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September 26, 2016 [GMT]
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Wiggy leads ‘wake up’ call to Tamils
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday issued a demand that the government speedily address the needs of the Tamils in the North and East. His demand was voiced at a large public rally in Jaffna organized by the Tamil People's Council promoting the 'Wake up Tamils' theme that included a demand for a federal system as the only way out for a 'sustainable peace in which the Tamils could live in peace and harmony with fellow Sri Lankans.'



BID TO REMOVE LTTE FROM EU’S TERRORIST LIST: SL’s Brussels Mission monitoring developments
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

The Sri Lankan Mission in Brussels is closely monitoring developments in the EU Court of Justice where there is a fresh bid to remove the LTTE from the EU’s list of designated terrorist organisations. “The Foreign Ministry is aware of the developments and has briefed the mission in Brussels to closely watch developments,” a top Foreign Ministry official told the Sunday Observer. If the Court rules in favour of the LTTE, it will trigger a series of negative repercussions including the unfreezing of its assets within the Union and lifting a travel ban on members of the organisation.



Kfir jet bomb found in Killinochchi Top News
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

An unexploded bomb weighing around 300 kilos, which is believed to be fired from a Kfir jet during the war, was recovered at Chundikulam reserve in Killinochchi yesterday. The 6-foot long bomb was recovered following information provided to the Dharmapuram Police. The Special Task Force had removed the bomb



Govt. not afraid of uprising in North: Ruwan
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene today said that the government will not agree to remove Army camps in the Northern Province even though some people were holding demonstrations demanding to do so. While commenting on the ‘Eluga Tamil’ (Let Tamils Rise!) demonstrations organized by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, the Defence State Minister said when the government is putting its utmost effort to establish reconciliation among the races and religions, such extremist activities cannot be accepted.



Pope names Special Envoy for conferences in SL
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India, as his Special Envoy to the XI Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, taking place from 28 November – 4 December in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theme for the Plenary Assembly is “Joy of the Gospel and the Family in Asia in the Light of the Synod.”



Reduction in SL’s UN peacekeeping contingent?
[Sunday 2016-09-25 18:00]

The Sri Lanka’s UN peacekeeping contingent to Mali has been slashed because of an administrative delay in passing funds to obtain ammunition, inside sources said. Initially a battalion of 800 soldiers and officers were to be sent to the West African country as peacekeeping forces by the UN. Despite Cabinet approval to finance the mission and acquire weapons and ammunition, the delay in the administrative work has resulted in a battalion from Egypt being deployed for the job - to provide security for a special convoy. As a result, Sri Lanka will be sending in only a ‘company’ consisting of 200 officers and soldiers to Mali.



‘Eluga Tamil’ demonstration in Jaffna Top News
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

The demonstration ‘Eluga Tamil’ (Let Tamils Rise!) organised by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran commenced in Jaffna today. All the shops in Jaffna were seen closed while Private Bus Owners Association in Jaffna also participated in the demonstration which brought the bus service to a standstill.



UN Peacebuilding Fund hampered by decreasing contributions: Mangala
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said it was disheartening that the UN Peacebuilding Fund which provided the capacity for prevention and sustaining peace was hampered by decreasing contributions and urged Member States to increase their contributions to the Fund. Minister Samaraweera speaking at the Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund-New York said that Sri Lanka had been working closely with the Peacebuilding Support Office since the Presidential Elections in January 2015 and that prioritized reconciliation and development as twin agendas to be pursued in guiding Sri Lanka towards durable peace and prosperity through the strengthening of good governance, democracy, human rights, justice, rule of law, and dignity for all.



JHU Leader Omalpe Sobitha Thera steps down
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera today announced that he would step down as the Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The announcement was made during the 13th convention of the Party which was held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo. Subsequently, Ven. Sobitha Thera, along with Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera had been appointed as the patrons of the Party. Meanwhile, Ven. Hedigalle Wimalasara Thera and Minister Karunasena Paranavithana had been appointed as Co-Chairmen of the JHU. Minsiter Patali Champika Ranawaka continues to function as the General Secretary of the party.



UK official discusses UNHRC resolution with Mangala
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alok Sharma had talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka. The meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “Good meeting with @MangalaLK and discussion of #SriLanka commitment to UNHRC Resolution 30/01 at #UNGA,” Alok Sharma tweeted following the meeting.



Former Defence Secy. says won't contest presidential election
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would not contest any forthcoming Presidential election. He said that he faced many problems because of the rumours that he was planning to contest the next Presidential election. The former Defence Secretary was speaking to the media after meeting the Mahanayake Theros of Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters in Kandy yesterday.



UN chief praises President Sirisena
[Saturday 2016-09-24 18:00]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highly appreciated President Maithripala Sirisena's commitment to good governance and reconciliation. He made these remarks when he met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York on Thursday. The Secretary-General conveyed his gratitude to the government and the President for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him by the government and the people when he visited Sri Lanka recently.



Wigneswaran, Tamil politicians and civil society groups call on Tamils to join mass rally:
[Friday 2016-09-23 21:00]

The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, the Tamil People's Council and the Tamil Civil Society Forum urged Tamils to join the "Ezhuha Tamil!" mass rally in Jaffna tomorrow. The rally, translating to 'Tamils Rise!', demands the Tamil people's rights as well as protest against militarisation and Sinhala colonisation in the Tamil homeland of the North-East. It begins from the Nalloor temple as well as the University of Jaffna, and will finish in Muttaveli grounds. The rally has widespread support from a number of Tamil political parties, including constituent parties of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) - EPRLF and PLOTE and the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF).



PM optimistic more Lankan experts will return:
[Friday 2016-09-23 21:00]

A number of Sri Lankan experts, including academics and professionals, who left the country had returned recently and more experts would hopefully follow them in the near future, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Addressing a ceremony held to launch the construction of the Techno City at Mahahena in Homagama, the Premier said he had invited Sri Lankan experts to return, not alone, but with their colleagues. “We should utilise human resources to the utmost. Today, the US knows that China has the biggest GDP for a country. That is why the US is recruiting people with expertise to face this growing threat. We, too, should fortify ourselves with knowledge by retaining local experts in the country,” he said.



Four army intelligence officers arrested for journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda's disappearance granted bail:
[Friday 2016-09-23 21:00]

A Sri Lankan court Thursday released the four army intelligence officers arrested and remanded over the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda on bail. The Homagama Magistrates Court yesterday released the four Army intelligence officers on a Rs. 500,000 cash bail each and a surety bail of Rs. 3 million each. The Homagama Magistrate Anura Dissanayake also ordered the suspects to appear before the Criminal Investigations Department on every Sunday and ordered the CID to impound the passports of all four suspects. The Magistrate also warned the suspects against threatening witnesses in the case.



EU top court advised to drop LTTE from terror list
[Thursday 2016-09-22 18:00]

An adviser to the European Union’s top court said Thursday Hamas and the Tamil Tigers should be taken off the EU’s terror list, because the bloc’s governments failed to present sufficient evidence that the groups participated in terrorist attacks. The opinion of the European Court of Justice’s advocate general isn’t binding on the court’s judges. However, if confirmed, it would settle a yearslong court battle between the Palestinian and Sri Lankan groups and EU governments. In 2014, the EU’s second-highest court ordered Hamas and the Tamil Tigers to be struck off the bloc’s terror list in two separate decisions.



SL an example to other countries: Obama
[Thursday 2016-09-22 18:00]

US President Barack Obama had told President Maithripala Sirisena that Sri Lanka was at a transformational stage and that it was an example to other countries. President Sirisena, who is in US to attend the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, met world leaders including the US President at a luncheon hosted by the outgoing UN Chief Ban Ki-moon. “President Obama said Sri Lanka was an example to others and that US will be with us whenever we need assistance,” President Sirisena told media in New York.



SF’s language causes a stir in House
[Thursday 2016-09-22 18:00]

Rural Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday caused furore in by using unparliamentary language when he spoke of former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP Namal Rajapaksa, MP Wimal Weerawansa, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage and a Minister. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala directed that certain statements made by Minister Fonseka be expunged. The former Army Commander lashed out at the Minister over the Avant Garde affair.



India anchors SL confidence in Colombo port
[Thursday 2016-09-22 18:00]

The Indian Government yesterday sought to reassure Sri Lanka that India’s burgeoning investment on developing its ports will pose no threat to the Port of Colombo, noting they have urged Indian companies to invest in the expansion of the Colombo Harbour. “There is a fear that once India develops its infrastructures and, particularly, ports in the eastern and western coasts, they will prove to have a detrimental impact on the Colombo Port. I do not believe that will happen,” said outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha, speaking on the opening day of the Colombo International Maritime Conference last evening.



US encouraged by the steps Sri Lankan President has taken, reassures support for reconciliation, economic reforms
[Thursday 2016-09-22 18:00]

The United States Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. appreciates and admires the direction taken by the new government of Sri Lanka, and will extend every possible assistance to the country to continue the current path towards economic progress and reconciliation. Secretary of State gave this assurance when he called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly, being held in UN Head Quarters in New York Wednesday.


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