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[Last Updated = Sun, Apr 20, 2014, 10:50 am SL Time]
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New bridge across Batticaloa lagoon connects communities in Eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (CP) Batticaloa- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday declared open the newly constructed Manmunai Bridge across Batticaloa lagoon for the benefit of the people in the East. The bridge across Batticaloa lagoon on Colombo-Batticaloa A-4 road via Pothuvil connects Batticaloa and Ampara via Kokadicholai and fulfills a long-felt need of the people in the Eastern Province. It also connects the Provincial road network on both sides of the lagoon which will provide an alternate route to other areas.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas has received several complaints on Tamil politicians of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government. The Commission has said that several complaints against Leader of Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman and former Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan have been filed with the investigative body

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- The Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist organization, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) ,which has been identified as a terrorist organization by Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inform him about the threats to the organization and its leaders.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- The leaders of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has summoned a meeting of the party leaders to discuss the attack on the party MPs at Mattala airport and Hambantota port on Thursday.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- The international media watch dog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in a statement has condemned an alleged attack on a freelance Tamil media journalist in the northern city of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government today refuted reports that the Muslim families settled in Wilpattu National Park were displaced due to the deployment of Navy in the area during the war. Strongly rejecting the allegation jointly, the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and the Sri Lanka Navy said only one Muslim family was displaced due to the naval deployment in Mullikkulam and Marichchikaddu areas and that family is not among the families encroached the national park.

Apr 18 (CP) Polonnaruwa- At least ten people were killed Friday when the tractor they were traveling in fell into an irrigation canal in Polonnaruwa, north central Sri Lanka, the police said. The accident happened when the tractor, attached with a trailer, transporting a group of people for a New Year celebration lost control and toppled into an irrigation canal in Aluthoya, Aralaganwila of Polonnaruwa.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- An organizer of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) wanted in connection with assaulting four persons including a woman has surrendered to the police. Four suspects including Moratuwa UNP organizer cum Western Provincial Council member, Senaka Damayantha Perera involved in assaulting four persons have surrendered to the Moratumulla Police.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- In a wave of massive robberies in Sri Lanka, six armed men broke into a jewelry store and a money changer in the Negombo town Thursday and robbed jewelry and cash estimated to be worth around Rs 10 million.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police media spokesman Ajith Rohana, SSP, said that an investigation is underway into yesterday's incident of a mob attacking a group of MPs of the major opposition United National Party (UNP) at Mattala Airport and Hambantota harbor. The investigation is being conducted to determine whether there was any negligence by the police as there were media reports that the police at the two sites had ignored the skirmish.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Reconciliation in a Sri Lanka after a three-decade long war cannot be achieved overnight, Sri Lanka Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya has said.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry together with the Defence Ministry has decided to brief the diplomatic community in Colombo and accredited to Colombo next week on banning 16 Tamil diaspora groups including LTTE.

Apr 19 (Island) Two naval ratings were killed and four others injured when a Jeep they were travelling in toppled at Kodawakattu in Madurankuliya on the Trincomalee-Pulmuddai road yesterday. The accident took place around 11 am yesterday, Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya told ‘The Island’.

Apr 19 (DN) Panadura Police probing the murder of a 62-year-old retired school teacher, arrested a mason who confessed to killing her. The suspect arrested on Tuesday while hiding in a house in Kalutara, confessed to killing Hemalatha Dalpathadu in her house at Walana, Panadura.

Apr 19 (DM) At least five people were killed after their van fell into the Detagamuwa tank in Kataragama in the early hours today, Police said. They said that a five-year-old child was rescued. The group was traveling to Kataragama from Ambatenna in Kandy.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Drug dealer escapes from prison a second time with another (18 - Island)
* LTTE resurgence attempt neutralised - SSP Ajith Rohana (18 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government is considering to limit the duration of the visa given to foreign journalists, Media and Information Minister and Government Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella has said.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's cricket authority, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said Saturday that it has been unable to contact the national coach to verify the media reports on his possible recruitment by the England's cricket board. The SLC issuing a media statement said that it has received numerous inquiries from the media in relation to England and Wales Cricket Board's interest in recruiting national coach Paul Farbrace as one of their coaches.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- A Muslim religious body in Sri Lanka plans to meet with the President and the Chief Prelates (Mahanayake Theros) in order to discuss the suppression faced by the Muslim community.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has made new diplomatic appointments to India, Unite States and Germany, External Affairs Ministry has said. Current High Commissioner in New Delhi, Prasad Kariyawasam has been appointed as the new ambassador to the U.S. replacing the incumbent Jaliya Wickramasuriya.


FINANCE

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- Parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), economist Dr. Harsha de Silva says the Rs 1.3 trillion private sector retirement fund, Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) has still not submitted to Parliament its audited accounts for the year 2011 as required by law.

Apr 19 (Island) York Street Partners (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lanka based boutique investment advisory firm had won a competition held by Harvard Business School, leading the region. It was placed first in the '2014 Alumni New Venture Competition' for South and South East Asia held by the US-based business school.

Apr 19 (DN) A Colombo Stock Exchange disclosure recealed the selling of the rated, unsecured, redeemable debentures of Richard Pieris and Company, to begin on May 7.

Apr 18 (HW) APET/coir easyGrow Tea Bag plants have been launched by B&Q across all its stores to replace 22,500cu m of polystyrene trays used each year. The tea bags prevent the blocks from drying out and they use a thin-wall plastic tray made of corn starch and coir.

More : FINANCE
* Standard Chartered ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ (18 - Island)
* Water’s Edge to build Rs 2b star hotel to tap MICE market (18 - DN)
* ADVISORY-Sri Lanka markets closed for holiday (18 - Reuters)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 19 (CP) Girandurukotte- Under the third phase of the national program to distribute 45,000 Mahaweli land title deeds, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday distributed 5,500 title deeds to families in Mahaweli B and C Zones. The ceremonial distribution of deeds took place at the Mahaweli grounds in Girandurukotte today.

Apr 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's powerful trade union of doctors, the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) has threatened to commence an island wide strike from Tuesday (April 22). The GMOA has said the doctors would launch the strike action if the government fails to implement the doctors' service minute before Tuesday.

Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) says the party will raise a privilege issue in parliament next week and complain to the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) about the attack on several UNP MPs in Hambantota during an inspection tour.

Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Election Department has reduced the number of slots in parliament assigned for Matara District in Southern Province and Kurunegala district in North Western Province. One slot each has been reduced from the Matara and Kurunegala districts and the two slots have been assigned as one each to the Vavuniya and Nuwara Eliya Districts.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- A top United Nations official has confirmed his participation at the 2014 World Conference on Youth scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka next month. The President of the United Nations General Assembly Dr. John William Ashe has confirmed his participation at the World Conference on Youth 2014 to be held in Colombo from 6th to 10th May, 2014 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

Apr 18 (CP) Polgahawela- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Sri Lanka's first and only auto assembling plant of the Micro Car Private Limited in Polgahawela export processing zone. After opening the facility, the President took an observation tour in the plant, which according to its Chairman Dr. Lawrence Perera will have the facilities to assemble 2,800 vehicles monthly.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's ruling party Mayor of Hambantota Eraj Fernando has denied being involved in the attack on several main opposition United National Party (UNP) MPs who were on an inspection tour in Hambantota yesterday.

Apr 18 (CP) Colombo- The National Peace Council (NPC), a nongovernmental organization promoting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, has urged the government and other political parties in the country to urgently set up institutions to enable giving a measure of autonomy to the Tamil people.

Apr 18 (CP) Ramanathapruam- A Bhaathiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led government under Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister would solve the nagging issue between the Tamil Nadu fishermen and their Sri Lankan counterparts, the party has asserted.

Apr 19 (Island) The five UNP MPs who were attacked by UPFA mobs when they visited the Mattala Airport and Hambantota Port, on the ‘invitation’ of the government on Thursday are to raise privilege issues against the police for failing to provide them with security.

Apr 19 (DN) The government has made arrangements to construct five bridges in the Dambulla Pradeshiya Sabha. The five bridges are to be constructed connecting Hainwelayagama-Manewa, Hainwelayagama-Karadagaspitiya, Pothana- Rangirigama, Yakkuragala-Balasuriya Mawatha and Nikawatawana-Egodapitiya.

Apr 19 (DM) The rat population in Colombo has increased and immediate measures need to be taken to bring it under control the Chief Medical Officer of Health at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Wildlife Dept. refutes BBS, says no squatters in Wilpattu Park (18 - Island)
* National program to distribute land deeds Third phase to be held under President’s patronage (18 - DN)
* Stop publishing images of Buddha in print media (18 - DM)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 19 (Express) The Lancashire coach previously managed the team between 2007-2009 but left his role after a spat with Kevin Pietersen. Moores fought off competition from Ashley Giles, Mark Robinson, Trevor Bayliss and Mick Newell to replace Andy Flower, who resigned from his post after the whitewash Ashes defeat against Australia in January.

More : SPORTS

Apr 19 (ESPNCI) SLC has expressed surprise and disappointment "in no uncertain terms" at the news that Sri Lanka head coach Paul Farbrace may be recruited as England's new assistant coach, after the ECB confirmed their interest in Farbrace to SLC. Farbrace is presently contracted to SLC until December 31, 2015 , but it now appears likely he may not serve out the remainder of his term.

Apr 19 (DNA) The bandwagon may have moved from Bangladesh to the UAE, but the awful memories of that 21-ball 11 against Sri Lanka are still haunting him. In fact, he has also failed to recover from the stinging criticism he received for flopping in the final of the World Twenty20. Perhaps, it has a lot to do with rioters pelting stones at his house. But even a swashbuckling 52 not out in his first match for the Royal Challengers Bangalore couldn't help. Yuvraj Singh is still sulking. Big time.

Apr 18 (ESPNCI) Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole new statistics database. Day-night Test cricket has been the ICC's beloved project of late. It has been experimenting pink-ball cricket in the UAE, and has also been encouraging its member boards to keep trying it in their domestic first-class cricket.


WORLD

Apr 19 (TOI) HYDERABAD- Exploiting desperate patients in need of immediate kidney transplant and healthy individuals caught in financial hardships, an international organ trafficking mafia is luring people into buying and selling kidneys for huge amounts. The racket is thriving in South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia where laws against organ donation are not very stringent, police sources said.

More : WORLD

Apr 18 (BBC) Japan says it will begin hunting whales in the Pacific Ocean next week, after cancelling whaling off Antarctica in line with an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling. Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the target would be 210 Pacific whales - about half the current catch. Japan's defiance of a worldwide ban on whaling has angered environmentalists.

Apr 18 (BBC) At least 12 local guides have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest, Nepali officials say. The avalanche struck around 06:45 local time (01:00 GMT) in an area known as the "popcorn field", just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft). A spokesman for Nepal's tourism ministry told the BBC some missing climbers had been rescued, but more are still missing.

Apr 18 (BBC) Prosecutors in South Korea have asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for the captain of the ferry that sank on Wednesday, officials say. It was earlier revealed that a junior officer - and not the captain - was at the helm of the ferry when it capsized. Efforts to find the 268 people still missing have been hampered by low visibility and strong currents.


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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