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January 19, 2018 [GMT]
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Police to allow usage of images of only members of the party during campaign work
[Saturday 2017-12-30 19:00]

Using images of politicians outside of their own party during campaigning, political meetings and in party offices will not be permitted in the lead up to the local government elections. Following a discussion between Party Leaders and the Election Commission on Monday, it was determined that using photographs of politicians who do not belong to the party will not be allowed during campaigning, Additional Elections Commissioner of the National Elections Commission, Saman S. Ratnayake confirmed.


Archaeology Dept. to take over Sampur Chetiya area for preservation
[Saturday 2017-12-30 19:00]

The entire land area, where the Sudaikuda Chetiya at Sampur in Trincomalee was located would be taken over by the Archaeology Department shortly for preservation, Director General of Archeology Prof. P.B. Mandawela said yesterday. Prof. Mandawela said it was a lapse on the part of the Government as there was no plan to conserve, historical, religious and archaeology sites in the North East until 2015, though the civil war ended in 2015.


Northern Chief Minister replies to Dilan Perera
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has sent the following letter to Deputy Minister Dilan Perera in response to recent public statements made by him. The following is the text of the letter headlined ‘Irresponsible Statement made on the Expenditure of Northern Provincial Council’: This refers to statement which queried what I was going to do with Malaysian Aid when I was unable to spend moneys given by our Central Government.


US Congress decides not to re-authorize GSP
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

The Unites States Congress decided not to re-authorize the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme, which is set to expire on 31 December 2017. Close to 27.5 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports go to the US market. The last time Sri Lanka had the US GSP renewed was on 29 June 2015, by former US President Barack Obama, almost two years after it had expired. According to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), “There have been many renewals (six so far since year 2000)” but this would be the ninth time in a period of 32 years that the scheme expired without being renewed.


Hindu religious affairs minister condemns Jaffna lawyers’ move
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan yesterday strongly condemned a recent bid to prevent the last rites of the late chief incumbent of the Jaffna Sri Naga Vihara, Ven. Meegahajandure Gnanaratana being performed at the Jaffna Fort Sports Ground. "Such a move cannot be justified under any circumstances," Minister Swaminathan said, adding that he regretted the latest development.


TNA MPs meet top rehabilitated LTTE cadres
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

Jaffna-based Kalaikathir newspaper yesterday reported that TNA MPs Sritharan and Charles Nirmalanathan had held a meeting on Wednesday with senior rehabilitated LTTE cadres. The meeting took place in Puthukudiyiruppu-Mullaitivu area, the report. The ex-LTTE personnel were senior operatives representing five districts. TNA MPs have told the paper that the meeting was productive in the wake of recent rumors aimed at causing confusion among Tamil people.


Sri Lanka army releases another 133 acres of land in North to owners
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

Sri Lanka Army, in keeping with the new government's policy to release more security forces-held lands to the civilians, has released another 133 acres in Mullaitivu district used by armed forces for security requirements. The Army at a ceremony held today released a land area of 133.34 acres in Keppapilavu in the Mullaitivu Maritimepattu Divisional Secretariat, together with 28 newly-built or completely renovated houses and all buildings.


Annual feast of St. Anthony's Church in Katchatheevu on Feb. 23, 24
[Friday 2017-12-29 19:00]

The annual two-day festival at St. Anthony's Church on Katchatheevu islet will be held on February 23 and 24, according to Indian media reports. The Jaffna Diocese, which organized the festival, has announced the dates for the festival but yet to formally extend an invitation to the Verkodu parish in Rameswaram, which organized the Indian pilgrimage for the festival, The Hindu reported.


Key briefing on Sri Lanka at UNHRC by rights chief set for March 21
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

The briefing on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC) has been set for March 21. The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka last March giving the country two more years to show progress on addressing post war issues.


Piyasena Gamage sworn in as State Minister Top News
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

UPFA MP Piyasena Gamage was sworn in as State Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development before President Maithripala Sirisena this morning.


Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe tenders resignation from Constitutional Council
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

Parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe tendered his resignation from the Constitutional Council to President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, today. He was appointed to the Constitutional Council by the Premier and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan


SLFP expects strong showing in Vanni
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will contest 24 Local Government bodies in the Vanni Distinct, fielding 341 candidates, Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. Addressing a press conference at SLFP Head Quarters, he added that the party expects to make significant gains in the district, which it had not previously attempted to do. Meanwhile, over 9,000 candidates who will contest the election from SLFP and United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will gather at Sugathadasa Stadium tomorrow (29) where they will pledge that they will adhere to the SLFP manifesto.


Lanza to support JO
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

Former Deputy Minister Nimal Lanza today said he would support the joint opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse. He made this remark following a media briefing held in Negombo this morning.


Army compensated for vacating Mullaitivu land
[Thursday 2017-12-28 18:00]

A300-day protest staged by a group of persons demanding that the army vacate 133 acres at Keppapilavu in the former LTTE stronghold Mullaitivu had been brought to an end by relocating troops stationed there, Rehabilitation Ministry spokesperson told The Island. The spokesperson said that Rehabilitation Minister D. M. Swaminathan had, following consultations with relevant authorities, paid Rs. 148 mn for the relocation of troops. The land would be officially handed over today (Dec 28), he said.


UN calls for regulation of presidential pardon for prisoners
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

The exercise of Presidential Pardon for convicted prisoners should be regulated by clear guidelines to avoid arbitrary application and to ensure proper means for the release on compassionate grounds, the three-member UN Working Group has said in a report. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has also identified significant challenges to the enjoyment of the right to personal liberty in Sri Lanka, resulting in arbitrary detention across the country.


False propaganda being spread against me: Sumanthiran
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran yesterday alleged that a ‘spate of false propaganda’ are being spread against him as Local Government polls heat up. Local Government polls have led to internal rifts between Sumantiran and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran more apparent. One rumour, he said, was certain media organisations and the Northern Province Chief Minister spreading news that he and the TNA leadership had tried to stop a meeting between the Malaysian Prime Minister and Vigneswaran.


Northern politicians have faith in Sinhala cops-NP Governor
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has said that northern politicians are reluctant to be guarded by Tamil policemen and, therefore, they had been provided security by Sinhala police officers. Governor Cooray asserted that Tamil politicians had faith in Sinhala police officers. Governor Cooray said so on Sunday (Dec 24) at the launch of a new ferry service from Karampan jetty at Kayts to Eluvathivu and Analathivu islets.


Media barred from announcing unofficial election results
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

The media will be barred from announcing unconfirmed and unofficial election results at the forthcoming Local Government election, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya stated yesterday. Addressing the media at the Government Information Department, he said that this will be strictly implemented and the media will only be allowed to carry results sanctioned by his office. Deshapriya also said, there will be no separate announcement of postal vote result for each and every local authority.


Tea shipments to Russia to resume on Saturday
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

The Colombo Tea Traders' Association has said that the export of tea to Russia will resume on Saturday, 30th of December. Chairman of the Colombo Tea Traders' Association Anslem Perera said there was no major impact from the ban on the tea industry of Sri Lanka as the temporary ban was in effect only for 2 weeks. Russian authorities imposed a ban on all agriculture imports from Sri Lanka including Ceylon tea from December 18, 2017, after one consignment of tea from Sri Lanka contained an invasive insect, known as the Khapra beetle.


President Sirisena tweets thanks to 'cordial' Russia for lifting ban
[Wednesday 2017-12-27 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena in a tweet yesterday, following Russia’s decision to lift the import restrictions placed on Sri Lankan Tea, said in a tweet "prompt action by the Government has paid off." The President said diplomatic relations between Russia and Sri Lanka were "exemplary." The wtweet read Sri Lanka's diplomacy with Russia has always been exemplary. The way the tea exports issue is yet another example of this friendship. Prompt action by government has paid off. This is also a time to thank Russia for cordiality." Russia imposed a ban on Sri Lankan tea exports due to a Khapra beetle larvae being found in one of the packages of tea sent to the country.


Dhinakaran meets Lankan Tamil leader
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

On the eve of his R.K. Nagar byelection victory, T.T.V. Dhinakaran had a chance meeting with Sri Lankan Tamil leader M.A. Sumanthiran, when he enquired about the current situation of Sri Lankan Tamils in the island’s war-battered north and east. The Tamil politicians from either side of the Palk Bay met in Kanyakumari on Friday, ahead of the ‘Arumanai Christmas Vizha’, an annual celebration held in the southern district that has a near-50 per cent Christian population.


End LG polls propaganda by Feb 7: EC
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

All propaganda activities related to the upcoming Local Government election should come to an end by the midnight of February 7, the Election Commission said today. The election for the Local Government bodies to be held on February 10 next year.


Rishad should resign as Ravi did: BBS
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

Similar to the resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake over the Central Bank Treasury Bond issue, Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen should also resign over the Wilpattu issue based on the Auditor General's report, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today said. Addressing a press conference BBS General Secretary Venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said President should be held responsible for the deforestation of Wilpattu Reserve because the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment was under his purview.


Russia lifts restrictions on Lankan tea supplies
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

Following Sri Lanka’s decision to suspend its ban on asbestos, Russia yesterday decided to lift its restrictions on tea imports from here from December 30. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Moscow Dr. Saman Weerasinghe told The Island that Russian authorities had conveyed their decision to a Sri Lankan delegation during a discussion in Moscow yesterday.


Mahinda and Namal visit Sampanthan in hospital
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa visited opposition leader R. Sampanthan in hospital and made inquiries about his health. Sampanthan had been admitted to hospital last week following a sudden illness.


Number of criminals in Pohottuwa nomination lists, alleges SB
[Tuesday 2017-12-26 19:00]

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) which will contest the upcoming Local Government election under the symbol Pohottuwa (Flower Bud) has included a number of criminals and corrupt individuals in the nomination lists, Minister S. B. Dissanayake charged yesterday. Speaking at a public event in Kandy, the Minister said, individuals accused of murder and those who threw parties to celebrate the raping of women were allegedly included in the SLPP nominations lists.


Selfie tragedy
[Monday 2017-12-25 16:00]

Two 17-year-old school children drowned in Kallady Oya in Pudukuduirippu last evening while they were taking a selfie, Police said. They said a group of seven school children had gone to bathe in the Kallady Oya and the two victims had gone into the middle of the Oya to take a selfie and had fallen into a pit created due to sand mining.


Postal voting on January 25, 26
[Monday 2017-12-25 16:00]

Postal Voting for the upcoming Local Government Polls would be held on January 25 and 26, the Elections Commission announced today. Officials of the Elections Department and Police personnel could cast their postal votes on January 22, a Spokesman for the Commission said.

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