Untitled Document
March 26, 2017 [GMT]
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Jayasuriya accused of running “Joseph Camp” torture chamber
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

Sri Lanka’s former army commander, currently Ambassador to Brazil, has been accused of allegedly operating an army camp at the end of the country’s civil war where extremely brutal torture was routine. General Jagath Jayasuriya was the commander of the Wanni Security Force Headquarters in Vavuniya, more commonly know as “Joseph Camp”, from August 2007 till mid July 2009, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITPJ) claimed.


Canada says visa requirements for Sri Lankan travellers the same
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

The High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Embassy of Canada to Maldives says it is aware of recent erroneous media reporting on entry/visa requirements for Sri Lankan business and tourist travellers suggesting changes to Canada’s entry requirements for Sri Lankan travellers. The High Commission insisted that the claims are false.


Pirates, Somali forces exchange fire in battle to free Lankan crew
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

Somali maritime forces and pirates on board a hijacked oil tanker with a Sri Lankan crew shot at each other today, Sky News reported. The ship – the Aris 13 – is anchored off the Somali coast near the town of Alula. Eight Sri Lankan crew were on the vessel when it was taken over on Monday and most of them were being held captive in a locked room. An official said: “We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped.” One pirate named as Abdulaahi is claiming that the pirates have killed a member of the marine force and injured another – but the official has dismissed the claim.


Recommendations by UN’s Rita Izsák to be implemented
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

The Government today said that action will be taken to implement the recommendations to Sri Lanka by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Ms. Rita Izsák, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that Rita Izsák’s Report on her visit to Sri Lanka is being studied carefully.


‘Put an end to bottom trawling’
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

The fishermen issue between India and Sri Lanka has a better chance of resolution if left to the fisherfolk on both sides, said R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament, on Wednesday. He said the governments should ensure an end to bottom trawling while leaving the issues of daily importance to the fishermen.


Rehabilitated LTTE woman cadre remanded
[Thursday 2017-03-16 18:00]

A rehabilitated LTTE woman cadre, arrested by the police at Wellawaya on Monday while moving around in the area in a suspicious manner, has been remanded till March 28. The police said President Sirisena had addressed a meeting in Wellawaya on that day. The middle aged former LTTE cadre has told police that she was visiting her child, born out of wedlock, given to a family in the area for adoption. Police are conducting investigations to establish whether she has told them the truth. They are also questioning a soldier serving in the North in this connection.


EU court rejects case against Tamil Tigers 'terror' label
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

The European Union's top court has rejected an argument by people accused of collecting funds for Tamil Tiger rebels that activities by the group shouldn't be classified as "terrorist acts." Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009 when government forces defeated the rebels, who fought to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils.


Sri Lankans deported from Australia questioned by CID
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

The police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) detained a questioned 25 Sri Lankans deported from Australia. The Sri Lankans were detained after they arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning. Australia deported the Sri Lankans after they entered the country illegally and sought asylum.


SL seeks Somali govt. help to secure release of eight Lankans held by pirates
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunawardena yesterday said that the government had requested the Somali authorities to assist in rescuing eight Sri Lankans taken hostage by pirates while working aboard oil tanker in its capital Djibouti recently. The Sri Lankans had been working aboard the vessel ARIS 13 which had been supplying fuel to bigger vessels.


EU asks Sri Lanka for 'concrete progress' on rights ahead of GSP+ decision
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

The European Union has underlined the need for concrete progress on human rights ahead of discussions in Europe over approving GSP + trade concessions to Sri Lanka in May. "…[T]he EU drew attention to the importance of Sri Lanka making prompt and concrete progress in fulfilling international commitments on human rights and labour rights and environmental protection," a joint statement released after a meeting of the working group on governance, rule of law and human rights.


Maritime terrorism an emerging threat in Indian Ocean, says Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today pitched for closer cooperation among countries of the region to combat threat of terrorism, warning that maritime infrastructure in the Indian Ocean region could be a potential target of terror groups. He said non-state actors operating in the region were “powerful” and there was a need to work unitedly to shield the Indian Ocean Region from maritime terrorism, observing that it has the potential to disrupt economic growth.


Divineguma case: AG indicts Basil
[Wednesday 2017-03-15 17:00]

Colombo High Court today indicted former minister Basil Rajapaksa in the case in which he is accused of misappropriating Rs.29 million belonging to the Divineguma Department by using the funds to print five million almanacs during the 2015 presidential election. Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga later released the suspect on a cash bail of Rs.100, 000 with two sureties of Rs.500, 000 each and ordered that theaccused be fingerprinted.


Welcomes positive engagement between Govt. and HC’s office
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

A follow up draft resolution on Sri Lanka sponsored by Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday. This follow up resolution under the title of “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka welcomes the positive engagement between the Government and the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner since October 2015.


Sri Lankans among crew in ship hijacked by Somali pirates
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

It has been confirmed that eight Sri Lankans were on board the tanker that is believed to have been hijacked by Somali pirates off the seas of Djibouti on Monday, the Sri Lanka Navy said. Navy Spokesman Lt. Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said the French Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center (MRCC) had informed the Rescue Coordinating Center (RCC) in Sri Lanka of the incident. Disputing the prior belief that the ship sailed under a Sri Lankan flag, the Navy spokesman said the ship was infact owned by a company based in the United Arab Emirates and sailed under the flag of the Comoros Island.


Ex LTTE woman three other nabbed at Wellawaya
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

A rehabilitated woman cadre and three others in her company were arrested by the Wellawaya Police on suspicion yesterday, when President Maithripala Sirisena attended a ceremony in Kotaweheragala in Wellawaya to issue title deeds for State land to beneficiaries. The main suspect was from the Mullaithivu area and others were residents of the Kotaweheragala area.


Bid to assassinate TNA MP
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

Four former LTTE cadres, allegedly involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M. A. Sumanthiran, were further remanded until 22 March by Kilinochchi Magistrate A. Anandaraja, yesterday (13). According to the investigations conducted by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), one suspect, Kannan Anojan Vetri is residing in Australia, and an international arrest warrant was issued for his arrest.


PM defends Navy in Palk Bay shooting
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has told the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, that Indian fishermen found poaching in the country's territorial waters are only arrested and never fired upon by the Navy. Wickremasinghe also informed High Commissioner Sandhu that besides an investigation into the incident by the Sri Lanka Navy, a separate probe is also being carried out by the Defence Ministry on the advice of President Mathiripala Sirisena. During the discussion, Sandhu had informed the PM that India was closely following the incident at which point PM Wickremesinghe had reacted with the remarks.


President seeks JSC recommendation to dismiss Kannan
[Tuesday 2017-03-14 18:00]

The Island exclusively reported last week that the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) had, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena dated 23 February 2017, disowned the recommendation it made earlier that Ramanathan Kannan be appointed a High Court Judge. In that letter, the JSC stated that if the BASL had made ‘no proper recommendation’ that Kannan be appointed a High Court judge, the recommendation that the JSC had sent earlier to the President had ‘no force or avail in law’.


International Truth and Justice Project alleges Sri Lanka security forces of continuing to 'operate with impunity'
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

The International Truth and Justice Project has alleged that Sri Lanka's security forces are still continuing to 'operate with impunity', two years after the change in political leadership in the country. The executive director of the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), Yasmin Sooka says in the former conflict areas, Tamil civilians live under a militarized and securitized system in which surveillance and intimidation constitute everyday life.


SOC on National Security to address TNA concerns on Counter Terrorism Act
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security has assured that certain concerns the TNA has with the Counter Terrorism Act will be fully addressed, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. “There were few concerns regarding the new Counter Terrorism Act, but we were assured that they have been corrected. Our concerns were to do with terms of detention, confessions used as evidence and on access to legal assistance from the time of arrest,” MP Sumanthiran explained. However, there is still another important matter that remains which is to do with the definition of terrorism.


Separate lane for buses open from today in Colombo suburb
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

The Priority Lane pilot project, which functions dual lanes as priority lanes for passenger buses was initiated at Rajagiriya today with the participation of the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka. The project which was introduced as a long term solution for the heavy traffic congestion in Colombo will be conduct as a trial version for a period of one week and will be concluded on March 19.


Indian Coast Guard yet to give GPS info to Sri Lanka Navy on alleged shooting
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

The Indian Coast Guard has not given Sri Lanka Navy the GPS information on the fishing boats which were allegedly shot at by the Sri Lanka Navy in the waters near the Katchatheevu islet last week resulting in the death of a fisherman, Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said yesterday.


Counter Terrorism draft almost ready
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

The revised draft of the Counter Terrorism Act which has been sent to the Legal Draftsman is currently in the process of being converted into a Bill, a government source said. A top level government official, speaking to the Daily News, said the legal framework and the framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) underwent certain revisions based on four experts’ reports, provided by the consultancy appointed, on a request from the Sri Lankan government, by the United Nations to express its view on the said Bill. “Then the revised version went before the Cabinet once again early this year and the Cabinet once again approved it. The revised text was sent to the Legal Draftsman in mid January to convert it into a draft Bill.”


Renuka Herath dies at 72
[Monday 2017-03-13 18:00]

Former UNP Minister and opposition leader of the Central Provincial Council Renuka Herath has passed away this morning at the Kandy General Hospital at the age of 72.


No Indian devotees at Kachchathivu Feat Top News
[Sunday 2017-03-12 18:00]

Though more than 5,000 pilgrims from India had been scheduled to attend St. Anthony’s Feast of Kachchathivu islet this year, none attended it, the Navy said today. Navy Spokesman Chandima Walakuluge said around 9,000 devotees from both India and Sri Lanka were expected to take part in this year’s Kachchathivu Feast. However, only local pilgrims attended the festival that was held on March 11 and 12. The Indian media reported that as fallout of a tragedy, where an Indian fisherman was killed and another injured in a shooting, the Rameshwaram fishermen had decided to boycott the annual feast in Kachchathivu.


IMPLEMENTATION OF UN RESOLUTION : TNA EXTENDS CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
[Sunday 2017-03-12 17:00]

Parliamentarians and Provincial Councillors of TNA’s constituent parties met in Vavunia yesterday presided over by TNA leader R. Sampanthan and decided to demand for full implementation of the Geneva Resolution 30/1 which meant giving more time for the Government to fulfill its promises.


Gota’s war heroes off to Geneva
[Sunday 2017-03-12 17:00]

Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will leave for Geneva tomorrow leading a three-man delegation to meet UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein to mount an offensive against the case, now argued before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes, especially during the closing stages of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This allegation is the centrepiece of the UNHRC resolution that is widely accepted by the international community including the Tamil Diaspora.


Hambantota Port deal prohibits military activity
[Sunday 2017-03-12 17:00]

An agreement to be signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchant Port Holdings Company (CMPort) for the privatisation of Hambantota Port expressly forbids military activity and envisages the setting up of an oversight committee to oversee national security of port property. Port property shall be strictly dedicated for port-related commercial activities, says the final working draft of the 75-page concession agreement which gives CMPort the right to operate business within the Government’s jurisdiction, subject to certain conditions.

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