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April 29, 2016 [GMT]
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Sri Lanka Army says Opposition Leader's visit to army camp followed proper protocol
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

Sri Lanka Army said today the Opposition Leader R Sampanthan's visit to an army camp in Kilinochchi was in accordance with proper protocol and the Army has not lodged a complaint regarding the visit. Army Media Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera confirming that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader visited an army camp in Kilinochchi, said the Army has not lodged complaints at any police station over the incident.



TNA: Sampanthan went to a private land; Not a camp
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

The Opposition Leader did not try to forcibly enter the army camp, but entered a private land the Army was illegally occupying in Kilinochchi, TNA Spokesman M. A Sumanthiran said today. Addressing a press briefing held at the Opposition leader’s office to clarify allegation that the Opposition Leader had entered an Army camp forcibly, Mr. Sumanthiran said it was the Army that was illegally occupying the private properties in the area. “An inquiry should not be held into, why the Opposition Leader entered the land. Instead an inquiry should be held as to why the Army was occupying that land,” he said.



Govt. cannot be toppled: President
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

President Maitripala Sirisena, while noting today that the Government was stable, said there was no crisis in the SLFP but only a clash between a group of ‘rogues’ and those who were committed to taking forward Bandaranaike’s policies and principles forward. Speaking to Newspaper Editors and Media institution heads at the President’s House, he said that if anyone thought of toppling the Government it would only be an ‘unfulfilled dream.” He said that there was no way that the present Parliament’s composition can be changed in a conspiratorial manner to form a different government.



Government says no talks with India on sea bridge
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

The Government says it has not held any discussions with India over constructing a sea bridge and tunnel connecting the two countries. Government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said there had been no talks held between the two countries over the connectivity bridge, Xinhua news agency reported. “Formally and informally, no talks have been held. We have not entered into any talks with India on this subject,” he said.India’s Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari earlier this month said Sri Lanka was interested in building a bridge connecting the two countries and discussions have been held on the issue.



Man arrested at BIA for threatening President
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

A man, who was alleged to have threatened President Maithripala Sirisena in the social media, was arrested by the CID at the Bandaranaike International Airport today, Police said. They said the suspect, a resident of Yakkala, had been deported from Malaysia as he had been staying there without a valid visa. He is to be produced in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.



Bell 206 makes “hard landing” in Hinguraggoda
[Thursday 2016-04-28 19:00]

Bell 206 training helicopter has made a ‘hard landing’ during a training session in Hinguraggoda this morning, Air Force said. Air Force Media Spokesman Chandima Alwis said trainee cadet officer and an instructor pilot had been in the helicopter at the time of the incident but no injuries were reported.



TNA Demands Probe Over Occupation of Civilian Lands by Army
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the TNA today called for a probe on the alleged illegal occupation of civilian lands by the military in the northern province. The Tamil National Alliance was responding to accusations that on April 16, a group of party legislators led by the main opposition leader R Sampanthan had forcibly entered a military installation at Paravipanjan area in the northern Kilinochchi district. "There is no camp there so there was no illegal entry. The military was occupying civilian lands so we went for an inspection," MA Sumanthiran, a senior TNA legislator told reporters today.



Kilinochchi controversy: TNA denies forcible entry, demands troops vacate public property
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

Strongly denying accusations regarding Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan, MP and a group, forcibly entering an army camp at Kilinochchi on April 16, TNA spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran yesterday called for an urgent review of public property still occupied by the military. Jaffna District MP Sumanthiran insisted that Trincomalee District leader Sampanthan had gone there to inspect a cluster of houses occupied by the military for over six years after the conclusion of the conflict.



Petition seeking inquiry against TNA and ITAK
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

A lawyer yesterday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry against Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) for their alleged objective of setting up of a separate state in Sri Lanka following the resolution adopted by the Northern Provincial Council (NCP) on April 22. The petition was filed by Attorney-at-Law Aruna Laksiri. He cited ITAK President Mavai Senathirajah, NCP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, NCP Chairman Kandaiya Sivagnanam and its secretary M.A. Pathinadan as respondents.



Chava explosive cache: Ex-LTTE intelligence head in East arrested
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) yesterday took into custody former LTTE Trincomalee District intelligence head, Thalaiarisan, to question in connection with the explosives found in a house in Chavakachcheri last month. Prior to his arrest another Tiger leader, known as ‘Ram’ was taken into custody. TID sources said, Thaialiarisan and Ram, close associates, had been engaged in a number of attacks the LTTE launched against the security forces and the police.



MRIA to be privatised
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is to be privatised within the year, the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said. A ministry source said that it had received proposals from several companies, including three private Chinese companies. “Since the airport was constructed by the Chinese Government it has not submitted a proposal,” the source said. The source said the government was in the midst of searching for a way to repay the instalments on the loan taken to construct the airport.



NPC resolution of no value: Akila
[Wednesday 2016-04-27 18:00]

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Resolution on a federal state has no impact as the decision making powers on those matters lie solely with the Central Government and Parliament, Education Minister and UNP Deputy General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Addressing a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday, he stressed the Resolution bears no legal validity, adding what was proposed in it was not workable.



Wigneswaran to Take Up Land Return and Resettlement Issues With Sirisena
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, will discuss with President Maithripala Sirisena next Thursday, the obstacles encountered in the release of lands seized by the Lankan military, and the difficulties faced by the original civilian owners in occupying the released lands. Express learns that Wigneswaran will tell the President about the army’s withholding lands earmarked for return on the plea that lands already released have not been occupied by the original civilian owners.



NSC to take up Sampanthan incident
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

The National Security Council (NSC) would discuss a complaint lodged by Army Commander Lt. General Chrishanta De Silva on the alleged entrance to the Kilinochchi Army camp by Opposition TNA leader R. Sampanthan without permission and take action to prevent similar incidents in future, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday. Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the media yesterday at the Information Department that the Government was extremely unhappy over what had happened.



SLFP won’t support Federalism: Mahinda S.
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

The SLFP neither supports nor is willing to discuss federalism, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He was addressing a media briefing at the Information Department yesterday.Samarasinghe added that such moves would destabilise the current politically stable environment. The minister’s statement was in response to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) having passed a resolution sponsored by the TNA to urge the government to introduce provisions to the proposed new constitution enabling the merger of the North and East and granting federalism.



AG to indict Raviraj murder accused in High Court
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

The Attorney General today informed Court that indictments would be filed soon in the High Court against the seven accused over the killing of former TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysooriya appearing on behalf of the accused informed Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke that indictments could be filed against the accused since the non-summary inquiry has been concluded. Abeysooriya made this remarks when the AG’s request to further remand the two accused for a period of three months was taken up for inquiry. Both petitioner and respondent parties were ordered to file their written submissions on May 26.



PHU to President: Dissolve NPC
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

The Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) today requested the President to dissolve the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and take the administration under his purview because it had passed a Bill calling for the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and federalism. PHU general secretary, Udaya Gammanpila MP, said that if President Maithripala Sirisena really loved the country and wanted to show that he was capable of taking straight decisions he should dissolve the NPC.



SL military has a crucial role to play-UK
[Tuesday 2016-04-26 18:00]

Britain said that Sri Lankan military has a crucial role to play in country’s commitment to addressing long-standing issues of reconciliation, accountability and human rights. “The UK is supporting the Sri Lankan government in these efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous and united future,” the British High Commission in Colombo said issuing a statement on the visit of newly appointed UK non-resident Defence Advisor for Sri Lanka, Captain Stuart Borland and a team of defence delegation from UK Ministry of Defence last week.



Abducted LTTE cadre ‘Ram’ at TID
[Monday 2016-04-25 17:00]

Rehabilitated former LTTE member known ‘Ram’ was arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) yesterday, Police said. Ram’s wife had complained to the Thirukkovil Police on Sunday stating that her husband was abducted by a group of unknown individuals. Police said the former LTTE member, who was rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, is been questioned by the TID.



NPC not for special powers: Sivagnanam
[Monday 2016-04-25 17:00]

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which has reiterated the position of Tamil parties for a merger of the North and the East, is not for special powers to be provided to the proposed State, according to its chairperson C.V.K. Sivagnanam. On the significance of the resolution adopted on Friday, Mr. Sivagnanam has told The Hindu that “our demand for federalism should not be misconstrued as something in favour of separatism. Let the Central government share power with all the Provinces uniformly.


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