Untitled Document
September 22, 2017 [GMT]
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Monks from Myanmar refused visa at Katunayake Airport
[Monday 2017-09-18 19:00]

A group of monks from Myanmar have been refused a visa at the Katunayake Airport by immigration officers. Sources said that seven monks had been refused entry at the airport. The Government had earlier decided to suspend issuing visas for tourists from Myanmar following fears that Rohingya Muslims may attempt to enter Sri Lanka to seek refuge. Sources said that a discussion was held today between officials of the Immigration Department and the Foreign Ministry where the decision not to grant visas to Myanmar nationals was discussed.

Fonseka should ‘shut up’ says former Sri Lankan president
[Monday 2017-09-18 19:00]

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said the former commander of the army should “shut up”, after stating he would testify against a military colleague accused of war crimes. In an interview to Ceylon Today, Mr Rajapaksa rebuked former army commander Sarath Fonseka’s comments. “Everybody was shocked by Fonseka’s statement,” he said. “An Army Commander should not behave like this.” When asked what the former army commander should do next, Mr Rajapaksa responded, “he should shut up.”

Sri Lanka not likely to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty at UN
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

Sri Lanka, in an unprecedented move in the country’s diplomatic history, is not signing a major international treaty which it has already voted on. Along with 121 other countries, Sri Lanka voted last July to approve a landmark UN treaty that bans the possession, development, testing, and use of nuclear weapons worldwide.

Probe Into Commodities Imported From North Korea
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

The Foreign Ministry has launched an investigation into Sri Lanka importing commodities from North Korea. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake told The Sunday Leader that Sri Lanka was found to be among the top countries importing commodities from North Korea. Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry is to issue a gazette on the sanctions imposed by the UN on North Korea. An official of the legal division of the Foreign Ministry said that the gazette will help local businessman to be aware of the sanctions.

India to assist in constructing Northern Expressway
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

India has agreed to assist in building the Northern Expressway, government sources said yesterday. Earlier this month India’s Petronet LNG obtained permission to establish a Liquid Gas Import Terminal here. The government handed over the Letter of Intent to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj when she was in Colombo to attend the Second Indian Ocean Conference as well as meet with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Pararajasingham murder: Pillayan and six others plead not guilty
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Pillayan and six others pleaded “not guilty” in the Batticaloa High Court, to charges of their involvement in the murder of former Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham. The charges were filed 11 years after the incident. High Court Judge M. Ellencheliyan fixed the next hearing for November 6 and 7, and directed the accused to appear in court on the days. Mr Pararajasingham was shot dead on December 25, 2005, while attending a church service in Batticaloa, with his wife. Charges filed against the accused are under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Penal Code.

Upcoming elections under the Electorate System
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena said the upcoming provincial councils elections would be held under the Electorate System and this system would apply to the general elections as well. President said this when he met the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members of the North-Central Provincial Council at the President’s House yesterday. He said he had proposed the ward system instead of the preferential voting system so as to introduce a new political culture as promised in his manifesto for the 2015 presidential election. The President said the preferential voting system made politicians think only of themselves and not about the people or the country. He said the new system would encourage politicians to work for the country.

President leaves for New York
[Sunday 2017-09-17 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena left for New York this morning to attend the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). This is the third time that President Maithripala Sirisena is addressing the UN General Assembly. The President was accompanied by First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena. The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) convened at UN Headquarters on September 12. The President is due to address the General Assembly on September 19. He is also scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with several world leaders participating in the sessions.

NPC Head echoes UN Human rights High Commissioner’s warning to Lanka
[Saturday 2017-09-16 19:00]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has expressed his concern over the slow pace of reforms in Sri Lanka and said the absence of action, on accountability meant exercising universal jurisdiction was even more necessary. This means that Sri Lankans can become subject to international law even in foreign countries. This statement needs to be seen in the context of the war crimes cases registered against former army commander General Jagath Jayasuriya in five South American countries, National Peace Council Executive Director Jehan Perera said in a statement issued yesterday

No intention of entering politics: Chathurika
[Saturday 2017-09-16 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena's daughter Chaturika, said at today's launch of the book authored by her and titled, "Janadhipathi Thaththa", that she had no intention of entering party politics but would use politics for community service, women empowerment and social justice. “So many people, including my friends keep asking me when I enter politics. I am reminded of what Aristotle said that man is either a political animal or an outcast. Though I agree with him, I have no desire to indulge in politics but to engage in social welfare,” she said at the ceremony held at the BMICH at the launch of the book which describes her father's political journey.

Trio jailed after man is murdered and left to die next to a pond in Milton Keynes
[Saturday 2017-09-16 19:00]

A man and a teenage boy have both been sentenced to life imprisonment of the murder of Suren Sivananthan in Milton Keynes. Gnanachandran Balachandran, 38, of The Fleet, Springfield, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, were sentenced on Friday (September 15) at Luton Crown Court. They both had been found guilty of murder by a jury following a seven-week trial at Luton Crown Court which concluded on August 24.

Petronet to build Sri Lanka’s first LNG terminal
[Saturday 2017-09-16 19:00]

Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest importer of gas, will partner with Japan’s Mitsubishi and Sojitz Corp to set up Sri Lanka’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Colombo, its CEO Prabhat Singh said on Friday. “Petronet will be the leader of the joint venture with the largest shareholding,” he told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting at New Delhi. Without disclosing the shareholding, he said the Sri Lankan government will also be a partner in the project.

JO claims Rs. 1.5 m collected on day 1
[Saturday 2017-09-16 18:00]

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday claimed to have collected close to Rs. 1.5 million in their first day of the ‘Pindapatha’ programme launched by the Buddhist monks in Colombo. The monks engaged in the practice to collect money to pay the fine of former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Anusha Pelpita. JO Member and UPFA MP Gamini Lokuge speaking to the Daily News, said that over 350 Buddhist monks participated in the programme.

OPV provided by the Indian Government arrives at the Colombo harbour
[Saturday 2017-09-16 18:00]

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) provided by the Indian Government to the Sri Lanka Navy, in a bid to expand its operational capabilities, arrived at the Colombo harbour this morning (16 September 2017). The ship was received by the Navy in accordance with naval traditions upon her arrival.

Need for DNA analysis and identification of exhumed remains in Sri Lanka – US committee
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The United States Senate Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific stated that there was a need to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocities and DNA analysis of remains in several countries, including Sri Lanka, in a report released last week. The report, which opposed a 92% cut in US aid to Sri Lanka, said that the committee “recognizes that there is an ongoing need for DNA analysis and identification of exhumed remains”.

Five policemen in Jaffna undergrads’ murder bailed
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The Jaffna High Court yesterday granted bail to the five police officers remanded in connection with the murder of two university students in Jaffna. The suspects were released on a Rs.50,000 cash bail and two Rs. 200, 000 sureties each. The Court impounded the suspects’ passports. Two university students riding on a motorcycle in Jaffna died suspiciously on October 21, 2016 and investigations revealed bullet marks on the corpses. Five Police Officers manning a checkpoint in Jaffna close to where the students were found wounded were arrested and subsequently remanded in connection with the incident.

President to address UN General Assembly on September 19
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to visit New York, US to attend the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). The President is due to address the General Assembly in the evening of September 19. This is the third time that President Maithripala Sirisena is addressing the UN General Assembly.

‘Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ Exercise
[Friday 2017-09-15 19:00]

The Army-pioneered mock Exercise ‘Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ was held yesterday morning at Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee where a simulated multi-pronged joint amphibious attack on enemy hideouts was carried out. Around 2108 infantrymen and mechanized infantrymen, inclusive of 370 sailors and 197 airmen and 69 foreign service personnel, representing 13 countries, either as participants or observers participated in the Operation.

Sri Lanka to attend island meet in China to discuss concerns
[Friday 2017-09-15 18:00]

Oceanic administrators from 13 island countries, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mauritius, will gather in southeast China’s Fujian Province on September 21 to discuss cooperation in sustainable development. Participants will discuss sustainable economic development, environmental protection, climate change and disaster prevention and reduction, and sea water desalination at the round-table conference in Pingtan, an island in Fujian, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Don’t hold polls this year: Govt. tells polls commission
[Friday 2017-09-15 18:00]

The government has informed the Commissioner of Elections not to hold polls till January next year, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Mr. Wickremesinghe revealed this at a meeting he had with the Colombo District Public servants at Temple Trees last morning to educate them on the government’s policies.

TGTE held an event in British Parliament on Disappearance in Sri Lanka Top News
[Thursday 2017-09-14 19:00]

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) held an event at the British Parliament Main Building on September 7th to highlight the plight of thousands of Tamils who have disappeared in Sri Lanka. Several British Members of Parliament and other international dignitaries spoke at the event and called for the UN to find the plight of those disappeared and to bring those responsible to face justice.

Sri Lanka: 2 Years On, Scant Progress on UN Resolution
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution.

Sri Lanka’s OMP welcomed with call for ‘credible commissioners’
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The signing of a gazette to operationalise the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) has been welcomed by the US, EU and Canada on Wednesday, with calls for “credible commissioners” to be swiftly appointed. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said the move was an “important step forward” for advancing reconciliation. “A well-funded and robust OMP with independent & well qualified commissioners will give hope to families from all communities who seek answers,” he tweeted.

Verdict of Vidya murder case on Sep. 27
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

Verdict on the Vidya murder case will be delivered by the Jaffna High Court on September 27. Meanwhile, former senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe, remanded on charges of allowing a suspect arrested in connection with Vidya’s rape and killing to escape from police custody, was today released on bail by Kayts Magistrate A.M.M.Riyaz.

EU says many areas of reform yet to be delivered
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The European Union (EU) on Wednesday praised the Sri Lankan Government for the progress made in advancing human rights, labour and environmental standards but stressed that there were still many areas where reform had yet to be delivered. EU Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue, who met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Wednesday afternoon, said the Government’s excellent cooperation is a reminder of how much the situation has changed in the country including real advances in human rights.

Weeratunga and Palpita request bail
[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Pelpita, yesterday filed an application in the High Court of Colombo, asking for bail. They were convicted last week for spending Rs. 600 million belonging to the Telecommication Regulatory Commission, to distribute ‘Sil Redi’ in the run up to the last Presidential election. They were each sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of 20 lakhs and the payment of Rs. 50 million compensation to the TRC. Subsequently they filed an appeal, seeking to set aside the judgement and sentence. Thereafter they had filed a bail application.

[Thursday 2017-09-14 18:00]

The government will introduce the Sign Language Bill to recognise sign language as an official language in Sri Lanka. The draft bill submitted to Cabinet by Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, S.B. Dissanayake was approved on Tuesday. Official statistics estimate the population of deaf persons to be 389,677.

Govt. does not trust the Tamil community - Wigneswaran
[Tuesday 2017-09-12 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday said that the government could even double the strength of the police, currently deployed in the Northern Province, to pave the way for total withdrawal of armed forces. The former Supreme Court judge said so in response to a query made by The Island in the wake of him making representations to the Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter, about what he called an ‘intimidating military presence’ in the North.

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