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August 25, 2016 [GMT]
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No decision to remove army camps in North: Army Commander
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

While denying the statement made by a parliamentarian, Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishantha de Silva said that there was no decision to remove any Army camp in the North. “No decision has been taken to remove Army camps in the North and there is no truth behind this claim,” he said. While addressing the press briefing at the Colombo Defence Seminar 2016 at the Army Headquarters Colombo today he said the Sri Lanka Army would take any measure to ensure National Security.



Five Sri Lankans drowned in London
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

Five men who drowned off Camber Sands in East Sussex, England were a group of Sri Lankan friends visiting from London - but beachgoers today urged police to reveal more about their mysterious deaths. Three victims were pulled from the sea off the East Sussex beach yesterday afternoon and emergency services tried and failed to revive them in front of thousands of horrified holidaymakers. Two more bodies - also believed to be wearing shorts and T-shirts - were found washed up by a walker as the tide went out last night.



‘I gave MR Nobel Nomination forms’
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

In what appears likely to be yet another dramatic revelation of what took place during the Rajapaksa regime, Cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne disclosed it was he who gave the application form for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.



JHU asks why NP politicians oppose only construction of places of Buddhist worship
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

JHU Propaganda Secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe yesterday said racist and selfish attitudes and actions of Tamil political leaders would derail the reconciliation efforts. Addressing a news conference at the JHU headquarters at Battaramulla, Warnasinghe said Tamil politicians had to be more flexible and accommodating and should genuinely believe in equality if the government’s reconciliation efforts were to yielded the desired results.



Indian Economic Zone will not be in Trincomalee Harbor area, Prime Minister assures
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today assured the Parliament that an Indian Economic Zone will not be constructed in the area affiliated to the Trincomalee Harbor. Responding to a query raised by Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake, the Prime Minister said that several Indian investors had held discussions that a separate zone should be allocated for Indian industries and that it should be in the area affiliated to the Trincomalee Harbor.



Why has KP not been charged?: Opposition Leader
[Thursday 2016-08-25 17:00]

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Parliament on Tuesday questioned why Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) has not been charged. He raised this question from the government when he was moving an adjournment motion on the prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. “Different people have been treated differently. Tamil prisoners are asking as to why KP has not been charged. He was a favourite of the previous government. Is he a favourite of the present government too? He is a person who is believed to be on the wanted list of the Interpol. He smuggled arms to the country. Why not take action against him?” he asked.



CID informs Court: Ekneligoda had no links with LTTE
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The CID informed courts that their investigations into journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, revealed that Ekeneligoda had no links with the LTTE, neither had he funded them or was there any legal action taken against him for terrorist activities,Ekneligoda’s wife Sandya Ekneligoda, making a statement to the media outside the Homagama Magistrate’s court said yesterday. The CID has also informed courts that their information was collected from discussions with the Deputy IGP, Airforce Commander, Navy Commander and Army Commander.



Referendum after constitution is presented to Parliament: Kiriella
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

Leader of the House, Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said the new constitution would be put forth to a referendum, after being presented to the Parliament. He made these comments at at a ceremony at the Eastern University. “We know the direction in which way our government is headed. Our main priority is to create a new constitution. All parties who are present in Parliament have to put aside their radical ideas and come to a common ground,” he said.



No Lankan casualties in Italy earthquake
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

No Sri Lankans were affected by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which struck central Italy today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome informed the government that there were no reports of Lankan casualties. However, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Italy can be contacted on +393456035197 for clarifications or further information.



Sri Lankan student in UK jailed on fraud charges
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

A 27-year-old Sri Lankan student and a 50-year-old Indian shop worker have been jailed after they helped launder almost £200,000 stolen from South West Communications in Exeter, UK, Express and Echo reported on Tuesday. The student and the shop worker had allegedly allowed the fraudsters behind the Hustle style scheme to use their accounts to disguise where the money went. They were just two of a number of people who worked together to defraud the Sowton based company out of £784,551.15 in a scam in which internet bank accounts were hacked into and looted.



Operation Pacific Angel concludes mission in Northern Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The multinational team led by U.S. Pacific Command concluded their week-long assistance program yesterday in Jaffna, providing general medical care for approximately 4000 people and renovating six schools that serve a total of 1100 students, according to a US embassy statement dated August 23.



Opposition wants OMPB resubmitted to House
[Wednesday 2016-08-24 17:00]

The Office of the Missing Persons Bill will have to be tabled afresh in Parliament as it had been signed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya without including the amendments submitted by the JVP and other opposition parties. Leader of the House and Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that he would discuss with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera the possibility of presenting the Bill again.



Sri Lankan Justice Has No Place for ‘Accountable Amnesties’
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 18:00]

According to Sri Lankan media reports, the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons is recommending those accused of human rights abuses during the final months of Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) be allowed to seek so-called “accountable amnesty.”



Vigneswaran notable absentee at Northern Investment Forum
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran was a notable absentee at the inaugural Northern Investment Forum which concluded in Jaffna yesterday amidst a large gathering. The event was organised by Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray. An official from the Governors Office said that Vigneswaran was in Colombo before the Northern Investment Forum commenced.. A large number of Tamil diaspora members and local investors attended the event.



Speaker signs OMP Bill
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya signed the Bill to set up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) a short while ago, the Speaker’s Office said. The amended draft Bill to set up the OMP was passed in Parliament on August 11 without a vote being taken. The government assured that the findings of the OMP would not give rise to civil or criminal liability but the joint opposition said the findings could be used as evidence when the judicial mechanism is set up to hear accountability issues.



Another top US official in SL
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, William E. Todd arrived in Sri Lanka today. While welcoming him, US Ambassador Atul Keshap in a tweet said Todd would hold bilateral talks with government leaders to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. He is also scheduled to meet representatives of civil society organizations. According to the US State Department, Ambassador Todd was appointed as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in August 2015. Previously he served as the US Ambassador to Cambodia.



Amunugama off to China
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

Minister for Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama left for China and Thailand on Monday 22nd August, 2016 leading an official delegation on a study tour of Chinese built industrial parks. The 14 other members of his delegation are senior officials including the District Secretaries of Hambantota, Matara, Moneragala, other district and divisional level officials of these districts and officials representing the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, BOI, CEB, NWS&DB and the Southern Development Authority.



Threats will only motivate us: MR
[Tuesday 2016-08-23 17:00]

The threats would only be directed to the formation of new parties, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing the 19th commemoration of All Island Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Production Assistant Officers Society, Mr. Rajapaksa said each and every person had the right to form political parties. “No force can stop the formation of political parties. It is a normal procedure. There should be enough independence within the country to form new parties. Each person should have its independence to take decisions,” he added.



Wigneswaran to meet Ranil to discuss concerns
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran is to meet Prime Minister Ranul Wickremeinghe to discuss concerns on former LTTE members. Wigneswaran told the Colombo Gazette that he is expected to meet the Prime Minister tomorrow in Colombo following an invitation extended to him. He said that he will discuss the allegation that former LTTE cadres who were released after being rehabilitated, had been injected with a poisonous drug.



Key military camps in the East will not be removed
[Monday 2016-08-22 17:00]

Key military camps in the East will not be removed, the Ministry of Defence said today. The Defence Ministry denied reports that 64 military camps in the East are to be removed. Media reports stated that military camps in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara are to be removed. However the Defence Ministry said that military camps which are required to maintain security in the East will not be removed.


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