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[Last Updated = Fri, Dec 19, 2014, 01:18 pm SL Time]
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Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka advises local government authorities to obey election laws

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- In response to the complaints lodged by some political party candidates, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRSCL) has advised all local government authorities to obey the election laws saying that the Commission will be compelled to take legal action against violators. In a communiqué to all the Local Government officials, the Chairman of the HRCSL, Justice Priyantha Perera said all Commissioners and Secretaries of Local Government authorities in their capacity as public officials have the responsibility to act according to the election laws.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Dec 19 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today granted bail to Danuna Tilakaratne, the son-in-law of former Army Commander and Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka after he surrendered to the court Friday (19). Colombo High Court judge Iranganie Perera released Tilakaratne, who appeared in court through legal counsel, on a cash bail of Rs. 400,000 and two sureties.

Dec 19 (CP) Colombo- The lone survivor of the Sri Lanka military transport plane crash on December 12 succumbed to his injuries Thursday night at the Colombo National Hospital. Leading Aircraftsmen G.K.N. Chaturanga was being treated at the intensive care unit of the Colombo National Hospital Following the crash of the Sri Lanka Air Force Antonov-32 in Hokandara on December 12.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) on Thursday accused army chief Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake of deploying troops to campaign for Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential elections.

Dec 18 (CP) Jaffna- A Sri Lankan court Thursday ordered to further remand the 38 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy few months ago. Oorkavalthurai Magistrate has extended the remand until December 31, when the fishermen arrested on different occasions were produced before the court today

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court Wednesday handed out death sentences to two Pakistani men accused of trafficking heroin into the island. Colombo High Court Judge Irangani Perera Wednesday sentenced the two Pakistani men, who pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army today rejected the allegations made by the opposition that the soldiers were used for low-grade menial jobs after the war ended. Speaking at a media briefing today (17), Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the defense service is not merely a force of soldiers carrying guns, but it is an institution comprising various services from medical doctors to engineers.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Police Department so far has arrested 30 individuals including three leaders of Pradeshiya Sabhas in response to 49 complaints of election law violations. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that out of the 30 individuals arrested 10 were PS members.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Inspector General of Police to investigate the arson attack on stage set up for an opposition party election rally in Wanduramba, Galle.

** Related Story ::Opposition election meetings attacked in Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- A stage set up for an election rally of the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena to be held today in Wanduramba, Galle, has been destroyed by an unidentified group early this morning.

Dec 18 (Island) KANDY- Two con men who had allegedly duped a Canadian couple promising to supply ‘ganja’ for Rs. 4,000 were arrested by the Kandy police. The duo aged 25 years and 28 years had approached the young Canadian couple while they were walking round the Kandy Lake and got them to smoke cannabis.

Dec 18 (DN) Large allocations have been earmarked to provide the best training opportunities to troops here and abroad, Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake said. Lieutenant General Ratnayake on arrival at SFHQs was received by the Commanders.

Dec 18 (DM) The two locally made claymore mines discovered yesterday at a cemetery in Bamunuwa, Nittambuwa would be defused by the Special Task Force today on a court order, Police said.

Dec 18 (TOI) CHENNAI- The Madras high court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to consider releasing a Sri Lankan Tamil doctor, now lodged in a special camp for refugees at Poonamallee, so that he could return to his country with his family and reclaim the property they had left behind during the civil war.

Dec 17 (National Review)The European Union remains a salutary reminder that countries that value their sovereignty should be wary of transnational courts. While much focus on this issue has centered on prosecution of American personnel, we should also remember that transnational courts hold great power over other decisions as well.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Mentally retarded girl abused (17 - DN)
* CSD Director General tells opposition not to play politics with his men’s dignity (17 - Island)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Dec 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena has presented his election manifesto this morning at the Viharamahadevi Park amid disruptions to the program. Read the opposition candidate's election Manifesto in English/Sinhala

Dec 18 (CP) Divulapitiya- The common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena reiterating his call for the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a debate on good governance and democracy, asked the President to stop violating election laws.

Dec 18 (CP) Mullaitivu- Recalling that the past 30 years had been a period of distress, terror and darkness for everyone, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa asked the people in the North to protect the country by casting their votes for the ruling party at the presidential election on January 8.


FINANCE

Dec 19 (LBO) The listed debenture issue of Sri Lanka’s Siyapatha Finance Limited, was oversubscribed on the opening day (18) as per the disclosures made to the CSE by the registrars to the debenture Issue.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- A Chinese firm has come forward to invest US$ 20 million to establish a saline production facility in Sri Lanka by mid-2015. The Chinese investor will be part of an entourage of 132 businessmen and six government representatives from the Sichuan Province that will be visiting Sri Lanka for networking purposes.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings (JKH) said, it has entered into a deal with the Standard Chartered Bank to obtain project funding for its Waterfront Development Project.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka's John Keells commences construction of waterfront resort after parliamentary approval

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- In a renewed effort aimed at fostering a stronger culture of corporate governance and sustainable corporate performance in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) together with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), recently paid tribute to ten distinguished Chairpersons of Public Listed Companies for demonstrating visionary leadership and governance in achieving sustainable corporate performance.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Singer PLC's issue of 10 million listed, rated, senior, unsecured, redeemable debenture at Rs. 100 each was oversubscribed, the company said in a stock exchange filling. Singer issued further 5 million debentures at an issue price of Rs. 100 rupees in the event of oversubscription.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- NDB Investment Bank (Pvt) Limited (NDBIB), was instrumental in the acquisition of Hemas Power PLC (HPWR) by a consortium comprising of NDB Capital Holdings PLC (NCAP),ACL Cables PLC (ACL) and Trydan Partners (Private) Limited (Trydan) in a deal worth approximately Rs. 1.7 billion.

Dec 18 (HP) Sri Lanka is an island dappled with stunning landscapes, fascinating wildlife and a tumultuous history. Geographically close to India, but distinct in its culture, traditions and monuments, Sri Lanka is a country quite unlike any other.

Dec 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose on Thursday for the first time in six sessions, with telecoms leading the recovery, but stockbrokers said gains may not be sustainable due to political worries ahead of the Jan. 8 presidential poll.

Dec 18 (Island) Senok Automobiles Private Ltd. introduced the New Audi A3 to local motor enthusiasts at the Hilton Colombo Residencies, Tuesday. The Audi A3, the premium compact bestseller from the brand with the four rings, is the 2014 World Car of the Year.

Dec 18 (DN) Two leading Chinese airlines; Air China and China Eastern are set to add Colombo to their direct flights radar and will take to the air by mid February 2015. These two additions will be added to form part of the four direct flight destinations between Sri Lanka and China, done through Sri Lankan Airlines.

Dec 18 (DM) The inaugural convocation of the Chartered Tax Advisor programme of the Faculty of Taxation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) was held recently where students who had completed the course were awarded the distinguished Chartered Tax Advisor status.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan stocks fall for fifth day; hit near 3-wk low (17 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka’s Sanasa Development Bank’s right issue oversubscribed (17 - LBO)
* Rs 900m Suriya Resort Hotel opens in Negombo (17 - DN)
* Falck introduces globally acclaimed medical clinics (17 - Island)
* BOC To Improve Environs Of National Hospital Colombo (17 - DM)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 19 (DN) Political stability in Sri Lanka is very marked, compared to other countries, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L Peiris said. Addressing a press conference at the SLFP headquarters yesterday, Prof. Peiris said a stable government is the prime need to build a developed nation.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's first mass media outlet targeting the country's 1.9-million strong Muslim community was unveiled on 16 December at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

Dec 18 (CP) Colombo- Construction of houses for those who were displaced by the massive landslide in Koslanda Meeriya Bedda estate in Badulla district will begin today, according to a local government official.

Dec 17 (CP) Balapitiya- The common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena said he would like to enlighten his opponent at the presidential election, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on good governance and democracy and challenged him for a debate on the subject.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a leading public policy research and advocacy think tank in Sri Lanka, says the Missing Persons Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is 'structurally flawed'.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- Sharing his future plans for the country with the private sector Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said his future vision is to eliminate poverty along with any corruption that would hinder the progress of the nation.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo-Two new justices to Sri Lanka high courts were sworn in today before President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Judge of the Court of Appeal Justice Upali Abeyratne was sworn to the Supreme Court and High Court Judge Sherine Madawala was sworn in to the Court of Appeal before the President today at Temple Trees.

Dec 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga has warned that the present President Mahinda Rajapaksa may resort to 'skullduggery' to win the election and urged the international community to press his government to ensure a free and fair election.

Dec 18 (Island) Impeached Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake yesterday said that she would not support any candidate vying for the presidency. Addressing the media outside the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court after appearing in a case filed against her by the Bribery Commission, Dr. Bandaranayake said she would not enter politics because she still considered herself the country’s Chief Justice.

Dec 18 (DN) The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Ministers yesterday in one voice said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the last Executive President in Sri Lanka and he is the only person who could scrap the Executive Presidency.

Dec 18 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) today alleged that Western provincial councilor Udaya Gammanpila and some ministers were forcing the party’s local government members to defect from the JHU and join hands with the president.

Dec 18 (DPA) Colombo- Abilash Jeyaraj, a 10-year-old boy living in an village eastern in Sri Lanka, says his only ambition is to become an engineer when he grows up.He was lucky enough to survive the deadly tsunami waves that hit Kalmunai

Dec 18 (Stuff) Women sashay past, saris fluttering and hips swaying rhythmically to the thumping drums. The high-pitched whining of a wind instrument draws me like the call of the Pied Piper. I'm swept along by the crowd of spiritual devotees circling a massive white stupa at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle.

Dec 17 (WSJ) COLOMBO— If you don’t have a doting parent, devoted spouse or a dutiful domestic at home, chances are you will spend most weekday afternoons in a bit of a bind.

Dec 17 (AsiaNews) Mullativu- On Pope Francis's birthday, Tamil Catholics in a northern Sri Lankan community expressed their best wishes to the Holy Father for a "long and healthy life" because the people of Sri Lanka "needs the pope's prayers for a lasting peace."

Dec 17 (Reuters) A leader of Sri Lanka's opposition said he would scrap a $1.5 billion deal with China Communications Construction Co Ltd <601800.SS> to build a port city if the challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa wins next month's election.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* UPFA dares common opposition: ‘Reveal your agreements’ (17 - DN)
* Rishad pounces on Ranga (17 - Island)
* SL tops Google’s ‘sex’ search list again (17 - DM)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Dec 19 (ESPNCI) Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has been ruled out of Sri Lanka's first Test against New Zealand by the hamstring tear he suffered last week, team manager Michael de Zoysa has confirmed. Herath had damaged his upper, inner left thigh while training ahead of the fifth ODI against England, and though team management had initially been hopeful for a quick recovery, he will now likely be out for at least three weeks.

More : SPORTS

Dec 18 (BSN) The South Island city of Christchurch is set to host a unique and spectacular opening event for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. This will be held on Thursday 12th February - two days before the tournament officially begins when New Zealand take on Sri Lanka at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

Dec 18 (SLC) Sri Lanka National team left the island for New Zealand this morning for a tour which will get underway on Sunday (21st)with a practice game against NZ A in Queenstown Dec 21. The team is to play 2 Test matches and 7 ODIs. Christchurch will host the opening Test match of the series on December 26.

Dec 18 (IANS) Indian cricket went through another tumultuous year on and off the field with a controversy that shook the very foundation of the game's governing body in the country - the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) - that refused to die down and spilled over to the New Year after raising several tough questions for its beleaguered president, N. Srinivasan.


WORLD

Dec 18 (BBC) India has successfully launched its largest rocket and an unmanned capsule which could send astronauts into space. The 630-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (MK III) blasted off from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday morning.

More : WORLD

Dec 18 (BBC) A New Zealander and two Burmese men have pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Buddhism in Myanmar. The trio, who ran a bar in Yangon, are accused over a flyer promoting a drinks event depicting Buddha with headphones.

Dec 18 (BBC) A man accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks has been granted bail by a court in Pakistan. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is one of seven men facing trial over the attacks in the Indian city, which left 165 people dead. Nine gunmen were also killed.

Dec 17 (AJ) The Palestinian group Hamas should be removed from the European Union's “terrorist” list, the General Court of the European Union ruled on Wednesday, saying the initial decision to include Hamas was based on media reports rather than considered analysis.


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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