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Listen to the Religious leaders
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Religious leaders, business leaders and the Governor of the Central Bank are among those who have made loud calls for Sri Lanka's fractious politicians to resolve the current crisis surrounding the Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as soon as possible. The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, of the Siam Nikaya Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, has now added his voice to the chorus of calls by asking the parties to form a Government.
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Govt. withdrew 150 warrants on LTTE terrorists: Udayanga
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Although the yahapalana government is attempting to obtain an Interpol ‘Red Warrant’ on him it had withdrawn some 150 some such warrants including those issued on former LTTE terrorists because of the influence by Tamil politicians, former envoy Udayanga Weeratunga said today. He said in a statement that he was informed by several media reports that Red Warrants issued on terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals had been withdrawn based on requests made by the Sri Lanka Police.
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Cry Sis! Women insist on 25% quota
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Following the confusion and issues related to the 25 per cent quota for women in Local Government (LG) authorities in the country, 163 women and 44 leading women organizations have sent a strong letter to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, leaders of political parties and the Speaker, urging them not to 'back-track' on their promises and the Act that ensures the participation of women in local government. Women from all walks of life have signed this letter urging political parties to comply with all provisions of the law and recognizing the exceptions in the quota, and to encourage political parties to go beyond the minimum requirements and nominate more women to fulfil the spirit of the 25 per cent quota, thus strengthening diverse representation.
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Initial batch leaves for UN Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The first batch of Sri Lanka Army's 12th Force Protection Company (FPC) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) left the country for their mission on Sunday (18th February). According to Army media, the first advance party of the FPC contingent includes two Officers and fourteen Other Rank personnel. Sri Lanka's 150-strong Army contingent is made up of 10 Officers and 140 Other Rank personnel drawn from 13 Regiments. It will serve in the UNIFIL for one year.
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Questions over ‘most peaceful poll’ as post-poll violence increases
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Incidents of post-election violence have seen a noticeable uptick this week compared to incidents that occurred before the February 10 Local Government (LG) Elections. The period leading up to the election had widely been described as the most peaceful in living memory. No major incidents were reported on election day either. The lack of violence was attributed to the new electoral system and police taking a far more proactive role towards cracking down on election law violators.
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Number of female members to LG bodies Parties to be notified this week
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The number of female members elected to Local Government bodies from each party will be counted and notified to the respective parties within this week, Additional Commissioner of Election M. M.Mohamed said. “Although March 6 is the date for constituting Local Government Institutions, there is a possibility of the date being postponed,” Mohamed said.
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MR: What is this govt doing?
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
A week had elapsed since the local government elections, but there was still a great deal of political instability which had left people wandering what the rulers were doing, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.Rajapaksa told The Island: "I don’t know whether there is a government or not. The former President said there was something wrong with the manner in which the local government election Act had been passed and the economy was in jeopardy. "The
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Katchatheevu Church Feast Sinhala mass for the first time 13,000 to land on island
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Some 5,000 Indian pilgrims along with 8,000 locals are due to land on the Katchatheevu Island on Friday (23) to celebrate the annual St. Anthony's Feast, a senior naval official said yesterday. The pilgrims, mainly from South India will be escorted to the Island from the International...... Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) after a head count, Naval Spokesman Cmdr. Dinesh Bandara said. For the first time at this traditional event a high mass will also be conducted in the Sinhala language along with Tamil, he said.
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Is growing Chinese presence in Sri Lanka a cause of worry for India?
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
My wife and I recently visited Sri Lanka on a holiday with friends. For both of us, it was the first visit after almost 15 years. At that time, the idyllic island country was caught up in a deadly civil war that claimed countless lives and devastated the economy. When Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed power as the Sri Lankan President, he made the elimination of the Tamil Tigers his foremost objective. After 30 months of relentless assaults, the 26-year-old civil war finally ended in 2009, with the killing of Tamil Tigers (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the ruthless decimation of his supporters.
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Suspend ETCA negotiations- PNF
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The Professionals’ National Front has called for the suspension of negotiations on the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement. In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Professionals’ National Front called for the 8th round of ETCA talks scheduled to get underway in New Delhi with the participation of a group of 19 representatives. The Front stressed that it observed that the President severely criticized the economic policy of the government during the recently concluded Local Authority Election campaign.
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Record blood donations from Kattankudy
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
The Batticaloa District is considered the ‘worst’ blood donor community in the country. Director of the National Blood Transfusion Services Dr Rukshan Bellana took a team to the province and inspected the blood centres mainly at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Kattankudi Base Hospital and Kaluwanchikudi Base Hospital within the past three days. Speaking to the people and community and religious leaders Dr Bellana emphasised the importance of donating blood as it was very essential to keep the healthcare services going.
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Civil society orgs demand referendum Want Executive Presidency abolished
Published Date: 19/02/2018 (Monday)
Civil Society Movements are forcing the Government to immediately hold a referendum for the abolishment of the Executive Presidency, saying that the main reason for the political crisis, which has arisen subsequent to the local government elections, is the behaviour of the Executive President. The Purawesi Balaya and The National Movement for a Just Society, which provided strong support to bring this Government to power in 2015, as well as a number of other Civil Society organizations, are due to submit this request to the Government in the coming week.
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Quick results if I am appointed minister of Law and Order: SF
Published Date: 18/02/2018 (Sunday)
Minister of Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today said he could show quick results in apprehending wrong-doers if he is appointed as the minister of Law and order. "I will show results in six months if I am given the portfolio of Law and Order" he told journalists. Further, he said it is not advisable to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the leader of Opposition.
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A New Hope A First Adivasi Citizen in Local Government
Published Date: 18/02/2018 (Sunday)
The sound of crunching gravel alerted the evergreens of Henanigala to its latest inhabitants. A silhouette of a cart could be seen appearing from a distance, swaying to an uneven rhythm with a bearded man leading it. A little girl peered out from the cart to take in her surroundings. The place looked nothing like home. This was Shiromala's first impression of Henanigala, where her family resettled. It was a few hours away from Dambana, her ancestral home that had everything she knew and loved.
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Beyond Party Politics, three crucial issues for Lanka
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Whatever the party political changes in the aftermath of the February 10 local council elections, Sri Lanka needs to focus attention on three crucial issues – poverty alleviation, the battle against global warming and a commitment to resolve crises through dialogue without resorting to war or violence. As part of the mission for poverty alleviation, President Maithripala Sirisena in 2016 launched a countrywide programme for Sri Lanka to produce our own nutritious food. We have hundreds of varieties of grains, vegetables and fruits which could be grown here at an affordable cost, instead of spending hundreds of millions of rupees on the import of junk food or fake milk. Unfortunately one of the worst ever droughts and regular floods at different times hampered this programme and Sri Lanka was even forced to import rice this year.
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Sri Lanka PM displays rare human touch, owns up to defeat
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka’s beleaguered Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe went before a hostile press Friday, his first public appearance after the local government elections, and accepted responsibility for the drubbing. Wickremesinghe fielded questions from journalists while demonstrating unusual calm and composure. He answered the incisive and embarrassing questions without rancour and he even managed to raise a few laughs. Asked if he had given some 20 million rupees to each of the 16 Tamil National Alliance MPs to buy their support, Wickremesinghe said: "Why give the TNA. If I had 20 million, I will keep it for myself!"
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Right to Information Commission inquiry into missing report
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Ashraff Commission Secretary says report was handed over to National Archives Archives says search drew a blank, but RTI commission insists on thorough search They mystery surrounding the missing report of the Presidential Commission that inquired into the death of former minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress founder M.H.M. Ashraff has taken a new turn, with the the commission secretary saying he handed over a copy to the National Archives.
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UNHRC to be briefed on progress achieved so far in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka will be sending a delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva next month to brief the council on the progress achieved by Sri Lanka so far on the human rights issue. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told reporters on Friday that the UNHRC will be looking at the progress achieved so far and not the political situation in the country at present. “Geneva is on the performance up to date so you will have to judge on what has been done so far,” he said.
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Politics obstructs justice for children
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
Statutory rape of boys, age of criminal responsibility, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, corporal punishment, justice for juveniles, were some concerns highlighted in the recent report on Sri Lanka by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. However, experts in children’s rights doubt that recommendations will be implemented because of politics, religious considerations and commercial interests. One suggestion was to revise the Penal Code to criminalise statutory rape of boys and encourage the reporting of such violations. The UN said it was seriously concerned that the age of criminal responsibility — 8 years — is extremely low and that children over 16 years of age continue to be excluded from the protection of the Children and Young Persons Ordinance.
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Reconfiguring Sri Lanka’s Tamil politics
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.” Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters had done just that, giving the party and the Tamil National Alliance it helms an
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Lawyers for Democracy urges Lankan judiciary to look to Indian counterparts
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
The Lawyers for Democracy wish to express their admiration and appreciation for the action taken by the four Supreme Court judges in India last week, when they took the extraordinary step of holding a press conference to inform the public of irregularities that were happening in case administration in the Supreme Court of India under the leadership of the incumbent Chief Justice. Indian judges took this extraordinary step after informing the Chief Justice that the traditional manner in which the Supreme Court procedures were followed was being flouted by recent actions by the Chief Justice. For example, cases were being fixed for hearing without following the traditional procedures that ensured transparency devoid of bias. The judges had
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Sri Lanka President-backed putsch fails as PM rallies dissidents
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
A last ditch attempt by President Maithripala Sirisena to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed due to a constitutional hurdle and more significantly the lack of parliamentary support, sources close to both sides said. President Sirisena had agreed to continue working with Wickremesinghe, but had a sudden change of heart on Thursday after meeting with his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) seniors.
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Team sent to bring Udayanga return empty-handed
Published Date: 17/02/2018 (Saturday)
The special seven-member team which was sent to Dubai to bring back former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga had returned home empty-handed on Tuesday (13), a senior official of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) said. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said the special team comprising officers from the FCID, Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Foreign Ministry (FM), Attorney Generals’ Department and Department of Immigration and Emigration was sent to Dubai to bring the former ambassador back.
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Country first, despite divisions and disputes - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 16/02/2018 (Friday)
We have stressed repeatedly that the February 10 local council election results were largely a shattering protest vote against the National Government for what most of the people see as its failure or slowness to fulfil most of its pledges as well as its inability to deliver all-important development or reduce the cost of living. But it is also important that the country’s stability be maintained so that the vital, large-scale foreign investments will come in and the sustainable economic development plan with its eco-friendly and all-inclusive strategy could be effectively implemented. In this context the United National Party (UNP) -- which has a majority of seats in Parliament -- yesterday
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Parliament, others responsible for drafting LG election laws blamed for present crisis
Published Date: 16/02/2018 (Friday)
Parliament and those involved in the drafting of the Local Government Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act were responsible for the chaos at local government bodies over the question of accommodating the 25% female quota, election monitors claim. Head of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said on Wednesday there were quite a few local councils that would find it extremely difficult to form administration due to the women’s quota. The Elections Commission would meet political parties to discuss whether they should allow the establishment of local councils without having to fulfil the 25% female quota under the present circumstances, Deshapriya yesterday said.
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