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Latest News from Sri Lanka: LankaPage wishes its readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays... [Last Updated = Thu, Jan 20, 2022, 11:03 am SL Time]
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Sri Lanka Central Bank raises policy interest rates to strengthen macroeconomic stability

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Central Bank today said it has decided to increase both the deposit rate and the lending rate by 50 basis points each with the view to strengthening macroeconomic stability. Accordingly, the Monetary Board decided to increase the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR), by 50 basis points each, to 5.50 percent and 6.50 percent, respectively.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- A three-judge bench of the Colombo High Court today said the decision on whether to acquit Former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando who has been charged in connection with the Easter Sunday massacre or call for defense statement will be taken on the 18th of February.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 829 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Wednesday. According to the Epidemiology Unit report at 7:30 pm Wednesday, a total of 598,536 COVID-19 cases have been reported
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Wednesday reported 12 deaths due to COVID-19 after the figures were confirmed by the Director General of Health Services on Tuesday, January 18. Among the deaths reported today, are 05 males and 07 females.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- A writ petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal seeking the annulment of new government regulations requiring Sri Lankans to obtain a security clearance report from the Ministry of Defense if they wish to marry a foreign national. The petition was filed by Attorney-at-Law Tishya Weragoda.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The bodies of two missing fishermen were washed ahore on the Kayankerny Beach yesterday (18), Vakarai Police said. The bodies have been identified as those of the father and son of the same family who went to sea in the evening on the 16th from the Kayankeni Yanikkal area.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- A retired doctor has been arrested in Piliyandala in connection with placing a hand grenade in the All Saints Church on Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha in Borella, the crimes investigation unit of the Colombo South Division said.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The first Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), Air Chief Marshal Pathman Hariprasadha Mendis has passed away this morning (18), the Air Force announced.
 

Jan 18 (UCAN) Catholic leaders in Sri Lanka have cast doubts over police investigations into the discovery of a live hand grenade inside a church on Jan. 11, three days before the commemoration of the 1,000th day since the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The driver of a tractor and his assistant were killed when their tractor fell into a precipice at the 9th bend near the water tank on the Geelong Mountain Road in Monaragala last evening (17), Monaragala Police said.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The Mount Lavinia Police yesterday (16) arrested a suspect wanted in connection with a number of crimes. The suspect, who was staying near the Ratmalana Airport, was arrested on suspicion and information about him was revealed during interrogation.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Three people were killed and five others were seriously injured when a tipper truck collided head on with a car in the Ekgaloya area in Ampara Sunday, police said. At the time of the accident, the tipper truck was traveling from Damana to Siyambalanduwa and the car was traveling in the opposite direction.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Coronavirus update: 672 new COVID-19 cases identified Tuesday, total rises to 597,707 (18 - CP)
* Sri Lanka reports 13 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, toll rises to 15,231 (18 - CP)
* Coronavirus update: 688 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 597,035 (17 - CP)
* Sri Lanka reports 07 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, toll rises to 15,218 (17 - CP)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Aiming to further strengthen the health service in Sri Lanka, The Government of Japan under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assistance has provided Rs. 400 million worth medical equipment to nine hospitals in the country.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards 2021 – hosted by Women in Management (WIM), in collaboration with Women in Work, a partnership between IFC and the government of Australia – recently honored inspiring professional and career women in Sri Lanka and Maldives making a mark in their respective fields.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The United Kingdom and Sri Lanka acknowledging the unique, multifaceted partnership between the two countries have agreed to deepen the bilateral ties in many spheres when a visiting UK minister met with Sri Lankan leaders on Tuesday.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Senior Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) officer Gamini Senarath Wednesday (January 19) assumed duties as the new Secretary to the President replacing former secretary P B Jayasundara, who has retired earlier this month.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy conducted successful naval exercises with the German Navy’s FFGH (123 Class) frigate BAYERN, arrived in Colombo on 15th January 2022, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships URAGA, and HIRADO which arrived in Trincomalee on 16th January, on official visits.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider HNB FINANCE PLC emerged victorious at the recent Asian Banking and Finance Awards 2021 (ABF), winning the “Marketing & Branding Initiative of the Year – Sri Lanka” award for the second consecutive year, while retaining the title as the only non-banking financial institution to be recognised from Sri Lanka in this awards program.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Central Depositary Systems (Pvt) Ltd (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), has strengthened its client base for the provision of registrar services with the addition of Chrissworld PLC.
 

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares inched higher on Wednesday as communication services and real estate companies rose, although weakness in the energy sector limited gains.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Jan Paul Bethke, a leading German importer of Sri Lankan fruits and tea, urged Sri Lankan agri-product exporters to practice effective and superior packaging if they are to be successful in terms of capturing markets in Europe.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Emirates has announced it will add five more flights to Sri Lanka, offering customers 26 weekly flights to Colombo, including a daily service from Male to Colombo. Starting from 10 February 2022, the added services will offer customers more travel choices and flexibility to Sri Lanka’s commercial capital.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says that 39,172 tourists have arrived in Sri Lanka in the first two weeks of this year. During the first 14 days, most of the tourists have come to this country from the Russian Federation.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is organizing a training program mainly for Listed Companies on Climate Disclosure in collaboration with UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE), Climate Disclosure Standard Board (CDSB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).
 

Jan 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will introduce new laws to attract investments over the next three years while policies to develop exports, tourism and remittances will be fast-tracked in a bid to rebuild foreign exchange reserves, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Tuesday.
 

Jan 18 (WSJ) A deepening debt crisis has left Sri Lanka struggling to pay for imports and stoked political controversy over Chinese lending to the South Asian nation as part of Beijing’s global Belt and Road infrastructure program.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) today warned the hotels and restaurants that follow a “Foreigners Only” policy that they would face license cancellation if they discriminate the local tourists.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says that 39,172 tourists have arrived in Sri Lanka in the first two weeks of this year. During the first 14 days, most of the tourists have come to this country from the Russian Federation.
 

Jan 18 (Bloomberg) Global investors are growing more skeptical that Sri Lanka will be able to repay its long-term debt as the island nation turns to bilateral aid to help it meet obligations.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The National Audit Office has uncovered information regarding an incident where the Ministry of Mahaweli Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development has paid over Rs. 1750 million in advance to a contractor for the importation of 15,000 dairy cattle but not a single dairy cow was imported and handed over.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka Monday reported that the value of Employees’ Provident Fund’s Listed Equity Portfolio as at end 2021 increased by Rs. 28 billion recording a market value of Rs. 112 billion, against cost of Rs. 84 billion.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has launched a “BOC Fuel card” partnering with ‘MasterCard international’ to Sri Lankan business community and the general public.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lankan shares scale fresh peaks amid sovereign debt repayment (18 - Reuters)
* SL averts immediate default; calls to engage with IMF get louder (18 - DM)
* Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review (17 - Island)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd) Sarath Weerasekara has been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Minister has been admitted to the Narahenpita Police Hospital for treatment after testing positive for the virus.
 

Jan 20 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka and Hungary have entered into a finance corporation agreement to provide concessionary finance facilities through the Hungarian Exim Bank for implementing infrastructure development projects in the country.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that Sri Lanka expects to enter into joint tourism cooperation agreements with three countries- Bangladesh, Cambodia and South Africa- soon.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Only a handful of parliamentarians in Sri Lanka seem to be preparing for their speeches using the library and most MPs are not prepared for their speeches resulting in insult and false allegations, the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said today.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The government of China has decided to provide one million metric tons of rice to Sri Lanka free of charge. The Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa has stated at the Cabinet meeting held last night (18) that the Chinese Ambassador had informed him about the donation.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said its attention has been drawn to the Canada’s Travel Advisory on Sri Lanka issued on 13 January, 2022 that includes erroneous and outdated information and does not reflect the actual situation in Sri Lanka.
 

Jan 19 (Hindu) Prominent Tamil legislators from Sri Lanka’s north and east have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking India’s help in ensuring that Colombo addresses the island’s long-pending Tamil question with a lasting political solution.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal made by Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena to publish the amended Intellectual Property Act no.36 of 2003 in the government gazette and subsequently submit to the parliament.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- The two day debate on the Government Policy Statement presented by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Parliament yesterday begins today .Accordingly, the debate is scheduled to commence after the sitting of Parliament at 1.00 pm today.
 

Jan 19 (CP) Colombo- Opposition parliamentarians including the MPs of Samagi Jana Balawegaya, have boycotted the tea party hosted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for parliamentarians and guests after presenting the government’s policy statement in Parliament yesterday.
 

Jan 19 (EAF) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 election manifesto promised ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’. Professionals for a Better Future (Viyathmaga) were to implement his programs, which would achieve successive years of economic fortune. But Rajapaksa will instead be remembered for presiding over Sri Lanka’s worst-ever year post-independence.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The Foreign Ministry said the body of Late Consul General of Sri Lanka in Milan Visharada Neela Wickramasinghe will be repatriated to Sri Lanka soon. Late Visharada Neela Wickramasinghe assumed duties as the Consul-General of Sri Lanka in Milan, Italy on 29 December 2021.
 

Jan 18, Colombo: India has offered a new Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 500 million to Sri Lanka for purchase of petroleum products. Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar extended this critical support in his letter addressed to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris, the High Commission of India in Colombo said in a release Tuesday.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- The Volume 01, Issue 01 of the International Journal of Research in Computing (IJRC) published by the Faculty of Computing, General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (KDU) was launched at the KDU premises recently.
 

Jan 18 (AsiaNews) Colombo– More than a thousand houses were donated to Tamil farmworkers of Indian descent who work on plantations in Sri Lanka.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering the government’s policy statement in the Parliament today on all Government and Opposition parties to unite inside as well as outside of Parliament to overcome the challenge faced by the country.
 

Jan 18 (CP) Colombo- First salary and the money raised by the Sialkot business community for the family of the Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was killed by a mob of factory employees in Pakistan’s Punjab province, have been given to his widow.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- The Power crisis in Sri Lanka is expected to get exacerbated with the trade union action planned for tomorrow by the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Association. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Engineers’ Association at a press conference held Monday said all engineers except those who are engaged in operations will be on sick leave tomorrow (18).
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Trade Dr. Bandula Gunawardena today charged that the Polonnaruwa rice mill owners were planning to sell a kilo of rice at Rs. 300 by the Sinhala New Year and said the government is importing rice only in response to the Polonnaruwa ‘rice mafia’.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando says that a record income has been received from the newly opened Mirigama-Kurunegala stretch of the Central Expressway in 12 hours. According to the Minister the toll expressway earned over Rs. 2.8 million from 12.00 noon to 12.00 midnight Sunday (16th).
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday offered his deepest condolences on the sudden death of veteran musician Neela Wickramasinghe, who passed away on Monday at age 71 in Milan, Italy.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Veteran singer and musician Visharada Neela Wickramasinghe has passed away in Italy. She was 71 years old at the time of her death. Wickramasinghe died while serving as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Milan, Italy.
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday declared open the Tomlin Park and the Municipal Car Park which were built for the convenience of pilgrims visiting the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The Tomlin Park with the state-of-the-art resting places have been built by the Strategic Cities Development Program
 

Jan 17 (CP) Colombo- Udaya Gammanpila, Minister of Energy has informed the Ministry of Power that from now on fuel will be provided to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) only if dollars are provided. Accordingly, the Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila has stated that holding discussions about fuel crisis no use and fuel will not be provided to the CEB without dollars after yesterday.
 

Jan 17 (BBC) "An economic game changer" is how officials describe Colombo Port City, a shiny metropolis soaring out of the water along the Sri Lankan capital’s seafront.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Threat of a ’Port City cluster’ emerging (18 - DM)
* Cabinet reshuffle delayed as SLFP breakaway imminent (17 - DM)

SPORTS

Jan 18 (SLC)Skipper Chamari Athapaththu played the lead role hammering 86 off 45 balls containing 13 fours and 2 sixes as Sri Lanka Women thrashed the daylights out of Scotland Women by 109 runs in a Commonwealth Games Women’s T20 qualifying round match played at the Binrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
 

Jan 18 (ESPNCI) Regis Chakabva provided the innings’ early impetus, Craig Ervine hit 91 and put on 106 with Sean Williams, and Sikandar Raza struck a half-century late in the piece to get Zimbabwe to 302 for 7. But the visiting bowlers had to hold their nerve too.
 

Jan 18 (ESPNCI) In the other Group D match, Sri Lanka captain Dunith Wellalage produced a dominating all-round show against Australia to throw the group wide open with one round of matches left. Wellalage - the batting allrounder who also bowls left-arm spin - first ran through the Australia batting with a five-for to bowl them out for 175.
 

Jan 17 (ESPNCI) Ben Stokes has joined Joe Root in deciding not to enter the auction for the 2022 edition of the IPL, with England’s Test captain and vice-captain instead set to prepare for the first Test of their home summer against New Zealand by playing in the County Championship.
 


WORLD

Jan 18 (BBC) Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is under fire for saying that he - and most Americans - "don’t care" about abuses against the Uyghur minority in China. Mr Palihapitiya, a part-owner of San Francisco’s basketball team, made the comments during a podcast discussion
 

Jan 17 (CNA) _China on Monday (Jan 17) cancelled plans to sell tickets to the public for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached its highest since March 2020. Organisers said last year there would be no international spectators at the Games,
 

Jan 17 (CNA) At least 12 people were killed after an earthquake hit western Afghanistan on Monday (Jan 17), an official said.The victims died when roofs of their residential houses collapsed in Qadis district in the western province of Badghis, district governor Mohammad Saleh Purdel told AFP_
 

Jan 17 (BBC) Tongans living overseas are facing an anxious wait for news of loved ones after a volcano triggered a tsunami. The underwater volcano erupted on Saturday, about 65km (40 miles) north of the capital Nuku’alofa.
 


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 Lankas 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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