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January 24, 2018 [GMT]
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Sampanthan calls for new Constitution Highlights ‘undivided and indivisible SL’
[Sunday 2018-01-14 19:00]

Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan expressed hope that the proposed new Constitution would be framed sans any further delay this year. In a statement greeting and wishing all Tamils a peaceful and prosperous Thai Pongal which falls tomorrow (14), he pointed out that of the many expectations in the hearts of the people for the new year, of particular importance is the Tamil people's long-standing aspiration for a lasting political solution to the national question, which hitherto remains unattained.


Tamil nationalist songs in Jaffna Polls campaign CaFFE complains to Elections Commission
[Sunday 2018-01-14 19:00]

Campaign for Free and Fair Eelections (CaFFE) has complained to the Commissioner of Elections that several political parties in the Northern Province are playing songs echoing Tamil nationalism that were used during the LTTE period, in violation of election laws. On Friday United People's Freedom Front (UPFA) politician Angajan Ramanathan had aired such songs while opening his party office at the Jaffna Municipal Council, Executive Director/CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told Ceylon Today.


TGTE man booted out
[Sunday 2018-01-14 19:00]

A senior member of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Suresnath Ratnabalam was deported along with his family. They left Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) during the early hours of yesterday morning, officials said. Ratnabalam and his family were placed on a Bangkok bound SriLankan Airlines flight after he was refused entry into the country as he is blacklisted.


Parliament fracas: PM to seek disciplinary action
[Sunday 2018-01-14 19:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would seek disciplinary action against UNP MPs who behaved unruly in Parliament last week, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said over the weekend. Responding to a question made by a journalist at a function held in Gampaha on Saturday (13), the State Minister said the issue was not scripted by the involved parties as speculated by some.


TGTE Member refused entry Ratnabalam on banned Tamil Diaspora list Strong moves to refute deportation order
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

A member of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) was refused entry into the country on Thursday (11), shortly after landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake, with his family, officials said yesterday (12). They said that 48-year-old Suresnath Ratnabalam had arrived on a scheduled Etihaad flight from Abu Dhabi along with his wife and two children at 3:45 p.m. and were stopped by Immigration officials at passport control as he had been blacklisted.


Two Jaffna Uni. student factions clash after consuming liquor
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

A clash is reported to have erupted between two groups of students of the Jaffna University's Management Faculty after consuming liquor inside the premises on Thursday resulting in four students being admitted to the Jaffna Base Hospital. According to reports the students had been behaving in an indecent manner after receiving the Mahapola Scholarship fees. The university authorities said they would take disciplinary action against the students involved in the fracas and for consuming liquor in the premises.


SLFP candidates play LTTE songs in Jaffna
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

A chaotic situation prevailed in Jaffna after some SLFP candidates contesting the forthcoming local government elections played some songs of the now defunct LTTE. Number of politicians in Jaffna had complained to the Election Related Violence Centrers about the conduct of some politicians who had used the liberation songs of the Tigers in their campaigns when the elections commissioner had strictly instructed not to use such songs during the run-up to the local government election.


LG polls: Postal voting for nine districts begins
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

Postal voting for Local Government bodies in nine districts began yesterday. Commissioner General of Elections, Director General Elections R.M.A.L. Rathnayake speaking to the Daily News explained that they had sent ballot papers for postal voting in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa.


President to meet Civil Society groups next week
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

A discussion between President Maithripala Sirisena and civil society groups that had been instrumental in bringing the current regime to power will be held next week. Sources said that during this meeting several issues are to be discussed at length such as the promises given to the masses during the last Presidential and General Elections including the enactment of a new Constitution, abolition of the Executive Presidency, the punishments which are to be meted out to rogues of the previous regime, and a few more.


Seeking SC determination; UNP says Prez should have consulted Govt. allies
[Saturday 2018-01-13 18:00]

The United National Party (UNP) said yesterday it would have been much better for President Maithripala Sirisena to have consulted the government allies before seeking a determination from the Supreme Court on the expiry of his term of office. In an interview with Daily Mirror, Minister and House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said this had caused some uneasiness among the government allies.


Postal voting begins in nine districts
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

Postal voting for local government bodies began in nine districts today. Commissioner General of Elections, Director General Elections, R.M.A.L. Rathnayake speaking to Daily News explained that they had sent ballot papers for postal voting in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa. In addition to those, they had also sent ballot papers to few of the local bodies in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. The rest of the districts will receive their ballot papers tomorrow, Rathnayake said. There are 1.3 million people working in government and semi-government institutions in the country.


Sri Lankan Defense delegation observes construction of OPV being built in Goa
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

A high level Sri Lankan Defense delegation headed by Secretary of Defense Kapila Waidyaratne has visited the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) at Vasco in South Goa on Thursday to observe the building of an Offshore Patrol Vehicle (OPV), UNI reported. According to a statement from the GSL, Defense Secretary Waidyaratne was accompanied by Commander of Sri Lanka Army, DG of Sri Lanka Navy, DG Sri Lanka Coast Guard and other senior officials of Sri Lanka Ministry of defense.


PAFFREL to deploy 7,000 poll monitors
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) would deploy 7,000 polls monitors for the Feb. 10 local government elections, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said yesterday. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo, Hettiarachchi said they would deploy 4,000 monitors at polling booths, 1,000 to monitor postal voting on Jan 22, 25 and 26 and another 1,500 in 314 vehicles countrywide during the campaign period. Hettiarachchi said that PAFFREL had received 341 complaints on election law violations as at yesterday. Most complaints were about abusing state property for electioneering followed by public disturbances.


Prez. Sec. hands over Bond report to CB Governor
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

A copy of the Bond Commission’s report had been handed over to Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy by President’s Secretary on Wednesday, the Central Bank said today. In a statement, it said a copy of the report of the Commission of Inquiry to Investigate, Inquire and Report on the Issuance of Treasury Bonds (COI) during the period from February 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, was handed over to the Governor entrusting the task of considering giving effect to the recommendations contained in the Report.


President has no moral right to extend term of office: Basil
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) frontliner Basil Rajapaksa today said there was no moral basis for President Maithripala Sirisena to extend his term for six years as he committed himself to reduce the term in the run up to the elections . Mr. Rajapaksa told a news conference President Sirisena had claimed during his presidential election campaign that he would reduce the term of presidency to four years and would not seek to stay for six years.


President clarifies reason for seeking SC opinion
[Friday 2018-01-12 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena made a reference to the Supreme Court to ascertain whether he can serve in office for six years because there were divergent views on his term limit in civil and political circles, his office said in a statement. The statement said the President had sought the opinion of the Supreme Court as otherwise it could lead to confusion. The statement said his predecessors had also made similar references to the Supreme Court in this manner. It said it was a right guaranteed in the Constitution.


President Sirisena can hold office for six years - AG tells SC
[Thursday 2018-01-11 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena can hold office for six years from January 9, 2015, the Attorney General told the Supreme Court today (11). Giving his opinion regarding the President's term of office, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya told court that the mandate given to President Sirisena at the last Presidential Election was for six years. This cannot be changed by bringing in new legislation but would require a new mandate from the people and Parliamentary approval, he added.


Top Uva politician forced principal to kneel: CHRR
[Thursday 2018-01-11 18:00]

The Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHRR) today requested the Education Ministry to look into an incident in Badulla where a top provincial level politician in Uva had forced a school principal to kneel. In a letter to the Ministry Secretary, CHRR Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said they have received information that this politician had summoned a principal of a Tamil girls school in Badulla and forced her to kneel after she refused to follow his orders.


UN child rights committee in Geneva to review Sri Lanka
[Thursday 2018-01-11 18:00]

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is meeting in Geneva from 15 January to 2 February to review children’s rights in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Panama, Seychelles, Spain, Solomon Islands, Palau and Marshall Islands. The Committee, which is composed of 18 independent experts, monitors how States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are complying with their obligations.


India, Sri Lanka sign agreement for US$ 45 million financial assistance to develop Kankasanthurai harbor
[Thursday 2018-01-11 17:00]

Sri Lanka and India today signed an agreement to provide Indian loan assistance of US$ 45.27 million (Rs. 6.9 billion) to upgrade the Kankasanthurai Harbor in Jaffna in the North. Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass media Dr. R H S. Samaratunga on behalf of Sri Lanka and Managing Director of the Export- Import Bank of India Mr. David Rasquinha signed the agreement in New Delhi today.


Date scheduled to issue postal voting ballot papers postponed
[Thursday 2018-01-11 17:00]

The Elections Commission has postponed the date scheduled to handover postal voting ballot papers to the Postal Department for the upcoming Local Government polls to January 13. The Batticaloa district will be exempted from the decision. This year 560,536 government workers are eligible to cast postal votes, he said.


Sri Lanka removes ban on sale of alcohol to women
[Thursday 2018-01-11 17:00]

Sri Lanka is to allow women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years. The government said that it was amending a 1955 law that it agreed was discriminatory against women. The amendment to the law, announced on Wednesday, also means that women will be permitted without prior approval to work in places that sell alcohol.


Four killed in Mankulam accident
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

Four people died in a collision between a van and a parked lorry in Mankulam yesterday night, the Police said. The injured had been rushed to the Killinochchi Hospital but were pronounced dead in admittance. The driver of the lorry was arrested by the Police in connection with incident and they are conducting further investigations.


‘Clash of MPs’ in Parliament Top News
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

Government and joint opposition members are reported to have clashed in Parliament this morning. Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said in a tweet, ‘I am told that never in history had there been a brawl in the Chamber like the one just now. I saw Gamini Lokuge start it. Disgraceful,’ He also tweeted, ‘Utter pandemonium in Parliament. Apparently someone threw an object at the PM while he was speaking in the Chamber. Didn’t see who it was. Disgraceful,’


Five judge bench to decide on President’s term in office
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

A five judge bench has been appointed by the Supreme Court to decide on President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office. President Maithripala Sirisena had earlier sought the advise of the Supreme Court on the term of his office. The President had asked the Supreme Court if there is any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of 6 years from 09th January 2015, the date on which the results of the election was declared.


Kachchatheevu church feast on 23 Feb
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

The feast of St. Anthony's church on the Kachchatheevu island will be held on 23 and 24 February. Around 10,000 devotees form Sri Lanka are expected to participate in the festival, Jaffna District Secretary Nagalingam Vethanayagan said.


Mano Ganeshan issues challenge to Ravi Karunanayake
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganeshan has issued a challenge to former Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Ganeshan said in a post on his Facebook that Karunanayake has warned that his political party will be thrown out of Colombo. “Hahaha, I am scared. If you can do it and show,” Ganeshan said. Karunanayaka and Ganeshan are engaged in a bitter battle ahead of the upcoming Local Government elections.


Election Monitor condemns polls law violations at Temple Trees
[Wednesday 2018-01-10 18:00]

The Election Monitor Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) alleges that the Ministry of Education has used the Prime Minister’s official residence, Temple Trees, for election propaganda purposes. It has written to the Secretary to the Prime Minister not to allow anyone to use Temple Trees for electioneering purposes.

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