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[Last Updated = Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 09:05 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka Tamil party discusses resolving ethnic issue with Indian Foreign Minister

Aug 22 (CP) New Delhi- A six-member delegation of Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA),Friday met with India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed solutions to the ethnic Tamil problem in the island nation, the Press Trust of India reported. The TNA delegation, led by its leader MP R. Sampanthan, told the Indian Minister that India can play a major role in resolving the Tamil issue and India's involvement in the resolution of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is vital.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Aug 22 (CP) Auckland- The New Zealand Bar Association has expressed serious concern over the reported surveillance on president of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, Attorney Upul Jayasuriya. In a statement issued Friday, the New Zealand Bar Association said it joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr. Jayasuriya.

Aug 22 (Island) A 13-year-old girl was arrested by the Badalkumbura police yesterday for stabbing her younger sister (6) to death at home on Wednesday evening (August 20). Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the incident had taken place around 6.05 p.m. after the suspect teenager had been warned by her father over a trivial matter.

Aug 22 (DM) Kolonnnawa Urban Council Chairman Ravindra Udayashantha who was arrested and remanded on assault charges was released on a surety bail of Rs.100,000 today by the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Mr. Udayashantha was arrested on charges of assaulting the Council’s Deputy Chairman Suresh Kodagoda.

Aug 22 (DN) A man was arrested by Galkiriyagama police for treasure-hunting in the Marasingha-Halmilleva area off Galkiriyagama of the Mahaweli H Zone. He had dug an 11 foot pit in a garden belonging to a relative in the Janaudanagama village. Police also seized tools used for digging the pit.

Aug 22 (NIE) COLOMBO- In a paper published in the latest issue of the US Defence Department's journal "Prism", Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has reiterated his belief that Islamic terrorism poses a threat to the island nation.

Aug 22 (Hindu) B. Ashok, a 25-year-old fisherman of Jagadapattinam, was injured after the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly pelted him with stones in the mid-sea on Wednesday night.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A 42-year old Sri Lankan woman and her two adult daughters who applied together for UK visas were arrested today for using deception in their applications by applying in multiple identities, the British High Commission in Colombo said in a release.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General's Department and UNICEF have teamed up to launch the development of an electronic database to speed up justice for abused children by tracking their cases swiftly. The Ministry of Justice is initiating the innovative web-based tracking system for the Attorney General's Department.

Aug 21 (AP) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to deny entry to U.N. investigators is intended to undermine the credibility of an ongoing war crimes inquiry, an activist said Thursday.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Body minus head, hands and leg washed ashore (21 - Island)
* Only 31 of the 85 kg. seized was heroin (21 - DM)
* Murder of father and son: five remanded (21 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) appointed five party activists as electoral organizers today. UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and his soon-to-be deputy leader Sajith Premadasa together attended the ceremony to appoint the new party organizers.

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has temporarily suspended the on-arrival visa facility for visitors, with respect to four African countries, with immediate effect. The measure has been taken as a precautionary step to prevent the entry of Ebola virus in to the country, a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said.

Aug 21 (CP) Islamabad- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has cancelled his visit to Pakistan that was scheduled for later this week due to the political unrest in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Office has said.


FINANCE

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- An Australian company has agreed to invest US$ 10.5 million to set up a manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka to produce oats-based foods. Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, Board of Investment has signed an agreement with Aussee Oat Milling Pvt Ltd, to manufacture oats based products such as rolled/flaked oats, flavored oats, oats muesli, oats flour, oats bars and oats cookies for export.

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade has decided to purchase the local potato harvest at Rs. 80 per kilo. The Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando said that the purchasing of the potato harvest would be carried out through state-owned Lanka Sathosa retail network.

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's petroleum authority, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) today introduced a new low sulphur diesel named as Lanka Super Diesel Four Star. The CPC, launching the new better quality diesel today, said that it has been a long-felt requirement to introduce an Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel product to the market to cater to the requirements of the modern diesel vehicle fleet in Sri Lanka.

Aug 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks edged up for the fifth straight session on Friday to hit a three-year high, led by large cap Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc, while block deals in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc boosted the turnover.

Aug 22 (Island) FlySmiLes, the frequent flyer programme of SriLankan Airlines has entered into a partnership with Abans to offer its members exciting offers and benefits. With this partnership, FlySmiLes members will now have the opportunity to earn miles when shopping at any of the 400 Abans Showrooms island wide.

Aug 22 (DM) Amăna Bank made a generous contribution for the second consecutive year to the Serendib Educational Foundation (SEF) in providing financial assistance and scholarships to deserving students who are capable of pursuing their studies but are unable to do so due to financial constraints.

Aug 22 (DN) International Monetary Cooperation Senior Minister and Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said yesterday that Sri Lanka was targeting US$ 10 billion in terms of foreign remittances from Sri Lankan expatriate workers.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange's (CSE) All Share Price Index (ASPI) crossed the 7000 mark today (21) closing at 7,004.75 points. This is the first instance after 3 years the ASPI crossed 7000 points since closing on 7,030.85 points on August 18th, 2011.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's external sector strengthened further and trade deficit narrowed for the ninth consecutive month in June 2014 by 35.3 percent to US$ 454 million as earnings from exports substantially increased while expenditure on imports declined during the month, the Central Bank said releasing the External Sector Performance review Thursday.

Aug 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks hovered around three-year highs on Thursday, led by financials due to lower interest rates, but analysts said increasing speculative trading in fundamentally weak shares could impede the healthy growth the index has had this year.

More : FINANCE
* Richard Pieris records PAT growth of 106% in Q1 – 2014/2015 (21 - Island)
* Special board for BoI firms in two months (21 - DM)
* AIA Sri Lanka posts Rs 146 m in 1H (21 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 22 (CP) Colombo- The striking junior workers of Sri Lanka's government hospitals have called off their strike this morning after they have received assurances form the authorities that their demands would be considered.

Aug 22 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) leader and former Army Chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka yesterday alleged that the country couldn’t expect a free and fair election at any level as long as the incumbent Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya was at the helm.

Aug 22 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday questioned the admission of a student to Ruhunu University on the recommendation UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake in his response told Parliament that the University Grants Commission had entertained the appeal by this student only because her Z-score was well within the cutoff mark.

Aug 22 (DN) Sri Lanka is likely to face challenges and malign influences due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Zone. But China would always extend support for Sri Lanka to surmount all these challenges.

Aug 22 (TRF) – When Sri Lankan government officials and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) put together a $260 million rural water project in 2010 in the North Central and Eastern Provinces, they made sure women would have a major role in managing the scheme.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A delegation of members of the National Assembly of Vietnam led by the head of Justice Committee Nguyen Van Hien visited Sri Lankan Parliament Thursday and held bilateral talks with Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody at the Parliament complex, the official government news portal said.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka today expressed condolences to the Japanese people on landslide tragedy in Hiroshima that killed at least 39 people. "It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that the people of Sri Lanka learnt of the devastating landslide that had struck Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- A five-member delegation of Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), will leave for India today to hold discussions with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Indian leaders on a host of issues.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), has decided to reinstate two expelled members of the party in electoral organizer positions, party sources say.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Two more Members of Sri Lankan Parliament were sworn in as Deputy Ministers before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees this morning.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday mourned the loss of lives and destruction due to the devastating landslides that struck Hiroshima, Japan on Wednesday . "My thoughts go out to the families of those killed and affected by the landslides in Hiroshima, Japan, yesterday," President Rajapaksa said in a twitter message.

Aug 21 (BBC) An unprecedented drought in Sri Lanka is exacerbating the longstanding potential for conflict between humans an elephants, reports suggest. But a "fence" of palmyra trees is starting to yield success.

Aug 21 (IRIN) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's government is scrambling to ease the impact of record harvest losses on millions of farmers as the country enters its tenth month of an acute dry spell.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Call for expanded UN probe divides TNA ahead of party convention (21 - Island)
* Granting US$1 Mn unconstitutional: Ex-CJ (21 - DM)
* Home-grown solution best for Sri Lanka (21 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Aug 22 (ESPNCI) The lack of intensity in India's tour matches before the Test series might have come in for question and criticism, but India are not likely to deviate anytime soon. On Friday they will return to their only venue of triumph, Lord's, where they will play Middlesex in a non-List-A one-day game where any number of players can take part provided only 11 bat and only 11 are on the field at a given time. India's argument is that they want everyone in their squad to have a hit in the middle.

More : SPORTS

Aug 22 (PT) KARACHI- Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal will miss the first one-day international against Sri Lanka on Aug 23 as he is flying to Brisbane to undergo tests on his bowling action. A senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told Reuters on Thursday that Ajmal might also miss the second of three one-dayers in Colombo on Aug. 27 if his tests take time in Brisbane.

Aug 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake who was sent off to Perth, Australia to undergo remedial work to correct his bowling action has returned after completing the training, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced today. Sachithra was working on remodeling of his bowling action at the University of Western Australia with the aid of the University consultant coach Darryl Foster to correct suspected bowling actions.


WORLD

Aug 22 (WSJ) CANBERRA, Australia— Australia's government on Friday defended its border laws, which require asylum seekers arriving on boats to be detained for long periods in small Pacific nations. Appearing at an inquiry held by the independent Australian Human Rights Commission, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the country's immigration policies have been successful in preventing asylum seekers from making the often-dangerous sea journey to Australia,

More : WORLD

Aug 21 (BBC) Pakistan's main opposition leader Imran Khan says he is pulling out of talks with the government until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns. The two sides began discussions last night, after thousands of opposition supporters occupied a high-security zone in front of parliament. Protesters say Mr Sharif came to power through electoral fraud.

Aug 21 (BBC) A forensic investigation into clothing and swabs taken after the murder and alleged gang rape of two teenage cousins in northern India has concluded they were not sexually assaulted. The girls were found hanged from a tree in Uttar Pradesh state in May, in a case which sparked global outrage. Three suspected attackers were taken into custody along with two policemen.

Aug 21 (CNN) Both Americans who were treated for the Ebola virus have been discharged from the hospital. "Today is a miraculous day," Dr. Kent Brantly said at a news conference in Atlanta with staff of Emory University Hospital. "I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family." The hospital announced he was being discharged Thursday.


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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