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July 25, 2016 [GMT]
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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.

SL to resume oil imports from Iran: Minister
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

At a meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh in Tehran on Sunday, Chandima Weerakkody announced Colombo’s readiness to restart importing Iran's crude. Describing Iran and Sri Lanka as close and old-age friends, he expressed the hope that the two nations will develop their mutual cooperation in the oil sector, Shana reported. The Sri Lankan minister also hailed the removal of the sanctions as "good news" for the people of his country.

MR’s statement against Office of the Missing Persons is a blatant attack on rule of law: AHRC
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said yesterday that the statement made by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the former head of state in Sri Lanka, that ‘establishing the office of the Missing Persons is a betrayal of the armed forces’ is a statement unbecoming of a former head of the state and a prominent political leader in Sri Lanka.

Executive Presidency should go: President
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday reiterated that he will continue to set in motion measures to abolish the Executive Presidency and introduce a new constitution. The President said that he always believed the Executive Presidency which has vast powers should go and added that this has to be done constitutionally.

Paranagama Comm. on missing persons seeks appointment with Prez
[Monday 2016-07-25 18:00]

The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons headed by retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama has been brought to an end to pave the way for the establishment of Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Former HC judge and member of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) told The Island that the Commission had sought an appointment with President Maithripala Sirisena to hand over its interim report.

Gota To Be Arrested?
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is expected to be arrested within the next two months, sources at the Criminal investigations Department (CID) said. He is to be arrested over investigations being conducted on some high profile criminal incidents, sources told The Sunday Leader. If arrested Gotabhaya will be the fourth in the Rajapaksa family to be arrested after Basil Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa.

58 More Fraud Probes On Rajapaksas
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) and the Special Police Investigations Unit (SPIU) are investigating 58 allegations against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members. This was revealed during a meeting held among the respective investigations units and President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Emirates Airlines apologises to Speaker, hospital says it’s a bug not a heart ailment
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has lodged a formal complaint with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador in Colombo, expressing his displeasure at being offloaded from an Emirates Airlines flight from Colombo to Singapore minutes before the flight took off. A close family member said that soon after the complaint, the UAE Ambassador had called senior Emirates Airlines officials and asked them to apologise to Mr. Jayasuirya. Meanwhile the Airline in response to a query by the Sunday Times said: “Emirates is aware of the concerns expressed by Mr. Jayasuriya and his family.

Three hacked to death in Batticaloa
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

The bodies of three family members hacked to death were found in Vellawali, Batticaloa early this morning, Police said. The victims were identified by the as a 25-year-old woman, her farther and her 18-month old daughter.

India To Protest Against Pakistanis’ Colombo Demo
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

India is to lodge a protest against the staging of a demonstration by Pakistanis in Sri Lanka outside the UN office in Colombo last week against the Indian government. The protest was organized by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and drew wide international media coverage. Well informed sources told The Sunday Leader that the Indian High Commission in Colombo was expected to take up the matter with the Foreign Ministry in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka PM slams media for backing Mahinda Rajapaksa
[Sunday 2016-07-24 17:00]

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday accused the country's print media of backing the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a view to see him back in power. Addressing his United National Party (UNP) members in the central district of Kandy, Wickremesinghe said he would name the media personnel who had benefited during the Rajapaksa presidency and who are now bidding for his return.

Human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve this year but challenges remain - UK report
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve between January and June 2016 but much remains to be done for the island nation to fulfil the commitments made in the October 2015 UN Resolution, the United Kingdom said in its human rights report. The UK welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's assessment of Sri Lanka's progress against Resolution 30/1 and the Sri Lankan government's continuing determination to address the legacy of conflict.

Sri Lanka condemns shooting in Munich
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government condemning the Friday's shooting at a Munich shopping Centre which left nine people dead and 16 more injured, extended the condolence to the families of the victims. "Sri Lanka condemns the shooting in Munich. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery to those injured," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Twitter message. An 18-year-old German-Iranian man from Munich, armed with a handgun opened fire Friday evening at and near a shopping mall in the German city of Munich, killing nine people. The man was found after killing himself.

Man dressed in burka arrested at BIA
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

A Sri Lankan man dressed in a burka was arrested at the arrival lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning. The suspect, a Muslim from Colombo, had told the police that he dressed in a burka to surprise his girlfriend who was returning from Qatar. However, he was arrested by the police for questioning.

Military to take legal action against 18,847 deserters
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

The armed forces are to take legal action against 18,847 deserters who did not reported for duty during the one-month general amnesty period given to them to report to their posts in the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Defence Ministry declared a general amnesty from 13 June to 13 July to grant legal clearance to those who had reported back to the military.

Mahinda Rajapaksa accused of making Sri Lanka a mini China
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was today accused of making Sri Lanka a mini China when his Government was in office. Speaking in Parliament today Minister Kabir Hashim said that Rajapaksa brought down workers and several other items from China without having any formal agreement between both countries.

Find Elara’s tomb; do as Dutugemunu said: Douglas
[Saturday 2016-07-23 18:00]

Opposition MP Douglas Devananda yesterday urged the Government to trace the real tombstone of King Elara and preserve it. Raising a question under Standing Orders 23 (2) in Parliament yesterday the MP said the incorrect public opinion on the Dutugemunu -Elara war should be corrected as some misinterpret it as a communal conflict. “Some put it as a communal conflict, whereas it was a battle to take control of the Anuradhapura Kingdom only,” he said.

US ship New Orleans to arrive in SL
[Friday 2016-07-22 18:00]

The US ship USS New Orleans will arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday to increase bilateral ties with the Sri Lankan Navy and provide US support and training for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. “The 21st century is in many ways the Indo-Pacific century and Sri Lanka is well-positioned to take advantage of its strategic location. The United States looks forward to working with the Sri Lanka Navy as a key force for maritime security and stability,” US Ambassador Atul Keshap said in a statement issued ahead of the arrival of the ship. Approximately 200 sailors from the Sri Lanka Navy will participate in the two-day humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, led by members of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Sampanthan hints at political motive to derail reconciliation process
[Friday 2016-07-22 17:00]

Whether there had been political motives behind the clash at the Jaffna University and certain other incidents in other universities is a matter the Government must address, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said in Parliament yesterday. He made this observation following a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Dissanayake on the clash of students in the Jaffna University last Saturday.

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