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\"Display national flag according to legal system\"
Published Date: 20/05/2018 (Sunday)
Minister of Home Affairs Wajira Abeywardana says the legal system must be followed when displaying the national flag. Speaking to media in Colombo the Minister noted the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued all recommendations in this regard. The Minister said individuals cannot follow personal agendas when displaying the country\'s flag. Meanwhile Minister Wajira Abeywardene added individual cannot prevent ceremonies organised in the Northern and Eastern Provinces from taking place in order to commemorate the lives of those lost during the conflict.
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Mutual respect, the key to equality
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
My friend s corned me, “The ‘horun hoyana’ new court is for the consumption of the Sinhala masses that may be moving to the Mahinda Chinthana fold. We should question why there is no ‘maruwan hoyana’ special judicial process for Tamil victims of war, waiting for nine years. This was promised in 2015. I think this week which marks the ninth year is the best to bring that up. Although the government set up the OMP that started work last weekend, the findings will not be made public and no legal action will be taken against perpetrators. Victims have no faith in the OMP. They made it very clear at the first meeting in Mannar.
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Indian "professionals" in late colonial Ceylon
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Today's news media are flooded with an endless ha-ho by home grown "professionals" against infiltration by unwanted Indians encroaching into their employment niches. This controversy takes my memory back to my boyhood in a Ceylon which was yet a British Colony. Our neighbour India too was British ruled . As such, no passports were necessary for Ceylonese and Indians to travel from Dondra Head to the Himalayan foothills. Travelling to India by rail only required a ticket from the Fort Railway Station. Then prosperous Ceylon became a magnet for various classes of Indians, mostly from the South, to seek their fortunes in this green and pleasant land.
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VP expresses solidarity with Palestinians Condemns US, Israeli oppression
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
JVP yesterday condemned what it termed as a ‘brutal attack by Israeli forces and the provocative action of the USA administration on Palestinians. A statement signed by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake on behalf of the Department of International Relations of the party said: "According to the latest reports, 60 people including several children and a paramedic have died and more than 2400 have been injured in attacks by Israeli armed forces who fired on Palestinian people who protested against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. We express our deepest condolences to the relatives of the victims and to the people of Palestine and expect a quick recovery for the injured.
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Army Chief General Bipin Rawat calls on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed bilateral and defence relations during his maiden visit to the island country, officials said. Gen Rawat is in Sri Lanka for a week-long visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. His visit as the Army Chief began on Monday with an aim to take forward the military cooperation between the two countries to the "next level".
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China, India and the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka’s foreign relations must reflect the country’s priorities. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean at the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka occupies an enviable strategic position. A blessing that, with careful and thoughtful handling and long term vision, can be leveraged to its advantage and, mismanaged, a curse that has and will attract the unwelcome attentions of global and regional powers seeking to strategically dominate the Indian Ocean. Throughout history, Sri Lanka has captivated the greedy interest of various powers, for strategic and trading reasons. At times, we elegantly parried and benefited from this attention. At other times we faultered. Responding to and judiciously managing these covetous
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The drowned and the saved: Mullivaikkal survivors you don’t hear about
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
He was literally starving in Harrow - the wealthiest Tamil area of London. A recent torture survivor from Sri Lanka, he had lost ten kilos in two months in the UK. When he called us for help, he was crying and huddled under the bedclothes to keep warm wearing the second hand coat we’d given him. The Tamil GP had refused to register him at the local medical practice; later he collapsed and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. He was 16 at the end of the war in Sri Lanka, a child. He escaped forced
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Mullivaikkal The tricky side
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The commemoration of those killed in the north during the war has by now been a matter generally accepted, formalized with all northern Tamil political parties except the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Northern Provincial Council organizing commemorative events. The main events are to be held today at Mullivaikkal in Mullaithivu District, where the final battle between the Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was fought. In the first few years after the end of the war, the commemoration of the people killed in the north was not openly held. Only small groups led by politicians such as Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam travelled all the way to Mullivaikkal for such events.
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Reconciliation called ‘Godot’ and Mullivaikkal Week
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The first public consultation by the Members of the “Office on Missing Persons” was held in Mannar a week ago, 01 year and 09 months after the law was passed in Parliament. The mood of the participants, the affected mothers, fathers, family members and civil society representatives weren’t in line with the placards that read “Welcome OMP” in Tamil, held outside, for the media. Though there wasn’t much hype over the event, especially in Sinhala mainstream media, the coverage nevertheless said, there was scepticism, frustration, disagreements on powers of the OMP and much grumbling about how far the OMP would actually go with its investigations. There was one simple demand though from the participants. A demand for a fundamental difference in how the OMP would approach the festering issue they are mandated with.
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Sri Lanka, Nine Years After the War A Brutal Conflict Ended, But Questions Remain
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The images are vivid. Soldiers standing over the body of the brutal leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatist insurgency, who was for so long considered invincible. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was president at that time, kissing the ground in gratitude for the end of a 27-year-long war that resulted in hundreds of thousands killed, injured, or displaced. On May 19, 2009, there was general elation in Sri Lanka that the fighting was over.
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All love their war dead
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
Come May and Sri Lanka is once again divided on the commemoration of the war memories. While the South celebrates, the North remembers those who lost their lives unable to flee the final phase of the war. There also are the families of the cadres who mourn for their children. Children were lost from both sides. The emotions are the same for all, regardless of race, religion, and geographical location. These emotions should be respected and given the space that they deserve.
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Sri Lanka and Rwanda ink MoU on defence
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, leading a delegation to Rwanda signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Rwanda on 15th May (2018).The State Minister undertook an official visit to the African country on an invitation extended by the Rwandan government, recently. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence issues was signed during a bilateral meeting between Sri Lankan and Rwandan defence officials. The Sri Lanka delegation included the State Minister and the Secretary to the State Ministry of Defence, Mr. Sunil Samaraweera.
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Korea provides USD7.5 mn for developing education in Kilinochchi
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The Korea International Cooperation Agency ( KOICA ) said yesterday that in an endeavor to better the educational environment in Kilinochchi since 2011, it had granted USD 7.5 million to renovate a number of schools in the district. The agreement between Korea and Sri Lanka for the project, was signed by Country Director of KOICA Sri Lanka Office, Lee Dong Ku, Secretary to the Ministry of Education S.Hettiarachchi and Director General of the Department of External Resources Priyantha Rathnayake. The event was graced by the presence of the State Minister of Education V. S. Radakrisnan.
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Day of mourning in North: Tamil victims remembered in Mullivaikkal
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The commemoration ceremony organized in remembrance of the Tamil civilians that died in the Wellamulliwaikkal area in Mullaitivu during the war, commenced today with the lighting of the commemorative lamp by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran. Meanwhile all shops and places of business remained closed in the Mullaitivu town today (May 18) as a Harthal was observed in memory of the Tamil people who died during the war.
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Sri Lanka Premier hails nurses for their service to improve the health of the nation
Published Date: 17/05/2018 (Thursday)
The Nightingale Commemoration Ceremony to mark International Nurses Day was held at Temple Trees today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chief guest. Speaking at the occasion the Premier noted that the government has provided a number of facilities for the nursing sector, including establishing a separate faculty for training nurses.
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Published Date: 17/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lankan sovereignty, its supremacy in domestic policy and independence in foreign policy, is under a two-pronged attack: • At the UN Human Rights Council, the attack is led by US neoconservatives who aggressively promote direct, unilateral, preventive, and pre-emptive intervention, including military, in the internal affairs of sovereign States; • Within Sri Lanka, their ideological counterparts, the neoliberals, lead the attack on the economic front. In Geneva, the pretext is alleged war crimes; in Sri Lanka, bad governance and corruption.
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The Global Report on Internal Displacement 2018 is out
Published Date: 17/05/2018 (Thursday)
The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) is IDMC’s annual overview of the world’s most significant situations of internal displacement. It highlights the policies and investments needed to address the issue and flags current knowledge and data gaps. This year’s GRID presents data on internal displacement for 2017. Results show that the number of new internal displacements caused both by conflict and disasters reached 30.6 million. Those associated with conflict and violence almost doubled, from 6.9 million in 2016 to 11.8 million in 2017. New displacements associated with disasters accounted for 18.8 million. The report also includes regional overviews and specific country spotlights that provide more in-depth analysis.
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Jeremy Corbyn reaffirms the UK Labour Party’s strong support for Tamil self-determination and peace and justice in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 17/05/2018 (Thursday)
The leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP, has said that “the rights of Tamils to decide their own future is central” to resolving many of the post armed conflict issues in Sri Lanka. Addressing more than 150 guests at a packed event in Parliament, on Wednesday 16 May, to mark the 9th anniversary of Mullivaikal, Mr Corbyn said that a future Labour Government will be committed to “international justice” and that the Labour Party, now and in the future, supports “serious action to bring about peace and justice” in Sri Lanka.
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How 'unconditional' is China's foreign aid?
Published Date: 16/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Chinese foreign aid is often referred to as having "no political strings attached," and is therefore a more attractive option for many non-Western countries. But is it really free of constraints? For a long time, China was seen as a foreign aid recipient rather than a donor. It was only in 2007 that China started contributing to the International Development Association, the lending arm of the World Bank, and has since steadily increased its aid to developing countries, especially those in East Asia.
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China's Pacific aid push backfiring, Australian officials believe
Published Date: 15/05/2018 (Tuesday)
Senior Australian officials believe Pacific Island and Asian nations are reassessing the value of receiving Chinese foreign aid after seeing Beijing's heavy-handed treatment of them when they seek debt relief. As a new independent report presented to the US State Department, as revealed by The Australian Financial Review, warns China is creating a “debt trap” for smaller nations in a bid to upend the strategic balance of power, officials in Canberra hope that greater public exposure of Beijing's tactics will shame the Chinese into changing its predatory practices and ultimately forgive the loans.
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China Clears $1 Billion Road In Sri Lanka, Countering India Influence
Published Date: 15/05/2018 (Tuesday)
China has approved a $1 billion loan to revive a long-delayed expressway in central Sri Lanka, the island's government said Monday. Construction of the first phase of the road linking the capital Colombo with the hill resort of Kandy had been delayed for more than two years due to a lack of foreign funding, according to local media reports.
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Memories Of Late K.G Amaradasa – An Ardent Tamil Literary Lover & Advocate For National Unity
Published Date: 13/05/2018 (Sunday)
“Some might say that if a Sinhala man marries a Tamil woman or a Tamil man marries a Sinhala woman, then national unity will be born. I don’t think so. If people of different ethnic origin get married, only the children would be born as a natural consequence” quipped Ven. M Ratnavansa Thero – a Buddhist monk much loved and respected by Tamil writers and community members alike. Late K.G. Amaradasa is someone of similar calibre who also held the strong belief that national unity is not a one-way street. He is a remarkable man who learned and excelled in the Tamil literature and who pioneered the way in introducing the great Tamil national poet Mahakavi Barathiyar to the Sinhala people.
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The OMP and the Aspirations of Families of the Missing and Disappeared
Published Date: 12/05/2018 (Saturday)
The first permanent official body created to search and trace missing persons in Sri Lanka is the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) established under Act No. 14 of 2016. This was done to comply with a recommendation in the 2015 UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka. However the office was set up about two years after the Act was passed. It started functioning only in May 2018 with members visiting Mannar to meet the victims of disappearances in that District. Following the conclusion of the war in May 2009, there was a clamour by the families of
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Aadhaar for Sri Lanka? Women’s labour and the demand for social welfare
Published Date: 11/05/2018 (Friday)
International Labour Day on 1 May was honoured in Sri Lanka by several major trade unions and other Left organisations. This was despite the Government’s attempts to ‘shift’ May Day to 7 May, to prevent it from ‘overlapping’ with Vesak Poya. The decision to shift a day that honours labour rights in order to make space for a religious holiday – particularly one which is observed by the majority community – is not a neutral one. Cat’s Eye felt this was a good moment to reflect on the path we have taken in Sri Lanka:
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China's foreign policy principles under stress
Published Date: 10/05/2018 (Thursday)
AS China's power and economic strength have grown, its practices in the outside world have come to appear increasingly out of synchrony with its declared bases for international relations. In negotiations with India in 1954, China proposed that relations between the two states should be founded on certain fundamental principles. The proposed guidelines were embodied in a treaty between the two states and were subsequently advanced as an essential element in China's relations with other countries. They were known as the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence:
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