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Round II of Fishermen Talks to Begin in Lanka on May 12
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:53 AM SL Time

Taking the dialogue process forward, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced that the second round of talks between the representatives of fishermen communities in the State and Sri Lanka will be held on May 12 and 13 in Colombo.

The announcement follows the release of 98 fishermen of Tamil Nadu and their 23 boats by Lankan authorities. The island nation s government took steps to release the fishermen and their vessels due to the firm stand taken by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the issue.
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Supreme Court orders immediate removal of CIESOT s Board of Directors GK Chairman and 4 nominees to be appointed
Sunday, 13 April 2014 - 11:56 PM SL Time

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the immediate removal of the Board of Directors of CIESOT Pvt. Ltd., the biggest single shareholder of Ceylinco Insurance PLC, and directed the stakeholders, H. D. K. P. Alwis and E. T. L. Ranasinghe to appoint Golden Key (GK) Chairman, Priyantha Fernando and up to four others as nominated by him as members of the newly constituted board.

Fernando, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), heads GK as its Chairman in terms of a SC directive.
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New engineering faculties to be opened in Colombo, Jaffna, Kelaniya, J pura universities
Friday, 11 April 2014 - 11:36 AM SL Time

New engineering faculties would be opened in the Colombo, Jaffna, Kelaniya and Sri Jayewardenepura universities in the coming years to cope with the engineers shortage in the country, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairperson, Prof. S. S. M. K. Kshanika Hirimburegama said yesterday.

Addressing an MoU signing ceremony to introduce a local engineering degree under the newly founded Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) at the UGC auditorium in Colombo, Prof. Hirimburegama said that Sri Lanka was facing a severe shortage of engineers in view of the country s rapid development since the end of the war.
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Pakistan Announces Jinnah Educational Scholarships 2014 for Sri Lankan youth
Friday, 11 April 2014 - 11:34 AM SL Time

Pakistan has invited applications for Jinnah Scholarship from Sri Lankan high school students pursuing studies at GCE O Levels and A Levels.

The scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance, Pakistan High Commission said in a statement. The Scholarships will be awarded according to the final list of merits among all the application.

The Government of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Educational Scholarships, named for the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah, for past 9 years through Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka.
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UK says Sri Lanka`s human rights situation negative in many respects
Friday, 11 April 2014 - 11:22 AM SL Time

The United Kingdom said today that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka was of serious concern in 2013 and the overall trend is negative in many aspects despite the progress continued on post-conflict issues.

A Country of Concern report on Sri Lanka released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said although progress continued on post-conflict issues, such as re-building of infrastructure, and elections took place for the first time in the north of the country, the overall trend was negative in many respects.
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UK intervenes on behalf of Canadian held for heroin smuggling 36 kg heroin haul Man from Delhi in Colombo for rescue bid
Thursday, 10 April 2014 - 11:33 AM SL Time

Ongoing investigation into an abortive bid to smuggle in 36 kgs of heroin with a street value of Rs: 360 mn has taken an unexpected turn with British authorities claiming one of those who had been taken into custody following the detection was an undercover agent, working for them.

Police identified the suspect as one of the major heroin distributors in the country.

The Sri Lanka Customs made the detection during the first week of March this year.
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014 - 10:17 AM SL Time

Speaking at the launch of 2013 Central Bank Annual Report at the Central Bank premises yesterday, President Rajapaksa stressed that the present economic stability will remain until 2050 and plans should be formulated accordingly.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said plans should not be formulated targeting 2020. He said he was presented a plan aiming at increasing tourist arrivals by one million by 2016 which he did not accept.
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Prof. Peiris declines to speculate on speculation
Wednesday, 9 April 2014 - 10:05 AM SL Time

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has said that India s abstention at the vote on US-led resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the recently concluded UNHRC session in Geneva had strengthened avenues for dialogue.

`If you go on supporting resolutions against Sri Lanka then a dialogue becomes more difficult because of the coercive nature of the means that are required it [India s abstention] is certainly helpful and we appreciate it,` The Hindu quoted Prof. Peiris as having told the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo on Monday.
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Asset freeze threatens peaceful dissent: HRW
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 - 11:40 AM SL Time

The Sri Lankan government s decision to label 16 overseas Tamil organizations as financers of terrorism is so broad that it appears aimed at restricting peaceful activism by the country s Tamil minority, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The government should provide evidence of the unlawful activity of specific groups and individuals or remove them from the list.

On April 4, 2014, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris made public an order signed on March 20, on the advice of the defense secretary, freezing the assets and financial resources of entities ranging from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was militarily defeated in 2009, to nonviolent Tamil organizations around the world.
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Prof. Peiris explains why Sri Lanka won t cooperate with UN probe
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 - 11:38 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka will not cooperate with the proposed war crimes investigation undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, though the government remains committed to work with the United Nations as well as other international agencies, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris emphasized that the government of Sri Lanka wouldn t accept the jurisdiction of the UNHRC to undertake an inquiry, therefore the question of the government cooperating with the proposed mechanism didn t arise. Prof. Peiris was responding to a query by The Island yesterday in the wake of UN Chief Ban Ki-moon urging Sri Lanka to extend its support to UNHRC.
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UNP will push for presidential or general election: Ranil
Monday, 7 April 2014 - 11:07 AM SL Time

Leader of the Opposition and UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said his party would now press the government to hold a presidential or a general election next year.

He said that the government was originally planning to hold a presidential election by February 2015 but had given up the idea following the recently concluded provincial council elections.
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Gammanpila wants TNA banned
Monday, 7 April 2014 - 11:05 AM SL Time

Reacting to the call by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to lift the government s ban on some 15 Tamil Diaspora organisations, Western Provincial Council Minister and Jathika Hela Urumaya legal adviser Udaya Gammanpila yesterday said the political philosophy of the LTTE and its resurgence should be countered far more aggressively by the government.

The government has so far done only a fraction of what the other countries have done to minimise the risk of terrorism, after defeating the LTTE, he said and added that if the TNA demands that the government lifts the ban on Tamil Diaspora organisations that have been supporting the LTTE, the TNA too must be subjected to the ban.
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Britain will work closely with int l partners on SL -Cameron
Sunday, 6 April 2014 - 1:38 PM SL Time

British Prime Minster David Cameron said that Britain will work closely with its international partners to support the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka establishing an international investigation.

In response to a question, Cameron told British Parliament on Thursday, We believe that progress on accountability, human rights and reconciliation is important in establishing an enduring peace in Sri Lanka. Such progress will ensure Sri Lanka can reach its full potential as a strong and prosperous nation.
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Friday, 4 April 2014 - 2:31 PM SL Time

Despite Australia s warning that illegal immigrants would not be given asylum status in Australia, twenty-six Sri Lankan Tamils had been nabbed by the Indian Coast Guard while on an illegal voyage to Australia in a ferry off the Andaman coast, PTI reported yesterday.

These 26 Sri Lankans who were to be deported to Sri Lanka last morning, were brought to Chennai by the Andaman Police and sent back to Sri Lanka on a Spice Jet flight, airport sources said. They said coast guard personnel, on a patrol, intercepted the ferry in which the 26 Lankan nationals were travelling off the Andaman two days ago.
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