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January 24, 2018 [GMT]
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Tamils protest outside Swiss court against case on LTTE supporters
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

Over 150 Tamils protested outside a Swiss court today against a trial involving thirteen LTTE financiers. The protesters held posters of the LTTE and its slain leader Vellupillai Prabakaran and made statements in support of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Thirteen financiers accused of funnelling more than CH15 million ($15.3 million) to the LTTE stood trial before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court today.

Ex-LTTE spokesman assaulted in Jaffna
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

A man was arrested by the Jaffna Police in connection with assaulting former LTTE media spokesman Daya Master in Jaffna yesterday. Daya Master who is also the Media Director of DAN TV, a private media institution was assaulted in his office at the Hospital Road in Jaffna. The Jaffna Police who had initiated an inquiry following a complaint had arrested the suspect, Moses Sathgunadas (53) a resident of Jaffna. Police said the motive of the assault has not been revealed. Suspect to be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate Court.

Victor Ratnayaka’s wife arrested
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

Hashini Amendra, the wife of veteran singer Victor Ratnayake, was arrested by the Tangalle Police this morning for the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 1.28 million worth of jewelry belonging to a state bank. Police said the manager of the said state bank had lodged a complaint with the police against the 32-year-old for the crime she allegedly committed during her time as an employee of the pawning section of the bank during 2012- 2016.

Postal Votes to be handed over to Postal Department on Jan. 11
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

The Election Commission said that postal votes for Local Government Elections will be submitted to the Postal Department, on January 11. Acting Election Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said that the name lists of government workers who are eligible to cast postal votes were certified at the District Election Office yesterday. This year 560,536 government workers are eligible to cast postal votes, he said. Postal Votes could to be cast at Election Offices, District Secretariats and at Police Stations on January 22 and at other Government Institutions, postal votes could to be casted on January 25 and 26.

Ex-navy spokesman, five others get bail
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

Former navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake and five others, held in remand custody, were granted bail by the High Court today. Commodore Dassanayake and the others were arrested and remanded on charges of aiding and abetting in the abduction of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009. High Court Judge Manilal Waidyaratne released each of the six accused on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 with three sureties of Rs.1 million each.

Sending LTTE/Prabhakaran greeting cards via Fb Court remands duo
[Tuesday 2018-01-09 18:00]

Colombo Additional Magistrate Thanuja Jayathunga yesterday (8) ordered two suspects charged with displaying and distributing the emblem of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization and the photo of its late Leader V. Prabhakaran, by way of greeting cards for 2018 on Facebook, to be remanded till 17 January.

Special Parliamentary session on Jan. 10
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

A special sitting of Parliament would be convened on January 10 following a request made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Acting Secretary General of Parliament Neil Iddawala said today. Political parties such as the Joint Opposition and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had requested Speaker Jayasuriya to convene an urgent session of the House after President Maithripala Sirisena made a statement on the recommendations made by the Presidential Commission that investigated the bond scam.

PM wants parliament summoned to debate bond probe report
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickreme-singhe said yesterday that he would request Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to summon Parliament fast to debate the Presidential Commission Report on the issuance of Treasury Bonds between February 2015 and March 2016. Addressing the UNP’s 70th anniversary celebrations at Campbell Park in Borella, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stressed that the UNP was committed to upholding the rule of law and good governance. "I will ask the Speaker to convene Parliament as early as possible so that the House could discuss the Bond Commission Report," the PM said, adding that an investigation into Treasury bonds issued between 2008 and 2014 should also be conducted.

Bond scam loss burden placed on public through higher taxes – Mahinda
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the loss caused by treasury bond scam was much bigger than the amount stated in the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the bond scam. Addressing the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna’s inaugural rally in Kadawatha on Saturday, the former President said that he had serious doubts about the amount of loss mentioned in the report and was sure that the country suffered a very much larger loss than the amount mentioned by the commission.

Birth rate increases in Jaffna
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

The birth rate in Jaffna had increased by 12 percent last year (2017) according to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital sources. The hospital sources said that total number of child births has been recorded as 5,746 last year (2017) and this is 12 percent more compared to that of 2016. The infant deaths have also been recorded less in year 2017, hospital sources said.

President hasn’t used his sword well- Gammanpila
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

President Maithripala Sirisena had not used his sword well to trap the real culprits of bond scam, General Secretary of Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. Some party members of PHU including Udaya Gammanpila, Madumadawa Aravinda and Dammika Rathmale were seen today at the media briefing wearing clothes in black and carrying a sword in their hands.

Moragahakanda reservoir declared open
[Monday 2018-01-08 18:00]

Moragahakanda reservoir was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena a short while ago. The Moragahakanda Dam is a high gravity dam with a height of 65 meters.The dam has created the Moragahakanda Reservoir, which has an active storage capacity of 521,000,000 cubic meters, and is four times bigger than the gigantic Parakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa.

671 acres earmarked in Mullaitivu for new Sri Lankan navy base
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

The Sri Lankan government acknowledged the planned acquisition of 671 acres of land in Mullaitivu is in order the establish a central navy base. In response to a Right To Information request made by the editor of Vikalpa, Sampath Samarakoon, the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, Mr Dayaratne stated the land grab was in order to “establish the Mullaitivu main camp of the Sri Lanka navy”.

Flu in Mullaithivu- People asked not to panic
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

Northern Province Health Ministry Specialist Dr. R. Keseven urges people of the Mullaithivu area not to panic over the flu reported from the area. He said the special team deployed by the Health Ministry had identified that the disease was Influenza B. “The disease is curable, and it can be controlled easily, they said. However, 10 people died of the disease so far, sources said..

Accused acquitted in former Pakistan envoy’s assassination attempt
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

A trishaw owner arrested and indicted in connection with the assassination attempt of former Pakistani High Commissioner in 2006, was yesterday acquitted and released from the case by the Colombo High Court. While handing out a judegment against the accused Balakrishnan Balasundaran Manoharan, the High Court Judge observed that the prosecutors have failed to prove the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

LG polls: EC imposes restrictions on number of canvassers
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

Chairman of the Election commission Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said all election offices, cutouts and posters of candidates contesting the February 10 local government elections should be removed before January 31. Addressing the media at the Elections Commission, Deshapriya said steps would be taken to remove the election offices, cutouts, posters and other such propaganda materials after the deadline. He said all candidates had to declare their assets and liabilities before January 20.

Election monitor: 80% of voters ignorant of new electoral system
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Election says that more than 80 per cent of the country’s eligible voters lack proper understanding of the new electoral system. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi told The Island that lacuna had been noticed during several workshops his outfit had conducted throughout the country in the recent past. "Even some candidates were ignorant of the electoral system," he said. Hettiarachchi said the local government election law had been amended and re-amended much to the confusion of the voting public.

JO to move no-confidence motion against PM
[Saturday 2018-01-06 18:00]

National Freedom Front leader MP Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that the Joint Opposition (JO) would move a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over the treasury bond scams. Addressing the media at a press conference held at the NM Perera Centre in Borella, MP Weerawansa said the JO leaders would meet on Sunday to decide on the content of the no-confidence motion to be moved against the Prime Minister.

Virginia designates Thai Pongal as state holiday
[Friday 2018-01-05 19:00]

US State of Virginia has passed a resolution declaring Thai Pongal a state holiday. The House of Delegates, with the Senate concurring, has resolved that the General Assembly designate January 14 this year and in each succeeding year, as Pongal Day in Virginia. It has also resolved that the designation of this day should be posted on the General Assembly’s website.

Open warrant issued on Jaliya Wickramasuriya
[Friday 2018-01-05 18:00]

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today issued open warrant on former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya. An arrest warrant had been issued on him on November 17 last year since he failed to appear in the court when the case was taken up for hearing. Mr. Wickramasuriya was earlier arrested for allegedly misappropriating funds allocated for purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy in US. He was later released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate.

Japan assures fullest support for development in SL
[Friday 2018-01-05 18:00]

The Foreign Minister of Japan Tharo Kono said that the Government of Japan was ready to provide its fullest support for the development and reconciliation process of Sri Lanka. He made these remarks when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today during his official tour of Sri Lanka.

China to launch satellites for SL, other countries in 2018
[Friday 2018-01-05 18:00]

China will launch over 35 satellites this year including satellites for Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as well as for commercial companies, GB times reported on Wednesday. It said a number of satellites for ocean observation, weather, remote sensing and/or reconnaissance, earth observation and telecommunications satellite series will be launched. Satellites for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and commercial companies GomSpace, Satellogic, Changguang (Jilin), SpaceTY, Kepler Communications, SuperView (Gaojing) and others would also be launched.

PM says he did it first
[Friday 2018-01-05 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday maintained that, on his instructions they had already referred the findings of the COPE Committee headed by parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti that probed the Treasury bond scams to the Attorney General on October 31, 2016. President Maithripala Sirisena forwarded the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the scams also to AG recently.

13 LTTE financiers charged with supporting the terrorist group to stand trial in Swiss Court
[Friday 2018-01-05 18:00]

Thirteen supporters of Sri Lanka's now defunct terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in Switzerland will stand trial before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona on Monday for providing financial support to the organization through a sophisticated microcredit system. The accused from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka are charged with funneling more than $15.3 million to the terrorist organization.

TNA says Tamils bitterly disappointed on accountability issue
[Wednesday 2018-01-03 18:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says Tamils are “bitterly disappointed” on the accountability issue. TNA leader R. Sampanthan told The Hindu newspaper in an interview that the Government has not yet addressed its commitments on the question of accountability adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, and co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2015.

Former Navy Spokesman arrested for abduction of youths remanded till January 16
[Wednesday 2018-01-03 18:00]

Former Naval Media Spokesperson Commodore DKP Dassanayake and five others arrested for the abduction of 11 youths has been remanded till 16 January. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered to further remand the former Navy officer and five other suspects when the case was taken in court today. At the hearing, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) told Court that the file on the case would be handed over to the Attorney General on the 10th January.

Lightning strike by SLTB depots in North
[Wednesday 2018-01-03 18:00]

A lightning strike launched by the employees of the state-owned bus service in the Northern Province yesterday disrupted services provided by seven depots. The protesters struck work to express their displeasure over having to share a newly opened bus stand in the Vavuniya town with private bus operators. They demanded that the authorities reopen the former bus stand which the Chief Minister for the Northern Province had closed. As a reult only the private bus services were operating from the new bus stand in Vavuniya, which was reopened last December.

MR to lead SLPP polls campaign
[Wednesday 2018-01-03 18:00]

Despite repeated warnings from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that it will take stern action against those who support any other party, former President, current Parliamentarian and SLFP Adviser Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (2), made it public that he will lead the Local Government (LG) Election campaign of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

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