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Sri Lanka then and now!!
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
We wonder if even God can help our country now!!! Our island home was a beautiful paradise and its inhabitants were good God-fearing people!!! That was in the time of the benevolent respected leaders, who truly loved this country and its people. They fought long and hard to gain independence and they maintained the TRUE SPIRIT OF THAT INDEPENDENCE they fought so hard to gain!!! When did our beautiful island paradise turn into the MONSTROSITY IT IS TODAY!!! In 1947, the Ceylon Independence Act saw the light of day and the first election in the history of our island, elected D.S. SENANAYAKE as the FIRST PRIME MINISTER – CEYLON GAINED ITS FREEDOM!!!
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Startup boot camps inspire young entrepreneurs in Jaffna
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka’s supply of entrepreneurs is relatively short, and it’s only hindering the economic growth of the country. Only 2.8% of the Sri Lankan population are business owners (as compared with 10-20% in comparable countries around the world, according to a September Daily FT article). Congruently, 45% of the population earns less than $5 a day according to the World Bank, showing a need for further economic development, including through developing startup companies that will provide employment and innovation, to bring success to the Sri Lankan population.
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Common candidate in the making
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
A certain civil society group is said to be looking for a suitable person to be fielded as the common candidate at the big poll due in less than two years. A foreign diplomat too is behind this group. However, the Green bucks have not taken to this idea though they have already ruled out their leader as a candidate. Meanwhile, most party seniors too have come around to the view that their second in command is the ideal choice. The eye of the civil society group on the lookout for a common candidate has now fallen on a popular figure with some 3.4 Facebook fans. An apolitical character, he has no connection to a political leader or a political party
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Turkey to provide food aid to 5,000 Sri Lanka Muslims
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
The Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) will distribute 5,000 food packages for iftar, a fast breaking meal, in Sri Lanka for three days, the foundation’s deputy chief said on Wednesday. In the first day of the aid campaign, TDV, the charity body of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, organized distribution events in Kinniya, Kiran, Vellenkulam, Naduoothu, Muttur and Topur regions of Kaluppu province. Speaking at the event in Kinniya, Abdurrahman Cetin, the deputy secretary-general of the foundation, said TDV aims to give a helping hand to 5,000 Muslims in Sri Lanka.
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Fulfill promises instead of having debates: Namal to Mangala
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Joint Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday urged Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera to focus on fulfilling promises he had made to the people before inviting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a political debate. MP Rajapaksa in a tweet said “With respect, how can you be focusing on political debates in the midst of devastating floods the people in Sri Lanka are facing? For the past three years, you have been so focused on criticizing Mahinda Rajapaksa that you have forgotten to fulfill promises made to the people,”
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UN, Sri Lanka non-profit agencies win 25,000 houses deal
Published Date: 23/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka has accepted a bid by United Nations agencies, non-profit organanizsations to build 25,000 brick and mortar houses for war refugees in the north and east of the country. The cabinet of ministers had approved the proposal by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to given the contract to a proposal by UN-Habitat, UN office for project service, Sri Lanka Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The bid on a non-profit basis had beaten other bids by construction contractors, the state information office said.
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In defence of art as a social reality
Published Date: 22/05/2018 (Tuesday)
While Dr. Lester James Peries called Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s maiden cinematic labour, Hansa Vilak a ‘dazzling debut’ which ‘displays a remarkable feel for the medium’ and ‘imaginative, experimental and very exciting,’ scholar and critic Reggie Siriwardene lauded him for ‘a form and style which went further than any Sinhala film before in taking us into the world of inner psychological experience.’ To have found ‘the means of reflecting through the form and techniques of the film, the pressures of society and the family in the mind of a bewildered and tormented individual is Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s great achievement,’ Reggie Siriwardene wrote.
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Lord Naseby meets Sri Lankan Diaspora at House of Lords
Published Date: 22/05/2018 (Tuesday)
Last week, the UK Parliament paid tribute to the Sri Lankan community living in the United Kingdom with the first-ever meeting pertaining to Sri Lanka, one of the most auspicious days in the British calendar last week. For the first time in history, the Sri Lankan community event was held on 16th of May 2018 in the House, of Lords, Palace of Westminster. Mr Ranjiv Goonawardena, organised, chaired and facilitated the meeting, with the collaboration of Right Honourable Lord Naseby, on behalf of the Global Sri Lankan Forum UK (GSLF UK).
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British political leaders call for an International Tribunal to investigate Sri Lanka’s genocide
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
At the Mullivaikal Genocide (Sri Lanka) Remembrance Day 2018 held at the Hyde Park, London on the 18th of May 2018, organised by the British Tamils Forum, several British politicians called for setting up of an international tribunal to investigate the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and imposing economic sanctions against the state. During the war that ended in May 2009, around 430,000 Tamil people had taken refuge in Sri Lankan State declared safe zones in Mullivaikkal a coastal village bordering the Bay of Bengal in the North Eastern part of the island of Sri Lanka. Having deceived and corralled the people into a narrow slither of land by designating it as a “no fire zone” the state pounced them with heavy artillery from land sea
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IS THERE A BREAKDOWN IN GOVERNANCE? - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The coalition government led by the UNP and a faction of the SLFP led by President Sirisena in the so-called ‘National Unity’ government came into power in January 2015 -a coming together of two political forces which have since their creation been diametrically opposed to each other. Unfortunately the coming together of two diametrically opposed political forces without either a common ideology or pragmatic programme of work was bound to flounder. And so it has come to pass. In the aftermath of the governing coalition’s defeat at the local government elections to the new political formation -the SLPP, led by immediate past President Rajapaksa, the unity
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Demilitarisation
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The end of the war anniversary this month is once again polarizing the country. The losses are again being counted along ethnic lines, reinforcing notions of “war heroes” and “martyrs”. Remembering the war and the dead in this manner is providing few lessons and avenues towards seeking a peaceful and just future. With the changing political dispensation in the South this year, a new constitution to address the issues that underlie the conflict are no longer in sight. In side stepping the issue of a political settlement, the doors are widening again for majoritarianism and jingoism in the South.
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most welcome measure
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Government has decided to get rid of the menace of narcotics from schools by setting up drug counselling units in all the schools in the country. A month ago in the Eastern Province a student was caught at a road checkpoint by Police carrying narcotic pills in a three-wheeler to be distributed at his school. The investigation into the arrest of the student and the seizure of narcotic pills from his possession had revealed how the innocence of the school-goers has been exploited by the drug dealers.
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OMP to set up 12 regional offices to inquire into missing persons
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka will set up 12 regional offices covering the entire country to receive information and complaints from families and other individuals of the missing persons, the OMP Chairman President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris told the media after the OMP held its second meeting in Matara. The newly-created OMP, which began public consultations on 12 May in Mannar, held its second public meeting at the Matara District Secretariat on Saturday (19).
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Chinese Roulette in Paradise Isle
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
Donald Trump first became a household name in the US for a book he claimed as his own but didn’t write – The Art of the Deal. Recently he learned a real life lesson in the art of the deal from a consummate master of the art of the deal – the Chinese. Last month Mr. Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese technology giant, the ZTE, banning it from using American technology in making its phones. The Chinese government responded by agreeing to loan USD 500 million to a company with business links to the Trump family which is building a theme park in Indonesia. Days later Mr. Trump announced removing the sanctions against the ZTE
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Towards A Non-Political Party
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
How our political parties have kept their promises is well known, as is the downward march of our political culture. Beginning with scattered incidence of bribery, corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the early post-independence era, these have today become the very definition of government. It was with fervent hope that the majority of the people voted the present government into power, but deep disappointment with it and the system of parties within which it is embedded, has made it necessary to contemplate a political structure beyond the traditional political party, that we might call a ‘Non-Political Party’. A non-political party requires us to rethink politics as we know it. Such a party is a loose
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Sri Lanka mostly repaying debt taken before 2015: Fin Min
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
Around 70 percent of the debt Sri Lanka is now repaying has been issued before 2015, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said, showing the danger of debt driven economic activity with little private investment. Samaraweera said in 2017, 75 percent of the foreign debt repaid was for loans taken before 2015, rejecting a charge by ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the current administration had taken large volume of loans. In 2018 Sri Lanka had to repay 2,845 million dollars in foreign aid, of which 1,789 million or 63 percent was taken before 2015. About 1,056 related to debt issued after 2015.
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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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