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[Last Updated = Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 12:33 am SL Time]
UN assures Sri Lanka assistance for drought relief

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka faced with prolonged drought is seeking international assistance to provide relief to the affected people, especially farmers, and President Maithripala Sirisena Monday met with the top officials of international agencies to discuss relief measures. Top level UN officials, including, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Una McCauley, the World Food Programme's (WFP) Representative and Country Director for Sri Lanka, Brenda Barton and Chief Technical Advisor at FAO Emelda Berejena, called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today to discuss issues pertaining to the drought and the relief organizations.
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Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Navy personnel Monday arrested two individuals transporting 45 kilograms of Kerala cannabis (Kerala Ganja). Naval personnel attached to SLNS Buwaneka located in Nachchikuda in the North Central Naval Command have arrested the two suspects with the consignement, in the sea area of Erukkulampiddi.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Hambantota District parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa today pleaded not guilty to contempt of court charges filed against him. Contempt of court charges against MP Namal Rajapaksa have been filed for neglecting orders of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today imposed a travel ban on the Chairman of controversial Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd Nissanka Senadhipathi and former Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Palitha Fernando.

Jan 16 (Island) The National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Joint Opposition will launch a protest campaign opposite the Fort Railway station today (Jan. 16) demanding the immediate release of NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, remanded till Jan. 24 on a charge of causing losses to the state by releasing vehicles to those not authorised to use them.

Jan 16 (DN) Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited is to file an appeal against the verdict of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that the company must pay Rs. 840 million in compensation to the Avant Garde Company. The company has failed to make submissions through lawyers when the case was taken up before the SIAC, a Rakna Lanka Securities Limited spokesman said.

Jan 17 (DM) Two police constables have been hospitalized after they were assaulted at Baththalangunduwa Island in Kalpitiya last night. Police said the two constables had gone to inquire into a complaint received from a women at the Island stating that her son was acting aggressively.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police say that a drone fitted with a camera has hit the pinnacle of Ruwanweli Maha Seya in Anuradhapura during an illegal shooting of the historic Stupa. Police said however, the Stupa or the Pinnacle of the Stupa had not been damaged.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan police say the medical tests or the equipment needed to determine the use of narcotic drugs such as heroin among private bus drivers have not yet been introduced to the legal system in Sri Lanka. Police spokesman SSP Priyantha Jayakody made this revelation when BBC questioned about the charge made by the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association that a significant number of bus drivers are into such drug use.

* Journo attacked by Navy Commander ‘waives investigation’ (15 - Island)
* Lawyers to have access to suspects in police custody (15 - ST)
* andy Hospital gears for potential outbreak of deadly influenza (15 - SO)


Jan 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today left the island for Switzerland, to attend the 2017 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting from 17-20 January 2017 in Davos-Klosters. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on Tuesday (17) under the topic "Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia".

Jan 15 (CP) Teheran- Iran and Sri Lanka expressed hope that the remaining financial obstacles on the way of bilateral cooperation will be removed and the two countries would expand bilateral relations further.

Jan 15, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says that the unity government is moving forward strongly to build the country and changes in institutional and personal policies are needed to move the country forward.


Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- American beverages giant Coca-Cola is interested in using Sri Lanka as a production hub and set up a plant, to cater to the Indian market, the Finance Ministry said today.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Hayleys Group PLC jointly with Windforce Ltd., in the forefront of renewable energy in the country, has commissioned their solar power plant. Located in Welikande in the Polonnaruwa District, the 10 megawatt (MW) solar plant has been installed with a solar tracking system

Jan 16 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended marginally higher on Monday in lean trade as foreign banks sold dollars, but the market expects the currency to weaken after the central bank allowed flexibility in exchange rate, dealers said.

Jan 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks closed lower on Monday as investors sold financials after rising yields in short-term government securities hit sentiment, brokers said.

Jan 16 (Island) Agricultural Specialist, Consultant, to The Ministry of Plantation Industries, Jivaka Atapattu, who we interviewed last week, said Regional Plantation Company Estates' performances were now not at their best.

Jan 16 (DM) The names of Central Bank officials who are sabotaging the rupee will be revealed in the coming days, after which the currency will strengthen in the coming months, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said recently.

Jan 16 (DN) For the first time in South Asia, Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) will launch a free insurecne policy for schoolchildren from next month.

Jan 16 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka has to fix basic conditions that provide stability and freedom for business to invest and grow is instead of trying to pick winners bureaucratically which may lead to crony businesses, an economist said.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- Introduction of 'Commercial Mediation' will offer Sri Lanka's business community an optional dispute resolution mechanism in addition to litigation and Arbitration, both of which are riddled with delay and expense.

* Union Bank - Instant Cash tie up for money transfers to Sri Lanka (15 - Island)
* Line ministries to handle mega projects (15 - ST)
* Rupee devaluation: Close tab needed, says Chamber official (15 - SO)
* SriLankan Airlines to introduce daily flights to Muscat (15 - CP)


Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- The National Election Commission says that Local Government (LG) polls cannot be held before May this year. Speaking to media at the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya today, the Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said the LG polls cannot be conducted before April 30 even if the final report formulated by the National Delimitation Committee is submitted tomorrow.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Construction of 100 houses for families displaced by the landslide at Samasara Kanda in Aranayake last year was launched today. The construction work at a cost of Rs. 217 million is supported by the Government of China.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Sweden at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Margot Wallström, from January 17-18, 2017.

Jan 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka did not even manage to increase the revenues from apparel exports twofold from 2003 to 2015 without the European Union's Generalized Scheme of Preferences plus tariff concession.

Jan 16 (NIE) COLOMBO- The report of the European Commission's technical team which examined Sri Lanka's application for the restoration of General System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) duty concessions has concluded that the island nation now meets the eligibility criteria as set out in Art 9 (1) of the GSP regulations.

Jan 16 (PTI) India should rethink its opposition to Chinese investments in Sri Lanka and join the port development in the island nation instead of feeling "jealous", China's state media said on Monday.

Jan 16 (Island) Former Speaker of the parliament Chamal Rajapaksha attended a Viyathmaga discussion forum recently. The Hambantota District MP emphasised the need to provided the grassroots with correct information rather than political rhetoric.

Jan 16 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said today he is functioning as an independent Member of Parliament. He said he was keen to create awareness among the people for the need to set up a national council with inputs from intellectual politicians and others.

Jan 16 (DN) The TNA yesterday reiterated its position that it would not settle for any Constitutional Amendment that does not require a referendum, but for a new Constitution which ushers in fundamental changes including the abolition of executive Presidency.

Jan 16 (HP) Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a think tank based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He recently served as the Secretary of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF).

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- The Disaster Management Ministry announced that about 90 percent of the people affected by the Salawa ammunition dump explosion have been compensated by 31st of December, 2016. According to the Ministry, Rs. 1.041 billion rupees have been paid as compensation to the people who were hit by the explosion at the Salawa army camp in Kosgama in June 2016.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- Prevalence of mosquito-borne dengue is alarmingly rising in Sri Lanka and according to the Ministry of Health over 1,300 cases of dengue have been reported already in the first half of January this year.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance says it will not be a part of the ongoing constitution-making process and will quit if the government abandons the idea of finding a political solution to the Tamil issue.

Jan 15 (CP) Colombo- The prolong drought has affected a large population in the Puttalam district and farmers have been struggling with the severe drought, according to media reports. Farmers in the "Nila Bamma" farm area and the people living in farming colonies around that area say they are facing a severe distress caused by lack of water for their cultivations.

Jan 15 (Telugu360) The Andhra Pradesh government seems to be jubilant with the grand reception accorded to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, during his recent two-day visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena.

* Sri Lanka PM to leave for Davos meeting tomorrow (15 - CP)
* Regaining GSP+ facility will give new lease of life to SL’s export economy – PM (15 - Island)
* Govt seeks international assistance to face prevailing drought (15 - ST)
* Govt authorities ready to face drought (15 - SO)


Jan 15 (ESPNCI) Lahiru Kumara (two matches, 11 wickets at 26.45) Bustling, intense, well-built, refreshingly cranky, Sri Lanka have unearthed a bowler of real potential here, and if they can salvage a long-term match-winning quick from the wreckage of this series, it might almost have been worth it. There are plenty of wayward balls for now, but also a good bouncer, some excellent inswing, and sometimes even a little away-movement off the seam.


Jan 15 (ESPNCI) 16 Wickets lost by Sri Lanka on the third day in Johannesburg, their most in a single day of Test cricket. Their previous most was 15, on the third day of the Bangalore Test against India in January 1994. 88.1 Overs faced by Sri Lanka in the entire Test; only three times have they survived fewer balls when losing 20 wickets in a Test, and two of those were also in South Africa.

Jan 15 (ESPNCI) Angelo Mathews has labeled the 0-3 whitewash in South Africa his worst series defeat as captain, after Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 118 runs at the Wanderers. Mathews also has two 0-2 whitewashes in New Zealand on his captaincy record, but Sri Lanka had been somewhat competitive in those series, even claiming a first-innings lead in two of those four Tests.

Jan 15 (ESPNCI) Sixteen wickets, 228 runs, 59.3 overs. South Africa's pace attack delivered a swift and brutal dismemberment to seal victory at the Wanderers inside three days and confirm a 3-0 sweep in the series. Sri Lanka only managed one half-century in the match - although that was an improvement on the second Test - and could not even last long enough for the possibility of a Johannesburg thunderstorm to provide a stay of execution.


Jan 16 (BBC) Swiss police have arrested 32 pro-Tibet activists who were protesting against a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The group, made up of Tibetans and Swiss nationals, were detained on Sunday for flouting restrictions set up by police in the capital, Bern. One man was also prevented from setting himself on fire, said police.

More : WORLD

Jan 16 (BBC) A Chinese state-owned paper has blasted Donald Trump for "playing with fire" after the US president-elect appeared to question the One China policy again. The broadside by China Daily is the latest in a series of rebukes by China's government and state media. Mr Trump said in an interview on Friday that the policy was negotiable.

Jan 16 (BBC) A Turkish cargo plane flying from Hong Kong has crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 37 people, most of them on the ground, officials say. The Boeing 747 TC-MCL aircraft crashed as it was landing amid fog at Manas airport, about 25km (15 miles) north of the capital, Bishkek. At least 15 buildings were destroyed in a village outside the airport, with a number of children among the dead.

Jan 15 (ANI) Islamabad- Chinese company NORINCO International has offered its services to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to build a state of the art mass transit system in Islamabad alongwith recommending a modern 'Light Rail Transit' (Tram) project for the city. The company is already engaged in the construction of 'Orange Line Metro Train project' in Lahore, reports the Daily Times.

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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