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VIOLENCE AGAINST COLOMBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS BROUGHT BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Colombia is one of the most dangerous places to be a human rights defender or an activist in a social movement. 50 human rights defenders were killed in the first half of 2017 alone, as recorded by the NGO Somos Defensores. The state offers little protection and the judiciary rarely intervenes. On 30 November 2017 ECCHR and its partner organization Colectivo de Abogados Jose Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR) submitted a dossier to the International Criminal Court in The Hague documenting emblematic cases of attacks on human rights defenders over the last fifteen years. ECCHR and CCAJAR is calling on prosecutors at the ICC to investigate those responsible.
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Sri Lanka keen to sign FTA with China: ambassador
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Since the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative was revealed to the world, Sri Lanka has been actively cooperating with China to ensure a win-win result. Global Times reporter Wang Bozun (GT) interviewed Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Karunasena Kodituwakku GT: Foreign media reported that Sri Lanka is hesitant about signing a free trade agreement [FTA] with China as it is concerned about the economic impact of a "rushed" deal. Do you agree that China and Sri Lanka have been hasty about FTA talks? How are the FTA talks going? How do you evaluate a future FTA between the two sides?
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Floating armoury case tomorrow
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Colombo High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe on 9 February set tomorrow (14) to hear the floating armoury case, filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). CIABOC has indicted Avant Garde Maritime Security Service Private Limited Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathy and Chairman of the Rakna Lanka, retired Major General Palitha Fernando on 47 counts, including having facilitated Maritime Security Service Private Limited to operate a floating armoury off the Southern seas at a cost of Rs 35.5 million to the
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Parliament cannot be dissolved before Four and half years - Jayampathy
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Parliament cannot be dissolved before four and half years unless a two thirds majority passes a resolution as per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Lawyer and UNP MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne said. Speaking on the same lines JVP MP Vijitha Herath said not even President Maithripala Sirisena could dissolve Parliament before February 2020 without a two thirds majority support. They made this observation in response to the call made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to immediately dissolve Parliament and go for a snap election. “What was concluded was an election for Local Government Authorities. Parliament was elected for a term of 5 years.
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Subramanian Swamy wants Rajapaksa to return to power
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Indian politician, Subramanian Swamy who was associated with the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, has Tweeted yesterday hat he hopes that Rajapaksa would return to power soon, after the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) strong showing at the February 10 local government election. "It is good to hear that Rajapaksa is making a strong comeback to Sri lankan politics. He should become President soon," he Tweeted. However the 19th amendment to the constitution prevents Mahinda Rajapaksa from contesting again as President. Also commenting on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s close ties with China and his supposed anti India
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People’s decision against govt must be respected - Sampanthan
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan says that so far the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has not been contacted by any party with regard to forming a new government. He stated that because no one has approached them as of yet, they currently have no intention of discussing the matter right now. Responding to a query from Ada Derana regarding rumours doing the rounds on a possible UNP-TNA alliance to continue the government, he said that when and if a certain political party official contact them about this they will discuss the matter and take a decision.
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Australia issues deportation order for Tamil asylum seeker despite torture fears
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
A Sri Lankan asylum seeker has been ordered for deportation next week, despite the United Nations committee against torture requesting Australia not move him while it investigates whether he will be tortured if he is returned against his will. The deportation order issued for Tamil asylum seeker Shantaruban by the Australian Border Force says he will be deported on 22 February. He will not be permitted any visitors at the airport when he is removed and he will be escorted on his flight to Colombo. He has refused to sign the order.
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Shiromala, first Adiwasi public representative
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
For the first time in the history of governance in Sri Lanka, an Adiwasi people’s representative, who contested at the Local Government election from Dehiattakandiya has been elected from a multi-member ward in Henanigala as a member of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). The 37-year-old W.M. Shiromala is a mother of three, who has passed G.C.E (O/L) examination. She has received 1,369 votes as the first Adiwasi people’s representative. She said there were many unresolved problems faced by the members of her community.
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Ranjan says result a blessing in disguise
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says that the result of the local government elections would be a blessing in disguise as it would lead to the culprits in the previous and current Governments being punished.The United National Party Parliamentarian said, "The people gave a red alert to the Government regarding corruption issues. Instead of catching the thieves of the previous regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, these people in our Party started to rob the country. The bond scam is the cause of the big loss at the polls. There are some other issues like the increasing cost of living and climate change related natural disasters that have also played a role in this outcome."
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Never shied away from taking responsibility in UN system: Sri Lanka
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka has never shied away from taking its fair share of responsibility in the UN system, which has helped Sri Lanka build an image as a moderate and progressive partner, able to bridge differences and build consensus, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN Ravinatha Aryasinha said. He made these observations when he addressed representatives of the diplomatic community, UN and other international organizations at a ceremony held to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of Independence at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on February 6. Ambassador Aryasinha also said Sri Lanka continues to give leadership on a wide range of issues such as disarmament, migration, human rights, health, intellectual property, science and technology and international trade policy in Geneva.
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Sri Lanka's PM: To go or not?
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is under intense pressure to step down after he led the United National Party (UNP) to a humiliating defeat at local elections, but will he go? Economynext Political Correspondent weighs Wickremesinghe's options and discusses whether he should go or remain.
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Rajapaksa calls for a general election, says Govt has lost mandate
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka's former President at a media briefing in Colombo today has called for a snap general elections after the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)’s victory at the 2018 Local Government elections. Rajapaksa said that the government had lost its mandate to govern and that the people must be given a chance to elect a new parliament. Further Rajapaksa said the SLPP has made a historic victory since not a single political party in Opposition, had defeated the governing party at a local government election.
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The hour for political maturity - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
The people have spoken, as they say. Local Government Elections, like any election, are a test of the regime’s popularity. Well, the people have delivered their verdict: Not up to mark by a big margin! A close look at the overall results and comparison with previous Local Government election as well as with the last Parliamentary and Presidential elections will no doubt lend towards a more nuanced reading of trends. As of now what is clear is that people have expressed a massive vote of no-confidence on the UNP-SLFP Coalition Government. It should be a sobering outcome even though it wasn’t possible to think that the coalition arrangement would be rosy, given the history of antagonism.
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Bid to introduce new Constitution suffers irrevocable setback - SLPP
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chairman and top Joint Opposition spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday said that in the wake of the heavy defeat suffered by the ruling coalition at the first countrywide election since 2015 presidential and parliamentary polls, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime could no longer rush through with the controversial constitution making process as planned. The former External Affairs Minister said the government lacked the wherewithal to sustain that grandiose project. The SLPP Chairman said so in response to a query by The Island at a media conference at Battaramulla Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
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PM to form UNP Govt.
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe obtained the consent of President Maithripala Sirisena to form a UNP government in place of the current unity government between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), a source close to the UNP said today. The Prime Minister met the President in the wake of the February 10 local council elections which saw the defeat of both the UNP and the SLFP. Sources close to the Prime Minister told Daily Mirror that the President had informed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to form a government if he could muster a majority in the House.
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President Under Pressure To Give Up SLFP Leadership: But MR Doesn't Want It: President's Fate Uncertain
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, who led a disastrous election campaign at the Local Government polls, has now come under pressure to step down from the SLFP leadership. While some of the SLFP ministers representing the Cabinet negotiating with the UNP, some are holding talks with the Joint Opposition to work together in Parliament. Some party seniors who threw their weight behind President Sirisena have suggested that the SLFP should leave the government and sit in the opposition. If that happens, political sources said, they would only form a small independent group in Parliament without any ability to influence important policy decisions
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Initial Crossover Talks Fruitful: PM To Show Majority In House: All Set For A United National Front Government
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
The discussions to form a United National Front government, with the support of over 10 SLFP Cabinet ministers, are successful, our sources within the Temple Trees conformed. The defection of SLFP ministers to the United National Party will allow Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to show a simple majority in the House. "The initial discussions have been successful. They have agreed to join the United National Front, led by the UNP," a highly placed UNP source said. It is learnt, however, that some SLFP members will sit in the opposition and align themselves with the Joint Opposition.
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LG Election was a wake up call- Mangala
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera says the 2018 Local Authority Election is a timely wake up call for the good governance government. Issuing a statement Minister Samaraweera said the public has communicated that the good governance government has not done enough to ensure election promises made during the 2015 Presidential and General Elections. The Minister stressed the message issued by the public has sunk deep into the United National Party and therefore the party is committed to take drastic measures to fulfil the promises made three years ago and to maintain the public trust.
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Several SLFP Ministers Start Talks With UNP While Some Plan To Sit In Opposition: SLFP Heading Towards Natural Death?
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Several Cabinet Ministers representing the SLFP have expressed willingness to join the UNP, sources within the UNP confirmed, a short while ago. This comes in the wake of a landslide defeat suffered by the SLFP at the Local Government polls. It is learnt that these Ministers are not willing to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramun, mainly due to personal reasons. "They have opened up channels of communication. Some of them were previously in the UNP. So, they can come back to the UNP at any time," a senior party spokesman said.
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Book Review: The Vavuniya Diaries By Neville Jayaweera
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
This slim memoir spanning a few months in 1971 is noteworthy for its insider view on the failed first insurrection of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP—Peoples Liberation Front), or more exactly its repression somewhere remote from Colombo and the southwest, by a principal participant. The author was then Government Agent, that is the top-most administrative official, in undivided Vavuniya (before Mullaithivu had been carved from it).
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One On One Meeting Between President And PM Today: Discussions To Seize Power In Many LG Bodies As United Front
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
One of one meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to take place today, informed political sources said. the meeting comes in the wake of the defeat suffered by the ruling alliance at the Local Government election. The discussion is aimed at striking an agreement between the two main parties to seize power in a number of Local Government bodies as a united political force.
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SLPP sweeps wards in South; North goes to ITAK
Published Date: 11/02/2018 (Sunday)
But coalition among opposition parties can tilt balance in councils UNP comes second, leading in Colombo count, Sirisena’s UPFA comes a distant third The recently formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to have swept a majority of the local government wards in the south at yesterday’s countrywide polls, according to early results that began trickling in late last night.
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Fighting for migrant workers
Published Date: 11/02/2018 (Sunday)
Missing, or rather, not enough attention has been given to the rights of female migrant workers and their status in society in the just-concluded election campaign for local authorities. Our attention was drawn to this one morning when Kussi Amma Sera, preparing the morning cup of tea, said: “Mahattaya, apey pitarata rassawata yana lamei gena kisi kathawak nehe me chande kaale?” “Eh,” I asked but before waiting for a long, drawn response during a busy week, moved to my computer since this thought, in fact, had occurred to me, too.
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Key SLFP members expected to resign, MR opens his doors
Published Date: 11/02/2018 (Sunday)
Key Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members are expected to resign from the Government in the wake of the thumping defeat at the Local Government elections. SLFP sources said that once the final results are officially announced the SLFP members will indicate their intention to resign from the Government. Sources said that at least seven SLFP members have now indicated they will step down from their Ministerial positions
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Rajapaksa faction beckons Sri Lanka Freedom Party members; says govt mandate ended
Published Date: 11/02/2018 (Sunday)
A 56 -member faction of Sri Lanka Freedom Party supporting ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made overtures to government members to join them to form an administration, after a new party backed by them swept local bodies at Saturday's polls. "We are asking the members of the SLFP who are supporting the government to think seriously about their political future," Ratnapura Parliamentarian Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. Sri Lanka Poduja Peramuma has won a landslide in yesterday's local election though official results are yet declared. Wannirarachchi said out of 340 local the SLPP was confident of having a majority on their own in at least 243.
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