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Competing for South Asia
Published Date: 25/05/2018 (Friday)
China’s aggressive campaign to gather partners for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a trade corridor stretching from Russia to Indonesia, has left the world awestruck. A clear move to cement its superior position in Asia, it has also caused a significant change in the alliances of the region, creating troubles for India – the other regional power. China introduced its plan for the BRI in 2013 and within a span of four years, 65 countries have agreed to be a part of this multibillion-dollar project. While some, like Pakistan have been traditional Chinese allies, in the case of others like Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Maldives, the move to partner with China has caused some disappointment in Indian diplomatic circles since it means weakening the decades of long relationships with India.
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Trump nominates Alaina Teplitz as US Ambassador to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 25/05/2018 (Friday)
US President Donald Trump has nominated Alaina B. Teplitz, of Colorado, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Maldives. Focused on laying the foundation for successful 21st century American diplomacy, Ms. Teplitz held the Assistant-Secretary ranked position of Director of the Under Secretary for
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Fonseka ready to pay Gotabhaya’s deposits
Published Date: 25/05/2018 (Friday)
Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Sarath Fonseka says he is ready to pay the Presidential election candidate deposits if Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is contesting for the upcoming presidential election. The minister made this statement in response to a question raised by journalists in Gampaha today (25th). “Not only members of the UNP but also ministers in the government were terrified of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa because of the white van abductions, assaults and looting public property.” Fonseka said.
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'Sri Lanka committed against corruption'
Published Date: 25/05/2018 (Friday)
Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption Sarath Jayamanne says Sri Lanka remains fully committed to implementing the provisions of the Convention in an effective manner. Sri Lanka participated in the High Level debate of the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 15th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The event was held on Wednesday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
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Hype and haunt hovering over Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
There is a connection between the hype that is being built these days around Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary and once-powerful brother of the once-powerful President, and the haunt that shadows him wherever he goes. The hype is loud and we can see and hear. The haunt, less visible to naked observation, is that of the ghost of Lasantha Wickrematunge, former Editor of The Sunday Leader, who was butchered and murdered in broad daylight. Keith Noyahr, former Deputy Editor of The Nation, is also haunting Gota; yet Lasantha’s macabre and creeping shadow overwhelms that of Keith.
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Sri Lanka's controversial monk faces prospect of jail time
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka's highly controversial Buddhist monk, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, was facing the prospect of up to two years in jail Thursday after he was found guilty of two counts of criminal conduct by the Homagama Magistrate. Sentencing was put off till June 14, but the two counts under the penal code carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, an unspecified fine and or both. This is the first time that the monk faces the prospect of actually going to jail. The magistrate found guilty of intimidating Sandya Eknaligoda in January 2016 when she was in court to hear the proceedings of her husband's disappearance. Military intelligence officers stand accused
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INTERPOL locates Arjuna Mahendran in Singapore
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
The INTERPOL has officially informed the Criminal Investigations Department that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is currently in Singapore. Accordingly the Department of the Attorney General informed Court that an extradition process is currently underway to bring back the former Central Bank Governor. Arjun Mahendran is named as the main suspect in the case filed over the controversial issuance of Central Bank bond issuance.
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Wiggy criticizes Rajitha’s statement
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday (22) said that Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne should have visited the Mullivaikkal ground on 19 May 2018, to listen to the war widows, parents, siblings and children of those who died on 18 May 2009, who would have given him the exact story of what happened on the last days of the war, where he would have learnt from them how the military studiously took charge of the surrendees publicly and later denied taking charge of them. "It is pathetic to hear all persons who were killed on or about that fateful day being referred
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Austrian banks grant Rs2.7bn interest free loans for university & health sectors
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
Two Austrian banks have provided over 2.7 billion rupees worth interest free loans for health sector development and to improve university medical facilities, the Finance Ministry said. The Erste Bank of Austria has provided EUR 9.5 million (approximately SLR 1,810 million) interest free credit facility to enhance the access to quality and modern healthcare facilities in hospitals in the country. The Government has now been able to provide Anaesthetic Machines, ICU Ventilators, Blood gas analyzers, Endoscopes, Operation Theatres and mobile lights for identified hospitals in Sri Lanka.
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Files on Tamil Tigers and MI5 in Sri Lanka erased at Foreign Office
Published Date: 24/05/2018 (Thursday)
Soldiers of the LTTE, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka, celebrating Tamil Women’s Day in October 2002. Photograph: Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi/Reuters Britain’s Foreign Office destroyed almost 200 files on Sri Lanka dating from the start of a Tamil Tiger uprising during which MI5 and the SAS secretly advised the country’s security forces, it has emerged. The loss of the files means that there is almost no record of the British government’s work with the Sri Lankan authorities at the start of a famously brutal civil war.
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Sri Lanka then and now!!
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
We wonder if even God can help our country now!!! Our island home was a beautiful paradise and its inhabitants were good God-fearing people!!! That was in the time of the benevolent respected leaders, who truly loved this country and its people. They fought long and hard to gain independence and they maintained the TRUE SPIRIT OF THAT INDEPENDENCE they fought so hard to gain!!! When did our beautiful island paradise turn into the MONSTROSITY IT IS TODAY!!! In 1947, the Ceylon Independence Act saw the light of day and the first election in the history of our island, elected D.S. SENANAYAKE as the FIRST PRIME MINISTER – CEYLON GAINED ITS FREEDOM!!!
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Startup boot camps inspire young entrepreneurs in Jaffna
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka’s supply of entrepreneurs is relatively short, and it’s only hindering the economic growth of the country. Only 2.8% of the Sri Lankan population are business owners (as compared with 10-20% in comparable countries around the world, according to a September Daily FT article). Congruently, 45% of the population earns less than $5 a day according to the World Bank, showing a need for further economic development, including through developing startup companies that will provide employment and innovation, to bring success to the Sri Lankan population.
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Common candidate in the making
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
A certain civil society group is said to be looking for a suitable person to be fielded as the common candidate at the big poll due in less than two years. A foreign diplomat too is behind this group. However, the Green bucks have not taken to this idea though they have already ruled out their leader as a candidate. Meanwhile, most party seniors too have come around to the view that their second in command is the ideal choice. The eye of the civil society group on the lookout for a common candidate has now fallen on a popular figure with some 3.4 Facebook fans. An apolitical character, he has no connection to a political leader or a political party
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Turkey to provide food aid to 5,000 Sri Lanka Muslims
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
The Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) will distribute 5,000 food packages for iftar, a fast breaking meal, in Sri Lanka for three days, the foundation’s deputy chief said on Wednesday. In the first day of the aid campaign, TDV, the charity body of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, organized distribution events in Kinniya, Kiran, Vellenkulam, Naduoothu, Muttur and Topur regions of Kaluppu province. Speaking at the event in Kinniya, Abdurrahman Cetin, the deputy secretary-general of the foundation, said TDV aims to give a helping hand to 5,000 Muslims in Sri Lanka.
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Fulfill promises instead of having debates: Namal to Mangala
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Joint Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday urged Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera to focus on fulfilling promises he had made to the people before inviting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a political debate. MP Rajapaksa in a tweet said “With respect, how can you be focusing on political debates in the midst of devastating floods the people in Sri Lanka are facing? For the past three years, you have been so focused on criticizing Mahinda Rajapaksa that you have forgotten to fulfill promises made to the people,”
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UN, Sri Lanka non-profit agencies win 25,000 houses deal
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka has accepted a bid by United Nations agencies, non-profit organanizsations to build 25,000 brick and mortar houses for war refugees in the north and east of the country. The cabinet of ministers had approved the proposal by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to given the contract to a proposal by UN-Habitat, UN office for project service, Sri Lanka Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The bid on a non-profit basis had beaten other bids by construction contractors, the state information office said.
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In defence of art as a social reality
Published Date: 22/05/2018 (Tuesday)
While Dr. Lester James Peries called Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s maiden cinematic labour, Hansa Vilak a ‘dazzling debut’ which ‘displays a remarkable feel for the medium’ and ‘imaginative, experimental and very exciting,’ scholar and critic Reggie Siriwardene lauded him for ‘a form and style which went further than any Sinhala film before in taking us into the world of inner psychological experience.’ To have found ‘the means of reflecting through the form and techniques of the film, the pressures of society and the family in the mind of a bewildered and tormented individual is Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s great achievement,’ Reggie Siriwardene wrote.
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Lord Naseby meets Sri Lankan Diaspora at House of Lords
Published Date: 22/05/2018 (Tuesday)
Last week, the UK Parliament paid tribute to the Sri Lankan community living in the United Kingdom with the first-ever meeting pertaining to Sri Lanka, one of the most auspicious days in the British calendar last week. For the first time in history, the Sri Lankan community event was held on 16th of May 2018 in the House, of Lords, Palace of Westminster. Mr Ranjiv Goonawardena, organised, chaired and facilitated the meeting, with the collaboration of Right Honourable Lord Naseby, on behalf of the Global Sri Lankan Forum UK (GSLF UK).
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British political leaders call for an International Tribunal to investigate Sri Lanka’s genocide
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
At the Mullivaikal Genocide (Sri Lanka) Remembrance Day 2018 held at the Hyde Park, London on the 18th of May 2018, organised by the British Tamils Forum, several British politicians called for setting up of an international tribunal to investigate the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and imposing economic sanctions against the state. During the war that ended in May 2009, around 430,000 Tamil people had taken refuge in Sri Lankan State declared safe zones in Mullivaikkal a coastal village bordering the Bay of Bengal in the North Eastern part of the island of Sri Lanka. Having deceived and corralled the people into a narrow slither of land by designating it as a “no fire zone” the state pounced them with heavy artillery from land sea
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IS THERE A BREAKDOWN IN GOVERNANCE? - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The coalition government led by the UNP and a faction of the SLFP led by President Sirisena in the so-called ‘National Unity’ government came into power in January 2015 -a coming together of two political forces which have since their creation been diametrically opposed to each other. Unfortunately the coming together of two diametrically opposed political forces without either a common ideology or pragmatic programme of work was bound to flounder. And so it has come to pass. In the aftermath of the governing coalition’s defeat at the local government elections to the new political formation -the SLPP, led by immediate past President Rajapaksa, the unity
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Demilitarisation
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The end of the war anniversary this month is once again polarizing the country. The losses are again being counted along ethnic lines, reinforcing notions of “war heroes” and “martyrs”. Remembering the war and the dead in this manner is providing few lessons and avenues towards seeking a peaceful and just future. With the changing political dispensation in the South this year, a new constitution to address the issues that underlie the conflict are no longer in sight. In side stepping the issue of a political settlement, the doors are widening again for majoritarianism and jingoism in the South.
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most welcome measure
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Government has decided to get rid of the menace of narcotics from schools by setting up drug counselling units in all the schools in the country. A month ago in the Eastern Province a student was caught at a road checkpoint by Police carrying narcotic pills in a three-wheeler to be distributed at his school. The investigation into the arrest of the student and the seizure of narcotic pills from his possession had revealed how the innocence of the school-goers has been exploited by the drug dealers.
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OMP to set up 12 regional offices to inquire into missing persons
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka will set up 12 regional offices covering the entire country to receive information and complaints from families and other individuals of the missing persons, the OMP Chairman President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris told the media after the OMP held its second meeting in Matara. The newly-created OMP, which began public consultations on 12 May in Mannar, held its second public meeting at the Matara District Secretariat on Saturday (19).
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Chinese Roulette in Paradise Isle
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
Donald Trump first became a household name in the US for a book he claimed as his own but didn’t write – The Art of the Deal. Recently he learned a real life lesson in the art of the deal from a consummate master of the art of the deal – the Chinese. Last month Mr. Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese technology giant, the ZTE, banning it from using American technology in making its phones. The Chinese government responded by agreeing to loan USD 500 million to a company with business links to the Trump family which is building a theme park in Indonesia. Days later Mr. Trump announced removing the sanctions against the ZTE
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Towards A Non-Political Party
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
How our political parties have kept their promises is well known, as is the downward march of our political culture. Beginning with scattered incidence of bribery, corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the early post-independence era, these have today become the very definition of government. It was with fervent hope that the majority of the people voted the present government into power, but deep disappointment with it and the system of parties within which it is embedded, has made it necessary to contemplate a political structure beyond the traditional political party, that we might call a ‘Non-Political Party’. A non-political party requires us to rethink politics as we know it. Such a party is a loose
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