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February 7, 2016 [GMT]
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Zeid holds talks with North CM, IDPs and families of missing Top News
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, had talks with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V.Wigneswaran and also met war displaced families and families of those reported missing, when he visited the North today.He also had talks with the Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, the UN office in Colombo said. At the meeting with Wigneswaran the issue on political prisoners was discussed and Wigneswaran later told reporters the visit by Zeid to the North has given some hope for the political prisoners. At the meeting with the war displaced, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had assured that he will take their concerns to the Government.



Gnanasara Thera writes letter from Welikada prison
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

Bodu Bala Sena general secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera has written a letter from Welikada prison to the Mahanayake Thera, president, prime minister and the cabinet ministers. He says no responsible person has taken notice of his warnings, sometimes gentle and sometimes harsh, of danger to the country, nation and religion from enemies and atheists for the past 20 years. The Thera says he has begun the struggle in a nonviolent way and that he hopes it to continue in the future. Seeking an opportunity to discuss the matters with politicians, he asks the Maha Nayake Thera to forgive him had he done anything wrong.



Mobile Phone Found In Yoshitha’s Possession
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

A mobile phone was found in the possession of Yoshitha Rajapaksa at the Welikada Remand Prison. The mobile phone fell from his pocket when he was returning to his cell after he met his father, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the remand prison. However, prison sources said that no action was taken by the officers who accompanied Yoshitha Rajapaksa to his cell when the mobile phone fell out. A senior prison official however told The Sunday Leader he was not aware of such an incident taking place.He said if information over such an incident is reported, then appropriate action will be taken. Intelligence officers at the prison said that two officers are prepared to make statements on the discovery of the telephone if an investigation is launched.



Geneva issue: Govt. earmarks 11-member Task Force
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

An eleven-member Consultation Task Force will enforce provisions of the US-backed resolution which was jointly sponsored by Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council in Geneva last year.Its work will be carried out with the help of a UN expert who will arrive in Colombo next week. He is Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. This will be part of an Action Plan formulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as stated in a confidential document circulated to Western countries and India as part of the implementation of the UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council) Resolution titled promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC in October, 2015.



Basil, Namal Next In Line
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

Former minister Basil Rajapaksa and Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa are next in line to be arrested from the Rajapaksa family following the recent arrest of Yoshitha Rajapaksa. Both Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa are expected to be arrested over the alleged misuse of public funds. The internal air travel fare of former minister Basil Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa has reportedly cost Rs. 150 million. According to information received, there is a high probability that Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa will be arrested by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over misappropriation of public funds.



EKNALIGODA’S DISAPPEARANCE: Four more arrests imminent
[Sunday 2016-02-07 18:00]

The Criminal investigation Department(CID) investigating journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance, is set to arrest four more Army intelligence personnel connected to the incident in the coming days, authoritative CID sources told the Sunday Observer. Already six people of the Army intelligence unit have been arrested and four others will be arrested based on the analysis of mobile phone data used in the incident.According to sources, the CID has gathered evidence against Army intelligence personnel to charge them with illegal abduction, detention and disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda after his abduction on January 24, 2010 at a location close to Pelawatta.



Zeid says he will listen to all communities in Sri Lanka Top News
[Saturday 2016-02-06 18:00]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein says he will be having talks with representatives of all communities in Sri Lanka and will listen to what they have to say. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein arrived in Sri Lanka today and was met by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the airport and later he had talks with the Minister at the Foreign Ministry. “I am delighted to be in Sri Lanka. I have been looking forward to coming,” Zeid told reporters in a brief statement as he began meetings in Colombo.



Sushma assures Sirisena India’s support for his policies Top News
[Saturday 2016-02-06 17:00]

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has told President Maithripala Sirisena the Government of India supports Sri Lanka’s policies on reconciliation and development, the President’s office said today. She says India admires the speech recently delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena in Parliament, stating that he would take the country towards development while bringing about the peace and reconciliation among every community. “The Indian government will give its fullest support to implement those policies mentioned in that statement”, she said.



Wigneswaran visits Buddhist Temple to back reconciliation Top News
[Saturday 2016-02-06 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran visited the Naga Vihara Temple in Jaffna today to show support to the decision taken by the Government to sing the National anthem in Tamil at the Independence day event at Galle Face yesterday. Speaking to reporters at the Temple, Wigneswaran said that if the Sinhalese people take one step forward and move towards the Tamils then the Tamils will take ten steps forward towards the Sinhalese community. “We are very happy that the National anthem was sung in Tamil yesterday,” Wigneswaran said. The Northern Province Chief Minister said that while singing the National anthem was a small gesture it went a long way.



Chinese Foreign Minister Arrives In Sri Lanka On Short Transit Visit Top News
[Saturday 2016-02-06 17:00]

Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi arrived in Sri Lanka on a short transit visit this morning. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva met with the visiting Chinese dignitary. They held discussions pertaining to the Prime Minister's visit to China later this year, and agreed on several steps to be taken before the visit, Dr. de Silva said on his Facebook Page. The Chinese Foreign Minister is returning to his country after a four-nation tour of Africa.



Open Fight to wrest SLFP leadership
[Saturday 2016-02-06 17:00]

The tussle for the SLFP leadership between President Maithripala Sirisena and SLFP Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has now reached a new high and taken on a new dimension after the imprisonment of the second son of the former President Navy Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa over alleged financial irregularities at the CSN. Political observers contend that in the wake of Yoshitha Rajapaksa being remanded the former SLFP Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has begun attending all possible SLFP functions where he makes public statements about forming a new political party while condemning the current SLFP leadership.



Ex-Tigers sing Sinhala National Anthem
[Saturday 2016-02-06 17:00]

In a strange and welcome change of the times the National Anthem was sung in Sinhala at Independence Day celebrations staged by rehabilitated LTTE cadres at Kilinochchi, Paranthan. These former LTTE cadres who are currently serving in the Civil Defence Force had sung the National Anthem in Sinhala, while Tamils at the 68th Independence Day celebrations at the Galle Face Green sung the Anthem in Tamil. The ceremony in Kilinochchi, Paranthan had been held under the auspices of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Commanding Officer Colonel Rathnapriya Bandu.



Sushma Swaraj, Ranil Wickremesinghe hold talks on investment, SEZ Top News
[Friday 2016-02-05 18:00]

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who sought Indian investment and offered partnership in setting up a Special Economic Zone besides briefing her on latest political developments in the country. Swaraj, who arrived Colombo on Friday on her second visit to the country within a year, held talks with Wickremesinghe at the Prime Minister’s Office ‘Temple Trees’, and the two leaders had a “fruitful exchange of views”.



Govt. needs to keep hardcore LTTEers under microscope: Gota
[Friday 2016-02-05 18:00]

The former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Government to strengthen the mechanism to monitor the hardcore LTTEers before releasing the remaining hardcore LTTE operatives in jails. He said without strengthening surveillances with the assistance of the military intelligence agencies, releasing hardcore LTTE cadres will pose a grave threat to the country’s peace and security. According to Rajapaksa, there were over 5,000 LTTE cadres, who had been arrested over the years by the military from different parts of the island, before the end of the war in May 2009.



Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Governor on the way out?
[Friday 2016-02-05 18:00]

The Northern Province, where Tamils constitute a predominant section of the population, may soon get a new Governor. The incumbent, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, has conveyed to the government about his willingness to leave the post. Enquiries made in Colombo and Jaffna reveal that the government is expected to make an announcement shortly in this regard. Asked about his possible exit, the Governor, who has held the post for a year, told The Hindu that at the time of his appointment, the understanding was that he would be there for six months.



Sri Lanka’s main opposition welcomes anthem in Tamil
[Friday 2016-02-05 17:00]

Sri Lanka’s main opposition Tamil National Alliance welcomed the national anthem being sung at national day celebrations as a “giant step” towards reconciliation in a country emerging from decades of Ethnic war. TNA legislator and spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran said he hoped that same spirit will be maintained in resolving the long-standing demands of the Tamils to have a greater degree of autonomy in the regions where they are concentrated.



Government hopes to renew relations with China this year
[Friday 2016-02-05 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that he hoped to renew and strengthen the relations between China and Sri Lanka this year. In a message sent to Xinhua, greeting the people of China for the Chinese New Year which falls on Feb. 8 this year, Wickremesinghe said that he was pleased to offer his greetings for a peaceful and prosperous New Year to the Chinese people on behalf of all Sri Lankans. “May we truly be able to renew and strengthen the warm and cordial relations between China and Sri Lanka this New Year, as always,” Wickremesinghe said.



Defence Council discusses Yoshitha
[Friday 2016-02-05 17:00]

At the National Defence Council, the president and the prime minister have sought information with regard to the arrest of Navy Lt. Yoshtha Rajapaksa, second son of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.Top defence officials have explaiend that the arrest was made after a year-long investigation, which confirmed, through the perusal of around 12,000 email messages that he had functioned as head of CSN television channel. The president and the prime minister have stressed that the accuracy of the allegations against politicians and their family members should be verified before arrest.



Black flag campaign in Vavuniya Top News
[Thursday 2016-02-04 19:00]

A group of Tamils in Vavuniya held a black flag campaign this morning saying the Tamils in the Northern Province were unable to celebrate the 68th Independence Day in freedom. The protest was launched by the Collective of the Families of Disappeared Persons and the citizens committee in the Vavuniya district.“Even though the war has come to an end, many Tamils are detained as political prisoners.



President makes pledge to protect National interests Top News
[Thursday 2016-02-04 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today made a pledge to protect National interests when addressing concerns over the war and implementing the UN Resolution on Sri Lanka. The President made this pledge while addressing the nation at the 68th Independence Day anniversary event at Galle Face today. He said that the UN Resolution would not have been submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last September if efforts were taken to address key issues soon after the war ended in May 2009.


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