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New Constitution : ‘Zero draft’ ready to go
Published Date: 16/07/2018 (Monday)
The much awaited report of the constitutional Expert Panel, also known as the ‘Zero draft’, which is expected to form the basis for the final draft of Constitution, will be presented to the Steering Committee when they meet on Wednesday, July 18, authoritative sources told the Sunday Observer.
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Hindu group protests against Muslim teachers wearing abaya
Published Date: 16/07/2018 (Monday)
Fathima Rameez had been teaching at Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College for five years and never feared for her safety in Trincomalee, a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka. But that all changed on April 24. Early that morning, near the school, four men tried to attack another Muslim teacher with sticks. When Rameez arrived at work, 150 Hindu protesters were outside the school demanding five female Muslim teachers stop wearing their abaya robes.
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India wants Sri Lanka to expedite joint projects
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
India has sought Sri Lanka’s cooperation in swift completion of joint ventures, amidst anxiety in South Block over apparent delays in taking India-assisted projects in the island forward. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, here on a one-day visit, called on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, and conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s keen interest in seeing the projects expedited, sources said. The talks, both with Mr. Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesinghe, were largely focussed on key Indian projects, such as the proposed joint venture to run the Mattala airport in the island’s Southern Province; an LNG terminal near Colombo, and the joint development of the oil storage facility in the eastern port town of Trincomalee, The Hindu reliably learns.
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Rights groups slam Cardinal
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners, whilst condemning Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s approval of the Government’s decision to enforce capital punishment on certain categories of drug-related convicts, called on the President to appoint two commissions to probe political involvement in the drug mafia and why the Department of Prisons cannot enforce the law applicable to Prisons. Addressing a press conference, organized by the Committee yesterday (13), Chairman of the Committee, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera noted that while it was the High Court that was the Court of first jurisdiction to pronounce a death sentence, there were issues in relation to whether the Police, which, as the law enforcement authority investigating an alleged criminal
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Shocking, shameful; about 1,000 abortions daily in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
Last Wednesday July 11, was World Population Day and the United Nation’s Fund for Population Activities in a statement says, the international community should focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s theme is “Family Planning is a Human Right.” According to the UNFPA, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. The Teheran Proclamation states, “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.” The UNFPA says that tragically reliable family planning methods are out of reach for hundreds of millions of people. Many resort to unsafe, unreliable methods, some of which
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TNA seeks more Thai investments
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
Tamil National alliance (TNA) Chief and the Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan yesterday urged the visiting Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha to encourage more Thai private sector investments in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The call for further Thai investments was made after Sampanthan thanked the Thai leader for setting up a sugar factory in the North. Premier Prayut Chan-o-Cha met Sampanthan in Colombo yesterday. TNA Jaffna District MP M. A. Sumanthiran was also present.
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Army in UN missions: Lebanon deployment extended pending HRCSL vetting of fresh contingent
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are in the process of working out modalities in respect of overseas deployments under UN command. A senior military officer told The Island that the SLA was confident that a consensus on Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) could be finalised soon. "We are working closely with the HRCSL," the official said, asserting that the proposed guidelines could streamline the ongoing vetting process. The official emphasized that SLA had no issue with the vetting process undertaken by the HRCSL in accordance with agreement between the government and the UN finalised in June, 2016.
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Navy is warned to be alert on possible submarine attacks threats – PM
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe states that the Navy has been informed to alert on a possible submarine attack threat. He stated this at an event held in Colombo. Addressing the event, Prime Minister said: “Now we have a new concept, the ‘Indo-Pacific’, put forward by the USA. China views the Indo-Pacific as a mechanism for containing China in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and thereby increasing its strategic vulnerability. Now we have also seems to have got caught on it.”
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3rd International Housekeepers Summit 2018 records overwhelming response with over 300 hospitality delegates from 14 countries
Published Date: 14/07/2018 (Saturday)
The 3rd International Housekeepers Summit 2018 held at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka on July 4 & 5 received over 300 delegates from 14 nationalities thereby making the event a remarkable one as Asia’s one of the largest gatherings of hospitality professionals. Delegates comprising of hospitality housekeepers, general managers, FM professionals, purchase managers, and others who gathered at the two-day summit represented various countries including India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, UAE, Vietnam, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Finland, and Philippines. The two-day summit addressed essential topics including, raising the revenue graph of a hotel through better housekeeping practices; understanding the Linen Logic and processing linen in hotel laundry; targeting training needs of housekeeping; knowing the intricacies of
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Fears that Sri Lanka death penalty moves will hit GSP+ access
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
Fears are rising that Sri Lanka’s plans to execute drug dealers, ending a 42-year moratorium on carrying out the death penalty, may endanger the GSP+ free trade concessions with the European Union (EU), industry analysts say. The European Union frowns on the death penalty, which is no longer carried out in many countries, and calls itself 'the leading institutional actor and largest donor in the fight against death penalty worldwide'. "Capital punishment is inhumane, degrading and unnecessary," the European Commission says.
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Sushma Swaraj’s gumption and India’s abiding arrogance
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing top diplomats posted in neighbouring countries (July 3, 2018), opined that India should not focus on competing with China on resources. That’s sensible considering resource-mismatch. She also said that India must closely watch all Chinese activities. That’s sensible too, considering India’s economic and strategic interests in the region. This (and what follows) has been reported in the Hindustani Times of July 8, 2018. ‘Debt trap’ is not something that naive leaders of nations walk into blindly She has also said, ‘India must push ahead with full vigour its own work, presumably in neighboring countries. That also makes sense if ‘work’ is about building houses, bridges, roadways and railways, or if it is about trade agreements that are mutually beneficial and not heavily tilted in India’s favour nor scripted in ways that India can interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.
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Trilingual programme for MPs a failure- Mano
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
Minister of National Integration, Reconciliation and Official Languages Mano Ganesan says programmes introduced for Parliamentarians to learn all three languages have been unsuccessful. Speaking to media in Dambulla Minister Ganesan said the programme was a failure as Parliamentarians failed to attend teaching sessions. Minister Ganesan stressed the public's money was used to initiate these classes in Parliament adding Tamil Parliamentarians were asked to learn Sinhala and Sinhala Parliamentarians were asked to learn Tamil.
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Namal in Jaffna says:TNA on Govt side
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is not focusing on the immediate issues of the North but instead concentrates on Constitutional reforms, said MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday (11) while addressing a press conference in Jaffna. “The TNA isn’t the Opposition; they are on the Government’s side. They are the Opposition for name- sake. When young people are asking for jobs, the TNA leader says they can’t talk about jobs and they have to talk about the Constitution. How can this be an Opposition?,” said the MP. When queried on the issues of people who went missing during the war period, MP Rajapaksa said the previous Government had their own mechanism to address this issue based on the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
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India Needs More Spice and Courage in its Foreign Policy:Tamils for Trump
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
A spokesman for Tamils for Trump has raised a question about the future Indian role in Sri Lanka and their silence concerning the Tamils’ suffering in their homeland. With regard to India’s promise to form a cooperative federalist government, Tamils are anxious to hear from Prime Minister Modi. The following statement has been released to the media by Tamils for Trump. India thought vanquishing the Tamil Tigers would swing the Sri Lankan Sinhalese over to their side. But recent events show otherwise. India had Sri Lankan Tamils as her trump card, to control Sri Lanka to her advantage, but she lost this trump card when she gave Sri Lankans unlimited power to pound the Tamils.
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MPS Plan during US President visit from 12 - 15/07/2018
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
On Thursday 12th July 2018 the President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump will arrive in the UK as a Guest of the British Government, staying until Sunday 15th July 2018. His itinerary, recently published, includes a number of engagements outside London. The Metropolitan Police has been contacted by a range of individuals and organisations who intend to organise protest activity in London during the visit. The MPS has also identified some activity through social media and other community sources. As a result a significant policing operation is being planned both for security and in response to planned protest activity opposing the visit, as well and some activity in support of the visit.
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The Cry Behind The Provocative Call For A Return Of The LTTE
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
Just as in the south in the Sinhalese-majority areas where ethnic nationalism is being used for political advantage, a similar phenomenon is taking place in the north and east of the country in the Tamil-majority areas. It is being used in the north, among others, to protest against the increase in criminal activities that most recently included the rape and murder of a six year old child. The rise in ethnic nationalism is taking place with a corresponding decline in the electoral strength of those who are taking moderate and non-racist positions. This was visible at the recently concluded local government elections where nationalist parties improved their performance at the cost of moderate parties both in the north and south. Former Minister of State for Child Affairs and member of the government, Vijayakala Maheswaran has shown this political propensity to exploit the latent ethnic nationalism of
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GOTABHAYA, VIYATH MAGA, 13A and ME
Published Date: 12/07/2018 (Thursday)
Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara writes that "After the 2015 Presidential election, for reasons better known to DJ, he approached GR and joined Viyath Maga." That’s a blatant lie. As Dullas Alahapperuma and Matale Mayor Mohammed Hilmy will attest, "After the 2015 presidential election" I met ex-President Rajapaksa at Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa’s residence on January 10th and rolled out a recovery strategy centered on Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament. Furthermore, as Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dullas Alahapperuma, Udaya Gammanpila MP and Wimal Weerawansa would attest, I spent weeks meeting them at my home and that of others, working out the revival of the Opposition. It was at such a working dinner that the idea of the Nugegoda meeting was arrived at. I still recall Wimal looking up from his plate and saying "kavuru nokarath ehnang mama oya rasveema sanvidhanaya karanava!" Admiral Weerasekara must understand why I was invited to read out President Rajapaksa’s message at Nugegoda on Feb 18th 2015.
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India will adopt a three-pronged strategy to check China influence
Published Date: 11/07/2018 (Wednesday)
In meetings with ambassadors Suhsma Swaraj reiterated, India must continue to closely watch all Chinese activities, and advise and educate friends in the neighbourhood about how a certain kind of economic engagement with Beijing can have negative consequences for them. India will adopt a broad, three-pronged approach to deal with China’s increasing engagement in the South Asian and Indian Ocean neighbourhood — track Beijing’s activities carefully; pursue its own projects and commitments; and educate and advise neighbours on the consequences of engaging with China.
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Asia after liberal international order
Published Date: 11/07/2018 (Wednesday)
With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the West suddenly woke up with an acute anxiety about the fate of the US-led liberal international order. Until then, the liberal establishment in the United States had assumed that Hillary Clinton would succeed Barack Obama as president and ensure continuity in the liberal order. They ignored or dismissed warnings about the order’s crisis and decline. The belief in the resilience of the liberal order changed dramatically on November 6, 2016. What is the liberal order? It is an international system created and managed by the United States after World War II to promote capitalism and democracy through building alliances and multilateral institutions. Its supporters portray the liberal order as an open, rules-based and multilateral system that operates through consent rather than coercion.
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India's diplomatic victory By gaining access to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport, New Delhi has scored a silent victory over China. By Barun Das Gupta
Published Date: 11/07/2018 (Wednesday)
India’s diplomatic victory Last week, Sri Lanka finally agreed to let India operate the Mattala Airport situated about 40 km north-east of the Hambantota seaport that China has built in the southern tip of the island nation. China has acquired 60 per cent stake in the project as Sri Lanka was unable to repay the debt to the Chinese company that built it. India has thus scored a quiet but important diplomatic victory over China in Sri Lanka. Beijing was dead against India taking over the Mattala Airport. In the Sri Lankan Parliament, the Opposition led by former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Freedom Party asked the government whether it was handing over the Mattala to India "to please the superpowers India and China". Read This - Democratise digital spaces
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Making public transport safe for women
Published Date: 10/07/2018 (Tuesday)
A majority of women in Sri Lanka have endured sexual harassment on public transport, and incidences of harassment continue to increase daily despite continuous efforts to combat sexual violence, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and National Council for Road Safety, Sri Lanka, claimed recently. Research released in 2015 by UNFPA, offers a view into women’s vulnerability to violence and discrimination, issues that are poorly understood - both in Sri Lanka and globally - because of underreporting and lack of data. It reveals that around 90 per cent of women and girls who use public transport services have endured sexual harassment. Despite the low frequency of formal data, these problems are all too common to women and girls.
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Church on Internet abuse: Adults far worse than youth and children
Published Date: 09/07/2018 (Monday)
Parish priest of St. Annes Kurana church Rev Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, in his Sunday sermon, flayed the community, particularly the adults for wrongful use of the internet and a range of applications available today. Rev. Fernando warned of dire consequences unless the community took remedial measures, promptly, to ensure the internet didn’t ruin their lives. The former spokesperson for the Catholic church pointed out that the conduct of adults were far worse than that of younger people and children. Quoting a recent survey, Rev Father said that the
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House seeks clarification from Foreign Ministry Dual citizens as heads of diplomatic missions:
Published Date: 09/07/2018 (Monday)
Joint Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP, yesterday said that in the wake of enactment of 19th Amendment to the Constitution the government should review its policy on appointing dual citizens as heads of Sri Lankan overseas missions. MP Gunawardena told The Island that the contentious issue of dual citizens given top diplomatic posts had been discussed at the last meeting of the parliamentary High Posts Committee chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in parliament where representatives of the UNP (Higher Education Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran) agreed with his stand.
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Minister Amunugama proposes alliance of Buddhist countries in the region
Published Date: 09/07/2018 (Monday)
Science, Technology and Research Skills Development Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said in Kandy, last Friday, that he would initiate the formation of an alliance of the Buddhist countries in the region. Addressing a meeting of heads of Pirivenas in the Kandy District, Minister Amunugama said that in the past Sri Lanka had had close ties with Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Burma and relations should be revived. Such an alliance in the region would help build a stronger ties among the Buddhist countries, Dr. Amunugama noted.
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India allocates USD 56 mn to discourage poaching in SL
Published Date: 09/07/2018 (Monday)
As a part of efforts to keep Tamil Nadu fishermen from poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, the Indian government has allocated US $ 56 million to dismantle bottom trawling boats and replacing them with new deep sea liners, it is learnt. This has been done consequent to talks with the Sri Lankan government on the need to discourage Tamil Nadu fishermen from unlawfully engaging in fishing in the Palk Strait. According to sources, 513 applications had been received by the Indian Government as of March 31 from owners of bottom trawlers who wished to replace them with deep sea liners.
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