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Politics in the New Year
Published Date: 01/01/2018 (Monday)
Three years ago in January 2015, democratic change with the overthrow of the authoritarian Rajapaksa regime was a great moment of hope. For social institutions and movements – the effective guardians of democracy – that moment provided the space to again organise without fear. In some regions such as the post-war North and East, the democratic opening was a change like night and day. People who were afraid to speak during the decades of war and the post-war years, began protesting out on the streets to regain their lands, to remember the disappeared and to demand sustainable livelihoods.
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China boosts investment in Sri Lankan mega-project
Published Date: 01/01/2018 (Monday)
China will invest $1 billion in the construction of three 60-storey buildings at a mega-project near Sri Lanka’s main port, Colombo said Tuesday, as Beijing aims to boost its influence in the Indian Ocean. The deal follows an earlier Chinese investment of $1.4 billion to carry out reclamation work for the wider Colombo International Financial City development, strategically located next to Sri Lanka’s harbour, the only deep sea container port in the region.
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Archaeology Dept. to take over Sampur Chetiya area for preservation
Published Date: 31/12/2017 (Sunday)
The entire land area, where the Sudaikuda Chetiya at Sampur in Trincomalee was located would be taken over by the Archaeology Department shortly for preservation, Director General of Archeology Prof. P.B. Mandawela said yesterday. Prof. Mandawela said it was a lapse on the part of the Government as there was no plan to conserve, historical, religious and archaeology sites in the North East until 2015, though the civil war ended in 2015.
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High Commission of India offers fully funded training programmes in India
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
More than 40 training courses, spread over a multitude of sectors, in various institutions in India are available for Government of Sri Lanka officials (45 years of age and below) under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India from 15 January to 31 March 2018. The courses are fully funded by Government of India and cover airfare, accommodation, study tours, course fee, living allowance, book allowance etc.
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Mano Ganesan provided with STF security
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Minister Mano Ganesan had been provided with Special Task Force (STF) security with a backup vehicle with five STF personnel, STF sources today said. Meanwhile, the Minister said in a statement that he faced serious security issues and sought the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and had also written to the IGP in September.
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Release of Keppapilavu lands Protests to continue
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
Although 133 acres of private lands were released in Keppapilavu by the Security Forces officially yesterday, villagers say that they will continue to protest until all the lands are returned to the owners. "We will not stop our struggle until we regain all our lands," they added. Villagers of Keppapilavu have been protesting for the past 302 days urging the release of their lands.
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Next party leader will be an educated, intelligent youth: President
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday he would hand over the leadership of the SLFP not to a member of his family but to an educated and intelligent youth who engaged in clean, decent and corruption-free politics. He said nepotism, corruption, thuggery and misrule had harmed the country and the party and therefore he was determined to build a new political culture and nurture a new breed of politicians untainted by corruption and wrongdoings.
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Eastern Governor’s wife interferes in temple issue
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
A Hindu temple, located in Muttur, Trincomalee is at the centre of a controversy and Police have ordered devotees living in the villages of the area to refrain from carrying out any reconstruction work until the Department of Archaeology investigates to see whether an ancient Buddhist temple had existed on the site. This follows rival claims were made by Buddhists as well as Hindus to this site in Sampur,......which in turn led to a shouting match between local worshippers and outsiders, including Deepti Bogollagama, wife of the Eastern Province Governor.
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32 candidates with criminal links Name list handed over to Police Chief
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
The names of 32 candidates contesting the forthcoming Local Government polls, who have been involved in sleaze and are allegedly packing...... criminal records, was handed over to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera by an independent elections monitoring group yesterday (29). The group of candidates is alleged to have been involved in rape, murder, theft, financial fraud and other forms of corruption, a spokesman for the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAAFREL) said.
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US wraps up GSP
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
• US congress declines to reauthorise preferential tariff system, ends on 31 Dec. for 120 countries including SL • US GSP does not cover major exports such as apparel and tea but $173m worth of manufacturing could be hit by tougher competition • SL could negotiate for renewed access under TIFA, says Ceylon Chamber economist • Govt. assures impact would be minimal; SL exports to US topped $2.8 b in 2016
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Culture of corruption in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
Corruption has been rampant in Sri Lanka since the 1970s' owing to the political system. People elected the Yahapalanaya Government to eradicate corruption and establish good governance. They, too, have gone back on their promises. The Bond Commission has revealed startling evidence about involvement of key politicians. The Bond Scam is considered to be the biggest fraud since independence. It is a very serious 'white collar' crime committed by greedy politicians. Due to this reason, it is time that we named the corrupt politicians 'thieves of the State." They rob public money 24/7, take commissions, bribes, and resort to various corrupt practices in order to earn billions for their election campaigns and their kith and kin.
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On a forgotten Memorandum
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
There is a popular belief that Sri Lankans have short memories. We were reminded of it when in perusing some past documentation our attention was drawn by chance to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which rightfully claimed to be of historic significance. Judging by the contents of the MoU we observed that some of those who were bound by it have forgotten what it prescribed. Let us take some examples. According to the MoU signed on August 21, 2015 the two parties agreed to form a
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Sri Lanka President asserts authority after warning Ranil
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed newly sworn-in legislator Piyasena Gamage as state minister for law and order in a move that sought to reduce the authority of a very close ally of the prime minister. Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) gave the influential portfolio to Gamage, a member of the Sirisena-faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
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UPFA launch ‘Pledge for Freedom’ with 31 political parties
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
The launching ceremony of the ‘Nidahase Sammuthiya’ (Pledge for Freedom) with the participation of leaders and representatives of 31 political parties affiliated to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) for the upcoming elections was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH today (28). The ‘Pledge for Freedom’ for good governance free of fraud and corruption was presented to the Maha Sangha including others religious leaders by the President.
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EC at a loss to work out modalities at polling centres
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
The Election Commission is at a loss to work out modalities for providing security to vote counting at the polling stations at the local government polls, it is learnt. The Commission had a meeting with the representatives of the political parties yesterday in this regard. The present law, governing local government elections, provide for vote counting at polling centres. Commission’s Chairman Mahinda Desapriya is reported to have said that he is yet to determine how best security could be ensured.
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Outstation students carry away top honours at A/L Results of 205 candidates suspended
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
Outstation students have emerged the best performers at the GCE A/L examination 2017, according to the results released by the Examinations Department yesterday.A Buddhist monk has come fist in the Arts stream. Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha said Dilini Sandunika Palihakkara of Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, had obtained the best results in the Bio Science Stream while Sridaran Duwarakan of Hartley College Jaffna had secured the top position in Mathematics stream.
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Is it too much for ask for emotionally intelligent mindful leaders for the 21st Century?
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Dwight D. Eisenhower said “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.” Many politicians stand in the way of peace for their own vested interests, or from a sheer lack of self-awareness, care and emotional control. This makes them blind to the impact their words and action have on millions of people. In an interconnected, transparent world, our political leaders are under scrutiny unlike any
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Modi accused of failing in foreign policy towards Sri Lanka
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
India’s Congress party says the Narendra Modi Government has failed in its foreign policy towards Sri Lanka. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that China’s involvement in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern for India. “The new Government in Nepal is not tilted towards India, China’s involvement in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern for India, Maldives signed a free-trade agreement with China without informing India, in Doklam China has set up permanent structures,” he said, adding that India “has been isolated because of the wrong policies of the Modi Government,” IANS quoted Tewari as saying.
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12 years on, no justice for Christmas Eve assassination of Tamil MP
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Yesterday marked the 12th death anniversary of the late Tamil politician Joseph Pararajasingham, who was shot dead on Christmas Eve by armed government paramilitary men in 2005. Despite the present government's pledge of accountability and almost two years passing since the UNP-SLFP coalition came to power, no one has been held accountable for his death. Mr. Pararajasingham, who was a senior Tamil National Alliance (TNA) figure, and the MP
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Northern politicians have faith in Sinhala cops-NP Governor
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has said that northern politicians are reluctant to be guarded by Tamil policemen and, therefore, they had been provided security by Sinhala police officers. Governor Cooray asserted that Tamil politicians had faith in Sinhala police officers.
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Local Government election dynamics in the North and East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Despite the year end holiday season, the political focus is on the upcoming local government elections scheduled for February 10th next year. With nominations closing by end December, January will witness the campaigning by the candidates and the political parties for the sovereign Sri Lankan people’s vote. The election has clear ramifications beyond the local bodies, as nationally there is a redrawing of political lines as the government and opposition factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), led by President Sirisena and by former President Rajapakse contest the elections separately for the first time.
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Sri Lanka President hints at ditching UNP-dominated govt
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP), has strongly hinted at a possible split of their coalition mid-way of its five-year term. The President told his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyalists that he has decided to carry out the "second stage" of his daring political bravery of defecting from the then strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in November 2014. A rank outsider, Sirisena quit his Health ministry portfolio and challenged his former boss at the snap presidential election of January 2015. He won spectacularly with the support of a UNP-led rainbow
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Who will protect us?
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
We are held hostage to a group of greedy politicians and corrupt businessmen willing to sacrifice our health and our heritage to the purveyors of energy addiction. It is universally accepted that Coal is one of the most toxic sources of power and contributes volumes of climate changing Carbon Dioxide gas. On all International Platforms the dangers of using Coal for energy generation has been made patently clear. The negative impact of of Coal on human health, to biodiversity and to
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Educational assistance to school children in the East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
A group deserving children from low income families, in Malvila, Sandunpitiya and Namalgama areas in and around Welikanda and Vakarai were provided with school accessories and educational instruments during a programme facilitated by Sri Lanka Army troops in the East, recently. Gift packs were presented to 150 school children in the region under this initiative. The Buddhist Society of the People's Bank had sponsored the donation.
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Two-minute silence to be observed tomorrow
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Disaster Management Centre says commemoration events have been organized across the country in line with the National Safety Day. Sri Lanka will celebrate the National Safety Day tomorrow, which has been commemorated for ten years continuously since 2006, on the anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 230 thousand people with Sri Lanka suffering over 35 thousand deaths. The Tsunami which battered Sri Lanka in 2004 had a catastrophic impact on the southern, western, eastern and Northern provinces of the country.
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