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[Last Updated = Fri, May 24, 2019, 12:01 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka President pardons controversial Buddhist monk serving time for contempt of court

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has granted a presidential pardon to the hardline Buddhist monk, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero who is serving a six year jail sentence for contempt of court. The President has directed the letter of release of the leader of the Bodu Bala Sena organization to the Ministry of Justice today (23).
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LEGAL - SITUATION

May 24 (CP) Yangon- A Sri Lankan man, believed to have connections with those involved in the Easter Sunday bombings that killed at least 250 people, was arrested in Myanmar on Thursday afternoon, irrawaddy.com reported.
 

May 24 (Island) G. Madawa Arawinda Siriwardene alias ‘Madu Madawa’ of Pivithuru Hela Urumaya has filed a fundamental rights violation petition in the Supreme Court, requesting the Court to prevent the police from subjecting him to an unreasonable arrest, pertaining to the recent incidents of violence at Minuwangoda.
 

May 24 (Island) The Colombo High Court, trial-at-bar, yesterday, fixed the trial against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Secretary Defence, for June 19, 2019. The trial will be held daily. The Court allowed Rajapaksa to visit Singapore from May 24 to June 2, for medical treatment.
 

May 24 (DM) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, who was released from the Welikada Prison yesterday said, as he had mentioned during the last five years, Sri Lanka is still at risk and therefore, we are committed to work for the country.
 

May 24 (DN) Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC has directed acting Inspector General of Police in writing to take disciplinary action through the National Police Commission against the Western Province Senior DIG, the STF Commandant and National Intelligence Chief for dereliction of duties.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police will conduct a special inquiry into a report headlined in Sinhala daily Divaina today that a Muslim doctor connected to the banned Muslim organization National Thowheed Jma'ath (NTJ) has sterilized 4000 Sinhala Buddhist women.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Based on information provided by the Navy, the Army and Police apprehended two suspects with 142.812 kg of Kerala cannabis at the checkpoint of Medawachchiya on Wednesday.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Wellampitiya Police OIC Chief Inspector G.S. Hewavitharana has been transferred to the Galle Police division effective from Wednesday, May 22. The National Police Commission on the recommendation of acting IGP C.D. Wickremaratne has approved the transfer
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Another NTJ mole in parliament to be arrested soon (23 - Island)
* Doctors bribe taken up at second High Court-at-Bar (23 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

May 24 (CP) Colombo- SriLankan Airlines, the National carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the reputed oneworld alliance, commemorated Vasak at its home base, Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Colombo recently.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- A top Vatican official, who is visiting Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday attacks on Catholic churches last month, held discussions with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today (May 23).
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's political leaders today congratulated the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his victory in the recently concluded General Elections at which the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to win about 300 of the 543 seats in Indian parliament.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Finance said the ration and other allowances paid to all the officers and other ranks in the Tri-Services have been increased by the government. Some of these allowances had not been increased for over the last 20 years.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Runway-ready label Trendy Hub opened its flagship outlet on Galle Road adjoining Aloe Avenue with a private reception on Tuesday, 21 May.
 

May 24 (DM) Weft knit fabric maker, Teejay Lanka PLC, reported some solid top and bottom line performance during the three months ended 31 March, 2019 (4Q19) as the company managed to offset the higher cost through price revisions and process improvements.
 

May 24 (DN) The Government should request international donors to defer Sri Lankan foreign debt repayments for six months and offer this benefit to Sri Lankan banks. As a result local banks could then be in a better position to defer payments due to them from local business community.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore initiated a Tripartite Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) between the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and Singapore Recruitment Agencies namely, Homekeeper International Pte Ltd and Aria Training and Consultancy Pte Ltd for the recruitment of Sri Lankan caregivers under an Advance Placement Scheme (APS).
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka's premier connectivity provider, today announced its partnership with Netflix, the world's leading internet entertainment service.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), in a bold step to reassure foreign investors, recently organized an Invest Sri Lanka Forum targeting portfolio and direct investors in Singapore.
 

May 23 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan shares closed slightly firmer on Thursday and extended gains into a fifth session, but trading volume slumped to a near five-month low amid worries over economic slowdown and lack of investor appetite for risky assets.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* CDB’s profit before taxes surpasses LKR 2.7 bn – ‘now among top 5 largest NBFIs’ (23 - Island)
* Ensuring protection and safety tips for online shoppers (23 - DM)
* Four swap lines to meet debt obligations– CB Governor (23 - DN)

POLITICS - GENERAL

May 24 (CP) Colombo- United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Kavinda Jayawardena has resigned from the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on April 21.
 

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says contrary to the allegations levelled against him, he never exerted pressure on the Commander of the Army to release any arrested person. Using his right to reply in the House, the Minister in Parliament on Wednesday responded to the allegations levelled against him by opposition politicians.
 

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) condemned President Maithripala Sirisena granting a presidential pardon to the extremist Buddhist monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera who was serving a six-year rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court.
 

May 24 (DM) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament today that he would not call himself a Buddhist but a person who follows the Buddhist Philosophy. “There is no religion called Buddhism as it is only a philosophy.
 

May 24 (DN) The country’s basic economic indicators are currently stable even in the midst of terrorist attacks, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament yesterday. Commencing the debate on the Foreign Exchange Act he said economic stability was established in the country after 2015.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The United States has not reached any agreement to establish a permanent US military base in Sri Lanka, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina B. Teplitz said.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe congratulating the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who has secured a majority government on a shocking election victory in Saturday's election.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has informed the parliament today that the debated on the No Confidence Motion against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen will be held on June 18th and 19th.
 

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pakistan has dismissed a Pakistani newspaper report titled "Pakistan's trade with Sri Lanka Comes to a halt", which appeared on May 20 as fake news.
 

May 23 (UCAN) One of the Vatican's top officials has made an unheralded visit to Sri Lanka to show solidarity with Catholics still reeling from the Easter suicide bombings that claimed over 250 lives and injured more than 400.
 

May 23 (Asia Dialogue) A temporary block on several social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Viber, IMO, Snapchat and Twitter has been deployed in Sri Lanka for the third time within the space of a month.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Some school administrators cashing in on security fears (23 - Island)
* House approves motion amidst protests by Opposition (23 - DM)
* Govt. prepared to face any NCM - PM (23 - DN)

SPORTS

May 24 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara hopes Sri Lanka can somehow overcome their "chaotic" build-up to the World Cup thanks to new captain Dimuth Karunaratne's "lack of baggage". The 1996 champions head into this year's edition in England, which starts next week, having lost eight of their last nine one-day internationals --
 

May 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan selectors have long persevered with Thisara Perera’s potential rather than his form and the all-rounder is finally showing signs of maturity in white-ball cricket ahead of his third World Cup appearance. Perera endured a frustrating spell since clubbing a match-winning six to clinch Sri Lanka’s maiden Twenty20 World Cup title in 2014
 

May24 (IC) Five Sri Lanka cricketers were picked up by teams in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) player draft, which was held in London on Wednesday. Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera were the only Sri Lankans picked, despite 34 Sri Lankan players making themselves available for selection for the Caribbean’s premier T20 tournament.
 

May 23 (ICC) Dimuth Karunaratne, who was named Sri Lanka captain for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, was pleased to have got runs under his belt, on his return to one-day international cricket after a gap of four years.Karunaratne, who last played an ODI in the previous edition of the World Cup, in 2015,
 


WORLD

May 24 (NIE) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on his victory in the general elections and expressed desire to work with him for peace, progress and prosperity in the region. Prime Minister Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards what looks set to be a resounding victory for a second term in office.
 

May 24 (BBC) School students in Australia and New Zealand have gone on strike, marking the start of a worldwide day of climate change protests. Organisers expect more than one million young people will participate in at least 110 countries on Friday.
 

May 23 (BBC) A Mississippi state lawmaker has been accused of drunkenly assaulting his wife because she was taking too long to undress for sex. Doug McLeod, 58, was arrested on Saturday night in George County on a minor domestic violence charge.
 

May 23 (BBC) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governing party has taken a decisive lead as votes are counted after the country's marathon general election. The alliance led by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ahead in more than 300 seats and Mr Modi looks on course to keep his commanding majority.
 


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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