FM Mangala meets British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

NewsMinister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, met UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt. Boris Johnson, yesterday at the British & Commonwealth Office in London, Ministry said. The discussions focused on developments in the bilateral relationship, including the way forward to further advance trade and investment between the two countries. Foreign Minister Samaraweera apprised his counterpart on the milestones being achieved by the Sri Lankan Government in institutional building to strengthen democracy, reconciliation and inclusive development.

January 11, 2017 06:55 UTC

HRW urge Govt to adopt Task Force's justice proposals

The task force also recommended a countrywide response to disappearances, financial and symbolic reparations, a constitutional and political settlement, resolution of longstanding land disputes, and attention to psychosocial needs. This will include the government’s willingness to promptly implement the CTF report recommendations. The report recommendations also contain important confidence-building measures that the government could adopt immediately. “The Sri Lankan government took the bold step of agreeing to a multi-ethnic task force for broad consultations on transitional justice,” Adams said. “Now that the task force has listened to the country, it’s crucial that the government doesn’t drop its key recommendations.

January 11, 2017 06:53 UTC

DIG Priyantha Jayakody new Police Spokesman

Naval personnel attached in Delft Island apprehended two Indian nationals along with a fishing boat in the sea area North of Delft Island yest... Features & Analysis‘Gosha- Beat to Beat’ ; Evening of percussion drums, songs‘Gosha – Beat to Beat’, an evening of percussion drums, songs and serenity presented by Limini Weer...Princess Diana letter about troublesome son Harry sold at auctionLONDON A collection of handwritten notes by the late Princess Diana, one of which reveals that her younger son Prince...New Year's Eve celebrationsCaptured here are New Year's Eve celebrations which took place around the island. The following were captured at ...New Additions at the Galle Lit Fest, Win Free Festival PassesThe organisers of the Fairway Literary Galle festival have announced three new additions to the programme,...

January 11, 2017 06:28 UTC

Govt urged media to comply with regulations on drone reporting

NewsThe government urged all media institutes to comply with regulations introduced by Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) when using drones for newsreporting purposes, a statement from the the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media said. Respecting ethics, privacy and being mindful of the safety of those under and around the theatre of flight operations must be paramount." the statement said. The new directive comes as concerns were raised over coverage of exhumation of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge’s body in Colombo and unrest in Hambantota. The full statement can be accessed here:Drone Journalism in Sri Lanka (E)

January 11, 2017 06:05 UTC

Rice traders on price hikes

The Australian High Commission together with the Ministry for Skills Development and Vocational traing launched a programme titled Skills for Inclu... Features & Analysis‘Gosha- Beat to Beat’ ; Evening of percussion drums, songs‘Gosha – Beat to Beat’, an evening of percussion drums, songs and serenity presented by Limini Weer...Princess Diana letter about troublesome son Harry sold at auctionLONDON A collection of handwritten notes by the late Princess Diana, one of which reveals that her younger son Prince...New Year's Eve celebrationsCaptured here are New Year's Eve celebrations which took place around the island. The following were captured at ...New Additions at the Galle Lit Fest, Win Free Festival PassesThe organisers of the Fairway Literary Galle festival have announced three new additions to the programme,...

January 11, 2017 05:44 UTC



MR explains position on Hambantota port deal

NewsFormer President Mahinda Rajapaksa today explained his position on the Hambantota port deal. In a lengthy press release, the former President said as the future of the Hambantota port is now under discussion, I wish to explain to the public. This was meant to be a free port covering an area of 2,000 hectares where goods could be manufactured or value added and shipped overseas. I believe this should be the approach to the Hambantota port as well. Apart from the entire Hambantota free port, the government has decided to lease a further 15,000 acres outside the free port to a foreign company for 99 years.

January 11, 2017 02:39 UTC

Palestinians seek to mobilise Mideast against Trump embassy move

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has written to Trump urging him not to move the embassy. The Palestinians regard Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel proclaims the entire city as its capital. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community. - 'Indications negative' - ========================== A UN Security Council resolution passed on December 23 called for a stop to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory. Trump has nominated David Friedman, a supporter of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, as his ambassador to the Jewish state.

January 10, 2017 17:37 UTC

Islamic State fights losing battle in eastern Mosul

WorldThe leaflet dropped from the skies over Mosul urged Islamic State militants to give themselves up. The western half of the city remains fully under Islamic State control and retaking it from Islamic State is likely to be complicated by narrow alleys. Spirits were high among the soldiers, who broke into song and dance for the camera, and posed for photographs with Islamic State flags they had torn down. Touring the compound, Major-General Najm al-Jubbouri said Islamic State had hit back with four to five car bombs during and after the battle, but they were detonated before hitting their target. Sheets are stretched across the balconies -- in some cases for privacy, but also so that Islamic State snipers could see Iraqi forces without being spotted.

January 10, 2017 17:22 UTC

Folic acid for all women of child-bearing age: US task force urges

The US Preventive Services Task Force published an update to its 2009 recommendation for folic acid supplementation in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), after reviewing new evidence. Its latest recommendation is unchanged, and still calls for a daily supplement containing 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid for women capable of or planning pregnancy. Research has also shown that fewer than one-third of US women of child-bearing age take a daily folic acid supplement. “Clinicians should advise all women who are capable of pregnancy to take daily folic acid supplements,” it added. “Folic acid supplementation prevents about 1,300 annual births from being affected by neural tube defects, according to recent estimates,” said the task force report.

January 10, 2017 17:13 UTC

Retired US generals to Trump: 'Torture is unnecessary'

WorldDozens of retired top military brass have written to President-elect Donald Trump urging him not to follow through on campaign pledges to reinstate waterboarding, the New York Times reported Tuesday. “Torture is unnecessary,” the letter continues. In an interview with the Times, Trump recounted how Mattis had said that winning a prisoner's trust is a far more effective way of prying information. “'Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I'll do better,'” Trump said Mattis had told him. Our servicemen and women need to know that our leaders do not condone torture or detainee abuse of any kind.

January 10, 2017 16:41 UTC

New UN chief calls for 'whole new approach' to prevent war

WorldNew UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a “whole new approach” to prevent war, in his first address to the Security Council since taking office. “Today, we need to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen the credibility and authority of the United Nations, by putting peace first,” he said. Later this week, Guterres will make his first foray abroad as UN chief, heading to Geneva to shore up Cyprus peace talks. He returns to Geneva next week to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose support for the United Nations has been steadily growing. UNITED NATIONS, AFP

January 10, 2017 16:28 UTC

Iran says it has finally received Saudi hajj invite

WorldIran said Tuesday it had finally received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for its pilgrims to attend this year's hajj, two weeks after Riyadh announced it. There was no official Iranian delegation at last year's pilgrimage to the Muslim holy places after Sunni Saudi Arabia severed relations with Shiite Iran following the torching of its missions in Tehran and Mashhad by protesters in January last year. It was the first time in three decades that Iranian pilgrims had been absent and the culmination of years of worsening relations over the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. “The Iranian delegation will travel to Saudi Arabia on February 23... and we hope to get tangible results,” hajj affairs representative Ali Ghazi Askar told the Mizan Online news website. “For the time being, nothing is certain and we will attend the hajj as long as the situation is prepared for us,” he said.

January 10, 2017 15:54 UTC

Twin Taliban blasts near Afghan parliament kill 30, wound dozens

WorldTwin Taliban blasts struck near the Afghan parliament in Kabul Tuesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 in a rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital. The bombings came just hours after a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand, as the militants ramp up attacks. “A suicide bomber on foot caused the first explosion, leaving a number of innocent workers killed and wounded,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard, told AFP. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were behind the Kabul explosions, adding the victims were mostly Afghan intelligence agents. That incident ended two hours later when all seven attackers, including a suicide car bomber, were gunned down by Afghan forces.

January 10, 2017 15:24 UTC

Veteran journalist Clare Hollingworth dies aged 105

WorldVeteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, who broke the news that the Second World War had started, died in Hong Kong on Tuesday aged 105. But she is best remembered for her scoop on World War II in 1939, when she was just a rookie reporter. Having borrowed a car to drive over the Poland-Germany border, she spotted German tanks amassing after a hessian screen blocking the view blew to one side. - 'Magnificent' - ================= Born in 1911, Hollingworth grew up in England during the First World War and as a young woman travelled Europe as an activist, playing a little reported humanitarian role. “Of Fortunes and War” highlights Hollingworth's work with refugees ahead of the Second World War -- before she became a journalist.

January 10, 2017 15:16 UTC

Arrested Indian & Lankan fishermen repatriated

NewsFifty-one Indian and three Sri Lankan fishermen were on Tuesday repatriated to their respective countries in line with the decision taken at recent ministerial-level talks held in Colombo, a Fisheries official said. Sri Lankan Navy handed over the 51 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested over the past few months, to Indian Coast Guard at the International Maritime Boundary Line in the Palk Bay. Similarly, three Sri Lankan fishermen, released from the Puzhal Prison in Chennai on January 8, were handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy at the IMBL, Ramanathapuram District Fisheries Deputy Director Kasinatha Pandian said. The trio had drifted into Indian waters off Dhanushkodi recently after their boat ran out of fuel and were arrested. The 51 fishermen from Tuticorin, Pudukottai and Ramanthapuram districts were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in their territorial waters between November and December, 2016 and lodged in prisons in the island nation.

January 10, 2017 11:35 UTC



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