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[Last Updated = Mon, Dec 9, 2019, 12:12 am SL Time]
TOP STORY
Sri Lanka PM dismisses 'debt trap', assures to promote major cooperation projects with China

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that his government will vigorously promote major Sino-Sri Lanka cooperation projects such as Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port. Speaking to the Xinhua News Agency after the official opening of the Colombo Port city on Saturday, the Premier said the friendly relationship between Sri Lanka and China has a long history and is unbreakable.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The local Swiss Embassy employee who was allegedly abducted and questioned by an unidentified group has provided a statement to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police, the state media reported.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha said that legal action can be taken against the local female embassy employee who is alleged to have been abducted, in the future if she attempts to evade the law since she is a Sri Lankan citizen.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo-Brigadier Chandana Wickremasinghe has been appointed as the new Media Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Army, by Army Commander, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva. His appointment will be effective from December 17.
 

Dec 08 (Island) Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris assumed duties as the new Director-General of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) on Friday. He served in this position earlier during the 2010-2015 period.
 

Dec 08 (ST) Small-scale fishermen in the Northern Jaffna Peninsula said yesterday that they were constantly threatened by Tamil Nadu trawlers fishing illegally in Sri Lankan waters, a week after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised Indian Premier Narendra Modi to release all boats belonging to Indian fishermen in the country’s custody.
 

Dec 08 (SO) Following the judgement on Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s conviction in a UK Court last week, the Government said it suspected whether the whole process of the retrial was overshadowed by the upcoming UK’s crucial general election.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for the second day today gave a statement to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed by former President to investigate the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy has deployed a number of relief teams to many areas in the country affected by the adverse weather conditions. As a first responder of all natural disasters affected by the country, the Navy has deployed a number of rescue and relief teams to many identified locations, the Navy said.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Troops of Security Forces Kilinochchi yesterday assisted transporting the GCE O/L candidates in Kilinochchi who have been stranded by Thursday evening's torrential rains to the examination centers.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Police Headquarters said that 60 police officers including four Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) have been transferred with immediate effect by the National Police Commission on operational requirements.
 

Dec 07 (IE) As part of the India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise, which is focused on Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism (CI-CT) operations, the participants are receiving lessons in perception management and information warfare, along with human rights and humanitarian law.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Navy, police apprehend Madanamodaka (7 - Island)
* Security Council should not have taken serious matters as a joke: Cardinal (7 - DM)
* Accountant gets 367 years RI for Rs.2 Mn fraud (7 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka is firmly committed to the principles and objectives of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter and will remain confident of the determination of the governments and peoples of the region towards fostering stronger cooperation, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Relations yesterday slammed a UK court's ruling in the case of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando as a 'politically motivated action' ahead of UK's elections.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Adding 269 hectares to the map of Sri Lanka, the Colombo Port City was officially declared part of Sri Lanka today at a ceremony held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan and officials of the Chinese Embassy were also present on the occasion.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Thousands of people have been displaced as a result of torrential rains in Northern and Eastern provinces, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) reported.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Caroline Jurie has been crowned Mrs. World 2020 at the World Pageant held in Las Vegas, United States on December 06. Jurie becomes the second Sri Lankan to win the title after former Mrs. World Rosy Senanayake.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo: Reinforcing the company's prowess in financial disclosure, LB Finance was ranked among the top three brands in Sri Lanka for Excellence and bagged gold for the third consecutive year in the Finance and Leasing Companies segment of Annual Financial Reporting for 2019 at the 55th Annual Report Awards, conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.
 

Dec 08 (ST) A controversy over the misuse of state funds by the country’s main state IT agency has delayed Sri Lanka’s accession to the Madrid Protocol to facilitate trademark registration in the international markets with one single filing via online.
 

Dec 08 (SO) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is ready with the framework for foreign listed entities to trade on the multi currency board which will enable overseas companies to gain value for their shares, said a senior official of the CSE on the sidelines of a media get-together last Thursday.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Insurance (SLIC) records a rigorous growth of 13.59 percent, surpassing the industry growth in the life insurance sector for the period ended September 30, 2019. Sri Lanka Insurance Life achieved a total gross written premium of Rs.11.03 billion
 

Dec 07 (Island) Marking the next step of their transformational journey into digitalization, Seylan Bank becomes the first organization in the local banking industry to adopt SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area network) Technology in partnership with Citrix and V S Information Systems (Pvt) Ltd., (VSIS).
 

Dec 07 (DM) The construction industry yesterday lauded the government for cancelling the requirement of a permit for the transportation of sand, gravel and clay which only added to red tape and corrupt practices, according to the sector players.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Plans to integrate more businesses for Trinco port (7 - DN)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi today (8th) said as the former chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), he is asking Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to take up the forensic audit reports of the Central Bank bond and take legal action against those responsible for the bond scams.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Ajith P. Perera says that discussions will be commenced tomorrow about the party leadership. Speaking at a media briefing in Bandaragama, MP Perera said as well as the Parliament needs an Opposition Leader, their party needs a leader to reorganize and protect the party and take it forward.
 

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Health has taken steps to introduce a bacteria called Wolbachia to control the dengue mosquitoes. Using Wolbachia bacteria to eradicate dengue mosquitoes has successfully being utilized in Australia. The bacteria was introduced after years of laboratory testing and field testing.
 

Dec 08 (Al Jazeera) Sri Lanka has suffered decades of religious and ethnic violence. The newly-elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to unite the country.
 

Dec 08 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said Saturday that his government is looking forward to continuing to develop friendly relations with China.
 

Dec 08 (Island) Former President Maithripala Sirisena will be contesting the forthcoming parliamentary election from the Polonnaruwa district, Minister of Technology and Innovation and SLFP Vice President, Thilanga Sumathipala, said.
 

Dec 08 (ST) A proposal by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to return the power of granting planning approvals from the Urban Development Authority to local bodies–which have no automated systems to process applications–is worrying the UDA which spent substantial funds to develop a centralised online system just two years ago.
 

Dec 08 (SO) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Party Leaders in the Government to go for a two-thirds majority at the forthcoming Parliamentary Polls scheduled for March/ April 2020.“It was decided that a Committee be appointed to provide relief to the trade union leaders in the then Opposition,
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon has instructed the Government Agents in the districts affected by inclement weather to provide necessary facilities for the students who are sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination.
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Leader of Muslim party, All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says he has no issue with the lack of Muslim ministers in the current government under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the new government takes all people as "Sri Lankans".
 

Dec 07 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga says that the new government's vision is to develop domestic air operations, not just the international operations for the future of business and tourism industry by developing all airports in the country.
 

Dec 07 (SNI) NEW DELHI- Was a local employee of the embassy of Switzerland in Sri Lanka briefly abducted by some unidentified men as is being claimed by the Swiss mission? Or are the embassy's claims untrue as is being claimed by the Sri Lankan government?
 

Dec 07 (The National) TWO-faced Tory candidates in the suburbs of London have been caught trying to win votes among the Tamil community, promising a “two-state” solution to the troubles in Sri Lanka.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* EC erupts over private software company role in releasing polls results 2019 prez poll: (7 - Island)
* UNP to appoint a committee to resolve leadership issues (7 - DM)
* EC informed of vacant Parliamentary seat (7 - DN)

SPORTS

Dec 08 (NLK) Sri Lanka’s Indunil Herath wins the Gold medal in the 800 metres at the South Asian Games in Katmandu, Nepal yesterday (AFP) Despite facing many obstacles that included fever outbreaks and mental discouragements at the hands of some officials.
 

Dec 07 (ESPNCI) Fawad Alam is back in Pakistan's Test squad after more than a decade out of the red-ball team. The left-hand middle-order batsman is part of the 16-member squad that will face Sri Lanka in two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi later this month.
 

Dec 07 (SLC) Sri Lanka’s new Head Coach, Mickey Arthur gave new hope to Sri Lankans yesterday reassuring that the flagging image of the Sri Lanka cricket team could be optimised to become a top potential outfit when he said, “The key would be to see how the players develop and become consistent in performance”.
 

Dec 07 (ICC) Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, has picked out fast bowler Neil Wagner as a big threat for Australia ahead of their three-match Test series against New Zealand. Due to the consistent returns from frontline pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee across formats, Wagner, despite his brilliance in the longest version
 


WORLD

Dec 08 (BBC) China's exports fell in November as shipments to the US slowed sharply, adding to concerns about the effects of the two nations' trade war. November exports from the world's second largest economy fell 1.1% from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall.
 

Dec 08 (BBC) North Korea says it has carried out a "very important test" at a satellite-launching site. The KCNA state news agency said the results would be used to upgrade the country's strategic status. It provided no further details.
 

Dec 08 (BBC) A large fire has swept through a bag factory in the Indian capital Delhi, killing 43 workers, officials say. The blaze broke out at the four-storey building in the city's congested old quarter early on Sunday morning.
 

Dec 07 (BBC) Nepali police have arrested the brother-in-law of a woman who died in a so-called "menstruation hut". Parbati Buda Rawat, 21, was found dead on Monday after suffocating from a fire she lit to stay warm in the hut.
 


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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