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Sri Lanka's main Tamil party denies links to rebels
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

Sri Lanka's main minority Tamil political party on Sunday dismissed allegations that it had worked with Tamil Tiger rebels.The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had been accused of spreading the ideology of the Tamil Tigers, also known as the LTTE, who fought a 30-year war in Sri Lanka before their defeat in May 2009. "We do not have any allegiance to the LTTE nor are we committed to their ideology. We stand up for the rights of the Tamil people but we are not in favor of terrorism nor do we encourage it and everyone knows this,"TNA legislator M.A. Sumanthiran told local Sunday Leader newspaper.



TNA To Sign MOU
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is to call for a meeting to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the TNA coalition parties prior to the next election. TNA PM Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the TNA was expected to hold a meeting last Friday to discuss the draft of the MOU but was postponed as Leader of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathirajah is out of the country. “We have already distributed the draft of the MOU but we have not made any decision related to that.



Kerry’s Schedule Being Finalized
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

The schedule for the visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Sri Lanka is being finalized, Foreign Ministry and US Embassy sources said.Kerry is expected to visit Sri Lanka next month, the most high profile official visit to Sri Lanka by a US government official.The dates for Kerry’s visit are yet to be finalized but once confirmed, he is expected to have talks, not just with the Government, but also with the opposition and the Tamil National Alliance.



japan To Assist CoI
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), appointed to investigate into the cases of missing persons, is to meet the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the funds required for counselling programmes in the North and East. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Secretary of the Commission H. W. Gunadasa said that the Japanese Embassy had agreed to provide funds for the counselling programme proposed to be carried out in the North and East.



Top-level team going to Ukraine for full probe on Weeratunga’s activities
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

A top-level team including Police and Government officials will visit Ukraine to probe the activities of Udayanga Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia. The team’s main thrust will be to obtain more details of the Ukrainian Government complaint that Mr. Weeratunga supplied weapons to pro-Russian rebels who were fighting in that country though a ceasefire is now in place.



Debate on 19th A postponed
[Sunday 2015-04-19 18:00]

The Parliamentary debate on the 19th Amendment, which was scheduled for debate tomorrow, had been postponed for Tuesday, consequent to an All Party Meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena this morning.



Mano claims minorities betrayed
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

Democratic People’s Front (DPF) leader and National Executive Council member Mano Ganesan says the minorities and minor parties in Sri Lanka feel betrayed over moves to introduce electoral reforms before the next Parliament elections.



Lankan PM offers worship at Guruvayur temple Top News
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe today offered worship at the famous Lord Krishna Temple here amid heavy security. The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by his wife Maitree Wickramsinghe, arrived at the shrine at around 11.15 am. Wickramasinghe offered 'Thulabharam' (an offering where a devotee is weighed against offerings of banana, sugar, flowers etc) with sandalwood.



Somawansa to launch new party next month
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, who quit the party on Thursday said yesterday that he would launch a new political party next month. In a brief interview with The Island Amarasinghe said that he would form a party and a national convention would be held soon. He said that he had been a member of the JVP until 3.00 pm Thursday and would not be responsible for anything the party did thereafter. He had joined the party in 1969.



‘No intention of returning to politics’ – Basil
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

Economic development minister of the former Rajapaksa regime, ex-national organizer of the SLFP, Basil Rajapaksa says he has no intention of returning to politics.He was responding to a query by Sri Lanka Mirror.He said he would be back home on April 21 in order to respect a court order to assist police investigations into alleged financial irregularities in the Divi Neguma Development Department.



Sri Lanka Finance Minister meets top US officials in Washington
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, who is on an official visit to the United States, had met several top U.S. officials. The Minister had a close-door meeting this morning with the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal. The meeting was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. today at the State Department.



We cannot pay Mahinda's helicopter bills- Susil
[Saturday 2015-04-18 16:00]

"Air Force helicopters were not used for the election campaign of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, if the payments for the used helicopters were not made those who hired them should do it", says the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary Susil Premajayantha.



'Sung influenced Sri Lanka for Ban's election'
[Friday 2015-04-17 18:00]

Deceased Keangnam Enterprises Chairman Sung Woan-jong claimed that he contributed considerably to the election of Ban Ki-moon as United Nations secretary general, Sung's associates were quoted as saying by a vernacular newspaper. Sung claimed that he had close ties with then Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom he urged to persuade his country's candidate, Jayantha Dhanapala, to withdraw his candidacy and support Ban in the 2006 election for the post.



Tamil civil society welcomes UN Chief drawing attention to sexual violence in Sri Lanka
[Friday 2015-04-17 18:00]

A network of Tamil civil society activists based in the North-East has welcomed the United Nations Secretary General's annual report to the Security Council on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence drawing attention to Sri Lanka's progress in addressing the issue.The Tamil Civil Society Forum in a Facebook post said the society welcomes the UN Secretary General's report drawing attention to the impunity that prevails for sexual violence that occurred during the war in Sri Lanka and that continues to occur after the end of the war.



No Confidence motion against Ravi
[Friday 2015-04-17 18:00]

Leader of the Democratic Left Front, Vasudeva Nanayakkara confirmed yesterday that the No-Confidence Motion against Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake has been signed and will be submitted to the Speaker in Parliament. MP Nanayakkara, who was among those from the UPFA who gathered at Carlton House in Tangalle yesterday, said the No Confidence Motion to be brought against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was discussed and finalized.



India unsuited to play mediator due to TN factor-Dayan
[Friday 2015-04-17 18:00]

India is “structurally unsuited” to be mediator or facilitator in the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict because it is subject to the “emotional and electoral power” of one of its constituent states, namely, Tamil Nadu, argues former Lankan envoy at the UN in Geneva, Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka.



Five refugees arrive from Sri Lankan citing poor living conditions
[Friday 2015-04-17 18:00]

A five-member Sri Lankan family, who went back to their country from a refugee camp here after completing legal formalities in March 2010, arrived at Arichalmunai off Dhanushkodi Coast near here on Friday, citing "poor living conditions" there, police said. The refugees, Sathyaseelam, his wife Parameswari, their daughters Viduthalaiselvi, Mary and Anajalidevi, belonged to a village in Trincomalle and stayed in a refugee camp here from 1999 to 2010, police added.



UN Security Council report notes increased sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka post-conflict
[Thursday 2015-04-16 19:00]

The UN Security Council noted in a report published Monday, the ongoing incidents of sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka, stating that there were "indications that abduction, arbitrary detention, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence have increased in the post-war period" in Sri Lanka and that acts of sexual violence were being targetted specifically at those perceived to be associated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).



HRW calls for UN Security Council to act to address sexual violence in conflict
[Thursday 2015-04-16 19:00]

Human Rights Watch called on the UN Security Council to act to prevent and address sexual violence in conflict, pointing to a report by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moonwhich was released on Monday that detailed ongoing conflict related sexual violence during 2014 in 19 countries, including Sri Lanka.



Unlawful arrests in East continue – TNA MP
[Thursday 2015-04-16 19:00]

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa District Parliamentarian P. Selvarajah says unlawful arrests were still continuing in the Eastern Province and warned that if the situation continued the people would not hesitate to teach the new government a lesson as the previous government was also taught a lesson. "The people in the North and East continue to live in uncertainty because of the attitude of the new government with regard to the issues that still remain unresolved," he added.


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