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March 28, 2015 [GMT]
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'Evidence of mental illness' in Germanwings Co-pilot's house Top News
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his plane into a mountain killing himself and 149 people on board was receiving psychiatric counselling right up until the time of the crash, it emerged today. Andreas Lubitz locked the pilot out the of the Airbus A320's cockpit before setting the plane's controls to descend into a rocky valley, French prosecutors revealed yesterday.



Lanka denies claims on Port City
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

The Government today denied reports that President Maithripala Sirisena had given China an assurance that the controversial Port City project will be allowed to resume. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that while the matter had been discussed between the President and China during his ongoing China visit, there was no assurance given that the project will be allowed to resume soon.



No Indian fishers will be allowed in SL water’
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

Acting Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday denied Indian media reports that Sri Lanka had agreed to allow Indian fishing vessels to enter the Sri Lankan waters 83 days per year for the next three years. Minister Perera stressed that the government hadn’t changed its position on the contentious issue of poaching. The minister was responding to foreign media reports that Sri Lanka had agreed to share its waters with the Indian fishing fleet.



President Obama intends to nominate Atul Keshap as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

The United States President Barack Obama Thursday announced his intent to nominate the current Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Atul Keshap for Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Keshap, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Counselor, currently serves as the deputy to Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the Department of State. He has been serving in this post since 2013.



Roshan questioned on MiG deal
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

Former Chief of Defence Staff and former Air Force Commander, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonatilake, has been questioned by the police over the controversial MiG aircraft deal. Goonatilake was questioned by the special unit of the police investigating financial fraud which was established by the Government recently. Roshan Gunathilake was the Air Force Commander when the MiG-27 fighter jets were purchased from Ukraine.



Priyantha Sirisena in critical condition Top News
[Friday 2015-03-27 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena’s brother, Priyantha Sirisena who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Colombo following an assault is reported to be in a critical condition. The suspect, who surrendered to the Bakamuna Police in connection with the assault on Mr. Sirisena, was being interrogated by the Polonnaruwa police. Police said he would be produced in Courts today. Meanwhile, the axe reportedly used in the assault was recovered by the Bakamuna police.



Australian FM, diaspora hold talks Top News
[Thursday 2015-03-26 18:00]

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had talks with the Tamil diaspora and the Tamil National Alliance on the latest developments in Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister said that she had a good meeting on Sri Lanka and it included ways Australia will support reconciliation efforts in the country. Tamil National Alliance M.A. Sumanthiran and Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesman Suren Surendiran were among those who attended the meeting.



Sri Lanka promises port project to resume after problems "sorted" -China Top News
[Thursday 2015-03-26 18:00]

China said on Thursday that Sri Lanka's visiting president had promised work would resume on a controversial Chinese-backed port development in Colombo that his administration had earlier suspended.Citing a lack of government approvals, Sri Lanka halted the $1.4 billion port city project, straining ties with its biggest investor. China defends the project, saying it is in line with local laws and any cancellation would deter foreign investors.



Court orders check on Gota’s accounts
[Thursday 2015-03-26 18:00]

The Galle Magistrate today directed the CID to inspect the bank accounts of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Ministry’s former Additional Secretary D.M.S. Jayaratne and the directors of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt.). The CID had sought a Court order to check their bank accounts following the investigations launched to check whether they had violated the Money Laundering Act in connection with the floating armoury at the Galle Fort belonging to the Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt.).



Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot 'wanted to destroy plane'
[Thursday 2015-03-26 18:00]

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed into the French Alps on Tuesday appeared to want to "destroy the plane", French officials said. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin citing information from the "black box" voice recorder has said the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit. He intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out. Mr. Robin said there was "absolute silence in the cockpit" as the pilot fought to re-enter it, the BBC said. The co-pilot, now named as Andreas Lubitz, was alive until the final impact, the prosecutors added.



International level investigation on Sri Lanka's former diplomat alleged of arms dealing
[Thursday 2015-03-26 18:00]

The government of Sri Lanka says that an international level probe will be carried out on a former diplomat of the country.Acting Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera has said that an international level investigation committee will be appointed to inquire into the allegations leveled against Sri Lanka's former ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga of supplying weapons to a terrorist group in the Ukraine.



U.S. explores options for supporting the democratic transition in Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2015-03-25 18:00]

The United States government Tuesday said it explores options to support the democratic transition in Sri Lanka as the superpower sees "tremendous opportunities" to assist the island nation in improving governance, accountability, commerce, and more.



Police seek order to probe Basil
[Wednesday 2015-03-25 18:00]

The Police today said that they would seek a court order to bring down former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who had gone overseas soon after the January Presidential Elections.Police Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunesekara told journalists that Basil Rajapakse was wanted for questioning over allegations of financial fraud committed by him during his term in office.



Govt decides to go ahead with ‘presidential palace’ at KKS it earlier criticised
[Wednesday 2015-03-25 18:00]

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided on Monday night to continue with the construction of the controversial ‘Presidential Palace’ at Kankesanthurai in Jaffna. President Maithripala Sirisena visited the building site few weeks ago and called it a Presidential Palace. However, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa denied that claim; he said it was an international conference hall constructed with Cabinet approval.



Lankan refugees can get citizenship if TN recommends, says Union minister
[Wednesday 2015-03-25 18:00]

The NDA government would consider the demand for Indian citizenship for Sri Lankan refugees if the Tamil Nadu government recommended it, said Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday. Rijiju, who visited a refugee camp at Gummidipoondi near Chennai on Tuesday, said the Centre and the state government had taken various steps to ensure the welfare of refugees.



Maithri leaves for China on visit Top News
[Wednesday 2015-03-25 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena left for China today on a four day state visit on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the President’s office said. The visit will be Sirisena’s second official overseas tour after assuming office as President following the January Presidential Elections.



Plane with 150 on board crashes in southern France
[Tuesday 2015-03-24 18:00]

An Airbus plane operated by Germanwings with at least 144 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants on board has crashed in the French Alps region. In a live briefing on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said it was unlikely that there were survivors, adding that the area of the crash was remote.



Speaker to decide on opposition
[Tuesday 2015-03-24 18:00]

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is to decide on the post of opposition leader after some opposition political parties today objected to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member Nimal Siripala de Silva continuing as opposition leader. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa said the opposition leader cannot be from a political party which is in the Government.



ICRC helps Lanka probe missing
[Tuesday 2015-03-24 18:00]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reiterated its commitment to the Sri Lanka government’s efforts to clarify the fate of persons who went missing during the past conflict and offered concrete proposals to establish an independent domestic mechanism for it.



19A a ‘Constitutional Coup’-JHU
[Tuesday 2015-03-24 18:00]

The 19th Amendment presented in Parliament by the Government was a result of a ‘Constitutional Coup’ to allow a person who is unable to win at an election to retain power, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today. JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the objective of the latest reforms was to render the Executive President powerless and to make the Prime Minister powerful.


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