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[Last Updated = Thu, Aug 17, 2017, 01:01 pm SL Time]
TOP STORY
No change in Samurdhi benefits, government assures beneficiaries

Aug 16, Colombo: The government today assured that the Samurdhi allowance given for low income families has not been suspended as reported by some media.The Minister of Social Welfare SB Dissanayake said the Cabinet Sub-Committee has decided to suspend and reconsider the results of a survey conducted by the Samurdhi Development Department to decide on who should receive Samurdhi benefits.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka security forces, in keeping with the government's policy to release more security forces-held lands, have released over 2330 acres in Mullaitivu district. Sri Lanka security forces have handed over five land plots extending to 2,332.25 acres and 25.2 perches.
 

Aug 17 (Island) Kirulapona police have arrested three employees of a company in connection with a racket involving the sale of money-counting machines given for repairs. Kirulapona police arrested a storekeeper and two other employees of a private institution at Kirilapona.
 

Aug 17 (DM) Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Police Chief Pujith Jayasundare was mulling legal action against a website that published defamatory remarks about him and a video clip depicting him threatening a minor employee of the Police department.
 

Aug 17 (DN) A car plying the Kegalle- Awissawella road veered off into the Gurugoda Oya, killing two men and injuring three women, earlier today. The two deceased men succumbed to injuries after being admitted to the Kegall Hospital.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has received cabinet nod to amend the Motor Traffic Act in a bid to curb road accidents. Accordingly, the changes will make provisions to transfer the authority to magistrates and policemen to practically implement the demerit points system of drivers.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has arrested nine people yesterday for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds and illegal fishing in the Northern seas. Naval personnel deployed onboard Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of the Coastguard took into custody nine persons
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says there is no threat to national security from the incidents reported from the Northern Province.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Sri Lanka police chief slammed over meditation rage video (16 - DM)
* UNP victims of violence to be paid compensation soon (16 - Island)
* Constitution does not allow special court (16 - DM)
* Court rejects to intervene into controversial elephants case (16 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- An exhibition depicting the special events in four decades of Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's political life will be declared open today by President Maithripala Sirisena as the chief guest.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Fadhil Bakeer Markar, Head of Communications & Youth Focal Point at UNDP in Sri Lanka is among the Ten UNDP staff members from across the globe who have joined 1,000 bright global talents at the UNLEASH 2017 Innovation Lab event that is held from the 13th to 21st of August in Denmark.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday launched the 'NSB iSaver', saving method aiming to further increase the saving habits of the Sri Lankans.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- The Transport Ministry will declare a three month concessionary period from next month to pay the arrears of taxes for luxury, semi-luxury and semi-luxury dual purpose vehicles.
 

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- A Chinese business delegation will hold B2B meetings with Sri Lankan counterparts on Friday, 18th August, 2017 in Colombo, in a bid to find opportunities in the Automotive Spare Parts and Machinery Items.
 

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Telecom Group released its group and holding company financial performance results for the 6 months ending on 30th June 2017. The group comprises of 8 subsidiaries, including the mobile arm Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd.
 

Aug 17 (Island) If a positive proposal is put to us to partner with SriLankan Airlines we will never turn it down, Ahmed Hashim Khoori , senior vice president- West Asia and Indian Ocean Commercial Operations of the Emirates Group told The Island Financial Review on Tuesday at the Emirates Group headquarters in Dubai.
 

Aug 17 (DM) Aqua Vista is Fairway Properties’ latest addition to the skyline of the rapidly growing southern capital of Galle, that still preserves its unique colonial legacy with unsurpassed quaint old-world charm that draws attention to a bygone era.
 

Aug 17 (DN) The Development Lotteries Board is facing a major financial issue with the nonpayment of Rs. 2.5 billion in default taxes by the administrators of the previous government.
 

Aug 17 (LBO) Softlogic Holdings recorded a revenue growth of 6.2% posting Rs15.2 bn in the first quarter this year, from Rs14.3 bn in the same period last year.
 

Aug 17 (ECONOMYEXT) Profits at Sri Lanka's Janashakthi Insurance fell 50 percent to 135 million rupees in the June 2017 quarter from a year earlier amid a one off 133 million rupee impairment cost, interim accounts showed.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan rupee ends steady as bank dollar sales offset demand (16 - Reuters)
* Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo set to introduce a new level of luxury in Sri Lanka (16 - CP)
* Sri Lankan shares fall to 4-mth closing low; blue chips drag (16 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka services sector continues expansion in July 2017 (16 - CP)
* Lakshman Silva appointed Chief Executive Officer of DFCC Bank (16 - Island)
* East West Marketing launches Bakewell bakery equipment (16 - DM)
* Cargills Group Net Finance Costs increases 86.2% YoY (16 - DN)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital under the North Western Provincial Council will be taken over by the government. The Minister said the government has taken a policy decision to establish a medical faculty at the Wayamba University and decision to take over the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital is a step in establishing the medical faculty.
 

Aug 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena says that there is no change in the government's policy decision on banning polythene and plastics and the ban will remain unchanged. The President said the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the necessary groundwork to promptly implement the ban.
 

Aug 17 (Island) Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya headed by Most venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Thera was opposed to attempts being made to bring a no-faith motion against Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, said General Secretary, of the Chapter Venerable Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Nayake Thera.
 

Aug 17 (DM) Provincial councillor K.D. Lalkantha today urged the government to appoint a commission similar to that of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on the CB bond issue to investigate Minister Rajitha Senaratne in connection with the SAITM controversy.
 

Aug 17 (DN) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating into the Treasury bond issue yesterday questioned Perpetual Treasuries Limited Chief Executive Officer Kasun Palisena on Rs 712 million worth dividends paid by his company to Perpetual Asset Management, a 100% shareholding company of PTL.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says the government will invest Rs 28 billion next year to develop the health sector. Addressing a meeting at the Veediya Bandara Vidyalaya in Morapitiya recently, the Minister said that already the cabinet has approved these projects and will be submitted for next year's budget.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- Following his appointment by President Maithripala Sirisena on 29 July, as Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prasad Kariyawasam assumed duties on 15 August 2017.
 

Aug 16 (CP) Colombo- The United National Front has decided to hold discussions with the President on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution that seeks to hold all PC elections in the nine provinces on the same date. United National Front (UNF) leaders met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday and discussed the issue and had agreed to meet with the President.
 

Aug 16 (TRF) ADIGAMA- Scorched by a 10-month drought that has killed crops and reduced residents to buying trucked-in water, Adigama's young people are voting with their feet.
 

Aug 16 (LM) Late last month, Colombo inked a revised version of a $1.1 billion deal for leasing the Hambantota port to a Chinese state-run company. The port has been controversial ever since the China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) signed a framework agreement in December 2016 with Sri Lanka, taking an 80% stake in the project.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* PC polls postponement decision hangs in the balance (16 - Island)
* Seven JO MPs to support President (16 - DN)

SPORTS

Aug 17 (The Asian) Colombo- A day after Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dinesh Chandimal apologised for a 3-0 series whitewash against India, limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga has asked fans for patience ahead of their upcoming ODIs and Twenty20 matches. Sri Lanka failed to challenge the world's top-ranked Test side during the three-match series and the gulf in quality between the two sides was clearly visible.
 

Aug 17 (ESPNCI) Bangladesh's selectors are unlikely to make too many changes for the first Test against Australia later this month. The Bangladesh XI that won their last Test, against Sri Lanka in Colombo in March, will be given a longer rope for their contribution so Mahmudullah, whose breathtaking innings against New Zealand helped Bangladesh reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals for the first time, could continue to find himself left out.
 

Aug 17 (PO) Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lankan team is struggling against Indian players and none of the three Tests saw the fifth day’s play. No player or coach from the Sri Lankan team has any clue on how Kohli’s men can be grounded. Jeremy Snape, who worked as a sport psychologist for the Sri Lankan team 2014-2015 including the World Cup, has been following the rent matches and has some solution for the depleted Lanka team.
 

Aug 17 (DC) Colombo- Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has called for a report from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after the hosts were clean swept 3-0 by India in the recent three-match Test series. "This team's capability is not a question but we must know the reasons for the defeat," Jayasekera told reporters, adding that he also had a two-hour meeting discussing the defeat.
 


WORLD

Aug 17 (BBC) The leader of Australia's far-right One Nation party has worn a burka on the floor of the nation's Senate. Pauline Hanson walked into the chamber and sat down ahead of her party's bid to ban the garment in Australia. Attorney-General George Brandis, a government minister, condemned Ms Hanson's stunt and "counselled and cautioned" her against causing offence to religious groups.
 

Aug 17 (BBC) Last week a threat from North Korea to fire missiles into the sea near Guam led to a spike in war rhetoric from both the US and the North, and put the tiny island territory squarely at the centre of the world's attention. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes went there to find out why Guam has been caught in the crosshairs.
 

Aug 17 (BBC) More than 250 people have died after relentless monsoon rains caused flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Millions of people have been marooned and the authorities are struggling to reach some areas. Here, a man crosses flood waters in the Saptari District of Nepal.
 

Aug 16 (CNA) NEW DELHI- India is strong enough to defend its borders against any threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an Independence Day speech as the nation faces a frontier showdown with China and aggravated tensions with Pakistan. "Security is our top priority," Modi told thousands packed into the landmark Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday.
 


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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