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February 19, 2017 [GMT]
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Switzerland ordered to pay €30,000 to deported ex-LTTEr
[Friday 2017-01-27 18:00]

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Switzerland to pay 30,000 euros as compensation to a Sri Lankan who was deported from Switzerland and subsequently arrested and allegedly beaten in Colombo, The Local reported yesterday. The unnamed man, a Tamil who had fought with the Tamil Tigers against the Sri Lankan government, requested asylum in Switzerland in 2009, telling the Swiss authorities he had been persecuted in his own country. The request was rejected and, following an unsuccessful appeal, the man, his wife and children were deported in 2013.


Families of the disappeared end hunger strike after negotiations with Govt.
[Friday 2017-01-27 18:00]

Family members of disappeared persons, who began a hunger strike in Vavuniya earlier this week, called off their fast on Thursday after State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene intervened and promised that the issue would be discussed at a meeting in Colombo on 9 February. A hunger strike by families of the disappeared entered its fourth day in Vavuniya yesterday, with Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran urging President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene and end the crisis.


De-proscribe all Tamil Diaspora organisations, scrutinize only individuals, Wigneswaran tells govt
[Friday 2017-01-27 17:00]

The chief minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has appealed to the government to de-proscribe all the Tamil Diaspora organisations and stringently scrutinize only select individuals. Wigneswaran was speaking at a function in Jaffna on Thursday to inaugurate a consular section of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry there. “Let me suggest not to embark on selective de-proscription but to de-proscribe all organizations and have a process of very stringent vetting of individuals coming over,” he said.


Suspects held under PTA on hunger strike
[Friday 2017-01-27 17:00]

A group of suspects being held at the Magazine Prison in Colombo and Anuradhapura Prison under the Prevention of Terrorism Act yesterday started a hunger strike, Prisons Department authorities told the Daily News. They started the hunger strike demanding the authorities to expedite their cases, the sources said


OMP office to be set up soon: Mangala
[Friday 2017-01-27 17:00]

Measures are being taken by the government to quicken the process of establishing an office of missing persons (OMP), Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. The first ever Regional Consular Office of the Foreign Affairs Ministry was opened at the Jaffna District Secretariat premises yesterday.


Wigneswaran appeals to President to save hunger strikers
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena to send a senior minister post haste to Vavuniya to give some assurance to the men and women who are on a “fast unto death” that the Government would take steps to address their demands regarding forced disappearances and political prisoners, the New Indian Express reported.


Three Accused In Tamil Human Smuggling Case Not Guilty, Mistrial Declared For Fourth Man
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

Three of four men accused of bringing hundreds of Tamil migrants into Canada illegally have been found not guilty by a jury in B.C. Supreme Court according to Vancouver Sun. Justice William Ehrcke declared a mistrial for the fourth man after a jury told the court it couldn’t reach a verdict in the case of Kunarobinson Christhurajah. Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and Thampeernayagam Rajaratnam were acquitted by the jury.


Sri Lanka still part of India’s neighbourhood first policy
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

Sri Lanka continues to be a key part of India’s “neighbourhood first” policy, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today. The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 68th Republic Day of India today at India House in Colombo. High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu unfurled the Indian flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by a contingent of the Border Security Force.


Sri Lanka's Attorney General to file charges against Pillayan on Tamil MP's murder
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

The Attorney General of Sri Lanka has informed the Supreme Court that state intends to file charges against the former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who is in remand custody over the killing of former Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham.


Three LTTE suspects re-remanded
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

Three alleged LTTE suspects including Subramaniam Nagulerasa alias Nagulan arrested over the seizure of several caps bearing the LTTE logo in April last year, in Narahenpita were yesterday ordered to be further remanded till February 8 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Artigala.


Heavy rain to lash North, East and Uva tomorrow
[Thursday 2017-01-26 17:00]

The prevailing showery conditions are likely to enhance, particularly in the Northern, Eastern, North-central and Uva provinces, and also in the sea areas around the island particularly in eastern and southern sea areas, the Department of Meteorology said today. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Northern, North-central, Eastern, Uva and Central provinces and in the Hambantota district.


Tamils Welcome New US President Donald Trump and Ask Him to Reverse the Illegal Sinhalese Settlement in Tamil Homeland
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

The letter that sent by the Tamils for Trump organization to the new president Donald Trump began with a congratulation: “We congratulate you, Mr. President, and wish you the best. The responsibilities and challenges of the presidency make it the biggest job in the free world.”


No recognition to Rudrakumaran’s TGTE in any country
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

The Government says no country has given recognition to the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that while the TGTE is operating in the United States (US) the US does not recognize the TGTE. He recalled that the LTTE is banned in the US and so no group linked to the LTTE has the support of the US or any country. The TGTE which has several members in a self styled ‘TGTE Parliament’ had in 2015 decided to push ahead with the struggle for Tamil Eelam.


Families of the missing seek justice at Amnesty event
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

Families of the missing sought justice at an Amnesty International event held in Colombo today. At the event Amnesty International also launched Silenced Shadows, the published collection of winning entries from the human rights organization’s October 2015 poetry competition on the theme of enforced disappearances.


UL crew crawls through barbed wire at Madurai airport
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

A video footage showing crew members of a SriLankan Airlines flight from Madurai to Colombo crawling through the barbed wire fence of the Madurai Airport in India has gone viral on the Internet. The incident had taken place amidst ‘Jallikattu’ protests, which were held in Madurai preventing access to the Airport. The footage shows crew members, including air hostesses, crawling through the barbed wire fence to enter the airport to reach their aircraft.


Regional consular office of Foreign Ministry in Jaffna
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

Following the vision of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to the public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna on Thursday.


Top FB, Google experts to attend digital summit in Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2017-01-25 18:00]

Sri Lanka is to host a digital summit in March with the participation of top experts from Facebook and Google. The Government information department said that a Digital Summit will be hosted by Sri Lanka on 23rd and 24th March 2017 with the view of making Sri Lanka a global digital hub. The Government expects experts and top officers of prominent companies such as Facebook, Google, Social Capital and Infosys to participate in this event.


UFO spotted, possible drone activity: Dr. Chandana Jayaratne
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

The Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) that hovered in the skies and spotted in several areas of the country on Saturday night could be a drone activity, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Dr. Chandana Jayaratne said. Speaking to Daily Mirror he said that he could not say it was an alien activity depending on the video footages and the pictures which captured the object, as they were not clear enough or possible man made.


Sri Lanka MP Wimal Weerawansa's remand extended until February 7
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

A Sri Lankan court today extended the remand of the United People's Freedom Alliance parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa who was arrested and remanded over misuse of state property. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne remanded the joint opposition MP Weerawansa until February 7. The FCID arrested Weerawansa earlier this month in connection with his alleged involvement in misusing government vehicles.


Lankans among highest number seeking Swiss asylum
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

Sri Lankans were among the highest number of asylum seekers in Switzerland last year. The Reuters news agency reported that requests for asylum in Switzerland plunged by nearly a third to around 27,200 last year after authorities closed the Balkan land route used by thousands to flee hot spots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.


Ekneligoda Habeas Corpus petition inquiry laid by
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

The Court of Appeal yesterday decided to lay by the inquiry into the Habeas Corpus petition filed by the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and his two sons. However, the Court of Appeal ordered the Homagama Magistrate to proceed with the magisterial inquiry into Ekneligoda. On October 30, 2015, the Court of Appeal issued an order to temporarily suspend the magisterial inquiry (at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court) into Ekneligoda consequent to a requirement that arose in the Habeas Corpus petition.


India makes fresh demands
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

India has submitted a set of new demands if they are to take over the management of the Trincomalee Harbour, according to......highly reliable sources. It is said that among the Indian Government's demands is a deal which would cause serious losses to the Government. Minister of Development Policies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema stated, in December 2016, that the government intends to implement a development programme in Trincomalee, including the operation of the Port there with India's assistance.


SL asylum seeker charged with rape in Papua New Guinea
[Tuesday 2017-01-24 17:00]

A 31-year-old Sri Lankan asylum seeker held at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea has been charged with the alleged rape of a local woman, the Guardian reported on Tuesday. Rajeev Rajendran, originally from Sri Lanka, was charged in Lorengau court over the alleged assault which took place at a hotel on January 17. The acting provincial police commander, Senior Inspector David Yapu, said the man had met the woman at Lorengau market before taking her to a local hotel, where she was allegedly assaulted.


UN Special Rapporteur wants PTA repealed, new anti-terror law reviewed
[Monday 2017-01-23 17:00]

A UN Special Rapporteur, in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), has recommended that Sri Lanka immediately repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), review the draft legislation to replace the PTA and immediately withdraw the proposed amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act that would deprive a suspect of access to a lawyer until his or her statement has been recorded.


LASANTHA WICKREMATUNGA MURDER CASE: SARATH FONSEKA TO BE QUESTIONED FURTHER
[Monday 2017-01-23 17:00]

Minister of Regional Development, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka will be brought in for further questioning by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Tuesday in connection with the murder of slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunga. According to highly placed sources, Fonseka arrived at the CID at about 10 in the morning on Friday and questioning continued till about 4 in the evening. He was questioned for over 5 hours.


JVP: Will topple the Govt. if there is an opportunity
[Monday 2017-01-23 17:00]

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was ready to topple the incumbent Government even before 2020 if there was an opportunity, party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today. Speaking at the forming of Diriya Samithi in Maharagama yesterday, Mr. Dissanayake said people would have to punish them now if the FCID, Judiciary or the Attorney General was not going to do so.


CID to question Gota after last Friday’s grilling of Fonseka
[Monday 2017-01-23 17:00]

CID would soon interrogate former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, Police headquarters sources said yesterday. The former defence secretary would be questioned on the matters transpired during the interrogation of former Army Commander and Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who had been questioned by the CID last Friday for more than six hours, the sources said.


Talks between Mahinda and President’s proxies fail
[Monday 2017-01-23 17:00]

Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has indicated that there couldn’t be a consensus between his grouping and the SLFP under the present circumstances. Former President Rajapaksa has declared that his grouping wouldn’t accept any arrangement at the expense of the party against the backdrop of the SLFPers in government pursuing an agenda inimical to the party.

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