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August 2, 2014 [GMT]
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Controversial article on Sri Lankan defence website removed after it kicked up a storm in India
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

An article on the frequent detentions of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy was removed from the Sri Lankan defence website on Friday, hours after its headline and an illustration that accompanied it kicked up a storm in India. The headline and the illustration raised a furore among political leaders in Tamil Nadu. However, hours after the "objectionable" content, that centred around Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's many letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the fishermen issue, was posted on the Lankan defence website, it disappeared.



Plea to recall UN ambassador in Geneva dismissed by Madras HC
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed at the admission stage a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to recall the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva.The petitioner, K.Balu, an advocate, said the UN Human Rights Council session was held in March . A draft resolution was introduced by 42 countries, including the U.S., for promoting reconciliation accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.



Only few aylum boats from Sri Lanka
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

The Australian Government says only a few boats reach from Sri Lanka attempt to reach Australia and so South India should not be an alternative for people smuggling. Reiterating that Australia was firm on not allowing illegal immigration, Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling said that in the last six months, not one boat has come from Indonesia and only a tiny amount has come from Sri Lanka.



Rajiv sent troops to Sri Lanka on his own: Natwar
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

Then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi decided to send Indian troops to Sri Lanka in 1987 without consulting his officials, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh has said. In an interview to Headlines Today over his book "One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography", Natwar Singh also said that Gandhi had no coherent policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka. Asked if Gandhi decided to despatch Indian troops at the home of then Sri Lankan president J.R. Jayewardene in Colombo, Natwar Singh said he saw the prime minister with a lot of people there.



Sri Lanka president skips Glasgow Games citing poor security
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

Sri Lanka's president decided to stay away from the Commonwealth Games despite being chair of the bloc because Colombo was unhappy with Britain's security arrangements, a minister said Thursday. Information minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Mahinda Rajapakse wanted to attend the Games in Glasgow but was concerned about being targeted by ethnic Tamil protesters who accuse him of war crimes. Asked if the government was unhappy with the level of protection offered by the British authorities, Rambukwella said: "Of course. it happened (not enough security) last time also."



Jaffna University science teachers complain of foul play in recruitment
[Friday 2014-08-01 15:00]

The Jaffna University Science Teachers' Association (JUSTA) yesterday claimed that recruitment procedures in the university were abused through political interference by a member party of the ruling UPFA coalition. According to a report prepared by the JUSTA's Subcommittee for Academic Integrity summary of the report appears on page seven in today's edition of this newspaper the political party concerned has been given monopoly over the appointment of external council members though by statute the responsibility lies with the UGC.



Amending Executive Powers Former CJ takes reins
[Thursday 2014-07-31 19:00]

A Committee headed by former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva has been appointed to draft an amendment to the Constitution in the form of limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency, implementing the 17th Amendment with further amendments, and to completely do away with the preferential vote system. The new draft will strengthen the positions of the Prime Minister, ministers and powers afforded to the Parliament, while also strengthening the powers of the independent Public Service Commission, Elections Commission, Judicial Service Commission and the National Police Commission as included in the 17th Amendment.



Sri Lanka warned over mounting foreign debt
[Thursday 2014-07-31 19:00]

Sri Lanka's economy was among the fastest growing in Asia, but it was vulnerable to sudden external shocks due to high levels of foreign commercial borrowings, the IMF said Wednesday. The International Monetary Fund warned that the Indian Ocean island remained vulnerable despite economic gains after ending decades of ethnic war in May 2009. 'Recent improvements in the trade and current account balances notwithstanding, Sri Lanka remains vulnerable to external shocks,'the IMF said after its latest consultations with Sri Lankan authorities.



Still No Official Invitation From Indian Govt For TNA Visit
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The TNA said that they have still not received an invitation from the government to conduct their expected visit. Despite the speculations that the Tamil National Alliance is expected visit to India in the coming days, TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told Asian Mirror that they have not yet received the invitation from the Indian Government.A delegation of five led by R Sampanthan is expected to visit India during the first part of August. The delegation will include TNA Leader R Sampanthan, TNA Media Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran, North Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran, MP Mavai Senathirajah and Selvam Adaikalanathan.



Uva PC polls: JHU won't contest on UPFA ticket
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday said that it wouldn't contest the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council polls on the UPFA ticket.The JHU is the second UPFA constituent to decide against contesting the Uva PC polls. National Freedom Front (NFF) leader, Wimal Weerawansa on Tuesday (29) announced that his party wouldn't field candidates on the UPFA ticket over a simmering dispute over policy matters, including handling of accountability issues/war crimes. Uva comprises Badulla and Moneragala districts.



Cyril says Sri Lanka visit successful
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his recent visit to Sri Lanka, during which he had talks with the Government and the opposition, was successful. Ramaphosa has told the South African Parliament that South Africa was invited to share its experiences on the truth and reconciliation and constitution-building process with the people of Sri Lanka. He recalled that his delegation interacted with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of his government and leaders of the opposition, including the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance.



Govt. rebuts US Embassy
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The Government today charged that the US Embassy in Colombo was selectively upholding fundamental rights in Sri Lanka, depending on who is exercising them and criticized the Embassy of questioning the media freedom in Sri Lanka. Issuing a statement the External Affairs Ministry said the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a training programme for Jaffna based journalists according to the statement of the Embassy appear to be the protest that reportedly took place against the conduct of the Workshop, which has been denounced by the US Embassy.



Last airman in US bombing of Hiroshima dies
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 17:00]

The last surviving crewman of the Enola Gay - the U.S. plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan near the end of World War II - has died. Theodore Van Kirk, also known as 'Dutch,' died on July 28 of natural causes at the Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain, Georgia, NBC television reported. Van Kirk was 93.wenty-four years old at the time, Van Kirk was the navigator on the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, one of a crew of 12 airmen. The plane dropped 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima at 8:15 am August 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people, more than half the population of the city.



17 Year Old Boy Siphons Off Millions From Sampath Bank
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

A 17 year old boy from Pollonnaruwa who siphoned off millions of rupees from Sampath Bank in a fraudulent manner was released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. He was produced before court after Smapath Bank lodged a complaint that the boy had taken mney from ATM machine in a wrongful manner. He had opened an account with Sampath Bank in January 2014 and had deposited a sum of Rs 163 000 in it. However, as a result of a mistake on the part of the Bank, his account had been credited with Rs 17.5 Million.



Ravana Balaya fears US conspiracy
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

The Ravana Balaya today met the Secretary of the Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry M.K.B. Dissanayaka and handed over a petition alleging a US conspiracy in Sri Lanka. Monks attached to the Ravana Balaya said that the US Embassy is involved in promoting extremist groups in Sri Lanka.The monks, who had on an earlier occasion opposed the new religious police unit setup at the Ministry, said that the authorities have failed to take action against alleged moves by the US Embassy to promote extremism.



BJP's Dr. Seshadri rejects reports
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

National Convener of Foreign Policy Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr. Seshadri Chari has rejected the news item carried in the Indian news Agency - PTI quoting him as saying that Sri Lanka should resolve the Tamil issue if trade ties between the two countries are to improve. Dr. Chari who rejects the content that appeared in the PTI news item that has quoted him as saying, 'We have told them (Sri Lanka) that you should resolve the Tamil issue if you want trade and commerce between Colombo and New Delhi (to progress),' has pointed out in his letter to the PTI News Editor that the news item is 'wrong and malicious' and has caused great damage to his reputation besides causing damage to Indo-Sri Lanka relations.



US envoy to Lanka keen on UN role
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and nominee for Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations Michele J. Sison, says if confirmed to her new post she will look at advancing America's interests at the UN. Making a statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday (Tuesday) Sison said that she has been privileged to serve her country country three times as US Ambassador: in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka and Maldives.



Norway not so keen on SL:
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

Norway, which facilitated the peace process between the then Government and the LTTE is now giving less emphasis to the peace building process in Sri Lanka, a TNA politician said yesterday.During his European visit, TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Dharmalingam Sitharthan is reported to have met Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry Officials in Oslo and Swiss Government officials. Mr. Sitharathan told Daily Mirror that he had talks with Peace and Reconciliation Assistant Director General Tone E.B. Allers and Senior Advisor Toril Langlete of the Department of Regional Affairs and Development.



Dates confirmed for Pope Francis' trip to Sri Lanka, Philippines
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 16:00]

The Holy See Press Office issued a comunique Tuesday confirming the dates of the Apostolic Trip of the Holy Father in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Accepting the invitation from the civil authorities and the Episcopate, His Holiness Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January and in the Philippines from 15 to 19 January 2015. The program for the trip will be published shortly.

(Vatican Radio)



Navy arrests 50 Indians for poaching
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

The Navy has arrested 50 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters, Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. He said that a majority of the Indians were arrested off Point Pedro in the north last night while the rest were arrested off Delft Islands. The navy also seized seven boats used by the fishermen to enter Sri Lankan waters illegally. The arrest comes as fishermen from India threatened to force their way into Sri Lankan waters next month as a mark of protest over the frequent arrest of Indian fishermen.


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