Untitled Document
October 24, 2017 [GMT]
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Mattala deal with India: No military operations
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

The proposed agreement with India on the privatisation of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport will include a clause that the airport will not be used for any military purposes, a senior official said. Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Nihal Somaweera told the Sunday Times that besides prohibiting the use of the airport for military purposes, the air traffic control tower would also be controlled by Sri Lanka.


20A: Govt backs TNA demand
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

Changes to the proposed 20th Amendment may delay the holding of elections to provincial councils by up to a year, a Cabinet minister said. The changes, the Sunday Times learns, are designed to obtain the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The alliance has agreed to support the 20th Amendment if the Northern Provincial Council is allowed its full term until September 2018.


Indian PM reaffirms high importance India attaches to relations with Sri Lanka
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reaffirmed the high importance that India attaches to its relations with Sri Lanka when the visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister today afternoon. Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Thilak Marapana accompanied by his spouse and senior officials arrived in New Delhi Friday on an official visit to India from 8-10 September 2017. This is his first overseas visit after assuming the office as the Foreign Minister on 15 August 2017.


President’s brother remanded over hit-and-run mishap
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

A brother of President Maithripala Sirisena was remanded till September 11 in connection with a hit-and-run mishap, which killed a motor cyclist and the pillion rider at Polonnaruwa yesterday. Police said that Gamaralalage Nanasiri Pagnaratne Sirisena surrendered to the police a few hours later and allegedly admitted that he was behind the wheel of the Land Cruiser jeep at the time of the accident. He was later produced before Polonnaruwa Acting Magistrate Ruwan Kumara Mapa and remanded.


UN experts accuse North Korea of illegally exporting goods to SL
[Sunday 2017-09-10 19:00]

North Korea illegally exported coal, iron and other commodities worth at least £204 million to China and other countries including India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka during a six-month period, in breach of United Nations sanctions, the world body says. In a report released on Saturday , UN experts said Kim Jong Un's government continued to flout sanctions on commodities, as well as an arms embargo and restrictions on shipping and financial activities, during the perios which ended in early August, International media reported.


INTEL LAWSUITS INEVITABLE – TNA
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) pointed out that lawsuits filed by the international community against members of the armed forces over alleged war crimes were inevitable in light of lackluster internal governmental measures to address accountability issues. Speaking to the Nation TNA Parliamentarian, President’s Counsel, M.A. Sumanthiran said the government was nowhere near in addressing its undertakings to the United Nations with regard to accountability issues.


Foreign Minister Marapana holds wide-ranging talks in New Delhi Top News
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Assignments Tilak Marapana, who is on an official visit to New Delhi, had wide-ranging talks with the Indian Government today. Marapana met his Indian counterpart, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and discussed several issues of bilateral interest. “Bilateral issues, including follow up to the understandings reached during recent high level visits, were discussed,” the official Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said. This is Marapana’s first overseas visit after assuming office as Minister of Foreign Affairs.


US Concerned Over Debt Burdens On Sri Lanka From Chinese Loans
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

The US has expressed concern over the "unsustainable debt-burden" on Sri Lanka due to non-concessional loans from China. China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure development in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is struggling to repay Chinese money, and recently signed an agreement to give a state-run Chinese firm a stake in the strategic Hambantota port as a way of paying down some of that debt. Under the $1.1 billion deal, the Chinese company will develop the deep-sea port of Hambantota.


Approval of three doctors mandatory to admit inmates to prison hospital
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

The government has decided to make it mandatory to obtain approval from three doctors to admit inmates to Prisons Hospital. Up to now the approval from only one doctor was required to admit a prisoner to the hospital. However, the decision to require the approval of three doctors was made considering the complaints received from various parties that influential prisoners are receiving favors.


Army ready to face any situation
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

Army Commander Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake had ordered troops to be on standby to face any emergency situation caused by the inclement weather experienced in many parts of the country, Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said.


SC to convey its decision on 20A soon
[Saturday 2017-09-09 17:00]

The Supreme Court will shortly deliver its determination on the Bill titled ‘20th Amendment’ to the Constitution to the Speaker of Parliament and the President. Thirteen petitions filed against this Bill were heard before the court this week. The bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasarth Dep, Justice Anil Gooneratne and Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda.


EU tells Government to give families of missing answers
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

The European Union (EU) today asserted that the Government must give answers to the families of those reported missing. An EU monitoring mission for GSP Plus met the relatives of the disappeared in Kilinochchi on 200th day of their protest. “Govt needs to urgently tell relatives the fate of their loved ones. 5 of the mothers have died since the protest started without closure,” the EU office in Colombo tweeted.


Lalith, Anusha admitted to Prison Hospital
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

Former president’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga and former TRC director general AnushaPalpita were admitted to the Prison Hospital today. Prisons Reforms Ministry Spokesman Dumidu Bandara said they were admitted to hospital as they had complained of suffering from diabetes. Meanwhile, he said they were drafting a document making the consent of the Prisons Department Commissioner General mandatory if a prisoner was to be admittedto the Prison Hospital. Currently, this is done with only the consent of the prison hospital’s doctor.


Foreign Minister Marapana to visit India
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Assignments Tilak Marapana will visit New Delhi from 8-10 September 2017. This will be his first overseas visit after assuming office as Minister of Foreign Affairs, a statement from the Ministry said. Minister Marapana will meet his Indian counterpart, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on 9 September for discussions on a range of bilateral issues aimed at further strengthening the India-Sri Lanka partnership. The Minister is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same day. He will return to Colombo on10 September.


SLFP will contest elections under the 'hand' symbol : Amaraweera
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said SLFP will not contest an election under any other symbol than the “hand”. He added that he believed that the unity government would have achieved its purpose by 2020. Amaraweera added that the SLFP was determined to form an SLFP-led UPFA government after 2020. The two major parties which signed the MoU to govern together came to an end last month but the two parties have agreed to go it together until December 31.


Shani appointed CID Director
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shani Abeysekera has been appointed Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) by the IGP on the recommendations of the National Police Commission.


Media personnel should declare their assets: Ravi
[Friday 2017-09-08 19:00]

Former Minister Ravi Karunanayake said today in Parliament that all media personnel should declare their assets and liabilities. He said this while making a statement referring to a media report that most MPs had not declared their assets and liabilities. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he had no authority to demand assets and liabilities of media personnel. Meanwhile, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake proposed that it could be done by the Media Ministry.


Lalith, Anusha sentenced to 3 years RI Top News
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

Former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita were today sentenced to three-year Rigorous Imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 2 million each by the Colombo High Court. The High Court also ordered them to pay a compensation of Rs. 50 million each to the TRC. They have been found guilty in connection with a criminal misappropriation of Rs.600 million belonging to the TRC funds during the 2015-Presidential Election campaign.


SF should tell the truth – Wiggy
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister and Tamil People's Council (TPC) President C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday said, that President Maithripala Siriena's statement, that he will not let anyone to conduct a probe against Government Forces on war crimes allegations, indirectly says that Forces have committed war crimes. A declaration was also released at the Veerasingam Hall in Jaffna yesterday, after the conclusion of the political discussion involving the public, political leaders and experts.


Australia and Sri Lanka sign MoU to reinforce cooperation on counter-people smuggling
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

Australia and Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to reinforce cooperation between the two countries on counter-people smuggling. Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the two countries have today dealt a blow to people smugglers operating in the region through the signing of the MoU enabling even closer cooperation between the two countries on counter-people smuggling. The MOU will facilitate the return to Sri Lanka of people who are involved in people smuggling activities. It also paves the way for enhanced information sharing on methods for tracking, intercepting and investigating people smugglers.


Govt assures No foreign prosecution of armed forces allowed
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella, in Parliament yesterday asserted that the Government would not allow any foreign entity to penalize members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Leader of the House made this assertion in response to a question raised by Joint Opposition group Leader in Parliament, MP Dinesh Gunawardena, under Standing Order 23/2.


PRECIFAC term not extended
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

The term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) had not been extended by President Maithripala Sirisena. However, a period of two months had been given to complete the documentation works of the Commission. In march this year, the term of the Commission was extended by six months by the President.


FCID to receive AG’s advice on Karuna Amman
[Thursday 2017-09-07 18:00]

The FCID conducting investigations into an incident where former Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Karuna Amman had allegedly misused a Presidential Secretariat bullet proof armed vehicle worth Rs.90 million, informed Court today that they have sought Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal action against the former Deputy Minister.


TGTE welcomes SF’s statement that forces committed crimes
[Wednesday 2017-09-06 18:00]

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) on Tuesday welcomed the statement made by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka that Sri Lankan security forces had committed war crimes against Tamils during and after the war ended. Issuing a statement, the TGTE said ‘confirmation of war crimes by Sri Lankan forces comes after eight years of denial by successive Sri Lankan Governments that no war crimes were committed and calling Sri Lankan forces ’War Heroes’.


Govt. spruces up 20th Amendment
[Wednesday 2017-09-06 18:00]

The Government made a crucial breakthrough yesterday by winning provisional support from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The TNA pledged conditional support during a meeting which party seniors held with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe based on assurances that several amendments would be introduced to the draft Bill during the committee stage. The provisions that would have enabled Parliament to exercise the powers of the Provincial Councils while they stood dissolved will be among those to be removed, Daily FT learns.


Army Chief condemns SF’s statement
[Wednesday 2017-09-06 18:00]

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake told Ceylon Today that the Sri Lanka Army has not committed any war crime and that former Army Commanders are making...... statements, which bring the Army into disrepute, for their own private purposes and that he strongly condemns it.


SF’s attack on JJ: Dinesh to seek clarification from Marapana
[Wednesday 2017-09-06 18:00]

Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena will raise the LTTE backed Tamil Diaspora move against General Jagath Jayasuriya following Regional Development Minister Field Sarath Fonseka alleging that the wartime Security Forces Commander, Vanni had committed crimes and he continued violations of human rights after becoming the Commander of the Army in July 2009. The following question has been submitted seeking answers from Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana under Standing Order 23/2:


India hands over off-shore patrol vessel to Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2017-09-06 18:00]

Stepping up cooperation between the two coast guards, India today handed over an off-shore patrol vessel, Varuna, to Sri Lanka, the Indian maritime security agency said. The ship was decommissioned with traditional honours on August 23 to facilitate the handing over at Kochi. India has earlier handed over two OPVs of the Indian Coast Guard, Varaha in April 2006 and Vigraha in August 2008.

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