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July 28, 2016 [GMT]
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Canada encourages Sri Lanka to move forward in reforms without delays Top News
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

Canada today, welcoming the positive engagement by Sri Lanka with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, encouraged the government to take advantage of this momentum to move forward on other reforms without delays."We encourage your government to take advantage of this momentum to move forward on other reforms, including those to strengthen good governance and economic stability. It is clear that delays in the implementation of these critical reforms are not in the public interest," Canada's Foreign Minister Stéhene Dion said Thursday.



FCID names Namal, five others over Hello Corp transaction
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

The FCID-on a directive of Attorney General had today named Namal Rajapaksa and five others as suspects over purchasing shares of Hello Corp. using ill-gotten funds of Gowers Corporation, which is headed by Mr. Rajapaksa. The FCID filing a B report informed court that the suspect Namal Rajapaksa had dealt with a company named Boston and had given Rs. 15 million and another Rs.30 million through one Indika Karunajeewa to the Chairman of that company, Mr. Rohan Abey Iriyagolla. Then according to the statements got from the chairman of the Boston Co., the given money was paid to Gowers and NR Consultants again, which are headed by Namal Rajapaksa, as payments for the services obtained by Boston.



Killing of 24 Tamils in 1996: Six former Army personnel acquitted of all charges
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

Six former Army personnel who were indicted over an incident where 24 Tamil civilians were killed, using firearms in 1996, were acquitted of all charges by Anuradhapura High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne yesterday. The Jury consisting of six members returned unanimous not guilty verdicts. The final hearing continued for a month when it was taken for hearing after 20 years.



Sri Lanka to establish and Independent Media Commission soon
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government will soon establish the proposed Independent Media Commission after a consensus with the heads of the media institutions, journalists, academics, and public, the Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake said. Addressing the Cabinet press briefing at the Department of Government Information he said that the new commission would not be enforced on journalists at all.



Emergency ambulance service launched in Sri Lanka with India's help Top News
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

The emergency ambulance service set up with the assistance from the Government of India was launched today at Galle Face Green in Colombo under the patronage of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. During his visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had received a request for assistance for setting of an emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka. After the visit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, wrote to Prime Minister of India for support for setting up of an emergency ambulance service and its operations for the first year. Prime Minister Modi, taking personal interest in the matter, assured full support.



Jaffna University Students’ Union invites students to return
[Thursday 2016-07-28 18:00]

Jaffna University Students’ Union (Maha Shishya Sangamaya) President T. Shashitharan invited all students to return to the University pledging to assure their security. He also said that there would be no chance for a clash at the University again. He condemned the attempts by some to spread racism in the country by tagging the incident as a racial dispute. Shashitharan said a request would be made from the politicians in the region not to politicise the incident.



ICRC presses Sri Lanka on fate of 16,000 war missing
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

The International Red Cross Tuesday urged Sri Lanka on Tuesday to disclose the fate of more than 16,000 people still officially missing since the island’s ethnic war ended seven years ago. The Geneva-based organisation released a 14-month survey conducted across Sri Lanka showing thousands of mainly ethnic Tamils were still searching for their loved ones. The survey and resulting 34-page report titled "Living with Uncertainty" called on Sri Lankan authorities to "clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing persons".



Russian Naval Ship ‘Igor Belousov’ arrives
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

A Russian search and rescue vessel, Igor Belousov arrived today at the Colombo Port upon a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with the naval traditions on her arrival. During the four day stay in Sri Lanka, the ship crew is scheduled to take part in several programmes and training exercises with their local counterparts before sailing out of the Sri Lankan waters on July 30.



Vigneswaran claims rights to Moragahakanda project
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran yesterday claimed rights to the Moragahakanda project as it supplied water to the Northern Province. Chief Minister revealed these sentiments during a discussion with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday. He added that there would be issues if the central government had full authority over the project. “We are happy that water is from the Mahaweli River is being distributed to the North, we have no objection to that,” Vigneswaran said. Meanwhile, officials from JICA said they could not intervene in the political matters of the country and directed the CM to take up the issue with the government.



MR at JO talks on Kandy-Cbo walk
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

The final discussion on the 'Jana Satana' walk, which is to be conducted from Kandy to Colombo on 28 July, will be held later tonight in Kandy, chaired by Joint Opposition (JO) members and SLFP Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, JO sources said. JO and SLFP Ratnapura District MP Ranjith Soyza said, that this discussion will be attended by all 51 JO MPs and heads of various anti-government organizations that are set to join the walk on Thursday.



Notice issued to 7 students
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

The Jaffna Magistrate's Court on Monday issued notice to seven students who were allegedly involved in the recent brawl at the Jaffna University. According to Kopai Police Jaffna Magistrate S. Sadeshkumar had noticed the seven students following submissions made to Court by the Police regarding the incident. The seven students have been noticed to appear in Court on 1 September.Up to 25 students were hospitalized after the fracas at the Jaffna University while a seriously injured student was treated at the Colombo National Hospital (CNH).



Foreign judges- My decision will prevail: MS
[Wednesday 2016-07-27 18:00]

Amid different shades of opinion being expressed on the involvement of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism to inquire into allegations of human rights and accountability issues, President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have said his decision would prevail at the end. At a meeting with Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs in the joint opposition, Kandy District MP Keheliya Rambukwella pointed out that though President Sirisena was opposed to foreign judges, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said something different.



Canadian Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka after 13 years
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The Foreign Minister of Canada Stéphane Dion will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on an official visit. Minister Dion’s official programme will be on 28 and 29 July 2016, the Foreign Ministry said. This bilateral official visit to Sri Lanka by a Foreign Minister of Canada takes place after 13 years, and within less than a year since the formation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Government. Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion will hold bilateral discussions with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday afternoon, 28 July 2016, at the Foreign Ministry, following which, both Ministers will address the media.



Military told to be alert to activities of LTTE supporters
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The military has been told to be on alert to the activities of LTTE supporters, the army media unit said. Major General Milinda Peiris, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka army briefed the military on emerging terrorist trends at global level and the need for modernized approaches with novel counter-measures. He warned that the army needs to be alert to the sensitivities connected to the possible re-assembling or resurgence of LTTE supporters and overseas activists who would still be promoting the ideological perception of the rebels while working against Sri Lanka’s economic and development aspirations.



Tamils do not want a separate state says Minister
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganeshan says Tamils in Sri Lanka are not pushing for a separate Eelam state. Speaking at an event in Hali-Ela the Minister said that the public must not be misled by claims that the Tails want Eelam.



Jaffna University reopens sans Sinhala medium students
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

None of the Sinhala undergraduates were present though the University of Jaffna resumed its academic activities yesterday having remained closed since July 16 due to an incident of violence. IGP Pujith Jayasundara had pledged police protection to returning Sinhala medium students at the university following their evacuation on July 16 in the aftermath of the violence, but the students did not feel reassured, their parents said.



President cautions SLFP rebels
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the SLFP rebels that they would loose their organiser posts, if they do not support the party’s future activities. According to UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, President Sirisena told them the party would be reorganised ahead of Local Government poll and those who do not work for the party would be replaced with a new set of SLFP organisers. The President met the Joint Opposition members in Colombo last evening.



Opposition questions silence of foreign missions on Ranil’s threats
[Tuesday 2016-07-26 18:00]

The joint opposition today said it was appalled by the statements made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe threatening editors of newspapers and announcing his intention of naming and shaming other prominent media personnel who have incurred his displeasure. Professor G.L.Peiris noted that in the case of one Editor of a leading newspaper, the Prime Minister specifically stated that, if the Editor in question does not quit his post, methods would have to be found to get rid of him.



Canada will continue to encourage Sri Lanka to fulfill commitments
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

Canada says it will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan Government to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to bring about real peace. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said that Canada joins Canadians of Tamil descent and members of the Tamil community around the world in commemoration of the events of Black July in 1983. “Let us pause to remember the victims of the anti-Tamil pogroms and all the lives that were lost throughout the entirety of the Sri Lankan Civil War. We offer our deepest condolences to those who lost family and friends.



Don’t play with fire: Gammanpila tells PM
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

While criticizing the controversial statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Kandy on Saturday, regarding certain media personnel, Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila today said the Prime Minister should not play with fire. Speaking at a media briefing, MP Gammanpila said Premier Wickremesinghe would soon learn a lesson from media personnel if he goes ahead with his decision to teach a lesson for certain print media institutions.


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