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July 31, 2015 [GMT]
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Gunmen open fire at Sri Lanka election rally, one killed Top News
[Friday 2015-07-31 18:00]

Unidentified gunmen opened fire at an United National Front election rally in Colombo today killing a woman and injuring 12 others, the police said. The rally was held in support of the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Kotahena area of Colombo and the people killed and injured were believed to be supporters of the Minister.The gunmen have reportedly come in two vehicles and sprayed bullets into the crowd just after the Minister left the venue, the police told media.

Sri Lanka now like a police State says Gota
[Friday 2015-07-31 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Sri Lanka is now like a police State as a result of the actions of the United National Party led Government. Speaking at meeting held in support on the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Rajapaksa said that members of the former Government are facing severe harassment at the hands of the authorities. He said that the actions of the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID), the CID and the Bribery Commission are like actions taken in a police State.

Army responsible for deaths at Rathupaswela: SLHRC
[Friday 2015-07-31 17:00]

Investigations conducted by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission had revealed that the Sri Lanka Army was responsible for the shooting and assaults that took place while dispersing the crowd at Rathupaswela. The incidents occurred on August 1, 2013. Three persons including two students were shot and killed by the army, and more than 37 were injured in the melee. There had been contradictory evidence regarding the person responsible for summoning the army, the commission said.

Special Lankan envoy conveys condolences to India
[Friday 2015-07-31 17:00]

The Special Envoy of the President, Minister D M Swaminathan paid his last respects to the late former Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the State Funeral in Rameshwaran, India on 30th July 2015, the Foreign Ministry said today. At the State Funeral, the Special Envoy conveyed the condolences of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Government and people of Sri Lanka through Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the late Indian President’s brother Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraicker as well as to the members of the family. The Minister also carried with him the messages of condolence.

Good Relations With India To Be Cornerstone of UPFA's Foreign Policy
[Friday 2015-07-31 17:00]

Good relations with India will be a cornerstone of the foreign policy of the Sri Lankan government if the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) forms one after winning the August 17 parliamentary elections. This was stated by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka, the foreign policy adviser to the UPFA at a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents' Association here on Wednesday.

Champika challenges MR to debate on bribing Tigers
[Friday 2015-07-31 17:00]

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, who accused former President Mahinda Rajapaksa of bribing the LTTE at that time, challenged him to prove his innocence if possible. Addressing an election meeting, Mr. Ranawaka, who is contesting the upcoming election on the UNP ticket, said he would challenge Mr. Rajapaksa to make an announcement on the allegation regarding the bribing of the LTTE with money. He alleged the Rajapaksas used the ‘white van culture’ to achieve their personal gains and all would be be exposed before the people.

Wigneswaran Says He Will Remain Neutral At Sri Lanka Election
[Thursday 2015-07-30 18:00]

The chief minister of the northern province, C V Wigneswaran said he would remain neutral and non-partisan during the next month's general election, despite being elected to his seat by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Deputy Minister of Media Shantha Bandara resigns
[Thursday 2015-07-30 18:00]

Deputy Minister of Media Shantha Bandara has announced his resignation from his post ahead of the August 17 Parliament election. Shantha Bandara is contesting the Parliamentary election from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

Thousands Bid Adieu To Former President APJ Abdul Kalam
[Thursday 2015-07-30 18:00]

Thousands of people from various walks of life bid a tearful final adieu to the mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam after last rites and prayers at his ancestral home here and a brief stop-over for “janaza prayer” at the nearby mosque on Thursday morning. A profound moment of grief rent the air as the body was brought out from the “House of Kalam” after family members gave a wash to the body and offered prayers, before it was taken to the nearby mosque for the final prayers.

Sri Lankan government confirms three new diplomatic posts
[Thursday 2015-07-30 18:00]

Sri Lankan government Thursday confirmed the appointment of three new diplomatic posts. The three envoys have received the concurrence of the respective receiving States and they are expected to take up their posts shortly, Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at the media briefing Thursday.

Lanka will not agree to international probe on MR
[Thursday 2015-07-30 17:00]

The Government said that it will not agree to an international war crimes investigation on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the position of the Government is that a domestic mechanism will be setup to investigate allegations over the war on the LTTE. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is scheduled to release a report in September at the UN Human Rights Council on the war. The report will look at allegations that civilians were killed during the last stages of the conflict before the rebels were defeated in 2009.

Ranawaka calls on Tamils to integrate with Sinhalese
[Thursday 2015-07-30 17:00]

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) leader Patali Champika Ranawaka on Wednesday called upon Sri Lankan Tamils to integrate themselves with the majority Sinhalese community. In an interview with The Hindu, Mr. Ranawaka said the 30-year-old Ealam War has deteriorated the socio-economic development of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Contrasting the case of the Tamils with those of plantation workers of Indian origin and Muslims, Mr. Ranawaka, who is the Minister for Energy and Power, said the other two communities had progressed well because “they simply integrate [themselves] with the Sinhalese.” He added that if the Tamils followed suit, “they can [also] achieve a lot.”

Sri Lanka justice: leaked UN document casts doubts
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

A leaked UN document raises concerns over the prospects for genuine justice for the Sri Lankan victims of alleged war crimes. Channel 4 News has been supplied with the leaked document which critics claim could pre-empt and undermine September's Human Rights Council discussion on a UN's long-awaited investigation into crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war.

Rudra’s TGTE has no faith in the local polls
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE member V. Rudrakumaran has said that it has no faith in the Parliamentary elections scheduled to be held next month. A statement by the TGTE said that the presence of Tamil members in the Sri Lankan Parliament will in no way transform the “Sinhala Buddhist racist characteristics” of the Sri Lankan State.

President foils yet another conspiracy
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (28) decided to suspend, with immediate effect, the SLFP membership of minister Rajitha Senaratne and four others in order to foil a conspiracy by Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters, reports say. State intelligence had reported to the president that Rajapaksa loyalists were trying to summon the party’s central committee, bring in a proposal that he had violated party discipline and remove him as its chairman.

UNP rejects a federal solution for Tamil issue
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

The United National Party (UNP) today rejected a proposed Federal solution to address issues faced by the Tamils and reiterated that it stands for a united Sri Lanka. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the UNP will not allow a situation to arise where the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are unable to live in unity in one country.

US wants military bases in SL: Vitharana
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

Recent statements made by an incoming ambassador of the US to the region and a high ranking military official of the US indicated that the US intended establishing military bases in Sri Lanka, leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. “The senior military official in charge of South East Asia and the ambassador have publicly said that they intend on including Sri Lanka in its security ring in this part of the region. This is nothing but a clear indication that they want to establish a military base,” he said.

People might hoot at me- Samarasinghe
[Wednesday 2015-07-29 19:00]

Former SLFP Parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe said he would not take part in the rally to be held in Kalutara on August 3, as he had information that several individuals were planning to hoot at him. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also slated to take part at the rally. The State minister of Finance Samarasinghe addressing media personnel today said he had received two letters by post and information from the organisers that if he was to ever be on stage at the meeting he would be hooted at.

Bomb found near Katunayake SLAF camp
[Tuesday 2015-07-28 19:00]

An unexploded bomb, believed to have fallen off from the LTTE aircraft shot down in 2009 by Sri Lanka Air Force at Katunayake, was found in a swamp close to the SLAF Camp yesterday. Air Force Spokesman Gehan Senaviratne said Road Development Authority (RDA) employees had discovered the bomb while carrying out road construction work in the area.

SL to get 'Google' support for Wi-fi
[Tuesday 2015-07-28 19:00]

WIFI connections will be freely available throughout the country by March 2016 with the aid of Google loon, a technology under which a special kind of balloon named Raven Aerostar. The technology had become available following a discussion held by the State Minister for Defense Ruwan Wijewardene with Chamath Palihapitiya who is considered as the richest Sri Lankan in the world. During the discussion, Mr. Palihapitiya had described the latest technology that had been introduced by Google. Thereafter, Mr. Palihapitiya and several ministers had met President Maithripala Sirisena to present a report on the new technology.

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