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August 27, 2014 [GMT]
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Future talks on National question Only if Govt. responds to TNA demands
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 15:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would consider the future of talks on the national question, only if the government collectively responds to the demands of the Party, TNA Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah said. "Individuals from the government should stop commenting on the national question and should respond collectively to the demands of the TNA. We have already submitted our demands in 2011. We have asked for federal system and now it is the government's turn to respond," he said. Stressing on the recent comments made by various ministers, Senathirajah said that various ministers in the government should stop deceiving the people regarding land and police powers to the Northern Province.



Red alert from Sobitha to MR on post
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 15:00]

The Leader of the People's Movement for a Just Society the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero yesterday said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa fails to abolish the executive presidency, then he will gather the support of the public to field a common candidate at the next presidential elections. Speaking to reporters after meeting the Chief Prelates in Kandy yesterday, Sobhitha Thero said that the main target of his movement is to ensure the executive presidency is abolished. The monk said that even the current President had spoken against the executive presidency and so if he fails to abolish it, then a common candidate will be supported to do that. He noted that even the Chief Prelates had previously called for the executive presidency to be abolished.



TNA seeks India's help in return of refugees
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 15:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought India's help in the return of Sri Lankan refugees from India. 'There are over one lakh refugees in Tamil Nadu living in 115 camps. We have requested the Indian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to release their [refugees'] land in the north which has been taken over by the Army,' said senior TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, who was part of the TNA delegation that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi recently.



JHU: Abolition of presidency can lead to separation
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 14:00]

The abolition of the executive presidency without required safeguards could plunge the country into unprecedented turmoil, Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka warned on Monday. Responding to a query posed to him on '360' on Derana, the JHU strategist said such hasty action would lead to a situation where the Colombo-based diplomatic missions could manipulate members of parliament. The minister stressed that the abolition of presidency wouldn't be a remedy for all ills of the country.



Pakistan Air Force Chief here today
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 14:00]

The Air Chief of Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt is due to arrive in Sri Lanka on a three day visit starting 27th August 2014 on the invitation of Air Marshal KA Gunatilleke Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force. During his stay, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and meet top military leadership of the country, including Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the Services Chiefs. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt will also hold discussions on matters of professional interests with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Air Marshal KA Gunatilleke.



No to special envoy: India
[Wednesday 2014-08-27 14:00]

India has turned down a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) request for the appointment of a special envoy to resolve the national question in Sri Lanka, Daliy Mirror learns. TNA leader R. Sampanthan is said to have made this request when he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but sources close to the TNA said the Indian leader had not responded positively to this request.



Pope to visit and bless Tamils on Sri Lanka visit
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

In his trip to Sri Lanka, that will take place between the 13th and the 15th of January 2015, before proceeding to the Philippines, Pope Francis will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu and will thus be the first Pope in history to set foot in a territory where most inhabitants are Tamil. Francis chooses to touch on the sore point of the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people that devastated the island for 26 years (1983-2009) and has left deep wounds. While we await the publication of the official programme of the trip, the confirmation of Francis' pilgrimage to Madhu - that appears to be the culmination of the whole visit to ex-Ceylon due to its symbolic value - came from Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo and the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the island.



Floating Market floats Top News
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

'Floating Market at Pettah' on Beira Lake was declared open by the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday on the invitation of Secretary to Urban Development Authority, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. It was also attended by government Ministers Douglas Devananda, A. H. M. Fowzie, Faizer Mustapha and Duminda Silva, other prominent invitees included Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant GeneralDaya Ratnayaka, Colombo Mayor (UNP) M. J. M. Muzamil, popular singers Bhathiya and Santhush, veteran actor Ravindra Randeniya.



Rabies on the rise in Jaffna
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

Over 40 persons are admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital a day mainly due to stray dog bites, said Deputy Director of the hospital, Dr. Sanmuganathan Sribavananthan. He said the rising number of rabies cases have led the hospital authorities to open a separate unit for it since last Friday (22 August). "We used to treat dog bite victims at the accident service unit, but the number of dog bite cases per day has increased to 40. The accident service first treats those who are injured by accidents. Therefore as there is a delay in treating the dog bite patients a separate unit was opened," he said.



UNHRC will get update on war probe
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

Despite what seemed to be a delayed start to the investigations on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), an oral update on the probe will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council at its September session as scheduled. The UNHRC has confirmed that the update on Sri Lanka will be presented and it has been included in the agenda for the 27th session of the Council which begins on September 8. 'In its resolution 25/1 on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, the Human Rights Council requested OHCHR to present an oral update to the Council on the implementation of that resolution. The Council will hear an oral update,' the agenda noted.



Attempt by 6 Lankans in India busted
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

The Indian Police yesterday busted a human trafficking racket involving six Sri Lankan Tamils by taking into custody four racketeers including a fisherman from the island nation when the job-seekers moved towards the coast at Surareddypalem, near Ongole, The Hindu newspaper quoted Superintendent of Police Ch. Srikanth as saying. The four racketeers including a Sri Lankan national and two from Chennai had brought to Ongole the six Sri Lankan Tamils with a promise to send them to Australia in a cargo ship from Prakasam coast after taking US dollars worth Rs. 5 lakh from them, the SP said.



UNHRC probe: Tamil diaspora hopeful of Sri Lanka solution
[Tuesday 2014-08-26 14:00]

Tamil diaspora across the world is confident that the Modi-led BJP government will play a more proactive role in facilitating a political solution (for Tamils) in Sri Lanka. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle during his visit to the city, British Tamil Forum (BTF) Human Rights wing leader Kana Nirmalan on Monday said that there had been some changes in bureaucracy in the present government and they were confident that Modi government would facilitate a political solution for Lankan Tamils.



India must respect Lanka sovereignty: Avdhash
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

Avdhash Kaushal, the Indian social worker, who has been appointed as one of the five advisors to the Sri Lankan Presidential commission on missing persons and war crimes, has said that India should respect Sri Lanka's sovereignty while trying to help the latter resolve the Tamil question. 'You can talk to the Sri Lankan government and give them advice, but you cannot ask them to behave. India and Sri Lanka must respect each other's sovereignty,' Kaushal told Express over phone from Dehradun in Uttarakhand on Sunday.



Japan considering providing patrol ships to SL
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

The Japanese government is considering providing patrol ships to Sri Lanka to help the South Asian country strengthen its maritime surveillance capabilities, a Japanese government source said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to convey the plan to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he visits the country in early September, the source said. Tokyo expects the move to help improve sea lane security in the Indian Ocean where tankers transporting oil from the Middle East to Japan travel, according to the source.



Ebola: Sri Lanka turns back Nigerian travellers
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

Nigerian travellers have been turned back from flying in to Sri Lankan. One traveller, Akinkunmi Adeseye, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH exclusively on Saturday, said his family members arrived in the Asian country for a wedding, but were refused exit from the airport. He said, 'They left Nigeria on an Emirates flight and got to Sri Lanka at about 10 am. But the Sri Lankan government didn't allow them entry. 'At the airport, they were barred from going anywhere. They weren't given food and they were treated like zombies.'



Wigneswaran seeks Treasury approval for CM's fund
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

The Northern Provincial Council has sought Treasury approval to operate a 'Chief Minister's Fund' despite objections by the Governor, a spokesman for the Chief Minister's office said. The Council had granted approval for the establishment of the fund which hopes to attract aid from foreign donors and well-wishers. Similar funds have been set up in three provincial councils - the Southern, Sabaragamuwa and the Uva PCs.



North will not get land, police powers
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

The Government says the Northern Province will not be given land and police powers as demanded by the Provincial Council in the area. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake says giving land and police powers to the North could result in another armed struggle and the LTTE being allowed to regroup. Speaking at a public rally in Passara today he said that the LTTE is fully active in Europe and if they are allowed to regroup in Sri Lanka then the people in Jaffna will be the first to suffer.



Government targets diaspora moves
[Monday 2014-08-25 15:00]

The Sri Lankan Government says sections of the Tamil Diaspora in the USA are carrying out vicious campaigns against Sri Lanka and so there was a need to provide an accurate account of the Sri Lankan political and economic environment to the US. The Central Bank said this in a statement today released to counter allegations raised over the campaign carried out in the US by the Sri Lankan Government through US lobby firms.



TNPF leader speaks on independent, concerted, Tamil foreign policy. Top News
[Sunday 2014-08-24 20:00]

Realising that our struggle has long been used by powers in their engagements with the island, we as a nation must work towards a concerted foreign policy, although we don't have State, said Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam in an interview to TamilNet on Saturday. In meeting the challenge of achieving this, we should incorporate Tamil Nadu in creating a power centre in a geopolitical sense and the dynamics will change very quickly. Compared to the Congress, the BJP is little bit more blunt and more strident in containing the nationalist nature of the struggle. This is the carrot to the Sri Lankan State and the TNA is a co-partner. The TNPF leader argued for a breakthrough by addressing the situation in three ways.



Proposal on the northern chief minister's fund re-submitted to the governor.
[Sunday 2014-08-24 09:00]

proposal-on-northern-chief-ministers-fund-re-submitted-to-governor The Proposal with regard to the Northern Province Chief Ministers Fund has been re-submitted to the Northern Province Governor with amendments. Chairman of the NPC C V K Sivgnanam stated that reports stating that the proposal has been forwarded to the Treasury were incorrect. It was reported that a fund was to be established to obtain funds from foreign and other personal sources for the development of the province.


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