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December 3, 2016 [GMT]
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Gunaratnam Released From Prison Top News
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

Frontline Socialist Party Central Committee Member Kumar Gunaratnam was released today from Anuradhapura Prison after serving his term for emigration - immigration law violation. Gunaratnam was arrested in November 2015 and was sentenced to one year's prison term later. Gunaratnam was the Trincomalee District leader of the JVP during the 1987-89 insurrection. He broke away with a faction of JVP members in 2011 and later left for Australia.



Mike Pence invites President Sirisena to visit US
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

Mike Pence, Vice President-elect of the United States of America, had phoned President Maithripala Sirisena last night and invited him to visit the US in a bid to enhance bilateral relations between the two nations, the President's Media Unit said. It said President Sirisena had extended his good wishes to US President-elect Donald Trump and Mr. Pence during the phone conversation.



Jaliya Wickramasuriya further remanded
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the USA Jaliya Wickramasuriya was further remanded till December 16 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. He was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over a financial fraud last month.



China opposes ext. interference in SL: Yang Jiechi
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi was reported to have told former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his entourage that China was opposed to any ‘external intervention’ in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and the use of human rights as a political tool. Former external affairs minister G.L. Peiris, who was one of those who accompanied Mr. Rajapaksa on a visit to China last week, said Mr. Jiechi was the principal officer of Chinese President Xi Jinping on foreign affairs.



Embassy ordered to probe Rs. 27 mn ‘spent on Gota’s son’
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington has been ordered to investigate an allegation that Rs. 27 million had been spent for a person living at the residence meant for Lankan Consul General at Los Angeles while that position was vacant. In accordance with instructions issued by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera two top officials of the Lankan Embassy in Washington would leave for Los Angeles the following week to conduct the probe, ministry sources said.



Widening of FTA: India, Sri Lanka officials to meet this month
[Friday 2016-12-02 18:00]

Senior officials of India and Sri Lanka will meet this month in the island nation to discuss broadening of the existing trade deal by including services and investments. The officials are expected to meet by the middle of this month in Sri Lanka, an official said. India and Sri Lanka have a free trade agreement (FTA) only in goods. It was implemented in March 2000.



Cyclone Nada: Sri Lanka gears up for heavy rains
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

The Cyclonic Storm Nada is presently churning southwest Bay of Bengal and is lying around 200 km northeast of Kankesanthurai coast. The system is likely to move in a north-northwest direction towards north of Tamil Nadu coast. Further, this system will cross the Indian Coast, close to Cuddalore during wee hours of Friday morning.



TNA has clearly stated that we stand for ‘One’ undivided, indivisible country: TNA MP Sumanthiran
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

A Constitution to which all its people agree which is sine qua non for the country to move forward, said TNA MP M A Sumanthiran. He made this comment while participating at the Committee Stage debate of ‘Budget 2017,’ when Financial Heads of Foreign Affairs Ministry, Foreign Employment Ministry and Labour and Trade Union Relations Ministry were taken up in Parliament yesterday.



Sri Lanka Foreign Minister unravels Gota's rent scam
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament Wednesday that former defence secretary's son had illegally occupied a house rented for a consulate in Los Angeles and caused millions of rupees in losses to the state. The minister said the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's only son Daminda Manoj Rajapaksa occupied the rented premises even after the fall of his uncle Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 2015 presidential election.



Maithri first scribe to become Prez
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday revealed that he had worked as a group correspondent of a newspaper in Polonnaruwa many years back. Speaking at the President Sirisena said it was the first time a journalist had become the President of Sri Lanka and he was duty bound to look after the interests of journalists. The President said he had never harassed journalists.



PM leaves for Hong Kong
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for Hong Kong this morning to participate in the World in 2017 summit which was organized by the Economist magazine, the Prime Minister’s media office said.



Travel ban lifted on Gota, six others
[Thursday 2016-12-01 17:00]

Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today lifted the travel band imposed on former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and six other directors of the Avant Garde Security Service Company. The case filed by the Bribery Commission alleging that Mr. Rajapaksa and the six others had caused a huge loss to the State was fixed for February 13.



TNA reiterates call for meaningful devolution of powers
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today reiterated calls for meaningful devolution of powers to the provinces. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said that the TNA will not support a unitary system of governance. Sumanthiran said the provisions in the new Constitution must ensure the country cannot be divided. He told Parliament that while the TNA is committed towards an undivided country there needs to be meaningful devolution of powers.



Avaa members granted bail
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

The Eleven ‘Aava’ group suspects remanded in connection with committing offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) were today released on bail by Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attigalle. The TID told court that it would not bring charges against the suspects under the PTA, but on the instructions of the Attorney General, would inquire the incident under money laundering allegations.



U.S. welcomes Sri Lanka's contribution to security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, visited Sri Lanka November 27-29 to attend the Galle Dialogue 2016 maritime security conference and meet with senior government and military leaders, including President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.



Karuna transferred to separate cell
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

Former Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, alias Karuna has been transferred to a separate cell under tight security at the Colombo Remand Prison. He is to be kept at the M2 prison compound, according to sources within the Prison as officials fear security threats on the life of the former LTTE rebel leader from inmates. Senior officials also revealed that if there was a request for food to be brought from outside, they would consider such a request. Muralitharan was arrested by the FCID yesterday over the alleged misuse of a state vehicle.



RAW hasn’t reported Sri Lankans joining ISIS - Defence Secretary
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

India's intelligence service RAW had not reported any Sri Lankans joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS ), Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said in Colombo yesterday. Responding to questions from the media with regard to reports of RAW having briefed Sri Lanka of some of its Muslim citizens being recently drafted by the ISIS, Hettiarachchi replied that no such information had been received.



Belgium Prince accused of having unauthorised meeting with Ranil
[Wednesday 2016-11-30 18:00]

Prince Laurent of Belgium has been accused of meeting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe without following the proper procedures in his country. The Belgium media reported that Prince Laurent had not informed the Belgium Foreign Ministry about his meeting with the Prime Minister. The meeting had taken place last month when the Prime Minister visited Belgium. The Belgium Foreign Ministry was informed only after the meeting took place.



Karuna Amman arrested after appearing before FCID Top News
[Tuesday 2016-11-29 18:00]

Former Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman was arrested today after he appeared before the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). Amman was asked to appear before the FCID to record a statement on the alleged misuse of a Government vehicle. He was arrested and produced in court and remanded till December 7. Karuna Amman was a Minister in the former Government and was also an LTTE member.



US working to deepen military-to-military relationship with Sri Lanka - Top Admiral
[Tuesday 2016-11-29 18:00]

Admiral Harry B. Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) says he is working to deepen the "military-to-military relationship" with Sri Lanka. "Thrilled at the chance to get to know the people of this fine country... as I work to deepen our military-to-military relationship," the top U.S. military officer said while addressing multinational military representatives at the Galle Dialogue 2016 International Maritime Conference today in Colombo.


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