LatestThe Dalai Lama has launched a mobile app for followers to stay up to date with his travels and teachings. According to the BBC the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, 82, already has a Twitter account with more than 16 million followers. His free app, currently only available on iPhone, will hold news, videos, photos and information. In 2013 the Roman Catholic Church launched the Pope App, which followed the Confession app where users could keep track of their sins. The Dalai Lama's app, simply titled Dalai Lama, does not have enough ratings yet for a points scoring on the app store.
December 15, 2017 11:37 UTC
WorldIn today's News International Gem and Jewellery exhibition in ColomboSYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia should introduce a law forcing religious leaders to report child abuse, including Catholic priests told of abuse in the confessional, said a report on Friday which detailed institutional abuse, particularly in the Catholic Church. One the country’s top catholics, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, said such a law would undermine a central tenet of Catholicism, the sacredness of the confessional, and warned that any priest breaking the seal of confession would be excommunicated. The 17-volume document from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse marks the end of one of the world’s biggest inquiries into child abuse and leaves it to the government to decide whether to enact its recommendations. Confession cannot be broken: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart. The report detailed tens of thousands of child victims, saying their abusers were “not a case of a few rotten apples”.
December 15, 2017 11:03 UTC
WorldIn today's News International Gem and Jewellery exhibition in ColomboWASHINGTON (Reuters) - While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: Construction is shown on Fiery Cross Reef, in the Spratly Islands, the disputed South China Sea in this June 16, 2017 satellite image released by CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to Reuters on June 29, 2017. The report cited satellite images. The United States and its allies oppose China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea and their militarization, given concerns Beijing plans to use them to deny access to strategic routes. “It’s completely normal for China to conduct peaceful construction and build essential defense equipment on its own sovereign territory,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing on Friday, in response to a question about the report.
December 15, 2017 09:22 UTC
NewsIn today's News International Gem and Jewellery exhibition in ColomboDigamadulla district UPFA Parliamentarian Sriyani Wijewickrama was sworn in as the State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today, Presidential Secretarat said. Mrs. Sriyani Wijewickrama MP, who represented the Joint Opposition (JO) recently met the President to extended her support to the policies of the President.Minister Faiszer Musthapha was also present on this occasion.
December 15, 2017 06:11 UTC
NewsSri Lanka joined the international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines on December 13, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The Mine Ban Treaty comprehensively bans antipersonnel landmines, and requires destruction of stockpiles, clearance of mined areas, and assistance to victims of the weapons. Sri Lanka reports that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. After Sri Lanka’s accession, three South Asian countries have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty: India, Pakistan, and Nepal, the statement claimed. Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), chairs the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, and serves as ban policy editor for Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
December 15, 2017 05:48 UTC
NewsIndiGo, India’s largest and fastest growing airline, has announced Colombo as its eighth international and 49th overall destination on its 6E network, TradeArabia News Service reported. The new schedule will see non-stop connections between Colombo to Chennai and Bengaluru, effective January 20, 2018. These new flights will further consolidate IndiGo’s position as the fastest growing airline in India with 149 Airbus A320 and three ATR aircraft strong fleet, operating over 1,000 daily flights, connecting 49 destinations. It gives us immense pleasure to add Colombo as our 49th destination and cater to the needs of both business as well as leisure travellers. We aspire to continue providing affordable and hassle-free travel experience to our passengers within and beyond India.” -
December 15, 2017 05:37 UTC
NewsAustralian Border Force officials have returned 29 Sri Lankan asylum seekers by plane after their unseaworthy boat was detected off the West Australian coast, AAP reported. According to media reports the group, which included a 12-year-old boy, left Sri Lanka on November 17. It is understood the boat was detected by Operation Sovereign Borders near the Cocos Islands and when inspected was found to be unseaworthy and could not be turned around. The asylum seekers were reportedly arrested by Australian Border Force officials on Wednesday at Learmonth in northwest WA. An Operation Sovereign Borders update which covers the period of the incident will not be released until January.
December 15, 2017 05:26 UTC
The comment from the Indian foreign ministry follows media reports of Sri Lanka formally handing over Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease. When asked for comments on Sri Lanka handing Hambantota to China and the Maldives signing the free trade pact, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said India shared close ties with both its southern neighbours. On Hambantota, Kumar said: “Our relations with Sri Lanka stand on their own and are not dependent on relations with any third country. We continue to take up with Sri Lanka issues related to the security concerns in the region and expect that our Sri Lankan friends keep in mind our security concerns and sensitivities.”Hambantota sits on Sri Lanka’s southern coast and provides access to critical Indian Ocean sea lanes. China, as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, is keen to expand its Indian Ocean footprint.
December 15, 2017 05:15 UTC
NewsMOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will place temporary restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18, the Russian agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday. The watchdog said it had taken the decision to impose restrictions after it found an insect, known as the Khapra beetle, in the packaging of one consignment of tea from Sri Lanka. Tea from Sri Lanka accounts for 23 percent of Russia’s tea market, with other supplies come from India, Kenya, China and Vietnam, Ramaz Chanturiya, the head of the Rusteacoffee association, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency. Members of Rusteacoffee, an association of Russian tea producers, will ask Rosselkhoznadzor to resume tea imports from Sri Lanka but with tougher controls, he added. Russia imported 141,300 tonnes of tea worth $436 million in the first 10 months of 2017, according to customs data.
December 14, 2017 18:00 UTC
BusinessSri Lanka Telecom (SLT) workers will launch an agitation campaign from Monday if the top management fails to fullfill their demands by tomorrow (Friday 14), trade unions of the telecom provider warned. He said that the SLT workers and consumers have become frustrated owing to the lethargic attitude and arbitrary actions of the management. The SLT management has slashed the annual bonus and increments of workers citing financial difficulties, he said adding that the Chairman, CEO and top officials should bear the responsibility for dragging the profit-making telecom giant into an abyss of losses. SLT Chairman P.G. He pointed out that the SLT has made massive investments in telecom upgrading projects in 2014 and 2016 without phasing out those projects.
December 14, 2017 09:11 UTC
WorldMOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman blew himself up inside a police training camp in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Thursday and killed at least 15 officers, officials said. “So far 15 have died and 17 others were injured,” Abdullahi Nur, another police official, told Reuters. Earlier, the head of a local ambulance service said they had moved the bodies of 13 victims as well as 15 injured people. “We killed 27 police (officers) and injured more,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters. Al Shabaab’s attacks come at a time when the African Union is finalizing plans to trim its peacekeeping mission called AMISOM.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull singled out China as he said foreign powers were making “unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process” in Australia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed the ministry had an “important discussion” with the Australian ambassador. China’s Foreign Ministry said last week Turnbull’s allegations were full of prejudice against China, were baseless and poisoned the atmosphere of China-Australia relations. China, which is easily Australia’s biggest trading partner, bought A$93 billion ($70 billion) worth of Australian goods and services last year. “I am disappointed they have tried to turn Australians against each other,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.
NewsPresident Maithripala Sirisena has appointed six new Ministry Secretaries, the Presidential Media Division (PMD) stated. Accordingly, Jagath P. Wijeweera has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. M. Adhikari has been appointed as the Secretary to the Justice Ministry. Padmasiri Jayamanne has been named as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order and Southern Development and M.M.P.K. Meegasmulla has been appointed as Secretary to the Ministry of Post, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs.
NewsSri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Group CEO Dileepa Wijesundera tendered his resignation on Wednesday stating that he will step-down from the post in March next year, official sources said. He has not reported for work during the past couple of week citing ill health, SLT officials said. A SLT trade union leader revealed that a heated argument on the present loss making status of the SLT with the Chairman Kumarasiri Sirisena recently had prompted Mr. Wijesundera to hand over his resignation. SLT engineers and staff carried out a continuous trade union action from December 1 demanding the authorities to remove the Group CEO from his post as they have completely lost their professional trust and respect of him. Mr. Wijesundera was also misleading the SLT management, Board of Directors and shareholders claiming that the company has achieved a high growth and that it provides a better service for consumers, unions alleged.
December 14, 2017 06:49 UTC
NewsThe UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) has advised the Australian Government that a Sri Lankan man held in immigration detention in Australia and in danger of imminent deportation, should not be returned to Sri Lanka. Human rights law firm, Human Rights for All, filed a complaint to CAT in early December 2017 on behalf of the man. On 11 December 2017, CAT accepted that the complaint had merit and issued the interim measure, a statement said. By issuing this measure, the UN recognises that Sri Lanka is not safe for Tamils, despite Australia denying refugee status to many Tamils. Sri Lanka is not safe for many Tamils to return to," a release by the rights group Human Rights for All siad.
December 14, 2017 06:22 UTC