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[Last Updated = Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 01:51 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President welcomes Chinese President at BIA

Sept 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa welcomed the President of Peoples' Republic of China and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning. The Chinese President and First Lady were welcomed by hundreds of students in an elaborate welcome ceremony at the airport, following which they, along with the delegation, travelled to Colombo, the President's Office said in a release.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Sept 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka airport authorities arrested a Chinese national this morning for attempting to smuggle birds' nests out of the country. The 48-year-old Chinese man was arrested at the Departure Lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning with edible bird's nests worth Rs 1.9 million, Sri Lanka Customs officials said.

Sept 16 (Island) Two jailers attached to the Anuradhapura Prison drowned in the Tissa Wewa and their bodies had not been recovered until last night, police media unit told The Island yesterday. Police said that five prison guards had gone there for bathing and three of them had taken a catamaran ride around 2.00 p.m.

Sept 16 (DM) Two people were killed and three injured when the van they were travelling in crashed into an elephant on the Jaffna-Vavuniya Main Road at Mankulam last night, Police said. They said the wildlife officers were searching for the elephant which had fled the scene.

Sept 16 (DN) The main suspect in the abduction case of a four and a half-year-old girl was produced before Kurunegala Acting Magistrate Nihal Thirinde on Sunday evening and remanded until September 24. The accused allegedly abducted the girl, Pamani Keshara B

Sept 16 (WA Today) Academics and non-governmental organisations have condemned a University of Sydney academic's call for delegates at a human rights conference to go soft on Sri Lanka despite claims of the country's war-time atrocities.

Sept 15 (CP) New Delhi- India said today it has non-diplomatic direct channels available with Sri Lanka to deal with the reported cases of Sri Lankans spying for Pakistan on India. When asked what would be India's response to Pakistan hiring Sri Lankan Muslims for espionage against India, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said there are other direct channels available between India and Sri Lanka.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- A Nigerian lawmaker has accused Sri Lankan authorities at the Colombo International Airport of harassing a Nigerian family who is visiting Sri Lanka during the Ebola scare.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- Vehicle movement in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo and on airport expressway will be restricted due to Chinese President's arrival tomorrow (16) on a two-day official visit, the Police Headquarters announced.

Sept 15 (IBN) Kumbakonam- The arrest of a Sri Lankan national in Chennai for allegedly spying for Pakistan pointed to the 'failure' of the central and state intelligence agencies and they should coordinate with Coast Guard and police for effective vigil, former Union minister GK Vasan said on Monday.

Sept 15 (TOI) NEW DELHI- The arrest of a third Sri Lankan spying on India on behalf of Pakistan in less than 10 months has got intelligence agencies to train their focus back on growing radicalization among Tamil-speaking Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka where Pakistan has been fishing for a long time.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* ‘Grease Yaka’ tried to abduct three other girls (15 - Island)
* PS member banned from leaving country (15 - DM)
* Man murdered as ‘act of revenge’ (15 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Sept 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Opposition United National Party said it welcomes the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Colombo this week.Issuing a statement the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremasinghe said it is an honor to have President Xi in Sri Lanka on this important visit...

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka and China in recent years have developed increasingly closer economic and trade relations and a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries will boost Sri Lanka's future development, according to the government of Sri Lanka.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 7.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to same period last year, Department of Census and Statistics said in its Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product report released Monday.


FINANCE

Sept 16 (Island) The LOLC Group acquired a 60% stake in Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC), for USD 20.3 Mn. The acquisition was throughLOLC’s fully owned subsidiary, LOLC Micro Investments Ltd (LOMI), which is the microfinance investment arm of LOLC.

Sept 16 (DM) The headlines in the regional media these days are; Palm oil prices hit nine-month lows; Palm oil hits hurdles in South East Asia; Thailand encourages rubber farmers to switch crops

Sept 16 (DN) Asia Capital Group would spend over Rs 4 billion in four hotels within a span of three years, said Stefan Abeyesinhe, Director/CEO Asia Capital Group at the opening of the beach front resort Taprobana Wadduwa on Sunday.

Sept 16 (Reuters) Efficiency of trade among South Asian countries can be improved by using the local currency, one of Sri Lanka's central bank deputy governors, P Nandalal Weerasinghe, said in a speech at a banking conference in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- A British mining company, Gemfields has announced that it has entered a joint venture with to mine sapphires in Sri Lanka as part of its goal to expand its colored stone business.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- Hatton National Bank PLC, the premier private sector commercial bank in Sri Lanka,has financed Softlogic Group's strategic investment in the leading fashion brand ODEL, enabling the conglomerate to further strengthen its presence in the apparel and fashion accessories market.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka stocks slip from over 3-year closing high on profit-taking (15 - Reuters)
* EDB starts first ever medical tourism push (15 - DN)
* Land Rover gears up for HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (15 - Island)
* Sri Lanka cannot afford auction of non-existent resources (15 - DM)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Sept 16 (Island) The high cost of energy in Sri Lanka when compared with the other countries in the region was one of the reasons for the low level of foreign investments here, Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Sept 16 (DM) In order to settle a major dispute among officials that has threatened to destroy Sri Lanka’s most popular sport, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has given instructions to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials to shelve a controversial memorandum presented by President Jayantha Dharmadasa recently to the SLC exco, outlining a new administrational and management structure.

Sept 16 (DN) Science and English education which were distanced from the villages due to wrong policies are being reestablished through the Mahindodaya Schools program, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

Sept 16 (NIE) COLOMBO- A passion for Hindi film music and the Hindi language is commonplace in Sri Lanka. But Jaffna, the stronghold of Tamil nationalism, has been an exception to this rule.

Sept 16 (AFP) President Xi Jinping was Tuesday due in Sri Lanka where he will launch construction of a Chinese-backed $1.4 billion port city as he promotes his vision of a "maritime silk road" in the face of growing competition from Japan and India.

Sept 15 (CP) New Delhi- Sri Lanka has assured India that it is committed to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, India said today. "We have been assured and reassured by the leaders of Sri Lanka that they are committed to full implementation of the 13th Amendment," the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said at the Ministry's press briefing in New Delhi on Monday.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- The Asian-Pacific Postal Union Executive Meeting got underway in Sri Lankan capital Monday with the participation of 150 representatives from 32 member countries. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse inaugurated the five-day conference at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo this morning.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Sri Lanka has donated a consignment of Ceylon black tea to the victims of the recent earthquake in Yunnan Province, China. The consignment of tea was handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing recently by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China,

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan President condoles China earthquake deaths

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- Lack of access to finance, shortage of skilled labor and the country's generous leave policy are some of the factors that had led an Asian Development Bank report to rank Sri Lanka in the bottom six of 22 Asian economies.

Sept 15 (CP) Colombo- All Election campaigning for the Uva Provincial Council polls in Sri Lanka should come to an end by midnight Wednesday, September 17, the Election Department has scheduled.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* A win for UNP will facilitate Ranil’s victory at next presidential poll - Mangala (15 - Island)
* UPFA makes a din: JVP (15 - DM)
* Women play pivotal role in country’s development drive – President (15 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Sept 16 (CC) Misbah-ul-Haq has been retained as the Pakistan captain in Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs) by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Misbah has been retained until the ICC World Cup 2015, despite calls for him being axed growing stronger in the wake of Pakistan’s defeat in Sri Lanka recently. This development comes on a day when Shahid Afridi was named T20 captain and many favoured him to take over from Misbah for the ODIs as well.

More : SPORTS

Sept 15 (ESPNCI) Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, has praised the ICC's recent crackdown on suspect bowling actions, saying it is good for the game. Since July 2014, the ICC's match officials have reported six bowlers for suspect actions, including Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal, who has been Pakistan's lead spinner across formats was banned last week after being reported during the Galle Test against Sri Lanka.

Sept 15 (ICC) The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy, as part of its global tour, on Saturday visited Kabul, Afghanistan, where it was received by President Mr Hamid Karzai. Also present with the trophy during this historic visit to the President’s office were Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi and star player, Nawroz Mangal, as well as other senior officials of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).


WORLD

Sept 16 (PTI) China has clinched the multi- million dollar deal to upgrade Male's international airport for which the Maldives had earlier contracted Indian firm GMR but unilaterally terminated the agreement in 2012. During President Xi Jinping's just-concluded visit to the Maldives, China bagged a number of infrastructure projects and also secured Male's support for a grand plan of 21st century Maritime Silk Road, which was expected to further Beijing's economic and strategic interests.

More : WORLD

Sept. 15 (UPI) PARIS- At an international gathering in Paris to discuss peace and security in Iraq, world leaders from more than 30 countries pledged Monday to use "any means necessary" to defeat the Islamic State, also known by its English and Arabic acronyms as ISIL, Daesh or Daech. The International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq was co-chaired by French President Francois Hollande and Iraqi President Fouad Massoum.

Sept 15 (AFP) China's President Xi Jinping enlisted the Maldives' backing for a "21st century maritime silk road" on Monday as he began a tour of South Asia in the strategically located Indian Ocean island chain. The Maldives is best known for its tourist industry but also straddles major international shipping lanes, and Chinese investment there has grown significantly as Beijing seeks to secure vital trade routes.

Sept 15 (NIE) THOOTHUKUDI- In a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central government, AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday accused the saffron party of resorting to double standards on issues concerning the State’s fishermen whose livelihood has been affected due to the frequent arrests and seizure of their boats by the Sri Lankan Navy across the Palk Strait.


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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