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[Last Updated = Mon, May 25, 2015, 12:52 am SL Time]
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Comprehensive national security plan under preparation in Sri Lanka

May 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government plans to devise a comprehensive national security plan covering all aspects of necessary areas of security in the island nation, President Maithripala Sirisena said Sunday. The national security plan has already been taken up in the National Security Council and will be finalized shortly with the support of tri-services after consultations, the President stated. The President made this announcement Sunday (24) during an observation visit to the Security Forces Headquarters -East (SFHQ-E) in Welikanda to meet security force personnel, serving the East.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka government ministers joined by religious leaders and hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in Colombo on Sunday in memory of a school girl who was brutally raped and killed in Punguduthivu, Jaffna.

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police on Sunday (24) used water cannons to disperse a group of people protesting the presence of a massive garbage dump in their neighborhood in a suburb of Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Customs at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo have nabbed this morning an Indian national, who had allegedly attempted to smuggle out a stock of gems worth Rs. 9.7 m million.

May 24 (Hindu) There is a lurking suspicion over the role of "external elements" in the large-scale violence that Jaffna witnessed last week. The context behind the violence was a recent incident of rape and murder of an 18-year-old schoolgirl in Pungudutivu, west of Jaffna.

May 24 (Island) Former Ceylinco Chairman, Lalith Kotelawala filed a motion in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the release of all his personal assets seized on judicial directives since 2010 in connection with the Golden Key (GK) debacle, officials said last week.

May 24 (ST) Two lady teachers and a female student escaped with injuries after a lone wild elephant charged their vehicle at a location along the Dambulla – Kandy Road early last morning police and hospital officials said. Police and hospital authorities confirmed that the incident occurred at around 5.45 am at Digampathana,

May 24 (Hindu) A recent incident of rape and murder of an 18-year-old school girl in Pungudutivu of the Northern Province, which triggered violence on Wednesday in Jaffna, has now turned into a full-fledged political row among various parties.

May 24 (DM) The charred body of a 40 year-old man was recovered from a van by the Police when they stopped it for speeding at Malambe, Aturugiriya this morning. Two suspects have been taken into custody. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim was a relative of the suspects and that a family dispute had led to the killing.

May 23 (CP) Kankasanthurai- Sri Lanka Navy Saturday brought home 16 Sri Lankan fishermen released from custody by the Indian officials. Indian Coast Guard Ship "Rajtarang" has handed over the released fishermen to the Sri Lanka Navy at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas north off Kankasanthurai on 23rd May 2015, the Navy said.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Chief Justice K. Sripavan accompanied by Inspector General of Police (IGP) N. K. Ilangakoon visited the troubled Tamil dominated Northern Province capital city of Jaffna Friday to observe the situation there following violent protests erupted on Wednesday.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* AG informs Supreme Court of a possible settlement (23 - Island)
* Bus catches fire in Galle (23 - DM)
* Jaffna situation under control (23 - DN)
* Sri Lankan court bans protests in Jaffna over the arrests (23 - CP)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the 100 day program of the Government which has been successfully completed is now placed before the people and they would give an important decision about the programme soon.

May 23 (CP) Moneragala- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Saturday called on the activists of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the political party he leads, to extend their support needed for the future activities of the government. Presiding over the Monaragala District Sri Lanka Freedom Party Convention held Saturday (23rd) at The Library Auditorium in Monaragala, the President declared that he is meticulously discharging his obligations on behalf of the country and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

May 23 (CP) Berlin- Sri Lanka has sought the assistance of Government of Germany to ensure the durable peace and prosperity for the Sri Lankans people. Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera addressing the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) on Friday said although Sri Lanka has shown remarkable development in recent years, the "new" Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena is not without challenges.


FINANCE

May 24 (CP) Colombo- An official committee reviewing the former Government's highway projects has found several of them to be highly inflated in price, but recommended to continue the projects on a smaller scale.

May 24 (Island) Keells Food Products PLC, (KFP) the pioneer meat processor in the country founded over three decades ago, has posted the best ever operational results in its history during the year ended March 31, 2015.

May 24 (SO) The Government while creating an enabling environment to expand business, will look for ways and means to reduce the turn-around time in matters related to doing business. State institutions strive to cut down on bureaucracy in government policies and regulations to facilitate and fast track setting up business ventures

May 24 (ST) Businessman Dhammika Perera, who owns a successful Casino empire, has shut down one of his casinos, sources revealed. “He has closed down the MGM Grand at Bambalapitiya Junction (on Galle Road),” a source said, adding that it was shut about two months ago. Some 550 employees were laid off, according to him.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- The India-Ceylon Economic Dialogue (ICED) will be held in Kochi in July. The business meet was devised following the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka in March. The B2B dialogue is being supported by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Kerala Bureau of Industrial promotion.

More : FINANCE
* Research-led investment report on SL to reach 246 Fortune 500 companies (23 - Island)
* Switzerland plans renewing existing trade agreements with Sri Lanka (23 - DM)
* CB bond issue: COPE appoints sub committee (23 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

May 25 (CP) Colombo- Former President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa has reportedly appointed a shadow Cabinet that meets on a weekly basis. Local media reports Sunday stated that the shadow Cabinet meets in order to discuss the current political situation, the policies to be adopted and alternative policies.

May 25 (CP) Colombo- The Chief Government Whip and the Minister of Plantation Industries Lakshman Kiriella, says that Parliament will be dissolved in a few weeks. Kiriella has said at an event in Udunuwara that parliament will be dissolved in about three weeks.

May 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has made a sudden inspection tour of the Maduru Oya Reservoir Saturday (23) to observe the condition of the reservoir and the dam. The President, who is also the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, made the visit after receiving reports that the maintenance of the Maduru Oya Reservoir is not taking place properly.

May 24 (CP) Colombo- The 2015 SAARC Film Festival will be held in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka over a period of 6 days from the 26th - 31st of May 2015. The Festival, which will also include a workshop with well-known film directors, has over the last four years gained momentum for promoting some of the best films from the SAARC Region.

May 24 (NIE) COLOMBO- The contemplated No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe may hasten the dissolution of the Sri Lankan parliament, political observers said.

May 24 (Island) Following Friday’s bombshell dropped  by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that Treasury Bonds totalling Rs.2.7 trillion had been issued through private placements between 2012 and 2014, COPE is to commence its probe into the allegation on Tuesday.

May 24 (SO) In a bid to expedite EPF payments and bill payments the Postal Department will launch a series of services . Post offices have been authorized to handle these payments. In addition loans given by the NSB will be expedited by the Postal Department.

May 24 (SO) UPFA parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said the No Confidence Motion moved against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe cannot be refused as it now contains the signatures of a majority of UPFA parliamentarians.

May 24 (ST) Government will lose between Rs. 250 and Rs. 300 million annually, compared to its present income of Rs. 1,200 million, following its decision to slash by nearly half, registration fees charged from Lankan workers taking up employment overseas, senior officials warned yesterday.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe Saturday called on the country's youth to elect public representatives, who are capable of solving their problems, at the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

May 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former army commander and Democratic Party leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has said that he will contest the next parliamentary elections. Fonseka has told local media that he will contest together with other members of his Democratic Party political and will decide who to support once the elections are over.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Other SLFP ministers in govt. to stay put till passage of 20A? (23 - Island)
* Bonds worth Rs.2.7 trillion sold during previous regime - PM (23 - DM)
* MR’s statement on Punkuduthivu incident Attempt to gain political mileage - Wijeyadasa (23 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

May 24 (ESPNCI) MS Dhoni opted to bowl in his team's sixth IPL final, a slight change in strategy as Chennai Super Kings' past two titles had come batting first. Eden Gardens' slightly dry surface was the reason for Dhoni's choice. Rohit Sharma thought otherwise. He said Mumbai Indians would have batted first anyway. Not a surprise as their solitary IPL title win had come batting first at Eden Gardens two seasons ago and against the same opponents.

More : SPORTS

May 24 (The Hawk) Kolkata: Two-time former champions and the most consistent team of the season, Chennai Super Kings will lock horns with late bloomers Mumbai Indians in a high-voltage IPL summit clash here, bringing the 47-day T20 extravaganza to a relatively controversy-free end. Ever since the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, controversy has dogged Chennai Super Kings and this season too the undervaluation of the franchise acquisition to a trust for Rs 5 lakh came under the Enforcement Directorate scanner.

May 24 (ESPNCI) Truth be known, I love to hate the Australians more than anyone else. And therefore the man who got under their skin the most is my hero. Appearances can be deceiving, and when it comes to Arjuna Ranatunga, the rotund Sri Lankan mastermind, there was nothing soft in his underbelly. He is as tough a cricketer as I have ever come across. We represented our countries at the same time, both very young, eager allrounders hoping to fit into the cut and thrust of international cricket. Sri Lanka were just beginning their climb, possessing many fine cricketers, if not hardened professionals.

May 24 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka Women beat West Indies Women by five runs in a rain-affected game in Colombo to lead the three-match T20 series 1-0. West Indies, after being inserted to bat, put up 109 for 6 in 20 overs. They lost two wickets in the first over, as Sripali Weerakkody picked up Kycia Knight and Deandra Dottin. Stafanie Taylor top-scored with 40, sharing partnerships of 32 with Britney Cooper and 45 with Merissa Aguilleira (28). Other than Maduri Samuddika, all the bowlers took at least one wicket.


WORLD

May 24 (BBC) US mathematician John Nash, who inspired the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, has died in a car crash with his wife, police have said. Nash, 86, and his 82-year-old wife Alicia were killed when their taxi crashed in New Jersey, they said. The mathematician is renowned for his work in game theory, winning the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994.

More : WORLD

May 24 (BBC) Thousands of people have fled to safety following a landslide in western Nepal which blocked the flow of a river. The Kali Gandaki River in Myagdi district, about 140km (90 miles) north-west of the capital, Kathmandu, has created a deep and growing new lake.

May 24 (BBC) Migrants trying to leave Bangladesh illegally are tainting the country's image, its prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has said. Ms Hasina said their attempts to leave had made them "mentally sick".

May 23 (BBC) The US Senate has blocked a bill that would have ended the bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA). It also failed to authorise a temporary extension of the current legislation. Senators are to meet again on 31 May - a day before the bill is due to expire.


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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