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[Last Updated = Mon, Feb 8, 2016, 11:33 pm SL Time]
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UN Rights Chief meets with Sri Lanka's defense officials

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who is in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit, met with Sri Lanka's top defense officials today. The visiting High Commissioner met the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Karunasena Hettiarachchi Monday at the Ministry of Defense. Ministry officials, Chief of Defense Staff, Commanders of the Army and Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Navy were also present at the occasion.
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LEGAL - SITUATION

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lanka Navy Monday said it has arrested five local fishermen for allegedly engaged in illegal fishing practices. Naval personnel attached to SLNS Vijaya in Kalpitiya arrested five local fishermen with 2 Fiber Glass Dinghies (FGDs) engaged in illegal fishing in the seas between Udappuwa and Manpuri sea areas on 06th February 2016.

Feb 08 (CP) Kandy- An officer of Sri Lanka Army and a civilian were killed in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday at Getambe in Peradeniya when their car collided with a tractor trailer, police said. Major Buwaneka Jayasundera (41) and R. S. S. Gunasekara (41) of Yatiwawala Katugastota had succumbed to their injuries sustained in the accident while two others who were injured are receiving treatment at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital.

Feb 08 (DM) A 55-year-old Sri Lankan businessman was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport today when he attempted to smuggle Euro 30,000, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. The businessman who was to board a flight to Singapore had concealed the currency, valued at Rs. 4,905,768, in his rectum, officials said.

Feb 08 (Island) The police on Saturday prevented pro-government activists from entering Seenigama Devale, where members of the Joint Opposition dashed coconuts seeking gods’ intervention to stop on-going FCID (Financial Crimes Investigation Division) probes.

Feb 08 (DN) A body found in a wooded area off Badalgama, Katukenda by Kotadeniyawa Police, was identified as that of a woman who was injured after being knocked down by a lorry in Pahala Galayaya on the Negombo-Pannala road on Saturday morning.

Feb 07 (CP) Jaffna- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who was touring Jaffna on Sunday, said the charges levelled against LTTE prisoners should be resolved through the court and it is a responsibility of the Sri Lankan Government.

Feb 07 (CP) Rameswaram- Sri Lankan Naval personnel have allegedly chased away some fishermen from Tamil Nadu while they were fishing near Sri Lanka's Katchatheevu islet on Sunday, a PTI report said. The naval personnel also have allegedly damaged more than 30 fishing nets of the fishermen, who had put out to sea along with several others yesterday, they said.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sri Lanka Police plans to soon arrest four more army personnel suspected in the abduction of Lanka e News journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Already six people of the Army intelligence unit have been arrested and four others will be arrested based on the analysis of mobile phone data used in the incident.

Feb 07 (DW) Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka's Northern Province on Sunday asked the UN's top human rights official for assistance in tracing thousands of civilians who disappeared during the brutal conflict between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that lasted more than 25 years.

More : LEGAL - SITUATION
* CSN case: No one will interfere, says Sagala (7 - DM)
* Colombo JMO to submit report on Sicille’s health condition on Monday (7 - Island)
* New CSN scam unveiled (7 - SO)
* NEW CSN SCAM UNVEILED (7 - DN)
* Pakistani nabbed with 1kg heroin (7 - ST)
More : LEGAL - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- Member of Western Province Council, Sumith Lal Mendis, has been appointed as the Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare, Probationary, Child Protection and Women Affairs of the Western Province.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake says a case will be filed at the High Court over the alleged financial malpractices at the Carleton Sports Network.

Feb 07 (CP) Bhubaneshwar, Odisha- India is interested in establishing refinery and bunkering operations in Sri Lanka, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Saturday when he held a bilateral meeting with Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Development of Sri Lanka Dr. Anoma Gamage.


FINANCE - TRAVEL

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- Captain of the visiting cruise liner MS Rotterdam Marco Carsjens says that the Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka is a springboard for the growth of the island's tourism industry. Captain Carsjens says the Hambantota harbor has won the admiration of the tourists as a green harbor.

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority is organizing a seminar to educate the private sector organizations about a project on promoting sustainable biomass energy production.

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 24.3 percent in January this year compared to the same period last year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The month recorded 194,280 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 156,246 arrived in January 2015.

Feb 08 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down in thin trade to a one-week low on Monday as global economic woes dented sentiment and investors looked for macroeconomic cues after the International Monetary Fund said the country's 2016 fiscal deficit could widen further.

Feb 08 (Island) Sri Lanka should promote multilateral free trade agreements (MFTAs) rather than bilateral free trade agreements with other countries in order to get into the global production value chain, a top economist said.

Feb 08 (DN) China's J. J. Construction who manages White Heven Hotel Panadura has started to build a 200 room five star hotel in Panadura. Founder Chairman, White Heven Hotel Panadura, Sunil Silva said that they will invest US$ 30 million for the project.

Feb 08 (LBO) Inter-country differences in labour cost do not seem to explain differences among developing countries in their success in joining global production networks, an economist said.

Feb 07 (ECONOMYNEXT) Sri Lanka should lift barriers to engage in global production sharing instead of chasing 'high value added' exports, a misguided concept developed by 'import substitution' promoters, a top economist said.

Feb 07 (Hindu) Sri Lanka, with close historical ties to India, boasts of a cuisine that is a confluence of many cultures. Sri Lanka’s past is dotted with colonial influences from the Dutch and the British, not to forget the spread of Buddhism from India.

More : FINANCE - TRAVEL
* Speed Fresh’ fruit juice products introduced to Sri Lankan market (7 - Island)
* ETCA will hit engineers most - OEA chief (7 - SO)
* Capital outflows from Sri Lanka on the rise, but remedial policies are yet to come (7 - ST)
More : FINANCE - TRAVEL

POLITICS - GENERAL

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party today has decided to nominate former Army Commander and Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Lands Minister M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena.

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's 'joint opposition', the group of parliamentarians loyal to the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has threatened to disrupt parliamentary proceedings if the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya does not recognize the group as a separate entity.

Feb 08 (CP) Colombo- A group of 43 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who were living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu state of India, will arrive in the island Tuesday, February 09th under the UNHCR voluntary repatriation program, the Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Ministry said in a release yesterday.

Feb 08 (Island) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Saturday, asked the Opposition members who dashed coconuts against the government and the FCID (Financial Crimes Investigation Division) to crack more nuts so that coconut prices would go up helping cultivators draw more revenue.

Feb 08 (DM) The working committee of the United National Party ( UNP) and its headquarters Sirikotha will be re-organized, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed some members of the party on Saturday. Speaking at a meeting of UNP members in Kuliyapitiya, Mr. Wickremesinghe said some members should work full time to promote the party.

Feb 08 (DN) Cardinal Malcom Ranjith denouncing the ‘Sinha le’ campaign as ‘very divisive’ has said attempts to divide is totally unacceptable at a time when there should be total focus on uniting the people. “This is a very divisive move and it is not a good thing for the country.

Feb 08 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Megapolis plan for the Western region aims to promote bicycle usage as a mode of transportation as it is environmentally friendly, reduces emissions and fuel costs and improves public health, the report states.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- Legal experts in Sri Lanka deem it is a violation of the Constitution to appoint a member of the country's military to parliament, according to a report in Sunday Leader. The move to appoint Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Lands Minister M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena, is a violation of the Constitution, according to the legal experts.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government, which is in the process of creating a mechanism to implement the proposals in the consensual UN resolution, has taken measures to appoint an 11-member Special Task Force to obtain public views on the Geneva proposals.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who arrived in Sri Lanka Saturday on a four-day official visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government, is visiting Jaffna and Trincomalee today and tomorrow.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- Over 1,500 proposals have been submitted to the Committee on Public Representations on the Constitution (CPRC) appointed by Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe to seek public opinion on the proposed constitutional reforms, Chairman, attorney-at-law Lal Wijenayake said.

Feb 07 (CP) Colombo- While India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was visiting Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora is seeking a dialogue with the Indian government in an effort to strengthen the moderate voices within the Diaspora as well as in Sri Lanka.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* UAE Ambassador attends Sri Lanka's 68th Independence Day celebrations (7 - WAM)
* Appointments on hold as proposed NMDRA changes spark intense lobbying (7 - Island)
* Unity Govt must go full five years (7 - SO)
* President defends FCID even though SLFP ministers call for its disbanding (7 - ST)
* Tax Appeals Commission defunct; Govt. may lose billions (7 - ST)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Feb 08 (ESPNCI) When these T20 teams met most recently, at the 2014 World T20 final, India may have been better-drilled, but Sri Lanka had the cleverer strategy. Sri Lanka were T20's iconoclasts at the time, topping the rankings with wit and versatility, while other teams doubled down on power. Things have changed south of the Palk Strait since then. There's been an exodus of cricketing intelligence. The team has not coped, so far.

More : SPORTS

Feb 08 (Hindu) Dinesh Chandimal has an onerous task on hand; to motivate an untested side in international cricket and find ways to compete with the Indians in their backyard and even spring a surprise on the home team. How will the young captain view an Indian side that will not have Virat Kohli in the team? Chandimal would like to enter the fray as an underdog in the three-match Twenty20 series to be played at Pune, Ranchi and Visakhapatnam before the two teams prepare for the Asia Cup Twenty20 and thereafter the ICC World Twenty20.

Feb 07 (ICC) It was not a massive surprise that England Under-19 struggled against Sri Lanka Under-19’s potent spin attack in the third quarterfinal of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday (February 7), but it must be disappointed as its six-wicket defeat was more a consequence of succumbing to reputations than conditions. Having played against each other in a triangular series in Colombo recently, there were no secrets, and Sri Lanka made the first move when it opened the bowling with Thilan Nimesh, the left-arm spinner, after being asked to bowl.

Feb 07 (ZN) India and Sri Lanka will lock horns in a three-match series ahead of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh and World Twenty20. The first match will be played in Pune on Wednesday. Thanks to their superb outing Down Under, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have gained seven places to top the ranking. They have defeated the home team 3-0, after losing the preceding One-Day International series 1-5.


WORLD

Feb 08 (BBC) India's economy grew at an average rate of 7.5% in 2015, faster than the 6.9% growth in China, official figures show. In recent history it has been unusual, but not unprecedented, for India to grow faster than China.

More : WORLD

Feb 08 (BBC) A male leopard which entered a school in the Indian city of Bangalore injured six people trying to capture it. A scientist and a forestry employee were among those mauled during the near 10-hour long effort to corner the dangerous animal on Sunday.

Feb 08 (BBC) Nepal's ethnic minority groups have lifted a four-month blockade of crossings along the Indian border. The announcement comes days after frustrated residents and traders dismantled roadblocks set up by ethnic Madhesi groups.

Feb 08 (BBC) The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket. After an urgent meeting in New York, the council said it would soon adopt a new sanctions resolution in response.


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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