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December 18, 2017 [GMT]
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US to transfer Coast Guard Cutter to SL
[Friday 2017-12-08 19:00]

A US Coast Guard Cutter would be transferred to Sri Lanka further enhancing US-Sri Lanka Indo Pacific Partnership, the US Embassy said today. Ahead of the transfer, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon said this Coast Guard Cutter is a tangible symbol of growing partnership between the two countries and reflects shared commitment of the two nations to regional stability.


Dinesh wants MR's security strengthened
[Friday 2017-12-08 19:00]

Joint opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane today requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to strengthen former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's security considering the security threat to his life when participating at JO election rallies for the LG elections. He told parliament that the security forces were finding it difficult to prevent people from entering high security zones and maintaining no-go areas at the rallies which would be attended by Mr. Rajapaksa.


Army chief seeks support for reconciliation process
[Friday 2017-12-08 19:00]

Army commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has sought support for the Government’s reconciliation initiatives. The commander said that the Army can assist the reconciliation process by building civil-military partnerships, which he says is essential and important to counter violent extremism and sustain the hard-earned peace.


ITAK expresses confidence in TNA unity Reaches consensus with TELO on LG polls seats
[Friday 2017-12-08 19:00]

The Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Leader and Jaffna District Parliamentarian Mavai S. Senathirajah is confident that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will continue to remain strong and that the ITAK has reached a compromise with the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) over the allocation of seats for the Local Government polls (LG), for the constituent Parties in the TNA. Senathirajah told Ceylon Today, that there had been some misunderstandings, before, over the allocation of seats for the forthcoming LG polls.


TELO leaves TNA
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

In what appeared to a further split of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) decided to leave it to join hands with other Tamil parties to contest the local government elections, it is learnt. The TELO’s politburo that met in Vavuniya on Tuesday took this decision. The 21member presidium council of TELO concluded that, TELO could not be any more ‘a co-traveller’ with the ITAK in the Tamil National Alliance.


Sri Lanka to establish a 400 MW Natural Gas Power Plant in Hambantota
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

Considering the importance of introducing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a source of energy to Sri Lanka, the Government has held discussions with Government of China to jointly establish a 400 megawatt natural gas power plant in Hambantota on G2G basis. The project will be implemented with the prime objective of providing electricity to the industrial zone proposed to be constructed at Hambantota and to overcome the power scarcity that may occur in the future.


Resident US advisor here to assist CIABOC
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

The US State Department Special Project has made provision for a Resident Legal Advisor in Colombo to provide anti-corruption and asset recovery training and also support the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC). The State Department has revealed the decision in a statement headlined The Global Forum on Asset Recovery: Assistance for Combatting Corruption in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Ukraine posted its website, on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day.


Attesting witnesses Top News
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena's son Pasanda married today. President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who attended the wedding were the two attesting witnesses. The duo was also seen seated together during the wedding ceremony.


Non-declaration of assets: Sajin Vass fined Rs.1,000
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

Former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was fined Rs.1,000 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today for not declaring his assets during the years 2011 and 2012. Additional Magistrate Aruni Attygala fined Mr. Gunawardena over the case filed by the Bribery Commission. The former MP pleaded guilty to the charges.


Court orders arrest of Sub Inspector
[Thursday 2017-12-07 18:00]

Kayts Divisional Judge M. Riyaz on Tuesday ordered to take into custody the Sub Inspector who released Swiss Kumar, the main suspect in the gang rape and murder of Vidya, the student from Jaffna.


Naseby’s call doesn’t reflect UK’s stand - HC
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

The British High Commission has declared that Lord Naseby’s recent statement in the House of Lords pertaining to accountability issues in Sri Lanka doesn’t reflect UK’s stand. The British HC said so in response to The Island query whether the BHC had discussions with the Foreign Ministry here or the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as regards Lord Naseby’s call for reviewing Geneva Resolution 30/1. The following is the text of the BHC statement: "Lord Naseby was not speaking for the British Government when speaking recently in a debate in the House of Lords. As a Member of Parliament he is entitled to express his own views."


Court of Appeal extends stay order against arresting Gotabaya
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

The Court of Appeal today extended a stay order against arresting former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa till December 15. The stay order was initially issued till today. Earlier Rajapaksa had filed a petition in court seeking an order against his arrest. Rajapaksa was facing arrest over the alleged misappropriation of over Rs. 90 million of Government funds for the construction of a memorial for his parents when he was the Defence Secretary.


Media Minister says there is no ban on any news website
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera says there is no ban on any news website. The Minister said that there have been reports of some news websites being blocked. However he said that there is no point in blocking access to any website locally as those websites can be accessed through proxy websites. The Minister was speaking at an event organised by the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association in Colombo today.


SLFP can win election without MR: Samarasinghe
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

There was no need of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to win at the upcoming Local Government (LG) elections, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. While addressing a media briefing today at the SLFP Head Quarters he said the Joint Opposition had no right even to say that they would not support SLFP at the elections. “We will definitely win the upcoming LG elections even without the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. More people are gathering with the President Maithripala Sirisena than ever before,” the Minister said.


SL calls for destruction of chemical weapons
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

Sri Lanka called on the states still in possession of chemical weapons to take all necessary steps to expedite the destruction of such weapons since chemical weapons continue to pose a threat to global security. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to The Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW, A.M.J. Sadiq made this call while addressing the 22nd Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague last Wednesday (29).


Suspects who tried to sail illegally to Australia and Canada remanded
[Wednesday 2017-12-06 18:00]

A group of persons who were arrested while allegedly planning to sail illegally to Australia and Canada by boat have been remanded in custody till December 6 by the Puttalam Magistrate. The suspects were taken into custody from a rest house in Thiladiya, Puttalam on Novemer 26 by police following a tip-off. They are residents of Jaffna, Mannar, Puthukkudiyiruppu and Trincomalee.


Nominations called for 248 local bodies
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

Announcing the nominations for 248 local government bodies, the National Election Commission (NEC) yesterday said that it was hopeful of holding the long awaited LG polls on or before Feb. 17 next year. Addressing the media in Colombo, NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that the election date should be decided by the commission and not by politicians. Therefore, the LG polls could be held on a date between Feb. 5 and 17, he added.


Special Cabinet meeting to approve gazette on H’tota Port handover
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

Party leaders had yesterday decided to get the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for a gazette notification on handing over Hambantota Port to China, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala told The Island. Sumathipala said there would be a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday (07) to approve the gazette. The Deputy Speaker said the gazette would be presented to Parliament on the very same day and taken up for debate on Friday (8) evening from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. The party leaders had agreed with that proposition, Sumathipala said.


Journalists murder probe still a long way to go - Mangala
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday noted that as a country it was very significant for Sri Lanka to be chosen as the venue to hold the UNESCO Regional Conference in Reinforcing Regional Cooperation to Promote Freedom of Expression and the Rule of Law in Asia through Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Sri Lanka which was once one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist was now a ‘safe space required for freedom of expression’.


Another LG delimitation case filed Former Ambagamuwa PS Member petitions SC
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

A Petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court complaining that an injustice has been caused to Local Government Bodies during the delimitation process ahead of next year's Local Government polls. The petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court by former Member of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Vidanagamage Nandaraja. The petitioner has pointed out that when carrying out the delimitation process, the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha had been divided into three and such actions could pose a threat not only to the Sinhala Buddhist voter foundation, but it could scupper the reconciliation process as well.


CID and AG in two minds over Ekneligoda case– Sagala Ratnayake
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Attorney General's Department are debating whether the journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance case should proceed as a murder or abduction, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake said yesterday (4).


Ravana Falls changes colour
[Tuesday 2017-12-05 18:00]

The heavy rains experienced in the Uva Province had given the beautiful Ravana Falls a new colour mixed with muddy water. The pictures show how the waterfall looked on Sunday with crystal clear water and on Monday with muddy water.


Sri Lankan family deported after spending 5 years in Canada Top News
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

A Sri Lankan family who spent five years in Canada was deported Sunday despite appeals to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to issue a reprieve. Their flight took off from Montreal's Trudeau airport Sunday evening. Before leaving their home in Parc-Extension, Robert Lawrence, the father of the family, said they were all very sad, but still love Canada despite their deportation. "What can you do? We have to all obey the rules and regulations," Lawrence told CBC News.


LG polls on or before Feb 17
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

The Elections Commission today said that it will consider a request with regards to the date to hold the Local Government elections. Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said that there is a request to hold the election on a Saturday. He said that the election is likely to be held on or before February 17 next year. Deshapriya said that the election will not be held on a Sunday or public holiday. Earlier the Government had said it expects the election to be held on February 10.


Iranian oil tanker rescues 5 Lankan fishermen Top News
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

An Iranian oil tanker succeeded to rescue five crews of a sinking fishing boat in Indian Ocean, IRNA reported. 'The crew noticed crucial situation of the sinking boat and received signs for help,' the National Iranian Tanker Company website quoted 'Stream' tanker's Captain Mahmoud Baghestani as saying. Rescue operation took five hours due to torrential rains. He said the fishermen are in safe and sound situation and will be delivered to the related officials in Chabahar Port on Wednesday December 6.


26-fold increase to SL's territorial sea area
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

The United Nations has agreed to add a territorial expanse amounting to 26 times of the country's land extent to the sea area surrounding Sri Lanka, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Sri Lanka is eligible under the Law of Sea to own this sea area because of the narrow and shallow strip of the sea located between Sri Lanka and India.


SLMC to go it alone in Eastern Province
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to contest the local government elections in the Eastern Province on its own. Party secretary general Nizam Kariyappar said the candidates cash deposits will be made tomorrow and added that his party was holding discussions with the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) with the view to form an alliance to contest the elections to other LG bodies.


TNA plans polls strategy
[Monday 2017-12-04 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) held a special meeting to discuss the strategies to be adopted at the forthcoming Local Government Polls. The meeting was chaired by Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Leader, at the party's Head Office at Martin Road Jaffna, yesterday. The members of the constituent parties in the TNA were present at yesterday's meeting, where the allocation of seats for each party as well as the campaign strategies were discussed.

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