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[Last Updated = Fri, Apr 24, 2015, 11:53 pm SL Time]
TOP STORY
Bribery complaint filed against former Sri Lankan President over misappropriating tsunami funds

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Deputy Social Services Minister in Sri Lanka, Ranjan Ramanayake today lodged a complaint against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. The complaint has charged that Rajapaksa was responsible for the misappropriation of Rs. 82 billion from tsunami funds in 2005. Ramanayake has alleged that the funds had been wired to the Rajapaksa Memorial Educational, Cultural and Social Services Foundation.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Navy and the United Nations agency combating the illicit drugs and international crime have held discussions on issues related to maritime crime in Indian Ocean.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka on Friday reiterated its warning against Indian fishermen who violate the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and enter territorial waters of the island for poaching.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today has issued summons on a group of opposition members including parliamentarians over charges of contempt of court. Accordingly, MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardena, Gamini Lokuge, Jayantha Ketagoda and Sarath Weerasekara, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Provincial Councilor Udaya Gammanpila and 26 others have been ordered to appear before the Colombo Magistrate's Court on May 8 on charges of Contempt of Court.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government aiming to position Sri Lanka as an international arbitration hub in the region has set up an International Arbitration Centre. The government has focused attention on developing Sri Lanka as a regional hub of providing servicers related to Law and Order taking into consideration the professional capabilities in the legal sphere of Sri Lanka.

Apr 24 (NIE) NEW DELHI- The Indian government did not get any complaint against Sri Lankan navy hurling petrol bombs at Indian fishermen, the Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh informed the Rajya Sabha.

Apr 24 (Island) Prison Department yesterday announced that they had taken into custody 73 mobile phones, 54 SIM cards, seven sachets of heroin, and one gramme of ganja from convicted prisoners serving jail terms for different crimes they had committed.

Apr 24 (DM) CHENNAI- Chief minister of Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority Northern Province C V Wigneswaran has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release three life convicts in the sensational Swamy Premananda case.

Apr 24 (DN) Gretta Fenner, a Swiss expert, has arrived in Sri Lanka to assist the Sri Lankan government in its investigations into "clandestine" Swiss bank accounts belonging to Sri Lankans, informed government sources told the Daily News.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Former Economic Development Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa was today admitted to the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Colombo National Hospital. Rajapaksa, who was remanded till May 5th by the Kaduwela Magistrate, was transferred to the Merchant's Ward of the Colombo National Hospital from the Prison Hospital.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court has ordered to remand the former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa along with the several other former officials of the Economic Development Ministry.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Supporters of former defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are presently engaged in a protest in front of the Bribery Commission despite a court order, reports from Colombo say. Rajapaksa, who was scheduled to appear before the Bribery Commission today, had arrived this morning to record his statement to the Commission.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* Killing inside school: Two arrested (23 - Island)
* Bandaragama SI murder: wife, meat stall owner arrested (23 - DN)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Norway is satisfied with the success of the government's 100-day programme, the Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen told the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena when she called on the President Friday at the Presidential Secretariat.

Apr 24 (CP) New York- The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has praised the new government of Sri Lanka for its greater collaboration with the global body and the international community.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka has become happier this year according to the 2015 World Happiness Report released Thursday. The third annual World Happiness Report, which seeks to quantify happiness as a means of influencing governmental policy, ranked Sri Lanka at 132nd position with 4.271 points

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena today said he is fully committed to fulfill all the promises given in his election policy statement and to eliminate corruption, fraud, theft and waste from the society.

Apr 23, Fort Wayne, IN: Indiana Buddhist Temple in Fort Wayne, IN will celebrate the Sri Lankan New Year on Saturday April 25th at its premises on 7528 Thompson Rd, Hoagland, Indiana. The New Year will be celebrated with Religious Activities, Traditional Live Musical Show and Cultural Games. All ages are welcome to participate in Cultural Games. More information at http://goo.gl/eZBcZ9


FINANCE

Apr 24, Colombo: A seminar on bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Canada organized by the National Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka will be held on Tuesday, April 29. The seminar will be held at the National Chamber Auditorium at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha in Colombo from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose to over six-week high on Friday, despite foreign outflow from risky assets, as investors picked up shares of finance companies on expectations of better earnings, with positive sentiment continuing due to lower interest rates.

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended a tad weaker on Friday as late importer dollar demand outpaced early inflows of the greenback, while pressure on the local currency is seen persisting through the middle of this year on lower interest rates, dealers said.

Apr 24 (Island) Singhe Hospitals Limited (Code: SINH) was listed on the DiriSavi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on April 21. Chairman/CEO of Singhe Hospitals Limited A.M. Weerasinghe rang the ceremonial opening bell, to begin trading for the day.

Apr 24 (DM) Delivering yet again, TBWA\Sri Lanka created history in the Sri Lankan advertising industry when their work was recognized with 3 Golds, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze and 12 finalists, across 5 campaigns at the recently concluded Abby Awards in Goa.

Apr 24 (DN) The government's tax revenue has recorded a 23 percent growth during the last four months. The reason being that the government has demonstrated proper accountability, good governance and best fiscal management practices, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's state-owned energy monopoly, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), has selected German engineering company Voith as supplier for the modernization of the Polpitiya hydropower plant.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The whale watching business is worth $2 billion but unfortunately successive policy makers have not focused on the development of this market just like the cruise business, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala has said.

Apr 23 (CP) New Delhi- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Wednesday gave its ex-post-facto approval for Reserve Bank of India (RBI) entering into an agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for extending US$ 1.1 billion as a special /ad-hoc swap outside the Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries.

Apr (Xinhua) 23 COLOMBO-- Chinese investors have shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka and ongoing Chinese projects in the island nation have greatly benefited the local people, said Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka.

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has resumed his duties after a more than five-week voluntary leave of absence after being cleared by a panel investigating a controversial government bond auction.

Apr 23 (BBC) Sri Lanka voted in a new president in January who promised to clean up a business environment plagued by allegations of corruption and cronyism. Maithripala Sirisena took power in January, but is finding it tough to push through reform.

Apr 23 (Manorama) Thiruvananthapuram: Sri Lanka and Kerala are to collaborate in the tourism sector. In addition to developing existing tourist locations, the move would also seek to enhance the flow of tourists to the two destinations.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan rupee forwards steady despite importer dlr demand (23 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka shares end steady; President's speech awaited (23 - Reuters)
* Security companies facing ‘severe manpower shortages’ (23 - Island)
* Union Bank posts strong Q1 results (23 - DN)
* Sri Lanka’s Fitch withdraws national long term rating on DSI Holdings (23 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- A meeting that was reportedly scheduled between Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been cancelled. United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Kumara Welgama told a news conference that the meeting has been cancelled due to Rajapaksa's busy schedule.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution and the 20th Amendment cannot be combined and submitted to Parliament together. The Prime Minister has made this observation speaking in a live television interview on a state television channel last evening.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today visited his brother, former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who is in remand custody till May 5th. The former president visited Basil Rajapaksa at the Colombo National Hospital.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- The High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka has invited applications for Jinnah Scholarship from Sri Lankan high school students pursuing their studies at GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels.

Apr 24 (CP) Colombo- The Government has taken effective measures in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) to improve the health status of children and lactating mothers by recognizing the importance of the balanced growth of a child.

Apr 24 (PTI) Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday expressed fears that the new government led by his successor Maithripala Sirisena might end up prosecuting his entire family, a day after his two younger brothers faced questioning by anti-graft investigators.

COLOMBO: Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran may have broken protocol when he officially wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to consider releasing four Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1994 Premananda rape and murder case, Lankan officials told Express.

Apr 24 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena too was responsible for the failure to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the JVP charged yesterday.

Apr 24 (DM) UPFA MP G.L. Peiris said today they would submit amendments to the 19th Amendment at committee stage though the SLFP had decided on principle to support it. However, he refused to reveal the nature of the changes they were hoping to submit.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The central committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which met Thursday evening to discuss the proposed 19th Amendment and the 20th Amendment to Constitution has decided to support the 19th Amendment.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka Freedom Party central committee to discuss constitutional and electoral reforms today

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Thursday has cleared the Chinese-funded US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project of corruption. The government that there was no corruption involved and the only concern was if the proper procedures had been followed, China's official news agency Xinhua reported.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan government allows Chinese firm to commence protective work on port city project

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka's main Tamil party that represents the Northern Province has introduced a bill in the Sri Lankan parliament to ban bottom trawling in country's territorial waters, irrespective of the nationality of the fishing vessel.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankan President gives 'clear' instructions to Navy to stop Indian fishermen intrusions

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has received approval from the cabinet of ministers to present the Draft Bill on Right to Information (RTI) to the parliament as an emergency bill.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- A group of 100 trade union leaders in Sri Lanka led by the head of the National Trade Union Center (NTUC), K.D. Lalkantha has sought a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today said the current government in its 100 day programme has failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Agriculture Minister of Sri Lanka Duminda Dissanayake during a discussion with the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has requested the Chinese government to look at the possibility of providing urea fertilizer at a concessionary price to Sri Lanka.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka, MP Nimal Siripala de Silva has slammed the United National Party (UNP) accusing the party of intentionally sabotaging the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in parliament and laying the blame on the opposition for the delay in implementing the proposed constitutional reforms.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The Cabinet of Ministers in Sri Lanka has approved the proposed electoral system Amendment Draft Bill, Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka has said. The Minister has said that the Cabinet had approved the electoral reforms at the meeting held last evening.

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former ruling party, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will convene this afternoon at the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo at 3 p.m. under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Apr 23 (Economist) THE date should have been one to celebrate: April 23rd was the hundredth day since Maithripala Sirisena formed a government after winning a fraught presidential election, in January, as the head of a broad coalition of parties.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* No meeting between Maithri and MR - Welgama confirms (24 - DN)
* GL accuses Bribery DG of targeting Gota at the behest of govt (23 - Island)
* Next election only after electoral reforms: UPFA (23 - DM)
* MR calls for early elections (23 - DN)
* Sri Lanka Freedom Party central committee to discuss constitutional and electoral reforms today (23 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 24 (Guardian) The International Cricket Council has launched an urgent investigation after the Essel Group, the company behind the now defunct Indian Cricket League, began registering companies with names that appear to be rival national cricket boards, raising fears of a future split in world cricket. The matter was discussed during last week’s ICC board meeting in Dubai,

More : SPORTS

Apr 23 (BBC) Bangladesh thrashed Pakistan by eight wickets to complete a 3-0 one-day international series whitewash. Chasing 251 for victory in Mirpur, the home side reached their target with more than 11 overs to spare thanks to an unbeaten century by Soumya Sarkar. The Tigers had earlier bowled Pakistan out for 250, despite Azhar Ali's 101.

Apr 23 (SAMAA) Pakistan has slipped one place to eighth in the ICC One-Day International (ODI) Team Rankings after Bangladesh won the three-match series 3-0 in Mirpur, Bangladesh on Wednesday.According to the latest rankings released by ICC, Pakistan had entered the series on 95 ratings points but has now dropped to join the West Indies on 92 ratings points.And when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, then the West Indies is ranked ahead of Pakistan-

Apr 23 (DT) PERTH – Imran Khan, Legendary all rounder accuses PCB of nepotism and bemoans state of game in his home country, a report in Cricket Australia said on Thursday. World Cup winning captain Imran Khan blamed nepotism at board level and the poor structure of domestic cricket for Pakistan's slide to No 8 in the world ODI rankings. And he says they need to learn from Australian cricket if they want to return to their former glories.


WORLD

Apr 24 (BBC) The deaths of two Western hostages in a US drone strike shows the "risk and unintended consequences" of using such a tactic, Pakistan has said. Islamabad offered its condolences to the families of US consultant Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto.

More : WORLD

Apr 24 (BBC) The chief minister of Indian capital, Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, has apologised for continuing his speech after a farmer hanged himself at his rally. "I think I was wrong, I should not have gone ahead with my speech and called off the rally. I apologise if I hurt anyone," he told news agency ANI.

Apr 23 (Dawn) NEW DELHI- India's cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow some minors accused of “heinous” crimes to be tried as adults, the first step towards resolving a long-running debate highlighted by the fatal 2012 Delhi gang rape. Many in India have demanded stricter punishment for minors aged 16-18 accused of crimes such as rape, murder, or acid attacks.

Apr 23 (NYT) An hour after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Abir Abdullah got to the scene disoriented and unsure where to begin taking pictures. More than a thousand people had died and hundreds more were trapped alive in the rubble. Injured workers were screaming and crying all around him as rescue workers pulled bodies from the debris.


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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