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[Last Updated = Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 09:08 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President conveys greetings for the 20th Commonwealth Games

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, has conveyed his warm greetings to the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Prince Tunku Imran for the 20th Commonwealth Games that got under in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. "These Games are a unique feature in the Commonwealth calendar, bringing together athletes from across its regions into one arena," President Rajapaksa said in the message.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police say that although large hauls of heroin are seized on a regular basis, the supply has not been weakened in the local market.

** Related Story :: Large heroin haul of over 100 kg seized in Sri Lanka

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has proposed to the government to build an aircraft maintenance center to maintain Chinese aircraft belonging to the Air Force. SLAF media spokesman Wing Commander Gihan Seneviratne said that the Air Force has a large fleet of Chinese aircraft and a large amount has to be paid to China for their maintenance.

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army says that it has gradually returned a large extent of land to the original owners after reducing the size of army camps in Jaffna. Military Spokesman and Ministry of Defence, Media Center Director Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the land occupied by the Army now has been reduced to 6,500 acres from the original 26,000 acres.

July 24 (DN) TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan was in for a rude shock when she arrived at the Mullaithivu Magistrate’s Court on Monday (21). She was confronted by a group of some 350 Tamil families demanding to know what she and her ‘missing’ husband LTTE’s Ellilan had done to their children.

July 24 (Island) Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana yesterday, in response to the UPFA Western Provincial Councillor Hirunika Premachandra’s claim that she knew the drug barons in Kolonnawa, asked her to disclose their names and addresses.

July 24 (DM) Four people were sentenced to death by the Kandy High court today on charges of having murdered a van driver at Pelmadulla in 1999. Five suspects were produced in Court but one of them had died during the course of the trial.

July 23 (CP) Sheffield- A British court in Sheffield today found a suspect guilty of murdering a Sri Lankan pizza delivery worker, who was on his last shift delivering pizza on his last day as a delivery worker before embarking on an IT career.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Thousands of university students in Sri Lanka today marched in the streets of Sri Lankan capital Colombo demanding the authorities to revoke a suspension imposed on 28 of their fellow students at the Rajarata University.

July 23 (CP) Madurai- The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court in Chennai, hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed on the proposed sale of two naval warships to Sri Lanka, has called for the records of the written correspondence between the central Indian government and the state government of Tamil Nadu over the issue.

** Related Story :: Indian government ordered to file counter affidavit on warship sale to Sri Lanka

July 23 (BBC) A man has been found guilty of murdering a pizza delivery worker who was making his last deliveries before moving to his "dream job". Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, 25, was found stabbed in his car in Southey Crescent, Sheffield, on 27 October.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Pak heroin smuggler had hired registered firm for the job (23 - Island)
* Turns out to be turmeric (23 - DM)
* Heroin case: three remanded (23 - DN)
* Religious unrest to continue in Sri Lanka but police action more likely when tourism affected (23 - Janes)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

July 24 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today entered into a Bilateral Agreement to gain access into each other's securities markets. The agreement will enable the CBSL to further diversify its reserves management activities into Indian rupee denominated assets

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Supreme Court today dismissed a petition filed by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) against the redistribution of seats in the Uva Provincial Council.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka main opposition hands over petition to Supreme Court against redistribution of seats in Uva Provincial Council

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The European Union delegation in Sri Lanka today expressed concerns about the Sri Lankan government imposing restrictions on the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the country.


FINANCE

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Subway, the US-based fast food franchise popular for its submarine sandwiches has opened its first store in Sri Lanka. Subway has opened its first store in R.A.de Mel Mawatha in Colombo.

July 24 (DN) The opening of the Bank of Ceylon's overseas branch in the Seychelles was a very productive and timely move by the bank Chairman, Air Chief Marshal, Harsha Abeywickrama said yesterday.

July 24 (Island) The Bank of Ceylon yesterday introduced a foreign exchange risk hedging mechanism to protect its clients against volatile market conditions.

July 24 (DM) The latest premium flagship waterproof smartphone designed by Sony, the ‘Xperia Z2’ was unveiled to the local market recently in Colombo by Singer Sri Lanka Plc, laying a pedestal to the partnership with Sony Electronic Singapore Private Limited

July 23 (CP) Singapore- Moody's Investors Service affirmed Sri Lanka's 'B1' sovereign bond rating with the stable outlook today, citing strong growth potential of the island nation, but said the weakness of government finances is a rating constraint.

July 23 (Telegraph) More of a country estate than a hotel, Ulagalla offers high quality Sri Lankan hospitality combined with an exemplary sustainable setup. A rural retreat deep in the cultivated jungle of central Sri Lanka.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka stocks slip from 34-month high on profit taking (23 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka builds up forex reserves with stable currency -finance secretary (23 - Reuters)
* Dunamis Capital’s Rs 1 bn. debenture issue impending (23 - Island)
* Sue cigarette companies: Minister (23 - DM)
* People's Bank shares won't be sold to private sector - Amunugama (23 - DN)
* Sri Lanka's HDFC Bank profits surge (23 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Coalition party of Sri Lankan government National Freedom Front (NFF) said today that the party would not hesitate to contest the Uva Provincial Council election separately if nomination is not granted to them.

July 24 (CP) Colombo- President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message to the athletes representing Sri Lanka at the 20th Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. "All of you were selected through rigorous competition and hard-work to be included in the national team," President Rajapaksa said.

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Supreme Court of Sri Lanka today ordered the Attorney General to issue instructions to all public institutions not to obstruct people who wear traditional Muslim attire. Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said that the traditional Muslim attire was well within the identity of the Sri Lankan culture and Muslim women have a right to wear such attire as it causes no harm to anyone.

July 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka opposition parties, civic organizations and individuals are to meet today to sign a petition calling for the abolishing of executive presidency. At the meeting former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and the Opposition and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe will sign a petition calling for the abolishing of the abolishing of executive.

July 24 (DN) Social conciliation is an aspect that should be present in every field, community and public service,” Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. “It should be present at all levels. “There should be village-to-village social conciliation, province-to -province conciliation and so on,” the minister said.

July 24 (Island) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said, in Parliament, that if NGOs were not permitted to conduct educational programmes, various foundations set up under the names of ministers, too, should not be allowed to do so.

July 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has declined an invitation to participate in the Commonwealth’s First World War Commemoration Service at the Glasgow Cathedral on August 4 on the basis of ‘deplorable security lapses’ by the British Government amid protests planned by pro-LTTE groups, Daily Mirror learns.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health will conduct a census on mental patients in the island to identify the extent of the mental disorders prevailing among the population. The Ministry has felt the need to conduct a survey as currently not enough data is available from general population other than the information from the patients who seek treatment for mental disorders at the hospitals.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Finance and Planning Ministry of Sri Lanka yesterday has informed all Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs ) in the country that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry before receiving any foreign funds.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka to prevent NGOs from receiving foreign funds - report

July 23 (CP) Colombo- India has agreed to upgrade facilities at 70 child development centers (créches) in Sri Lanka's estate regions, where a majority of the Indian origin Tamil people live and work in tea plantations. Following the conclusion of the tendering process, India Tuesday signed the 'Contract Agreement' with a private company in Sri Lanka for the Project to be implemented at a cost of Rs. 58 million.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Leader of National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of the Sri Lankan government, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has expressed his opposition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's recent decision to broaden the scope of the Missing Persons Commission and allow investigations into alleged human rights abuses by the security forces during the war.

July 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled that the Hindu temples can perform animal sacrifice under controlled conditions. The apex court on Monday hearing an appeal filed by the trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil at Munneswaram in Chilaw ruled that the Hindu Temple can slaughter the animals under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

July 23 (Himdu) There is a need for India and Sri Lanka to engage in a strategic dialogue, chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said after a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa here on Tuesday.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* GoSL in trouble because it reneged on promises (23 - Island)
* India wants info on Chinese project (23 - DM)
* Public Grievance Redress Mechanism launched (23 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Sri Lanka 151/3 (36.2 ov)

July 24 (ESPNCI) It was a morning session with plenty of peculiar sights. An elderly man in the stands keeping cool with a tiny portable fan on his chest, the run-machine Kumar Sangakkara getting a golden duck at a ground he thrives on, the South Africa slip cordon putting down two fairly straightforward chances, Sri Lanka motoring along at well above six an over for a big chunk of the first session of the Test. It was a morning session with plenty of customary sights as well.

More : SPORTS

July 23 (ESPNCI) Stuart Poynter scored a fighting century to rejuvenate a sinking Ireland chase but his innings couldn't quite take his team over the finish line, as Sri Lanka A wrapped up a 28-run win in the first unofficial ODI in Belfast. Chasing 284, Ireland were 107 for 7 when Eddie Richardson, who had taken a five-wicket haul in the visitors' innings, retired hurt. Craig Young then added 81 with Poynter before he became medium-pacer Dushmantha Chameera's fourth victim.

July 23 (ITV) Four members of Sri Lanka's Commonwealth Games cycling team caused a police response after being spotted going for a ride down one of Scotland's busiest stretches of motorway. STV News reported that four Glasgow 2014 athletes were seen cycling down the M74 before police intervened and informed them they were breaking the law. Johnathan Brownlee, the 2012 Triathlon World Champion, snapped the cyclists before tweeting: "I suppose it's a nice wide road!"

July 23 (CP) Colombo- The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to extend the tenure of the interim national coach Marvan Atapattu till August, the SLC announced today. The Executive Committee at its meeting held yesterday (July 22nd) has decided to extend the appointment of Marvan Atapattu as the Head Coach of the National Team until the end of the Pakistan Tour of Sri Lanka. Atapattu was appointed as the interim head coach for Sri Lanka's tour in England after the newly hired national coach Paul Farbrace left the team to become the assistant coach for England before Sri Lanka began its tour to England.


WORLD

July 24 (BBC) Opposition MPs in India have demanded an investigation into reports that some Hindu MPs tried to forcibly feed a Muslim man fasting for Ramadan. The MPs from the right-wing Shiv Sena party reportedly took their anger out on a government canteen worker because of the "poor quality of food".

More : WORLD

July 24 (BBC) Australia's top rights official says the situation at the Christmas Island asylum detention centre has "significantly deteriorated", leaving people "plagued by despair". Gillian Triggs visited the centre on 14 July after reports of several incidents of self-harm or suicidal detainees.

July 24 (BBC) UK investigators are to start examining the flight data recorder from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch in Farnborough will start the process almost a week after the plane crashed in eastern Ukraine. Whitehall sources, meanwhile, say information shows some evidence was tampered with at the crash site.

July 23 (BBC) A passenger plane has crashed after a failed emergency landing in Taiwan, killing more than 40 people, local officials say. The domestic flight crashed near Magong airport on the outlying Penghu island, reports said. There were a total of 54 passengers and four crew on board, Taiwan's CNA news agency reported.


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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