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[Last Updated = Wed, Dec 7, 2016, 02:03 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan government not to accept money from tobacco companies

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says his government is not willing to accept even a cent given by the tobacco companies as the government strives to build a healthy nation. The President made these remarks by joining the budget proposal for financial year 2017 under the financial head of the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry in Parliament Monday.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The Attorney General of Sri Lanka, today withdrew the indictments filed against former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Director General of the Divi Neguma Department Kithsiri Ranawaka for misappropriation of state funds.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it was negotiating the release of nine sailors who are currently detained aboard a vessel anchored in Yemen, a Xinhua report said.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka seeks Yemeni government help to secure release of captured sailors

Dec 06 (DM) At least three members of the same family including a four-year-old child were shot dead following a shooting incident in Balapitiya this evening, police said. The victims were identified as 31-year-old man, his 28 year-old wife and five year-old child.

Dec 06 (Island) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that Joint Opposition statements on last Saturday’s incident near Parliament were not acceptable. Former local government members who raped 100s of girls and killed the husbands of wives they raped were no ordinary demonstrations; they were a security threat.

Dec 06 (DN) Motor traffic accidents dropped by 10 percent during the last two weeks after the government announced heavy traffic fines on motorists, Police said. Accidents dropped by about 10 percent during the last two weeks. The number of accidents reported daily is around 100-125 whereas it has now decreased to 90 to 100 incidents, Traffic Police Division ASP W. D. A. Dhananjaya said.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi has asserted that there is no truth to the rumors spread by the extremists that security in North and East are in danger.

Dec 05 (US Marines) Marines and Sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, embarked aboard the USS Somerset (LPD 25), participated in a Theater Security Cooperation exchange, training side-by-side with the recently inaugurated Sri Lankan Marine Corps Nov. 22-25 at Sri Lanka Naval Base, Trincomalee.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today rejected granting bail to the former LTTE leader turned deputy minister of the former Sri Lankan government Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) of the Police last week.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court on Monday granted bail to the former General Secretary of the United National Party Tissa Attanayake, who was charged with three counts over preparation of a forged document.

Dec 05 (Island) KANDY– Kandy police in a pre- dawn operation on Saturday (03) arrested six men transporting eight cattle in an air-conditioned luxury van on Hanguranketha-Kandy road. Among the eight cattle were a pregnant cow and several calves. At the time of the raid around 3.00 a.m. some men were found seated on the cattle whose feet were bound and made to lie on their side, police said.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* FCID probes into 4,012 mn Nilwala River Diversion Project (5 - DM)
* Saboteur hurls stones at bus critically injuring Corporal (5 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Commander of Sri Lanka Navy advises that Sri Lanka should strengthen maritime security through a proactive strategy to counter emerging maritime threats. Addressing a large gathering of scholars, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne highlighted that dependency on the maritime domain for a wider range of needs had become increasingly high due to various reasons and maritime domain has also become a platform for projection of power.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he is saddened by the news of the demise of the honorable Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu Ms. J. Jayalalithaa. He said the Chief Minister was "totally dedicated to the welfare of the people she represented" and was dearly loved by her people.

Dec 06 (CP) Washington, DC- In an important symbol of enduring friendship with Sri Lanka, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap and the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) Principal Deputy Director William Moser, alongside local officials, broke ground on Monday on the new U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the State Department said in a release.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) today announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art technology facility in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe and LSEG Chairman, Donald Brydon opened the new technology hub headquartered in the TRACE Expert City precinct of Colombo.

By Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera The UN established an essential Convention (2007 March) on the Rights of People with dis-Abilities (CRPD) as a set of legally binding instruments and enforceable obligations on all countries. It came into force on 3 May 2008. Sri Lanka ratified the CRPD last February.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals increased by 16.0 percent in November this year compared to the same period last year exceeding 1.8 million tourists arrivals so far this year.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- As the key institution in Sri Lanka to promote Sri Lanka worldwide, Sri Lanka Tourism is carrying various tourism promotional activities to promote Sri Lanka as a high - end tourist destination.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The state owned entity Lanka Sugar, which previously reported heavy losses, has earned Rs. one billion in profits for the first time, according to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

Dec 06 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker on Tuesday, ending a four-session run of gains, to slip from a near three-week high as investors booked profits, brokers said.

Dec 06 (TR) The Sri Lankan Finance Ministry has revised down its 2016 cigarette tax revenue estimate by almost 12 percent, from Rs99.6 billion (US$ 656.6 million) to Rs88.0 billion (US$ 580.1 million), according to a story in the Sunday Times relayed by the TMA.

Dec 06 (Island) Led by its customer-centric philosophy to partner customers through their success or failure, ATL ( Amãna Takaful PLC ) launched a new insurance scheme for ‘Tuk Tuk Full’ drivers that includes a host of eventualities, to ensure that at any point in time, the ‘Tuk Tuk Full’ Driver is shielded from loss.

Dec 06 (DN) Ceylinco Life has reported total income of Rs 17.165 billion for the nine months ending 30th September 2016, reflecting growth of 15.3 per cent over the corresponding period of last year. Premium income for the nine months improved by 11 per cent to Rs 11 billion.

Dec 05 (CP) Manama- Gulf Air has announced flight timetable for its five weekly flights to/from Bandaranaike International Airport which will be launched from 19 January 2017.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Tiles and Sanitary Ware Importers Association (TSIA) have welcomed the support of Budget 2017 for maintaining the duty and cess reduction for the import of tiles and sanitary ware.

Dec 05 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for a third straight session on Monday to close at a near three-week high as investors sought bargains in banking shares after the benchmark index fell to a near eight-month low last week.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lanka exports rise, deficit narrows in September as vehicle imports fall (5 - DM)
* Cinnamon Life residential tower pre-sales encouraging - JKH report (5 - DN)
* Sri Lanka tourism daily rate performance ahead of peers: STR (5 - LBO)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government will hold the National Anti-corruption Summit this week in Colombo under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressing his condolences over the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jeyaram Jayalalithaa said the late stateswoman did much to establish and maintain a strong sense of fellowship between India and Sri Lanka.

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The funds allocated for Provincial Councils by the Budget 2017 have not been curtailed in any form, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has stressed. Minister Karunanayake has pointed out that there is no any truth whatsoever in the charges made by certain Provincial Council Chief Ministers

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's per capita fish consumption has risen significantly over the past four years, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. A study conducted by the Ministry have revealed that per capita fish consumption in Sri Lanka has increased up to 46.7g in 2016.

Dec 06 (AP) COLOMBO- A year after losing Sri Lanka's presidency in a stunning electoral upset, strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa is making unusual political moves to regain power in the South Asian island nation - through a newly launched political party in which he has no actual stake.

Dec 06 (DM) The Chief Opposition Whip and Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday asked Thilanga Sumathipala, the Deputy Speaker who also happens to be the President Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) not to use his parliamentary post to defend employees of SLC.

Dec 06 (Island) Chairman of Anti-Corruption Front Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera yesterday demanded that President Maithripala Sirisena launch a full investigation into a recent incident, where the IGP received a call allegedly from the Law and Order Minister, urging him not to arrest the former working director of Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd who was also the Basnayake Nilame of Devinuwara Vishnu Devalaya.

Dec 06 (DN) The Sports Act will be amended to resolve many outstanding issues, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said in Parliament today. He made this observation while joining in on the Committee Stage Debate on the Budget proposal for 2017, under the financial heads of Sports Ministry.

Dec 06 (Forbes) A recent delegation to China led by Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa warned that there may be public unrest if China carries out a new plan to create a 15,000 acre special economic zone in Sri Lanka’s remote Hambantota district.

Dec 06 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- A Chinese medical team has arrived in Sri Lanka to donate 500 cataract surgeries to local patients, a statement released by Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, said on Monday.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the modernized Thriposha factory situated in Kandana, Monday (05). The government has allocated 500 million rupees from Budget 2016 for the renovation works of the Thriposha factory in Kandana

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- Researchers have discovered a strong association between El Niño-Southern Oscillation conditions in the Pacific to observed weather and dengue epidemics in Sri Lanka, reports Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) of European Commission.

Dec 05 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Nepal W Swarnalatha Perera has invited the Himalayan nation's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to visit Sri Lanka to mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries in 2017.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena would visit Russia next year and would hold discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 23, Russia's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alexander Karchava has said.

Dec 05 (CP) Nuwara Eliya- A Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) delegation on a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka visited a tea plantation today in this town nestled in the Central Highlands. The delegation, led by the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also UniMAP Chancellor, visited the Blue Field Tea Gardens PVT

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has planned to establish a Joint Operation Center to prevent the drug trafficking in Sri Lanka, said the Minister of Law, Order, and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake.

Dec 05 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has assured that religious freedom in the island nation has been established at its utmost and strengthened.

Dec 05 (NIE) COLOMBO- Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned that both India and Sri Lanka will break up if the powers now enjoyed by the Governors of the States or Provinces are taken away and handed over to the Provincial Chief Minister and the Provincial Council.

Dec 05 (HM) Sri Lanka’s president has praised the work of the Catholic Church in helping the poor and underprivileged. President Maithripala Sirisena also thanked Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for his advice in difficult situations.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Gammanpila urges Govt. to ban TNA (5 - DM)
* Orient Residencies in Nugegoda to ensure ‘strict adherence’ to best construction practices (5 - Island)
* Dy Speaker tells JO MPs to act responsibly (5 - Island)
* SLMC gets ultimatum (5 - DM)
* Defeated JO politicians behind bus strike: JHU (5 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Dec 06 (ESPNCI) Trevor Bayliss has suggested he will take a more prominent role in the England dressing room over the final two Tests of the series against India. Bayliss, England's head coach, has generally been happy to leave team talks to the captain, Alastair Cook. But he is concerned by what he sees as England's passive cricket in the last couple of Tests and is keen to encourage the batsmen...

More : SPORTS

Dec 05 (HT) Michael Hussey is on the verge of becoming the stand-in coach for Australia during the Twenty20 international series against Sri Lanka in February 2017. Cricket Australia confirmed on Monday that they are looking for a caretaker coach for the series against Sri Lanka and Hussey seems to be the front-runner at the moment.

Dec 05 (DS) Sri Lanka got the better of Mauritius to win three goals to nil in the all important finals of the International Veterans Over-40 Football Championship in Dubai last evening. The team was led by Priyantha Liyanage from Saunders Sports Club. The Lankans were on a mission to go all the way after finishing runner-up on four previous occasions.

Dec 05 (ESPNCI) Zealand must have left the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday night thinking, "if only". If only they had asked for a review when Steven Smith was given not-out by umpire Mick Martell after being trapped lbw on 14, the first ODI might have unfolded quite differently. Trent Boult's fine delivery had swung in and trapped Smith in front, but New Zealand declined to refer Martell's decision upstairs. "There was plenty of chat afterwards about that," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.


WORLD

Dec 06 (BBC) The White House says it has sought to reassure China after President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The call last week sparked alarm as the US does not have formal relations with Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province. China lodged a diplomatic complaint in response.

More : WORLD

Dec 06 (BBC) One of India's most influential and colourful politicians, J Jayalalitha, has died at 68. The chief minister of Tamil Nadu state suffered a heart attack on Sunday night and died at 23:30 local time (18:00 GMT) on Monday, Chennai's Apollo Hospital said. Thousands of her supporters had gathered to pray for her recovery.

Extra police have been deployed in the southern state amid fears of unrest among her supporters.

Dec 05 (ANI) Hong Kong- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has accused China of keeping its currency artificially low and militarising the South China Sea to the level of it being a tense territorial dispute "Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the US doesn't tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea?

Dec 05 (BBC) John Key has announced that he will resign as prime minister of New Zealand, after eight years in the job. Called it "the hardest decision I've ever made," an emotional Mr Key said "I don't know what I'll do next". Deputy PM Bill English is likely to take over until the National Party holds a caucus to choose a new PM.


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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