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Over 500 Muslim IDPs languish in capital’s ‘hell compound’ 28 years after eviction
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
A shocking number of internally-displaced families evicted from Jaffna region in the 1990s continue to languish homeless after 28 years of their initial displacement in a highly-unsanitary compound that borders Colombo. “Every year our religious fasting season arrives, giving us hope, but then it ends with sadness. We continue to helplessly witness it from this camp but there is no end to our suffering,” said N.M. Haniffa, a member of the Displaced Northern Muslims’ Camp at Crow Island, Mutwal (Mattakkuliya), speaking to Minister of Industry and Commerce and Wanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen when he visited the IDP camp on the afternoon of 4 June.
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Intellectuals leaving the motherland have become a major problem – President
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
At present intellectuals in various fields including medical, engineering and technological fields, leaving the motherland has been a major problem, President Maithripala Sirisena said that adding that the Government is not ready to impose rules and regulations on the freedom of leaving the country, but as the citizens who nurtured as a result of free education, should commit themselves according to their conscience to fulfill their responsibilities towards the motherland. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre today (07), to present teaching appointments to 500 graduates who passed the Western Province Teaching Exam.
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Sri Lankan Born ‘Container King’ Ian Kiru Karan Becomes German Minister
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
From rags to riches: BILD.de documents the progress of Hamburg’s flagship entrepreneur, Ian Karan Kiru’s career, as he becomes Hamburg’s Economic Senator. Ian Kiru Karan who was born in Point Pedro in 1939, moved to Germany in 1970 after studying in the United Kingdom — where he went on to build one of the world’s biggest container leasing companies in Hamburg. He was recently sworn in as Senator for Economic Affairs in Hamburg.
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Seven Questions to Consider When Promoting Gender Justice in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
In October 2016, The Asia Foundation’s Sri Lanka office began a project to make that country’s formal justice system more responsive to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Seventeen months later, and after five decades of working with security and justice institutions and promoting women’s rights in Sri Lanka, here are our insights on working with the formal justice sector in a South Asian context. SGBV against women and girls is a hidden issue in Sri Lanka—only a fraction of incidents are officially reported—but anecdotal evidence and media reports suggest rising rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape, including statutory and gang rape, around the
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MS and the 100-day-programme
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Who would have thought President Maithripala Sirisena was not in agreement with the 100-day-programme marketed by those who toiled to see him as the President following the 2015 election? This has been the case, according to the President himself, who broke the news last week. President Sirisena dumbfounded the entire country, perhaps including his family members, at a function held last Wednesday at the Sri Lanka Foundation to commemorate the 76th birth anniversary of the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, when he questioned as to who compiled the 100-day-programme. He said with only 47 UNP MPs in Parliament, a programme
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Promise of ‘15 Presidential Election shattered…
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers. ~ Nikita Khrushchev We are fast approaching the end of the first term of this Presidency. The lofty ideals expressed so abundantly on the Maithripala Sirisena/UNP platform have come out empty. The looming end result of efforts to establish Yahapalanaya seems not only self-destructive, it looks thoroughly unworthy to a set of politicians, who have been nurtured and nursed by a culture, so steeped in corruption, nepotism and incompetence.
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Sri Lanka to draft new laws to implement Ottawa Convention
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka is to draft new laws to implement the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction. Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms Thalatha Atukorala to advice the Legal Draftsman to drat legislations enabling the provisions of the convention in Sri Lanka. Commonly known as the Ottawa Treaty, the Convention was concluded by the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo, Norway on 18th September 1997. There are currently 163 State Parties to the Treaty
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Sri Lanka hires Singapore firm to draw plans for Southern development
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka has hired Singapore government-owned Surbana Jurong for $990,000 to draw up plans for urban development around a Chinese-funded Special Economic Zone that will straddle the Southern districts of Hambantota and Monaragala. The 12,000 acre Sri Lanka-China Logistics and Industrial Zone which will cover the China-controlled Hambantota Port and parts of nearby Monaragala District will be developed by China Harbour Engineering Corporation in three phases. The Chinese-government owned construction giant has hired to Surbana Jurong to design plans for the first two stages which will include housing, schools, community and entertainment infrastructure.
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Plastic bottles outlawed at FM - Kariyawasam
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Marking the World Environment Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs switched to the use of glass bottles for water instead of plastic as their contribution to combat global plastic pollution. Sri Lanka is ranked in the fifth position out of 20 countries identified for dumping polythene and plastic to the oceans. Secretary to the Ministry Prasad Kariyawasam tweeted a recorded video message thus: “Marking the World Environment Day since yesterday (5), the Ministry will be discarding
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Efforts underway to extradite Mahendran – says Ranil
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said in the Parliament that steps are being taken to bring back Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka according to the Extradition Law. Wickremesinghe made this remark while answering a question by Chief Opposition Whip and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Dissanayake queried as to what steps had been taken from the Government’s side to produce Mahendran to the relevant local Court thus far.
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Thoothukudi Massacre – When State becomes Predator: Bobby Kunhu
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
On 22nd May 2018, in what cannot be imagined even in a dictatorial regime, the police in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu – a South Indian state opened fire to kill, on a group of peaceful protesters marching towards the district administration office demanding denial of permission for expansion and closure of the existing copper smelting plant of Sterlite. Sterlite is a subsidiary of the London based corporation Vedanta, which has been dumping toxic waste all over this town since 1998 resulting in widespread health hazards including increase in reports of cancer. This massacre is unimaginable even in the worst dictatorial regimes, because not only were known national and international legal norms and protocols in crowd/riot control
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Balancing the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka: India and Japan’s game of the stag hunt
Published Date: 06/06/2018 (Wednesday)
The rivalry existing between China and India is based on a long historical trajectory dating back to the epoch of the silk route. More recent conflict emerged at a time when both states strived to emerge as nation states after facing colonial encounters for centuries. Nevertheless, the present-day antagonism between the countries mainly arose as a result of the border dispute and later converted into the respective quest of each to be a super power. In the recent past both China and India have emerged as new powers in terms of economy, political stability and military strategy. This newly developed status of both countries has simultaneously fed a mutual suspicion of each other, which is why India keeps a watchful eye on the Chinese influence in South Asia
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‘Sri Lanka Goebbeled’- My Article That Never Got Published!
Published Date: 05/06/2018 (Tuesday)
The following piece was written by me in 2007. This was a time, when the media in Sri Lanka was terrorized to such an extent, that Journalists and Writers needed to be armed with cold courage, to function. All those Editors I sent the following piece to, who never said “No” to any of my articles before and after, refused to publish it in their newspapers, and one warned, “No way Sharmini, this will get us both killed!”
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The Subversion Of Our Democratic Political Spaces & What It Means For Sri Lanka’s Future
Published Date: 05/06/2018 (Tuesday)
Since Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has witnessed three unsuccessful armed struggles. Two of these (1971 and 1987-89) have been confined mainly to the Sinhalese South. The last one in the North and East of Sri Lanka waged an armed campaign for almost 30 years until the Tami Tigers were defeated in 2009. The manner of the Sri Lanka’s state victory created acute political wounds and left unresolved the fundamental problems that gave rise to Tamil militancy. The devastating effects of all three armed campaigns conducted by the state and non-state actors have scarred democratic governance in the country and its commitment to pluralism. These violent struggles have torn apart Sri Lanka’s social fabric and hindered economic wellbeing of its citizens. It has damaged the continuing efforts to create a healthy and pluralistic democracy for our young and fragile nation.
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Omphalos Syndrome
Published Date: 03/06/2018 (Sunday)
Given the trend of tirades, it is not unreasonable to expect that President Sirisena will wake up one of these days and disclaim everything he did and said in 2015. The change maker is clearly out, though the charlatan arguably never left. The hope around and pegged to him is long gone. There is, short of a miracle, nothing progressive that he was the face of, and championed, when first seeking office that will now come to pass. This includes, above all else, a new constitution. There is an increasing manic tinge, of someone increasingly unhinged, that colours his pronouncements. A video last week of him disavowing any
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Coalitions of the Evil
Published Date: 03/06/2018 (Sunday)
Among politically significant developments to have occurred during the past week or so, three stand out. They, not necessarily in the order of their importance, are: (a) Revelations made by MP Dayasiri Jayasekera about business donations to election funds of politicians, (b) the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, and (c) Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s launching of his 2019-2020 election campaign. This essay examines only the first.
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C.V. Vigneswaran’s de-legitimization of remembrance
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
A decision by a local bank to suspend two of its employees for commemorating the war dead of the final phase of the Eelam war has now caused a fresh wave of controversy. The ‘disciplinary action’ was purportedly taken after Sinhala nationalist social media highlighted the incident. The Bank said in a media statement, “HNB takes very seriously any sentiment or act that is in violation of, or poses a threat to the morale of citizens of Sri Lanka. As a Bank that stands for all Sri Lankans, our goals, interests and initiatives are all aligned to the vision and greater good of our Country.” “We regret an unauthorized incident that took place recently in one of our branches, which does not reflect the values of the Bank. The matter has been investigated and necessary action taken.”
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China insists it has lent “sincere support” to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
China insists its has lent “sincere support” to Sri Lanka and provides assistance to the best of its ability to help Sri Lanka close its financing gap, boost economic development, improve people’s livelihood and enhance its self-development capability. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said this in response to a question raised over reports that talks between China and Sri Lanka on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have reached a stalemate as Sri Lanka is worried that Chinese investments may make it indebted.
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The king cobra and Sri Lanka’s fascinated paralysis
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
When the king cobra kills, it is said that its glare is so unnerving that the victim is fascinated first into a state of terrified immobility before the strike occurs, paralyzing through the injection of a potent neurotoxin that immobilizes the central nervous system. The victims, (including humans if the dose is large enough), can feel impending death but be completely powerless to prevent it, sans immediate recourse to anti-venom treatment. Political chicanery, natural disasters and human misery In some ways, it feels as if Sri Lanka is in that advanced state of paralysis as the country lies transfixed in a state of apathy with a quarreling National Unity Government, overtly
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In the name of a misunderstood identity, Lankan Muslims are getting isolated: Prof. Ali
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka is currently wedged between Buddhist fundamentalism and rigid Orthodox Islam that have made inroads into the country in the past 40 years or so. Both Buddhists and Muslims have forgotten the magnanimity and tolerance of the Sinhalese who welcomed Muslims into the country centuries ago. Sadly, Muslims have forgotten that they embraced Sri Lankan and not Arabian culture when they decided to live in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans. “It was Buddhist compassion, which made Buddhist monarchs of ancient Sri Lanka welcome believers of other religions and extended their unparalleled hospitality. The experience of the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka until ethno-
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Sri Lankan Navy arrests 6 Tamil refugees
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
The Island-Navy contingent, during a routine patrol, apprehended all the six helpless Tamil refugees. The group of ‘migrants’ and the trawler were handed over to the Talaimannar police for further investigation the report added. Rameswaram: In a late night development on Wednesday that has sent shock waves across Rameswaram, six Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including a woman and two children, were apprehended by the Island Navy authorities from an Indian trawler, suspected to be
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US lawmakers visit Sri Lanka to see massive Chinese investments
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
• Amid the global concern over China's 'debt trap diplomacy', a bipartisan group of influential US lawmakers has visited Sri Lanka to gauge the ground-level situation. • Under a pact with Sri Lanka, China recently gained lease of the strategic Hambantota port for 99 years. Amid the global concern over China's 'debt trap diplomacy', a bipartisan group of influential US lawmakers has visited Sri Lanka to gauge the ground-level situation.
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Sri Lanka to get Rs. 383 million Japanese grant aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme
Published Date: 02/06/2018 (Saturday)
The government has received the cabinet approval to sign an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to obtain a grant of Japanese Yen 265 million (Rs. 383 million) , in order to implement another phase of the Human Resources Development scholarship Programme. The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme was introduced in Sri Lanka in 2010 by the Government of Japan in order to provide opportunities to the executive level public officials of Sri Lanka to undergo Master Degree Programs in prominent universities in Japan.
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From Anura’s to Mahinda’s 20 21 A
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
Mahinda Rajapaksa, therefore, cannot afford to play between Parliamentary and the Presidential Elections Political fact that abolition would make them nonentities in a Parliamentary Election The 20th Amendment to the Constitution is basically a correction to the 19A for Mahinda to gamble with an undecided Parliamentary Election does pose the already fixed 2020 Presidential Election as a hassle They should all fall in line in voting for the 20A
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LTTE bogey to scuttle Constitution making
Published Date: 01/06/2018 (Friday)
LTTE bogey came to a head when the Rajapaksa loyalists accused Sarath Fonseka, being an LTTE agent when challenged Rajapaksa Sri Lankan politicians have a habit to look for a nexus between the ethnic issue and anything under the sun, in order to convince their community The constitutional issues such as the mode of governance are the ones having far-reaching effects on the future of the country as well as its people
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