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[Last Updated = Fri, Dec 15, 2017, 08:48 pm SL Time]
TOP STORY
UN rights experts urge Sri Lanka to urgently implement reforms to end arbitrary detention

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, who visited Sri Lanka from 4 to 15 December 2017 to assess the country' situation regarding the deprivation of liberty, has identified significant challenges to the enjoyment of the right to personal liberty in Sri Lanka, resulting in arbitrary detention across the country.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The Court of Appeal today extended the interim injunction issued earlier preventing police from taking legal actions against former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa under Public Property Act until 25 January 2018.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The Supreme Court today decided to hear the Fundamental Rights petition filed against the new delimitations of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha on the 8th of January next year.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has brought ashore a critically ill sailor on-board an Iranian ship off the Eastern coast for treatment. Acting on information disseminated by an Iranian Naval Ship plying at the International Maritime Boundary Line, Sri Lanka Navy Thursday morning assisted
 

Dec 15 (Island) The Supreme Court, yesterday fixed for support on January 16, 2018 the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Central Bank Executive S. Pahumanapan, requesting the Court to prevent the officials of the Attorney General’s Department assisting the Bond Commission, from questioning him.
 

Dec 15 (DM) Amendments will be introduced to the Penal Code shortly to make marital rape a crime and a punishable offence and cabinet approval has been granted to a proposal made in this respect by Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Talatha Atukorale.
 

Dec 15 (DN) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday reiterated that he stands by what he had said regarding the judiciary and lawyers of Sri Lanka recently. Addressing media outside the Supreme Court premises, Ramanayake said he is not afraid to tell the truth that ordinary people and corrupt politicians are treated differently by the judiciary.
 

Dec 14, (CP) Colombo- Australia has returned 29 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who attempted to enter the country illegally and they arrived in the island today. The Sri Lankans asylum seekers are said to be residents of Matara, Hambantota, Hakmana and Tangalle.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on financial Crimes investigations.
 

Dec 14 (Guardian) The United Nations committee against torture has advised the Australian government not to deport a Sri Lankan man, citing concerns he might be tortured upon return.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Restraining order on hearing of case against Basil extended (14 - Island)
* Namal's Gowers case trial date extended (14 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Sri Lanka entered into three Loan Agreements worth of US$ 270 million with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the implementation of two projects; Integrated Road Investment Program and Jaffna Kilinochchi Water Supply Project.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Thomas De La Rue Lanka currency printing facility at the Biyagama Export Processing Zone (EPZ) on Thursday on an inspection tour.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to ban the use of polythene during the upcoming election campaigns.
 

Dec 15 (CP) New York: Sri Lanka's accession to the Ottawa landmine ban treaty has earned the recognition of the global human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) which has called on the countries yet to accede to the treaty to review their position.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has drawn attention of the general public for implementation of its Clean Note Policy and regulation on the willfully mutilation, alteration or defacement of Sri Lanka currency notes.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Tea Board, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh, organized a Sri Lanka tea pavilion at the Saudi Horeca 2017 Exhibition, which was held from 27-29 November 2017.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Russia will place temporary restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18, the Russian agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has said on Thursday.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- Pakistan's influential and sole rice exporters grouping, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has urged Sri Lanka to slash import tax slapped on their shipments to Colombo and to double the imports of Pakistani basmati rice.
 

Dec 15 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan shares slipped to their lowest close in eight months on Friday as investors offloaded telecom and plantation stocks.
 

Dec 15 (Reuters) COLOMBO- The Sri Lankan rupee closed little changed on Friday as importer dollar demand offset selling of the U.S. currency by exporters in late trade, dealers said.
 

Dec 15 (Island) The Initial Public offering (IPO) issued by LVL Energy Fund Limited closed at 4:30pm yesterday- the opening day- oversubscribed. The Rs. 1.2 billion IPO was the first offer of that size to be offered on the Colombo Stock Exchange since the beginning of 2015.
 

Dec 15 (DM) Pramuka Bank Depositors Association President Palitha Gamage told Mirror Business that they have decided to take to the streets against the failure on the part of the government to pay the five percent interest which was promised to them after the bank was restarted after it was closed down by the Central Bank in 2002.
 

Dec 15 (DN) Lanka IOC PLC won the National Business Excellence Gold award at the National Business Excellence (NBE) Awards 2017 held in Colombo on Wednesday. Alumex PLC won the silver and Kelani Valley Plantations the Bronze.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- With a growing focus on the Australian market, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) concluded a series of events that kept Australia interested an entire week, which commenced from 20th November 2017.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer on exporter dollar sales (14 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan stocks little changed near 8-month closing low (14 - Reuters)
* Asiamoney names HNB the ‘Best Cash Management Bank in Sri Lanka’ (14 - Island)
* IOC allegedly brought down substandard A1 Fuel (14 - DM)
* Arpico to add 100,000 sq ft of green retail space (14 - DN)
* Moody's affirms ratings of three Sri Lankan banks; maintains negative outlook (14 - CP)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The European Union today welcomed Sri Lanka becoming the 163rd State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention after depositing the instrument of accession to the treaty on the 13th December.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- The government has decided to issue a relief package containing eight essential consumer items at concessionary prices to ease the Cost of Living burden on people during the festive season.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Mrs. Sriyani Wijewickrema, Member of Parliament for Digamadulla District, was sworn in as the State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government this morning (15) at the Presidential Secretariat before President Maithripala Sirisena.
 

Dec 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has introduced a 'code of ethics' to the candidates contesting the forthcoming Local Government Election from the party.
 

Dec 15 (Island) The Inter-University Trade Unions Joint Committee has decided to resort to trade union action as the authorities had failed to meet their demands. A spokesman for the Committee said last year Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella had reneged on a promise to pay the non-academic staff an enhanced allowance.
 

Dec 15 (DM) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which got its nominations for six local government (LG) bodies rejected, said yesterday it would seek legal consultations to reverse the decision not for all but for some of the LG bodies.
 

Dec 15 (DN) The United National Party (UNP) is seeking the people’s mandate to back the Local Government authorities with the governments’ strength,” Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- The government has decided to continue import rice and other essential items so that consumers can obtain them at affordable prices during the forthcoming holiday seasons.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has ordered an investigation to find out whether the private hospitals are passing the benefits of the reductions gazetted by the government in the prices of essential drugs, stents and eye lenses.
 

Dec 14 (CP) New Delhi- India says it continues to take up its security concerns with Sri Lanka and expects the Government of Sri Lanka to keep New Delhi's security concerns and sensitivities in mind with regard to development in the neighborhood.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka, a Buddhist majority country, setting the Guinness record for World's tallest Christmas tree shows national coexistence, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake, reminding the situation in the past, pledged that the United National Party will hold a fair and peaceful election and invited the people to join the party for a fair election.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- The nominations submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) for several local government bodies were rejected today by the election officials. Local Government polls nominations from the SLPP for Weligama and Panadura Municipal Councils, Maharagama Urban Council, Badulla, Mahiyangana, Agalawatta Pradeshiya Sabhas have been rejected.
 

Dec 14 (CP) Colombo- The representatives of Sri Lanka's lucrative gem industry Wednesday met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat to discuss the problems they face in their work and seek reassurances.
 

Dec 14 (CP) New York- Sri Lanka on Wednesday became the 163rd country to accede to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention fulfilling the pledge made last year to join the international community in supporting the ongoing landmine clearance program.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lanka’s mothers ask international community to help find their children (14 - AC)
* Railways to become closed service … along with Health , Education (14 - Island)
* No confidence in management - SriLankan Airlines Unions (14 - DM)
* Electronic Government Procurement soon (14 - DN)
* Project to extend Marine Drive as an underground road to Colombo Port City (14 - CP)

SPORTS

Dec 15 (HT) Sri Lanka’s contests against India in the last three years have been the stuff of nightmares. They have lost 11 out of 13 encounters against India, including two 5-0 whitewashes.
 

Dec 15 (SBS) Sri Lanka have dropped fast bowler Lasith Malinga from their squad of 15 players for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series against India. It is the second successive series for which the 34-year-old fast bowler has been overlooked. He last played for Sri Lanka in the only T20 match against India last July
 

Dec 15 (YC) Two matches, two vastly contrasting results, two teams, two very inconsistent performances, and the stage is set perfectly for a befitting finale in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, December 17.
 

Dec 15 (ESPNCI) How often have you been left frustrated by a great Test series that ended too soon, and without a decisive result because there was no third Test? Well, be prepared to get used to that feeling because at least half of all Test series in cricket's new calendar will likely consist of just two Tests.
 


WORLD

Dec 15 (BBC) A California firefighter has been killed by a wildfire burning across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Fire chief Ken Pimlott said the victim was apparatus engineer Cory Iverson, 32, a father-of-one whose wife is pregnant with a second child.
 

Dec 14 (ANI) A total of 36 pilgrims from Kathmandu set off for pilgrimage to various parts of India on Thursday. The pilgrimage which has the participation of the elderly citizens of Nepal is being initiated by the Nepal Bharat Friendship Society with the support from the Indian Mission in Nepal.
 

Dec 14 (BBC) At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the month after violence broke out in Myanmar in August, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says. Based on surveys of refugees in Bangladesh, the number is much higher than Myanmar's official figure of 400.
 

Dec 14 (BBC) Dublin City Councillors have voted to remove Aung San Suu Kyi from the Freedom of Dublin City award. Last month, pop musician Bob Geldof handed back his Freedom of Dublin award in protest of the inclusion of Aung San Suu Kyi on the honours list.
 


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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