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June 23, 2017 [GMT]
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UNHRC resolution cannot be repudiated by Parliament: Sampanthan
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

The Sri Lankan state is bound to implement the UNHRC resolution and it cannot be repudiated by Parliament as demanded by the Joint Opposition(JO), Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan said. The Opposition Leader speaking at the Adjournment debate moved by Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament yesterday, called for the full and expeditious implementation of the Geneva Resolution.


Ex-army chief: ‘Some dismantled KKS cement factory machines in defiance of my orders’
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

Former Army Commander Lt Gen Daya Ratnayake was questioned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry proving serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges for more than three hours yesterday on dismantling of old machines at the former Cement Factory at Kankesanthurai and selling them as scrap iron. Lt Gen Ratnayake told the commission that a group of persons in defiance of his orders as the Army Commander had dismantled the machines and sold them as scrap iron.


NPC to debate allegations against provincial Ministers
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is to debate allegations against some of its members on June 14. The decision was taken after a committee report was submitted to the NPC when it convened today. Some NPC Ministers have been accused of corruption and the matter was discussed by the NPC today.


Point Pedro to house country’s largest fisheries harbour: Minister Amaraweera
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

The largest fisheries harbour in the country will come up in Point Pedro, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The minister made this comment while replying to a question by UPFA MP Douglas Devananda under Standing Order 23 (2) in Parliament yesterday. The minister said two fisheries harbours would be built in Pesali and Point Pedro to develop the fisheries industry in the North.He said the Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide funds for this project.


Sri Lanka defends China’s Belt and Road project
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

Chinese investment in Sri Lanka is reviving a “3,000-5,000-year-old shipping route”, said visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, defending his government’s decision to join the Belt and Road Initiative.


Army could be brought in: President
[Thursday 2017-06-08 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena warned that he will hand over the task of arresting the trend of religious and communal violence to the army if the police are unable to apprehend those who perpetrate these crimes. The President said this when he met Government Ministers and MPs at the Parliamentary complex last afternoon. “These violent acts are being carried out by a group that is backed by the opposition. Why don’t you tell the people who is behind these incidents,” he had challenged the MPs present. Presidents had said this in reply to a complaint made to him by UNP MP Mujubur Rahaman that the government had failed to arrest those who promote religious and communal hatred.


Guterres assures to support SL Top News
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has assured that the United Nations office in Sri Lanka stands ready to support the country when implementing programmes to achieve reconciliation and in the process of making Constitutional reforms. The Secretary General has conveyed this to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who called on Mr. Guterres at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York on Monday. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said the Secretary General has also mentioned that it was the hope of the United Nations to see Sri Lanka’s success in its endeavours.


Mattala airport to be handed over to India, says JO
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

The Joint Opposition (JO) accuses the government of having struck a secret deal to hand over the Mattala airport to India while retaining only 40 of shares thereof.JO MP Bandula Gunawardena, addressing the media yesterday, condemned what he called the government’s practice of selling national assets to foreigners. He said the sale of state ventures would lead to disaster. He alleged that the government was also planning to sell colonial buildings that house post offices in several parts of the country including Nuwara Eliya, Galle and Kandy to be developed as hotels by foreigners.


No immediate impact on Lankans in Qatar
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said today there was no immediate impact on Sri Lankans in Qatar in the wake of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt breaking ties with that country but that it was monitoring the situation closely. Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said Sri Lankans could contact our embassy in Qatar in case they needed help.


Black sheep in Army should be dealt with: Mangala
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

There could be black sheep even in an excellent Army. They should be dealt with in accordance with law to protect the dignity of the Army, Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He said if there are suspects in the Army who assaulted or abducted media personnel, abducted children in Wellawatta and killed them to take ransom, they should be dealt with according to law even if they had done them on instructions of the superiors, irrespective of the suspects’ uniforms or the robes, to protect the dignity of the Army.


Ravi tells Modi Sri Lanka will continue close partnership
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake called on Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today. The Prime Minister recalled his productive and memorable visit to Sri Lanka on occasion of the International Vesak Day last month. He congratulated Karunanayake on taking over his new responsibility as Foreign Minister, the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa makes statement to CID on “Tripoli Camp”
[Wednesday 2017-06-07 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has informed the Criminal Investigations Department that the Tripoli camp of the Sri Lanka Army, could not have been established without the knowledge of former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka. Charges have been leveled against several army intelligence officers who served at the said camp, including the assault of journalist Keith Noyahr.


Mangala asserts no agreement to implement Zeid’s report
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka has not agreed to implement the recommendations on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The recommendations were in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in March this year. Samaraweera said that the Government had only agreed to a Resolution on Sri Lanka and the Resolution did not include the recommendations of Ra’ad Al Hussein.


Ravi leaves for India, will meet Modi for talks
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake left for India today where he will have talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A media spokesman for Karunanayake said that he is scheduled to have talks with Modi tonight and other Indian officials tomorrow before returning to Sri Lanka. This is his first overseas visit since being appointed Foreign Minister recently.


Sri Lanka will accept Qatar currency, operate flights to Doha
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka today categorically denied reports by various media institutions stating that “the Central Bank has informed banks not to accept Qatari Riyals”. Officials at the Katunayake Airport had said that most banks at the airport had refused to exchange Qatari Riyals. However the Central Bank of Sri Lanka says it had not issued instructions to any bank not to accept Qatari Riyals.


Mi-17 helicopter to be removed from service
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

The Sri Lanka Air Force said its Mi-17 helicopter, which was forced to land in a flooded area in Baddegama on May 29 after a technical failure, during rescue and relief operations will be removed from service. An SLAF source said the Air Force usually did not operate helicopters which had crashed or forced to land on water. It had deployed seven Mi-17 helicopters, three Bell-212 helicopters and one Bell-412 helicopter for relief and rescue operations during the recent landslide and flood disaster.


Sri Lankan President Sirisena coming to Dhaka on July 13
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is coming to Dhaka next month on a four-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He is scheduled to visit Dhaka from July 13 to July 16, the foreign ministry said on Monday in a statement. Bangladesh has announced a $500,000 cash assistance for the Sri Lankan floods and landslides victims.


Nigeria decides to close down embassy in Sri Lanka
[Tuesday 2017-06-06 18:00]

The Nigerian federal Government has decided to close its embassy in Sri Lanka, Per Second News reported. The Federal Government recently announced its intention to shutdown five foreign missions and embassies, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. Onyeama, did not name the affected embassies or missions, but Per Second News gathered that the embassy in Sri Lanka is one of the foreign mission penciled for closure.


Shooting at Police at Palai: One arrested in Urumpirai
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

One of the suspects wanted in connection with the shooting at a Police Emergency Service 119 at Palai in Kilinochchi was taken into custody by the Terrorist Investigation Division during a raid in Urumpirai in Jaffna on yesterday evening (03), the Police said. However, the gunman had missed the target and none of the Police officers were injured or the emergency service motorcar was not damaged in the shooting.


Anura Senanayake bailed out
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

Following the High Court Bail order, former Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Anura Senanayake was released by Colombo Additional Magistrate Jeyaram Trotsky a short while ago. Complying with the bail conditions imposed by the Colombo High Court on Friday, the suspect’s son and the brother deposited the two sureties. The case was postponed for June 15. The Colombo High Court granted bail to former SDIG Senanayake on strict conditions. High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka granted him a cash bail of one million rupees with three sureties of five million each.


Lankans in Japan call for a regime change – Ex-President
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

The Sri Lankans in Japan were frustrated with the conduct of Yahapalana government and they calling for a regime change in Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Island yesterday from Tokyo. Sri Lankans, living in Japan especially the Lankan businessmen including vehicle importers, had complained that they were no longer in a position to survive due to the disastrous government policies, Rajapaksa said.


Expressway, tunnels, LRT to connect reclaimed China Port City in Sri Lanka
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

An elevated expressway, tunnels and light rail transit link will connect the China's 15 billion US dollar reclaimed Colombo Port City to the rest of Sri Lanka's capital, an official said. An elevated road is expected to be built to connect the Port City to an expressway leading to the airport. CHEC Port City (Pvt) Ltd, the project company is in discussions with Sri Lanka to build a tunnels connecting two entrances to the city which also lead south along the Marine Drive up to four kilometres, head of Sales and Marketing Liang Thow Ming said.


PM to return early
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is currently in the USA would meet two senior officials of the White House tomorrow, sources said today. Sources close to the Prime Minister said he would meet the two officials from the While House, who would represent President Donald Trump. Mr. Wickremesinghe will also attend the UN Ocean Conference in New York tomorrow. The meeting is expected to take place thereafter.


JO complains to EU of delayed local polls
[Monday 2017-06-05 18:00]

The Joint Opposition has complained to the European Union of the government’s failure to hold local government elections. The complaint had been made when a delegation of Joint Opposition MPs led by its parliamentary group and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena met EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung-Laï Margue on June 1, UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody told The Island yesterday.The Joint Opposition delegation also comprised MPs Prasanna Ranatunga, Namal Rajapaksa and several other Parliamentarians, Jayakody said.


CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS : TNA TO MEET SLFP AND JO REPRESENTATIVES
[Sunday 2017-06-04 17:00]

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) representatives led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan are due to meet the SLFP and Joint Opposition representatives to discuss the Constitution making process next week, official sources said yesterday. A TNA Northern Provincial Councilor speaking to the Sunday Observer on Saturday said there is a proposal for a meeting between the two groups but nothing has been finalised yet.


Three Heads of Mission hold dual citizenship
[Sunday 2017-06-04 17:00]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has found that there are three Heads of Mission/Post in Sri Lanka’s diplomatic corps holding dual citizenship. They are Ms Y K Gunasekera (British/Sri Lankan) who is High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Bangladesh; Tilak Ranaviraja (USA/Sri Lankan) who is Ambassador for Sri Lanka to France; and Swarna Gunaratne (Canadian/Sri Lankan) who is Consul General in Los Angeles. Of these, only Ms Gunasekera is a member of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service.


GSP+ not a carte blanche; SL remains under scrutiny: EU Commissioner
[Sunday 2017-06-04 17:00]

As the Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (GSP) Plus (+) was last month restored to Sri Lanka (SL), after seven years, the European Parliament, on Wednesday, was told it was not a blank cheque to SL, but it will continue to monitor the country’s future progress towards reforms and reconciliation. Opening the debate on behalf of the European Commission (EC) on SL after 2013, Commissioner of International Trade & Trade Agreements, Cecilia Malmström informed the Plenary that, just as with other GSP+ beneficiaries, the European Union (EU) intends to hold SL to its commitment to prove Sustainable Development, Human Rights (HR) and Good Governance (GG).


PM cleared medically in NY, will attend UN Confab next week
[Sunday 2017-06-04 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has completed a medical check-up at New York’s Presbyterian University Hospital and will attend next week’s United Nations Oceans Conference. Results from a three day check-up has cleared him of any doubts and given him a clean bill of health, the Sunday Times was told. Speaking to the Sunday Times from his New York hotel last morning, the Prime Minister said that he underwent a “head to toe” examination. He said that he spent two nights and three days at the hospital where they also monitored his sleep.

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