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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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BBS General Secretary arrest warrant withdrawn
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara has ordered to withdraw the arrest warrant against General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena Organisation Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera. The order to withdraw the arrest warrant was issued as Gnanasara thera surrendered to court through an Attorney today. Court ordered to release Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera on an additional bail of 2,500 rupees.
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' Port city ' stands tall despite civil society protests
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
• The Budget Appropriation Bill of 2018 in which he claimed that Rs. 1200 million alone is allocated to minimize coastal erosion caused due to the Port City project • The poison percentage in the air would increase by about 40% due to the drastic increase of the air pollutant The sand supplied at the international bulk rate is supply at $200 per ton which represents a value of $2.8 billion • Another problem is the increase of land area from the 1st EIA report from 236 hectares to 269 hectares The People’s Movement against the Port City (PMAPC) has since 2011 been protesting against the construction of the Port City and continue to thoroughly denounce the Government’s decisions and actions in relation to the same. A press conference and seminar were held at the Methodist Hall by the ‘Creation Care Desk’ of the Methodist Church on February 28 in collaboration with the People’s Movement to oppose the Port City. These
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Track Record Of TNA – A Sad Saga
Published Date: 21/03/2018 (Wednesday)
“But I don’t have a very good track record with royalty. My dress fell off in front of Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust, so I’m just living up to my reputation.” – Kate Bush, British Singer The UNP has suffered severe losses at the Local Authority Elections. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has likewise sustained significant setbacks, not only electorally, but politically as well. The losses of the TNA (read, ITAK, the prima donna, calling all the shots in the Alliance) are not sporadic; but seem pervasive across the entire electoral landscape of the Tamil heartland in the North-East.Compromising on core ideals whilst cohabiting with the Sirisena-Ranil government has cost the TNA/ITAK dearly.
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Impunity: A cat closing its eyes drinking milk
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
The title from my school days refers to a cat thinking that when it sees no one, it is safe. Likewise, our rulers seem to think that blocking out Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. ensures that no one can see us or our friends bashing our Muslim brethren and enjoy that barbaric moment as we act out our Mleccha (barbarian) instincts. With firm action, the riots should have been stopped on day one. Instead, social media showed the police, the STF no less, laughing at one of the victims. It is argued that the blackout is really to prevent rogues spreading hate speech. Wrong! When hate speech is engaged in, we can track down the rogues and bring down the law on them. In
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Omp is for reconciliation not to satisfy anyone else
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is one of the main transitional justice mechanisms, the others being a truth commission, an office on reparations and a judicial mechanism to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights. The OMP intends to promote justice and bring closure to those whose loved ones have gone missing. With the recent appointment of the Chairman and the members to the OMP, hopes are now anew that the truth will surface. In an interview with the Daily mirror its newly appointed Chairman, Saliya Pieris PC, who is a former member of the Human Rights Commission, stressed that the OMP is not a punitive mechanism, but a mechanism to find the whereabouts of loved ones who have gone missing and provide relief.
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Speaker Jayasuriya urged not to certify protection against disappearances Bill
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has been urged by the Joint Opposition (JO) not to certify the hastily enacted Bill for the protection against enforced disappearances. JO spokesman Colombo District MP Gamini Lokuge yesterday said that they had requested Speaker Jayasuriya to allow a fresh debate and a vote on the Bill. Addressing the media, at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nelum Mawatha, Battaramulla office, Lokuge said Speaker Jayasuriya had allowed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe to manipulate the legislative process.
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Sirisena urged to ‘rise as a statesman’
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
Reminding President Maithripala Sirisena of the “unstinted support” that Tamils extended to him in 2015, senior Tamil politician and Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan on Monday urged him to “rise as a statesman” and resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. “We want a statesman to rise in this country who can say, ‘I resolved the country’s national question’ and we think you can do it, we think you should do it and it is our expectation that it will be done,” he said, speaking at an event in Jaffna, where he shared the stage with Mr. Sirisena.
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Monks, troops help Muslims after race riots in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
Buddhist monks and army troops have begun rebuilding and renovating scores of properties damaged during a series of anti-Muslim riots near Kandy in Sri Lanka's Central Province, an area known for its scenic tea plantations. The government announced a nationwide state of emergency after two people were killed in the sectarian violence, which also saw nearly 450 Muslim-owned homes and numerous shops damaged. As racial tensions boiled over, 60 vehicles were torched and more than 20 mosques attacked as violence erupted in key cities across the nation.
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Will support no-confidence vote against PM – JVP
Published Date: 20/03/2018 (Tuesday)
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (19) said that it would support the Joint Opposition’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the basis that he had allegedly protected thieves in both the current and former Governments by making deals with them. Speaking to Ceylon Today, JVP Propaganda Secretary Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said that the JVP has not seen the no-faith motion which the JO is going to bring to Parliament yet, but the JVP would support the motion if it mentions the said facts.
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