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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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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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