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June 28, 2017 [GMT]
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Rs.50,000 per month to displaced families in Meethotamulla
[Friday 2017-04-21 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today ordered the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) to provide a payment of Rs.50,000 for three months to families displaced by the Meethotamulla tragedy.

DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said the decision was made at a meeting held this morning at the ministry.

Rs.50,000  will be paid to each family for rent payments until they are provided with a new house. Kodippili also said that 60 housing units will be provided to some of the victims today.

President Maithripala Sirisena today ordered the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) to provide a payment of Rs.50,000 for three months to families displaced by the Meethotamulla tragedy. DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said the decision was made at a meeting held this morning at the ministry. Rs.50,000 will be paid to each family for rent payments until they are provided with a new house. Kodippili also said that 60 housing units will be provided to some of the victims today.

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Vidya Murder: Trial-at- bar begins today
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

The murder trial of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya will begin before a three member bench at the Jaffna High Court today. The three member bench will be headed by High Court Judge Balendran Sashi Mahendran and comprises Judges Annalingam Premashankar and Manickavasagar Chelian. Chief Justice Priyasath Dep appointed a three member bench to hear the schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya murder case on May 22.

Navy Intelligence Officer released on bail
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

Lieutenant Commander Dhammika Anil Mapa, a Navy Intelligence officer attached to the Welisara Navy Camp held in remand custody for allegedly abducting a resident of Kotahena in 2009, was yesterday released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. The suspect was released on a bail of Rs.40,000 with two sureties of Rs.500,000 by the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Taking into consideration a revision application filed by the suspect, the Colombo High Court ordered to release the suspect on bail.

Provincial Council elections in October: EC
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

The Election Secretariat is currently making preparations for the Provincial Council elections scheduled to be held during first week of October, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. He said the terms of the Eastern, North Central and the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils will expire between September 6 and October 1. He also pointed out that according to the provisions the date of the ProvincialCouncil Election should be declared within a week of such expiration. He made these observations yesterday at a press conference held at the Election Secretariat in Rajagiriya.

SL to establish diplomatic ties with new countries: Ravi
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the government intends to establish diplomatic ties with several new countries and it is important to give priority for commercial diplomacy. The minister revealed this on Monday when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera. Minister Karunanayake told the Malwatte Mahanayake Thera that the rule of the Good Governance was able to change the negative image of the country and gain the support of the international community during the last two years.

Govt. says no to LNG power plant in Sampur
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

In a surprising turn of events, the government has decided not to go ahead with the two proposed Indian and Japanese-funded Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in Sampur, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said today. He said that instead a 50 MW solar power plant would be constructed there. The agreement to set up a 500 MW coal power plant with Indian investment was signed in August 2011 and the construction agreement was finalized in October, 2013 as a joint venture between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and India's Natural Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC).

Prosecutors seek to delay deportation of Lankan accused of murder
[Wednesday 2017-06-28 18:00]

Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham, the man accused of killing his wife and whose trial was stayed by the Superior Court, is slated to be deported to Sri Lanka on previous charges, but Quebec Crown prosecutors are requesting the Canadian government block the deportation, according to reports. Thanabalasingham, who initially contested the deportation order handed to him in April because of a domestic violence conviction, could leave as early as next week. His murder trial was stayed in March by Superior Court Justice Alexandre Boucher in what is considered to be the first time a murder charge in Quebec was stayed because of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Jordan ruling last July.

Ministers on confrontation with Chief Minister Wiggy
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 18:00]

The two Northern Province Council Ministers have categorically stated that they will not submit themselves to any ‘ad hoc’ investigative committee appointed illegally by the Chief Minister. They have questioned the chief minister’s legal authority to appoint any such committee and whether such authority was available in the 13th amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution, or in the Provincial Councils Elections Act, No 2 of 1988?

Zeid notes Sarath’s petition based on May’s statement
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 18:00]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein took note of a petition submitted to the President of the UN Human Rights Council by Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara based on a statement made by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. In a speech delivered at the Law Society in London Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that international human rights law is now an easy target.

No more retirees for DPL jobs
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 18:00]

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured the Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala that only educated, energetic persons would be recruited to the diplomatic service. Pensioners would not be considered for the diplomatic service, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the Mahanayake Thera. The Foreign Minister said so when he paid a courtesy call on the Malwatte prelate yesterday (26) morning.

Arundika tells FCID about meeting Udayanga
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 18:00]

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs Arundika Fernando was at the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) this morning to give a statement regarding his meeting with former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga in Japan. Last year, the Colombo Fort Magistrate issued an arrest warrant through Interpol on Udayanga Weeratunga, in connection with the investigation into a huge financial loss to the Government when purchasing Ukraine-built MiG-27 aircraft in 2006. Deputy Minister Fernando admitted that he had met Udayanga Weeratunga in Japan.

Lankan arrested with more than 2Kgs of gold jewelry
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 18:00]

35-year-old Sri Lankan man was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) last night while he was attempting to smuggle more than two kilograms of gold jewelry into the country, BIA Deputy Customs Director Parakrama Basnayake. He said the suspect was arrested around 11.35p.m at the Green Channel after he arrived at BIA from Bangkok Channel. The gold jewelry was found hidden inside his luggage. “The gold jewelry was found with Pearls and diamonds embedded in them. He was a businessman from Bandaragama area,” he said. Mr. Basnayake said this suspect was previously arrested for similar offence

Captain Tissa Wimalasena further remanded
[Tuesday 2017-06-27 17:00]

Two suspects including Captain Tissa Wimalasena, the driver and security officer of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were today ordered to be further remanded till July 11 by Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court for allegedly operating an illegal rock quarry in a government owned plot of land in the Koratota area causing a loss of Rs.29 million to the government. Two suspects Tissa Wimalasena and Lal Priyantha Peiris, a former member of Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha had been arrested by FCID under the provisions of Public Property Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Sri Lankan boatpeople sent home
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

The return of Sri Lankans from Christmas Island to ¬Colombo today on a government charter jet has fuelled speculation that Australian Border Force has inter¬cepted a suspected asylum vessel in the past week. A plane chartered by the ¬Department of Immigration and Border Protection was due to take about 20 people — some of them guards and interpreters — from the Australian territory early this morning. Christmas Island residents yesterday linked the scheduled flight to an unusual spectacle last Thursday when two of the navy’s rigid inflatable vessels were seen towing a small boat close to the horizon. The last known intercept of an asylum vessel on its way to Australia was in March.

Three Ambassadors recalled
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

Three Sri Lankan Ambassadors have been recalled due to incompetence, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The minister was replying to a question by a journalist at a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday. However, the minister declined to disclose their names. “We want to take best out of our diplomatic missions. We cannot allow incompetent persons to hold those positions and enjoy their time at the expense of public money,” he said.

US envoy and Christian group discuss attacks on churches
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the National Christian Evangelical Alliance (NCEASL) had talks on recent attacks on churches in the country. US Ambassador Atul Keshap tweeted today saying he had talks with the National Christian Evangelical Alliance on the need for non-discriminatory treatment and freedom of belief for all in Sri Lanka. In 20155 the NCEASL recorded 24 incidents of forced church closures and demands for closures by local authorities and law enforcement officers. 2016 saw 25 incidents reported, and another 09 have been reported in 2017 to date.

Parliament: Oil, gas in Mannar Basin can meet SL energy needs for 60 yrs
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

The Mannar basin contains about five billion barrels of oil and nine trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Parliament was informed on Friday. The amount of fuel and natural gas there is sufficient to meet the country’s energy needs for 60 years to come, says the latest report of the Public Accounts Committee presented to Parliament by its Chairman Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna on Friday.

France to strengthen Lankan navy’s anti-piracy operations
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

France says it would assist Sri Lanka to strengthen operations against piracy and narcotics smuggling. The French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh speaking on board the amphibious attack ship LHD Mistral - the helicopter carrier of the French Navy, which arrived at the Colombo Port as part of its Jeanne d’ Arc mission last week, said that his country was willing to support the Sri Lankan Navy.

JO alleges govt bid to thwart MR’s Pakistan visit
[Monday 2017-06-26 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recently concluded visit to Islamabad has pointed out how those who had come to the rescue of the LTTE on the verge of collapse on the Vanni east front in 2009 were today seeking tough measures against terrorism. The former President was referring to Western leaders resorting to unprecedented security measures in the wake of a spate of high profile attacks.

TNA agrees ‘unitary state’ will be clearly defined
[Sunday 2017-06-25 19:00]

The SLFP, UNP and the TNA have had discussions on the advisability of clearly defining the meaning of the word Ekeeya in defining the quintessential indivisible nature of the word 'State' wherever it is used in the draft of the new Constitution. The Sinhala word Ekeeya means unitary in English. Discussions are underway to include the same word in the Tamil version too, a senior Government official said yesterday. "That means the exact corresponding word in Tamil for the word Ekeeya may probably be used in the Tamil version of the Constitution too," he said.

WB US$ 100M loan facility in jeopardy
[Sunday 2017-06-25 19:00]

The World Bank (WB) has warned the government that the US$ 100 million loan facility in the pipeline for release in September will be suspended unless the Audit Bill is tabled without further delay in Parliament and approved by it. Well-informed sources told this paper that this had come up at talks between officials of the World Bank, Finance Ministry and officials of the Auditor General's Department on 16 June.

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