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December 18, 2017 [GMT]
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Malaysian Prime Minister to hold talks with Wigneswaran
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak will hold talks with Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran during his three day visit to Sri Lanka. The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said that a meeting with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province has been arranged.


TNA LEADER REFUTES MEDIA REPORTS
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

Refuting media reports to the effect that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) constituents are parting ways ahead of filing nominations for the upcoming local government elections, its leader R. Sampanthan told the Sunday Observer that they will resolve prevailing issues amicably and move forward. “These issues not unusual in a political alliance, especially during the filing of nominations, and that we will sort it out amicably,” TNA and Opposition leader R. Sampanthan said.


Malaysian PM arrives Top News
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrived in Sri Lanka this morning for three-day official visit. A proposed bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and Sri Lanka will be a key agenda during Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit, the Malaysian Star reported. The Malaysian Prime Minister will discuss the matter with Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena in a bilateral meeting tomorrow.


President says will request Putin to withdraw tea ban
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena said today that he would make an official request from Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw the temporary ban on Sri Lanka tea imports. The Russian Federation on Thursday announced that tea imports from Sri Lanka had been banned due to the detection of a single specimen of the agricultural pest, the beetle Trogoderma Granarium in the packaging material of a consignment of tea shipped from Sri Lanka.


Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang to bid farewell
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang is to bid farewell as his term in Sri Lanka has come to an end. Yi Xianliang is to leave on Monday after serving nearly three years as Ambassador in Sri Lanka. Xianliang, seen as one of the most influential Chinese envoys to Sri Lanka, arrived in the country on February 24, 2015 and commenced work as the 20th Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka.


Speculation on Maithri-Mahinda patch-up
[Sunday 2017-12-17 18:00]

Two Sunday Sinhala newspapers commanding large circulations available on the news stands yesterday ran speculative stories about a possible patch-up between President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa at the conclusion of the local government election. The Sunday Divaina ran a front page banner headline on a "Maithri – Mahinda caretaker government" while the Sunday Lankadeepa reported that "it is reliably understood from a source close to the government that before the local government elections due by early February next year, President Sirisena is to take a series of ‘Disruptive Change’ decisons."


Sri Lanka urged to repeal Prevention of Terror Act
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

Reiterating a long-pending demand from human rights activists and some politicians in Sri Lanka, visiting UN experts on Friday urged the government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Following a 10-day visit to the island, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention pointed to “significant challenges” to Sri Lankans enjoying the right to personal liberty, resulting in “arbitrary detention across the country”.


EU welcomes Sri Lanka as 163rd State Party to mine ban convention
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

The European Union (EU) says it is pleased to welcome Sri Lanka as the 163rd State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. On 13 December 2017, Sri Lanka deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention of the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (commonly known as the Ottawa Convention).


Plea of remanded Navy officer’s daughter to meet UN members turned down
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

Former Navy Spokesperson Commander D.K.P Dassanayake’s daughter told the media yesterday that her request to meet and lodge a complaint about her father’s detention by the Sri Lankan law enforcement authority, to the visiting three-member UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, had been turned down, claiming it was not a case about the ‘LTTE’.


SL plays down Russian tea ban; says insect detection an isolated incident
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

The Sri Lanka Tea Board said today that the detection of an insect which led to the temporary ban of Ceylon Tea imports into Russia may have been an isolated incident, and that Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake would visit Russia to clear the situation.


Chinese envoy says OBOR will take Sino-Lanka ties to new level
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang yesterday (15) said that he is confident that after the China-Sri Lanka relations have entered a new fast track under the guidance of the Belt and Road initiative, it will mutually benefit both countries.


US sends letter to govt regarding Russian
[Saturday 2017-12-16 17:00]

The US government has sent a letter to the Sri Lanka government through diplomatic channels regarding the escape of Russian national Farin Manokin. He had been arrested by the CID under the charges of money laundering to the tune of several million US dollars from the country. The Russian national arrested by the CID on charges of money laundering had been released on bail by the High Court and ordered to report to the CID once a week as a bail condition.


Man, 45, accused of killing wife, 46, in Scarborough
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

Toronto Police say the victim was found by emergency crews responding to a medical call in a townhouse complex at 50 Empringham Dr., near Morningside and McLevin Aves., around 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday. “Police and paramedics located a woman with severe trauma,” Det.-Sgt. Mike Patterson said in a statement released Thursday. “She was rushed to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced (dead).” The woman — the city’s 60th murder victim of the year — has now been identified as 46-year-old Jayanthy Seevaratnam.


UN experts calls for end to arbitrary detention
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

The three-member UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which was in Sri Lanka from December 4, today urged the government to introduce urgent reforms to the 'outdated' legal framework to end arbitrary detention in the country. The delegation comprised Working Group Members José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, Leigh Toomey and Elina Steinerte. They called for urgent reforms to address problems including the excessive use of remand, a lack of effective alternatives to detention, an outdated legal framework and reliance on confessions often extracted under torture or duress.


Interim order for Gota extended
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

The interim order, preventing FCID from taking action against Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the Public Property Act, was extended till December 25 by the Court of Appeal today. A petition was filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeking for an order to prevent action being taken against him under the Public Property Act by the FCID, alleging misappropriation during construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum.


Sriyani Wijewickrama sworn in as State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Top News
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

Digamadulla district UPFA Parliamentarian Sriyani Wijewickrama was sworn in as the State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today, Presidential Secretarat said. Mrs. Sriyani Wijewickrama MP, who represented the Joint Opposition (JO) recently met the President to extended her support to the policies of the President.Minister Faiszer Musthapha was also present on this occasion.


We expect SL to keep India's security concerns in mind: Indian MEA
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India on Thursday said that it expected the Government of Sri Lanka to keep New Delhi's security concerns and sensitivities in mind with regard to regional developments and dynamics.


POLYTHENE BANNED FOR POLLS
[Friday 2017-12-15 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed the Central Environment Authority to ban the use of polythene for election decorations. The President also told the CEA to take strict action in accordance with the law against those who violate the ban. The President ordered the CEA to hold a meeting with all stakeholders and make them aware about the regulation. The President made the above instructions during a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat held to discuss matters related to improving efficiency in waste management at local authorities.


Debate on six subcommittees to be followed by final report to CA
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly would prepare its final report, containing constitutional proposals following a debate on recommendations made by six sub committees that dealt with fundamental rights, judiciary, law and order, public finance, public service and centre-periphery relations, Steering Committee member and MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne told The Island yesterday.


Former Navy Spokesman arrested for abduction of youths remanded till February 22
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

Former Naval Media Spokesperson Commodore DKP Dassanayake arrested for the abduction of 11 youths has been remanded till 22 December. Colombo Fort Magistrate court ordered to further remand the former Navy officer and six other suspects when they were produced before the Court today as the case was called before the acting magistrate.


Australia deports 29 SL illegal migrants
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

At least 29 Sri Lankans who attempted to illegally migrate to Australia arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning after being deported. The deportees including two boys aged 12 and 15 are residents ofMatara, Hambantota, Hakmana and Tangalle arrived onboard a special Australian flight. They had left Sri Lanka on November 17 and were arrested by Australian security forces on arrival at the Lear Mouth Beach on December 13.


SLPP nominations for Maharagama, Weligama rejected
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

The nominations submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) for the Maharagama Urban Council and Weligama Pradeshiya Sabha were rejected today. The SLPP nomination for Weilgama had been rejected by Matara District Returning Office Pradeep Ratnayaka on the ground that the nomination had not been submitted by a member of the party or an authorized agent. The returning officer had taken the decision after considering the objections raised by Provincial Council Minister Jayantha Pathirana (JVP) and other authorized agents of political parties.


North-East monsoon expected next week
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

The North-East monsoon is expected to hit the country next week, the Meteorology Department said yesterday. The Duty Meteorologist said necessary conditions for the North-East monsoon were being monitored. The North East monsoon feeds the irrigation tanks in the North, North Central, North Western and Eastern areas and helps the rice cultivation of the area. Accordingly, Meteorology Department said showery condition over the island is expected to enhance to some extent further today and tomorrow.


Mahinda’s party will disintegrate after local elections - Dayasiri
[Thursday 2017-12-14 16:00]

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would fully disintegrate after the next local government elections, Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera predicted yesterday. Answering questions at the post Cabinet Press Briefing at the Information Department, Jayasekera said that attempts by President Maithripala Sirisena to unite the SLFP, had been sabotaged by MPs Namal Rajapaksa and Prassana Ranatunga.


Appeal against the acquittal of suspects in TNA MP's murder to be heard on February 16
[Wednesday 2017-12-13 18:00]

The Court of Appeal today fixed the date to hear the appeal filed against the verdict issued by a lower court in exonerating all the suspects in the murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj. Appeal Court Judge, Kumudini Wickremasinghe fixed February 16th to hear the petition when it was taken up before the court today. The petition filed by the wife of late MP Shashikala Raviraj seeks an order to set aside the verdict of the Colombo High Court to acquit and release all accused from the case.


Tamil prisoners’ CA appeal to be supported on 22 Feb.
[Wednesday 2017-12-13 18:00]

Court of Appeal yesterday (12) fixed for support on February 2 the petition filed Tamil prisoners seeking to transfer their case back to Vavuniya High Court from Anuradhapura High Court. The matter came up before Justice L.B.T.Dehideniya (President/CA) Attorney General on November 15 had informed the Court that it is being implored the possibility of transferring the Tamil prisoners’ case back to Vavuniya High Court from Anuradhapura High Court.


Indian Air Force Commander calls on President
[Wednesday 2017-12-13 18:00]

Indian Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official residence yesterday. Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy and Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu were present.


IAI plans to upgrade Sri Lanka's ageing Kfir fighter jets
[Wednesday 2017-12-13 18:00]

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in discussions with Sri Lanka to upgrade and return to service its Kfir fighter aircraft, according to the UK-based defense publication, Jane's Defence Weekly. Speaking to Jane's on 12 December, a senior IAI official said the company is in talks with the Sri Lankan government to upgrade and return to service its five grounded Kfir fighters.

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