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UN condemns Australia's forced return of asylum seeker to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 22/12/2017 (Friday)
The United Nations’ refugee agency has condemned Australia’s forced return of an asylum seeker to Sri Lanka without any assessment of his claim for protection, saying the man is at serious risk of persecution in his homeland. The UNHCR had sought assurances from the Australian government the man would not be removed from the country and would be allowed to apply for protection.
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Sampanthan hospitalized
Published Date: 22/12/2017 (Friday)
It was reported R. Sampanthan TNA leader was admitted to a private hospital last evening after a sudden illness. According to one of his relative, Mr Sampanthan arrived from Trincomalle evening after a lengthy discussions with the TNA members on nominations for the local government election and he was exhausted yesterday. “The main symptom was said to be tiredness. He has had long discussions with the party members in Trincomalle and this may have led to being tired. He needs rest. He is currently undergoing medical tests and slowly recovering” he said.
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Britain needs 'change in culture' to stamp out modern slavery
Published Date: 22/12/2017 (Friday)
Police and prosecutors in Britain are taking the fight to human traffickers and slavemasters, but the country needs a "change in culture" to end modern slavery, the UK's anti-slavery tsar said. Kevin Hyland, appointed independent commissioner in 2014 as part of Britain's landmark Modern Slavery Act, said more cases of slavery were being investigated and taken to court as police learn to enforce the tough anti-slavery laws at their disposal.
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Thousands got killed or went missing in both Sinhala and Tamil insurrections
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
They sat in the baking sun: Sometimes through the cold of the night facing dangers, amid the dust and pollution of the roadside. For approximately twenty years, family members of those who disappeared during and after Sri Lanka's civil war in the South have been protesting continuously at various locations across the country. Now less and less people come. May be parents have died or they are satisfied with compensations. At the same time, the civil war in the North and the same suffering or more, spread into the Tamil homeland too.
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Sri Lanka urged to have roadmap to meet human rights commitments
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
Despite Sri Lanka co-sponsoring the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution No. 30/1 in September 2015, progress in fulfilling commitments therein has slowed to a glacial pace, Amnesty International said today. Delays have affected key issues include guaranteeing truth and accountability on the issues of enforced disappearances – sparking months-long protests by families of the disappeared in the north and east of the country.
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Voter apathy at elections
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
The Tamil media has recently quoted Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed as saying that the voters who do not use their franchise should be fined as in some other countries. Justifying his suggestion Mr. Mohamed has stated that the State spends through the Election Commission a huge amount of money at elections on the premise that all eligible voters would vote and that a part of it is wasted as many voters do not vote.
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Voters can’t choose candidates under new laws, says PAFFREL
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
New local government elections law had deprived voters of the opportunity to vote for candidates of their choice, Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said.. \"It’s an unfortunate situation, particularly against the backdrop of the number of representatives being doubled.\"
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Defence rentals cost Rs. 5 bn yearly COSTLY DECISION BY PREVIOUS REGIME FIFTEEN BUILDINGS RENTED OUT BY ARMY
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
The abrupt and unplanned decision taken by the previous regime to remove the Defence Headquarters from Colombo has cost an annual rent of Rs. 5 bn for 15 buildings, the defence forces are occupying at present. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who was speaking at a press brief held at the SLFP headquarters yesterday evening, said President Maithripala Sirisena had revealed this to the Cabinet, at the recently held weekly Cabinet meeting.
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How Rajapaksaism destroyed the SLFP
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
There was no Machiavellian nuanced statecraft. There was no Dudley Senanayakian transparency and honesty. There was no Jayewardenesque stoicism. There was not even lofty but empty rhetoric of the likes of SWRD Bandaranaike. There was no veiled brilliance of a shrewd leader; only undisguised greed for power and unremarkable exercise of it was visible and this unkind spectacle was being witnessed by a wretched citizenry of a nation tired of waiting for the manifestation of a messiah.
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The corrupt quartet in Washington Forum: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine
Published Date: 21/12/2017 (Thursday)
The media took time to report on the inaugural meeting of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) held over three days last week (December 4 to 6), at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington. There was no advance media coverage of the Washington gathering and even the government would appear to have kept mum about its participation in it. The Global Forum was hosted by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom with support from the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (SARI). Its sole purpose is to help four countries – Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine – to recover their public assets stolen due to government corruption.
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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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