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12 years on, no justice for Christmas Eve assassination of Tamil MP
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Yesterday marked the 12th death anniversary of the late Tamil politician Joseph Pararajasingham, who was shot dead on Christmas Eve by armed government paramilitary men in 2005. Despite the present government's pledge of accountability and almost two years passing since the UNP-SLFP coalition came to power, no one has been held accountable for his death. Mr. Pararajasingham, who was a senior Tamil National Alliance (TNA) figure, and the MP
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Northern politicians have faith in Sinhala cops-NP Governor
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has said that northern politicians are reluctant to be guarded by Tamil policemen and, therefore, they had been provided security by Sinhala police officers. Governor Cooray asserted that Tamil politicians had faith in Sinhala police officers.
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Local Government election dynamics in the North and East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Despite the year end holiday season, the political focus is on the upcoming local government elections scheduled for February 10th next year. With nominations closing by end December, January will witness the campaigning by the candidates and the political parties for the sovereign Sri Lankan people’s vote. The election has clear ramifications beyond the local bodies, as nationally there is a redrawing of political lines as the government and opposition factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), led by President Sirisena and by former President Rajapakse contest the elections separately for the first time.
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Sri Lanka President hints at ditching UNP-dominated govt
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP), has strongly hinted at a possible split of their coalition mid-way of its five-year term. The President told his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyalists that he has decided to carry out the "second stage" of his daring political bravery of defecting from the then strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in November 2014. A rank outsider, Sirisena quit his Health ministry portfolio and challenged his former boss at the snap presidential election of January 2015. He won spectacularly with the support of a UNP-led rainbow
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Who will protect us?
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
We are held hostage to a group of greedy politicians and corrupt businessmen willing to sacrifice our health and our heritage to the purveyors of energy addiction. It is universally accepted that Coal is one of the most toxic sources of power and contributes volumes of climate changing Carbon Dioxide gas. On all International Platforms the dangers of using Coal for energy generation has been made patently clear. The negative impact of of Coal on human health, to biodiversity and to
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Educational assistance to school children in the East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
A group deserving children from low income families, in Malvila, Sandunpitiya and Namalgama areas in and around Welikanda and Vakarai were provided with school accessories and educational instruments during a programme facilitated by Sri Lanka Army troops in the East, recently. Gift packs were presented to 150 school children in the region under this initiative. The Buddhist Society of the People's Bank had sponsored the donation.
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Two-minute silence to be observed tomorrow
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Disaster Management Centre says commemoration events have been organized across the country in line with the National Safety Day. Sri Lanka will celebrate the National Safety Day tomorrow, which has been commemorated for ten years continuously since 2006, on the anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 230 thousand people with Sri Lanka suffering over 35 thousand deaths. The Tsunami which battered Sri Lanka in 2004 had a catastrophic impact on the southern, western, eastern and Northern provinces of the country.
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Commander of the Navy visits Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command in Kochi
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe visited the Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command in Kochi from 20 to 23 December, as part of his official four-day-tour to India to attend the Silver Jubilee Seminar on Operational Sea Training and Safety On board. The Navy Commander was accompanied by the Captain Sea Training and the Principal of Merchant Marine Training School, Captain Pradeep Rathnayake who also delivered an informative speech on the Sea Training of the Sri Lanka Navy.
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Two schoolboys drowned attempting to take selfie in river in northern Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Two schoolboys were drowned in a river on Monday in the area called Puthukuduiruppu in northern Sri Lanka when they tried to take a selfie in the river, the local police said on Monday. The police told Xinhua that seven schoolboys had reached the river for a picnic bath. Two of them, aged 17, got into the middle of the river to take a selfie.
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Sri Lanka the latest victim of China’s debt-trap diplomacy Beijing has been given a 99-year lease on Hambantota port as part of a debt-reduction deal, amid talk of creditor imperialism following China's buy-up of strategic ports in
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which President Xi Jinping calls the “project of the century” – and proof of just how effective China’s debt-trap diplomacy can be. Unlike International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending, Chinese loans are collateralized by strategically important natural assets with high long-term value (even if they lack short-term commercial viability). Hambantota, for example, straddles Indian Ocean trade routes linking Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to Asia. In exchange for financing and
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Dhinakaran meets Lankan Tamil leader
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
On the eve of his R.K. Nagar byelection victory, T.T.V. Dhinakaran had a chance meeting with Sri Lankan Tamil leader M.A. Sumanthiran, when he enquired about the current situation of Sri Lankan Tamils in the island’s war-battered north and east. The Tamil politicians from either side of the Palk Bay met in Kanyakumari on Friday, ahead of the ‘Arumanai Christmas Vizha’, an annual celebration held in the southern district that has a near-50 per cent Christian population.
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Russia lifts restrictions on Lankan tea supplies Following suspension of ban on asbestos
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Following Sri Lanka’s decision to suspend its ban on asbestos, Russia yesterday decided to lift its restrictions on tea imports from here from December 30 Sri Lankan Ambassador in Moscow Dr. Saman Weerasinghe told The Island that Russian authorities had conveyed their decision to a Sri Lankan delegation during a discussion in Moscow yesterday. Russia placed temporary restrictions on imports of tea and all other agricultural products from Sri Lanka from Dec. 18 after a Khapra beetle was found in a tea consignment sent from
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UN Resolution:US bullying didn’t deter Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Will Sri Lanka joining 127 other countries in supporting the UN Resolution against America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, in the General Assembly Emergency Session’s vote on 21 December 2017 be a real test of her foreign policy in the wake of new power politics in the world as practised by the US? President Trump threatened to cut off US financial aid to those countries which voted in favour of the resolution, but
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High-tech cheating still rampant at exams
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
In reference to the recent incident reported at this year’s Ordinary Level examination where two students were caught by the supervisor for using mobile phones during the Examinations, Chairman, National Education Commission (NEC), Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake spoke to the Sunday Observer on how to prevent students from using the technology in a negative way. He said, though mobile phones are strictly banned at examination centres, students still take their mobiles with them.
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My Christmas wish for Sinhala Buddhists
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
• This Christmas though very much late by generations nevertheless would be ideal for Sinhala Buddhists to join in and enjoy with a determined resolution to work towards an alternative approach that can lift their lives out of misery and poverty • They are all-inclusive innocent mindsets that should be promoted and nurtured Last weekend I read somewhere, the MEP that’s in tow with the flower bud (Pohottuwa) Party with Rajapaksa at its helm, has lost one of their strongest Urban Councils with nominations for the Maharagama UC among few others getting rejected.
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Are we ready to celebrate Christmas as a time for Peace and Reconciliation ?
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
Christmas is universally celebrated as a festival of Peace. In fact, it is the birth anniversary commemoration of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. With the gift of Peace that He alone can give, he had brought to us with his historical birth, the blessings of unity and reconciliation, freedom from all bondage and liberation from all forms of slavery. Freedom and Joy are blessings that mankind had always been hungering for and sought in a manner that is ardent and relentless. In fact, one of the most unfortunate things today is that despite our highly advanced scientific achievement and unbelievable technological feats, we keep failing in the all important task and duty of uniting nations and binding the hearts in close rapport.
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Reserves Down $65.13M
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
The country's foreign reserves were poorer by US$ 65.13 million (Rs 9,968 million) on Friday (22 December) due to settlement of a swap maturity and/or meeting Govern-ment of Sri Lanka's (GoSL's) foreign debt servicing commitments. Conversions are based on the closing value of the benchmark 'spot' as at Wednesday (20 December) which was Rs 153.05 to the US dollar. Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL)/GoSL has given a recent undertaking to the IMF to wind down their swap liabilities.
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Sri Lanka will stand by Palestine – Rajitha
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
The Sri Lanka Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association (SLPPFA) yesterday held a rally in support of the State of Palestine and opposing moves by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pledging Sri Lanka’s support to Palestine, SLPPFA President Minister Rajitha Senarante said that the country will always stand by the State, as it had in the past.
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MR to lead SLPP campaign from 2 Jan
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will lead the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Local Government elections campaign, from 2 January, Leader of the Joint Opposition, Dinesh Gunawardena said. He added that Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs will join the SLPP campaign, despite explicit warnings given by President Sirisena, that any SLFP member supporting the SLPP will be severely punished.
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SriLankan board offers to resign INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT SUBMITS RESTRUCTURING PLAN
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias and five directors have offered to resign to support the government’s restructuring plan. Contacted by the Daily News, Mr. Dias said that of the seven directors in the director board, six of them have tendered their resignation letters in support of the government’s restructuring initiative of Airline. Mr. Dias told Daily News that he and five directors except for Harendra Balapatabendi resigned to pave way for a new director board, if needed.
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Minister: Tamils lost P’karan due to 2005 polls boycott
Published Date: 24/12/2017 (Sunday)
State Minister for Child Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran (Jaffna District MP) has claimed that the Tamil community wouldn’t have lost their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran if they had voted for UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe at 2005 presidential election. Maheswaran said so outside Jaffna District Secretariat last Friday (Dec 22) after handing over UNP nomination lists.
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Who built the Indus Valley civilisation? Genetics is about to answer a question that has vexed historians for a century. The author examines the range of possible answers and their implications
Published Date: 24/12/2017 (Sunday)
Who built the Indus Valley civilisation? There are few questions more fundamental to our understanding of Indian history than this. On the answer to it hang many details of the country’s past: How did we come to be as we are — culturally, ethnically and linguistically? And what explains the way we are spread out geographically in the subcontinent? Although this question has always been asked, the correct answer to it has proved resistant to the wiles and charms of historians, archaeologists, linguists and philologists for nearly a century, ever since Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were discovered in the 1920s. The fault
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Beyond the Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic binary
Published Date: 24/12/2017 (Sunday)
Considering Sri Lanka’s battle-scarred history, provoked in good measure by the politics of language, news of a Telugu-speaking candidate contesting polls would seem unlikely. However, a careful look at the past shows us the layers within the Sri Lankan society that seldom get captured in the Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic binary that the country is often portrayed in. A new political outfit — Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) — formed by the supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has nominated a Telugu-speaking candidate from Anuradhapura for the local polls scheduled for February. An ancient capital city with heritage
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Book review: The Zionist project
Published Date: 24/12/2017 (Sunday)
The book makes a significant contribution to the understanding of India-Israel relations and Gandhi’s opposition to a nation based on religion. PROFESSOR P.R. Kumaraswamy of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, is an eminent scholar who has studied for years with singular passion and diligence Israel and its relations with its neighbours. The title of the book is rather puzzling, but the author gave an explanation for this when the book was released recently at JNU: He starts writing at 3:30 a.m. when ideas and words, floating in the supersensible Platonic world, come to him on their own.
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WTO'S role crucial for Sri Lanka - Industry and Commerce Minister
Published Date: 23/12/2017 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says the role of rules based multilateral trading system led by World Trade Organization (WTO) has become more crucial in paving a level playing field for its members, in particular for small economies such as Sri Lanka. Minister in a message to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference held from 10th to 13th December in Buenos Aires, Argentina said slow growth in trade, challenges from the digital
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