Untitled Document
June 23, 2017 [GMT]
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TNA constituent parties demand dismissal of four NPC Ministers
[Tuesday 2017-06-13 17:00]

Parties in the Tamil National Alliance including EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE have demanded the dismissal of four Ministers in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) who were charged with mass scale corruption. A special committee appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran has recommended to remove Agriculture Minister Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan and Education Minister Thambyrajah Gurukularajah. EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO parties in the alliance have expressed in one voice the importance of removing these provincial ministers who were accused of corruption.


President tells public officials: Utilise Northern development funds in a planned manner
[Tuesday 2017-06-13 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that public representatives and public officials should have a proper plan to spend the money allocated by the government annually for the development of the Northern Province.


Gota accused of being behind Mahinda’s polls defeat
[Tuesday 2017-06-13 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been accused of being behind the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election. Minister of Social Empowerment S.B. Dissanayake said that certain actions by Gotabaya Rajapaksa led to Mahinda Rajapaksa losing Catholic and Muslim votes. Dissanayake said that 40-45 percent of Catholic votes the Sri Lanka Freedom Party usually got dropped to 25 percent and 15 percent of Muslim votes dropped to 2 percent as a result of the actions of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been accused of being behind the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the hate campaign.


20 deaths in 5 months says Railway Dept
[Tuesday 2017-06-13 17:00]

At least 20 deaths have been reported during the past five months near vulnerable places on railway tracks or stations, while the victims tried to take selfie photos using their mobile phones or while engaged in conversations with their headhones plugged, Railway Security Superintendent Anura Premaratna said yesterday. He said most of the deaths had occurred between Kollupitiya and Mt. Lavinia railway lines, especially during weekends. A Chinese girl had fallen off the train at Aluthgama recently when she tried to take a selfie from the foot board of a railway compartment. He said all these deaths had taken place due to the negligence of victims and that trespassing railways tracks was illegal. Legal action will be taken against those who violate these rules, he said.


Sarath Weerasekara to submit petition against Zeid
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

A delegation led by former Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara is to leave for Geneva on Wednesday to attend the 35th session of the UN Human Rights (UNHR) Council. He said they intend lobbying in favour of Sri Lanka and to handover a petition against UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. The petition is to be handed over to the President of the UNHRC, Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli. Mr. Weerasekara said Mr. Hussein had interfered in Sri Lanka's internal affairs by defaming its judiciary and calling for constitutional reforms as a means of providing a political solution to the national question.


Gota accused of being behind Mahinda’s polls defeat
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been accused of being behind the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election. Minister of Social Empowerment S.B. Dissanayake said that certain actions by Gotabaya Rajapaksa led to Mahinda Rajapaksa losing Catholic and Muslim votes. Dissanayake said that 40-45 percent of Catholic votes the Sri Lanka Freedom Party usually got dropped to 25 percent and 15 percent of Muslim votes dropped to 2 percent as a result of the actions of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.


President reportedly not happy with subjects given to Ravi
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena is reportedly not happy with the subjects given to Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member and Minister of Social Empowerment S.B. Dissanayake said that the subjects were given to the new Foreign Minister by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said that the SLFP is not happy with the move and he does not think the President is happy either. Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera were given key Government institutions, as per an Extraordinary Gazette notice issued on Saturday.


Court warns to issue arrest warrant for Bodu Bala Sena leader for failing to appear
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

A Sri Lankan court today warned to issue an arrest warrant if the leader of the extremist Buddhist organization, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) fail to appear before the court on the next court date. Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera was absent in Court today when a case against him was taken up for hearing, claiming that he has received death threats. The controversial Thera was absent for the court hearing today on the allegation of offensive behavior inside the Homagama Magistrate's Court amounting to Contempt of Court on January 25, last year.


Selfie tragedy: 12-year-old’s head found on Ambepussa-bound train
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

The head of the 12-year-old boy, who was knocked down by a train when taking a selfie at Kollupitiya, was found on a train bound to Ambepussa today, Police said. They said the head which was stuck between two compartments was removed by commuters and handed it over to the Gampaha Railway Station. Investigations had revealed it was the head of the boy killed in yesterday’s train tragedy at Kollupitiya. Two brothers were knocked down by a train while taking a selfie standing on the railway track between the Kollupitiya and Bambalapitiya Railway Stations.


Sri Lankan President to meet families of missing persons today
[Monday 2017-06-12 17:00]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to visit Jaffna today to attend a special meeting of the Jaffna District Development Committee this morning to review the progress of the development activities in the North and future projects. During the visit the President is expected to hold a special meeting with the family members of missing persons, officials said. The Jaffna District Development Committee meeting will be attended by Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray and Jaffna Government Agent N. Vethanayagam along with Government officials assigned to post-war development activities in the North, according to officials.


NPC minister resigns to facilitate corruption probe against him
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

A Northern Provincial Council (NPC) minister yesterday temporarily stepped down from his portfolio until allegations of corruption, abuse of power and misuse of funds were fully probed. Education, Sports and Cultural Affairs Minister T. Gurukularaja conveyed his decision to the General Secretary of his party- the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK)- Mavai Senathraja yesterday.


USS Lake Erie joins flood assistance efforts in SL
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires Robert Hilton welcomed USS Lake Erie on its arrival in Colombo today with embarked U.S. military personnel to support humanitarian assistance efforts across flood-affected areas across Sri Lanka.


Negotiations still ongoing on Hambantota port deal
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

An agreement is yet to be reached between the government and a Chinese company on the Hambantota port. Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that talks on the port are still ongoing. The Chinese company and the government have been in talks for several months on operating the port but no deal has been reached yet. A deal was to be reached in January. However pressure from the opposition led to the signing of the deal being postponed.


Two MPs of Sri Lankan parents voted to UK parliament
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

London-born Ranil Jayawardena whose father is of Sri Lankan origin, was re-elected from the Conservative Party to the British parliament from the North East Hampshire constituency with a healthy majority of almost 28,000 votes. Jayawardena who first won this seat at the 2015 general election got 65.6 per cent of the votes cast garnering 37,754 votes, up from the 35,573 votes he received in 2015.


Gotabaya summoned for questioning at PRECIFAC
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been summoned for questioning by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry proving serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges. He has been informed to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on Thursday (June 15) for questioning regarding the dismantling of old machines at the Cement Factory at Kankesanthurai and selling them as scrap iron.


Sri Lankan delegation and MCC discuss million dollar grant
[Sunday 2017-06-11 18:00]

A Sri Lankan delegation and officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) had talks on a million dollar MCC grant. Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva who led the Sri Lankan delegation at the talks in the US, said that preparations for the multi-hundred million dollar MCC grant are moving forward.


Radical transformation of system of governance imperative: Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

A radical transformation of the system of governance to ensure people’s participatory approach is imperative, Opposition Leader R Sampanthan said. Sampanthan used the Parliamentary debate on disaster situation yesterday to draw the attention of the House to the need of giving more responsibilities and powers to the provincial authorities to efficiently handle disaster management related activities. He said greater interaction between people and government institutions must be established.


US firm in 1968 recommended construction of 6 dams to prevent floods and landslides here
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

A US engineering company had warned 49 years ago that Sri Lanka would continue to suffer from floods and landslides till it constructed six dams across three main rivers, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said yesterday. He told The Island that he had requested the government to implement the proposal by the US company to erect six dams at several places of the rivers Kalu, Gin and Nilvala, so that the country would be free from floods threat.


John regrets losing temper with media
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga regretted last Thursday’s incident where he was compelled to ask journalists to leave his residence. He said the new found press freedom is being abused by a section of the media to bring the government into disrepute. He said some journalists have no respect for the truth nor the basic decency to report on facts, the Minister’s media secretary and former Western Provincial Minister Lawrence Madiwela said in a statement clarifying the circumstances that led the minister to respond to the journalists at the time.


123-year-old N' Eliya Post Office for sale ?
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

The Postal Trade Union Federation yesterday staged a protest against the proposed sale of the 123 year-old Nuwara Eliya post office building to an Indian businessman to run a restaurant. More than 500 representatives of the postal department trade unions, civil society organizations, and people of the area participated. They accused the authorities of planning to hand over the buildings of Nuwara Eliya Post Office, Colombo Fort Post Office, and Galle Fort Post Office that should be conserved as national heritage buildings and monuments of the British rule not sell them to businessmen to run hotels and restaurants . President of the Post and Telecommunication Officers Union S.Kariyawasam pointed out that it was a matter of serious concern that property of the people were being sold to businessmen in this manner.


Canada to deport Sri Lankan murder suspect in two weeks
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

Canada’s Immigration Department says a murder suspect who was set free after his trial exceeded the legal length limit is expected to be sent back to Sri Lanka in the next two weeks, CTV News reported. Ewa Staszewicz, a lawyer for the department, is confirming steps are being taken to obtain the necessary travel documents for Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam. Thanabalasingam, 31, told an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearing yesterday he doesn’t believe he will be in danger in his home country and no longer needs to be protected as a refugee.


Rs 400 M lost in CHOGM vehicle saga
[Saturday 2017-06-10 18:00]

The Auditor General's Department has pointed out to the government that a sum of Rs 400 million had been lost to the State following the decision taken by the former regime to import 82 new vehicles ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Heads of State Summit meeting held in Colombo. The AG's Department said those vehicles had been brought down to providing state-of-the-art transport facilities to the visiting Heads of States and government personnel. The report has revealed that this loss had been incurred when these vehicles had been resold at a discounted price.


UNHRC to discuss Rapporteur’s report on Sri Lanka on Monday
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is to discuss a report on Sri Lanka on Monday. The UNHRC is to consider the report of the former Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers by the new mandate holder, Diego García-Sayán, on his mission to Sri Lanka. The report is to be discussed on Monday during the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva.


Malaysia denies entry to Vaiko for alleged LTTE link
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) Chief Vaiko was denied entry into Malaysia today due to his alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), The Asian News international (ANI) reported. The MDMK Chief was stopped at the Kuala Lumpur Airport and questioned for several hours on his alleged links with the Tamil rebel group and later denied permission to enter the country.


Theresa May refuses to quit despite hung Parliament
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

British Prime Minister Theresa May is refusing to quit despite her disastrous election night as the UK voted for a hung parliament, the Telegraph reported a short while ago. Mrs May’s decision to call a snap election backfired in spectacular fashion as she lost the Conservatives’ majority in the House of Commons as Labour made significant gains.


Gota denies connection to BBS and recent attacks
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today denied allegations of any connection with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or the recent attacks aimed at Muslim owned shops. In a facebook post, Rajapakse strongly condemned the false rumours linking his name with the BBS and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in connection with the atrocious burning of Muslim owned shops in the recent past.


Over 450,000 children in 5-17 age group not attending school: Survey
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

A total of 452,661 children in the 5-17 school going age group are not attending school and 51,249 children among them have never attended school, a survey by the Department of Census and Statistics reveals. The survey titled ‘Child Activity Survey 2016” reveals that the main reasons for children not to attend school are awaiting for G.C.E (O/L) results, disinterest in education, non consideration of the valuae of education, too young (not eligible to enter school), disability, financial difficulties, Studying at home for G.C. E (O/L),leaving school before completion of studies to support families.


Sri Lanka will not allow 'offensive weapons' in its waters - FM
[Friday 2017-06-09 18:00]

Sri Lanka will not allow 'offensive weapons' from any country in its waters, the island nation's Foreign Minister has said. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi to shipping routes, intend to become an economic entry point in the Indian Ocean region and 'offensive weapons' does not fall into that category.

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