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[Last Updated = Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 01:00 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President asks lawmakers not to create unnecessary fear about Indo-Lanka trade agreement

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena requested the country's lawmakers not to create unnecessary fears among the people about the Indo-Lanka trade agreement. "That agreement will be signed after presenting it to the Cabinet and then to the Parliament. If there will be contrary matters in that we will remove them and will sign it as an agreement which will be accepted by everyone", he added.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Dec 09 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka police at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) have arrested an individual while attempting to smuggle in 1,200 packets of 100 gram D-ERA pesticide packets which contain a pesticide banned in Sri Lanka.

Dec 09 (DM) MP Udaya Gammanpila said today that he would send a letter of demand to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake demanding Rs. 500 million as compensation for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him.

Dec 09 (Island) A group of sugar importers has claimed that several cocaine shipments estimated to be worth several billions of rupees detected in Colombo since June, 2016 had been intended for the lucrative European market.A spokesperson for the importers told The Island that cocaine stocks had ended up in Colombo port due to the failure on the part of Portugal-based ‘cocaine Mafia’

Dec 09 (DN) Prison authorities are conducting a probe into the allegations leveled by MP Hirunika Premachandra that former MP Duminda Silva, who is on death row was enjoying special privileges. Premachandra alleged in Parliament that Silva even had a birthday party with his family members inside the prison recently.

Dec 09 (DR) A Scot travelled 5000 miles to a Sri Lankan court to face claims he attacked a playboy - only for the case to be adjourned. James Casserly, 45, was hailed a hero after defending girlfriend Belinda McKenzie from a government minister's son.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Attorney General of Sri Lanka has informed the Colombo High Court that measures are being taken to indict MP Namal Rajapaksa and other suspects on money laundering in two cases.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to stand tough and not to change the decision to continue with the Rs.25, 000 fine on seven traffic offences despite the island wide strike the private bus unions and some other transport groups conducted recently.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has moved a proposal to liquidate the state-owned security service provider Rakna Araksha Lanka Ltd, and the Cabinet of Ministers have given their approval.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) will commemorate International Human Rights Day - 2016 on 10 December 2016 under the theme "Stand up for Someone's Rights Today". The HRCSL says the need to stand up for the rights of fellow citizens is critical to the advancement of human rights in any society.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- As part of the ongoing Army-to-Army Sports exchange program, a 20-member Pakistan Army Hockey Team arrived in Sri Lanka on 4th December 2016 to participate in four friendly matches with their counterparts in the Sri Lankan Army.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Relatives of Thajudeen in silent protest (8 - Island)
* JO to submit fourth complaint to Bribery Commission, FCID (8 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

By Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera -Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December (tomorrow) every year focusing the indispensable birth rights of all humans. December 10th next also sees the completion of ten months since Sri Lanka ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of People with dis-Abilities (CRPD).

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- As Sri Lanka works to enlist its one million strong SMEs in its middle income climb, it is also quietly bolstering the sector by directly intervening in one of the thorniest of issues-SME financing Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Battery Dance Company, a world-renowned contemporary dance troupe from New York City will conclude its tour of Sri Lanka with a gala "Drums and Dance" performance in collaboration with Chandana Wickramasinghe's Dancer's Guild and Asoka Wickramaratne's Naadro at Bishop's College on December 12 at 7:00 p.m.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Dec 09 (CP) Colombo- Shareholders of Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL), Asean's leading digital finance firm, have approved its regional investment plans to acquire shares in a finance firm in Sri Lanka as part of its ambitious plan to become one of the "world-class" players.

Dec 09 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Exporters Association, which represents a majority of the island’s exporters, has urgently called upon the Finance Ministry to confirm that RAMIS will be fully implemented, and that it will be operational by January 2017.

Dec 09 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has made a profit of 75 billion rupees up to December 2016, helped by lower petroleum prices, Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said.

Dec 09 (DM) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake making a sudden inspection tour of the Inland Revenue Department, the official tax collector in the country, said the government is keen to relieve the public from the current tax burden.

Dec 09 (Island) Furthering its leadership in the Internet of Things (IOT) smart innovation space, Dialog announced last week, the pilot launch of the first application of its ‘Level Alert’ IOT solution.

Dec 09 (WP) Beside the temple on Swami Rock, amid the heady swirl of colorful deities and burning camphor, one object caught my eye. It seemed that a special reverence had been reserved for a statue of a holy cow.

Dec 09 (DN) Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is unlikely to change too much due to the political changes in the United States and the west, Capital Alliance Chief Strategy Officer Purasisi Jinadasa said. The US buys 44% of the clothing manufactured in Sri Lanka

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Discussions are on to set up a consortium to relaunch the much talked about ferry service connecting Tamil Nadu state of India with Sri Lanka. The MMBL-Pathfinder Group along with Aitken Spence and Norled AS a leading ferry operator in Norway are in discussions to set up a consortium and jointly invest to re-launch the ferry service.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The consortium that developed the South East Asia, Middle East and Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) submarine cable was awarded the "Project of the Year - Subsea Award" at the Global Carrier Awards on 8 November 2016, in Paris.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's first ever professional management accreditation for its surging tourism and hospitality sector has been unveiled in Colombo.

Dec 08 (WSJ) COLOMBO— Sri Lanka's heavily indebted government signed an agreement in principle on Thursday to sell an 80% stake in a deep-water port on the nation's southern coast, close to one of the world's busiest sea lanes, to a Chinese state-owned company, senior officials said.

Dec 07 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will take part in a joint venture with China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited to develop a port in its south, where China has also been offered an investment zone.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Sri Lanka shares gain on foreign buying; Thai Group's deal lifts mood (8 - Reuters)
* Interest rate stability, Market potential likely to energize institutional and foreign investors (8 - Island)
* A more business-friendly Customs next year: Ravi (8 - DN)
* Sri Lanka’s first management accreditation for tourism unveiled (8 - LBO)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Dec 09 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has allocated Rs. 45 billion to import necessary pharmaceutical drugs for the next year, Minister of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Last year the allocation for this purpose was Rs. 35 billion.

Dec 09 (Malaysiakini) The DAP has been always in the forefront of championing the interests of those who have suffered human rights violations. In September 2016 the party condemned the visit of the former Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapakse.

Dec 09 (DN) The main business of Parliament when it commences its next session is to take action on the Central Bank Treasury Bond issue, Finance State Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena said. “Under these moves, there should be a debate on the Treasury Bond issue in Parliament once the Third Reading of the budget proposal 2017 is completed.

Dec 09 (Island) Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told parliament yesterday that the Northern Provincial council resolution prohibiting the construction of Buddhist temples in the North had no legal standing.

Dec 09 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said yesterday that while they had expressed their condolences over the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa her death was a great relief to Sri Lanka.

Dec 09 (Diplomat) Last week, Sri Lanka hosted the eighth iteration of the Galle Dialogue - a meeting of regional navies held every year at the eponymous southern coastal city.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today expressing gratitude to the migrant Sri Lankan workers said the country receives most of its foreign exchange from Sri Lankans working abroad and the country's foreign exchange will change based on foreign employment alone.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka and the Principality of Andorra have formally established diplomatic relations following the signing of the Joint Communiqué on 30th November 2016.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- President Maithripala Sirisena says the initial steps for the program to provide a pension to the Sri Lankan migrant workers for their future social security will be taken within the next few months.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says whatever the form in which the law and power exist, everybody should be flexible when finding solutions to the problems of the people. Speaking at the discussion held Thursday at the Parliament Complex on the solid waste management, the President said it is the responsibility of the ministries and other institutions to use their power in a flexible way to find the solutions for this common problem.

Dec 08 (CP) New York- Sri Lanka was among the four countries which won Awards for Excellence in Human Development Reporting at a ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters on December 6th, 2016.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during his upcoming official visit to Malaysia will ink several Memorandums of Understanding in several sectors enhancing the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Norway will grant Sri Lanka NOK 39.7 million (Rs. 705 million) through the UNODC to support UN efforts to combat fisheries crime, the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. 'Fisheries crime poses a threat to the world's fisheries resources and to economic development in developing countries.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka on Wednesday said it would halt work on the "World's Tallest Christmas Tree" which was being constructed at the Galle Face Green in the capital. No reason for the halt has been given as yet.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- The World Bank Board has approved a $75 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Sri Lanka's main welfare programs by developing an integrated system to better manage the selection, administration, and payments to beneficiaries of the programs.

Dec 08 (CP) Colombo- As part of the 16 Days of Activism in Sri Lanka, the Canadian High Commission and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) co-hosted a panel discussion on December 7 on the importance of zero-tolerance for Gender-based Violence (GBV) within the workplace.

Dec 08 (Xinhua) COLOMBO- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday cleared the names of 19 Sri Lankan leaders who were branded as 'traitors' during the British colonial rule nearly 200 years ago the President's media division said.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Prime Minister for outsiders heading intelligence outfits (8 - Island)
* Magampura Port employees protest (8 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Dec 09 (Times Live) Faf du Plessis' appeal against his ball-tampering conviction has been set for December 19 - which means he could miss the first test against Sri Lanka. An International Cricket Council release on Tuesday confirmed the date of the appeal hearing and of the name of the presiding judicial commissioner‚ Michael Beloff (SC).

More : SPORTS

Dec 09 (ABC) Justin Langer is confident he can help overturn Australia's faltering Twenty20 fortunes when he takes the national side's reins for February's series against Sri Lanka. The former Test opening batsman has been appointed caretaker Australian coach for the three T20 clashes while incumbent Darren Lehmann is in India preparing for a four-Test series.

Dec 08 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket is pleased to announce that subject to the ratification of the Minister of Sport the following Test team has been selected by the National Selection Committee for the Sri Lanka tour of South Africa 2016/2017. The team will depart Colombo on 10th December 2016 on flight QR 655 after the official photograph at 5.40 pm at SLC.

Dec 08 (ESPNCI)The early buzz about Keaton Jennings often had him associated with someone or something. How he has South African roots. How his father Ray was a former head coach. How he became Alastair Cook's 11th opening partner in four years. On the first day of the Mumbai Test, however, the conversation revolved around his ability as a batsman as Jennings made a fifty on debut to take England to 117 for 1 at lunch.


WORLD

Dec 08 (BBC) Boris Johnson has accused Britain's ally, Saudi Arabia, of engaging in "proxy wars" in the Middle East. The Guardian newspaper has published footage in which the foreign secretary talks of politicians "twisting and abusing religion" for political gain. He said Saudi Arabia and Iran were "puppeteering" because of a lack of strong leadership in the region.

More : WORLD

Dec 08 (BBC) More than 100 Cuban business owners have appealed to US President-elect Donald Trump not to reverse a recent thaw in bilateral relations. In a letter, they said additional measures to boost travel, trade and investment would benefit both nations. Mr Trump, who takes office on 20 January, has said he will end a deal under which ties were restored in 2015 unless Havana offers a "better deal".

Dec 08 (BBC) Rescuers are continuing to search for survivors in Indonesia's Aceh province a day after a powerful quake struck the area killing 102 people. The magnitude 6.5 tremor damaged or toppled more than two hundred buildings, and many are still feared to be trapped under rubble in Pidie Jaya. Thousands of people who lost their homes are taking refuge in shelters.

Dec 08 (BBC) The pilot of a flight that crashed in Pakistan made a mayday call just before losing contact, the airline said. He also told flight controllers of an engine problem at 16:09 local time (11:09 GMT) on Wednesday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chairman Muhammad Azam Saigol told reporters. All 48 people on the twin-propeller plane flying to Islamabad were killed.


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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