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Wijeweera’s wife files petition to produce him before court
Published Date: 29/06/2018 (Friday)
The wife of former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera has filed a habeas corpus petition before the Appeal Court requesting to order the government to produce her husband before an appropriate court or to release him. The petitioner, Srimathi Chithrangani Wijeweera, states that her husband, the founding leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), went missing after being arrested by the government during the insurgency in 1989. Twelve individuals including the Attorney General have been named as responds in the habeas corpus petition.
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Group pledges $3-million to U of T for chair in Tamil studies
Published Date: 29/06/2018 (Friday)
A group from the Tamil community in Canada and the United States is teaming up to pledge $3-million to create a chair in Tamil studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The pledge, made by Tamil Chair Inc. and the Canadian Tamil Congress, includes raising funds to support an endowment for a full-time chair position that will explore aspects of Tamil language, history and culture through research and scholarship. “Language is an integral part of Tamil identity," says Sivan Ilangko, vice-president of the Canadian Tamil Congress and a director of Tamil Chair Inc. “This initiative will not only help the academic advancement of the language, it will help open it up and share it with the rest of the world.”
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Reparations Office Bill gazetted
Published Date: 29/06/2018 (Friday)
The Bill to provide for the establishment of the Office for Reparations has been gazetted by the Government. The Bill, published under the orders of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be presented in Parliament for the First Reading shortly. The Bill provides for the provision of individual and collective reparations for aggrieved persons. As per the Bill, “aggrieved persons” mean persons who have suffered a violation of human rights or humanitarian law, their relatives and missing persons.
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Govt. to release Rs. 10 b development finance: PM
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
The Government plans to release Rs. 10 billion in development finance to the private sector, particularly targeted at large-scale companies willing to expand their businesses overseas and improve competitiveness, an upbeat Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced this week. Speaking at the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe noted that the Finance Ministry was in the midst of formulating a Development Finance Corporation, but ahead of its establishment the Government would earmark Rs. 10 billion to be released to the private sector. He also said the Government would be willing to increase the threshold if the private sector required additional funding.
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Dispute over toddy leads to child’s murder
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
In a shocking development, it has come to light, following investigations conducted by the Police that a dispute over stolen toddy had led to the revenge killing of a six-year-old girl of Kattupulam, Chulipuram in Jaffna. This had been revealed when a 22-year-old suspect who had been arrested by Vaddukoddai Police confessed to the murder, Police said. The suspect was arrested along with five others and produced before Mallakam Magistrate last morning. Following his confession the main suspect was remanded till 11 July, while the other five were enlarged on bail.
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Bilateral Cooperation with HRCSL would Resolve Pending Screening Issues of UN Peacekeepers
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka as one of the Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) to the United Nations (UN) since the year 2004 has been in the practice of sending her troops for UN Peacekeeping assignments in large groups in close collaboration with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO). To be in line with the UN Secretary General’s decision No. 2012/18 on 11 December 2012 in relation to ‘screening of UN personnel for Human Rights’, the Sri Lanka Army, consequent upon discussions with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDPKO and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) resolved that an own national mechanism be followed with respect to independent screening of personnel through the HRCSL.
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So who wants Provincial Councils now?
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
The terms of the North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils expired in September 2017 and those of the Central, Northern and North-Western Provincial Councils will end this September. As of now, there’s no sign that the Government is interested in holding these elections. Perhaps being decimated at the local government elections in February 2018 has made the Yahapalana bigwigs wary of facing the people. Perhaps they feel it’s best to wait for a winner-takes-much General Election of a winner-takes-even-more Presidential Election rather than risk another debacle that would take away whatever oomph is left in the regime, we don’t know for sure. The government is sitting on the matter, that is clear.
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Images from Vanni at Geneva exhibition
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
In the absence of a government initiative to counter pro-LTTE Diaspora elements propagating lies, the Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has organised a three-day public exhibition at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) early next month. The exhibition will begin on July 2 (9 am to 4 pm). Ajantha Premaratne of the GSLF told The Island that the exhibition was meant to highlight restoration of peace in Sri Lanka following the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Premaratne said that the exhibition was part of the GSLF’s initiatives to counter Eelam propaganda meant to pile on the pressure on Sri Lanka.
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Cabraal says New York Times article is ‘fake’ news
Published Date: 28/06/2018 (Thursday)
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, has refuted the allegations made in a recent article published by The New York Times, referring to it as ‘fake’ news which has violated the truth and a gross misrepresentation of facts. The New York Times article dated 25 June 2018 titled “How China got Sri Lanka to cough up a Port,” written by Maria Abi-Habib, had made certain accusations pertaining to China’s acquisition of the strategic Hambantota port from Sri Lanka while highlighting Beijing’s “debt trap” and ambitious use of loans to gain influence around the world. The report says feasibility studies had found that the port would not work and “frequent lenders” like India had refused to provide loans or assistance for the port, developed during Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule.
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Sri Lanka: Deplorable threats against human rights defender
Published Date: 27/06/2018 (Wednesday)
The Sri Lankan authorities must urgently take action against those threatening human rights defender Sandhya Eknaligoda, Amnesty International said today. Over recent days, Sandhya Eknaligoda, a distinguished campaigner against enforced disappearances and the wife of disappeared cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda, has been subject to a barrage of hate, abuse, intimidation, harassment and death threats on social media. “The threats against Sandhya Eknaligoda are extremely worrying. The Sri Lankan authorities must urgently and effectively take appropriate action against those who seek to cause her harm,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, Deputy South Asia Director at Amnesty International.
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Sri Lanka’s outlook remains stable but is conditional on reforms: World Bank
Published Date: 27/06/2018 (Wednesday)
World Bank says a challenging domestic political environment has already taken a toll, slowing down some reforms and complicating the stable medium-term outlook and an impending election cycle which will only elevate this risk. World Bank, releasing its June 2018 edition of the Sri Lanka Development Update said the reforms are expected to bring in long-term benefits enhancing competitiveness, improving governance and streamlining public financial management. “Delays in improving tax administration are among the risks Sri Lanka must confront on the fiscal front,” the report said.
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UN Human Rights Council Urged to Remove Sri Lankan Ambassador from Leading Social Forum: TGTE
Published Date: 27/06/2018 (Wednesday)
In an urgent appeal to the President of UN Human Rights Council H.E. Ambassador Vojislav Šuc, the Minister for sports of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Mr. Aiyathurai Jeyakumar, urged the President of the Council to revoke the appointment of H.E. Mr. A.L Abdul Azeez as the Chairperson-Rapporteur for the 2018 Social Forum. While TGTE congratulated UN Human Rights Council for coming up with the theme for the 2018 Social Forum namely, “the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them”, it noted that choosing the permanent representative of Sri Lanka to lead the 2018 Social Forum is an affront to the Human Rights Council and a snub to the Human Rights norms in general.
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The Monks Who Spew Hate Why Jailing of Gnanasara Did Not Become News in This Part of Asia
Published Date: 27/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Ordered disorder, planned caprice, And dehumanised humanity…” - Bertolt Brecht in The Exception and the Rule (quoted in The Sunday Leader) “I have done my duty towards the country,” Gnanasara told reporters as he boarded the bus taking him to prison. Why should I regret?” Rarely does Sri Lanka convict Buddhist monks. But few days back a court in Sri Lanka made history when it convicted Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial leader of Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) who is referred to as 'Thero', The Venerable, and sent him to jail. Scores of
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TNA set to split as elections approach
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), of which the Ilankai Tamil ArasuKatchi (ITAK) is the single largest constituent, appears to be heading for a split, with the Sampanthan and Wigneswaran factions failing to find a common ground to work together. A likely outcome is the emergence of two new groupings, with the ITAK and its adjuncts being on one side and a conglomerate or congeries of groups headed by the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran being on the other side. The two factions have been on the verge of a split several times before but have stayed together in an uneasy relationship either because there was no alternative path in sight; or because there was no immediate need to part ways; or because of pressure from an external
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Govt. to curb underworld activities: Ruwan
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The government has decided to curb underworld activities with the assistance of the tri-forces, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene said yesterday. He said the decision was taken at the Defence Council meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena and assured that underworld activities that has raised its ugly head would be rooted out for the people to live peacefully. According to him, a large sum of money had been spent for national security and that would be given continuously.
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London High Commission hosts promoting the rural business in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London facilitated a business promotion event on the theme 'Help Sri Lanka for a Better Tomorrow', organized by InfoMate (Private) Limited Sri Lanka, a subsidiary of the John Keells Group. The event focused on the role of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in creating employment in Sri Lanka through impact sourcing. The main purpose of the session was to promote the Rural BPO sector of Sri Lanka and to attract businesses from the UK market to create more employment in the rural areas of the country. Acting High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, in his welcome speech, stated that Sri Lanka was one of the emerging destinations for providing off-shore services for ICT and BPO services. He also mentioned that finance and accounting, legal, insurance, banking, telecommunication, data management and consultancy are some of the main areas of focus and
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Lodge complaints on army deserters
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lanka Army has requested the public to notify the nearest police station of information pertaining to Army deserters. Army Media Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu speaking to NewsRadio said close to 8,000 army personnel have deserted the service without notice. Brigadier Atapattu said operations are underway to arrest those who have deserted. Information has also been uncovered that those who vacated the service are engaged in various criminal activities.
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Prisoners’ rights group files complaint with NPC
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners yesterday (25), lodged a complaint with the National Police Commission against the alleged custodial, extra-judicial killing of a suspect, suspected of involvement in a recent attempted robbery in Matara and the subsequent killing of a Police Officer in a shootout that ensued. Secretary of the Committee, Sudesh Nandimal Silva, made the said complaint urging that an independent inquiry be conducted without heeding the one-sided account made by the Police justifying the death of a suspect who was handcuffed and with manacled feet.
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Sri Lankan sovereignty, non-negotiable!
Published Date: 26/06/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lankan sovereignty – its supremacy in domestic policy and its independence in foreign policy – is under a two-pronged attack. In Sri Lanka, the neoliberals seek physical appropriation of territory and all that it contains, targeting the very substance of sovereignty and independence – the inalienable right of the people to full and permanent sovereignty, including possession, use and disposal, over all their wealth, natural resources and economic activities. Without permanent sovereignty, there can be no independent domestic or foreign policy; without it, independence and sovereignty are but empty shells.
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Quitting HRC won’t change US’s goals in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
The US quit the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday (June 19) with rhetoric intended to assert the moral high-ground, slamming the council and selectively ‘naming and shaming’ council members outside its charmed circle of ‘friends.’ While the statements of US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington reeked of imperial arrogance, the irony of this grandstanding by one of the worst human rights offenders on the planet would not have been lost on many in the global South, who have been at the receiving end of its worst depredations over time. Haley accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of
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Crisis-ridden Sri Lanka economy: Time for economics to prevail on politics
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka’s official statistics bureau, Department of Census and Statistics or DCS, has released the country’s 2018 first quarter provisional economic growth data in its website (available at: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/national_accounts/dcsna_r2/reports/2018.06.18/Q1_2018_(2018_06_18).pdf). These numbers may change later when DCS refines its data set. For instance, in the current release, DCS has firmed up its estimation of total output in the first quarter of 2017 by reducing its value from the previously released numbers. Had that previous high number been used, the growth rate in the first quarter 2018 would have been much lower than what has been announced in the current release.
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Sri Lanka seeks to draw investments, tourists from Maharashtra
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Chitranganee Wagiswara has highlighted investment and tourism opportunities in the island during a visit to Mumbai. Sri Lanka wants to leverage its strategic location to position the country as ‘the Hub of the Indian Ocean’, Wagiswara told a business gathering attended by over 125 executives in the World Trade Center in Mumbai. Addressing the members of the All India Association of Industries (AIAI) Wagiswara, who was on an official visit to Mumbai from 13-14 June 2018 invited Indian entrepreneurs to invest in Sri Lanka, a statement said.
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MIA arrests 8 citizens of Sri Lanka for attempting to illegally cross border
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
Eight citizens of Sri Lanka have been arrested by the border police and state security service for attempting to illegally cross the border in the Adjara region. Investigators say that the detainees were trying to cross the Georgia-Turkey border aiming to enter Turkey and avoiding border control. The offence committed by foreign citizens is punishable from four to five years of imprisonment.
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MR informs Sumanthiran of latest recovery of explosives from North
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
Kalai Kathir, published in Jaffna, in its June 23 Saturday issue, reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought to the attention of Jaffna District TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran the recovery of explosives at Oddusuddan. According to the report, Sumanthiran had received information about the weapons recovery from Rajapaksa and thanked him for alerting and advising him.But the report added that Sumanthiran warned Rajapaksa that if all did not get together to deliver a solution to national question more underground claymore mines might come out.
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'Fowzie took Rs.20mn worth Ministry vehicle'
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
The former Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management Siththi Mareena Mohammed says former subject Minister AHM Fowzie requested her for a vehicle received by the Ministry, worth 20 million rupees. She made this statement during evidence hearing in the case against State Minister AHM Fowzie on charges of incurring a loss of 1 million rupees to the government. The former Secretary of the Disaster Management Ministry said the Ministry received the vehicle on the 10th of November in 2010 adding the former Minister of Disaster Management had taken the vehicle on the 14th of November.
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