Untitled Document
May 23, 2017 [GMT]
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Modi’s visit: Wasp nests in estate sector to be removed
[Monday 2017-05-08 16:00]

Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the upcountry areas, action has been taken to remove hornets and wasps nests found in certain parts of the estates to avoid any possible attack on the visiting dignitary. The security units assigned with the provision of security to the Indian Premier had coordinated with the Hatton SPs office and obtained the assistance of the Organization for the Protection of such bees.

TNA Rift Deepens
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

A rift in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is said to be deepening following comments being made in public by some TNA members. Sources said that some words were exchanged at a TNA Parliament group meeting last week over the leadership of the TNA being criticised in public.TNA member Suresh Premachandran has been openly critical of the stand taken by the TNA on the human rights issue. Premachandran has also supported protests in the North which have not had the backing of the TNA.

Sri Lanka only leasing oil tanks to India, PM reiterates
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Sri Lanka will only lease out oil tanks to India under the proposed deal to jointly operate a strategic oil facility in the eastern port district of Trincomalee, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. Addressing a gathering in the central town of Welimada yesterday, the Prime Minister said the joint working group of the two countries will formulate investment plans for the integrated development of Trincomalee, PTI reported.

Six policemen to be charged for murder of torture victim
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Six policemen who were found guilty of torturing a suspect in custody in Chunnakam, Jaffna are to be served fresh indictments for committing murder. The policemen were sentenced to ten years imprisonment by Jaffna High Court judge M. Illenchelian having been found guilty of torturing the suspect Sri Skandarajah Sumanan. Fines of Rs.25,000 each were imposed on the convicts and they were asked to pay Rs.200,000 collectively as compensation to the family of the victim.

GSP Plus: Four votes added to Lanka’s 436
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Sri Lanka has earned four more votes in the European Parliament against a motion to deprive it of the GSP+ concession after four Members of the European Parliament (MEP) realised they had polled wrong. A few hours after the motion was defeated on April 27, Sri Lanka’s EU Ambassador Rodney Perera made a round of calls to MEPs based on the voting sheet with the intention of double-checking their intentions. As a result, four MEPs changed their decision on account of misinterpreting the objective of the vote–that is, mistakenly thinking that by voting “positive”, they were supporting Sri Lanka.

Hambantota deal: More major changes, 70-year lease on offer
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

The number of years that the Hambantota port is to be leased out to China Merchant Port Holdings Co Ltd (CMPort) could be brought down 70, instead of 99, authoritative sources said. A draft of the heavily-negotiated concession agreement was shared with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) this week. The shareholding ratio could also be changed from 80:20 to 60:40, with sixty percent of shares allocated to CMPort and forty percent to SLPA, the sources said. And it is likely that a further twenty percent of CMPort’s shareholding will be up for sale to a Sri Lankan company within a specified time period.

Modi arrives in Colombo on Thursday
[Sunday 2017-05-07 17:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo on Thursday (May 11) evening on his second visit to Sri Lanka since March 2015. He will be the chief guest at the UN Vesak Day celebrations on Friday. The prime ministerial visit to the Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka is one of the ways in which India is trying to reclaim its Buddhist heritage and is part of a larger plan of using Buddhism to build linkages within Asia.

Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday alleged that those who had been responsible for formulating controversial policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) conveniently ignored consensus reached on some crucial issues at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. The TNA said that contentious issues had been taken up at the committee following representations made by the party.

Vidya murder case: AG requests CJ to appoint High Court at Bar
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC yesterday requested Chief Justice Priyasath Dep to appoint a High Court at Bar to hear the murder of Punguduthivu Sivaloganathan Vidya.

ITAK to push for Navy ouster from Iranativu
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Tamil National Alliance MP S. Sridaran has said that the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi led grouping would throw its full weight an ongoing protest aimed at removing the Navy from Iranativu. The MP was addressing a gathering at Iranativu where people were engaged in peaceful protest demanding their land back. He said that they would campaign hard to evict the military from both Iranativu and Pooneryn.

Police deploy 6,000 officers for Modi’s security
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

The Police has taken special security measures for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka next week, IGP Pujith Jayasundara told the Daily News. The IGP said nearly 6,000 Police officers have been deployed for the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka and other related events during the international Vesak festival. “This includes ordinary Police officers, the Special Task Force (STF) and the officers who have specialized knowledge in VVIP security,” the IGP explained.

‘Sri Lankan embassies sheltered criminals’
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on Friday accused the previous administration of using its embassies abroad as “safe houses” for murderers accused of perpetrating human rights abuses during the civil war.

Sri Lanka’s war general faces murder probe
[Saturday 2017-05-06 18:00]

Former army major general Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament today. Gunaratne, who was sent to Brazil as deputy ambassador by then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, murdered an embassy employee Nimal Rupasinghe with the support of two other embassy staff members, the minister said.

Tamil Canadians request Canada not to deport Tamil Political Asylum Seekers:
[Friday 2017-05-05 21:00]

Toronto: Despite the end of the war in May 2009, the covert genocidal war waged by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils in the island continues unabated. There has been ample evidence to show that Tamils who have been involuntarily returned to Sri Lanka have been arrested and tortured with some being disappearing. Yet, there has been continuous deportation of Tamil Political Asylum seekers back to the war-torn country from where they fled. International Refugee Convention to which Canada signed on prohibits the deportation of anyone who has a well-founded fear for their safety if involuntarily returned.

India to provide US$ 45 million loan assistance to rehabilitate Sri Lanka's Kankasanthurai harbor in the North
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

The Sri Lankan government has received approval from the cabinet of ministers to obtain financial assistance from India to rehabilitate the Kankasanthurai harbor in the North. India's EXIM Bank has agreed to provide a US$ 45.27 million loan to Sri Lanka for the project which will be handled by Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Geetha’s MP post: Speaker says he was not informed
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said today that he was not informed of the court decision regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe's MP post. He told parliament in response to a question raised by UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha that he would act according to the court decision when it was informed to him.Joint Opposition MP Geetha Kumarasinghe attended parliamentary sessions today despite the court decision which ruled that she was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament as she holds dual citizenship.

Sri Lanka thanks Pakistan for ‘incessant support’ in fight against terror
[Thursday 2017-05-04 17:00]

Sri Lanka’s army chief on Wednesday met his Pakistani counterpart and thanked him for the “incessant support” to the island nation’s fight against terrorism. Chief of the Sri Lankan Army Lt Gen A.W.J.C De Silva called upon the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the army said.

Sirisena-Wigneswaran powwow on May 17
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

Responding to a request, President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to meet Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran on May 17. Informed sources told The Island that CM Wigneswaran is expected to raise Tamils’ concerns over alleged enforced disappearances, non-release of private land and the government’s failure to solve the problems of the North-East people. Wigneswaran has also consulted several Tamil political party leaders during the last few days to find out whether they have any other grievances which he could take up with the President.

Court rules Geetha disqualified to be MP
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

The Court of Appeal today ruled that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament as she holds dual citizenship. The Attorney General had earlier informed the Court of Appeal that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was still a citizen of Switzerland and according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person who has dual citizenship cannot be an MP.

PM says no decision to put Fonseka in charge of military
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament today that cabinet has not taken a decision on making Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka head of the military. He was responding to a question raised in Parliament by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) member Vijitha Herath. Wickremesinghe said there is no need to have a special military unit in the country. The Prime Minister said that cabinet had last week discussed the matter of addressing the garbage issue and not about Fonseka.

Indian policies don’t favour its neighbours: JVP
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

The Indian foreign and economic policies are dictatorial and overpowering in relation to neighbouring countries; however, Sri Lanka should not abandon her relations with India but should remain alert when dealing with it, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayeke told a news conference that Indian policies are maintained in a way that is advantageous to that country as such the government should pay more attention when signing agreements with the India.

ITAK ready to accept ex-LTTE cadres into politics
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

The leader of the ITAK and Jaffna district parliamentarian Mavai Senathiraja stated that they are prepared to admit rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres in to the political stream. He was speaking at the 40th death anniversary commemoration of founder of the ITAK S.J.V. Chelvanayagam held at Kaluthavalai Cultural hall, Batticaloa organized by the Paddiruppu branch of ITAK recently. Speaking further he said their proposal to have a Muslim Chief Minister for the Eastern Province was opposed by the Muslims. If the proposal was accepted it would have facilitated the merger of the North and East.

Naval officer gone missing after boat capsizes
[Wednesday 2017-05-03 17:00]

There is no news yet about the Sri Lanka Navy Lieutenant, who went missing after one of its boats capsized on Sunday night in the sea of Arippu in Mannar, the Navy said yesterday. Acting Navy Spokesman Ruwan Premaweera said three sailors and lieutenant W.S. Wijesinghe attached to SLNS Rathnadeepa had used a small boat to search for a suspicious vessel in the area when the boat capsized.

Joint opposition calls for black flag protest during Modi visit
[Tuesday 2017-05-02 16:00]

The joint opposition yesterday called for a black flag protest during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka. Modi has confirmed he will visit Sri Lanka next month to take part in the celebrations marking the UN ‘Vesak Day’, the most important in the Buddhist calendar. However joint opposition Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa, speaking at the joint opposition May Day rally at Galle Face, said that Modi was to discuss a deal with the Government during his visit.

Sirikotha shooting: Constable remanded till May 15
[Tuesday 2017-05-02 16:00]

The Police constable who was arrested in connection with the shooting incident at the United National Party (UNP) headquarters Sirikotha in Pitakotte has been remanded till May 15 by the Gangodavila Magistrate Court today. Police arrested the constable (40) attached to the Mirihana police station for causing damage to a glass pane on Monday evening.

EU notes commitment for freedom of expression in Sri Lanka
[Tuesday 2017-05-02 16:00]

The European Union (EU) says it is committed to enhancing the quality of journalism, access to public information and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. The EU office in Colombo said that the Catamaran (thecatamaran.org), a tri-lingual portal publishing work by local journalists, presents the diverse experiences of people and communities from around Sri Lanka. The published stories call attention to underreported topics, with analyses of socio-political and socio-economic issues.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister says will develop economy of the North with assistance from India
[Tuesday 2017-05-02 16:00]

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government will be taking necessary measures to raise the income of the working people and their life style while increasing exports revenues of Sri Lanka. Outlining the economic development measures, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe pointed out that after former President J.R. Jayawardena, the most gigantic development program has been initiated under the rule of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Prez: I won’t betray country
[Tuesday 2017-05-02 16:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the SLFP May Day rally at Getambe, Kandy said he would never betray the country. Since he was elected to power there had been numerous allegations against him. It was being claimed that he was betraying the country to foreign powers and trying to divide it, the President said. The President said his detractors were spreading a false rumour that he was planning to do away with special status granted to Buddhism.

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