Untitled Document
February 25, 2018 [GMT]
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Thonda and Sonia discuss 13A
[Saturday 2013-06-08 13:00]

Minister and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman and India's Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have had discussions on various issues including on the 13th Amendment to the constitution.Thondaman met Gandhi in New Delhi yesterday and discussed issues faced by the estate community in Sri Lanka, most of who are of Indian origin. According to Tamil media reports, the Indian government had assured Thondaman that houses will be built with Indian support for the estate workers. Thondaman had also met Indian Union Minister V. Narayanaswamy during his Delhi visit yesterday.

Preparations for NPC polls underway - Polls Chief
[Saturday 2013-06-08 13:00]

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told Daily Mirror Online that the Elections Department had begun preparations to hold the Northern Provincial Council elections in September although it was yet to receive an official confirmation regarding the holding of the election. "It will be held in September. That is confirmed and now we are awaiting an official confirmation. We have now called for data on government officers to take up official duties for the election," he said. Spaking further, Deshapriya said as of now the status quo regarding the registered voters would remain unless there is legislation to effect change to include a new voter list.

Solution for Sri Lanka cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement, President tells Indian delegation Top News
[Saturday 2013-06-08 08:00]

All political parties must get together for an all-inclusive political solution for Sri Lanka's ethnic issue and it cannot be just an agreement between the ruling party and the Tamil party, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized today. "All parties must get together for an all-inclusive political solution. We cannot import a solution, and it cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement," President Rajapaksa told a visiting Indian delegation when they called on the President this afternoon at Temple Trees.The six-member Indian delegation headed by the deputy leader of Indian opposition Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) in the Rajya Sabha, Ravi Shankar Prasad, told the President that "Sri Lanka's unity and integrity are not negotiable." Congratulating President Rajapaksa for eradicating terrorism, the delegation said that what they saw during their visit to Jaffna "was an eye-opener," noting the development work that has taken place, and said that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report "was a bold step and is brilliantly written."

We never refused to attend PSC on national issue - TNA
[Saturday 2013-06-08 08:00]

Responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ultimatum for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to join the Parliamentary Select Committee on the National Question (PSCNQ), which is to be reconvened shortly, the TNA said that it had not refused to join the select committee process. TNA leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan said he regretted that there had been no positive response from Rajapaksa to his 2010 written communication in which he expressed a willingness to work together to resolve the ethnic issue peacefully and in a democratic manner. "I told the President that if he teamed up with us, it would not only give his government credibility but also induce the Tamil Diaspora to invest in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war affected North and East."

Daya Master to support President
[Friday 2013-06-07 22:00]

The former LTTE media spokesman Daya Master has stated that his sole aim is to contest for the Northern Election extending his support to the government and President and provide solutions for the problems faced by people in North. In an interview to 'Divaina' newspaper he has stated that UNP had approached him to contest on their ticket and he denied it. He has also requested not to remind the past. "There were several rumors based on me in relation to the Northern Provincial Elections. Some said that I am going to support UNP. It is completely false. I do not want to support UNP. When the UNP leader visited Jaffna he sent me a message requesting me to meet him. I did not meet him. I will extend completely support to the government", he further stated.

Lankan Tamil issue needs all-inclusive solution: Rajapaksa
[Friday 2013-06-07 21:00]

Since a solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil issue "cannot be imported", all political parties must join hands to find an all-inclusive settlement, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told visiting BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, here today. "We cannot import a solution and it cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan (main Tamil party leader) agreement," Rajapaksa was quoted as telling Prasad. He also underlined that all Sri Lankan political parties must join hands to find an all-inclusive settlement to the ethnic issue. Prasad, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is leading a five-member delegation on a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. Besides Prasad, the delegation includes Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu, senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta, retired IFS officer Vivek Katju, RSS representative Ram Madhav and human rights activist Monika Arora.

Rethink CHOGM : UNP
[Friday 2013-06-07 21:00]

The UNP said today it would request the Commonwealth heads to reconsider the participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November had the government failed to fulfill its promises to the Commonwealth before the Northern Provincial Council elections. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told a news conference the government had given numerous promises to the Commonwealth stating that it would take steps to protect Human Rights and also to establish independent commissions prior to the Northern Provincial Council elections. He urged the government to establish independent commissions that were in the 17 Amendment to the Constitution and to take steps to hold a free and fair election in the Northern Province.

Lankan journalist in UAE still at risk
[Friday 2013-06-07 17:00]

Lohini Rathimohan, a former television journalist from Sri Lanka, faces an unclear future. The 28-year-old is among 15 Tamil refugees still sheltered in a single room of an aluminum factory at Dubai's Jebel Ali port whose official statuses remain uncertain, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said. Rathimohan (whose name is also spelled Lokini) and others were granted UNHCR refugee status in November after they fled dangers at home to seek asylum in Australia. Upon hitting stormy seas, they were rescued by a Singaporean vessel en route to the UAE, according to news reports. In April, fresh reports said the group faced deportation despite their refugee status; a few days later, the UNHCR said the agency was working on their resettlement and the refugees were in no danger of being forced out of the UAE. Since then, four of the original 19 refugees were accepted by the United States, Finland, and Sweden.

Moves to set up supplementary electoral list underway
[Friday 2013-06-07 17:00]

A supplementary electoral list would be set up to enable Internally displaced Persons (IDPs) from the North and East to register as voters under the provisions of the Registration of Electors (Special Provisions) Bill, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem told Parliament yesterday. Minister Hakeem presenting the bill as an urgent Bill to the House said that the Bill had been drafted following consultations with the Commissioner of Elections. An IDP has been described in the Bill as "a citizen of Sri Lanka who was permanently resident in the northern and eastern provinces and who was forced or obliged to leave from his residence at any time prior to May 2009 as a result of the armed conflict which took place in Sri Lanka and currently resides in Sri Lanka outside his original place of residence in these two provinces'.

Prisoner in Sri Lanka begins fast demanding equal rights
[Friday 2013-06-07 14:00]

An inmate at the Welikada Prison in Sri Lanka has climbed on to the rooftop of the prison building and commenced a fast-unto-death demanding equal rights. The inmate is reportedly demanding that he be offered equal rights as other prisoners and allow in-home visits. The man, a convict serving a 55-year imprisonment with a one-month Rigorous Imprisonment, after being found guilty of eleven counts, including the possession and selling of heroin, has demanded that he be granted visits home. However, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Prisons, G.B. Kulatunge told the media that long-term prisoners, who have shown good behavior during their prison term, are allowed to visit their homes for a period of seven days.

TNA seeks maximum exercise of power in provinces
[Friday 2013-06-07 14:00]

The TNA has said would want the maximum amount of exercise of power, should it lead Sri Lanka's Northern Provincial Council (NPC) following the elections slated for September. Addressing the Foreign Correspondents' Association, TNA leader R. Sampanthan has said that in regard to the people of the north and east, affected by the war, the Alliance had endeavoured to avoid an attitude of confrontation with the government and had offered to cooperate. The Hindu newspaper has quoted that Sampanthan has noted that the TNA would work with the government, to provide them \[the people] with proper housing and livelihood, and to give them an opportunity to recommence life. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has said that the issue really was the extent of executive power the Governor will be willing to share with the board of ministers.

India can't solve Lanka's political issues: BJP
[Friday 2013-06-07 13:00]

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led team, which is currently on a tour in Sri Lanka, has told the war-ravaged Lankan Tamils that India is ready to provide the "healing touch" but it cannot be expected to solve their political problems the Indian Express reported. The news report said that the BJP delegation which is touring Sri Lanka made these remakrs while interacting with a wide cross section of political parties and civil society in Jaffna on Wednesday. The leader of the six member team, Rajya Sabha member Ravi Shankar Prasad, is reported to have said that India was aware that the Tamils of the Northern provinces needed a healing touch and assured them that India was with them. However, he had made it clear that Lankan Tamils should not expect India to solve their political problems. These would have to be solved by the people themselves through participation in the domestic political processes, the Indian Express reported.

Victim of Ekala robbery of Rs.7.5mil dies of heart attack
[Friday 2013-06-07 13:00]

The businessman whose Rs.7.5 million was robbed in Ekala last week died of a heart attack today. An armed gang has robbed Rs.7 million belonging to a private firm in Ekala, Ja-Ela on May 28, police reported. The robbery took place at around 1 pm. Police stated that the money that was stolen was to be used to pay the salaries of the workers at the firm. Further investigations are being conducted into the robbery.

President's right to merge provinces to be repealed
[Friday 2013-06-07 13:00]

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to repeal the President's right to merge Provinces, which has been provided for under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella addressing a news conference in Colombo yesterday, said that constituent members of the ruling UPFA had been given time to study the Bill to amend the Provincial Councils Act. The proposed two amendments pertained to the President's right to merge provinces and the requirement that the approval of all provincial councils were required to amend the Constitution, he noted. Asked if the government was also trying to strip the provinces of land and police powers, the Minister said that it had not been discussed.

Sri Lanka Tamil party opposes amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution
[Thursday 2013-06-06 22:00]

Sri Lanka's major Tamil political party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has opposed the government's move to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The government's move is seen as a measure to limit the powers accorded to provinces under the 13th Amendment before the government holds elections to the Northern Province Council planned for September. TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said the 13th Amendment which was aimed at solving the national issue and the government must consult the TNA as a representative of the Tamil people prior to any move to amend the 13th Amendment since it would affect the people of the North and East. However, Premachandran noted that the government has not yet made any official comment on its stance on the 13th Amendment.

One fishermen drowns
[Thursday 2013-06-06 22:00]

A fisherman from here drowned after he fell into the sea when Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly chased a group of fishermen near Katchatheevu, officials said today. The fishermen were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka, when the Lankan Navy personnel chased them and allegedly threatened to kill them at gun point around midnight yesterday, fisheries officials said. Munusamy tried to duck in the boat, but lost his balance and fell into the sea and drowned. His body was retrieved and brought to shore today, they said. Another boat sank as it hit a rock when the driver navigated in panic. However, its occupants were rescued by fellow fishermen. This incident and arrest of 49 fishermen by Sri Lankan navy yesterday triggered tension here and in neighbouring areas with fishermen associations seeking government intervention.

Japan to provide further Rs 245 m for continuation of Human Resource Development Scholarship
[Thursday 2013-06-06 22:00]

The Government of Japan, initiated the Human Resource Development Scholarship in 2010 with the objective of training Sri Lankan officials with high potential to effectively contribute to the development efforts of Sri Lanka. The scholarship provides opportunities for young public sector officials, to pursue a two-year Masters Degree in Japan in the fields of Public Policy and Public Finance, Public Administration, Regional Development and Macro Economics and Development Economics at International Christian University, Hiroshima University and International University of Japan. This year, a sum of 192 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 245 million), was provided to cover the expenses for the 4th batch of 15 prospective scholars.

BBS solves S.B's problem
[Thursday 2013-06-06 22:00]

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization has yesterday (05) involved in resolving a crisis occurred in Pali and Buddhist University at Homagama. In a conflict, which occurred between the lay students and the Buddhist monks at the university, 60 Buddhist monks have been suspended. Accordingly, the court ordered the alleged Buddhist monks to immediately vacate the hostels. On information received reporting that the lay students are forcefully keeping the Buddhist monks inside the hostel without allowing them to leave, the General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagoda aththe Gnanasara Thero along with a group of Buddhist monks have visited the hostel yesterday (05). Following the discussion held between the BBS, the vice chancellor and the administrative council of the university, the BBS resolved the issue by discussing the matter with lay and clerical student leaders.

Govt. not worried if TNA wins NPC elections: Wimal
[Thursday 2013-06-06 21:00]

If the Tamils in the North vote the TNA to victory in the scheduled September PC polls it would not be of much concern to the government, as the government had decided to remove police and land powers from the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa said today. Addressing a news briefing at the NFF office in Battaramulla, Minister Weerawansa commenting on the UPFA party leaders' meeting on Tuesday night at Temple Trees said no one including the minority constituent parties protested to the move of the government to remove the police powers and the land powers vested with PCs.

Hakeem requests for a week to discuss PC amendments bill
[Thursday 2013-06-06 21:00]

The draft bill set to make provisions preventing the amalgamation of Provincial Councils will not be submitted to the cabinet today, as per a request made by SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, sources said. He has requested for a period of one week for the political bureau of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a constituent party of the ruling UPFA coalition, to discuss the proposed bill. Therefore sources say that the amendments to the powers of the Provincial Councils which the Government had decided to present to the cabinet as an urgent bill, will not be submitted today (June 6).

JHU ready to discuss UNP's draft constitution
[Thursday 2013-06-06 21:00]

JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said his party was ready to discuss the UNP's draft constitution. "Under Ranil Wickremesinghe in1994, the UNP proposed to do away with the unitary state. It is good that it is talking about creating a unitary state once again. If the UNP is willing to do so, we are ready to discuss its new constitutional reforms though we are not clear about some of the proposals like the three options proposed in place of the executive presidency," the minister said. Referring to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Mr. Ranawaka said the JHU was fully against the 13th Amendment and had presented a bill opposing it.

U.S. grants US$2.1 million to Sri Lanka to set up a DNA laboratory
[Thursday 2013-06-06 19:00]

The United States has granted Sri Lanka US$ 2.1 million to set up a state-of-the-art DNA crime laboratory at the country's Government Analyst's Department of the Ministry of Justice. The U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Justice, entered into a $2.1 million (265 million rupee) U.S. Government-funded Forensic Assistance Program agreement with the Government Analyst's Department (GAD) in 2011 to establish the DNA crime laboratory. U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison Thursday visited the new laboratory complex of the Government Analyst's Department in Battaramulla.During her visit, Ambassador Sison said, the grant delivered a state-of-the-art DNA crime laboratory as well as equipment to support firearms examination and drug and toxicology analysis. "This project is a tangible demonstration for U.S. support to strengthen rule of law in Sri Lanka," she said.

TNA: Tamils don't want a return to violence
[Thursday 2013-06-06 18:00]

Amidst moves to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that neither it nor the Tamil people wanted a return to violence, but if the Rajapaksa government was not wise enough to resolve the ethnic issue through peaceful means, it could not predict what would happen in the future. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, MP, addressing the Foreign Correspondents' Association in Colombo, on Tuesday evening, said that the violence of the past had done no good to the country and its people and the TNA would do its damnedest to prevent history repeating itself, but if that's what the Rajapaksa regime wanted they would have no choice in the matter. Refuting allegations that the TNA had nurtured the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), he said that successive governments, under whom racial pogroms had occurred over the last six decades, were responsible for the creation of the LTTE.

Sri Lanka still wary of possible LTTE revival: US report
[Thursday 2013-06-06 18:00]

Sri Lanka is still wary of the LTTE's international network and has voiced concern about the possible re-emergence of pro-LTTE sympathisers despite the military defeat of the Tamil rebels, US State Department's report has said. According to the US State Department's 2012 counter terrorism country report, "The Sri Lankan government claimed that it continued to uncover abandoned weapons and explosives in areas of the country formerly controlled by the LTTE." Although there were no known LTTE activities in Sri Lanka in 2012, the government asserted that peaceful protests at Jaffna University in November were organised by students trained by overseas LTTE supporters and made several arrests, the reports said. Sri Lankan police in late November clashed with the Jaffna university students who were trying to commemorate the LTTE's hero's day which coincided with the birth anniversary of the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran.

Draft Media Code of Ethics given to political parties
[Wednesday 2013-06-05 22:00]

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has said political parties were given a draft of the Media Ethics Bill. He has noted that the Bill is nothing new and that it was discussed with civil servants, senior journalists and other respected individuals before formulating the draft. "The Bill is nothing new. We have discussed this with civil servants, senior journalists and other respected individuals before formulating a draft, which has got stuck at the consultative committee stage. It was hurried due to various factors, and now we are awaiting the views of all political parties," the Minister has said. Meanwhile, the UNP has said it was yet to receive a draft of the bill that was to be presented in parliament and contradicted the government's statement.

TNA says PSC a ruse to dilute 13th-A
[Wednesday 2013-06-05 21:00]

TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran while failing to explain its stance on the proposed Parliament Select Committee on the 13th Amendment, detailed what he thought would be the modus operandi of the government subsequent to the PSC being appointed and its findings made law. "This is the government wanting to satisfy Sinhala extremists who don't want land and police powers given to the Provincial Council. The one-million signature campain by Wimal Weerawanshe and the private members motions to be brought by the JHU are all government sponsored," he said.

BJP-led delegation arrives in Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2013-06-05 21:00]

A six member BJP-led delegation arrived in Colombo on Tuesday. The delegation was led by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The five-day visit was organised by the New Delhi-based India Foundation and Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in Colombo and the delegates will meet senior leaders in Sri Lanka across political parties. It is learnt that the members are expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. On Wednesday, the team left for Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, for discussions with politicians and civil society members there. The delegation will also meet the Governor of the Northern Province, to discuss issues such as political devolution and the Northern Provincial Council elections to be held in September.

Eknaligoda is in France - Arundika Fernando
[Wednesday 2013-06-05 19:00]

UPFA MP for the Puttalam District, Arundika Fernando stated in parliament that missing journalist Pradeep Eknaligoda was currently living in France. Responding to the opposition MPs who questioned the government regarding the media and Eknaligoda the UPFA MP stated that the Lankans in France were also aware that Eknaligoda was living there.

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