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[Last Updated = Sun, Feb 26, 2017, 09:36 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka PM seeks international assistance to create a stable economy

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the country requires international assistance in order to create a stable economy and the government has engaged in discussions with the global lending agencies. "We require international assistance in order to create a stable economy. With this in mind, we have held discussions with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," the Premier said in a Facebook post.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan police have formally denied hunting Sri Lankan asylum seekers who sheltered the American whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong. Police had said that they had no interest in the two Sri Lankan men, both asylum-seekers, who in 2013 had helped the former US National Security Agency contractor evade authorities in Hong Kong, according to an AFP report.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan asylum seekers who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong at risk of being deported

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's consumer protecting agency, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), acting on complaints received regarding the violation of MRP for rice has carried out 159 raids island-wide during the last 48 hours, the Government Information Department said.

Feb 26 (CP) Chennai- A top Tamil Nadu politician who was arrested for smuggling gold from Sri Lanka has been sacked from his post by his party leader, The New Indian Express reports. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief Su Thirunavukkarasar has sacked the President of Ramanathapuram District Congress Committee Good Luck Rajendran yesterday

Feb 26 (DM) At least one person died and two others injured following an earth embankment collapsed at a site in the Moragahakanda -Kaluganga project in Laggala area this morning, police said. The Victim, an Excavator operator who was critically injured has died on the admission to the Laggala hospital.

Feb 26 (CT) The CID has grilled the Director and some employees of the Government Printer over the special Gazette notification, issued on 1 January 2015, concerning the issuance of bonds by the Central Bank.

Feb 26 (Island) A Pakistani national and a Sri Lankan man were arrested with 1.5 kilos of heroin by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) on Friday night. Police said the Pakistani was arrested at a hotel in Bambalapitiya with one kilo of heroin and the Sri Lankan was arrested later at Wellawatte with more drugs on information given by the foreigner.

Feb 26 (ST) Last week’s incident where a fishing boat transporting people to an annual church feast capsized killing 16 and injuring 33 in the high seas of Kalutara has plunged the people of Beruwela into mourning. On Wednesday the Bandarawatte residents of Beruwela buried seven of the victims after a funeral service presided over by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith.

Feb 26 (SO) The Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) which completes two years today (February 26) has recovered nearly Rs.1 billion worth of State and unduly earned assets of politicians through its investigations, FCID sources told the Sunday Observer.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- On receipt of intelligence information Sri Lankan Navy personnel in coordination with Police have arrested four individuals transporting 3.4 kg of Kerala cannabis (Kerala Ganja) in the general area of Mattakkuliya. The suspects were transporting the stock of cannabis by a three-wheeler when the arrest was made.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- A Gazette notification was issued on Thursday by the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva stipulating that a motorcycle and a pillion rider must wear a helmet that conforms to the new guidelines.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Namal slaps CBK with defamation (25 - CT)
* Prison officer declines to be involved in probe after death threat (25 - Island)
* Dhal container collapses killing one and injuring four (25 - DM)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Finance clarifying the controversial gazette notification issued on the 1st of January 2015 on the issuance of Treasury bonds said the Central Bank in the past has issued all Treasury bonds in violation of the provisions of the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance.

Feb 25 (CP) Polonnaruwa- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today laid the foundation stone for a new court complex to be built in Polonnaruwa at a cost of Rs. 382 million.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- According to a new report from the World Bank, Sri Lanka is a middle performer in promoting the sustainable energy. Sri Lanka scored 61 out of 100 on the World Bank's RISE (Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy) Index placing in the yellow zone of middling performers.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Feb 26 (CP) Dubai- Al Ansari Exchange, the UAE-based foreign exchange and worldwide money transfer company, has recently signed an agreement with SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, the money transfer company said in a statement.

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde will visit Sri Lanka on March 21, state-run Sunday weekly, The Observer said citing official sources. The local head of International Monetary Fund is currently in the process of making preparations for her visit.

Feb 26 (YEP) I have to go back. It’s so uplifting to be part of this harmonious triangle of mankind, animal and nature. And, of all the tropical islands I have visited, Sri Lanka has the most heady mix of exoticism.

Feb 26 (CT) In February this year, the nation's premier vehicle importer and distributor, Indra Traders struck a partnership with Sri Lanka's leading private sector bank, HNB to offer customers mega benefits in addition to purchasing a top- of- the- line vehicle.

Feb 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is seeking US$3.9 billion from foreign borrowings for debt servicing (loan installments and interest) this year, more than double that of $1.82 billion in 2016. The country has no option other than to borrow externally for Balance of Payment (BoP) and fiscal support as it had been doing in the recent past, a top Finance ministry official told the Business Times.

Feb 26 (SO) One of the largest backwardly integrated brushware manufacturing facilities in South-East Asia, BPPL Holdings Ltd. (BPPL) is set to raise Rs. 368 million through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 30,685,000 shares priced at Rs. 12.00 per share representing a 10% stake in the company. At the issue price, market capitalisation is Rs. 3.7 billion.

Feb 26(Reuters) COLOMBO- A six-bank group is tipped to win the mandate on the Government of Sri Lanka’s loan of up to $1 billion, although lenders from a competing group could be added to the deal, sources said. Bank of Baroda, Deutsche Bank, Indian Bank, Qatar National Bank, State Bank of India and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are strong favourites to win the mandate.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's premier business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will hold an informative event aimed at helping Sri Lankan businesses to become more agile and gear themselves to a rapidly changing business landscape.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been recognized as the Best Internet Bank in Sri Lanka in 2016 by the prestigious Global Banking & Finance Review of the UK. Created to recognize companies of all sizes that are prominent in particular areas of expertise and excellence within the global financial community, the award acknowledges the high quality of service and innovation offered by Commercial Bank's Online Banking platform.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Norlanka and the ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ legend gain UK and US exposure (25 - Island)
* Delmege Hiru Kahata, Breeze BOPF ready to take Lankan tea market by storm (25 - DM)
* Socio-economic rights in Sri Lanka's constitution may backfire on the poor (25 - EN)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Feb 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena reiterated his stance that there will be no foreign judges in the domestic mechanism which is to be established to probe the alleged war crimes and human right violations during the three-decade long conflict with the Tamil Tiger terrorists.

Feb 26 (NBC) When Rosanna Flamer-Caldera returned to her native Sri Lanka after immigrating to the United States as a teenager, she thought she'd get involved in eco-conservation or elephant conservation—two issues near and dear to her since childhood.

Feb 26 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka's state-run National Livestock Development Board (NLDB), is facing a severe shortage of farmworkers, Chairman H W Cyril said amid broader labour shortfalls in other sectors of the economy.

Feb 26 (CT) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and National List MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne will leave for Geneva today (26), to urge the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to give Sri Lanka an extension of a further 18 to 24 months to implement the co-sponsored resolution. They will also call for financial support for the processes of this implementation.

Feb 26 (Island) Education minister, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, visited Mumbai to deliver the keynote address at the World CSR Day held from February 17-18. Over 1,000 professionals from 130 countries gathered with the objective of providing a platform to the corporate, government, civil society and academia to share their expectations, aspirations and responsibilities.

Feb 26 (ST) Authorities are overwhelmed by a barrage of street protests, which in turn is causing severe hardship to the public and negatively impacting on the country’s already fragile economy. Law enforcement agencies, particularly the Traffic Police, are finding themselves hard pressed to handle the sheer number of almost daily protests.

Feb 26 (SO) Japan is keen to increase its trade and investments with Sri Lanka and strengthen the good relations that was built several decades ago, Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Kenichi Suganuma told a seminar on ‘Bilateral Trade Between Sri Lanka and Japan’ last week. It was organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- It is important for United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to have a clean coalition, free of corruption and racism in future elections, the General Secretary of the UPFA Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says. The Minister made this statement responding to media today at the launch of the "Wewak samaga Gamak" (Village with a Lake) program in Mamaduwa fishing village in Vavuniya.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says steps will be taken in future to meet the shortage of Anesthetists in the country. The President made this announcement at the inauguration of the 12th SAARC Association of Anesthesiologists meeting alongside its 33rd Annual Academic Congress held Friday evening at the Nelum Pokuna Theater.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he will take legal action against the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance for citing him as the Minister of Finance when his term had expired after President Maithripala Sirisena's election in January 2015.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Higher Education Ministry plans to introduce legislation in Parliament to standardize the degree courses offered by State and private universities, Minister of Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella said. Minister Kiriella said the government hopes to pass a 'Quality Assurance Bill' that would standardize the degrees offered by both state and non-state universities.

Feb 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Chief Justice K. Sripavan will retire from service on February 28 upon reaching the retirement age of 65. The Supreme Court will hold a ceremonial farewell on the same day. Supreme Court Justice Kanagasabapathy Sripavan was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka before President Maithripala Sirisena on 30 January 2015.

Feb 25 (LAT) A highway built by China threads almost all the way from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to this scruffy fishing town on the country’s southern tip, where Buddhist chants mark the time of day and wild elephants occasionally lumber through.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* SLFP CMs to boycott meeting (25 - CT)
* Two ministers lock horns over SAITM approval (25 - Island)
* Make proposals for party reorganisation (25 - DN)
* Party promotional work: UNP seniors express desire to offer task to another team (25 - DM)
* India's 'misadventure' in Sri Lanka (25 - NST)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Feb 26 (BBC) India's 19-Test unbeaten run was emphatically ended as Australia beat them by 333 runs in the first of a four-match series. Australia had a first-innings lead of 155 runs after bowling their hosts out for 105 in Pune. The tourists scored 285 in the second innings, setting India a record target of 441 to win.

More : SPORTS

Feb 26 (ESPNCI) England Lions were put to the sword by an unbroken stand of 303 on the second day in Dambulla. Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne and 21-year-old Sadeera Samarawickrama gorged themselves during the latter two sessions to put Sri Lanka A in control. The Lions had extended their total to 353 and when Sri Lanka A stumbled to 30 for 3 it looked a formidable score.

Feb 26 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the Test series against Bangladesh as the hamstring injury that has ailed him since January 22 continues to pose problems. Sri Lanka's selectors are expected to name the Test squad on Tuesday, and with it, the replacement captain. This will be the second Test series Mathews has missed over a six-month span,

Feb 25 (SLC) The National Selections Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket is set to meet on Tuesday (28) to decide on a formidable team that would play the first two test matches against the Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka 2017 which begins on March 7th .Accordingly it has been announced that Angleo Mathews will not be able to play the first two test matches.


WORLD

Feb 26 (Reuters) Malaysia on Sunday declared its international airport a "safe zone" after completing a sweep of the terminal where the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assaulted with a deadly chemical last week. Kim Jong Nam died on Feb. 13 after being smothered at the airport's budget terminal with VX nerve agent, classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

More : WORLD

Feb 25 (ANI) Muzaffarabad- Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has warned that delay in the settlement of the Kashmir dispute could 'spell disaster for regional peace'. "The (Indian) occupation forces have employed every brute tactic to suppress the Kashmiris...so much so that the pellet guns meant for hunting wild animals have also been ceaselessly used by them on the innocent and unarmed people of Kash­mir,

Feb 25 (BBC) India has expressed shock after the fatal shooting of an Indian national in the US, amid reports that the attack may have been racially motivated. Srinivas Kuchibhotla died shortly after Wednesday's attack at a bar in Olathe, Kansas. His friend Alok Madasani, also from India, and an American were hurt. Adam Purinton has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder.

Feb 25 (BBC) Mexico has warned the US against imposing a unilateral tax on Mexican imports to finance a border wall, saying it could respond in kind. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said the government could place tariffs on selected goods from US states reliant on exports to Mexico. Earlier, US President Donald Trump vowed to start building the wall "soon, way ahead of schedule".


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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