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[Last Updated = Sat, Feb 13, 2016, 08:15 pm SL Time]
Sri Lankan government not averse to international participation in the accountability mechanisms, PM says

Feb 13, Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday has clarified that that the government was not averse to international participation in the accountability mechanisms set up to deal with international crimes and human rights violations committed by individuals on both sides. Speaking to reporters after his visit to the Lord Krishna Temple at Guruvayur in Kerala state of India, the Prime Minister said that foreign observers were welcome to participate in the discussions related to Sri Lankan war crimes, but a final judgment on the cases will be made by Sri Lanka's judicial system.
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Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Dilip Wedaarachchi made a surprise inspection visit to Peliyagoda Central Fish Market on Wednesday (10 February) to look into corruption and malpractices at the fish market.

Feb 13 (Island) The National Police Commission yesterday began a probe into the death of Sumith Prasanna Jayawardena following a clash with the police on Jan. 10 in Embilipitiya. The NPC yesterday questioned HQI of Embilipitiya, Chief Inspector S. R. J. Dias for more than three hours.

Feb 13 (DN) The CID yesterday informed Court that it had been revealed that convicted drug dealer Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda who is currently serving a sentence at the Welikada prison had operated a drug trafficking ring with outsiders, via mobile phones.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Major General Milinda Peiris has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff (COS) of the Sri Lanka Army effective from 12 February 2016. Major General Peiris is currently the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (KDU).

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo High Court today fixed the date for the trial against the two high profile state officials of the former government charged of misusing state money. Colombo High Court Judge N V Karunathilake fixed the trial against Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Anusha Palpita for 29 April.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, welcomed a South African Navy frigate and two Royal Omani navy ships arrived at the Port of Colombo on Friday (February 12). The South African Navy Ship SAS Spioenkop arrived at the Port of Colombo on 12th February 2016 on a goodwill visit.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- An European Union Parliamentary delegation, led by Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Friends of Sri Lanka Group Geoffrey Van Orden, and including MEP Morten Messerschmidt, called on the newly-appointed Commander of Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) Major General Mahesh Senanayake on Wednesday (10).

* Speaker to meet security top brass over death threat (12 - Island)
* Arms cache unearthed by Madhu police (12 - DN)


Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), currently undertaking an assessment in Sri Lanka to understand all the humanitarian needs of the families of missing persons, has offered to work with the Sri Lankan government in assisting the families of the missing, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says that as a woman she is pleased with this government's efforts to increase women's participation in politics and end the assessment requirements for women in politics.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is considering Sri Lanka's request for a new IMF program for the island nation to meet its balance of payments but the funding will depend on certain conditions.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today assured that his government is not under any foreign influence as some politicians claim and emphasized that the government will not enter into any agreement that can endanger the local economy and the culture of the country.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap joined Minister of Post, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs M.H.A. Haleem and Imam Moulavi M.S.M Thasleem yesterday (February 11) for a tour of Colombo's historic Grand Mosque.


Feb 13 (Dawn) MASKELIYA- Often, religious sites are marred by a dispute between different believers, each claiming their ownership over the sacred place for their faith.

Feb 13 (Island) "The construction sector will record significant growth this year with the active participation of the private sector in Sri Lanka, president, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects Harsha Fernando said. "The private sector recorded minute growth under the previous regime but is now picking up, he said.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Central Bank has announced that it plans to sell US$ 75 million worth of development bonds to foreign and local investors. The Public Debt Department of Central Bank will issue US$ 75 million in Sri Lanka Development Bonds of 1 Year 1 month, 2 Years 2 months and 4 Years 4 months tenor to eligible investors for subscription

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Laugfs Power, a subsidiary of Laugfs Gas has acquired the total issued shares of Pams Power (private) Limited on 10th February for Rs. 200 million. Laugfs Gas said in a disclosure to the Colombo Stock Exchange that Pams Power is holding all rights for the development and operation of a 2 MW capacity hydropower project located in Kalaweldeniya, Polpitiya.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Colombo Port has set a new record in container handling volume on Tuesday, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said yesterday. Setting the new record the Colombo Port handled 22,422 TEUs on February 9. The previous record of highest volume of 22,186 TEUs was reported by the SLPA on April 28, 2015.

Feb 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down for the fifth straight session on Friday to close at a more than three-week low, in line with weaker regional peers, as investors stayed off risky assets on concerns over rising domestic interest rates.

* IT sector salaries at entry level up on average: survey (12 - DM)
* Formal hotel sector expected to be affected by minimum room rate (12 - Island)
* Meliá Hotels enters Sri Lanka to manage three hotels (12 - DN)


Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to take disciplinary action against members who criticize the party and its leadership regardless of their status in the party.

Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- A program will be held at Visumpaya on the 16th of this month to educate media people about the proposed Constitution and to seek their views, the national radio said. Parliamentarian and President's Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne and Senior Lawyer J C Weliamuna will deliver special lectures on constitutional reforms.

Feb 13 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka parliament will hold a workshop on Sectoral Oversight Committees for Members of Parliament with the participation of a delegation of UK parliamentarians led by Labour Party MP Fiona McTaggart.

Feb 13 (NIE) THRISSUR- The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that foreign observers were welcome to participate in the discussions related to Sri Lankan war crimes, but a final decision on the cases would rest with the supreme court of Sri Lanka in which none can intervene.

Feb 13 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged those members who had switched their allegiance to the UNP-led coalition to join the Joint Opposition. The former SLFP leader said that he expected them to take a decisive step soon.

Feb 13 (Daily FT) In an effort to fall in line with European Union regulations, Parliament yesterday adopted new laws amending the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No.2 of 1996 to take action against offences committed beyond the maritime borders of the island.

Feb 13 (DM) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene refuted claims made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the UNHRC resolution would make provision to arrest Sri Lankan military forces personnel and that the government was also assisting the UNHRC to achieve this.

Feb 13 (DN) ‘Pandemonium’ is a commonly used word in reporting contemporary Sri Lankan Parliament, but occasions where Parliament continued its business despite such unruly behaviour and chaos are rare. Parliament last Tuesday not only proceeded amidst heavy disturbances from the UPFA dissidents in the Opposition, but also managed to pass the bill scheduled in the day’s agenda.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- The committee appointed to make recommendations to the government on introducing a suitable pension scheme for the new recruits to the public service seeks views and proposals of the general public on the new scheme.

Feb 12 (CP) Chennai- Following the arrest of twelve Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy yesterday, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa has written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again asking to take action to find a permanent solution to the fishermen issue.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Applications are invited from Sri Lankan students (excluding PIO, OCI card holders & NRIs) for nomination to undergraduate course in Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Medicine (MBBS) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) under the Self-Financing Scheme for the academic year 2016-17 against the reserved seats of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India.

Feb 12 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe accompanied by his wife Maithri Wickremesinghe has left for India Friday to visit the Lord Krishna Temple at Guruvayur in Kerala state of India.

Feb 12 (CP) Geneva- The UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, who visited Sri Lanka last month for a second time, said Sri Lanka should not rush to comply with the commitments that the country has made for the sake of demonstrating compliance.

Feb 12 (Hindu) Aimed at designing a reconciliation mechanism in the post-civil war Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Friday appealed to the victims on both sides of the divide to participate in a consultation process.

* New AG: CC’s role limited to endorsing president’s choice (12 - Island)
* Former president opens new political office (12 - CP)
* FM seeks approval to pay Sobitha Thera's hospital bills (12 - DM)
* Tough decisions against SLFP dissidents (12 - DN)


Feb 13 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka, with their raw-but-aggressive seam attack, prospered on a greentop, but on the dry Ranchi surface, the visitors were never in the game. Seam and pace appear to be Sri Lanka's surest route to rattling the hosts again, but it's unlikely they will encounter a helpful pitch in Visakhapatnam. If another dry track is prepared, Sri Lanka are in danger of being blown away by India's top order cannons, and picked off by India's spin.


Feb 13 (ESPNCI) More than 50 youth coaches and coordinators will descend on the home of the US Olympic Committee national training center on February 13 and 14 for a two-day conference aimed at finding better strategies for the development of youth cricket in America. The ICC Americas office is conducting the seminar as part of their efforts to help unite cricket stakeholders from around the country.

Feb 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka pace bowler Thisara Perera said he did not realise that he had taken a hat-trick till his teammates informed him about it, as his entire concentration was on bowling in the death overs during the second T20 International against India in Ranchi. Although Sri Lanka lost the second game against India by 69 runs in Ranchi on Friday to concede the advantage, Perera stole the show by becoming the first Sri Lankan bowler to take a hat-trick in T20 Internationals.

Feb 12 (ESPNCI) On a dry surface in a dusty Ranchi ground, India's top order moved into customary home form, and their bowlers exposed a fragile Sri Lanka top order. Shikhar Dhawan was bruiser-in-prime, unleashing an early shellacking that brought him 51, and set the team on course to a big total. They reached 196 for 6, thanks to helpful hands from the top five, which today included a pinch-hitting Hardik Pandya. That total was 69 too many for Sri Lanka.


Feb 13 (Hindu) In an angry move, the government summoned U.S. Ambassador Richard Varma to South Block to express its disappointment over the U.S. government’s decision to sell Pakistan a new batch of F-16 Fighter jets in a deal worth $700 million. The decision that was conveyed by the Pentagon to the U.S. Congress on Thursday, and announced on Friday. Early on Saturday morning, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

More : WORLD

Feb 13 (Dawn) WASHINGTON- The Obama administration notified the Congress on Friday that it planned to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. The proposed deal will now go through a 30-day notification period after which it will be finalised. Earlier this week, the US State Department informed Congress that it was committed to improving Pakistan’s precision strike capability, which was seen as a veiled reference to F-16 fighter jets.

Feb 12 (Reuters) Major powers agreed on Friday to a cessation of hostilities in Syria set to begin in a week and to provide rapid humanitarian access to besieged Syrian towns, but failed to secure a complete ceasefire or an end to Russian bombing. Following a marathon meeting in Munich aimed at resurrecting peace talks that collapsed last week, the powers, including the United States, Russia and more than a dozen other nations, reaffirmed their commitment to a political transition when conditions on the ground improved.

Feb 12 (Dawn) WASHINGTON- The Obama administration has informed Congress that it is committed to improving Pakistan’s precision strike capability, which is seen as a veiled reference to F-16 fighter jets. In a document released this week, the US administration told US lawmakers that its Foreign Military Funding (FMF) to Pakistan would focus on seven priority areas “identified and agreed to with the government of Pakistan”.

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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