Yal Devi train resumes operations from Colombo to Kilinochchi

After more than 23 years, direct train services between Colombo and Kilinochchi resumed its operations this morning with the opening of the newly completed 63-kilometer track between Omanthai and Kilinochchi.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the train service this morning at Omanthai travelling as the first passenger to Kilinochchi aboard the historic "Yal Devi" train which operated up to Omanthai earlier.

President Rajapaksa also declared open the newly built Kilinochchi Railway Station.

Detail report : Link

 

A New Dawn for Kilinochchi

After nearly three decades of oppression due to LTTE terrorism, Kilinochchi was liberated through the Humanitarian Operation, bringing new hope for lasting peace and prosperity to the town. Since the liberation, the people of Kilinochchi have seen positive changes. The government took immediate steps to clear landmines, resettle the displaced and establish democracy in the province.  

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Regional disparity in economic growth reduced

The Northern Province recovering from the three-decade long conflict has recorded the highest growth last year reflecting the rapid expansion in income generating activities in the Province, according to the figures released by the Statistics Department of Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Tuesday.
 

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The best response to the HRHC is to further strengthen the reforms programme– Presidential Secretary

Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga says that the best reply to be given to the statements made by the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Mrs. Navaneetham Pillai is to further strengthen the reforms programme. The government is committed to respond only to the people of Sri Lanka. Participating in a discussion programme over the SLBC, he further said that nobody should be unduly concerned over the statements made by Mrs. Navaneetham Pillai. Her statements lacked any foundation and they were made according to the information received from certain individuals.

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Pillay ignores evidence produced by UN itself – Prof. Peiris

External Affairs minister G.L. Peiris on Tuesday said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay had ignored a report produced by the UN officials in Colombo about claims of the intimidating presence of the military in the North.

“It is pity that the High Commissioner had not read the reports produced by UN officials in Colombo who believe this claim after interviewing about 200 people chosen by the UN itself. Nearly 90% of them had said they were comfortable living there.

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Northern election an opportunity to return to political plurality - Defence Secretary

The most crucial steps towards the restoration of normalcy in the North and East was the revival of the democratic process through the restoration of elections and the return of political plurality, Defence Secretary said yesterday.

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Judgment on SL's leadership better left for people, than being caricatured by external entities

In a comment regarding the statement issued yesterday by UN High Commissioner Human Rights Navanetham Pillay at the conclusion of her week-long visit to Sri Lanka, the Government of Sri Lanka said, the High Commissioner’s observation that Sri Lanka “is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction” is a political statement on her part, which clearly transgresses her mandate and the basic norms which should be observed by a discerning international civil servant. It also runs contrary to the many assertions the High Commissioner made about the unfettered access she was provided, the freedom people presently enjoy in contrast to the last time she visited Sri Lanka in 2000 and the vibrant political debates and election campaigns of which evidence was seen by her and acknowledged reflecting the political pluralism enjoyed by the people of Sri Lanka. The judgment on the leadership of the country is better left for the people of Sri Lanka to decide, than being caricatured by external entities influenced by vested interests.

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I understand the Govt.’s concern that they have perhaps not been sufficiently recognized – HC Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay who concluded a 7 day official visit to Sri Lanka addressing the Colombo based media on Saturday (31 August 2013) has thanked the Government for its invitation and its excellent cooperation during the planning and conduct of this very complex mission. Noting that throughout her visit, the authorities, at all levels, have been keen to demonstrate how much has been achieved in terms of resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the relatively short period since the conflict with the LTTE ended in 2009, she said "I understand the Government’s concern that they have perhaps not been sufficiently recognized". Full text of the Statement

In Meeting with President Rajapaksa, UN HC for HR, Navi Pillay Acknowledges Post-War Progress

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanethem Pillay, when she called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon, acknowledged the post-war progress that has been made in Sri Lanka.

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Meeting between External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and HC for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay

It is important to have an objective approach and extend equal treatment to all countries when fulfilling the assigned mandate, observed External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, when he met visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay at the Ministry of External Affairs today. High Commissioner Pillay is on a weeklong visit to Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by the Government of Sri Lanka in April 2011.

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navaneethan Pillay arrives in Colombo

United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navaneethan Pillay arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday (25 August) on a week-long visit which will include field visits to Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Trincomalee. She will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and meet External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and other government ministers and officials, as well as civil society representatives. She was received upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha and UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy.

Major Trade Fair to coincide with CHOGM Colombo

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva is pleased to announce that arrangements are underway to organize a major international trade exhibition on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Colombo from 13–17 November 2013.

The exhibition will primarily focus on promoting latest technology / machinery that are useful for local industries and finding export markets for Sri Lankan products. 

The Government of Sri Lanka is inviting international exhibitors to make use of this opportunity in fostering mutually beneficial contacts with the Sri Lankan business community.

You may please visit the following web link for further details.

    http://srilankabusiness.com/exhibition/index.html

Information on the specific facilities that would be made available to international exhibitors and buyers on this occasion will be indicated in the near future.

President appoints members to Commission to Investigate Missing Persons

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed the following members to the Commission tasked with investigating cases of persons from the Northern and Eastern Provinces who went missing during the war:

1. Mr. Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama Esquire (Chairman)
2. Madam Dimingu Badathuruge Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratne
3. Madam Mano Ramanathan

The Commission has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations necessary, and submit a report to the President within six months. In President Rajapaksa’s instructions to the Commission, he stressed the necessity to identify the person(s) responsible in cases where abductions or disappearances are found to have taken place and to take legal action against those person(s).

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UN human rights chief to visit North and East

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay will make field visits to North and East during her stay in the island, her office in Geneva said in a statement.

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People's mandate has been successfully fulfilled - President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he has successfully fulfilled the mandate given to him by the people in 2005. He said that the contribution made towards rebuilding the country during the last eight years is unmatched even by the totality of work accomplished through the previous 60 years since independence.

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Sri Lanka a Valued Friend and Development Partner FM of the Philippines tells Prof. G. L Peiris

Philippines  regards  Sri  Lanka  as  a  valued  friend  and  development  partner,  and  will  continue  to  extend  all  support  and  goodwill  to  the  country,  Mr.  Albert  del  Rosario,  Secretary  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs (Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs)  said  in  Manila  on  2nd August 2013. He  made  these  remarks  at  the  bilateral  discussions  with  External  Affairs  Minister  Professor G.L. Peiris,  in  Manila.

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Political consultations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea 30th July 2013

0n 30th July 2013, Secretary/External Affairs, Karunatilaka Amunugama had bilateral consultations with the 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kyou-hyun of Korea. This meeting was initiated by the two parties as a progress review of the State visit concluded by H.E. the President in 2012.

Both sides were satisfied with the recent developments in bilateral cooperation and discussed ways and means of further enhancing and consolidating the economic partnership which was the main focus of discussion during the Summit meeting held by H.E. the President with his counterpart of Korea.

Full text : Read more…..

Greater Role for Sri Lanka in International Arbitrations Mooted at the Hague

During his two day visit to the Netherlands, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris discussed with Mr. Hugo Sieblesz, Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, a greater role for Sri Lanka as the venue for international arbitrations. There was agreement to carry the matter further in view of Sri Lanka’s acknowledged strengths in this field, and the available infrastructure and expertise.

World Bank to focus on large transformational projects

In a meeting with the World Bank’s Executive Director for Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan Mr. Mukesh Prasad held on the 15th of July, President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Bank to focus more on large core projects rather than smaller projects that have a lesser impact.

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Sri Lanka: Rising up the ranks while sharing prosperity - World Bank

Sri Lanka is rising in the middle-income country ranks. Even during the three decades of conflict, the country maintained at least 5% of growth throughout. Unemployment rate (7% in 2005 to 4% in 2011, excluding North and East Provinces) and poverty rate (15% in 2006/07 to 9% in 2009/10) have dropped dramatically, says the World Bank.

The World Bank will support the government’s efforts to address the challenges and constraints for achieving its vision, specifically by: facilitating sustained private and public investment through improving the investment climate and increasing fiscal space and public spending efficiency; supporting structural shifts in the economy through assistance for a knowledge-based economy, and increased internal Sand international integration and competitiveness; and promoting improved living standards and social inclusion through support for increasing quality of services, reducing the prevalence of malnutrition and promoting social inclusion and equitable access, the Bank further said.

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Continuing Vigilance Essential with LTTE Front Organizations, Prof. Peiris tells EU Parliamentarians

The Delegation for Relations with Countries of South Asia in the European Parliament held bilateral discussions with Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, on 18th July 2013.
 
The two sides agreed to schedule dates for the 18th European Union – Sri Lanka Joint Commission in Brussels within the next few months.

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LLRC : 53 additional recommendations to be included in National Plan of Action

The Cabinet last week granted approval to incorporate an additional 53 recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report in the National Plan of Action.

These additional recommendations overlap other recommendations or form part of the recommendations contained in the National Human Rights Action Plan.
 

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IMF assures continued support to Sri Lanka

International Monetary Fund while commending President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his role in developing Sri Lanka assured continued support.

Dr. Anoop Singh, International Monetary Fund’s Director for Asia and the Pacific region, who arrived in the island to participate in “Sri Lanka Economic Summit”, gave this assurance when he met President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday (July 10) evening.

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President to Menon : PSC the Best Forum for Reaching Consensus on 13th Amendment

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during a discussion with India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) is the best forum to reach a consensus on the implementation of the 13th Amendment.

At the meeting that took place at the President’s House in Colombo this morning, President Rajapaksa explained to  Menon the practical problems that exist with devolving land and police powers to the provinces of a small country such as Sri Lanka and stressed that the structure that is implemented should apply and be acceptable to all parts of the country.

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President issues proclamation to conduct Northern PC polls

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a proclamation to the Elections Commissioner to conduct the Northern Provincial Council election, said the Government Information Department.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year vowed to conduct the long overdue provincial elections in the North in September.

The Elections Commissioner had stated that the polls for the Northern, North Western and Central Provincial Councils will most probably take place on September 21 or 28.

LLRC National Action Plan website launched

 
The official website of the National Action Plan for the Implementation of LLRC recommendations was launched today.

 

The website will provide updated information relating to the progress of implementing recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

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