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July 26, 2017 [GMT]
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Changes before Vesak: President
[Friday 2017-04-21 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today said there will be changes in the government activities within the next two weeks, including changes in heads of state institutions. He said this would entail in how things would be done by the government as well especially with regard to development activities.
Asked what the changes were and whether there would be a cabinet reshuffle, the President replied that everybody would be able to see the changes before Vesak (May 13-14).

President Maithripala Sirisena today said there will be changes in the government activities within the next two weeks, including changes in heads of state institutions. He said this would entail in how things would be done by the government as well especially with regard to development activities. Asked what the changes were and whether there would be a cabinet reshuffle, the President replied that everybody would be able to see the changes before Vesak (May 13-14).


The President who was addressing the editors and media heads at the President’s House today also emphasized that the country was not facing an economic crisis. He noted that there were positive steps being taken in the economic front with the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said the Finance Minister and other officials were in Washington discussing matters with the IMF and the outcome looked very positive.

The President assured that the country is heading positively towards economic stability. He added that the country’s foreign reserves have already exceeded US Dollars 5 billion and expected to improve further in the coming months. He said that the international market prices of tea, rubber and coconut have increased, thus there is a positive trend in foreign exchange earnings from these traditional exports. “The economy is very sound and there is no possibility at all about an economic collapse,” he said.

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UK legislator to push for pressure on Sri Lanka on rights issue
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

A British legislator has said he will continue to push for pressure on Sri Lanka on the human rights issue. Newly elected as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG), Paul Scully has said human rights concerns remain in Sri Lanka and he pledged to continue to raise the issue internationally. Scully said he would support the interests of the Tamil community in the UK while the APPG will continue to raise the issue in the UK Parliament, in Brussels and Geneva aiming to keep this in the mind of the Government, the EU and the United Nations.

Main suspect in Nallur shooting surrenders
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

The main suspect in the shooting at Nallur in Jaffna on Saturday, where Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilancheliyan and his security detail were shot at killing a police sergeant, surrendered to police short while ago. Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said 39-year-old Selvarasa Jayandan was arrested after he surrendered to the Jaffna Police Station this morning.

Tense situ at Karadiyanaru, 1 dead, 6 STF members hospitalised
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

Six Special Task Force (STF) officers were hospitalized and a 17 year old youth drowned when a tense situation erupted during a raid conducted in Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa last evening. Police said the STF personnel from the Maha Oya camp had raided an illegal sand mining operation at the Mundeniyaru lagoon following a tip off.

Cabinet approves H’tota Port deal
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

The Cabinet today approved the proposal to lease out the Hambantota Port to China Merchants Company, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. Earlier, it was reported that two separate companies would be formed to deal with administrative and commercial operations of the port. The majority equity of the company to be formed for administrative operations would be vested with the Sri Lankan side, he said. However, the Chinese company would possess majority equity in the company proposed for commercial operations of the Port.

Sri Lanka Opposition Leader asks President to outline a program to address missing persons issue
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

Sri Lanka's Leader of Opposition and the main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan has asked the President Maithripala Sirisena to outline a program to address the 'Missing Persons Issue' in a 'meaningful and purposeful way'. In a letter to the President, the Opposition Leader pointed out that the Government has an obligation to the families of the missing persons to enable them to bring an end to their suffering. The letter has also been sent to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

An airport within Colombo harbour
[Tuesday 2017-07-25 18:00]

The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry announced that it had submitted a proposal to the government to build an airport within the Colombo Port premises. The ministry believes that if this project becomes a reality, it would be the strongest port in the region. Minister Champika Ranawaka said if the proposal is implemented within the next 10 years, the people would capable to airlift from the Colombo Fort without going to Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

Protests in the North over shooting, cop remembered Top News
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

Protests were staged in the North today over the shooting incident targeting a prominent judge while events were also held in remembrance of the policeman killed in the incident. Judges, Magistrates and lawyers in the North including Vavuniya and Mannar staged protests over the attack on High Court Judge M. Illanchelian.

Canadian PM reiterates need for accountability in Sri Lanka
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau today reiterated the need for accountability in Sri Lanka. He said this in a message to mark the anniversary of Black July.

Two arrested over shooting in Nallur, gunman is suspected to be an ex-LTTE
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

Jaffna Police have arrested two suspects in connection with Saturday's shooting at the Jaffna High Court judge M. Illancheliyan and his security officers in Nallur. The two suspects arrested are the brother and a relative of the main suspect, who is still at large. The two suspects are being interrogated in length to find the whereabouts of the main suspect, police said. The police teams investigating the shooting in which, a police sergeant was killed, suspects the gunman is a former LTTE cadre, the police said.

President orders strengthening of security of judges
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today ordered the security of judges to be strengthened following the Jaffna shooting incident. He condemned the attack aimed at High Court Judge M. Illanchelian yesterday in Nallur. He also expressed his condolence over the death of police Sergeant Sarath Premachandra during this shooting incident. The President who paid his attention over the security of judges, directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to initiate a special program to strengthen the security of judges.

Rajapaksa says incident in Nallur should not be taken tightly
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government not to take the killing of a police sergeant and wounding a constable at Nallur, Jaffna lightly. The two policemen were providing protection to Jaffna High Court Judge M Illancheliyan, the former President said that the incumbent government had no regard for the safety and welfare of security forces and police personnel. "The shooting incident should not be considered lightly", he told The Island, adding that the government should take immediate action to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

Military did not maintain torture chambers
[Monday 2017-07-24 18:00]

Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday strongly refuted claims made by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson that the military was maintaining torture-chambers. Wijewardene said the government does not agree with the alleged comments made by Ben Emmerson with regards to the above subject, following his visit to Sri Lanka with several other UN Rapporteurs. Wijewardene vehemently refuted that Sri Lanka military was keeping torture-chambers at present and added that the government has a zero-tolerance policy on torture.

Police Sergeant dies in Jaffna shooting
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

A Police Sergeant attached to the security detail of Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilanchezhiyan, who was undergoing treatment at the Jaffna General Hospital for gunshot injuries in yesterday’s shootout at Nallur, died early this morning, the Police said. They said another Policeman was also injured in the shooting.

Emotional judge bows to his body guard’s wife Top News
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

An emotional Jaffna High Court Judge Manikkavasagaar Ilanchezhiyan was seen bowing to the wife of the killed Police Sergeant following the postmortem in Jaffna this morning. The Police Sergeant was killed due to gunshot injuries while giving escort to the Judge Ilanchezhiyan at Nallur. High Court Judge was seen even more emotional when the wife of Police Sergeant Sarath Premachandra arrived at the scene.

TNA condemns attack on Jaffna judge; urges IGP for prompt action
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

All the persons responsible for the attack on Jaffna High Court Judge Ilanchezhiyan should be immediately arrested, the Tamil National Alliance said yesterday. In a statement the TNA yesterday condemned the attack on Jaffna High Court Judge Ilanchezhiyan and urged IGP Pujith Jayasundara to investigate the incident promptly.

Police says Nallur shooting not pre-planned
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

Two suspects had been arrested by the Police in connection with the shooting incident in which a gunman opened fire at Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilanchezhiyan and his security detail at Nallur in Jaffna on Saturday, killing a police sergeant. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said according to the initial investigation, it was revealed that the shooting was unexpected incident but not a pre-planned attacked.

UN notes not enough progress in Sri Lanka on rights issue
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

The United Nations (UN) noted that Sri Lanka has not made enough progress on addressing human rights issues and the issue on missing persons was a concern. UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York that during his recent visit to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, had also discussed the matter with the Government.

Three major PC elections announced
[Sunday 2017-07-23 17:00]

The National Elections Commission announced yesterday that nominations for the North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils will be called on 2 October 2017. Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohammed said the terms of the North Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils would end on 26 September 2017.

TNA complains to visiting UN Under Secretary General
[Saturday 2017-07-22 17:00]

A Tamil National Alliance delegation led by R. Sampanthan yesterday complained to visiting UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman about a series of issues they had with the state at the world body’s office in Colombo.

UK Report Expresses Concern Over Intercommunal Tension In Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2017-07-22 17:00]

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual human rights report recognises and welcomes improvements in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, while also emphasising the need for further progress. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) made public its annual Human Rights Report for 2016 on Thursday (July 20). Sri Lanka is one of 30 ‘Human Rights Priority Countries’ (HRPCs), countries with which the UK looks for positive engagement that contributes to addressing human rights concerns, the British High Commission said.

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