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September 28, 2016 [GMT]
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CPJ welcomes new probe into murder of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

The New York-based international press freedom organization, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Tuesday welcomed the new probe into the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and urged the government to follow through with a transparent and thorough investigation. Following a request made by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of police that a new post-mortem examination is needed for further investigations as part of a new investigation into his death in 2009, the police yesterday exhumed the body of the slain journalist.



India offered to develop Palaly Airport
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

The Indian government’s assistance has been sought to develop the Palaly Airport, said Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama yesterday. The minister who was at a joint media briefing with Indian Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman at Taj Samudra said Cabinet would take a decision on the airport in the next 2-3 months. India has been engaged in various development projects.



Govt. only keen to exhume bodies, survey lands: Namal
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa said today the biggest problem for the government was the extent of my grandmother’s land and not the hardships faced by the drought affected people in Hambantota and Polonnaruwa or the possibility of the IMF loan being turned down because of the failure to implement the VAT increase. He told journalists after being present at the surveying of the land owned by Yoshitha Rajapaksa in Dehiwala yesterday adding that they would always respect Court orders.



Govt. must make responsible statement on C.V.’s allegations: JHU
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today the Government must make a responsible statement with regard to the false and baseless statements made by Northern Province Chief Minister on resettlement of Sinhalese in the North and constructing of places of worship without having backbenches to do so. JHU national organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the government must make a statement with facts and figures as the international community may be misled by these baseless allegations.



Yash Sinha to move to London from Colombo as Indian High Commissioner
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha has been appointed as the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, it was officially announced here this evening. A career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS, 1981 batch), he is expected to take up his assignment shortly. Sinha, son of General SK Sinha (retired) of the Indian Army, had his schooling at Chesham near London in the early 1960s. "I am looking forward to this assignment," he told The Island tonight. He is likely to leave Colombo around mid-November.



India : No time frame or pressure on Sri Lanka to finalise ETCA
[Wednesday 2016-09-28 17:00]

India said yesterday that Sri Lanka was not compelled to enter into any agreement with it and there was no time frame set for finalization of the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Visiting Indian State Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, addressing a joint news conference with Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema at the Taj Samudra in Colombo, said that negotiations were being conducted in detail and there was no pressure with regard to a timeline.



Lasantha’s body exhumed
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

The body of murdered Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was exhumed today at the Borella Cemetery, sources said. The exhumation request was forwarded to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court by the CID earlier this month. Mr. Wickrematunge was shot in the head at Atthidiya in Dehiwala on January 08, 2009, by two gunmen arrived in a motorcycle.



Minor earth tremor in Galle
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

A minor earth tremor had been experienced in the Galle area this morning, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. According to DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said the tremor had been recorded at the Seismic Data and Tsunami Alert Centres (SDTAC) at Matara, Hakmana and Pallekelle. However, Richter scale had been recorded as lower than three amplitudes on the tremor. The tremor had taken place at around 5.30 a.m. “Further inquiries are being carried out in order to identify the particulars of the tremor,” he added.



TNA denounces Northern Province Chief Minister’s ‘Eluga Thamil’ protest
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

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 organised by the Tamil People’s Council, led by the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran.



Sarath Fonseka Calls For Disciplinary Action Against Kamal Gunaratne
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka called for disciplinary action against Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne for not carrying out his orders in 2009. In an interview with the Irida Lankadeepa dated September 25, Fonseka said that he had ordered the identity card and the dog tag of the slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran be returned to Colombo. He said that he could not check on whether they arrived in Colombo but got to know recently that Gunaratne had the ID with him when he told the media that he will hand over the ID to the army museum. Fonseka asked as to how Gunaratne keeps it with him as he had ordered it to be returned. He will request the current army commander to take action against this breach of discipline, Fonseka said.



UNP tells Vigneswaran not to dictate terms to President Sirisena
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

The UNP yesterday condemned the actions of Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran saying that he should not try to dictate terms to President Maithripala Sirisena. Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare Ranjan Ramanayake told the media in Colombo that the government would not be cowed down by Wigneswaran’s threats. "How can a person who obtained about 150,000 votes dictate terms to someone who has been elected by 6.2 million people?" Ramanayake queried, adding that the Northern Chief Minister was acting unreasonably towards a government which had taken many steps to achieve reconciliation in the post war era.



20 LTTE suspects on death fast
[Tuesday 2016-09-27 18:00]

Twenty LTTE suspects in the Anuradhapura Prison have launched a fast unto death since last Wednesday, urging the government to expedite legal proceedings against them. Commissioner General of Prisons Nishantha Dhanasinghe said although they refused to partake of any food, they were in good health,according to Prisons Medical Officer.



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.


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