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December 18, 2017 [GMT]
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PSC the best forum for reaching consensus on 13A - President tells India
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 18:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today informed India's National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) is the best forum to reach a consensus on the implementation of the 13th Amendment. During a meeting at the President's House in Colombo this morning, President Rajapaksa explained to Mr. Menon the practical problems that exist with devolving land and police powers to the provinces of a small country such as Sri Lanka and stressed that the structure that is implemented should apply and be acceptable to all parts of the country. The President agreed with Mr. Menon that the participation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the PSC is important, according to a statement issued by the President's Media Division. It is a top priority of the government to reach a consensus on the 13th Amendment, President Rajapaksa said.

Elections Commissioner gets electric shock
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 18:00]

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has received an electric shock a short while ago 'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns. He has not been harmed but received a mild shock, reports say. Mr. Deshapriya had rung the electric bell for the clerk when a glitch in the bell had caused the shock, reports add. Of late, the Elections Commissioner has been very busy with the elections round the corner.

UNP decision on National question PSC today
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 16:00]

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a media conference yesterday that the UNP was scheduled to take a decision on the PSC on the National Question after discussing it with the party's parliamentary group last night. Its decision will be announced today. The government has already nominated its members to the PSC, which will be chaired by the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva. Other government members are Ministers G. L. Peiris, Basil Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa,John Seneviratne, Susil Premajayantha, D. E. W. Gunesekera, Douglas Devananda, Rishard Bathiudeen, Lakshman Seneviratne, Wimal Weerawansa, Champika Ranawaka, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, A. L. M. Athaullah and Deputy Minister Muththu Sivalingam, and MPs Sudarshini Fernandopulle and Janaka Bandara. The PSC is scheduled to meet today for the first time.

Summon Sri Lankan envoy: Jayalalithaa
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 16:00]

Accusing the Centre of maintaining a "stoic and apathetic silence" over the issue of attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has urged it to summon the Sri Lankan envoy and "strongly advise" Colombo on this matter lest the attacks should exacerbate the situation. Referring to the latest "high-handed and illegal abduction" of 21 Indian fishermen by the Lankan navy on July 6, she told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a letter on Monday that the fishermen from Rameswaram in the state were learnt to have been remanded till July 17. The letter was released to the media on Tuesday.

Sri Lankan diplomat bans British journalist ahead of CHGOM
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 12:00]

A Sri Lankan diplomat has caused major embarrassment by telling Nobel Peace Prize nominated broadcaster that he will 'make sure you don't get a visa to come to Sri Lanka' despite British government calls for a 'guarantee' of 'full and unrestricted access for the foreign press' at major Commonwealth Meeting. A prominent Sri Lankan diplomat - who was once the chief media advisor to Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa - has launched an astonishing attack on Nobel Prize nominated film-maker and journalist, Callum Macrae, who is touring his film No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka across Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Canada. In a move that will embarrass both the British and Sri Lankan governments ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this November, Ambassador Bandula Jayasekara, Consul General in Sydney, Australia, has issued a series of abusive tweets specifically targeted at Macrae.

Sri Lankan travel agents decide not to issue airline tickets to Bodhgaya
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 12:00]

Following the bomb attack on the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, travel agents in Sri Lanka have decided against issuing air tickets for Sri Lankans to visit Bodhgaya. President of Travel Agents Association Saman Premakumara told the media that the association has informed all travel agents not to issue tickets to Bodhgaya after the Sri Lankan High Commission in India issued a travel advisory to Sri Lankans against travelling to Bodhgaya. He said that travel agents are also in the process of advising pilgrims to Bodhgaya who have already been issued tickets to refrain from travelling to the destination until the travel advisory by the High Commission is removed.

Govt in danger if NPC polls fail!
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 12:00]

UNP warns the Govt that it should keep in mind that if they do not commence the NPC polls with transparency, then the international dismay and shame would without no doubt fall upon Sri Lanka and the Govt will hav to face its consequences. UNP Secy MP Thissa Aththanayaka said mad this comment at the mdia meeting held yesterday at Rajagiriya. He further said that Govt has already started its "Charity" with the state money as well as state resources to win votes for them. He said that they are expecting that the election commissioner would take some action regarding these violation of rules.

Vaas Gunawardena further remanded till July 19
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 12:00]

Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena was further remanded until July 19 over his alleged involvement in the murder of a businessman in Dompe. Bambalapitiya-based businessman Mohamed Siyam was abducted and murdered in the Dompe area on May 22. Following investigations conducted into the incident, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on June 06 arrested Sub-Inspector Lakmini Bamunusinghe, attached to the office of the DIG Western Province (North), along with three Police Constables (PCs) serving in the DIG's special unit. Upon interrogating the arrested police officers, the CID uncovered information regarding the former DIG's alleged involvement in the businessman's murder and recorded a statement from Vaas Gunawardena on the same day.

Minor Tamil party in Sri Lanka to contest provincial election under the main opposition
[Tuesday 2013-07-09 12:00]

A minor Tamil party in Sri Lanka, the Democratic People's Front (DPF) will contest provincial council election under the main opposition United National Party (UNP). DPF Leader, Mano Ganeshan has said that his party would contest the Central Provincial Council election under the UNP. The DPF will field candidates from the UNP in the Kandy and Matale Districts for the election. Ganeshan noted that some DPF members have asked him to contest from the Kandy District at the forthcoming elections. However, he has said a final decision would be taken after discussing with the DPF seniors.

We condemn Bodh Gaya attack: UNP
[Monday 2013-07-08 20:00]

While condemning the bomb attacks at Bodh Gaya, the UNP said the incident should not be a cause for a diplomatic dispute between India and Sri Lanka. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the Sri Lankan Government should act cautiously so that it would not ruffle any diplomatic feathers with India. He said the Government should create an atmosphere where Sri Lankan pilgrims could visit the sacred places without any fear or hindrance.

'RAW' behind attack on Bodh Gaya
[Monday 2013-07-08 20:00]

The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) requests from the public to act with patience regarding the bomb attack on Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya and not to make any violent response. If not we will be fulfilling the need of 'RAW' said the Secretary General of PNM Dr. Wasantha Bandara. He stated that it could be an attack against diluting the 13th amendment. This cannot be considered an isolated incident he said, noting that he does not consider the attack to be an act of a racist group. In this moment India is making a certain attempt to pressurize Sri Lanka and racist politicians of Tamil Nadu and Indian central government are behind this particular attempt, he added.

Elections chief to announce nominations date for PC poll on Friday
[Monday 2013-07-08 20:00]

With Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya expected to announce the date for nominations to the polls to the Northern, North-Western and Central provinces on Friday, the mainstream political parties - SLFP, UNP, TNA, SLMC and JVP had indicated that they are in no hurry to appoint nomination boards to select candidates, political sources said yesterday. The UPFA government will use the PC polls in the Northern province as the yardstick to prove to the international community its commitment to democracy and the results of the proposed PC elections to the North-Western and the Central provinces to portray its continuing popularity even after eight years in office, the sources said.

Sri Lanka main Tamil party wants international monitors for upcoming polls
[Monday 2013-07-08 20:00]

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has called for international monitors to participate in the upcoming elections in the former war-torn Northern Province of the island, an official said here on Monday. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told media that foreign monitors would provide an independent evaluation of the provincial council elections and reduce malpractices from the government. He charged that the government was already using the army to lobby for votes and insisted that such practices would not be curtailed in the run up to the election in September. "The TNA will issue a manifesto of its election plan once it has met with all its members," he added.

Sri Lanka gets another Chinese loan
[Monday 2013-07-08 14:00]

The Sri Lankan government has obtained yet another massive loan from the Chinese amounting to US$ 400 million (Rs. 52 billion). The monies have been borrowed to develop 'B' grade roads and rural roads in the country. Officials from the Road Development Authority (RDA) say the loan was provided by the China Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance would be in charge of allocating the required funds for the projects. The loan monies according to the RDA would be used to develop the rural road network and to connect it to the main road network. China has already given Sri Lanka over US$ 2.2 billion recently in loans for various infrastructure projects.

Indians want fishermen freed
[Monday 2013-07-08 14:00]

Indian fishermen have demanded the release of their colleagues who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Saturday. Indian fishermen have demanded the release of their colleagues who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Saturday.Fishermen expressed shock and surprise over the arrest as it comes when their leaders were holding talks with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was in Delhi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the Hindu newspaper reported. "It is extremely painful that the Lankan Navy has arrested 21 more and seized their five boats, when we are holding talks with the Lankan Minister here," said Mr P. Sesu Raja, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association, who was part of the five member delegation, which met Minister Rajapaksa.

TNA nominations postponed
[Monday 2013-07-08 14:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has postponed nominating its chief ministerial and other candidates for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, until 11 July. Former TNA parliamentarian, M.K. Sivajilingam, told Ceylon Today, "At the first round of talks held in this regard among the five political parties that form the TNA on 6 July, it was decided to postpone the selection of candidates until 11 July. Others who wish to contest under the TNA ticket will also be selected on that day."Sivajilingam also said the TNA had decided not to participate in the sittings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which decision too had been ratified at the same meeting, with everyone concurring with the stand taken by the Alliance.

Menon arrives
[Monday 2013-07-08 13:00]

Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago.According to officials Mr. Menon is here to discuss a tri-lateral maritime security treaty among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Mr. Menon had earlier served as India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and his current visit is on an invitation by the External Affairs Ministry, officials said.

Suspected Indian Mujahideen man arrested over Bodhgaya blasts
[Monday 2013-07-08 13:00]

A suspected Indian Mujahideen member, who was arrested yesterday from the Nadia district in West Bengal, will be questioned over whether he had any role to play in the multiple blasts that rocked the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar's Bodhgaya yesterday morning. Anwar Hussain Mallik was arrested yesterday with Rs. 1.9 lakh fake currency. He had allegedly supplied explosives for the 2010 Pune German Bakery blasts which killed 17 people. He was produced in court and remanded to 14 days police custody. Meanwhile, the RJD and the Bihar BJP have called a bandh in the Magadh division of the state to protest against the Nitish Kumar government's "failure" to prevent the terror attack in Bodhgaya despite prior information from intelligence agencies.

Sri Lanka's Buddhist extremist group demands ban on face covering in public places
[Monday 2013-07-08 13:00]

Sri Lanka's Buddhist extremist group, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has decided to demand the government to impose a ban on face covering in public places. A Bodu Bala Sena media conference will be held on this issue at 11 am on Monday, 8 July 2013 at the BBS Headquarters in Colombo. A communiqué issued by the organization says face covering in public is a big threat to national security of Sri Lanka. This week Sri Lanka police arrested an underworld leader/drug dealer who managed to hide for years disguised as a woman with his face covered, the BBS communiqué added.

Sri Lanka's nationalist party JHU to meet on Tuesday to decide on contesting PC elections
[Sunday 2013-07-07 19:00]

The Buddhist nationalist coalition partner of the ruling alliance, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), says it has not yet decided whether to contest the provincial council elections scheduled to be held in September. A JHU spokesman said that the central committee of the party would meet on July 09, Tuesday, under the patronage of the party leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero to discuss the provincial council elections of Northern, Northwestern and Central Provinces. The JHU has campaigned against the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that paved way for the provincial council system in the island. However, it has contested selected provincial councils before.

Notwithstanding Indian concerns, Sri Lanka may go ahead with dilution of 13th amendment
[Sunday 2013-07-07 19:00]

Overruling India's concerns, Sri Lanka may go ahead with its proposed plans to amend the 13th amendment ahead of the provincial polls in Tamil-dominated northern areas in September, a top minister has hinted. Basil Rajapaksa, the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Economic Development Minister, who returned here from New Delhi after talks with Indian leaders, was non-committal about any conditions that New Delhi might have pushed for. "When we bring in a Bill we wouldn't normally retract. We will go back only if the people wanted us to go back. There are examples when we have done so on people's will", he told reporters when asked about India's concerns.

Avoid visiting Mahabodhi next week-Govt
[Sunday 2013-07-07 19:00]

The government today advised Sri Lankan pilgrims against visitng the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya during the next week due to the ongoing investigations into the series of bomb blasts inside the temple, this morning.

Wedding bells on Thamilini
[Sunday 2013-07-07 19:00]

It is reported that the former LTTE female political wing leader Thamilini is getting married soon. A Tamil youngster who had left Jaffna and had gone to a European country during the war is said to be the her fiancee. It is also said that she is planning to go abroad with her husband after the marriage. After the humanitarian operation Thamilini was caught to the TID and was later sent to the Puththottum rehabilitation camp.

Sri Lanka President condemns bomb blasts in Bodh Gaya
[Sunday 2013-07-07 19:00]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has condemned the explosions that took place at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya of Bihar state in India today. Issuing an official statement President Rajapaksa said that respect for all religions and places of worship and veneration is a must to create a society that values peace and harmony. "Acts of sabotage, destruction and vandalism against any religious place of worship must be totally condemned, and all peace loving human beings of all faiths must hold hands together to root out any acts against religions and places of worship and veneration," the President said in his message.

PSC only a 'subcommittee' of Govt Parliamentary Group - TNA
[Sunday 2013-07-07 18:00]

TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran today stated that the committee appointed to look into changes to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) at all, and that actually it's a "President's Select Committee." He stated that the idea for a PSC to find a solution to the national issue was formulated in September 2011 during bilateral discussion held between the Tamil National Alliance and the government, and that it was pushed "in-between" talks. He stated that the government asked the TNA put aside the discussions and join the parliamentary committee instead, with assurance that the agreements they had reached during the talks would be taken to the PSC.

Army canvassing for UPFA in North
[Sunday 2013-07-07 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday accused the Army of 'selecting candidates' and canvassing for the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the North. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran called for the need for independent international monitoring, to ensure free and fair elections. However, Security Forces Commander in Jaffna, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, denied the allegations. "We don't have time to do politics," he said, adding that the Army is only involved in maintaining law and order. Maintaining law and order is constitutionally the duty of the police.

Voter registry to be completed by mid-week
[Sunday 2013-07-07 11:00]

Nominations for the upcoming provincial council polls in Northern, Central and North Western provinces will be called only after the supplementary voter register created to provide voting rights to displaced persons of the North are completed and certified, an Elections Department official said today. The official speaking to Daily Mirror Online said that a meeting was held at the Elections Department today to discuss the progress of the supplementary register and added they are planning to complete the certification process by mid-week. "The gazette notification calling nominations for the PC polls will be issued only after the certification procedures are concluded," the official added.

Bomb blasts inside Mahabodhi temple
[Sunday 2013-07-07 10:00]

Indian news reports say that a series of explosions have taken place in Mahaodhi temple premises in Bihar. No lives have been lost from the incident so far but 2 Tibet nationals have been injured. It is said that a total of 6 explosions have taken place starting at 5.15am inside the temple. It has been revealed that these were small bombs. Police say that the premises has not been damaged. Authorities are already commencing investigations. Only a few devotees had been at the temple at that time.

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