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July 25, 2014 [GMT]
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Eezham Tamils uphold national identity at Glasgow while Rajapaksa evades event Top News
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

Over a thousand Tamils from across the UK gathered outside the Celtic Park venue in Glasgow, Scotland, where the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was taking place, to remember the victims of Sri Lanka's genocidal pogrom of Black July 1983 and to condemn participation of Sri Lanka in the event. However, Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa, who was scheduled to be present at the event, evaded it owing to fear of protests reports say. The Tamils, who gathered with the national flag of Tamil Eelam in huge numbers, were treated cordially by the Scottish police, activists present at the demonstration said.



EU concerned over NGO restrictions
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

The EU Heads of Mission and the Ambassadors of Norway and Switzerland said they were 'very concerned' about the recent efforts to restrict legitimate public activities of civil society and non-governmental organisations in Sri Lanka. In a joint statement issued by the EU office in Colombo, the Heads of Missions and Ambassadors urged the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right of every individual to exercise their freedom of expression, opinion, association and assembly and to take part in the public affairs without undue interference.



Minister Champika's Facebook page disabled
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

The Facebook account and fan page of Technology and Research Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has been disabled without notice by the Facebook Administration Committee, according to the minister.The minister said that he had taken the matter up with the committee via e-mail. It had informed him that they would explain their reasons for disabling his account in due course. 'There are about 21,000 fans who express various opinions on my official Facebook page,' the minister said.



MRIA earned only Rs. 16,000 for May
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

The Government informed Parliament today that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) earned approximately Rs. 16,000 as revenue during the month of May. Responding to a question posed by UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayarathne said that it will take time for the airport to earn its full potential. He said that according to details in his possession in Parliament, the Mattala airport earned Rs. 16, 185 during the month of May. Dr. Harsha de Silva then asked how long it would take for the Mattala airport to earn revenue on par with the Gatwick Airport in England as predicted by the Government.



Proposed aircraft maintenance facility will be handled entirely by Sri Lankans - MoD
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

The government had proposed the construction of an aircraft maintenance facility in Trincomalee with the assistance of the Chinese government, but it would be completely handled by the Sri Lanka Air Force personnel, Military Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said yesterday. Addressing the weekly defence press briefing at the Media Centre of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development at Kollupitiya, the Brigadier said that the major objective of the proposed facility was to carry out maintenance work on Chinese built aircraft used by the Sri Lanka Air Force locally.



MR shuns C'wealth event in UK due to 'security concerns'
[Thursday 2014-07-24 16:00]

Taking into consideration the failure on the part of the British government to restraining the UK based LTTE groups during his previous visits, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against attending the World War I Commemorative Service for the Commonwealth at Glasgow Cathedral on August 4. External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, has, in a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as well as Minister of Equalities stressed that the decision to skip the Commonwealth event had been taken due to the British government's failure on previous occasions to rein in LTTE groups, though the LTTE remains proscribed in the UK.



BJP admits Indira created terrorism, reassures non-interference
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

Having acknowledged that former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had blundered by providing weapons training for Sri Lankan terrorist groups in the 80s, Chairman of the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) Committee on Strategic Action, Dr. Subramanian Swamy on Monday (21) emphasised that India wouldn't intervene in post-war Sri Lanka under any circumstance. The BJP is the dominant partner in the National Democratic Alliance (DNA). One-time Indian Foreign Secretary J. N. Dixit too, faulted Indira Gandhi for giving active support to Sri Lankan terrorist groups.



'It's a mistake' says Wimal
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

One of the main allies of the government, the National Freedom Front (NFF) warned that the government will have to face serious consequences as a result of the recent Gazette issued expanding the powers of the Commission to Inquire into Disappearances. NFF Leader, Minister Wimal Weerawansa, in a letter to the President had called for immediate amendments to the Gazette as it allows external forces to interfere with domestic issues in Sri Lanka.



UN Became NATO's PR arm
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

The United Nations Organisation has become an instrument of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), UNESCO Chair for the Promotion of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, Prof. Madhav Nalapat said yesterday. Prof. Nalapat who is also Director Geopolitics and International Relations said the United Nations is in the habit of selecting certain countries to be ignored while another group of countries are selected for attack. "To be very frank, the UN has become the public relations office of the NATO," he said.



No foreign funds without approval: Ministry
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all Non-Governmental Organisations that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds. The notice comes hot on the heels of the Government strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID. It had planned to provide US$190 million dollars for a programme titled, Election Support Through Voter Education (ESVE)' but later withdrew it following protests.



Chinese aircraft maintenance centre in Trinco
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday sought clarification over the report that the China National Aero Technology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC) had been granted permission to build an Aircraft Maintenance Centre in Trincomalee. The Aircraft Maintenance Centre would service, maintain and repair all Chinese aircraft in the Sri Lankan Air force. The project is to be built with a loan of Rs 5 billion.



GoSL in trouble because it reneged on promises
[Wednesday 2014-07-23 16:00]

Had the Sri Lankan government fulfilled its commitments and addressed contentious issues it wouldn't have been in crisis today and, therefore, the ruling coalition should accept the responsibility for the current situation, TNA leader, R. Sampanthan told The Island yesterday. The TNA leader said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had repeatedly assured India of his commitment to 13 Amendment and in some instances even talked of 13 Amendment Plus. Indian Premier Narendra Modi raised the devolution issue at his first meeting with President Rajapaksa following his swearing in ceremony in New Delhi.



India to be more supportive of Sri Lanka at UN: Swamy
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

India will be far more supportive of Sri Lanka's position at the United Nations Human Rights Council than ever before, former Union Cabinet Minister and the chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy said here on Monday. Speaking on 'India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world', he said India's foreign policy shall henceforth be guided by national interest and not regional interest. Referring to the perceived fear about Tamil Nadu's role in India's foreign policy, he said there was no 'Tamil Nadu factor', adding that people of Tamil Nadu had repeatedly demonstrated so in elections. 'I would urge Ms. Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and get a reality check.'



Scott Morrison to talk SL Tamil issue with Sushma
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

Australia will be raising the issue of the 153 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers with India on Tuesday, when Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and home minister Rajnath Singh.The asylum seekers, who are now at the centre of legal wrangles, had set off for Australia from a refugee camp in Podicherry. The Tony Abbot government has a tough immigration position as one of the centre pieces of its domestic and foreign policy.However, it remains to be seen if Australia can persuade India to take back the Lankan Tamil refugees.

(Indian Express)



Presidential Commission to probe final phase of war
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons, which had its mandate extended through a Gazette Notification last week, said it will now probe into whether the security forces deviated from the military code of conduct and internationally accepted laws."We will look into whether the security forces, during the internal conflict violated International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law," Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama Chairman of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons said yesterday.



Lanka's security important says India Top News
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

Pointing out that Sri Lanka's security is important to India, the Chairman of BJP's Committee on Strategic Action and Former Union Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy told President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the end of the war has benefited Indian security as well. A group of members from India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Swamy met President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday evening. The group discussed a number of issues of bilateral and regional significance, including the functions carried out by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Sri Lanka's strategic importance in relation to this work, indicating that Sri Lanka plays a pivotal role in guarding the Indian Ocean. They pledged their fullest support for a continued Sri Lankan role in this regard.



States can't interfere with Centre-BJP
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

Indian Foreign Policy is the exclusive preserve of the Central Government and we expect the political parties in Tamil Nadu to formulate their opinions in line with the realities of the situation, BJP Foreign Policy Cell National Convener and BJP's National Executive Member Dr. Seshadri Chari said in an interview with Daily Mirror. 'We strongly feel that foreign policy should not be interfered with by state governments. They can advise but not influence the outcome,' he said. Dr. Chari who is visiting Sri Lanka to participate in a panel discussion on 'India under Modi' organised by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies said although political parties in Tamil Nadu formerly used their political clout to pressure the Central government on foreign policy matters, the Modi government because of its strong position would not depend on any regional party.



Court documents shed new light on Tamil asylum-seekers' detention at sea
[Tuesday 2014-07-22 18:00]

GOVERNMENT documents reveal 157 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are being detained on an Australian Customs ship with access to three hours of natural light a day.The defence documents have been filed in the High Court by lawyers for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, 19 hours after a court-imposed deadline.The court is hearing a challenge to the asylum-seekers' detention at sea after their vessel was intercepted at sea more than three weeks ago after leaving Pondicherry in India. It had previously been believed 153 people were being held on board the Australian ship.



TGTE says Tamils are ready to testify
[Monday 2014-07-21 16:00]

Several Tamils who are either victims or witnesses of the war are eager to testify before a UN led investigation to seek justice for the mass killing of their relatives and other Tamils, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) said. TGTE leader Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran appealed to the Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho, who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, to raise with Sri Lanka the issue of security for witnesses who will be testifying before the led UN inquiry.



BJP's Swamy to meet MR
[Monday 2014-07-21 16:00]

Former Union Cabinet Minister and chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Committee for Strategic Action Subramanian Swamy is scheduled to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa during a visit to Sri Lanka. Dr. Swamy has been a keen Sri Lanka watcher, and a regular visitor to the island. Last September, he called on Mr. Rajapaksa and discussed a range of issues, including the political climate in Sri Lanka and the fishermen conflict. He will deliver a talk on 'India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world' in Colombo on Monday.


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