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Army Commander Brags About Brutality, President Gives Silent Consent
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
Army Commander Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake said that soldiers had ‘cracked skulls’ and ‘split ears’ during operations to quell communal unrest in the Kandy District recently. He said that all this happened within the framework of ‘operational duty’ and that he is not perturbed by it. ‘All communities are with (support) the Army. I know that skulls were cracked, that ears were split (blows on the ear), but this doesn’t bother me. I will not punish anyone. All this happened within the framework of operational discipline.’ He added that he had explained all this to President Maithripala Sirisena in a 45 minute discussion and that the President did not ask my ‘why was it done in this way?’
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Action needed, mere political rhetoric won’t do
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
During the Cabinet press briefing on Tuesday (20), Co-Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne revealed that investigations were underway into the alleged involvement of a Parliamentarian and a Ministry Secretary in the unrest in Kandy this month. This follows the arrest of four Pradeshiya Sabha members, three from the Joint Opposition (JO) and one from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) who had allegedly led the mob violence in the hill capital. The suspects, if found guilty, should be duly punished.
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GSL hands over patrol vessel to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
The state-run Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has delivered an advanced offshore patrol vessel to the Sri Lankan Navy. The defence ministry here said the vessel will be the largest and the most advanced ship in the Sri Lankan Navy fleet. "This state-ofthe-art and largest ship in the Sri Lanka Naval fleet will help meet the increasing requirement of the Sri Lanka Navy for undertaking policing and patrolling of its vast Exclusive Economic Zone," said Rear Admiral (Rtd) Shekhar Mital, Chairman and Managing Director of GSL.
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Sri Lanka - Canada initiative develops nanotech to keep fruits fresh
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
Sri Lanka's Industrial Technology Institute has developed nanotechnology based products to keep fruits fresh and cut post-harvest losses with the help of Canadian funding, the country's embassy in Colombo said. "The research scientists utilizing cutting-edge nanotechnology have successfully developed two new products to extend and optimize the use of hexanal for pre- and post-harvest applications to commercial fruits, such as bananas, papayas and citrus," the embassy of Canada said in a statement. The products will be commercially produced by by Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd, the Canadian embassy said.
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Political Preferences: The Fascinating Hobbies of Past Politicians
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
History teaches us of the accomplishments of past politicians, but rarely do we catch a glimpse into the private lives and hobbies of these men and women—not unless we pick up a bulky biography and spend time patiently perusing the pages! While many of our past politicians are known for laying the foundation for the nation state that came to be known as Sri Lanka, we know little of what they did to rest and relax in their spare time. Here we take a look at some of the non-political hobbies enjoyed by some of the leaders of the past decades.
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Open economy concept has failed the country- JVP
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
The JVP says the open economy concept introduced in 1978, has failed the country. Speaking during the debate on the Active Liability Management Bill in Parliament, MP Sunil Handunneththi said at present the country’s economy is strained, and the governments are forced to borrow more loans to settle existing ones. MP Handunneththi stressed in 2019, the country has to settle an amount of 4.2 trillion or 4200 billion rupees worth of loans.
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Exploiting women for prostitution a crime against humanity - pope
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
Pope Francis branded exploitation of women for prostitution a "crime against humanity" on Monday and asked forgiveness from society for Catholic men who use prostitutes. The pope made his frank comments in a remarkable, freewheeling question-and-answer session with young people from around the world who came to Rome to prepare for a bishops' meeting scheduled for October at the Vatican. Blessing Okoedion, a 32-year-old Nigerian who was once a victim of human sexual trafficking, told the pope she was troubled that many clients of prostitutes on the streets of Rome were Catholic.
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Racism, riots, and the Sri Lankan State
Published Date: 23/03/2018 (Friday)
“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion” – Simone de Beauvoir Only when fear and hatred is spread by extremists does serious reflection haunt a community. The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, a seeming paradise hanging off the Indian subcontinent, has been provoked yet again. Within a few hours arose an ugly incident of violence, the hill country’s vibrant colours serving as a backdrop to death and destruction – a systematic break-down of lives, religious spaces, and personal property.
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Sri Lanka has to decide whether its security is sufficient
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
The Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano visited Sri Lanka on March 14 after concluding a two day visit to Pakistan. He was invited by the Government of Sri Lanka. The island nation is a member of the IAEA and has consistently obtained technical assistance from the IAEA for peaceful nuclear applications in Non Power areas.Dr. Harinda Vidanage, the Director of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS), sat down with Amano for a short interview facilitated through Dailymirror , which publishes Dr. Vidanage’s International Affairs bi weekly column ‘Stratsight’.
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Namal blocked flying to US from Moscow
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
Parliamentarian Namal Rajapakse, who was in Moscow, Russia to observe the presidential election, said that he was not allowed to travel to US on the instructions of US officials. In a twitter message, MP Rajapaksa said that the Emirates Airline officials in Moscow informed him that he cannot board a flight to Houston as US officials instructed the airline not to let him, board.
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Japanese Envoy says No to foreign judges
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma said yesterday that his government was not of the opinion that foreign jurists should be brought to Sri Lanka to evaluate claims of human rights violations. Responding to a reporter’s question about the matter, Ambassador Suganuma said the Sri Lankan government has the capability to investigate alleged violations and bring those involved to justice. UNHRC Resolution 34/1, to which Sri Lanka was a signatory in 2017, provides for foreign participation in the country’s post-war accountability and reconciliation process.
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Fraud suspect Wijenayake in President's delegation of Japan visit: JVP
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said today former MP Piyasiri Wijenayake, who was held responsible for fraud by PRECIFAC, had accompanied the President on his recent visit to Japan and said this would negatively influence the legal proceedings against him. He asked in parliament how the President took him on a state visit when he was accused of a fraud by a commission.
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70 UNP MPs sign motion in favour of PM
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
Seventy United National Party parliamentarians have signed a counter motion against the no-confidence motion tabled by the joint opposition against the Prime Minister. UNP Parliamentarian Harshana Rajakaruna informed NewsRadio that a proposal in favour of the Party Leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was signed by 70 MPs today. He said a unanimous decision was taken by the UNP Parliamentary group to vote against the Joint Opposition motion during a meeting held at the Parliamentary complex today
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Resolution of Forum Against Racism in Sri Lanka - UK against the resurgence of racially-motivated violence against Muslims and the growing hate-crime activities against numerically small nationals of Sri Lanka and for a comprehensive strategy for fighting hate crime, attacks and discrimination.
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
We the representatives of several multi-cultural civil society organisations and socio-political activists gathered at Trinity Hall, Eastham, London E12 6SG on the 17th of March 2018: Deeply apprehensive of the long and dark history of pogroms against numerically smaller nationals of Sri Lanka where many of them were carried out against the Tamils, including Malayaga Tamils;
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Sri Lanka’s Only Solid Boast Before UNHRC 2018 – The RTI!
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
The only concrete action that the Government of Sri Lanka relied on during its statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council at its 37th session yesterday (21st March 2018) in Geneva was that Sri Lanka’s globally praised Right to Information Act was in full implementation mode and that the Right to Information Commission was functioning effectively and ‘disposing of a large number of appeals’! Reading out the Statement, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana otherwise, only pointed to a long list of “promises”, hopeful assurances that the recently established Office of Missing Persons will “discharge its mandate effectively.”
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SL Remains Committed To UPR, US Expresses Mixed Sentiments
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha in a statement delivered at the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council on adopting Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review reiterated the country’s commitment to constructive engagement with the UN systems and procedures in promoting human rights locally and internationally. Aryasinha outlined Sri Lanka’s progress on some of the recommendations and also touched on the recent communal violence and subsequent clamp down on social media.
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U.S. Statement for Sri Lanka UPR Outcomes
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
The United States welcomes the delegation from Sri Lanka. We welcome the Government’s decision to accept our recommendations on full implementation of HRC resolution 30/1 and on accountability for the government’s, including the security forces, human rights violations and abuses, as well as accountability for those responsible for harassment and violence against members of religious minority communities. Although we are pleased with the Government’s support for these recommendations, we are concerned by ongoing reports of human rights violations and abuses by members of the
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OHCHR sees Sri Lanka falling short on its commitments by 2019
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday expressed “much regret” over the slow progress in establishing transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka. Kate Gilmore, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights told the UN Human Rights Council today that OHCHR welcomes the Government’s constructive engagement with OHCHR and the human rights mechanisms, including its cooperation with visits of this Council’s Special Rapporteurs on human rights and terrorism; on truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
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Sri Lanka: continued Human Rights Council scrutiny needed until justice commitments met in full
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
In this Council, we often talk about the importance of implementation. We can pass all the resolutions we like, but none of it matters if it doesn’t translate into actual progress for people on the ground. Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of resolution 30/1 in October 2015 represented a moment of hope, of opportunity, the prospect of justice and accountability for the tens of thousands of victims of the country’s brutal civil war.
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Anti-Darwin comments in India outrage scientists
Published Date: 22/03/2018 (Thursday)
Thousands of scientists in India have signed an online petition protesting against comments by a higher-education minister who last week publicly questioned the scientific validity of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and called for changes in educational curricula. The incident continued to simmer when Indian science minister Harsh Vardhan, a medical doctor, declined to comment on his colleague’s remarks at a press conference on 24 January. Vardhan said he had not studied Darwin’s theory since he was a student and so wasn’t qualified to discuss it.
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Why Ranil Is Still Needed
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
The Joint Opposition move to pass a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will come a cropper. Ranil knows that best as he has tersely told a group of opposition pollies (Australia slang for ‘politicians’), “Come on! present the motion in Parliament and we will defeat that.” His own UNP MPs, he advised not to panic over the motion because it has not even been presented to the Speaker. In his 40 year-long political history Ranil Wickremesinghe has never been observed panicking. What is it that invests him with such an emotional state? His savvy knack about Sri Lankan politics. He knows the jokers he is dealing with him.
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Something Radically Wrong
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
The debate on the ban on social media is not so black and white. The ban itself was not black or white. Our reactions to it, however, was where we showed the least degree of humanity The ban on social media was not the enemy. The enemy is the racism that we allow to remain on the streets, burning one shop after the other It is not limited to the systematic racism and sexism that we unwittingly engage in on a daily basis. It is not even limited to the lack of substantive education, the reasoning expected of people beyond the achievement of literacy.
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37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Geneva, 21 March 2018 Statement by Hon. Tilak Marapana, PC., MP Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
Mr. President, Madam Deputy High Commissioner, Distinguished Delegates, It is an honour for me to be here today at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council representing the Government of Sri Lanka. I am joined today by my Cabinet colleagues, the Minister of Special Assignments, Hon. (Dr) Sarath Amunugama, and the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Hon. Faiszer Musthapha. My colleagues and I represent the two main political parties that form the coalition government. We are here before this Council together in unison, to speak with one voice, demonstrating the Government’s firm commitment to the advancement of reconciliation, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, justice, equality, and dignity for all our citizens, based on the 100 Day Programme on which President Maithripala Sirisena was elected in January 2015.
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Politics vs Economics
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy recently said that good economics make good politics. He underscored this view not in so many words, but by saying at a seminar yesterday that the recently won economic gains should not be sacrificed to politics. Among those gains that he elaborated on were the country’s foreign reserves increasing from US$ six billion last year to US$ eight billion this year led by quality uplift, underscored by CBSL’s short term swaps being reduced from $ 2.5 billion to $ 1.5 billion.Contributing factors included exports growing to record highs, inflation contained at 4.5 per cent and net foreign inflows enjoyed by the stock market.
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No-confidence motion against PM handed over to Speaker
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
The motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been handed over to the Speaker of Parliament by MPs representing the Joint Opposition. Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena handed over the motion to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at 2.30pm today (21). The motion has reportedly been signed by a total of 55 MPs including 51 from the Joint Opposition and 4 MPs from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The SLFP members who have signed include T.B. Ekanayake, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Susantha Punchinilame and Kader Masthan.
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