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[Last Updated = Fri, Oct 21, 2016, 12:50 pm SL Time]
High level delegation of Belgian government to visit Sri Lanka next week to promote bilateral relations

Oct 21 (CP) Brussels- Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has assured his Sri Lankan counterpart that his country will closely work with Sri Lanka to revive the relations between the two nations that had weakened during the past few years. Prime Minister Michel told Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Wednesday that a high level delegation from the Belgian government will visit Sri Lanka next week to explore more avenues in promoting bilateral relations between the two nations.
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Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Customs officials at the Colombo International Airport in Katunayake last night have arrested a Chinese woman when she attempted to illegally smuggle a stock of gems worth Rs.11.64 million out of the country.

Oct 21 (CP) Tiruchi- A Sri Lankan Tamil, resident of Tiruchi died while arriving in Tiruchi by a taxi after landing at Madurai airport from Colombo on Wednesday, according to a report in The Hindu. Police identified the deceased as N. Kanakaraj (62), resident of K.K. Nagar here. He was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Oct 21 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday issued notice on the Director General of Wildlife and the Director of the CID Special Unit (1) returnable on November 4. This notice is pertaining to a notice filed by the Centre for Eco Cultural Development,

Oct 21 (DM) The Chairman of SAITM and its Teaching Hospital in Malabe, Dr. Neville Fernando said that SAITM would no longer be responsible for the 26 human body parts recently confiscated by the CID from the SAITM laboratory

Oct 21 (DN) A man who impersonated as Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Facebook was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department yesterday. The man produced before the Fort Magistrate was remanded until October 27.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Magistrate's Court today granted approval for the Chairman of Avant Garde Nissanka who is being released on bail in a bribery case to travel overseas for medical treatment.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today grant a request made by the government to issue an international arrest warrant through the Interpol on former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga.

* SL Navy snaps fishing nets of TN fishermen (20 - PTI)
* Trial begins for four men accused of smuggling 492 Sri Lankan Tamils into Canada (20 - CP)
* Sri Lanka Navy arrests 35 local fishermen engaged in illegal fishing (20 - CP)
* Magistrate orders report into retired JMO liability over missing bones of Thajudeen (20 - Island)
* Navy Ratings assaulted in Silawathurai (20 - DM)


Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that in addition to seeking approval of state institutions, his permission will be mandatory in clearing forests and moving earth.

Oct 20 (CP) Brussels- The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has said that it was the hope of the European Parliament that they would be able to carry on cooperation between Sri Lanka and Europe based on mutual trust.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Thursday moved the Bill entitled Appropriation to provide for the service of the financial year 2017 in parliament. The government has estimated an allocation of Rs. 1.82 trillion (US$ 12.4 billion) for expenditure, which is lower than the 2016 allocation of Rs. 1.95 trillion.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, who concluded a 10-day mission to Sri Lanka today, recommended the island nation's government to establish an Independent Commission on Minorities under the Constitution with a clear mandate, powers, resources and autonomy.


Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Fitch Ratings has maintained a stable outlook on Sri Lanka's telecoms sector. The rating agency expects the credit profiles of Sri Lanka Telecom and Dialog Axiata to remain steady despite higher taxes and large capex

Oct 21 (Island) Administrative Secretary Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union Velayudam Ruthiradeepan (VR) speaking to The Island Financial Review said the prolonged wage negotiations for plantation workers were concluded this week.

Oct 21 (Island) Admitting the lack of market research data, the head of a government tourism agency this week said that global market research into changing tourist behaviour should be undertaken in the future.

Oct 21 (DN) Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Alexander A. Karchava, made a fervent appeal to the Council to intervene in the government’s decision to ban the use of Chrysotile Fibre in Sri Lanka. “Such a move may strain relations between the two countries.”

Oct 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is considering revamping the Primary Auction system for government securities, sources said. The proposed system would overhaul the auction bidding process and introduce non-competitive bidding so as to create a level playing field.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's National ICT solutions provider, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) has recruited 121 outsourced employees attached to its Human Capital Solutions (HCS) subsidiary to permanent cadre of SLT.

Oct 20 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker on Thursday, posting their lowest close in a month, as investors awaited next month's national budget and a flurry of corporate results.

* Regional Plantation Companies ink productivity-linked wage, maintains call for transition to revenue sharing model (20 - Island)
* Three all-time record prices at tea auction (20 - DM)
* Initiative to set up fifteen new sugar refining plants (20 - DN)


Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government plans to establish 11 Industrial and Technology Development Zones island wide to improve the livelihood of the people in rural areas by providing highly paid employment opportunities and develop the areas.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo District Court this morning lifted the enjoining order placed on acclaimed director Prasanna Vithanage's court documentary 'Usaviya Nihandai' (Silence in the Courts) banning it from screening. The court placed the injunction against the movie on October 5, a day before it was to be screened, after former District Judge Lenin Ratnayake filed a lawsuit alleging that the film tarnishes his character and the reputation of the entire judiciary.

Oct 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says a cooperated budget prepared for 2017 after considering the views and proposals of both UNP and the SLFP in the unity government will be presented to the parliament on 10th of next month.

Oct 21 (Island) Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena had caused a serious crisis at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) yesterday stressed that the President was now responsible for ensuring its smooth functioning.

Oct 21 (DM) Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that if anyone found the US$18 billion that the government alleges he has stored in secret offshore accounts, he would use it to remove the tax imposed on medicine and use the money to give relief to patients.

Oct 21 (DN) The COPE meeting that lasted for seven hours yesterday ended undecided on the report on the Central Bank Treasury Bonds controversy. The COPE presided by its Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti held a special meeting at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday to finalise the COPE report on the above matter, which is expected to be tabled in the House next Tuesday.

Oct 21 (National Interest) In recent years, the island nation of Sri Lanka has received considerable attention from the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council. Country-specific council resolutions were passed on Sri Lanka annually from 2012 to 2014.

Oct 21 (GV) Sri Lanka recently announced that it will pay as much as USD 170 million (Rs. 25 billion) to the aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings, in order to cancel the purchase of four Airbus A350 aircraft, which the country's Rajapaksa government had previously purchased in 2013.

Oct 20 (CP) New Delhi- India says it has no objection if Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu want to return to Sri Lanka with the help of the island nation's government. In response to a media query on the return of Sri Lankan refugees to Sri Lanka, official spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup at a media briefing on Thursday said the Indian government will no object to voluntary return.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) today called on the President to give leadership in calling for, and the Prime minister and all members of the Constitutional Assembly to ensure, the incorporation of Economic, Social and Cultural rights in the future constitutional chapter on rights as fully protected rights.

Oct 20 (CP) Brussels- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister accompanied by his delegation have met with various representative parties of the European Parliament on Wednesday to discuss the European Union's Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) tariff concession and the spaces for support and assistance for Sri Lanka.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo: The Sri Lankan government, targeting to make the country self-sufficient in sugar production, has initiated plans to increase sugarcane cultivation and to set up 15 new production plants in the country.

Oct 20 (CP) Colombo- President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Sunethra Jayasinghe, the Deputy Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Bribery Commission as Acting Director General of the commission after accepting the Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe's resignation.

Oct 20 (LSE) At the recently concluded World Economic Forum India Economic Summit, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickeramsinghe indicated that Sri Lanka and India intend to sign the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) by the end of 2016.

* 2017 Appropriation Bill to be presented in Sri Lanka Parliament today (20 - CP)
* JO alleges govt. betrayed Muslims to appease US (20 - Island)
* Ramanayake criticizes minister for shielding officers (20 - DM)
* Hidden hand in country’s governance: Gammanpila (20 - DN)


Oct 21 (DN) Former Cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara will lead the Karachi Kings team in the Pakistan 2017 T20 premier league. Mahela Jayawardana, Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Ryan McLaren,Mohammad Amir, Kieron Pollardare are some of the other top international players in the team. The team is worth a staggering 2.4 million USD, and was recently bought over by Salman Iqbal the owner of Any Media Group.


Oct 21 (WI) Sri Lanka ‘A’ consolidated their position as they ended their second innings on 211 for 5 for a lead of 286 runs when bad light stopped play on day three in the third unofficial Test match against West Indies ‘A’ played at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium. Sri Lanka ‘A’ going into bat the second time with a lead of 75 runs were again given a sound start by openers Sandun Weerakkody and Kusal Perera who together held on till the lunch break going in with a score of 49 for no loss.

Oct 20 (ICC) Australia has won the prestigious ICC Women’s Championship with its last set of matches still to go. Australia emerged the winner following England’s five-wicket win for a 2-1 series victory over the West Indies which has put Australia in an unassailable position with a tally of 30 points after 18 of its 21 matches. After 18 matches, England is on 23 points and can reach a maximum of 29 points at the end of the tournament, while the West Indies can at best reach 28 points after its three remaining matches.

Oct 20 (ESPNCI) In a normal Indian season, this ODI would have been played on Wednesday and not Thursday, but it has been postponed to accommodate the festival of Karva Chauth. This is festival season in India; the Kolkata Test was advanced to avoid a clash with Durga Puja and Diwali, one of the biggest pan-Indian festivals, takes place during the ODI series. For India, the festivities seem to have extended to the field - they have beaten New Zealand in all four matches of the tour


Oct 21 (AP) COLOMBO— A desperate Pakistani family anxiously awaiting a U.S. visa for their ailing little girl is running out of time: Maria is just six years old but a rare genetic disease has left her frail body wracked with pain and stunted her growth. Soon she will be unable to walk because her vertebrae are compressing her spinal cord.

More : WORLD

Oct 20 (BBC) Four people, including a doctor, have been arrested over a deadly hospital fire in Bhubaneswar, India. The fire swept through the dialysis and intensive care units of the private SUM hospital in Orissa (also called Odisha) state on Monday, killing 20 people. It was believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Oct 20 (BBC) Tens of thousands have been evacuated in the Philippines amid one of the country's worst-ever storms. Super Typhoon Haima is battering the northern island of Luzon, where over 10 million people are within its reach. President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting China, but said emergency services had been deployed.

Oct 20 (BBC) Republican Donald Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election result if he loses, in the final TV debate against Hillary Clinton. "I will tell you at the time," he told moderator Chris Wallace. For days he has claimed the election is "rigged".

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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