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[Last Updated = Sat, Aug 29, 2015, 12:23 am SL Time]
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President emphasizes need for a national policy for Sri Lanka's construction sector

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena today pointed out the necessity for a national plan and policy to take the country's construction sector, which is a major contributor the economy, to international level. He said a national plan should be formulated with the cooperation between the state and private sector and extended an open invitation to the private sector in this regard. The President made this observation while participating in the Construct 2015 exhibition at the BMICH Friday (28).
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Army said today that it has been investigating the contents in the videos produced by the Britain's Channel-4 TV since 2013. The Army has launched the investigations upon directions given by the then government of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Former Secretary to the Finance Ministry and Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera has been summoned to the police Special Investigations Unit. He arrived at the police Special Investigations Unit this morning to record a statement.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka's former Treasury Secretary questioned over oil hedging deal

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lanka court today dismissed the petition filed against former UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and former SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka court removes UPFA and SLFP party general secretaries from posts

Aug 28 (Hindu) A resolution calling for international intervention to probe alleged war crimes, moved by a Tamil National Alliance member at a meeting of the Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday, fell through.

Aug 28 (Island) President of National Patriotic Movement Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera yesterday told the media in Colombo that the domestic probe into allegations of war crimes levelled against Sri Lanka, backed by the US, would actually be an international investigation to be conducted according to the diktats of the US.

Aug 28 (DM) The Defence Ministry issued a detention order today to detain and interrogate the four army personnel arrested in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Ministry said.

Aug 28 (DN) Journalist Prageeth Ekanaligoda’s wife Sandhya Eknaligoda urged authorities to conduct a fair investigation into the disappearance of her husband. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo yesterday, Eknaligoda said she had faith in the investigation carried out by the Criminal Investigations Department.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- India today formally gifted Indian Coast Guard Vessel "Varaha" to the Sri Lanka Navy at a ceremony held at the port of Colombo on according to naval customs and traditions. Varha had been in service with Sri Lanka Navy as Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) Sagara since 2006.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- The three-week long joint military exercise involving thousands of Sri Lankan armed forces personnel and representatives from foreign countries will commence on Thursday (September3) for the sixth consecutive year, the Army said.

Aug 27 (CP) Galle- A Sri Lankan court Thursday lifted the overseas travel ban imposed on the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over allegation that a criminal offense has been committed maintaining a floating armory.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court Thursday dismissed three separate petitions filed against the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Ex-Minister, top army officer involved? (27 - DM)
* Navy rescues six Sri Lankan fishermen in distress (27 - CP)
* Ten kilos of Kerala ganja recovered from Wolfendhal Street drug pusher (27 - Island)
* Rape and murder of Vidya Suspects' blood samples to be taken (27 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today declared open the Construct 201trade exhibition at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Center (SBMEC) Colombo. The exhibition organized by the National Contractors Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) will be held on 28 - 30 August 2014 for the 15th consecutive year.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Previous administration of Sri Lanka did not seize the opportunity to fully implement the UN resolution presented by the country to the Human Rights Council in 2009, former president's special human rights envoy and former minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Although the United States remains hopeful about the promises Sri Lanka's new government made, the island nation will be judged by its actions and achievements and not by the promises, the U.S. asserted Thursday.


FINANCE

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Despite doing business with Sri Lanka for a long time, the bilateral trade between Nigeria and Sri Lanka has not been improved and the country was not represented very well in Sri Lanka, Nigeria's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, S. U. Ahmed said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Having closed the 75th year on a high note by delivering the highest ever profit by a single entity in Sri Lanka, Bank of Ceylon (BoC) continues to lead its growth course in first half of 2015 with Rs. 9.1 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT) achieving 6% growth over the previous year.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will hold its first ever Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC) next month in line with International Maritime day & UN observance day. The three-day event will be held in Colombo from 24 to 26 September 2015 under the theme "Maritime Education and Training".

Aug 28 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan shares rose more than 1 percent on Friday, rising for a third straight session, as investors bought into select battered stocks like conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc after recent falls.

Aug 28 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to keep its policy interest rates unchanged at record lows on Monday, a Reuters poll showed.

Aug 28 (Island) Hayleys Fabric PLC received the certificate of merit from the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA) for Integrated Reporting (Annual report 2014/15).

Aug 28 (DN) For the first time in the Sri Lankan history Pelwette Sugar is looking to ink a Butter - Oil pact with Iran. Pelwatte Dairies, Managing Director Ariyaseela Wickramanayake, speaking to ‘Daily News business’ said for the first time they have a surplus of butter manufactured at the factory in Buttala, Moneragala.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said for the next five years it will strengthen its support for Sri Lanka's human capital development to help the island nation become a competitive economy. The ADB will more than triple the lending for education to $1 billion for the next 5 years.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance has requested the public and the private sector institutions and the general public to submit proposals for inclusion in the proposed budget for 2016.

Aug 27 (NAR) Sri Lanka's parliamentary election on Aug. 17 confirmed the nation's political shift away from the Sinhalese-nationalist ruling style of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Aug 27 The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Thursday amid importer dollar demand as a state-run bank, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold the greenback at a flat rate of 134.15.

More : FINANCE
* Dipped Products records ‘satisfactory results’ in Q1 (27 - Island)
* Hayleys Amaya to enter Maldives (27 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The United States has agreed to grant US$ 3.2 million for the development of schools in the Eastern Province. The signing of the agreement took place under the patronage of Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando at his office Friday, the state-run Independent TV said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today entrusted President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Chairman of the party to make the final decision on making parliamentary and ministerial appointments.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The 69th anniversary of Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party (UNP) will be held on the 6th of September under the patronage of party leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Government of Sri Lanka with the concurrence of the Government of Myanmar has decided to appoint Mr. K.W.N.D. Karunaratne as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Myanmar, Foreign Affairs Ministry said today.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has unveiled a program to address human rights issues at the regional level. The program aims to sort out complaints through regional committees before they reach the Commission, the Government Information Department said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will celebrate its 64th anniversary in Polonnaruwa on September 2 under the patronage of party leader, President Maithripala Sirisena, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said.

Aug 28 (CP) Colombo- Leaders of two minor Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka have expressed their support to the national government formed by the two major political parties United national Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom party (UNP) .

Aug 28 (Island) Powerful ministerial posts would be given to both UNP and SLFP elected MPs in the national government, SLFP Acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said yesterday. Addressing a press conference at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo, Dissanayake said that besides the SLFP several other political parties had already expressed their desire to join the national government.

Aug 28 (DN) The United National Party (UNP) yesterday said that the swearing-in of the new Cabinet of the national government may not take place on September 2 as scheduled if the party leaders demand a debate on the formation of the national government.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is expected to visit Sri Lanka ahead of the September session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, political sources said here on Thursday.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's best known nature reserve, Yala National Park will be closed for the visitors for a month as the dry season is approaching, the Wildlife Department has said. Director of the Wildlife Conservation Division H.D. Ratnayake said the Yala National Park will be kept closed for visitors from 06th September to 07th October.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- The Pearson Test of English (PTE) qualification was officially launched in Sri Lanka by the British High Commissioner James Dauris on 26 August 2015. The event held at Westminster House was attended by over 100 business professionals, heads of organizations, heads of education institutes, principals and education agents.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- A special gazette has been released announcing that the first session of the eighth Parliament will meet at the Parliament Hall, Sri Jayawardenapura from 9.30 a.m. on September 01.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), a constituent party of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court challenging alliance's National List.

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe plans to appoint a committee comprising intellectuals in the country to formulate the constitutional reforms. The committee will function under the directions of the Prime Minister.

Aug 27 (ICRC) In November 2014, a team of eight young field officers embarked on a journey across Sri Lanka. Their mission was to locate 392 families (out of 16,000)

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* National govt: UNP offers key ministries to SLFP (27 - Island)
* Don't worry about NL MPs: Ranjan (27 - DM)
* Karuna on why MR lost the Northern vot (27 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

India 50/2 (15 ov)

Aug 28 (ESPNCI) Asked to bat on a testing, grassy pitch, India held on grimly - with some luck on their side - to keep the damage down to two wickets on a day that rain allowed only 15 overs of play. KL Rahul fell shouldering arms in the first over, Ajinkya Rahane was done in by seam movement soon after, but Cheteshwar Pujara - getting an opportunity in the absence of two injured openers - and Virat Kohli stayed together for 36 runs before heavy showers forced an early lunch.

More : SPORTS

India 42/2 (12.3 ov)

Aug 28 (ESPNCI) Over the years, the SSC has earned a reputation of being a batting paradise and a draw-friendly venue, and with good reason. The deciding Test of this series, however, was going to be played on a re-laid pitch, one that had an extraordinary amount of grass on it at the time of the toss. Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews said it had been a "pretty easy decision" to bowl first on this surface.

Aug 27 (Reuters) Left-handed batsman Upul Tharanga will replace retired Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara for the third and final test against India, captain Angelo Mathews said on Thursday. Sangakkara, arguably the greatest Sri Lankan batsman, finished his 134-test career last week during the second test in Colombo which India won to tie the series at 1-1.

Aug 27 (ESPNCI) "Angie, you have an amazing team. You have an amazing future." Hearing this last section of Kumar Sangakkara's retirement speech, Angelo Mathews may well have wondered to himself: "Really?" Because without Sangakkara, and without Mahela Jayawardene, who played his final Test last year, Sri Lanka are bracing themselves for a long and arduous rebuilding phase, with the "amazing future" a dot on the horizon.


WORLD

Aug 28 (BBC) Australia's border protection agency has sparked outrage with a snap announcement it would carry out visa checks on the streets of Melbourne. Australian Border Force (ABF) said its officers would be checking for visa fraud as part of a general crime crackdown involving several agencies.

More : WORLD

Aug 28 (BBC) Aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) says it is taking legal action over a Bollywood film it claims could endanger its staff in conflict zones. MSF says the film Phantom depicts an aid worker for a "confusingly similar" fictitious organisation using a weapon - which its employees would never do.

Aug 28 (Dawn) SIALKOT- At least six Pakistani civilians were killed and several others sustained injuries as Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel resorted to firing and shelling along the Working Boundary in Sialkot's Charwah, Harpal, Chaprar and Sucheetgarh sectors through early Friday morning, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Earlier reports suggested seven Pakistanis were killed in firing and shelling by Indian forces, however, the military's media wing has confirmed the number as six.

Aug 28 (Reuters) A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in a case alleging millions of dollars of graft in a trade development scheme, a security official said. The same day, another senior figure in the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was accused in court of financing terrorism after being arrested the previous day. The PPP accuses its enemies of waging a smear campaign through the courts.


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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