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[Last Updated = Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 12:17 am SL Time]
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Lot can be learnt from Sri Lanka's experience with non-state actors - Defense secretary

Apr 17 (CP) Putrajaya- As a country that suffered three decades of ruthless terrorism, there is a great deal that can be learnt from the Sri Lankan experience with non-state actors, Sri Lanka's Secretary Defense and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. Addressing the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently underway in Malaysia, the Defense Secretary said that the ability of a non-state actor to mobilize, maintain and successfully utilize a global network to strengthen and sustain terrorist activities in a sovereign nation is a matter of very serious concern.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Apr 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police have obtained Interpol Red Notices on 40 suspected LTTE operative, the Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohan said Thursday. The spokesman addressing a media briefing at the Headquarters said the Interpol has issued Red Notices to apprehend operatives of LTTE, the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization, operating in foreign countries.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka seeks Interpol's assistance to nab overseas LTTE leaders

Apr 17 (CP) Hambantota- A violent mob attacked a group of parliamentarians from Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) today when they visited the newly built Hambantota port and Mattala international airport.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan public have been asked to be vigilant on suspicious terrorist activities in the island, according to the national radio. At a press briefing held in Colombo Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana has asked the people to be vigilant on possible terrorist activities in their areas and inform the police of such activities.

Apr 17 (CP) New Delhi- India's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged role of the Indian Army in Sri Lanka's war. A two-judge bench dismissing the plea by Ram Sankar, an advocate and human rights activist said the issue is beyond the jurisdiction of the court.

** Related Story ::Indian Supreme Court to hear case against role of Indian Army in Sri Lanka war

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- A Mahanayake Thero (Chief Prelate) in Sri Lanka has threatened to take to the streets with the Maha Sangha over the government's failure to amend some land laws. Chief Prelate of the Asgiriy

Apr 17 (NIE) Indian Coastguard today rescued two Sri Lankan fishermen when they were caught in the sea due to a snag in their boat near Kodiakkarai in this district today.

Apr 17 (DM) The news directors attached to two private television channels were yesterday ordered to hand over unedited video footage to the police, to conduct further investigations into the alleged commotion made by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organistion, disrupting a media conference organised by the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) on April 9.

Apr 17 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Roshini Fernando directed the Colombo Crime Division to obtain instructions from the Attorney General in connection with the drug case of Wellampitiya OIC Bandara Munasinghe and inform the Court on the next date April 29.

Apr 16 (CP) New York- Sri Lanka has been ranked as the fourth worst place for journalists worldwide in the updated Global Impunity Index published by the New York based-Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). While no apparent progress was made in any cases in Sri Lanka, CPJ did not record any new murders in the country from 2009 to 2013.

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- An extremist Sinhala Buddhist organization in Sri Lanka, the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) has been named as a terrorist organization by an international body called Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka security forces have commenced investigations on the people who had close links with the three LTTE operatives killed earlier this month during a confrontation with the Sri Lankan army.

Apr 16 (ITV) The family of Khuram Shaikh, who was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka, say they are shocked by the decision to bail four men accused of his murder - half way through their trial. The 32-year old from Rochdale was on holiday on Christmas Day in 2011 when he was stabbed and shot at his hotel.

Apr 16 (Hindu) City police are investigating into allegations of a Colombo-based kidney racket in which a youngster from Hyderabad lost a life.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Indian Supreme Court to hear case against role of Indian Army in Sri Lanka war (17 - CP)
* Sri Lankan authorities set up center for monitoring tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs (16 - CP)
* Road accidents claim 34 lives during New Year holidays (16 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of condolence to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the passenger ferry accident that took place off the southern resort island of Jeju yesterday.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Former President of the Maldives Abdul Gayoom, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Nasreena Gayoom, is in Sri Lanka for a visit, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement Thursday. Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris welcomed the former President and his wife at the Bandaranaike International Airport by, on Wednesday, 16th April.

Apr 17 (CP) Boston- The United States is looking for resuming a "more comprehensive" military relationship with Sri Lanka once the Sri Lankan government makes progress towards reconciliation and accountability, a top U.S. official said.


FINANCE

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Abu Dhabi-based airline Rotana Jet commenced flights to Sri Lanka's Colombo and Mattala airports from Wednesday April 09. As a part of airline's expansion, Rotana Jet has added Sri Lanka as the airline's first international destination outside the Gulf region.

Apr 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan share index rose to a near 2-1/2-month peak on Thursday and posted its biggest gain in almost seven weeks with high networth investors buying banking shares on hopes of high profits due to an expected rise in private sector credit in the second half of the year.

Apr 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Thursday in dull trade as many factories were closed for business after the Sinhala-Tamil new year ahead of a long weekend, dealers said.

Apr 17 (TDN) BANGKOK- Sri Lanka is slowly emerging as a desirable destination for world travellers, following the return of peace in the last decade. Growing popularity is observed through high growth rates of international travellers:

Apr 17 (DN) Tapro Spa Resorts (Pvt) Ltd, Foot prints’ total Beruwela will invest over Rs. 175 million this year to introduce four suites and also for a minor refurbishment of the property placed in a picturesque location in Moragolla Beruwela.

Apr 16, Colombo: Condé Nast Traveler, the world's premier travel magazine, on its online home has featured Sri Lanka's traditional string hopper mold as a souvenir. "The Strange-Looking Sri Lankan Souvenir All Foodies Will Love" is how The Daily Traveler section has featured the simple wooden mold that every Sri Lankan household has as a must-have item.

Apr 16 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan share index rose to a more than two-month high on Wednesday, led by blue chips and foreign inflows. The main stock index ended up 0.44 percent at 6,118.85, its highest close since Feb. 11.

Apr 16 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker on Wednesday on light importer dollar demand in the absence of export dollar conversions and inflows from remittances after a long holiday, dealers said.

Apr 16 (HS) IT’S a small island off the south coast of India and it’s being touted as the new Bali. So what is it about Sri Lanka that has travellers sitting up and taking notice?

More : FINANCE
* Tourism development: 450 places identified in CP (16 - DN)
* Sri Lanka could have credit upgrade on lower budget deficit, external debt: Fitch (16 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Health authorities in Sri Lanka have warned the public not to purchase medicines through the internet. Director of the National Drugs Authority Dr. Hemantha Benaragama has said that sale of drugs online is not regulated and many places sell low quality drugs which do not meet the standards.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's governing United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is unlikely to act against party members who voted against the budgets in their respective local government bodies.

Apr 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has commenced preparation work for the Uva Provincial Council election expected to be held this year. The term of the Uva Provincial Council will end this September.

Apr 17 (Harvard Crimson) Every year, Glamour Magazine honors a group of women ranging from future astronauts to fencers on its list of Top Ten College Women. This year, Harvard’s very own Inesha N. Premaratne ’15 and Ishani D. Premaratne ’15 (that’s right, both of them) were recipients of the award.

Apr 17 (Hindu) For M. Haroon Cassiere, Senior Project Manager with the Habitat for Humanity in Sri Lanka, the city Corporation’s housing projects for the poor in Kalladimukham and Karimadom Colony came as a revelation.

Apr 17 (DM) Maha Nayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter, most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera, said today he and the Maha Sangha were ready to take to the streets, unless the Government amends the Bim Saviya Land Registration Act immediately.

Apr 17 (DN) The Technology Development and Application Policy pursued by Sri Lanka will benefit the masses, Technology and Research Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. He said the Arthur C. Clarke Institute recently initiated a program to promote certain selected applications of space technology

Apr 17 (Hindu) At her only public rally in Tamil Nadu for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi refrained from any criticism of the DMK or the AIADMK, save for a brief reference to the latter, on Wednesday.

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- Justice Minister of Sri Lanka Rauf Hakeem has discussed the issues over the admission of students to the Law College with the Chief Prelate (Mahanayake Thero) of the Malwathu Chapter.

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- Parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's Tamil National Alliance (TNA) P. Ariyanethran has said that the President had made a good New Year message promoting peace and harmony. However, he has said that peace and harmony were yet a distant dream for the people in the North and East.

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- The government of Sri Lanka says it is open for discussion with the organizations that were recently proscribed for allegedly having links with the LTTE. The government recently proscribed several Tamil Diaspora organizations as 'foreign terrorist' entities and Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has told the media that the government is open for discussions with the organizations.

Apr 16 (CP) Putrajaya- Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made a courtesy call on the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at his office in Perdana Putra Building in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday. Sri Lankan Defense Secretary and Malaysian Prime Minster had a discussion that lasted about half-an-hour, the Prime Minister's office said.

Apr 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry said Tuesday that Canada's decision to use the voluntary funds to the Commonwealth as a political tool based on dictates of electoral compulsions was regrettable.

Apr 16 (AFP) COLOMBO- Four macaws belonging to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse have escaped his tightly-guarded official residence in Colombo, his office said Wednesday as it appealed for help to trace the colourful long-tailed birds.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lankan Tamils issue takes back seat (16 - Hindu)
* Land deeds for Mahaweli families (16 - DN)
* Medical camp for those who resettled (16 - DN)
* 'Philosophical Kovil', a Spiritual landmark in Lanka (16 - NIE)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 17 (ESPNCI) The Supreme Court has turned down N Srinivasan's reinstatement request, and has revealed that he is one of the 13 named in the sealed envelope submitted to it by the Justice Mudgal committee. In response to the BCCI counsel CA Sundaram's argument that the court was responding only to prima facie evidence and not secondary evidence, Justice AK Patnaik for the first time revealed details about the sealed envelope. He said that there were 13 names of "very important personalities in cricket" in the sealed envelope, with Srinivasan's name being the 13th.

More : SPORTS

Apr 16 (ESPNCI) Kumar Sangakkara has confirmed he will represent Durham for two to three Division One matches of the County Championship in preparation for Sri Lanka's tour of England. He will likely miss Sri Lanka's two ODIs in Ireland, but will join the squad before their first ODI against England on May 22. He may also be available for one of the two 50-over warm-up matches against Essex and Kent.

Apr 16 (AFP) LAHORE- Pakistan authorities need to restore the confidence of the cricketing world to bring international activity back to the country, an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) official said on Tuesday. Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since a brazen militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive Ashraful Haque said the situation was improving but that Pakistan needed to do more to convince teams to tour there.


WORLD

Apr 17 (Xinhua) NEW DELHI- India Thursday appointed Admiral Robin K. Dhowan as the country's new naval chief, two months after his predecessor, Admiral D.K. Joshi, resigned in wake of a series of disasters involving naval warships and submarines. The 59-year-old new Indian navy chief will have a tenure of a little over two years. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College in the U.S., Admiral Dhowan has commanded frontline warships including INS Khukri, INS Ranjit, INS Delhi and also served as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Headquarters Western Naval Command.

More : WORLD

Apr 17 (Xinhua) KATHMANDU- Nepal's opposition party UCPN ( Maoist) has said that "invisible international forces" are providing funds to derail the Nepal's peace and constitution drafting process, the party said in Parliament on Thursday. The party said that international forces are providing million of rupees to provoke the war-era cases and derail the constitution drafting process. Speaking in the Parliament, Maoist lawmaker Shakti Basnet said some activists are receiving millions from some countries for the same purpose.

Apr 17 (BBC) Indians are voting in the biggest day of the general election pitting the ruling Congress party against the main opposition BJP. Nearly 200 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots in 121 seats in 12 states, including Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Apr 16 (BBC) China's economy expanded by 7.4% in the first quarter of the year, better than what many were expecting. But it is a slowdown from 7.7% growth in the final quarter of last year. Other data released with the gross domestic product (GDP) figure showed industrial output rising 8.8% in March from one year ago.


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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