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Costly Dams Hold Neither Water Nor Power – Pearl Thevanayagam
Published Date: 14/12/2013 (Saturday)
Camelia Nathaniel has re-opened the can of worms afflicting our country’s foolhardy dam projects. While Chogm and war crimes hit the headlines in the last few weeks she wrote an investigative story on the Samanalawewa Dam in the Sunday Leader recently which was obfuscated by politicians and their shenanigans. Her reporting is a matter of fact and no fluff journalism. “Dam in Danger” she wrote did not attract the attention it deserved although it is of national importance and a serious cause for our environmental concern.
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PC Governor May be an expert on Extra-Judicial Killings, Not on the Constitution: TNA MP Sumanthiran hits back
Published Date: 13/12/2013 (Friday)
The Tamil National Alliance today came out all guns blazing against the Northern Province’s Military Governor G.A. Chandrasiri in Parliament, saying that while he may have expertise in extra-judicial killings, he was certainly no expert on constitutional affairs. The onslaught by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran came after Chandrasiri accused the TNA run Northern Provincial Council of violating the constitution for attempting to set up departments of transport and housing, in the lead story of the Daily News yesterday.
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BHC Colombo Announces Changes to UK Visa application Rules
Published Date: 12/12/2013 (Thursday)
British High Commission in Colombo (BHC-Colombo) announced that all visa applicants will have to pay their visa fees online in US dollars via Visa or Master Card debit or credit cards or e-wallet (skrill) from Monday, 16 December 2013. As is the current practice, Applicants are required to complete their applications, online as usual with printed copies submitted to the Visa Application Centre in Colombo, along with biometric data.
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All Ceylon Hindu Congress Condemn the attack on Hindu temple
Published Date: 12/12/2013 (Thursday)
President Kandiah Neelakandan and General Secretary M. Karhiragamanthan of the All Ceylon Hindu Congress (Federation of Hindu Religious Associations and Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka) have expressed shock and disappointment saying that 150 year old statue of Shri Muthumariamanan which was in Shri Murugan Kovil in Udunuwara in Hali Ela Badulla District had been damaged by undesirable criminal elements.
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NPC passes resolution to oust Northern Governor
Published Date: 11/12/2013 (Wednesday)
The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) at its second session since the formation of the newly elected Provincial Council has unanimously passed a resolution yesterday, urging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to remove Retired Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri from the post of Northern Governor, and appoint a new Governor with no military background to the post.
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"Constructing a development based strategy for durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of conflict is now essential," UN rights expert says.
Published Date: 11/12/2013 (Wednesday)
"After having made impressive strides in rebuilding infrastructure destroyed during the conflict, post conflict reconstruction in Sri Lanka should also focus on addressing durable solutions for all IDPs and those who have returned to their areas of origin on a comprehensive basis," the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Chaloka Beyani, said at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka from 2 to 6 December 2013.
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SRI LANKA: 'We must put a Stop to Torture' says Eran Wickramaratne, MP
Published Date: 10/12/2013 (Tuesday)
The following is a translation of a statement made by Eran Wickramaratne, MP, in Parliament on December 3, 2013. Today, I am going to take the opportunity of the short time accorded to me, to speak on the protection of the lives of those who are being arrested by the police. We all know of the incident in Kamburupitiya, involving the murder of a police officer and his wife. Three suspects were arrested in connection with this crime.
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Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church warns of foreign intervention in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 09/12/2013 (Monday)
Sri Lnaka's Catholic church today warned the government of foreign interventions unless it worked towards reconciliation and addressed allegations of war crimes during the three-decade conflict with Tamil rebels. Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the main ethnic Tamil party to thrash out a political settlement or risk an international investigation.
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British Upper Tribunal finds Sri Lankan Authorities involved in ‘Widespread’ and ‘Systematic’ attacks on Tamils
Published Date: 08/12/2013 (Sunday)
In a significant development the British judiciary has upheld that Sri Lankan authorities have been involved in “a widespread and systematic attack” against the Tamil population “as a part of the government’s strategy”, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the North-East Sri Lanka. The UK’s Upper Tribunal, the Immigration and Asylum Chamber’s judges Lane and Pitt, a couple of weeks ago have made these finding while determining an asylum appeal of an anonymity direction protected appellant, a Sri Lankan Police Officer, who has been named as “Mr. AS”
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Human Rights Defenders harassed and intimidated by pro-government supporters and Police
Published Date: 06/12/2013 (Friday)
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has called for urgent intervention to protect the rights of human rights defenders and Ms Nimalka Fernando, attorney-at-law, women’s rights activist and President of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) in Sri Lanka, who has been subjected to smear campaigns by pro-government supporters.
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Sri Lanka Police to deploy Tamil Police officers to North and East
Published Date: 05/12/2013 (Thursday)
Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said 900 Tamil police officers and 1,500 Sinhala police officers fluent in Tamil have been deployed to police stations in the Northern and Eastern provinces to help Tamil speaking people to record their statements in Tamil and avoid delays in carrying out services, because of language barriers.
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TGTE to begin its 2nd Parliamentary Term - Inaugural Session on December 6th.
Published Date: 05/12/2013 (Thursday)
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (THTE) has announced that it will begin its second Parliamentary term on 6 December, 2013 During this session, TGTE MP’s will elect the Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Several dignitaries from around the world, including legislators and political leaders are expected to address the opening Session.
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Opposition Leader of the Northern Provincial Council arrested and remanded for the murder of Provincial Council Chairman
Published Date: 05/12/2013 (Thursday)
Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers has arrested three persons in connection with the murder of Delft Pradeshiya Sabha (Local Government Council) Chairman Daniel Rexigan (44 years), on 3rd December. The Provincial Council Chairman was a member of the EDPD party. Among the suspects arrested includes, Rexian Anida the wife of the victim, the opposition leader of the Northern Provincial Council Kamalendran Kandasamy and his assistant Sasindran. Daniel Rexigan was found dead with head injuries in a storeroom near his residence in Punkudithivu on November 26.
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Priest threatened, accused of holding Mass for LTTE Leader
Published Date: 04/12/2013 (Wednesday)
Father SS Johnpillai, priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the diocese of Trincomalee in Eastern Province says two gunmen threatened to kill him, accusing him of saying a Mass for Velupillai Prabhakaran, Leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The attack took place on 26 November, but local authorities did everything they could to keep the affair under wrap. The same day, the Sri Lankan government had declared illegal any commemorative events connected to the LTTE rebels.
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India Seeks Closer Sri Lankan Ties as Chinese Presence Grows
Published Date: 03/12/2013 (Tuesday)
Concerned over the rising presence of the Chinese in the Indian Ocean region, India has offered to boost defense ties with the southern island nation of Sri Lanka. Indian Navy Chief Adm. D.K. Joshi was on a five-day visit to Sri Lanka last week where he offered to help train Sri Lankan sailors at Indian training establishments.
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China becomes Sri Lanka’s largest foreign investor
Published Date: 03/12/2013 (Tuesday)
China has emerged as Sri Lanka’s largest foreign direct investor accounting for 24 percent of the inflows in 2013. The Sri Lankan government has set a target of $2 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) for 2013 and as of November had achieved $1.2 billion of the target, reported Xinhua. Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said companies from China accounted for the largest amount of FDI into the country followed by Hong Kong with 12 percent.
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Farmers protest against 2014 Budget in loincloths in Colombo
Published Date: 02/12/2013 (Monday)
Members of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation held a protest at Colombo Fort railway station at 4pm wearing loincloths against the 2014 budget. The farmers wearing the traditional gear, loin cloth, from several districts joined in the protest. They say that the government has failed to find solutions to their problems. They also distributed leaflets to make the public aware about their grievances. The National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratna and its Asst. Secretary T.B. Sarath addressed the gathering.
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TNA Sampanthan Speech to parliament 28 Nov 2013
Published Date: 29/11/2013 (Friday)
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am happy to follow the Hon. Minister of External Affairs, the Hon. (Prof.) G.L. Peiris. His Excellency the President in his capacity as Minister of Finance has presented his 9th Budget. When he presented his 9th Budget, he had also assumed duties as Chairman of the Commonwealth. This would, no doubt, entail additional duties and responsibilities, which hopefully would have a beneficial impact on governance in this country.
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New Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations
Published Date: 29/11/2013 (Friday)
The fifth in the series of Practical Guides for civil society produced in the last three years by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the new Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations describes methods and activities that civil society actors can use to promote the implementation of human rights recommendations, as well as existing follow-up procedures and practices of UN human rights mechanisms and how civil society can participate. Complemented by real experiences contributed by civil society actors and OHCHR field presences, the Guide offers a menu of options from which civil society actors can select on the basis of their on human rights recommendations
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Commemorating the birth of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran or paying tribute to LTTE banned in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/11/2013 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lankan government announced today that it has outlawed all events that directly or indirectly honour the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The authorities took this decision to prevent commemoration of the birth of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the Tamil community celebrating the “Heroes Day”.
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Government's CHOGM bill at Rs 15.8 Billion
Published Date: 24/11/2013 (Sunday)
The government has spent a whopping Rs 15.8 billion on the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), opposition charged in Parliament yesterday. Spending money of this magnitude for a meeting of this nature should have some sense of proportion where 54 Mercedes Benzes were imported for the 54 Heads of Governments, but only 21 arrived, Colombo District United National Party (UNP) MP, Ravi Karunanayake, speaking during the budget debate said.
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Popular Tamil poet arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa condition
Published Date: 24/11/2013 (Sunday)
The Jaffna-born popular Tamil poet V.I.S. Jeyapalan has been arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa regulations. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said, Jeyapalan, 79 was arrested on Friday, 22nd in Mankulam because he was visiting the island on a tourist visa, but was involved in holding seminars in Jaffna, which according to police aimed at causing communal unrest. The exiled poet is a resident of Norway.
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British Foreign Secretary opens UK funded reconciliation centre
Published Date: 14/11/2013 (Thursday)
Today, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, opened a new reconciliation centre in Matara, southern Sri Lanka, funded by the UK. The centre is run by Sri Lanka Unites (SLU) – a youth movement which helps young people lead the way in consolidating peace in Sri Lanka. The organisation says, it has over 15,000 members from over 100 schools across Sri Lanka. Some volunteers are from local and international universities and there are chapters established in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
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Police demolished Mullivaikal Memorial Compound wall in Tamil Nadu
Published Date: 14/11/2013 (Thursday)
P Nedumaran, president of Ulaga Thamizhar Peramaippu announced that the police and highways department officials demolished the compound wall of the Mullivaikkal Memorial (Mullivaikkal Ninaivu Mutram) in the early hours of this morning. He said, “The police came to the memorial armed with bulldozers and fenced the memorial area which contained the park and lawns with wire mesh. They also installed two boards stating the area belonged to Highways department and later started demolishing it”.
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ICG’s New Report: Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire
Published Date: 13/11/2013 (Wednesday)
Despite recent moves meant to show progress towards post-war reconciliation and respect for human rights, Sri Lanka's government has not altered the authoritarian direction of its policies, and the rights and security of all communities remain under threat. In its latest report, Sri Lanka's Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire, the International Crisis Group examines challenges facing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) following its landslide victory in Sri Lanka's north, the central government's hostility to devolution, and the ever-shrinking democratic space nationwide.
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