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Both Sampanthan and Wigneswaran seeking unity, but terms clash
Published Date: 25/06/2018 (Monday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been facing an internal and external crisis for some time now, with the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran rebelling against the party stalwart R.Sampanthan, and with the alliance losing its hold on the electorate to a significant extent. The reasons for the internal rift and the loss of external popular support are many. There are ideological differences between Wigneswaran and Sampanthan. with the former being more radical in his demands and more confrontationist vis-à-vis the Sri Lankan government, and the latter being more moderate and accommodative vis-à-vis the government at the Center.
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President rejects proposal to pay compensation to former LTTE cadres and their families
Published Date: 24/06/2018 (Sunday)
Sirisena refuses to even discuss Swaminathan’s memorandum; compensation issues to be dealt with by designated body --UNP’s damage-control move misfires as Mujibur Rahman MP plays counsel President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday rejected outright a proposal by a United National Party (UNP) Cabinet Minister to pay “compensation” to Tiger guerrilla “ex combatants” and their “next of kin.” “I am not going to allow this to be even discussed,” he told last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. He was alluding to the Cabinet Memorandum forwarded by Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister Deva Manoharan Swaminathan, who recommended the move.
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India expresses concern over huge Chinese housing project in NE Questions about competence of the company and large presence of Chinese workers
Published Date: 24/06/2018 (Sunday)
India has raised concern at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan Government about the manner in which a contract to build 40,000 houses in the North and East was recently awarded without tender to a Chinese company that has no history of building houses in the country. The Resettlement Ministry last month secured Cabinet approval for China Railway Beijing Engineering Group Co Ltd and its country representative Yapka Construction (Pvt) Ltd to construct 40,000 prefabricated concrete houses for the war-affected in the North and East. They are the same parties selected by the Disaster Management Ministry to build 10,000 houses for landslide victims.
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Media Release on a list of names published online by the ITJP (International Truth and Justice Project)
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a list of names published online by the ITJP (International Truth and Justice Project). According to the ITJP, this list, which presently consists of 351 names and can be accessed at http://www.disappearance.itjpsl.com/#lang=english is of persons who are alleged to have disappeared while in the custody of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in May 2009. The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) which has been established by an Act of Parliament (Act No. 14 of 2016 as amended by Act No. 09 of 2017)[1] is the permanent and independent entity in Sri Lanka that is vested with the tasks of, inter alia, searching and tracing of missing persons and clarifying the circumstances in which such persons went missing, and their fate; making recommendations to the relevant authorities towards reducing the incidents of missing
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Sri Lanka extends financial access to villagers
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka has made a commitment to expand financial access to the poorest of the poor people living in remote rural areas through a financial inclusion scheme, official sources divulged. Sri Lanka is a land of 14,000 villages and a majority of the country’s population, nearly 80 per cent, lives in villages. Financial needs of these villages are being served by an estimated 14,000 financial institutions in the country, which directly or indirectly provide micro credit facilities. A majority of these financial institutions are either financial NGOs, not-for-profits or organisations that follow local cooperative societies.
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The culprits visited Kilinochchi and left with money – MR
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
Commenting on the Government issuing an extraordinary Gazette Notification, placing 14 individuals, suspected of links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and now living abroad, on a list of designated persons, banned from entry to Sri Lanka, Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the move comes in the wake of the 14 arriving in the island, travelling to Kilinochchi, getting what they wanted done and leaving with monies. The former President noted that in light of this, the issuing of the gazette was laughable as it was akin to closing the stable door once the horse has bolted. “At a time when the majority of the countries in the world are acting against terrorism, why is the Government of Sri Lanka following a lax policy and according to whose agenda?” He queried.
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ARMY DENIES CANARD ON ALLEGED
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
The Sri Lanka Army denied reports that it was withdrawing several formations from the North and the East. Issuing a media release, the Army said this is a canard reportedly made by disgruntled political elements desperately attempting to mislead the public. “The Sri Lanka Army categorically denies having taken any such decision, nor has it contemplated implementing a move of that nature at all as alleged by those elements who try to showcase that ‘they’ are more patriotic than members of the armed forces in the country,” the release said.
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Refugees and widows - Let conscience be our guide
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
This week, the international community marks two important events -- World Refugee Day on June 20 and World Widows’ Day today. Both refugees and widows have been oppressed or marginalised to a large extent and we need to deeply reflect on the issues. This reflection is essential though the United States President Donald Trump -- who says he wants to make America great again -- has instead created an America alone crisis by his hard or cruel policy against refugees, the latest being the order to separate refugee children from their families. But the chaotic and dangerously-unpredictable US leader revoked his own order under international and internal pressure even from his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka.
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Will not let terrorism rise again: Dy. Minister
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
In reference to the incident, where several military type equipment and uniform belonging to the LTTE were detected in a three-wheeler at the Peraru Junction in Oddusuddan on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Law and Order Nalin Bandara said yesterday the Government would not allow terrorism to raise its head again. Addressing a news briefing, he said the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) officers were conducting a special investigation into the incident. “Since Sri Lanka is a country, which was embroiled in a civil war for nearly 30 years, it is not surprising that buried weapons are being found in areas where there was a war at one time,” Minister said.
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‘Hitler’ comparison hurts Sri Lanka presidential hopeful
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
A senior Buddhist monk counselling former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to emulate Hitler and establish a military dictatorship may have seriously hurt his bid for the presidency, according to close associates. A chief priest of the Asgiriya chapter, Vendaruwe Upali, blessed Rajapaksa on his 69th birthday Wednesday by urging him to follow the German dictator Hitler and take over the country even if it means establishing military rule. The monk, delivering a sermon at the private home of Rajapaksa, prayed that the youngest among the Rajapaksa siblings should be the next leader of Sri Lanka as the country needed a “Sinhala Buddhist leader.”
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Golden opportunity to find new co-sponsor: HR activist
Published Date: 23/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka has the golden opportunity of finding a new co-sponsor and going in for an alternative and interim UN resolution as the US has pulled out from the UNHRC, said Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, former Commissioner of Human Rights Commission. Commenting on the latest development, Dr. Mahanamahewa said the US-Sri Lanka sponsored 2015 resolution in a nutshell says that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes and therefore, a hybrid court should be established to investigate charges. “However, the US says the UNHRC is of no use and like a cesspool. The US also accused the council of being biased and not protecting human rights of a country. We can embark on this
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Towards the 2020 Presidential Elections
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
Many names are surfacing in discussion forums about who should be the next president of Sri Lanka. Once the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka declares the date for the Presidential Elections by the end of 2019 we’ll see all political parties making public their nominees for the post of president. President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he wishes to continue in politics. This would make him a likely candidate for this coveted post along with others including UNP Leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the much talked about former Defence Secretary Gotabya Rajapaksa. Most people have a love-hate relationship with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, now pursuing a political career in an island nation that’s choking with debts, lawlessness and rising cost of living.
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If Gota is going to be President, God help this country!
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
• Judges of this country should be bold and be able to do justice • Wickremesinghe is grooming Sajith, Ravi, Akila, Harin, Sagala and me for the UNP Leadership • If he doesn’t allow young leaders to come up, things won’t be favourable for him • UNP isn’t all about Wickremesinghe and Premadasa • The hub of extreme Sinhala Buddhist groups is Gota • UNP and the Government aren’t given a fair hearing by media • We’re working on obtaining at least 40% of the Sinhala votes • Arjuna Mahendran isn’t a good friend of RW anymore. Arjuna’s appointment was very controversial Plantation Industries Minister and UNP’s National Organizer Navin Dissanayake in an interview with the Dailymirror shared his views about the UNP’s political future and the ongoing matters related to politics in the country. Excerpts:
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14 individuals linked to LTTE designated by Sri Lankan govt
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
The Government has issued an extraordinary gazette notification listing the names of 14 individuals living overseas with links to the LTTE and banning them from entering Sri Lanka, by placing them in the list of designated persons. The amendment to the List of Designated persons under the United Nations Regulations No. 01 of 2012 has been made through a gazette issued by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Kapila Waidyaratne. Among the individuals included to the list are LTTE intelligence leaders ‘Seel Maran’, ‘Parathan’ and ‘Siranjeew Master’ as well as the terrorist organization’s international financial leader Sivasubramaniyam Jeyaganesh a.k.a Ganesh.
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Gnanasara Thero granted bail
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has been granted bail by the Homagama Magistrate’s Court. He was ordered released on two personal bonds of Rs 500,000 each by the Homagama Magistrate Sudesh Ranatunga, who also barred Ven. Gnanasara Thero from leaving the country. The magistrate ordered to notify the Immigration and Emigration Controller regarding the decision. Ven. Gnanasara Thero was sentenced to 6 months of rigorous imprisonment on June 14, for
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Govt. to probe Kilinochchi leopard killing
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
The government today said a special investigation will be conducted into the killing of a leopard in Ambalakulam, Kilinochchi. The matter was taken up for debate in Parliament by JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake. MP Ratnayake said the assault and killing of the leopard by several youth has led to much controversy today and questioned what measures the Ministry of Wildlife is preparing to take regarding the matter including to call for an investigation promptly.
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Regaining GSP+ Seafood exports increased by 125%
Published Date: 22/06/2018 (Friday)
The fisheries industry comprises close to two per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), contributes value addition of more than US$ 1,300 million, creates 222,000 direct jobs and supports more than 191,000 households, a statement, quoting a speech made by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera at a symposium on Sustainable Development Goals held in Colombo yesterday (21), said. He also said that with the reinstatement of the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) last May (2017), there has been a 125 per cent increase in seafood exports to the European Union (EU) in that year alone. Sustainable resource management is essential in order to successfully export to markets such as the EU, said Samaraweera. Being an island, Sri Lanka owes much to the Indian Ocean, as it has become indispensable
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Wartime FM urges govt to renounce Geneva Resolution
Published Date: 21/06/2018 (Thursday)
Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday said that Sri Lanka should ‘totally and unilaterally renounce’ the controversial Geneva Resolution 30/1 on accountability issues. Bogollagama said the government should review its stand on the non-binding resolution in the wake of the US quitting the 47-member Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The EP Governor, who was wartime Foreign Minister (January 2007 to April 2010) emphasised that there couldn’t be any justification for expecting Sri Lanka to continue with the Geneva process after the very country that spearheaded a high profile project leading to the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government co-sponsoring the resolution against our country had quit the Geneva body.
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Visiting US defence scholar pays courtesy call on CDS
Published Date: 21/06/2018 (Thursday)
Dr. Geoffrey F. Gresh, Department Head of International Security Studies - National Defense University in Washington, D.C and Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), paid a courtesy call on Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne on Wednesday (20th June, 2018) at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) at BMICH. He was accompanied by LTC Douglas Hess, Defence attache, US Embassy. A cordial discussion was held between the delegates on matters of mutual interest and cooperation. The two officials also discussed matters related to Indian Ocean Security dynamics and maritime security cooperation in the region. Mementos were also exchanged subsequent to the discussion.
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US Congress Considers Human Rights in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Monitoring Accountability Panel Submitted a Statement
Published Date: 21/06/2018 (Thursday)
Today, 20 June 2018, the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations of the US Committee on Foreign Affairs heard evidence on “Human Rights Concerns in Sri Lanka.” The Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP) submitted a written statement to the Subcommittee to provide information useful to its task. The MAP pointed out to the Subcommittee that:
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US quits UN human rights council – 'a cesspool of political bias' Nikki Haley says council is ‘protector of human rights abusers’ that targets Israel in particular and ignores atrocities elsewhere
Published Date: 20/06/2018 (Wednesday)
The US is withdrawing from the United Nations human rights council, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday, calling it a “cesspool of political bias” that targets Israel in particular while ignoring atrocities in other countries. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said she had traveled to the council’s headquarters in Geneva a year ago to call for reforms, to no avail. “Regrettably it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley told reporters at the state department. “Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council.”
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Army warns legal action against harbouring absentees, deserters
Published Date: 20/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka Army yesterday said that they are continuing countrywide operations to arrest its absentees or deserters and warned legal action against those who would be harbouring them. Issuing a statement Sri Lanka Army Headquarters appealed all concerned in earnest to desist from aiding or abetting the army deserters or absentees, harbouring or using them for any anti-social acts since such misdeeds as the Army could not hold any responsibility for such involvements. “It has been noted that sections of Army deserters or those absent without leave (AWOL), some of them still in hiding, are reportedly involved in committing criminal acts, robberies and various anti-social acts in different parts of the island.
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Paul Sathiyanesan appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Refugee Week 2018
Published Date: 19/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) welcomes the appointment of Paul Sathiyanesan as a goodwill ambassador for the 20th anniversary of the refugee week. Paul who himself is a refugee from Sri Lanka has become a powerful voice for the forcibly displaced across the world and a powerful example of their resilience and determination to rebuild lives and positively contribute to host communities. He is a deeply inspiring person. Through his powerful personal story, Paul represents the
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Lost in time Second mass grave discovered in Mannar
Published Date: 19/06/2018 (Tuesday)
They found the bones in the sand. The discovery of human skeletal remains were first made in March, when a private soil inspector observed bone-like material found in a sample of soil sent to him for analysis. The soil samples were sent to the inspectors, by the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau which was charged with conducting field inspections of land plot 35, Medawachchiya-Talaimannar Road, Mannar in the latter part of 2017. By this time, the previous building, a one storey Sathosa supermarket that stood on this large plot of land, in the heart of Mannar’s Grand Bazaar – an ancient gateway to the island district and its famous port, had been demolished. The demolition was to pave the way for a new three storey construction for a new Sathosa supermarket. However, with the suspicion of the bone fragments found in the soil,
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SLHRC to probe Jaffna shooting
Published Date: 19/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission has launched an investigation into the incident where one person died in a shooting carried out by Police in Mallakam, Jaffna. The Commission has launched the investigation following a complaint lodged at the Jaffna District office. Accordingly members of the Commission have visited the crime scene and have obtained witnesses accounts.
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