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U.N. urges Sri Lanka to probe ongoing torture, war crimes
Published Date: 07/12/2016 (Wednesday)
A U.N. rights watchdog called on Sri Lanka on Wednesday to investigate "routine torture" of detainees by security forces and rebuked its government for failing to prosecute war crimes committed during the country's 26-year civil war. The Sri Lankan military finally vanquished the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan guerrillas in 2009. The United Nations and rights activists have accused the military of killing thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, during the final weeks of the war and have demanded reforms and redress.
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A truly pro-poor leader, says Sirisena
Published Date: 07/12/2016 (Wednesday)
Political leaders across Sri Lanka’s ethnic divide on Tuesday condoled the passing of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. While she had had a tumultuous equation with the island throughout her political career over the Tamil question, the fishermen’s conflict and the demand to retrieve Katchatheevu, Sri Lankan leaders saw her as a formidable actor in the region.
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She was a beacon of hope for lankan Tamils
Published Date: 07/12/2016 (Wednesday)
The late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s involvement in the Sri Lankan Tamil issue began almost immediately after she joined the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and became its propaganda secretary within a year in 1983.
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Ranil apologizes for burning of Jaffna library
Published Date: 07/12/2016 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today apologised for the burning of Jaffna Library in 1981 and urged the Joint Opposition to apologize for what happened during that time as well. “The public library in Jaffna was burnt during a United National Party (UNP) Government in 1981. We know it was wrong and tender an apology for it,” he said.
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We will only accept a political solution on the basis of sovereignty, says TNA leader Sampanthan
Published Date: 07/12/2016 (Wednesday)
The solution should be found based on the sovereignty of the Tamil people, said TNA leader R Sampanthan at the commemoration of the death of the former Mayor of Colombo organised by the All Ceylon Hindu Congress. We are never going to accept meaningless solutions, and at the same are not going kick away just solutions, he said.
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Radical Buddhists introduces new Sri Lanka Flag
Published Date: 06/12/2016 (Tuesday)
Boda Bala Sena the radical Budhists group encouraged supporters to carry distorted Sri Lankan flags when they marched towards Batticaloa. The flags did not have the two green and orange colour stripes that represent the minorities in Sri Lanka. The police had a tough task in preventing a large number of people lead by Buddhist clergies to enter Batticaloa on a court order.
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TNA leader condoles death of TN CM Jayalaitha
Published Date: 06/12/2016 (Tuesday)
Opposition Leader and the Leader of the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan today expressed his condolences at the death of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha Jayaram. In a condolences message, Mr.Sampanthan said the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had a special concern for the resolution of the issues pertaining to the rights of the Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka and her concern resulted in the passing of several resolutions at the Tamil Nadu State Assembly and frequent interactions with the Central Government in New Delhi on Sri Lanka.
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No Chance Of Another Armed Struggle – Dharmalingam Siddharthan
Published Date: 06/12/2016 (Tuesday)
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Dharmalingam Siddharthan believes that permitting the Tamils in the North or East to commemorate their dead will not lead to another armed struggle or be viewed as encouraging separatism. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said one man’s terrorist is another man’s liberation fighter. He believes the relatives of the dead should at least have the right to mourn the death of their loved ones. According to Siddharthan, many of the issues facing the Tamils in the North are still not resolved and the government mechanism in this regard is extremely slow. He lamented that the crime rate in the North is rising and he also feels there is a breakdown of family values and traditions among the people. He said while the military was not directly involved in aiding certain gangs, some individuals encourage and support these youth gangs. Following are excerpts of the interview;
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“No threat to security in the North”
Published Date: 06/12/2016 (Tuesday)
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi has assured that there is no shortfall in security in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The Secretary made this statement during an event in Galle. The Defence Secretary said there are several reports on the internet which claim that national security is under threat but those reports are completely untrue. Hettiarachichi said he visits the Northern Province every two weeks and communicates with officers stationed there. Hettiarachchi added, “there are still 971 displaced persons lodged in camps with their families. The President and the Prime Minister was alerted and houses will be built for them. The military are directly engaged in building houses for displaced Tamil families. This is the picture of the situation in the North.”
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Is it time Sri Lanka sheds its religious identity?
Published Date: 05/12/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lanka is on the cusp of history, in several months it will be presenting to the people its third constitution in the space of four decades. Abolition of the Executive Presidency, devolution of power to the provinces, independence of the judiciary and the ensuring of good governance and human rights have been central in the discussions. With interest slowly growing amongst the people, one topic which has been conspicuously absent has been that of religion and its role in the future constitution.
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Security tightened in Batticaloa to prevent communal clashes
Published Date: 05/12/2016 (Monday)
Security in and around Batticaloa town was tightened last night with the deployment of additional police and Special Task forces personnel to prevent a possible clash between two communities. Earlier in the day, a tense situation arose when police stopped a group led Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagoda-atte Gnanasara Thera from proceeding to Batticaloa town.
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THE DANGER: Will Lanka go off Trump America’s radar?
Published Date: 05/12/2016 (Monday)
Sirisena sends a ‘Dear Donald ‘letter to Trump to dump war crimes probe To the victor, the spoils. Not only the scalp but the professed allegiance, too, of the fallen, however insincere it may sound; even as Hillary Clinton demonstrated – moments after it became clear she had lost key swing states – when she called upon the people to rally around Trump and to hail him as the man America had decided upon to lead the nation for the next four years as her president
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The Rise and ‘Fall’ of Karuna
Published Date: 05/12/2016 (Monday)
Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, once a terrifying warmonger who led the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of the Eastern Province and later enjoyed an 'exotic' and powerful life with the Rajapaksas, has been remanded till 7 December 2016. Karuna was arrested on the charge of misusing a Rs 80 million worth State vehicle. He is one among many who have been arrested by the current government for misusing State assets. Many are bewildered over Karuna's arrest and the reason for his arrest, which is considered a minor matter because this is a man who had committed cold-blooded murders while he was a LTTE militant, irrespective of caste, creed or race.
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US Vice President discusses future US-Sri Lanka relations with President Sirisena
Published Date: 02/12/2016 (Friday)
It was reported, US Vice President-elect Mike Pence telephoned President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday and discussed future US-Sri Lanka relations. Pence and President Maithripala Sirisena had reportedly discussed further strengthening US-Sri Lanka relations under President Donald Trump.
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Voices from the margins of the north
Published Date: 02/12/2016 (Friday)
Interviews with some of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable war-affected persons in the north show that a meaningful post war reconciliation process to them includes action towards human development, based on a comprehensive and consistent post conflict development policy that is focused on knowledge and understanding of grass root scenarios. There is no consistent and meaningful livelihood-focused training undertaken as part of a concrete State policy to deal with the human crisis created by 30 years of conflict that fragmented the lives of thousands.
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TNA will not support unitary system of governance: M A Sumanthiran
Published Date: 02/12/2016 (Friday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today reiterated calls for meaningful devolution of powers to the provinces in the Parliament yesterday. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said that the TNA will not support a unitary system of governance.
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New Police structure and Emergency Laws Constitutional Assembly: Report of the Police, Law and Order Subcommittee
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Police powers were among the most contentious topics in the whole devolution debate and the provisions of the 13th Amendment in this connection were never implemented by any government over the past three decades, because it would have rendered the country ungovernable. Now however, the Police Law and Order Subcommittee proposes to actually carry out what no previous government even contemplated. This Subcommittee of the Constitutional Assembly has proposed that the Police Ordinance be replaced with a completely new Police Act and that changes be made to the emergency laws – which would take the provincial police and law and order powers even beyond what was envisaged in the 13th Amendment
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IGP asked to act against anyone obstructing reconciliation
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena has advised the Inspector General of Police to litigate against anybody who impedes the National Reconciliation Process disregarding their political affiliations or socio-ethnic-political status, National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganeshan said in Galle yesterday. Minister Ganeshan said so while participating at the launch of ‘Sanhinda’ Trilingual Magazine by the ‘Sanhinda Trilingual Unit’ of St. Aloysius College, Galle.
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Sri Lanka Leader Asks Trump's Help to Drop War Crime Charges
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka's leader is seeking the support of President-elect Donald Trump to free Sri Lankan troops from war crime allegations from the country's decades-long civil war. President Maithripala Sirisena said he has already sent a message to Trump, seeking his support.
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TNA’s diplomacy
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
An important meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarians, led by Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, took place in Parliament last Thursday (24). The TNA played a tremendous role in ousting the Rajapaksa regime and establishing the National Unity Government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in January 2015. Later, with the guidance of R. Sampanthan, the TNA as the main Opposition in Parliament played a responsible role to deal with Tamil political issues as well as voicing on national issues.
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‘…they are most probably dead…’
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Expectantly she comes to meet them, her plastic bag of documents clasped tightly under her arm. Her face weary, and tear-stained, but, ready to tell her story one more time. White journalists, local activists, big people from big international human rights organisations, government commissions, the police, army camp officials……it’s all a blur now.
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Phantoms of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka’s reign of terror
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Mahinda Rajapaksa sits at a desk in his party office beneath a photo of himself. He’s not especially tall but solid in the chest and arms; like an old rugby prop, his head seems to rest on his shoulders without much need for a neck. He’s never seen in public without his brown scarf, supposedly signifying the sweaty rags of Sri Lanka’s hard-toiling farmers. On his fingers this man of the people wears three chunky gold rings and on his wrist a bracelet of jade balls. Everyone here still calls him Mr President.
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Trouble once again in paradise
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
The fluid political situation in Sri Lanka, and the erosion of popular support for the Sirisen a - W i c k r e m e s i n g h e combine, have together created in the minds of the minority Tamils, doubts about the regime’s ability to draft a Tamil-friendly constitution and face the political storm that will certainly follow. Sensing a drift towards abandonment of the constitution- making exercise and its substitution by a few amendments to the existing constitution along with electoral reforms, the MPs of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the largest Tamil party in Parliament with 16 MPs, met President Maithripala Sirisena recently to air their concerns. Sirisena assured the MPs that he is keen on a new constitution as promised to the Tamils in the run-up to the 2015 presidential election, which he won thanks in part to the overwhelming support of the Tamils.
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Constitution, devolution and minorities
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
A national debate on the proposed new constitution commenced with the recent session of the Constitutional Council and drafting of proposals by different Committees. To set the tone, President Maithripala Sirisena referred to the conceptual positions with regard to the proposed constitution in his recent interview with The Hindu. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader R Sampanthan made statements in Parliament and Northern Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran also made few comments in the Provincial Council and outside. Talking to Meera Sirinivasan of The Hindu, President Sirisena did not hesitate to give his honest opinion. “People of the south are scared of the word federal. People of the north are scared of the word unitary. What we should do is not fight over these two words. We should come up with a formula that is acceptable to all,” he said.
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Karuna Amman arrested
Published Date: 30/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Former Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan and former LTTE eastern leader alias Karuna Amman was arrested today after he appeared before the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). Amman was asked to appear before the FCID to record a statement on the alleged misuse of a Government vehicle.
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