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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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SRI LANKAN SOVEREIGNTY, NON NEGOTIABLE!
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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Crucial reconciliation steps in North
Published Date: 09/05/2018 (Wednesday)
The Government which has expedited resettling Internally-Displaced People in Jaffna, will not compromise on national security by releasing the Army-held lands back to the rightful owners, the Security Forces Commander Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Dharshana Hettiarachchi said. He said that the Army was releasing lands not to meet demands of any political party but to reduce the number of IDPs languishing in centres for decades. “We can’t hold their lands forever. Eight years after ending the war, we want to handover some lands, which are not required for security purposes, back to the owners,” he said.
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TNA May Launch Non-Violent Protest Campaign Against Govt Soon
Published Date: 09/05/2018 (Wednesday)
D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Coalition Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe may soon be facing a political challenge from an unexpected quarter namely the Tamil National Alliance(TNA). The TNA regarded as the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamil people is becoming increasingly frustrated at what it perceives as the slow pace and tardy progress of the Constitution making process. Therefore the TNA is planning to launch a non – violent protest campaign against the UNP- SLFP coalition Govt if it continues to procrastinate and dilly-dally on this issue. If and when matters do reach a point where a political confrontation becomes inevitable, the TNA proposes to embark upon a huge non – violent protest campaign to pressurise the Govt to expedite the making of a new Constitution.
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USNS MERCY DEPARTS SRI LANKA
Published Date: 09/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sailors participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) departed Trincomalee aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) May 9, bound for the mission’s fourth port visit in Nha Trang, Vietnam. “We've continued to build upon the partnerships we forged during prior Pacific Partnerships,” said Capt. David Bretz, PP18 mission commander. “The teamwork I saw between the Sri Lankans and all of our partner nations gives me great confidence that as we leave here we are all better prepared to respond to potential disasters.”
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SL’s external sector is under severe stress, contrary to Central Bank’s favourable comments
Published Date: 09/05/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka is facing harsh external financing vulnerabilities, in contrast to the Central Bank’s recent claims that the country’s gross official foreign reserves have risen to the historically highest level of $ 9.9 billion reflecting improved economic prospects. According to a press release issued by the Central Bank last week, oversubscription of the International Sovereign Bond (ISB) amounting to $ 2.5 billion (largest ever), which was offered in April, signals foreign investors’ confidence in Sri Lanka’s economic performance and potential. The Central Bank goes on to say that it has received favourable response from the international community for a proposed term loan of $ 1 billion which is to be utilised by the Government to repay more expensive existing debt.
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Will President Sirisena heed Naseby’s advise?
Published Date: 05/05/2018 (Saturday)
In October 2017, Naseby, after appealing to the British Information Commissioner, obtain 39 pages of highly redacted confidential dispatches from the British High Commission in Colombo during the last stages of the Vanni campaign. During a debate in the House of Lords, he urged the UK government to revisit the UNHRC Resolution 30/1. Despite redactions, dispatches estimated 7,000 to 8,000 civilian deaths during the closing phase of the conflict with around a quarter of them being LTTE cadre in civilian clothing. One such document contained, "certainly there was no policy to kill civilians by Sri Lankan army."
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Reflections on President Premadasa
Published Date: 03/05/2018 (Thursday)
Ranasinghe Premadasa was born on 23 June 1924 in Colombo. He completed his education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10. He was interested in social service for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden. He was the architect of the Sri Sucharitha Movement, an organisation with the objectives of uplifting the economic, social and spiritual development of the low income people. These youth who enrolled in his development movement refrained from taking liquor and avoided smoking and gambling. R. Premadasa too was a teetotaller.
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Mullivaikkal memorial ban irks TNPF and EPRLF
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) condemned the ban imposed on the construction of the Mullivaikkal memorial within the Jaffna University premises. TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said on Monday (30) that the banning of the Mullivaikkal memorial by the government cannot be accepted. “This action had angered us.”
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Defiant workers hold May Day rallies
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
The Christian Workers Fellowship held its annual workers’ mass at an Anglican church in Thousands of workers on Tuesday defied an order of the Sri Lankan government postponing May Day events, by rallying in Colombo’s Fort area to mark the International Workers’ Day. Earlier, the Cabinet decided to defer workers’ day events to May 7, citing an overlap with the Buddhist festival of Vesak or Buddha Poornima, that fell on April 29 and 30. The move, which followed a request from the influential Buddhist clergy, drew severe criticism from independent trade unions.
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THE BURNING QUESTION when
Published Date: 02/05/2018 (Wednesday)
1 We have talked about so many burning issues including the ones of UDAYANGA, MAHENDRAN and JALIYA, but we haven’t seen a single brought to conclusion. Either we await action from INTERPOL or our own sleuths. Going back on the local scenario, what happened with the findings on THAJUDEEN, LASANTHA, AVANT GARDE, ALOYSIUS, PALIASENA et al? We continuously seem to be waiting and waiting, not concluding anything. WHY SUCH INORDINATE DELAYS IN IMPLEMENTING THE LAW?
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