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June 23, 2017 [GMT]
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FCID seeks AG’s advice on Karuna Amman case
[Thursday 2017-05-25 18:00]

The FCID informed Courts today that they have sought Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal steps to be taken regarding former Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Karuna Amman’s case on the allegation against misusing a Presidential Secretariat bullet proof armed vehicle worth Rs.90 million.


Three bench Trial-at-bar to hear Vidya murder
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

Chief Justice Priyasath Dep has appointed a three member bench to hear the schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya murder case. The three member bench headed by High Court Judge Balendran Sashi Mahendran comprises Judges Annalingam Premashankar and Manickavasagar Chelian as its other members. The Chief Justice has also decided that the case should be heard in the Jaffna High Court. The Chief Justice has appointed the three Judge bench after the Attorney General published information in the Jaffna High Court and took steps under the Criminal Procedure Code and informed him in writing about it.


Plans to develop Jaffna into Strategic City: Ranawaka
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

Jaffna will be developed into a strategic city under the government’s Cities of the Future Programme, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said on Monday. He said the government is setting the agenda for the management of future cities, and Jaffna will be developed into a strategic city conforming to the plans of envisioned future city management strategy. "The envisioned development will take place starting this year, "Minister Ranawaka said. He said plans are being finalised to take Jaffna forward as a strategic economic, technical, cultural, social and democratic centre.


Findings of Police Patrol Vehicle shooting incident to be presented before House
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

The findings of the shooting incident at the Police Patrol Vehicle at Palai in Kilinochchi on May 18 would be presented before Parliament after investigations, Southern Development and Law and Order Minister Sagala Rathnayake said in Parliament yesterday.


Army denies report attributed to Major General
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

Director Media of the Sri Lanka Army Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said yesterday that the army would not buy military hardware from Belarus.He said so in response to a Belarusian news agency report that the Security Force Headquarters Commander of Sri Lanka, Major General Ruwan Kulatunga had expressed the army’s intent to buy hardware from Belarus, at the MILEX 2017 exhibition.


Strict action against inciting communal tension: Govt.
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

The Cabinet today decided to take strict action according to the law against elements that attempt to create communal tension and disharmony in the country, the Government said today. The Government accordingly will instruct all Police stations to be vigilant on those who attempt to create tension among communities and apply law strictly on them.


Budget Dept. to provide details of vehicles used by Ministers
[Wednesday 2017-05-24 18:00]

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance had requested the Budget Department to provide details on the vehicles provided to Ministers since January 2015, the Committee Chairman, MP M. A. Sumanthiran told Parliament today. Mr. Sumanthiran said the Public Finance Committee has also informed the Budget Dept. to provide details on the present conditions of the vehicles used by the Ministers prior to January 15, 2017.


Army should be withdrawn within 6 months: Sivajilingam
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

All military personnel, who had been deployed for security in the Northern Province, should be withdrawn within the next six months, Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingam said yesterday. He said that soldiers who can be accommodated in 600-700 acres of land were enough for security in the region, he said. While addressing media at Jaffna he claimed that about 4,000 acres of land in Valikamam in the Northern Province was still under Sri Lanka Army. “They keep this land area forcibly,” he said. “About 600 to 700 acres of land area is more than enough for Army and no need of that much of army personnel in the North. Therefore, the Army should be withdrawn with in the next six months," Sivajilingam said.


President leaves for Australia
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has left for Australia today on a three-day official visit on the invitation of Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. The President is scheduled to meet the Australian Prime Minister in Canberra on May 25.


Lankan refugee given ‘inadequate care’ before death
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who died from a severe asthma attack just hours after arriving at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre had received inadequate medical care, a West Australian coroner has found. Arulselvam Velmurugu fled communal riots in Sri Lanka in November 2012 and arrived in Australia almost six months later after two boat journeys and nearly three months in a refugee camp in Sumatra, where deadly fights broke out, The West Australian reported on Tuesday.


Sri Lanka condemns Manchester terrorist attack
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

The Sri Lankan Government today condemned the terrorist attack in Manchester in which at least 19 people were killed and scores injured.Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that Sri Lanka was saddened by the attack in Manchester. “Saddened by the attack in #Manchester. #SriLanka condemns this heinous act. Our thoughts n prayers are wt all those affected,” she tweeted.


UN urges Sri Lanka to take action against those inciting hatred and violence
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

The United Nations (UN) has urged the Government of Sri Lanka to take action against those inciting hatred and violence. UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Una McCauley said it is time for Sri Lanka to "stand strong and be bold" to hold those inciting hatred and violence responsible for their actions. "Last week Sri Lanka celebrated Vesak and this week the teaching of the Lord Buddha - his message of peace, tolerance and respect for all are being drowned out," she said in a statement.


Families of disappeared in Sri Lanka write to UN Chief, British PM on their plight
[Tuesday 2017-05-23 17:00]

The families of disappeared and missing in Sri Lanka's North have written to the United Nations Secretary General António Gutteres and British Prime Minister Theresa May about their struggle to find answers as to the whereabouts of their loved ones. Mothers belong to the Association for the Relatives of the Enforced Disappeared in the District of Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka said they have been, for three long months, continuously staging protests by the roadside to draw the world's attention to their "agonizing plight". They said they just want to know what happened to their loved ones who have disappeared and the government of Sri Lanka has not taken any effort to find the answers.


New Foreign, Finance and Ports Ministers in cabinet reshuffle Top News
[Monday 2017-05-22 19:00]

A new Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Ports Minister took oaths today in the cabinet reshuffle before President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Nine cabinet Ministers and a State Minister took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera took oaths as the new Finance Minister and Media Minister while former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake took oaths as the new Foreign Minister.


KP exposes how MGR and Indira Gandhi supported LTTE
[Monday 2017-05-22 19:00]

Former prominent Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) leader Kumaran Pathmanathan, who was the chief international financier and helped smuggle weapons for the terror outfit, spoke to WION in an exclusive interview. KP, as he was known, took over leadership of the LTTE following the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran and was wanted in India in connection with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Ironically, as KP revealed, it was Rajiv Gandhi’s mother Indira Gandhi who asked RAW to aid LTTE. In his heydays, KP was a reclusive, overseas financier for the LTTE based in Thailand and avoided capture by constantly changing addresses and aliases.


Field Marshal says no withdrawal of security forces from North
[Monday 2017-05-22 19:00]

Former war winning army commander and current Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that the government would not dance to the tune of every Tom, Dick and Harry; it would not withdraw the security forces stationed in the north. Fonseka said: "We will not give in to pressure from Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran." Addressing the media at the Kiribathgoda hospital, Fonseka said that Wigneswaran was making a vain attempt to urge the government to withdraw forces from the North.


Vasu admitted to hospital but condition not serious
[Monday 2017-05-22 19:00]

Opposition Parliamentarian Vasudewa Nanayakkara was admitted to hospital today after suffering a heart ailment. However the Colombo National hospital said that the Parliamentarian was out of danger.


Australia working with India and Sri Lanka to resettle refugees
[Monday 2017-05-22 19:00]

As part of broader measures to prevent human smuggling on the high seas, Australia is working with India and Sri Lanka to rehabilitate refuges interested in going back to the island nation, Australian Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said on Friday. “There are about 100,000 Sri Lankan people who fled to Tamil Nadu in the past...There are a certain number of them who want to go back. We have an obligation to assist India and Sri Lanka in that resettlement,” he said in an interaction with a select group of journalists.


Def Secy to Germany as envoy?
[Monday 2017-05-22 18:00]

Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, is likely to be appointed as Sri Lanka's envoy to Germany, a top Government source told Ceylon Today. He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already sent Hettiarachchi's credentials to the German Government for approval. The Defence Secretary confirmed that he was already aware of the development.


European Parliament to debate Lankan issues
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

Political and civil society groups, among them Tamil diaspora organisations, have pressured the European Parliament to debate the restoration of the GSP Plus tariff preferences to Sri Lanka. It will take place during the plenary sessions of the EU Parliament in Brussels on May 31. It will follow what is being billed as a “Commission Statement” where the European Commissioner for Trade will make a statement on Sri Lanka. He will take questions from members on issues raised by them.


Vidya trial-at-bar delayed; no decision yet on whether it should be held in Colombo or Jaffna
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

The trial into the rape and murder of 18-year old schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya has been delayed because there is no decision yet on where it should be held. The three judges to the trial-at-bar to try the ten accused of the murder of the schoolgirl in 2015 at Punguduthivu in Kayts have been named, but the decision to hear the case in Colombo was put on hold following another proposal that it is more appropriate to hear the case in Jaffna.


Police search for gunmen who shot at them in Pallai
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

An operation was launched yesterday to apprehend those responsible for firing at a Police vehicle in Pallai, a senior police officer said. Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) Eastern Province and Acting SDIG Northern Province (NP), Sumith Edirisinghe said officers investigating Friday’s shooting at police officers in Pallai, Kilinochchi, have uncovered several vital clues, which they hope will lead to the speedy arrest of those responsible.


Royal Canadian Naval Ship HMCS Winnipeg arrives at Sri Lanka's Colombo Port
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, welcomed a Royal Canadian navy ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on Sunday. The Canadian Naval Ship, HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338) arrived at the Port of Colombo for a training and goodwill visit today (20). HMCS Winnipeg, a Halifax class frigate, is on a six-month deployment from March to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on Royal Canadian Navy's Poseidon Cutlass 17 deployment.


All ministers invited for reshuffle
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena has invited all ministers of the Cabinet, Deputies and State Ministers to be present at the Presidential Secretariat at 8.30 a.m. tomorrow (Monday). The move came as confirmation that the long awaited Cabinet reshuffle will take place tomorrow morning. Contrary to earlier reports that the upcoming reshuffle was to lead to a few changes, Government sources said yesterday that it would now be extensive.


Constitution making would not be delayed: PM
[Sunday 2017-05-21 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that he had informed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders that the constitution-making process would not be delayed. He said this at the opening of the new District Secretariat Office in Mannar and underscored the fact that Mr. Modi and other world leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had hoped Sri Lanka would resolve the national question through a constitutional process.


Sri Lanka’s anti-terror bill falls far too short, raises concerns: Human Rights Watch
[Saturday 2017-05-20 18:00]

The global human rights organisation, Huma Rights Watch (HRW) says Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the Government’s pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge. While the Counter Terrorism Act (CTA), which is drafted to replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) improves upon the PTA, it would still permit many of the abuses occurring under current law, and raises a number of new concerns, the Human Rights Watch said in a statement Thursday.


Jaffna district MP Raviraj Murder Appeal against HC order acquitting Navy officers
[Saturday 2017-05-20 18:00]

The Court of Appeal yesterday (19) fixed to be taken up on 30 June the appeal filed by the widow of assassinated Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Nadarajah Raviraj against the order by the Colombo High Court in Raviraj’s murder case. The Bench comprised Justices Deepali Wijesundera and Lalith Jayasuriya.


CB to study debt levels among North and East Tamils
[Saturday 2017-05-20 18:00]

The Central Bank (CB) will study the growing indebtedness in Tamil-majority north and east, its Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said according to The Hindu newspaper. “We are concerned about the rise in household debt,” the Governor said, referring to a prevalent post-war challenge facing families that are rebuilding their lives. Following the study and its analysis, the apex institution will take necessary steps, Dr. Coomaraswamy told Colombo-based foreign correspondents.

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