Untitled Document
February 19, 2017 [GMT]
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No move to strip civic rights of Mahinda Rajapaksa
[Monday 2017-02-06 17:00]

The Government says there is no move to strip the civic rights of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. There have been reports that the Government is considering stripping Rajapaksa of his civic rights like what was done to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka when Rajapaksa was President. However cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the Government has not taken any decision to remove Rajapaksa’s civic rights.


Cabinet reshuffle postponed
[Monday 2017-02-06 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to postpone the Cabinet reshuffle which was to take place in few days time, informed sources from the government said yesterday. They said the president had decided to postpone it for several months after a discussion he had had with several UNP seniors on February 3, 2017. He had earlier decided to change some ministers who faced certain charges.


Protest staged near Norwegian Parliament against Sri Lanka Top News
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

A protest was staged near the Norwegian Parliament against Sri Lanka. The protest was staged by groups supporting the LTTE and the LTTE flag was also displayed by the participants. The protest was staged to coincide with Sri Lanka’s 69th Independence Day anniversary.


War crimes demo mars Independence Day
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

The Sri Lanka armed forces and the Police celebrated the nation's 69th Independence Anniversary Day in Jaffna midst protests, tight security and riot squads blocking the A9 road that leads to the Jaffna District Secretariat where the function was held yesterday. Heavy deployments of Police and armed forces personnel, especially STF men, were conspicuous throughout the event.


Wiggy’s hybrid court is a dream that will not materialise: Samarasinghe
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C. V Wigneswaran’s moves to establish a hybrid court in the province is a dream which will never materialize, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. Speaking at an Independence Day ceremony in Kalutara, the minister went on to say that some politicians had become slaves to foreign powers and organizations and were only working towards obtaining certain privileges.


Chinese military will not be permitted at Hambantota port, says Sri Lankan ambassador
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

Chinese military activity will not be allowed at the Hambantota port considering concerns from India, Sri Lankan ambassador in Beijing said on Saturday, playing down protests by hundreds of opposition supporters over handing of 80 per cent stakes of the strategic port to a Chinese firm.


Sri Lanka Navy ship SLNS Samudura leaves for Pakistan to take part in multi-nation naval exercise
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

Sri Lanka Navy's Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura left for Pakistan from the Port of Colombo Friday evening (03) to take part in the multi-nation Naval Exercise 'AMAN' in Pakistan. SLNS Samudura is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Karachi on 09th February. The crew of Samudura joined the tour consists of 186 Sri Lankan naval personnel and 8 Maldivian National Defense Force personnel.


Omani Air Force rescues three Sri Lankan nationals in a ship at sea
[Sunday 2017-02-05 18:00]

Oman's Air Force has come to the rescue of three Sri Lankan nationals in a ship sailing to Khasab Port in Oman. A helicopter of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) rescued the three Sri Lankan nationals from the ship sailing to Khasab Port on Friday. The unstable weather condition forced the ship crew to call for help, Times of Oman reported. The members of the crew have been transported to Khasab Airbase.


Wigneswaran boycotts Independence Day event
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, boycotted the 69 th. Sri Lankan Independence Day function in Jaffna on Saturday, and instead attended protest meetings held at Keppapilavu and Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district. The Governor of the Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, hoisted the national flag, but the Chief Minister chose not to be present. A small section of radical Tamil nationalists led by Northern Provincial Council members M.K.Shivajilingam and Ananthy Sasitharan, observed the day as a “Black Day” for the Tamils.


Indian national arrested for photographing Temple Trees
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

A 36-year-old Indian national was arrested this morning while he was taking photos of Temple Trees and surrounding area, Police said. They said the suspect had told the police that the photos were taken because of the beauty of the area with the decorations for the Independence Day celebrations. Police said that the suspect was being interrogated over the incident. The investigations had revealed that the suspect was residing at Wattala.


Sampanthan calls for reconciliation based on equality, dignity
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan in a message to mark Independence Day said: "I have great pleasure in sending this message of good wishes on our 69th Independence Day. There is much expectation that this year will usher reconciliation amongst all people in this Country on the basis of equality and dignity, which will enable them to be true beneficiaries of Democracy. This is essential for the benefit of all people in our Country. Though violent conflict has come to an end, the causes of the conflict yet need to be addressed .


Govt to submit spl report to UNHRC
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

The government is planning to submit a special report to the Geneva Human Rights Council at the latter's sessions to be held from 27 February to 4 March. The report is said to contain measures taken so far by the government to protect the human rights of its citizens, sources said. They said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is set to submit this special report at the UNHRC sessions. Foreign Ministry sources said, pressure exerted on Sri Lanka in the future could also be lessened by the UNHRC, after the presentation of this report by Minister Samaraweera.


STF to bust AAVA
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

The Police Department has decided to deploy the Special Task Force (STF) to completely root out the AAVA group, which has been terrorizing people in the Northern Province, sources said. Recently, there were many reports from the Northern Province, that the AAVA group had been involved in bomb attacks on selected targets and assaulting people with sharp weapons, etc. Police said those in the AAVA group have been using knives, swords, poles and other weapons to attack people in the style of action scenes prevalent in South Indian Tamil movies


Cabinet reshuffle soon?
[Saturday 2017-02-04 20:00]

UPFA General Secretary, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday hinted at a possible Cabinet reshuffle before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The minister made this revelation following a press briefing held at the ministry headquarters. Soon after the press briefing, responding to......a question raised by a journalist, the minister said that there was a possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle.


Can’t solve Tamil issue by chasing me away: CV
[Friday 2017-02-03 19:00]

Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran today said that the Tamil people’s issues could not be solved by chasing him away. Replying to a statement made by Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara recently, he made this remark at a function held in Vavuniya to declare open the new two-storey building of the Vavuniya South Sinhala Pradeshiya Sabha. “Minister Jayasekara recently said that I should be banished from the Northern Province. But the issues faced by Tamils would not be solved by banishing me. Not only me, even my successor will say the same thing I said as we always speak the truth,”he said.


Accused SL human smuggler in Canada gets bail
[Friday 2017-02-03 19:00]

A Sri Lankan man accused of bringing hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers into Canada illegally has been granted bail after more than six years in jail, the Record said today. A British Colombia Supreme Court judge ruled on Thursday that Kunarobinson Christhurajah does not have to remain in custody while awaiting a new trial over allegations of human smuggling. Last week, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Christhurajah, who is accused of organizing the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, a rickety cargo ship that transported 492 Tamil asylum seekers from Thailand to Canada in August 2010.


Parachuter injured during Independence Day rehearsals
[Friday 2017-02-03 19:00]

A naval rating, who sustained injuries after falling from a parachute during Independence Day rehearsals at the Galle Face Green, was admitted to the National Hospital, Hospital sources said.


CBK Drops Bombshell, Says No Need For War Crimes Probe
[Friday 2017-02-03 19:00]

Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts appeared to face more setbacks, with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga dropping a bombshell and ruling out the involvement of courts to probe war crimes committing during the final stages of the war in 2009. Kumaratunga, who is also the head of the Office for the National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) said that what is urgent now is to bring in a new Constitution and to establish the Office of the Missing Persons, and therefore due to these initiatives there won’t be a necessity to have courts to probe war crimes.


Government insists no threat to National security
[Friday 2017-02-03 19:00]

The Government insists there is no threat to Sri Lanka’s National security. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said that the claims being made by the joint opposition that there is a threat to Sri Lanka’s National security is baseless. Speaking at an event in Biyagama today Wijewardene said that if there was a threat then the attempt to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran would not have been exposed. Wijewardene said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is attempting to spread communal hatred in the country.


No ban on Sri Lankans: US
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

A day after some international media reported that Sri Lankans were among stranded passengers at US airports because of President Trump’s ban on immigration, the US Embassy in Colombo said that “Sri Lanka is not among the seven countries listed in the recent Executive Order suspending entry into the US". President Trump signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the United States of individuals from seven countries [Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen] under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


Aid to settle Lankan Tamils on downslide
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

India's financial support to Sri Lanka has reduced in the past two years. The actual support given towards rehabilitation of the internally displaced Tamils in the island nation is lower than that mentioned in the budget.


TID confirms Sumanthiran was target of assassination plot
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

The country’s counter-terrorism authorities have officially informed a court in Kilinochchi that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Legislator M.A. Sumanthiran was the suspected target of an assassination attempt on 13 January 2017. Filing a report in the Kilinochchi Magistrate Court yesterday, the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) said it was investigating five suspects currently in police custody about a suspected plot to kill the TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian earlier this month.


Kumar Gunaratnam gets SL citizenship
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) politburo member Kumar Gunaratnam has been granted Sri Lankan citizenship effective from yesterday, officials said a short while ago. He was granted Sri Lankan citizenship following an application for citizenship earlier. However, the authorities had directed him to cancel the Australian citizenship within the next three months. Gunaratnam was arrested in November 2015 for violating Immigration and Emigration Laws after arriving in the country on a tourist visa. He was released from the Anuradhapura Prison after the completion of his one-year prison sentence on December 2, 2016.


Rajapaksa accuses Sirisena govt of dropping guard on LTTE
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accused the Government of dropping its guard on the LTTE by scaling down intelligence operations in the island’s Tamil-majority north and east, The Hindu newspaper reported. Commenting on the recent arrest of four ex-LTTE members, for allegedly plotting to assassinate Tamil legislator M.A. Sumanthiran, the two-time President said: “They [Maithripala Sirisena government] removed military camps and reduced the level of intelligence operations. Now they are seeing the results of that irrational action,” according to a PTI report on Wednesday.


Appeal by convicted army officer to be heard by five judge bench of SC
[Thursday 2017-02-02 17:00]

The Supreme Court, yesterday fixed for hearing on June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 the appeal filed by convicted Army officer Sunil Ratnayake. The High Court Trial-at-Bar convicted him of the murder of 8 villagers in Mirrisuvil, Jaffna on December 19, 2000. Those killed included two children. The deceased were Ghanapalan Ravishankar, S. T. Kulasinghan, V. Ghamadeepan, S. Vilvarasa, Nadesh Jayadeepa, K. Ghanarasa, G. Shantha, V. Prassard Vilvarasa.


Wigneswaran mulls Northern Council war crimes accountability mechanism
[Wednesday 2017-02-01 17:00]

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka Tamil-majority Northern Province C.V.Wigneswaran has suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) explore the legal possibility of instituting its own independent war crimes accountability mechanism in the absence of an international judicial mechanism recommended by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September 2015. Wigneswaran said this on Monday while speaking at a function in Vattakandaal Tamil Mixed School in Mannar district, where 60 to 70 people including Principal V.Sundaramoorthy and teachers T.Mahendiran and S.Ratnadurai were gunned down by the Sri Lanka Army on January 30, 1985.


Four more men accused of smuggling 72 Lankan into Canada go on trial
[Wednesday 2017-02-01 17:00]

Less than a week after four men accused in a human smuggling case involving Tamil migrants walked free, four more men charged in a similar case saw their trial open in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Last Wednesday, a jury found three men charged with smuggling 492 Sri Lankan Tamils into Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea in 2010 not guilty. The judge in the case declared a mistrial for the fourth accused. On Tuesday, four more men — Francis Anthonimuthu Appulonappa, Hamalraj Handasamy, Jeyachandran Kanagarajah and Vignarajah Thevarajah — entered not guilty pleas after re-electing to be tried by judge alone instead of by a jury.


Trump’s ban: Sri Lankans too detained at JFK
[Wednesday 2017-02-01 17:00]

In the chaotic aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, 71 individuals from 20 countries including Sri Lanka were detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday, Asian Correspondent said today. According to the ‘No Ban JFK’, a coalition of volunteer attorneys camped out at JFK, those detained include a Malaysian and a Chinese national, as well as travellers from Turkey, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, France, Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Senegal, Switzerland, Algeria, Egypt and Guinea, which were not on the US travel blacklist.

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