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February 25, 2018 [GMT]
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Indian HC, US Ambassador call on President, PM
[Wednesday 2018-02-14 18:00]

The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap and the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu had met President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe separately yesterday.
The NewsIn.Asia website reported that Sandhu had met the President and Prime Minister ahead of his departure for New Delhi to meet the new Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap and the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu had met President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe separately yesterday. The NewsIn.Asia website reported that Sandhu had met the President and Prime Minister ahead of his departure for New Delhi to meet the new Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

  

The website further reported that the meetings with Indian High Commissioner had been pre-arranged and had nothing to do with the current political situation in Sri Lanka. The envoy discussed with the two Sri Lankan leaders, bilateral matters and issues of mutual interest. Other media reports however stated that the US Ambassador had met with the President to try and diffuse the current political situation.

  
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Zeid seeks other avenues to push for accountability in Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called on the UN Human Rights Council to explore other avenues that could foster accountability in Sri Lanka. In his report on Sri Lanka to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, which meets in Geneva from 26 February to 23 March 2018, the High Commissioner reiterates his appreciation for the constructive engagement of the Government of Sri Lanka with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and United Nations human rights mechanisms since January 2015.



Govt. succumbs to pressure from Britain: President fails to prevent recall of military attache
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

The government has, under heavy pressure from the UK, carried out its decision to recall Sri Lanka’s military attache in London, Brig. Prinyankara Fernando, despite a presidential intervention. When the government announced its decision to recall the brigadier, following an incident where he allegedly made a throat slitting gesture in front of a group of British LTTE supporters of Sri Lankan origin, in London, on Feb. 04, President Sirisena, ordered that he be reinstated.



UN resident coordinator in Sri Lanka Una McCauley passes away suddenly
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

The United Nations Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Una McCauley has passed away suddenly at age 54, the UN office in Sri Lanka announced. Issuing a statement the UN office said Ms. McCauley, the first female resident representative in Sri Lanka, was on medical leave as she was undergoing treatment. The UN statement is given below:



Sampanthan’s request to President Stabilize the Government
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

Opposition and Tamil National Alliance Leader, R. Sampanthan has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to swiftly stabilize the Government, without allowing the country to be destabilized by its inaction. He added that he had personally met the President in the Parliament on 22 February and submitted his request. He pointed out that if a stable Government could be formed, it would go a long way towards finding a permanent solution to the vexed national issue as well as the drafting of a new Constitution.



New faces to adorn Cabinet
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

The National Unity Government will receive a facelift with young leaders assuming more responsibilities at a Cabinet reshuffle likely to take place over the week end. “Reliable sources of the Government told the Daily News that the ministerial portfolios of the Law and Order, Highways, Public Enterprises Development and Foreign Employment, will undergo radical changes during the Cabinet reshuffle.



Enforced Disappearance Bill to be debated on March 7
[Saturday 2018-02-24 17:00]

The draft bill for protection against enforced disappearances which was postponed twice in Parliament has been re-scheduled for debate on March 7. The Government presented the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill in Parliament on March 7, 2017. The Bill was scheduled to be taken up for debate on July 5 and September 19 last year, but the Government had to defer it due to objections of various groups.



SL backslides in pursuing UN commitments: AI
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

Though Sri Lanka continued to pursue commitments made in 2015 to the UNHRC, progress of implementing them has been slowed and there was evidence of backsliding, the Amnesty International (AI) said on Thursday. In its country report on Sri Lanka for 2017/2018, AI said commitments made by Sri Lanka in 2015 – through the UN resolution had not been implemented by the end of the year.



Reparations essential to achieve reconciliation: Tittawella
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

Reparations are essential in leading to a process of reconciliation and it should be done in parallel to a process on truth, justice, and non-recurrence, Secretary of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), Mano Tittawella said. He said this in view of the two-day international conference organised by the SCRM, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Migration Agency on reparations for conflict victims. The conference was launched in Colombo yesterday.



Diyathalawa explosion: Army appoints six-member committee
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

A six-member committee headed by Major General Rukmal Dias was appointed by the army to investigate into the hand grenade explosion in a private bus on Wednesday at Kahagolla, Diyathalawa, the Army said. Speaking to the Daily Mirror Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said the committee was appointed in addition to the investigations carried out by the police.



I am exhausted
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said today he was extremely tired with all the work he had to do with the local governments elections and would prefer to handover his duties to someone else even for a month. While referring to the continuous procedure of elections, Mr. Deshapriya told a news conference that he had felt that the time had arrived to get rid of these things.



TNA reiterates call for US intervention Slow implementation of Geneva Resolution
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan has urged US to pressure Sri Lanka to implement Geneva Resolution 30/1. The following is the text of the statement issued by the TNA following a meeting between Sampanthan and the visiting United States member of Congress F. James Sensenbrenner and His Chief of Staff Matt Bisenius at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament: "Sampanthan apprised the member on recently concluded Local Government Elections and the resultant political situation. Explaining the Constitution making process, Sampanthan highlighted that the process must continue and seek a successful end. He also emphasized that the Constitution must be approved by the people at a referendum.



Re-think on electoral system for PCs
[Friday 2018-02-23 20:00]

In the aftermath of the defeat at the local government elections, the United National Party (UNP) is said to be considering whether to revert to the previous system of Proportional Representation for the Provincial Council Elections.The government postponed the Provincial Council Elections till a new systems of a mix of the First-Past-the-Post and Proportional Representation was worked out. The delimitation committee appointed to demarcate the provincial wards had submitted has submitted its report. However, there is a view within the party that the old Proportional Representation System was less complicated.



Govt. bound to implement UNHRC resolution: TNA
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

Opposition Leader and TNA MP R. Sampanthan today said that the government was bound to implement the UNHRC resolution both in spirit and letter and called on the international community to ensure it was fully implemented. Highlighting the delays that have occurred in implementing the resolution he said that the International community must take necessary steps to ensure that the government is held accountable for the commitments made to the international community and to the people in Sri Lanka on implementing Cosponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council.



Priyankara Fernando arrives in Sri Lanka
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, Brigadier Priyankara Fernando arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago. He was recalled for special consultations on the video published on social media capturing him making a ‘throat slitting’ gesture in response to a Tamil group of protesters outside the Sri Lankan High Commission premises in London. Brigadier Priyankara Fernando was immediately recalled from his service following the release of the video but was reinstated soon after, with the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena.



TNA MPs accused bribery, complains MP Saravanapavan
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

Raising a privilege issue TNA MP E. Saravanapavan said MP Nadesan Sivashakthi had made a statement that during the Local Government election, the TNA Members of Parliament had accepted a bribe of Rs. 20 million each from the Government in order to support the Budget 2018. “This was highlighted in all Tamil newspapers, the electronic media and the social media and all other parties had made use of this during their election campaigns.”



Posting New Year greetings with LTTE emblem: Suspects further remanded
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

Two youths arrested on the charge of posting New Year greetings with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) emblem and a picture of former LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Facebook, were yesterday ordered to be further remanded until March 7 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court.



EU urges Sri Lankan government to honor commitments to OMP and transnational justice
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

The European Union (EU) says the Sri Lankan Government must honor their commitments on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and Transitional Justice. In a tweet, on the occasion of protests by the families of missing persons reaching the one year mark, the office of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives said Sri Lankans ill not be able to reconcile without knowing about the fate of the missing and disappeared.



Diyatalawa explosion: Not terrorism: Army
[Thursday 2018-02-22 18:00]

Military Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu today categorically dismissed today’s explosion in a private bus in Diyatalawa as an act of terrorism. "If it was an act of terrorism, the damage and explosion would have been much bigger," he added. Brigadier Atapattu said a Military inquiry and Police Inquiry were in progress and details pertaining to the explosion could be known after the conclusion of those inquiries.



17 passengers including 12 military personnel injured in bus explosion Top News
[Wednesday 2018-02-21 19:00]

Seventeen passengers including twelve military personnel and a woman were injured in an explosion inside a bus in Diyatalawa this morning, Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said. He said seven soldiers and five airmen were among the military personnel who were injured. The rest of the injured were identified as civilians.



Hand grenade caused Diyathalawa bus explosion
[Wednesday 2018-02-21 19:00]

The Army Commander has informed that a hand grenade is the likely cause of an explosion and fire inside a bus at Kahagolla in Diyathalawa this morning, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament a short while ago. Law and Order Minister Sagala Rathnayaka told MPs that the grenade may have been inside the bag of one of the passengers and investigations into the incident are ongoing. Nineteen passengers inside the bus were injured due to the explosion this morning. According to the Army, 12 of the injured are military personnel. The military has insisted that the incident is not being treated as an act of terrorism.


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