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  Sri Lanka decides to withdraw from UN consensus resolutions - report

Feb 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to immediately withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 30/1 and 40/1 co-sponsored by the good governance government in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

The decision to withdraw from the consensus resolutions have reportedly been taken during a special meeting held in this regard at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (17). Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, several senior government ministers and senior officials of the Foreign Relations Ministry have attended the meeting called by the President, local Sinhala daily Lankadeepa reported.

  EDB establishes a help desk for customers:
Feb 19, Colombo: The Export Development Board (EDB) has taken an initiative to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its Services delivering satisfaction to all customers and set up a Help Desk.

 Woman-centric professional platform WERK launches as corporate partners get on board:
Feb 19, Colombo: WERK, Sri Lanka’s first online woman-centric professional network, was launched amidst much anticipation on Saturday, 15 February at Hatch in Colombo.

 John Keells Properties partners with Union Assurance to provide life cover for TRI-ZEN customers :
Feb 19, Colombo: John Keells Properties signed a partnership agreement with Union Assurance -one of the country’s leading life insurance providers for corporates and individuals- to provide a comprehensive life insurance solution for TRI-ZEN customers.

 State Minister Jayantha Samaraweera appears in court, arrest warrant recalled:
Feb 18, Colombo: State Minister Jayantha Samaraweera, who had been issued an arrest warrant, has appeared before the court through his lawyers today.

  President aims to make Sri Lanka the best country for investments:
Feb 18, Colombo: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says his intention is to make Sri Lanka the best country for investment.
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 NDB records highest ever PBT of Rs. 10 bn for 2019 amidst challenging market conditions :
Feb 18, Colombo: National Development Bank PLC recorded Rs. 10 billion profit before tax (PBT), the highest ever PBT in banking operations in its journey of 40 years. This is a 6% year on year [YoY] growth, affirming its resilience in a challenging market environment that prevailed during 2019.

 Parliament to reward 110 public institutions achieved high performance in FY 2018:
Feb 18, Colombo: The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) report on 844 institutions of State, Provincial Councils and Local Government for the Fiscal Year of 2018, was tabled in Parliament today (18th) by its Chairman, State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna.

 Former Navy Commander testifies before Presidential Commission inquiring political victimization :
Feb 18, Colombo: Former Commander of Sri Lanka Navy, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda said various criminal charges were brought against former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and himself by influencing witnesses during the previous government.

  UNP-led alliance to contest general election under swan symbol - MP Naveen Dissanayake:
Feb 18, Colombo: United National Party (UNP) led alliance “Samagi Jana Balawegaya” will contest the upcoming general election under the swan symbol, UNP National Organizer, parliamentarian Naveen Dissanayake said today.

  IOM launches media campaign to combat human trafficking in Sri Lanka:
Feb 18, Colombo: The challenges posed by human trafficking in the South Asian island nation Sri Lanka, where over 200,000 people migrate to work abroad each year, are daunting, the International, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency says.

  Deutsche Bank invests in Sri Lanka launching new digital FX platform:
Feb 18, Colombo: Deutsche Bank today announced it is investing in Sri Lanka and launching a major push into the corporate client market, with the rollout of a new digitally-enhanced foreign exchange (FX) platform.

 Two Sri Lankan crew members on board Diamond Princess safe :
Feb 18, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo is closely coordinating with the cruise company of the Diamond Princess in regard to the safety of the two Sri Lankans on board the vessel in Yokohama Japan, the Foreign Relations Ministry said.

 Sri Lanka decides to withdraw from UN consensus resolutions - report:
Feb 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to immediately withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 30/1 and 40/1 co-sponsored by the good governance government in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

  Hydropower production is down to 23% as dry weather continues, but no power cuts - Ministry:
Feb 18, Colombo: Due to the dry weather prevailing in Sri Lanka, hydropower generation has come down to 23% of the total production, the Ministry of Power and Energy said.

 Debate on Forensic Audit Report in parliament to begin today :
Feb 18, Colombo: The Adjournment Debate on “The Forensic Audit Report regarding the issuing of Treasury Bonds by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka” will commence this afternoon.

 Police and intelligence units to raid illegal weapons:
Feb 18, Colombo: With the conclusion of the week- long firearms amnesty, the Police together with other intelligence agencies have commenced raiding illegal firearms, the Ministry of Defense said.

 President instructs officials to remove obstacles to uplift local industry :
Feb 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed officials to take measures to remove obstacles in order to uplift local industries and encourage investors.

 Sri Lanka trade deficit widens in December 2019 as exports decline, imports rise:
Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened in December 2019 Earnings from exports declined while expenditure on imports increased, the Central Bank reported Monday in its External Sector Performance review for the month.

  UNP’s elephant symbol will not be pawned to any party - Vajira :
Feb 17, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP) Galle district parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardena says that the Elephant symbol of the UNP will not be pawned to any party.

 Sri Lanka President invited to present new ideas at the Future of Asia conference:
Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s participation as a leading South Asian leader will bring forth new ideas at the Future of Asia Global Conference, the Ambassador of Japan in Colombo Akira Sugiyama said.
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 Bipartisan US congressional delegation discusses strengthening multifaceted relationship with Sri Lanka:
Feb 17, Colombo: A visiting bipartisan U.S. Congressional delegation has expressed the strong desire of their government to advance the multifaceted relationship with Sri Lanka as an important strategic partner, the Ministry of Foreign Relations said.

 Committee appointed to study proposed MCC agreement hands over report to President:
Feb 17, Colombo: The preliminary report of the Committee of experts appointed to study the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement was handed over to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon.

  Ex- ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga remanded until Feb 26:
Feb 17, Colombo: Former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who was arrested and remanded after returned to Sri Lanka, was further remanded until the 26th of this month.

 SLPP and SLFP form new alliance to contest general election under “bud” symbol:
Feb 17, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will contest the upcoming general election as a new alliance, named “Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Sandanaya” under the “bud” (Pohottuwa) symbol.

 WFP and S4IG embark on a strategic partnership to address poor nutrition in Sri Lanka:
Feb 17, Colombo: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG), an initiative of the Australian Government, have signed an agreement to work together to promote healthy diets.
  Indian Navy arrests three Sri Lankan Fishermen smuggling gold worth Rs. 37 million:
Feb 17, Colombo: The Indian Navy, along with the Marine Police and Customs Department, has arrested three Sri Lankan fishermen smuggling 3.5 kg of gold worth Rs 1.48 crore (37 million Sri Lankan rupees) and seized the stock of gold.
 Sri Lanka Central Bank extends regulatory action on primary dealer Pan Asia Banking Corporation:
Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has extended the regulatory action taken on primary dealer Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) for another six months in order to continue the investigations being conducted by the Central Bank.
  VCs of universities given authority to take action against ragging:
Feb 17, Colombo: Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena says the Vice Chancellors of all the universities have been given the authority to take prompt action against ragging incidents in the universities.
  Commission investigating political victimization receives 263 complaints:
Feb 17, Colombo: The three-member Presidential Commission appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to look into alleged political victimization of public servants during the period from January 8, 2015 to November 16, 2019 will commence proceedings today.
 Ambeon Group Revenue increases by 18% during Q3 of 2019/2020:
Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s leading medium sized conglomerate reputed for its market dominance in the areas of financial services, manufacturing, real estate, technology and strategic investments, Ambeon Holdings PLC recorded a revenue of 15.9 billion at group level
 ANC offers ambitious professionals access to Executive MBAs from the University of West London :
Feb 17, Colombo: Establishing a valuable new pathway aligned with the upward mobility of Sri Lanka’s most ambitious professionals, ANC Education announced the commencement of a new Executive MBA program launched in collaboration with The Claude Littner Business School of University of West London – UWL.
 Families of ‘disappeared’ threatened in Sri Lanka - HRW:
Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lankan security forces and intelligence agencies have intensified surveillance and threats against families of victims of enforced disappearance and activists supporting them since Gotabaya Rajapaksa became president in November 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a new report on Sunday.
  JVP explores possibility of taking legal action in Supreme Court against Central Bank Bond scammers :
Feb 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says it will look into whether a case can be filed in the Supreme Court as a fundamental rights petition against the central bank bond scam.
 Former President says SLFP and SLPP will contest upcoming election as a broad alliance:
Feb 16, Colombo: Former President and Leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithripala Sirisena says that the decision on how to contest the next general election has already been taken.
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 President expects attitudinal change from trade unions for public benefit:
Feb 16, Colombo: A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and representatives of the Progressive Trade Union Federation was held at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday (15).
  UNP to decide on symbol to contest election tomorrow:
Feb 16, Colombo: Matale district United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian and Deputy Chief Whip of Opposition, Ranjith Aluvihare today (16) said that all the crises in the UNP have been brought to an end and a decision has been made to contest the next general election under a common symbol.
  President makes observation visit to Colombo Port City:
Feb 16, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Colombo Port City, which is officially known as Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) Sunday afternoon and observed the ongoing construction on reclaimed land.
  U.S. reiterates continued commitment to relations with Sri Lanka despite blacklisting Army Chief:
Feb 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena summoned the U.S Ambassador Alaina Teplitz Sunday to the Foreign Ministry and formally conveyed Sri Lanka’s strong objections to the travel ban imposed by the U.S. on the country’s Army Chief and his family.
 Navy arrests 11 Indian fishermen for engaging in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters:
Feb 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has arrested 11 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu for allegedly breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
 Sri Lanka Manufacturing and Services sectors expand at a slower pace in January 2020:
Feb 16, Colombo: According to the Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released by the Statistics Department of Central Bank, manufacturing and Services sectors expanded at a slower pace in January 2020 compared to the previous month.
 Nine arrested for distributing heroin to youth in Matale:
Feb 16, Colombo: The Police have arrested nine persons on suspicion of possessing 78 packets of heroin in the Mahawela area in Matale yesterday (15).
 US Ambassador summoned to Foreign Ministry over blacklisting Army Chief:
Feb 16, Colombo: United States Ambassador in Colombo Alaina B Teplitz has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Relations on Sunday over the ban imposed on the Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his immediate family from entering the US, a government official has said.
 Sri Lanka Opposition leader says U.S. ban on Army Commander regrettable:
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa says the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban on current commander of Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his immediate family is “regrettable and unfortunate”.
  President requests legal community to help promote local and foreign investment:
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the country’s legal community to assist in promoting local and foreign investment by eliminating bureaucracy and excessive regulation.
 U.S. congressional delegation keen on strengthening economic ties with Sri Lanka:
Feb 15, Colombo: The U.S. Congressmen Ami Bera and George Holding, who are visiting Sri Lanka, met with the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday in Colombo and discussed ways of strengthening ties in various sectors.
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  UNP to contest next general election under Elephant or Swan symbol :
Feb 15, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP) will contest the next general election with the symbol of elephant or swan, the General Secretary of the UNP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says.
 Sri Lanka contributes Rs. 163 mn to IMF debt relief package for Somalia:
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka will contribute Rs. 163 million to the International Monitory Fund’s financing package approved for the debt relief for Somalia.
  Sri Lanka Navy arrests three Indian illegal immigrants, two local helpers :
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has apprehended three Indian nationals attempting to illegally migrate to Sri Lanka by a dinghy, along with two Sri Lankans on Friday, 14th February.
 Hemas Holdings revenue impacted by Easter Sunday attacks recording Rs. 47 billion, 2.1% lower in 2019:
Feb 15, Colombo: Hemas Holdings PLC continued its recovery from a challenging first six months with Q3 FY 19/20 Group revenue and operating profit broadly in line with Q3 FY18/19, the interim financial statement for 2019/20 - Q3 reported.
  EDB facilitates promotion of Sri Lanka’s automobile component manufacturing industry in international market:
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s automobile component manufacturing industry has been identified as a sector to be developed and promoted in the international market by linking with the Global Value Chains
 Sri Lanka Navy arrests two suspects smuggling over 14 kg of gold:
Feb 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has apprehended two individuals smuggling a stock of gold in the seas off of Madagal, Jaffna on Friday (14th February).
  Six including father of Easter Sunday suicide bomber Ilham Ahmed further remanded until Feb 28:
Feb 15, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court Friday further remanded six suspects, including the father of a suicide bomber who was killed in the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, until the 28th February.
 President instructs to expedite completion of Central Expressway and others highways :
Feb 15, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed relevant officials to expedite the construction work of Central and other expressways.
  A new 15-member National Salaries Commission established:
Feb 15, Colombo: A new National Salaries Commission has been established to provide guidance and assistance to the Government in formulating and executing a National Salaries Policy, President’s Media Division said.
 Sri Lanka strongly objects to U.S. banning entry for Army Chief and his immediate family :
Feb 14, Colombo: Responding to the United States State Department decision to ban Sri Lanka Army Chief and his immediate family from entering the U.S. over war crime allegations, the government of Sri Lanka said it strongly objects the U.S. action, based on independently unverified information.
 Sri Lankan woman scientist among winners of 2020 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards:
Feb 14, Colombo: A Sri Lankan woman scientist is among the five researchers who have been named winners of the 2020 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.
 Ex- Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga remanded until Feb 17:
Feb 14, Colombo: Fort Magistrate’s Court Friday ordered to remand the former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia and Ukraine, Udayanga Weeratunga until September 17 when he was produced in court following his arrest this morning.
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 Proposals for a new Constitution presented to President:
Feb 14, Colombo: A set of proposals containing facts that should be taking into account when formulating a new Constitution was presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President’s Media Division said.
 Guinea-Bissau President meets Sri Lankan PM during brief visit :
Feb 14, Colombo: President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who made a brief visit to Sri Lanka this morning en route to Spain called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees.
 Dialog FY 2019 NPAT Rs. 10.8 billion, contribution to government tax revenue tops Rs. 33.3 billion :
Feb 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata announced its consolidated financial results for the year ended 31st December 2019. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the “Group”).
 Ambassador visits japan-funded Dental School at Peradeniya University, Noritake factory:
Feb 14, Colombo: Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Akira Sugiyama today visited the building complex of the Faculty of Dental Sciences and Dental Hospital (Teaching) at the University of Peradeniya built with the support of Japan’s grant aid.
 US designates Sri Lanka Army commander as a gross violator of human rights, bans entry:
Feb 14, Washington, DC: The United States today designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, current Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, as a gross violator of human rights, especially for extrajudicial killings during his command.
  Sri Lanka committed to chart own path for sustainable reconciliation, envoy tells UN:
Feb 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka is committed to promote a peaceful, just and reconciled society and will find its own solutions based on own experiences and the country’s constitution for a sustainable reconciliation, the island nation’s envoy to the UN told the intergovernmental organization.
 33 Students returned from Wuhan, China released from quarantine :
Feb 14, Colombo: The 33 Sri Lankan students, who returned from Wuhan, China and quarantined at the Diyatalawa Army Camp due to the new COVID-19 virus, were released this morning, Army spokesman Brigadier Chandana Wickramasinghe said.
 COPE chairman expresses concern over the volume of the forensic audit report :
Feb 14, Colombo: Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), MP Sunil Handunneththi has said that the reports issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on the bond’s issuance concern consists of five Forensic Audit reports and approximately a 10,000 paged annexure.
  A group of 45 Sri Lankan domestic workers return home from Kuwait:
Feb 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Bureau of Foreign Employment and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait have facilitated the return of another group of female domestic workers from Kuwait to the island.
 General election can be held in late April - Election Chief:
Feb 14, Colombo: The Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says that if the parliament is dissolved on the 1st or 2nd of March, the general election could be held in late April.
 Sri Lanka donates tea for the Australian bushfire victims:
Feb 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka donated four tons of “Ceylon Tea” to Australia, as a goodwill gesture, for the victims of the recent bushfires that devastated people’s lives in Australia.
 Indian visitors embrace Sri Lanka’s Tourism attractions at the Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) 2020:
Feb 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka was able to prove it’s potential to attract tourists with its various tourist attractions and as a country of numerous holiday opportunities at the Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) in Mumbai, India, which was held from 03rd to 5th February 2020.
 Fugitive ex-diplomat Udayanga Weeratunga returns to Sri Lanka, CID begins interrogation:
Feb 14, Colombo: The former Sri Lankan ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who had an Interpol red notice issued against him, returned to the country early this morning.
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