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[Last Updated = Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 03:34 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka is making its contribution to the economic integration in South Asia - Prime Minister

Jan 17 (CP) Davos- Sri Lanka is making its contribution to the economic integration in South Asia by making Sri Lanka the hub of Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Addressing a press conference at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday along with Ministers Malik Samarawickrema, Ravi Karunanayake and Harin Fernando, the Premier said with Sri Lanka's hub concept, logistics and the business hub, the integration will become more viable.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Army's Omanthai camp has not been removed but 18 acres of land around the camp belonging to the civilians has been handed over to the Vavuniya Government Agent, Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said.

Jan 18 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratna yesterday issued notice on the former Deputy Minister Wasantha Senanayake to be present in court on March 16 to give evidence at the trial against the Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka thera, who is indicated on an allegation of abuse of public property.

Jan 18 (DM) A 34-year-old man who was on his way back from the Homagama Magistrate’s Court was shot dead at Pitipana in Homagama this morning by an unidentified gunmen arrived in a motorbike. Police said the victim, Chaminda Perera alias ‘Chana’, was shot dead at the Station Road in Pitipana while he was traveling in a three-wheeler.

Jan 18 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its order till February 17 directing the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to maintain the status quo (the existing state of affairs) with regard to frequencies allocated to Carton Sports Network (Private) Ltd (CSN).

Jan 17 (CP) Toronto- An alleged fundraiser for Sri Lanka's vanquished terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has lost his battle to stay in Canada after a federal judge dismissed his appeal against deportation.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan national has been arrested by Tamil Nadu police for entering the state illegally by a ferry, Indian media reported. The 27-year-old Sri Lankan was arrested at Arichal Munai, 15 km from Rameswaram today after he arrived by an illegal ferry, the police said. The police had arrested another Sri Lankan from the same area four days earlier.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* GA determines Musaeus fire an act of arson (17 - Island)
* Another NFF MP at FCID (17 - DM)
* Lasantha told family members about death threats, CID tells Court (17 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Jan 18 (CP) Stockholm- Sri Lanka's reconciliation process and bilateral relations were in the center of discussions when Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström Tuesday in Stockholm.

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The European Union has reiterated that implementation of 27 international conventions by the Sri Lankan government was the only criteria for the European Commission to recommend restoring the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) tariff concession to Sri Lanka.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Tuesday implemented a new computerized system for the Continuous Discharge Certificates of merchant navy personnel. Accordingly these discharge certificates of merchant navy personnel issued after their registration at the Merchant Shipping Secretariat will be issued under a protected computerized system.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has signed a US$125 million credit with the World Bank to help the country modernize its agriculture sector. Sri Lanka aims to make the sector more efficient and attractive as a modern business, more responsive to consumer demand, and more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change, a World Bank statement said.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka is exploring to purchase sugar from Thailand while a feasibility study for a Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is set to conclude by August 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.

Jan 18 (Island) Several Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of state owned entities and private establishments at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) have been delayed due to unfavourable market conditions in the country, Senior Manager, Candor Equities Pvt Limited Buddhike Payoe said.

Jan 18 (DM) Bairaha Farms PLC (BFP) yesterday announced additional investments amounting to Rs.239 million to the ongoing construction of its animal feed manufacturing and storage facility. The project, which is a joint venture with Farms Pride Limited and, carried out in two phases, was estimated to have cost Rs.1.45 billion when the project was announced in 2014, excluding the working capital.

Jan 18 (DN) Electro Metal Pressings (EMP) secured a hugely beneficial export agreement with Fenaka Corporation, the Government owned utility service provider of Maldives.

Jan 18 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded weaker on Wednesday due to importer dollar demand, after sales by foreign banks had helped the U.S. currency to edge up in the previous two sessions, dealers said.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's diversified conglomerate, John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) filed its first patent jointly with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - India, in the area of energy storage materials.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee ends steady; foreign bank dollar sales offset importer demand (17 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan shares end lower; heavyweights down (17 - Reuters)
* ‘De La Rue Lanka secures world class security accreditation’ (17 - Island)
* Royal Ceramics to invest almost Rs.1bn for new kiln, machinery (17 - DM)
* CMPort China to pump over US$ 400 mn on H’tota port (17 - DN)
* Sri Lanka’s first ever 7-star apartment complex to start construction (17 - LBO)
* Movenpick Hotels & Resorts brings altitude and attitude to Colombo with a modern property set for iconic status (17 - TDN)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Director General of Irrigation Department Saman Weerasinghe says the government plans to construct 1,250 new irrigational wells and repair another 7,000 as an alternative to provide irrigation water to cultivations in the drought hit areas.

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's electricity sector regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has introduced a guideline to identify information for the instalment payment system for those who are not able to pay the connection charge for a new electricity connection, in terms of Section 27 of the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, No. 20 of 2009 as amended.

Jan 18 (CP) Riyadh- A Sri Lankan labor delegation has agreed to follow Saudi Arabia's Musaned online recruitment system following a meeting with senior officials, Arab News reported. A four-member Sri Lankan team headed by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Employment G.S. Withanage met with Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Development Ziyad AI-Sayegh at the headquarters of the Labor Ministry in Riyadh.

Jan 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) COLOMBO- With rainfall in many areas just a third of that last year and many water reservoirs far below normal levels, Sri Lankans have begun holding traditional ceremonies to invoke rain – some with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Jan 18 (Island) Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has said that the delay in the construction of houses for landslide affected people in Aranayake was due to the lack of proper safe lands in the Kegalle District.

Jan 18 (DN) Chief Ministers of seven Provincial Councils are planning to meet former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss a strategy for the restoration of unity among party circles in view of the upcoming Local Government polls and Provincial Council elections, Sri Lanka Freedom Party sources said.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The Delimitation Committee reviewing the demarcation of electoral boundaries in local government wards handed over its much-awaited final report to the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha today.

Jan 17 (CP) Tehran- Sri Lanka and Iran have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on laboratory analysis for oil and gas. Sri Lanka's visiting Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayantha and Iran's Vice-President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari signed the MoU at a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, Mehr News Agency reported.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 17 January 2017 between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the University of Kelaniya to fund the post of an ICCR Professor for Hindi Language at the University.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has vehemently rejected the media reports which say that the government has agreed to 58 conditions to get the European Union's Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) tariff concession.

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has urged the members of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) conclude negotiations early to broaden the trade agreements and expand into services to pave the way to further expansion of trade, investment and economic integration among the member countries.

Jan 17 (ANI) New Delhi- Highlighting the changes taking place in Sri Lanka between the majority and Tamils, Field Marshal turned politician Sarath Fonseka on Tuesday said that there are no grouses with the majority community in the northern Sri Lanka regarding the 13th amendment.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Rice shortage during New Year predicted (17 - Island)
* Uva CM wants to claim compensation from Britain (17 - DM)
* Executive Presidency to go: Nalin Bandara (17 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Jan 17 (SLC) Colombo- Bouncing back graciously from a crushing defeat, Sri Lanka’s youngest test team led by Captain Angelo Mathews engaged in a lengthy discussion with President of Sri Lanka Cricket Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala this afternoon. During the meeting, the captain affirmed his team’s commitment to re-strategize for the upcoming T20 and ODI in South Africa.

More : SPORTS

Jan 17 (SCMP) Sri Lankan dynamo Tillakaratne Dilshan – the man behind the famous “Dilscoop” shot – will bring his brand of innovative and exciting cricket to Tin Kwong Road when he lines up for City Kaitak in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz from March 8-12. The 40-year-old former test captain is a made-for-T20 player with his aggressive batting, outstanding fielding and off spin.

Jan 17 (CC) Sri Lanka suffered an embarrassing 0-3 whitewash against South Africa. To be precise, Sri Lanka lost sixteen wickets in three sessions to suffer this shambolic defeat. They never looked to be in the game throughout the series and were completely undone by Faf du Plessis and co. Sri Lanka were first bowled out for 131 in the first innings of the final Test, as Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada took 3 wickets each which was followed by an enforced follow-on.

Jan 17 (ESPNCI) AB de Villiers has said he is not retiring from Test cricket, squashing speculation over the last few days that he was going to give up the longest format. "I'm not retiring out of Test cricket, I'm not retiring out of any format, that's for sure. I am not prepared to do that," he told South African radio station 702 on Tuesday.


WORLD

Jan 18 (BBC) Thousands of people in India's southern Tamil Nadu state are protesting against a ban on bullfighting. At least 4,000 people have been camping at Marina beach in the state's capital, Chennai (Madras), since Tuesday night. Traditional bull-taming contests, known as Jallikattu, have been popular for centuries in the state. Protesters say they represent its identity.

More : WORLD

Jan. 17 (ANI) Dhaka- In a landmark ruling, a Bangladesh court has handed down death penalty to 26 of the 35 guilty for the murder of seven people in Narayanganj in 2014. Narayanganj District and Sessions Judge's Court handed down death penalty to 26 people including expelled ruling Awami League member Nur Hossain,...

Jan 17 (BBC) US astronaut Gene Cernan - the last man to walk on the Moon - has died aged 82. America's space agency Nasa said it was "saddened by the loss" of the retired spaceman. Captain Cernan was one of only three people to go to the Moon twice and the last man to leave a footprint on the lunar surface in 1972.

Jan 17 (BBC) The search for the Malaysian airliner that disappeared three years ago with 239 on board has been suspended. In a statement, Australia, Malaysia and China said the decision was taken with "sadness" after a fruitless search in more than 120,000 sq km (46,300 miles) of the Indian Ocean.


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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