Sri Lanka

'I am Sri Lanka's Finance Minister, not China's', says Ravi Karunanayake

Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Nov. 5 : Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said his job is to look into the welfare of the country and not China's as he lashed back at comments made by Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang.

"I am the Sri Lankan Finance Minister, not the Chinese Finance Minister. My effort is to save even a penny for the Sri Lankan people," the Colombo Page quoted Karunanayake as saying to media during his visit to Kandy.

The Chinese Ambassador last week while addressing a selected group of journalists, said he was disappointed at negative comments from Sri Lanka, especially related to Chinese-funded mega development projects.

Sri Lanka needs new Constitution to suit post-war time: Ranil Wickremesinghe

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Oct.24 : Sri Lankan Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the country needs a new Constitution as the war which prevailed for the past 30 years has ended and for the country to move forward, suitable changes for the post-war era need to be made.

Stating that formulating a new Constitution cannot be done alone, Wickremesinghe said it requires the support from each and every one.

The Prime Minister was addressing a religious event at Vivekaramaya in Gangodawila on Saturday, reports Colombo Page.

Wickremesinghe said that no one in the government and no political party has made a request to change the places given to the religions or the rights given to the people.

Lankan President invites all political parties to form national government

maithripala sirisenaKandy, Jan 12 : Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has invited all political parties represented in parliament to join him to form a national unity government.

Addressing the nation from the historic Paththirippuwa of the Temple of Tooth in Kandy on Sunday, President Sirisena said he intends to obtain the support of all political parties to establish a country with good governance, democracy and rule of law for the future of the people and the country.

He also pledged to implement the 100-day plan as presented in his policy manifesto and transfer the power of the executive presidency to the parliament, cabinet and independent commissions.

Air China to launch direct Chengdu-Colombo flight from Feb.10

Air ChinaColombo, Dec.29 - China's national airline - Air China - will start a direct service between Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan province, and Sri Lankan capital Colombo from February 10, 2015.

An airline statement said that the Chengdu-Colombo service will operate four weekly flights using Airbus A330 aircraft.

The four flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with one-way trip taking five-and-a-half hours.

This is the first service from Chengdu to a Sri Lankan city, marking an important step towards the construction of the flag carrier's Chengdu hub.

Actors Salman Khan,Jacqueline Fernandez in Sri Lanka to support Rajapaksa's poll campaign

Salman Khan Jacqueline FernandezColombo, Dec 29 : Indian actor Salman Khan and Sri Lankan-born actress Jacqueline Fernandez are in Sri Lanka to support the election campaign of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

According to the Lanka Page web site, a group of six Bollywood personalities, including the two actors, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Monday morning.

Reportedly, the group has been invited to participate in President Rajapkasa's campaign by his son and Hambantota District parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. (ANI)

Unilever CEO in Sri Lanka on business visit

Paul PolmanColombo, Nov 28 : Unilever Global Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman has arrived in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit primarily aimed at reviewing Unilever Sri Lanka's operations.

Accompanying Polman is Executive Vice President - South Asia, and Managing Director and CEO of Hindustan Unilever, Sanjiv Mehta.

Unilever Sri Lanka (USL) has been a high performing business and has a rich heritage of over 75 years in the country.

USL has registered an exceptionally strong performance so far in 2014.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Sri Lanka

Xi JinpingKatunayake (Sri Lanka), Sept 16 : Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday on a 23-hour-long state visit on the second leg of his three-nation South Asia tour.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were received by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his wife, Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

Xi will hold bilateral talks with Rajapaksa, and will oversee the signing of at least twenty agreements to build roads, highways and a port city adjacent to the Chinese-operated port in Colombo.

The highlight of his visit is expected to be the start of Chinese-financed Colombo Port City's construction, which has seen a 1.43 billion US dollar investment by China.

Sangakkara's ton helps Lanka give a strong reply to Pak in Galle Test

Kumar-SangakkaraGalle, Aug. 8 : Replying to Pakistan's mammoth first innings total of 451 all out, Sri Lanka replied strongly, losing only two wickets for 252 runs.

At the start of the day Sri Lanka were trailing Pakistan by 352 runs having lost their first wicket on day two of the match. Now they are 199 runs adrift of the visitors.

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene remained unbeaten on their individual scores of 102 and 55 respectively. Both have been former captains for Sri Lanka.

Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed caught Kaushal Silva for his individual score of 64 off fast-medium bowler Mohammad Talha's delivery.

Sri Lanka Govt. apologises for article critical of Jayalalithaa

JayalalithaaColombo, Aug 1 : The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry on Friday tendered an unqualified apology to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa over a negative article that appeared on its web site.

The article criticised Jayalalithaa for writing frequently to Prime Minister Modi on issues related to Sri Lanka and the fishermen's issue.

Unbeaten ton by Jayawardene helps Lanka to score 305 for 5 on Day One of 2nd Test

Mahela-JayawardeneColombo, July 24 : Former skipper Mahela Jayawardene unbeaten 140 helped Sri Lanka to end Day One of the second Test against South Africa on a healthy 305 for the loss of five wickets.

At the end of the day's play at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Jayawardene walked off to a huge applause after scoring his 34th Test century, while giving some hope to his Sri Lankan team mates of putting up a healthy and challenging total for the Proteas.

It was Jayawardene's 11th Test hundred at his home ground, and extended his lead at the top of the list for most Test runs scored at a single venue.

Lanka get off to strong start in 370-run chase against South Africa in Galle Test

Kumar-SangakkaraGalle (Sri Lanka), July 19 : Sri Lanka on Saturday got off to a strong start in their second innings against South Africa on the fourth day of the first Test in Galle, scoring 110 for the loss of Upal Tharanga's wicket.

Leading the hosts towards the victory target of 370 runs set by the Proteas at the close of play, were Kumar Sangakkarra on 58 with seven boundaries and six, and Kaushal Silva on 37 with five boundaries. The partnership between the two is worth 96 runs. The Lankans scored their runs of 32 overs.

They now have to score 260 runs in three sessions on the final day of the Test on Sunday.

South Africa set Sri Lanka 370 to win in Galle Test after post-tea declaration

south-africa-vs-sri-lankaGalle (Sri Lanka), July 19 : South Africa on Saturday declared their second innings at 206-6 at tea on the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, and set the hosts a victory target of 370 runs.

The top scorers for the Proteas were A. B. DeVilliers (51), Faf du Plessis (37), Quentin de Kock (36) and Alviro Petersen (32). J. P. Duminy was batting on eight when the visitors decided to declare and set the Sri Lankans four sessions to try and win the match. Sri Lankan spinner MDK Perera claimed four wickets for 79 runs in the Soth African second innings.

Proteas score 265 for 8 on Day 1 of Galle Test

Proteas score 265 for 8 on Day 1 of Galle TestGalle (Sri Lanka), July 16 : Hashim Amla-led South Africa scored 268 for the loss of five wickets on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

The match is being played at the Galle International Stadium from July 16 to July 20.

Sri Lankan Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa orders release of 78 Indian fishermen

Mahinda RajapaksaColombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday ordered the release of 78 Indian fishermen held by the navy for allegedly poaching into Sri Lankan waters as a goodwill gesture to mark the joint session of the Indian Parliament.

The decision came a day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a "permanent solution" to the thorny issue.

Rajapaksa tweeted: "On the occasion of the 1st joint sitting of Indian Parliament, I have instructed officials to release the 78 Indian fishermen in SL custody."

'Sri Lanka has no faith in international probe'

Mahinda RajapaksaColombo, April 13 - The Sri Lankan government Saturday said it has no faith in an international investigation into the alleged human rights abuses occurred during the civil war in the country.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy on human rights and Government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka feels an international investigation will lack credibility and will not be independent, Xinhua reported.

Samarasinghe was speaking to reporters after meeting some of the island's leading Buddhist monks and briefing them on the latest developments in the country.

Sri Lanka refuses to cooperate with international probe

G L PeirisColombo, April 8 - The Sri Lankan government Monday refused to cooperate with an international investigation into alleged human rights abuses in the country.

External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris said the government will not allow international investigators to visit Sri Lanka to conduct a probe, Xinhua reported.

Peiris told reporters in Colombo that an international investigation cannot take place on Sri Lankan soil without the cooperation of the government.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva had recently passed a resolution calling for an international investigation into the war in Sri Lanka.

Jayawardene refutes allegations of divulging T20 retirement plans to Indian media for 'financial gain'

mahela JayawardeneColombo, Mar 20 - Star Sri Lankan batsman and former captain Mahela Jayawardene has dismissed allegations against made him made by a Sri Lankan publication that he chose to announce his Twenty20 international retirement plans to an Indian newspaper as it would be more 'financially rewarding'.

An article, which appeared in Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper under the headline 'Sanga, Mahela betrayal shocks SLC', suggested that Jayawardene did not announce his retirement plans to their publication, when they had interviewed him just days prior to the eventual announcement.

Prince Charles invokes Nehru in CHOGM speech

Prince-CharlesColombo, Nov 15 : Invoking India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech, Britain's Prince Charles appealed to the Commonwealth to intensify cooperation to resolve economic, social and environmental challenges at the grouping's summit here Friday.

"Sri Lanka was one of the founding countries of the modern Commonwealth. Historians of this family of nations will recall that, in the circumstances of that time, the Commonwealth showed an exceptional spirit of accommodation over how the organisation should be constituted," the Prince of Wales said.

Sri Lanka to sign $2 bn worth investment deals

Lakshman-Yapa-AbeywardenaColombo, Nov 14 : Sri Lanka is set to sign investment deals worth $2 billion on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit here Thursday, an official said.

Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told reporters that the deals would be signed with an Australian company and two Chinese companies, Xinhua reported.

China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) will sign preliminary agreements to build a port city redefining the shoreline of capital Colombo at an investment of $1.3 billion.

Sri Lankan economy grows

Sri Lankan economy growsColombo, Sep 14 - Sri Lanka's economy grew by 6.8 percent in the second quarter of 2013, improving from a 6 percent growth in the first quarter of the year, the state-run Census and Statistics Department said in its latest report.

However, the agriculture sector, which has the highest employment in the economy, recorded a negative 1.1 percent growth in the second quarter.

Industry and services sectors recorded 10.1 percent and 6.6 percent growth respectively in the same period, the department said.

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