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S Chandrasekhar: the student who took on the world's top astrophysicist Arthur I Miller on the young Indian who eventually proved that a star really could collapse and fall into a black hole
Published Date: 20/10/2017 (Friday)
In the 1930s the rarefied world of science was ripped apart by a controversy that was to have devastating consequences for the development of astrophysics. It began when an Indian student called Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (Chandra) decided to work out what would happen if Einstein's special theory of relativity was applied to the processes that went on inside stars. This step was important because particles inside stars travel at speeds close to
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India takes on China at another battlefront: A Sri Lankan airport
Published Date: 18/10/2017 (Wednesday)
India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate the airport on the southern tip of the island, where China has invested heavily as part of its One Belt One Road (OBOR) project. The Doklam conflict between India and China amply highlighted the fight between the two countries for supremacy in South Asia. India is strongly asserting against China which is trying to build strategic assets in the garb of infrastructure projects all around India. It is the continuation of the old Chinese 'String of Pearls' policy that aims at ring-fencing India. But
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Basil’s predictions and his hallucinations…
Published Date: 18/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Pradesheeya Sabhas became a devolved subject under the Provincial Councils in the Local Government system of Sri Lanka. This mechanism of local government was introduced in 1987 through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.The legislative bodies that preside over the third tier municipalities in the country, they total up to 271 and are collectively responsible for governance of approximately 16,726,000 people. Ranging from 5 to 23 per council, there are 3,624 Councillors in total.
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Sri Lanka Opposition Leader urges government to release all prisoners detained under PTA
Published Date: 18/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader and the Leader of main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan Tuesday urged the Government to release all persons held in custody from the North and East under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) without further delay. Moving an adjournment motion in parliament yesterday, the Opposition Leader said these prisoners are held in custody under the PTA irrespective of whether they have been convicted, charged, or not yet been charged.
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The UN move of reconciliation
Published Date: 18/10/2017 (Wednesday)
In this Article, I attempt to discuss the significant role assumed by the United Nations in the post-war reconciliation process. Acting on the information obtained from various sources, that in the course of the war, specially during the last stage, serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, both by the Security Forces of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, had occurred in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon arrived in Sri Lanka just after the conclusion of the war.
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Government lethargy in protecting our forces
Published Date: 17/10/2017 (Tuesday)
I wrote a couple of weeks back about the splendid work of Lord Naseby on behalf of Sri Lanka, in getting into the open, the reports of the last British Defence Attaché in Sri Lanka. The Foreign Office initially suppressed these, and the appeal procedure there did not work, so Lord Naseby went to the Information Commissioner. Following that intervention he got 26 pages, with many deletions. He also noted that there was nothing from the last two months, so he appealed again, and got 12 more pages.
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US influences Lanka’s foreign policy, undermines China relations
Published Date: 17/10/2017 (Tuesday)
The US recently twice commented on Sri Lanka-China relations, in an extremely negative way. There hadn’t been such highly controversial and critical US statements regarding Sri Lanka-China relations during the war, or after the successful conclusion of the conflict, in May 2009. One statement was made in Washington and the other in Colombo, much to the
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Sirisena gets tough, pro-JO organisers fired, cases against Rajapaksa family expedited
Published Date: 17/10/2017 (Tuesday)
• As parties prepare for local polls, possibly on January 20, President rules out any rapprochement with rival faction • UNP also finalises list for 335 local councils while Basil claims new party confident of winning a majority • Cabinet dispute over expressway project, Ranawaka and other ministers critical of high cost, but Kiriella flares back
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Indian footwear giant gains foothold in SL Local entrepreneurs cry foul
Published Date: 16/10/2017 (Monday)
An Indian footwear company has set up a factory in Sri Lanka much to the consternation of its local counterparts, who feel threatened. Sri Lankan entrepreneurs say that other Indian manufactures may follow suit and fields such as local manufacturing and marketing of dairy products, confectioneries, ready-made garments and a range of consumer goods may be adversely affected.
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‘I didn’t intend to insult the judiciary’: Gnanasara Thera
Published Date: 16/10/2017 (Monday)
Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera said he didn’t intend to insult the judiciary with the remarks made inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court in January 2016. Gnanasara Thera made this remarks as a defense witness regarding the contempt of court case filed against him. “I had no intention to insult the judiciary or any other person in court. The emotional feelings
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Proposed constitutional reforms could lead to Catalonia-style split: MR
Published Date: 16/10/2017 (Monday)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today urged the government to abandon its ‘destructive’ proposal for a new constitution and to bring forward proposals to implement the original constitutional pledges they made. He said that the government has tabled in Parliament, proposals for a new constitution and that however the constitutional reform pledges made by the Yahapalana coalition at the last presidential election was restricted to changing the system of elections and abolishing the
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Sumanthiran files fresh FR against Swaminathan
Published Date: 15/10/2017 (Sunday)
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran has filed a fresh Fundamental Rights petition seeking an Interim Order preventing any steps being taken by Minister D.M. Swaminathan with regard to entering into a contract with a French construction company to construct 65,000 of prefabricated steel houses in the North and Eastern Provinces. At a previous occasion, Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran decided to withdraw his FR petition which had been filed over the same issue amidst respondents’ objections that the Cabinet of
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Old left wants 13th A implemented fully
Published Date: 15/10/2017 (Sunday)
The old guard of the leftist parties of the country has called for the abolition of the Executive Presidency and the devolution of power via the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The United Leftist Front, a breakaway Party formed by former members of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, explained that the full implementation
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President jolts security detail Confronts Jaffna protesters
Published Date: 15/10/2017 (Sunday)
President Maithripala Sirisena took his security detail by surprise after he threw caution to the wind and abruptly alighted from his official vehicle to confront a group of protesters in Jaffna yesterday. The President was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations at the Jaffna Hindu College when the incident took place. According to eyewitnesses the President had calmly walked up to the black flag waving
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Better suspend ‘New Constitution’ and focus on economy
Published Date: 15/10/2017 (Sunday)
The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has produced an Interim Report on six key issues after 73 sessions between April 2016 and September 2017, without basic consensus among the key partners of political party representatives in the Committee. There were six sub-committee reports submitted before, in November and December 2016, and some of them were more controversial than the present report.
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Proceedings on Sri Lanka debate in the Lords Chamber held on 12 October 2017
Published Date: 15/10/2017 (Sunday)
Proceedings on Sri Lanka debate in the Lords Chamber held on 12 October 2017 Question for Short Debate Asked by • Lord Naseby To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the progress made by the coalition government of Sri Lanka in meeting the requirements on reconciliation established by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
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LTTE cadres committed serious crimes will not be released
Published Date: 14/10/2017 (Saturday)
State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena says that imprisoned LTTE cadres who have committed serious crimes will not be released despite staging Harthals. He said that some Northern Politicians are issuing various statements to media to get narrow political gains. The state Minister said this during a function in Delgoda.Minister Ruwan Wijewardena said that
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People affected by Uma Oya project could face landslide threats with onset of rain
Published Date: 14/10/2017 (Saturday)
The Disaster Mangement centre (DMC) and the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) are closely monitoring landslide prone areas in 40 GramaNiladhari divisions in Bandarawela, Divisional Secretary Nihal Gunaratne said. He said they were also monitoring areas where cracks had occurred due to the Uma Oya Multi purpose project.
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Delay LG Elections Amendment gazette – Mano
Published Date: 14/10/2017 (Saturday)
Minister Mano Ganesan has requested the government to refrain from issuing the gazette notification pertaining to the Local Government Elections Amendment Act until the issues surrounding the Ambagamuwa and Nuwara-Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha is addressed. The Minister speaking at a function said more than 200,000 votes existed within the two
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India, Sri Lanka agree to find permanent solution to fishermen issue
Published Date: 14/10/2017 (Saturday)
India and Sri Lanka on Saturday agreed to find a permanent solution to the fishermen issue existing between the two countries. The two sides held ministerial-level talks on the fishermen issue in New Delhi and agreed that a permanent solution to the fishermen issues should be found at the earliest.
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Normalising the Abnormal: The Militarisation of Mullaitivu
Published Date: 14/10/2017 (Saturday)
Two years after the Sri Lankan government co-sponsored UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 30/1 and six months after it renewed its commitments in HRC Resolution 34/1, the Sri Lankan government has continued to fail to fulfil its pledges to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. A key commitment made in the HRC resolutions and a critical component of the conversation around transitional justice is meaningful security sector reform. Despite calls by numerous international bodies and repeated calls by Tamil politicians and communities, the
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India eyes airport in Sri Lanka, near Chinese Belt and Road outpost
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate an airport on the southern tip of the island, where China has invested heavily as part of its Belt and Road initiative, a Sri Lankan minister said. Sri Lanka’s civil aviation minister, Nimal Siripala, said the country had been looking for alternative investors in the Hambantota area, where China has built a seaport and is in
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Harthal in Jaffna
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
Shops in the Northern Province have decided to close their business establishments today (October 13) as a mark of protest demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners. It also aimed at drawing attention of President Maithiripala Sirisena’s visit to Jaffna Jaffna tomorrow. The Harthal was organised by the joint co-operation by a number of Tamil political parties and civil organizations in North.
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Two-faced Rajapaksa sibling
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
There may be no elections for local government institutions or provincial councils this year but that hasn’t deterred the major political parties from getting into elections gear in anticipation of these polls being held early next year. The two partners in the National Unity government, the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) find themselves in an unusual and unprecedented situation. They are allies in the government, but they will be competing for votes with each other at the elections.
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Fear of the words, ‘UNITARY’ and ‘FEDERAL’
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
The (Draft) Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly cites a statement made by President Sirisena during the Resolution to set up the Constitutional Assembly regarding Article 1 and 2 of the present Constitution which states: "… that whilst people in the south are fearful of the word "federal", the people in the north are fearful of the word "unitary". The report then attempts to define the English term "Unitary State" and
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