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[Last Updated = Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 09:00 am SL Time]
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Sri Lanka's impeached Chief Justice returns to Supreme Court to resume duties

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake returned to the Supreme Court complex today two years after she was unjustly impeached by the previous government. The 43rd Chief Justice arrived at the court complex in Hultsdorf this morning amid a grand welcome from the President of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya. Dr. Bandaranayke who was unceremoniously removed from the Supreme Court in 2013 says she was still the "legal" Chief Justice of the country.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Lawyers and representatives of trade unions and civil society in Sri Lanka Wednesday commenced a protest campaign demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris. Carrying placards and shouting slogans protesters gathered opposite the Supreme Court complex premises in Hulftsdorp this morning at 8.30 a.m.

Jan 28 (CP) Canberra- A group of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers were legally detained at sea by Australian immigration authorities last year, the High Court of Australia ruled today. Today the Australian High Court, by majority, dismissed the charges filed by a Sri Lankan asylum seeker of Tamil ethnicity against the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and authorities that he and 156 other Sri Lankans were falsely imprisoned when they were detained at sea on a Commonwealth vessel.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- The National Executive Council of Sri Lanka has decided to appoint a special unit to investigate the attacks on the media in the past few years. National Executive Council (NEC) member and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the special unit will investigate the murder of journalists Lasantha Wickrematunga and Dharmeratnam Sivaram, the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda and attacks on several other journalists and media rights activists.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- All ranks, privileges and pension have been restored for the former Army Commander of Sri Lanka Sarath Fonseka following the full Presidential amnesty granted to him by the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, the Army said today.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- The Appeal Court of Sri Lanka today issued notice on the Attorney General to appear before the Court on February 5 in connection with the writ application filed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) against former LTTE Leader, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka Appeal Court to take up petition against former LTTE leader on Tuesday

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- A Sri Lankan court today ordered the police to probe the bank accounts of former ruling party parliamentarian who is suspected of drug peddling in the country. The Colombo Magistrate's Court today issued a directive to the police to investigate accounts maintained by Colombo District United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Duminda Silva at several banks and financial institutions.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Missing Sri Lankan journalist, Prageeth Eknaligoda's wife, Sandhya Eknaligoda has requested for a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the case about her husband who has been missing since January 2010.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Former Sri Lankan minister Wimal Weerawansa's wife, Shashi Weerawansa is under probe for allegedly providing false information to get a diplomatic passport. Police have said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has commenced an investigation into the controversial diplomatic passport obtained by Shashi Weerawansa by allegedly producing false information.

Jan 28 (Island) Lawyers for Good Governance yesterday urged the government to take immediate action against persons responsible for the Welikada Prison riot where about 27 inmates were killed in 2012.

Jan 28 (DN) A couple from Kurunegala was arrested on charges of swindling money from several people with the promise of lucrative employment opportunities in Japan, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Spokesman Mangala Randeniya said.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Police claim ex-IGP got bungalow from drug lord (27 - Island)
* 31 injured in private bus accident (27 - DM)
* Judicial Service Association hopes CJ upholds dignity of judiciary (27 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday said more attention would be paid to national security and a well-structured plan would be implemented to ensure national security for the welfare of the country and the people. Every effort would be initiated in strengthening the national security within the democratic framework according to the Constitution, the President said.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka became less economically free last year as the foundations of economic freedom remain weak according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. Sri Lanka ranked 101 among 186 countries with a score of 58.6 out of 100 and listed in the category of "Mostly Unfree".

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- The Chief Justice of Sri Lanka Mohan Peiris has been informed that his appointment as Chief Justice is illegal. The Office of President Maithripala Sirisena has informed Chief Justice Peiris that his appointment by the previous President is illegal.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- The National Executive Council of Sri Lanka has reached an agreement on proposed constitutional amendments to be introduced during the 100 day programme. The proposed amendment will look at introducing a dual executive system of governance and re-establishment of the independent commissions.


FINANCE

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- President's Counsel, Ronald C. Perera has been appointed as Chairman of the state-run Bank of Ceylon by Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayaka, with effect from January 27. Perera assumed office Wednesday 28th January.

Jan 28, (CP) Colombo- NDB granted 2 long term facilities aggregating to Rs.3.3 billion towards construction and commissioning of two wind power projects in Vallimunai and Puloppalai of the Kilinochchi District.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo: MRL Corporation, an Australian mining company exploring graphite in Sri Lanka, said it is on track to start production from its Aluketiya graphite project in Sri Lanka in the September quarter 2015 after drilling returned assays of up to 99.3% total graphitic carbon (TGC).

Jan 27 (CP) McLean, VA- CYREN, a leading provider of cloud-based security solutions today announced that it signed Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) as one of its latest resellers. SLT will now offer the cloud-based CYREN WebSecurity solution that provides advanced cybersecurity and zero-hour threat protection, the Virginia-based company said in a press release today.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- There is no change whatsoever in Sri Lanka's international or domestic trade positioning due to the arrival of new government, rather, it stands strengthened even more Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen assured today.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Newly appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Mr. Arjuna Mahendran assumed duties in his new post on Monday, the 26th of January 2015 at the Governor's office in Colombo, the bank said in a media release.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka's Central Bank has decided to maintain current policy interest rates as inflationary pressures remain low and economy grew by 7.7 percent during the third quarter of 2014.

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended weaker on Wednesday on importer dollar demand but the central bank capped the fall, as exporters awaited direction from a supplementary budget, dealers said.

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit a near two-week closing high on Wednesday, a day ahead of the new government's supplementary budget, on hopes of strong corporate earnings after the government implements its promised concessions and tax reductions on key commodities through the budget.

Jan 28 (DN) Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) has assigned Lanka IOC’s (LIOC) a long- and short-term corporate credit ratings AAA and PP1 respectively. On a stand--alone credit profile, LIOC rated at AA+ and P1 and notched up on parent support.

Jan 28 (Island) ‘It is extremely important to place on record that whenever the government has directly intervened in granting ad hoc wage increases to the private sector, the implications of it have been disastrous, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon points out in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena

Jan 28 (DM) Etisalat Lanka, the only network in Sri Lanka to complete 25 years in the mobile telecommunications sector, introduced a promotional scheme to reward its loyal customer base of 4.5 million connected to the 072 network.

Jan 27 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka’s monetary policy has been “veering toward the looser side,” new central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Tuesday as he left interest rates unchanged amid inflation that’s near a five-year low.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lankan rupee steady; market seeks clarity from budget (28 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka can cut rates once inflation expectations stable-c.bank chief (27 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan shares hit over 1-wk closing high; cbank keeps policy rates steady (27 - Reuters)
* Sri Lankan rupee down on importer dlr demand; market seeks clarity (27 - Reuters)
* First Capital Treasuries announces Rs. 500mn debenture issue (27 - Island)
* Tough regulator will ensure better governance: stockbroker (27 - DM)
* Laksala retains growth momentum (27 - DN)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Jan 29 (Guardian) Sri Lanka's new president has reinstated the country's chief justice, who was impeached two years ago after she refused to back a law granting wider powers to the former president's brother.

Jan 28 (CP) Chennai- The conditions in Sri Lanka's Northern and Eastern provinces are still not conducive for the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister of that state O. Panneerselvam told the central Indian government today.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) member of the North Central Provincial Council Peshala Jayaratne was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the Province before the new Governor P.B. Dissanayake this morning.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- The Education Ministry of Sri Lanka has decided to increase the annual budgetary allocations to the education sector. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that the allocations to the education sector will be increased to 6 percent of the GDP.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka successfully completed a native tree planting project in a four-acre tea estate in Atabage, Gampola on January 24, 2015. Fourteen volunteers participated in this program, ranging from children to senior citizens.

Jan 28 (CP) Colombo- The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption in Sri Lanka says it has received over 100 complaints of corruption following the conclusion of the Presidential election. Director General of the Commission R. Dharmawardena has told the media that the Commission has received about150 complaints after the conclusion of the Presidential election.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa says a media blitz has been launched to "vilify" him and mislead the public instead of following established procedures to probe wrongdoing.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- New Governors appointed to six provinces in Sri Lanka took oaths before Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today. New Governors were appointed to Northern, Eastern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, North-Central and Uva Provinces following the change in the government after January 8 presidential elections.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Senior Journalist Dharmasri Bandara Ekanayake has been appointed President's Media Director. He received his Letter of Appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena today (27) at the Presidential Secretariat.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- The UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire is paying a second visit to Sri Lanka from 28-30 January, shortly after the formation of a new government, the UK High Commission in Colombo said in a release today.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- Lawyers and civil society representatives in Sri Lanka are to commence a continuous agitation campaign tomorrow demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris. The Lawyers' Collective and the civil society are scheduled to commence the protest tomorrow at 8.30 a.m. outside the Supreme Court complex in Hultsdorf.

Jan 27 (CP) Colombo- President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena says the country's corrupt tender procedure needs to be changed. Addressing a gathering of state sector officials in Polonnaruwa, Sirisena said the state officials have the responsibility of carrying the country forward.

Jan 28 2015 (IRIN) MANNAR- Less than three weeks since Sri Lanka voted in a new president, rights activists and other NGOs say there are already encouraging signs that they may have more freedom to work under the new administration, including in the former conflict zone in the north.

Jan 28 (Island) Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa has engaged two internationally renowned auditing firms, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers to probe Housing and Samurdhi portfolios previously held by National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa and former SLFP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa, respectively.

Jan 28 (DM) Former General Secretary of the United National Party (UNP), Tissa Attanayake who crossed over to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential elections said he regrets the decision he took.

Jan 28 (DN) The government has undertaken the important task of ensuring the rule of law in the country and peace and harmony among different communities by appointing Ministers for Religious Affairs who believe in their particular religion, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said.

Jan 28 (Arab News) The first foreign envoy to call on the new Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, within hours of his Jan. 9 victory over Mahinda Rajpaksa, was India’s High Commissioner in Colombo Yashwant Sinha.

Jan 27 (NIE) COLOMBO- Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has slammed the on-going media blitz against him and has charged that the vilification campaign is meant to mislead the public.

Jan 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has extended an open invitation to all political parties to support his 100 day plan for the country. Speaking at an event held to commemorate his victory on Monday at the recent presidential elections, Sirisena said that he has no intention of taking revenge on anyone who voted against him at the election.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* President Sirisena: ‘I would have been tortured if… (27 - Island)
* Attack me or my father but not other family members (27 - DM)
* Presidential term limited to five years - President (27 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Jan 29 (DH) Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will join hands for the last time in their brilliant careers to plot Sri Lanka's World Cup campaign, hoping to make amends for two successive heartbreaks. The missing link in the enduring partnership between the two 37-year-olds that started at the turn of the century is the absence of a World Cup triumph despite coming so near.

More : SPORTS

Jan 28 (Stuff) Not much has gone right for Sri Lanka's cricketers on their pre-World Cup tour and there was more calamity yesterday. Fast bowler Lasith Malinga made an instant impact, even though he has been officially ruled out of today's seventh and final one-dayer against New Zealand in Wellington, as he recovers from ankle surgery. Instead Malinga padded up and had a power hitting session in the centre of the Basin Reserve, peppering the RA Vance Stand.

Jan 28 (ESPNCI) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake as a consultant coach for the early stages of the team's World Cup campaign. Ratnayake will be with the team from February 4 to February 20 and will assist the existing coaching set-up, led by Marvan Atapattu, with World Cup preparations. "SLC has made the inclusion taking into consideration the views of the chairman of selectors and the national team management," an official release said.

Jan 28 (ESPNCI) "Winning breeds confidence," New Zealand's batting coach Craig McMillan said ahead of the seventh match against Sri Lanka, and his team has now won eight of their nine most recent matches. Better even than the good results has been the nature of their wins. In the Test in Wellington, and in the ODIs in Christchurch, Nelson and the first match in Dunedin, the hosts have been in losing positions before a staggering comeback upended the run of play.


WORLD

Jan 28 (BBC) US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said sanctions against Russia could be extended because of the escalation of violence in east Ukraine. He was speaking on a visit to Kiev, after European Union leaders said they would consider "further restrictive measures" on Russia's government.

More : WORLD

Jan 28 (BBC) An outbreak of swine flu in India has killed at least 75 people in just over six weeks, officials say. Health officials said most of the deaths have been reported from the southern state of Telangana and Rajasthan state in the north.

Jan 27 (BBC) The Indonesian military has suspended the recovery operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea in December. Search teams failed to retrieve the fuselage after three days of attempts using a lifting bag.

Jan 27 (BBC) US President Barack Obama has addressed a town hall-style meeting with young people in Delhi on the final day of his visit to India. The US can become India's "best partner", Mr Obama told the gathering of university students and activists.


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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