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Los Angeles Protest

Regardless of political changes in Colombo, it is important that we remain vigilant of the LTTE lobby and disinformation campaigns. The recent reference made by Secretary John Kerry to Sri Lanka's "30-year war with the Tamils" is undoubtedly a calculated attempt to distort the narrative and trump up the charges of "genocide." It is a pity that Foreign Minister Samaraweera did not immediately set the record straight. Unless it is corrected, it will eventually morph into "the truth."

A petition to Sec. Kerry urging a retraction of the statement is online at the link HERE

After Nugegoda – What?
The recent Nugegoda rally in favour of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would of course have been meticulously organized, but all the same the immensity of the crowd that assembled there was beyond dispute immensely impressive.

It becomes all the more impressive when we bear in mind that the organizers did not have the resources of the SLFP but only of three small parties whose voting strength is negligible. (The Island)

After Nugegoda – What?
The recent Nugegoda rally in favour of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would of course have been meticulously organized, but all the same the immensity of the crowd that assembled there was beyond dispute immensely impressive.

It becomes all the more impressive when we bear in mind that the organizers did not have the resources of the SLFP but only of three small parties whose voting strength is negligible. (The Island)

Even wives of politicians must be protected from govt - MR
" Courtesy: Youtube
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that not only politicians but even their wives and children have to be safeguarded from the government now as they are being “harassed” one by one.

He was referring to the recent arrest of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa on charges of falsifying documents to obtain a diplomatic passport. (Ada Derana)

Sri Lanka's new sports minister urged to look into match-fixing incident involving Indian
Sri Lanka's new sports minister Navin Dissanayake has been urged to order a probe into a match-fixing incident involving an Indian player during the Asia Cup tournament held in the country in June 2010.

In talks yesterday with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two nations were "all-weather friends" that could withstand domestic and international change. (S.China Morning Post)

Exhausted Sri Lanka unhappy With World Cup travel itinerary
Sri Lanka flew back to New Zealand on Friday grumbling about their World Cup travel following a hectic dash across the Tasman sea for just one game even as some other teams enjoyed a relaxed schedule.

Angelo Mathews' men played their first two matches in New Zealand and then flew across to Australia to complete a 92-run drubbing of Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday. (NDTV)

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 86 Indian fishermen; talks postponed
Signalling a departure from its recent decision to be lenient with Indian fishermen allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday night arrested 86 Indian fishermen off Mullativu in the island’s Northern Province. Ten trawlers in their possession were seized.

After the Maithripala Sirisena-led Government assumed charge in January, Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen pointed to the increasing number of “Indian fishermen” trawling off their coast. They accused the Sri Lankan Navy of being lenient with the Indian fishermen found poaching, a charge that Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne admitted to. (The Hindu)

Sri Lanka's new leaders demand speedier Police action over high-profile cases
Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday slammed the police for dragging their feet over high-profile cases including the murders of journalists and corruption under the previous regime.

Law and Order Minister John Amaratunga demanded concrete action on high-profile cases as he publicly rebuked the head of the police force for failing to investigate the 2009 killing of prominent anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, among others. (NDTV)

SF's parliamentary seat: Respondents noticed
The Court of Appeal today issued notice on the Respondents to the writ petition filed by General Sarath Fonseka on the restoration of his parliamentary seat with the case fixed for March 9.

The General said his rights were unfairly removed under a corrupt regime and that he was confident that the new regime will restore justice. (Faily Mirror)

Sri Lanka says China to be consulted on any project re-think
Sri Lanka will not make any decision on Chinese projects it is reviewing until it consults China, Sri Lanka's foreign minister said on Friday, pledging that his new government would welcome Chinese investors.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo. (REUTERS)

A national government versus a Rajapaksa comeback
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) dominated and led United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) met its political Waterloo, about two months back when Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated in the presidential elections by Maithripala Sirisena from the UNP led National Democratic Front.

That stark reality that they lost the presidential election has obviously been lost on Mahinda, Dinesh, Wimal, Vasu and Co. That reality was rather obvious to most of the SLFP seniors who fairly quickly realised which side their bread was buttered. Now the SLFP sits in opposition but in support of the one hundred (100) day programme of the NDF administration. (The island)

Press ahead on rights reforms
Sri Lanka’s new government should advance a reform agenda to address past and ongoing human rights problems in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena.

The government has already undertaken important new initiatives, such as reviewing cases of detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, lifting restrictions on media reporting, ending Internet censorship, and removing nongovernmental organizations from Defense Ministry oversight. (Human Rights Watch)

MS will be executive president till 2020 - Shiral Laktilleke
There is an agreement within the National Executive Committee for this executive president to stay on as the executive president until the end of his term irrespective of the constitutional amendment. The changes to the constitution will come into effect by 2020.

In this interview, Shiral Laktilleke the newly appointed Co-ordinating Secretary to President Maithripala Sirisena speaks to C. A. Chandraprema about the delay in the constitutional changes that were a central part of the yahapalana platform and the differences of opinion within the government which act as a stumbling block to constitutional reform. (The island)

Photos of Sampanthan, Sumanthiran set ablaze
Pro-LTTE groups protest opposite US mission in London
Pro-LTTE groups set ablaze pictures of TNA heavyweights R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran opposite the US embassy in London on Wednesday, demanding that Washington pressures the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to submit the war crimes dossier on Sri Lanka at its next sessions scheduled to begin in March.

The protesters rejected Sri Lanka’s assurance that a domestic inquiry would be held in keeping with UN standards. They accused Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of collaborating with the Sri Lankan government. (The island)

Probe on Tissa completed: IGP
Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon today said that investigations into allegations against former Minister Tissa Attanayake over the forged documents created during the January Presidential Election has been completed.

He said the suspects were arrested and the files had been handed over to the Attorney Generals’ Department for legal action. (Daily Mirror)

Probe on Tissa completed: IGP
Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon today said that investigations into allegations against former Minister Tissa Attanayake over the forged documents created during the January Presidential Election has been completed.

He said the suspects were arrested and the files had been handed over to the Attorney Generals’ Department for legal action. (Daily Mirror)

Tillakaratane Dilshan sets up comfortable win over Bangladesh
Kumar Sangakkara hit his fastest century on his 400th one-day international appearance but had to play second fiddle to Tillakaratane Dilshan as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 92 runs in their World Cup match in Melbourne.

The pair put on an unbeaten 210, with Dilshan recording his highest ODI score of 161 and Sangakkara adding 105 in 76 balls - his ton coming off just 73 balls - as Sri Lanka posted 332 for one. (The Gurdian)

Saarc battles: India has to engage with Sri Lanka, Maldives as it aims to sideline Pakistan
What happens to Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan if India takes the sub-Saarc route of BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) if Pakistan is to continue throwing the spanner in the works of the Saarc developmental story?

It looks like that my earlier article talking about India having the BBIN option has raised more questions than it answered. (First Post)

Sri Lanka will defend rupee, has enough fx reserves -finmin
Sri Lanka will defend the rupee currency and has enough foreign exchange reserves to prevent any further depreciation, Finance Ministry Ravi Karunanayake said on Wednesday.

The rupee lost 1.4 percent of its value against the dollar between the start of the year and Feb. 20 and dealers say the currency remains under downward pressure on persistent demand from importers for dollars. (REUTERS)

Police deliberately hounding small fries: Rajitha
Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratna today charged the Police was deliberately focusing action against those who had committed minor offences to create disappointment towards the government.

He said the priority should have been given to take action against those who were responsible for large scale corruption and committed major offences. (Daily Mirror)

Mannar Bishop, TNA protest against war crimes report delay
Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph on Tuesday (Feb 24) joined a Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-led demonstration in Jaffna against the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delaying the release of a report that dealt with accountability issues in Sri Lanka during the war as well as post-conflict period.

Addressing protesters, Rt. Rev. Joseph strongly condemned the postponement of the report consequent to a request by the new Sri Lankan government. (The Island)

Sri Lankan-American has mission for better vision
Healthcare consultant Ashanthi Mathai was on an assignment in Sri Lanka four years ago, when she was asked to collect used eye glasses in the U.S. for a Sri Lankan program working to prevent blindness.

Mathai had come to the U.S. from Sri Lanka in the early 1990s for college. She went to Princeton to study chemical engineering and then to Stanford Business School, before starting her career in healthcare strategy consulting. (Voice of America)

Sri Lankan president’s visit to India highlights foreign policy shift
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to India last week further underscored the shift in Colombo’s orientation toward the US and India, and away from China, with which his predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse had developed close ties.

Sirisena’s election as president last month followed his defection from Rajapakse’s cabinet and the alignment of various parties, including the pro-US United National Party (UNP), around his campaign. It was a regime-change operation sponsored by Washington, with India’s involvement. (WSWS)

CID grills Mahindananda, Sajin
The CID yesterday recorded the statements of the former Monitoring MP of the External Affairs Ministry Sajin de Vas Gunawardane and former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage over corruption charges made against them by Voice against Corruption (VaC), an organization spearheaded by JVP Provincial Councillor Wasantha Samarasinghe, it is learnt.

Mr. Gunawardane told Daily Mirror yesterday that he was interrogated from 9.00 am till 1.30 pm by the CID, and had been asked to appear before them again next week for further questioning. Additionally, he said the Bribery Commission too had asked him to appear before them next week to answer questions about several allegations brought before them by VaC. (Daily Mirror)

Arjuna Ranatunga ready to contest Sri Lankan Cricket Board polls
Sri Lankan cricketer turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday said he may consider contesting the elections for the national cricket board if the need arises.

The minister for ports, shipping and aviation, who was a national cricket captain when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 said that he is ready to contest the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) in order to further improve the game in the country, reports Xinhua. (ND TV)

Sri Lanka to learn reconciliation experience from South Africa
A high-level delegation from South Africa will brief Sri Lanka this week on South Africa’s experience in reconciliation and nation-building, Sri Lanka’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The delegation led by South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo is undertaking a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. (The Hindu)

SF files case to regain parliamentary membership
General Sarath Fonseka filed a Writ application in the Court of Appeal seeking a Court Order to enable him to sit and vote in Parliament and exercise his powers, privileges and immunities as a Parliamentarian.

He cited the following as respondents: Former Parliament Secretary General Dammika Kitulgoda, former Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Disanayake, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, Returning Officer H.T. Kamal Padmasiri, Lakshman Nipunaarachchi, Jayantha Ketagoda and the Attorney General. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lankan shares slip on political concerns
Sri Lankan stocks closed slightly lower on Wednesday amid moderate volumes, slipping for the second straight session as political uncertainty ahead of impending parliamentary elections weighed on sentiment.

Elections to Sri Lanka's 225-member parliament are expected to be announced after April 23 and it is unclear whether the ruling coalition led by President Maithripala Sirisena would contest unitedly or go to the polls separately. (REUTERS)

National government a gimmick: UPFA allies
United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara today criticized the National Unity Government Concept and said it was a political gimmick by the United National Party (UNP) to make the UPFA powerless.

Flanked by Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) Leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) Leader Udaya Gammanpila, Mr. Nanayakakara told a news conference in Colombo that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe aspires to continue functioning in his post for a longer period by introducing such a concept. (Daily Mirror)

Knock-out urgency comes early for Sri Lanka
Out-of-form Sri Lanka must play every pool game at the World Cup as if it were a knockout match to ignite their stuttering campaign, captain Angelo Mathews said on Wednesday.

Runners-up at the last two tournaments, the Sri Lankans were thrashed in their opening match against New Zealand and then had to rely on a match-saving ton from retiring stalwart Mahela Jayawardene to survive a huge scare against minnows Afghanistan. (REUTERS)

UPFA grassroots politicos all out to bring back MR
UPFA Provincial Councillors and local government members in the Western Province have launched a campaign demanding former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial Candidate and an immediate end to moves to remove Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga.

Their first meeting was held at the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Auditorium on Monday with the participation of the majority of UPFA local government heads and members and provincial councillors in the Gampaha District. (The Island)

Gold recovered from Sri Lanka national
Ending a wait that lasted about three days, Customs officials on Tuesday succeeded in recovering the gold stuck in the abdomen of a Sri Lankan national who attempted to smuggle gold into the country by swallowing it.

Muhammad Suwair, 46, had swallowed five gold biscuits of 100 grams each. “We have recovered 12 of the 13 gold pieces from his stomach,” they said. (The Hindu)

Reflections on the modus operandi and what awaits us
"The nationalist Rajapaksa, who ruthlessly put down the Tamil Insurgency in Sri Lanka was defeated in the recent election in part due to India and Western support for his rival."This observation by an outsider Munir Akram, a former Pakistan ambassador to UN (The Wolf and the Fox-The Island 2/4) took me down memory lane. It also made me reflect on the modus operandi used by US and India to support the rival.

Thirty years ago in 1977 or so, I brought out a collection of essays to introduce the concept of Jathika Chinthanaya, wherein I commented on the so-called ethnic problem which was raging at the time. The NGO gang had taken it up and was blowing it to the high heavens silencing those who disagreed as racists and chauvinists. This is what I had to say, ‘There is no ethnic problem as such The so-called ethnic problem is a cover used to conceal the conspiracy that is being hatched by US- Western powers, using India’s role very cleverly to destabilize this country’. (The Island)

Sri Lanka seek World Cup lift
Perennial contenders Sri Lanka will fear their own inconsistent form more than their opponents when they meet Bangladesh in the World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

The Islanders, losing finalists in the last two editions, have had an uninspiring start to the 2015 event, with their batsmen struggling to cope with the conditions in New Zealand. (ten play)

PM Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit to push soft power & project India’s Buddhist links
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Sri Lanka's ancient capital Anuradhapura during his trip to the island nation next month, a move aimed at pushing India's soft power and projecting the country's Buddhist links in the region.

Officials said that Modi could reach Colombo on March 12 or 13 as part of a four-nation tour and pay a visit to Jaffna on March 14, adding that the prime minister is also planning to visit Trincomalee where India is constructing a power plant. (Economic Times)

Sri Lanka investment promotion agency impresses Japanese investors in Singapore
Sri Lanka 's investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment (BOI) conducted a series of events in Singapore in collaboration with Mizuho Bank which had recently signed a MOU with BOI to promote Japanese investment into Sri Lanka.

Keizo Tsuchiya, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Advisor initiated this investment promotion mission. Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotion led the BOI delegation to Singapore recently to participate in events aiming at promoting Singaporean investment including from Singapore based enterprises. (Colombo Page)

19th amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution next month: JVP
The nineteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution primarily aimed at abolishing executive presidency in the country will be tabled in Parliament next month, a top leader of the ruling coalition said on Tuesday.

"We made every important decisions on Tuesday in achieving greater democracy, establish rule of law," said Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the JVP or People's Liberation Front. (Zee news)

19th amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution next month: JVP
The nineteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution primarily aimed at abolishing executive presidency in the country will be tabled in Parliament next month, a top leader of the ruling coalition said on Tuesday.

"We made every important decisions on Tuesday in achieving greater democracy, establish rule of law," said Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the JVP or People's Liberation Front. (Zee News)

Govt-SLFP discuss reforms
The National Unity Government which includes the United National Party (UNP) will meet the main opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday to discuss the proposed constitutional reforms, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe informed the Maha Sanga yesterday.

He told a large group of prominent Buddhist monks at Temple Trees last afternoon that the Constitutional Reforms Bill will be presented in Parliament as soon as possible. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa Hopes for Comeback
Supporters of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa have their eyes set on the upcoming parliamentary elections, hoping to bring him back into Sri Lankan politics, a move that could pose a serious challenge to new President Maithripala Sirisena’s agenda for democratic reforms.

Rajapaksa, who oversaw a military victory over Tamil Tiger guerrillas six years ago, but at the cost of the lives of more than 70,000 civilians, as the United Nations noted in a report, was dramatically defeated by his one-time ally, Sirisena, in last month’s presidential election. But Rajapaksa is not giving up yet. (THE DIPLOMAT)

13th Amendment only pleases the West - DBF
Deshapremi Bhikku Front (DBF) today said that it had already informed the people and the government about the unsuitability of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

DBF Secretary Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera said that this amendment had come to the limelight with India’s blessings. (Daily Mirror)

Mobile technology helps Sri Lanka cope with climate change
Floods and landslides linked to climate change have battered parts of Sri Lanka in the past two years, disrupting food output, but scientists believe a new program to install low-cost weather stations based on open-source technology could help farmers adapt to increasingly wild weather.

New Mobile Weather Stations, made mainly from local parts, are starting to give farmers quick access to rainfall data, so they can better plan for floods or other extreme weather, Yann Chemin, a scientist leading the new initiative, said on Tuesday. (Yahoo News)

Tamils hold anti-UN protest in northern Sri Lanka
Tamil academics, politicians and activists staged an anti-United Nations protest Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka for its decision to delay a report on alleged crimes committed during the civil war, police officials said.

The protestors demonstrated in Jaffna town, 390 kilometres north of the capital, demanding the publication of the report by next month. (dalje)

Dialogue between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen postponed indefinitely
The dialogue between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen that was scheduled to be held on March 5th in Chennai has been indefinitely postponed.

Director General of Fisheries, Nimal Hettiarachchi has told the New Indian Express the Sri Lankan government is busy with other more pressing issues. (Colombo Page)

Injury worries for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Sri Lanka's Jeevan Mendis suffered a hamstring injury during practice

SL selection committee have requested that Upul Tharanga be sent to Melbourne as an cover for Mendis (Asian News)

Anglican bishop: Religious diversity, a gift for people of Sri Lanka
"Using the gift of religious diversity to bring benefits to the people of Sri Lanka". Kumara Illangasinghe, Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala, tells AsiaNews that this is what motivates him in his appointment as ambassador of former Ceylon to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago.

With him, a total of 63 personalities have been selected from all over the world. Ten from Asia - five from India, two from Pakistan and one each for Sri Lanka, Nepal and Russia. (cricbuzz)

The World Bank reaffirms its commitment to support Sri Lanka
World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Annette Dixon said the Bank would partner with the government to help shape and implement policies aimed at reducing poverty, improving shared prosperity and promoting sustainable growth.

During her visit, Dixon met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Finance Minister, and the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, according to World Bank. (The Finchannel)

19 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested in Indiaf
A crew of 19 Sri Lankan fishermen was apprehended by Indian Coast Guard personnel, Tuticorin today on the charge of illegally fishing in Indian waters.

The fishermen in four boats were held during patrol at sea. (Daily Mirror)

Former Sri Lankan minister's wife remanded, banned from traveling abroad
A Sri Lankan court today ordered to remand the wife of former minister Wimal Weerawansa and banned her from traveling abroad.

Kaduwela Magistrate Court today ordered to remand Shashi Weerawansa until February 25 after visiting the private hospital in Malabe where Shashi Weerawansa was hospitalized. (Colombo Page)

JVP opposes national government move
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said that his party would not support moves being made to form a national government. He insisted that Parliament be dissolved on April 23 and a fresh general election be held.

He told The Island that the JVP would not approve of surreptitious moves being made to bypass a general election. (The Island)

Singapore Foreign Minister in Sri Lanka
Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam will be visiting Sri Lanka today.

Singapore Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Shanmugam's visit to Sri Lanka is aimed at reaffirming the strong and friendly relations between Singapore and Sri Lanka. (Hiru News)

Sri Lanka to conduct a Demographic and Health Survey this year
The Health Ministry Sri Lanka will conduct a Demographic and Health Survey this year to collect current information needed for various agencies to make policy decisions for the development of the Health

The Demographic and Health Survey of Sri Lanka- 2014/2015 will be conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. (Colombo Page)

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party has agreed to run a National government
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party has agreed to run a National government. The party says conditions in this regard will be discussed between the leaders of the two parties.

The decision to look for a national government was taken at the two day workshop held in Katunayake today. The SLFP also concluded to support to amend the electoral system and empowering the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. (SLBC)

Three blind mice in Sri Lankan politics
Maithreepala Sirisena’s (MS) comfort meal of hoppers leading to the overthrow of Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), was like Termites eating through the woodwork beneath the surface. That was a Cheap Stunt!

A REAL man with guts, would have told MR, who was his Leader that, Mr President, Thank you for the invitation to a Feast of Hoppers. However, with respect, may I inform you that I am Hopping-Off” from your Leadership to stand against you!” (Lankaweb)

Sri Lanka Navy accused of damaging Indian fishermen's boats
Indian fishermen have accused the Sri Lankan Navy damaging their boats near Sri Lanka's northwestern coast of Thalaimannar and chasing them away while Sri Lankan fishermen lament their government's inaction towards poaching Indian fishermen..

The fishermen from Rameswaram have charged that Sri Lankan Navy personnel have pelted bottles and stones on them and damaged 10 boats. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lankan stocks edge up but political woes cap gains
Sri Lankan stocks ended slightly firmer on Monday at a more than one-week high, led by large-caps such as Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc due to foreign inflows, but political uncertainty capped the gains, dealers said.

The main stock index rose 0.16 percent, or 11.40 points, to 7,326.31, its highest close since Feb. 13. (REUTERS)

After India, Sri Lanka to ink N-pact with Pakistan
Close on the heels of Sri Lanka signing a nuclear cooperation agreement with India, a Pakistan-Sri Lanka pact on peaceful use of atomic energy is to be signed during the visit of Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to Islamabad.

Earlier in the week, the Lankan cabinet had announced that a Pak-Lanka MoU on the “development of nuclear applications” was “ready” to be signed. (Indian Express)

'Canberra silent over Colombo rights abuse for asylum deal'
Sri Lanka's new Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe says Canberra had vowed to stay silent on alleged human rights abuses in his country in exchange for cooperation on preventing asylum seeker boats from heading to Australia.

The newly elected premier said on Monday that his country’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had agreed last year to help stop boats with asylum seekers from entering Australia if Canberra remained silent over abuses carried out by Colombo’s former government. (Press TV)

TNA slams delay in UN rights report
Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party has expressed dismay over the UN’s decision to delay a report on the human rights situation in the country describing it as “justice delayed is justice denied”.

Denouncing the decision by the UN to defer its report by six months, Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) northern provincial councillor M K Shivajilingam has written to UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Raad Al Hussein, saying that the Tamil people sincerely hope the UN system will not delay or deny them full and complete justice. (Ada Derana)

Sri Lanka still in search of missing pieces
The tranquil nature of Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Colombo.

But it is a city that Sri Lanka have been in twice over the last month in a country they’ve been in for nearly two months now. (Wisden India)

UN deferral must be used to make Sri Lanka war crimes report stronger
This month, the UN Human Rights Council announced it would defer publication of a major report that investigates allegations of serious human rights violations and related crimes during the last years of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose office had been entrusted with the task, had asked the council to delay the report’s release, originally scheduled for March, until September, based on a request by Sri Lanka's new government. (uca news)

Wimal rejects allegations
Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa today rejected the allegations levelled against his wife Shashi Weerawansa as possessing a fake diplomatic passport and said the charge was ‘a complete lie’

He said he would prove that the allegations were false in court. (Daily Mirror)

Shashi arrested
Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi has been taken into custody, for allegedly possessing of a fake diplomatic passport, this evening.

She had been asked to come to the CID on February 19 but had not appeared. Former Minister Weerawansa said it was due to his wife being hospitalized due to an illness. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka’s leader grapples with release of political prisoners
Paintings at Temple Trees, this country’s White House, are still leaning against walls waiting to be hung, and the gated grounds are no longer teeming with guards and stewards who served the home’s previous occupant like supplicants at a royal court.

But more than a month after taking over this iconic home after a shocking electoral triumph, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an interview in his office here Saturday that while he has managed to reset relations with the United States, India and China, he has only just started to grapple with the profound issues of releasing hundreds of political prisoners and handing back thousands of acres of land seized mostly from minority Tamils during this country’s long civil war. (New York Times)

Cricket World Cup: Jayawardene leads Sri Lanka to nervy win over Afghanistan
There were many moments when it was impossible to distinguish which team were the associates. When Asghar Stanikzai or Mohammad Nabi were batting for Afghanistan there was a power and a presence that one or two of the “big” sides in this tournament would welcome in their middle order.

Later when the two new balls were in the hands of the Zadrans, Dawlat and the giant Shapoor, there was sufficient menace to dismiss both the Sri Lankan openers for golden ducks. (Tehe Guardian)

Dutch honeymooner survives fall from World's End
Troops rescued a Dutch honeymooner who became the first person to survive a fall from the World's End, a 4,000-foot (1,200-metre) cliff that is one of the country's main tourist attractions, the military said on Saturday.

The 35-year-old man had taken a few steps back to take pictures of his new bride when he flew off the unprotected cliff, army spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said. (The Telegraph)

Review on dual citizenship
The Government has decided to review dual citizenships granted to over 2000 people and most of it will be cancelled.

The Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs John Amaraunga said that a special committee will be appointed to review dual citizenships granted by the Defence Ministry during the previous regime. (Sunday Leader)

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