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[Last Updated = Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 02:03 am SL Time]
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UNP will not allow war crimes charges against Sri Lankan leaders - MP Harsha de Silva

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) asserted today that it will not allow anyone to take any Sri Lankan leader to the international court on war crime charges. UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva told Parliament today that his party is fully committed to protect the security forces who freed the country from terrorism and the political leaders. "I am telling to the world. We (UNP and myself), will not allow anybody to take President Rajapaksa or any other leader to International court about War Crimes," Dr. de Silva stressed.(Video)
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, ceremonially welcomed the Russian naval ship " Yaroslav Mudriy " arrived at the Port of Colombo Monday. The Russian naval ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24 November 2014 on a goodwill visit, Sri Lanka Navy said.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government Monday "unreservedly" condemned the "cowardly" suicide terrorist attack on the volleyball tournament in Yahyakhil district, Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 45 people and wounding over 60 others.

Nov 24 (CP)Chennai- The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O. Panneerselvam today asked the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take measures to ensure the "prompt release" of the 38 fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails and their 78 boats currently in Sri Lankan custody.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- A three-week long joint military exercise between the special forces of Indian Army and Sri Lanka Army concluded Sunday with a closing ceremony at the Magampura International Convention Centre in Hambantota, the Army said.

Nov 24 (Island) KANDY– The house of the UNP member of the Wattegama Urban Council Dhanushka Liyanage was attacked on Saturday (22) night by an unidentified gang, according to a complaint lodged with the Wattegama police station. It said that the front of the house and a vehicle parked in front of the house on Udurawana Road had been damaged in the attack.

Nov 24 (DM) The Principal of Hewavitharana Maha Vidyalaya in Rajagiriya who was reportedly missing since last Wednesday has returned home yesterday morning, the Police said. They said the missing principal accompanied by his brother had reported to the Kottawa Police last night.

Nov 24 (DN) Two three wheeler drivers who pleaded guilty to selling a certain kind of tablet used in illegal abortions were fined Rs.50,000 each by Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Ravindra Premarathne. The accused were from Gowakotuwa and Thiththawella.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy today arrested 14 Indian fishermen along with their three trawlers for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary line and fishing in the country's waters.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police had put on hold transfers of some 10,000 police officers due to the forthcoming presidential election. Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana told media that the transfers scheduled to come into effect on 1 January, 2015 have been postponed for a month.

Nov 23 (CP) Rameswaram- Sri Lanka navy personnel are accused of chasing away a group of Indian fishermen from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu while fishing in the Palk Strait. Fisheries officials said the Sri Lankan Naval personnel chased away more than 20 fishermen who were fishing in mid-sea near the maritime borders.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), an election monitoring NGO in Sri Lanka said it is dismayed by the lack of action taken by the Police on the first election-related shooting that injured an opposition party politician Friday (21).

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* suspects at large (23 - Nation)
* Retired Senior Tri-service Officers enlightened on Army’s role in Security & Development (23 - Island)
* No arrests over last week’s museum break-in (23 - ST)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Reiterating that the upcoming presidential election and the incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa's candidacy for a third term are illegal, the Marxist party of Sri Lanka ,Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today urged the people to elect anyone but the President.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- The common opposition candidate for Sri Lanka's presidential election Maithripala Sirisena today pledged to run a disciplined and honorable campaign with the cooperation of all opposition political party leaders and blessings from the religious leaders.

Nov 23 (CP) Anuradhapura- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that he will not run a dirty campaign for presidential election even though he has "files" on those who defected to the opposition.


FINANCE

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan US$ 150 million as a the first tranche for the project of implementation of Green Power Development and Energy Efficiency Improvement Investment in Sri Lanka, the Finance and Planning Ministry said in a media release.

Nov 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell more than 3 percent on Monday to a four-week low as speculation that more ruling party legislators would cross over to the opposition added to the political uncertainty and spooked investors.

Nov 24 (Island) In a new development in the on-going Indo-Lanka trade dialogue, an independent survey team has arrived in Colombo to map barriers to FTA trade, as revealed on 19 November-and the first round of this ground-breaking bilateral study would conclude in early 2015.

Nov 24 (DM) Sri Lanka has the manufacturing base ready, and 85 percent of Sri Lanka’s industrial economy is concentrated on manufacturing. In the Global Innovation Index 2014, we rank at 69 in “innovation infrastructure” close to Thailand and Brunei, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen,

Nov 24 (DN) Singer Sri Lanka, the country's consumer durables giant, capped a strong third quarter by announcing group revenues of Rs. 20.8 billion in the year to date, a growth of 12% over the prior year.

More : FINANCE
* Pvt sector credit picks up again - CB (23 - Nation)
* 350-roomed Hotel and Residence Complex to be built overlooking Indian Ocean (23 - Island)
* Government’s motorcycle subsidy scheme takes a political twist (23 - ST)
* Investments up 74 percent (23 - SO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said today that the political party and the symbol of the common candidate would be revealed within two days. He expressed these views after meeting the Buddhist Chief Prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters at Kandy today.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has approached several main opposition United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians and held talks to get them crossed over to the government, party sources said. According to the sources, the government has approached UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake to crossover to recover the damage caused by the departure of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) general secretary Maithripala Sirisena.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- A supporter of Sri Lanka's common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena has been removed from a ministerial portfolio of a Provincial Council after he expressed his support to the candidate.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Catholic Church on Sunday urged all the political parties not to use the Pope's visit as political propaganda for the upcoming presidential polls. The Church said the Papal visit in January should not be politicized and that images of him should be removed from presidential election billboards.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka parliament today passed the government's 2015 Appropriation Bill with a majority of 95 votes. The Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill (2015) was passed by the House today bringing an an end to the Committee Stage Debate that commenced on Nov 03.

Nov 24 (CP) Colombo- An estimated 73,600 people - 0.359 percent of the entire population of 20.48 million- in Sri Lanka are subjected to modern day slavery, a global report released last week shows. The 2014 Global Slavery Index, released by Walk Free Foundation last week, has ranked Sri Lanka 92nd among 167 countries based on the percent of the country's population that is estimated to be in modern slavery.

Nov 24 (Janes) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) general secretary Maithripala Sirisena quit the ruling party and his health ministry portfolio on 21 November to run as the combined opposition candidate in the January 2015 presidential election.

Nov 24 (Island) Following Polonnaruwa District MP and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election, the latter yesterday addressed all elected UPFA representatives in the Polonnaruwa District.

Nov 24 (DM) The parties, supporting common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, are now looking for a symbol under which to contest the presidential election, political sources said yesterday.

Nov 24 (DN) Several General Secretaries of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) left the party on many occasions. Thererefore, this is nothing new to us, said Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The minister was addressing a special SLFP media briefing at the party headquarters yesterday.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- Some minor political parties in Sri Lanka that pledged support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier have started to reconsider their decision after former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena announced his candidacy for President as the common opposition candidate, political sources say.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- The application procedure for postal votes for the upcoming Presidential Election will commence from Sunday (23), the Department of Elections announced. Additional Elections Commissioner U. Amaradasa said applications will be accepted until the 4th of December.

Nov 23 (CP) Colombo- Australia has been a long term partner in supporting Sri Lankans to help achieve the national development goals of the country, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie said recently.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Final vote of the budget 2015 in Sri Lanka parliament today (24 - CP)
* Onion farmers' protest closes Sri Lanka's main north-south highway (23 - CP)
* Sri Lanka's first female bus driver on expressway holds a protest (23 - CP)
* Three Provincial Councils Up For Grabs (23 - Nation)
* About a dozen SLFPers identified as potential defectors (23 - Island)
* Govt. may consider dissolution if there is mass defection (23 - ST)
* President’s victory is crystal clear (23 - CP)
* Sri Lanka opposition candidate says no foreign conspiracy behind decision to challenge President (23 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Nov 24 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu is confident his team will be able to put aside the 5-0 defeat they suffered in India and bounce back in the seven-match ODI series against England. The whitewash in India was just Sri Lanka's third loss in their last ten series and Atapattu insisted the trip was not as bad as the scoreline suggests.

More : SPORTS

Nov 24 (ESPNCI) Banned offspinner Sachithra Senanayake underwent an official retest of his action in Chennai on Sunday, with the results expected within the next two weeks, Sri Lanka Cricket has said. The retest is the culmination of months of remedial work, which Senanayake has carried out under the supervision of both human movement specialist Daryl Foster, as well as with local coaches.

Nov 24 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka have named a substantially changed ODI squad for the first three games against England, jettisoning several ODI regulars in favour of players who had not been part of the limited-overs sides in the past year. Sri Lanka will effectively field a new-look attack against England, but the most left-field selection is that of a batsman. Thilina Kandamby, 32, has not played and ODI since 2011, but will now be considered for a middle-order spot ahead of the World Cup.

Nov 24 (ICC) Four-time world champion Australia has returned to the top of the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings after defeating South Africa 4-1 in the five-match ODI series, which concluded in Sydney on Sunday. George Bailey’s side had started the series in third position on 114 ratings points and has finished on equal points with India on 117 ratings points. However, when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Australia is just 0.2 clear of India and five ratings points clear of South Africa, which has dropped one place to third.


WORLD

Nov 24 (BBC) Chinese police have arrested a gang accused of selling a group of women as wives in rural China, state media says. Among the 14 victims were five children from Myanmar, who have now been returned, Xinhua news agency reported. The women were lured by the prospect of holidays or jobs and then sold for up to 50,000 yuan (£5,200).

More : WORLD

Nov 24 (BBC) A minister in India's Chhattisgarh state has confirmed that drugs given to 15 women who died after sterilisation surgery were contaminated. Health Minister Amar Agrawal said tests showed that they contained zinc phosphide - a substance that is also used in rat poison.

Nov 24 (OL) The toll from last week's deadly bus accident in Nepal today rose to 47 including one Indian as rescue operations entered in its fourth day. The bus carrying more than 50 people had skidded off a narrow stretch in Jajarkot district's mountainous region and plunged into Bheri river in western Nepal on Thursday. On day one, officials had confirmed that five people were killed and around 45 remained missing.

Nov 23 (TOI) ISLAMABAD- Pakistan plans to buy the fourth generation stealth fighter aircraft from China to boost its defence capability, according to a media report. The matter was being discussed with Chinese authorities, minister for defence production Rana Tanveer Hussain was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.


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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