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Why Daham Sirisena At UN Is A Big Deal
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 - 2:40 PM SL Time

When the first signs appeared of the new Yahapalana (=well-ruled) government going astray some months ago, I tweeted: Good governance must not only be done, but also be SEEN as done .

Optics or appearances do matter. They are especially important in this social media age when every action of the government and its top leadership is closely monitored and commented upon by many citizens.

For reasons of governance and optics, President Maithripala Sirisena taking his son Daham Sirisena to UN General Assembly in New York is wrong. We presume that the young man s travel and accommodation was paid for with public funds. Yet he has holds no public office it was completely out of his league to be seated with the president, ministers and diplomats who had official reasons to be there.
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U.S. and Sri Lanka to bolster Rule of Law
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 10:53 PM SL Time

The United States and Sri Lanka Tuesday agreed to implement a US$ 2.6 million program to enhance the capabilities of Sri Lanka`s criminal justice authorities to investigate and prosecute complex crimes, and improve delivery of justice for all citizens. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Rule of Law Capacity Building Assistance. Ambassador Keshap and Acting Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo.
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Drop in demand likely cause of power outage: CEB
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 1:28 AM SL Time

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said today the power outage experienced countrywide on Sunday night was caused by an increase in the power supply amid a major drop in the demand. The demand for power had dropped because of the prevailing wet weather conditions and the long weekend. The CEB said the maximum peak demand during night on an ordinary working day was about 2,100 MW and declining to about 1,100 MW after midnight. During weekends, the maximum peak demand at night was around 1,900 MW with the minimum demand around 950 MW. However, on this Sunday due to the Poya day and the long week-end and the prevailing bad weather conditions, the CEB said the total system demand has further decreased and it was around 1,775 MW during the night peak which is a significant reduction from the usual. Furthermore, around 00.53, the demand was further reduced to around 940MW which is very much less than the usual 1,100MW during midnight and was dropping further. It is strongly suspected that a rare unstable situation had arisen resulting in the power outage, the CEB said. It said technical investigations were being done to establish the exact cause of the incident. The CEB System Control Centre began restoration work immediately and full power was restored by Monday morning. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 68 )

Colombo private bank robbed of Rs 5.5m
Monday, 28 September 2015 - 11:20 AM SL Time

A robbery took place yesterday (27) at a private bank in Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7 by an armed suspect wearing a helmet. Rs 5.5 million were robbed at the bank at 7:10 a.m. The police also added that the helmet worn by the suspect was not one that covered the entire face.

This robbery comes in the wake of contention with regard to the banning of full face helmets due to its threat to security.
In the past several bank robberies took place by gangs wearing full face helmets, most of these gangs were armed. The full face helmet was banned earlier this year however the ban was later lifted.
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Death penalty hangs in the balance
Sunday, 27 September 2015 - 1:52 AM SL Time

Political sources have reported that there is a problem as to whether approval for implementing the death penalty will be meted or not, by Parliament. The main reason is that there are Members of Parliament who do not like the death penalty, nor the implementation of it. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 126 )

Suspect in Seya`s murder confesses
Friday, 25 September 2015 - 3:14 AM SL Time

A 32 year-old man, who was arrested last evening by the Criminal Investigations Department in Bemmulla, Gampaha had confessed to the rape and murder of five year old Seya Sadewmini, the Police said. Police spokesman SSP Priyantha Jayakody said that the suspect was arrested while hiding in a jungle in Bemmulla. The suspect had confessed to the rape and murder of the girl following interrogation by the Criminal Investigations Department. Police said that the suspect is a bachelor and lives in close vicinity to the house of the murdered child. The Police earlier arrested two suspects including a 17 year old schoolboy. The arrest of the school boy drew protest against the Police action as the boy had been identified. The mothers_day.jsp' class=black>mother of the school boy had corroborated that he was at home on the fateful day of the murder. The two suspects including the schoolboy arrested previously, have been remanded till the 28th of this month. - See more at: Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 90 )

Sri Lanka President arrives in New York
Friday, 25 September 2015 - 12:02 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in New York City this morning (Sep. 24) to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Sessions.

The President was warmly received by the Sri Lankan Ambassadors for Washington and New York, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, and embassy staff in New York, as he arrived at the Hotel where he will be accommodated until the conclusion of his visit.

The President and the Sri Lankan delegation are scheduled to participate in the inaugural session of the UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters.
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US resolution at UNHRC will be favourable to Sri Lanka
Thursday, 24 September 2015 - 2:56 PM SL Time

The government said yesterday that despite various views being expressed the Accountability Resolution on Sri Lanka that the US would be moving later this month, at the ongoing 30th Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council, would be favourable to the country.

The US having considered the realistic approach of the the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to the war crimes allegations, without repeating the Rajapaksa s claim that there were zero casualties during the last stages of the war, would do all it could to provide Sri Lanka the space and time to conduct an independent domestic inquiry into the allegations that had been levelled, Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing in Colombo.
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Hirunika`s dilemma: How to address MR?
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 - 3:31 PM SL Time

UNP Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra today said she was uncertain as how to address former President Mahinda Rajapaksa since he was also now an ordinary parliamentarian. Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his reputation because of his extreme hunger for power. If he stayed at home without contesting the parliamentary election, we could have still addressed him as the former president. Now I am in a dilemma as how to address him, whether to call him Manthri Thuma (parliamentarian), sir or former president. He is just a parliamentarian like any of us now. Other parliamentarians also call him Manthri Thuma, she said. Addressing a meeting in Wellampitiya yesterday, she also said the actions of the new government were very silent in comparison with the previous government and added the political culture in the country was now taking a new leap. We like to have decent ministers with simple political principles. They should be able to travel in their vehicle only with their driver and not with a security squad, unless their lives are under threat, MP Premachandra said. She said President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had already shown by example how to create a Yahapalana government.
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Wimal wants a debate on UNHRC proposal
Monday, 21 September 2015 - 12:55 AM SL Time

National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa today handed over a proposal to the Speaker asking an urgent Parliamentary debate within next week on the UNHRC proposal to establish a Hybrid Court for proceedings on alleged war crimes. MP Weerawansa said that he requested the Speaker to hold a debate in Parliament when it is assembled after September 22 regarding the issue. In the letter, he had alleged that government had already agreed with the UNHRC in opening statement of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the 30th Geneva session on Monday to form a branch of International Criminal Court (ICC) in the country calling it a Hybrid Court. He alleged that such a Hybrid Court comprising foreign judges can be formed only by a Colonial country. He has said that he along with the people would not allow the establishment of a co-ICC in the country.
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Lanka war crimes film shown at UN in Geneva
Saturday, 19 September 2015 - 10:16 PM SL Time

The new war crimes film on Sri Lanka from the makers of the No Fire Zone was screened at the UN building in Geneva today.

The film Sri Lanka: The Search for Justice was hosted by Human Rights Watch. In his remarks to the audience Callum Macrae, director of Sri Lanka: The Search for Justice, said that the report of the UN s war crimes investigation on Sri Lanka is devastating and marks a turning point.
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SL war crimes: Rajapaksa is left alone to take the blame
Friday, 18 September 2015 - 11:48 AM SL Time

The blame has been divided. But now, how will the punishment if it ever comes down to that in the years to come be divided between those responsible for the deaths of the thousands who died in the Sri Lankan civil war of nearly three decades?

The delayed UNHCR report from the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Investigation in Sri Lanka (OSIL) -- has expectedly blamed both former president Mahinda Rajapaksa s government and the Tamil rebels for allegedly carrying out war crimes.
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Sri Lanka s government to extend Colombo port city agreement
Friday, 18 September 2015 - 12:35 AM SL Time

Lanka s cabinet has approved extending the much talked Colombo port city development project agreement for further six months, the government said.

The agreement signed between the government and the relevant project company, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, on 16th of September 2014 expired on 15th of this month.

The proposal made by Arjuna Ranatunge, the minister of ports and shipping, to extend the above agreement for further 06 months from 15-09-2015, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
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Sri Lanka`s economy grows 6.7% in Q2 2015
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 - 11:25 PM SL Time

Colombo- Sri Lanka`s economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the same period a year earlier, the Department of Census and Statistics said in its Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product report released Wednesday.
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Gota, Namal at FCID again today
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 4:19 AM SL Time

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa arrived at the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) this morning after they were summoned to record statements over various allegations. Police said former defence secretary was summoned in connection with a financial transaction of Rs. 90 million which had taken place when constructing the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum in Medamulana. Meanwhile, MP Rajapaksa had been summoned with regard to a case involving the Hi-Corp Company.
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Rosy appointed PM s media spokesperson
Sunday, 13 September 2015 - 7:37 PM SL Time

Former State Minister for Child Development Rosy Senanayake has been appointed as Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe`s media spokesperson.

She has also been appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister`s office.
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Sri Lankan government handed over the UN war crimes report
Sunday, 13 September 2015 - 3:06 AM SL Time

The Government of Sri Lanka has been provided with a copy of the UN report on the investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the war against the LTTE. The report, scheduled for public release at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council which begins on Monday (September 14) in Geneva, has been received Friday night, according to a Foreign Ministry source.
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Sri Lanka aims to boost tourism, eyes more Chinese visitors
Friday, 11 September 2015 - 8:05 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka is aiming to become the best tourist hub in South East Asia and will look to attract more than 2.5 million tourists by 2016, an official said here on Thursday.

The country`s new Tourism Minister John Amaratunga who was sworn into Sri Lanka`s national government last week, said that Sri Lanka was looking at expanding its tourist arrivals, especially from China and would make the island nation more tourist oriented.

`Firstly, we are trying to open the Mattala Airport and make it more feasible for Chinese planes to land and bring in more chartered planes from China,` Amaratunga told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
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Tragi-comic turn in latest round of ministerial appointments
Thursday, 10 September 2015 - 11:06 AM SL Time

The next installment of ministerial appointments to the National Government yesterday took a tragi-comic turn, when a plethora of UPFA MPs facing serious criminal allegations took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena as state and deputy ministers.
In a bizarre twist, UPFA MP Nimal Lanza, whose house was raided by the STF for drugs and illegal vehicles in October 2011 and Galle District MP Nishantha Mutuhettigama who was arrested on charges of attacking a police station and causing the resignation of the Wandurama OIC, were both appointed deputy ministers in the Government led by the United National Front for Good Governance.
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Magisterial inquiry into floating armoury terminated
Tuesday, 8 September 2015 - 1:03 AM SL Time

The magisterial inquiry into the Avant Garde s floating armoury was today terminated by Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris after the CID informed Court that it would not proceed with the case under the instructions of the Attorney-General. Filing a further report in Court, the CID moved Court that case proceedings pertaining to the Avant Garde s floating armoury maintained at the Galle port be terminated. The CID informed Court that in accordance with the Attorney General`s advice and the facts revealed during the investigations there was no need to extend the travel ban on Avant Guard Maritime Service (Pvt.) Ltd Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi. Thus the Additional Magistrate lifted the travel ban imposed on Mr. Senadhipathi and directed that the Controller of Immigration and Emigration be informed accordingly. Court had earlier restrained Mr. Senadhipathi from leaving the country because of the ongoing investigations into the floating armoury maintained at the Galle Port.
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