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Another revamped city Landmark to be opened
Wednesday, 9 July 2014 - 8:40 PM SL Time

President to open `Independence Square Shopping cum Public Precinct`

With the end of conflict in 2009, the country has seen an unprecedented development that had transformed the country into what it is today. The transformation is more evident in Colombo, the commercial capital than anywhere else. This development is stimulating economy and raising developmental creativity.

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is leading the city`s development drive that has seen Colombo blossoming into a clean, green and people friendly city. The UDA, coming under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has initiated a number of urban regeneration projects under the guidance and supervision of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Mr. Rajapaksa is spearheading the Colombo development project with the aim of making it a showpiece city of Asia and a commercial hub of South Asia.
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Sri Lankan government ally opposes South African mediation in national issue
Monday, 7 July 2014 - 2:21 AM SL Time

Sri Lankan government ally and coalition partner of the ruling alliance, the National Freedom Front (NFF) has expressed opposition to the mediation of South Africa in finding a solution to the national problem. National Freedom Front (NFF) Media Spokesman Mohammad Muzammil has said that the party led by government Minister Wimal Weerawansa does not view the expected visit of South Africa`s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, and Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa favorably.
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Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community Dr Ameer Ali
Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 4:32 AM SL Time

In an interview with Ranga Jayasuriya appearing in Ceylon Today, Dr. Ameer Ali, a prominent Islamic scholar and a former adviser on Muslim Affairs to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard`s Government, and an academic at the Faculty of Management and Governance of Murdoch University, has said that Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community.
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CID grills BBS monk over Aluthgama
Thursday, 3 July 2014 - 12:36 AM SL Time

The police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) questioned the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero today, on the recent violence in Aluthgama.

According to the police, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero was questioned over the statements he made at a rally in Aluthgama prior to the violence which erupted between Muslims and Sinhalese in the area.

Gnanasara Thero said that the CID had questioned him at the CID office in Fort for several hours over the violence.
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If proven I will resign: Gota Says
Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 3:26 PM SL Time

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday denied any involvement with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or any fringe organisations as alleged.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror during an exclusive interview Rajapaksa asserted that he would resign from his post if any connection with these organizations was proved.

I have nothing to do with the BBS. I have not at all been involved in any of this. All this is because of baseless accusations, and I will always say that some Muslim politicians and opposition politicians have put the blame on me. At the end the media has also done that. What facts do they have to say that? It s very unfortunate that people write such baseless factless articles, that is very wrong.
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Lanka wants war victory recognition
Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 1:08 AM SL Time

The defeat of terrorism and the advent of peace and stability have brought about significant benefits not only for the people of Sri Lanka but for the whole South Asian region, and it is only right and proper that the magnitude of these benefits should receive recognition, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in Colombo today.

He was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on establishing a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment for the Indian Ocean Rim countries.
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Sri Lanka cancels on-arrival visa facility for Pakistanis
Saturday, 28 June 2014 - 3:49 AM SL Time

Pakistani citizens intending to travel to Sri Lanka have been advised by the government to apply for a visa before taking a flight.

The decision, which was taken in view of the rising number of political asylum cases in Sri Lanka, was officially communicated to Pakistan s Foreign ministry.

Sri Lankan daily Ceylon Today reported last week that nearly 1,500 Pakistanis, many of whom are registered with the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, have been picked up by the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Criminal Investigation Department. According to the newspaper, these people were to be deported because of their alleged involvement in anti-state activities in India and Pakistan.
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Anti-Sinhala And Anti-Muslim Pages Mushroom On Facebook
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 - 4:51 AM SL Time

Although the Facebook pages of the Bodu Bala Sena and Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera have been banned, hundreds of Facebook pages and profiles are still in operation spreading racist sentiments among Sri Lankans.

`Racist` Facebook pages and profiles are operated by `Sinhala-Buddhist` extremists as well as Muslim extremists. While Sinhala extremist call for the elimination of the Muslim community of Sri Lanka, Muslim extremist pages urges Muslim to embark on `Jihad` in Sri Lanka. Such pages and profiles strongly contravene terms and conditions of Facebook - which do not allow racist content in its social media space.
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President Rajapaksa Scolds Rishad Badhiutheen at Cabinet Meeting and Tells his Commerce Minister to Stop Speaking and Shut Up
Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 7:38 PM SL Time

Heated arguments occurred between Muslim cabinet ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Badhiutheen on the one hand and Buddhist cabinet ministers Champika Ranawaka on the other.

The bone of contention was the Bodhu Bala Sena(BBS). While the two Muslim ministers were harshly critical of the BBS and wanted the outfit proscribed the Buddhist ministers defended the BBS and argued against a ban on the Buddhist organization alone.Both Hakeem and Badhiutheen had wanted action to be taken against Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for his inflammatory anti Muslim speech in Aluthgama.
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Nolimit fashion store in Sri Lanka`s Panadura city set on fire
Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 12:08 PM SL Time

Colombo: A Muslim owned fashion store in Sri Lanka`s Panadura town in the outskirts of Colombo district was set ablaze in the pre-dawn hours of today.

The burnt shop belonged to the Nolimit fashion network owned by Muslims.

The multi-storey fashion store with space for parking and modern facilities was a newly established major attraction in the city.

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Sri Lanka Opposition Leader makes a special statement in parliament on communal violence
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 - 3:30 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Opposition and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe made a special statement today in the parliament regarding the communal violence that took place in the coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala and other areas.

Wickremasinghe said the government had allowed the individuals to take the law in to their hands and inquired why the police that acted against the students who were marching for free education did not prevent the violence.
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Video: This Will Be The End Of All Muslims Gnanasara Says Prior To Riots
Monday, 16 June 2014 - 7:33 PM SL Time

Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara in an inciteful and fear mongering speech earlier today in Aluthgama prior to the riots said that if one marakkalaya ( Muslim) lays a hand on a Sinhalese that will be the end of all of them to a rousing and cheering crowd.

According to the monk, the minorities are organizing themselves and he urged the Sinhalese to wake up and fight back before they get destroyed.

The crowd were visibly moved and kept cheering each inciteful statement made by Gnansara prior to launching their attack on the Muslims.
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Riots Expand Minister Held Hostage
Monday, 16 June 2014 - 3:39 AM SL Time

Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha is currently held hostage at the Nallemiyah Arabic College in Beruwala with an armed mob standing outside to attack those within, reports just coming in from the ground said.

However, sources close to the Minister said that the Minister wasn t held hostage but was blocked from leaving the premises, after he went in to the school. Unconfirmed Reports also said that the Minister had sought refuge in the school after his convoy was attacked by the mob.

Muslims from across the village have sought refuge at the Arabic College from the rampaging mobs.
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President Attends Opening Session of G77 China Summit
Sunday, 15 June 2014 - 8:19 PM SL Time

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday evening attended the opening ceremony of the Golden Jubilee of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77 and China (G77+China), held at the Expo Cruz Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Summit was organized under the theme `For a New World Order for Living Well. The plenary session of the Summit will commence Sunday morning (Bolivia time).

Heads of State of and high-level delegations of the 133-member Group of 77, and heads of many international organizations were among the dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony, which was held under the patronage of the current G77 Chairman, the President of Bolivia Evo Morales, U.N. Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. General Assembly President Mr. John W. Ashe.
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Colombo Port to elevate to 21st position in Top 50 World Container Ports List
Thursday, 12 June 2014 - 3:21 PM SL Time

Colombo, the commercial hub and capital of Sri Lanka, will go up to the 21st position in the top 50 World Container Ports list 2014 with the operations of the new berths of the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT). Earlier Colombo was in the 32nd position in the Top 50 Wprld Container Ports list.

The new CICT terminals, developed over three stages, opened the third phase of its facility in April 2014 enabling addition of 2.5 milllion teu to the Colombo shipping hub.
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GL explains why Sri Lanka won`t attend London conference
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 - 1:48 PM SL Time

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has ruled out the possibility of the Sri Lankan government endorsing much touted British initiative, Declaration of Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict on the basis that it too, could be used against the country.

The LTTE rump has accused the military of systematic rape as well as abuses of both men and women during eelam war IV, a charge strongly denied by the government.
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Pillay to inform HR Council on the team selected to probe Sri Lanka war allegations
Sunday, 8 June 2014 - 4:16 AM SL Time

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay for the last time on Tuesday will address the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) where she will present an update on the activities of her Office before stepping down as High Commissioner in August this year. During her presentation on the first day of the session, the HR chief will present her report on her fact finding mission to Sri Lanka in August 2013. Ms. Pillay is also expected to announce to the Council that her office has assembled a team that would conduct the independent comprehensive investigation.
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Best auspicious date for poll: Keheliya
Friday, 6 June 2014 - 4:25 AM SL Time

Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella while stating that a January 2015 Presidential election was possible, noted that astrologers had given different auspicious dates and the President would choose the best date.

Cabinet spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly cabinet news briefing that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was constitutionally empowered to call a Presidential election after the completion of four years of his six year tenure on November 19 and therefore he has the prerogative to call a Presidential election after that day.
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Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to ease tension with Tamils
Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 4:37 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka on Wednesday again rejected devolving police powers to the provinces as requested by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and required by the constitution as a means to ease tension with minority Tamils.

Sri Lanka agreed with India in 1987 to devolve powers, including over police and land, to a regional level as a means to improve relations between Tamils and majority Sinhalese.
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Dengue mossies change shifts in Sri Lanka
Monday, 2 June 2014 - 11:59 AM SL Time

A recent research conducted by the Department of Zoology of the Kelaniya University had revealed that dengue mosquitoes had changed their stinging times, Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala said yesterday.

Dr. Maheepala said dengue mosquitoes had once been active from 7.00 am to 9.00 am and from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm. But, now, they stung humans from 10.00 am to 12 noon and from 2.00 pm to 4 pm, he said.

The dengue mosquito had been earlier known to lay eggs only in clean water, but the recent research had found that the mosquitoes laid eggs even in unclean water, Dr Mahipala said.
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