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Sri Lankan university students protest in Colombo
Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 10:57 AM SL Time

Thousands of university students in Sri Lanka today marched in the streets of Sri Lankan capital Colombo demanding the authorities to revoke a suspension imposed on 28 of their fellow students at the Rajarata University.

Sri Lanka university students` union, Inter University Students` Federation (IUSF) launched the protest march with the participation of students from all universities in the island.

The students carrying placards and shouting slogans staged a protest near the Fort Railway Station and marched to the University Grant Commission (UGC) in Ward Place, Colombo 07.
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The then Supreme Court and Sirisena Cooray
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - 10:41 AM SL Time

The importance of an independent judiciary will dawn only when you are in the Opposition. Mr. Sirisena Corray became free and was able to walk free as there was an independent judiciary. People sometimes gets affected, when, with the enormous powers it has, the Supreme Court tries to arrest the sand mining activities in Deduru Oya, usurp the original jurisdiction of a Magistrate, conduct inquiries and sentence people to jail. The people get frustrated when the Supreme Court reduces the price of petrol, which is the mandate of the executive and pokes its hands into school admissions. People also lose faith when the husband of the Chief Justice is employed by the Government as head of a Corporation. The question of conflict of interest would creep in. No amount of sermonising that it is his fundamental right to be employed at a place he has chosen. The Chief Justice interfering with the working of the place where her husband has obtained employment, does not go down well with the people. In order to be independent of executive pressure Judges need tremendous courage and conviction. Judges must not only act as judges but must manifestly seem to act as judges.
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Sue cigarette companies: Minister
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - 10:36 AM SL Time

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to family members of those who had died of smoking-related ailments to sue the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) taking a cue from a US Court ruling that the tobacco company should pay US$23.6 billion (nearly Rs.3000 billion) to the victim s wife.

I am disappointed with the recent court ruling that only 60% of the surface area of cigarette packets be covered with pictorial warnings despite all 225 members of Parliament that 80% of the surface area be covered with such warnings, the minister said adding that the Health Ministry would continue its fight to increase the surface area to be covered to 80%.
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JVP champions right to information
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 10:49 AM SL Time

Marxist Party wants to know why Weerawansa s wife travelled to Seychelles with Presidential delegation
No media freedom in SL because Govt. has too much to hide says JVP Leader

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has raised questions about the number of individuals travelling on Presidential delegations overseas, highlighting the case of Minister Wimal Weerawansa s spouse being a member of the official delegation to Seychelles recently.
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India wants excellent relations with Sri Lanka - BJP delegation
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 10:48 AM SL Time

A group of members from India`s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including the Chairman of BJP`s Committee on Strategic Action and Former Union Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy, met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today.

The group discussed a number of issues of bilateral and regional significance, including the functions carried out by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Sri Lanka`s strategic importance in relation to this work, indicating that Sri Lanka plays a pivotal role in guarding the Indian Ocean. They pledged their fullest support for a continued Sri Lankan role in this regard.
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Portugal interested in further improving relations with Sri Lanka
Monday, 21 July 2014 - 10:45 AM SL Time

Portugal is interested in improving relationships with Sri Lanka further, Portugal`s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, said when he met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for discussions at Temple Trees today.

During the discussion with the President, Prime Minister Coelho said Portugal wanted `deeper relations` not only in the economic sector but also in the cultural and political areas as well.

He further stated that his visit to the country was a very good opportunity not only to discuss matters pertaining to bilateral relations between Portugal and Sri Lanka but also others of international significance.
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MR wants world leaders to see SL s reality
Monday, 21 July 2014 - 10:33 AM SL Time

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday said he wishes to see more foreign leaders visiting his country to experience the island`s post conflict progress.

Rajapaksa commented on the progress of the country while receiving the Prime Minister of Portugal, Pedro Passos Coelho. The Portuguese leader arrived here on a two-day visit.

The president also explained the successful military campaign which ended the three-decade-long separatist movement by the LTTE.
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Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy GL Foreign experts role clarified
Saturday, 19 July 2014 - 12:05 PM SL Time

External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV.

Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday s The Island exclusive headlined UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team with strapline OHCHR s and Pillay s positions contradictory.

How could there be any faith in a mechanism when those investigated wouldn t even know the identities of those handling the inquiry, Prof. Peiris said. OHCHR spokesperson, Rupert Colville declined to divulge the names of the members of the investigation team, though British national Sandra Beidas was named as its coordinator. Minister Peiris asserted perhaps the anonymous inquiry team was even worse than a Kangaroo court, hence GoSL decision to shun the investigation.
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Sri Lanka expresses condolences over lives lost on Malaysian Airlines flight
Saturday, 19 July 2014 - 11:58 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka Friday expressed its deepest sympathies to the families of the passengers and the crew who were onboard the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine.

`It is with profound shock and deep sadness that Sri Lanka received the news of the crash of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 in Eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the tragic loss of many innocent lives, including those of infants,` a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
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Malaysian plane with 295 persons crashes in Ukraine
Friday, 18 July 2014 - 10:47 AM SL Time

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17, 2014 (AFP) - Malaysia Airlines said on Thursday it had `lost contact` with one of its passenger planes carrying 295 people over eastern Ukraine, amid speculation it had been shot down.

`Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC (air traffic control) that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT)... approximately 50 km (31 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border,` the airline said on its Twitter account.
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Sri Lanka`s Hambantota port earns Rs. 750 million from bunkering since opening last month
Friday, 18 July 2014 - 10:45 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Ruhunu Magampura Port in Hambantota has earned Rs. 750 million since it started its fuel bunkering operations on June 22 for ships at the new fuel bunkering terminal.

The terminal, which was constructed at a cost of US $95 million under the Magampura Port development project, will provide fuel for ships.

Projects Minister for Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that seven ships have obtained 5,500 metric tons of fuel as of yesterday at the Magampura Port. The port handles import and re-export of vehicles as well.
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Workers protest Sri Lanka opposition MPs visiting the petroleum refinery
Friday, 18 July 2014 - 10:37 AM SL Time

Workers at Sri Lanka`s petroleum refinery at Sapugaskanda protested a visit by a group of parliamentarians of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) today to the refinery and prevented the MPs from entering the facility.

The group of 10 UNP parliamentarians cancelled the tour and returned after a tense situation developed at the entrance to the Sapugaskanda petroleum refinery when the workers opposing their visit blocked them.
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Female convict wants to be executed immediately Foreign couple sentenced to death Murder of child and maid
Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 10:01 AM SL Time

The Colombo High Court yesterday sentenced to death a Ukrainian couple found guilty of a double murder committed in 2010.

They murdered an eight-year-old child and a housemaid at Rajagiriya on February 23, 2010.

High Court Trial-at-Bar Judges Devika de Livera Tennakoon and Wimal Nambuwasam said that the prosecution had proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused Mashour Eugene and Yanna Brishyana indicted with the murder of child Victoria Kim and housemaid Daisy Manohari were guilty.
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FR petitions filed on Aluthgama riots
Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 9:57 AM SL Time

Several people affected by the recent riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala have filed fundamental rights petitions alleging that the police had failed to carry out their duties to prevent the riots from taking place.

They are seeking the Supreme Court to direct the Police Chief to formulate instructions and guidelines to prevent people from spewing out hate speech and prevent ethnic unrest.

The petitions were filed through Abdeen Associates. The petitioners had narrated several incidents that created the environment for the riots to happen and alleged that the police had failed to take appropriate action as required by law.
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