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September 24, 2014 [GMT]
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OHCHR wants accountability in Lanka
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), has in its oral update on the investigation on the war in Sri Lanka, noted that a fundamental and far-reaching accountability process in Sri Lanka, addressing both past and ongoing violations, is absolutely necessary for Sri Lankans. In the oral update, which will be formally communicated to the UN Human Rights Council at its ongoing regular session on Wednesday, OHCHR says, notwithstanding the commendable progress the Sri Lankan Government has made in resettlement and reconstruction, a far-reaching accountability process in Sri Lanka is necessary for Sri Lankans to come to terms with their past, end impunity, achieve reconciliation between communities and strengthen the rule of law.

Gota in China to strengthen military ties
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang held talks with visiting Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in Beijing, China on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. Hailing the friendship between China and Sri Lanka, Xu Qiliang said leaders of two countries attach great importance to military-to-military ties and the Chinese military is willing to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields with the Sri Lankan military.

Hold referendum Scotland style – TNA
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

Hold a referendum for the people in the North and East to decide whether they should secede, similar to the referendum held in Scotland, last week, was the TNA's call, yesterday. TNA Spokesman MP Suresh Premachandran said that democracy should prevail, by allowing the people in the NE to decide on a political solution, through a referendum like the one held in Scotland last week. "We welcome the democratically adopted referendum in UK allowing the people of Scotland to decide whether they wish to stay in a unified country or a separate one.

MR in New York Top News
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New York last night, for the 69th Sessions of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly at the UN Headquarters. The UN General Assembly convened on 16 September and is set to go on till 1 October. President Rajapaksa is set to address matters related to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) investigation on war crimes. He is scheduled to deliver his address tomorrow, 24 September during the General Debate.

SLMC, TNA meet to resolve 'National Question'
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will meet the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Friday (26) to discuss possible changes to the Constitution, for a fair political solution to 'the national question'. SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali told Ceylon Today that a political solution reached through the Constitution would safeguard the rights of the minorities. It should be a permanent, rigid and democratic solution "for both parties".

TNA files affidavit in SC on demand for North-East merger with federal powers
[Tuesday 2014-09-23 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has recently filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, explaining their election manifesto during the recent provincial council polls, in the Northern Province. The affidavit says that the position of the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), of which the TNA is the main constituent, concerning a political solution to the ethnic conflict, is that a solution should be found on the basis of a federal state within a united Sri Lanka.

Yal Devi train in Jaffna after a 24 year gap Top News
[Monday 2014-09-22 17:00]

The ‘Yal Devi’ express train reached the Jaffna railway station as part of a test run today with railway operations between Jaffna and Colombo set to resume next month after 24 years. Since 1990, the ‘Yal Devi’ service had to terminate at intermediate stations, due to the Sri Lankan civil war. The ‘Yal Devi’ had been operating till Kilinochchi since last year and will resume its services to Jaffna once the railway station damaged during the war is open next month with the completion of the reconstruction work. Test runs along the new Colombo – Jaffna railway track using other trains have been conducted over the past few days.

President off to address UN
[Monday 2014-09-22 17:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for America yesterday to address the UN General Assembly in New York to address on Thursday. According to presidential media spokesman Mohan Samaranayake the President is expected to hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other foreign leaders on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly sessions. President Rajapaksa was accompanied by External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and External Affairs Ministry monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena.

SF refuses to accept result
[Monday 2014-09-22 17:00]

Former Army Commander and Leader of the Democratic Party Gen. Sarath Fonseka refused to accept the results of the Uva Provincial Council election as his party faced a major setback compared to the previous provincial council elections. Gen. Fonseka said that going by the votes obtained by his party at the North-Western and Central Provincial Council last year and Southern and Western Provincial Council election in March they could not believe the result this time. The DP obtained only 3,202 votes from the Badulla District and 2,874 from the Moneragala District at Saturday’s election.

Two Ministers lose electorates
[Monday 2014-09-22 17:00]

The ruling UPFA suffered a further setback when two frontline Cabinet Ministers lost their respective electorates in the just concluded Uva Provincial Council polls. Leader of the House and Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva, who is also the SLFP Badulla District Parliamentary Group Leader, lost his Badulla Electorate, while Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera lost his Hali Ela Electorate.

UNP claims Govt. defeated Top News
[Monday 2014-09-22 17:00]

The United National Party (UNP) yesterday pointed out that the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had suffered a massive defeat, when compared to 2009, in Saturday's Uva Provincial Council (PC) Elections. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the UNP had received the people's mandate even though the government tried to bribe the voters to secure votes by misusing State property and distributing drought relief. "The government does not talk about a massive victory as they always spoke right after an election. They only said they won the elections. Therefore, the government should accept defeat," he said.

Peace has brought many benefits to Sri Lanka – UK
[Monday 2014-09-22 16:00]

The United Kingdom has said that peace has brought many benefits to Sri Lanka and the British Government will continue to support the island nation’s reconciliation process. Issuing a statement to mark the 32nd International Day of Peace which fell on Saturday, British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies said the peace in Sri Lanka has brought many additional benefits, including opportunities for economic growth and political participation.

UPFA wins Uva PC polls
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the Uva Provincial Council elections securing the highest number of seats in the two districts at yesterday’s elections. Accordingly, the UPFA secured 19 seats including two bonus seats in the Provincial Council while the UNP secured 13 seats and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) received two seats. Although the UPFA won the entire province, the ruling party showed a major setback in some areas mainly in the Badulla district as it failed to win the Badulla, Welimada and Hali-Ela electorates.

Minister turned away as Parliament Identity Card not valid for voting
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

Sugar Industry Development Minister Lakshman Seneviratne was turned away at the polling booth when he produced his Parliamentary identity card to cast his vote in Mahiyanganaya last morning. The election official on duty at the booth had pointed out that the Parliamentary IC was not one of the accepted identifications for voting by the Commissioner of Elections.The minister however, returned to vote after obtaining a temporary identity card. “I made no fuss. I went and got two photos and got them certified by the Grama Niladhari and came back to cast my vote.

Tamils to Rally Against Sri Lankan President During His Visit to UN in New York: TGTE
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

While the Sri Lankan President is denying UN access to his country, he is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly on September 24th.

The rally will be held on September 24th (Wednesday) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. (outside UN in New York). Thousands from US and Canada are expected to join this rally.

Hambantota Port Phase II: China to get four of the seven berths
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has agreed to hand over four out of seven berths from the second phase of the Hambantota Port development to a Chinese joint venture that includes a company that is also getting vast tracts of prime property on the Colombo Port City artificial island. Authoritative sources said negotiations on the terms of the “Supply, Operate and Transfer of Container Terminal Hambantota Port Development Project—Phase II” continued till the last minute on Monday. The agreement was signed the next day in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for the Cabinet to have seen and approved the document before it went through.

Violation of election laws to be legalised
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

Polls laws are to be amended ahead of next year’s presidential election and possibly a general election — with the limited objective of relaxing provisions related to campaigning. Draft amendments are now being formulated, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, National Organiser of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, told a meeting of leaders who are partners of the UPFA Government. The move comes against the backdrop of flagrant violations of existing laws, especially by the ruling party at elections and complaints by independent elections monitors and the Elections Commissioner that the Police were turning a blind eye to these violations.

TNA Slams New Land Grab
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has slammed what it claims to be a fresh attempt to grab civilian land in the North. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the security forces had made another attempt to take over some private land in Mathakal, Senthankulam, a coastal area in the Jaffna peninsula. A tense situation arose on Friday as the TNA members including Premachandran arrived at the location and protested against the land survey that was to be carried out by the Department of Survey.

Ranil Not Confirmed As Presidential Candidate
[Sunday 2014-09-21 17:00]

The UNP has not yet confirmed whether UNP National Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe will be the presidential candidate of the party. UNP MP Kabir Hashim told The Sunday Leader that the UNP has not decided who would be the Presidential candidate of the party. He rejected claims that the UNP had decided to back former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka as the candidate for the Presidential election. “We were focused on the Uva Provincial Council Election and the Working Committee has not yet discussed the Presidential elections,” he added.

North CM feels NPC can develop North
[Saturday 2014-09-20 16:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran has questioned why he needs to work with the Government, as stated by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, when funds allocated for development of the North come from donor countries and can be directed to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had said recently that Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is not cooperating on development work carried out by the Government, and this is affecting the ordinary people in the North.

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