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September 27, 2016 [GMT]
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IMF wants VAT bill in parliament soon
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday ruled out the possibility of conducting Local Government elections before the end of this year. However, he said he could take steps for conducting it before April New Year, if the Government addressed legal shortcomings this year. Mr. Deshapriya said the delimitation process had to be completed in addition to ironing out lacunas in the present Local Government law for the polls to be conducted. The Government decided to redraw the boundaries of some electoral wards created during the previous rule.



Sri Lanka's main Tamil party denounces Northern Province Chief Minister's 'Eluga Thamil' protest
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says launching a protest march like Eluga Thamil (Rise Up Tamils!) is not beneficial to the Tamil people at this time when discussions are being conducted for a new constitution. The Eluga Thamil protest march and rally held in Jaffna on Friday was organized by the Tamil People's Council led by the Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran.



No LG polls this year: EC
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday ruled out the possibility of conducting Local Government elections before the end of this year. However, he said he could take steps for conducting it before April New Year, if the Government addressed legal shortcomings this year. Mr. Deshapriya said the delimitation process had to be completed in addition to ironing out lacunas in the present Local Government law for the polls to be conducted. The Government decided to redraw the boundaries of some electoral wards created during the previous rule.



TNA insists no threat to alliance following Jaffna demo
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today insisted that there was no threat to the alliance as a result of the demonstration staged in Jaffna yesterday. The demonstration was staged by the Tamil People’s Council with the participation of some TNA members. The TNA did not support the protest staged against the Government but the party says there is no threat to the Tamil alliance as a result of the participation of some TNA members in the protest. TNA member and Northern Provincial Council Chairman C.V.K Sivagnanam expressed these views to an Australian delegation in Jaffna today.



Explanation called from 25 UNP MPs
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

Chief Government Whip and Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, on Saturday sent show cause letters to 25 UNP MPs on the instructions of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, for travelling overseas without informing the party hierarchy. MPs leaving the country are required to obtain prior approval from the Prime Minister and Chairman of the party.Of the 30 MPs who had travelled overseas during the same period only five had obtained approval. The Prime Minister was concerned about the absence of those party members when two important Bills on Finance were scheduled to be taken up for debate, sources said.



No new party on Oct. 8: MR
[Monday 2016-09-26 16:00]

While ruling out plans of the Joint Opposition to form a new political party, former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that it is the people who should decide on the establishment of a new party. He said this as a response to the media after attending a religious event held in Urapola Temple in Pilimathalawa. “The rally of the Joint Opposition which will be held on October 8 is not about the formation of a new party,” he said. However, it was reported that the inaugural rally of a new political front headed by the Joint Opposition is slated to be held at Eheliyagoda town on October 8.



Wiggy leads ‘wake up’ call to Tamils
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday issued a demand that the government speedily address the needs of the Tamils in the North and East. His demand was voiced at a large public rally in Jaffna organized by the Tamil People's Council promoting the 'Wake up Tamils' theme that included a demand for a federal system as the only way out for a 'sustainable peace in which the Tamils could live in peace and harmony with fellow Sri Lankans.'



BID TO REMOVE LTTE FROM EU’S TERRORIST LIST: SL’s Brussels Mission monitoring developments
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

The Sri Lankan Mission in Brussels is closely monitoring developments in the EU Court of Justice where there is a fresh bid to remove the LTTE from the EU’s list of designated terrorist organisations. “The Foreign Ministry is aware of the developments and has briefed the mission in Brussels to closely watch developments,” a top Foreign Ministry official told the Sunday Observer. If the Court rules in favour of the LTTE, it will trigger a series of negative repercussions including the unfreezing of its assets within the Union and lifting a travel ban on members of the organisation.



Kfir jet bomb found in Killinochchi Top News
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

An unexploded bomb weighing around 300 kilos, which is believed to be fired from a Kfir jet during the war, was recovered at Chundikulam reserve in Killinochchi yesterday. The 6-foot long bomb was recovered following information provided to the Dharmapuram Police. The Special Task Force had removed the bomb



Govt. not afraid of uprising in North: Ruwan
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene today said that the government will not agree to remove Army camps in the Northern Province even though some people were holding demonstrations demanding to do so. While commenting on the ‘Eluga Tamil’ (Let Tamils Rise!) demonstrations organized by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, the Defence State Minister said when the government is putting its utmost effort to establish reconciliation among the races and religions, such extremist activities cannot be accepted.



Pope names Special Envoy for conferences in SL
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India, as his Special Envoy to the XI Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, taking place from 28 November – 4 December in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theme for the Plenary Assembly is “Joy of the Gospel and the Family in Asia in the Light of the Synod.”



Reduction in SL’s UN peacekeeping contingent?
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

The Sri Lanka’s UN peacekeeping contingent to Mali has been slashed because of an administrative delay in passing funds to obtain ammunition, inside sources said. Initially a battalion of 800 soldiers and officers were to be sent to the West African country as peacekeeping forces by the UN. Despite Cabinet approval to finance the mission and acquire weapons and ammunition, the delay in the administrative work has resulted in a battalion from Egypt being deployed for the job - to provide security for a special convoy. As a result, Sri Lanka will be sending in only a ‘company’ consisting of 200 officers and soldiers to Mali.



‘Eluga Tamil’ demonstration in Jaffna Top News
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

The demonstration ‘Eluga Tamil’ (Let Tamils Rise!) organised by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran commenced in Jaffna today. All the shops in Jaffna were seen closed while Private Bus Owners Association in Jaffna also participated in the demonstration which brought the bus service to a standstill.



UN Peacebuilding Fund hampered by decreasing contributions: Mangala
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said it was disheartening that the UN Peacebuilding Fund which provided the capacity for prevention and sustaining peace was hampered by decreasing contributions and urged Member States to increase their contributions to the Fund. Minister Samaraweera speaking at the Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund-New York said that Sri Lanka had been working closely with the Peacebuilding Support Office since the Presidential Elections in January 2015 and that prioritized reconciliation and development as twin agendas to be pursued in guiding Sri Lanka towards durable peace and prosperity through the strengthening of good governance, democracy, human rights, justice, rule of law, and dignity for all.



JHU Leader Omalpe Sobitha Thera steps down
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera today announced that he would step down as the Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The announcement was made during the 13th convention of the Party which was held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo. Subsequently, Ven. Sobitha Thera, along with Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera had been appointed as the patrons of the Party. Meanwhile, Ven. Hedigalle Wimalasara Thera and Minister Karunasena Paranavithana had been appointed as Co-Chairmen of the JHU. Minsiter Patali Champika Ranawaka continues to function as the General Secretary of the party.



UK official discusses UNHRC resolution with Mangala
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alok Sharma had talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka. The meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “Good meeting with @MangalaLK and discussion of #SriLanka commitment to UNHRC Resolution 30/01 at #UNGA,” Alok Sharma tweeted following the meeting.



Former Defence Secy. says won't contest presidential election
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would not contest any forthcoming Presidential election. He said that he faced many problems because of the rumours that he was planning to contest the next Presidential election. The former Defence Secretary was speaking to the media after meeting the Mahanayake Theros of Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters in Kandy yesterday.



UN chief praises President Sirisena
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highly appreciated President Maithripala Sirisena's commitment to good governance and reconciliation. He made these remarks when he met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York on Thursday. The Secretary-General conveyed his gratitude to the government and the President for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him by the government and the people when he visited Sri Lanka recently.



Wigneswaran, Tamil politicians and civil society groups call on Tamils to join mass rally:
[Friday 2016-09-23 21:00]

The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, the Tamil People's Council and the Tamil Civil Society Forum urged Tamils to join the "Ezhuha Tamil!" mass rally in Jaffna tomorrow. The rally, translating to 'Tamils Rise!', demands the Tamil people's rights as well as protest against militarisation and Sinhala colonisation in the Tamil homeland of the North-East. It begins from the Nalloor temple as well as the University of Jaffna, and will finish in Muttaveli grounds. The rally has widespread support from a number of Tamil political parties, including constituent parties of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) - EPRLF and PLOTE and the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF).



PM optimistic more Lankan experts will return:
[Friday 2016-09-23 21:00]

A number of Sri Lankan experts, including academics and professionals, who left the country had returned recently and more experts would hopefully follow them in the near future, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Addressing a ceremony held to launch the construction of the Techno City at Mahahena in Homagama, the Premier said he had invited Sri Lankan experts to return, not alone, but with their colleagues. “We should utilise human resources to the utmost. Today, the US knows that China has the biggest GDP for a country. That is why the US is recruiting people with expertise to face this growing threat. We, too, should fortify ourselves with knowledge by retaining local experts in the country,” he said.


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