Untitled Document
March 26, 2017 [GMT]
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Money credited to ex-intelligence chief’s account from across the country
[Saturday 2017-02-25 18:00]

Retired Maj. Gen. Kapila Hendawitharana, national intelligence chief when Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the defence secretary, has had Rs. 3.2 million credited to his Bank of Ceylon current account from across the country, a FCID investigation has revealed. ‘Ravaya’ reports that notable among them is one S.S. Kuhandan, who ran ASK cable TV in northern and eastern provinces having credited Rs. one million to Hendawitharana’s account.


MR to meet Tamil and Muslim leaders
[Saturday 2017-02-25 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet the leaders of the Tamil and Muslim communities next week, to seek their support at the forthcoming local government elections. Rajapaksa had earlier publicly stated that he had taken over the leadership of the Joint Opposition(JO), which would contest the 2017 LG polls independently. JO sources said that the meeting has been fixed for 7 March at the Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla Head Office of the former President, following requests made to him by the leaders of Tamil and Muslim parties.


UN wants further release of military held land in north
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

A UN Special Rapporteur has called on the Government to continue and step up the release of the remaining 6,124 acres of the land currently held by the military in the North as well as other lands and coastal areas occupied by the military. Rita Izsák Ndiaye, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues who undertook a mission to Sri Lanka from 10 to 20 October 2016 in her report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) also said that a proper mapping exercise of all the lands currently occupied by the military must take place, and lands currently not in use or whose use cannot be adequately justified for military purposes must be returned without delay to their rightful owners in a condition that is usable.


Sri Lanka said to be on hunt for HK refugees who aided Snowden
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who sheltered US whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013 are fearing for their safety as they believe authorities from their home country are looking for them. Barrister Robert Tibbo, who represents the three families that sheltered Snowden, said he was told by asylum-seekers residing in Hong Kong that at least two officers from the Sri Lankan Police have made trips to Hong Kong, looking for people involved in the Snowden saga.


Shooting of LRC director a result of a contract: Police
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

The Police suspect that the alleged shooting of Wimalaraj Nesan, the Director of Land Reform Commission in Batticaloa, had been a contract put out by a party involved in the unauthorized alienation of government lands in the Eravur area. Police had deployed two separate teams to conduct further investigations.


China, Pakistan Ukraine, Russia, Israel supplied us arms: Gota
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said China, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia and Israel were the countries that supplied military equipment in the fight against terrorism at that time whereas India helped immensely in the provision of training for the security forces. In an interview with Daily Mirror, he said 80 per cent of Sri Lanka military’s overseas training had been provided by India over the years, yet it could not supply weapons due to the Tamil Nadu factor. “Yet, they helped us in so many ways by way of training our officers,” he said.


Opposition claims arrests to coincide with UNHRC session
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

The joint opposition today claimed that some arrests are being made to coincide with the upcoming UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session. Joint opposition member of Parliament Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters today that military intelligence officers are being arrested over criminal incidents to show the UNHRC something is being done to address concerns on serious criminal incidents.


China discusses Lankan projects with former President
[Friday 2017-02-24 16:00]

A high-level delegation from China had talks with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today on some of the projects China is involved with in Sri Lanka. The delegation led by Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of Communist Party of China (CPC) met Rajapaksa in Colombo and discussed several issues, including the proposed investment zone in Hambantota, former Foreign Minister, Professor G.L Peiris said.


Opp Leader wants Constitutional Reforms brought in genuine and purposeful manner
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday, making a strong case for Constitutional reforms, urged the Government to continue the process in a genuine and purposeful manner and move and act fast over its commitments in the UNHRC resolution. He was moving an Adjournment Motion in Parliament on “Sri Lanka’s International Obligations.”


UNHRC to take up SL report on 22 March
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will take up for consideration the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka on 22 March. It will be the first comprehensive report evaluating the progress the country has made in improving its human rights record after the visit to the country in February last year by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.


Sri Lanka creates Sri Lanka creates panel to stem sexual abuse of women
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

Sri Lanka will set up a special panel to tackle widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of women including thousands of war widows, the government said Wednesday. The establishment of a new National Commission on Women comes amid warnings that women from the Tamil minority face widespread sexual exploitation by officials in their own community as well as from the military. The commission will have powers of prosecution, said the government in a statement.


No u-turns but some detours in transitional justice
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

The Government says there will be no u-turns but some detours in the transitional justice process. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament today that the reconciliation process may be slow but the Government is committed to meet the expectations of the people. “Although there are some delays the Government is committed to meet its commitments on transitional justice,” he said.


Police catch man with T-56 and 24 rounds at Urani
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

The police arrested a man carrying a T-56 assault rifle with 24 rounds of ammunition at Urani in Batticaloa yesterday. Under interrogation he had said that he was taking the weapon to be handed over to another. The police were trying to ascertain whether he was a former LTTE cadre who had been rehabilitated.


Batticaloa LRC director injured in shooting
[Thursday 2017-02-23 17:00]

Land Reforms Commission (LRC) Director for the Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts Wimalaraj Nation was injured after being shot by two gunmen who arrived on a motorcycle while he was at his residence in Kaluvanchikudy wednesday evening, Police said. They said he was admitted to the Batticaloa Hospital. The suspects were yet to be identified.


Human Rights Watch urges Sri Lanka to end police abuse, repeal PTA
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

The global rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the Sri Lankan government has not met its pledge to curtail police abuses prior to the March 2017 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Reminding that security sector reform was one of 25 undertakings by Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus in October 2015, the New York based HRW said the Sri Lankan government has failed to repeal the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) or take serious measures to reduce torture in custody.


CA issues notices to acquitted respondents in Raviraj case
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

Satisfied with the submission made by the counsel for the wife of slain TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj, the Court of Appeal yesterday (21) issued notices to the respondents, returnable for 28 February. The bench comprised Justices H.C.J. Madawala and L.T.B. Dehideniya. In the revision application, the petitioner, Sasikala Raviraj is seeking the Court to revise and set aside the order of the High Court judge allowing the request of the accused for the case to be tried before a jury as well as his verdict of acquittal.


War tribunals only for the wrongdoers - Chandrika
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

With the establishment of the office of the missing persons (OMP), not all military personnel, but only those who done very bad things will be tried by military tribunals, says ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga. Speaking in Colombo yesterday (20), she refuted the belief by some in the military that the OMP would take all to military tribunals. The establishment of the OMP to ensure justice for victims of the war is in its final stage, and will become functional this year, she said.


Norwegian firms keen on investing in Sri Lanka ports: envoy
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

Norwegian companies are interested in investing in Sri Lanka’s shipping and ports sector, the country’s envoy Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether has said. Norway is s small country and lacks the money to make big investments like in China and India, he was quoted as saying in a statement by the ports and shipping ministry. But Norway is world renowned for its maritime industry expertise and experience, Norwegian ambassador Gaustadsaether said.


Screening ‘No Fire Zone’ illegally Lena Hendry found guilty
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

Activist Lena Hendry has been found guilty, by a Malaysian Magistrate's Court yesterday, for allegedly screening a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war without the approval of the Censor Board. Magistrate Mohd Rezan Mohd Aris found the Pusat Komas programme manager guilty of censorship charges after the defence failed to prove reasonable doubt on the prosecution's case.


Navy commander’s service extended by six months
[Wednesday 2017-02-22 17:00]

The service of Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne has been extended by six months by President Maithripala Sirisena. He was appointed the 20th Navy Commander on July 2015 and his term of office was to be expired tomorrow. Vice Admiral Wijegunaratne joined the Navy on November 1, 1980. He is a past student of Royal College in Colombo.


Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar urges Tamil National Alliance to unite to fight for Tamils’ rights
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to unite to fight for the Tamils’ rights, including their rights under the proposed constitution, and cooperate with India in the economic development of the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces. Meeting the TNA top brass ahead of his meetings with the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe here on Monday, Jaishankar asked the Tamil leadership about their concerns so that he could take them up with the Sri Lankan government leaders.


SL failed to end Police abuse: HRW
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government has not met its pledge to curtail police abuses prior to the March 2017 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said yesterday. Issuing a statement, the HRW said security sector reform was one of 25 undertakings by Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus in October 2015. It said the Sri Lankan government has failed to repeal the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act or take serious measures to reduce torture in custody.


ITJP challenges SL govt. to investigate
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

The International Truth and Justice Project has shared information with the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) identifying six alleged perpetrators of rape and torture in the Sri Lankan military. “When it meets on 22nd February in Geneva, we expect CEDAW to share this information with the Sri Lankan Government and request that they immediately suspend the six officers pending a credible investigation,” said ITJP’s Executive Director, Yasmin Sooka.


Armed police mobile squads
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

Armed Police Mobile Squads have been deployed throughout the Jaffna District in an effort to tackle the threat posed to the public by the criminal group 'AAVA', sources said yesterday. They said squads have already been deployed covering 17 Police divisions in the Kankasanthurai area and they will operate on a 24-hour basis. Each squad will consist of five well armed police officers to deal with any emergency. The mobile squads have also been directed to place roadblocks and check suspicious vehicles while providing security to the public.


TNA to move motion
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

The TNA will move an adjournment motion on “Sri Lanka’s International Obligations” tomorrow in Parliament. The debate on the motion will be taken up from 2pm to 7pm. The debate comes amidst the heat of preparations for the 34th regular session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva from February 27 to March 24. The debate will focus on the country’s progress, drawbacks and way ahead with regard to the undertakings mentioned in the 2015 Geneva resolution to which Sri Lanka was also a co-sponsor.


Assault on Keith Noyahr: Five soldiers suspended
[Tuesday 2017-02-21 18:00]

Five Army soldiers remanded in connection with the abduction and assault on senior journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008 were suspended from service with immediate effect, the Army Media said. Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said their suspension would be valid till the CID investigation was completed. A Major and four others were remanded until February 23.


Sumanthiran lobbying in Geneva
[Monday 2017-02-20 16:00]

Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran, who is currently in Geneva, urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) officials not to allow Sri Lanka to make any change in the original resolution co-sponsored with the UNHRC by the country in 2015. Sumanthiran met the UNHRC officials in Geneva on Saturday (18) morning where he briefed extensively on the failures in implementing the key aspects of the UNHRC resolution of 2015 by the Lankan Government. Sumanthiran speaking at the UNHRC Commissioner's office said that the Lankan Government has not fulfilled its commitment on appointing foreign judges to investigate into the alleged war crime.


Amorous ex-Major deported from US
[Monday 2017-02-20 16:00]

A retired Major who was sent to Hawaii by the Disaster Management Ministry for a special training had been deported to Sri Lanka on Saturday night by the US authorities for allegedly sexually harassing a girl. Disaster Management Ministry Secretary S S Miyanawala told the Daily News yesterday that the work of the above officer has been temporarily suspended and an institutional level disciplinary inquiry would be held over the incident.

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