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January 22, 2017 [GMT]
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GL dismisses Sumanthiran comment as racist utterance
[Thursday 2016-12-29 16:00]

Former UPFA External Affairs Minister and Joint Opposition member Prof G.L.Pieris yesterday dismissed as a racist utterance, a statement made by TNA parliamentarian M. Sumanthiran that the accused in the Raviraj murder case had been freed because the jury were all Sinhalese. Prof. Pieris, addressing a news conference at the Dr. N.M.Perera Centre at Borella, accused Sumanthiran of sowing seeds of hatred instead of promoting reconciliation.

Sri Lanka asked to enter mines ban treaty
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

It will take 15 more years to de-mine Sri Lanka's war-battered North and East regions, a group campaigning to ban anti-personal mines in the country said today while criticising the government for not acceding to the Ottawa Convention. "The de-mining work has slowed down over the years. At its current pace it will take around 15 years to complete the de-mining in the remaining 44 square kilometers," Vidya Abhayagunawardena, the national co-ordinator of Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines (SLCBL) said.

China ‘concerned’ over allegations of corruption in Hambantota Port deal
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

China has expressed its concern on allegations of ‘mega deals’ made in the Hambantota Port joint venture. The allegation was made by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) at a recent media conference held in Colombo. On Wednesday morning, Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Yi Xiangliang met President Maithripala Sirisena and expressed his country’s concern on statements made by JHU, the government’s coalition partner claiming that certain ministers connected to this deal had visited China to get their commissions for fixing US$.1.2 billion mega deal.

Sri Lanka faces threat of power crisis in 2017
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

Sri Lanka’s electricity regulator on Tuesday informed the Power and Energy Ministry that urgent steps must be made to buy new power plants, postpone maintenance work at the available power plants and increase rooftop solar generation to avoid a power crisis in the first quarter of 2017. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said that a successive failure of monsoon had caused very low hydro reservoir storage, less than 500 GWh, and the Commission’s recommendations were made to mitigate the impact of power shortages during the period from January to April 2017, Xinhua reported.

Funeral under full state patronage
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

The funeral of former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka is to be held on December 31 under full state patronage on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena, a release issued by the Presidential Secretariat stated yesterday. President Sirisena on hearing the death of the former Prime Minister issued instructions to the officials to hold the funeral with full state patronage.

US threat on UN, a further waning of US influence: Kohona
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

Former chief of the UN treaty section and a former permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Palitha Kohona said that the US threatening the UN with financial sanctions would only result in the further waning of US influence in the UN and globally. “To threaten the UN with financial sanctions would only result in the further waning of US influence in the UN and globally. All countries, especially countries like the US, must continue to work together to make the world a better place,” he told IPS.

Mine Ban Treaty (MBT): SL yet to decide
[Wednesday 2016-12-28 17:00]

Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today the Defense Ministry was yet to give the green light to go ahead with the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) also known as the Ottawa Convention. “There is a cabinet paper on this matter but the defense ministry has still not given the go ahead,” he said.Meanwhile, Mr. Hettiarachchi has told PTI that Sri Lanka would sign the treaty after alternate arrangements were in place to secure the military camps. He said this had no connection to reconciliation and of Sri Lanka not being a signatory to the MBT.

Sri Lanka's Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms to submit report to President on Jan 3rd
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 17:00]

The Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the Prime Minister on 26 January this year will present its report to the President on 3rd January, the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms announced. The report will also be published on its website on the same day, the Secretary of the Task Force, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu told BBC Sandeshaya.

Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passed away
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 17:00]

Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passed away today. He passed away after falling ill and while he was receiving treatment in hospital. He was 83 years old. Wickremanayake was Prime Minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government in 2005. He had earlier held the position of Prime Minister from August 2000 – December 2001, succeeding then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

Tamil politicians squabble over damaged Gandhi statue in Mullaitivu
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 17:00]

Two leading Tamil politicians of North Sri Lanka, both belonging to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), are squabbling over a controversial statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Mullaitivu town which was found destroyed on Monday. TNA Member of Parliament Dr.Sivamohan had installed the statue recently, with the money given to him by the government for carrying out social and development works in Wanni electoral district, his constituency.

283 new diplomatic passports issued
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 17:00]

Some 423,066 new passports have been issued within the first nine months of this year by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, statistics revealed. Accordingly, 132,705 new passports were issued to Middle Eastern countries while 269,647 new passports were issued to other countries during the same period. Some 283 new diplomatic passports were also issued during the first nine months of the year. Further, the department had made amendments to 54,761 passports. It was also revealed that 64,698 foreigners were issued with new Sri Lankan visas during this period.

Hambantota is not going to be a Chinese colony: Minister Yapa
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 16:00]

Dismissing speculation by Opposition politicians on Hambantota becoming a ‘Chinese colony’, Deputy Finance Minister yesterday reiterated that the Government is “only to establish investment zones”. “Hambantota is not going to be a Chinese colony. It is only an investment zone and no private property will be acquired and handed over to foreign investors,” affirmed State Minister for Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.

Sri Lanka, India Joint Working Group to meet on January 2 to discuss fishermen issue
[Tuesday 2016-12-27 16:00]

A Joint Working Group (JWG) of India and Sri Lanka will hold a ministerial-level meeting on Monday, January 2 in Colombo, in order to find a permanent solution to the issue of fishermen. "As per the schedule agreed at the November 5 meeting between India and Sri Lanka on the fishermen issue, the ministerial meeting is to be preceded by a Joint Working Group meeting at Secretary level," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Sri Lanka commemorates 12th anniversary of tsunami disaster
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

Sri Lanka today will commemorated the 12th anniversary of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed over 35,000 people. This year’s commemoration of the tsunami, which struck 13 out of 14 coastal districts in the island, was held at district level, state media quoted an official as saying.Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre, Pradeep Kodippili said religious events were held islandwide including in the coastal areas to commemorate the tsunami disaster.

Widow of assassinated Sri Lankan Tamil MP to appeal in two weeks
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

The widow of the assassinated Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Nadarajah Raviraj, will be moving the Court of Appeal against the Colombo High Court’s order acquitting five persons including Sri Lankan intelligence personnel, who were accused of planning and executing the murder of the Jaffna district MP here on November 10, 2006. Counsel for Mrs.Raviraj, M.A.Sumanthiran, who himself is a TNA MP, told Express on Sunday, that the appeal will be filed by him within the stipulated two-week period.

Two Western Provincial Councilors remanded
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

Members of the Western Provincial Council Lalantha Gunasekara and Ananda Harischandra had been ordered be remanded till December 28 by Negombo Chief Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatte today. They were arrested by the Negombo Police today over violating a court order. The Negombo Magistrate issued arrest warrant on the councilors after they launched a protest at the Galkanda Railway Station in Negombo recently violating the Court order.

SLPI denies Norwegian media trainer’s alleged LTTE links
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) has strongly defended Norway-based Rajan Chelliah’s participation at a two-day media workshop recently conducted in Colombo. Military sources alleged that Chelliah had been one of the top LTTE propagandists responsible for the outfit’s overseas operations. Sources said that Chelliah spearheaded anti-Sri Lankan campaigns during the war and was involved in propagating unsubstantiated war crimes allegations.

Field Marshal being MP unconstitutional – Sarath
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

One-time Chief of Staff of the Navy Rear Admiral (retd.) Sarath Weerasekera told President Maithripala Sirisena last week that war winning Army Commander Sarath Fonseka couldn’t hold the rank of Field Marshal and be a member of parliament simultaneously. The President was told that National List MP Fonseka had been appointed Field Marshal in violation of the Constitution.

Several flights to and from BIA delayed due to missile test
[Monday 2016-12-26 17:00]

Several flights scheduled to depart and arrive at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) were delayed due to the temporary closure of certain parts of Indian airspace, an airport official said today. The Indian Air Traffic control informed the Sri Lankan officials that its airspace would be closed from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. due to the “launch of an experimental flight in India”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Raviraj murder accused cleared, Sumanthiran faults all-Sinhala jury
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

A Sri Lankan court Saturday acquitted five men, including three navy intelligence officers, charged with assassinating an opposition Tamil legislator whose party immediately raised concerns about judicial integrity. Nadaraja Raviraj, who represented the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was shot dead in 2006 along with his bodyguard as they drove out of his home in Colombo, two and a half years before the end of the country’s Tamil separatist war.

Appeal against the acquittal of suspects in TNA MP's murder
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran says he does not agree with today's High Court decision to acquit five suspects charged with the murder of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj. MP Sumanthiran, who appeared for the case said he will appeal against the judgement given by the Colombo High Court acquitting the five suspects. Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke acquitted all six suspects of the trial from all charges after the jury reached a unanimous decision.

Chinese assistance to set up three technical colleges with full facilities in rural areas
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

The Chinese government has agreed to build three 'super' technical colleges with all facilities in rural areas, the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training. According to the Ministry, the three technical colleges will be set up in Hambanthota, Puttalam and Moneragala and the Chinese government has agreed to provide all the facilities to accommodate 2000 students at a time at each center.

572 prisoners set free for Christmas
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

A total of 572 prisoners, who were sentenced for minor offences, had been set free from all the prisons across the country to mark the Christmas Day, Prisons Department said today. Prisons Spokesman T.N. Upuldeniya said prisoners who had been convicted for minor offences under the Penal Code had been granted Presidential pardon. “Inmates jailed for minor offences including those who were jailed for not being able to pay fines have been released. Seven female inmates were among the released prisoners,” he said. Mr. Upuldeniya said special arrangements had been also made to the family members of the Catholic inmates in jail to see their relatives today.

Govt. approves KKS-Nagapattinam ferry service for Hindu pilgrimage
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

The Government this week granted approval to a Hindu religious group to arrange a ferry service from Kankesanturai (KKS) to Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, to attend a Hindu pooja in Chidambaram, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson. “It was decided, in consultation with Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray, to initiate the process early next year, as it is difficult, given the time constraints, to get all logistics worked out for this year,” Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, Mahishini Colonne,told the Sunday Times. She said the Ministry is planning to start the process early next year to realise the Hindu devotees’ pilgrimage next year.

Sri Lanka claims world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree
[Sunday 2016-12-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka has unveiled a towering Christmas tree, claiming to have surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree. The 73-meter tree, built in capital Colombo, is 18 metres taller than the current record holder, organizers said. The tree’s steel-and-wire frame is covered with a plastic net decorated with natural pine cones, 600,000 LED bulbs and topped by a 6-meter-tall shining star.

Ravi Raj Murder case: All accused released
[Saturday 2016-12-24 16:00]

Five accused including three Navy intelligence officers who were accused over the murder of former TNA Jaffna district MP Nadaraja Raviraj were yesterday night acquitted and released after they were found not guilty by the Colombo High Court. The verdict delivered by High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke yesterday night as per the unanimous decision reached by the jury, comes following one month long trial.

Christmas message: Unite and work towards peace, reconciliation
[Saturday 2016-12-24 16:00]

I would like to extend warm greetings to all Christians, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Opposition leader R. Sampanthan states in a message to mark Christmas. The message: “Christmas is an important day in the Christian calendar. Throughout his life, Jesus Christ exemplified a love for people and a special concern for those who were shunned by society. In keeping with his example, Jesus also called people to live a life marked by love, righteousness, and concern for those oppressed.

Visitors banned from BIA departure area
[Saturday 2016-12-24 16:00]

Visitors accompany passengers at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will not be allowed into the departure area from 6 January to 5 April, 2017, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday. He told a media briefing in Colombo that the restriction was owing to the resurfacing that is currently underway at the runway. He added that the authorities have also taken several steps to reduce the inconvenience caused to the passengers, both leaving and entering the country.

<b> 15-01-2017 அன்று ஃபான் ஃஅம் மையத்தில்  நடைபெற்ற முதல்வர் விக்னேஸ்வரன் அவர்களது பொதுக் கூட்ட  நிகழ்வின் படத்தொகுப்பு.</b> படங்கள்-குணா
<b> 15-01-2017 அன்று மார்க்கம் நகரசபை மண்டபத்தில் நடைபெற்ற பொங்கல் திருவிழா நிகழ்வின் படத்தொகுப்பு.</b> படங்கள்-குணா(Puthinamphotos.com)
<b> 14-01-2017 அன்று ரொரன்டோவில் கனேடிய தமிழர் பேரவை (CTC) நடாத்திய பொங்கல் விழா விருந்து நிகழ்வின் படத்தொகுப்பு.</b> படங்கள்-குணா (Puthinamphotos.com)