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The art of sanctimonious humbugging
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Politicians of all hues have mastered the art of ‘humbugging’ and the people of this country are certainly not short of such personalities among the highest in the land right down to Pradeshiya Sabha members. Omissions or commissions are not their fault and always it is the previous regime or the ‘political opponents’ who should be held answerable. It has trickled down to the public service too and you will scarcely find a public officer responsible for any failure or dereliction of duty owed to the tax paying members of the public. The entire population of the country, for that matter, are taxpayers, either directly or indirectly. The politicians palm off the responsibility of omission and commission to the public servants as well.
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Govt says committed to reform Muslim marriage law
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
The Government of Sri Lanka says that it remains committed to reform the minimum age of marriage for girls under the Muslim law, with the active participation of the concerned community. “A committee had been set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice to carry out the necessary legal reform,” the Sri Lankan delegation told the Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva on Tuesday (16). The Government was following a two-pronged approach to the issue, namely sensitization of the concerned community and discussions with community leaders, while respecting the
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"President Went Out Of Cabinet Meeting For Nature's Call": Rajitha Gives Funny Twist To Cabinet Meeting Drama
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Giving a funny twist to the dramatic Cabinet meeting yesterday, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said President Maithripala Sirisena walked out of the Cabinet meeting for a nature's call. The Cabinet Spokesman, also the Health Minister of the government, vehemently denied the fact that the President Sirisena stormed out of the Cabinet meeting, after making an emotional speech
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Sri Lanka President Sirisena's gender bias, cabinet's sexism defended on health grounds
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
A move by President Maithripala Sirisena and a male dominant cabinet of ministers to reverse a decision by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to give equal status to Sri Lanka's women by lifting sexist regulations was defended on health grounds by a male minister. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, a minister who usually fearlessly defends equal treatment for men of all faiths and races, said he was opposed to giving the freedom for women to buy alcohol, or work in liquor sales outlets. The cabinet of ministers had also called on the finance ministry to re-impose the regulation, he said.
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Discrimination in 2018
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
It’s the little things that matter the most. Google in Sri Lanka now defaults to Sinhala. Whenever you access a Google Form, the interface by default is in Sinhala. Whenever you use Google Maps, road, place and now even names of famous buildings, are rendered in Sinhala. Search for Chunnakam, close to Jaffna, and Google Maps translates the place name, in Sinhala, to ‘Hunugama’ – wrong on so many levels. There is no Tamil place marker either. Jaffna gets a Sinhala label as ‘Yapanaya’, but no Tamil place name, whereas Nallur, just a stone’s throw away, does feature a Tamil place name. Enter a destination – even in Colombo – on to Google Maps
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IMF worried over Pacific islands’ debt to China
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
The International Monetary Fund is concerned Chinese aid to developing countries is laying the ground for a future debt crisis, ¬saying some recipients of Chinese loans linked to aid projects face unsustainable debt burdens. IMF deputy managing director David Lipton said yesterday that China was taking on an important role in the developing world by providing the funding to develop infrastructure through President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.
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Does opportunity knock for China in Pakistan?
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Both the US State Department and the Pakistan government were caught unawares when President Donald Trump tweeted on 1 January that Pakistan had provided only \\\"lies and deceit\\\" whilst giving safe haven to terrorists. Within three days, a scrambling State Department announced the USA was suspending military aid to Islamabad. The said security assistance is estimated to be worth some USD1.9 billion annually. IHS Jane\\\'s quoted a StateDepartment official as saying, \\\"The United States will not deliver grant-funded military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless required by law. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if they are determined to be vital to national security interests.\\\"
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LNG terminal in Colombo Port: Has Japan joined regional game of Chinese chequers?
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
The visit to Sri Lanka by Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono (Jan 4 – 6) saw governmental confirmation of Sri Lanka’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. A statement from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office revealed that an MoU with Japan to build a Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) will be signed this week. The project to build the FSRU and LNG terminal will be a joint venture by Sri Lanka Ports Authority with both Japan and India, it is learnt. The Japanese partner will be a consortium comprising Mitsubishi and Fujitsu, while Petronet will be the Indian partner, according to sources at the Ministry of Development Strategies and Investment Promotion, which will sign the MoU on behalf of Sri
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‘We don’t want to fool the Sinhalese and get our dues’
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran refuted the claim that he was standing in the way of a practical and pragmatic solution to the Tamil problem as projected by some political figures to the media. When Ceylon Today questioned the Chief Minister why he had opposed the interim proposal while the TNA leadership has welcomed it, the outspoken CM pointed out that the ethnic problem or the Tamil problem or the National question is basically a problem of the Tamil-speaking people of this Island. It is not a problem of the Sinhala-speaking or the Buddhist Sinhalese though it is made out that way. So, the solution to such problem should solve the Tamils' basic concerns and complaints.
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Five Ps – President, Parliament, Politics, Performance and People
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
As we all know, President Maithripala Sirisena has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court that whether, he, as the person elected on 9 January 2015, has any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of six years. In terms of the Article 30(2) of the 19th Amendment, the President shall hold office for a term of five years. Move against the mandate at the elections in 2015 It is important to analyse the socio-political considerations apart from the legal and
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Zero-tolerance over violence against children: SL
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding cases of violence against children and is committed to bring perpetrators to justice as expeditiously as possible, the government said yesterday. In Sri Lanka’s opening statement at the 77th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Women and Child Affairs Secretary Chandrani Senaratne said adequate laws have been put in place in this regard.
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Sri Lanka arrests 16 Indian fishermen for illegal poaching
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lankan Navy on Tuesday arrested 16 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in the island's northern seas, Sri Lankan navy media unit said in a statement. Four fishing trawlers belonging to the Indian fishermen were also taken into custody. The fishermen were apprehended in the seas northwest of Delft Island and northeast of the Kachchativu Island, in Sri Lanka's north, by Fast Attack Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command of Sri Lanka.
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President walks out of the Cabinet meeting
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
A deeply dejected and disappointed President Maithripala Sirisena stormed out of the Cabinet meeting this morning after making an emotional speech over the personal attacks levelled at him by the certain members of the UNP, a senior Cabinet Minister said. President naming those UNP Parliamentarians, who are making statements against him, had also said that a country cannot be ruled in this manner.
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Impressed with Kite Festival Minister promises new fishing harbour for VVT
Published Date: 16/01/2018 (Tuesday)
Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, who was impressed with the Kite Festival in Velvettiturai (VVT) – which took place on Thai Pongal Day – has pledged to build a new fishing harbour for VVT. He has also promised to extend the beachfront of VVT for residents in the area to engage in beach sports. The Kite Festival was organized by the Vigneswara Community Centre for the eighth year. Secretary of the Community Centre, A. Vaseekaran told Ceylon Today that it was for the first time that a Cabinet Minister had participated at the VVT Kite Festival since its re-launch in
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TGTE Member refused entry Ratnabalam on banned Tamil Diaspora list Strong moves to refute deportation order
Published Date: 14/01/2018 (Sunday)
A member of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) was refused entry into the country on Thursday (11), shortly after landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake, with his family, officials said yesterday (12). They said that 48-year-old Suresnath Ratnabalam had arrived on......a scheduled Etihaad flight from Abu Dhabi along with his wife and two children at 3:45 p.m. and were stopped by Immigration officials at passport control as he had been blacklisted.
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India capable of handling China's assertiveness along border: Army chief
Published Date: 13/01/2018 (Saturday)
"We will have to call their nuclear bluff", Gen. Rawat said. "Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army's approach is to ensure that Pakistan felt the pain". "Should they come again, we will see what to do", he said. "The casualties which Pakistan has suffered are three to four times more than we did". Gen. Rawat said Pakistan did not want the situation along the Line of Control to escalate; so it was calling for a ceasefire. The focus past year was on restoring semblance of normalcy in South Kashmir in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Terrorists try to
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India gives $45.27 million aid to develop KKS harbour in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 13/01/2018 (Saturday)
India has extended a fresh financial assistance of USD 45.27 million for upgrading Kankesanthurai (KKS) Harbour in northern Sri Lanka into a commercial port and strengthening the country's efforts to become a regional maritime hub. Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance and Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed an agreement in this regard on January 10, the Indian High Commission said.
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Trump's Pak outburst to aid China acquiring military base near Chabahar
Published Date: 12/01/2018 (Friday)
US President Donald Trump's recent outburst on Pakistan will further boost economic and defence ties between Beijing and Islamabad, including China acquiring a Pakistani military base close to Iran's Chabahar port, an official media report said on Friday. Trump's January 1 Twitter attack against Pakistan where he accused it of providing safe havens to terrorists appears to be helping boost already close ties between Pakistan and China, a media report said
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Is Japan out of sync with South Asia's concerns?
Published Date: 11/01/2018 (Thursday)
Japan is making diplomatic and military moves in South Asia to stem the increasing threat to the existing power structure from China, but South Asian countries, barring India, have other more pressing concerns which Japan has to address if it is to make headway in its project to contain China, writes P.K.Balachandran in South Asia Monitor.
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Not eyeing foreign territories to exploit resources: Narendra Modi
Published Date: 11/01/2018 (Thursday)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India does not eye anyone's territory and resources, asserting that its model of development aid was not based on "give and take", comments which come amid increasing Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the sub-continent. Addressing the first conference of persons of Indian origin (PIO) parliamentarians from across the globe, Modi also asked them to invest in India and act as a catalyst in the country's growth. The event is being held to mark the 102nd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.
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False Promises
Published Date: 11/01/2018 (Thursday)
Three years after the election victory of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ‘unity government’, the failure of meaningful progress on key issues must be confronted head on if visions for accountability, justice and lasting peace are ever to be achieved. While the government has succeeded in opening up sufficient space to garner international praise, with political space in the South having certainly fared well under the present regime, it has abjectly failed to deliver on commitments made to the Tamil people. As the wave of protests which defined the ‘good-governance’ regime’s third year in power illustrate, there is rising
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UK parliamentarians meet with Sri Lankan military in Jaffna
Published Date: 11/01/2018 (Thursday)
A group of British MPs who are touring Sri Lanka met with the military in Jaffna last week, despite criticism of ongoing militarisation of the North-East. The delegation, members of the UK's All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka met with General Darshana Hettiarachchi, who heads the Sri Lankan security forces in Jaffna. Discussions “focused on the civil - military relations, peace building efforts and
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Bond-scam probe is turning democracy into ‘demo-crazy’…
Published Date: 10/01/2018 (Wednesday)
One can examine the Bond-scam report and arrive at conclusions after such a close perusal in two diametrically opposed lights. 1. In the context of the current political environment, its apparent findings and President Maithripala Sirisena’s interpretations of the findings and his vicarious intentions of defaming some UNP members of Parliament, despite the fact that his very election as President was principally facilitated by the United National Party (UNP), would lead to him being branded a ‘traitor’. We need to note that the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran who is the central figure in this whole scheme of alleged corruption, as Governor of the Central Bank, albeit at the behest of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, was President’s responsibility and his alone.
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When a safe haven turns into nightmare… Girls of Darun Nusra allege continued abuse
Published Date: 10/01/2018 (Wednesday)
A young girl, aged 12, stands outside the probation office in Hulftsdorp. Her tattered abaya flutters in the wind, her manner desolate. She is one of the victims among 18 who were allegedly abused at the Darun Nusra Orphanage, run by Dr. Mareena Reffai. This young girl was at the probation office to complain about the cruel treatment she had allegedly undergone at the hands of the recently appointed matron in the orphanage. "The probation officer had no sympathy for me. Instead, she yelled at me, indicating that she could not help me," she alleged.When the initial complaints were made to the probation officers, they had arrived at the orphanage and had a lengthy audience with the caretaker and the matron. According to
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Election Monitor condemns polls law violations at Temple Trees
Published Date: 10/01/2018 (Wednesday)
The Election Monitor Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) alleges that the Ministry of Education has used the Prime Minister’s official residence, Temple Trees, for election propaganda purposes. It has written to the Secretary to the Prime Minister not to allow anyone to use Temple Trees for electioneering purposes. "The government has started using the Prime Minister’s official residence, Temple Trees, for election propaganda purposes just like during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration," CaFFE Executive Director, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said.
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