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In world report Sri Lanka listed among countries unsafe for Muslims
Published Date: 22/02/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka has been listed among countries unsafe for Muslims in a newly released world report. In the report, Amnesty International notes that Sri Lanka saw a rise in Buddhist nationalist sentiment last year, including attacks against Christians and Muslims. In September, a group of hardline Buddhist monks attacked the homes of Rohingya refugees in Boosa, southern Sri Lanka. In November, dozens of home and businesses of Muslims were attacked near the southern city of Galle.
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Mother tongue key symbol of our individual identity - CBK
Published Date: 22/02/2018 (Thursday)
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga speaking as Chief Guest at the 2018 International Mother Language Day celebrations at the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo yesterday. Picture by Sarath Peiris The 2018 International Mother Language Day celebrations jointly organised by the Bangladesh High Commission, Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, National Unity and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Sri Lanka Scout Association and university of Visual and Performing Arts was held at the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo yesterday.
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Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 politics and how Ranil’s GPS failed
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The power struggle between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ended with both being badly bruised, but the acrimony also exposed the failure of their long-term political strategies. The run-up to the February 10 local government elections deepened the differences within the uneasy coalition and saw Sirisena declaring that his government was more corrupt than the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. In sharp contrast, Wickremesinghe desisted from criticising the junior coalition partner and even moved to rein-in his United National Party young bucks who tried to snipe at Sirisena.
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Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter says Unity Govt should be scrapped
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya has called for the end of the Unity Government and urged President Maithripala Sirisena to install a new single party or alliance Government. In a statement released through the Chief Secretary of the Chapter, the Most Venerable Warakagoda Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera said that if such a Government could not be formed, then steps should be taken to dissolve Parliament and hold a General Election.The President is prevented from unilaterally dissolving Parliament for four and a half years by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, but the House could pass a resolution to dissolve.The
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Brig. Priyanka Fernando recalled to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, has been recalled to Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Army. Accordingly, He will arrive in Sri lanka today or tomorrow, said Army Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Attapaatu today (21). A video appeared on social media depicting Brigadier Priyanka Fernando making certain gestures aimed at members from the Tamil community who were engaging in a protest outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on Sunday (4), as Sri Lanka marked the 70th anniversary of independence.
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25% women reps not possible in 10 LG bodies
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
Elections Commission Mahinda Desapriya said the 25 per cent woman representation could not be maintained in at least ten local government bodies because of a lacuna in the Local Authorities’ Elections Act. Though the Act stipulates that each of the councils should be made up of 25 per cent woman representatives, the parties that contested the polls in these ten local bodies appear to have found it difficult to nominate women candidates. The Act states, “Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Ordinance, not less than
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Thai experts arrive in Sri Lanka to create artificial rain
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
A team of Thai experts have arrived in Sri Lanka to look at the possibility of creating artificial rain in severe drought-affected areas of the island country, local media reported Wednesday. The group which consists of Thai engineers visited the Castelereagh and Maussakele Reservoirs in the catchment areas of the Central Highlands to seek the possibilities of creating artificial rain as water levels in these reservoirs had seen a drastic drop. Officials from the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry said the team also plan to visit the main Victoria, Randenigala and Kotmale Reservoirs.
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EU urges Sri Lanka to honour commitments on OMP
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The European Union (EU) says the Sri Lankan Government must honour their commitments on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and Transitional Justice. In a tweet, the EU office in Sri Lanka said that without clarity about the fate of their missing or disappeared loved ones, many Sri Lankans will not be able to participate in national reconciliation. The families of the disappeared from Kilinochchi yesterday marked one year of continuous protests.
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CID wants INTERPOL ‘Red Notice’ on Mahendran
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has made a request to the International Police (INTERPOL) to issue a 'Red Notice' on former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, a senior Police official told Ceylon Today. Informed sources confirmed that the request to the INTERPOL...... was made following his failure to present himself before the CID on 15 February, as ordered by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. It was reported that the notice had been sent to Mahendran's residence in Singapore as well. It
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Swiss AG demands harsh penalties for LTTE masterminds
Published Date: 21/02/2018 (Wednesday)
In the indictment plea in the Tamil Tigers’ trial, in Bellinzona, which lasted for almost two days, Swiss Attorney General Juliette Noto has requested that the 12 Tamils be found guilty of participating or supporting the LTTE. The newspaper Neue zürcher zeitung said the federal prosecutors are clear that the accused Tamils have financed terrorism and supported a criminal organization with the Tamil Tigers. For most of the 13 defendants, the federal prosecutor attested grave offenses and a high level of criminal energy.
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Political impasse needs to be resolved soon
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Today’s political crisis in the country is unprecedented. Never in Sri Lanka’s political history has a government in power plunged into crisis just because it was defeated at a local election. The crisis has stemmed from the notion that the joint government formed by the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has no moral right to continue after its defeat at the February 10 local government elections or the seeming unwillingness of the SLFP faction led by President Maithripala Sirisena to continue with the joint government with the UNP or both.
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Ranil’s choices
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lankan politics is cheap. The depth of that cheapness is proof in the two stark choices that the people have now been given. One is the return of the old regime with all its nastiness. Forty four per cent of the voters had chosen that. And the other is to continue with the UNP under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose incompetence, should, more than anything else, be blamed for the resurgence of the Rajapaksas. Through his indecisiveness in governance, Mr. Wickremesinghe de-legitimized the whole spectrum of yahapalanaya. Yet, even with his worst mistakes, the other alternative is cringingly terrifying. Mr Rajapaksa if given a chance will destroy even the modest achievements that this administration has so far achieved, and set communities against each other to strengthen his nationalist vote base. Some groups of Muslims have already complained about a new wave of attacks since the Pohottuwa’s election victory. Mr Rajapaksa cannot politically survive without feeding into
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TNA MP Sumanthiran warns UNHRC members of Govt. backsliding
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Ahead of the annual session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March, the TNA is engaged in a vigorous campaign with representatives of member countries, to pressure the Government into implementing the UN Resolution within a year, which it co-sponsored. Speculating that the Government may derail implementation of its Geneva commitments, in the wake of the electoral setback it suffered at the recently concluded local government polls, Parliamentarian Sumanthiran said the international community should ensure the full implementation of the Resolution co-sponsored by the Government.
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CaFFE requests govt to hold PC Election in April
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections has requested the government to hold the Provincial Council Election in April. Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said an all party meeting for relevant demarcations should be called promptly. Keerthi Tennakoon stressed CaFFE would not allow any individual to postpone the Provincial Council Election under any circumstance.
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Prez asks SC to interpret his powers under 19A
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Ongoing political impasse was going to continue further as the SLFP’s Maithri faction had been instructed by President Maithripala Sirisena to wait till the Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving power to him to sack the Prime Minister, Parliament was told yesterday. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, making a special statement, said the UPFA and its SLFP members had met President Maithripala Sirisena and demanded a review of the unity government formed on Sept 3, 2015 with the UNP.
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Enactment of Constitution would have been advantageous to govt. -MP Wickremaratne
Published Date: 20/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Government MP and a key proponent of a new Constitution Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne yesterday emphasized that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe led unity administration could have done much much better at the recently concluded local government polls had it succeeded in introducing a new Constitution. Dr. Wickramaratne said so in response to The Island suggestion that the UNP and the SLFP would have suffered a far worse defeat if the government had pursued constitutional reforms process far more vigorously.
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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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