Untitled Document
April 24, 2017 [GMT]
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SL to buy 9 DMUs from China
[Saturday 2017-04-01 14:00]

Sri Lanka is to buy nine diesel multiple units (DMUs), for the upcountry railway line, from China's M/S Dongfang Electric International Corporation, at a total FoB price of US $ 93,868,008. FoB means Freight on Board where the cost of movement of goods, on board an airline or a ship, is borne by the seller.

Hambantota Port: Govt. to include a new condition
[Saturday 2017-04-01 14:00]

The Government has decided to include a fresh condition to the agreement it intends signing with China Harbour Ltd on the management of the Hambantota Port. The Government’s stake is expected to increase to 40 per cent, after ten years from the date of signing this agreement. Under the earlier agreement, the government was to own a 30 per cent stake. “The government has arrived at this decision after estimating the amount it was hoping to receive from debt to equity swap,” sources said.

USS Comstock concludes humanitarian training in Sri Lanka
[Saturday 2017-04-01 14:00]

USS Comstock (LSD 45) departed Sri Lanka today following a week of exchanges with the Sri Lankan Navy and Marine Corps. These exercises focused on improving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts and coordination, the third such military-to-military exchange between U.S. Sailors and Marines and their Sri Lankan counterparts in the past 12 months.

SF to be UNP’s Assistant Leader
[Saturday 2017-04-01 14:00]

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will be appointed Assistant Leader of the United National Party (UNP) next week, sources said. "Several revolutionary changes will be made by the UNP Working Committee. The committee will meet on 5 April to discuss matters," sources added. Furthermore, it has been decided that the party should have three Deputy Leader posts with one post going to a member who represents a minority community. The present UNP Deputy Leader is Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa.

Request to summon Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva rejected by court
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

The request to summon Major General Shavendra Silva before the Court in connection with the disappearance of former LTTE leader Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Elilan during the war period was rejected by the Mullaitivu Magistrate M. Samsudeen yesterday. The request has been made by Elilan’s wife Ananthi Sasitharan during a Habeas Corpus court hearing claiming that 12 individuals including Elilan had gone missing after they surrendered to the security forces.

Namal appears before the Presidential Commission
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa appeared before the Presidential Commission of inquiry on large scale fraud today. Rajapaksa was asked to appear before the Commission to record a statement.

India could develop Colombo, Trinco, KKS ports: Arjuna
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

Though China is deeply rooted in Hambantota port, Sri Lanka has three other major ports in Colombo, Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai where India could collaborate for development, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has said. According to Z News, Minister Ranatunga has said the government was looking at an Asian subcontinent investor to partner with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to invest and take over the East Container Terminal (of Colombo port) in private-public partnership mode.

Special rapporteur to probe Zeid’s report: Sarath Weerasekara
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara MP, today rejected reports that he requested the UN General Assembly to assign a special rapporteur to probe war crime charges allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. He said he only requested for a special rapporteur to investigate the basis on which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid al-Hussein compiled his report on Sri Lanka. “We want a rapporteur to probe Prince Zeid report and then ours. The reports we submitted have clearly mentioned that we have never committed war crimes.

Govt. betrays armed forces: MR
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

The Government’s resolve to implement the UNHRC resolution is an act of outright treachery practiced against the armed forces and the people of Sri Lanka, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said today. In a statement on the UNHRC resolution, he said the yahapalana government pledged to implement the entire resolution it co-sponsored in October 2015 and thereby renewed its earlier undertaking to establish a war crimes tribunal with foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, to remove through an administrative process members of the armed forces suspected of war crimes even if there isn’t enough evidence to take them before a judicial inquiry, to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and to replace it with a law acceptable to Western powers and to permit the war crimes tribunal and other mechanisms set up in Sri Lanka to obtain funds from overseas.

Japanese grant assistance of Rs. 1.3 billion for the development of Sri Lanka's Trinco Port
[Friday 2017-03-31 17:00]

The Government of Japan provides grant aid to Sri Lanka under various aid schemes annually to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. Accordingly, the government of Japan has agreed to provide Rs 1.3 billion (1 billion Yen) under non-project grant aid for the development of Trincomalee Port. The grant aid will be utilized to obtain Japanese products needed to improve port and maritime activities at the Trincomalee Harbor and to develop the port's guidance system.

Naval chief hints at help to Sri Lanka in fight against LTTE, retracts later
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

Hinting that the Indian Navy aided Sri Lanka in its fight against LTTE, chief of naval staff Sunil Lanba on Wednesday said the TU 142 M long-range maritime patrol aircraft exhibited its supremacy in the airspace around Sri Lanka when the island nation was fighting the Tamil tigers. Though Lanba later clarified to reporters that he was referring to Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in the 1980s, security experts say India did provide military assistance to Lankan government in terms of reconnaissance and choking of LTTE escape routes during the final standoff in the late 2000s.

Wimal Weerawansa suspends hunger strike over bail
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has suspended a hunger strike he had launched demanding bail. Weerawansa was yesterday transferred to the Colombo National hospital as his condition deteriorated. Weerawansa was earlier admitted to the prison hospital following a fast launched by him. The former Minister was in remand prison over allegations he misused Government vehicles when he was a Minister. Weerawansa applied for bail but it was rejected by court. As a result he launched a fast in prison.

Six soldiers arrested over Noyahr’s abduction granted bail
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

The six soldiers arrested over the abduction of former journalist Keith Noyahr have been granted bail. Last month an Army Major and four soldiers were arrested over the abduction. Last week another Army intelligence officer was arrested over the incident. Yesterday, a van believed to have been used in the abduction was found in Piliyandala. Noyahr was abducted in May 2008 and was severely assaulted before being set free.

Will not divide country, says Ranil
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said he would not divide the country, but only devolve power, while retainin its unitary status. Addressing a meeting after unveiling a Buddha statue at Suduwella, Maradana, Wickremesinghe said all communities would had to unite and establish the Sri Lankan identity. He stressed the importance of religious amity. If the masses shed the racial and religious differences and joined forces national progress could be achieved, the PM said.

Alleged war crimes probe: No foreign judges – BASL President
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

Newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) U. R. de Silva yesterday opposed efforts being made to bring in foreign judges to probe war crimes allegations against the security forces. Addressing the media at the BASL conference hall, de Silva said he had been against the proposal to involve foreign judges et al in a war crimes probe since it was first proposed by the UNHRC.

Misuse of Divi Naguma funds: Trial against Basil on May 5
[Thursday 2017-03-30 17:00]

The Colombo High Court today fixed the Rs.29 million Divi Naguma Department funds misappropriation trial against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Director General Kithsiri Ranawaka for May 5. Both Basil Rajapaksa and Ranawaka were accused of misappropriating Rs.29 million of funds of the Divi Neguma Department by printing five million almanacs in support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last Presidential election.

GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner:
[Thursday 2017-03-30 11:00]

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the unanimous adoption of the resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (34/L.1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This resolution, in effect, reaffirms the full implementation of the Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The fact that the resolution was sponsored by forty seven countries and twenty seven countries spoke at the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka is reflective of the strong commitment of the international community to peace, accountability, justice and reconciliation for all the peoples of Sri Lanka. We are grateful to every one of these countries, in particular to the main sponsors Unites States, United Kingdom, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and all other countries that worked admirably and consistently in the background to make this outcome possible.

Fort Railway Station bomb: Convict sentenced 20 years RI
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

High Court today sentenced Kanakasabai Devadasan alias Nadan to a 20-year rigorous imprisonment over the charges of aiding, abetting and conspiring the 2008 Fort Railway Station suicide bombing, in which 12 people were killed and more than 100 people injured. Among the killed were eight students of the D. S. Senanayake College's baseball team and their coach. The attack was carried out by a female suicide bomber belonging to the LTTE, who got down from a train and exploded during rush hour on Platform 3 of the Fort Railway Station.

Court of Appeal orders CID to find three naval officers acquitted of TNA MP Raviraj murder
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal today issued an order directing the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of police to find the three navy intelligence officers who were acquitted of the murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj. The court ordered the Director of the CID to provide information regarding the whereabouts of the three navy officers, who were acquitted in December last year by the Colombo High Court along with two others accused of the murder of former Tamil MP.

I am unable to protect those found guilty of killing media persons or sportsmen: MS
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena said today he was unable to protect those who are found guilty of acts that are not connected to the national security and those who are guilty of killing media persons or sportsmen. He emphasized that he would always take the fullest responsibility on behalf of any problem face by the officers, staff members and war heroes who fought against the LTTE.

Rajinikanth writes to Sri Lankan Tamils
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

Actor Rajinikanth on Wednesday thanked Sri Lankan Tamils for their love and affection, days after he cancelled his visit to the island nation following opposition from pro-Tamil outfits. “I came to know your love for me through the media. I have no words to thank you. Let us think good and only good things will happen,” he said in a statement. Originally on April 9, Mr. Rajinikanth was scheduled to hand over 150 new houses built in Jaffna for Tamils by Gnanam Foundation of Lyca Group, a Tamil film production house.

Indian envoy briefs Chief Prelates on Modi’s Sri Lanka visit
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu today called on the Chief Prelates in Kandy and briefed them on the visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the UN Vesak Day celebrations in May. Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that he is hopeful the Indian Prime Minister will visit Kandy during his Sri Lanka visit. “My Prime Minister has a very high regard for Buddhism and he has a lot of respect for it,” Taranjit Singh Sandhu said.

Credible truth seeking mechanism to investigate alleged war crimes
[Wednesday 2017-03-29 19:00]

The government said yesterday that it would establish a credible independent mechanism to investigate alleged war crimes. This follows last week’s re-adoption of the UNHRC resolution on accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, responding to questions at a news conference in Colombo said, "We will establish a truth seeking mechanism, which would be acceptable to all stakeholders."

Anandasangaree demands Sambanthan’s resignation
[Tuesday 2017-03-28 18:00]

The Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), V. Anandasangaree in a letter to Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, has asked that Sampanthan submit his letter of resignation from the position of Opposition Leader, if the government fails to deliver on its promises to the Tamil people within a period of two weeks.

Murdering civilians under cover of war won't be condoned: CBK
[Tuesday 2017-03-28 17:00]

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has said that anyone proven guilty of murdering innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting a war will be held accountable through a due process and that accountability means being fair on both sides of the conflict. She said this when addressing a workshop for the security forces to create awareness about the work being carried out by the ONUR and the reconciliation priorities of the government.

Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic port deal
[Tuesday 2017-03-28 17:00]

Sri Lanka’s Government wants a Chinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic port project by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed at blunting public and political opposition to the deal. After signing an agreement in December, state-run China Merchants Port Holdings had been expected to pay $ 1.12 billion for a 99-year lease on an 80% stake in Sri Lanka’s southern Hambantota port - part of Beijing’s ambitious plans to create a modern-day “Silk Road” across Asia.

War crime probes will hinder Sri Lanka's reconciliation: ex-defense secretary
[Tuesday 2017-03-28 17:00]

War crime investigations backed by some Western countries and the United Nations will exacerbate the differences between Sri Lanka's two main ethnic groups instead of uniting them, former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Monday. As defense secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the brother of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, oversaw the defeat of the separatist, predominantly Hindu Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) by the government military in a 26-year war.

Separate Council for Muslims if North and East re-merged: Hakeem
[Tuesday 2017-03-28 17:00]

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Minister Rauff Hakeem, in an interview with Daily Mirror, stressed the need for a separate council for Muslims if the government opted for re-merging the northern and eastern provinces.

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