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April 30, 2017 [GMT]
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Mayor Tory to visit the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and sign an agreement with Jaffna:
[Sunday 2017-03-19 10:00]

In the midst of his 10-day business mission to India, Mayor John Tory is visiting Sri Lanka this weekend. The Mayor is being joined by Economic Development Committee Chair and Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson and newly elected Toronto City Councillor Neethan Shan. Councillor Shan is the first Tamil-Canadian to be elected as a Toronto City Councillor and the only City Councillor of South Asian origin on Toronto City Council.

In the midst of his 10-day business mission to India, Mayor John Tory is visiting Sri Lanka this weekend. The Mayor is being joined by Economic Development Committee Chair and Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson and newly elected Toronto City Councillor Neethan Shan. Councillor Shan is the first Tamil-Canadian to be elected as a Toronto City Councillor and the only City Councillor of South Asian origin on Toronto City Council.

  

Toronto is home to the largest Tamil-speaking population outside of Sri Lanka. The Mayor is in Sri Lanka to learn more about where the Tamil community is from, why they left Sri Lanka, post-war developments, economic opportunities and to visit places of importance for the Tamil community. 


On Sunday, Mayor Tory will be meeting with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, his Board of Ministers and the Jaffna Municipal Council for a briefing on opportunities and challenges in the Northern Province and Jaffna. Following the briefing, Mayor Tory, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province and the Commissioner of Jaffna Municipal Council will sign a memorandum of understanding to advance cooperation and partnership between the two entities in a number of areas including good governance, education, public library services and economic development.

The agreement will be signed at the Jaffna Public Library where Mayor Tory will make a symbolic donation of books from the Toronto Public Library. The library was built in 1959. It was once one of the biggest libraries in Asia, containing over 97,000 books. In 1981, the library was burned by a mob. The burning of the Jaffna Public Library was an important event in the Sri Lankan civil war.

  
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NORTH SHUTS DOWN : Protests result of frustration – Wigneswaran
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran said that the hartal held on Thursday (27) was the people’s reaction to the ‘lethargy and indifference’ on the part of the authorities in dealing with people’s problems. The hartal was staged by the people of the Northern Province mainly demanding a solution to the issue of those who have been reported missing.



Police to recruit more Tamil speaking candidates
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

The deadline to apply for over 1,500 vacancies to the Sri Lanka Police has been extended to June 2, the Police Media Division announced today. Police headquarters called for applications several vacancies including Police Constables (PC), Women Police Constables (WPC) and Police Constable (Drivers) for police stations spread across the island, especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.



President never dreamt of offering a 'post' to SF: WDJ
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has never dreamt of offering Minister Sarath Fonseka the post of army commander or the responsibility of heading a committee on essential services in case of being disrupted because of TU action,” Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said today. He told a news conference held at Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Headquarters that what the President said as a joke had been given various interpretations.



Army briefs UN on reconciliation and release of land
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

The Army has briefed the UN on its role in the reconciliation process and moves to release more land in the North. The Army media unit said that two Colombo-based UN delegates met Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Chief of Staff at his office in the Army Headquarters.



Navy team gets onboard Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel being built in India
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

The Indian shipbuilding company, Goa Shipyard is currently at the completion stages of building two 105m Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPV) for the mission requirements of the Sri Lanka Navy. The Sri Lanka Navy crew who are expected to steer one of the AOPVs, got onboard the ship to acclimatise themselves to the state-of-the-art facilities and technologies of the ship.



‘Indian boats will be released only if SL fishermen agree’
[Saturday 2017-04-29 17:00]

The boats of Indian fisherman which are now in Sri Lankan custody will only be released with the consent of the fisheries associations in the North, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Minister Amaraweera recently said the government had not decided to discuss on the release of these boats during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka.



Stones pelted at bus carrying military personnel
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

A bus belonging to the Army that was carrying military personnel had been pelted with stones in the Mullaitivu area on Thursday (27) evening during a hartal that was conducted there, Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne today said. The incident occurred when the Vavuniya bound military bus was passing Mullaitivu. A glass of the bus had been broken but no one had been injured in the incident. On learning about the incident, the Mullaitivu Police had initiated an investigation to identify.



Canadian maple syrup to delight Sri Lankan taste buds
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

Canadian maple syrup can be tasted in all its glory in a grand spread of the most irresistible high tea delicacies May 3-7, 2017 at the Kingsbury Hotel and on May 14 at the Mother's Day promotions of the hotel. A wide-range of dishes have been prepared to be savored - all of which showcase maple syrup and range from Cr&3233;me Brule, Strawberry Comport, and Pecan Nut sticky pudding to Chocolate Dough nuts, Orange Almond cake and Pumpkin Cake - to name but a few.



Garbage disposal: Gazette notice tabled in House
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

The Gazette notice declaring that garbage collection and disposal are Essential Services was presented in Parliament today. All services, work of any description whatsoever necessary or required to be done in connection with any undertaking performed or maintained by any local authority or for and on behalf of any such local authority for the clearance, collection, transportation, temporary storage, processing, separating, treating, disposing and the sale of street refuse, house refuse or other similar matters are declared as essential services by the gazette notification. Meanwhile, the MPs expressed various views during the adjournment debate on the Meethotumulla disaster.



Joint Indo-Lanka working group to be formed to explore infrastructure development in Sri Lanka
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

A joint working group will be set up between Sri Lanka and India to explore the development of roads, petroleum development, port and other industries in the eastern port town of Trincomalee in the island nation, India said today. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the joint working group will deal with the further discussions on port and refinery and other infrastructure related matters in Trincomalee.



No proposal to make SF army commander: Amaraweera
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today President Maithripala Sirisena had neither proposed Field Marshal Minister Sarath Fonseka to take up the post of army commander or overall commander as reported in the media nor had Mr. Fonseka requested for such a post. The Minister told a news conference that the President only asked whether Mr. Fonseka could help implement a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential services for which Mr. Fonseka agreed.



Expect to fulfil President’s request: SF
[Friday 2017-04-28 18:00]

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who had been offered a position with the responsibility to execute essential services in case they were disrupted, said today that he expected to fulfil the request made by the President. Speaking to journalists at a New Year Festival held in Kelaniya, the minister said President Maithripala Sirisena instructed him to take responsibility in carrying out essential services when they were disrupted.



Hartal shuts down North and East Top News
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

A hartal has shut down transport and other services in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces today. Organizers of the protest demanded the government resolves issued raised by relatives of those missing during the armed conflict as well as long standing land issues faced by residents. Many shops have said to be shut down and public transport services have come to a standstill. The protestors said they were supported by several political parties including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).



GSP+: EU Parliament defeats anti-SL resolution
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

Sri Lanka today successfully defeated the resolution submitted by a group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) saying that the GSP+ should not be granted to Sri Lanka, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Harsha De Silva said a short while ago. The voting which was held in the European Parliament in Belgium ended a short while ago with a victory for Sri Lanka. “Nearly 436 voted against the resolution while 119 voted in favour. Twenty two MEPs abstained from voting on the resolution,” Dr. De Silva tweeted.



India to develop road infrastructure in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

The Indian government has agreed to cooperate with Sri Lanka in developing world-class road infrastructure in the Jaffna region of the island nation. The decision was taken during a telephone conversation between Indian minister for road transport and highways and Nitin Gadkari and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. A senior road ministry official said on condition of anonymity that the Sri Lankan PM had invited the Indian government to take up development of three major stretches of the road. These are Jaffna-to-Mannar, Mannar-to-Vavuniya and Dambulla-to-Tricomalee streches, which are very important for connectivity in Sri Lanka.



Communist Party to leave JO
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

The main left front of the Joint Opposition (JO), the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL), indicated a break with the JO and that they will conduct a separate May Day rally and meeting at the Viharamahadevi Open Air theater on May Day instead of participating in the May Day rally of the JO, which will be held at Galle Face Green on the same day. CPSL sources said that the leaders of the CPSL, including its Chairperson Raja Kollure and General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekara, had conducted special discussions to decide whether they would split from the JO.



GL, Ranil in India
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris was staying at the Taj Palace, the same hotel where Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe was staying during his official visit to India. When this reporter yesterday (26) asked Peiris, Chairman, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, which party's shadow leader is former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whether he's crossing over, his reply was 'never'. "I'm here to attend a wedding," he said. Wickremesinghe, too, once he wraps up his official engagements, due to be completed yesterday itself, would be attending this wedding, which will be held in Rajasthan. It's the wedding of Nepali multi-billionaire Binod Chaudhary's daughter. Wickremesinghe is due to return to Colombo on Saturday.



Modi raises concerns in talks with Ranil
[Thursday 2017-04-27 17:00]

China ranked high in Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's meeting with Indian Premier Narendra Modi, at Hyderabad House, New Delhi yesterday, official sources who didn't want to be named told this reporter. Reporters were not allowed to cover these meetings, with opportunities provided only for the taking of photographs and to be present when pleasantries were exchanged between Wickremesinghe and Indian officials, including Modi, before the beginning of talks, during the former's various engagements in Delhi.



New position for Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Cabinet approval has been granted for a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to create a new position which will work alongside the Sri Lankan Tri-forces. The position which has a tenure of two years, will be headed by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to head this position, said Cabinet Media Spokesperson Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.



Sri Lanka’s return to GSP+ hangs on EU vote tomorrow
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

The fate of Sri Lanka’s application for the Generalised System of Preferences plus (GSP+) tariff concession for European markets will be decided in Brussels on Thursday, when a resolution submitted by 52 EU Parliamentarians is taken up for a vote. A bloc of Parliamentarians from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left mounted an eleventh hour bid last week to prevent Sri Lanka being granted the import duty concessions on the basis of the Government’s slow progress on democratic and legislative reform.


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