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May 30, 2017 [GMT]
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Italian anti-submarine warship to visit SL
[Tuesday 2017-01-10 17:00]

The Italian Navy FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigate) Carabiniere is scheduled to arrive in Colombo for a four-day visit from January 11 to 14.
Colombo is the second port visit of a four-months deployment, started in La Spezia on December 20, which will bring the ship to call in several ports in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan and Singapore.

The Italian Navy FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigate) Carabiniere is scheduled to arrive in Colombo for a four-day visit from January 11 to 14. Colombo is the second port visit of a four-months deployment, started in La Spezia on December 20, which will bring the ship to call in several ports in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan and Singapore.

  

ITS Carabiniere is an anti-submarine warship that has been delivered to the Italian Navy in April 2015, as the fourth FREMM of ten to be commissioned. ITS Carabiniere is fitted with a latest generation platform and combat systems based on state-of-the-art military and civil standards. ITS Carabiniere’s deployment is aimed to strength the on-going cooperation activities with some trans-regional allies and develop relations with potential partners. Main theme of the naval campaign is thus maritime safety and surveillance, cooperation strengthening and naval diplomacy.

  
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Mi 17 helicopter crashes in Baddegama Top News
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

A Mi-17 helicopter of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) which was carrying out rescue and search operations had crashed in Baddegama in Galle this morning. SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Gihan Senaviratne said no casualties were reported in the accident. He said all crew members on board the helicopter were safe. The MI 17 had lost control when descending to distribute goods to a flood village in Baddegama.



SL guard jailed for kissing asylum seeker
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

A Sri Lankan-born former security guard is serving a one-month jail sentence for kissing an asylum seeker at an immigration detention centre in Melbourne, Australia, The Age reported on Sunday. The news article said Theivigan Panchalingham, 37, was previously a Serco guard at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre in Broadmeadows.



Woman gives birth in Mi-17
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

A pregnant 19-year-old woman, who was being airlifted to Ratnapura from the Kalawana Hospital, has given birth to a baby onboard a Mi-17 helicopter today, the Sri Lanka Air Force said. Ratnapura Hospital Director S.P.A.L. Ranaweera said the prematurely-born infant had died on admission to the hospital. He said the mother, a resident of Kalawana, was out of danger.



Weather calamity: Death toll rises to 177
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

The number of deaths reported in floods and landslides was increased to 177 while 109 people had gone missing, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. In its latest situation report, the DMC said the adverse weather condition had left 109 people injured. In total, 557,505 people of 151,392 families had been affected by the weather calamity. The South-West monsoon unleashed torrential rains, which ravaged fourteen districts in the western and southern parts of the country on Friday and Thursday. The disaster is described as one of the worst-ever calamities since the 2003 floods.



Police kept alert on Parliament flooding
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

Parliament Police were kept alert on the water level of the Diyawanna lake and the Navy has been placing sand bags at the entrance to Parliament and adjoining areas, a Parliament Police officer said. He said a disaster management committee of 20 officers headed by IP Balasuriya was appointed to handle any emergency situation. The water level of Diyawanna did not rise over the past two days as the rains had temporarily ceased. They are on alert as rains are expected today and tomorrow, he said. Parliament went under water in 1992 and 2010.



PM off to US
[Monday 2017-05-29 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for the United States on Saturday on a private visit, sources close to his office said yesterday. A source said Mr Wickremesinghe will be away for two weeks. During his visit to the US he is due to undergo a routine medical.



Weather calamity: Death toll rises to 151
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

The number of deaths reported in floods and landslides was increased to 151 while 112 people had gone missing, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said on Sunday. In its latest situation report, the DMC said the adverse weather condition had left 52 people injured. In total, 442,299 people of 114,124 families had been affected by the weather calamity. The South-West monsoon unleashed torrential rains, which ravaged fourteen districts in the western and southern parts of the country on Friday and Thursday. The disaster is described as one of the worst-ever calamities since the 2003 floods.



Chinese President sends condolences to SL
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday sent a message of condolences to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena over the devastating floods and landslides in the country in which 154 people were killed by Sunday evening, China Daily reported a short while ago.



Second Indian ship carrying relief reaches Colombo Top News
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

The second Indian ship, INS Shardul, arrived at the Colombo Port this morning with relief to assists the ongoing disaster relief efforts for the communities affected by the extreme weather in Sri Lanka. The ship is carrying additional relief material requested by Sri Lankan authorities, apart from more inflatable boats. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed condolences at the loss of lives and said that India stands with her Sri Lankan brothers and sisters in their hour of need.



Stands ready to provide assistance: Australia
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

Australia today expressed deepest condolences of its government to the people of Sri Lanka who lost their lives and are injured in the adverse weather condition which ravaged southern and western parts of the country. In a message to Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, Aussie Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said that the government of Australia stands ready to provide assistance to Sri Lanka should it be required.



USAID slashes aid to Lanka by 92 percent
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

Sri Lanka will receive only US$ 3.38 million for its programmes here from the USAID in the 2018 budget — a drop of 92 percent when compared with the 2016 account summary published in the latest Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ) for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes. The CBJ is the annual presentation to Congress that justifies the US foreign operations budget request. The latest one shows that the allocation for Sri Lanka for 2018 is only US$ 3.38 million. The same document, in its 2016 account summary, has a figure of US$ 42.5 million for Sri Lanka.



Flexible working hours from July 1
[Sunday 2017-05-28 18:00]

Plans to introduce flexible working hours for Battaramulla division public servants will begin from July 1, an official said. Under the scheme, public sector employees in Battaramulla will be able to start work between 7.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. and finish between 3.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. after completing a shift of eight hours, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said. He said Cabinet approval had been given for this plan which was intended mainly to ease traffic congestion and it would be tried out initially for three months.



Government urged to prosecute alleged war criminals
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena should start prosecuting alleged war criminals not promoting them, said the International Truth and Justice Project on the release of the first of its dossiers on alleged perpetrators. The ITJP’s document implicates the former Chief of Army Staff, Jagath Dias, in attacks on civilians and hospitals in the final phase of the civil war in 2008-9.



New Constitution wording raises the heat
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

TNA leader R. Sampanthan has demanded that the transliteration of Sinhala word, ‘akeeya’ be incorporated into the proposed draft constitution (English version) in place of word, ‘unitary’. MP Sampanthan reacted angrily to Minister Nimal Siripalala de Silva’s response that such a position wasn’t realistic. Political sources told The Island that Minister de Silva had explained the pivotal importance of taking forward the constitutional making process without fighting over words. The issue came up at an all-party meeting to discuss constitutional reforms on Thursday.



Indian Navy joins flood relief operations in Sri Lanka Top News
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

India has sent navy ships with rescue and relief material to Sri Lanka, where torrential rains and landslides have resulted in several deaths and massive devastation over the last two days. INS Kirch operating in South Bay of Bengal, has been diverted to Colombo in Sri Lanka to render immediate assistance in flood relief operations. According to reports, the ship will enter Colombo anytime soon. Additionally, INS Jalashwan shall sail out from Visakhapatnam today with HADR (Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief) stores which include victualling, clothing, medicines and water.



US to send emergency assistance
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Atul Keshap today said the people of his country would send emergency assistance worth Rs.15 million for immediate relief to those affected by the floods and landslides in Sri Lanka. In a tweet, the Ambassador said the relief goods would be provided via the offices of the USAID and the US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). He also said thoughts and prayers of the US Embassy team are with the loved ones of those who lost lives and with all affected by floods and landslides.



Airman, who fell off helicopter during rescue ops, dies
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

A 37-year- old SLAF airman, YMS Yaparathna, who had fallen off a helicopter while conducting a rescue operation at the Neluwa area in Galle yesterday morning, passed away due to the abdominal injuries he sustained in the fall at around 8.30pm yesterday, hospital sources confirmed. The airman and two individuals, who were being rescued, who were injured when they fell from a Mi17 helicopter in Neluwa, Galle yesterday morning, were admitted to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital.



Over 800 troops, 28 Navy teams, six helicopters in rescue missions
[Saturday 2017-05-27 19:00]

The Sri Lankan Army has deployed more than 800 troops to aid the victims in flood and landslide affected areas, Military Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said. The troupes are currently operating in Morawaka, Deyiyandara, Palindanuwara, Padukka, Brigadier Seneviratne also said. “A special team has been deployed to rescue the people in the landslide affacted areas in Bulathsinhala,” he also said. Six armoured vehicles were also deployed to the affected areas.



Rains and floods: Death toll exceeds 55 Top News
[Friday 2017-05-26 17:00]

The death toll from floods and landslides caused by the torrential rain had exceeded more than 55 by noon today. Kalutara District Secretariat Field Officer told Daily Mirror that 38 deaths were reported from the Kalutara District alone. In its situation report, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said a total of 7,856 individuals (2,811 families) were affected in the Sabaragamuwa, Western and Southern Provinces due to the torrential rains.



Parliament closed, MPs rush to flood-affected areas
[Friday 2017-05-26 17:00]

Party leaders today decided to end Parliament sessions at 2 p.m. to allow the MPs to supervise rescue operations and distribution of relief among flood and landslide victims. The decision to end sessions early was made as MPs from the Opposition and the Government benches urged for swift action to help victims of landslides and floods. Leader of the Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Dinesh Gunawardane said immediate action had to be taken to provide assistance to the victims of what seemed to be the worst floods since 2003.


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