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September 30, 2016 [GMT]
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Computer literacy tops 27%
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

A National Survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) says computer literacy in Sri Lanka has increased from 16.1 per cent in 2006/07 to 27.1 per cent in 2015. The DCS adds that the urban sector shows the highest computer literacy rate (39.2%) among home users while computer literacy in rural and estate sectors are 25.5 per cent and 9.0 per cent respectively.



SLFP asks Wigneswaran to withdraw statements
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today while condemning Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s ‘Eluga Thamil’ campaign, asked him to withdraw the statements made by him and called on the TNA to take disciplinary action regarding the matter. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva who is also a Senior Vice President of the SLFP said that statements made by Mr. Wigneswaran have made them rethink about the powers that should be devolved to the Chief Ministers. “In the concept of devolution of power we have to think about what sort of situations that would arise if this sort of Chief Ministers come. My personal opinion is that we have to give thought to these when formulating a new constitution,” he said.



Govt. to present evidence against LTTE being removed from terrorist list
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

The government will present evidence to thwart attempts being made to get the LTTE removed from the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations. "We will tell the EU why it should keep the LTTE on the list of terrorist organisations. We will advance reasons to justify the decision to maintain the LTTE on the terrorist list," Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in New York last week on the sidelines of a media briefing by President Maithripala Sirisena at the auditorium of the Loews Regency.



Wigneswaran resuscitating LTTE elements – AJITH
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of Sri Lanka must unite against Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, who is trying to revitalize the dying remnants of the LTTE in the North, Deputy Minister of Power, Ajith P. Perera said. Addressing a group of United National Party (UNP) supporters in Bandaragama, Perera said Wigneswaran has no concern for the needs of the average citizen of the North. "Wigneswaran has joined other racists in the North and he is trying to disrupt the government's initiatives to unite the country and develop it," he said.



Army ready to do what it must to protect the public
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

The Army says it is prepared to do what it must in order to protect the unity of the country and national interests. Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva said that the army is also committed to protect the public at all costs. The Commander expressed these views when asked about comments made recently by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran which was seen as a threat to the unity in the country. “It is our duty to protect the public and as Army Commander I can assure you we will do that,” he said.



President calls for transparency in NGOs
[Thursday 2016-09-29 18:00]

Non-governmental organisations must be transparent, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. Addressing the Inaugural Sessions of the International Conference on Right to Information Day 2016 at Hilton Colombo Residences, the President said information about public institutions was available to people under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The President said some NGOs had overstepped their limits and become a hindrance to state machinery.



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.


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