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December 18, 2017 [GMT]
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TNA MP slammed for disrespecting Sri Lanka flag
[Thursday 2017-11-23 18:00]

The Government today slammed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of Parliament S Shritharan for disrespecting the Sri Lanka flag. Speaking in Parliament today the TNA MP claimed that Tamils felt threatened by the Sri Lanka flag as the Lion on the flag is seen showing the sword to the colours representing the minorities. He said that while some concerns had been raised over the refusal to sing the national anthem at events in the North recently, the MP said that the concerns are justifiable as the concerns of the Tamils are not addressed.


No comment says Deshapriya
[Thursday 2017-11-23 18:00]

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya commenting on the Interim Order suspending the operation of the Gazette notification on the Delimitation report said the weekly meeting of the Elections Commission will discuss the matter on November 25. Asked to comment on the new situation, Deshapriya in a lighter vein said “My comment at present will be no comment!”. “A no comment itself is a comment. So at the moment this is what I could say,” he said.


More Aava gang members netted
[Thursday 2017-11-23 18:00]

Five members of the infamous Aava gang were arrested in the last four months as a part of the special investigation carried out under the directions of Minister Sagala Ratnayake, to eliminate the underworld gang.The police Special Task Force arrested four leading members of the Ava gang between November 19 and 22,2017 and the leader of the gang was taken into custody on August 5,2017. Legal action has been taken against those who were arrested.


Pope names Lionel Emmanuel Fernando as the Mannar bishop
[Thursday 2017-11-23 18:00]

Pope Francis named Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando as the new bishop of the Diocese of Mannar (Sri Lanka). Bishop Fernando will transfer from the Archdiocese of Colombo to replace Retired Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai who was the Administrator of the diocese from January 2016, the Vatican announced. Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando was born on May 20, 1948 in Jaffna. After completing his ordinaries Emmanuel entered St. Aloysius Minor Seminary. He was at the “Hawardan” at Haputale for a few months and then entered the National Seminary. In August 1969 he came to Rome for Theology. In 1974 he got the licentiate in Theology.


Aava leader jailed
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

Aava group leader, Sathyavel Nathan Nishanthan, alias “Nisha Victor,” was sentenced to one and a half years (18 months) imprisonment by the Mallakam Magistrate yesterday. This is for escaping from police custody. Victor who was arrested in connection to a number of cases in Jaffna including sword attacks against police in the Kopay area in Jaffna, was given bail on Wednesday (15) by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court.


Stay order against the implementation of LG Gazette
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

The Court of Appeal has issued a Stay order preventing the implementation of the Gazette notification regarding the number of members to all local government bodies, until December 4. The petition was taken up, before a three-member judge bench comprising President of the Appeal Court, Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Kumudini Wickramasinghe and Justice Shiran Gunaratne.


OMP to become fully operational during first quarter of 2018
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

The Office of Missing Persons (OMP), will become fully operational during the first quarter of 2018, Mano Tittawella, Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) said. He says the Constitutional Council will begin interviewing suitable candidates for OMP commissioners very soon. The public application deadline closed 10 days ago.


China donates rice to Sri Lanka as humanitarian assistance
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

China today donated a stock of rice to Sri Lanka as humanitarian assistance to those affected by the recent drought. The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang handed over 1000 metric tonnes of rice to the Government at a function held at the Colombo Port today. The humanitarian aid is part of over 2000 metric tonnes of rice pledged by China to Sri Lanka. Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Secretary to the President Austin Fernando were at the Colombo port to accept the humanitarian aid.


Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe at Kollur temple to offer prayers
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe landed at the Areshiroor helipad and then visited the Sri Mookambika Temple here to offer his prayers on Tuesday. Mr. Wickremesinghe landed at the helipad at around 10.30 a.m. He then reached Kollur, about 15 km. from there, by a vehicle and reached the guest house. From there, he reached the Sri Mookambika Temple at 11 a.m. He was given a traditional welcome at the entrance of the temple. All shops leading to the temple were shut down. There was tight security in and around the temple and the town.


Sri Lankan President to visit South Korea next week
[Wednesday 2017-11-22 17:00]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in will undertake a state visit to the Republic of Korea from 28 to 30 November 2017, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. The visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. On 29 November, President Moon is scheduled to meet President Sirisena for summit talks, and host the Sri Lankan President to a state dinner.


‘Tamils committed crimes only for political reasons, not for personal benefit’
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday requested the Justice Minister to schedule a special meeting with all the relevant officials to discuss the issue of those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Opposition Leader made this request in Parliament, while speaking at the Committee Stage debate of Budget 2018 when the Finance Heads of the Justice Ministry was taken up.


Next round of ETCA negotiations set for next month
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

The next round of talks on the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India is scheduled to take place next month. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament today that six rounds of talks on ETCA have been completed. He said the key objective of ETCA is to resolve the implementation issues on the existing Free Trade Agreement with India.


Sri Lankan prime minister to meet PM Modi this week
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

In the backdrop of India's interest in leasing out an airport in China-dominated Hambantota, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghewill be in New Delhi this week for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wickremasinghe arrives here on Tuesday and will speak at a key cybersecurity conference before meeting the Indian leadership. Sri Lanka has become an important partner for India both in the neighbourhood and in the Indian Ocean region. In addition, India is reportedly using Colombo's influence over Myanmar's Buddhist leadership to help defuse the Rohingya crisis.


Only 10 detained under PTA Govt Suspects held on serious terror charges
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

The Government yesterday (20) maintained that there are only 10 individuals currently detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) adding that all of them are suspects in serious cases of terrorism. The cases include the murder of Major General Janaka Perera, the suicide bomb attacks on former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the killing of seven persons in the Wilpattu Forest and the attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base, Deputy Minister of Justice Sarathi Dushmantha told Parliament.


US lawmakers raise concerns over China’s role in Hambantota
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

US lawmakers have raised concerns over China’s role in the Hambantota port. Hambantota was discussed when the lawmakers expressed concerns over the ambitious ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative of China and sought recommendations for improving development finance efforts.


Rs. 10,000 allowance for former MPs
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

A Rs. 10,000 allowance was added to former Parliamentarians’ pensions from October, a Senior Parliament Official told the Daily News yesterday. He said it costs the government an additional Rs. 26.2 million monthly to provide the allowance to 262 former MPs and about 220 widows of deceased MPs.


Vigneswaran takes PC Minister to task
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Northern Provincial Chief Minister C.V.Vigneswaran said the conduct of his Education Minister who refused to hoist the national flag at a public function as inappropriate. Northern Provincial Education Minister S.Sarveshwaran who recently attended a function held at Perakum Maha Vidyalaya in Irattaperiyakulam, refused to hoist the National Flag as the chief guest.


PM gives his side of the story to treasury bond commission
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he clarified matters related to the treasury bond issue to the Presidential Commission investigating the alleged treasury bond scam. The Prime Minister appeared before the commission today and was questioned for over an hour. Several United National Party members and Ministers also attended the hearing.


BBS Chief in fiery row with scribe Alleged threat to slap Chandraprema
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Secretary General of the Bodu Bala Sena, Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera yesterday (19) threatened to assault senior journalist attached to The Island C. A. Chandraprema at Medagoda, Narammala. The Thera had made this threat when Chandraprema had gone to pay his respects to the late mother of Professor Venerable Medagoda Abayatissa Thera, the Parivenadhipathi of the Sunethradevi Pirivena, Pepiliyana. "Are you Chandraprema? I will give you a thundering slap," the Thera said, Chandraprema alleged.


Previous regime took some detrimental decisions on national security- Ruwan
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Some of the decisions taken by the previous government caused a serious threat to national security, Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said in Parliament on Saturday. He said one such decision to to house the Army,Navy and Air Force head quarters at a location in Battaramulla, taken by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is not commendable. “The land belonging to the Military Headquarters was sold to Shangril-la Hotel,” Minister Wijewardene said. “We too will have to leave our current location soon.”


Ranil to visit Indian temple tomorrow to offer prayers
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be visiting Sri Mookambika temple at Kollur in Udupi district in India tomorrow (Tuesday), The Hindu newspaper reported. According to sources in the temple, Wickremesinghe would arrive in a helicopter to the Areshiroor helipad near Kollur at 11.15 a.m. on Tuesday. From the helipad, he would arrive at the RNS Guest House at 11.30 a.m. to get ready to offer prayers at the temple.


GCE O/L exam from Dec.12 to 21
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

The GCE Ordinary Level Examination will be held from December 12 to 21, the Examinations Department announced today. It said 88,573 candidates will sit for this year examination which would be held at 5,116 examination centres countrywide.


Jaffna violent incidents: 41 arrested
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

At least 41 suspects had been arrested during raids carried out in Jaffna following the recent sword attack incidents in the peninsula region, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said that special search operations had been conducted in the Kopay, Manipay, Jaffna and the Chunnakam Police areas during the last two days.


Gintota incident: PM says stern action against miscreants
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who visited the Gintota in Galle today after the tense situation said that stern legal action would be taken against those who were responsible for the violence. The Prime Minister said a few people could start an unrest or violence situation. “A major disaster erupted because of people spreading rumours. We can’t station Police and military here forever. So everyone should live peacefully,” he said.


Sri Lanka to bring back asylum seekers detained in Australian offshore detention centers
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana says that, arrangements will be made to bring back the Sri Lankans who are not eligible for citizenship in Australia and detained in Australia's offshore detention centers in South Pacific islands of Christmas Island, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru.


Gotabaya Rajapaksa politicized the Army during his term as defence secretary – Fonseka
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka accused former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa of politicized the Army during his tenure in office. Participating in the Committee Stage debate on the Expenditure Head of the Defence Ministry, Minister Fonseka said the Army had been split into two factions due to the political influence the former Defence Secretary exerted on the Army. This was one of the key reasons which paved the way for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to lose his presidency.


PM going to India
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for a two-day official visit to India on November 22.


More inter-monsoonal rains from next week
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

The second phase of inter monsoonal rains is expected to begin from next week, according to the Meteorology Department. The duty meteorologist of the Department told the Sunday Times that evening thunder showers which were expected for a period of two months were disrupted due to the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal. “During the inter monsoon the winds should be slow or variable; if the wind speed increases it disrupts the rains,” he said explaining the prevailing weather pattern in some parts of the country. Accordingly the Met Dept. predicts a rainfall of about 100 mm during the course of next week.

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