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EU urges Sri Lanka to honour commitments on OMP
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The European Union (EU) says the Sri Lankan Government must honour their commitments on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and Transitional Justice. In a tweet, the EU office in Sri Lanka said that without clarity about the fate of their missing or disappeared loved ones, many Sri Lankans will not be able to participate in national reconciliation. The families of the disappeared from Kilinochchi yesterday marked one year of continuous protests.
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CID wants INTERPOL ‘Red Notice’ on Mahendran
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has made a request to the International Police (INTERPOL) to issue a 'Red Notice' on former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, a senior Police official told Ceylon Today. Informed sources confirmed that the request to the INTERPOL...... was made following his failure to present himself before the CID on 15 February, as ordered by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. It was reported that the notice had been sent to Mahendran's residence in Singapore as well. It
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Swiss AG demands harsh penalties for LTTE masterminds
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
In the indictment plea in the Tamil Tigers’ trial, in Bellinzona, which lasted for almost two days, Swiss Attorney General Juliette Noto has requested that the 12 Tamils be found guilty of participating or supporting the LTTE. The newspaper Neue zürcher zeitung said the federal prosecutors are clear that the accused Tamils have financed terrorism and supported a criminal organization with the Tamil Tigers. For most of the 13 defendants, the federal prosecutor attested grave offenses and a high level of criminal energy.
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Political impasse needs to be resolved soon
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Today’s political crisis in the country is unprecedented. Never in Sri Lanka’s political history has a government in power plunged into crisis just because it was defeated at a local election. The crisis has stemmed from the notion that the joint government formed by the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has no moral right to continue after its defeat at the February 10 local government elections or the seeming unwillingness of the SLFP faction led by President Maithripala Sirisena to continue with the joint government with the UNP or both.
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Ranil’s choices
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lankan politics is cheap. The depth of that cheapness is proof in the two stark choices that the people have now been given. One is the return of the old regime with all its nastiness. Forty four per cent of the voters had chosen that. And the other is to continue with the UNP under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose incompetence, should, more than anything else, be blamed for the resurgence of the Rajapaksas. Through his indecisiveness in governance, Mr. Wickremesinghe de-legitimized the whole spectrum of yahapalanaya. Yet, even with his worst mistakes, the other alternative is cringingly terrifying. Mr Rajapaksa if given a chance will destroy even the modest achievements that this administration has so far achieved, and set communities against each other to strengthen his nationalist vote base. Some groups of Muslims have already complained about a new wave of attacks since the Pohottuwa’s election victory. Mr Rajapaksa cannot politically survive without feeding into
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TNA MP Sumanthiran warns UNHRC members of Govt. backsliding
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Ahead of the annual session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March, the TNA is engaged in a vigorous campaign with representatives of member countries, to pressure the Government into implementing the UN Resolution within a year, which it co-sponsored. Speculating that the Government may derail implementation of its Geneva commitments, in the wake of the electoral setback it suffered at the recently concluded local government polls, Parliamentarian Sumanthiran said the international community should ensure the full implementation of the Resolution co-sponsored by the Government.
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CaFFE requests govt to hold PC Election in April
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections has requested the government to hold the Provincial Council Election in April. Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said an all party meeting for relevant demarcations should be called promptly. Keerthi Tennakoon stressed CaFFE would not allow any individual to postpone the Provincial Council Election under any circumstance.
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Prez asks SC to interpret his powers under 19A
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Ongoing political impasse was going to continue further as the SLFP’s Maithri faction had been instructed by President Maithripala Sirisena to wait till the Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving power to him to sack the Prime Minister, Parliament was told yesterday. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, making a special statement, said the UPFA and its SLFP members had met President Maithripala Sirisena and demanded a review of the unity government formed on Sept 3, 2015 with the UNP.
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Enactment of Constitution would have been advantageous to govt. -MP Wickremaratne
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Government MP and a key proponent of a new Constitution Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne yesterday emphasized that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe led unity administration could have done much much better at the recently concluded local government polls had it succeeded in introducing a new Constitution. Dr. Wickramaratne said so in response to The Island suggestion that the UNP and the SLFP would have suffered a far worse defeat if the government had pursued constitutional reforms process far more vigorously.
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Listen to the Religious leaders
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Religious leaders, business leaders and the Governor of the Central Bank are among those who have made loud calls for Sri Lanka's fractious politicians to resolve the current crisis surrounding the Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as soon as possible. The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, of the Siam Nikaya Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, has now added his voice to the chorus of calls by asking the parties to form a Government.
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Govt. withdrew 150 warrants on LTTE terrorists: Udayanga
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Although the yahapalana government is attempting to obtain an Interpol ‘Red Warrant’ on him it had withdrawn some 150 some such warrants including those issued on former LTTE terrorists because of the influence by Tamil politicians, former envoy Udayanga Weeratunga said today. He said in a statement that he was informed by several media reports that Red Warrants issued on terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals had been withdrawn based on requests made by the Sri Lanka Police.
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Cry Sis! Women insist on 25% quota
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Following the confusion and issues related to the 25 per cent quota for women in Local Government (LG) authorities in the country, 163 women and 44 leading women organizations have sent a strong letter to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, leaders of political parties and the Speaker, urging them not to 'back-track' on their promises and the Act that ensures the participation of women in local government. Women from all walks of life have signed this letter urging political parties to comply with all provisions of the law and recognizing the exceptions in the quota, and to encourage political parties to go beyond the minimum requirements and nominate more women to fulfil the spirit of the 25 per cent quota, thus strengthening diverse representation.
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Initial batch leaves for UN Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The first batch of Sri Lanka Army's 12th Force Protection Company (FPC) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) left the country for their mission on Sunday (18th February). According to Army media, the first advance party of the FPC contingent includes two Officers and fourteen Other Rank personnel. Sri Lanka's 150-strong Army contingent is made up of 10 Officers and 140 Other Rank personnel drawn from 13 Regiments. It will serve in the UNIFIL for one year.
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Questions over ‘most peaceful poll’ as post-poll violence increases
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Incidents of post-election violence have seen a noticeable uptick this week compared to incidents that occurred before the February 10 Local Government (LG) Elections. The period leading up to the election had widely been described as the most peaceful in living memory. No major incidents were reported on election day either. The lack of violence was attributed to the new electoral system and police taking a far more proactive role towards cracking down on election law violators.
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Number of female members to LG bodies Parties to be notified this week
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The number of female members elected to Local Government bodies from each party will be counted and notified to the respective parties within this week, Additional Commissioner of Election M. M.Mohamed said. “Although March 6 is the date for constituting Local Government Institutions, there is a possibility of the date being postponed,” Mohamed said.
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MR: What is this govt doing?
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
A week had elapsed since the local government elections, but there was still a great deal of political instability which had left people wandering what the rulers were doing, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.Rajapaksa told The Island: "I don’t know whether there is a government or not. The former President said there was something wrong with the manner in which the local government election Act had been passed and the economy was in jeopardy. "The
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Katchatheevu Church Feast Sinhala mass for the first time 13,000 to land on island
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Some 5,000 Indian pilgrims along with 8,000 locals are due to land on the Katchatheevu Island on Friday (23) to celebrate the annual St. Anthony's Feast, a senior naval official said yesterday. The pilgrims, mainly from South India will be escorted to the Island from the International...... Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) after a head count, Naval Spokesman Cmdr. Dinesh Bandara said. For the first time at this traditional event a high mass will also be conducted in the Sinhala language along with Tamil, he said.
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Is growing Chinese presence in Sri Lanka a cause of worry for India?
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
My wife and I recently visited Sri Lanka on a holiday with friends. For both of us, it was the first visit after almost 15 years. At that time, the idyllic island country was caught up in a deadly civil war that claimed countless lives and devastated the economy. When Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed power as the Sri Lankan President, he made the elimination of the Tamil Tigers his foremost objective. After 30 months of relentless assaults, the 26-year-old civil war finally ended in 2009, with the killing of Tamil Tigers (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the ruthless decimation of his supporters.
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Suspend ETCA negotiations- PNF
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The Professionals’ National Front has called for the suspension of negotiations on the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement. In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Professionals’ National Front called for the 8th round of ETCA talks scheduled to get underway in New Delhi with the participation of a group of 19 representatives. The Front stressed that it observed that the President severely criticized the economic policy of the government during the recently concluded Local Authority Election campaign.
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Record blood donations from Kattankudy
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The Batticaloa District is considered the ‘worst’ blood donor community in the country. Director of the National Blood Transfusion Services Dr Rukshan Bellana took a team to the province and inspected the blood centres mainly at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Kattankudi Base Hospital and Kaluwanchikudi Base Hospital within the past three days. Speaking to the people and community and religious leaders Dr Bellana emphasised the importance of donating blood as it was very essential to keep the healthcare services going.
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Civil society orgs demand referendum Want Executive Presidency abolished
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Civil Society Movements are forcing the Government to immediately hold a referendum for the abolishment of the Executive Presidency, saying that the main reason for the political crisis, which has arisen subsequent to the local government elections, is the behaviour of the Executive President. The Purawesi Balaya and The National Movement for a Just Society, which provided strong support to bring this Government to power in 2015, as well as a number of other Civil Society organizations, are due to submit this request to the Government in the coming week.
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Quick results if I am appointed minister of Law and Order: SF
Published Date: 18/02/2018 (Sunday)
Minister of Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today said he could show quick results in apprehending wrong-doers if he is appointed as the minister of Law and order. "I will show results in six months if I am given the portfolio of Law and Order" he told journalists. Further, he said it is not advisable to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the leader of Opposition.
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A New Hope A First Adivasi Citizen in Local Government
Published Date: 18/02/2018 (Sunday)
The sound of crunching gravel alerted the evergreens of Henanigala to its latest inhabitants. A silhouette of a cart could be seen appearing from a distance, swaying to an uneven rhythm with a bearded man leading it. A little girl peered out from the cart to take in her surroundings. The place looked nothing like home. This was Shiromala's first impression of Henanigala, where her family resettled. It was a few hours away from Dambana, her ancestral home that had everything she knew and loved.
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Beyond Party Politics, three crucial issues for Lanka
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Whatever the party political changes in the aftermath of the February 10 local council elections, Sri Lanka needs to focus attention on three crucial issues – poverty alleviation, the battle against global warming and a commitment to resolve crises through dialogue without resorting to war or violence. As part of the mission for poverty alleviation, President Maithripala Sirisena in 2016 launched a countrywide programme for Sri Lanka to produce our own nutritious food. We have hundreds of varieties of grains, vegetables and fruits which could be grown here at an affordable cost, instead of spending hundreds of millions of rupees on the import of junk food or fake milk. Unfortunately one of the worst ever droughts and regular floods at different times hampered this programme and Sri Lanka was even forced to import rice this year.
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Sri Lanka PM displays rare human touch, owns up to defeat
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka’s beleaguered Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe went before a hostile press Friday, his first public appearance after the local government elections, and accepted responsibility for the drubbing. Wickremesinghe fielded questions from journalists while demonstrating unusual calm and composure. He answered the incisive and embarrassing questions without rancour and he even managed to raise a few laughs. Asked if he had given some 20 million rupees to each of the 16 Tamil National Alliance MPs to buy their support, Wickremesinghe said: "Why give the TNA. If I had 20 million, I will keep it for myself!"
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