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Kids from shanties shut out of big schools in Colombo
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
Schools in Colombo refuse to enrol Grade One students living in shanties of Colombo and ignore their government-authorised ‘ownership cards’ issued in lieu of land deeds, says Sampath Rambukkanage the Pamankade (East) contestant from Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna for the CMC at the upcoming local government polls. Speaking to The Island the SLPP candidate said yesterday that the ‘ownership cards’ initially issued by former Colombo Mayor B. Sirisena Cooray to those living in unauthorised dwellings on lands belonging to the CMC had previously been accepted by national schools, but now a group of principals from Colombo refused to accept them, Rambukkanage said.
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MR failed to ensure Tamil people’s rights - Ranil
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that even after the LTTE was defeated, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to ensure the Tamil People’s rights. Addressing an UNP Local Polls rally in Pothuwil, on Wednesday, Wickremesinghe said that instead of uniting all the communities and developing the country after the end of the war , the Rajapaksas adopted a divide and rule policy , by encouraging ethnic and religious conflicts. Issues confronting the Tamils were ignored, on the mistaken premise that the LTTE had been defeated, he added.
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Sri Lanka deletes laptop dance from i-day parade
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lankan authorities have scrapped a “laptop dance” by school girls during the main Independence Day parade in Colombo after the unconventional item attracted ridicule on social media. Unlike the erotic art of lap dance, the 21st century Sri Lankan version was performed by students dressed in black leggings, yellow skirts and black short-sleeved jackets to symbolize the computers given by the education department
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Miss Leading: Sri Lanka joins in on fighting sexism
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
In recent history, the world has seen a lot of progress and positive strides surrounding the topic of women’s rights. From hundreds of women coming forward about their stories of sexual assault in the United States to the Saudi king passing a law giving women the right to drive, there is a clear effort to push for equality across the globe. Earlier this month, Sri Lanka joined the movement by allowing women to purchase alcohol and work in places where alcohol is served — a law that comes nearly 40 years after women were first denied access to alcohol. The ruling received significant backlash from consumer advocacy groups, citing this act could encourage drinking. This Sunday, Sri Lanka’s president reversed the ruling, prolonging the four-decade long ban.
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Sri Lanka calls on Maldives to find peaceful solution to ongoing crisis
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
The Sri Lankan government on Saturday called on all parties in the Maldives to uphold the rule of law and find a peaceful solution to the ongoing political crisis. "Sri Lanka is observing the evolving situation in the Maldives. We urge all parties to uphold the rule of law and the constitution, and find a peaceful solution to the current situation," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Clashes have been reported in the Maldives between police and protesters since Friday as supporters of former President Mohamed Nasheed took to the streets celebrating a ruling by
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TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah Sues Sivasakthi for making defamatory allegations against him
Published Date: 03/02/2018 (Saturday)
Mavai S. Senathirajah, Member of Parliament for Jaffna District instructs his lawyers to take appropriate legal action against Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi to pay a sum of Rupees One Billion (Rs. l,000,000,000.00) together with interest and costs of suit in the event of your failure to pay for making false and defamatory statements saying that Mr Senathirajah and some other Members of Parliament have received bribes amounting to Rupees Twenty Million (Rs. 20,000,000.00) each for the purpose of voting in favour of the Appropriation Bill for the year 2018.
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70 years of Independence We need to move from confrontation to compromise
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The forward thrust the island has made may well be reversed if internal differences aren’t ironed out soon As Sri Lankans head to the polling stations for local Government elections a few days after 70th anniversary of Independence, they are starved of choices It’s now 70 decades since the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ broke free from the bondage of colonial rule. Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), which was subjected to one of the longest periods of foreign occupation from 1505 to 1948, had a very smooth transition to the democratic parliamentary system. In contrast to many other colonies both in the region and beyond, there
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China's shadow looms large in Sri Lanka local election
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
On Feb.10, Sri Lankans will go to the polls to vote for their local representatives. But the outcome of these village elections will have much wider repercussions as they will ultimately determine if China will play a bigger role in Sri Lanka's development. The battle for Sri Lanka's heartlands is being fought out by the country's twice defeated pro-China former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the incumbent pro-India coalition government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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Rajapaksa urges Tamils to have faith in him
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the Tamil community to have faith in him. Addressing a public rally in Jaffna in support of local government candidates backed by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the former President said development work had come to a grinding halt since the change of government in January 2015. Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris told the gathering that post-war reconciliation would never be a reality without former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s support.
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Theft at Trinco Navy Holiday Bungalow
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
A group of 19 locals and Sri Lankan Canadians have been stolen of cash and jewellery while on holiday at the heavily fortified - Command Headquarters- Eastern Naval Area, Trincomalee, on Tuesday night, the Daily Mirror learns. The rogues had broken into the Bungalow located within the premises at which 19 persons including 11 females were staying. Initial observations of the group had revealed stolen cash and jewellery amounting to over 300,000 rupees. “ We were completely devastated when we found out early next morning,” one of the tour
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Heads to roll in foreign missions
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of restructuring its foreign missions and as a result several key positions in Sri Lanka’s vital and influential diplomatic hot spots would be changed, the Daily Mirror learns. A senior government source said on condition of anonymity that our Head of the Mission in Geneva, Mr. Ravinath Aryasinghe would be called back to the Foreign Office (Colombo) and he would be replaced by Mr. A.L.A.Azis who was the Director General of the EU affairs, Multilateral Treaties and the Commonwealth. Mr. Aryasinghe will serve as an additional Secretary at the Foreign Ministry.
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UNP pledges to build 1000 Buddhist shrines in Tamil homeland
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The United National Party pledged to build 1000 Buddhist viharas in the Tamil homeland, under the guise of reconciliation. “500 million rupees has been allocated to build 1000 viharas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces,” a UNP manifesto said on a page titled ‘Reconciliation’. The construction of Buddhist sites in the North-East in areas with few, if any, Buddhist residents leaves a perception of Sinhalese imperialism, a US State Department report said last year.
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Chinese Foreign Aid in East Asia During the Trump Era
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy has marked a reversal of the U.S. global presence and a retreat from multilateralism. One component of this withdrawal has been a substantial reduction in U.S. foreign aid – and other global powers are rising to fill the vacuum. China is a rising power in all areas: economic, cultural, and political. Once China was an aid recipient itself, receiving official development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF); the former intended for improving development and the latter for commercial purposes. In the past decade, China has rapidly developed its own economy and provided financial assistance to a vast number of developing countries, particularly those in East Asia.
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GOvt. has shown they aren’t capable of delivering -Sharmila Gonawela
Published Date: 02/02/2018 (Friday)
The battle for Local Government Elections is heating up. An election should benefit the people, irrespective of symbols like the Pohottuwas, Beetle leaves or Elephants through which they come into power. Several decades down the line, people are still hoping for a better country. Sharmila Gonawela is contesting from the Bambalapitiya Ward for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) under the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ticket. Speaking to the Dailymirror, Gonawela spoke about the challenges she faced being a Municipal Councillor back in 2002 and what she is planning to do if elected. Excerpts :
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Let’s make some Independence Day resolutions
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
As we begin February today, what we remember most is Independence Day on February 4 and it is more significant this year because it is the 70th anniversary. In addition we are amid an intensified campaign for the February 10 elections to 341 Municipal, Urban councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. We hope the results will help bring about more political freedom and democracy and sustainable development to carry us towards a peaceful, just and all-inclusive society. The United National Party’s founder-leader D.S. Senanayake was the first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka. The UNP was in office till 1956 when the Mahajana Eksath
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Towards a social democratic policy framework: Taking democracy to the economy and society
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The urgent need in Sri Lanka, given the present circumstances, is to move firmly and committedly towards social democracy. Simply said, social democracy is about extending democracy from the political to the economy and society. Do we have democracy? Formally speaking, we do have democracy in the political sphere since 1931 when the universal franchise and a legislative council were introduced to this country, yet deformed with imperfections and wilful assaults.
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Bribes that candidates offer to voters
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
Buddha statues, copies of the Quran, copper foils engraved with Rathnamali Gatha are among the bribes in kind provided to electors by various candidates contesting the Feb 10 local government polls, says the elections monitor Peoples’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said their monitors had reported the attempts by candidates to provide various forms bribes to the voters throughout the country. The list of items being distributed contained galvanised roofing sheets, gift vouchers, liquor, land deeds,
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Children being used for various election activities - NCPA
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) requests that no children are used by political parties and independent groups related election work. “It has been reported that children are being used for various activities related to the upcoming elections in violation of the rights of these children. The NCPA views this matter very seriously,” its Chairperson Marini de Livera said. The NCPA urges the general public to provide information over its 24 hour ChildLine 1929 if such incidents occur.
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Two-day Sri Lankan food festival on Feb 3
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
To celebrate the rich diversity of the culture of Sri Lanka, the Islamabad Marriott Hotel (IMH) is hosting a two-day Sri Lankan Food Festival in collaboration with the Sri Lankan High Commission. The festival, that will kick off at the hotel on Saturday, February 3, will attract food enthusiasts from the twin cities. Reflective of the vibrant Sri Lankan culture, the food festival will offer a slice of Sri Lankan cuisine that combines traditional flavours with a unique flair.
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Navy Sampath’ on the run Police seek public assistance
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The Police have sought the assistance of the public to locate a suspect involved in the alleged abduction and murder of 11 youth carried out by Navy personnel between 2008 and 2009. The Police Media Spokesman said that public assistance has been requested to track down one suspect. The Police require the assistance of the general public to locate Hettiarachchi Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi aka Navy Sampath, who has evaded arrest. The inquiry carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) since last year saw the arrest of seven suspects, all attached to the Navy, including its former Spokesman,
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TNA wants solution on par with Oslo Declaration
Published Date: 01/02/2018 (Thursday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in its manifesto for the forthcoming local government election said that that the solution it seeks with regard to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka was similar to what was in the Oslo Declaration. This was the joint declaration by the representatives of the then UNF government and the LTTE at the third round of peace talks between the two parties in 2002. The UNF delegation headed by Professor G. L. Peiris and the LTTE delegation led by its political wing head S. P. Thamilchelvan agreed in the Norwegian Capital Oslo in
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Compromise and consensus good for Democracy
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Through consultation, compromise and consensus – key factors for democracy and public accountability – Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced yesterday that a special session of Parliament would be held on February 6 to hold the widely-awaited debate on two bombshell reports. These reports had been handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Commission which probed the Central Bank’s alleged bond scams from February 2015 to March 2016 and the Commission which probed allegations of serious frauds and corruption during the former Rajapaksa regime.
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Regional Consular Office in Jaffna marks first anniversary
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
The Jaffna Regional Consular Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked its first anniversary last week, Foreign Ministry said. "In keeping with the aim to improve and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of consular related service delivery to the general public, particularly those in the Northern Province, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna on Thursday 26 January 2017. The regional consular office is located at the District Secretariat in Jaffna.
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Earl and Countess of Wessex arrive in SL
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex arrived in Sri Lanka today on a five-day official visit. The royal couple will attend the 70th anniversary celebration of Sri Lanka’s independence representing Queen Elizabeth II. Issuing a statement, the British High Commission said their five day visit will focus on the long-standing UK and Sri Lanka relationship, the Commonwealth, education and young people.
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At long last, children of Sri Lankan refugees get birth certificates
Published Date: 31/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Rokshini, a 30-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil refugee residing in the Thoppukollai camp in Pudukottai district with her two children, finds it difficult to describe her feeling. Her nearly year-long struggle came to fruition on Tuesday morning, when she received consular birth certificates for her two children, both of whom are less than 10 years of age. “It was quite hard for me and my husband to gather all the documents required by the authorities. Yet, in the end, I feel satisfied that our hard work has not gone waste,” says Rokshini, a native of Neduntivu in the northern province of Sri Lanka, who has been living
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