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[Last Updated = Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 01:25 pm SL Time]
UK encouraged by Sri Lanka's renewed desire for reconciliation and long-term peace

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- UK Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire, who concluded his three-day visit to Sri Lanka today, met with Sri Lanka's new President Maithripala Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. This is UK Minister's second visit to Sri Lanka and the first Ministerial visit since the formation of a new government in the island nation earlier this month. Mr. Swire welcomed the early commitments announced by President Sirisena to lead a more democratic and accountable government. He said the UK is a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka and one of the first to reach out to the new government as it strives to deliver an ambitious reform programme.
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Jan 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has received a complaint against the Diyawadana Nilame (Custodian) of Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara.

Jan 31 (Island) The Gampola High Court Judge Piyaseeli Wickremasinghe sentenced a 41-year unmarried person to death for causing the death of two minors by blasting a bomb in 1996. The convict was Lionel Hector Jayasuriya.

Jan 31 (DN) A person who pleaded guilty of possessing 15 packets of heroin, was fined Rs. 10,000 and sentenced to two years imprisonment by Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Raveendra Premarathna on Wednesday.

Jan 30 (CP) Geneva- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's senior advisor on foreign affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala has met the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein in Geneva and briefed him on the new government's policies.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka President's adviser leaves for Geneva to meet UN Human Rights Commissioner

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- The UN has said that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hoped Sri Lanka would work with the UN on the probe on the war despite launching a new domestic investigation.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- The government of Sri Lanka will investigate into the alleged non-strategic investments made by the former government in Seychelles. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayaka told parliament yesterday that an official audit and investigation process will be initiated to inquire into the non-strategic investments in Seychelles.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka establishes branches of major business institutions in Seychelles

* Military camps stoned: Two army officers to be prosecuted (30 - Island)
* Three members of one family killed in head-on collision (30 - DM)


Jan 31 (CP) Colombo- The United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal will arrive in Sri Lanka next week on an official visit, the U.S. State Department announced Friday. Biswal will travel to Colombo on February 2-3.

Jan 31 (CP) Ottawa- Welcoming the measures taken by the new Sri Lankan government for good governance, Canada yesterday expressed hope that President Maithripala Sirisena fulfills the mandate given to him by the people of Sri Lanka to foster a "transparent, responsive and pluralistic government."

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Supreme Court Justice K. Sripavan was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President's Office on Friday. It was notable that new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in before Justice Sripavan on January 09 as the country's sixth executive president.


Jan 31 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings (JKH) said it will continue the Waterfront property project as planned despite the new government's amendment to restrict the ability to rent space for gaming activities.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka bans previous government's luxury casino projects

Jan 31 (Island) Fitch Ratings has upgraded the National Fund Credit Quality Rating assigned to the Ceylon Income Fund to ‘A(lka)’ from ‘A-(lka)’. The fund primarily invests in corporate debt instruments and is managed by Ceylon Asset Management (CAM). The National Fund Volatility Rating is ‘V-NR’.

Jan 31 (DM) Vehicle Importers Association Chairman Mahinda Sarathchandra said yesterday that prices of vehicles below 1000 cc would come down only by Rs. 25, 000 in the wake of the 15% tax reduction announced in Thursday’s mini budget while all hybrid cars would go up by as much as Rupees one million.

Jan 31 (DN) Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) reported a net profit of Rs. 376mn for the quarter ended 31st December 2014 (3Q FY2014/15), a significant increase of 25% compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Australian gaming tycoon James Packer's Crown Group says it will not proceed with the proposed development of a mixed resort project in Sri Lanka after the new Sri Lankan government decided to ban new casino projects in the country.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) , rose to 3.2 percent in January from 2.1 percent in December 2014, the Central Bank reported on Friday.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Bakery Owners' Association has decided to reduce the price of a loaf of bread by Rs. 6 following the government's decision to reduce the price of wheat flour. The government in its interim budget presented in parliament yesterday proposed to reduce the price of a kilo gram of wheat flour by Rs. 12.50.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is to launch an awareness programme to provide pensioners with a sound understanding of personal financial planning. The CSE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Pensions; to educate retired personnel on the diverse avenues of investment available to them.

Jan 30 (PTI) Sri Lanka's new government has slapped a one-time tax of LKR100 crore (about Rs. 47 crore) on the only sports television channel in the country which is owned by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son.

* Sri Lanka shares fall after government's retrospective tax plan (30 - Reuters)
* JKH takes a tumble on afternoon trading (30 - Island)
* MillenniumIT, Cisco Partner of the Year (30 - DN)
* Banking sector needs reform: Can Ranil and Ravi deliver? (30 - DM)
* Sri Lanka’s Customs to work round-the-clock: Finance Minister (30 - LBO)


Jan 31 (CP) Colombo- Elections Commissioner of Sri Lanka Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that elections to the Pudukuduirippu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District will be held on February 28.

Jan 31 (CP) Colombo- Justice Minister of Sri Lanka Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says that measures will be taken to provide the opportunity for law students to respond to their examination papers in a language they are comfortable with.

Jan 31 (Island) The JVP yesterday welcomed the interim budget 2015 presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Thursday as relief had been granted to the people, but it said the economic plans had to achieve long term benefits.

Jan 31 (DN) Two Super Luxury Buses belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which were untraceable since the Commonwealth Heads Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2013, have mysteriously reappeared in the Ministry premises since yesterday.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Health Ministry has ordered the tobacco companies to print pictorial warnings on the cigarette packets from February 1. Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Unit of Ministry of Health has ordered that pictographic warnings against the danger of smoking must be printed on outer surface of cigarette packets starting from February 1st.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today in a special statement explained the illegality of the appointment of Mohan Peiris as the 44th Chief Justice. The Prime Minister pointed out that the process implemented to remove 43rd Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is contrary to the law from the beginning.

Jan 30, Colombo: Following the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), Sri Lanka's new government at the Independence Day celebrations this year prepares to expresses sympathy and reach out to the victims of the country's three-decade long war.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Leader of Sri Lanka's Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) trade union wing, K.D. Lalkantha says the salaries of the public sector workers have not been increased in the new government's interim budget.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says the interim budget presented by the new government lacked short and long term economic strategies. JVP Leader, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that while the concessions given by the new government were important to provide relief to the people, the budget should also have had clear economic strategies.

Jan 30 (CP) Colombo- Opposition members in the Sri Lankan parliament have sought a parliamentary debate on the controversy surrounding the post of Chief Justice in the country. Legislators of the opposition expressed displeasure over the reinstatement of former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and demanded a debate highlighting alleged threats to the Constitution and the legitimacy of Parliament.

Jan 30 (PTI) New Delhi- India-Sri Lanka today held talks on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in the country, within days of deciding to "re-engage" on the issue during a meeting between their foreign ministers.

Jan 30 (OL) DMK patriarch Karunanidhi today condemned the AIADMK government for not participating and voicing its opinion in a meeting convened by the Centre to discuss voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

* Mohan Peiris pleaded with President not to remove him as CJ - Rajitha (30 - Island)
* Govt. dedicated to create people-centered economy _ Prime Minister (30 - DN)
* Dual citizenship potentially available to all Lankans (30 - DM)


Jan 31 (Trinidad News) TRINIDAD AND Tobago Red Force all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has called it quits from Test cricket, less than two months after he was controversially removed as captain of the West Indies One Day International team, as well as dropped from the team for the recent ODI series against South Africa and the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.


Jan 31 (ICC) It is all very well to try and tell yourself captaining your country in an ICC Cricket World Cup is the same as captaining at any other time – but it is not. True, there is still the toss of the coin and the decisions to be made about tactics, but there really is a completely different dynamic. The eyes of the world are on you for starters and you realise that as soon as you step into a media conference before a ball is bowled.

Jan 30 (ICC) The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the umpire and match referee appointments for the pool stage matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March. Marais Erasmus and Nigel Llong will be the on-field umpires for the tournament opener between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Christchurch on 14 February. S. Ravi and Simon Fry will be the third and fourth umpires, respectively, while David Boon will be the match referee.


Jan 31 (AFP) DHAKA- Rescuers pulled seven bodies Friday from a fishing boat that sank off the Bangladesh coast carrying migrants to Malaysia, as a search continued for a dozen still missing, an official said. Emergency workers have rescued 43 Bangladeshis in the Bay of Bengal since the trawler capsized in strong currents some 2.5 kilometers offshore on Thursday, officials have said.

More : WORLD

Jan 30 (BBC) Dozens of skeletons and decayed body parts have been discovered in a disused room of an Indian police building. Sacks containing the human remains were reportedly uncovered by workers at the building, in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

Jan 30 (BBC) At least 40 people have been killed in a bomb blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan, officials say. Dozens were wounded in the attack after Friday prayers in Shikarpur district of Sindh province, and the death toll is expected to rise. Sunni militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban said they carried out the attack.

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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