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Plain-speaking Donald Trump welcome
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
US President Donald Trump has been rather effusive in his praise of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a great leader. Now, in his first National Security Strategy, unveiled on Monday, Trump has described India as a “leading global power”. This is a huge improvement on President Barack Obama’s last NSS document which had called India a “regional provider of security”, and, prior to that, on the 2010 NSS, which had termed India one of the “21st century centers of influence.” In other words, under Modi, the American perception of India has undergone a vast change for the better.
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In rallies and fiery speeches, the former lawyer had called for land for landless Dalits and led them in a pledge to boycott dirty, menial jobs such as cleaning toilets
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
The victory of a Dalit activist in elections in India's Gujarat state is a boost to efforts to secure land for the lower caste community and free them from the dirty jobs traditionally thrust upon them, campaigners said. Jignesh Mevani, 36, won by more than 19,000 votes over his rival from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Vadgam in north Gujarat, state officials said Monday. Mevani contested elections for the first time, standing as an independent candidate just over a
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Security sector reforms in Sri Lanka Reorientation, not reduction is key-Part II
Published Date: 20/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Last week we discussed the security sector reforms carried out by the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration and the reasons why he didn't and could not reduce the size of the Security Forces as requested by the international community, as well as some sections of the civil society. We established that a sudden reduction of the Security Forces would not have been feasible economically, socially or politically.
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Army releases more land in Mullaitivu
Published Date: 20/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Mullaitivu District Secretary Rupavathy Ketheeswaran has announced that 158 acres of land area which has been released from the possession of Army would be handed over to the legitimate owners on 28 December. According to Ketheeswaran, Army has handed over 158 acres of land cleared of mines to her, to be returned to the rightful owners.
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Tamil Information Centre (TIC)- A Report on International Human Rights Day – 2017 Celebration
Published Date: 20/12/2017 (Wednesday)
The International Human Rights Day – the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations in 1948 - is observed every year on 10 December. The UDHR sets out universal values and the fundamental human rights for all peoples of all nations. The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) celebrated the 2017 Human Rights Day on Sunday, 10th December at the Thomas Wall Centre on Benhill Avenue, Sutton, Surrey SM1.
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Delimitation Report due in January
Published Date: 20/12/2017 (Wednesday)
The Delimitation Committee is presently analyzing more than 500 submissions and hopes to submit the final report, by the end of January 2018, to the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Chairman of the Committee Dr. K. Thavalingam said. Speaking to Ceylon Today, he noted that the Committee had visited all 25 districts and the functions pertaining to delimitation will conclude by 4 February 2018.
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No interference in Judiciary- CJ
Published Date: 19/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Chief Justice Priyasad Dep emphatically stated that the country’s Judiciary is running independently without any interference. He further said due to this situation, the country could be pleased with the existing supremacy of the law as well as the independence of the judiciary. The Chief Justice made these observations yesterday addressing the annual assembly of the Judicial Service Association at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.
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Those detained by the security forces UK MPs urge Govt to release list
Published Date: 19/12/2017 (Tuesday)
British Parliamentarians of the All Parliamentary Group of Tamils have called upon President Maithripala Sirisena to release the list of all those who surrendered or were...... detained by the security forces. In support of the conclusion of the 300 days of demonstration staged by families of the disappeared persons, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, Paul Scully, has pointed out that it is a milestone which speaks to the immense bravery and courage of the families, who have continued their struggle despite the challenges of old-age, exposure to the elements and routine intimidation.
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Vanni death toll: Shocking discrepancy in UN reports Any harm in Sri Lanka seeking reappraisal of Geneva Resolution?
Published Date: 19/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Lord Naseby recently took up Geneva Resolution 30/1(Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka) with the UNSG Antonio Guterres as Sri Lanka struggled to cope up with the Oct 12, 2017, revelations in the House of Lords, pertaining to the war against the LTTE. The combined armed forces brought the war to a successful conclusion on the morning of May 19, 2009.
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Govt has no foreign policy - Namal
Published Date: 18/12/2017 (Monday)
United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, with reference to the Russian embargo on tea, stated that the Government has adopted a skewed foreign policy contrary to its claim that it would adopt a non-aligned foreign policy. He added: "We do not have a clear foreign policy. If you look at the last three years, we have had three Foreign Ministers. Three of them have different views on foreign policy. We have always believed that we have a non-aligned foreign policy; however we have been following
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Was accession an unwise move? Convention against Torture:
Published Date: 18/12/2017 (Monday)
Distinguished Columnist Chandraprema has, in his article in The Island Features Column of 15th December 2017, highlighted the folly of the Sri Lankan government acceding to the Optional Protocol of the U. N. Convention against Torture. With this action which took place at the end of November and early December 2017, one may then ask if the government has virtually signed the country’s death warrant. Laudable as the objectives of the Optional Protocol are in preventing torture in a member state to the Protocol, the columnist observes that the government has, through its hasty action [taken after the lapse of 18 years], given foreign powers the opportunity to intervene directly
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There are times I am not convinced with CC decisions: President
Published Date: 18/12/2017 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena said that there were times when he was not convinced with some decisions taken by the Constitutional Council regarding names sent for the appointments of top posts. While stressing that he was not going to make any further comment on the matter before all the media cameras, as he did not wish to create a Constitutional clash the following morning.
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New Land Draft BiLL Political wrangling hinders ironing out complex land issues
Published Date: 17/12/2017 (Sunday)
The effort made by the Government to simplify complex land related rules and regulations that has been the bane over the years, so as to enable people the ease of tackling these issues has been opposed by the country's ground reality. It becomes clear that society has been unable to absorb new concepts in connection with land ownership which exist in Sri Lanka regarding many other matters, when inquiring into the objections targeting this attempt made by the government to prepare a new national land Act.
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Letters sent to UN Resident Rep on two officers’ behalf Alleged navy involvement in 11 abductions
Published Date: 17/12/2017 (Sunday)
Chandrika Dassanayake, wife of Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake, who has been remanded since July over his alleged involvement in eleven wartime disappearances, yesterday told The Island that she had handed over letters on behalf of her husband as well as Commander Sumith Ranasinghe, to UN Resident Representative in Colombo Una McCauley at the BMICH last Friday (Dec 15). Commander Ranasinghe, too, has been remanded in connection with the same case. Dassanayake and Ranasinghe
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Questions and Answers: Sri Lankan Youth Engage with the Constitutional Reform Process
Published Date: 16/12/2017 (Saturday)
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2017, over 300 Sri Lankan youth from across the country gathered in Vavuniya, Northern Province, to ask questions – lots of questions – about constitutional reform. In a forum organised by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) in cooperation with partner organisation the AFRIEL Youth Network, political leaders and civil society representatives engaged with youth participants to drive home a key message: the youth of Sri Lanka have an important
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Making health a human right, not a privilege
Published Date: 15/12/2017 (Friday)
Tokyo welcomes the Universal Health Coverage Forum. Hosted by various organizations including the World Health Organization and the Government of Japan, this forum sets a platform to discuss ways in which all people, whether rich or poor, are entitled to access high quality medical services. At the United Nations General Assembly in September, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the Director General of WHO, passionately discussed Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as follows:
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India hopes Sri Lanka will keep security concerns in mind
Published Date: 15/12/2017 (Friday)
After Sri Lanka handed over the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease last week, India on Thursday said it expects Colombo to keep the region's security concerns in mind External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, while expressing confidence at India's "strong and enduring ties with Sri Lanka", said New Delhi's relations with Colombo "stand on its own and is not dependent on our relations with any third country".
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Sri Lanka’s Sixth Amendment Challenged at the UN by 1,705 Lawyers from around the World: TGTE
Published Date: 15/12/2017 (Friday)
One thousand seven hundred and five lawyers (1,705) from around the world have joined the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and filed a complaint on December 8th, 2017 with the UN Human Rights Committee that the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is a violation of freedom of speech and conscience, and the right to self-determination guaranteed in Articles 18, 19, and 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Complaint was filed by former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam (Retd), Former Judge of the High Court of Madras, India, and the Prime
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Opposition is in a bankrupt effort to postpone local government elections - CaFFE.
Published Date: 14/12/2017 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka election monitor, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) says that a strong opposition group of field officers is in a bankrupt attempt to postpone the local government polls. CaFFE believes that three petitions filed by the group in the Supreme Court stating that Samurdhi Officers and Field Officers cannot contest the election while they are in the service is an attempt to get the elections postponed.
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Sri Lanka, Struggling With Debt, Hands a Major Port to China
Published Date: 13/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Struggling to pay its debt to Chinese firms, the nation of Sri Lanka formally handed over the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease last week, in a deal that government critics have said threatens the country’s sovereignty. In recent years, China has shored up its presence in the Indian Ocean, investing billions of dollars to build port facilities and plan maritime trade routes as part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative to help increase its market reach.
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Sri Lankan President promises to provide all facilities for security forces members to equip them with knowledge
Published Date: 13/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to provide all the necessary facilities to equip the Sri Lankan security forces with knowledge as well as expertise when implementing state policy on national security. He made these remarks speaking at the graduation ceremony of Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC), in Sapugaskanda Course No. 11 on Wednesday.
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Debate on six subcommittees to be followed by final report to CA New Constitution making process on track
Published Date: 13/12/2017 (Wednesday)
The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly would prepare its final report, containing constitutional proposals following a debate on recommendations made by six sub committees that dealt with fundamental rights, judiciary, law and order, public finance, public service and centre-periphery relations, Steering Committee member and MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne told The Island yesterday. Dr. Wickramaratne said comprehensive reports submitted by six sub committees to
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Tamil prisoners’ CA appeal to be supported on 22 Feb.
Published Date: 13/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Court of Appeal yesterday (12) fixed for support on February 2 the petition filed Tamil prisoners seeking to transfer their case back to Vavuniya High Court from Anuradhapura High Court. The matter came up before Justice L.B.T.Dehideniya (President/CA)
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Appeal against the acquittal of suspects in TNA MP's murder to be heard on February 16
Published Date: 12/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Court of Appeal today fixed the date to hear the appeal filed against the verdict issued by a lower court in exonerating all the suspects in the murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj. Appeal Court Judge, Kumudini Wickremasinghe fixed February 16th to hear the petition when it was taken up before the court today.
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Solution must be acceptable to Tamils Separate State is not a reasonable request - Former Army Commander, General Gerry De Silva RWP, VSV, USP
Published Date: 12/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Much decorated soldier, one time Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Diplomat and now author, General Gerry H. de Silva is a man of many parts. His memoir 'A Most Noble Profession - Memories That Linger' (2012) and more recently 'War Heroes Killed-In-Action' have been launched and is currently working on the biography of Lieutenant General Denis Perera titled 'The General of all Generals'. In a wide ranging interview he expressed his frank opinions on a variety of subjects. Here are excerpts of the interview:
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