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[Last Updated = Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 01:15 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President calls on SAARC nations to join forces against external threats

Nov 26 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today called on all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to join forces against external threats. "While SAARC practice has been to abstain from involvement in bilateral issues of a political nature, we must resist external manipulations," President Rajapaksa said. "It would be morally in keeping with the SAARC spirit to join forces against external threats on member states." He made these remarks while addressing the inaugural session of the 18th SAARC Summit held at the Rashtriya Sabha Griha (City Hall) on Wednesday in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army has taken measures to return another stock of gold jewellery the defunct terrorist group LTTE possessed to the rightful owners in the North.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankans in North urged to claim their gold recovered from LTTE at Civil Coordinating Offices

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will not allow anyone to celebrate the birth anniversary of the slain leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the 'Mahavir Day' (Heroes' Day) that falls on his birthday, Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said today.

Nov 26 (CP) Chennai- The pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu political leader, the general secretary of MDMK, V. Goplasamy aka Vaiko has asked the people to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of Sri Lanka's slain Tamil Tiger terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Nov 26 (Island) The UNP yesterday expressed its displeasure at the delay on the part of the police to arrest anyone in connection with the shooting incident in Maggona on Friday though it had been recorded in a CCTV camera and photographed by a foreigner.

Nov 26 (DM) A 24-year-old police constable attached to the Kotapola STF Camp in Deniyaya was killed last night when the weapon of a fellow constable had misfired, the Police said. The tragedy occurred when they were on duty at a STF security post near the camp.

Nov 26 (DN) Professional officers who joined the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) under the second phase of the Api Army (We are Army) program, passed out after successfully completing the basic military training at the Volunteer Force Training School, Diyatalawa on November 21.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today ordered to further remand the son of the controversial government Minister Mervyn Silva until November 28. The Colombo Magistrate's Court today further remanded Malaka Silva who was in custody on charges of assaulting a foreign couple at a nightclub on Duplication Road in Colombo.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan Embassy in Iraq has sought information on expatriate Sri Lankans in various parts of Iraq due to the prevailing security situation in that country. An Embassy statement said that reportedly there are around 2000-3000 Sri Lankan expatriates living in various parts of Iraq, mainly in Kurdistan Region in the Northern part of Iraq.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Missing principal returns, but cannot recall the previous four days (25 - Island)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- General Secretary of Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) Tissa Attanayake strongly denied the rumors that he was considering to crossover to the government. Speaking to the party members and organizers gathered at the UNP headquarters in Sirikotha to welcome the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, Attanayake dismissed the media reports that said he was offered Rs. 500 million to join the Government.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena, along with other extreme groups is promoting extremist views and spreading fear among minority communities, a UN report presented Tuesday in Geneva at a forum on minority issues said.

Nov 26 (CP) Kathmandu- The 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) got off to a start in Nepal's capital of Kathmandu on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. According to the SAARC Charter, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen handed over the SAARC Chairmanship to Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala who formally inaugurated the conclave by lighting a traditional oil lamp.


FINANCE

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has approved importing fish and fish products from Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation said in a release.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will hold its annual Bank Directors' Symposium on Wednesday, November 26th. This is the seventh consecutive symposium and this year's theme will be " Vision 2020: Aligning the Banking Sector to the Real Economy ".

Nov 26 (BR) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan stocks fell to a five-week closing low on Wednesday on concern over political stability ahead of the Jan. 8 presidential polls as a legislator from President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling party defected to join the main opposition United National Party.

Nov 26 (Island) With the cooperation of Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) held a two-day Apparel Fair at the Taj Samudra Hotel on November 24 and 25, where Taiwan apparel exhibitor groups met with Sri Lanka’s apparel industry leaders, including Brandix Lanka Ltd., MAS Holdings and Hirdaramani Group to explore bilateral business opportunities.

Nov 26 (DM) Fast food chain McDonald’s opened their newest restaurant in Kiribathgoda recently. It was formally declared open by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa on November 20th November 2014.

Nov 26 (DN) Union Assurance PLC (UA), a leading player in the Sri Lankan insurance sector maintained a steady growth momentum in gross written premium and profits as at the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Nov 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s banking sector needs new products and services to be competitive in the sector, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. “Many foreign banks have come to us and talked to us about various new products and services,” Cabraal told the bank directors’ symposium 2014 held Colombo on Wednesday.

Nov 25 (CP) Tokyo- Japan Airlines (JAL) and the national carrier of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines (UL), both members of oneworld® alliance, have agreed to implement a codeshare relationship with each other for the first time, the JAL announced in a press release today.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan stocks recover after budget vote, but investors cautious (25 - Reuters)
* JKCS delivers Evinta booking engine to Kenya Airways (25 - DN)
* DFCC Vardhana Bank PLC Introduces New Remittance service - Lanka Money Transfe (25 - DM)
* India and SL urged to work towards releasing ‘full potential of economic ties’ (25 - Island)
* Sri Lanka business chamber presents seminar on 'Doing Business with China' tomorrow (25 - CP)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Nov 26 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday (Nov 26) held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of issues important to both nations regionally and individually.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to reduce the price of imported rice from Thursday (27). Accordingly the price of Imported Samba will be Rs. 60, Nadu Rs. 55, and white rice Rs. 50 per kilogram

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian from Wanni district Hunais Farook has joined the opposition United National Party (UNP). The UPFA MP crossed over to the opposition at the UNP meeting held today at SiriKotha to welcome the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the party headquarters, party sources said.

Nov 26 (DW) The announcement by Maithripala Sirisena on November 21 came as a blow to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had declared the previous day that he would seek an unprecedented third term as president and called a snap election. The vote is scheduled to take place in early January.

Nov 26 (EW) A sea change is occurring in Sri Lanka’s strategic orientation. Recent developments suggest that Sri Lanka is becoming China’s new best friend and security partner in the eastern Indian Ocean. This would represent a major change in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and could have significant consequences for regional security.

Nov 26 (HT) The timing could not have been more off the mark. When the nation was observing the sixth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, some political leaders in Tamil Nadu were celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Nov 26 (Island) Two organisations of Buddhist monks, affiliated to the UNP, yesterday pledged their support for Maithripala Sirisena as the common presidential candidate, though both seemed confused about his post-presidential election role.

Nov 26 (DM) Southern Provincial Council is a white elephant and three ministers, including the Chief Minister have used to share its resources; said Provincial Councillor Geetha Kumarasinghe at a news briefing held after the Provincial Council meeting yesterday.

Nov 26 (DN) When all international challenges, the LTTE threat and the threat of separatism ends, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will himself declare that he is the last Executive President of Sri Lanka, SLFP Treasurer and Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma told the Daily News yesterday.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense has taken steps to acquire the Lanka Cement PLC property at Kankasanthurai, the company informed the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner said Tuesday that Sri Lanka will invite foreign monitors to observe the upcoming presidential election but would not invite UN election monitors. He made this remark during a press conference held in Colombo today to announce the dates of postal voting for the presidential election.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- The common opposition candidate for presidency Maithripala Sirisena will meet the Sri Lanka Opposition Leader and the Leader of United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe tomorrow to discuss the upcoming presidential elections at length.

Nov 25 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Nepal Tuesday ahead of the 18th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit that is taking place in Kathmandu Nov. 25-27.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lanka government minister today asked the people to tie the supporters of the common opposition Presidential candidate to a tree and assault them. The statement made by the Deputy Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera encouraging election violence was reported in local media.

Nov 25 (CP) London- The European Union court's decision to delist Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the upcoming presidential election were among the issues discussed at Britain's upper parliament, House of Lords on Monday.

Nov 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that the postal voting for the forthcoming Presidential election will be held on 23 and 24 December. The Election Commissioner announced this during a press conference held in Colombo, today.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lankan President arrives in Nepal for SAARC Summit (25 - CP)
* UNP’s bankruptcy exposed once again (25 - DN)
* Membership drive in Malwana (25 - DM)
* Speaker sees brighter side as UNP tables much sought Supreme Court opinion (25 - Island)
* Sri Lankan President leaves for Nepal to attend 18th SAARC summit (25 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Nov 26 (ESPNCI) Moeen Ali produced an abundant one-day innings to raise horizons and rouse spirits, but it will take more than a one-man masterclass, however brilliant, to turn England into fancied World Cup contenders. Moeen clocked the third fastest ODI hundred in England's history, but ultimately it was Sri Lanka whose 25-run victory gave them first strike in the seven-match series.

More : SPORTS

Sri Lanka 317/6 (50.0 ov) England 86/1 (11.1 ov)

Nov 26 (ESPNCI) After their horrific one-day tour of India - reluctantly undertaken at India's request after the failure of the Caribbean malcontents to fulfil their obligation to complete the trip - Sri Lanka needed something restorative on their return to home shores. They found it in the shape of a disorientated England bowling attack, perhaps surprised to find themselves called into service after the monsoon conveniently relented for the start of the seven-match one-day series.

Nov 26 (9NEWS) The cricket community has rallied together in the wake of the devastating injury to Phillip Hughes, who remains in a critical condition in a Sydney hospital. Hughes is still in an induced coma at Darlinghurst’s St Vincent’s Hospital, with family and friends preparing for another overnight vigil at the batsman’s side.

Nov 25 (NDTV) Colombo- England will look to settle scores against Sri Lanka after their bad-tempered clash earlier this year when the two sides meet in a pre-World Cup one-day series from Wednesday. The seven-match tour has been spiced up by comments from England captain Alastair Cook that his team will try to exact revenge for the Test and one-day defeats at home.


WORLD

Nov 26 (AP) South Asian leaders, including from rivals India and Pakistan, discussed trade and energy cooperation and regional peace on Wednesday, but did not reach a consensus on expected transportation and energy agreements. Hopes for a meeting between the leaders of India and Pakistan also appeared to fade. Many had expected that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, might meet on the sidelines of the two-day summit to defuse some of the tension between their nuclear-armed nations.

More : WORLD

Nov 26 (IANS) The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations must cast their differences aside to ensure the region's progress, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said here Wednesday.

Nov 26 (AFP) Gunmen have opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan's restive southwest, killing four of them and forcing authorities to halt an immunisation drive, officials say. The incident happened on Wednesday on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.

Nov 26 (Xinhua) KATHMANDU- The 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit kicked off in Kathmandu Wednesday with focus on regional security, trade and integration issues. SAARC faces significant challenges as it is one of the world's least integrated regions despite many promises made. "Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity" is the summit's theme.


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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