Untitled Document
January 16, 2018 [GMT]
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U.S. engagement with Sri Lanka robust and multifaceted despite the resolution
[Tuesday 2013-04-09 14:00]

The United States says that its engagement with Sri Lanka remains "robust and multifaceted" and hopes the partnership between the two countries can expand despite bringing a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The US-Sri Lanka relationship is not limited to a single agenda, but represents a truly multidimensional approach driven not by any short-term agenda but by long-term goals and partnerships, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombo Michele Sison said. Delivering a speech to the Foreign Correspondents Association on the "US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka", Ambassador Sison explained that while U.S. has concerns about some recent developments here, its relationship with the people of Sri Lanka is enduring.

Now, UNP faces another split ahead of PC polls
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

The main Opposition party, the UNP, is facing another debilitating split ahead of the forthcoming elections to Central and North Western Provinces, with some key UNP activists switching their allegiance to General (retired) Sarath Fonseka's newly registered Democratic Party (DP). The Central and North Western Provincial Councils are expected to be dissolved in June, though they can continue till the end of this year. DP leader Fonseka yesterday declared that he had the support of, what he called, the 'Alternative UNP' on the second day of the ongoing campaign in the North Western Province. Addressing a meeting at Galgamuwa, in the Kurunegala district, Fonseka said that he had the backing of the 'Alternative UNP' as well as the support of those disappointed with opposition political parties.

Extremist Buddhist leaders of Sri Lanka to visit US
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

Executive committee member Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization Dilantha Vithanage announced that a group of BBS delegates will soon visit the United States. The visitors include the Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero and the national organizer Witharandeniye Nanda Thero. Vithanage told media that the purpose of the visit is to construct a worldwide BBS network. BBS is a hardline anti US and anti-western Sinhala Buddhist organization which recently launched a wave of hate campaigns against Muslims. The organizations' vehement campaign succeeded in withdrawing Halal certification from food items. The Organization has further vowed to fight against the head covering of Muslim women.

Iron Lady Departs..
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in post-war British and world politics, and the first woman to become British prime minister, has died at the age of 87, her spokeswoman said today. Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the "Iron Lady" for her personal and political toughness. Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that. She made few public appearances in her final months, missing a reception marking her 85th birthday hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2010. She also skipped the July 2011 unveiling of a statue honoring her old friend Ronald Reagan in London. In December 2012, she was hospitalized after a procedure to remove a growth in her bladder.

Person dies on A-9 after landmine explodes
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

A person who was engaged in the removal of mines was killed on the A-9 road in Muhamalai when a landmine had exploded. The victim was an employee of an organization engaged in the demining process in the North, it was reported. The incident took place this afternoon (April 8) while the victim succumbed to his injuries after being hospitalized. The Kilinochchi police will conduct further investigations into the incident.

GL questions TNA, US actions
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the TNA's actions were inimical to the ongoing national reconciliation process. Addressing members of the Colombo-based diplomatic community last week, Prof. Peiris said he was in Parliament when the result of the Geneva voting became known and a Member of Parliament, of the Tamil National Alliance, interrupted and gave the results stating that he had some excellent news. That had provoked, predictably, a very strong reaction from the other side over the sense of gloating. Minister Peiris questioned whether this kind of development was helpful from the point of view of reviving and sustaining this essential dialogue.

Chinese Subs in SL waters?
[Monday 2013-04-08 18:00]

The Indian 'headline today' reports, that there is a drastic increase of Chinese submarines engaging in nuclear tests around the Ocean south to Sri Lankan coast. It says that the Indian Intelligence corps has discovered that until 14th February, there have been 14 Chinese submarine tests conducted just below the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. It further states that a special report has been handed out to the authorities by the Indian Navy.

Indian parliamentary group to arrive in Sri Lanka today amid calls to cancel the trip
[Monday 2013-04-08 17:00]

A six-member joint parliamentary delegation comprising delegates from all Indian political parties is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday for a five-day tour. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has organized the visit, aimed at enhancing the relationship between the two countries. The MPs are to begin their tour on Monday (April 8) and conclude on Friday (12). In addition to meetings with Sri Lankan MPs and senior Ministers and political leaders, the MPs will also visit Jaffna to look at work on projects supported by the Indian government, particularly the owner-driven housing initiative, Sri Lanka's Indian High Commission announced on Friday. The delegation comprises Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress), Sandeep Dikshit (Congress), Anurag Thakur (BJP), Dhananjay Singh (BSP), Goud Yaskhi (Congress) from the Lok Sabha, and Prakash Javadekar (BJP) accompanied by two FICCI representatives.

Chidambaram slams BJP for no support on Lankan Tamils issue
[Monday 2013-04-08 17:00]

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram slammed BJP for not supporting the UPA government's efforts to pass a resolution in Parliament on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and rejected accusations hurled at Congress that it did not 'support' the cause. Addressing a public meeting here, Chidambaram explained the initiatives the Congress took for passing a resolution in Parliament. The government convened an all-party meet to discuss the issue, but BJP, Left Parties, Janata Dal, Akali Dal, Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam opposed a passage of resolution. 'When we were trying to pass a resolution, BJP Parliamentary Party Leader Sushma Swaraj said there was no necessity to discuss it and there is no need to conduct an all-party meet. Friends, you should understand that there is only one party in New Delhi which is ready to pass a resolution in support of Sri Lankan Tamils. If BJP or some other party was in power (at New Delhi), what would have happened?' he asked during his 90-minute speech.

Indian govt a "co-accused" in war crimes - Vaiko
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko has called for an independent international investigation into war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka and also demanded that the Tamils in Sri Lanka should be allowed a referendum to decide their fate. 'There should be an independent international investigation about the crime of genocide committed by Sri Lankan government of Mahinda Rajapakshe. And the settlements of the army and police who're deployed in the traditionally Tamil areas should be thrown out,' he said. 'They should be sent out. There should be a referendum that should be conducted under the supervision of United Nations, and in that referendum, modality should be worked out so that the Tamils living all over the world should be allowed to exercise their franchise in their respective countries where they are living,' he added

BBS to visit US
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

A group of delegates of the Bodu Bala Sena Organization including the Secretery Galagodaatte Gnanasara thero and the national organizer Witharandeniye Nanda thero, is scheduled to leave Sri Lanka for a visit in Unites States of America. BBS executive committee member Mr.Dilantha Withanage told 'Mirror' that the visit is a response to an invitation received from Buddhist monasteries in USA. He further stated that the purpose of the visit is to construct a BBS network around the religious centers. He also said that the 'Buddhanusmrati Bhawana' program conducted by Gnanasara thero will also be held in the Buddhist temples in US.

Sri Lanka deals with India with a wide diplomatic vision - Minister
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

Diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka would not be affected by the activities of extremist elements in both countries and Sri Lanka is dealing with its neighbor with a wide diplomatic vision, Sri Lanka said today. A government minister said today that although the two governments face inconveniences as a result of the activities of extremist elements in Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the state is also important for Sri Lanka as well as the central Indian government. Participating in a programme of the National Radio this morning, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Rajitha Senaratne said due to misunderstandings about Sri Lanka the people in the southern state always act with suspicion.

Sri Lanka says British travel advisory distorts reality of ground situation
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

Sri Lanka has protested to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office against its travel advisory saying that it distorts the reality of the ground situation and hence misleading. Though the travel advisory is based on information and assessments submitted by the British High Commission in Colombo, it is compiled and issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, the latest of which was dated March 28, 2013. The Sri Lankan High Commission in London has queried some of the assertions in the FCO, which tend to create a false image of the country and said it had its serious reservations about some of the claims by the FCO and the assumptions drawn by it.. Both in a letter to the FCO and verbally the High Commission has said it is concerned over remarks about an underlying threat from terrorism and on-going military operations, which it said, distorts the situation on the ground and presents a wrong image to the public, particularly the travel and hospitality industry and would-be travellers to Sri Lanka.

Tamil MPs not part of delegation visiting Sri Lanka
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

A six-member delegation of Indian parliamentarians will visit Sri Lanka from April 8 to 12. The multi-party delegation visiting Colombo and Jaffna will not, however, include MPs from Tamil Nadu. Jyoti Malhotra, a journalist and coordinator of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, foreign cell - which is organising the visit - said that the delegation will include Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress , Sandeep Dikshit of the Congress, Anurag Thakur of the Bharatiya Janata Party , Dhananjay Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Madu Goud Yaskhi of the Congress from the Lok Sabha, and BJP's Prakash Javadekar from the Rajya Sabha. The Indian parliamentarians will meet Sri Lankan MPs, senior ministers and other political leaders.

Presidential commission on Matale grave
[Sunday 2013-04-07 16:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a special commission to investigate the mass grave at Matale. Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told the Colombo Gazette this morning that the investigations by the commission will be in addition to the investigations being carried out by the police. Over 150 skeletal remains and human bones have been unearthed from the mass grave in Matale. Forensics had determined that the remains were of those killed sometime in the late 1980′s and the area has now been marked as a crime scene. At least 10 skeletal remains were first found from the site near the Matale hospital in November last year by construction workers when land near the hospital was being dug-up to construct a new building.

President appoints commission to probe Matale mass grave
[Sunday 2013-04-07 11:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a commission to make a full inquiry into the Matale mass grave in addition to a police inquiry, Presidential Spokesman said. The JVP had called for a through investigation after hundreds of skulls and skeletal remains were unearthed following excavations at the mass grave discovered near the Matale Hospital. Skulls and partial skeletons were discovered in November last year by workers building a facility at a hospital. Excavations were carried out under a court order while the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology had conducted tests regarding the remains. The JVP claims that the skeletal remains of 154 persons have been discovered so far and that they belong to the 86-89 period.

DMK to meet C'wealth representatives over Lanka
[Sunday 2013-04-07 08:00]

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam today said its MPs and members of pro-Tamil TESO backed by it will meet envoys of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group of countries, scheduled to meet at London on April 26, to demand that the CHOGM should not be held in Sri Lanka. DMK, which has been opposing Sri Lanka as the venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) slated for November, said in a statement that its representatives will call on the CMAG members to press their demand. "I insist that the demand not to hold (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka should be discussed in detail and a decision is taken. DMK MPs and TESO members will meet envoys of member countries of CMAG and explain in detail that the meeting should not be held in Sri Lanka," DMK chief M Karunanidhi said.

Japanese national arrested with jewelry, foreign currency
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

A Japanese national has been arrested for attempting to leave the country with jewelry worth around Rs 10.3 million and foreign currency, a customs official said. The suspect was taken into custody last night by customs officers while the foreign currency found in his possession is estimated to be worth over Rs 3 million, customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. Further inquiries are being conducted into the Japanese national, who was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport, he told Ada Derana.

26 Indian fishermen and 5 trawlers arrested
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

Twenty Six Indian fishermen were arrested along with five of their fishing trawlers while they were illegally fishing in the northern seas, said the Navy Spokesman, Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya. They were taken into Navy custody in the Lankan waters and were brought to Kayts Island today (06) and handed over to Fisheries Department officials for legal action to be taken against them, he said.

Indian parliamentary team to visit Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

A delegation of six Indian parliamentarians will visit Sri Lanka between April 8 and April 12. They will also visit Colombo and Jaffna during the trip, which is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). In addition to meetings with Sri Lankan MPs, the members are likely to meet senior Ministers and political leaders. 'The MPs will also visit Jaffna to look at work on projects supported by the Indian government, particularly the owner-driven housing initiative," said the High Commission on Friday. The delegation comprises Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress), Sandeep Dikshit (Congress), Anurag Thakur (BJP), Dhananjay Singh (BSP), Goud Yaskhi (Congress) from the Lok Sabha, and Prakash Javadekar (BJP). They will be accompanied by two FICCI representatives.

US discovers Islamic Jihadists in Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

Diwaina news paper today (06) revealed that the US States Department has identified four Islamic extremist groups operating in Sri Lanka. According to the report, it has been revealed that an investigation officer attached to the US Embassy in Colombo had informed the US Authorities about this matter. It is also said that these extremists are having relationships with two foreign countries. Extremism in no matter what race or religion is equally evil and disgusting in nature. Immediate steps must be taken to eradicate these parasites that destroy the hardly won peace and harmony in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Buddhist extremists give two months' time to 'save' the country
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

Sri Lanka's ill famous Buddhist extremist organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday said that the country's fate would be changed within two months. Addressing a press briefing held in Colombo, the secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero said that a conference of Buddhist monks would be held soon to decide the future actions. He further said that the Buddhist monks would not allow the country to be converted to a state like Thailand. BBS said that it will not allow the casinos and other betting businesses to surge in the guise of developing tourism. The BBS secretary criticized the several websites, including the websites linked to Minister Wimal Weerawansa, leftist Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Minister Mervyn Silva for criticizing BBS and acting against it.

No govt. decision yet to probe Matale mass grave - Nimal
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

The Government has not as yet decided to probe the Matale mass graves and the matter had not been even taken up at Cabinet level, a frontline government Minister said yesterday. This follows the discovery of 154 skeletal remains in the Matale hospital grounds by digging the ground to set up a bio-gas plant in November last year. Radio carbon dating had revealed that the mass grave belonged to the 1987-1990 era, which was during the UNP governments led by Presidents J. R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa. There had been no government decision taken on the matter and it had not been taken up even at Cabinet level, Leader of the House and Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told The Island yesterday.

Search on for next envoy to Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2013-04-06 16:00]

The Ministry of External Affairs is still searching for a suitable candidate for the next Indian envoy to Sri Lanka, following the present incumbent, Ashok Kantha set to be the new Secretary (East) and take up his post from next month. Kantha, whose name has been sent to the Appointment Committee of Cabinet for approval, will be succeeding Sanjay Singh, who will retire at the end of April. In the corridors of South Block, there are several names being bandied around, with Additional secretary in charge of Pakistan Afghanistan Iran desk, Y K Sinha being said to be a potential candidate. But, there is buzz that an even senior diplomat could be sent to Colombo, with the current Indian envoy to Beijing, S Jaishankar (1977) being mentioned. Jaishankar was one of the top contenders for the next foreign secretary, but Sujatha Singh (1976) seems to be well-ahead.

Hakeem not happy with Fashion Bug settlement
[Friday 2013-04-05 19:00]

The Minister of Justice has questioned the 'legality' of releasing the monks who were charged of attacking the Fashion Bug warehouse at Pepiliyana. The leader of the Muslim Congress and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said that releasing the suspects within 24 hours stating that the two parties involved in the incident reached a settlement cannot be accepted. Talking to BBC, Minister Rauf Hakeem has revealed that he had a conversation with the owner of 'Fashion Bug ' and he was convinced that the so called settlement was forced upon him and the rule of the law had been challenged. The Fashion Bug owner was reluctant to involve in a lawsuit, as it will negatively affect the business, he stated. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) high command has agreed to stay on the government but the minister said that if the government does not take adequate steps to stop the anti muslim campaign they would have to consider other options

Transformation of Sri Lanka Army to pre-1983 state needs close guidance - Army Commander
[Friday 2013-04-05 19:00]

Sri Lanka Army is preparing its troops to adapt to a peacetime army similar to what was in operation before the war with Tamil Tiger terrorists broke out in 1983, and it is a daunting task, the Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya says. Addressing the troops at a function held in Jaffna on Thursday (04) to extend greetings for the upcoming New Year, the Army Commander said the Almost all of the present day troops joined the organization while the war was on and have not seen peacetime prospects and only a handful officers including himself were in the Army before 1983. "Since I assumed office as the Commander, we are intent on transforming the Army, to be identical to the pre 1983 peacetime state of the organization because only a handful of officers, including myself experienced peacetime Army before 1983," Lieutenant General Jayasuriya told the troops.

Gota's silence worries Muslims - Aslam
[Friday 2013-04-05 19:00]

SLMC MP M.S.M. Aslam has told the Ravaya News paper that the 'Silent Policy' of the Defense Secretary regarding the BBS statement 'the Defense Secretary will take care of Halal and the Muslims', has raised an alarm. Mr.Aslam says that by being silent without refusing such statements, a reasonable suspicion would spring out in the minds of Muslim people whether there would be any justice from the top. The MP further states that these allegations have lead to a state where even the law enforcement is now backing off in cases of violence against Muslims. However, expressing his views regarding the special committee on Halal issue chaired by Senior Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, Mr. Aslam has stated that the committee is in the opinion of keeping the Jamiyyathul Ulama off the issuing or policy making of Halal.

End of conflict an opportunity for Sri Lanka - Pranab tells Ranil
[Friday 2013-04-05 19:00]

The end of conflict is a good opportunity for Sri Lanka to ensure national reconciliation, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday told visiting Sri Lankan Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. Wickremesinghe called on Mukherjee in New Delhi, a Rashtrapati Bhawan statement said. 'The President said India-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship is based on shared historical, cultural and ethnic ties as well as extensive people-to-people interaction. It has always been close and cordial. As a neighbour with thousands of years of close ties, India has a natural interest in Sri Lanka. People of India cannot remain untouched by developments in Sri Lanka.

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