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July 10, 2014 [GMT]
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Australian-funded e-passport project underway after delay
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

A project will get underway shortly to introduce a new Sri Lankan passport with biometrics to strengthen the government efforts to curb malpractices by streamlining the passport issuing process. The project was meant to prevent large scale abuse of the Sri Lankan passport was in line with joint Australian-Sri Lankan efforts to tackle illegal migration, sources said. Responding to a query, they said that Australia was funding the project to the tune of Rs. 500 mn, with the Treasury here making available an additional Rs. 50 mn.



Australian Minister Scott Morrison meets Secretary Defense
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

A delegation led by the Minister for Emigration and Border Protection of Australia Scott Morrison called on Secretary Defense and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the ministry premises Thursday morning (10th July). A cordial discussion was held between the two high ranking officials on the areas of bilateral relations and mutual interests. Members of the delegation and the High Commissioner to Australia Admiral (Rtd) Thisara Samarasinghe were also present at the occasion.



Top Malaysian accused of LTTE links
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

Two police reports have been lodged against Malaysia's Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy over alleged links with the LTTE, therakyatpost.com reported. One of the groups also alleged that Ramasamy was brave as he is 'backed up by the Tiger Eelam separatist group from Sri Lanka'. The reports were lodged by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely Pertubuhan Barisan 33 Malaysia and Penang Cyber Taikor, at the Central Seberang Prai police stations earlier today.



G.L. Peiris begins Indian visit
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris has begun his three day visit to India starting till July 11 to hold high-level bilateral discussions, Indian media reported. A Ministry of External Affairs statement said that Peiris is scheduled to hold parleys with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during his visit. According to media reports Peiris is likely to discuss issues with his counterpart on issues such as the Palk Bay conflict between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka and the much-discussed economic partnership agreement.



Australian minister under fire for not meeting Tamil groups on Sri Lanka trip Top News
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

An Australian minister came under fire on Thursday for not meeting Tamil leaders on a visit to northern Sri Lanka, only days after Australia returned a boat of asylum seekers, including Tamils, under its hardline border security policy. Some of the 41 Sri Lankans intercepted and sent home by Australia said on Tuesday they had been mistreated by Australian Customs, accusations Immigration Minister Scott Morrison denied.



Sri Lankan Minister accuses U.S. Embassy of conniving to destabilize government through social media
[Thursday 2014-07-10 16:00]

A Sri Lankan government minister has accused the United States Embassy in Colombo of plotting a coup through the social media in collaboration with the main opposition United National Party (UNP) to force a regime change. Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa has revealed the details of the plot being hatched by U.S. Embassy officials in connivance with UNP Parliamentarians to create public opinion hostile to the government through social media, the state-run Daily News reported.



Cyril to brief Zuma on Sri Lanka visit
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who concluded a visit to Sri Lanka yesterday, is expected to brief President Jacob Zuma on his engagements in Sri Lanka, Zuma's office said. Zuma's office said that during his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa while in Sri Lanka, Ramaphosa had delivered a message from President Jacob Zuma to President Rajapaksa.



US concerned over MOD instructions
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

The United States says it is concerned by reports that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense has ordered registered Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups to cease their media engagements and activities. US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the order undermines Sri Lanka's longstanding and proud democratic traditions, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.



PM won't disclose asylum seekers' location
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is refusing to say where a group of 153 asylum seekers are being held by Australian authorities, or whether they will be returned to Sri Lanka.In the High Court on Tuesday the government promised to give three days notice before trying to return the group. During the hearing the government for the first time confirmed their existence, after a week of speculation about their fate. The group, which includes children as young as two, was intercepted at sea en route to Australia but won't be processed under the Migration Act because they never entered territorial waters.



TNA hails talks with S African envoy
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa concluded a two day visit to Sri Lanka for 'talks about talks' on evolving a political solution to the country's ethnic question, that the main Tamil party said, were positive despite stony silence from the Government. Ramaphosa, who is South African President Jacob Zuma's special envoy to Sri Lanka, as the African nation attempts to drive a reconciliation initiative in the island based on its own post-Apartheid experience, met with the Tamil National Alliance yesterday.



Obama names Sison for key UN post
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

The President of the United States Barack Obama has nominated US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Jeanne Sison, as the Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations. The White House said that the nomination of the Sison to the UN post is among nominations Obama has made to some key administration posts.



Australia offers to support Sri Lanka
[Wednesday 2014-07-09 17:00]

Australia today said it stands ready to support Sri Lanka's post-war progress in any way that it can. President Mahinda Rajapaksa meanwhile thanked Australia for its continuous support to Sri Lanka in the international arena. President Rajapaksa and Australia's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison held discussions this morning after ceremonially commissioning the 'Mihikatha' and 'Rathnadeepa' patrol boats that were gifted by the Australian Government to Sri Lanka. The two patrol boats were gifted as a gesture of goodwill to the Sri Lanka Navy.



Dubai Police reunite jailed dad with daughter!
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 20:00]

Dubai Police official with the Lankan man and his daughter at Dubai airport. (Al Bayan) Dubai's police reversed their role of jailing criminals and acted this time to help a defendant regain his freedom so he will reunite with his four-year-old daughter, whose mother had left the country, newspapers reported on Sunday. The Women and Child Protection Division at Dubai's police said it acted after receiving information from the Sri Lankan's neighbour that he has just been imprisoned and his daughter was left with her after her mother's departure from the UAE.



Pope must apologize to Buddhists - BBS
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

Bodu Bala Sena Leader Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said Pope Francis should apologise to Sri Lankan Buddhists over the alleged atrocities committed by Christian colonialists. 'Previous Popes have publicly apologised to certain countries because they destroyed, they killed. We had a similar situation, where most of the Buddhist temples were destroyed by them Buddhist monks killed. We would like to see a public apology from him,' Gnanasara Thera told a meeting with foreign correspondents in Colombo.



Govt. assures Weerawansa Ramaphosa only a tourist
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

Minister Wimal Weerawansa said the government had assured him that South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, was in the country only as a tourist. Given this assurance, Minister Weerawansa said his party will continue to support the government. "Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and Deputy Minister, Neomal Perera, have informed us that Ramaphosa is only here on tourism. So when the ministers say this, we have to believe them. We have no problem with Ramaphosa visiting the country or meeting members of the Opposition. We only have a problem with him if he interferes in the internal processes of the country," Weerawansa said.



UN is to study MOD warning to NGOs
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

The United Nations (UN) says it will study a warning issued by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) not to go beyond their mandate. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, said that the UN will need to evaluate the warning and then make a statement. An MOD letter sent to NGOs notes that some of them conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases which is beyond their mandate.



Journalist quizzed by CID over Aluthgama
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

Al Jazeera Online Journalist Dinouk Colombage was grilled for four hours by the CID in Colombo yesterday, over his reporting during the Aluthgama riots, lawyers for the scribe said. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told the Daily FT that Colombage had been questioned to clarify death toll numbers he had published in a news report and a personal tweet during the violence. Colombage had been quizzed to clarify his information about the fatalities, the Spokesman said. Lawyers for the journalist said Colombage had been quizzed extensively about his relationship with the Al Jazeera network.



Ramaphosa gets busy on arrival; meets MR, Ranil Top News
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

South African Special Envoy Cyril Ramaphosa held meetings with the Government and the Opposition yesterday, in a bid to advance the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. 'The meeting between President Rajapaksa and Mr. Ramaphosa were one on one and dinner followed,' Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told Daily FT. The discussions were private, the Spokesman added. He also met a Government delegation headed by External Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris at 5 p.m. yesterday.



It's no-go for NGOs!
[Tuesday 2014-07-08 16:00]

Sri Lanka's powerful Defence Ministry has sought to outlaw press conferences and media statements by Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the country, sparking a civil society outcry about an attempt to impinge upon freedoms of speech and assembly. A circular issued by the National Secretariat for NGOs, which operates under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said certain NGOs were 'acting beyond their mandate' by holding press conferences and workshops.



Morrison receives gifts from Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence officials Top News
[Monday 2014-07-07 20:00]

The Immigration Minister Scott Morrison received a seventeen-piece platinum-etched tea set as a personal gift from the Sri Lankan Secretary of Defence and Urban Affairs, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the 22nd of April 2014, according to his latest declaration to the Parliament via the Registrar of Member's Interests. Jason Clare (ALP) and Scott Morrison (Lib)


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