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Efforts underway to extradite Mahendran – says Ranil
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said in the Parliament that steps are being taken to bring back Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka according to the Extradition Law. Wickremesinghe made this remark while answering a question by Chief Opposition Whip and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Dissanayake queried as to what steps had been taken from the Government’s side to produce Mahendran to the relevant local Court thus far.
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Thoothukudi Massacre – When State becomes Predator: Bobby Kunhu
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
On 22nd May 2018, in what cannot be imagined even in a dictatorial regime, the police in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu – a South Indian state opened fire to kill, on a group of peaceful protesters marching towards the district administration office demanding denial of permission for expansion and closure of the existing copper smelting plant of Sterlite. Sterlite is a subsidiary of the London based corporation Vedanta, which has been dumping toxic waste all over this town since 1998 resulting in widespread health hazards including increase in reports of cancer. This massacre is unimaginable even in the worst dictatorial regimes, because not only were known national and international legal norms and protocols in crowd/riot control
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Balancing the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka: India and Japan’s game of the stag hunt
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
The rivalry existing between China and India is based on a long historical trajectory dating back to the epoch of the silk route. More recent conflict emerged at a time when both states strived to emerge as nation states after facing colonial encounters for centuries. Nevertheless, the present-day antagonism between the countries mainly arose as a result of the border dispute and later converted into the respective quest of each to be a super power. In the recent past both China and India have emerged as new powers in terms of economy, political stability and military strategy. This newly developed status of both countries has simultaneously fed a mutual suspicion of each other, which is why India keeps a watchful eye on the Chinese influence in South Asia
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‘Sri Lanka Goebbeled’- My Article That Never Got Published!
Published Date: 05/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The following piece was written by me in 2007. This was a time, when the media in Sri Lanka was terrorized to such an extent, that Journalists and Writers needed to be armed with cold courage, to function. All those Editors I sent the following piece to, who never said “No” to any of my articles before and after, refused to publish it in their newspapers, and one warned, “No way Sharmini, this will get us both killed!”
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The Subversion Of Our Democratic Political Spaces & What It Means For Sri Lanka’s Future
Published Date: 05/06/2018 (Tuesday)
Since Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has witnessed three unsuccessful armed struggles. Two of these (1971 and 1987-89) have been confined mainly to the Sinhalese South. The last one in the North and East of Sri Lanka waged an armed campaign for almost 30 years until the Tami Tigers were defeated in 2009. The manner of the Sri Lanka’s state victory created acute political wounds and left unresolved the fundamental problems that gave rise to Tamil militancy. The devastating effects of all three armed campaigns conducted by the state and non-state actors have scarred democratic governance in the country and its commitment to pluralism. These violent struggles have torn apart Sri Lanka’s social fabric and hindered economic wellbeing of its citizens. It has damaged the continuing efforts to create a healthy and pluralistic democracy for our young and fragile nation.
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Omphalos Syndrome
Published Date: 03/06/2018 (Sunday)
Given the trend of tirades, it is not unreasonable to expect that President Sirisena will wake up one of these days and disclaim everything he did and said in 2015. The change maker is clearly out, though the charlatan arguably never left. The hope around and pegged to him is long gone. There is, short of a miracle, nothing progressive that he was the face of, and championed, when first seeking office that will now come to pass. This includes, above all else, a new constitution. There is an increasing manic tinge, of someone increasingly unhinged, that colours his pronouncements. A video last week of him disavowing any
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Coalitions of the Evil
Published Date: 03/06/2018 (Sunday)
Among politically significant developments to have occurred during the past week or so, three stand out. They, not necessarily in the order of their importance, are: (a) Revelations made by MP Dayasiri Jayasekera about business donations to election funds of politicians, (b) the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, and (c) Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s launching of his 2019-2020 election campaign. This essay examines only the first.
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C.V. Vigneswaran’s de-legitimization of remembrance
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
A decision by a local bank to suspend two of its employees for commemorating the war dead of the final phase of the Eelam war has now caused a fresh wave of controversy. The ‘disciplinary action’ was purportedly taken after Sinhala nationalist social media highlighted the incident. The Bank said in a media statement, “HNB takes very seriously any sentiment or act that is in violation of, or poses a threat to the morale of citizens of Sri Lanka. As a Bank that stands for all Sri Lankans, our goals, interests and initiatives are all aligned to the vision and greater good of our Country.” “We regret an unauthorized incident that took place recently in one of our branches, which does not reflect the values of the Bank. The matter has been investigated and necessary action taken.”
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China insists it has lent “sincere support” to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
China insists its has lent “sincere support” to Sri Lanka and provides assistance to the best of its ability to help Sri Lanka close its financing gap, boost economic development, improve people’s livelihood and enhance its self-development capability. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said this in response to a question raised over reports that talks between China and Sri Lanka on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have reached a stalemate as Sri Lanka is worried that Chinese investments may make it indebted.
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The king cobra and Sri Lanka’s fascinated paralysis
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
When the king cobra kills, it is said that its glare is so unnerving that the victim is fascinated first into a state of terrified immobility before the strike occurs, paralyzing through the injection of a potent neurotoxin that immobilizes the central nervous system. The victims, (including humans if the dose is large enough), can feel impending death but be completely powerless to prevent it, sans immediate recourse to anti-venom treatment. Political chicanery, natural disasters and human misery In some ways, it feels as if Sri Lanka is in that advanced state of paralysis as the country lies transfixed in a state of apathy with a quarreling National Unity Government, overtly
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In the name of a misunderstood identity, Lankan Muslims are getting isolated: Prof. Ali
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka is currently wedged between Buddhist fundamentalism and rigid Orthodox Islam that have made inroads into the country in the past 40 years or so. Both Buddhists and Muslims have forgotten the magnanimity and tolerance of the Sinhalese who welcomed Muslims into the country centuries ago. Sadly, Muslims have forgotten that they embraced Sri Lankan and not Arabian culture when they decided to live in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans. “It was Buddhist compassion, which made Buddhist monarchs of ancient Sri Lanka welcome believers of other religions and extended their unparalleled hospitality. The experience of the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka until ethno-
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Sri Lankan Navy arrests 6 Tamil refugees
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
The Island-Navy contingent, during a routine patrol, apprehended all the six helpless Tamil refugees. The group of ‘migrants’ and the trawler were handed over to the Talaimannar police for further investigation the report added. Rameswaram: In a late night development on Wednesday that has sent shock waves across Rameswaram, six Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including a woman and two children, were apprehended by the Island Navy authorities from an Indian trawler, suspected to be
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US lawmakers visit Sri Lanka to see massive Chinese investments
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
• Amid the global concern over China's 'debt trap diplomacy', a bipartisan group of influential US lawmakers has visited Sri Lanka to gauge the ground-level situation. • Under a pact with Sri Lanka, China recently gained lease of the strategic Hambantota port for 99 years. Amid the global concern over China's 'debt trap diplomacy', a bipartisan group of influential US lawmakers has visited Sri Lanka to gauge the ground-level situation.
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Sri Lanka to get Rs. 383 million Japanese grant aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
The government has received the cabinet approval to sign an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to obtain a grant of Japanese Yen 265 million (Rs. 383 million) , in order to implement another phase of the Human Resources Development scholarship Programme. The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme was introduced in Sri Lanka in 2010 by the Government of Japan in order to provide opportunities to the executive level public officials of Sri Lanka to undergo Master Degree Programs in prominent universities in Japan.
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From Anura’s to Mahinda’s 20 21 A
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
Mahinda Rajapaksa, therefore, cannot afford to play between Parliamentary and the Presidential Elections Political fact that abolition would make them nonentities in a Parliamentary Election The 20th Amendment to the Constitution is basically a correction to the 19A for Mahinda to gamble with an undecided Parliamentary Election does pose the already fixed 2020 Presidential Election as a hassle They should all fall in line in voting for the 20A
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LTTE bogey to scuttle Constitution making
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
LTTE bogey came to a head when the Rajapaksa loyalists accused Sarath Fonseka, being an LTTE agent when challenged Rajapaksa Sri Lankan politicians have a habit to look for a nexus between the ethnic issue and anything under the sun, in order to convince their community The constitutional issues such as the mode of governance are the ones having far-reaching effects on the future of the country as well as its people
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SLFP group of 16 opposes 20A
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
The Group of 16 Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians, who left the Government and joined the Opposition, said that they completely opposed the proposal, in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, brought by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). Explaining their stance on the matter, at a media briefing held yesterday (31), MP S.B. Dissanayake said, in the event the 13th Amendment to the Constitution imposes a threat on the unitary status of the country, the Executive Presidency is key to diminishing that threat. He explained this by referencing the position taken by the Supreme Court in its ruling on the 13th Amendment.
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Will ban social media if they don’t self-regulate: MS
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday he had discussed with a US based global institution regarding the issues that had arisen in the country due to social media and that if they were unable to control such issues, he would have to ban social media websites altogether like some other countries had done. “I summoned a team of experts who work in a global institution in the US that attend to issues pertaining to social media. I discussed with them the influence of the social media has on social and national security, ethnic harmony, integrity of a family and so on because social media has influenced them badly. I also told the US experts that if they could not control what was going
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Lanka and South Korea discuss maritime cooperation
Published Date: 31/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka and South Korea discussed maritime cooperation including the development of Aids to Navigation. Minister of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka Mahinda Samarasinghe and the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea Kim Young-Choon also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and Oceans and Fisheries of Korea on cooperation in the development of Aids to Navigation in Incheon Metropolitan City in Korea, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
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Renewed interest for economic resurgence in North
Published Date: 31/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka’s former-war wrecked Northern region is witnessing signs of economic resurgence with greater political will being demonstrated by the Central Government and the shifting of focus by the local Tamil leadership towards development, as the Provincial Election also nears, observes a top regional researcher. In a candid interview with the Sunday Observer recently, Dr. Ahilan Kadirgamar, a political economist based in Jaffna, highlights that the lack of vision demonstrated by the Tamil political leadership for developing the Northern Province - nearly a decade since the war ended, has thus far resulted in ‘jobless growth’ and crippling indebtedness. However, he points out that 2018 could very well be the year of change as the people are now increasingly
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Sri Lankans protest against Thoothukudi killings
Published Date: 31/05/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lankan trade unionists and human rights activists on Wednesday protested outside the Indian High Commission here, demanding justice for victims of the recent police firing in Thoothukudi. They held posters with solidarity messages, some likening the Thoothukudi incident to a similar shooting incident in Sri Lanka in 2013, when the Army opened fire at the residents of Rathupaswala, about 40 km north-east of Colombo, as they protested against drinking water contamination caused by a nearby factory.
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Dollar strengthening combines with political uncertainty in Sri Lanka: Moody’s
Published Date: 28/05/2018 (Monday)
Strengthening of the Dollar in Sri Lanka has combined with domestic political uncertainty, weighing on the rupee, Moody’s Investors Service said. Moody’s said country-specific factors like in Sri Lanka have played a role in tightening financing conditions. Tightening financing conditions reflect various factors, including the appreciation of the US dollar. Moody’s, however, said nearly all economies in the APAC region have seen their currencies depreciate against the US dollar over the course of this year.
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Statement on Atrocities on Dalits : New Socialist Initiative
Published Date: 28/05/2018 (Monday)
Hardly a day passes without headline news of some or another atrocity on Dalits. On 24 May, a Dalit man in the Ahmedabad district was beaten and his house attacked by a gang of socalled ‘upper’ caste men after he had attached Sinh to his name on his facebook post. On 21 May a dalit ragpicker was beaten to death in a Rajkot factory. Atrocities on Dalits are occurring in the midst of a public ideological environment against them. On 26 May news came of a private school in Delhi asking 8th class students to write a note on how reservations help undeserving and unqualified people for their summer vacation homework. According to National Crime Record Bureau reports for recent years, between 10 to 15 thousand cases of crimes are reported under the Prevention of Atrocities act every year; an average of 35 crimes
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Why Thoothukudi Exploded
Published Date: 28/05/2018 (Monday)
Many questions remain unanswered following the death of 13 people agitating against Sterlite Copper. What happened on 22 May in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in Tamil Nadu, when the police shot down 13 people who were part of thousands agitating against the Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper plant, is important for a number of reasons. The most obvious is the egregious use of force by the police that failed to use standard crowd control methods and instead, as seen in videos on television, deployed sharpshooters to aim and shoot down people. Although an inquiry has been ordered, given the track record of such investigations by the state, it is not likely to assuage the anger of people or the distress of the families who lost one of their own in the firing.
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UN votes to send war crimes probe to Gaza
Published Date: 27/05/2018 (Sunday)
The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to send a team of international war crimes investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces. The UN's top human rights body voted through a resolution calling on the council to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry" -- the UN rights council's highest-level of investigation. Only two of the council's 47 members, the United States and Australia, voted against the resolution, while 29 voted in favour and 14 abstained, including Britain, Switzerland and Germany.
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