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Care needed to foolproof devolution
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Since breaking the yoke of colonialism, Sri Lanka has shown an undue interest in ‘playing around’ with constitutions. With the exception of the 16 May 1972 constitution that officially proclaimed independence as a republic, such manoeuvres have been motivated by cynical political objectives portrayed as burning national need. It is widely agreed that the objective of the much despised 1978 edition was to help the personal need of J. R. Jayewardene to entrench himself as an autocratic executive president, making up for lost time in gaining
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‘War crimes charges made against troops unfairly’
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekara yesterday said that attempts were being made to hold officers and men of fighting formations deployed on the Vanni front accountable for alleged war crimes committed during the eelam war IV. Maj. Gen. Karunasekara said so when he was asked on Sirasa ‘Pathikada’ to explain measures taken by the SLA to address alleged accountability issues.
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Kiriella informs Mahanayake of unprecedented support for new constitution from Tamil parties
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella told the Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter on Saturday that Tamil political parties in an unprecedented manner extended support for the proposed Constitution. Minister Kiriella said so presenting a copy of the Interim Report to the prelate.
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Adding insult to a very deep constitutional injury
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Sneaky strategies adopted by the Government to smuggle hasty amendments to the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act at the committee stage so as to transform that Amendment into an entirely strange creature altogether must be condemned, strongly and categorically.
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Govt. may lose referendum on new Constitution
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Possibility of a drastically-altered final report Strategists count ethno-religious factors in referendum-voting estimates Overwhelming support of minorities might augment shortfall in Sinhala-Buddhist votes Making political calculations on the basis of 2015 could prove dangerously-wrong in 2017 and years to follow
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Controversy over constitutional reforms and gains that need to be protected
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
The government has proposed that the report of the steering committee on constitutional reform will be debated in parliament at the end of the month. A member of the Steering Committee spearheading the constitutional reform project, Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne said that the Constitutional assembly would take up proposals over a three-day period beginning October 30. Finalisation of the process would depend on the outcome of the three day talks, Dr. Wickramaratne said, explaining measures proposed to further strengthen the
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Share powers with ethnic communities It’s the only way to solve this problem
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
Member of Parliament and Constitutional Lawyer Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne says that some people think this country must belong to Sinhalese or rather the Sinhala-Buddhists only. Separatism brews in such countries. "In all such countries, mechanisms were developed to share powers with ethnic communities. That is the only way to solve this problem".
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Northern Ireland police cover up RUC report by ‘racist’ officer PSNI criticised over refusal to release report on policing reform during the Troubles
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
By: Phil Miller The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has refused to release a report on policing reform during the Troubles which was written by a British intelligence officer who held racist views. John Morton wrote an “ambitious” report recommending an increase in the size of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) special branch in 1973 as paramilitary violence was reaching a height.
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A shepherd of the oppressed, the poor and the people on the run Bishop Rt.Rev.D.J.Ambalavanar
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
D.J. Ambalavanar, the second Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (American Ceylon Mission), whose twentieth death anniversary falls on October 10, rose to great heights of spirituality and intellectual stature to become a humble servant of God and a man for others.
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New Constitution and some confusions…
Published Date: 08/10/2017 (Sunday)
Almost all politicians are more or less focused on the Constitutional reforms, with the focus slowly shifting towards the upcoming budget proposals that are to be presented to Parliament next month. The Constitutional reforms form a key step in Sri Lankan politics and have the potential to solve the longstanding ethnic problem which had plagued the country for over 30 years. Even the process is underway and the Steering Committee had released its interim report, there are voices that oppose this move. Nevertheless, the Tamil political leaders, at
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Political feasibility of a referendum for the constitution
Published Date: 08/10/2017 (Sunday)
The interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now on the table and there seems to be a stand off developing between the UNP and the pro-Sirisena SLFP over its contents. President Sirisena is being furiously assailed in pro-UNP websites like Lanka e News. Simultaneously we see the noose tightening around the UNP in relation to the bond scam. This is not to suggest that anybody is stage managing the events taking place in the Bond Commission – such a thing is not possible but it can be seen that the Bond
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Democracy forever
Published Date: 07/10/2017 (Saturday)
Foremost among the key objectives of the present Constitution making process is the abolition of the Executive Presidency, it was the demand of everybody. Many explained the corruption and fascistic terror as a result of Executive Presidency. Finding a durable political solution as an answer to the long-standing Tamil question was rejected by the Sinhala racists, but almost all agreed that Executive Presidency is very dangerous as it may result in a dictatorship.
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Police use tear gas at protest near Indian Consulate in H’tota
Published Date: 06/10/2017 (Friday)
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters opposite the Indian Consulate Office in Hambantota. The protest was organized by members of the ‘Joint Opposition’ including MP Namal Rajapaksa, against the agreement to handover operations of the Hambantota port and Mattala airport to two foreign companies.
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JO warned: stop dilly-dallying, quit constitutional making
Published Date: 06/10/2017 (Friday)
Breakaway JVP faction, the National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday reiterated its call for the Joint Opposition (JO) to quit the UNP-led constitutional making process immediately or face the consequences. NFF spokesperson Mohammed Muzammil yesterday told The Island that a desperate government was taking advantage of the JO’s continuing involvement in the Geneva-led process meant to introduce a new Constitution.
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Show me a leader who has not supported federalism
Published Date: 06/10/2017 (Friday)
First govt. to suggest removal of ‘unitary state’ was one led by CBK UNP, LTTE agreed to explore solution to ethnic problem within framework of federalism Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara says 13A, which brought in federal structure, should be revoked Almost all political parties in the country or the leaders of them had at least once in their history been supportive of the federal system The proposals for Constitutional reforms prepared by that government in 1995 and popularly called ‘package’ described Sri Lanka as “a union of regions.”
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UN expert on transitional justice to review progress in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 06/10/2017 (Friday)
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff, will carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka from 10 to 23 October 2017, to examine the progress made in redressing the legacies of massive past violations and abuses, including those that resulted from a conflict that spanned more than 25 years. In 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka committed itself to designing and implementing a comprehensive transitional justice strategy.
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TNA takes up NE re-merger with UK ...promises ‘constitutional protection’ to prevent separation
Published Date: 06/10/2017 (Friday)
TNA leader R. Sampanthan has called for re-merger of the Eastern and Northern Provinces during talks with visiting UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field at Westminster House in Colombo. Supreme Court de-merged the Eastern Province from the North in Oct 2006. The two provinces were linked in accordance with the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987 pending a referendum that was never held.
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OPINION: Sri Lanka's attempt to revive Enforced Disappearances Bill
Published Date: 05/10/2017 (Thursday)
The enthusiasm shown by Sri Lankan government to get this controversial bill passed should be a matter of grave concern. How is it that the government is so interested in pushing this legislation when they show scant interest in everything else? Sri Lanka had planned to take up the ‘Bill to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance’ for debate in Parliament in July
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One of the largest engineering players in aid to Asia was hit with World Bank sanctions. What happens now?
Published Date: 05/10/2017 (Thursday)
Australian-based SMEC, one of the world’s largest engineering services for aid and development projects, and four of its subsidiaries have been debarred by the World Bank for 108 months collectively for bribery and misrepresentation in its South Asia projects. The announcement was made last Thursday, with the World Bank revealing that the five SMEC subsidiaries made inappropriate payments in relation to World Bank-financed projects
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Hindu Jagran Manch and Vishwa Hindu Parishad stage protest
Published Date: 05/10/2017 (Thursday)
Members of Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have submitted a memorandum to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar on Tuesday. They have demanded that military assistance should be extended to Government of Myanmar to stop attempted annihilation of Hindus in Rakhain, Myanmar. The Hindus in Rakhain have been living there for over 100 years and never
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Officials Ordered To Distribute Saudi Built Homes
Published Date: 05/10/2017 (Thursday)
President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the relevant officials to distribute tsunami houses constructed in Akkaraipattu by the Saudi Arabian government. The President had last week met officials of the Attorney General’s Department and others and instructed them to secure the release of the houses to be distributed in January to Muslim families. He had also said that he will seek the assistance of the Saudi government to renovate the houses if required.
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Sri Lanka opposition party to protest airport deal to Indian company
Published Date: 04/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka's main opposition party, mostly comprising loyalists of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, said today it will stage a protest against the proposed lease of an airport to an Indian company. The Joint Opposition, a political alliance formed by a right-wing faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and several left-wing parties, said they will protest on Friday against the proposed 40-year lease to an Indian company of the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa
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Govt. strengthened parliamentary democracy -PM
Published Date: 04/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the present government has strengthened the parliamentary democracy through the enactment of several Acts. Addressing the house, the Prime Minister said the enactment of the 19th Constitutional Amendment paved the way for the establishment independent commissions. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the incumbent government established a number of
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Sampanthan Tells Professor G.L. Peiris That Misleading Sinhalese People On The Constitution Is A ‘Sin’
Published Date: 04/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan has told former External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris that misleading the Sinhalese people on the matter of the new Constitution was a ‘sin’. Tweeting about the incident Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said, ‘Sambandan told Prof G L Pieris misleading innocent Sinhalese people on #SriLanka constitution is a sin. Rauf, Rishard and I witnessed.’
Read more...    
SL has preserved democracy- Sampanthan 70th Anniversary of Parliament:
Published Date: 04/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday said in Parliament that Sri Lanka had in the 70 years preserved democratic governance through electoral processes though not completely without blemish. "The truth must be acknowledged that electoral process alone cannot ensure democratic governance," he said.
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