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[Last Updated = Wed, Oct 22, 2014, 01:12 pm SL Time]
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Iran calls for expanding politico-economic relations with Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (CP) Tehran- Iran and Sri Lanka have underscored that expansion of bilateral ties always tops the agenda of both countries when Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asian and Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour met in Teheran on Monday. During the meeting the two ministers expressed their enthusiasm for widening and deepening of Tehran-Colombo ties in all domains. Iranian Minister underlined the progressive trend in politico-economic relations between the two countries in the past three decades, and expressed hope to witness more development in mutual cooperation.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense and Urban Development is preparing to conduct a survey on the Sri Lankans who lost their properties in the North and during the war. The Ministry in a release has announced that it will conduct the survey of the properties and lands that belonged to the residents of north and were lost due to the terrorism from 1980.

Oct 22 (DM) Former Sri Lankan Cricketer Aravinda De Silva yesterday in a complaint to the Police said his home at Pedris Road in Kollupitiya was burgled and cash including foreign currency worth Rs.5.1 million had been removed from his safe.

Oct 21 (CP) New Delhi- India is planning to supply two naval offshore patrol vessels and other military equipment to Sri Lanka, according to an Indian media report. India has earlier provided 24 L-70 guns, 24 battle-field surveillance radars, 11 USFM radars, four Indra-II radars and 10 mine-protected vehicles, among other things, to the Sri Lankan forces, the Times of India reported Monday describing India's military assistance to Sri Lanka.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a group of students of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) who were in a protest march near the parliamentary complex this afternoon.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- A group of opposition United National Party (UNP) lawmakers on a fact finding mission came under attack today from a mob when the MPs attempted to enter the premises of the Sri Lanka Port Authority Training College in Slave Island today.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The Asia Foundation in collaboration with Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice has completed a Rapid Assessment of Land Disputes in Northern and Eastern Provinces to study the characteristics and scale of land disputes that have evolved over 30 years in the former war-torn areas, the government announced.

Oct 20 (CP) Balangoda- Five suspects including a member of the Imbulpe Pradeshiya Sabha today surrendered to Balangoda Police over the recent assault on a group of students of Sri Lanka's Sabaragamuwa University, the police said.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has deployed its personnel to assist the people affected by the floods in the Southern district of Galle and the Puttalam district in the North western Province. Due to prevailing adverse weather conditions over 1,600 people have been affected in the Galle district

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Australia has advised its citizens traveling to Sri Lanka to "exercise a high degree of caution" in the country at this time because of the unpredictable security environment in the island.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- The main constituent party of Sri Lanka's ruling alliance, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) said the removing of the ban on the Tamil Tiger terrorist group LTTE by the European Union is the result of continuous mission against the country since the government defeated the LTTE five years ago.

Oct 21 (Island) Fishermen, who converged in front of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry making three demands from the minister, were attacked yesterday with stones and other objects by a gang from inside the ministry premises, injuring them. They were engaged in a peaceful protest there when they were attacked, protesters said.

Oct 21 (DM) Thirty three people were injured when a SLTB bus plying from Ettampitiya to Bandarawela plunged down a precipice at Udamalwatta in Bandarawela this morning, the Police said. They said the injured were admitted to the Bandarawela Hospital.

Oct 21 (DN) Special security arrangements will be implemented in connection with the Budget Speech for 2015 to be delivered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said in Parliament yesterday.

Oct 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) JAFFNA, Sri Lanka- In the fishing village of Oori, two mothers await news of their young daughters who were taken to a care home three months ago after their alleged rape by members of the Sri Lankan navy.

Oct 20 (Hindu) With the arrest of three persons, including two Sri Lankans, the Delhi Police Special Cell claimed to have busted an international drug syndicate operating from Chennai which supplied heroin to Sri Lanka by concealing it in processed food tin cans.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Sabaragamuwa undergrads resumes Sathyagraha at new location (20 - Island)
* Foreign currency smuggler arrested (20 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- The leaders of Sri Lanka's nationalist monk party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) met with the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday at the Temple Trees to discuss the party's proposals for constitutional changes.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to submit an appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) requesting to annul the decision taken by the lower court to lift sanctions on LTTE, the national radio reported.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris today came to the defense of his Ministry secretary over "unfounded allegations" swirling in certain sections of the media recently against the official.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The General Court of the European Union (EU) said today that the decision to lift sanctions on the LTTE was a legal ruling of a court and not a political decision taken by the EU governments.

** Related Story ::European Court annuls sanctions on LTTE on technical grounds but maintains asset freeze

Oct 21 (CP) New Delhi- Sri Lanka's Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Monday, October 20 called on India's Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi and discussed a number of issues.


FINANCE

Oct 22 (DM) The unusual monetary policy transition lag - the time taken for the monetary policy action to reflect in market interest rates and inflation is puzzling Central Bank (CB) officials, as even after 20-months in to the monetary easing, the projected private credit is yet to materialize.

Oct 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s private security companies are important stakeholders and an integral element in the ongoing nation building exercise, an official said in a media release. “The private security companies of this country are important stakeholders and an integral element in the ongoing nation building

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) will hold a post budget seminar on October 30 to discuss the 'National Budget of 2015', which will be presented in Parliament on October 24.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Browns Hotels and Resorts Ltd. of Sri Lanka, a fully owned subsidiary of Browns Investments PLC today announced that it had sign an agreement to develop a four-star hotel in the Maldives. Browns Hotels and Resorts in a stock market disclosure said it signed an agreement on Tuesday, October 21 with Alpha Kinam Holdings (Pvt.) Lts. and NPH Investment Pvt. Ltd. to develop a property in Male Islands, Maldives.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo: UK seafood importers have slammed the European Union's decision to slap a ban on Sri Lanka's fish imports which will go into effect from January 2015. UK seafood processors Icelandic Seachill, Direct Seafoods and New England Seafood have expressed disappointment over the EU's red card decision...

Oct 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell for the fourth straight session on Tuesday to hit a 6-week closing low, a day after the government announced it would hold a presidential election in January, nearly two years ahead of schedule. Most local investors offloaded positions to cut losses, dealers said.

Oct 21 (DM) The second largest state sector bank, People’s Bank has cut its pawning exposure by as much as Rs.120 billion from January 2013 through September 30, 2014, but said the bank is actively encouraging the loans against the precious metal, which is losing its glory days, according to a senior official of the bank.

Oct 21 (Island) At the Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association (SLTFOA) Annual General Meeting recently Chief Guest, Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe said his interventions in the industry had brought unparalleled improvement. 2013 had recorded the highest crop on record.

Oct 21 (DN) Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF), Sri Lanka’s National Centre for Leadership, Education and Training coming under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat has signed a MoU with the Owinka Lake Resort as a partner hotel to conduct collaborative training programs under the Tourism and Hospitality Management Unit(THMU) of SLF.

Oct 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Government urged to create a friendly regulatory framework to drive the growth of the small and medium enterprises in the island, chamber chief said. “Tilt the policy framework in favor of SME’s,” Suresh Shah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.

Oct 20 (BP) New infrastructure being built across the country is the most visible evidence of the peace dividend Sri Lanka has been enjoying since the end of nearly three decades of conflict.

Oct 20 (BFD) Ansell has completed its second biomass boiler at the Ansell factory complex in Biyagama, Sri Lanka. The new boiler has a capacity of 12.5MW and will be the largest hot water boiler in Sri Lanka.

More : FINANCE
* Ceylon Tea in prominence at Dubai, Sharjah airports (20 - Island)
* Trinco Port to become industrial harbour (20 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Every year around 60-70 persons are killed as a result of human-elephant conflict and about 250 elephants die due to various reasons, the Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said in parliament.

Oct 22 (DM) The United National Party (UNP) yesterday rejected the allegation that there was an invisible connection between the European Union General Court’s ruling to lift sanctions on the LTTE and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s trip to London.

Oct 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the religious practices and festivities that go with the Deepawali festival add to the spirit of reconciliation that prevails in the country. In a message to celebrate the Deepawali today, the President said the festive day of Deepawali, which underlines the great spiritual values of Hinduism, is filled with the spirit of love and devotion.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has asked the government to clarify its plans for a snap presidential election, amid fears the polls will scuttle the Pope's visit scheduled for January, the AFP news agency reported today.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The group of opposition lawmakers who visited the Sri Lanka Port Authority Defense Training School in Slave Island, Colombo on a fact finding mission, said the premises is used for preparing election campaign materials for upcoming presidential elections.

** Related Story ::Opposition lawmakers on fact finding mission attacked in Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist extremist group, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) announced that the organization would field candidates to the next general election. The secretary of BBS Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero said the party would not however field Buddhist monks as candidates at the elections for the parliament, Provincial Councils or local governments. He said the candidates would be laymen.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- A Tamil refugee rehabilitation organization in Sri Lanka has sought a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Sri Lanka and India to facilitate and expedite the return of the refugees from India, according to a media report.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- With the restoration of train services from Colombo to Jaffna last week after a 24-year lapse, Sri Lanka Railways plans to commence transporting fuel to the North by trains. The Railway Department has decided to commence transportation of fuel by train, from Kolonnawa Oil Depot of the Petroleum Corporation to Jaffna.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday (October 20) launched the sixth phase of the "Divi Neguma" domestic agriculture program. Initiating the program at an auspicious time this morning, the President planted a coconut sapling at the Temple Trees premises.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Trade unions affiliated with the opposition political parties in Sri Lanka staged a massive protest demonstration on Monday to demand a Rs. 10,000 pay hike for the state sector workers.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka cabinet spokesman and Minister of Media Information Keheliya Rambukwella revealed today that the Presidential election would be held in January 2015. He expressed these views addressing a meeting held in Kundasale in Kandy district yesterday to launch several development projects in the district.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- The Global Health Group, a California-based action group that assists strengthening the public health capabilities in developing countries, has hailed Sri Lanka's success in Malaria eradication as a "spectacular achievement".

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has charged that the recent decisions taken by the European Union are a result of the attempts by the opposition parties to oust him.

Oct 21 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka passed legislation banning land purchases by foreigners, a move the government said would curb tax evasion but critics said could hinder its offshore investment ambitions.

Oct 21 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said yesterday it was ready to help if the Government takes up the legal battle in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to reintroduce the proscription on the LTTE.

Oct 21 (Island) Amidst mounting public displeasure on MPs not attending parliament sessions, party leaders who met yesterday decided to revise their previously reached agreement that quorum as well as prior notification was not required in the House for any vote to be taken during the budget debate, Parliament sources said.

Oct 21 (DN) The forthcoming budget is not going to be a budget targetting the election but will be a people-friendly budget which will grant many benefits to the public, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He said he will never cheat the people by presenting a budget aimed at political gain.

Oct 21 (ABC) Sri Lanka will hold a presidential election in January, nearly two years ahead of schedule, with Mahinda Rajapaksa expected to run for a third six-year term. The announcement comes amid signs Mr Rajapaksa's popularity is fading after accusations that his party is abusing power.

Oct 20 (ENS) MADURAI- : MDMK chief Vaiko here on Sunday termed the recent comment that ‘India has to learn a lot from the Sri Lankan Army’ by the Indian Defence Secretary “humiliating”. Addressing a student gathering during an award ceremony, Vaiko also raised concern over the latest diplomatic move of the Centre towards Sri Lanka

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Sri Lankan President to meet JHU leaders tomorrow (20 - CP)
* UNP will stage ‘Show of Force’ in Colombo next week – Harin (20 - Island)
* JHU wants Cabinet reduced to 25 (20 - DM)
* Certain powerful nations trying to install puppet leaders - President (20 - DN)
* Coalition party of Sri Lanka ruling alliance to support a common candidate if Constitution is not amended (20 - CP)
* Two MPs of minor party in Sri Lanka to join the main opposition UNP (20 - CP)
* Sri Lanka opposition led workers' protests in Colombo tomorrow (20 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Oct 21 (ESPNCI) MS Dhoni has opted out of the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka, citing the need for a break to freshen up ahead of the tour of Australia and the World Cup. Virat Kohli will stand in as captain, and Wriddhiman Saha, who scored a century in the IPL final earlier this year, will take care of wicketkeeping duties. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been rested, making way for Varun Aaron.

More : SPORTS

Oct 21 (ESPNCI) A sharp performance from South Africa Women's pacers, combined with a fifty from opener Trisha Chetty gave the team a 2-1 series win in the fourth and final ODI of the series against Sri Lanka Women in Colombo. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 137 after they were put in to bat and South Africa chased the total down with five wickets in hand, and more than 15 overs to spare.

Oct 21 (NDTV) A former captain and member of the Sri Lanka squad that won the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup, Mahanama represented his country in 52 Tests and 213 ODIs between 1986 and 1999, in which he scored 2,576 and 5,162 runs, respectively. Roshan Mahanama became the latest member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) elite panel of match referees to reach the 200-mark milestone in One-Day Internationals (ODI) when he officiated the first ODI between New Zealand and South Africa in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Tuesday.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Cricket today said that a proper procedure was followed in deciding to tour India and it was a collective decision of its Executive Committee taken in the best interest of the game to accept India's invitation for a short tour.


WORLD

Oct 21 (BBC) South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has begun serving time in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was driven to Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuru prison where he is expected to be housed in the hospital wing. Judge Thokozile Masipa gave Pistorius a five-year jail sentence for culpable homicide, but cleared him of murder.

More : WORLD

Oct 21 (BBC) A US Marine has failed to appear in a Philippines court after being accused of murdering a transgender Filipino. The lawyer for Pte First Class Joseph Pemberton said his presence at the preliminary hearing was not required. The case will now resume next week. He has been named as the suspect in the death of Jeffrey Laude, found dead in a hotel bathroom on 12 October.

Oct 21 (BBC) China's economy grew at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis, causing speculation the government may introduce more stimulus measures. Gross domestic product rose by 7.3% in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared to 7.5% in the previous quarter, official data showed.

Oct 21 (BBC) An explosion at a fireworks factory in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has killed at least 17 people, police say. The explosion on Monday afternoon started a fire and destroyed the Manikanta Fireworks factory. The blaze took place in the village of Vakatippa in East Godavari district.


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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