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Sri Lanka's housing programme for North, East caught in row
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Objection to the manner in which the project was sought to be executed. The Sri Lanka government’s ambitious project of building 65,000 houses in the civil war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces in five years is embroiled in controversy, much before it can gather momentum. A few days ago, when the country’s Parliament in Colombo witnessed a debate on the project, the Northern Provincial Council in Jaffna too discussed the Central government’s initiative and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran reiterated his reservations.
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TNA to Take up Sampur Power Plant Environmental issues with India
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Tmil National Alliance (TNA) chief R.Sampanthan has said that he will discuss with the Indian High Commission the “substantial” environmental problems that will be created if India sets up a 500 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur in Eastern Sri Lanka. “The people of the area have been telling me about the substantial pollution and environmental damage which will be caused and have accused me of not taking any action on it.
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Jayalalithaa demands immediate action by the Centre in dealing with fishermen issue
Published Date: 25/03/2016 (Friday)
Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa criticized the Central government for not acting "effectively" on the issue of apprehending of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka authorities. Stating that three fishermen and their mechanized fishing boat were apprehended by Sri Lankan navy on March 23, she said "a decisive shift in the manner of dealing with this sensitive issue is long awaited and is the need of the hour".
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No discussions with India over building sea-bridge: Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe
Published Date: 23/03/2016 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said Sri Lanka and India have not held any talks on building a sea-bridge and tunnel connecting two countries. Wickremesinghe was responding to a question by the opposition parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila in parliament. Gammanpila said the Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced in Indian parliament (Lok Sabha) a plan to construct the bridge.
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25 Years - Too long to Anguish!
Published Date: 08/03/2016 (Tuesday)
Having my entire clan being displaced from my ancestral home Palaly since 1990, and having heard the displacement woes of my people from my mother down to my young nephews and nieces, and having worked for Tamil refugees as well as other international refugees in my early professional life; and as a volunteer activist in the UK up to now for the welfare of refugees and the displaced, I think I have earned my feather to comment on Chief Minister of Northern Province Mr.C.V.Vigneswaran’s attempt to highlight the plight of refugees and the displaced, some of whom anguishing for good 25 years or more in refugee or displaced camps and shacks denied of decent living.
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India & Sri Lanka to hold meeting on fishermen issue in May
Published Date: 03/03/2016 (Thursday)
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she held consultations with the top Sri Lankan leadership to resolve the issue of fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Intervening during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said a meeting of ministers dealing with fisheries of both countries is being convened in May to evolve a mechanism to resolve the lingering issue. "The government will enforce installation of GPS on fishing boats to steer it clear of maritime boundaries of Gujarat," she added.
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Government to setup special presidential task force on reconciliation
Published Date: 05/02/2016 (Friday)
The Cabinet approved the setting up of a Special Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation as per a cabinet paper presented by President Maithripala Sirisena, Cabinet Spokesman and Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing the Cabinet press briefing, the Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said the President has decided to appoint a special Task Force to cater to the need to build a united and integrated nation, while healing the wounds of mistrust and social and cultural stress generated from extended conflicts and violence between different communities in Sri Lanka.
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Lanka’s rich beggars
Published Date: 26/12/2015 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka is reported to be the only country in the South Asian region where the beggar population is rich possessing bank accounts. A recent survey conducted by an independent organization on the directives of a state-owned entity on the beggar population has revealed that at least sixty percent possess savings accounts in state and private banks. According to the survey, beggars are categorized into several segments; street beggars, passenger transport beggars, differently abled beggars and music beggars.
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Enforced Disappearances: UN experts on official visit to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/11/2015 (Thursday)
The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances* will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 9 to 18 November 2015, at the invitation of the Government. During the mission, the UN experts will study the measures adopted by the State to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances. They will also gather information on cases of enforced disappearances, including those pending before the Working Group.
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Sabiya Mahal: Commemmorating 25 years of the Northern Muslim eviction
Published Date: 05/11/2015 (Thursday)
I am worried and mad at my Mum. Why is she doing this? Is she insane or greedy? She says it is foolish to keep something that will be soon taken over by “them”. I cried “Mum, it is our home. We have to keep it for our kids. Maybe they will not live there but this is the only connection we have got. After all, Mannar is our home town”.
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British resident in Guantanamo Bay was released.
Published Date: 30/10/2015 (Friday)
The last British resident held at Guantánamo Bay, 46-year old Saudi national Shaker Aamer Mr Aamer, who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK and a British family, has been held in Guantánamo Bay since February 2002 where he has never faced charges or trial, and was first cleared for release in 2007. Several human rights organisations tirelessly campaigned for the release of Shaker Aamer and others who were held illegally.
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Tamils Detainees Held Under PTA may be given Bail
Published Date: 28/10/2015 (Wednesday)
Reports coming from government sources indicate that the current government is ready to allow Tamils held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) without charges to be released on bail. But those who had been convicted could be released only by the President of the country. However, the Commissioner of Prisons, Rohana Pushpakumara has said that there is no one in detention now without a charge. Forty eight have been convicted and are serving a sentence, 116 have cases against them in High Courts and 62 in Magistrates ‘courts.
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Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe claims Sri Lanka's 'white-flag' massacre was botched Rajapaksa deal
Published Date: 23/10/2015 (Friday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the assembly that Rajapaksa had wanted to save the LTTE's peace secretariat chief S. Puleedevan for engineering his election victory in 2005 by organising a Tamil boycott of the vote and thus blocking votes for the UNP candidate. It was said in the parliament that the controversial "white flag killings" were actually due to a botched surrender arranged by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to save some of the senior Tiger leaders who had helped him to come to power. Wickremesinghe also made a startling allegation that the August 2005 assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was also linked to Rajapaksa's plan to come to power.
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Sabiya Mahal (from an IDP’s diary – 22nd August 2003)
Published Date: 22/10/2015 (Thursday)
I am worried and mad at my Mum. Why is she doing this? Is she insane or greedy? But she says it is foolish to keep something that will be soon taken over by “them”. I cried “Mum it is our home, we have got to keep it for our kids, may be they will not live there but this is the only connection we have got. After all Mannar is our hometown". My mother sounded very determined in her stand; she continued justifying her decision “Look you think it is going be your home again? People say that they have even changed the name of our street, they now call it Murugan Street, what a day dreamer you are and I don’t even want to imagine my grandchildren stepping in there” and she added “I have decided to do away with this house before the war starts again”.
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Sri Lanka troops committed war crimes: Rajapaksa's panel
Published Date: 20/10/2015 (Tuesday)
The war crimes investigation set up by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has made startling revelations that senior military commanders should be hauled up for criminal prosecutions. The Maxell Paranagama commission appointed in 2013 in what many at the time feared was an attempt to white wash the security forces has surprisingly produced a shockingly frank report amounting to an indictment of the former regime.
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Gary Anandasangaree wins Scarborough-Rouge Park for Liberals in landslide victory
Published Date: 20/10/2015 (Tuesday)
Gary Anandasangaree has won the new riding of Scarborough-Rouge Park for the Liberal party, beating the Conservatives after the party dropped candidate Jerry Bance late in the campaign. Anandasangaree surged ahead of the other candidates with an overwhelming majority of the vote. Conservative Leslyn Lewis came in a distant second, followed by NDP candidate Rev. Kantharatnam Shanthikumar.
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The challenge of doing what is right in Sri Lanka After UN resolution, church leaders must insist on justice to promote reconciliation
Published Date: 16/10/2015 (Friday)
After four contentious resolutions on Sri Lanka, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Oct. 1 adopted a "consensus resolution" for foreign judges and prosecutors to help Sri Lanka try those accused of serious crimes during the decades-long civil war. This resolution came as a response to a report by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which the previous Sri Lankan government had aggressively opposed — going to the extent of threatening, intimidating and arresting Sri Lankans who supported it, including my own detention.
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Deputy Chief of Police of Halton Regional Police Service, Canada.
Published Date: 11/10/2015 (Sunday)
Tamil People living in Canada is proud to announce that a Sri Lankan citizen who was working in the Canadian police service has been appointed as the Deputy Inspector General of police. Nishanthan Thuraiappa who joined the Canadian police force as a police constable in the Harlton area has been gradually promoted to the rank of the Deputy Inspector General due to his outstanding performance. The Harlton police department announced this last weekend.
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CID Arrests Pillayan In Connection With Pararajasingham Assassination
Published Date: 11/10/2015 (Sunday)
Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and LTTE member alias Pillayan has been arrested by the CID for the alleged killing of Joseph Pararajasingham, a former TNA MP. He was shot dead at St. Mary's cathedral church in Batticaloa, while attending Christmas prayers early morning on 25 December 2005. S. Chandrakanthan arrived at the CID to provide a statement on the murder of Former Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham in 2005. He is also part of of Karuna Amman led Tamil Makkal Viduthal Pulihal (TMVP), at the time Pararajasingam was killied..
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Seventy Three Sri Lankan refugees return home
Published Date: 09/10/2015 (Friday)
Nine-year-old Arunraj and his younger sister Rakshana are excited about their journey on Thursday. For the first time in their lives, they would be travelling by an airplane and both want to have a window seat. The children, born to a Sri Lankan refugee couple in a special camp at Adiyanuthu in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, are among the 73 who left the special camps for Sri Lanka with the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday, to start a new life on the island.
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1,500 Tamil youths to be recruited as PCs
Published Date: 08/10/2015 (Thursday)
According to Sri Lankan Police Department, it has decided to recruit 1,500 Tamil youths of the North as Police Constables. The necessary initiatives have already been drawn up. It has been decided to recruit 1500 Tamil youths as Constables with the intention of imparting an efficient Police Service to the Northern civilians. There is a dearth of Police Officers who are fluent in Tamil. As such it has been decided to undertake these recruitments.
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Forgetting the whole for a part
Published Date: 08/10/2015 (Thursday)
In analysing any phenomena, whether it is a thing, event or a process philosophers usually consider three categories the Universal, the General and the particular. In other words they do not consider any phenomenon in isolation. They look at all its connections and inter-connections, thus observing both the external and internal factors that affect it. Unfortunately this does not seem to be practice in Sri Lanka, especially in analysing political and social phenomena. Take for example the wide discourse that is unfolding on the issue of the Resolution passed last week by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka.
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US to provide additional funding for demining in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 08/10/2015 (Thursday)
The US announced an additional USD 1.745 million for demining activities in Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated former war zone today. The additional fund was announced after a meeting between the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, and minister of rehabilitation, resettlement and Hindu religious affairs D M Swaminathan.
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Rape Victims finally gets justice
Published Date: 07/10/2015 (Wednesday)
The Jaffna High Court sentenced four soldiers who were charged with raping of a 27-year-old mother of two and sexually abusing a 37-year-old mother of five in the Vishvamadu area in Mullaitivu on the 6th of June 2010 with 20 years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI). High Court Judge M Ilanchelian ordered the convicted soldiers to pay compensation of Rs. 500,000 and fine of Rs. 25,000 for the gang raped victim. In the case of failure to pay the compensation they will serve two more years of RI. Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional year of imprisonment.
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CID arrests former Minister Janaka Bandara
Published Date: 06/10/2015 (Tuesday)
Former Minister and current Matale District United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Janaka Bandara Tennakoon has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with a murder committed in 1999. Issuing a media release, Police Headquarters stated the MP was taken into custody as part of an investigation into an incident that occurred on December 14, 1999 in Dambulgamuwa, Matale, where one person was shot and killed and another injured.
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