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Sri Lanka Timeline - Year 2017

Date

Incidents

January 1

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighting the Government's achievements in the past two years in his New Year message said the Government is focused on empowering the people while encouraging co-existence and harmony between all communities.

SLMC, backed by some other minority parties, opposed the new electoral system called the "Mixed Member Proportional System". SLMC leader, Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem told that his party was against it because, if enacted, it would be disadvantageous for the parties.

January 2

Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha refused to accept the report of the Delimitation Committee reviewing the demarcation of electoral boundaries in local Government wards as only three members of the five-member committee has signed the much-delayed report.

Mullaitivu District Court asked the Army to submit the list of LTTE cadres who surrendered to the security forces during the final phase of the war with the LTTE in 2009.

January 3

Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the Prime Minister on January 26, 2016 handed over its complete report to the Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

CaFFE made an open request from the Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry to publish the report of the Delimitation Commission through a gazette notification as soon as possible.

January 5

The three-day parliamentary debate on constitutional proposals was postponed because some political parties sought further time to come up their stands.

Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Secretary of CTF on Reconciliation mechanisms said that war victims have no trust in domestic mechanism.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein welcomed the report published by the CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms.

January 6

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that I have no confidence in the CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the Prime Minister.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the President's House, State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said that President Maithripala Sirisena categorically ruled out the participation of foreign judges to hear or inquire into war crime allegations.

January 8

TNA's Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that TNA is positive about six subcommittee reports on new Constitution.

January 10

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said "Deciding on the participation of foreign judges with the investigations on Sri Lanka's war crime allegations and human right violations is a sovereign right of the Sri Lankan Government and will be decided by the Sri Lankan Government."

HRW urged the Sri Lankan Government to adopt recommendations of the CTF on including foreign judges in a domestic mechanism on accountability as stated in the consensus resolution the country sponsored with the UNHRC.

January 11

European Commission on proposed GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka in exchange of the Government's commitment to ratify 27 international conventions on human rights, labor conditions, protection of the environment and good governance.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the recovery of the GSP+ concessions is a result of the present Government's efforts and dedication over the last two years to protect the rights of the people and establish democracy in the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said "Sri Lanka is committed to the implementation of the United Nations resolution, which it cosponsored in October 2015 so that we as a country can deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build our Sri Lankan nation anew."

January 12

AI backing the recent report of CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms called on the Sri Lankan Government to chart a roadmap for the establishment and efficient functioning of the mechanisms proposed by the report.

HRW said that though the Sri Lankan Government was able to report progress on certain aspects and sought technical expertise from the UN and other countries, the UNHRC resolution adopted in October 2015 on the country remained largely unimplemented.

Commonwealth delighted to give technical assistance to the constitutional realignment to Sri Lanka, Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland said when she met with Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera. I

January 14

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a gathering in the Galle said that the Government will never advocate federalism or division of the country on federal lines.

GTF welcoming the recommendations of the CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms released on January 3, 2017 has called on the Sri Lankan Government to fully implement the recommendations.

January 15

TNA senior leader Dharmalingam Siddharthan said "If the Government abandoned the idea of finding a solution for the National question, we won''t be part of the Constitution making process and we would be compelled to leave it."

TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran pointed out any Constitutional Amendment could not be made without a referendum.

January 16

UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said that Constitution is outdated and should be changed in keeping with today's needs.

January 17

An alleged fundraiser for LTTE lost his battle to stay in Canada as Federal Court upheld deportation order.

January 17

Delimitation Review Committee reviewing the demarcation of electoral boundaries in local Government wards handed over its much-awaited final report to the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha.

Vavuniya Government Agent M.B.R. Pushpakumara said the Omanthai Army Camp and Checkpoint on the A-9 Road had been dismantled after 25 years and the land occupied by the Army was officially handed over him to be given to its original owners.

January 18

Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said that Omanthai Army Camp has not been removed but 18 acres of land around the camp belonging to the civilians has been handed over to the Vavuniya Government Agent.

EU said that the ratification and implementation of 27 international conventions signed by the Sri Lankan Government was the only criteria to to re-gain the GSP+ facility.

January 19

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed his satisfaction towards the positive steps taken by Sri Lanka to improve the country's human rights conditions.

January 21

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran speaking during a discussion in Jaffna District said that no skills based training was provided to Ex-LTTE cadres during the reconciliation programmes.

January 22

ICJ called on the Sri Lankan Government to implement the recommendations made by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms.

January 23

Joint Opposition MP Keheliya Rambukwella said that President Maithripala Sirisena is attempting to enact a 'Sampanthan Constitution' by cancelling the first three clauses in the First Chapter of the current Constitution.

January 25

Government at a function held in Mullaitivu District handed over another 243 acres of land held by Army to the people in the North. At the function land entitlement deeds were presented to 1,352 families and subsistence to the tune of 100,000 rupees were given to 300 low income families of the District.

January 28

Four ex-LTTE cadres in the Tamil-majority Northern Province were arrested by the TID officials for plotting to assassinate TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.

Minister for Regional Development and former Army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka speaking to the media after participating in a function at the Hadabima Authority said that war crime perpetrators should be punished irrespective of their status.

January 30

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking as the Chief Guest at a ceremony at Ambepussa town in the Kegalla District said that the country will never forget the sacrifices made by the Security Forces and the Police during the country's three decade old LTTE war.

Provincial and Local Government Minister Faizer Mustapha said the Delimitation Committee Report will be gazetted within a month.

February 5

Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe speaking at an Independence Day ceremony in Kalutara District said Northern Province Chief Minister C. V Wigneswaran's moves to establish a hybrid court in the province is a dream which will never materialize.

February 7

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told foreign correspondents that the Government will seek more time at the next UNHRC session to investigate war crime allegations against the LTTE which ended in 2009.

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran said that Police saying there is a threat toTNA leader Sumanthiran's life is a ploy to station the Army permanently.

February 8 Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera while meeting Colombo-based foreign correspondents said that a new Constitution is the most potent weapon for non-recurrence of Sri Lanka's conflict and would have to be given priority over accountability mechanisms.
February 9

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed the Parliament that the relevant authorities have been instructed to take the necessary action to provide maximum security to the TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella in reply to a question raised by MP Wimal Weerawansa on devolution of power in Parliament said that the Government intends to hold a public referendum on new Constitution with the consent of all political parties.

February 10

TPC in a resolution adopted at the Eluga Thamil rally held in Batticaloa District called for an international investigation on war crimes allegations.

February 11 Former LTTE leader turned politician Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman launched a new political party to voice the concerns of minority Tamils in the North and East.
February 13

TNA MP MA Sumanthiran said that TNA is for a public referendum on constitution. He said the TNA is prepared to engage in a meaningful discussion on the issue of devolution of power in the new constitution instead of insisting on words.

UK representative at the organizational meeting for the 34th session of the UNHRC held in Geneva communicated that it is planning to sponsor a new consensus resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC at its upcoming 34th regular session in Geneva from February 27 to March 24.

February 15

President Maithripala Sirisena while addressing a ceremony in Colombo said that he is committed to establish a fair and transparent judicial system in the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is in Canberra meeting with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull said that asylum seekers detained in Australia's offshore detention centers can return as it is safe to return to the island now.

Coordinator to the UN Una Makoli and Ambassador of the EU Toolai Margue during a meeting with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran on their tour of Jaffna pledged their cooperation to promote reconciliation between all communities in Sri Lanka.

Chandrika Kumaratunga, Chairwoman of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, said Tamil women who survived civil war now face widespread sexual exploitation by officials in their own community as well as from the Army.

HRW said the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must ask the visiting Sri Lankan Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe some hard questions about how the Sri Lankan Government will provide accountability to victims of war and their families.

February 16

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered practical aid for reconciliation measures in Sri Lanka. Turnbull commended Sri Lanka on its strong economic growth and considerable progress toward national reconciliation since the end of the conflict in 2009.

February 17

HRW Australia's Director Elaine Pearson said "Sri Lanka must employ international judges and prosecutors to ensure accountability during trials of those responsible for alleged war crimes against mostly Tamils."

February 18

Army refuted the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuses of Tamil women in the North by the Army during the post conflict period.

February 20

JO claimed that the Government had turned down all proposals made to the Subcommittee on Centre-Peripheral Relations by the JO.

Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council C.V.K. Sivagnanam addressing a media briefing in Jaffna said that TNA will continue to support the Government despite failure to resolve Tamil people's issues.

HRW said that the Sri Lankan Government has not met its pledge to curtail police abuses prior to the March 2017 session of the UNHRC.

February 22

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a ceremony at Bishop College in Colombo said that Political issues prevailing in the country for over 30-40 years based on the differences in religion and nationality cannot be resolved overnight.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Atigalla ordered that a former LTTE cadre and three others arrested from the Bandaranaike International Airport when they were attempting to send a cap embossed with the official emblem of the LTTE be remanded till March 1.

February 23

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said in Parliament that innocent military personnel should not be punished but those who had committed offences should be dealt with.

TNA in Parliament extended its fullest support to the Government in the process of formulating a new constitution while expressing party's dissatisfaction in the Government's lack of progress in resolving the Tamil people's issues.

February 24

Prime Minister Rani Wickremesinghe in a message to celebrate the Hindu festival Maha Siva Rathri said Maha Siva Rathri is a deeply symbolic of co-existence and harmony among all and is also an ideal time for reflection.

HRW called on the UNHRC to bring a credible follow-up resolution to resolution adopted in October 2015. While acknowledging the positive developments, the HRW expressed concern about the Government's actual willingness to fully implement all aspects of resolution 30/1.

February 25

President Maithripala Sirisena at a ceremony in Polonnaruwa District reiterated that there will be no foreign judges in the domestic mechanism which is to be established to probe the alleged war crimes and human right violations during the three-decade long conflict with LTTE.

February 26

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Government will bar provincial councils from discussing separatism.

February 27

President Maithripala Sirisena has assured that the lands in Kepapaulavu and Pudukuduirippu will be handed over to the people in the area within two days.

February 28

MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera addressing the inaugural conference of the Sri Lanka National Council said that land and Police powers should be given to the people of the Northern Province.

Delivering UK's statement at the 34th Session of UNHRC in Geneva, the UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific Alok Sharma said more time should be given to Sri Lanka to fully implement the October 2015 resolution.

Eight Parliamentarians of the TNA have written to the UNHRC chief requesting him not to give more time to the Sri Lankan Government to address the accountability issue.

March 1

Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing at the Government Information Department said the Government would proceed with a new Constitution along with a referendum.

March 2

Joint Opposition warned that the separatist groups are capable of arming 15,000 terrorists within 48 hours.

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressing the 34th Regular Session of the UNHRC said the National Unity Government is firm in its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on torture.

March 3

A group of ex-LTTE cadres formed a new political party in Trincomalee District. The 'Rehabilitated United Liberation Tigers Front' was formed to get the issues faced by the minority Tamils addressed since the main stream political parties have failed.

UN said that Sri Lanka's slow progress in accountability mechanisms necessitates international participation.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the ceremonial inauguration of "National Law Week 2017" in Colombo ruled out the possibility of a 'hybrid court', saying it was not politically feasible.

March 4

Rejecting UN's recommendation for a hybrid court to probe war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena said "I have backbone to reject foreign judges."

President Maithripala Sirisena participating at the opening ceremony of the first regional office of the "Tell the President" program at Northern Province Governor's office said a new initiative through a new strategy will be implemented for the development of the Northern Province.

TNA welcomed the report of the UNHRC on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations.

March 5

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that LTTE weapons are falling into hands of criminal elements.

March 6

Gampaha District High Court ordered to further detain two LTTE cadres for bombing of a military aircraft in 2000 till March 21.

March 7

Government presented a Bill to ratify and implement the 'International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance'. The Bill seeks to ensure the right to Justice and reparation for victims of enforced disappearances.

TNA urged the Government to take quick action to release all the land occupied by the security forces to the original owners of the land without delay.

March 8

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the Government will take action against any individual, whether they are military or civil, only if the OMP acknowledges them as forced disappearances.

Acting Foreign Minister Harsha De Silva said that Sri Lanka has been given two more years to implement the resolution adopted by UNHRC in October 2015 without any amendment or new suggestions.

March 9

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that a group of Joint Opposition members joined hands with LTTE cadres to stage a protest against him while he was in Australia when the Deakin University conferred him with an honorary degree.

March 10

GTF urged the UNHRC to adopt a new resolution to closely monitor Sri Lanka's compliance in the resolution HRC 30/1 adopted by the council in October 2015.

March 13

An ex-LTTE cadre and three others were arrested by the Police in Wellawaya town of Monaragala District in Uva Province on suspicion.

Sri Lanka sought two more years from the UNHRC to probe the alleged war crimes committed during the conflict with the LTTE.

March 14

EU Court of Justice delivering the judgment of a case on fundraising by the LTTE in Netherlands rejected an argument by people accused of collecting funds for LTTE rebels that activities by the group shouldn't be classified as 'terrorist acts'.

SFHQ-J Commander Major General Mahesh Senanayake at a ceremony held in Jaffna District to hand over new houses built in Nallinakkapuram to displaced families who were living in the welfare centers in Jaffna District said that Government will continue to provide houses built by the Army to all the displaced families in Jaffna.

March 15

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka is carefully studying the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues and will take action to implement the recommendations in the report in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka is carefully studying the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues and will take action to implement the recommendations in the report in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Former members of CTF on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the Government to consider their recommendations and not to ignore the final report.

March 16

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaking at a press briefing in Colombo said the Government could not bring in foreign judicial officers under the existing constitution.

March 17

National Peace Council, an independent and nonpartisan organization working towards peace in Sri Lanka, urged the Government to set a timeline to fulfill those obligations to strengthen its credibility.

March 18

Northern Provincial Council passed a resolution calling for the ratification of the Rome Statute so that Sri Lanka could be hauled up before the ICC if crimes were committed in future.

TNA Spokesman M A Sumanthiran speaking to the media following an event in Jaffna District insisted on foreign judges in the judicial mechanism to inquire into the human rights violations during the last stage of LTTE war.

March 19

A leader Ava Group that committed armed crimes in the Jaffna Peninsula was arrested in the Dehiwela area of Colombo by a special Police team.

March 21

Two members of Ava Group were arrested at Kotahena in Colombo by a team of Jaffna Division Policemen. Police recovered a hand grenade and three swords from them.

Two members of Ava Group were arrested at Kotahena in Colombo by a team of Jaffna Division Policemen. Police recovered a hand grenade and three swords from them.

March 22

Sri Lanka reaffirming its commitment to the reconciliation process and commitments articulated in the UN Resolution 30/1 it cosponsored in 2015, announced that it will be co-sponsoring UN Resolution 34/1 which will grant Sri Lanka two more year to implement the 30/1 proposals.

Sri Lanka reaffirming its commitment to the reconciliation process and commitments articulated in the UN Resolution 30/1 it cosponsored in 2015, announced that it will be co-sponsoring UN Resolution 34/1 which will grant Sri Lanka two more year to implement the 30/1 proposals.

HRW urged the Sri Lankan Government to develop a time-bound implementation plan of all elements in the UN Resolution 30/1 and called on UN member states to remain engaged until all commitments in the Resolution are met in full.

EU, delivering a statement to the 34th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva said Sri Lanka appears to be "turning a corner" on the promotion and protection of human rights.

United States while commending Sri Lanka for the important steps taken since 2015, toward implementing its key human rights, justice, and reconciliation commitments, suggested the Sri Lankan Government to make public a strategy and timetable for implementation of the reforms and commitments outlined in the UN Resolution 30/1.

United Kingdom urged the Government of Sri Lanka to provide the "determined leadership" and a "comprehensive and time bound" implementation strategy to fully deliver on the commitments it made when co-sponsoring the 2015 UN Resolution.

March 23

UNHRC without a vote adopted the consensus resolution on Sri Lanka giving two more years beyond 2017 to fulfill its commitments for reconciliation and transnational justice.

March 24

TNA in a statement said "We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to honor its commitment with regard to these resolutions and implement the same in letter and spirit. In keeping with its commitments, we also urge the government to sincerely address the issues of land release, the detention of Tamil political prisoners, grievances of the families of missing persons, and the enactment of constitutional reforms. The Tamil people have reached their limits of tolerance, and urge that their deprivation and suffering on these several issues be brought to an early end."

March 25

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the induction of U. R. L. De Silva the newly elected President of BASL said that anti-terrorism law would be brought in this year as a part of Government's bid to modernize the country's legal system.

March 27 Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said war crime investigations backed by some Western countries and the United Nations will exacerbate the differences between Sri Lanka's two main ethnic groups instead of uniting them.
March 28

ONUR Chairperson Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said that anyone proven guilty of murdering innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting a war will be held accountable.

Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan said that his ministry has constructed over 11,000 houses in war affected areas.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera addressing the media at the Ministry said having foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes is neither the sole obsession of the Government nor the international community.

March 30

Colombo High Court sentenced a LTTE suspect in Fort Railway Station bomb blast in 2008 that killed 16 people to 20-year-rigorous imprisonment.

The request to summon former Major General Shavendra Silva before the Court in connection with the disappearance of former LTTE leader Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Elilan during the war period was rejected by the Mullaitivu Magistrate M. Samsudeen.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at a function organized for the unveiling of a replica of the Aukana Buddha Statue at the Sri Abhaya Vijayashramaya at Suduwella in Colombo said that the National Unity Government is determined build a unitary country with reconciliation among all communities and declares its full support to create religious reconciliation.

March 31

Skills Development and Vocational Development Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press conference held at the Information Department auditorium in Colombo said that the Government would not allow any foreign tribunal or judge to inquire into the last phase of the LTTE war.

April 1

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the gathering at the concluding ceremony of the 'Yovun Puraya 2017' youth camp held at the Meheyzer Stadium in Trincomalee District said that Consensus Government was established to create peace, reconciliation and development.

April 2

Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne speaking to the media after participating in a function held in Vavuniya District said everyone in the Government including the President and Prime Minister is ready to conduct a referendum on the new Constitution if the need arises.

April 3

Amnesty International in a new report said that Sri Lanka will not break with its violent past until it deals with the cruel history of enforced disappearance and delivers justice to as many as 100,000 families who have spent years waiting for it.

A latest opinion poll conducted by the CPA, a leading public policy research and advocacy think tank in Sri Lanka reveals that a majority believed the Government needs to show better results and the Government has been unsuccessful in informing people about the constitutional reform process.

April 4

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Government is responsible for implementing the recommendations of the UNHRC during the next two years. The main objective of the Government is creating a country with devolution of power where all can live peacefully.

April 8

A study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden has shown that psychosocial programs for children in war-torn Sri Lanka have shown beneficial results.

April 9

TNA leader MA Sumanthiran speaking to BBC Sandeshaya said that the Executive Presidency should be abolished and a new constitution needed to resolve the national issue in Sri Lanka.

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at the cultural program, "Erabadu Vasantham", dedicated to enhance ethnic and religious reconciliation held at Singakkuliya, Dankotuwa District said that spiritual leaders are instrumental in the reconciliation process.

April 10

Fisheries and Acquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera responding to queries raised by journalists at a ceremony held at Beliatta town in Hambantota District said that a special committee comprising the representatives of all parties in Parliament will take the final decision with regard to the Constitution.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the Government will be in a position to set up the Truth Commission soon and to gazette the OMP under a selected Ministry.

April 11

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly decided to let the country's courts of law decide whether the Constitutional reforms require a referendum or not.

SLFP informed the Steering Committee working on constitutional proposals that it was only supportive of constitutional reforms which does not require the approval by the people at a referendum.

April 12

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan addressing a ceremony to handover houses to people displaced due to the LTTE conflict in Vavuniya District said that issues of Tamils need quick solutions but if the Government fails in giving solutions the people will feel fed up with the Government as well.

April 13

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year message said New Year is an occasion to strengthen ties between Sinhalese and Tamils.

April 17

TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said the Government had assured it would release several more blocks lands occupied by the security forces in the North and East.

April 20

President Maithripala Sirisena said he was ready to abolish or prune down the powers of the Executive Presidency.

TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree urged President Maithripala Sirisena to take immediate measures to release all the private lands in the North and East that are still being held by the security forces.

April 24

A meeting regarding the ongoing release of land in the North and East occupied by the armed forces was held at the Defense Ministry under the patronage of Minister of Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs DM Swaminathan. During the meeting, the progress of the lands being released, issues pertaining to the release of lands currently held by security forces and police, and other issues were discussed.

April 25

TPC led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has decided to stage a hartal in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces to compel the Government to resolve the concerns raised by the relatives of those gone missing during the armed conflict.

April 26

The Cabinet approved the Counter Terrorism Bill to be enacted in place of the PTA. The Government had given an undertaking to replace the PTA and replace it with fresh legislation on countering terrorism in conformity with international standards.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne addressing a meeting at the Health Ministry said the referendum for the new Constitution will be held after the new Constitution is passed in Parliament.

Indian Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari during a meeting with the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his delegation in New Delhi offered assistance to develop roads in the North and the East.

April 27

Tamil and Muslim groups in the North-East staged a hartal calling for the Government to release the lands that are still under occupation of the security forces, mete justice to the disappeared persons and provide employment to the war-battered.

April 29

Navy assured that it will immediately release approximately 100 acres of land to the general public in Mullikulam.

Police Media Division announced that Tamil speaking persons applying for jobs in Police Stations in the North and East would be given preference.

ITAK party spokesman MA Sumanthiran at the party's central committee meeting held in Batticaloa said the party has decided to integrate rehabilitated LTTE cadres in to the party as part of a bid to give them the opportunity to involve in political affairs.

May 1

President Maithripala Sirisena honoring the working people on the International Workers' Day called on the country's working class to play a major role in the struggle to establish reconciliation and achieve economic prosperity for the people.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the UNP May Day rally held at Campbell Park in Colombo said that new campaigns will be started to develop the economy in the North with the assistance of India.

Addressing the Democratic National Movement's May Day Rally held in Jaffna District, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said the Government will solve Tamil people's problems before 2018 May Day.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing the May Day rally at the BRC grounds in Colombo said that JVP will not allow another ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

ITAK leader Mavai Senathirajah at a May Day rally held in Alayadivembu Dharmasangari playground in Ampara District said ITAK is willing to absorb the rehabilitated former LTTE cadres into mainstream politics.

May 2

The Cabinet approved the proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to implement the National Reconciliation Policy drafted by ONUR Chaired by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

May 3

PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said the Constitutional draft which is being made is sugar-coated poison and no one should fall for it.

May 4

TNA said it is 'perturbed' by the proposed Counter-Terrorism Act. The TNA said they were 'shocked' by the extent to which the draft framework "curtails civil liberties, erodes judicial control over the state security apparatus and the staggering potential for abuse and torture."

May 15

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a meeting at the Kaduruwela Muslim Madya Maha Vidyalaya in Polonnaruwa District said that communalist elements cannot form Government in Sri Lanka.

May 16

A special discussion was held at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon to look into the issues of the IDPs and the resettled IDPs in the Mannar District.

May 17

In the wake of a petition submitted by the next of kin of those gone missing, TNA leader M.A. Sumanthiran said that his party would continue to urge the operation of the OMP Act without further delay.

May 18

HRW in a statement said Sri Lanka's Counter Terrorism Bill falls far short of the Government's pledges to the UNHRC to end abusive detention without charge.

NPC, an independent and nonpartisan organization working towards peace in Sri Lanka, has held a one-week training program on conflict transformation for peace workers in Colombo under its Religions to Reconcile project.

May 19

Several Police officers attached to the Kilinochchi Police, escaped unhurt when their vehicle was shot at by an unidentified gunman, while driving along the road bordering a forest area in Kilinochchi District.

Army launched a Tamil website concurrent to its English and Sinhala website. The launch was made to facilitate Tamil readership across the country and the world.

President Maithripala Sirisena paid glowing tribute to fallen war heroes at the National War Heroes Memorial Ceremony 2017 at the Parliament Grounds.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a function to declare open the new building of the Secretariat of Mannar District said that the constitution-making process would not be delayed. He further said that the Government will take measures to construct an expressway to connect the Northern Districts of Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee with Badulla in the central hills.

May 20

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a gathering in Sampur town in the Trincomalee District pledged to launch a full scale special investigation into the allegations that disappeared persons are being held in certain detention camps.

May 22

Former international wing leader and chief arms procurer of the LTTE Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP speaking to WION in an exclusive interview said that s a former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, known as MGR, provided money to buy the ships and weapons.

May 23

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at a function held at the Temple Trees in Colombo called on youth to play greater role in reconciliation for country's development.

An orientation program on national integration and reconciliation was held at Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna District. Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council C.V.K. Sivagnanam, Consul General, Deputy High Commission of India, Jaffna, A. Nadarajan, District Secretary, Jaffna N. Vethanayahan, Chief Secretary, Northern Provincial Council A. Pathinathan, Secretary to the Governor of the Northern Province L. Ilangovan, Divisional Secretaries, Religious leaders and over thousand Sunday school teachers participated in the event.

May 31

President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting with Inter Religious Council held at the Presidential Secretariat said All religious leaders should join together to solve religious conflicts.

June 1

Highways State Minister Dilan Perera at a press conference held at the SLFP Head Office in Colombo said all political parties including the TNA have agreed to include the term 'Unitary Status' into the new Constitution that is being formulated.

June 2

HRCSL, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, expressing grave concern over the acts of violence and aggression targeting the Muslim community, urged the President to direct law enforcement authorities to take immediate action against the perpetrators of hate crimes.

June 4

A workshop held by the NPC in Colombo discussed diverse topics on Transitional Justice Mechanisms, the New Constitution and the Referendum.

June 7

UN assured to support the Sri Lankan Government's plans for bringing about reconciliation and the conditions for lasting peace when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the UN Secretary General António Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York.

President Maithripala Sirisena said that he will hand over the task of arresting the trend of religious and communal violence to the Army if the Police are unable to apprehend those who perpetrate these crimes.

Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan speaking at the Adjournment debate moved by Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament said that Sri Lankan state is bound to implement the UNHRC resolution and it cannot be repudiated by Parliament as demanded by the JO.

June 8

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a message to mark the Poson Poya Day called on the Sri Lankans to learn to respect other religions, cultures and individuals for peaceful coexistence.

June 9

HRCSL has written to President Maithripala Sirisena asking him to ensure the right of families to engage in memorialization activities to mourn those who died in the three-decade long armed conflict regardless of their beliefs.

June 12

President Maithripala Sirisena met with the families of disappeared persons in Jaffna District and assured them that he will issue relevant directives to address the demands of the families.

The report by former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto based on her mission to Sri Lanka, was tabled to the UNHRC and the report highly criticized Sri Lanka's justice system.

June 14

Cabinet of Ministers directed the law enforcement authorities and the Attorney General to take immediate action against instigators and perpetrators of violence and hate crimes against religious and ethnic groups.

The proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to form District level committees and to establish a national reconciliation committee to resolve ethnic and religious issues was approved by Cabinet Ministers.

June 18

Police arrested a Police officer and a Buddhist monk for setting fire to a mosque and a Muslim-owned book shop at Panadura town in Kalutara District.

June 20

HRW accused Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe for threatening to disbar a prominent lawyer for speaking out against attacks on religious minorities and called on the Government to immediately reject the Minister's statement.

June 21

OMP Amendment Bill was unanimously passed in Parliament. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, presenting the Bill to the House, said "This institution is paramount in order to put an end to the issue pertaining to the disappearance of persons as soon as possible."

Cabinet of Ministers has given its approval to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe 's proposal to appoint a Ministerial Committee chaired by him to coordinate UNHRC recommendations made in the consensus resolution adopted in October 2015.

GTF reiterated its call to include international judges in the proposed transitional justice mechanism after a damaging report by the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto was tabled at the 35th session of the UNHRC.

Engineer Brigade Commander Amith Seneviratne at an event held at the Batticaloa District Secretariat announced the successful completion of the mine clearing operation in Batticaloa District. It is the first District to be declared mine free by the Army.

June 25

Amnesty International called on the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately implement the much delayed OMP.

June 29

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing an event in Nuwara Eliya District said that social media sites are obstacle to build national unity and religious reconciliation in the country.

July 3

Responding positively to the concerns of the public and local politicians in the Jaffna District, Sri Lanka military released 54 acres of lands and a fishery harbor in Jaffna to the original owners.

July 4

Colombo High Court sentenced a woman for harboring a LTTE female suicide bomber who staged a suicide attack on the then Minister of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services and current President Maithripala Sirisena in 2008 at Boralesgamuwa.

July 6

Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill will be taken up for debate at a future date.

SLPP leader Prof. G.L. Peiris told that the Joint Opposition is contemplating to quit the constitution-making process until the Government declares elections due at the moment.

July 9

Sri Lankan Minister Mangala Samaraweera said 'political ghosts with double-standards' are opposing steps to prevent enforced disappearances in the future.

July 10

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson arrived in Sri Lanka for a five-day official visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government. During his visit from July 10 to 14, the Special Rapporteur will gather first-hand information on initiatives in the area of counter-terrorism and assess how they affect the promotion and protection of human rights.

July 12

JO said that the Government is lying when it says that the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances would not have a retrospective effect.

July 13

Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka addressing the opening ceremony of the eighth SAARC Ministers of Law and Order (Interior/Home Affairs) meeting at Galle Face Hotel said that developing counter terrorism legislature anywhere in the world is challenging and it is a fine balance to ensure that it meets counter terrorism measures while not giving rise to human rights abuses.

TNA MP for Jaffna District, M.A. Sumanthiran filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court against a Government project to build 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for the IDP in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson visited Vavuniya in the Northern Province and met Tamil political prisoners arrested under the PTA.

July 14

Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe addressing a meeting after laying the foundation stone for the Gampola new Courts Complex said that the Government would formulate a new constitution with an open mind, giving due consideration to public views and suggestions.

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson concluding his five-day visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government expressed disappointment in Sri Lanka's progress in achieving the key goals set out in the UNHRC Resolution adopted in October 2015.

Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director ITJP in its latest report said that abduction and torture of Tamils by the Sri Lankan security forces remain systematic because in 30 months the new Government has failed to dismantle the networks of the 'deep state'.

July 15

Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Eastern Provincial Inter-School Athletic Championship-2017 festival organized by the Provincial Department of Education at the Weber Stadium in Batticaloa District said the Eastern Province is a great example of reconciliation.

July 17

IGP Pujith Jayasundera advised all high ranking Police officers that no prisoner should be subject to harassment or torture in Police custody.

July 18

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the aim of the Government is to draft a new constitution which strengthens the rights of all and approved by all ethnic and religious groups.

July 19

Army released 189 acres to original residents in Mullaitivu District. Brigadier General Staff, SFHQ-MLT delivered the formal document officially handing over the 189 acres of land at Keppapilaw to the Maritimepatthu Divisional Secretary in the presence of District Secretary for Mullaitivu Mrs R. Kethiswaran.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Sri Lanka for a three-day visit to review the progress of peace building process.

UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson said that torture is routinely used in Sri Lanka against people detained on national security grounds.

July 20

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Office on Missing Persons Act, paving the way to set up an office to trace around 20,000 people still missing, eight years after the end of the nearly three-decade-long civil war.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the Sri Lankan Government for setting up an OMP.

Government of Japan extended a grant assistance of US$ 611,000 to Sri Lanka for de-mining activities in Northern Sri Lanka.

UK FCO in its Annual Human Rights Report 2016 released on July 20 said the Government of Sri Lanka made progress on some of its commitments reflected in UNHRC Resolution 30/1, but pointed out much remains to be done and greater progress is needed.

July 23

Hemachandra, a Police officer critically injured in July 22 shooting incident in Nallur when an unidentified man opened fire at the Jaffna High Court judge, died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

Jaffna Police arrested two suspects in connection with the shooting at the Jaffna High Court. The two suspects arrested are the brother and a relative of the main suspect, who is still at large.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issuing a statement on the anniversary of Black July in Ottawa reiterated that Sri Lanka should establish a process of accountability that will gain the trust and the confidence of the victims of the war.

July 24

Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan asked the President Maithripala Sirisena to outline a program to address the missing person's issue. The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Government has an obligation to the families of the missing persons to enable them to bring an end to their suffering.

July 26

Vavuniya High Court sentenced K. Dasan, a former cadre of LTTE for abducting and recruiting children to fight during the war, to life imprisonment.

European Court of Justice in Brussels removed LTTE from its terrorism blacklist. By the judgment the Court of Justice reaffirming its case-law, said the European Union had not provided any evidence showing that the LTTE was a risk after their military defeat in 2009.

July 27

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said it is difficult to go back to pre-1972 system as the parties have committed themselves to maximum devolution of power unlike those days where the Government Agents represented the state at the village level.

July 28

International Crisis Group said that eight years after the end of Sri Lanka's armed conflict, Tamil women in the war-torn north and east are still seeking justice and truth for wartime violations.

July 30

Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan said that Government's effort to rewrite the constitution would find a permanent solution to the ethnic issue.

DC annual performance report for the year 2016 has revealed that the 1978 Constitution, as amended to date, is not clear about the appointment of a DC or to specify a mandate for such a commission.

July 31

IGP Pujith Jayasundare who is on a visit to Jaffna District said that the main suspect involved in the attack on two Police constables in Kopay was a former LTTE cadre.

August 1

IGP Pujith Jayasundera during a discussion in Jaffna District said terrorism had not been eliminated completely from the country and the attempts made by the LTTE to stage a comeback should be defeated at any cost.

August 4

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the vote of felicitation to mark his 40 years as a parliamentarian stressed the need to fast track reconciliation and economic development.

Army Chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said that there is no place for war criminals in the Army and they will not be protected under the guise of war heroes.

August 7

Police arrested six members, including the leader of the 'Ava' gang who are allegedly responsible for the sword attack on two Policemen in Kopai of Jaffna District.

August 8

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the Senior Officers Inter Regional Conference on Countering Terrorism and Transnational Crime in Colombo announced to establish a University for Policing and Criminal Justice in Sri Lanka.

Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said Police are now carrying out investigations to uncover possible foreign links to the criminal gang 'Ava group'.

August 10

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan urged the United States to hold the Government of Sri Lanka accountable for the commitments it made to the international community, particularly with regard to the full implementation of the Co-sponsored UNHRC resolution.

August 13

Chairman of the Housing Development Authority Lakvijaya Sagara Palansuriya said 2,500 houses built in the Northern Province under the National Housing Scheme.

August 15

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake speaking to journalists at a media briefing in Colombo dismissed the fears that the former LTTE cadres, who are alleged of committing crimes in the North, are threat to national security.

Security Forces, in keeping with the Government's policy to release more Security Forces-held lands, handed over five land plots extending to 2,332.25 acres and 25.2 perches that were used by SFHQ-KLN and other units to the Government.

August 19

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said that there are some elements attempting to disrupt the trust being built-up between the people in the North and the South.

August 20

Three ex-LTTE carders held in remand at the Anuradhapura Prison commenced a hunger strike since morning urging authorities to expedite their court case.

August 23

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution introducing a new electoral system is presented in Parliament. The Amendment seeks to change the Provincial Council electoral system and holds elections to all nine Provincial Councils on a single day.

August 24

Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran said that there was no possibility of them supporting the draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution outright.

August 25

Parliament passed the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill with amendments. When the Division was taken at the Third Reading 120 voted in favor and 44 abstained while no votes were cast against the bill. The Joint Opposition MPs abstained from voting on the bill.

August 26

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran proposed a Caretaker Government for provincial governance in place of the clause, in the proposed 20th Amendment, which seeks to vest control of the provincial councils in Parliament.

August 28

PAFFREL filed a FR petition before the SC against the draft bill of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The petitioner states that through 20th Amendment the Government can postpone the Provincial Council Election to 2019. PAFFREL therefore requested the SC to issue an interpretation calling for the draft bill to be established through a public referendum.

August 29

Police recovered several posters left behind by intelligence unit of LTTE on the roadside close to Kurumankadu in Vavuniya District. The posters contained several statements saying it would keep an eye on the behavior of Tamil women attached to the LTTE intelligence units. The posters also said Tamil women should not interact with Sinhala men and added that they should be of good behavior.

August 30

Government dismissed the war crime allegations raised by an international human rights group against former commander of Sri Lanka Army General Jagath Jayasuriya.

August 31

Local Government Elections (Amendment) Bill came into effect with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya placing his endorsement on it.

New Minister of Justice and Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala speaking at a media conference after assuming duties as the new Minister of Justice said that no war hero, who saved this country will be sent to international courts.

September 1

Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka claimed he has evidence that his successor General Jagath Jayasuriya has committed war crimes. Field Marshal Fonseka made these remarks in response to the statement made to the media by General Jayasuriya that the then Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was in charge of military operations at that time.

September 2

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during a function at Malkaduwawa in the Kurunegala District said Government will hold elections to the nine provincial councils before the end of 2018 by re-wording the 20th Amendment which was rejected by several provincial councils.

September 3

President Maithripala Sirisena vowed not to let any foreign entity to try island nation's war heroes who fought against terrorism. He said "I will not allow anyone in the world to touch General Jagath Jayasuriya or any other Sri Lankan war hero."

September 4

Army handed over a school in Jaffna which was occupied by the SFs during the war and held afterwards to the civil authorities.

Vision 2025 to build a strong economy through reconciliation and democracy was launched at a ceremony held in Colombo under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Vision 2025 has proposed to build a strong economy through reconciliation and democracy ushering in a change in political culture escaping from the dark shadows of the past.

September 6

The representatives of the Association of Families Searching Disappeared Relatives met with the President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting took place as an agitation conducted by the members of association in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya entered its 200th day.

September 9

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said the Tamil minority community's demand for a federal solution to meet their political aspirations was not aimed at dividing the country.

September 10

President Maithripala Sirisena reiterated that the Government defends the security of all war heroes from the Army Commander to the last soldier and the government would not allow any foreign forces to lay hands on war heroes who laid down their lives to defend the country.

September 11

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein updating on human rights issues in 40 countries at the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva urged the Sri Lankan Government to accelerate the pace of fulfilling the UNHRC resolution adopted in October 2015.

September 12

President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Gazette Notification to operationalize the OMP to help several thousands of families of missing persons across Sri Lanka to discover the fate of their loved ones.

September 14

HRW called on UN member countries to press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the UNHRC's October 2015 resolution for transitional justice.

September 16

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a meeting held at the Polpitgama National School said the OMP agreement has been formulated to be effective to the future only and will not have any retrospective effect.

NPC in a press release urged the Government to implement transitional justice mechanisms promised to the people of Sri Lanka and to the international community without further delay.

September 18

Government decided not to take up the debate on the ICPAPED on September 21. The decision was taken during UNP Parliamentary group meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the chair. It has also been decided not to take up the debate on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution as well.

JO Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said the ICPAPED Bill should be withdrawn from Parliament order paper following the assurance given by the President,.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Resettlement and Rehabilitation D. M. Swaminathan said that the Attorney General's Department will take steps to expedite the cases of those arrested under PTA.

September 19

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the 72nd Session of UNGA in New York urged the international community to support Sri Lanka's reconciliation effort.

September 20

Former President and the Chairperson of ONUR, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at an event held to open an office of the ONUR at the SEUSL in Oluvil stressed that the country's universities should play an important role for the National Unity and reconciliation which has now been in need of a strong support and assistance to rebuild the bond between the communities.

September 21

The interim report of the Steering Committee set up under the CA was presented by its Chairman Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressing that Sri Lanka should remain one undivided and indivisible country where maximum devolution should be granted.

Issuing a statement following the submission of the interim report by Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and TNA R. Sampanthan said "The successful conclusion of this Constitution making process on the basis of an acceptable reasonable and substantial national consensus would bring about a firm finality to this issue. Sri Lanka would perpetually be a united undivided and indivisible country in keeping with the basic and Supreme Law of the country, and on the basis of the free will and consent of its entire people."

In a message to mark the International Day of Peace 2017, UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Una McCauley said although war is over in Sri Lanka, many still face discrimination and hate and much need to be done for peace building and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

September 22

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the time has come for a final opportunity to provide a political solution to the country through the Unity Government and therefore, the extremists should not be allowed to deprive the country of such an opportunity.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya signed the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Bill into law. The Speaker also informed the officials that the Government plans to hold provincial council elections before end of January and local Government elections before end of March next year and instructed them to take necessary measures.

September 23

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres while meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA Sessions said that the UN is ready to provide every possible assistance to Sri Lanka in its efforts to build as a prosperous nation where the reconciliation is strengthened.

While commending the Sri Lanka's current progress to ensure human rights and reconciliation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al-Hussein during a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena in New York said he will be more satisfied if this journey of Sri Lankan Government will be speeded up.

September 29

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at a function held at the Gamunupura Buddhist Center in Ampara promised that he will never allow a new constitution that would damage the unitary state of the country to be prepared and he will not permit any clause regarding Buddhism that appears in the present constitution to be removed or downgraded.

September 30

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe addressing the UNP member meeting in Kalawewa electorate in Anuradhapura said that the proposed constitution draft bill will not include any clause that would become detrimental to the prominent place of Buddhism or to the unitary nature of the country.

October 3

President Maithripala Sirisena after opening the special session of the Parliament held to mark 70 years of Parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka said that the support of all parties is necessary to enact a new Constitution which ensures a Unitary State and strengthens Parliament.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the House said that political solution to the ethnic problem is paramount to achieve economic prosperity.

October 4

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 8th conference of SAARC Speakers held at Hilton Hotel in Colombo assured to consult every stakeholder in the country during the drafting of a new constitution and changing the current constitution.

Opposition Leader and leader of TNA R. Sampanthan during his meeting with visiting UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field at the British High Commissioner's official residence, Westminster House in Colombo highlighted the need for the Northern and Eastern Provinces to merge to function as one province as a majority of Tamil speaking people live in the two provinces.

Tamil People's Council chaired by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran had issued a press notice informing that they are rejecting the report of the subcommittee of the steering committee appointed for drafting the New Constitution.

October 6

HRCSL presenting its observations on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill has requested the President Maithripala Sirisena to endure the bill is enacted.

October 11

The Foreign Affairs Ministry issuing a statement said Governments are not bound by the advice or recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs but can avail of the expert knowledge and experience of Special Rapporteurs who are available to Governments as a resource.

October 13

A Hartal campaign was launched in the Northern Province demanding the release of Tamil prisoners, reports Colombo Page. All regular daily activities have been hampered by the staging of the Hartal by the business community in the North and the Tamil civil organizations.

October 14

President Maithripala Sirisena, who was visiting Jaffna told the black flags waving protesters in the North to take flags of peace and try to resolve conflicts through discussions.

October 17

TNA will move an adjournment motion seeking the immediate release of those held under the PTA, said Opposition and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan.

October 19

A group of protesters including the Northern Provincial councilor K. Shivajilingam held a discussion with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat regarding the Tamil prisoners.

October 21

On the concluding ceremony of the Nila Mehewara - President's People Service- National Programme-2017 held at Saivapragasa Ladies' College in Vavuniya District, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Vavuniya District in the North to resolve the problems of the public.

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the concluding ceremony of the "Nila Mehewara" in Vavuniya District said that the devolution of power should not be carried out in the interest of politicians but it should be dedicated to strengthen the people and fulfill their needs.

October 23

TNA Spokesman and Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran disclosed that the case of three former LTTE cadres scheduled to be taken up for hearing in the Vavuniya High Court (Northern Province) has been transferred to Anuradhapura High Court (North Central Province) upon their request.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people staged a demonstration opposite the Justice Ministry demanding to transfer the case to Vavuniya High Court.

October 24

Government to operationalize the OMP called for applications to appoint members to the OMP.

October 29

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that under the present Government an environment where everyone can live in coexistence has been built.

October 30

The debate on the interim report of the Constitutional Steering Committee began in Parliament. The three-day debate will be concluded on November 1.

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium said that an All Party Conference and an All Religious Conference will be convened to discuss the proposed new Constitution with an objective of dispelling some misconceptions within some quarters.

October 31

Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera participating in the debate held in Parliament on the Steering Committee Report on constitutional reforms said by formulating a new constitution the trajectory of the country can be changed towards a new direction and create an 'equal citizenship' to bring about economic prosperity.

The administration of the University of Jaffna announced the indefinite closure of three faculties with effect from October 31 due to the protests by the students who are demanding the release of Tamil prisoners.

Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa addressing an intellectual forum of the Eliya organization held in Kandy at the OK-J conference hall said the LTTE and the Diaspora are involved in bringing a New Constitution.

November 1

Colombo High Court sentenced Sellathurai Kirubakaran, a suspected LTTE cadre to life imprisonment for the assassination of the Head of the Colombo-Dehiwala Police Intelligence Unit Inspector Sunil Thabrew on July 23, 2003.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe launched the five-year national action plan to protect and promote human rights at a ceremony held at the parliamentary complex.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe participating in the debate on the constitutional compilation council in Parliament told several basic proposals that could be agreed upon by all parties is included in the interim report of the Steering Committee on the new constitution.

Chairman of CA, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced to debate on interim report of the steering committee on November 2 and November 8 due to the demand from a large number of MPs for additional time to express their views.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa participating in the CA debate on the Interim Report of the steering committee on new constitution expressed hope that the new constitution would promote national unity and religious unity.

Leader of Opposition R Sampnanthan told the CA that things will get worse for Sri Lanka especially in the international arena if the country fails to address the National question.

November 5

Government decided to get public opinion on the Interim Report of the Steering Committee on Constitution making via online.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan participating in a livelihood distribution programme in the Mullaitivu District said that poverty level is down in Mullaitivu District.

November 7

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the ceremony to distribute title deeds, organized by the Hill Country New Villages and Community Development Ministry, under the theme 'Our house in our land,' at Hatton Dunbar Grounds, said that Government is committed to solve ethnic issue.

November 8

Colombo High Court sentenced a LTTE cadre for life imprisonment for conspiring and abetting to explode a claymore mine targeting a commuter bus at the Piliyandala bus stand in 2008, which killed 26 people and injured scores.

Sri Lanka responding to an AP report which alleged that dozens of Tamil men were raped and tortured by the government, stressed that the Government of Sri Lanka does not condone or tolerate any form of torture.

November 9

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a representative gathering of more than 350 COs at the Colombo Army Hospital auditorium said that no war hero will be subject to foreign tribunals.

Presenting the budget in Parliament, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the budget has focused on the post-war reconciliation proposing a number of measures to develop the war-ravaged North and East and uplift the lives of the people in those area.

November 10

Sri Lanka's human rights record will be examined by the UNHRC's UPR Working Group for the third time in a meeting that will be webcast live. The review will take place on November 15 from 2:30 - 6:00 p.m. (Geneva Time) in Room 20 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran said that a new political front is likely to be mooted against the TNA in the Northern Province ahead of the elections to the local authorities.

November 11

NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran at a special meeting of the TPC held at the Jaffna Library auditorium urged Tamil leaders, who were over 60 years, to move aside and allow the younger generation to take up politics.

November 12

President Maithripala Sirisena said that the army camps in the North have not been removed or will not be removed in a way which will weaken the national security or have an impact on the security forces but lands acquitted by the armed forces during the war will be released to people.

November 13

Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella participating in the Committee Stage Debate on the Budget 2018 proposals said the ethnic issue has to be resolved fast.

Leading politicians and members of Civil Society Organizations addressing a seminar entitled "A new Constitution is Required" at the New Town Hall, Colombo stressed the importance of bringing a new Constitution which safeguards the unitary status of the country.

November 14

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the opening ceremony of the first factory in the Menik Farm village in Mullaitivu District as part of the 150 Mini Apparel Factories Program initiated by his Ministry said Menik Farm village will converted to an apparel village.

November 15

Jaffna High Court summoned Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake to appear in Court on January 18, 2018, over the disappearance of 24 Tamils since their arrest in 1996 by security forces during the LTTE.

HRW urged the UN members to insist on Sri Lanka to adopt an action plan and timeline to implement Geneva proposals as promises to the UNHRC have gone unmet.

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva, who delivered Sri Lanka's statement to the third cycle of UPR review of Sri Lanka in Geneva, said the response to the island nation's progress in Human Rights from member states of the UNHRC were "extremely positive and constructive."

Leave of all Police officers attached to the Jaffna Police Station had been cancelled until further notice due to suspicions that a clash could break out during Mahaviru Day celebrations in Jaffna. The commemoration of Mahaviru Day in Jaffna falls on November 27.

November 16

President Maithripala Sirisena while meeting the family members of the missing persons at the Presidential Secretariat said no one is held in secret custody.

November 17

UNHRC adopted the outcome of the third UPR on Sri Lanka at the 28th session of the UPR in Geneva.

Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe speaking during the Committee Stage debate on the budget proposal for the fiscal year 2018 in Parliament said the Executive Presidency should be retained for the country's defense and to protect its unitary status.

November 19 Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said 41 suspects had been arrested during raids carried out in Jaffna following the recent sword attack incidents in the peninsula region.
November 20

President's Media Division in a statement said that Army contributes to implementation of many health projects in the North.

Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam shared information on Sri Lanka's journey of peace building with UN Peace building Commission in New York.

November 21

Two Aava gang members were arrested with swords during a raid conducted at Point Pedro in Jaffna District.

November 22

Verite Research, Head of Media Research Deepanjali Abeywardena, at a discussion on the constitutional Reforms and Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, organized jointly by Internews and the Law and Society Trust, which was held at the auditorium of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies said that momentum will be lost if a referendum on reforms to the constitution is not held within the next three months.

November 24

TNA MP S. Sridharan allocated SLR 4 million out of his decentralized budget to renovate the Mahaviru Mausoleum where the bodies of dead LTTE members are buried in Kanakapuram in Kilinochchi District.

November 26

Jaffna Police recovered huge cache of weapons including firearms and explosives packed in a fertilizer bag and dumped by the roadside on the Jaffna-Vaddukoddai Road.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera said the economic crisis that began with the LTTE war in the early 1980s has affected Sri Lanka in various ways up to 2015.

November 27

Police arrested two persons carrying swords on a motorcycle in Chavakachcheri town of Jaffna District. Police believe they may have been carrying the swords with the intention to commit a crime.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe ordered an inquiry in to the reports that Kilinochchi TNA parliamentarian S. Sritharan has allocated SLR 4 million of his decentralized budget to rebuild the cemeteries for dead LTTE fighters.

November 28

Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna has been indefinitely closed due to a possible clash between Sinahla and Tamil students in the university.

November 29

A three-member delegation from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka from December 4-15 to assess the country' situation regarding the deprivation of liberty.

November 30

Commander Security Forces (Jaffna) Major General Dharshana Hettiarachchi handed over 29 acres of land to the Jaffna District Secretary, N. Vethanayahan at a ceremony at Ottampalam, Vasuvillan in Jaffna District.

UK reiterated its continued support to Sri Lanka to fully implement the consensus UN resolution adopted in October 2015 to promote reconciliation.

December 5

The Court of Appeal dismissed a Writ Petition filed by the Marxist party, JVP seeking an order to arrest and prosecute former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP.

TELO decided to leave TNA to join hands with other Tamil parties to contest the Local Government elections.

December 8

Constitutional Council submitted the names of seven nominees for OMP to President Maithripala Sirisena.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.

 

 

 

 

 
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