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March 5, 2015 [GMT]
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IMF rules out fresh bailout for Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2015-03-04 19:00]

The IMF on Wednesday (Mar 4) ruled out a fresh bail-out for Sri Lanka, which had hoped to secure loans of more than US$4.0 billion to restructure expensive debt taken on by the previous regime. Much of the country's post-war infrastructure under the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapakse was funded with Chinese debt and the new government had hoped to retire some of those loans.



Probe on payments to US congressmen
[Wednesday 2015-03-04 19:00]

In the wake of a disclosure that the former Foreign Affairs Ministry had paid US$ 354,000 to a US company for various activities including payments being made to US congressmen, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe told Parliament that an investigation would be conducted on this matter. He said the Sri Lankan Government would inform the US Government because it would be a serious violation of that country's laws if the congressmen had accepted these monies.



Sri Lanka, India to revive talks on fishermen issue
[Wednesday 2015-03-04 18:00]

Sri Lanka has accepted a request from India to revive the talks between representatives of the Sri Lankan and Indian fishing communities, the Government Information Department said. The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Y. K. Sinha, yesterday (03) met the Minister of Home Affairs and Fisheries Joseph Michael Perera and asked to start the dialogue.



AG wants time to decide on SF case
[Wednesday 2015-03-04 18:00]

The Attorney General (AG) today requested the Colombo High Court for more time to decide whether to withdraw or continue the case against General Sarath Fonseka on harbouring Army deserters. General Fonseka had earlier asked the court to dismiss the case filed against him because charges were baseless. The AG said he would take a decision on this matter after weighing the evidence of a crucial witness, who is an army officer, noticed to appear in Court on March 9.



Yoshitha questioned by the CCD Top News
[Wednesday 2015-03-04 18:00]

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) today questioned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa over a light aircraft found in Narahempita recently. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that Yoshitha Rajapaksa appeared before the CCD this morning after the CCD had summoned him.



Sri Lankan President pledges to resolve issues of every community equally Top News
[Tuesday 2015-03-03 20:00]

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, who made his maiden visit Tuesday to Jaffna, the heartland city of Tamils in the north, after assuming the office, pledged to resolve the issues faced by the people in the north equally and promptly."When resolving issues, there is no differentiation as South or North and the Government is fully committed resolve issues faced by people," President Maithripala Sirisena said, adding that everyone should work in brotherhood irrespective of differences.



Sri Lanka Tamil party plans to discuss power devolution with Indian PM
[Tuesday 2015-03-03 20:00]

Sri Lanka`s main Tamil political party, Tamil National Alliance says it plans to discuss devolution of powers to the provinces with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Sri Lanka. TNA legislator M. A. Sumanthiran said Monday that they will discuss with Prime Minister Modi issues concerning the 13th Amendment which allows the provincial councils in Sri Lanka to have extensive powers including land and police powers.



Mangala meets UNHRC Chief Top News
[Tuesday 2015-03-03 20:00]

External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday met United Nations Human Rights Chief ZeidRa’adZeid Al-Husseinin Geneva and discussed matters connected to theUN expert’s panel report on Sri Lanka and the human rightssituation here.



Bharatha Killing: Duminda, 12 others indicted
[Tuesday 2015-03-03 20:00]

Colombo district UPFA parliamentarian Duminda Silva and 12 others were today indicted in the Colombo High Court on 17 charges in the killing of former presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others at Walpola, Mulleriyawa in 2011. The 12 others also indicted by the Attorney General were: Anura Thushara De Mel, Chandana Jagath Kumara, Chaminda Ravi Jayanath, Lanka Rasanjana, Malaka Sameera, Vidanagamage Amila, Sarath Bandara, Suranga Premalal, Saman Kumara Abeysinghe, Janaka Bandara, Rohana Marasinghe and Nagoda Liyanarachchige Chaminda.



Ex female LTTE leader arrested
[Tuesday 2015-03-03 20:00]

A former top LTTE Sea Tiger women’s wing leader has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport while she was about to leave for France. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the Terrorist Investigations Division (TD) of the police had launched investigations over reports that Murugesu Bairahi had arrived in Sri Lanka. The 41 year old former Sea Tiger was arrested by the TID yesterday when she was preparing to leave the country.



UN assures North CM on report Top News
[Monday 2015-03-02 19:00]

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who visited Jaffna today, had assured the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran that the report compiled by a UN-led team following investigations on the war in Sri Lanka, will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in September.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Wigneswaran said that he had raised concerns with the visiting UN official over the decision to postpone the report from the March session of the UN Human Rights Council to the September session.



Sri Lanka to use UN probe report
[Monday 2015-03-02 19:00]

The Sri Lankan Government today informed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the report compiled by the team appointed by the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights to investigate the war in Sri Lanka, will be used in the domestic investigations. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the Government has already begun discussions regarding the nature of local mechanisms that should be put in place for this purpose including amendments to existing laws.



SL loans were made on consensus: China
[Monday 2015-03-02 19:00]

China's loans to Sri Lanka were made based on consensus through talks between the two countries and at Sri Lanka's request, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after Sri Lanka's foreign minister expressed concern about the loans.



Kerry hails UNHRC on Sri Lanka
[Monday 2015-03-02 19:00]

US Secretary of State John Kerry, today hailed the role played by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Sri Lanka.In his speech during the High Level segment of the 28th session of the UNHRC, which began today, Kerry noted that there is an opportunity for change in Sri Lanka. “Consider the indispensable role the HRC has played in encouraging leaders to live up to their promises and commitments in countries such as Burma and Sri Lanka, where there are opportunities for real change,” he said.



I do not believe in astrology now- Mahinda Rajapaksa
[Monday 2015-03-02 18:00]

Responding to a question raised by a journalist from the "Dawn" newspaper, a Pakitani Publication," whether he still believes in astrology", former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, "Now, I don't" and laughed out loud. "I have to ask you this, do you still believe in astrology?" "Now, I don't," he says and laughs out loud. The former President went on to say that Pakistan helped Sri Lanka in quelling the Tamil insurgency. "See, the US, Europe, the West, they are not our friends,".



Wigneswaran Says Government Statements On Army Camps Triggered Genocide Resolution
[Sunday 2015-03-01 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wignewaran attributed the Northern Provincial Council’s resolution on an “on-going genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka” to the government’s announcement that not a single army camp will be removed from the province.



New Party To Back MR
[Sunday 2015-03-01 17:00]

A group of Parliamentarians, who fear that they will not receive nominations for the upcoming General Elections by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) or the UPFA, are planning on forming a separate political party to contest the elections, political sources revealed. It has also been revealed that the political leaders of certain parties in the UPFA alliance have held secret meetings in this regard. Accordingly it has been decided to nominate former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the leader of this group.



Sushma here on Friday
[Sunday 2015-03-01 17:00]

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive in Colombo on Friday to set the stage for the visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 13. During her two-day stay, Ms. Swaraj will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to arrive here on March 13 for a three-day official visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister since 1987.



Govt. cancels fishing licences of eight Chinese companies
[Sunday 2015-03-01 17:00]

The Government has cancelled fishing licences given to eight Chinese companies to fish in international waters under the Sri Lankan flag, after they were found to have violated the agreements, Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera said yesterday. ”The main reason was that they have violated the terms and conditions we have agreed upon in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties,” the Minister said.



85 Lankan immigrants detained in Indonesia
[Sunday 2015-03-01 17:00]

As many as 85 Sri Lankan nationals are being detained in an Immigrant Detention House of Medan, Belawan, North Sumatra, for trespassing Indonesian territory without any legal documents and passports. "The detained foreign nationals are considered to violate the Immigration Law and some of them are asylum seekers to some countries such as Australia," Head of Medans Immigrant Detention House Purbanus Sinaga said Saturday.


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