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[Last Updated = Wed, Dec 8, 2021, 11:48 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka President committed to work with BIMSTEC members to ensure regional cooperation efforts

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed his commitment to work with the Member States of the BIMSTEC when the Secretary-General of BIMSTEC, Tenzin Lekphell called on the President today (08) at the Presidential Secretariat.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- A writ petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal seeking an order directing the IGP to conduct an investigation under criminal law into the recent explosions and fires associated with domestic gas cylinders.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 757 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Wednesday. According to the Epidemiology Unit report at 8:30 pm Wednesday, a total of 569,928 COVID-19 cases have been reported
 

Dec 08 (AP) COLOMBO- The body of a Sri Lankan factory manager who was tortured and set on fire by a mob in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy was buried in his native village with state honors on Wednesday.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage informed the Court of Appeal today that the Chinese ship carrying organic fertilizer which is said to contain harmful bacteria has informed the Sri Lankan government that the ship is leaving the Sri Lankan territorial waters.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Wednesday reported 28 deaths due to COVID-19 after the figures were confirmed by the Director General of Health Services on Tuesday, December 07. Among the deaths reported today, 15 are of males and 13 of females.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- During a special search operation conducted at in Thumpalai beach area, Point Pedro on early Monday morning Sri Lanka Navy has seized over 23 kg of Kerala cannabis, abandoned by smugglers.
 

Dec 08 (AFP) Two ground staff at an international cricket stadium in Sri Lanka were killed in an elephant attack, officials said on Wednesday.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Punjab Police on Monday arrested the ‘most-wanted’ suspect involved in the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara, Pakistani media reported.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Public Health Inspectors’ (PHIs) Union of Sri Lanka says it will take legal action against the first Sri Lankan infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 for violating Quarantine Law. PHI Union Chairman Upul Rohana yesterday said legal action will be taken against the woman, who was the first case of Omicron variant in Sri Lanka and her husband as soon as their quarantine period is over.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne, who undertook an official visit to Egypt leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the EDEX 2021, had a fruitful discussion with Gen. Mohamed Zaki, Minister of Defense of Egypt on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, the Ministry of Defense said.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- During a special operation conducted in seas off Madagal, Jaffna in Monday morning Sri Lanka Navy has seized about 275kg (with wet weight) of Kerala cannabis and arrested 02 suspects in connection to the incident, the Navy Media Unit said.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The remains of Diyawadanage Don Priyantha Kumar killed by a mob in Sialkot Pakistan over alleged blasphemy was brought back to Sri Lanka on Monday. The remains of the factory manager who was lynched by a mob was transferred from Lahore to Colombo by SriLankan Airlines this afternoon.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar today ordered to release of several accused including former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran and Perpetual Treasury Director Arjun Aloysius from 11 charges out of 22 in connection with the Central Bank Bond Scam issue in 2016.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Police Media Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) arrested four suspects with four swords in connection with the murder of Mohammed Kamil Mohammed Fawas alias ‘Keselwatte Fawas’. A group who had arrived in a car had chased the 32-year old man and hacked him to death with sharp weapons on Saturday night.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Customs Officers at the Arrivals Terminal of the Bandaranaike International Airport have seized a stock of crystal methamphetamine also known as ‘ice’ while inspecting a Sri Lankan passenger arrived on board SriLankan Airlines flight UL 126 from Chennai, India today.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Coronavirus update: 748 new COVID-19 cases identified Tuesday, total rises to 569,171 (7 - CP)
* Sri Lanka reports 21 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, toll rises to 14,505 (7 - CP)
* SJB lodges complaint with CPU & IPU over alleged attempted assault of MP Manusha Nanayakkara (7 - DM)
* Coronavirus update: 741 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 568,423 (6 - CP)
* Sri Lanka reports 23 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, toll rises to 14,484 (6 - CP)
* Sialkot incident: Sri Lankan HC wants to have access to probe report (6 - BR)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- A recent national survey conducted by LIRNEasia, a regional policy think tank, showed that 44% of Sri Lanka’s population aged 15 and above were internet users in 2021.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday expressed condolences over the tragic death of India’s Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in a helicopter crash.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Shandong-based fertilizer producer Seawin Biotech has launched an international arbitration procedure to settle a growing dispute over fertilizer export contract to Sri Lanka, Global Times reported according to the sources.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo:-The Government of the Republic of Korea has provided a grant aid of USD 4 million to Sri Lanka to improve the facilities of the Government Analyst’s Department and for its capacity development to strengthen the forensic drug analysis capabilities.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Ambassador Appointed of Sri Lanka to the United States of America Mahinda Samarasinghe assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. on 2nd December 2021, the Embassy said.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (UOK) jointly announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their collaborative efforts.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- House of Fashions, Fashion Bug & Cool Planet join ComBank’s effort to support CBSL initiative to popularise Scan & Pay transactions country-wide.
 

Dec 08 (Global Times) China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) said on its WeChat public account on Tuesday that it has won a bid to build the east terminal at Colombo Port, which aims to boost throughput and the port’s role as a transshipment hub in South Asia.
 

Dec 08 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka ordered a countrywide recall of cooking gas cylinders on Wednesday after hundreds of unexplained explosions and fires in recent weeks which have injured several people, including about 60 such explosions last Thursday.
 

Dec 08 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Wednesday, after gaining for two straight sessions, weighed down by losses in financial and consumer stocks. The CSE All-Share index (.CSE) fell 0.61% to close at 11,021.07.
 

Dec 08 (DM) Sri Lanka’s ICT sector’s aim towards reaching the US$ 3 billion mark by 2024 requires fresh focus in the country creating its own Intellectual Property (IP), an endeavor that could be led by the budding startup ecosystem, the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) said.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Accounting for 65% of all national exports and 85% of all national industrial exports, the Board of Investment Monday announced that total export earnings recorded as at date for the year, from enterprises under its purview, have surpassed export revenues with the corresponding year-to-date value achieved in 2019.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Bank of Ceylon, the premier financial services organization in Sri Lanka, was awarded the coveted title of “Bank of the Year 2021 – Sri Lanka” by The Banker Magazine U.K. at an event held in London recently. The prestigious award is recognition of the Bank’s contribution to uplifting the lives of all Sri Lankans, while fulfilling its duty as the premier state bank.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- For the seventh consecutive year, Sri Lanka’s diversified conglomerate Sunshine Holdings will support the country’s premier economic forum, the Economic Summit 2021.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Pioneering the nation’s evolution in cashless and contactless payments, Sri Lanka’s most innovative private sector bank HNB PLC, partnered with Singer Sri Lanka to launch the Dynamic QR facility for the latter’s PoS (Point of Sales) terminals across the island.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan shares extend gains to second day as industrials rise (7 - Reuters)
* SLINTEC to drive export revenue for Sri Lanka through graphene-based products (7 - DM)
* Sri Lanka doesn’t need to go on bended knees to outside agency : Cabraal (7 - DN)
* Sri Lankan shares rebound after Friday’s selloff (6 - Reuters)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today (Dec. 08) announced the appointment of a committee to look into the recent unruly incidents in Parliament and submit a report with recommendations.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Transport Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated that plans have already been made to provide an efficient and comfortable public transport service to the commuters by the year 2022 and that steps will be taken to digitalize the transport services using the latest technology.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Gazette Notification for ordering gems up to USD 3000, online received the approval of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Industries Monday at the Committee meeting held in Parliament.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka announced that an agreement was signed between the Justice Ministry, the Department of Prisons and ICTA to digitalize facilities for prison inmates, at a ceremony held recently.
 

Dec 08 (PTI) Sri Lanka’s Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Retd) Sarath Weerasekara on Tuesday demanded an apology from Pakistan’s Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for his insensitive remarks on the lynching of a Sri Lankan national by a frenzied mob in Punjab province.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the government is committed to making Sri Lanka a sustainable global maritime hub in the region. The Prime Minister made this observation while delivering the keynote address virtually at the World Oceans Summit Asia-Pacific Tuesday.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella says that the government has taken all possible measures to combat the global Covid disaster in Sri Lanka.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- China and Sri Lanka Tuesday signed an aid agreement of Rs. 7.68 billion for the comprehensive refurbishment of Sri Lanka Superior Courts Complex.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Ministerial Consultative Committee on Defense met under the chairmanship of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Parliament Complex this afternoon (07).
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a grant of Rs. 2.5 million to the family members of Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana who was brutally murdered in Sialkot, Pakistan.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena says that steps will be taken to provide food items including rice to the people through the Sathosa at concessionary prices during the festive season. Addressing a media briefing held yesterday (06) the Minister said that people in places where there is no Sathosa outlet can set up a system to deliver goods to their homes
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Department of Examinations has informed that the candidates who are infected with COVID-19 or quarantined will be given a separate date to sit for the practical examinations in the aesthetic subjects of the GCE Ordinary Level-2020 examination and therefore requested not to appear for the relevant examinations on the scheduled dates.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- North Western Province Governor Raja Collure, a veteran senior politician of the country, passed away this morning (07) while receiving treatment for Covid infection at the Kotelawala Defense University Hospital. Raja Collure was 83 years old at the time of his death.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday instructed the relevant officials to identify the problems faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in carrying on their business activities and provide them with immediate solutions.
 

Dec 0 (CP) Colombo- The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has expressed concern over the delay in appointing members to the Right to Information (RTI) Commission.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Senior Electrical Engineers’ Association has called on the government to conduct an impartial inquiry into the recent power outages in Sri Lanka, which are suspected to be sabotage.
 

Dec 06 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof. G. L Peiris and Minister of External Affairs of India Dr. S. Jaishankar discussed bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India on the sidelines of the 5th Indian Ocean Conference in Abu Dhabi.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* BOI unions continue protest to oust Chairman (7 - DM)
* Gas companies release LP gas to market from Monday (6 - CP)
* Speaker to chair a special party leaders’ meeting today as Opposition MPs continue to boycott parliament (6 - CP)

SPORTS

Dec 08 (SLC) Jaffna Kings hit the winning trail by a comprehensive 8-wicket hammering of Dambulla Giants on the third day of the Lanka Premier League at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. It was a king size finish by Thisara Perera’s team as they made it in a canter reaching 117 for 2 off only 12.3 overs with Tom Kohler Cadmore finishing on an unbeaten 45 off 30 balls
 

Dec 08 (SLC) Galle Gladiators atoned for yesterday’s loss by pulling off a last gasp 4-wicket win over Kandy Warriors in the fourth fixture of the Lanka Premier League Tournament at the R. Premadasa Stadium today. Chasing 144 to win, the Gladiators did it with four balls to spare when Lahiru Madushanka smashed the first two deliveries of the last over for a six and a four.
 

Dec 08 (ESPNCI) A game that barely saw four full sessions of play in the first four days now looks on the brink of producing a result. A sensational bowling performance by offspinner Sajid Khan last night was topped up by three early wickets for Pakistan - eight in the innings for Sajid - to bowl Bangladesh out for 87. T
 

Dec 06 (ESPNCI) West Indies will play three ODIs and a T20I against Ireland in Jamaica from January 8 to 16, the CWI has announced, with the possibility that the standalone T20I will be used as a farewell match for Chris Gayle. Gayle confirmed after West Indies exit in the T20 World Cup that he had played his last game in a major tournament
 


WORLD

Dec 08 (BBC) India’s top military commander has been killed in a helicopter crash in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the country’s Air Force says. Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others died after the Mi-17V5 helicopter came down in hills near Coonoor city on Wednesday morning.
 

Dec 08 (CNA) A rhino horn trader has been sentenced to 14 years in jail, the longest prison term a vietnamese court has handed down for the crime, a local conservation group said on Wednesday (Dec 8). Vietnam is both a consumption hub and popular transit point for the multibillion-dollar trade in animal parts.
 

Dec 08 (VOA) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed their ties at a New Delhi summit that aimed to reboot a relationship that has stagnated in recent years as India moves closer to the United States and Russia to China.
 

Dec 08 (VOA) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was exposed to the coronavirus Tuesday by a UN official who already had Covid-19 and is isolating for the next few days, diplomatic sources said. Guterres, 72, has canceled his upcoming in-person engagements, sources told AFP.
 


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 Lankas 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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