| January 1
The Indian Housing Project, under
which 46,000 houses are to be constructed or repaired in Sri Lanka's
Northern and Eastern Provinces and 4,000 houses constructed in
the Central and Uva Provinces, is nearing completion in Northern
and Eastern Provinces.
TNA leader R. Sampanthan in his
New Year message said "As a country, we have the enormous task
of achieving a meaningful solution to the national question, beneficial
development and lasting peace and reconciliation. It is through
solidarity that we can build a prosperous country while acknowledging
the ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and other unique features
of each community."
President Maithripala Sirisena
in an interview has promised to provide land to settle as many
as 100,000 war victims displaced by the three-decade long war
within six months.
MP Suresh Premachandran, an activist
the TPC, said that TPC will propose a solution to the ethnic conflict
in the North before the end of January. He said the proposal will
be presented to the residents of the North and East for feedback.
President Maithripala Sirisena
in an interview said that Government would not act in haste for
setting up a special court on allegations of violations of human
rights in the last stages of the civil war.
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said
that 36 Sri Lankans have gone to Syria with some of them having
joined the ISIS.
Ministry of Defense said that the security forces
and intelligence agencies were on full alert on the possibility
of any groups having links with the IS or emergence of IS in the
President Maithripala Sirisena pardoned former
LTTE cadre Sivaraja Jenivan alias Mohommadu Sulthan Cader
Mohideen who tried to assassinate him in 2006.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De
Silva speaking to media in Kandy city of Kandy District said that
there is no room for terrorism to raise its head once again in
PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented in Parliament
a resolution for the appointment of the Constitutional Assembly
for formulating a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.
President Maithripala Sirisena while addressing
the Parliament stressed that the country's Constitution needs
to be changed to suit the present era for the development of the
Senior Minister and Leader of the House Lakshman
Kiriella at a media briefing said that the Government is looking
towards compiling a Constitution with a basic structure that cannot
be changed forever.
Minister Susil Premajayantha at a media conference
at the SLFP office said that the nine-point amendment presented
by them on the resolution to convert Parliament into a Constitutional
Assembly was accepted by the UNP and the resolution was likely
to be passed in Parliament on January 12.
Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development
Eran Wickramaratne briefing a media conference held at UNP headquarters
at Sirikotha in Colombo said that all political parties can contribute
to prepare new constitution.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in an informal
briefing to the General Assembly in New York highlighted Sri Lanka's
smooth power transfer following the 2015 presidential elections
as a triumph in 2015.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe while addressing
the Thai Pongal National Ceremony held in the Weerasingham Hall
in Jaffna District said that the Government is in the process
of creating a mechanism to implement the proposals in the UN resolution
to establish true reconciliation in the country.
Intelligence agencies are on high alert on the
possibility of local groups having links with the extremist group
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe making a statement
on the proposed Constitution said that the new Constitution in
the making will not change the unitary nature of the country and
the country will not be divided as some have alleged.
CPRC appointed by Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe
to seek public opinion on the proposed constitutional reforms
will begin their first session in Colombo from January 18.
German national Yogendran G. (53) accused of raising
funds from 2007-2009 for the LTTE in and around Hamburg City in
northern Germany went on trial. Prosecutors in the Hamburg court
said that the man raised more than 81,000 Euros for combat and
terrorist activities including suicide attacks by the LTTE in
its campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.
President Maithripala Sirisena participating
at the Thai Pongal ceremony held in the Hindu College in Kalutara
District sought the contribution of religious leaders to the Government's
program to build peace and brotherhood.
Cabinet at its weekly meeting approved amending
the 1979 Code of Criminal Procedure Act to recognize the right
of suspects arrested by the Police for legal counsel.
President Maithripala Sirisena at a special discussion
held at the Presidential Secretariat instructed the relevant officials
to complete the resettlement of 44,015 remaining IDPs in the Northern
Province within six months.
President Maithripala Sirisena in a BBC interview
said "Foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved in
an investigation into allegations of war crimes. I believe in
the judicial system and other relevant authorities in this regard.
I will never agree to international involvement in this matter.
We have more than enough specialists, experts and knowledgeable
people in our country to solve our internal issues."
President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at an
event at Puthukkudiyiruppu town in the Mullaitivu District promised
to resolve unemployment issue in the North. He added that many
local and foreign investors have come up with investment plans
for the North to help resolve the burning issue of unemployment
among the youth in the North.
HRW called on the Sri Lankan Government to fulfill
its commitments to the UNHRC by ensuring that foreign judges and
prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability
mechanism for wartime abuses.
GTF, the London-based Tamil Diaspora organization
expressed deep concern over the comments made by the Sri Lankan
President regarding International Involvement on Accountability
Cabinet spokesperson, Minister Rajitha Senaratne
at the weekly media briefing in Colombo assured that the domestic
mechanism to be instituted to investigate the alleged war crimes
committed during the ethnic conflict will meet international standards.
HRW World Report 2016 said that although elections
in Sri Lanka in January 2015 brought about momentous changes after
nearly a decade of increasingly autocratic rule, the Government
is yet to take significant measures to end the impunity for security
force abuse, including Police use of torture.
UN Secretary?General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope
that Sri Lankan Government will abide by the commitment it made
to the UNHRC when it co-sponsored the UN resolution.
President Maithripala Sirisena in an interview
with the Al Jazeera news agency said that there were no allegations
of war crimes at the UNHRC in Geneva, only allegations of human
The Colombo Special High Court removed the arrest
warrant issued on former LTTE leader Emil Kanthan after his lawyers
informed the court that he is prepared to return to the island
in two weeks and surrender to the Police.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe while addressing
the Commonwealth Parliamentarians' Association Regional Seminar
for Members of Parliament in Colombo said that the Government
will not deviate from the Geneva resolution on reconciliation
and accountability in any way.
A German Court convicted Sri Lankan-born German
national Yogendran G. (53) for raising funds in Germany from 2007-2009
for the LTTE. The Court found that the man raised more than 81,000
Euros for the LTTE.
Addressing the Nation on the occasion of the 68th
anniversary of Independence Day at the Galle city of Galle District,
President Maithripala Sirisena said that the biggest challenge
faces today is to build harmony through a process of reconciliation
bringing about co-existence and national understanding.
During the ninth India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission,
co-chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and
her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera, India has signed
agreements in Colombo to build a hospital in Eastern Province
and renovate schools in the Northern Province.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad
Al Hussein, who was touring Jaffna District, said that the charges
leveled LTTE prisoners should be resolved through the court and
it is a responsibility of the Sri Lankan Government.
Government has taken measures to appoint an 11-member
Special Task Force to obtain public views on the Geneva proposals.
Attorney-at-law and human rights activist Manouri Muttetuwegama
has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sepcial Task Force and
Executive Director of Center for Policy Alternatives, Dr. Paikiasothy
Saravanamuttu is the Secretary of the Special Task Force.