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[Last Updated = Wed, Mar 4, 2015, 01:22 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President pledges to resolve issues of every community equally

Mar 03 (CP) Jaffna- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, who made his maiden visit Tuesday to Jaffna, the heartland city of Tamils in the north, after assuming the office, pledged to resolve the issues faced by the people in the north equally and promptly. "When resolving issues, there is no differentiation as South or North and the Government is fully committed resolve issues faced by people," President Maithripala Sirisena said, adding that everyone should work in brotherhood irrespective of differences. The President made these remarks at the Northern Province Coordinating meeting held in Jaffna District Secretariat.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Mar 04 (CP) Colombo- The Attorney General of Sri Lanka has today requested the Colombo High Court for more time to decide on a case regarding former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka.

Mar 04 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) of the Sri Lanka Police has summoned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second son, Navy Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa to record a statement. Police Media Spokesperson said a statement will be recorded from Yoshitha Rajapaksa in connection with the light aircraft that was found from the Economic Centre at Narahenpita on January 13th this year.

Mar 04 (Island) Accusations that Tamil youth were being held in secret detention camps were baseless, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a gathering of Buddhist clergy at Rukmale Sri Dharmaloka Vijayaloka Mahaviharaya on Sunday (1).

Mar 04 (DN) Two unidentified gunmen wearing full face helmets entered a private bank on the main road in Aththidiya in Mount Lavinia at around 1.45 pm yesterday, and robbed around Rs 2 million after assaulting a private security guard in the bank and firing a few shots at the windows.

Mar 04 (DM) A then 15-year-old student of Royal College in Colombo 7 and his mother yesterday filed two lawsuits in the Colombo District Court against the school’s principal and seven others claiming Rs.260 million as damages after an accident left the Gradenine student in a vegetative state.

Mar 03 (CP) Rameswaram- Sri Lanka naval men are accused of attacking Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu and chasing them away when they were fishing near Sri Lankan waters off the northern coast of Sri Lanka.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Attorney General of Sri Lanka has indicted Colombo district UPFA parliamentarian Duminda Silva and 12 others on 17 charges including the murder of former Presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Customs Department has seized yet another container load of ethanol in Orugodwattta today. Customs Spokesperson Leslie Gamini has said the consignment of ethanol had been illegally imported from Thailand.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Police today arrested a former leader of the LTTE Sea Tiger women's wing at the Bandaranaike International Airport while she was about to leave for France. Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said that the Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) of the police had launched investigations over reports that Murugesu Bairahi had arrived in Sri Lanka.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption in Sri Lanka has yesterday recorded a statement from former Monitoring MP of the External Affairs Ministry Sajin Vass Gunawardena. The Commission has said the MP was questioned over a complaint received on his assets and funds.

Mar 03 (TOI) RAMESWARAM- Fishermen in the region, who were looking forward to a new round of talks between their representatives with Sri Lanka, are in a state of suspended animation as a mid-sea fight seems to have turned the tides. They were hoping that bilateral talks would begin on March 5 once the state government received clearance from the Centre.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Female doc accused of violence at top class hotel (3 - Island)
* BMICH promises to pay (3 - DM)
* State to prepare missing persons’ final list (3 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Mar 04 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had inquired from Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe about the passport of the Chairman of Avant Garde, the security firm that owns a ship containing weapons docked at the Galle Harbor, as the PM has received several questions over the matter.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- A High ranking official of the United Nations said Tuesday that the global institution is encouraged by the new government of Sri Lanka's commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights and it is committed to assisting in the process of accountability and reconciliation in the island nation.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena commenced his first visit to Northern and Eastern Provinces on Tuesday (03) after assuming office as the President. The President arrived in Jaffna this morning and he was warmly welcomed by the Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran.


FINANCE

Mar 04 (Island) The pioneer Merchant Bank and subsidiary of Bank of Ceylon, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka PLC, currently known as "Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC" (MBSL), after its merger with two own subsidiaries, recorded a jump start to 2015 by ending 2014 with a 17% growth of its asset base.

Mar 04 (DN) DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB) ended 2014 on an excellent note which saw the Bank passing the important threshold of Rs 1 bn in profits and Rs100 bn in total assets. The Bank recorded a profit after tax of Rs 1.12 bn for 2014 which is an 80% growth over 2013.

Mar 04 (DM) Consumer durables retailer Singer Sri Lanka ended the 2014 financial year on a high note, recording a 27 percent growth in fourth quarter revenue that helped the Group achieve Rs. 29.7 billion in annual revenue.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank Tuesday announced that the restrictions placed on the access to the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) are no longer required as the credit flows to the private sector sustained an increase. Accordingly, the Bank has withdrawn the 5 per cent SDF rate with effect from 2 March 2015, the Central Bank said in a statement Tuesday (03).

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) of Sri Lanka today announced the launch of Facebook and LinkedIn Pages to ensure greater engagement with stakeholders through social media channels, in its endeavor to broad-based investment amongst the masses, the CSE said in a release.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- One-off and recurring taxes on the Sri Lankan telecoms sector as set out in the interim budget proposals on 7 February, raise regulatory risks and would lead to lower profitability and higher financial leverage for Sri Lankan telecom companies, says Fitch Ratings.

Mar 03 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka is waiting for the right time to launch a sovereign bond of up to $1.5 billion, possibly with a longer tenure to roll over its debts in 2015, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Tuesday.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan stocks fall to 3-wk closing low on rising market interest rates (3 - Reuters)
* Singhe Hospitals in major IPO launch (3 - Island)
* Pan Asia Bank records over 34% credit growth and 265% growth in PAT (3 - DM)
* HNB expects robust growth through customer convenience banking (3 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Mar 04 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's United National Party (UNP) says the next general election will be held as stated by the new government. General Secretary of the UNP, Minister Kabir Hashim told a news conference today that the next general election will be held according to the promise made by the current government during the Presidential election.

Mar 04 (CP) Colombo- Chairman of Sri Lanka's Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and convener of the Pivithuru Hetak organization, MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera has expressed disappointment over the government's failure to honor the promises made to the people during the presidential election.

Mar 04 (Island) MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was among those invited to attend the proposed public rally in Kandy on March 06th by the opposition parties. Addressing a press conference, the former Minister said that invitations had been sent to the SLFP and many other parties of the UPFA and organisations to attend the rally

Mar 04 (DN) Sri Lanka has nothing to hide from the international community, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Participating in a ceremony at Rukmale Sri Dharmavijayaloka Maha Vihara in Pannipitiya, the Prime Minister said the UN Human Rights Council too has nothing to hide regarding Sri Lanka.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- After indefinitely postponing the dialogue between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen that was scheduled to be held on March 5th in Chennai due to the busy schedule of Sri Lanka's new government, it has been reported that the fishermen may meet on March 11.

** Related Story ::Dialogue between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen postponed indefinitely

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Aviation Minister of Sri Lanka Arjuna Ranatunga today said that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) would be shut down in the nights. The Minister told a news conference today that the decision was made since the Mattala airport did not generate an income to the state.

Mar 03, Fort Wayne, USA - Bhante Devananda; Abbot, Meditation Instructor and Founder of Indiana Buddhist Temple, delivered the talk about nursing care in Buddhism, the healthcare provider's role in caring for the patient and their family; how to support the family of Buddhist at end of life; compassionate bedside care with patients from Buddhist practice.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today imposed a restriction on its members preventing them from participating at events organized by other political parties or making statements at news conferences organized by other parties.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has called on legislators who supported the formation of the current government to quit after the 23rd of the April. JVP Politburo member, K.D. Lalkantha said at a public meeting in Balangoda that the current government has promised to dissolve parliament and call for general election on April 23rd this year.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government will present the much awaited national drug policy in parliament today, the Government Information Department said. The Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne will present in parliament the National Medicine Regulatory Authority Bill

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka`s main Tamil political party, Tamil National Alliance says it plans to discuss devolution of powers to the provinces with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Sri Lanka.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Dewasiri alleges deals between govt. and defeated leaders (3 - Island)
* Namal hopes the President will resolve the fishing crisis (3 - DM)
* Right to Information Bill ready by March 20 (3 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Mar 04 (ESPNCI) One win. One washout. One loss. Australia wouldn't have thought that the first half of their World Cup group matches would pan out this way. But you cannot control the weather, which was really bad in Brisbane, and as Michael Clarke said, Australia were beaten by a quality New Zealand side in Auckland. Afghanistan may just run into a keyed-up outfit determined to put that narrow loss behind them.

More : SPORTS

Mar 04 (IC) Undoubtedly one of the most charismatic players of Pakistan, Shahid Afridi registered his name into record books reaching the milestone of 8,000 ODI runs in 395 matches. Needing two runs before the Group B fixture clash against United Arab Emirates, Afridi pulled Amjad Javed for a six and in the process getting to 8000-run ODI mark. But Afridi did not stop at the milestone as he played the role of perfect cameo hitting 21 runs off just 8 deliveries to take Pakistan total to 339/6.

Mar 04 (BDN) The Tigers will take on the Scots at the Saxton Oval in Nelson on Thursday. The match is set to start on 4am Bangladesh time. "Nothing is bigger than a win. Victory will boost confidence. The players will think of raising confidence personally. But to me winning comes first," he said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Mar 03 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's cricket authority, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLA) has sent the all-rounder Seekkuge Prasanna to Australia as a stand by for Rangana Herath, who got injured during match with England Sunday.Herath is in doubt for Sri Lanka's match against Australia on Sunday after he split the skin on the inside of his spinning finger during the England v Sri Lanka match. Herath required four stitches on his index finger and the wound is expected to take 7-10 days to heal.


WORLD

Mar 04 (Dawn) ISLAMABAD- Refusal of polio vaccination to children declined in the country this year, an encouraging development but not significant enough to raise hopes for quick eradication of the crippling disease. Data available by Dawn says that 36,510 parents refused the vaccine in February compared with 54,061 in January.

More : WORLD

Mar 04 (Telegraph) Amid violent anti-government protests in Bangladesh - which has killed over 100 people since January - all eyes will be on two Dhaka courts tomorrow and the day after as the judgments will decide the future of Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Mar 04 (BBC) Police in India have secured a court injunction blocking the broadcast of an interview with one of the Delhi gang rapists on death row. The Delhi court order also prevents publication of the interview, which has angered many in India.

Mar 03 (Dawn) ISLAMABAD- Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry in Islamabad Tuesday following his arrival in Pakistan for a two-day official visit. Credible sources told Dawn that Secretary Chaudhry greeted his Indian counterpart warmly at the Foreign Office.


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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