Afghan Taliban capture key southern district

WorldTaliban fighters captured the strategic southern district of Sangin on Thursday, officials said, another setback for Afghan forces in opium-rich Helmand province ahead of the spring fighting season. The capture of Sangin, where US and British forces suffered heavy casualties until it was handed over to Afghan personnel, marks the culmination of the Taliban's year-long offensive to seize the district and underscores their growing strength. “Our forces have retreated from government offices, including the police headquarters and the governor's office in Sangin,” Helmand governor's spokesman Omar Zwak told AFP. “But we are preparing to take it back.” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said that insurgents had overrun the district centre. Last week, three US soldiers were wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire in Helmand, in the first known insider attack on international forces this year.

March 23, 2017 12:00 UTC

Exiled former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev

WorldA former Russian lawmaker and key witness in a treason case against Ukraine's ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich was shot dead in broad daylight outside a hotel in central Kiev on Thursday, police said. Voronenkov fled to Ukraine with his wife last year and was helping the Ukrainian authorities build a treason case against former Ukrainian president Yanukovich. “A cynical murder of one of the witnesses involved in the state's case against ex-president Yanukovich,” said Ukraine's General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. “In broad daylight in the centre of Kiev, former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was shot. Yanukovich fled Ukraine during the 2013-2014 Maidan street protests, which he said were tantamount to a “coup” organised by armed nationalist radicals.

March 23, 2017 11:48 UTC

British PM May's statement to parliament after London attack

opinionMr Speaker, yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. The threat level to the UK has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely for some time. Since June 2013 our police, security and intelligence agencies have successfully disrupted 13 separate terrorist plots in Britain. Mr Speaker, yesterday we saw the worst of humanity, but we will remember the best. That they have lost one of their own in yesterday's attack only makes their calmness and professionalism all the more remarkable.

March 23, 2017 11:26 UTC

Cricket: Sri Lanka to play one-off Test against Zimbabwe in June

SportSri Lanka is set to play a one-off Test match against Zimbabwe in June later this year, soon after the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in England. The Zimbabwe tour will also include five One Day Internationals in addition to the first-ever one-off Test between the two countries. When the two sides met last in a two-match Test series in Zimbabwe in November 2016, Sri Lanka won 2-0. Two Tests and three ODIs were in line in the original schedule but Zimbabwe has altered the plan to a one-off Test and five ODIs, according to reports.

March 23, 2017 10:18 UTC

Pakistan National Day celebrated in Colombo

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared today before the Presidential Commission Investigating Fraud and Corruption (PRECIFAC) to record a stat... Features & AnalysisMalaysia 'to show uncut version' of Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast will be released in Malaysia without any cuts, Disney says, days after it rejected censors' ...Australian musician Keith Potger performs at 'A Night On The Green'Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson recently hosted "A Night on the Green" at the Au...Jacqueline Fernandez to play tour guide to Justin BieberBollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is to take Grammy Award winner and global pop sensation Justin Bieber on...Day two of the HSBC Colombo Fashion WeekDay two of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week saw the opening of the Main Designer Showcase. Held at the Hilton Colombo Ba...

March 23, 2017 10:07 UTC



Mobile phone thieves busted in Negombo

NewsThree suspects, including two females were taken into custody by police in Negombo over the theft of dozens of mobile phones. Police Headquarters said officers made the arrests while investigating a complaint regarding the theft of 14 mobile phones from a telecommunication service provider company in Negombo on January 14. The total value of the phones stolen amounted to Rs.700,000. Police said 9 mobile phones were found from the suspects' possession. The suspects are due to be produced before the Negombo Magistrate's Court today.

March 23, 2017 08:15 UTC

New Chief of Staff in Army appointed

NewsMajor General Mahesh Senanayake, currently serving as the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), has been appointed as 50th Chief of Staff (CoS) of the Sri Lanka Army, a statement said. Major General Senanayake who has been the Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna since 28 January 2016 is also the Colonel of the Regiment, Special Forces. Major General Mahesh Senanayake was enlisted to the Sri Lanka Army on 16 October 1981 and followed the Officer Cadet Intake 16 (Long Course). He also served as the Regimental Center Commandant of the Special Forces Regiment, Commander 211 Infantry Brigade - Vavuniya, Commander Special Forces Brigade and the General Officer Commanding 52 Division - Varani, Jaffna. He has also served the staff appointment of Colonel General Staff, 52 Division and Brigadier General Staff at the Security Force Headquarters, Jaffna during the most critical phases of the humanitarian operations before May 2009.

March 23, 2017 07:30 UTC

South Indian actor Rajinikanth to unveil housing scheme in Jaffna

NewsPopular South Indian Actor Rajinikanth will hand over the keys of 150 homes built by Gnanam Foundation to landless families on April 9 in Jaffna,The Hindu reported. When asked about the project, Raju Mahalingam, creative head, Lyca Productions, said that the entire project has been completed in a period of one-and-a-half years. These homes have been built in Chinna Tampan and Puliyankulam regions in northern Sri Lanka. On April 10, Rajinikanth will be in Vavuniya to unveil the new homes and he will also plant tree saplings. The actor is starring in Lyca Productions’ film 2.0, expected to be released during Deepavali.

March 23, 2017 07:18 UTC

Lankan held over drug smuggling in India

Three suspects, including two females were taken into custody by police in Negombo over the theft of dozens of mobile phones. Police Headquarters s... Features & AnalysisMalaysia 'to show uncut version' of Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast will be released in Malaysia without any cuts, Disney says, days after it rejected censors' ...Australian musician Keith Potger performs at 'A Night On The Green'Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson recently hosted "A Night on the Green" at the Au...Jacqueline Fernandez to play tour guide to Justin BieberBollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is to take Grammy Award winner and global pop sensation Justin Bieber on...Day two of the HSBC Colombo Fashion WeekDay two of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week saw the opening of the Main Designer Showcase. Held at the Hilton Colombo Ba...

March 23, 2017 06:22 UTC

16 Indian fishermen arrested for poaching

NewsSixteen Indian poachers who engaged in illegal fishing practices in the Sri Lankan waters were arrested at two separate locations yesterday, Navy said. Accordingly, fast attack craft attached to the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of Sri Lanka Coast Guard apprehended 8 Indian fishermen along with a steel hull fishing trawler for poaching in the seas Northwest of Analathivu Island. Having brought the fishermen and items to the Naval Base SLNS Elara, they will be handed over to the Jaffna Fisheries Director for onward investigations. Further, 8 more Indian poachers and a wooden hull fishing trawler were arrested while engaging in illegal fishing activities in the sea area North of Mannar by the Naval personnel onboard two Fast Attack Craft attached to the North Central Naval Command. The arrested fishermen and their belongings are due to be produced before the Mannar Fisheries Director, upon bringing them to the Naval Base SLNS Thammanna.

March 23, 2017 06:22 UTC

Ban in SL: Bangladesh lose high-scoring warm-up game by 2 runs

SportAfter the impressive performance to win their 100th Test match, Bangladesh lost their one-off warm-up One Day match against Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President's XI by 2 runs in a high-scoring game at CCC ground on Wednesday (22). Put into bat first SLC President's XI piled up 354 for 7 wickets while Bangladesh were restricted to 352 for 8 wickets in their run-chase. Bangladesh too looked well on track for a possible win with four of their batsmen scoring half centuries. The first ODI of the three-match series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be played on Saturday (25) at Dambulla. Bangladesh 352 for 8 wickets (50) (Soumya Sarkar 47, Sabbir Rahman 72, Mushfiqur Rahim 20, Mosaddek Hossain 53, Mahmudullah 71n.o., Mashrafe Mortaza 58, Akila Dananjaya 3/61, Chaturanga de Silva 2/53)

March 23, 2017 03:11 UTC

Netball: Manel Samaraweera, for NFSL President no more

SportManel Samaraweera, the former President of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka (NFSL) passed away at the age of 73. Samaraweera, a past pupil of Ferguson Girls' High School in Ratnapura headed the NFSL in 1989 and 1990 and was a live wire in promoting the game to the outstation regions. She was wife of former Minister of Parliament and Chief Minister of Uva Province, Percy Samaraweera. Her remains lie at the Raymond Florists in Borella and the cremation will take place today (23) at 3.30pm at the Borella Cemetery.

March 23, 2017 03:11 UTC

Vital for Sri Lanka to send message that 'impunity is no longer tolerated' underlines UN rights chief

“It is important for the country's future to send the signal that impunity is no longer tolerated,” Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN Human Rights Council today. Also in his remarks, the UN rights chief hailed the work of the civil society and human rights defenders in the country and underlined that they must be protected from harassment and intimidation. He also called on the Sri Lankan Government to consult the independent commissions in the country, the Human Rights Commission, which he said play an invaluable role in strengthening good governance. “I encourage respect for their mandate and autonomy, adequate financing, and implementation of their recommendations,” he added. In conclusion, the UN rights chief said that victims should be kept at the centre of the efforts in the island nation and noted that justice for them was vital to ensure sustainable peace.

March 22, 2017 22:18 UTC

One shot, several injured in UK parliament 'terrorist incident'

NewsA policeman was stabbed, an assailant shot and several people injured on Wednesday close to Britain's Houses of Parliament in what police said they were treating as a terrorist incident, REUTERS reported. Reuters reporters inside the building heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards a Reuters photographer said he saw at least a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge, next to parliament. "Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. The leader of the House, David Lidington, said in the chamber that an assailant who stabbed a policeman had been shot by police. The BBC said police believed there was a suspect vehicle outside parliament but police did not immediately confirm that report.

March 22, 2017 15:45 UTC

Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to UNHRC resolution

NewsDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Harsha De Silva has reiterated that Sri Lanka is committed to the reconciliation process. As this Council is aware, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Hon. Most importantly, he stressed that Sri Lanka’s resolve to the reconciliation process has not diminished. I take this opportunity today, to reiterate our resolve and reaffirm our commitment to the reconciliation process and commitments articulated in Resolution 30/1. We are pleased to announce that Sri Lanka will be co-sponsoring this Resolution, and we thank the Council, the UN, and our bilateral partners for their support to strengthen reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and for this extension of the timeline.

March 22, 2017 15:00 UTC




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