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Heads to roll in foreign missions
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of restructuring its foreign missions and as a result several key positions in Sri Lanka’s vital and influential diplomatic hot spots would be changed, the Daily Mirror learns. A senior government source said on condition of anonymity that our Head of the Mission in Geneva, Mr. Ravinath Aryasinghe would be called back to the Foreign Office (Colombo) and he would be replaced by Mr. A.L.A.Azis who was the Director General of the EU affairs, Multilateral Treaties and the Commonwealth. Mr. Aryasinghe will serve as an additional Secretary at the Foreign Ministry.
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UNP pledges to build 1000 Buddhist shrines in Tamil homeland
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The United National Party pledged to build 1000 Buddhist viharas in the Tamil homeland, under the guise of reconciliation. “500 million rupees has been allocated to build 1000 viharas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces,” a UNP manifesto said on a page titled ‘Reconciliation’. The construction of Buddhist sites in the North-East in areas with few, if any, Buddhist residents leaves a perception of Sinhalese imperialism, a US State Department report said last year.
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Chinese Foreign Aid in East Asia During the Trump Era
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy has marked a reversal of the U.S. global presence and a retreat from multilateralism. One component of this withdrawal has been a substantial reduction in U.S. foreign aid – and other global powers are rising to fill the vacuum. China is a rising power in all areas: economic, cultural, and political. Once China was an aid recipient itself, receiving official development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF); the former intended for improving development and the latter for commercial purposes. In the past decade, China has rapidly developed its own economy and provided financial assistance to a vast number of developing countries, particularly those in East Asia.
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GOvt. has shown they aren’t capable of delivering -Sharmila Gonawela
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The battle for Local Government Elections is heating up. An election should benefit the people, irrespective of symbols like the Pohottuwas, Beetle leaves or Elephants through which they come into power. Several decades down the line, people are still hoping for a better country. Sharmila Gonawela is contesting from the Bambalapitiya Ward for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) under the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ticket. Speaking to the Dailymirror, Gonawela spoke about the challenges she faced being a Municipal Councillor back in 2002 and what she is planning to do if elected. Excerpts :
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Let’s make some Independence Day resolutions
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
As we begin February today, what we remember most is Independence Day on February 4 and it is more significant this year because it is the 70th anniversary. In addition we are amid an intensified campaign for the February 10 elections to 341 Municipal, Urban councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. We hope the results will help bring about more political freedom and democracy and sustainable development to carry us towards a peaceful, just and all-inclusive society. The United National Party’s founder-leader D.S. Senanayake was the first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka. The UNP was in office till 1956 when the Mahajana Eksath
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Towards a social democratic policy framework: Taking democracy to the economy and society
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The urgent need in Sri Lanka, given the present circumstances, is to move firmly and committedly towards social democracy. Simply said, social democracy is about extending democracy from the political to the economy and society. Do we have democracy? Formally speaking, we do have democracy in the political sphere since 1931 when the universal franchise and a legislative council were introduced to this country, yet deformed with imperfections and wilful assaults.
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Bribes that candidates offer to voters
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
Buddha statues, copies of the Quran, copper foils engraved with Rathnamali Gatha are among the bribes in kind provided to electors by various candidates contesting the Feb 10 local government polls, says the elections monitor Peoples’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said their monitors had reported the attempts by candidates to provide various forms bribes to the voters throughout the country. The list of items being distributed contained galvanised roofing sheets, gift vouchers, liquor, land deeds,
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Children being used for various election activities - NCPA
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) requests that no children are used by political parties and independent groups related election work. “It has been reported that children are being used for various activities related to the upcoming elections in violation of the rights of these children. The NCPA views this matter very seriously,” its Chairperson Marini de Livera said. The NCPA urges the general public to provide information over its 24 hour ChildLine 1929 if such incidents occur.
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Two-day Sri Lankan food festival on Feb 3
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
To celebrate the rich diversity of the culture of Sri Lanka, the Islamabad Marriott Hotel (IMH) is hosting a two-day Sri Lankan Food Festival in collaboration with the Sri Lankan High Commission. The festival, that will kick off at the hotel on Saturday, February 3, will attract food enthusiasts from the twin cities. Reflective of the vibrant Sri Lankan culture, the food festival will offer a slice of Sri Lankan cuisine that combines traditional flavours with a unique flair.
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Navy Sampath’ on the run Police seek public assistance
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The Police have sought the assistance of the public to locate a suspect involved in the alleged abduction and murder of 11 youth carried out by Navy personnel between 2008 and 2009. The Police Media Spokesman said that public assistance has been requested to track down one suspect. The Police require the assistance of the general public to locate Hettiarachchi Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi aka Navy Sampath, who has evaded arrest. The inquiry carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) since last year saw the arrest of seven suspects, all attached to the Navy, including its former Spokesman,
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TNA wants solution on par with Oslo Declaration
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in its manifesto for the forthcoming local government election said that that the solution it seeks with regard to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka was similar to what was in the Oslo Declaration. This was the joint declaration by the representatives of the then UNF government and the LTTE at the third round of peace talks between the two parties in 2002. The UNF delegation headed by Professor G. L. Peiris and the LTTE delegation led by its political wing head S. P. Thamilchelvan agreed in the Norwegian Capital Oslo in
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Compromise and consensus good for Democracy
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Through consultation, compromise and consensus – key factors for democracy and public accountability – Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced yesterday that a special session of Parliament would be held on February 6 to hold the widely-awaited debate on two bombshell reports. These reports had been handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Commission which probed the Central Bank’s alleged bond scams from February 2015 to March 2016 and the Commission which probed allegations of serious frauds and corruption during the former Rajapaksa regime.
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Regional Consular Office in Jaffna marks first anniversary
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
The Jaffna Regional Consular Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked its first anniversary last week, Foreign Ministry said. "In keeping with the aim to improve and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of consular related service delivery to the general public, particularly those in the Northern Province, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna on Thursday 26 January 2017. The regional consular office is located at the District Secretariat in Jaffna.
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Earl and Countess of Wessex arrive in SL
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex arrived in Sri Lanka today on a five-day official visit. The royal couple will attend the 70th anniversary celebration of Sri Lanka’s independence representing Queen Elizabeth II. Issuing a statement, the British High Commission said their five day visit will focus on the long-standing UK and Sri Lanka relationship, the Commonwealth, education and young people.
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At long last, children of Sri Lankan refugees get birth certificates
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Rokshini, a 30-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil refugee residing in the Thoppukollai camp in Pudukottai district with her two children, finds it difficult to describe her feeling. Her nearly year-long struggle came to fruition on Tuesday morning, when she received consular birth certificates for her two children, both of whom are less than 10 years of age. “It was quite hard for me and my husband to gather all the documents required by the authorities. Yet, in the end, I feel satisfied that our hard work has not gone waste,” says Rokshini, a native of Neduntivu in the northern province of Sri Lanka, who has been living
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Sri Lankan govt urged to present simpler ‘citizen’s budget’
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka has improved in a global ranking of budget openness, albeit still among the lowest ranked in South Asia, with the government being advised to present a more understandable, non-technical budget document also known as a citizen’s budget. The government should also provide budget related reports in a consistent format and publish adequate information, in line with international standards, Verité Research, a think-tank, said.
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Selfishness and narrow mindedness has fostered racism within SL – CBK
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga stated that the narrow minded, selfish intentions of certain politicians have created racial turmoil within the country. She further stated that the time has now dawned for the people to voice their opinion against such racially prejudiced individuals. Speaking to the media at a political gathering in Gampaha the former President stated that the
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NCPA action on corporal punishment in all schools
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
In response to a complaint made by a student an investigation is being carried out by National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) in relation to an incident in an International School where Nine (09) children had been made to kneel down and their ears were pulled by a teacher as punishment for forgetting to bring their Reading book. Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority Attorney at Law Marini de Livera
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President Sirisena protects bond scam offenders - JO
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena has been attempting to protect the major bond scam offenders since the beginning of the first bond scam on February 2015, Joint Opposition MP Prasanna Ranatunga said today. Addressing a news conference, he said the bond scam should have been nipped in the bud if President Sirisena had not dissolved the parliament when the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report in connection with the Central Bank bond issue was presented to parliament by its chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera, after the first bond fraud on February 2015
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Australia to assist strengthening governance in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Australia and Sri Lanka signed a Subsidiary Arrangement for grant assistance to work together on strengthening governance in Sri Lanka, through a four-year program valued at up to AUD31 million (LKR3,850 million), the Finance Ministry said. The Governance for Growth Program aims to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to increase economic growth and spread the benefits of that growth to reduce poverty and inequality in the country. The program will support activities that improve the policy formation and
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India, Lanka need to discuss fisheries issue: Envoy
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
New Delhi [India], Jan 30 (ANI): Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Chitranganee Wagiswara on Tuesday advised the governments of India and Sri Lanka discuss the fisheries issues. Wagiswara’s statement comes days after Colombo said the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill would be detrimental to the traditional fishing rights of Indians. “Fisheries issue is something for which we need to talk to each other. We have to speak to each other and have fisheries talks. Our fisheries ministers visit each other and a joint
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Futile to continue ban on LTTE: NPC Chairman
Published Date: 30/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam told a news conference, that it was meaningless to continue with the ban imposed on LTTE within Sri Lanka. \"Eight years has lapsed since the war ended with even former LTTE members joining mainstream politics after surrendering their weapons and in such a scenario continuing with the ban on the LTTE is meaningless,\" he said.
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Sri Lanka still using draconian anti-terror laws: HRW
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka's government is still using draconian anti-terror laws that give police sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects despite promising to abolish them, Human Rights Watch said Monday. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) allows the detention of suspects for long periods without trial and was widely used during the decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. The government of President Maithripala Sirisena promised to abolish the act after it was elected in 2015, but has so far failed to do so.
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SLPP challenges Govt. to strip MR of his civic rights
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) today challenged the government to strip former president Mahinda Rajapaksa of his civic rights if possible. SLPP chairman G.L. Peiris said former president J.R. Jayawardane had stripped the civic rights of former prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike fearing an election defeat. “Mr. Jaywwardene knew there was a person who was more popular than him in politics. Therefore, he cut down his opponent politically. The entire country is waiting for Mr. Rajapaksa’s leadership. If he was intimidated politically, we will see how the people will
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KKS Presidential Palace to be high-end hotel International investors keen to take over
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena revealed that the vacant 'Presidential Palace' built in Kankesanthurai (KKS) in the Northern Province on a hundred acre land costing Rs 3.5 billion will be turned into a high end tourist hotel to generate profit for Sri Lanka. Construction on the presidential palace commenced in 2012......and was completed with 20 specially designed rooms and luxury suites with expensive chandeliers, two swimming pools, and rest rooms with residential facilities and several auditoriums as well as a golf course.
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