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August 19, 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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war crimes probe: Constitution won’t permit foreign judges, says FM Marapana
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC, yesterday said foreign judges couldn’t be accommodated in domestic judicial mechanisms in accordance with the Constitution. He said so when The Island asked him whether he, would as a former Attorney General, in addition to his newest responsibilities look into the Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Oct. 2015 meant to establish judicial mechanism to address accountability issues.



Prez, PM or Justice Minister can’t intervene in judicial matters
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, responding to remarks made by Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, said today that neither the President, Prime Minister nor the Justice Minister had powers to intervene in judicial matters. He said the possibility of appointing a special court had been discussed in the Cabinet and added that the Attorney General had also given written advice to the government on the matter. “We are acting on the advice of the Attorney General,” the minister said.



Sri Lanka names first Tamil navy chief since 1970
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday appointed an officer from the Tamil minority to head the navy for the first time since a separatist war erupted 45 years ago. Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is the first Tamil to head a wing of the military since 1970, even though Tamils make up around 15 percent of Sri Lanka’s population.



Govt. won't sign FTAs harmful to local industrialists
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

President Sirisena yesterday assured that the government would not sign any free trade agreement that would harm local industries and entrepreneurs and that he had decided to set up the National Economic Council (NEC) to strengthen the economy by streamlining its management processes. He said its objectives were to increase export income and develop the local industry and that there was a need for a stronger development programme for agriculture.



Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne appointed new Chief of Defence Staff
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

Former Naval Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff today. President Maithripala Sirisena granted him a six-month service extension in his former appointment on Feb 22, 2016.



Police have power to arrest Namal: Court
[Saturday 2017-08-19 18:00]

Colombo Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya yesterday observed that Police have the power to arrest Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa over a cognisable offence, for allegedly threatening and reprimanding an official attached to the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) on August 15. Filing a facts report in Court, the FCID sought an order to issue notice on Namal Rajapaksa to appear in Court for allegedly threatening and reprimanding FCID Sub Inspector Shantha Lalith who was an investigative officer concerning a misappropriation of Rs.70 million belonging to Krrish Company by Namal Rajapaksa.



Wiggy blasts Thavarajah
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday (17) claimed that in order to safeguard his position in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Opposition Leader S. Thavarajah was attempting to show that the Council was incapable of functioning. Speaking at yesterday's Council sittings, Wigneswaran said, "The leader of the Opposition, to safeguard his position in the council, had always tried to show that we are incapable."



Eighteen year prison sentence sought for Sri Lankan man convicted of human smuggling
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

Lawyers in Canada are seeking an 18-year prison sentence for a man convicted of human smuggling for his role in the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, the dilapidated cargo ship that made the voyage from Thailand to B.C.'s coast with 492 Sri Lankan Tamils aboard seeking asylum, Canadian media reported. According to CBC News, Kunarobinson Christhurajah was found guilty in May 2017 during a retrial. His first trial ended in a mistrial after a jury couldn't reach a verdict.



Foreign Minister asserts no chance of having foreign judges
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana today asserted there is no chance of Sri Lanka having foreign judges in the post war accountability process. Speaking to reporters after assuming duties at the Foreign Ministry, Marapana said that the Constitution is clear there cannot be a foreign judge in a local judicial process. “We have made this clear to the international community and they have accepted that,” he said.



Vice-Admiral Travis Sinniah new Navy Commander Top News
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today appointed the Eastern Naval Commander Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah, as new Navy Commander at the President's Official Residence, the Government Information Department said. “Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah, who has served Sri Lanka Navy with immense loyalty for many decades, took office as the Navy Commander today,” President Maithripala Sirisena tweeted. The Secretary to the President Austin Fernando and Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne also participated at the occasion.



Wijeyadasa to make a special statement on Monday
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who was at the centre of controversy after being accused of violating the collective responsibility of the Cabinet by some of his colleagues, is to make a special statement on Monday, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim told journalists today.



FM condemns the Barcelona terrorist attack
[Friday 2017-08-18 18:00]

The Ministry of Foreign affairs today condemned suspected terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain which left at least 13 people dead and nearly 100 injured. While posting a Twitter message Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne extended condolences to those affected on behalf of Sri Lanka. Her Twitter message said, the Government of #SriLanka condemns the terrorist attack in #Barcelona #Spain and extends condolences to those affected. A van ploughed into the people in Barcelona yesterday which left 13 people dead and injured nearly 100.



TNA has had enough, calls for foreign intervention
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says enough is enough and the international community must now intervene to address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North. TNA leader R. Sampanthan says the Government has begun to divert from its political goals and so it is time the international community stepped in.



Mega corruption cases to be heard by trials-at-Bar
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

The government has decided to increase the number of High Courts with some of them functioning as trials-at-bar since more than 43 criminal cases against some members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksas family and his regime were stuck at the Attorney General’s Department for nearly two years.



Asgiriya Chapter opposes no faith motion against Wijeyadasa
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

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India running Mattala airport far worse than H’tota port deal with China-Wimal
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, yesterday alleged that direct Indian involvement in operating Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated at Mattala would be 100 times more dangerous than leasing Hambantota port to China. Sri Lanka entered into 99-year lease agreement with China Merchants Holdings Company Limited on July 29, 2017. Weerawansa said the proposed Mattala deal would place Sri Lanka in an extremely vulnerable situation. The NFF leader was addressing a gathering at Galle Municipal Council, which was the sixth lecture of a series meant to educate the public of the dangers posed by current government policies.



UNF meeting with President postponed for next week
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

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[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

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Army Chief dismisses allegations No ex-LTTE men involved in crimes in North
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

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‘Aava’ deputy leader arrested
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

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