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[Last Updated = Sun, Jan 20, 2019, 11:22 pm SL Time]
TOP STORY
President to launch National Drug Eradication School Week tomorrow from North

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Special attention has been paid to school children in the program being carried out by the President to control and suppress the illegal drugs, which has become a social menace devastating the entire country and accordingly, a National Drug Eradication School Week has been declared.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- A special operation launched last night covering all police divisions across the island has made 3,808 arrests for various violations of law, Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Six people have died when a car traveling towards Chilaw on the Colombo-Chilaw road collided with a lorry transporting fish near the Nainamadama Bridge at Wennappuwa at pre-dawn hours of Sunday.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- The police have arrested 21 youths who were engaged in a pilgrimage to the sacred Sri Pada mountain with drugs in their possession. The youths were arrested in an operation conducted by the Hatton Police Anti Vice squad
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has arrested four individuals who were attempting to illegally enter the country from the northern seas. Naval personnel attached to the Northern Naval Command and Coast Guard Fast Attack Craft, during routine patrol, intercepted two suspicious dinghies
 

Jan 20 (Island) The former Acting Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank), Dr. Rukshan Bellana, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Health Ministry’s investigations unit, which says in a report that "no sufficient evidence emerged during the inquiry
 

Jan 20 (ST) A near four-year blood feud between two drug trafficking gangs was believed to be the most likely reason for Sunday’s fatal shooting of two people in Wattala.The incident happened around 3 p.m. on the busy Hekitta Road, near a Hindu temple,
 

Jan 20 (SO) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been advised to take steps to arrest key persons and name a few more high ranking officials involved in the Avant Garde case, Sunday Observer reliably learns.
 

Jan 20 (DC) Rameswaram: In a significant development that may help ease tensions across the Palk straits for Indian fishermen, a team of fishers from Rameswaram permitted to visit a boat yard in northern Sri Lanka where seized boats of mainly Tamil Nadu fishermen are dumped, have managed to salvage nine of their boats.
 

Jan 20 (DC) Bengaluru- In the second case of smugglers concealing gold in their bodies within a week at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Bengaluru customs sleuths on Saturday nabbed four Sri Lankan nationals who had hidden gold paste worth Rs 44 lakh in their rectum.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has rendered assistance to transfer a foreign patient onboard a cruise ship to a hospital in the Sri Lankan capital.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Defense has granted permission to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to detain the four suspects who were arrested Friday with a massive haul of explosives and detonators, for 90 days and interrogate.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Mannar mass grave: No official briefing for foreign diplomats (19 - Island)
* Over 200 Policemen in North want to stay more (19 - DN)
* Tamil Nadu fisher’s body arrives in Tiruchy from Colombo (19 - DC)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says he is not afraid of criticism when taking decisions for the health of the people.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- In a special ceremony held on Sunday at Dayagama West Estate in Nuwara Eliya District, 150 houses built under the Indian Housing Project were handed over to the beneficiaries.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday asserted that the new Constitution would not change the unitary nature of the country.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, said that the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had to face a serious financial crisis due to the political crisis after October 26.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Manila- The Philippine government has agreed to assist Sri Lanka to eradicate illegal drug smuggling and will send a specialist team to the island to inquire on the technical expertise that can be provided to eradicate drug smuggling.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Home-grown video medical consultation platform, oDoc is gearing up for a rapid expansion in the scale of its domestic operations having recently secured over Rs. 40 million in equity-free grant funding from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund.
 

Jan 20 (Island) Abans, Apple’s Authorized Distributor for Sri Lanka, announces the release of the 2019 edition of the innovative Apple MacBook Air.
 

Jan 20 (ST) Sri Lanka’s iconic Mt. Lavinia Hotel besotted with a fairy tale of love, of a Governor and a fair maiden, will become the next grandeur of luxury as it readies for major renovation plans scheduled for 2020.
 

Jan 20 (SO) Many investors across the globe have shown a keen interest in bidding and investing in the Colombo Port City on which land reclamation work was completed last week and is about to commence work on its next stage shortly, a senior official of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development told Business Observer.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank has warned that a malicious phishing attempt impersonating the bank has been made and advised public and financial institutions to be on alert.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has earned over 4 billion U.S. dollars from tourism this year with revenue steadily increased by 11.6 percent compared to 2017, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's national carrier, Sri Lankan airlines clarifying its position with regard to the utilization of one of its Airbus A330-200 aircraft idling at the main Bandaranaike International Airport, yesterday said the aircraft's cabin configuration is unsuitable for its business model.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Amana Takaful’s ‘Samudra Shakthi’ cover ‘empowers’ fishing community (19 - Island)
* Stakeholders fail in providing venture capital to SMEs - report (19 - DN)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- As the fall armyworm infestation has alarmingly spread to many areas in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture has decided to cancel the leave for all officers in the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Services from tomorrow until further notice to battle the caterpillar.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Public Health Inspectors of Sri Lanka are due to launch an island wide strike Monday (21), the President of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka Upul Rohana said. The PHI Union has decided to launch an island wide token strike from 7.30 am tomorrow until 4.30 pm, Upul Rohana said.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Boosting much needed farmer income and even blocking domestic market manipulations by the country's large rice miller oligopoly, Sri Lankan Cooperative System is taking on a new challenge.
 

Jan 20 (Island) Some Podujana Peramuna and UPFA politicians who keep running to temples and utter falsehoods to the Mahanayaka Theras on so-called attempts to divide the country, should stop such despicable acts, if they are good Buddhists who respect the Panchasila of the Buddha, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
 

Jan 20 (ST) The Government this week kicked off a project to build 10,000 brick and mortar and cement sand block type traditional houses for the conflict-affected in the North and East. These houses will have a floor area of 550 square feet, two bed rooms, kitchen, living room and toilet
 

Jan 20 (SO) If the SLPP doesn’t wish to make President Maithripala Sirisena the next Presidential candidate, the SLFP must go it alone and become the crucial balance of power in Parliament for the next Government, former Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.
 

Jan 20 (ECONOMYNEXT) Controversial former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa declaring his intention to run for president this year has created sharp divisions within the opposition led by his elder brother Mahinda.
 

Jan 20 (BBC) London, Paris, Milan, New York... it has been a frantic January for model Jeenu Mahadevan, as he flies around the world for Men's Fashion Week. "There's no such thing as downtime in Fashion Week, it's just chaos for three weeks straight," he tells the BBC.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The Governor of the Northern Province, Maithri Gunaratne today apologized for the inconvenience caused to the journalists, who had gone to report the occasion of the Governor's arrival to discuss the problems prevailing in the local government institutions in Matale district.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a state visit to the Philippines, has visited the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Saturday morning.
 

Jan 19 (NDTV) NEW DELHI- Sri Lanka is seeking "serious dialogues" with India for repatriation of Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu, its envoy on Friday said while asserting that his country wants them to be resettled back home with provision of housing and livelihood.
 

Jan 19 (Hindu) It's a poll year in Sri Lanka - except that few know whether it is the provincial, presidential or general election that will be held first. Provincial elections are overdue, with the terms of six out of nine Provincial Councils in the island having expired in 2018, but the possibility of a presidential election has elicited more interest in the country.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Prelates tell govt. country needs polls, not new Constitution (19 - Island)
* SL to sign defence-related pact with US: Dayasiri (19 - DM)
* Hold PC elections under old system - SLFP Gen.Sec. (19 - DN)

SPORTS

Jan 20 (ICC) Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep has been ruled out of the two-match Test series against Australia after sustaining a Grade 1 strain in his left hamstring. Pradeep bowled only two overs in Sri Lanka's three-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI before hobbling off the field in the first innings.
 

Jan 20 (ESPNCI) The phrase "best of" is often associated with musical albums but it's hard not to come to the conclusion that Indian stars MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli belong in that category in the ODI game. The calm with which Dhoni brought to a conclusion both India's victories, at Adelaide Oval and the MCG,
 

Jan 19 (ESPNCI) The Sri Lankan batsmen ended the three-day practice match in Hobart without a half-century between them in either innings, as they stumbled against the left-arm spin of Jon Holland on day three. The visitors had in fact been modest the entire day,
 

Jan 19 (ESPNCI) Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka with the early stages of a stress fracture in his back. The uncapped Jhye Richardson, who impressed in the one-day series against India, has been named as his replacement. A back injury also kept Hazlewood out of the Test series against Pakistan in the UAE last year,
 


WORLD

Jan 20 (NIE) Aiming at bringing young Indian and Nepali entrepreneurs together and promoting them, a day-long conclave was held here on Saturday. Organised by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in collaboration with Nepal-based business consulting agency Clock b Business Innovations, the conclave brought together 400 Indian and Nepalese start-ups
 

Jan 20 (BBC) US President Donald Trump has set out new plans on his Mexican wall project to try to end a partial government shutdown lasting more than four weeks. One of his "compromises" was on so-called Dreamers - who entered the US illegally when young. He still wants $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to fund the wall.
 

Jan 20 (BBC) Two Buddhist monks have been fatally shot and two others wounded inside a temple in southern Thailand. Witnesses described seeing gunmen dressed in black arrive on motorbikes before storming the Rattanaupap temple, shooting the monks at close range.
 

Jan 19 (BBC) US President Donald Trump is to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a second summit by the end of February, the White House says. The announcement came after Mr Trump met top North Korean negotiator Kim Yong-chol at the White House.
 


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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