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US Secretary of State meets President, reaffirms commitment to a sovereign & secure Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- The United States Secretary of State Michel R. Pompeo, who arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday for a two-day visit, met with the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today for discussions, the President’s Media Division said. Secretary Pompeo sat down with Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to reaffirm United States’ commitment to a sovereign and secure Sri Lanka.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- The Jaffna Public Health Inspector’s Office says that two Jaffna fish traders who visited the Peliyagoda wholesale fish market have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
 

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana has requested that the numbers of the Sri Lanka Transport Board and private buses be affixed inside the bus in several places so that it is clearly visible to the passengers.
 

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- A group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu hs accused the Sri Lankan navy of attacking them with stones and empty liquor bottles while they were fishing off the Katchatheevu island Monday.
 

Oct 28 (DM) Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian and Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Mano Ganesan has defended a decision to sign a petition calling for a Presidential pardon for Duminda Silva.
 

Oct 28 (DN) Attorney General Dappula De Livera has directed the Acting IGP to immediately commence a criminal investigation into the spread of COVID-19 from the Minuwangoda Brandix Cluster.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has rejected the bail application submitted by MP Rishad Bathiudeen and further remanded the parliamentarian until the 10th of November.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) announces that a quarantine curfew is imposed currently in Homagama, Moratuwa, Panadura North and Panadura South police areas with immediate effect until further notice.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- According to the Department of Government Information, 457 new Covid-19 patients were reported from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda clusters so far on Tuesday. Among them, 447 patients are associates of infected from Peliyagoda COVID cluster and 10 persons are associates or staff from quarantine centers.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- Two more deaths due to COVID-19 viral infection have been reported from the Colombo National Hospital. An 87-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man have died while receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital, the health officials said.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo-The National Operation Center for the Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) has announced that the city of Hatton has been completely isolated with immediate effect to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- The National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) has decided to self-quarantine the closest associates of people infected with COVID-19 at home according to a new procedure from today.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- A time period of 14 hours has been given for people to purchase essential items in the Gampaha district that is under an indefinite quarantine curfew. Accordingly, food stores, pharmacies and banks have been allowed to remain open from 8 am to 10 pm on Monday in the Gampaha district.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- Courts will not function for regular work within areas where Quarantine Curfew has been imposed, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka announced. Magistrates and Additional Magistrates are instructed to attend to remand extension matters and wherever possible extension of remand should be done by electronic means.
 

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Kosgoda Police staff swapped with new set of officers (27 - DN)
* Coronavirus update: 541 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 8,416 (26 - CP)
* Coronavirus update: 280 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 8,152 (26 - CP)
* Funds poured into NTJ kitty from all over the world’ (26 - Island)
* ‘Bluemendal Sanka’s wife, son arrested (26 - DM)
* Political hand behind Islamic extremists who carried out attacks - ACJU Acting Secretary (26 - DN)

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- Marking another significant step in the journey to make Sri Lanka’s Ports System the shipping hub in Asia, the East Container Terminal ( ECT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has inaugurated its container operations Tuesday, 27 October 2020 with the arrival of the first container carrier ship.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Washington, DC- The U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka today for a two-day visit on October 27-28, 2020 following his visit to New Delhi, India.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The Minister of Education, Prof. GL Peiris said it is planned to enroll about 41,000 students in universities this year and 371 more students will be admitted to medical faculties alone.
 

Oct 27 (SCMP) US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s visit to Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Wednesday comes at a time when key powers in the Indo-Pacific – India, China and Japan – are engaged in diplomatic outreach to strengthen ties with Colombo amid its rising strategic profile in the region.
 


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) announced a landmark agreement with Proparco, the private sector funding arm of the French development bank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), to secure US$ 60 million in funding.
 

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo: The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in Sri Lanka’ for the third year in a row at the 2020 Asian Banker Transaction Awards recently, in recognition of its achievements in cash management, payments, and trade finance.
 

Oct 28 (CP) Colombo- Continuing its heavy focus on entrepreneurial and economic development island-wide, BOC has led the way in CBSL’s ‘Saubagya’ COVID-19 Working Capital Loan scheme, by being set to single handedly disburse Rs.42.8 Billion of the allocated total of Rs.150 Billion by CBSL.
 

Oct 28 (DM) As the Central Bank sponsored Saubagya COVID-19 credit scheme came to an end fortnight ago, another loan re-finance scheme aimed at small businesses, this time sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and implemented by the Finance Ministry is expected to be launched early as December.
 

Oct 28 (DN) National Savings Bank, (NSB) has enabled a cashless society with Quick Response (QR) Code Banking in collaboration with Lanka QR. Globally recognized Quick Response (QR) Code banking is the next step in the evolutionary journey of banking
 

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed slightly higher on Tuesday, helped by consumer staples, industrials and material stocks. The benchmark stock index ended up 0.19% at 5,680.28.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- National Development Bank PLC and ThinkCube Solutions Ltd. have signed a partnership agreement to promote the breakthrough Cloud based Business Application ezBiz to NDB’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman and the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (EDB) jointly organized a B2B virtual meeting between manufacturers of fiberglass and acrylic products of the two countries.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority General Daya Ratnayaka Monday inaugurated the new branch of the Cargills Food city, a leading supermarket chain in Sri Lanka, in the Port of Colombo.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- The government of Sri Lanka has received the cabinet approval to award a contract to wholesale petroleum distributor Vitol Aviation BV to supply aviation fuel for SriLankan Airlines planes at the Melbourne Airport in Australia.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has made the tourism investment process easy by streamlining the project approval process and the facilitation services provided by the Investor Relations Unit (IRU) - the unit established within SLTDA as the centralized facilitation arm for tourism investments in the country.
 

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* BPPL Holdings records robust 2Q amid strong brush sales (27 - DM)
* Siddhalepa Ayurveda Teas to China (27 - DN)
* Sri Lankan shares end lower as industrial, financial stocks weigh (26 - Reuters)
* Spar Expands Footprint In Sri Lanka With Sixth Store Opening (26 - ESM)
* Ideal Group introduces industry-first insurance reward scheme (26 - Island)
* Stock market indices record 3% loss amid spike in COVID-19 positive cases (26 - DM)
* SLTDA waiting on Cabinet approval for visa validation (26 - DN)
* SLT partners with Fon Wireless Limited to create Community Wi-Fi networks (26 - CP)

POLITICS - GENERAL

Oct 28 CP) Colombo- Preliminary investigations have revealed that some political allies took loans from major state banks during the period of good governance and deliberately defaulted on them, says the committee appointed by the Prime Minister to look into irregularities committed by state banks and their affiliates during the previous regime.
 

Oct 28 (DM) Following the imposition of quarantine curfew in Panadura, Moratuwa and Homagama yesterday, people in those areas have been restricted from using train services operating on the Kelani Valley and coastal lines until further notice, the Sri Lanka Railways Station Masters’ Union (SLRSMU) said.
 

Oct 28 (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the Chinese Communist Party has brought “bad deals” to Sri Lanka.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) announces that essential food outlets and pharmacies will be remain open two days a week from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm in the police jurisdictions where quarantine curfew has been imposed in the following districts.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- Considering the spread of the Coronavirus in the country, the Immigration and Emigration Controller General has taken a decision to extend the validity period of all types of visas of foreigners who are currently in Sri Lanka for a period of 60 days.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The Secretary of State of the United States of America, Michael R. Pompeo arrived at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport short while ago, the Government Information Department announced.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- Dr. Asela Gunawardena has been appointed as the new Director General of Health Services, according to the Ministry of Health. Dr. Asela Gunawardena was serving as the Director of the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, prior to his appointment.
 

Oct 27 (CP) Colombo- The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health has declared 28 Public Health Inspectors’ divisions as high risk areas for the COVID-19 epidemic.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- A team of officials undertook a tour on Sunday to observe the reconstruction of ancient tanks abandoned in the jungle for many years with the aim to meet water needs of Karuwalagaswewa and Wanathawilluwa, two very destitute Divisional Secretariat Divisions in Puttalam District.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath has decided to inform the Faculty of Management and Commerce of the South Eastern University to conduct a special survey and submit a report on cattle rearing in the Batticaloa District.
 

Oct 26, Colombo: The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, objecting to the remarks made by the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dean Thompson during a press briefing on October 22 on Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming visit, said China and Sri Lanka have enough wisdom to handle the bilateral relations and don’t need a third party to dictate.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- During a meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning in Colombo, the Ambassador (Apostolic Nuncio) of the Holy See Archbishop Brian Ngozi Udaigwe praised and expressed appreciation for the “wonderful cooperation between the State and the Catholic Church” in Sri Lanka.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka Dominik Furgler Monday called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo and discussed a number of areas to further cooperation between the two countries, including investment, exports, tourism and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- The Parliament will be closed for business today (26) and tomorrow (27), Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary General of Parliament Neil Iddawela announced.
 

Oct 26 (FP) The short-notice Colombo visit of a high-level Chinese delegation, to be followed now by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s this month-end should be of interest as much to the Indian strategic community as to their counterparts in Sri Lanka.
 

Oct 26 (CP) Colombo- The Department of Posts has decided not to open Central Mail Exchange and Postal Headquarters for the services to external customers and suspend mail delivery to areas affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
 

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* GMOA hands over COVID-19 exit strategy plan to President (27 - DM)
* CEB to expedite construction of 100-kilowatt solar power plants (27 - DN)
* U.S. Secretary of State to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow (26 - CP)
* SLMC MPs reached agreement with MR (26 - DM)
* SLMC calls for explanation from its MPs who voted for 20A (26 - Island)
* Operating buses from Central Bus Stand suspended (26 - DM)
* President capable of bringing development and prosperity - Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thera (26 - DN)

SPORTS

Oct 27 (HT) The ongoing season of Indian Premier League 2020 in the UAE saw an unexpected result - MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament after Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets on Sunday.
 

Oct 27 (HT) Royal Challengers Bangalore were handed an eight-wicket defeat by Chennai Super Kings on Sunday. RCB batting wasn’t at their brutal best against CSK and bowlers also looked toothless. However, they will take that game as an aberration going into the business end of the tournament.
 

Oct 27 (OL) The inaugural Lankan Premier League (LPL) has been dealt a severe blow after as many as five international players opting out of it on Tuesday. South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, David Miller, and Dawid Malan have pulled out of the tournament less than a week after they were drafted into various teams. .
 

Oct 26 (BBC) India have left injured batsman Rohit Sharma and pace bowler Ishant Sharma out of their squad for their tour of Australia next month. Ishant will miss the remainder of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates after suffering an abdominal muscle tear.
 


WORLD

Oct 27 (HT) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his government has decided to strengthen relations with Afghanistan “no matter who is in power” in Kabul. Inaugurating a two-day seminar titled ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Forum’ here on Monday, Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong resolve to continue to play its role
 

Oct 27 (HT) Gurjeet Singh Lall, who stabbed to death a man during a row over Lall’s spitting on the street in Southall, was convicted of manslaughter on Monday and is due to be sentenced on December 14. Lall, 36, stabbed 69-year-old ex-rugby player and builder Allan Isichei several times after a brief verbal row over Lall’s spitting on the street on August 24 last year.
 

Oct 27 (HT) Around 10,000 people in Bangladesh rallied in the South Asian nation’s capital on Tuesday to protest France’s president and his staunch support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech.
 

Oct 26 (BBC) Australia says it has raised "grossly disturbing" reports with Qatar that women were strip-searched and examined before a flight from Doha to Sydney. The women were checked for signs of having recently given birth
 


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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