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[Last Updated = Tue, Apr 21, 2015, 02:59 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka parliament postpones debate on 19th Amendment to Constitution

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Following the disruptions of parliamentary proceedings this morning, the Sri Lankan parliament has been adjourned until April 27th and accordingly, the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that was to begin today, too has been postponed. The decision to postpone the debate has been arrived following an emergency Party Leaders meeting held with the President. The 19th Amendment will be taken up for debate on April 27th and 28th and a vote will be taken on the 28th, the Leader of the House has announced.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Supporters of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa have gathered near entrance to the parliament to protest the Bribery Commission's call to the former president to record a statement. Police have barricaded the entrance road to the parliament and the protesters have caused heavy traffic congestion near the parliament on Parliament Road from Polduwa Junction.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court yesterday gave permission to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of police to examine the bank accounts and other assets of former President's Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and his companies.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Fishermen from Tamil Nadu State of India are planning to meet India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to demand uninterrupted fishing rights in Sri Lankan waters, Indian daily The Hindu reports.

Apr 21 (Island) The Court of Appeal, recently, set aside the conviction of murder and the sentence of death, imposed by the High Court, on W.G.D. Dharmaratne Menika convicted her of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Apr 21 (DN) A mother and her daughter resident in a house in Dancinon Estate, Akkaramalai Pundaluoya had been hacked to death in their sleep in their room in the wee hours of yesterday. The son who is suspected to have committed the crime had fled the area. The two victims were identified as Andi Pichchai, 51, and her daughter Nithya Kalyani, 30.

Apr 21 (DM) Heavy traffic reported from the Parliament road due to a protest against summoning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Bribery Commission. Police had issued their final warning to use minimum powers against the protesters unless they did not disperse. The Police also read out an order given by the Kaduwela Magistrate banning the protest.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader, MP Wimal Weerawansa's wife, Shashi Weerawansa was today summoned to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption to record a statement on several allegations.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse has been summoned to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption on April 24. Former president's media coordinating secretary has told local media that former president has been notified by the commission.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* CA acquits and discharges IP convicted of theft (20 - Island)
* Man kills mother and sister (20 - DM)
* Bak Maha race cyclists attacked (20 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Former Economic Development Minister of Sri Lanka and younger brother of former President, Basil Rajapaksa today returned to the country from London via Dubai. Rajapaksa, who is a US citizen, left for the US soon after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's defeat at the last Presidential election.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- The protesting parliamentarians of Sri Lanka opposition have ended their agitation after the government has given the assurance that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be called to the Bribery Commission to record a statement.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told parliament today that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has to inform the Speaker before it summons a parliamentarian to the Commission to record a statement.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan Speaker summons Director General of the Bribery Commission to parliament

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's cricket board, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) today expressed shock over the International Cricket Council's decision to withhold the funds it owes to the cricket board as a measure of punishment for appointing an interim committee to run the cricket board.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- The Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka will hold a two-day International Conference on Religious Tolerance and Harmony on April 22, 23 at the main auditorium of the University in Homagama.


FINANCE

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Bank of Ceylon closed its 75th year on a magnificently high note, by recording the highest ever profit before tax (PBT) in the bank's history as well as in the Sri Lankan banking industry of Rs.20.3 billion, achieving a growth of 29% compared to the previous year.

Apr 21 (Island) A one day workshop on export procedures & documentation is set for April 25, from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. at the chamber auditorium No. 450 D. R Wijewardene Mw, Colombo – 10. The workshop is designed for those who are involved in exporting,  and sourcing from overseas.

Apr 21 (DN) Commercial Bank ATMs established new record for cash dispensed from the largest automated teller network owned by a single bank in the country of in the ‘Avurudu’ season in 2015. The previous record of Rs 2.05 billion for cash withdrawals in a single day set on April 11, 2014,

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) will host the South Asian Investment Conference and SAFE Annual General Meeting on the 26th and 27th of April, in Colombo.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings has assigned Singer Sri Lanka PLC's (Singer; A(lka)/Stable) proposed unsecured redeemable debenture issue of up to Rs. 3 billion a National Long-Term Rating of 'A-(lka)(EXP)'.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- A Turkish business delegation keen to invest in Sri Lanka will be visiting the island soon to explore business opportunities, the government media unit quoting the Turkish Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Iskender Okyay, said.

Apr 20 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares slipped on Monday from their more than one-month closing high hit in the previous session, as investors booked profits after three straight sessions of gains, brokers said.

More : FINANCE
* Ceylon Tea to engage new markets to confront prevailing challenges (20 - Island)
* Finance giant LB Finance PLC opened its newest branch of their mounting network in Valachchenai (20 - DM)
* Hambantota harbour bunkering at standstill ? (20 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Speaker of Sri Lanka parliament Chamal Rajapaksa suspended parliament sittings for 15 minutes a short while ago. A tense situation has risen in the parliament as opposition MPs reportedly protested a remark made by the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and walked into the parliament floor.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Opposition parliamentarians in Sri Lanka who are engaged in a sit-in protest campaign against the summoning of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Bribery Commission claim they would continue to protest until they receive a written assurance from President Maithripala Sirisena that the former President will not be summoned before the Commission.

Apr 21 (Island) Undergraduates of Peradeniya University yesterday warned that they would not allow the university administration to bring politicians including President Maithripala Sirisena for opening of new faculties and buildings within the university premises.

Apr 21 (DN) A faction of the opposition UPFA parliamentarians is indulged in an effort to prevent the 19th Amendment to the Constitution being passed in Parliament. The 19th amendment to the constitution is along felt need and the people were yearning for the implementation of the provisions of the 19th amendment.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President and chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today appointed Chief Minister of North Central province Peshala Jayaratne as party's Organizer for Polonnaruwa electorate.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka's opposition today handed over a letter against summoning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today stressed that the government has no influence on the tasks of the anti-graft commission investigating the charges of bribery or corruption.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has received a fundamental rights petition seeking Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka's reinstatement to parliament. Private Secretary to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Captain Senaka Haripriya De Silva has reportedly filed the fundamental rights petition at the Supreme Court requesting Fonseka's reinstatement as a parliamentarian.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former ruling party, the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has denied media reports of moves to remove certain political parties and individuals from the Alliance.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has decided that the next general election will be held only after the implementation of both, the 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution.

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's parliament on Monday adjourned following an uproar over the summoning of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Bribery Commission. Opposition parliamentarians staged a demonstration in Parliament today (20),

Apr 20 (CP) Colombo- Basil Rajapaksa, former Economic Development Minister of Sri Lanka and the younger brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to arrive in the country Tuesday (April 21).

Apr 20 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa will not appear before an anti-bribery commission investigating allegations that he may have illegally induced a rival to support his campaign during the recent presidential elections.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lanka parliament to begin debate on 19th Amendment to Constitution today (21 - CP)
* Sri Lankan Speaker summons Director General of the Bribery Commission to parliament (20 - CP)
* 19 A: Debate deferred (20 - Island)
* Parliamentary dissolution only after electoral reforms:MS (20 - DM)
* Artistes bat for 19A (20 - DN)
* CPM Urges SL to Hold Credible Enquiry (20 - NIE)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 21 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that Zimbabwe will be the first Test team to tour Pakistan since 2009, but remained unclear about the venues for the limited over series. "Zimbabwe is going to tour Pakistan for a week from mid-May," PCB Chairman, Shaharyar Khan told the media in Lahore. The schedule of the ODI series is yet to be confirmed. It could be either a five or three ODI series and two Twenty20 matches.

More : SPORTS

Apr 21 (Dawn) LONDON- Kumar Sangakkara ensured the crowd at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens on Sunday witnessed a hundred from a world-class batsman as Surrey team-mate Kevin Pietersen missed out on the first day against Glamorgan. Pietersen, biding for an England recall after being axed last year following the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, fell for 19 in his first County Championship match since June 2013 having made 170 against Oxford students last weekend.

Apr 20 (CB) The Indian cricket team will visit Zimbabwe for a short series after an equally brief sojourn to Bangladesh this summer. The two tours will immediately follow the on-going IPL 2015. The Indian team is scheduled to play three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals in Zimbabwe.


WORLD

Apr 21 (BBC) The fuel-free aeroplane Solar Impulse has taken off from Chongqing in western-central China, and is heading for Nanjing in the east. It is the sixth stint in a bid to fly around the world that began in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 9 March. Solar Impulse was only supposed to stay a few hours in Chongqing after arriving from Myanmar (Burma), but poor weather grounded the plane for three weeks.

More : WORLD

Apr 20 (BBC) China's President Xi Jinping has signed agreements with Pakistan promising investment of $46bn (£30.7bn). The focus of spending is on building a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the long-time allies.

Apr 20 (BBC) There have been mixed reactions in the Indian media to main opposition Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi's comeback speech after a leave of absence of nearly two months. Mr Gandhi spoke at a meeting of farmers in the capital, Delhi, on Sunday to protest against the government's controversial land acquisition bill.


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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