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June 23, 2017 [GMT]
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RTI used to seek info about parliamentarians with dual citizenship
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

Following the Court of Appeal disqualifying UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe to be a member of parliament due to her dual citizenship the Joint Opposition member Udaya Gammanpila has requested Controller of Immigration and Emigration to name all those MPs with dual citizenship. UPFA MP and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Gammanpila has sought information in accordance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act adopted by ruling coalition.


Cabinet reshuffle at auspicious time
[Tuesday 2017-05-09 17:00]

The much speculated and hyped Cabinet reshuffle will take place at the auspicious time given by astrologers, most likely after the Vesak Poya Day, which falls on 10 May. The reshuffle is most likely to take place after the Vesak Poya and it would be according to the auspicious times, UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told Ceylon Today last night.


TULF chief tells TNA head to control Federal Party members
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary General V Anandasangaree has written to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan, urging him to keep Federal Party members of the TNA under his strict control. “They can’t make statements as they like, to wound the feelings of not only a country but its people as well. I do not know whether you are aware of the immense damage caused to the friendship and goodwill of India, by the thoughtless acts and utterances, more by the Federal Party members of your alliance, than by the others who only share the blame by remaining silent, ignoring the conduct of such members.


Constitutional Reforms debate likely end June
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

A debate on Constitutional reforms by the Constitutional Assembly is likely to take place towards the end of June. The interim report of the Steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be placed before the Assembly next month, a member of the Steering Committee told the Daily News yesterday.


MR’s security detail first reduced, then restored
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

In a dramatic turn of events, only hours after the government decided to reduce the security given to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa by a further 50 personnel, it was restored without an explanation being given on the about-turn. Initially, an order was sent to recall 50 personnel attached to the security detail of Mr. Rajapaksa. They had, in fact, been specifically identified. However, by late last night, the order was cancelled. Sources close to Mr. Rajapaksa said the reason for the change of heart was not known.


ADB doubles lending to SL
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

As promised by Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao during his visit to Sri Lanka last year, the bank yesterday confirmed that it has doubled its lending capacity to $ 800 million this year. “Sri Lanka’s annual allocation was around $ 400 million per year and this year it has been increased to $ 800 million. We have just doubled the lending. This is the highest we have allocated to the country,” ADB South Asia Department Director General Hun Kim said at a media briefing held on the sidelines of the 50th ADB Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan.


MR’s youngest sister passes away
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

Vichithra Rajapaksa Ranawaka, the youngest sister of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, passed away this morning due to an illness at a private hospital in Colombo. Ms. Ranawaka was a mother of two sons and a daughter. The final rites are scheduled to be held in Mirihana tomorrow.


Modi’s visit: Wasp nests in estate sector to be removed
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the upcountry areas, action has been taken to remove hornets and wasps nests found in certain parts of the estates to avoid any possible attack on the visiting dignitary. The security units assigned with the provision of security to the Indian Premier had coordinated with the Hatton SPs office and obtained the assistance of the Organization for the Protection of such bees.


TNA Rift Deepens
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

A rift in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is said to be deepening following comments being made in public by some TNA members. Sources said that some words were exchanged at a TNA Parliament group meeting last week over the leadership of the TNA being criticised in public.TNA member Suresh Premachandran has been openly critical of the stand taken by the TNA on the human rights issue. Premachandran has also supported protests in the North which have not had the backing of the TNA.


Sri Lanka only leasing oil tanks to India, PM reiterates
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Sri Lanka will only lease out oil tanks to India under the proposed deal to jointly operate a strategic oil facility in the eastern port district of Trincomalee, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. Addressing a gathering in the central town of Welimada yesterday, the Prime Minister said the joint working group of the two countries will formulate investment plans for the integrated development of Trincomalee, PTI reported.


Six policemen to be charged for murder of torture victim
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Six policemen who were found guilty of torturing a suspect in custody in Chunnakam, Jaffna are to be served fresh indictments for committing murder. The policemen were sentenced to ten years imprisonment by Jaffna High Court judge M. Illenchelian having been found guilty of torturing the suspect Sri Skandarajah Sumanan. Fines of Rs.25,000 each were imposed on the convicts and they were asked to pay Rs.200,000 collectively as compensation to the family of the victim.


GSP Plus: Four votes added to Lanka’s 436
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Sri Lanka has earned four more votes in the European Parliament against a motion to deprive it of the GSP+ concession after four Members of the European Parliament (MEP) realised they had polled wrong. A few hours after the motion was defeated on April 27, Sri Lanka’s EU Ambassador Rodney Perera made a round of calls to MEPs based on the voting sheet with the intention of double-checking their intentions. As a result, four MEPs changed their decision on account of misinterpreting the objective of the vote–that is, mistakenly thinking that by voting “positive”, they were supporting Sri Lanka.


Hambantota deal: More major changes, 70-year lease on offer
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

The number of years that the Hambantota port is to be leased out to China Merchant Port Holdings Co Ltd (CMPort) could be brought down 70, instead of 99, authoritative sources said. A draft of the heavily-negotiated concession agreement was shared with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) this week. The shareholding ratio could also be changed from 80:20 to 60:40, with sixty percent of shares allocated to CMPort and forty percent to SLPA, the sources said. And it is likely that a further twenty percent of CMPort’s shareholding will be up for sale to a Sri Lankan company within a specified time period.


Modi arrives in Colombo on Thursday
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo on Thursday (May 11) evening on his second visit to Sri Lanka since March 2015. He will be the chief guest at the UN Vesak Day celebrations on Friday. The prime ministerial visit to the Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka is one of the ways in which India is trying to reclaim its Buddhist heritage and is part of a larger plan of using Buddhism to build linkages within Asia.


Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday alleged that those who had been responsible for formulating controversial policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) conveniently ignored consensus reached on some crucial issues at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. The TNA said that contentious issues had been taken up at the committee following representations made by the party.


Vidya murder case: AG requests CJ to appoint High Court at Bar
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC yesterday requested Chief Justice Priyasath Dep to appoint a High Court at Bar to hear the murder of Punguduthivu Sivaloganathan Vidya.


ITAK to push for Navy ouster from Iranativu
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Tamil National Alliance MP S. Sridaran has said that the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi led grouping would throw its full weight an ongoing protest aimed at removing the Navy from Iranativu. The MP was addressing a gathering at Iranativu where people were engaged in peaceful protest demanding their land back. He said that they would campaign hard to evict the military from both Iranativu and Pooneryn.


Police deploy 6,000 officers for Modi’s security
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

The Police has taken special security measures for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka next week, IGP Pujith Jayasundara told the Daily News. The IGP said nearly 6,000 Police officers have been deployed for the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka and other related events during the international Vesak festival. “This includes ordinary Police officers, the Special Task Force (STF) and the officers who have specialized knowledge in VVIP security,” the IGP explained.


‘Sri Lankan embassies sheltered criminals’
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on Friday accused the previous administration of using its embassies abroad as “safe houses” for murderers accused of perpetrating human rights abuses during the civil war.


Sri Lanka’s war general faces murder probe
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Former army major general Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament today. Gunaratne, who was sent to Brazil as deputy ambassador by then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, murdered an embassy employee Nimal Rupasinghe with the support of two other embassy staff members, the minister said.


Tamil Canadians request Canada not to deport Tamil Political Asylum Seekers:
[Friday 2017-05-05 21:00]

Toronto: Despite the end of the war in May 2009, the covert genocidal war waged by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils in the island continues unabated. There has been ample evidence to show that Tamils who have been involuntarily returned to Sri Lanka have been arrested and tortured with some being disappearing. Yet, there has been continuous deportation of Tamil Political Asylum seekers back to the war-torn country from where they fled. International Refugee Convention to which Canada signed on prohibits the deportation of anyone who has a well-founded fear for their safety if involuntarily returned.


India to provide US$ 45 million loan assistance to rehabilitate Sri Lanka's Kankasanthurai harbor in the North
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

The Sri Lankan government has received approval from the cabinet of ministers to obtain financial assistance from India to rehabilitate the Kankasanthurai harbor in the North. India's EXIM Bank has agreed to provide a US$ 45.27 million loan to Sri Lanka for the project which will be handled by Sri Lanka Ports Authority.


Geetha’s MP post: Speaker says he was not informed
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said today that he was not informed of the court decision regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe's MP post. He told parliament in response to a question raised by UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha that he would act according to the court decision when it was informed to him.Joint Opposition MP Geetha Kumarasinghe attended parliamentary sessions today despite the court decision which ruled that she was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament as she holds dual citizenship.


Sri Lanka thanks Pakistan for ‘incessant support’ in fight against terror
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

Sri Lanka’s army chief on Wednesday met his Pakistani counterpart and thanked him for the “incessant support” to the island nation’s fight against terrorism. Chief of the Sri Lankan Army Lt Gen A.W.J.C De Silva called upon the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the army said.


Sirisena-Wigneswaran powwow on May 17
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

Responding to a request, President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to meet Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran on May 17. Informed sources told The Island that CM Wigneswaran is expected to raise Tamils’ concerns over alleged enforced disappearances, non-release of private land and the government’s failure to solve the problems of the North-East people. Wigneswaran has also consulted several Tamil political party leaders during the last few days to find out whether they have any other grievances which he could take up with the President.


Court rules Geetha disqualified to be MP
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

The Court of Appeal today ruled that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament as she holds dual citizenship. The Attorney General had earlier informed the Court of Appeal that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was still a citizen of Switzerland and according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person who has dual citizenship cannot be an MP.


PM says no decision to put Fonseka in charge of military
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament today that cabinet has not taken a decision on making Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka head of the military. He was responding to a question raised in Parliament by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) member Vijitha Herath. Wickremesinghe said there is no need to have a special military unit in the country. The Prime Minister said that cabinet had last week discussed the matter of addressing the garbage issue and not about Fonseka.


Indian policies don’t favour its neighbours: JVP
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

The Indian foreign and economic policies are dictatorial and overpowering in relation to neighbouring countries; however, Sri Lanka should not abandon her relations with India but should remain alert when dealing with it, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayeke told a news conference that Indian policies are maintained in a way that is advantageous to that country as such the government should pay more attention when signing agreements with the India.

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