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[Last Updated = Sat, Aug 27, 2016, 08:08 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President instructs AG to investigate allegations against him in Australian media

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he instructed the Attorney General of Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations made in Australian media reports that an Australian firm is under investigation for possibly paying kickbacks to Sri Lankan government officials at a ministry of which President Sirisena was the then minister. Issuing a statement President's Media Division (PMD) said President Maithripala Sirisena drew his personal attention to the report published on Aug 24 in the Australian website Sydney Herald that stated to some alleged incident of an employee of his office, when he served as the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Aug 27 ( Peninsula) DOHA- The Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha has advised employers to be cautious about online advertisements for recruitment of maids and urged them to verify details with the mission.

Aug 27 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- A major fire broke out in a paint factory in Peliyagoda in the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Friday, police said. At least four fire trucks had arrived at the scene to douse the flames while nearby residents were immediately evacuated by the police.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- The grandmother of Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the son of Kurunegala District Parliamentarian and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared in the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court today in response to the notices issued on her.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has instructed his lawyers to send a Letter of Demand for Rs one billion to the Sinhala language newspaper Lankadeepa over publication of a "fabricated and false" report.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court Thursday has ruled that Scottish engineer James Casserly is also a defendant in the case of assault against the son of former minister Mervyn Silva during a brawl in 2014.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- The three-week long joint military exercise involving thousands of Sri Lankan armed forces personnel and representatives from foreign countries will commence on Saturday, September 3, for the seventh consecutive year, the Army said.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today has issued an interim injunction barring five businessmen from leaving the country in connection with the murder of millionaire businessman Mohamed Suleiman.

Aug 25 (CP) London- Five Sri Lankan men from Greater London area have drowned in the sea off Camber Sands in East Sussex on Wednesday, when they were caught in the high tide, British media reported. The five men including two brothers have been identified as Nitharsan Ravi, 22, Inthushan Srim, 23, Kobi Nathan, 22, Ken Nathan, 19, and Kurushanth Anna, 27.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- A young billionaire businessman abducted earlier this week from capital Colombo was found murdered, the police said. The body of the businessmen abducted from Bambalapitiya was found in Rukulagama area of Mawanella, about 100 kilometers northeast of Colombo.

Aug 26 (ICRC) Today was no ordinary day for Ashoka. 26 May 2016 began at 4:00 am as she prepared breakfast and lunch with the help of her mother and neighbours. Ashoka, her mother and a group of others would be commemorating their missing relatives later, by donating lamp holders to their community temple and holding a poojah (prayers).

Aug 26 (Island) Army Chief Lt. Gen. Crishanthe De Silva yesterday emphasized that they had responded to war time accountability issues on many occasions. The Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has called for comprehensive war crimes probe on the basis of an external investigation conducted in accordance with a US sponsored resolution.

Aug 26 (DM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested Law Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake to submit a report to him on the way the police conducted the investigation of the abduction and killing of millionaire Mohamed Suleiman, sources said yesterday.

Aug 26 (DN) The post-mortem conducted on the body of millionaire businessman Mohammed Sulaiman, 29, of Kotelawala Avenue, Bambalapitiya yesterday revealed that he died after being struck on his head, above the left ear, within an hour of abduction.

Aug 25 (ABC) Civilians who fled to Australia during the Sri Lankan civil war may never have their crucial testimonies heard in a war crimes court. Australia is home to thousands of Sri Lankan refugees who were victims of, or witnessed, potential war crimes in the final stages of the brutal civil war.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* CID told to take action against elephant racketeers (25 - DN)
* Judge wants Supreme Court order in respect of Tiran Alles clarified (25 - Island)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the local chapter of the global movement against corruption, on Friday called for an urgent response from President Maithripala Sirisena to the corruption allegations raised against him by an Australian media organization.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka is committed to ensure that the migrant workers have safe and dignified employment abroad and will take stringent domestic measures to prevent migrant workers falling prey to human trafficking or human smuggling, Sri Lanka's Foreign affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka plans to expand its maritime operations beyond container transshipment to make its Colombo port among the best 20 ports in the world by 2020. The Colombo International Maritime Conference-CIMC, which will be held from 21 -23 September in Colombo for the second time, will open up a new chapter for the maritime industry of Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema Wednesday made a special statement in parliament on the controversy of hiring a United States lobbying firm, raised by a report in the Sunday Times newspaper.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the premier business chamber in Sri Lanka has released a report on the Emerging Trends and New Opportunities in Sri Lanka's Insurance Industry.

Aug 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan today announced its customers the changes in flight schedules due to the scheduled maintenance work on the runway of the country's main international airport at Katunayake. The following flights have been cancelled:

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has raised excise duty on diesel by Rs. 10 with effect from August 20, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Accordingly, the excise duty has been increased from Rs. 3 to Rs. 13, a Finance Ministry official said.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka is seeking a partner from the Indian subcontinent to develop a port designed to be its deepest one, and accommodate the world's largest container vessels, Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said on Thursday.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka Ports Authority calls EOIs to develop East Container Terminal of Port of Colombo

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's leading non-medical glove exporter Dipped Products PLC (DPL) was recognized as the Highest Value Added Exporter in the Rubber and Rubber Based Product Sector in the recently concluded Presidential Export Award for 2014.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has raised taxes levied on imported potatoes by Rs. 5 per kilo with effect from midnight Thursday, the Finance Ministry said.

Aug 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended at a two-week low on Friday in moderate volume as investors booked profits, while an increase in excise duty on diesel dragged on Lanka OIC, pulling down the overall index.

Aug 26 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's national airline carrier will be making a loss of an estimated 50 million U.S. dollars in revenue when the only runway at the Colombo international airport will be shut during much of the day for three months, local media reported on Friday.

Aug 26 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded stronger on Friday as a foreign bank sold dollars while importers buying greenback slowed down as they awaited further appreciation, dealers said.

Aug 26 (Island) You might have experienced late flight arrivals or departures with SriLankan Airlines and other issues, but we have never compromised your safety whatever cost it might have incurred the Airline,

Aug 26 (DM) The government’s decision this week to go ahead with the 2016 budget proposal in liberalizing the lubricant and bitumen markets will have opposite outcomes compared to its intention of making Sri Lanka a lubricant hub, local lubricant market operators argue.

Aug 26 (DN) Visa, the payments technology company opened its office in Colombo and has appointed Anthony Watson as the country manager for Sri Lanka.

Aug 26 (LBO) Diversified John Keells Holdings says subsidiaries of the company have sold around 2 percent of shares in Keells Food Products to meet the SEC’s minimum public float rule.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lanka wants Indian subcontinent firm involved in $400 million port contract (25 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan stocks end steady; turnover moderate (25 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan rupee ends down on importer dollar demand (25 - Reuters)
* National Chamber hosts workshop on 'Import Procedures and Documentation' on 7 September (25 - CP)
* Faster financial data delivery needed to fight inside information: CSE chairman (25 - Island)
* Regnis among Forbes Asia’s ‘200 Best Under a Billion’ list (25 - DM)
* Fixing the fiscal deficit problem, crucial for Lanka - Governor (25 - DN)
* Sri Lanka should develop Indian, Chinese markets: Tourism minister (25 - LBO)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Aug 27 (CP) Colombo- Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who is India's deputy chief of mission in Washington, is headed to Sri Lanka as the new High Commissioner succeeding Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha who has completed his term.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- The 69th session of the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region (WHO-SEARO) regional Committee will be held from 5-9 September 2016 in Colombo. The Regional Committee has eleven Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- The Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) has received the cabinet approval for its operations, the, cabinet appointed body said in a release. The SCRM confirmed that Mr. Mano Tittawella was appointed as its Secretary General from 29th, March 2016.

Aug 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) today.

Aug 26 (CP) New York- The United Nations Secretary General ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka next week, his spokesman Stepahné Dujarric announced at the press briefing on Thursday. In the evening of August 31, the Secretary-General will travel to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and other members of the Government and of the Parliament.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government responding to the media reports on the services provided by a global law firm said the newspaper reports were aimed deliberately at sabotaging the economic development strategy of the Government.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- The Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be organizing a mobile consular service in the vicinity of Nallur Temple, Jaffna from 28th to 31st August 2016 to coincide with the festival of Nallur Temple, the Ministry announced.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake will leave for Pakistan today to participate in the 8th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Finance Ministers' Summit to be held in Islamabad.

Aug 25 (CP) Colombo- The 5th meeting of manpower ministers grouped in the Colombo Process will be held today at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo with the participation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as the chief guest.

Aug 26 (IE) The Maldives' dissident former president met opposition groups in neighbouring Sri Lanka today to hatch a plan to topple strongman president Abdulla Yameen, opposition sources told AFP.

Aug 26 (NIE) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is “concerned” about the charge made by Fairfax Media that in 2009-2011, when he was Minister of Agriculture, an Australian company was asked to give a donation to his political party to get contracts for World Bank-funded sewerage and dam projects.

Aug 26 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka highly appreciates China's assistance in developing key areas of the country including the Colombo Port and has allocated 15,000 acres in the southern coast of Hambantota for further Chinese investment, a Sri Lankan minister said on Friday.

Aug 28 (Kyodo) Japan plans to dispatch a team to Sri Lanka in the coming months to inquire about the potential for infrastructure investment in the key port of Trincomalee, a government source said.

Aug 26 (Hindu) The first year in office for any government should normally not be problematic. This holds good more or less in the case of Sri Lanka's national unity government, which has completed one year in office despite huge challenges in the areas of economy, constitutional reforms, and, importantly, the Tamil question.

Aug 26 (Island) National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan on Wednesday said that he would submit a revolutionary cabinet paper to strengthen ongoing efforts meant to induce the Sinhalese to learn the Tamil language.

Aug 26 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government was ready to accommodate changes it may have missed at the Committee stage, to the Office on Missing Persons Act.

Aug 25 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- The Sri Lankan government is making efforts to facilitate investments in the country, according to businessmen attending a hospitality forum here. Thilan Wijesinghe, director of Ceylon Tea Trails, which operates boutique hotels, said the new government is aware of red tape problems and trying to speed up approvals of investments.

Aug 25 (WB) Emerging out of internal conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has in many respects been a development success story. Now, Sri Lanka has opportunities to build on its success and has set out an ambitious development agenda.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* COPE Chairman complains of undue pressure from Kiriella over bond scam probe (25 - Island)
* My father brought in Sinhala only Bill to give country back its identity: CBK (25 - DM)
* JHU wants CoI into racism in North and East (25 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Aug 26 (ESPNCI) England's players will be given time to consider their personal position on touring Bangladesh but Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, hopes that there will be an en masse decision to undertake the trip. Strauss had encouraged the players "not to leave anything unsaid" during the meeting in London on Thursday, where it was confirmed that the trip would take place as planned.

More : SPORTS

Aug 26 (ESPNCI) Mickey Arthur has laid down the gauntlet to Pakistan's one-day squad as they aim to haul themselves up the rankings to secure an automatic World Cup spot, and says that nobody is safe from the axe should performances not improve. Pakistan were comfortably beaten in the opening ODI at the Ageas Bowl with England well ahead of the rate when rain brought an early conclusion.

Aug 26 (ESPNCI) MS Dhoni, India's limited-overs captain, believes his break from international cricket has given him ample time to work on his fitness. Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket in December 2014, was last involved with the national team during a short limited-overs series in Zimbabwe in June. "When you have a break, it's easy to maintain fitness because there's enough preparation time," Dhoni said in Lauderhill ahead of the first Twenty20 against West Indies on Saturday.

Aug 26 (ESPNCI) The ECB have confirmed that the England tour of Bangladesh will go ahead as planned. Concerns were raised after Dhaka, the nation's capital, suffered a terrorist attack in July that left many dead. Australia cancelled their tour to the country at the end of last year due to security concerns."England's tour of Bangladesh will continue as planned," said Strauss after the meeting.


WORLD

Aug 26 (BBC) The Pentagon has said a US Navy vessel fired three shots to warn an Iranian military boat off in the Gulf. Spokesman Peter Cook said it was one of several incidents of Iranian vessels harassing US ships in the past week. Mr Cook said the intention of the Iranian ships was unclear but their behaviour was unacceptable, as the boats were in international waters.

More : WORLD

Aug 26 (BBC) Italy has declared a state of emergency in the regions worst hit by Wednesday's earthquake as hopes of finding more survivors fade. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged €50m (£42m) in funds for rebuilding. At least 250 people are now known to have died and 365 were injured. Teams have continued to search the rubble of toppled buildings for a second night.

Aug 26 (BBC) Police in Brazil have charged US swimmer Ryan Lochte with making a false statement about being robbed at gunpoint during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The police statement also recommends that the court issues a summons for the gold medal winner. The US State Department said it was aware of the request.

Aug 26 (BBC) It had been a joyful occasion. Nawaprasad Ghimire had just celebrated the wedding of his youngest son in June 2005. Six members of his family were on a bus returning home, passing through Madi Chitwan, a town nearly 200km south-west of the capital Kathmandu. Royal Nepal Army soldiers in civilian uniforms were also on the bus.


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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