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November 28, 2014 [GMT]
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TNA ‘VERY CAUTIOUS’
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

After a meeting of its parliamentary group, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it would be ‘very cautious’ when deciding on its stance on the January 8 presidential election. The TNA parliamentary group met in the parliamentary complex on Monday to discuss matters pertaining to the election.TNADeputy Leader Mavai Senathirajah told Daily Mirror his party remained ready to discuss its stance with the two main candidates if they requested them to do so. However, he said the party would consult its rank and file and civil society organisations which supported their cause before deciding on the final stance.



Nagamuwa to be Leftist Front common candidate
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

The Leftist Front comprising the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), New Leftist Front (NLF) and the United Socialist Party (USP) had decided to field FLSP politburo member Duminda Nagamuwa as their common candidate for the upcoming presidential election. FLSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jagoda said today that they held discussions with leftist parties about the possibility of fielding such a candidate soon after the announcement of the election.



Maithripala to contest under lotus or dove symbol
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena is to contest the presidential election under the symbol of either the lotus or the dove, political sources said yesterday. While Mr. Sirisena had already decided on a party name, ‘Ape Jathika Peramuna,’ that was registered for him by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, the parties supporting him had advised against the use of its symbol, the mobile phone, saying it was not appealing enough.



MPs urge EU to stop Sri Lanka trade perks if U.N. probe not given access
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

Leading British MPs urged the European Union on Thursday to remove preferential trade tariffs from Sri Lanka if it fails to address human rights concerns. Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate with a United Nations Human Rights Council investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by both state forces and separatist Tamil rebels during a conflict that ended in 2009, despite mounting international pressure.



BBS to support Mahinda
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

At a news conference held today, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation said it would give its unconditional support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential election. BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said President Rajapaksa and common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena were good citizens. “The country has to be our priority, not politics. The country is already in danger today.



Government accuses U.S. on the war
[Thursday 2014-11-27 17:00]

The Government today accused the United States (US) Government of seeking to rescue slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran during the war. Minister S.B. Dissanayake told reporters that the US and some other countries had used all their power in the attempt to end the war but they failed. He said that pressure was also exerted through the UN, Norway and the British Government.



Zeid again seeks Sri Lanka’s support
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has urged the Sri Lankan Governmenmt to engage productively with his office on the investigation on Sri Lanka.In response to a letter sent to his office by the External Affairs Ministry, Zeid’s office has sought Sri Lanka’s engagement on substantive issues under investigation. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also reiterated that the call for submissions in relation to the investigation has ended and the submissions email address has ceased to exist.



Security tightened in Jaffna
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

The security in the Northern Province, especially in the Jaffna Peninsula, has been tightened to prevent any unlawful gathering and to engage in any form of observing the LTTE Remembrance Day, which falls today 27 Nov. The increased presence of the security forces is very noticeable mainly around the Jaffna University, where the posters have come up on the walls of the institution with regard to the LTTE Remembrance Day, which was known as 'Tamil Eelam Maveerar Day' when the LTTE was active in the North. The Security Forces had been put on alert from last Sunday and the vehicles and pedestrians moving through the streets around the Jaffna University have been checked.



UN rapporteur accuses BBS in report
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

The UN special rapporteur on minority issues, Ms Rita Izsák, has accused the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) of igniting tensions and contributing to more than 350 violent attacks against Muslims and over 150 attacks against Christians in the past two years. In a report to the 7th session of the Forum on Minorities Issues in Geneva which meets for two days beginning today, Izsák said that the BBS along with other groups, are promoting extremist views, proclaiming the racial superiority of Sinhala Buddhists and spreading fear among the population by, for example, alleging that statues of Buddha are being bulldozed by religious minorities or that evangelical Christians are forcibly converting vulnerable people.



Defense Ministry to acquire Lanka Cement factory premises in Kankasanthurai
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense has taken steps to acquire the Lanka Cement PLC property at Kankasanthurai, the company informed the Colombo Stock Exchange. The property includes 104 acres of land and existing buildings, Lanka Cement Chairman and Managing Director N.S.M. Samsudeen said in a disclosure.In consequence to the acquisition Lanka Cement has requested for compensation from the Ministry of Defense for the land and buildings.



'We had to fool State Intelligence to cross over' – Rajitha
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

The seven MPs, who crossed over from the government had done so evading the watchful eyes of the State Intelligence Services, Former Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing a protest rally held yesterday (25), he added the seven MPs including common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, had managed to evade the hawk-like stranglehold exerted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)and the National Intelligence Bureau.



I won’t join the Govt: Tissa
[Wednesday 2014-11-26 17:00]

United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake in an emotionally charged speech said today he would not join the Government and that his conscience could not be bought over.“I won’t crossover to the government and my conscience cannot be bought over,” he said, making reference to several media reports that he was on the verge of joining the government.Mr. Attanayake said the UNP has to make every effort to ensure the victory of the common opposition candidate.



Maithripala still expecting crossovers
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

While the Government says no one else will crossover to the opposition from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena says more will join him. Speaking to the media after he visited the Bandaranaike Memorial Monument in Horagolla today, Sirisena said that some people had asked him why more Government Ministers and Parliamentarians did not join the opposition as expected in Parliament yesterday. He said that his response was that more can be expected over the next few weeks.



Mervyn threatened outside court
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Minister Mervyn Silva is reported to have been threatened by an unidentified person who arrived in a jeep, outside the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court this morning. The incident had happened while he was addressing the media on the postponement of his son Malaka’s case till 1.00 this afternoon. Meanwhile the minister told the media that he would not cross over to the opposition.



UNP will not allow war crimes charges against Sri Lankan leaders - MP Harsha de Silva
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) asserted today that it will not allow anyone to take any Sri Lankan leader to the international court on war crime charges.UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva told Parliament today that his party is fully committed to protect the security forces who freed the country from terrorism and the political leaders."I am telling to the world. We (UNP and myself), will not allow anybody to take President Rajapaksa or any other leader to International court about War Crimes, We will not allow the President whether he won or lose to be tried before war crime tribunals," Dr. de Silva stressed.



Elections chief will not invite the UN
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says he will not be inviting UN election monitors to Sri Lanka for the Presidential election next year.Speaking to reporters today, the Elections Commissioner said that usually election monitors from Asia, the EU and the Commonwealth are invited for a major election. Local election monitors had recently said that Asian monitors had already been invited for the election in January while Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma had last month said during a visit to Sri Lanka that Commonwealth monitors had also been invited.



JVP says it won’t join Sirisena, but wants Mahinda defeated
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

The JVP yesterday ruled out the possibility of joining Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign while pledging to go all out against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing a media conference at the party head office in Pelawatte, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the hindsight did not allow his party to repose its faith in any candidate."We supported former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the 1994 presidential election on her promise to scrap the executive presidency, but she did not keep her promise despite enjoying two terms," MP Dissanayake said, adding that President Rajapaksa, too, had gone back on his promise to them after the 2005 presidential poll.



Russian naval ship arrives at Sri Lanka's Colombo port on goodwill mission Top News
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, ceremonially welcomed the Russian naval ship " Yaroslav Mudriy " arrived at the Port of Colombo Monday. The Russian naval ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24 November 2014 on a goodwill visit, Sri Lanka Navy said. RFNS Yaroslav Mudriy is a destroyer commanded by Captain 3rd Rank Vladmir A Cherokov. The 126.6 meters long ship has a displacement of 4,480 tons and a crew of 210 naval personnel.



MR faces war crimes charges if he loses poll - GTF
[Monday 2014-11-24 18:00]

The day that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is beaten in the elections and loses the privileges of a Head of State, he will taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing war crimes, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Director of Strategic Initiatives, Suren Surendran said. Joining a programme on Aljazeera, moderated by journalist Jane Dutto, about the current political situation of Sri Lanka, he said, Rajapaksa will have to face the same fate as Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milošević who were brought before the ICC for committing war crimes and genocide.



Attanayake denies crossover claims
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has denied reports that he is going to join the Government ahead of the next Presidential elections. In a short statement, the UNP MP said that claims to the effect that he was going to crossover is false and that he will continue with the UNP. Earlier today UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Palitha Thewarapperuma also denied claims they were going to join the Government. However UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara had told the Colombo Gazette last week that he was going to join the Government.


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