Untitled Document
February 19, 2017 [GMT]
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CID TO ARREST 10 NAVAL OFFICERS
[Wednesday 2017-02-15 18:00]

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is preparing to take into custody about ten officers of the Sri Lanka Navy who are believed to be having concrete evidence about the abduction and killing of a total of 11 individuals including five Tamil university students in Trincomalee in the years 2008 and 2009, within the next week. However, a senior CID official said senior CID officers had received firm orders from top political authorities to not arrest any of these Navy officials.


Sri Lanka, Australia to continue fight against human smuggling
[Wednesday 2017-02-15 18:00]

Sri Lanka and Australia have agreed to continue the fight against human smuggling, the Prime Minister’s office said today. Several Sri Lankans were arrested while attempting to reach Australia by boat over the past few years, and those who reached Australia have been detained at an offshore detention centre. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a visit to Australia and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull underlined the importance of continuing to counter the illegal people smuggling trade, which puts vulnerable peoples’ lives at risk and enriches criminal networks, the Prime Minister’s office quoted a joint statement as saying.


Come home, Sri Lanka tells asylum seekers
[Wednesday 2017-02-15 18:00]

Sri Lanka's prime minister has urged compatriots who are being held in Australian-run immigration detention centres to come home. Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed the Sri Lankans had broken the law in trying to flee to Australia but insisted they would not face prosecution if they returned. "Come back. All is forgiven," Mr Wickremesinghe said as he stood beside Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra on Wednesday.


Neethan Shan wins Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River municipal byelection
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

Neethan Shan has won the Scarborough-Rouge River (Ward 42) municipal byelection held to replace former city councillor Raymond Cho. Shan won the ballot by a margin of 4763 votes, representing 45.76 per cent of the total, according to the city's website. Shan is a current Toronto District School Board trustee and will replace Cho, who left his council seat vacant last fall after winning the Scarborough-Rouge River provincial byelection, replacing Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon.


Britain to sponsor resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

Britain is to sponsor a new resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at its upcoming session in Geneva. The decision was communicated to the Council at the organisational meeting for the 34th session of the UNHRC held in Geneva yesterday. The resolution will look to give Sri Lanka time to address the accountability issue on the war.


TNA ready to abandon federalism - Sumanthiran
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

The TNA says it is prepared to discuss a realistic power devolution programme instead of engaging in a war of words when formulating a new constitution. Its MP M.A. Sumanthiran has told BBC Sandeshaya that a new constitution should be mandated by the people at a referendum, and that parliament had no right to go for a new constitution without such approval.


VK Sasikala convicted in corruption case
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

The Supreme Court has held VK Sasikala, AIADMK chief, guilty of helping former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa amass illicit wealth worth over 60 crores in the 1990s and has convicted her. Ms Sasikala will have to surrender immediately and will send to jail. This puts an end to her claim to be Tamil Nadu's next chief minister - she cannot hold public office or contest elections for the period of her jail term and six years after that.


No change to visa policy to Sri Lankans: US
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

The US Embassy in Colombo today denied the reports of US changing its visa policy towards Sri Lankan citizens. In a tweet, the embassy said “US visa policy in regards to Sri Lanka has not been changed. Rumors to the contrary are false,” The embassy requested Sri Lankans to reach the webpage: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/lk/lk-niv-visaapply.asp for more information.


Sri Lankan PM to receive doctorate award
[Tuesday 2017-02-14 18:00]

Sri Lanka's prime minister is set to receive an honorary doctorate on the first day of his official visit to Australia. Ranil Wickremesinghe and his wife Maithree Wickramasinghe arrived in Melbourne on Monday night. The prime minister will be awarded an honorary doctorate in law at a graduation ceremony at Deakin University in Geelong on Tuesday. The award recognises his efforts to help Sri Lanka transition from a country traumatised by protracted, violent conflict toward a stable democracy.


Sri Lanka accused of violating commitment to UN resolution
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

Sri Lanka has been accused of violating its commitment to the UN resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The International Truth and Justice Project (ITPJ) said that at least one alleged perpetrator of torture named in a UN report has been appointed to the body in Sri Lanka supposed to protect victims and witnesses, known as the National Authority for Victim and Witness Protection.


UN and EU envoys to hold talks with Wigneswaran
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

The UN and EU envoys to Sri Lanka are to hold talks with the Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran this week. The EU office in Colombo said that the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung-Laï Margue, will visit the Northern Province from 15-17 February 2017. The EU office said that Ambassador Margue, together with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms. Una McCauley, will meet Wigneswaran on 15 February.


PM off to Australia
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe accompanied by spouse, Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Irrigation and Water Management Minister Vijith Wijayamuni de Zoysa, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva, Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Prime Minister’s Additional Secretary Saman Athaudahetti and Special Assistant Sandra Perera will leave for Australia today (13) on a four-day official visit.


Avant-Garde floating armoury inquiry begins
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Avant-Garde Maritime Security Services Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi arrived at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today to attend the inquiry regarding the floating armoury, which was anchored off the coast of Galle. The inquiry is conducted by the Bribery Commission. -


Vigneswaran vows not to authorise extension of Palay runway
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

Northern Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran has vowed that he will not sign any document approving the extension of the Palaly Airport based some eighteen kilometers north of Jaffna town. Vigneswaran gave this assurance at last Thursday’s Provincial Council meeting in Jaffna where he mentioned that he would "not approve the runway extension without the approval of a majority in the council," a well informed Tamil political source quoted the CM as saying.


Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is ready for LG election
[Monday 2017-02-13 17:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is prepared to face a Local Government (LG) election. Speaking to reporters today, Rajapaksa said that the Government is delaying the LG election as it is afraid of facing such an election. “If a Government is not afraid an election can be held at any time,” he said. Rajapaksa said that when he was President, elections were held even ahead of the scheduled date. The former President said the joint opposition will continue to push for the LG election to be held.


TNA backs holding referendum on new Constitution
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it backs holding a referendum on a new Constitution. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, addressing a meeting today, said that the new Constitution must not suffer like the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. “The new Constitution should not be seen as one which was forced on the Sinhalese people,” he said. Sumanthiran said that when former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Sri Lanka, TNA leader R. Sampanthan had told him that if the Sinhalese people do not deliver justice to the Tamils the Tamils will make themselves ungovernable.


Government has no objections to ‘Eluga Tamil’ rally
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

The Government says it has no objections to the ‘Eluga Tamil’ rally held in Batticaloa last Friday. Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the freedom given to hold the rally shows the freedom the public enjoy in the country. He said that if others, including the opposition can hold a rally in Colombo then there is nothing wrong in anyone holding a rally in the North and East. “There is no need to worry about that,” the Minister told journalists today. The Minister said that today people from the North have the freedom to stage a rally in the South and those from the South can hold a rally in the North.


Crisis brewing over UDA getting powers of PCs
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

A constitutional crisis is in the making over the Government’s move to vest with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) some key functions exercised by provincial and local councils. Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya, who has been in consultation with the nine provincial councils, said yesterday that such a move contravened the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. “We will introduce legislation in the different PCs to prevent the UDA from taking over the functions,” he told the Sunday Times. There were also indications this move may be challenged in courts if other efforts fail.


Karuna leaves SLFP, forms ‘Tamil United Freedom Party’
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

Former Eastern Commander of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias ‘Karuna Amman’, launched a new political party, “Tamil United Freedom Party” in Batticaloa yesterday, breaking away from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), in which he was Vice President during the previous regime.


SLMC makes changes, appoints new General Secretary
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) announced key changes to the party today, including the appointment of a new General Secretary replacing Hasan Ali.Mansur A. Cader was appointed as the new General Secretary of the SLMC at the party convention today. A rift between Hasan Ali and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem drew attention when Ali boycotted the SLMC convention last year.


Ranil to visit Australia
[Sunday 2017-02-12 19:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to leave for Australia for four-day official visit tomorrow. Prime Minister's Office said today that Mr. Wickremesinghe will undertake the visit of the invitation of Australian Government. During his visit, the Prime Minister will hold bilateral discussions with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet ministers in Melbourne and Canberra.


Kumarapuram massacre victims remembered 21 years later Top News
[Saturday 2017-02-11 18:00]

The 21st death death anniversary of the murder of 24 Tamil civilians, including fourteen children, in Kumarapuram, in Muttur, Trincomalee was commemorated today with a fresh call for justice.Residents in Muttur near the village where the civilians were killed held commemoration events today. On February 11, 1996 suspected soldiers attacked the village killing the 24 civilians and wounding several others.


TPC wants Int'l probe on war crimes allegations
[Saturday 2017-02-11 18:00]

Amid speculation that the Government hoped to request the UNHRC for more time to implement its resolution, the Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran-led Tamil People’s Council (TPC) comprising Tamil political parties and civil society groups said Sri Lankan should not be given any more time. In a resolution adopted at the “Eluga Thamil” rally held in Batticaloa yesterday, the TPC called for an international investigation into what it described as, ‘the genocidal crimes perpetrated against the Tamil people'.


Cabinet reshuffle in March – Port to Ravi
[Saturday 2017-02-11 18:00]

The Cabinet reshuffle that was due to take place on February 6 has been postponed for March in agreement of the leaders of both parties. According to information received, Ravi Karunanayake is most likely to be appointed as the Ports and Naval Affairs Minister. Two proposals regarding the post of Finance Minister has so far been received. Of which one was to appoint Dr. Sarath Amunugama as the Finance Minister.


Wigneswaran admits 'unfortunate incidents' of the past broke Tamil-Muslim unity
[Saturday 2017-02-11 18:00]

The Chief Minister of the Tamil-majority Northern Province of Sri Lanka, C.V.Wigneswaran, has admitted that “some unfortunate incidents” of the past had inflicted wounds on the Muslims which are yet to heal. He said this while addressing the Ezhuga Tamil (Arise Tamil) rally at Batticaloa in the Eastern Province on Friday.


Man attempting to enter President’s house arrested
[Saturday 2017-02-11 17:00]

A man who attempted to enter the official residence of President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo 7 was detained and handed over to the police. The suspect is said to be a former Municipal Council employee. He had attempted to meet the President without authorization to seek employment.


SL's first hybrid power plant declared open
[Saturday 2017-02-11 17:00]

Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya declared open the first hybrid power plant today (10), in Eluvathivu Island, Jaffna. The new power plant is capable of generating electricity using wind mills, solar power and diesel with 60 KW, approximately costing Rs. 9.14 per unit. The Asian Development Bank and the Ceylon Electricity Board aided the project to promot green energy at a cost of Rs. 187 million.


Large crowds gather at ‘Eluga Tamil’ rally in Batticaloa Top News
[Friday 2017-02-10 18:00]

Large crowds gathered at the ‘Eluga Tamil’ rally in Batticaloa today which was staged to draw attention to the issues faced by the Tamils. Several Tamil politicians, including those from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) took part in the rally. Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran also took part in the rally and addressed the participants later.

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