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October 22, 2017 [GMT]
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Welgama, Aluthgamage removed as SLFP organizers; CBK appointed to Attanagalla
[Friday 2017-10-13 18:00]

MPs Kumara Welgama and Mahindananda Aluthgamage had been removed from their Posts of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Organisers for Matugama and Nawalapitiya respectively, informed sources said. Meanwhile, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had been appointed as the SLFP organiser for Attanagalla by President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting held with SLFP organisers this evening, they said.

Gota will support SLPP says Basil
[Friday 2017-10-13 15:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will support the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)'s initiatives on issues of national interest, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday. "He never went on election stage but he supported the party at important moments. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is against attempts to divide the country and that is why he established the Eliya organization as well," he said.

Gazette on number of LG members to be issued next week
[Friday 2017-10-13 15:00]

The gazette indicating the number of members in each Local Government body will be issued next week, Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. The gazette is a pre-requisite for holding the Local Government polls under the new electoral system. Speaking to the media at the Parliamentary complex yesterday, the minister said the draft of that gazette would be handed over to the Elections Commission Chairman today.

[Friday 2017-10-13 09:00]

The present threats emanating from the Indian Ocean due to Sri Lanka’s geostrategic location has called for the establishment of a Naval-Air Force Wing to secure our waters with greater surveillance and striking capabilities, Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne said yesterday. He also proposed that a Joint Naval Command with the Air Force be set up with a Joint Communication Network with air and maritime capabilities.

Opposition leader writes to President on transfer of PTA cases
[Thursday 2017-10-12 18:00]

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan today urged President Maithripala Sirisena to release the Tamil prisoners detained under Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act for years as government pledged locally and international community to repeal it with an alternative law. He said that there is an unnecessary complication has been created by the transfer of some cases from Vavuniya to Anuradhapura. Three detainees commenced a fast demanding that their cases should be heard in Vavuniya courts.

Families of suspected LTTE cadres dash coconuts Hartal in the North tomorrow
[Thursday 2017-10-12 18:00]

Family members of those imprisoned, on suspicion of being involve in terrorist activities, yesterday (11) gathered at the Nallur Temple and dashed coconuts, following special prayers, for the three prisoners who are on a hunger strike. A hartal will be held in the Northern Province tomorrow (13) in support of the three prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for the past 16 days at the Vavuniya Prison and to urge the Government to transfer their cases back to the Vavuniya Courts from Anuradhapura.

Mahinda lost Presidency due to racism–Rajitha
[Thursday 2017-10-12 18:00]

The main reason for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat at the last Presidential Election was racism, says Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing at the Information Department, Senaratne said that Mahinda by failing to rein in his brother and former Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapakaksa and extremist Sinhala Buddhist organisations, had alienated the minorities, a vast majority of whom voted against him on January 8, 2015.

Hartal in North and East on Friday
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

As a mark of political protest against a decision by the Attorney General’s department to transfer three Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) cases from Vavuniya High Court to Anuradhapura, political parties and civil society organizations have planned to stage a hartal on Thursday, October 13, in the North and East. Speaking to the Daily News, Tamil National Alliance MP M. A. Sumanthiran said he was aware of the situation and has requested the AG’s department to provide security to the witnesses of the three cases so that it can continue to be heard at the Vavuniya High Court.

Governments not bound by UN experts advice: Ministry
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

Governments are not bound by the advice or recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs, but can avail of the expert knowledge and experience of Special Rapporteurs who are available to Governments as a resource, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. Issuing a statement, the Ministry said some media reports connected to the visit of UN Expert on Transitional Justice Pablo de Greiff, had given erroneous and misleading information. “Advice and expertise of UN Experts can be obtained by countries in a manner that would benefit institutional capacity building, policy formulation, and policy reform and training needs as a Government may consider necessary,” it said.

Will inform IMF, WB that Rs.792 bn unused: Bandula
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

The joint opposition said today it would inform the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) next week about funds amounting to Rs.792 billion remaining unused from the 2016 Budgetary allocations. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said Rs.3,898 billion was allocated through the 2016 Appropriation Bill, but only Rs.3106 billion had been spent during that year.

Felt bad when I saw Prabhakaran’s body: Rahul
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

India’s late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul said he felt bad when he saw the body of Prabhakaran, who killed his father, Indian media reported. While addressing a business community at Vadodara in Gujurat on Monday, he said his family followed Mahatma Gandhi’s values and he felt bad when he saw the body of his father Rajiv’s assailant. “My family has Gandhi Ji’s values. I felt bad when I saw body of my father’s killer Prabhakaran. I shared this even with Priyanka, she said she felt bad too,” he said.

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise in Pune
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

Mitra Shakti 2017, a joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka for military co-operation and interoperability, will be conducted at the Aundh Military Camp in Pune between October 13 and 25. The training exercise is considered an important effort in India’s response to China’s growing influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

Namal, five others remanded till Oct.16
[Wednesday 2017-10-11 18:00]

Parliamentarians Namal Rajapaksa, D.V. Chanaka, Prassanna Ranaweera and three others who were arrested this evening were remanded till October 16, police said. They were arrested this evening by the Hambantota Police in connection with the recent protest in Hambantota, Police said. They were summoned by the Hambantota Police to record a statement in connection with the incident this afternoon.

NEC prepares officials for Local Government polls
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

National Election Commission (NEC) is prepared to hold Local Government Elections and the senior presiding officers and assistant election commissioners are being educated on the process, Additional Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohommed said. Mohammed said a 3-day special training programme was conducted for senior presiding officers and assistant election commissioners island-wide. He said the Commissioner planned to train government officers and assign them for election duties in December. He said the Commission would educate them about new election rules as well if the representatives of political parties requested.

Namal’s fmr. Secretary Ornella arrested at BIA
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

MP Namal Rajapaksa’s former secretary Ornella Iresha Silva was arrested this morning at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake following a court order. She was arrived at the BIA at 05.07 this morning from Abu Dhabi Later she was handed over to the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) officers at the airport. She was wanted over the court case involving alleged money laundering which is to be taken up at the Colombo Magistrate's Court today

Be cautious when dealing with China: US
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

Every country should be cautious when working with China due to China’s lack of transparency in certain engagements, a top US Military Officer said yesterday. Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson of the US Navy expressed these views upon asking whether the US was concerned about Chinese presence in the region particularly in Sri Lanka. He said they were concerned about the fact that why China was now trying to rearrange the very system from which they were already receiving benefits.

‘War crimes charges made against troops unfairly’
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekara yesterday said that attempts were being made to hold officers and men of fighting formations deployed on the Vanni front accountable for alleged war crimes committed during the eelam war IV.Maj. Gen. Karunasekara said so when he was asked on Sirasa ‘Pathikada’ to explain measures taken by the SLA to address alleged accountability issues. The previous government brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. Maj. Gen. Karunasekara said fighting formations had been penalised on the basis of their deployment for the Vanni offensive.

SLFP stalwarts feared opposing MR’s deals: No outright sale of Mattala - Minister Siripala de Silva
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

The SLFP stalwarts maintained silence when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was giving away the Port City and Shangri-La to Chinese companies as they feared the repercussions of opposing the deal, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday. The Minister made this observation in response to an adjournment motion moved by Joint Opposition MP Dullas Alahapperuma on last week clash between police and protestors at Mattala. The Minister said that the Government had not taken any decision if it would give Mattala Airport to India or not.

Navy Commander calls for common global maritime domain
[Tuesday 2017-10-10 18:00]

Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah called for the establishment of a common global maritime domain to share real time maritime information between the navies of the world. “An information sharing web aiding in detecting and disseminating information from the sea in real time”, suggested the Navy Commander would be an effective tool in governing the ocean and maritime boundaries of states. Real time information, said Vice Admiral Sinniah was an important deterrent for terrorist activity and a vital tool in defeating crime in the ocean.

TNA MP cries foul at ex-Chief Justice; says he violates P’ment privileges
[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

A parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance has filed an intervenient petition against the fundamental rights petition filed by former Chief Justice challenging the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran PC is crying foul at former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s fundamental rights petition saying that if it is heard by the Supreme Court , it would violate his rights as a Member of Parliament and those under and in terms of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act.

Election Commission prepares to hold local government elections in January
[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

Sri Lanka's Elections Commission is preparing to hold the local government elections in January next year, according to local media reports. Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has said that approximately 15.6 million people are eligible to vote for the selection of members for 335 Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas at the election. He said that the Commission is in contact with the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils to inquire into the multiple-member voting districts system.

[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

The Government has issued a Gazette Extraordinary banning the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in Sri Lanka in accordance with the UN Regulations of 2017. Regulations have been issued by Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana under the United Nations Act.

Defence tops 2018 budget
[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

The Appropriation Bill approved by the Cabinet of Ministers which is to be tabled in Parliament today records an allocation of Rs.260,711,375,000 as recurrent expenditure for the Ministry of Defence and a capital expenditure of Rs. 30 billion. The Finance Ministry estimates a total expenditure of Rs. 3,982 billion for 2018. The amount includes Rs.1, 308 billion for recurrent expenditure and Rs. 668 billion for capital expenditure. The Government estimates revenue of Rs. 2,175 billion from foreign grants while another Rs.1,813 billion to be financed through loans obtained from both foreign and domestic sources.

Galle Dialogue gets underway at the Galle Face Hotel Top News
[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

The International Maritime Conference, “Galle Dialogue 2017”, organised by the Sri Lanka Navy, got underway at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, on October 9 and 10 for the eighth consecutive year. Over 100 local and foreign scholars and experts in naval and maritime affairs representing 38 countries and 11 international organisations will share their expertise at the two-day dialogue to be held under the theme, “Greater maritime visibility for enhanced maritime security”. The Galle dialogue was initiated by the Navy in 2010.

Rajapaksa clan’ a threat to harmony - Tilvin
[Monday 2017-10-09 18:00]

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) General Secretary Tilvin Silva pointed out yesterday that the Rajapaksa clan was a threat to communal harmony in the country. Silva was addressing the media at the JVP's party office in Punkankulam, Jaffna yesterday. He was also in the region to look into the activities of the Party and to endorse the JVP's position on the proposed new Constitution. Addressing the media further Silva added that the JVP was for democracy and equal rights for all citizens in the country.

3 LTTE prisoners on hunger strike to refuse fluids
[Sunday 2017-10-08 19:00]

Three LTTE suspects engaged in a hunger strike at the Anuradhapura Prison since Sept.23, have threatened to stop taking fluids from today (8), unless the Govt either brings charges against them or, orders their release. A delegation of six Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members who visited the Anuradhapura Prison yesterday, failed to persuade the fasting detainees to give up their hunger strike until the delegation could meet President Maithripala Sirisena to brief him on the matter.

TNA, Govt at loggerheads over Batti’ Dist. Sec. appointment
[Sunday 2017-10-08 19:00]

A dispute has arisen between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Govt over the nominees for the post of Batticaloa District Secretary (DS) which fell vacant, following former DS P.S.M. Charles appointment as Director General of Sri Lanka Customs. The TNA nominated three Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) Class I Officers from three prominent Govt Ministries to be appointed as the new DS. However, the Govt is trying to promote another SLAS Officer from the Eastern Provincial Council, whose term has now lapsed.

[Sunday 2017-10-08 19:00]

The United Nations has expressed delight at the submission of the constitutional steering committee’s interim report on the proposed new constitution to the Sri Lankan Parliament. United Nations (UN), Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman and Director, Peacebuilding Support Office at United Nations, Mari Yamashita have conveyed their satisfaction to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran, a member of the steering committee.

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