4:21 PM

Jayantha Wijesekara was Remanded

JVP MP Jayantha Wijesekara has surrendered himself to the Police over the hijacking of the dissident JVP MPs’ vehicles.JVP MP Jayantha Wijesekara was remanded till April 17 in connection with the hijacking of dissident JVP MPs’ vehicles.

1:53 PM

Harry Goonethileke Passes Away

Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke ndc, psc who served as the fifth commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force from November 1976 to April 1981, passed away peacefully this morning at his home at the age of 79.

Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke ndc, psc who was predeceased by his son Group Captain Shirantha Goonetileke, who died in action in 1995, leaves behind his wife Marion Goonetileke, his son the present Air Force Commander Air Marshal Roshan Goonetileke, his daughters Shiromini Guruge and Sharmini Fernando, his daughters in law Nelun Goonetileke and Roshanthi Goonetileke, his sons in law Oliver Guruge and Kenneth Fernando and his Grandchildren Nihara, Rehan, Rukshila, Manillka, Mirasha, Evan and Ronali.

12:54 PM

Arbour Condemns Weliweriya Attack

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has strongly condemned the suicide bombing which killed a Government minister and at least 14 other people at the start of a marathon in Sri Lanka, on April 6.

She also extended her condolences to the bereaved families of the Victims, as the funerals of the victims continued to take place on Thursday, states the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right's (OHCHR) in a press release.

"Such violence shows a complete disregard for the right to life and security of Sri Lankans, and breaches the most fundamental principles of international law," Arbour said.

5:40 AM

Wimal Weerawansa Hiding Due To Death Threats

JVP parliamentary group leader and Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa has gone into hiding following death threats to him and the ten JVP MPs who backed him after the party split early this week. Weerawansa had left his residence yesterday on the advise of his supporters and gone into hiding following his differences with the party leadership, political sources said.

Meanwhile, the vehicles belonging to three JVP parliamentarians, who are backing Weerawansa, had been forcibly taken away by unidentified groups. A senior police officer said the vehicles of Piyasiri Wijenayake and Achala Jagoda had been robbed on Wednesday from the Parliament garage and the vehicle of Samansiri Herath was taken away by a group of persons who had gone to his home at Arachchikattuwa, Chilaw the same night.

The group which had robbed the vehicles from the parliament members’ garage had also attacked a policeman there. He was admitted to hospital.

The Chilaw police said Samansiri Herath had made a complaint that a group of persons had come to see him on Wednesday at his home at Arachchikattuwa. They were engaged in a cordial conversation but suddenly started arguing with him. They had then assaulted his driver and taken his vehicle.

There was yet another report that a fourth vehicle, the one belonging to Matale District JVP member Sujatha Alahakone was robbed. But it was found that the vehicle was taken from her residence to another place by her driver.

Police said all the three vehicles had been robbed by JVP members. Parliament Police and Chilaw Police have commenced investigations.


2:23 AM

United States Press Release

The United States welcomes the release on April 7 of eleven children by the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). We commend the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka, UNICEF, and other parties to bring about this release and their commitment to providing counseling, rehabilitation, and training that will enable former child soldiers to become productive members of society.

As the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of the Eastern Province work to bring stability to the East by expanding economic opportunities, strengthening the rule of law, and ending violence, this initial release of children is a positive development. It is a welcome first step, but there is more to be done. The United States urges the TMVP and other armed groups in the country to release all children under their control so that these young victims of conflict can begin the process of psychological healing, social integration, and education that will lead them to a brighter future.