3:44 PM

Somawansa pleads for GSP+

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has pleaded for the European Union’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) trade scheme benefit during a tour he made to the United Kingdom last week, urging Britain to intervene on Sri Lanka’s behalf.
JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told The News-Lanka that during the meeting Amarasinghe had with British Labour MP Andrew Love, who also heads the Sri Lanka Committee of the British Parliament, the JVP Leader had emphasised that if the EU were to curtail the GSP+ benefit, it would not only impact the government but also affect the people outright, especially the thousands employed in the garment industry.
Amarasinghe had urged the British Parliamentarian to intervene on Sri Lanka’s behalf and ensure that the GSP+ benefit was given to Sri Lanka, to which Love had responded that although their role was very limited, the Sri Lanka Government could do “much more” to ensure that the benefit is enjoyed by the island nation.The JVP Leader’s plea comes just weeks after UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe undertook a mission to the EU, where he held high-level discussions with senior officials, urging them to renew the GSP+ concession to Sri Lanka once it expires later this year.

3:42 PM

Cold war hits Ranil

With a fresh coup attempt distressing United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the seemingly nervous UNP Leader was seeing attempting to lure party members and also approaching rebel MPs who had defected to the government, promising them plum positions if they sided with him, The Nation reliably learns.Highly-placed sources, who spoke on the condition of strict anonymity, claimed that over the past week, Wickremesinghe had been having one-to-one meetings with UNP Parliamentarians to test the waters – amidst secret closed door meetings being held elsewhere, where moves to overthrow Wickremesinghe had been discussed at length.
“Some 30 to 35 members are in support of the overthrow moves, but no one is showing their support in the open for obvious reasons,” the sources said. It is learnt that apart from Wickremesinghe and his close associates, even members of the government are trying to identify those who were heading the attempts in a bid to buy them over, but the adamant UNPers are insistent that they only want a leadership change, not a party change.The majority of the members who are fighting for the change have cited Wickremesinghe’s failure to take collective decisions as the main reason for the change, with the other reason being their loss of faith in his leadership.

11:59 AM

Periyamadu Tank area captured

According to the sources, despite the heavy resistance given by the LTTE terrorists, soldiers who were inching towards LTTE territory captured the entire bund of the Periyamadu Tank which is about 2.5 Km long.
Seven soldiers were suffered injuries during the gun battle and damages to the LTTE terrorists are yet to be known. It is a major set back to the LTTE terrorists as the security forces gained the whole tank area under their control.

11:01 AM

SLAF jets destroy key LTTE combat-logistic facility in Mullaittiuvu

SLAF fighter jets launched precision air sorties destroying a key LTTE combat-logistic facility located at Venavil Southwest of Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaittiuvu district on Sunday (June 15) at around 10a.m.
Large explosions were observed from the target site Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said, citing fighter pilots, further adding that the facility was used to convert, maintain and service LTTE's combat vehicles.
The target was acquired following constant air surveillances and continuously gathered information, defence sources said. This strategically important facility also consisted a large fuel dump, the sources added. The workshop at this site was used to modify, maintain and service combat transport vehicles for the LTTE and also believed to be a prime logistic and combat supply storage for the terrorists, the sources further asserted.

9:57 AM

Sri Lanka invites Indian PM for SARC Summit in Colombo

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will arrive today to New Delhi to extend the formal invitation to Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India to attend the 15th SAARC Summit in August to be held in Colombo. The next meeting of the Heads of State and government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is scheduled to be held from 2 – 3 August, in Sri Lanka.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) with almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states was established on December 8, 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. In April 2007, at the Association's 14th summit in India, Afghanistan became its eighth member. SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development in member states.
As the SARC summit is to be held in Colombo, it is a customary practice to deliver invitations in person to all Heads of Government. As India is the current Chair, the first invitation will be delivered to the Indian Prime Minister. During this visit Minister is expected to have bilateral talks with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Pranab Mukherjee.
According to news reports, Indian External Affairs Minister Mukherjee will host a "working lunch" for Bogollogama at the Hyderabad House on Monday. The two leaders will have a detailed discussion on the Sri Lanka situation as well as areas of bilateral cooperation.