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June 24, 2016 [GMT]
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David Cameron resigns
[Friday 2016-06-24 19:00]

Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union. Mr Cameron made the announcement in a statement outside Downing Street after the final result was announced. He said he would attempt to "steady the ship" over the coming weeks and months. He had urged the country to vote Remain, warning of economic and security consequences of an exit, but Leave won by 52% to 48%. England and Wales voting strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in.



BIA attack trial to begin in July after 15 years
[Friday 2016-06-24 19:00]

The hearing of the Katunayaka Air base attack by the LTTE that damaged and destroyed 40 aircraft, helicopters and Airbuses in July 24, 2001 was fixed for July 29, 2016, the Colombo High Court Judge said today. The accused, who were indicted with 311 charges for conspiring between October 01, 2000 and July 24, 2001 to destroy fighter aircraft at the Airport attack were Ratnasingham Pushpakumaran alias Ponnadurei Nirmala Ranjan alias Masoor, Victor Alfred Dominik, Subramaniam Nawarajasingham, Nagendran Nagaratnam and Tanabalasingham Jayalaxmi.



RTI bill unanimously passed in Parliament without a vote
[Friday 2016-06-24 19:00]

The Right To Information (RTI) bill was unanimously passed in Parliament today without a vote being taken. The RTI bill was passed at the end of the second day of a two day debate. Parliament yesterday began debating the amended Right to Information (RTI) bill. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the amended bill was submitted to Parliament after extensive discussions with several political parties and civil society. He recalled that since 2004 several attempts were made to bring the RTI bill to Parliament but those attempts were unsuccessful.



Rohitha Abeygunawardena injured during protest Top News
[Friday 2016-06-24 19:00]

Former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene was hospitalised after being injured during a protest launched by the Joint Opposition against the re-appointment of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. MP Abeygunawardene was injured when he and the protesters had forcibly attempted to pass the barricades opposite the Central Bank in Colombo Fort. Meanwhile, joint opposition MP Shriyani Abeywickrame was also admitted to the National Hospital with injuries, Hospital sources said. Mr. Abeygunawardene was reported to have admitted to a private hospital in Colombo.



Former Intelligence Chief slammed in Court again
[Friday 2016-06-24 19:00]

The CID yesterday informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that the former head of the National Intelligence Division, retired Major General Kapila Hendawitharana, had gathered details relating to the murder of former rugby star Wasim Thajudeen, but within two to three days of the crime, he had halted inquiries and proceeded to file reports to the effect that the rugby player had died of injuries sustained in a road accident.



Sri Lanka to take consent of TNA and war crimes victims on judicial mechanism
[Friday 2016-06-24 18:00]

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the nature and structure of the Judicial Mechanism meant to try cases of war crimes will be decided only after consultations with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the organizations representing the victims.



UN rights chief urged to identify areas with lack of progress in Sri Lanka's implementation of Geneva resolution
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

A group of human rights organizations have urged the UN rights chief to clearly identify in his oral report to the ongoing Human Right Council session the areas, where there is no progress made in the implementation of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka adopted last October. In an open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussain, the group, including the Human Rights Watch, and International Commission of Jurists, urged the rights chief to incorporate in his report clear benchmarks that include immediately achievable steps while acknowledging the progress that has been made so far.



Sri Lanka Foreign Minister calls on leaders to have courage to abolish death penalty
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

Leaders of Sri Lanka and other Asian nations where the death penalty is still in force, lack the courage to abolish death penalty as they fear the un-informed public opinion, Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Delivering the opening address at the first plenary session of Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty on "Progress and set-backs in Asia: lessons to be learnt" on Wednesday (June 22), the Sri Lankan Minister said the vast majority of his colleagues in Parliament find the death penalty morally repugnant and are aware of its inefficaciousness but they fear the knee-jerk reaction of uninformed public opinion and unwilling to take the courageous step the Government took in 1956 passing a bill to abolish the death penalty.



Bidet showers replaced with tissues at BIA washrooms
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

The bidet showers fixed at the washrooms of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) have been removed from today and replaced with toilet tissues, a BIA official said. The official said the decision was taken to maintain the cleanliness of the washrooms as they get damp due to the use of bidet hand showers and added that this was in accordance with the system prevailing in Singapore.



Parliament debates amended Right to Information Bill
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

Parliament today began debating the amended Right to Information (RTI) Bill. A vote will be taken on the Bill tomorrow.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the opposition to support the Bill when the vote is taken. The Government said the RTI Bill is expected to make changes in a moderate way to uphold good governance and the state functions. The Government also affirmed the Bill will allow the public to get information on public officials and will be an important feature for the Government to be responsible at a higher level.



Sri Lanka willing to bring the stranded refugees home - Deputy Minister
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

Sri Lanka is willing to bring home all the Australia-bound Tamil asylum seekers stranded in Indonesia if they wish to return, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Harsha de Silva said today, The Deputy Minister said the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Jakarta had informed him that the Government of Indonesia has approved a team from the Sri Lankan mission to meet the 43 refugees in Aceh. Accordingly, a three-member team will be sent to Aceh Thursday to interview the asylum seekers.



Missing USD 18 billion : Rajitha accuses Rajapaksas not Mahinda
[Thursday 2016-06-23 18:00]

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne alleged yesterday that it was some family members and friends of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who had siphoned off the country’s wealth to offshore accounts. Responding to questions at the post-cabinet media briefing at the Information Department, on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent remark to a Japanese news organization in Tokyo that he ( Mahinda ) would slit his throat if anyone could prove he had robbed even one dollar, Senaratne replied that he had never accused Mahinda of having stolen USD 18 billion as alleged in various quarters.



Sri Lanka Tamil party against a domestic mechanism to probe war crime allegations - Chief Minister Wigneswaran
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) strongly opposes a domestic mechanism to probe the war crime allegations, the Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran says.



No response from govt. on ‘cluster bombs’ report
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government has not come out with any categorical response to the latest news report on the use of cluster bombs in the final stages of the civil war. Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said he does not wish to comment on the report while the Director General (Government Information) Ranga Kalansooriya said the report is being studied. The news report published by The Guardian has been based on certain material, including photographic evidence, said to have been provided by those previously involved in demining in parts of North, areas where fighting took place in late 2008 and early 2009.



Foreign Minister meets Prime Minister of Norway Top News
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg yesterday, (21 June). The Foreign Minister will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Børge Brende today, and will also give the opening address at the Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty being held in Oslo, Norway.



Indonesia lets aid groups assist stranded Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

Indonesia has allowed international humanitarian organizations to assist Australia-bound Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stranded in Aceh after bad weather foiled plans to tow the group's boat back into international waters, AP news report said. Indonesia Saturday allowed the group of 44 asylum seekers, who were confined for over a week in their stranded boat in Lhoknga Coast in Aceh Province, to come ashore after a tense stand-off.



Over Rs. 92.5 m spent for maintenance in five years: Minister
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

Since the opening of the Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium in 2011, a total of Rs. 92.54 million had been spent for its maintenance activities, while its total income from holding international cricket matches stood at Rs. 16.63 million, an answer provided by the Sports Ministry said. The answer was read out in Parliament by Chief Government Whip and Minister Gayantha Karunathilake on behalf of subject Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara for a question asked by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.



Over 4,500 deserters resigned during amnesty period: Defence Ministry
[Wednesday 2016-06-22 18:00]

The Ministry of Defence yesterday announced that over 4,500 members of Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force, who were absconding from service, had legally resigned so far, during the General Amnesty period, declared on June 13. Accordingly, 4,269 members of the Army, 211 members of the navy and 165 members of the Air Force are among those legally retired from service.The Army Spokesman said the General Amnesty period will be in effect until July 12.



Efforts to Push Stranded Sri Lankan Migrants Out of Indonesia Postponed Again
[Tuesday 2016-06-21 18:00]

Officials in Indonesia’s Aceh province once again tried and failed on Monday to send a group of Sri Lankan migrants – whose boat broke down more than a week ago while en route to Australia – back into international waters. Security personnel used a backhoe Monday morning to push the boat into the sea, but the efforts were quickly postponed, with officials citing low tides and operational failures, an epa journalist reported. The group of some 44 reportedly Tamil asylum seekers became stranded 20 days into their journey to Australia after their boat experienced engine problems.



SF DENIED US VISA?
[Tuesday 2016-06-21 18:00]

The visa application forwarded by Regional Development Minister Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka to visit the United States has been rejected, diplomatic sources said. It is said that his visa application to the US was rejected last year too when he requested to visit his daughters. It is known that some incidents that happened when he held the 8 post of Army Commander might have resulted in the rejection process. However, his media secretary Mahinda Kumara denied speculations over his visa denial .


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