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[Last Updated = Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 11:13 pm SL Time]
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Sri Lanka has achieved a lot, Korean envoy tells President

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- A South Korean envoy, who is visiting Sri Lanka, has said that the country has made tremendous progress since the end of the war five years ago. During a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (April 21) at Temple Trees, Special Envoy and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea Yu Myung-hwan said, "Sri Lanka has achieved a lot" since the war ended.
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SECURITY - SITUATION

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- The extremist Sinhala Buddhist organization, Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), today surrounded a government ministry to protest the alleged resettlement of Muslims in Wilpattu National Park. The BBS surrounded the Ministry of Industries, charging that Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thero was hiding in the ministry building.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Protesting substitute workers of Sri Lanka Railways have blocked the southern coastal line trains leaving from the country's central Colombo Fort Station leaving thousands of commuters stranded at the evening rush hour. The Anti-riot Squad of the police has arrived at the station to disperse the protesters and to allow the delayed trains to leave.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Following the accident of a hand tractor trailer with passengers toppling into an irrigation canal and drowning 10 people, Sri Lanka Police has banned the unsafe transport of people in these vehicles. The police say the hand tractors are vehicles used only for transport of goods and not vehicles for transporting passengers, but in villages hand tractors are being used to transport people.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- The mob attack on a group of Sri Lanka opposition party parliamentarians visiting the Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport on April 17 was reported to the court today, the police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities have arrested a Tamil woman for providing land in the North to suspected LTTE supporters. The anti-terrorist division of Kilinochchi police arrested the 63-year-old A woman, a resident of Uruthipuram in Kilinochchi for allegedly providing lands in Kilinochchi to a group of Tiger supporters.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Former Army Commander of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Sarath Fonseka says the recent attack on main opposition United National Party (UNP) MPs in Hambantota is a violation of human rights.

Apr 21 (CP) Vavuniya- Sri Lanka police have launched a manhunt for a former LTTE cadre who had escaped from the Vavuniya prison Sunday night. The Vavuniya police, Prison Officers and the Sri Lanka army have jointly launched a search operation to nab the escaped LTTE prisoner identified as Jeyabalan Stanley Ramesh, a resident of Kudirippu in Vavuniya local media reported.

Apr 22 (BBC) A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a Buddha tattoo on her arm. Naomi Coleman was arrested as she arrived at the airport in the capital Colombo after authorities spotted the tattoo on her right arm.

Apr 22 (Island) Jaffna police have launched an inquiry into the suicide of Ms. J. Consolita (22) in the wake of recent public protests opposite the Jaffna Bishop’s House near Colombuthurai, Jaffna accusing two young priests of responsibility. Jaffna based sources told The Island that the victim, a resident of Mandaitivu had been involved in a teaching project within the premises of the Jaffna Bishop’s House.

Apr 22 (DN) The Police arrested 1,761 drunken drivers during the 10 day special island wide operation carried out in the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festive season. The special operation commenced on April 10 and ended at 6 a.m. yesterday. The majority held for driving under the influence of liquor were motorcyclists numbering 967.

More : SECURITY - SITUATION
* Pakistan working closely with SL to thwart heroin smuggling – HC official (21 - Island)
* LTTE suspect escapes (21 - DM)
* Fisherman stabbed to death (21 - DN)
More : SECURITY - SITUATION

NEWS - HIGHLIGHTS

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) will hold a protest tomorrow against the government's attempt to get parliamentary approval for legislation that would grant tax concessions for two projects to set up casinos and gaming facilities in the country. The protest by UNP parliamentarians will be held at the proposed site of the Crown Multi-Purpose Development Project at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo.

Apr 23 (Reuters) Colombo- Sri Lankan shares fell on Wednesday after five days of gains as investors booked profits in large caps despite moderate foreign inflows into the island nation's risky assets. The main stock index fell 0.31 percent, or 19.06 points, to 6,172.77, slipping from its highest close since Feb. 3 hit in the previous session. The day's loss erased around 8 billion rupees worth market capitalisation of the bourse.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- National coach of Sri Lanka Cricket Team Paul Farbrace has tendered his resignation today, the cricket authority announced. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said Farbrace tendered his resignation and has indicated to SLC of his unavailability to continue with SLC with immediate effect in order to take up an appointment with the England Cricket Board (ECB).

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank has decided to maintain current policy interest rates as its Monetary Board is of the view that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate. Accordingly, the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (Repurchase Rate) would remain at 6.50 percent while the Standing Lending Facility Rate (Reverse repurchase Rate) remains at 8.50 percent, the Central Bank announced Tuesday.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka in an effort to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country after the end of the war is looking to woo Malaysian investors, especially in infrastructure development and the rapidly growing hospitality industry.


FINANCE

Apr 23 (Reuters) Colombo- The Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad firmer on Wednesday, recovering from early losses on dollar sales by exporters in late trade. Dealers expect the local currency to remain stable until imports pick up sharply. The spot rupee, which had hit a low of 130.64 per dollar earlier in the day on importer demand, closed at 130.60/61, firmer than Tuesday's close of 130.62/67.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Central Bank, responding to the Opposition's charge that the Rs 1.3 trillion private sector retirement fund, Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) has lost billions due to the stock market manipulation, said today in a statement that the fund had gained over Rs. 550 billion over the last five years.

** Related Story ::Sri Lanka's private sector retirement fund yet to publish accounts for 2011 - Opposition MP

Apr 21 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan share index hit its highest closing level in more than 10 weeks on Monday, led by blue chips ahead of the central bank's policy rates announcement while retail investor interest also helped boost sentiment.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- The environmental regulator of Sri Lanka, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has taken measures to address the environmental issues that had arisen with the growing animal husbandry industry in the country. The growth in livestock farming in large scale has created many environmental issues in Sri Lanka.

Apr 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan share index ended at its highest level in more than 10 weeks on Tuesday, led by blue chips amid strong interest from banks and financials after the central bank said private sector credit growth would rebound in the second quarter.

Apr 22 (Island) Sri Lanka main international airport has handled 7.3 million passengers, including transit travellers, up 3.3 percent from a year earlier, while aircraft movements rose 5 percent to 50,802. The Central Bank in its annual report said cargo handling also rose 3.9 percent.

Apr 22 (DM) Auditor General H.A.S. Smaraweera in his review of the 2011 annual report of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said Sri Lanka’s main social security fund had lost nearly Rs.11.7 billion through investments in 58 private institutions.

Apr 22 (DN) Sri Lanka has high legal, scientific and tech capacity to adapt to demanding global Intellectual Property (IP) dynamics-and for the first time, a global body vested with universal IP powers has openly acknowledged its potentials.

More : FINANCE
* Sri Lanka rupee steady in dull trade; stocks up (21 - Reuters)
* POLL -Sri Lanka central bank seen keeping key rates at multi-year lows on Tuesday (21 - Reuters)
* Sri Lanka cautioned on rising renewable energy costs (21 - Island)
* Dialog Axiata to invest US $ 30mn on new submarine cable (21 - DM)
* Japanese investors infuse Rs 400 m into Asia Capital (21 - DN)
* Sri Lanka Central Bank see 'major role' for private equity financing (21 - LBO)
More : FINANCE

POLITICS - GENERAL

Apr 23 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), will call for Tamils' right to self-determination at its May Day rally scheduled to be held in Chavakachcheri. TNA Jaffna District parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah has said the TNA would celebrate May Day this year under the theme of the right to self-determination as well as issues including the cost of living, unemployment, resettlement and land grabbing.

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Colombo- Sri Lanka's government is opening up its public university system attracting significant investment with plans to allow 10 private universities to operate locally by 2020, an official said Wednesday. Higher Education Ministry Dr. Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne outlined ambitious plans to reporters that aim to attract 50,000 foreign students to study at these private universities in addition to local youth. "The plan is to allow these universities to establish themselves in different parts of the country," he said.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist movement Bodu Baa Sena (BBS) said today that it had no plans to topple the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo, the leader of the BBS secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero said that when compared to those who are vying to be the common candidate at an upcoming presidential election to lead the country, this government still could be directed in the right path with the current leader.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- To celebrate Earth Day 2014, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison met with Sri Lankan Girl Guides as they launched their "Earth Day Ambassadors" program. Sixty girls from Girl Guides chapters in Jaffna, Kandy and Colombo were selected to be "Earth Day Ambassadors". The participants researched and scored their respective city's environmental 'green' ranking, and will now collectively build an action plan to improve their city's rating.

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to increase the country's forest cover to 35 percent by the year 2020. The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Energy Development has said that steps have been taken to expand cultivation of forest in all districts.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- The attack carried out on the parliamentarians disregarding ethical and political culture, by the mob in Hambantota, is an attack on the Sri Lankan public, a Marxist party legislator said. Addressing a media briefing at the JVP headquarters Sunday, parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said the party condemns the attack with contempt.

Apr 21 (CP) Batticaloa- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday declared open several newly constructed building complexes at the Eastern University, Batticaloa in the Eastern Province.

Apr 21 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government dismissed "misleading "reports that the government did not extend BBC Sri Lanka correspondent Charles Havilland's Visa saying that the government, in fact, has extended his visa by three more months.

Apr 21 (CP) Kuala Lumpur- Sri Lanka's First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa has arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today to attend the 2014 International Seminar on Autism. Malaysian Deputy Minister of Education Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching welcomed the Sri Lankan First Lady at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning.(Photo Courtsey Bernama)

Apr 22 (Island) Leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) and Central Provincial Councilor,Azath Sally yesterday invited the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galabode Aththe Gnanasara Thera for a public debate on the "hate campaign" against Muslims and misinterpretation of the Holy Quran,that the BBS had carried out over the last few years.

Apr 22 (DN) The government should ban all separatist movements and persons involved in promoting separatist agendas, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and Technology Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said adding that according to clause 157 of Sri Lanka’s constitution any action could be taken against separatist movements.

Apr 22 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Monday accused Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of shedding crocodile tears for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Addressing a public meeting in Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Karunanidhi recalled the resolution passed by the AIADMK government led by her in the past in the Assembly, urging the Centre to take measures for the arrest and extradition of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran.

Apr 21 (NIE) In the heated debate relating to ethnic conflict between Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese-dominated government, the problems and aspirations of Malaiha Tamils (hill country Tamils of Indian origin) do not find any mention.

More : POLITICS - GENERAL
* Doctors' union in Sri Lanka postpones strike scheduled for tomorrow (21 - CP)
* Sri Lanka's Marxist party blames government for alleged resettlement of people in Wilpattu National Park (21 - CP)
* H’tota mayor adding insult to injury-Mano (21 - Island)
* All constructions within 500 m of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi precinct to be halted (21 - DN)
More : POLITICS - GENERAL

SPORTS

Apr 22 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's star cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara will face disciplinary action over remarks they made on the cricket authority Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) over their announcement of retirement. The SLC said it has decided to conduct an inquiry on the criticisms made by Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardana after returning to Sri Lanka after winning the ICC T20 world cup.

More : SPORTS

Apr 22 (ESPNCI) Paul Farbrace, the Sri Lanka coach, has resigned with immediate effect in order to take up a role with the ECB, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. The development came a day after Farbrace returned to Colombo and met with SLC officials to discuss his position, following reports that he had been approached by the ECB to become assistant coach to Peter Moores, the new England coach.

Apr 21 (ESPNCI) Paul Farbrace has told ESPNcricinfo that he has not yet made a commitment to England, and remains conflicted over whether to become their assistant coach or remain head coach of Sri Lanka, after talks with SLC yielded no concrete decisions on Monday. He said there had been "nothing untoward" in his tenure with Sri Lanka that would drive him away from his current position, but admitted the prospect of working with England was an alluring one.

Apr 21 (ESPNCI) Former BCCI President Shashank Manohar has said he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the BCCI's emergent working committee meeting on Sunday, which picked a three-member panel to investigate the IPL corruption scandal as directed by India's Supreme Court. Manohar, who served as BCCI president from to 2008-2011, attended the meeting as a special nominee of the Vidarbha Cricket Association, which is a member of the BCCI working committee.


WORLD

Apr 22 (BBC) A tropical cyclone halted the aerial search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane on Tuesday, officials said. Up to 10 military planes had been due to scour the surface of the Indian Ocean for evidence of flight MH370.

More : WORLD

Apr 22 (BBC) The confirmed death toll from the South Korean ferry that capsized last week has reached 113, as divers recovered more bodies from the sunken hull. Rescuers searching for bodies have been able to take advantage of better weather on Tuesday, officials say, with more than 190 passengers still missing or presumed trapped inside the vessel.

Apr 21 (BBC) Sherpa guides in Nepal have demanded more compensation for the families of 13 of their colleagues killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest on Friday. Three more guides are still missing after the accident. In a statement, the Sherpas demanded compensation higher than the $400 (£238) offered by the government, as well as higher insurance payments.

Apr 21 (BBC) South Korean President Park Geun-hye has condemned the conduct of some of the crew of the ferry that sank last week, calling it "akin to murder". Ms Park said that those to blame would have to take "criminal and civil" responsibility for their actions. Divers are continuing to recover bodies from the ferry, as they gain access to more of the submerged hull.


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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