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July 26, 2016 [GMT]
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Canadian Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka after 13 years
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The Foreign Minister of Canada Stéphane Dion will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on an official visit. Minister Dion’s official programme will be on 28 and 29 July 2016, the Foreign Ministry said. This bilateral official visit to Sri Lanka by a Foreign Minister of Canada takes place after 13 years, and within less than a year since the formation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Government. Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion will hold bilateral discussions with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday afternoon, 28 July 2016, at the Foreign Ministry, following which, both Ministers will address the media.



Military told to be alert to activities of LTTE supporters
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The military has been told to be on alert to the activities of LTTE supporters, the army media unit said. Major General Milinda Peiris, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka army briefed the military on emerging terrorist trends at global level and the need for modernized approaches with novel counter-measures. He warned that the army needs to be alert to the sensitivities connected to the possible re-assembling or resurgence of LTTE supporters and overseas activists who would still be promoting the ideological perception of the rebels while working against Sri Lanka’s economic and development aspirations.



Tamils do not want a separate state says Minister
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganeshan says Tamils in Sri Lanka are not pushing for a separate Eelam state. Speaking at an event in Hali-Ela the Minister said that the public must not be misled by claims that the Tails want Eelam.



Jaffna University reopens sans Sinhala medium students
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

None of the Sinhala undergraduates were present though the University of Jaffna resumed its academic activities yesterday having remained closed since July 16 due to an incident of violence. IGP Pujith Jayasundara had pledged police protection to returning Sinhala medium students at the university following their evacuation on July 16 in the aftermath of the violence, but the students did not feel reassured, their parents said.



President cautions SLFP rebels
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the SLFP rebels that they would loose their organiser posts, if they do not support the party’s future activities. According to UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, President Sirisena told them the party would be reorganised ahead of Local Government poll and those who do not work for the party would be replaced with a new set of SLFP organisers. The President met the Joint Opposition members in Colombo last evening.



Opposition questions silence of foreign missions on Ranil’s threats
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The joint opposition today said it was appalled by the statements made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe threatening editors of newspapers and announcing his intention of naming and shaming other prominent media personnel who have incurred his displeasure. Professor G.L.Peiris noted that in the case of one Editor of a leading newspaper, the Prime Minister specifically stated that, if the Editor in question does not quit his post, methods would have to be found to get rid of him.



Canada will continue to encourage Sri Lanka to fulfill commitments
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

Canada says it will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan Government to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to bring about real peace. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said that Canada joins Canadians of Tamil descent and members of the Tamil community around the world in commemoration of the events of Black July in 1983. “Let us pause to remember the victims of the anti-Tamil pogroms and all the lives that were lost throughout the entirety of the Sri Lankan Civil War. We offer our deepest condolences to those who lost family and friends.



Don’t play with fire: Gammanpila tells PM
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

While criticizing the controversial statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Kandy on Saturday, regarding certain media personnel, Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila today said the Prime Minister should not play with fire. Speaking at a media briefing, MP Gammanpila said Premier Wickremesinghe would soon learn a lesson from media personnel if he goes ahead with his decision to teach a lesson for certain print media institutions.



SL to resume oil imports from Iran: Minister
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

At a meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh in Tehran on Sunday, Chandima Weerakkody announced Colombo’s readiness to restart importing Iran's crude. Describing Iran and Sri Lanka as close and old-age friends, he expressed the hope that the two nations will develop their mutual cooperation in the oil sector, Shana reported. The Sri Lankan minister also hailed the removal of the sanctions as "good news" for the people of his country.



MR’s statement against Office of the Missing Persons is a blatant attack on rule of law: AHRC
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said yesterday that the statement made by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the former head of state in Sri Lanka, that ‘establishing the office of the Missing Persons is a betrayal of the armed forces’ is a statement unbecoming of a former head of the state and a prominent political leader in Sri Lanka.



Executive Presidency should go: President
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday reiterated that he will continue to set in motion measures to abolish the Executive Presidency and introduce a new constitution. The President said that he always believed the Executive Presidency which has vast powers should go and added that this has to be done constitutionally.



Paranagama Comm. on missing persons seeks appointment with Prez
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons headed by retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama has been brought to an end to pave the way for the establishment of Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Former HC judge and member of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) told The Island that the Commission had sought an appointment with President Maithripala Sirisena to hand over its interim report.



Gota To Be Arrested?
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is expected to be arrested within the next two months, sources at the Criminal investigations Department (CID) said. He is to be arrested over investigations being conducted on some high profile criminal incidents, sources told The Sunday Leader. If arrested Gotabhaya will be the fourth in the Rajapaksa family to be arrested after Basil Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa.



58 More Fraud Probes On Rajapaksas
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) and the Special Police Investigations Unit (SPIU) are investigating 58 allegations against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members. This was revealed during a meeting held among the respective investigations units and President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.



Emirates Airlines apologises to Speaker, hospital says it’s a bug not a heart ailment
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has lodged a formal complaint with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador in Colombo, expressing his displeasure at being offloaded from an Emirates Airlines flight from Colombo to Singapore minutes before the flight took off. A close family member said that soon after the complaint, the UAE Ambassador had called senior Emirates Airlines officials and asked them to apologise to Mr. Jayasuirya. Meanwhile the Airline in response to a query by the Sunday Times said: “Emirates is aware of the concerns expressed by Mr. Jayasuriya and his family.



Three hacked to death in Batticaloa
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

The bodies of three family members hacked to death were found in Vellawali, Batticaloa early this morning, Police said. The victims were identified by the as a 25-year-old woman, her farther and her 18-month old daughter.



India To Protest Against Pakistanis’ Colombo Demo
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

India is to lodge a protest against the staging of a demonstration by Pakistanis in Sri Lanka outside the UN office in Colombo last week against the Indian government. The protest was organized by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and drew wide international media coverage. Well informed sources told The Sunday Leader that the Indian High Commission in Colombo was expected to take up the matter with the Foreign Ministry in Sri Lanka.



Sri Lanka PM slams media for backing Mahinda Rajapaksa
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday accused the country's print media of backing the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a view to see him back in power. Addressing his United National Party (UNP) members in the central district of Kandy, Wickremesinghe said he would name the media personnel who had benefited during the Rajapaksa presidency and who are now bidding for his return.



Human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve this year but challenges remain - UK report
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve between January and June 2016 but much remains to be done for the island nation to fulfil the commitments made in the October 2015 UN Resolution, the United Kingdom said in its human rights report. The UK welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's assessment of Sri Lanka's progress against Resolution 30/1 and the Sri Lankan government's continuing determination to address the legacy of conflict.



Sri Lanka condemns shooting in Munich
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government condemning the Friday's shooting at a Munich shopping Centre which left nine people dead and 16 more injured, extended the condolence to the families of the victims. "Sri Lanka condemns the shooting in Munich. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery to those injured," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Twitter message. An 18-year-old German-Iranian man from Munich, armed with a handgun opened fire Friday evening at and near a shopping mall in the German city of Munich, killing nine people. The man was found after killing himself.


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