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Worker Rights and Benefits at stake – Testing Time for Trade Unions
Published Date: 25/07/2012 (Wednesday)
The Ill- conceived policies of the government have resulted in the steady erosion of real wages of workers due to depreciation of the rupee and the consequent fall in its purchasing power. The trade union demand for a budgetary relief allowance of Rs. 5000/- to cushion the effects of the devaluation of rupee has been frowned upon by the government. Not even minimum wages of private sector employees have been raised and these employees continue to languish with a paltry sum of Rs. 7,500/- and struggle to make ends meet.
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India’s LTTE Ban Renewal: Politics of Security
Published Date: 24/07/2012 (Tuesday)
The Government of India (GoI) has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for two more years. LTTE was first banned in 1991 in the aftermath of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. According to the Home Ministry of India, "LTTE continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture as also continues to pose a grave threat to the security of Indian nationals, it is necessary to declare LTTE as an 'unlawful association' with immediate effect."
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Economic Success or Successful Gilmart?
Published Date: 24/07/2012 (Tuesday)
The Central Bank has reported economic growth at 8.3%, inflation at 6.7%, an unemployment rate of 4.2% and a per-capita income of US $ 2849 in 2011, a sharp increase from $ 2400 in 2010 – a success story which we should be proud of. This means the income of the average household in Sri Lanka which is 4 persons according to the Central Bank report has risen by Rs 14,035 per month between 2010 and 2011 - something which is difficult to imagine. This average income is obtained by dividing the national income by the population.
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Free Omar Khadr from Guantánamo: Senator Roméo Dallaire’s Campaign
Published Date: 15/07/2012 (Sunday)
Omar Khadr is the only child soldier ever prosecuted, and Guantanamo's last western prisoner. In 2010, Omar entered into a plea deal with the Canadian and American governments in exchange for a promise that he could return home to Canada to finish his sentence. The U.S. has already signed off on his return, yet the Canadian Government has refused to follow through on its end of the deal. All the while Khadr sits in solitary confinement in Guantanamo Bay.
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Sri Lanka, Indian navies hold maritime boundary talks
Published Date: 07/07/2012 (Saturday)
India and Sri Lanka discussed maritime matters, including the issue of fishermen straying in each other’s territorial waters, as they held a crucial annual meeting aimed at strengthening naval relationship. The 21st International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between Sri Lanka and India was held onboard the Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sagara at the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurai yesterday, Lankan Navy said today.
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Tamil Refugee killed in gang violence
Published Date: 25/06/2012 (Monday)
Nimalaraja, a Tamil refugee who has fled persecution in Sri Lanka and moved to the UK after gaining asylum in Germany in 1993, has died following a confrontation with a group of teenagers in the east Midlands town of Leicester. The local police have appealed for witnesses after launching a murder investigation into the death of Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja, 41, who died a week after he was found with serious head injuries sustained during the confrontation on June 9.
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"One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don't try to get 100 more” – Sri Lanka Government Minister warns Tamils
Published Date: 18/06/2012 (Monday)
Expressing anger over the remarks of the TNA leader R Sampanthan , the Sri Lankan Power and Energy minister Champika Ranawaka from the JHU cautioned the island's Tamil population saying , "we appeal to the Tamil people not to go behind this kind of people and end up in getting 100 more Mullivaikkals". The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is a right wing constituent party of the ruling coalition, led by Buddhist monks
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UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera calls Defence Minister to resign
Published Date: 17/06/2012 (Sunday)
Referring to the shooting at the JVP meeting on 15 June in Katuwana in Hambantota District, opposition MP Mangala Samaraweera and Convenor of UNP Media Committee, has called on the Defence Minister to resign. “As with all other extra judicial killings, abductions, involuntary disappearances and killing of protesters, we don't have any reason to believe, there will be independent investigations and a proper judicial process initiated, in this double murder. Such is the efficiency of this Secretary to the Defence Ministry, who brags that crime in Sri Lanka has not increased as opposition politicians claim”, said the MP.
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Krishna, a Tamil Canadian awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Published Date: 16/06/2012 (Saturday)
Krishna Saravanamuttu, a 26 old Tamil Canadian and spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Tamils, has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with Canada’s student movement and as an advocate for human rights and justice for Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka. Krishna has been working with several organisations in Canada, including the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.
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JVP blames the government for Katuwana Shooting
Published Date: 16/06/2012 (Saturday)
Two people, 17 year old Nimantha Heshantha and 50 year old Edirimannage Malani were killed and few others injured when an armed gang who had arrived on motorbikes had sprayed bullets at a JVP meeting in Katuwana at around 7 p.m. on Friday (15 June) evening. Injured were admitted to Embilipitiya Hospital. The attack also caused damage to several motorbikes, two Auto-rickshaws and a DIMO lorry, parked nearby.
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Sri Lanka signs $4 billion deal to construct port related industrial complex
Published Date: 15/06/2012 (Friday)
The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka has this week signed a US$4 billion deal with Sri Lanka Gateway Industries (Private) Ltd. to construct a port related industrial zone for heavy industries in the country’s north eastern Trincomalee District. Sri Lanka Gateway Industries, a foreign invested project company, will build a deep water jetty, a bulk commodities terminal with stockpiling and blending capabilities, and a power generation plant, the country’s state investment promotion agency said in a statement.
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Sri Lanka violates United Nations Convention on Discrimination against Women
Published Date: 14/06/2012 (Thursday)
The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a European Human Rights Watchdog has announced that it has contacted three Special Rapporteurs as well as a Working Group of the United Nations raising its concerns over the status of women in Sri Lanka. It has called on them to conduct further investigations into the plight of women and girls in the northern and eastern Sri Lanka and to remind the country of its international obligations.
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Iran assures maximum support to Sri Lanka to achieve the country’s development targets
Published Date: 13/06/2012 (Wednesday)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed several MOUs to provide financial assistance to a number of development projects in Sri Lanka including the Uma Oya project and assistance to Sapugaskanda Oil refinery were put on hold after US embargo on Iran imposed in December 2011. The MOUs were the outcome of the meetings that Iran’s Minister of Economy and Finance Sayed Shamsedin Hosseini and Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, had on the sideline of meetings of the International Monetary Fund and Work Bank in Washington on 20th April.
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Buddha at the crossroads
Published Date: 10/06/2012 (Sunday)
What explains the large number of Buddha statues in and around Thiyaganur, a nondescript Tamil Nadu village? We may never know, says A. SRIVATHSAN, after taking in some unusual forms of the Shakya Muni. In most ways, Thiyaganur is a typical village in Tamil Nadu. Matchbox houses with gleaming white walls and red earth tiles, fields with irregular patterns, a provisional store that sells garishly coloured beverages, and the occasional bus chugging through. The lime-washed temple, in this village 80 km north-west of Tiruchi, has a familiar air about it too. Until one gets closer.
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"Indo – Sri Lanka Buddhist Network" formed by pro-active Indian and Sri Lankan Buddhists
Published Date: 06/06/2012 (Wednesday)
A group of pro-active Indian and Sri Lankan Buddhists drawn from leading Buddhist organizations had a series of discussions on the sidelines of the World Buddhist Assembly gathering in Bangkok, Thailand (May 21 – 25, 2012) and decided to establish an ‘Indo – Sri Lanka Buddhist Network’ to pursue a number of preliminary aims and objectives that are beneficial to the cause of consolidating and spreading Buddhism in both countries and other parts of the world. It is anticipated that a more substantial organization would emerge with the passage of time from these interactions.
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Arrests of Sri Lankan Tamils in Kollam
Published Date: 06/06/2012 (Wednesday)
Twenty-one of the 151 Sri Lankan Tamils taken into custody by the Kollam police on Sunday night were arrested on Tuesday for violating the Foreigners Act. They were produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-2 here and remanded for 14 days.Sindhuja and Muthumalar, two women among the arrested, were lodged in the Kottarakara sub-jail. Their three children, all infants, were lodged with them in the same jail; three other minors, children of some of the arrested, were sent to the juvenile home here. The 19 were sent to the district jail.
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India and US ready to train Sri Lanka military
Published Date: 05/06/2012 (Tuesday)
India and US announced today that they were ready to assist Sri Lanka in all aspects of their multifaceted bilateral partnership for attaining sustainable peace. The announcement came out of the bilateral meeting the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had with General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony. The meetings took place on the margins of the prominent Shangri-La Dialogue which ended on 3 June in Singapore.
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The Sri-Lanka-China Relationship: A Print Media Analysis
Published Date: 04/06/2012 (Monday)
Institute of Peace and & Conflict studies Researcher Priyakala Manoharan says China’s deepening relationship with Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly conspicuous as the emerging super power extends relations beyond its sphere of influence. Her research paper entitled “The Sri-Lanka-China Relationship: A Print Media Analysis”, conveys the Sri Lankan perceptions of the unconditional and timely help of China for Sri Lanka’s overall development. Some of prominent Sri Lankan newspapers have been referred to gauge the general Sri Lankan outlook. The relevant questions in this context are the factors driving Sri Lanka towards China and whether China’s unlimited help to Sri Lanka is with or without strings attached.
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Law as a tool for world peace and security
Published Date: 04/06/2012 (Monday)
ICC prosecutor Mrs Bensouda, Bensouda speaking on Power Day at the OpenForum declared, I would like to introduce the idea of a new paradigm in international relations, which was introduced by the work of the drafters of the Rome Statute and the establishment of the International Criminal Court: this idea is that of law as a global tool to contribute to the world’s peace and security.
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Sri Lanka and Thailand to sign MOU for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
Published Date: 29/05/2012 (Tuesday)
Sri Lankan President arrived in Bangkok for a four-day official visit from 29 May – 2 June, as a guest of the royal Thai Government. It was reported that President Rajapakse is scheduled to have a royal audience with Princes Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on May 30 at the Srpathum Palace and will be meeting the Thai Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra on the same day, where the two leaders will share views on bilateral relations and multilateral issues.
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TIC condemns the massacre of women and children in Houla
Published Date: 28/05/2012 (Monday)
The Tamil Information Centre deplores and condemns in the strongest terms the massacre of women and children in Houla, an incident that resembles the deadliest days of the Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. The mass killings of over 100 people in Houla on Sunday, 27 May — one of the deadliest single events in the 15-month-old uprising - brought widespread international criticism of the regime of President Bashar al Assad. However, Syria’s strong ally, Russia, said both the government and the rebels were to blame.
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Royal Borough of Kingston: School 'abduction attempts' not linked say police
Published Date: 25/05/2012 (Friday)
In the last week there have been three or four attempts in the Kingston, Tolworth and Worcester Park areas to abduct children from schools and parks, by an unidentified man and woman. David Lindsell writing in Surrey Commet say, according to police the two alleged abductions at schools are unlikely to be linked. Kingston police had believed that incidents at Knollmead Primary School, Tolworth, and Grand Avenue Primary School, Surbiton, may be connected.
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New chief prosecutor defends International Criminal Court (ICC)
Published Date: 23/05/2012 (Wednesday)
The international criminal court's new chief prosecutor launched an aggressive defence of the institution, rejecting the view that it is "a pro-western, anti-African court". Fatou Bensouda, from Gambia, will next month replace Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who has been accused of applying "selective justice" to Africa. The decade-old court has sought justice for millions of victims in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Darfur in Sudan, Kenya, Libya and Ivory Coast, Bensouda said on Wednesday.
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Indian Rajya Sabha MP Ram Vilas Paswan calls for referendum in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 20/05/2012 (Sunday)
Strongly supporting the creation of an independent, sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the island of Sri Lanka, Member of Parliament and president of the Lok Janshakthi Party, Ram Vilas Paswan, called upon the international community to ensure that a referendum is conducted to determine the political aspiration of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.
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President Rajapakse says ‘ NO’ for troops withdrawal from north
Published Date: 19/05/2012 (Saturday)
President Mahinda Rajapakse today rejected international calls to withdraw troops from the former warzones. "Some are shouting remove military camps from the north and east," Rajapaksa said at a ceremony to mark the third anniversary of crushing of the Tamil Tigers, claiming "the LTTE diaspora had not given up their separatist ideas."
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