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IS THERE A BREAKDOWN IN GOVERNANCE? - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The coalition government led by the UNP and a faction of the SLFP led by President Sirisena in the so-called ‘National Unity’ government came into power in January 2015 -a coming together of two political forces which have since their creation been diametrically opposed to each other. Unfortunately the coming together of two diametrically opposed political forces without either a common ideology or pragmatic programme of work was bound to flounder. And so it has come to pass. In the aftermath of the governing coalition’s defeat at the local government elections to the new political formation -the SLPP, led by immediate past President Rajapaksa, the unity
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Demilitarisation
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The end of the war anniversary this month is once again polarizing the country. The losses are again being counted along ethnic lines, reinforcing notions of “war heroes” and “martyrs”. Remembering the war and the dead in this manner is providing few lessons and avenues towards seeking a peaceful and just future. With the changing political dispensation in the South this year, a new constitution to address the issues that underlie the conflict are no longer in sight. In side stepping the issue of a political settlement, the doors are widening again for majoritarianism and jingoism in the South.
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most welcome measure
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Government has decided to get rid of the menace of narcotics from schools by setting up drug counselling units in all the schools in the country. A month ago in the Eastern Province a student was caught at a road checkpoint by Police carrying narcotic pills in a three-wheeler to be distributed at his school. The investigation into the arrest of the student and the seizure of narcotic pills from his possession had revealed how the innocence of the school-goers has been exploited by the drug dealers.
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OMP to set up 12 regional offices to inquire into missing persons
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka will set up 12 regional offices covering the entire country to receive information and complaints from families and other individuals of the missing persons, the OMP Chairman President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris told the media after the OMP held its second meeting in Matara. The newly-created OMP, which began public consultations on 12 May in Mannar, held its second public meeting at the Matara District Secretariat on Saturday (19).
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Chinese Roulette in Paradise Isle
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
Donald Trump first became a household name in the US for a book he claimed as his own but didn’t write – The Art of the Deal. Recently he learned a real life lesson in the art of the deal from a consummate master of the art of the deal – the Chinese. Last month Mr. Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese technology giant, the ZTE, banning it from using American technology in making its phones. The Chinese government responded by agreeing to loan USD 500 million to a company with business links to the Trump family which is building a theme park in Indonesia. Days later Mr. Trump announced removing the sanctions against the ZTE
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Towards A Non-Political Party
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
How our political parties have kept their promises is well known, as is the downward march of our political culture. Beginning with scattered incidence of bribery, corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the early post-independence era, these have today become the very definition of government. It was with fervent hope that the majority of the people voted the present government into power, but deep disappointment with it and the system of parties within which it is embedded, has made it necessary to contemplate a political structure beyond the traditional political party, that we might call a ‘Non-Political Party’. A non-political party requires us to rethink politics as we know it. Such a party is a loose
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Sri Lanka mostly repaying debt taken before 2015: Fin Min
Published Date: 21/05/2018 (Monday)
Around 70 percent of the debt Sri Lanka is now repaying has been issued before 2015, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said, showing the danger of debt driven economic activity with little private investment. Samaraweera said in 2017, 75 percent of the foreign debt repaid was for loans taken before 2015, rejecting a charge by ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the current administration had taken large volume of loans. In 2018 Sri Lanka had to repay 2,845 million dollars in foreign aid, of which 1,789 million or 63 percent was taken before 2015. About 1,056 related to debt issued after 2015.
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\"Display national flag according to legal system\"
Published Date: 20/05/2018 (Sunday)
Minister of Home Affairs Wajira Abeywardana says the legal system must be followed when displaying the national flag. Speaking to media in Colombo the Minister noted the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued all recommendations in this regard. The Minister said individuals cannot follow personal agendas when displaying the country\'s flag. Meanwhile Minister Wajira Abeywardene added individual cannot prevent ceremonies organised in the Northern and Eastern Provinces from taking place in order to commemorate the lives of those lost during the conflict.
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Mutual respect, the key to equality
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
My friend s corned me, “The ‘horun hoyana’ new court is for the consumption of the Sinhala masses that may be moving to the Mahinda Chinthana fold. We should question why there is no ‘maruwan hoyana’ special judicial process for Tamil victims of war, waiting for nine years. This was promised in 2015. I think this week which marks the ninth year is the best to bring that up. Although the government set up the OMP that started work last weekend, the findings will not be made public and no legal action will be taken against perpetrators. Victims have no faith in the OMP. They made it very clear at the first meeting in Mannar.
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Indian "professionals" in late colonial Ceylon
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Today's news media are flooded with an endless ha-ho by home grown "professionals" against infiltration by unwanted Indians encroaching into their employment niches. This controversy takes my memory back to my boyhood in a Ceylon which was yet a British Colony. Our neighbour India too was British ruled . As such, no passports were necessary for Ceylonese and Indians to travel from Dondra Head to the Himalayan foothills. Travelling to India by rail only required a ticket from the Fort Railway Station. Then prosperous Ceylon became a magnet for various classes of Indians, mostly from the South, to seek their fortunes in this green and pleasant land.
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VP expresses solidarity with Palestinians Condemns US, Israeli oppression
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
JVP yesterday condemned what it termed as a ‘brutal attack by Israeli forces and the provocative action of the USA administration on Palestinians. A statement signed by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake on behalf of the Department of International Relations of the party said: "According to the latest reports, 60 people including several children and a paramedic have died and more than 2400 have been injured in attacks by Israeli armed forces who fired on Palestinian people who protested against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. We express our deepest condolences to the relatives of the victims and to the people of Palestine and expect a quick recovery for the injured.
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Army Chief General Bipin Rawat calls on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed bilateral and defence relations during his maiden visit to the island country, officials said. Gen Rawat is in Sri Lanka for a week-long visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. His visit as the Army Chief began on Monday with an aim to take forward the military cooperation between the two countries to the "next level".
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China, India and the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka’s foreign relations must reflect the country’s priorities. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean at the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka occupies an enviable strategic position. A blessing that, with careful and thoughtful handling and long term vision, can be leveraged to its advantage and, mismanaged, a curse that has and will attract the unwelcome attentions of global and regional powers seeking to strategically dominate the Indian Ocean. Throughout history, Sri Lanka has captivated the greedy interest of various powers, for strategic and trading reasons. At times, we elegantly parried and benefited from this attention. At other times we faultered. Responding to and judiciously managing these covetous
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The drowned and the saved: Mullivaikkal survivors you don’t hear about
Published Date: 19/05/2018 (Saturday)
He was literally starving in Harrow - the wealthiest Tamil area of London. A recent torture survivor from Sri Lanka, he had lost ten kilos in two months in the UK. When he called us for help, he was crying and huddled under the bedclothes to keep warm wearing the second hand coat we’d given him. The Tamil GP had refused to register him at the local medical practice; later he collapsed and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. He was 16 at the end of the war in Sri Lanka, a child. He escaped forced
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Mullivaikkal The tricky side
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The commemoration of those killed in the north during the war has by now been a matter generally accepted, formalized with all northern Tamil political parties except the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Northern Provincial Council organizing commemorative events. The main events are to be held today at Mullivaikkal in Mullaithivu District, where the final battle between the Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was fought. In the first few years after the end of the war, the commemoration of the people killed in the north was not openly held. Only small groups led by politicians such as Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam travelled all the way to Mullivaikkal for such events.
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Reconciliation called ‘Godot’ and Mullivaikkal Week
Published Date: 18/05/2018 (Friday)
The first public consultation by the Members of the “Office on Missing Persons” was held in Mannar a week ago, 01 year and 09 months after the law was passed in Parliament. The mood of the participants, the affected mothers, fathers, family members and civil society representatives weren’t in line with the placards that read “Welcome OMP” in Tamil, held outside, for the media. Though there wasn’t much hype over the event, especially in Sinhala mainstream media, the coverage nevertheless said, there was scepticism, frustration, disagreements on powers of the OMP and much grumbling about how far the OMP would actually go with its investigations. There was one simple demand though from the participants. A demand for a fundamental difference in how the OMP would approach the festering issue they are mandated with.
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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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