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July 31, 2014 [GMT]
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Amending Executive Powers Former CJ takes reins
[Thursday 2014-07-31 19:00]

A Committee headed by former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva has been appointed to draft an amendment to the Constitution in the form of limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency, implementing the 17th Amendment with further amendments, and to completely do away with the preferential vote system. The new draft will strengthen the positions of the Prime Minister, ministers and powers afforded to the Parliament, while also strengthening the powers of the independent Public Service Commission, Elections Commission, Judicial Service Commission and the National Police Commission as included in the 17th Amendment.



Sri Lanka warned over mounting foreign debt
[Thursday 2014-07-31 19:00]

Sri Lanka's economy was among the fastest growing in Asia, but it was vulnerable to sudden external shocks due to high levels of foreign commercial borrowings, the IMF said Wednesday. The International Monetary Fund warned that the Indian Ocean island remained vulnerable despite economic gains after ending decades of ethnic war in May 2009. 'Recent improvements in the trade and current account balances notwithstanding, Sri Lanka remains vulnerable to external shocks,'the IMF said after its latest consultations with Sri Lankan authorities.



Still No Official Invitation From Indian Govt For TNA Visit
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The TNA said that they have still not received an invitation from the government to conduct their expected visit. Despite the speculations that the Tamil National Alliance is expected visit to India in the coming days, TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told Asian Mirror that they have not yet received the invitation from the Indian Government.A delegation of five led by R Sampanthan is expected to visit India during the first part of August. The delegation will include TNA Leader R Sampanthan, TNA Media Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran, North Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran, MP Mavai Senathirajah and Selvam Adaikalanathan.



Uva PC polls: JHU won't contest on UPFA ticket
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday said that it wouldn't contest the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council polls on the UPFA ticket.The JHU is the second UPFA constituent to decide against contesting the Uva PC polls. National Freedom Front (NFF) leader, Wimal Weerawansa on Tuesday (29) announced that his party wouldn't field candidates on the UPFA ticket over a simmering dispute over policy matters, including handling of accountability issues/war crimes. Uva comprises Badulla and Moneragala districts.



Cyril says Sri Lanka visit successful
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his recent visit to Sri Lanka, during which he had talks with the Government and the opposition, was successful. Ramaphosa has told the South African Parliament that South Africa was invited to share its experiences on the truth and reconciliation and constitution-building process with the people of Sri Lanka. He recalled that his delegation interacted with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of his government and leaders of the opposition, including the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance.



Govt. rebuts US Embassy
[Thursday 2014-07-31 18:00]

The Government today charged that the US Embassy in Colombo was selectively upholding fundamental rights in Sri Lanka, depending on who is exercising them and criticized the Embassy of questioning the media freedom in Sri Lanka. Issuing a statement the External Affairs Ministry said the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a training programme for Jaffna based journalists according to the statement of the Embassy appear to be the protest that reportedly took place against the conduct of the Workshop, which has been denounced by the US Embassy.



Last airman in US bombing of Hiroshima dies
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 17:00]

The last surviving crewman of the Enola Gay - the U.S. plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan near the end of World War II - has died. Theodore Van Kirk, also known as 'Dutch,' died on July 28 of natural causes at the Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain, Georgia, NBC television reported. Van Kirk was 93.wenty-four years old at the time, Van Kirk was the navigator on the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, one of a crew of 12 airmen. The plane dropped 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima at 8:15 am August 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people, more than half the population of the city.



17 Year Old Boy Siphons Off Millions From Sampath Bank
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

A 17 year old boy from Pollonnaruwa who siphoned off millions of rupees from Sampath Bank in a fraudulent manner was released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. He was produced before court after Smapath Bank lodged a complaint that the boy had taken mney from ATM machine in a wrongful manner. He had opened an account with Sampath Bank in January 2014 and had deposited a sum of Rs 163 000 in it. However, as a result of a mistake on the part of the Bank, his account had been credited with Rs 17.5 Million.



Ravana Balaya fears US conspiracy
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

The Ravana Balaya today met the Secretary of the Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry M.K.B. Dissanayaka and handed over a petition alleging a US conspiracy in Sri Lanka. Monks attached to the Ravana Balaya said that the US Embassy is involved in promoting extremist groups in Sri Lanka.The monks, who had on an earlier occasion opposed the new religious police unit setup at the Ministry, said that the authorities have failed to take action against alleged moves by the US Embassy to promote extremism.



BJP's Dr. Seshadri rejects reports
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

National Convener of Foreign Policy Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr. Seshadri Chari has rejected the news item carried in the Indian news Agency - PTI quoting him as saying that Sri Lanka should resolve the Tamil issue if trade ties between the two countries are to improve. Dr. Chari who rejects the content that appeared in the PTI news item that has quoted him as saying, 'We have told them (Sri Lanka) that you should resolve the Tamil issue if you want trade and commerce between Colombo and New Delhi (to progress),' has pointed out in his letter to the PTI News Editor that the news item is 'wrong and malicious' and has caused great damage to his reputation besides causing damage to Indo-Sri Lanka relations.



US envoy to Lanka keen on UN role
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and nominee for Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations Michele J. Sison, says if confirmed to her new post she will look at advancing America's interests at the UN. Making a statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday (Tuesday) Sison said that she has been privileged to serve her country country three times as US Ambassador: in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka and Maldives.



Norway not so keen on SL:
[Wednesday 2014-07-30 15:00]

Norway, which facilitated the peace process between the then Government and the LTTE is now giving less emphasis to the peace building process in Sri Lanka, a TNA politician said yesterday.During his European visit, TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Dharmalingam Sitharthan is reported to have met Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry Officials in Oslo and Swiss Government officials. Mr. Sitharathan told Daily Mirror that he had talks with Peace and Reconciliation Assistant Director General Tone E.B. Allers and Senior Advisor Toril Langlete of the Department of Regional Affairs and Development.



Dates confirmed for Pope Francis' trip to Sri Lanka, Philippines
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 16:00]

The Holy See Press Office issued a comunique Tuesday confirming the dates of the Apostolic Trip of the Holy Father in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Accepting the invitation from the civil authorities and the Episcopate, His Holiness Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January and in the Philippines from 15 to 19 January 2015. The program for the trip will be published shortly.

(Vatican Radio)



Navy arrests 50 Indians for poaching
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

The Navy has arrested 50 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters, Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. He said that a majority of the Indians were arrested off Point Pedro in the north last night while the rest were arrested off Delft Islands. The navy also seized seven boats used by the fishermen to enter Sri Lankan waters illegally. The arrest comes as fishermen from India threatened to force their way into Sri Lankan waters next month as a mark of protest over the frequent arrest of Indian fishermen.



Coalition party of Sri Lanka n government to contest Uva PC separately
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

The National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has decided to contest the upcoming elections to the Uva Provincial Council separately. The NFF leader Minister Wimal Weerawansa told a media conference today the decision was taken because ruling UPFA is devoid of integrity and lack inter party consensus.



No int'l help for local probe: Paranagama
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

Despite Western countries urging Sri Lanka to initiate a credible domestic inquiry into allegations of war crimes, there has been no cooperation forthcoming from those countries for such a probe, the Chairman of the Commission on Missing Persons said. Chairman Maxwell Paranagama told Daily Mirror that the Commission had requested several Western countries to provide information on Sri Lankan Tamils who had settled in their countries during the conflict because such information was extremely vital for the investigation into missing persons but had not received any positive response.



NPC Chief Minister states his case to SC
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C. V. Wigneswaran retired Supreme Court Judge, yesterday placed his position before the Supreme Court regarding the proposed settlement to a dispute between him and the Chief Secretary of the Northern Province, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh. Counsel, K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC who appeared for Wigneswaran, told the Court that, the letter (P10), attached to the fundamental rights violation application filed by Ramesh had been written in good faith by the Chief Minister with a view of maintaining good governance and efficient official activity in the province.



US report notes BBS and State nexus
[Tuesday 2014-07-29 15:00]

A US Government report released today said that local media in Sri Lanka and NGOs have noted strong linkages between the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the government. The International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 noted in its Executive Summary that the BBS continued to promote its anti-Muslim campaign, which was linked to violent activities last year. The report released at the US State Department by US Secretary of State John Kerry noted that according to numerous reports, the BBS was also behind a growing wave of anti-Muslim activities carried out by other violent Buddhist nationalist groups.



Fire in hotel after President exits
[Monday 2014-07-28 16:00]

A fire had broken out at the Eden Hotel in Beruwala yesterday (27), soon after President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was attending a wedding took his leave. Police Media spokesman, SSP Ajith Rohana said the fire had occurred soon after the President left the hotel after signing as one of the witnesses at the wedding. "The fire occurred in a bathroom in the third floor of the building. The President attended a function held in the ground floor," he explained. Police have sought the assistance of the Government Analyst to conduct further investigations in order to find out the cause of the fire. No one had been injured.



Anura Dissanayake injured in accident
[Monday 2014-07-28 16:00]

anatha Vimukthi Peramua (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was admitted to the Ratnapura Hospital a short while ago after he suffered minor injuries following an accident at Kiriella, police said.Police said Mr. Dissanayake's vehicle had collided with a tipper coming in the opposite direction when the driver had attempted to overtake the vehicle in front on the Ratnapura-Panadura Main Road. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti and the Ratnapura Hospital sources confirmed that Mr. Dissanayake's health condition was stable and that his injuries were of a minor nature. He was later transferred to the Colombo National Hospital. The driver was also injured and admitted to the hospital.

Daily mirror


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