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August 18, 2017 [GMT]
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President Sirisena notes IPKF failed to defeat the LTTE
[Friday 2017-05-19 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena today noted that the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) had failed in its mission to defeat the LTTE.
He said Sri Lanka had to turn to India when several attempts at defeating the LTTE had failed.
However he said even the IPKF failed and eventually the local military defeated the LTTE in May 2009.
President Sirisena was speaking at the main ceremony held at the war memorial in Kotte to commemorate eight years since the end of the war.

President Maithripala Sirisena today noted that the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) had failed in its mission to defeat the LTTE. He said Sri Lanka had to turn to India when several attempts at defeating the LTTE had failed. However he said even the IPKF failed and eventually the local military defeated the LTTE in May 2009. President Sirisena was speaking at the main ceremony held at the war memorial in Kotte to commemorate eight years since the end of the war.

  
  
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TNA has had enough, calls for foreign intervention
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says enough is enough and the international community must now intervene to address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North. TNA leader R. Sampanthan says the Government has begun to divert from its political goals and so it is time the international community stepped in.



Mega corruption cases to be heard by trials-at-Bar
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

The government has decided to increase the number of High Courts with some of them functioning as trials-at-bar since more than 43 criminal cases against some members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksas family and his regime were stuck at the Attorney General’s Department for nearly two years.



Asgiriya Chapter opposes no faith motion against Wijeyadasa
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya headed by Most venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Thera was opposed to attempts being made to bring a no-faith motion against Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, said General Secretary, of the Chapter Venerable Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Nayake Thera.



India running Mattala airport far worse than H’tota port deal with China-Wimal
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, yesterday alleged that direct Indian involvement in operating Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated at Mattala would be 100 times more dangerous than leasing Hambantota port to China. Sri Lanka entered into 99-year lease agreement with China Merchants Holdings Company Limited on July 29, 2017. Weerawansa said the proposed Mattala deal would place Sri Lanka in an extremely vulnerable situation. The NFF leader was addressing a gathering at Galle Municipal Council, which was the sixth lecture of a series meant to educate the public of the dangers posed by current government policies.



UNF meeting with President postponed for next week
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

The meeting between United National Front (UNF) party leaders and President Maithripala Sirisena has been postponed for next week. UNF member and Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganeshan said that crucial current issues were to be discussed at the meeting which was earlier scheduled for today. He now says the meeting has been set for Monday. It was reported over the weekend that the UNF led by the United National Party (UNP) is considering forming its own Government after December 31.



Talks with India for Mattala JV to take off this week
[Thursday 2017-08-17 17:00]

Negotiations on an Indian proposal for a Joint Venture to turn around the loss-making Mattala Airport will take off tomorrow with plans by the Transport Ministry to renegotiate the terms offered in the initial proposal. The ministry will commence negotiations on a ratio for the sharing of equity, starting at 49:51, for India and Sri Lanka respectively to counter the Indian proposal of 70:30, Daily FT learns. Further, the ministry will also request a more detailed proposal for the JV.



Army Chief dismisses allegations No ex-LTTE men involved in crimes in North
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake dismissed the direct involvement of ex-members of the now vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in the number of recent violent incidents reported from the Northern Province. Speaking at the media briefing, to announce the seventh annual Colombo Defence Seminar yesterday (15), the Commander made these comments responding to queries put forward by journalists.



‘Aava’ deputy leader arrested
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

The Special Task Force (STF) in the early hours of yesterday arrested deputy leader of the violent ‘Aava’ group operating in the north, Ravindran Tharushan at Kokuvil in Jaffna. Investigations have revealed that Tharushan was responsible for attacking and causing injuries to two policemen in Jaffna last week and a number of other attacks carried out by the group. The suspect was handed over to the Jaffna police by the STF. Tharushan, who is a resident of Jaffna, fled to another area to evade arrest.



TN pushes for ferry service with Lanka
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

Six years after ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo was suspended, Tamil Nadu is making fresh efforts to re-establish sea links with Sri Lanka. The state government recently wrote to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees and to take steps to resume the ferry service between both countries, say sources. A meeting was initially scheduled to be held between officials in MEA, directorate general of shipping and bureaucrats from Tamil Nadu in February. "But this was cancelled because of the political turmoil.



India has an abiding interest in the security of Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

India says it has an abiding interest in the security of Sri Lanka and remains committed to Sri Lanka’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that India has always supported efforts to preserve Sri Lanka’s character as a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious society in which all citizens can live in equality, safety and harmony, and prosper and fulfill their aspirations.



Cabinet discusses delay in action against Rajapaksas
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

The Cabinet of ministers, at its meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, had taken up what some members described as inordinate delay in taking action against the Rajapaksa family and ministers of the previous government. Political sources said that several ministers had strongly criticised the delay and veteran UNPer Gamini Jayawickrema Perera had stressed the need to handle the cases through the existing court system if the Constitution didn’t permit the setting up of a special court to hear high profile corruption and criminal cases.



Yoshitha leaves CID
[Wednesday 2017-08-16 18:00]

Yoshitha Rajapaksa, son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, left the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) a short while ago after making a statement. He is being questioned regarding a defender vehicle used by his mother and former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa's 'Siriliya Saviya' Foundation.



Wigneswaran notes differences of opinion with UN official
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran noted he had differences of opinion with Subinay Nandy, the former United Nations Country Representative for Sri Lanka. Wigneswaran says the differences of opinion arose as Nandy had pushed him to fall in line with the Government. “We were not prepared to do so,” Wigneswaran said.



Tilak Marapana sworn in as new Foreign Affairs Minister Top News
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

Minister of Development Assignments Tilak Marapana had been sworn as the new Foreign Affairs Minister before the President a short while ago. He was appointed to the post following the resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake.



Police seek court permission to hold ‘Aava’ suspects in different prisons
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

Police have sought permission from the courts to transfer members of the ‘Aava’ group now in remand custody in the Jaffna prison to jails in other parts of the country. A senior police officer said that if all ‘Aava’ suspects were kept in the Jaffna Prison, they could plan subversive activities. Security had been beefed up in the Jaffna Prison due to those reasons, he said.



Google adds Sinhala and Tamil to speech recognition option
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

Google today announced that it has added Sinhala and Tamil to its speech recognition option. Using voice to dictate a message can be up to three times faster than typing. With this in mind, Google said it was bringing voice typing (aka talking to your phone instead of typing) to 30 languages and locales around the world, covering more than a billion people. With the update, Google’s speech recognition supports 119 language varieties, in Gboard on Android, Voice Search and more. And now in the U.S. in English, you can use use voice dictation to express yourself with emoji.



UNP calls on President to act on Justice Minister
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

UNP yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action on Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe who has compromised “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet. Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has been under fire for a number of controversial statements he made on Government’s move to lease Hambantota Port, leading to a number of UNP Ministers threaten him with No Confidence Motion.



Shiranthi concludes statement to CID; Yoshitha next Top News
[Tuesday 2017-08-15 18:00]

Former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has left the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after making a statement. She had been questioned by CID detectives for about 2 and 1/2 hours today over a defender vehicle used by her 'Siriliya Saviya' Foundation. The vehicle had originally been gifted to the foundation by the International Red Cross. Meanwhile, the CID is due to question Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of Shiranthi Rajapaksa and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow in relation to the same case.



Prez urged to release army-held land
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader MP S. Sampanthan has urged President Maithripala Sirisena to ensure that the military vacates land at Keppapulavu, Mullaitivu district belonging to displaced Tamil Civilians. Having reminded President Sirisena that the TNA had taken up the issue in the third week of July, 2017, MP Sampanthan said: "Early action needs to be taken to return the land to the people. They were born and bred on this land. They want to return to their land. It is their birthright and this should not be denied. They have been kept out of the land for more than one decade;the armed conflict ended over 8 years ago. The people have been protesting in the sun and rain for the past 165 days. At the entrance to their land, demanding the vacation of their land. They are suffering but they are determined to continue their peaceful protest.



Global Tamil Forum calls for concerted attempts to address accountability issues in Sri Lanka
[Monday 2017-08-14 18:00]

The London-based Tamil Diaspora organization, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has expressed dismay that more than eight years after the end of war, Sri Lanka has yet to demonstrate that it is genuinely committed to addressing the accountability issues occurred during the brutal armed conflict. The GTF in a statement said that despite twice co-sponsoring UNHRC resolutions calling for comprehensive transitional justice measures, the present coalition government has not lived up to its commitments and yet to take any meaningful steps in this respect.


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