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[Last Updated = Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 01:16 am SL Time]
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Sri Lankan President holds discussions with leaders of SAARC countries

Nov 27 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral discussions with the leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries on the sidelines of 18th SAARC meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal. During the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening, the President requested the Prime Minister Modi to consider releasing Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian prisons, some in the state of Andhra and some in Tamil Nadu.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Defense chiefs of the South and Southeast Asian Nations (SASEAN) will gather in Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo Thursday to discuss the regional peace and security at a two-day conference.

Nov 27 (Island) Kalmunai police yesterday morning arrested a UPFA Urban Councillor for assaulting two Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Urban Councillors. The incident occurred inside the Kalmunai Urban Council on Tuesday, while the council meeting was on and they even threw chairs at each other according to a video clip.

Nov 27 (DN) Maintaining national security is of paramount importance. The Sri Lanka Army will leave no room for any activity that would be detrimental to national security, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake said yesterday.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Army has taken measures to return another stock of gold jewellery the defunct terrorist group LTTE possessed to the rightful owners in the North.

** Related Story ::Sri Lankans in North urged to claim their gold recovered from LTTE at Civil Coordinating Offices

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka will not allow anyone to celebrate the birth anniversary of the slain leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the 'Mahavir Day' (Heroes' Day) that falls on his birthday, Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said today.

Nov 26 (CP) Chennai- The pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu political leader, the general secretary of MDMK, V. Goplasamy aka Vaiko has asked the people to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of Sri Lanka's slain Tamil Tiger terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena, along with other extreme groups is promoting extremist views and spreading fear among minority communities, a UN report presented Tuesday in Geneva at a forum on minority issues said.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Attacks on UNP activists: Opposition lambastes police inaction (26 - Island)
* STF constable killed in misfire (26 - DM)
* Professionals complete military training (26 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka cricket authority today condoled the tragic death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes saying that his untimely death is undoubtedly a blow to the cricket world. "The President, and the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket and the entire staff, Players and Officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Cricket fraternity in Sri Lanka was deeply saddened by the passing away of Phillip Hughes," SLC said in a statement.

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National party said today that party's decision to join its historic political rival to field a common opposition candidate is an unprecedented move of solidarity to restore democracy and good governance in the country.

Nov 27 (CP)Beijing- China today dismissed Indian media reports of establishing naval bases in the Indian Ocean countries including Sri Lanka and asserted that currently there is no military base abroad for Chinese military. Senior Colonel Geng Yansheng, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense of China at the media briefing today (Nov 27) said the Indian media reports that said China is extending its military strength to Indian Ocean region after two occurrences of a Chinese submarine docking in Sri Lanka's Colombo Port, are not accurate.

Nov 27 (CP) London- British lawmakers have urged the UK government to ask the European Union to remove the preferential trade tariffs for Sri Lanka if the Sri Lankan government does not cooperate with the UN investigation and address human rights concerns.


FINANCE

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's state-owned power generator, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has awarded a €7 million (US$ 8.7 million) contract to Alstom T&D India, a market leader in the Indian power transmission sector, to monitor and control Sri Lanka's electricity transmission network.

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- The inauguration of the UK trade mission to Sri Lanka, "Putting British Business on the Front Foot", was held on Thursday, 27 November, 2014 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. The keynote address was delivered by the Deputy Minister for Investment Promotion, Faizer Mustapha.

Nov 27 (BR) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan stocks fell to a 12-week closing low on Thursday as investors pulled back over worries the defection of some ruling party members would result in a hung parliament after the Jan. 8 presidential polls.

Nov 27 (GS) A Worksop company has played a pivotal role in a multi-million pound development of hundreds of new bridges in Sri Lanka. Worksop Galvanizing, based on Claylands Avenue, and part of Wedge Group Galvanizing, joined forces with Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd

Nov 27 (DM) Nations Trust Bank once again will host its annual corporate event, which t his year is a rally, jointly organised with the Colombo Motor Sports Club (CMSC).Nations Corporate Rally 2014 is exclusively for the bank’s corporate clientele and the event promises a fun-filled exciting day.

Nov 27 (Island) Watawala Plantations PLC., a member of the Sunshine Group of Companies, was the recipient of the coveted Gold Award at the Sri Lanka Institute of Training & Development (SLITAD) People Development Awards 2014.

Nov 27 (DN) The capital market is expected to be a key contributor to the economy by 2020 with a Market Capitalization of around US$ 100 billion. A strong regulatory framework and a reputation for Corporate Governance are essential pre-requisites in achieving that vision, SEC Chairman Dr Nalaka Godahewa said.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has approved importing fish and fish products from Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation said in a release.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will hold its annual Bank Directors' Symposium on Wednesday, November 26th. This is the seventh consecutive symposium and this year's theme will be " Vision 2020: Aligning the Banking Sector to the Real Economy ".

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan stocks fall to 5-wk closing low on political woes (26 - Reuters)
* Joint exploration of business openings (26 - Island)
* Newest Mcdonald’s Restaurant Opens In Kiribathgoda (26 - DM)
* Union Assurance maintains growth momentum (26 - DN)
* Sri Lanka’s banking sector advised to build new products and services: CB Governor (26 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Two left parties of Sri Lanka have announced that they would contest the presidential election. Frontline Socialist Party has decided to field former student leader Duminda Nagamuwa as a candidate with the support of several leftist parties and groups.

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Western Provincial Council Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that the government rule of the council was firm despite rumors to the contrary. He said that the Western Provincial Council would pass the budget which is being debated from today.

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has decided to set forth three proposals to common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. At a special assembly of the JHU held today, JHU policymaker Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the party would support a candidate who accepts the proposals.

Nov 27 (CP) Colombo- An election monitoring group in Sri Lanka, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has written to the United National Party (UNP)General Secretary Tissa Attanayake asking him about the party's stance on the party's prominently displayed election cutouts in Colombo City Limits.

Nov 27 (AP) COLOMBO— The Sri Lankan opposition’s presidential candidate said Wednesday he would scrap the country’s virtually all-powerful presidential system within 100 days if he is elected and would govern through an all-party government in the interim.

NOv 27 (Economist)"AN INVINCIBLE personality, a blessed man, he will win a big victory." In the opinion of Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, issued from his swish astrological headquarters in the southern port of Galle, the prospects for Sri Lanka's president are unambiguously bright.

Nov 27 (DM) Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena is to contest the presidential election under the symbol of either the lotus or the dove, political sources said yesterday. While Mr. Sirisena had already decided on a party name, ‘Ape Jathika Peramuna,’.....

Nov 27 (Island) Opposition Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena received a rousing welcome when he arrived at the UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday. Sirisena, flanked by UNP national leader Ranil Wickremeisnghe, Chairman of the Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake and several other MPs, addressed a gathering there for the first time.

Nov 27 (DN) Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake yesterday said that the Elections Commissioner has accepted that the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. He stated that Maithripala Sirisena cannot declare that he is still the General secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party as he has been removed from the post according to the party constitution.

Nov 26 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday (Nov 26) held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of issues important to both nations regionally and individually.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has decided to reduce the price of imported rice from Thursday (27). Accordingly the price of Imported Samba will be Rs. 60, Nadu Rs. 55, and white rice Rs. 50 per kilogram

Nov 26 (CP) Kathmandu- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today called on all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to join forces against external threats. "While SAARC practice has been to abstain from involvement in bilateral issues of a political nature, we must resist external manipulations," President Rajapaksa said.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian from Wanni district Hunais Farook has joined the opposition United National Party (UNP). The UPFA MP crossed over to the opposition at the UNP meeting held today at SiriKotha to welcome the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the party headquarters, party sources said.

Nov 26 (CP) Colombo- General Secretary of Sri Lanka main opposition United National Party (UNP) Tissa Attanayake strongly denied the rumors that he was considering to crossover to the government. Speaking to the party members and organizers gathered at the UNP headquarters in Sirikotha to welcome the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, Attanayake dismissed the media reports that said he was offered Rs. 500 million to join the Government.

Nov 26 (DW) The announcement by Maithripala Sirisena on November 21 came as a blow to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had declared the previous day that he would seek an unprecedented third term as president and called a snap election. The vote is scheduled to take place in early January.

Nov 26 (EW) A sea change is occurring in Sri Lanka’s strategic orientation. Recent developments suggest that Sri Lanka is becoming China’s new best friend and security partner in the eastern Indian Ocean. This would represent a major change in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and could have significant consequences for regional security.

Nov 26 (HT) The timing could not have been more off the mark. When the nation was observing the sixth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, some political leaders in Tamil Nadu were celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* UNP monks back Sirisena though confused about his post-election role (26 - Island)
* Southern PC a white elephant - Geetha (26 - DM)
* President Rajapaksa the last Executive President of SL (26 - DN)
* 18th SAARC Summit begins in Kathmandu (26 - CP)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Nov 27 (ESPNCI) Likeable, hard working and possessing skills that had him tagged as another great batsman in the making, it was a matter of time before Phillip Hughes cemented his spot in the Australian Test team. Then, improbably and inconsolably, his time ran out. Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting. David Warner and Shane Watson. Simon Katich and Justin Langer. Brad Haddin and Matthew Wade. Darren Lehmann and Brett Lee. These strong men of Australian cricket have often had very little in common.

More : SPORTS

Nov 27 (ESPNCI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee for excessive appealing during the first ODI against England, while Thisara Perera has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for a separate incident. Both players admitted to the Level 1 breaches of the ICC code of conduct. Dilshan's breach had occurred in the 30th over of England's innings, when he struck Moeen Ali on the pad as the batsman attempted to sweep.

Nov 27 (ESPNCI) Phillip Hughes has died as a result of the injuries he sustained when struck by a bouncer on Tuesday, Cricket Australia has confirmed. He was 25. Team doctor Peter Brukner confirmed the news in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Brukner said. "He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends.

Nov 26 (ESPNCI) Moeen Ali produced an abundant one-day innings to raise horizons and rouse spirits, but it will take more than a one-man masterclass, however brilliant, to turn England into fancied World Cup contenders. Moeen clocked the third fastest ODI hundred in England's history, but ultimately it was Sri Lanka whose 25-run victory gave them first strike in the seven-match series.


WORLD

Nov 27 (BBC) Media in India praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi for urging South Asian countries to boost regional development. Mr Modi on Wednesday stressed on the "urgent" need to overcome challenges that are holding the region back during the 18th Saarc (South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation) summit in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

More : WORLD

Nov 27 (BBC) Two teenage Indian girls found hanging from a tree in May took their own lives and were not gang-raped and murdered, federal investigators have said. The announcement came after months of inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation following global outrage.

Nov 27 (BBC) A suicide bomber has hit a UK embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul, with a British worker and an Afghan member of staff among those killed. The Briton who died was a member of the embassy security team, as was another UK national who was wounded.

Nov 26 (AP) South Asian leaders, including from rivals India and Pakistan, discussed trade and energy cooperation and regional peace on Wednesday, but did not reach a consensus on expected transportation and energy agreements. Hopes for a meeting between the leaders of India and Pakistan also appeared to fade.


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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