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Hambantota mob attack : UNP MPs to raise privilege issues against Police
The five UNP MPs who were attacked by UPFA mobs when they visited the Mattala Airport and Hambantota Port, on the ‘invitation’ of the government on Thursday are to raise privilege issues against the police for failing to provide them with security.

R. Yogarajan, one of the legislators who came under attack,told The Island yesterday that when parliament resumes sittings on April 24, he along with MP’s Ajith P. Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, Nalin Bandara and Ajith Manapperuma,would individually table privilege motions against the Hambantota police HQI and ASP for doing nothing while they were pushed, abused, threatened and pelted with stones, (The Island)

Provincial Councilor of Sri Lanka main opposition party wanted for assault surrenders to police
An organizer of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) wanted in connection with assaulting four persons including a woman has surrendered to the police.

Four suspects including Moratuwa UNP organizer cum Western Provincial Council member, Senaka Damayantha Perera involved in assaulting four persons have surrendered to the Moratumulla Police. (Colombo Page)

Seneviratne named as Lanka's new envoy to India
Sudarshan Seneviratne has been appointed as Sri Lanka's new high commissioner to India, the external affairs ministry said here today.

Seneviratne will succeed Prasad Kariyawasam who has been moved to Washington. Kariyawasam replaces Jaliya Wickremasuriya. (Business Standard)

Second major robbery in recent weeks in Sri Lanka's coastal town
In a wave of massive robberies in Sri Lanka, six armed men broke into a jewelry store and a money changer in the Negombo town Thursday and robbed jewelry and cash estimated to be worth around Rs 10 million.

The robbers armed with one T-56 assault rifle and pistols were wearing jackets and helmets and escaped on motorcycles without being caught. (Colombo Page)

UK issues new travel advisory on Sri Lanka
Britain has updated its travel advisory after the Sri Lankan Government designated 16 organisations and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorism.

Foreign nationals, with the exception of media crews, no longer need permission from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence before travelling to the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya. (Hiru News)

No Muslim families displaced by Navy deployment-MoD
The Defence & Urban Development Ministry and the Sri Lanka Navy today strongly denied allegations published in the media that the Muslim families who had encroached into the Willpattu National Park were those displaced as a result of naval deployments in the area.

In a statement Army Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the Naval Deployment in Mullikkulam and Marichchikaddu had displaced only one Muslim family and that family was not among those seeking resettlement within the sanctuary. (Zee News)

Nine killed as tractor-trolley falls into canal
At least nine people were killed when a tractor-trolley fell into a canal in Polonnaruwa in the central province of Sri Lanka Friday, police said.

Police said the tractor, usually used for farming, was transporting on a trolley a group of people when the driver lost control over the vehicle and it fell into the canal, Xinhua reported. (Zee News)

Sri Lanka to brief diplomatic community about ban on pro-LTTE organizations
Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry together with the Defence Ministry has decided to brief the diplomatic community in Colombo and accredited to Colombo next week on banning 16 Tamil diaspora groups including LTTE.

Minister G.L. Peiris will address the ambassadors and high commissioners on next Thursday (April 24) the Daily Mirror reported. (Colombo Page)

UNP MPs attacked at Mattala
Five UNP Parliamentarians who were on an inspection tour of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and the Hambantota Port yesterday (17) came under attack by a group of persons some of whom were armed with pistols.
(The Island)

I never carried a pistol-Hambantota Mayor
While denying he was carrying a pistol in his hand during the incident in Hambantota today Hambantota Mayor Eraj Ravindra Fernando rejected claims that he was behind the attack in Magampura.

Mr. Fernando told Daily Mirror that he was sent by MP Namal Rajapaksa to look into the situation. “Mr. Rajapaksa had got to know of the earlier incident at the Mattala Airport and told me to go to the Magampura Port to try and avoid any commotion that might prop up there and I heeded this request,” he said. (Daily Mirror)

Health authorities warn people not to purchase medicine through the internet
Health authorities in Sri Lanka have warned the public not to purchase medicines through the internet.

Director of the National Drugs Authority Dr. Hemantha Benaragama has said that sale of drugs online is not regulated and many places sell low quality drugs which do not meet the standards. (Colombo Page)

India's abstention in vote against Sri Lanka at Geneva: likely implications – Analysis
India’s decision to abstain at the UNHRC vote on the resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva on March 27 this year came as a surprise to many who have looked at India’s Sri Lanka policy only through the prism of Tamil Nadu factor and have discounted New Delhi’s foreign policy considerations that might have dictated its approach.

Does this mean that Tamil Nadu has ceased to be a factor in India’s Sri Lanka policy or is it a course correction as indicated by some observers? (eurasiareview)

Sri Lanka's gov't obtains Interpol red notices on 96 terror suspects
Sri Lanka police have obtained 40 Interpol "red notices" flagging foreign operatives of the Tamil Tigers as the government continues to crack down on attempts to revive the organization locally, an official said here on Thursday.

In recent weeks the army and police have been engaged in a controversial crackdown of suspected LTTE operatives in the northern region of Sri Lanka who the government insists is attempting to revive the organization. (Shanghai Daily)

Opposition MPs attacked at new airport in South
A violent mob attacked a group of parliamentarians from Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) today when they visited the newly built Hambantota port and Mattala international .

The attacks and manhandling of the legislators were videoed and aired by private TV channels this evening. Footage showed police being inactive during the attack. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka remains committed to eeconciliation – Analysis
Rejecting the resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 27 to mount an ‘independent’ international investigation into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapkase said that Sri Lanka would continue with its own reconciliation process that was started after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was defeated in May 2009.

The resolution, which was adopted by 24 votes to 12 with 12 abstentions, has been described by the government as a lop-sided vote where most of those voting for it were Europeans. (eurasiareview)

Lot can be learnt from Sri Lanka's experience with non-state actors - Defense secretary
As a country that suffered three decades of ruthless terrorism, there is a great deal that can be learnt from the Sri Lankan experience with non-state actors, Sri Lanka's Secretary Defense and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

Addressing the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently underway in Malaysia, the Defense Secretary said that the ability of a non-state actor to mobilize, maintain and successfully utilize a global network to strengthen and sustain terrorist activities in a sovereign nation is a matter of very serious concern. (Colombo Page)

No foreign conspiracy, govt. sponsors BBS, says UNP
The UNP yesterday rejected claims by some sections of the government that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was being used by international conspirators to tarnish the image of Buddhism.

It was elements within the ruling alliance that were instigating the BBS to act in the manner it did so that the resulting confusion could be used to cloud burning issues such as the rising cost of living, rampant corruption and the unprecedented crime wave, which had gripped the entire country, senior UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake told The Island. (The Island)

Sri Lanka rubber growers hit by plunging price
Sri Lanka's rubber growers are being hit by falling world prices with production volumes also dropping due to a drought within the country, an industry association said.

Deputy Chairman Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) and CRTA Vice Chairman S. S. Poholiyadde said in a statement that rubber prices have halved over the past three years. (Lanka Business Online)

Under attack on Sri Lanka Tamils issue, Sonia Gandhi raises Rajiv Gandhi's killing
Dismissing as "false propaganda" that Congress was not concerned about Tamils in Sri Lanka, Sonia Gandhi today raised the emotional issue of her husband Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, saying the former prime minister sacrificed his life "fighting" for them.

Addressing her maiden election rally in Tamil Nadu, Gandhi also attacked the Jayalalithaa Government, virtually charging it with adopting a lethargic approach to the initiative taken by the UPA on fishermen level talks to end the recurring attacks on fishermen from the state. (DNA)

Government says open for discussion with proscribed organizations
The government of Sri Lanka says it is open for discussion with the organizations that were recently proscribed for allegedly having links with the LTTE.

The government recently proscribed several Tamil Diaspora organizations as 'foreign terrorist' entities and Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has told the media that the government is open for discussions with the organizations. (Colombo Page)

SC to hear petition on alleged role of Indian Army in Sri Lankan civil war
The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a writ petition for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged role of the Indian Army in the war in Sri Lanka.

The petitioner, Ram Sankar, an advocate and human rights activist, said a probe was necessary in view of the publication of U.N. Secretary General’s expert panel report implicating Indian armed forces for their involvement with the Sri Lankan army in alleged war crimes against Tamil civilians, including persons of Indian origin (The Hindu)

Family 'shocked' as Sri Lankan court bails four men accused of Khuram Shaikh's murder
The family of Khuram Shaikh, who was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka, say they are shocked by the decision to bail four men accused of his murder - half way through their trial.

The 32-year old from Rochdale was on holiday on Christmas Day in 2011 when he was stabbed and shot at his hotel. (itv)

City police investigating Sri Lankan kidney racket
City police are investigating into allegations of a Colombo-based kidney racket in which a youngster from Hyderabad lost a life.

A criminal case under Information Technology Act was registered after Ganesh, brother of Dileep Maaru, approached the Hyderabad Central Crime Station alleging that his brother died in Colombo because of a kidney racket. (The Hindu)

Sri Lanka investigates associates of killed LTTE operatives
Sri Lanka security forces have commenced investigations on the people who had close links with the three LTTE operatives killed earlier this month during a confrontation with the Sri Lankan army.

The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of Sri Lanka police has launched an investigation on the people who had links with former LTTE leaders Selvanayagam Kajeepan, alias Gopi, Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan and Navarathnam Navaneethan alias Appan. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lankan Tamils issue takes back seat
The Sri Lankan Tamils issue appears to have taken a back seat in the campaign for the April 24 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, much to the disappointment of active pro-Tamil groups in the State.

Almost all the political parties, including those which, vociferously criticised the Congress led-UPA at the Centre, for its alleged inaction in protecting the Island Tamils, are hardly mentioning it now. (The Hindu)

How Sri Lankan designer Otara Gunewardene extends her passion to upkeep of dogs
'Love Hound', 'Take Me Home' and 'I've Got My Paws On You' are T-shirt slogans that have instant recall in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the world. But more than that, they are a reflection of Otara Gunewardene's enduring love for dogs.

The lady behind the lifestyle chain Odel in Sri Lanka now plans to bring her brand to India. "If all goes well, Odel will soon come to either Delhi or Mumbai," she says. (Economic Times)

The next holiday hotspot ... is Sri Lanka the new Bali?
It's a small island off the south coast of India and it’s being touted as the new Bali. So what is it about Sri Lanka that has travellers sitting up and taking notice?

We spoke to Australian photographer, Lincoln Jubb, who recently returned from a trip to Sri Lanka, about why he thinks this place is so special.(Heral sun)

Sri Lanka to set up a chemical plant to cater to the garment industry
Sri Lanka’s S&D Chemicals will invest US$ 3 million to set up a plant to manufacture the full range of chemicals required by the local garment industry..

The BOI project will produce chemicals needed for textile processing and wet processing in the garment industry. (News 360)

UNP to appoint co-organizers to some electorates
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has decided to appoint co-organizers to several electorates.

UNP sources say that an additional organizer will be appointed to the electorates where the party had lost at the recently concluded provincial council elections. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka accuses Canada of using voluntary funds as political tool
The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday accused the Canadian government of using its voluntary funds to the Commonwealth Secretariat as a political tool based on the dictates of electoral compulsions.

Canada had earlier announced it had decided to suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and reallocate the funds for the next two years in protest over Sri Lanka's human rights issue. (dvids)

Corps clean water project quenches thirst in Sri Lanka
Imagine walking three miles every day for potable water to complete daily chores. For many Sri Lankan residents this is their reality until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District finishes connecting hundreds of Puttalam households to the town’s water supply.

Clean water to satisfy parched throats and more time for other activities are becoming a new standard for 371 families living below Sri Lanka’s poverty line. (dvids)

The strange-looking Sri Lankan souvenir all foodies will love
So it looks a little odd—but this wooden contraption will allow culinary-inclined travelers to bring a true taste of Sri Lanka to their home kitchens.

We know, we know: What exactly is this thing? It's a string hopper mold, used to make the rice flour noodles—the key component of a Sri Lankan breakfast called, unsurprisingly, "string hoppers." (Conde Nast Traveler)

LTTE/LTTE fronts banned : Sri Lankan Overseas Missions must take the baton
The Government of Sri Lanka on 1st April 2014 banned the LTTE and 16 LTTE fronts and named 424 individuals and organizations to be investigated for links to terror.

These entities are all operating from overseas with leaders having ties with foreign politicians and parliamentarians as well as tied to various charities and NGOs. Ironically, the banned entities are operating in countries that have banned the LTTE and continues to maintain the ban. (Lankaweb)

Sri Lankan Minister calls for a Commission to probe Buddhist extremist group and incidents against minorities
An ally of Sri Lanka's governing party, All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen has called for a Commission of Inquiry to look into the incident where the Buddhist extremist group, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) acted in an unruly manner at a press conference organized by the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) and incidents against the minorities.

The ACMC has issued a statement urging authorities to enforce the law on everyone equally and appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the incidents against the minorities in general and the Muslim community in particular, during the post-war period. (Colombo Page)

BBS classified as a terrorist group by TRAC; BBS rejects repo
The US based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has classified Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena as a ‘Religious and Cult Terrorist Group’. The same organization has classified the LTTE, British Tamil Forum and the Canadian Tamil Congress as terrorist groups.

Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) based in Washington has published core analyses of 3,800+ groups that have been known to aid and abet political violence or terrorist organizations. (Ada Derana)

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