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Constitutional reforms stagnating like garbage
Published Date: 19/06/2017 (Monday)
It is a typical incongruity of these times that constitutional reforms promising protection of civil liberties are discussed in tight-lipped seriousness in Colombo even while the police seem unable to arrest the hate mongering leader of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galaboda Gnanasara despite two arrest warrants being issued by the courts.
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SRI LANKA: Final Report on the ‘Policy and Legal Framework Relating to the Proposed Counter Terrorism Act of Sri Lanka’
Published Date: 19/06/2017 (Monday)
The Foundation for Human Rights (‘FHR’) and the University of Pretoria’s Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (‘ICLA’) have collaborated to produce this joint paper. The authors of the joint paper are Prof Christof Heyns, Director of ICLA and former UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and Toby Fisher, a London based human rights barrister. The review represents the authors’ independent opinion.
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SRI LANKA: In support of religious minorities, rule of law and Lakshan Dias
Published Date: 19/06/2017 (Monday)
Religious minorities in Sri Lanka – particularly Muslims and Evangelical Christians – faced serious persecution under the Rajapakse Government, which has continued even under the Sirisena-Ranil Government. The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo, who has been hostile towards Evangelical Christians (a numerical minority amongst Christians), now appears to be assisting this Government’s approach of denying the actual problem and attacking those who are attempting to highlight the gravity of the problem
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Minister pitches for ArcelorMittal’s steel prefab houses
Published Date: 19/06/2017 (Monday)
The Resettlement Ministry this week summoned District and Divisional Secretaries and Directors of Planning of the North and East, for a Progress Review meeting in Colombo–and used the event to promote the controversial ArcelorMittal prefabricated (prefab) housing project.
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Sri Lanka to release 42 Indian fishing boats on condition
Published Date: 16/06/2017 (Friday)
Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said in a statement on Thursday that the Indian government has been informed about this decision. Sri Lanka on Friday said it will release 42 Indian fishing boats held in its custody since 2015 on a condition that they will never re-enter the country’s territorial waters. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said in a statement on Thursday that the Indian government has been
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Sri Lanka debates its antiquated Muslim family laws
Published Date: 16/06/2017 (Friday)
TO AVOID being married at 17 to a stranger, the Muslim schoolgirl from Sri Lanka’s north-west tried to commit suicide by swallowing a bottle of her mother’s diabetes pills. While she was recovering in hospital, her parents went ahead and registered the marriage. The union took place under the version of Sri Lanka’s family law that applies only to Muslims.
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Under new Constitution: 'Caste based reservations sought in Jaffna'
Published Date: 16/06/2017 (Friday)
Caste based reservations in governing bodies and educational institutions have been sought by some political parties, organizations and individuals in Jaffna in their submissions to the Pubic Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms, officials said yesterday. Committee Chairman Lal Wijenayake told the Daily Mirror that the north was the sole area
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New Constitution A path to heaven or hell
Published Date: 16/06/2017 (Friday)
The latest wave of interest in the welfare of Tamil citizens in Sri Lanka is definitely the unavoidable result of the desperation of the fanatically extremist elements of the Tamil Diaspora who are after their pound of flesh. It is a case of nothing to lose and everything to gain for the diehard extremist elements to have a separate state carved out of Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran was the cat's paw for 30 odd years without ever knowing that he was dispensable and now that he is no more
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Enhancing employability of our graduates
Published Date: 15/06/2017 (Thursday)
A large number of students graduate every year from our 15 state universities and many other degree-awarding institutes in Sri Lanka and, therefore, the employability of graduates has become a critical issue. In the year 2015 alone the state university system produced nearly 35,000 graduates (internal degrees – 17,000, external degrees - 13,000 and Open University degrees - 5000 approximately), and the majority of them (67%) were females.
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This is not good governance
Published Date: 15/06/2017 (Thursday)
Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga was caught in camera scolding and apparently attempting to assault a journalist at his party office in Kandana last week. Although Sri Lankans are used to seeing this kind of behaviour by politicians and high ranking officials, as if they had the right to behave in such a manner, this particular incident has not created an uproar in society.
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TNA constituent parties demand dismissal of four NPC Ministers
Published Date: 14/06/2017 (Wednesday)
Parties in the Tamil National Alliance including EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE have demanded the dismissal of four Ministers in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) who were charged with mass scale corruption. A special committee appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran has recommended to remove Agriculture Minister Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan and Education Minister Thambyrajah Gurukularajah
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SL Govt. should return to good governance: ICG
Published Date: 14/06/2017 (Wednesday)
The Sri Lankan government needs to return to its original good governance and reconciliation agenda to salvage the chance to address fundamental sources of conflict and instability, the International Crisis Group (ICG) today said. The ICG recognizes itself as an independent organisation working to prevent wars and shape policies which would create a more peaceful world.
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Families of missing LTTE cadres meet President in Jaffna Paranagama alleges OMP set up at the expense of useful investigation
Published Date: 13/06/2017 (Tuesday)
A delegation representing those who had fought for the LTTE has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to help trace missing persons. This request was made during a meeting at Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray’s Office in Jaffna on Monday (June 12). The previous government brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa released over 11,000 out of nearly 12,000 LTTE cadres from military custody before the change of government in January 2015.
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SRI LANKA: Dengue Fever Epidemic In Sri Lanka Vs. State Responsibility
Published Date: 12/06/2017 (Monday)
The population of Sri Lanka is 20.97 million (2015) people. Some 1.84 million are migrant workers. The number of Dengue Fever affected individuals in 2015 was 29, 777. In 2016 it was 55, 154. Statistics for the first 5 months of 2017 show affected individuals to be 56,887! And the total number of dengue affected individuals is expected to rise to more than 136, 528. Following the above mentioned statistics, the simple mathematical
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850,000 affected by drought in N/E- DMC
Published Date: 11/06/2017 (Sunday)
While some 600,000 people had been hit by the recent floods and landslides in the South, a total of 849,752 individuals belonging to 243,683 families in eight districts in the north and east had been affected by the severe drought condition across the country, the Disaster Management Centre census revealed yesterday.
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Premier holds discussions with Commonwealth Secretary General in New York
Published Date: 09/06/2017 (Friday)
Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland held discussions with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe today at the United Nations Permanent Representative Office in New York. At the meeting, the Premier and the Commonwealth Secretary General discussed ties between Commonwealth Countries and Sri Lanka and bilateral relationships at a deeper extent.
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A separate State, anyone?
Published Date: 09/06/2017 (Friday)
Just before sitting down to write this morning (June 7, 2017), I received a notification on social media. It was about a panel discussion at the Public Library to be held later in the afternoon. The title was in Sinhala. It read as follows: ‘Let us defeat the Constitution, let us get rid of Ranil.’
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Sri Lanka defends decision to join China’s One Belt One Road project
Published Date: 09/06/2017 (Friday)
Sri Lankan foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday defended his country’s move to join China’s controversial One Belt One Road (Obor) infrastructure initiative, stating that it was a considered decision taken on the basis of its foreign policy, whose motto is “friends with all and enemies with none.”
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Belgian born Sociologist François Houtart passes away
Published Date: 09/06/2017 (Friday)
Belgian Marxist Sociologist Emeritus Professor François Houtart has passed away in Quito, the capital of Ecuador on Tuesday at the age of 92. Rev Fr Houtart's demise occurred while he was taking part in a conference on Eezham Tamils with German-based Viraj Mendis at Quito. Fr Houtart was one of the first world intellectuals to recognise the genocide on Eezham Tamils after the 2009 onslaught on Wanni. He chaired the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka, which was held in Dublin in 2010. The investigation process was finally concluded in December 2013 at Bremen in Germany with the findings that Eezham Tamils have been subjected to Genocide.
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UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by SL debated in Parliament
Published Date: 08/06/2017 (Thursday)
The resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Commission was taken up for debate on 6th June Parliament session. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the resolution was co-sponsored for the betterment of the country and its future.
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JO complains to EU of delayed local polls
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
The Joint Opposition has complained to the European Union of the government’s failure to hold local government elections. The complaint had been made when a delegation of Joint Opposition MPs led by its parliamentary group and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena met EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung-Laï Margue on June 1, UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody told The Island yesterday.The Joint Opposition delegation also comprised MPs
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A Hundred Days Of Protest, Still No Answers
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
On May 30, around 1,000 protesters from across the North-East, converged with families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi to mark 100 days of continuous protest. In the hands of each protester was a photograph of a missing loved one, held close to the chest like a flimsy shield. Beginning the day with a sombre inter-faith prayer service, and a moment of silence for those dead and missing from floods and landslides in the South, protesters blockaded the A9 highways for six hours. Their collective demands, as outlined in letters addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, were simple:
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Eight years after end of war, Tamil refugees divided over returning to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
More than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees continue to live in Tamil Nadu 30 years after the outbreak of civil war caused them to flee across the Palk Strait. Today they live on in the knowledge that their sheltering camps can never be home, while returning means having to rebuild life from the scratch. And for an entire generation, these camps are the only homes they’ve ever known—yet they are called refugees.
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All parties have agreed to include ‘Unitary status’ in constitution
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
All political parties including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have agreed to include the term ‘Unitary Status’ into the new constitution that is being formulated, Highways State Minister Dilan Perera said . He made these observations yesterday at a press conference held at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Head Office in Colombo.
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Supreme Court orders Rs. 1m compensation to Police torture victim
Published Date: 06/06/2017 (Tuesday)
The Supreme Court this week ordered the payment of Rs 1 million in compensation to a man who was tortured by officers of the Bandaragama police station. A Sub Inspector (SI), Constable, Sergeant and security assistant were personally ordered to pay Rs 125,000 each, to Chaminda Sampath Kumara from Walgama, Welimilla Junction. The State was instructed
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