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Sovereignty: Sold Out !
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
If anybody still needed proof that the representatives who claimed to be holding the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the people have turned their backs on them and have pursued a path of individual well-being, the developments during the past two weeks would have furnished enough evidence. All three wings of governance are packed with people who are corrupt, incapable and self-centred. The legislature has been sold to multi billion scammers while the executive remains so engrossed in a battle for survival and future preservation. The Judiciary, well, they need a lot of mettle to win the confidence that has been lost with regard to public perspective.
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SL- Finland sign 5 MoUs
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on education, digitisation, health and energy were signed yesterday between the Sri Lankan Government and its Finnish counterpart as well as the private sectors of the two countries. Economic Affairs and Development Finnish Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen is in Sri Lanka this week with a Finnish business delegation made up of 17 prominent companies seeking collaboration and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The visit sees the second delegation from Finland to Sri Lanka in the last six months and was prompted by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Finland last year.
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MR-Keshap meeting: US Embassy non-committal
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
In response to the news report published on a Tamil daily newspaper in Jaffna regarding a content of a meeting held between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap, the US Embassy today remained non-committal. When the Daily Mirror inquired about the meeting, the Embassy said that the Ambassador met political leaders as a routine. “The Ambassador meets routinely with political leaders, civil society and community leaders. The Ambassador honours the confidence of private meetings and does not discuss the contents of such meetings publicly.”
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SLPP rules out rapprochement
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna/Joint Opposition yesterday ruled out the possibility of reunification of SLFP factions under any circumstances. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris emphasized that the SLFP proposal to field President Maithripala Sirisena as its candidate was not acceptable to the dissident group and therefore that party shouldn’t expect their backing. The SLPP announced its position on the presidential poll, at Nelum Mawatha Office, Battaramulla. Former External Affairs Minister Prof. Peiris quoted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as
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Federation of Saiva (Hindu) Temples – UK calls on President Maithiripala Sirisena to review appointment of a Muslim as a Minister for Hindu Affairs
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
In an open letter to the Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Srisena, the Federation of Saiva (Hindu) Temples – UK writes, We, the representative body of 23 Saiva/Hindu temples in the UK, write with deep sorrow, concern and anguish on the subject of much­ publicised appointment of National List MP Kader Masthan as Deputy Minister of Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side for centuries. Both our religions differ with Islam on apostasy, blasphemy, circumcision, consanguineous marriages, idol making, henotheism, social stratification, vegetarianism, and Ahimsa as a virtue
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USA and western nations wont allow Gotabhaya Rajapaksa become President of Sri Lanka
Published Date: 13/06/2018 (Wednesday)
USA and western nations wont allow Gotabhaya Rajapaksa become President of Sri USA and Western Nations Wont Allow Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Become President of Sri Lanka;Outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap Bluntly Tells Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa. United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap has reportedly shattered the political ambition of former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to become the next President of Sri Lanka.
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Rehabilitated LTTE cadres give tearful farewell to departing officer
Published Date: 12/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The Civil Security Department's (CSD) Commanding Officer in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna, Colonel Rathnapriya Bandu was given an emotional send-off yesterday (11) by area residents and rehabilitated former LTTE cadres after he was transferred to Vishwamadu. Colonel Bandu had been the CSD's Commanding Officer in these areas for the past five and a half years and had initiated a programme which recruited rehabilitated former LTTE cadres into the CSD and integrated them back to society.
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Mahinda Rajapaksa always a friend of Muslims - Gotabaya
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
“Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to attend another Ifthar ceremony in Beruwala, while Basil Rajapaksa attended one in Galle, and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa hosted one at his official residence in Colombo,” he said adding that Mahinda Rajapaksa was a long-standing friend of the Muslim community, locally as well as internationally. “In 1970s, as a young MP, he was the first chairman of the Sri Lanka- Palestine Friendship Association.” “When he was elected President, he inherited a country that was devastated by a 30-year-long war on terror. All of you are aware of the immense hardships that the entire country suffered due to terrorism.
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MR says public calls for Gota to be candidate being considered
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says public calls for his brother to be considered as the Presidential candidate of the joint opposition at the next Presidential elections, is being considered. Responding to a question posed by this journalist over the growing public support for former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be Presidential candidate, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he was aware of the support Gotabaya Rajapaksa has, to be President. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seen as the Presidential candidate of the joint opposition at the 2020 Presidential elections, said that the public opinion on Gotabaya Rajapaksa is being considered.
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Sri Lanka has lost economic sovereignty, target of neoliberal economic hitmen: Tamara Kunanayakam
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
Tamara Kunanayakam, formerly a UN official and Diplomat and presently, civil and human rights activist cum public voice maker, presented last week a well-researched paper on the theme ‘Dynamic Inter-relationships among Economic Policy, International Relations And National Sovereignty’ before a fully-packed audience in Colombo. The event had jointly been organised by the newly formed Sri Lanka Association for Political Economy, abbreviated as SLAPE, Colombo University’s Economics Department and its Economics Students Association. A summary of her presentation has been published in Sunday Times (available at: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1044003/lankan-think-tanks-controlled-by-us-alleges-former-lankan-ambassador).
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SLFP should leave the UNP govt. – Former President
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) cannot be build by just changing the positions, says former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is not practical run an anti-government campaign while staying in a UNP government and firstly, they should leave the UNP government, stated the former President. Today, the President blames the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister blames the President in public, he said. The leaders of the country acting like this have become a pest to the country, he added.
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More than 700,000 court cases transferred to 2018 from 2017
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
The annual performance report of the Justice Ministry for the year 2017 which was presented to Parliament last week said 705,075 cases have been pending in the year 2017. The report said 4,033 cases were pending in the Supreme Court, 4,932 in the Court of Appeal, 6,097 in Commercial High Courts, 5,833 in Civil Appellate Courts, 17,552 in the High Court, 190,803 in District Courts, 474,552 in Magistrate’s Courts and 1,282 in the Children’s Magistrate’s Courts were pending as of December 31, 2017
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Threatened Sri Lankan priest wins rights prize
Published Date: 11/06/2018 (Monday)
Father Nandana Manatunga champions families of political prisoners as well as victims of torture, rape and other abuses. He visits police stations and army camps seeking justice, including for the loved ones of ethnic Tamils who disappeared after being taken into military custody during the nation's 1983-2009 civil war. Women come to Father Manatunga's office, some in tears, telling of male relatives — mostly sons, husbands or brothers — abducted by military or paramilitary groups. "His office, work and programs are constantly observed by police and the Terrorism Investigation Division," said Lucille Abeykoon, from the Human Rights Office (HRO).
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That powerful reconciliation strategy which Sri Lanka missed
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
In retrospect, one of the greatest missed opportunities of the now doomed Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Unity Government was its failure to grab Sri Lanka’s legal system by its ears (metaphorically speaking), cleanse the Bench of corrupt and politically compromised judges against whom files were stacked up aplenty and demonstrate the power of criminal justice reforms for human rights abuses and corruption to all citizens alike through the length and breadth of the country.
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Northern education system gets bad report
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) led by Joseph Stalin early this week alleged that the Northern Education System is highly politicized and there is large-scale misuse of power. The Union has now taken up the issue with Northern Governor Reginold Cooray who had promised to call up Provincial Education Ministry officials on 26 June for an explanation regarding the allegations. Ministerial level representatives as well as CTU will be present at this meeting. In a statement released early this week, CTU’s General Secretary Stalin pointed out that education in the North has been highly politicized with politicians and those holding responsible positions in the Education sector ruining the system.
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Hambantota project: Chinese firm holds back US$ 585m
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
The Chinese company involved in the Hambantota Port project has put on hold the last tranche of US$ 585 million to Sri Lanka over a dispute involving infrastructure facilities. The China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort) Ltd is insisting that in accordance with the existing Concession Agreement, an artificial entertainment zone on reclaimed land is among the issues it wants resolved. However, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Parakrama Dissanayake said the port area had been gazetted (under the SLPA Act) and would only be used for marine and port related activities. No land would be used for entertainment or tourism purposes, he said.
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Missed opportunities
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
I was around 25 when the ceasefire agreement by the United National Front government, with Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM, was freshly inked. Some of the most visible checkpoints in Colombo, for the first time in my life, were removed. I was part of a group of journalists who were the first to go up North on the newly re-opened A9, to meet with the LTTE; journalists in the North - including some of the first on the ground to use digital video and photography to document inconvenient truths - as well as activists in the region. Our minibus was regularly checked by young boys, facial hair just barely evident, cocking T-56s, and absolutely fascinated with the workings of the CD player. I remember the Omanthai checkpoints, the documentation, the lines, the questions and no-man’s land, overseen by the ICRC
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Questions over SLAF’s aircraft purchase deals running into a staggering Rs. 64.8 billion
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has ambitious plans to purchase helicopters of different makes and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at a staggering cost of more than Rs 64.8 billion, according to documents seen by the Sunday Times. The Defence Ministry is expected to appoint a Technical Evaluation Committee for this purpose. An earlier committee ceased to function after a senior officer of the rank of Air Vice Marshal retired.
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Kleptocracy To Kakistocracy
Published Date: 10/06/2018 (Sunday)
President’s Secretary Austin Fernando has thrown in the towel. It appears that even the most experienced, patient, persevering and shrewdest of strategists cannot take it anymore. Fernando, one of the last living Humphrey Applebys in Sri Lankan civil service has lifelong training at keeping his marbles together under extreme circumstances. Even he seems to have lost it. He is no political celebrity and if at all, an outcaste in the equation of modern ethno-religious politics. At best he will be footnoted in history. But his alleged departure has serious connotations, apparently soft, yet, sinister ‘end of an era’ of sorts. According to Colombo Telegraph, the touting for a new President’s Secretary is apparently carried out by the sorry political charlatans of the caliber of Shiral Lakthilake who has approached Hemasiri Fernando with the job. Whether it is Austin Fernando or Hemasiri Fernando who continues is immaterial. The seriousness lies within the crux of the matter. Hemasiri Fernando would be
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From Soldiers To Housewives: Women Who Fought As Tamil Tigers In Sri Lanka Are Forced Into Traditional Roles
Published Date: 09/06/2018 (Saturday)
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka: After her release from a rehabilitation camp for former Tamil Tigers fighters in 2011, one former member of the women-only Malathi Brigade was presented by Sri Lankan government officials with a sewing machine. More accustomed to the rigors of warfare, the woman, who spent seven years fighting with the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after signing up as a teenager, had no interest in sewing. She tried raising chickens, but the venture failed. "I'm tired of the burden I have become to my family," said the 35-year-old, who asked not to be identified out of fear of repercussions. "Every time I go out, I have to ask my father for money. I don't want this kind of life. I would have been a commander in the LTTE by now if it still existed."
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EU recognizes Sri Lanka's progress in protecting and enhancing human rights, urges zero tolerance for religious, ethnic hate crimes
Published Date: 08/06/2018 (Friday)
The European Union recognizing the progress made by Sri Lanka in protecting and enhancing human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country has urged the government to address issues relating to religious and ethnic hatred and to maintain zero tolerance for hate speech and crimes. The third meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was held in Brussels on 5 June 2018 in the context of Sri Lanka being granted better access to the EU for its exports under the EU's Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) in May 2017.
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The vibrant role of women in building a modern and prosperous Sri Lanka
Published Date: 08/06/2018 (Friday)
Today, despite immense progress made by enterprising, socially conscious and highly successful female leaders like social entrepreneur and philanthropist Otara Gunawardene, Ceylon Biscuits Group Managing Director Sheamalee Wickramasingha and - closer to our own industry - Nation’s Trust Bank CEO Renuka Fernando, the opportunities provided to Sri Lankan women remain limited and extremely challenging. Today it is estimated that female labour force participation hovers at just 40 percent, as compared with male labour force participation of 75 percent. Similarly, 20.4 percent of women in Sri Lanka are unpaid family workers, as compared with just three percent for men, while just one in every four Sri Lankan entrepreneurs is woman.
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The tragi-comedy of Sri Lankan politics
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
In times of a national crisis the ideal is for all parties to sit down and talk. Though it was finally the war that brought an end to the protracted war here in Sri Lanka even the LTTE from time to time agreed to sit down with the Sri Lankan government. Call it premeditated still it did. It is a fact that Sri Lanka is currently going through a period of gross instability. There’s indeed a crisis both economic and political. The panic-stricken average voter is left wondering how the leaders both government and the opposition can leave the country in the present state and continue to play petty political games. Daily a new episode or two is added to the unfolding political drama – the number game in parliament while the distraught voter hopes and prays
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“RTI is a non-violent way of change”
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Without information we humans, the most advanced species on Earth, would be handicapped. Information is everywhere, but whether they are credible and valid remains a question. Freedom of expression and the Right to Information (RTI) have been topics tabled for decades with no proper implementation. Both these avenues have been newer expressions of the post-war era and Sri Lanka is making steady progress as at now. One year after the enactment of the RTI Act Sri Lanka recently reached third place in the Global RTI Index thus becoming the first South Asian country to achieve this target. Throughout the South Asian region the enactment of the RTI Act has been a herculean
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After Sri Lanka riots, Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults to curb extremist content on platform
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country’s local languages. The social network has been seeking penance in Sri Lanka after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes and businesses to ashes. Until the week-long ban, appeals to Facebook to act against the contagion of hate speech had
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