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August 25, 2016 [GMT]
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CID informs Court: Ekneligoda had no links with LTTE
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The CID informed courts that their investigations into journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, revealed that Ekeneligoda had no links with the LTTE, neither had he funded them or was there any legal action taken against him for terrorist activities,Ekneligoda’s wife Sandya Ekneligoda, making a statement to the media outside the Homagama Magistrate’s court said yesterday. The CID has also informed courts that their information was collected from discussions with the Deputy IGP, Airforce Commander, Navy Commander and Army Commander.



Referendum after constitution is presented to Parliament: Kiriella
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

Leader of the House, Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said the new constitution would be put forth to a referendum, after being presented to the Parliament. He made these comments at at a ceremony at the Eastern University. “We know the direction in which way our government is headed. Our main priority is to create a new constitution. All parties who are present in Parliament have to put aside their radical ideas and come to a common ground,” he said.



No Lankan casualties in Italy earthquake
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

No Sri Lankans were affected by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which struck central Italy today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome informed the government that there were no reports of Lankan casualties. However, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Italy can be contacted on +393456035197 for clarifications or further information.



Sri Lankan student in UK jailed on fraud charges
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

A 27-year-old Sri Lankan student and a 50-year-old Indian shop worker have been jailed after they helped launder almost £200,000 stolen from South West Communications in Exeter, UK, Express and Echo reported on Tuesday. The student and the shop worker had allegedly allowed the fraudsters behind the Hustle style scheme to use their accounts to disguise where the money went. They were just two of a number of people who worked together to defraud the Sowton based company out of £784,551.15 in a scam in which internet bank accounts were hacked into and looted.



Operation Pacific Angel concludes mission in Northern Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The multinational team led by U.S. Pacific Command concluded their week-long assistance program yesterday in Jaffna, providing general medical care for approximately 4000 people and renovating six schools that serve a total of 1100 students, according to a US embassy statement dated August 23.



Opposition wants OMPB resubmitted to House
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The Office of the Missing Persons Bill will have to be tabled afresh in Parliament as it had been signed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya without including the amendments submitted by the JVP and other opposition parties. Leader of the House and Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that he would discuss with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera the possibility of presenting the Bill again.



Sri Lankan Justice Has No Place for ‘Accountable Amnesties’
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 18:00]

According to Sri Lankan media reports, the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons is recommending those accused of human rights abuses during the final months of Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) be allowed to seek so-called “accountable amnesty.”



Vigneswaran notable absentee at Northern Investment Forum
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran was a notable absentee at the inaugural Northern Investment Forum which concluded in Jaffna yesterday amidst a large gathering. The event was organised by Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray. An official from the Governors Office said that Vigneswaran was in Colombo before the Northern Investment Forum commenced.. A large number of Tamil diaspora members and local investors attended the event.



Speaker signs OMP Bill
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya signed the Bill to set up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) a short while ago, the Speaker’s Office said. The amended draft Bill to set up the OMP was passed in Parliament on August 11 without a vote being taken. The government assured that the findings of the OMP would not give rise to civil or criminal liability but the joint opposition said the findings could be used as evidence when the judicial mechanism is set up to hear accountability issues.



Another top US official in SL
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, William E. Todd arrived in Sri Lanka today. While welcoming him, US Ambassador Atul Keshap in a tweet said Todd would hold bilateral talks with government leaders to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. He is also scheduled to meet representatives of civil society organizations. According to the US State Department, Ambassador Todd was appointed as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in August 2015. Previously he served as the US Ambassador to Cambodia.



Amunugama off to China
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Minister for Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama left for China and Thailand on Monday 22nd August, 2016 leading an official delegation on a study tour of Chinese built industrial parks. The 14 other members of his delegation are senior officials including the District Secretaries of Hambantota, Matara, Moneragala, other district and divisional level officials of these districts and officials representing the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, BOI, CEB, NWS&DB and the Southern Development Authority.



Threats will only motivate us: MR
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

The threats would only be directed to the formation of new parties, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing the 19th commemoration of All Island Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Production Assistant Officers Society, Mr. Rajapaksa said each and every person had the right to form political parties. “No force can stop the formation of political parties. It is a normal procedure. There should be enough independence within the country to form new parties. Each person should have its independence to take decisions,” he added.



Wigneswaran to meet Ranil to discuss concerns
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran is to meet Prime Minister Ranul Wickremeinghe to discuss concerns on former LTTE members. Wigneswaran told the Colombo Gazette that he is expected to meet the Prime Minister tomorrow in Colombo following an invitation extended to him. He said that he will discuss the allegation that former LTTE cadres who were released after being rehabilitated, had been injected with a poisonous drug.



Key military camps in the East will not be removed
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Key military camps in the East will not be removed, the Ministry of Defence said today. The Defence Ministry denied reports that 64 military camps in the East are to be removed. Media reports stated that military camps in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara are to be removed. However the Defence Ministry said that military camps which are required to maintain security in the East will not be removed.



Swaminathan stands firm on rights of Buddhists in North
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Prisons, Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan has said that under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to remove the existing Buddhist temples or statues in the North, and Buddhist monks and devotees had the right to build temples and statues in any part of the Northern Province. "If one attempts to do so it will bring disastrous consequences," the Minister has pointed out. Swaminathan was responding to a complaint to him in Kilinochchi that there were attempts to build Buddhist temples and Buddha statues.



Duminda wants Maithri to seek a second term
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

The only person, capable of contesting the next presidential election successfully as the SLFP candidate, is President Maithripala Sirisena, SLFP General Secretary and Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake says.



Reveal the secrets: Gammanpila to President
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary and MP Udaya Gammanpila today challenged President Maithripala Sirisena to divulge the secrets he knew about opposition politicians. Addressing the first anniversary celebration of the national unity government on Friday, President Sirisena said he would disclose the secrets about some opposition politicians if and when they formed a new party. The MP said the nondisclosure amounted to aiding and abetting in the wrongdoings.



Hello Corp inquiry: Namal, Sudarshana, Nithya released on bail
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, Sudarshana Bandara and Nithya Senani Samaranayake, who were arrested by the FCID over the inquiry conducted under the Money Laundering Act, were today released on bail by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris. They were released on cash bail of Rs. 100,000 with four sureties of Rs. ten million each for every suspect. They were arrested by the FCID into the inquiry over alleged two transactions worth Rs. 45 million in connection with purchasing Rs. 100 million worth shares of HelloCorp using alleged ill-gotten funds of Gowers Corporation, which headed by MP Rajapaksa.



US Embassy rejects medical tests on ex-LTTErs
[Sunday 2016-08-21 17:00]

US Embassy in Colombo had rejected Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran’s request to conduct medical checks to verify whether ex-LTTE carders in custody, were allegedly injected with a poisonous drug, TNA Provincial Councillor M. K. Shivajilingam said today. He said Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran had requested American Ambassador Athul Keshap to carry out medical tests by American doctors on ex-LTTE carders.



Paranagama Commission proposes Special High Court and Truth Commission
[Sunday 2016-08-21 17:00]

The Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons in its final report has recommended the setting up of a two-way domestic mechanism — a Special High court and a Truth Commission — to deal with persons accused of human rights violations during the last phase of the war. Suspects who plead not guilty to alleged criminal charges should be charged in the High Court while those who plead guilty should appear before the Truth Commission where they can be offered “accountable amnesties,” the Commission has recommended, the Sunday Times learns.


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