Untitled Document
August 24, 2017 [GMT]
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MR says no-faith motion against Wijedasa will fail
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday predicted in Kandy that a no-confidence motion to be brought against Minister Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe would certainly fail. Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was unique to bring a no-confidence motion by a government against one of its own minister."Minister Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe holds the same opinion about the Hambantota port deal as we", the former President said, addressing a meeting of the Kandy branch of ‘Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’ on Saturday (12).


National Housing program builds 2500 houses in the North
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

Chairman of the Housing Development Authority Lakvijaya Sagara Palansuriya said 2,500 houses are being built in the Northern Province under the "Samata Sevana" National Housing Scheme. The houses are being built in the Mullaitivu district of the Northern Province under the Mullaitivu District Housing Development Programme. The official, who was on an observation tour in the area to see the progress said the houses constructed at a cost of Rs. 12.5 million will be completed within the next two months. Another 1,000 houses are being in the Vavuniya District built at present.


Sri Lanka Navy arrests four Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

Sri Lanka Navy on Sunday arrested four fishermen from Tamil Nadu for allegedly breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Naval personnel attached to a Fast Attack Craft belonging to the Northern Naval Command arrested the four fishermen along with a fishing trawler engaged in illegal fishing practices in Sri Lankan territorial waters 18 nm north of Point Pedro on August 13.


Port agreement signed before committee report: Susil
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

Several conditions favourable to the country had been recommended by the Cabinet Sub Committee appointed to study the contents of the Hambantota Harbour Lease Agreement, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Minister Susil Premajayantha is a member of the Sub Committee. “Decreasing the 99 year lease period, the ratio of shares to 50 percent or to a close proportion, security of the harbour, leasing on partnership basis with China, jurisdiction under Sri Lanka are some of the amendment recommended by the committee,” he said.


Jaffna violence : Sword-carriers among more suspects snared
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

The police arrested more suspects this week in the North in operations against anti-social activities and criminal gangs. At least 13 suspects were snared for their alleged involvement in the recent attack on two police constables of the Kopay police station in Kokkuvil area, Jaffna, police said. All suspects were produced in court and remanded in custody until August 22 by the Jaffna Magistrate.


Indonesian earthquake: Tsunami warning withdrawn
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

The tsunami warning alert issued to the coastal areas of Sri Lanka this morning, following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has been withdrawn, the National Tsunami Early Warning Centre of the Department of Meteorology said. It said there was no tsunami threat to Sri Lanka at present. “The coastal areas of Sri Lanka are declared safe and those evacuated to safe areas may now return to their usual places,” the statement said.


UNF Considers Split From Coalition
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

The United National Front (UNF) led by the United National Party (UNP) is considering forming its own government after December 31, sources said. Well informed sources said that the UNF is unhappy with the recent actions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which have been fueled by the joint opposition. Sources said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena had also met and discussed the political situation in the country.


SLFP opposed to postponing PC polls
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) resolved to oppose the proposed postponement of the provincial council elections till 2019. The party's central committee took this decision at its meeting on Thursday with President Maithripala Sirisena in the chair. The decision was taken despite the UNP-SLFP government having prepared a Bill which provides for hold elections to all nine provincial councils on a single day.


Supreme Court to hear Centre’s plea tomorrow against Tamil Nadu’s decision to free Rajiv Gandhi’s killers
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a plea of the Government of India challenging the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to release the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Centre had filed the plea in 2014. A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi considered on Friday the submission of Prabu Ramasubramaniam, the counsel for convict A G Perarivalan, that the case be heard as the convicts are in jail for the last two decades.


MR, SLFP JO members to take SLPP membership
[Sunday 2017-08-13 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliament members of the Joint Opposition (JO) have decided to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chairman, former Foreign Minister Professor G. L. Peiris said that 22 SLFP Parliament members have so far confirmed they will be accepting SLPP membership next month. He also said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be among those accepting membership in the new political party.


SC dismisses petition against ITAK; says advocating federal form of govt. isn’t separatism
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

The Supreme Court (SC) declared this week that advocating for a federal form of government within the existing state could not be considered as advocating separatism and that the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) does not, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka as envisaged under Article 157A of the Constitution.


TNA won’t back 20 A: Govt. move to put off PC polls in jeopardy
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday declared that it wouldn’t support the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in its present form, under any circumstances, top party spokesperson, Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran told The Island. The TNA parliamentary group comprises 16 members, including two National List MPs.


Several Govt. backbenchers complain about two AG’s Dept. officials to PM
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

Several government backbenchers met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday to complain against the actions of two senior officials of the Attorney General’s Department working for the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Treasury Bond issue. The MPs had elaborated on overall actions taken by the Attorney General’s Department and had in detail pointed out to certain misgivings and practices of the two senior officers. The discussions between the ruling party MPs and the Prime Minister took place at the Parliament Complex.


India keen to run Sri Lanka airport
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

India has expressed interest to operate Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated in Mattala, about 40 km from the southern town of Hambantota, where China has majority stake in a strategic port it built.


Wijeyadasa violates collective responsibility: Harsha
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe express his own opinion on any subject but it is wrong to make a statement on a subject on which a collective decision was taken by the Cabinet of which he was a member, State Minister Harsha De Silva said today. Responding to questions asked by a journalist referring to the statement made by the minister on the Hambantota Port earlier this month.


New Constitution: US pledges support to SL Govt.
[Saturday 2017-08-12 15:00]

A bipartisan delegation of US congressmen who arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday had assured the full support of the US Government to the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to work out a new Constitution. In a statement, the US Embassy said Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey and Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas held productive meetings with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan on Thursday.


STF arrests 87 suspects in Jaffna op.
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

Elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) has been deployed in support of the Coast Guard Department in the Jaffna peninsula. Recently, Coast Guard Department assisted by the SBS had arrested nine persons who were engaged in illegal sand mining in an area between Point Pedro and Manalkadu in the Vadamarachchi. SBS led Coast Guard had rushed to the area after having received a tip off on August 7, a senior security official told The Island, adding that the suspects along with a tractor load of illegally mined sand were handed over to Point Pedro police.


Marapana acting FM?
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

Speculation is rife in political circles that Minister Tilak Mapapana will be appointed Acting Foreign Minister following Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation yesterday. Sources said that the President could exercise the powers of the foreign ministry until an appointment was made. Karunanayake succeeded foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera in May this year.


All PC polls early next year – Govt.
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

Elections to all nine provincial councils would be held early next year on a single day, the government said yesterday. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo said that staggered polls had resulted in financial and human resources being wasted unnecessarily. The terms of the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils are due to end later this year.


CID questions State Minister Wijayakala over alleged involvement
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

The Criminal Investigation Department(CID) on Wednesday questioned Women and Child Affairs State Minister Wijayakala Maheswaran extensively over the allegations that she had aided and abetted the release of Mahalingama Shashi Kumar alias Swisss Kumar, the main suspect in the murder of Vidya Sivaloganathan.


India interested in joint venture to run Mattala airport
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

The Government of India (GOI) has expressed interest in developing the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA). According to a Cabinet paper submitted by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Indian Government had sent a proposal in May 2017 to “form a joint venture company between GOI or its assigned entity and Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) or its assigned entity for the operation of MRIA on the basis of sharing of equity at the ratio of 70:30 for 40 years”.


Enabling Army deserters a punishable offence
[Friday 2017-08-11 18:00]

Aiding, employing and accommodating army deserters or army personnel who are Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) is a punishable offense, Army Media Director Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said in a statement today. Brigadier Roshan Seneviratn Army deserters have reportedly secured employment in various institutions in the private sector by providing false information and said that those found would be punished in accordance with the law.


I resigned with pride: Ravi
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

The decision to resign from his position of Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka was made with pride and not with sadness or under pressure, Ravi Karunanayake said in Parliament a short while ago. Making a special statement, Karnanayake explained that he had no need to purchase properties illegally and said the various allegations leveled against him were baseless. “Everyone knows of my wealth. People from my party and others have visited me in my house. They knew that I do not use my wealth for politics,” he said.


Sampanthan commends Ravi K's decision to resign
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

Commenting on the statement made by Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament that he was stepping down from his post, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan commended the MPs's decision. Terming Mr Karunanayake's decision to resign as a 'bold step,' Mr Sampanthan noted in Parliament a short while ago that Karunanayake has not been found guilty of wrongdoing in any competent court. He appreciated his decision to resign in the interest of country and government which came to office under the banner of Good Governance.


Another ‘Aava’ group member arrested
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

Police have arrested another Aava group member identified as Chandranathan Ragidaran, allegedly involved in a recent attack on two police constables attached to the Kopay police station in the Jaffna peninsula. The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had taken the suspect into custody on information elicited from those previously arrested in connection with the incident, police said. A senior police officer told The Island that so far eleven persons had been arrested in connection with the Kopay incident and investigations were continuing. Authoritative sources said the police stationed in the Jaffna peninsula had been placed on high alert


Protest in memory of Dilrukshan
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

A mass protest was held in front of the Jaffna bus terminal on Tuesday (8) to mark the death anniversary of E. Dilrukshan, a political prisoner who had been detained at the Vavuniya Prison. Around 100 protesters joined the march that began from the Jaffna Main Bus Depot and proceeded through the Jaffna Teaching Hospital road. At the end of the protest, a vigil was also held urging for the release of all Tamil political prisoners detained in prisons. Political organizations, civil society members and relatives of political prisoners participated in the protest.


Mattala Airport to be leased to Indian compant
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

Soon after the agreement to lease the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company, the government yesterday sought Cabinet approval for a 40-year lease of the Mattala International Airport to an Indian company. The Cabinet paper was presented by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. An Indian company had made a bid to develop the airport which built under the previous regime with financial assistance from China. The airport and the harbour are in close proximity to each other.


H'tota Port agreement can be amended: PM
[Thursday 2017-08-10 18:00]

The agreement signed between the Sri Lankan Government and China Merchant Holdings to develop the Hambantota Port contains a clause which enables further amendments, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today. He said this in response to a matter raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayke that Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had publicly stated that a clause enabling amendments in the future were included in the agreement while President Maithripala Sirisena had also given a similar assurance to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation unions.

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