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April 28, 2017 [GMT]
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More Countries Support Resolution On Sri Lanka
[Sunday 2017-03-19 17:00]

More countries extended support to the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week, strengthening Sri Lanka’s request for more time to address the issue on accountability over the war.
Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the draft text of the resolution had, as its main sponsors, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

More countries extended support to the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week, strengthening Sri Lanka’s request for more time to address the issue on accountability over the war. Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the draft text of the resolution had, as its main sponsors, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.


By Thursday Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan and Norway extended support to the draft text. Sri Lanka is a co-sponsor of the resolution. The follow-up draft resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted to the UNHRC before the deadline for submissions ended last week The deadline for submission of draft resolutions for the ongoing 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council was Thursday 16 March and the deadline for amendments after submission is March 21.

The resolution calls on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, and to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session, and a comprehensive report followed by discussion on the implementation of resolution 30/1 at its fortieth session.

The resolution also “Takes Note with Appreciation the comprehensive report presented by the United Nations High Commissioner to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session, as requested by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 30/1, and requests the Government of Sri Lanka to fully implement the measures identified in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 that are outstanding.” It also requests the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, to strengthen their advice and technical assistance on the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. The United States had last week invited like-minded UN members to demonstrate support for reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka by adding their names to the list of cosponsors of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

Acting US State Department Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said at the UN Human Rights Council the United States and other members of the Friends of Sri Lanka Core Group tabled a draft resolution last week on promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka that reflects our enduring commitment to lasting peace and justice for all the people of Sri Lanka. The United States worked in close consultation with the United Kingdom, Montenegro, and Macedonia, and in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, to draft the resolution. “We look forward to the adoption of the text, which will support reconciliation and justice in Sri Lanka, help ensure a non-recurrence of conflict, and strengthen democratic governance and freedoms for all Sri Lankans,” he said.

Toner said the United States is pleased that Sri Lanka has agreed once again to co-sponsor the resolution, and invites like-minded UN members to demonstrate support for reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka by adding their names to the list of cosponsors. He also said the United States applauds the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena for its continuing efforts to promote reconciliation.

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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.

Modi, Ranil hold talks in New Delhi Top News
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held talks on bilateral issues with his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. "Held comprehensive talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on ways to strengthen India-Sri Lanka ties for the benefit of our citizens," Modi tweeted after the meeting held at Hyderabad House.

President summons Parliament on April 28
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

An extraordinary gazette has been issued by order of President Maithripala Sirisena, to summon the Parliament on April 28. Presidential Secretariat P.B. Abeykoon issued the gazette to keep the Parliament informed of the order of declaring garbage disposal an essential service.

Cabinet approves signing of several MoUs with India
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Cabinet has approved the signing of several Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with India, the Government said today. The agreements will look to strengthen the economic cooperation between both countries.

Referendum after Parliament passes new Constitution
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

The first-ever election faced by the Good Governance Government this year will be the referendum to be held for the new Constitution, Health Minister and Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stated. Addressing a meeting at the Health Ministry recently, he said the referendum for the new Constitution will be held after the new Constitution is passed in Parliament.

Lankan murder suspect in Canada testifies in own defence
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

A man on trial for murder took the stand Monday to testify in his own defence, ctvnews reported. Amalan Thandapanithesigar said he had a long-simmering dispute with his neighbour, Jeyarasan Manikarajah, whom he felt was continually disrespecting his wife. The pair knew each other in their native Sri Lanka, and that familiarity seems to have bred contempt. Thandapanithesigar said that Manikarajah frequently whistled at his wife, and he testified Monday that in his culture it was very disrespectful.

Meeting held at Defense Ministry to discuss progress on land release in North and East
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

A meeting regarding the ongoing release of land in the North and East occupied by the armed forces was held at the Ministry Monday under the patronage of Minister of Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs DM Swaminathan.

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