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Highlight people's fundamental and social rights in new constitution: JVP
Published Date: 01/11/2017 (Wednesday)
JVP MP Vijitha Herath said today clauses to uphold the fundamental and social rights of the people should be included in the new Constitution before talking about issues of power devolution, federalism and giving more powers to provincial councils. He said this during the Constitutional Assembly debate on the new Constitution and pointed out that the people's social rights including the right to education, health, drinking water and housing
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Ploys by the Opposition to scuttle Govt. moves for new Constitution
Published Date: 01/11/2017 (Wednesday)
Several people have come forward to defend National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa who threatened to bomb the Parliament if a new Constitution was adopted on the basis of the interim report submitted by the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee and tabled in Parliament on September 21 by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Keheliya Rambukwella a former media minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and joint opposition front-liner in the Central Province, Dilum Amunugama had echoed what Weerawansa
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Constitutional Reforms Debate Day Two Don’t miss the ‘Last Bus’ to lasting solution
Published Date: 01/11/2017 (Wednesday)
Government leaders yesterday warned the country that this was the 'last chance' the country had to bring about a lasting solution to the ethnic or national problem by bringing in a new Constitution. "For the first time, the biggest representation of Tamil people, the TNA, has actively participated in the process of constitutional reforms and this chance will never ever come to us. Already, it took decades to reach this juncture," said the majority of the Cabinet Ministers and other ranks
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No need to abolish the Presidential system?
Published Date: 31/10/2017 (Tuesday)
To argue against the prevailing popular ‘fashion’ is no easy task, but do hope I would be listened to for the simple reason that, sometimes, the solution could be more of a problem than the original problem itself. Though the majority of the ordinary citizens are concerned about mundane issues like the cost of living as pointed out in a number of recent Island editorials, the majority of intellectuals clamour for the abolition of the executive presidency and are ready to jump to the illogical conclusion that all our current ills are due to the delay in achieving this task.
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Day 1: One-third of Constitutional Assembly missing
Published Date: 31/10/2017 (Tuesday)
At least 75 members of the Constitutional Assembly (CA) tasked with formulating a draft Constitution were absent during the first session on Monday. The CA is having a three-day debate on the interim report presented by its Steering Committee. Parliament meets as the Constitutional Assembly on all three days. Sources said the attendance had been extremely low in spite of the best efforts made by political party leaderships to ensure their members’ participation.
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How China’s rivalry with India is rippling across South Asia
Published Date: 31/10/2017 (Tuesday)
By seeking to establish their dominance over South Asia, India and China are constraining the economic prospects of smaller neighbours. Their contest for the upper hand is also exacting a human toll on Muslim minorities in Myanmar and Hindus in Sri Lanka. More than 600,000 ethnic Rohingya have poured into Bangladesh since August. Beijing and New Delhi dismiss their persecution as part of Myanmar’s internal affairs, given that both wish to be in the good books of the strategically important, resource-rich nation.
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India grants USD 585,000 aid to Sri Lanka university
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
India has recently furnished the Killinochchi campus of University of Jaffna – an institution located in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated north, with equipment and vehicles worth USD 585,000 (SLR 90 million). These items are presented to the university’s Agriculture and Engineering departments as part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka in the higher education sector.
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China Urges Closer Cooperation With Sri Lanka on Key Projects
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
China and Sri Lanka should focus on strengthening cooperation over key investment projects, Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday told his visiting counterpart from Sri Lanka, amid strong local opposition to some major Chinese-invested schemes. In July, Sri Lanka signed a long-delayed $1.1 billion deal to lease its southern Hambantota port to China, ignoring an appeal by opposition parties to debate the pact in parliament.
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Making and unmaking constitutions: National obsession and ad hominem compulsions
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
The unfolding constitutional crisis in Spain is bad timing for constitutional reform in Sri Lanka. The opponents of reform, who are also defenders of the current (1978) Sri Lankan constitution, will soon seize on the Spanish government’s clamp down on Catalan’s claim to independence - to insist on a full stop to the constitutional reform project in Sri Lanka. The constitutional reformers, on the other hand, could justifiably argue that their draft proposals will have even stronger safeguards against separatist threats than does Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, or even anything in our present constitution. But that will go nowhere
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A Constitutional Draft Of The Mahasangha?
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
A common rule well observed in Sri Lanka’s political grammar is: Horrendous mistakes and lies made or uttered by opponents in the past is open licence for those in power to repeat them. That constant refrain we hear from politicians now in or out of power: ‘What did you say and do in your time?’ is a good example.
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Tamil Diaspora behind Constitutional reforms - Hemakumara Nanayakkara
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
Governor of the Southern Province and Leader of the Mawbima Janatha Pakshaya, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, who severely criticizes the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Steering Committee for Constitutional Amendments, states that it may lead to separatism and may harm the sovereignty and the integrity of the country. He alleged that the true patriots of the Steering Committee are not properly consulted and given importance to, but those who are sponsored by the 'separatist Tamil Diaspora' and the International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) are attempting to manipulate the Constitution-making process to form
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Draft Constitution ready, debate on interim report irrelevant – Joint Opposition MPs struggle to explain MR’s absence
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday alleged that a draft Constitution with federal features severely inimical to Sri Lanka had been prepared though the government pretended it was still consulting other stakeholders. JO Gampaha District MP attorney-at-law Sirira Jayakody asserted that a three-day debate on the interim report of the Steering Committee tasked with formulating constitutional proposals, scheduled to begin on Monday (Oct. 30), was irrelevant as the draft Constitution was now ready.
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FROM NEW JERSEY TO PANDATHERIPPU-DR.JOHN SCUDDER AND THE FIRST WESTERN MEDICAL CENTRE IN SOUTH ASIA
Published Date: 30/10/2017 (Monday)
On October 18th a public function was held by the Church of the American Ceylon Mission in the village of Pandatherippu in Northern Sri Lanka. This was the final event of several held over the past year to celebrate and commemorate the arrival of the first American missionaries to Jaffna in October 1816. During this function which was attended by public officials, members of the medical profession and church members, a postage stamp and first day cover honoring Dr.John Scudder was officially released by the Sri Lankan Postal department.
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SLFP faces decisive moment, crucial make-or-break meeting on Friday
Published Date: 29/10/2017 (Sunday)
• Premajayantha makes last-bid effort for reconciliation; more dissidents may be fired, but Rajapaksas also remain tough • After all-party meeting, minister says pitch now ready for local polls in January; date by Elections Chief, not necessarily a Saturday One more desperate, last minute bid to re-unite the feuding factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) — those backing President Maithripala Sirisena and others, his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa — has got under way amidst serious doubts whether it would materialise.
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LTTE suspects ‘fast unto death’ to avoid courts: Prison report
Published Date: 29/10/2017 (Sunday)
A Superintendent of Anuradhapura Prison has submitted a report to the Anuradhapura High Court (HC) claiming, the fast unto death by three LTTE suspects accused of killing 26 Army and Navy personnel in their custody, was done to avoid courts. In his report, the Superintendent claims, “The three accused are in the habit of refusing food the day before they are due to be produced in court. The day after they are produced in court, the accused resume taking food as usual,” he has further alleged.
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DFAT demonstrates priorities with new 'Business Partnerships Platform' funding
Published Date: 29/10/2017 (Sunday)
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has awarded funding to the second round of projects under its Business Partnerships Platform, which aims to accelerate Australia’s collaboration with business. The greenlighted projects highlight the increasing importance of private sector engagement, innovation, and gender for the Australian aid program. One project in particular demonstrates these values — a partnership between Sri Lanka-based
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Prime Minister notes importance of having TNA backing
Published Date: 28/10/2017 (Saturday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today noted the importance of having the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to take the country forward. He said for the first time the TNA is considering proposals put forward by the two main political parties in the country. The Prime Minister also said that no one has submitted proposals which seek to divide the country.
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Mental health; the stigma that exists in the Tamil community
Published Date: 28/10/2017 (Saturday)
According to official reports, one in four people in the world have – or will, at some point in their lives – suffered from mental health problems. Yet, the same statistics tell us that only one-third of those affected ever seek medical treatment. While this is indeed sad news, it is, however, in no way surprising, considering the stigma attached to mental health issues. Especially in the South Asian room, mental health comes with its own cycle of shame. In
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The Fruits of Difficult InterFaith Conversations - The Fruit of Difficult InterFaith Conversations - 100 Exiled Sikhs can return to their homeland in Punjab.
Published Date: 28/10/2017 (Saturday)
"Genuine InterFaith Dialogue is not only vital to community cohesion but it may be THE critical area which will deliver or deny a peaceful 21st Century. It is the hardest space to work in but for those with motives based upon true seva and the courage to recognise that they may not have all the answers, the rewards can be pivotal as this news shows." Satish K Sharma, General Secretary, NCHT(UK)
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South Korean Navy training task group here
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
South Korea had taken steps to develop naval cooperation with Sri Lanka, Commander, Cruise Training Task Group Rear Admiral LH Yang, Yong-mo of South Korean Naval Ship Kang Gam Chan (DDH-979) that has docked at Colombo Port on a friendly visit, said yesterday. The 2017 ROKN Cruise Training Task Group, includes two Korean Navy vessels -Kang
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Sri Lankan Women Say #MeToo
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
The campaign was kicked off by actress Alyssa Milano following sexual abuse allegations raised against movie executive Harvey Weinstein. More than 40 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harrasment, abuse or rape. In Sri Lanka, actresses, journalists, mothers and young girls posted notes on their Facebook supporting the #MeToo campaign, with some saying they had also faced abuse.
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JO confirms participation but won’t endorse proposals Three-day debate on constitutional reforms
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday reiterated its commitment to taking part in next week’s three-day parliamentary debate on the interim report of the Steering Committee spearheading the new constitution making process, in spite of its disagreement with major recommendations. JO constituent, the National Freedom Front (NFF) comprising five MPs and several
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Mitra shakti: Taking lessons from military exercise, India to focus more on modern communication, weapon tech
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
With special emphasis on increasing the use of modern communication, reconnaissance and weapon technologies, the joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka concluded in Pune on Thursday. The 14-day exercise, Mitra Shakti, had focussed on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. On the last day of the exercise, a joint operations team of both armies conducted a mock drill
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Smart IDs from today
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
The smart identification card (Smart ID) was launched to the public today by the Department of Registration of Persons (DRP), Department Commissioner General Viyani Gunathilaka said. To symbolize the Inauguration of the Smart ID, the first printed Smart ID was handed over to Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Minister S. B. Nawinne and fifteen other applicants who applied today at the ceremony
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EC briefs political parties in view of LG Polls
Published Date: 27/10/2017 (Friday)
Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday briefed representatives of the political parties about electioneering under the new system in view of the upcoming local government elections, it is learnt. The meeting took place yesterday evening in his office. He briefed them about the procedure set out regarding vote canvassing, the handing over of nomination papers, vote counting at polling stations and the presence of political party representatives.
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