR) strongly condemn the police attack on university students who were engaged in a protest march near the Parliamentary Complex yesterday.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse university students' march

Oct 22 (CP) Dhaka- In response to a request made by the Bangladesh Army Sri Lanka Army has assured support to set up a Women's Corps Unit in the Bangladesh Army. Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, currently in Bangladesh on a five-day official visit at the invitation of Bangladesh's Chief of Army Staff, General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan has responded to his host's request positively...

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons rejected the concerns raised by a think tank over its public sittings and cautioned the critics not to cast unwarranted doubts in the Tamil community.

** Related Story ::Think tank in Sri Lanka raises concerns on Missing Persons Commission proceedings

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense and Urban Development is preparing to conduct a survey on the Sri Lankans who lost their properties in the North and during the war. The Ministry in a release has announced that it will conduct the survey of the properties and lands that belonged to the residents of north and were lost due to the terrorism from 1980.

Oct 23 (Island) Three-year old Buddhika, who went missing, while being accompanied by his grandmother at the Ambalangoda bus stand in Dec. 2013, was found on Tuesday evening in the Dambulla town with a 42-year-old beggar.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Missing Persons' Commission denounces exaggerations by journalists (22 - DN)
* Sajith suggests bi-partisan motion to urge EU to re-list LTTE as terrorist organisation (22 - Island)
* Slain Tiger’s mother stopped from leaving for Canada (22 - Island)
* Rs.5.1 mn stolen from Aravinda’s home (22 - DM)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Minister of Power and Energy Pavithra Wanniarachchi said in parliament today that an investigation is underway by the Criminal Investigation Department of police regarding a loss of Rs. 1.5 billion to the Ceylon Electricity Board.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka fears that the de-proscription of the Tamil tiger terrorist group, LTTE in the European Union will lead to the heightening of activities of the terrorist organization. The lifting of ban in the region will only help to increase the operational ability including fund collecting by the terrorist group, the Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said during the weekly media briefing held Thursday.

Oct 22 (CP) Minsk- Senior officials of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka in November, Belarusian parliament announced Wednesday. The Belarusian parliamentary delegation led by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko will visit Sri Lanka on 17-21 November.


FINANCE

Oct 24 (CP) Colombo- The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka will hold a seminar session next week to discuss the bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and the UK. High Commissioner of UK in Colombo John Rankin will be the special guest speaker at the session on "Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and UK"

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- MRL Corporation, an Australian mining company exploring graphite in Sri Lanka, has commenced delivering bulk graphite samples from its Aluketiya and Pandeniya high-grade graphite projects in Sri Lanka to Wuhan University of Technology in China.

oct 23 (RM) Holcim (Lanka), the Sri Lankan arm of the Swiss cement giant, has received the Silver Award for Turnaround Brand of the Year at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2014 conducted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks gained on Thursday, recovering from a six-week low in the previous session as investors bought into blue-chips and banks a day ahead of the 2015 budget announcement, while block deals helped boost the day's turnover, dealers said.

Oct 23 (Island) Motha Investments Corporation (Pte.) Limited exits from TVS Auto Parts (Pvt.) Limited selling their 35% stake in the company to Douglas & Sons Ltd MICL is a group company of the diversified Queens Group of Companies, headed by the third generation Dinesh Motha, the Group Managing Director.

Oct 23 (DN) There is huge potential and tremendous opportunities for Thais to invest in Sri Lanka, which is a free and open economy with several attractive incentives, including tax holidays of up to 12 years; to create a business friendly environment for foreign investors, states the Bangkok Post Asia Focus in its October 20 issue.

Oct 22 (TOO) Muscat- There has been about 72 per cent growth in the number of Sri Lankan visas issued to Omanis from January 1 to September this year, said an official of the Sri Lankan embassy in Muscat.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka National Chamber conducts Budget Seminar 2015 (23 - CP)
* Sri Lankan President opens cricketer Dilshan's luxury hotel (22 - CP)
* SLT mulls foray to BPO, real estate and leisure (22 - DN)
* DSL takes over TVS Auto Parts (22 - Island)
* Monetary policy transition lag worries Central Bank (22 - DM)
* Sri Lanka Security Companies are an integral part of Country’s economic development:Official (22 - LBO)
* Sri Lanka business chamber to hold post budget seminar (22 - CP)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Oct 24 (CP) Colombo- A senior lawyer in Sri Lanka says the 18th Amendment to the Constitution has paved the way for the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest for a third term. Raising counter arguments to the opposition view that President Rajapaksa is ineligible to contest the Presidential election for the third time, senior Lawyer, President's Counsel Ali Sabri said the 18th Amendment was brought to remove the legal barrier for all presidents including the incumbent to get elected to the office for more than two terms.

Oct 24 (NIE) COLOMBO- It is rumoured that the snap Sri Lankan Presidential election will be held in January 2015 with the possible dates being January 8, 17 or 26. Rajapaksa watchers say that he considers these astrologically determined dates as being “lucky” for him because they all add up to “8”.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- A resolution has been passed in a Sri Lanka Freedom Party meeting on October 22nd demanding that the party secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena appointed as prime minister before the presidential election.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today told the Election Commissioner that the incumbent president holding a snap poll when two years left to his term is unconstitutional.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Solicitor General Yuwanjana Wanasundera Wijayathilake was sworn in as the 28th Attorney General of Sri Lanka this afternoon before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. Wijayathilake became an attorney in 1979 and joined the legal department as an advocate in 1980.

Oct 23 (CP) Colombo- Following Wednesday's shooting in Canada's parliament, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed concern over the escalating terrorism in the world. The President in a Twitter message said that it is "Very disturbing to see increasing terrorist acts in many countries, now even in Canada," and called on the countries to unite in fighting terrorism.

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government today said the recent statements by interested parties on the outcome of the case filed by the LTTE at the European Court seeking the lifting of sanctions are based on an inaccurate premise.

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the religious practices and festivities that go with the Deepawali festival add to the spirit of reconciliation that prevails in the country. In a message to celebrate the Deepawali today, the President said the festive day of Deepawali, which underlines the great spiritual values of Hinduism, is filled with the spirit of love and devotion.

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Every year around 60-70 persons are killed as a result of human-elephant conflict and about 250 elephants die due to various reasons, the Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said in parliament.

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- The leaders of Sri Lanka's nationalist monk party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) met with the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday at the Temple Trees to discuss the party's proposals for constitutional changes.

Oct 23 (Island) Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday said that twelve proposals it had made to the government had been included in the budget to be presented tomorrow.

Oct 23 (DM) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) said today that it would take forward their struggle to win their demands in a joint protest campaign with all the other organizations including farmers, fishermen and labourers as all of them had had to face the same suppression by the government.

Oct 23 (DN) Since attempts are being made to install a puppet leader in this country acceptable to the LTTE diaspora following the European Union's lifting of the ban on LTTE terrorists, the people should unite to elect the leader who won freedom for the Motherland as President again with unanimous choice, said Environment and Renewable Energy Deputy Minister A.R.M. Abdul Cader.

Oct 22 (GSN) The Sri Lankan Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted for the first time this month that its constitution protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Oct 22 (DW) Nearly two years ahead of schedule, Sri Lanka will go to the polls in January, with Mahinda Rajapaksa set to run for a third term; a move likely triggered by the President's fading popularity, says analyst Alan Keenan.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Belarus parliamentary delegation to visit Sri Lanka in November (22 - CP)
* ‘Divi Neguma will make country poverty free’ (22 - DN)
* Ranil’s tour in London did not impinge on EU Court ruling : UNP (22 - DM)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Oct 23 (C365) The International Cricket Council have finally weighed in on the dispute between India and the West Indies, saying they are 'concerned' about the situation and are monitoring it, but aren't keen to get involved. The Windies pulled out of their tour to India last week due to a salary dispute, costing the BCCI millions of dollars. As a result, the furious Indian board suspended all bilateral series between the nations, and threatened to sue.

More : SPORTS

Oct 23 (ESPNCI) Backed into the tightest of corners by its disgruntled players and then scolded publicly by the BCCI, the WICB had few attacking shots left to play to get it out of its latest crisis. So it has decided, for the moment, to be conservative and play from the crease. At an emergency meeting in Barbados on Tuesday, because the team it sent to India walked off the job and the BCCI flexed its muscles by declaring a suspension of bilateral tours and threatening legal action

Oct 22 (NDTV) Experienced Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has been rendered a doubtful starter for the five-match ODI series against India due to a back injury. Sangakkara, who had questioned the wisdom of the hurriedly arranged series in the wake West Indies' sudden end to their India tour, has developed a slight back injury, team sources said.

Oct 22 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka have left out Lahiru Thirimanne, vice-captain in their previous ODI series against Pakistan in August, from their squad for the first three games of the five-ODI series in India in November. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal, spinner Rangana Herath, and he injured fast bowler Lasith Malinga were the others omitted. Uncapped fast bowler Lahiru Gamage, wicketkeeper-batsmen Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella, and left-arm allrounder Chaturanga de Silva were their replacements.


WORLD

Oct 23 (BBC) A man who jumped the White House fence was attacked by dogs before being arrested, in the latest security breach at the president's official residence. Dominic Adesanya, 23, was stopped on a lawn near the building. He was unarmed. Video footage of the incident showed him kicking and punching Secret Service dogs who had been set on him.

More : WORLD

Oct 23 (BBC) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed to strengthen the nation's terror laws one day after a gunman rampaged through parliament. The leader said plans would be expedited to give more powers to surveillance and security agencies.

Oct 23 (BBC) At least 13 people have been killed and 29 injured in attacks in the Pakistani city of Quetta, officials say. Eight Shias were killed by gunmen who fired on a bus at a market. A ninth was shot dead in another attack soon after.

Oct 23 (BBC) Indian PM Narendra Modi marked the festival of Diwali with a brief visit to the Siachen glacier before inspecting flood damage caused last month in Indian-administered Kashmir. "Today India sleeps peacefully because you stay awake day and night," Mr Modi told the soldiers stationed at Siachen.


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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