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FTA with Singapore Professionals claim Govt misleading public
Published Date: 22/01/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lankan professionals claim that they are yet to see a Draft of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore, although the Government claims that it had received their approval. They warned that the basic legal framework has to be prepared prior to signing such an agreement. If not, Sri Lanka will have to face a number of serious problems. Chartered Architect Nalaka Jayaweera, speaking on behalf of the professionals, told Ceylon Today that the Government was spreading false rumours and misleading the public.
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Announcement A. Sivanandan (1923-2018) – Tamils have lost a “visionary”
Published Date: 22/01/2018 (Monday)
Tamil Information Centre has learned with great sadness and regret of the recent passing of Ambalavaner Sivanandan (20 December 1923 – 3 January 2018). Sivanandan was known in his adopted country of Britain as the long-time Director of the Institute of Relations, an anti-racist educational charity based in London, as well as the founding editor of its world famous journal Race & Class. He was widely regarded as one of the most original and important thinkers on racism and immigration in this country. He was a powerful writer and speaker who fought for the human rights of oppressed peoples – particularly the ethnic minorities of the UK and the peoples of the Third World.
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Country has gained international recognition -MS
Published Date: 20/01/2018 (Saturday)
President Maithripala Sirisena says the country has gained international recognition by changing a leadership which was detrimental to the country. Speaking at a United People’s Freedom Alliance rally in Wellawaya the President said the international community has acknowledged the country’s progress following the leadership of the previous regime. President Sirisena questioned if people were murdered or harassed, Newspaper Editors were killed or media organisations were burned down on the directives of the present government.
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Public help sought to identify kidnappers
Published Date: 20/01/2018 (Saturday)
Police seek public assistance in identifying a group of suspects who had abducted a person, for a ransom of Rs 2.5 million, in Trincomalee. Police said that the victim was kidnapped on Friday, 5 January from Trincomalee, by three unidentified people. It was also reported that the suspects had released the abducted person, two days after, as the relatives of the victim had paid the ransom of Rs 2.5 million. Police had located closed circuit camera television footage of the three persons including that of a woman. Police request public assistance in identifying the persons and request the public to contact Trincomalee Police or the Police Hotline 0112421111.
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Mangala flays media
Published Date: 20/01/2018 (Saturday)
Information Department chief Sudarshana Gunawardena and Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera at Matara workshop (Pic courtesy Finance and Media ministry) Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera says all those having smart phones could function as journalists today as the public has lost faith in the mainstream media. Samaraweera alleges that the mainstream media has lost credibility due to biased reporting and ‘manufactured’ news.
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Singapore PM to sign FTA with SL during visit
Published Date: 20/01/2018 (Saturday)
Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong would visit Sri Lanka on January 22 on a three-day official visit, at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said yesterday. The Singaporean Premier will be received at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday morning with an official guard of honour and gun salute that will be followed by official bilateral discussions with President Sirisena. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and Singapore will be signed following bilateral talks
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Does Debt Pay? China and the Politics of Investment in Sri Lanka What are the sources and impact of China’s economic leverage over Sri Lanka?
Published Date: 20/01/2018 (Saturday)
Last month, the Sri Lankan government formally handed over control of the port of Hambantota to Chinese interests on a 99-year lease. The price was over one billion dollars, but this came mostly in the form of a reduction in the enormous debt burden to Beijing that is crippling the island nation’s economy. Strategists warn that by giving up control of the port, a strategic asset straddling Indian Ocean shipping lanes, Sri Lanka is sacrificing its sovereignty and succumbing to what one Indian analyst has labelled “creditor imperialism” by China. If China’s motives are indeed imperialist, is this form of economic diplomacy effective? In a
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“We are at the end of our tether!” What African Women are trying to tell the Microfinance Industry
Published Date: 19/01/2018 (Friday)
“[T]he promoters of micro-credits promise to deliver us from poverty and emancipate women. In fact, it is the opposite that happens: we find ourselves trapped in a spiral of over indebtedness, launching infeasible micro-projects that, instead of keeping our heads above water, push us deeper into poverty, stress, humiliation and violence. We are at the end of our tether! This is part of a declaration recently issued by women from fourteen countries, gathered in a meeting of African activists in Bamako, Mali, in November.
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Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture Power of India is the people of India
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
The Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture 2017 was held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Colombo on January 15. The lecture was delivered by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and IT, Government of India on the theme ‘The Evolution of India’s Constitutional and Democratic Polity’. Late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was remembered by Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute as a true gentleman whose intellect and qualities made him a respected and recognized individual across the
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Wiggy wants Intl legal framework
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran stressed on the need to find a political solution for the Tamils through an International legal framework. Wigneswaran was addressing a special meeting, convened by the Tamil People's Council (TPC) under the theme ''informing people'. Prof. S. Swarnaraj (Former professor, Law Faculty, University of Colombo) who participated in the peace talks during the Norwegian peace facilitation period was also present at this special meeting which was held at the Jaffna Veerasingam hall on Tuesday (16).
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An Interview with Sri Lanka’s C.V. Wigneswaran
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
C.V. Wigneswaran is the chief minister of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and a member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Maithripala Sirisena became president three years ago. What are the principal challenges for people living in the Northern Province?
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Abortion: The agony of a nation
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka’s 130-year old anti-abortion law is clear: aborting a pregnancy except to save the life of the mother is a crime. Section 303 of the Penal Code states: “Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and if the woman be quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
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Revoking of alcohol Gazette: 11 women file FR in SC
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
Eleven female citizens including popular actress Samanalee Fonseka yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court seeking a declare that Ministry of Finance or the State are not entitled in Law to revoke the Excise Notification dated January 10, 2018 in a manner which directly or indirectly prevents a female from lawfully being employed at a place of production and sale of liquor. Petitioner Nishanthi Bandaranayake, M.D.J.B. Fernando, Samanalee Shanika Fonseka, M.D. Chandima Ravini Jinadasa, Deepanjalie Abeywardana, Attorney-at-law Sabrina Esufally, Sharanya Sekaram, Randhula de Silva, Meneka Galgamuwa, Sujatha Gamage and Visakha
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CaFFE asks if President still have faith in PM
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
If President Maithripala Sirisena still trusts Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, it means that he has not read the bond commission report, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said on Wednesday. In a statement, CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said the Prime Minister has shown that he relies, not on impartial inquiry and independent investigations when making decisions on important matters but on verbal assurances given to him by his associates. He said that the report of the PCoI states that 'the question of whether or not the fact that, Mr. Mahendran was not a citizen of Sri Lanka precluded him from being appointed the governor of the CBSL was not a Question of Law. Instead, it was a value judgment, which had to be
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Sri Lanka has achieved a significant development in prevailing peaceful environment – Pakistan Army Chief
Published Date: 18/01/2018 (Thursday)
The Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says Sri Lanka has achieved a significant development due to the prevailing peaceful environment. He made these remarks when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena during his tour to Sri Lanka at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (17). The General Qamar Javed Bajwa recalled the historic tour made by the Sri Lankan cricket team to Pakistan in a background where other countries stayed away from Pakistan and further stated that Sri Lanka is a true friend of Pakistan.
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President, the sands of time are running out
Published Date: 17/01/2018 (Wednesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena by seeking a Supreme Court determination has confused the country as to what really his motive was. Firstly, he had made this request to the Supreme Court in the run-up to an election and therefore some leaders of the joint opposition on the premise that he had expected the Court to rule that his term of office would be six years had interpreted it as an attempt to demoralize the opposition voters at the forthcoming local government elections. Many others including some of those who supported the Maithripala Sirisena as the Opposition’s common candidate at the January 2015 presidential election claimed that he
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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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