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US lauds Sri Lanka’s ambitious reforms agenda and reconciliation steps
Published Date: 31/08/2017 (Thursday)
United States Assistant Secretary of State, Alice J. Wells praised the progress made by Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena in the democratic reforms and reconciliation process. She said that the US highly appreciates the “ambitious reforms agenda and historic steps towards reconciliation boldly under taken by President Sirisena.”
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Sri Lanka emerging as transit hub for cocaine smugglers: officials
Published Date: 31/08/2017 (Thursday)
International cocaine smugglers are increasingly turning to Sri Lankan as a transit hub in Asia, authorities say, after they made a series of seizures of the drug, some smuggled in containers of sugar from Brazil. Sri Lankan customs have seized six shipments of high-purity South American cocaine in 14
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Abolition of the Executive Presidency equates to a new Constitution
Published Date: 31/08/2017 (Thursday)
Those who are insisting for a new constitution should pause to reflect on what they are asking and from whom they are asking. First of all, it was the abolition of the executive presidency that was pledged in the 2015 elections and not a brand new constitution. One may argue that abolition of the executive presidency equates to a new constitution. While that maybe the case, the more important question in this highly debatable matter is, do we have the right
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President confident unity Government will continue
Published Date: 30/08/2017 (Wednesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday said he is confident the unity Government will continue until 2020. Sirisena told local newspaper editors that despite attempts by the opposition to topple his Government he will ensure it remains till his term in office ends.
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Govt urged to ensure justice for victims of enforced disappearances
Published Date: 30/08/2017 (Wednesday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan today urged the Government to take action to bring the perpetrators before the law and ensure justice for the victims of enforced disappearances and to take all necessary steps to prevent them from taking place in future in Sri Lanka. Issuing a statement to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance,
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Tamil diaspora’s biggest festival draws 200,000 Canadians, PM Justin Trudeau attends
Published Date: 30/08/2017 (Wednesday)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined over 200,000 people here at the biggest Tamil diaspora festival that showcased Tamil culture, heritage and cuisine. Toronto’s Markham Road turned into a little Tamil nation on the occasion as hundreds of vends came up to treat visitors to rare tropical Tamil cuisine, displaying cultural items and offering rare glimpses
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RTI Com hears 54 major appeals; state institutions ordered to reveal information
Published Date: 28/08/2017 (Monday)
The Right to Information (RTI) Commission has concluded — or is in the process of finalising — fifty four (54) major appeals since the RTI Act came into force in February this year, with the first appeal heard in late April, a press release from the Commission states. The release issued on Thursday states that information on state recruitments and alleged
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Lankan Army ready to share anti-terror experience with others
Published Date: 28/08/2017 (Monday)
The Sri Lankan Army is concerned about the re-emergence of violence in the country, Army chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake said today as he expressed readiness to share with others the experiences learned from the three decade long war with the LTTE. "The Sri Lankan Army is a proud military to have done its duty in liberating the motherland
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Border protection: Navy deploys new strategy in N & E
Published Date: 28/08/2017 (Monday)
The Sri Lanka Navy will change the mode of operation and fleet deployments in the Northern and Eastern seas to enhance border protection against poaching. The new Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah said, “We are looking at an operation to aid the Indian fishermen, to see that they don’t get into trouble by crossing the line.”
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EU to assess GSP Plus process Five-member team due here
Published Date: 27/08/2017 (Sunday)
A five-member delegation from the European Union (EU) will arrive from Brussels on 5 September to start a formal monitoring of the conditions prior to approving the GSP Plus trade concession to Sri Lanka. EU envoy to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Paul Godfrey said the EU has initiated a formal
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More than 1,300 foreigners denied entry for security reasons
Published Date: 27/08/2017 (Sunday)
More than 1,300 foreigners were not allowed to enter Sri Lanka by Immigration authorities last year — many of them from four countries whose citizens are subjected to clearances from the State Intelligence Service (SIS) before being issued Sri Lankan visas, according to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
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Active politics is NOT for the Sangha
Published Date: 27/08/2017 (Sunday)
In discussing what’s what in current Sri Lanka with diverse groups this last week there was one fact of unanimity: the Sangha should not get actively involved in politics. But they are, at least some of them, and leaders of Sangha sects included. This is very distressing to Buddhists who have at least gone beyond blind rites and rituals and have lived to senior
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Laws delays, rule of law and good governance
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
William Gladstone said in the frequently-used adage in legal circles that “justice delayed is justice denied,” which is applicable to the justice system worldwide. We inherited English legal principles of presumption of innocence and application of Rule of Law which means to act according to the existing law, expected to be just and fair, and equality before law are some of the main guiding principles of our legal system, which the
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Women’s group protests against Islamic cleric’s antipathy to marriage law reform
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
Women’s Action Network (WAN), an amalgam of eight women’s organisations working in the Tamil-speaking north and east of Sri Lanka, has said that it is “appalled and deeply disappointed” by the statement of Rizwe Mufthi, President of the All-Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU), that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) is “perfect in the present state” and does not require changes.
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PC elections can be held within the calendar year – Deshapriya
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
The elections commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya stated that, the provincial council elections can be held within the calendar year, if the speaker of parliament signs the proposed amended Local Government elections Bill before September 15. Providing his views at a special discussion held with Ada Derana reporters, the commissioner
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No forgiveness for criminals in uniform: Sri Lanka navy chief
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
- Sri Lanka's new navy chief Travis Sinniah began work by pledging no forgiveness for his officers who may have committed crimes taking the cover of the island's drawn out separatist war. The Vice Admiral told reporters at his first press conference at navy headquarters on Wednesday that "even the biggest war hero" could not escape the full face of the law if a crime had been committed during or after the war.
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No reasons to object to Marapana’s appointment – GL
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Thilak Marapana said recently that allowing foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces during the final stages of the war is against the domestic legal system. Contrary to Marapana's statement, Sri Lanka agreed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2017 to co-sponsor the Resolution 30/1, which facilitates the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism to address the issue of accountability.
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Petition against the establishment of a separate state
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
A petition (SC SPL 03/2014) was filed in the Supreme Court claiming that the "aims" and "objects" of the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) was to establish a separate state under terms of Article 157A (4) of the Constitution. Since the petition has to be judged under the provisions of the current 1978 Constitution the opinions presented below are based on its provisions and not on possible future provisions.
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TNA’s Relationship With Government On The Rocks
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
The relationship between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the government is on the rocks with Tamils in the North losing faith in the administration. The TNA has said enough is enough and the international community must now intervene to address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North. The TNA’s official website quoted TNA leader R. Sampanthan as saying the government has
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UNHRC to be urged to push Sri Lanka to show progress
Published Date: 24/08/2017 (Thursday)
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is to be urged to push Sri Lanka to show progress on several key issues. Amnesty International has submitted a document to the UNHRC ahead of its next session in Geneva in September.
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New hope with a new Foreign Minister?
Published Date: 23/08/2017 (Wednesday)
The new Foreign Minister has assured us, according to the Daily News, thatResolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by the Unity Government of Sri Lanka "was in no way harmful to the country…" The Island of 19th August 2017 reports that the new Minister had said that he had "examined" this resolution as member of the cabinet, and that it "was certainly not
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Geneva Resolution: Steering Committee loses two key members before its first meet
Published Date: 23/08/2017 (Wednesday)
A high powered Cabinet-appointed committee, tasked with coordinating and monitoring the implementation of 2015 Geneva recommendations has lost two of its key members, Ravi Karunanayake and Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, even before its inaugural meeting. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe named a seven-member committee on June 19, 2017
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Resettlement minister confirms 178 million allocated to army for return of Keppapulavu
Published Date: 22/08/2017 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lankan resettlement ministry will give the army 178 million rupees to return civilian land in Keppapulavu, the minister for resettlement confirmed on Tuesday. Resettlement Minister, D. M. Swaminathan, said during his visit to Jaffna that the 178 million amount had been requested from the treasury and would be handed over to the Sri Lankan army on receipt of approval from the cabinet.
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Joint Opposition wants time to study serious discrepancies in draft constitutional proposals
Published Date: 22/08/2017 (Tuesday)
Alleging what they termed serious discrepancies, the JO yesterday sought time to thoroughly examine Steering Committee’s interim drafts containing constitutional proposals in Sinhala, Tamil and English. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP told The Island that he along with MP Prasanna Ranatunga made representations on behalf of the JO at Steering Committee meeting chaired by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.
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Corruption crippling Sri Lanka’s coalition government
Published Date: 16/08/2017 (Wednesday)
UNP yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action on Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe who has compromised “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet. Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has been under fire for a number of controversial statements he made on Government’s move to lease Hambantota Port, leading to a number of
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