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Sri Lankan President returns to island after attending G7 summit
Published Date: 30/05/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the Island Sunday after completing a four-day official visit to Japan to attend the G7 outreach summit. Several ministers and other officials welcomed the President on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport. This is the first time Sri Lanka has been invited to a G-7 forum for meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit. Usually, the invitations go out to leaders of fast-developing countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa, or oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia.
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Northrn Provincial Council Unanimously passer solution to Congratulate victory of Jayalalitha
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
The Provincial Council of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province has unanimously passed a resolution congratulating AIADMK leader J.Jayalalithaa for winning the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections convincingly. Denying a news agency’s report that the Council thwarted Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswran’s bid to introduce a resolution congratulating the Tamil Nadu leader, the Council’s chairman, CVK.Sivagnanam told that the resolution was moved by the CM and passed unanimously on May 26, after an issue raised by two members was resolved amicably.
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Sri Lanka panel gives approval for pre-fabricated steel houses
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
The option of building 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for conflict-affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been termed by a panel of experts as a “fair solution”. The panel, drawn from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Peradeniya, studied two model houses in Jaffna before arriving at its conclusion.
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Finding shelter for Sri Lankan victims a challenging task: UN
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
Finding suitable locations for shelter for the flood-hit people in the densely populated Colombo and Gampaha is a “challenging” task, according to a UN agency. In its first “situation report”, which covered events up to May 22, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned that “a sizeable segment of the flood affected population are squatters living in vulnerable areas prone to frequent flooding. Therefore transitional shelter arrangements maybe required until suitable land is identified for relocation.”
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India: Stop Treating Critics as Criminals Government Should Repeal or Amend All Laws Threatening Free Speech
Published Date: 24/05/2016 (Tuesday)
The Indian authorities routinely use vaguely worded, overly broad laws as political tools to silence and harass critics, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The government should repeal or amend laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression. India’s Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression, but recent and colonial-era laws, such as sedition and criminal defamation, not only remain on the books but are frequently used in an attempt to clampdown on critics.
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Former DIG Anura Senanayake remanded
Published Date: 23/05/2016 (Monday)
Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake was remanded till May 26 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris when the CID produced him in court on 22nd over alleged suppression of facts about the Wasim Thajudeen killing, trying to mislead the judiciary and also ordering junior officers to obey his orders in doing so. The court was told that Senanayake had allegedly attempted to imply that former Havelocks SC rugger captain Thajudeen died on May 17, 2012 due to the injuries sustained in a car crash near the Shalika grounds.
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Tamil People's Council Final Proposals for Finding a Political Solution to the Tamil National Question
Published Date: 23/05/2016 (Monday)
The Tamil People's Council (TPC) appointed a Sub-Committee on 27th December 2015, mandating it to present a report based on which public consultations for an acceptable political solution for Tamil National Question could be initiated. The Sub-Committee was comprised of representatives of political parties and civil society organisations represented in the Council. After several sittings in January 2016, this Sub-Committee produced the first draft of the proposal on January 31st in Jaffna for consultation with the people.
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71 killed in landslides and floods in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 22/05/2016 (Sunday)
Foreign aid began arriving in Sri Lanka Saturday, bringing help to half a million people forced out of their homes by rains and landslides that have killed at least 71 in a week of extreme weather wreaking havoc in South Asia. As the heaviest rains in a quarter of a century battered Sri Lanka, Cyclone Roanu barrelled into the Bangladesh coastline leaving six people dead and forcing the evacuation of 500,000 there.
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Japan grants Rs2.2bn to establish research facility for Jaffna University
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
The Government of Japan grants 1,667 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 2.2 billion) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the Establishment of a Research and Training Complex at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna in Kilinochchi District of the Northern Province. The objective of this project is to provide effective and efficient research and education activities on dry zone agriculture in the northern region at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna.
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Mr Gary Anandasangaree MP Requests All Party Support for Tamil Heritage Month Motion in Canadian Parliament
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
Mr. Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park, introduced a motion in the Canadian House of Commons, calling on the Canadian Parliament to officially declare the month of January as Tamil Heritage Month. This will provide Canadians from coast to coast to coast the opportunity to celebrate the rich Tamil heritage, culture, language, and history. To date, the Toronto District School Board, many GTA municipalities, such as the City of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario have all declared January as “Tamil Heritage Month”.
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Ethnic and religious minorities in Sri Lanka still feel marginalised: American lawmaker
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
Sri Lanka\'s ethnic and religious minorities including Tamils still feel marginalised, seven years after the end of the civil war with the LTTE, a senior American lawmaker has said as he appealed to the Lankan government to take \"concrete\" steps to address their concerns. \"The leaders of the new government have made many ambitious promises to advance toward the goal of a stable and prosperous future for all. Now is the time to turn those promises into concrete action,\" Congressman Danny K Davis said on the House floor on Thursday.
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Indian Assembly Elections 2016
Published Date: 19/05/2016 (Thursday)
The Bharatiya Janta Party created history for itself by breaking new grounds and opening new frontiers in the North East by catapulting to power in Assam – the biggest north-eastern state. It also opened its long awaited account in Kerala in addition to winning some seats in West Bengal. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee broke records by not only trouncing the Left Front-Congress combine but by winning for the second consecutive time. She is the only leader in West Bengal, other than the two CPM stalwarts Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, to win for the second consecutive term. She has now earned the credit of overthrowing 34 years of unhindered Left Front rule in West Bengal.
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Basil Rajapaksa arrested and released
Published Date: 17/05/2016 (Tuesday)
Basil Rajapaksa, brother of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested on 12th May by the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division over a land deal allegedly involving money laundering, his lawyer and police said. Several members of the Rajapaksa family are facing police investigations for alleged financial crimes.
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Tamil youth rounded up in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 15/05/2016 (Sunday)
The Sri Lankan government has unleashed a major crackdown against Tamil youth in the country’s war-ravaged north and east. Since March, more than 23 Tamils have been detained under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Most of those arrested were allegedly former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe falsely claim they have established a “democratic environment” in the country’s north and east. In fact, the military occupation is deepening in these areas. Residents face ongoing repression and dire poverty.
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The English voice of Tamil writers
Published Date: 10/05/2016 (Tuesday)
Lakshmi Holmstrom entered not only the literary texts she selected for translation, but the cultural establishments that produced them A powerful translatorial voice has fallen silent. Once in a long while, we encounter a writer who really changed the literary landscape he or she inhabited. While U.R. Ananthamurthy, Ismat Chughtai, Sarah Joseph, Nirmal Verma and Indira Goswami might be cited, I think we can safely say that one who makes such writers available to a population which cannot read them in their original languages is equally a force of Literature, of Nature even.
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Structural Reforms are required to key institutions: UN Rapporteurs
Published Date: 10/05/2016 (Tuesday)
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs Monica Pinto and Juan E. Mendez have expressed their concerns over the existing legal system in the island and emphasized the need of bringing structural reforms to the key institutions such as the Attorney General's Department, Armed Forces, Police and the Judiciary. The two UN Special Rapporteurs held a press conference in Colombo last Saturday (7) on their Sri Lankan assignment and briefed on the measures to be taken into consideration by the Sri Lanka Government towards stabilizing its legal system and improving the human rights situation in the island.
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Good Governance Necessary To Achieve Government’s Economic Vision
Published Date: 09/05/2016 (Monday)
The re-opening of the EU fisheries market to Sri Lankan exporters came as a welcome success to the government at a time when it needs to show some tangible progress on the economic front to the people. The main criticism of the government amongst the general population is the absence of economic development and poverty alleviation in their lives. While a relatively small fraction of the population travels in luxury private cars, the general public continues to hang on to the footboards of overcrowded trains for their daily commutes to their workplaces and back with some of the train engines and carriages well past their fortieth year in service. Even those sections of the population who voted for the government at the last two national elections that saw the defeat of the old one are bemoaning the lack of economic progress in the present.
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Torture continues in Lanka due to weaknesses in law: UN
Published Date: 09/05/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lanka continues to use torture mechanisms even after the end of the civil war due to weaknesses in law, a top UN official said here today and described the condition of detention camps and prisons in the country as "deplorable". "Torture continues in the system due to weaknesses in law," said Juan E Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.
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Sri Lanka to receive US$ 3 billion loan for infrastructure development
Published Date: 09/05/2016 (Monday)
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has promised a loan of US$ 3 billion for infrastructure development. In addition the ADB will grant a separate aid for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector. The loan facility given under a concessionary interest rate will be given to Sri Lanka through the next three years. The loan agreement was reached during the 49th ADB Finance Ministers’ summit in Frankfurt, Germany last week. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake represented the country.
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Constitutional developments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka & India have similarities: Experts
Published Date: 08/05/2016 (Sunday)
Addressing the conference organised by PILDAT on 6 May entitled, “Lessons for Constitutional Development in South Asia” Conference, three constitutional experts, one each from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, said that the constitutions and constitutional developments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India offer similarities as well as opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Vice Chancellor, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India Professor Dr Ishwara Padil Bhat and Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan and Federal Minister Shahid Hamid spoke at the conference.
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EU links human rights to trade: 58 conditions for GSP Plus
Published Date: 08/05/2016 (Sunday)
In its haste to regain the GSP Plus facility, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed with the European Union (EU) to implement a sprawling list of 58 conditions linking human rights, national security and other domestic concerns with trade, a document obtained by the Sunday Times shows. Among the 58 conditions imposed are to revoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act, to expedite cases of remaining detainees, to introduce a new Human Rights Action Plan, review the status of the Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals on the terrorist list, to devolve power under the new Constitution, return all private lands to owners in the North, adopt a policy of National Reconciliation and on National Resettlement, finalise the re-settlement of all displaced persons, and to ratify the Convention on Enforced Disappearances with accompanying legislation as well as issue certificates of absence.
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Sri Lanka Campaign-UK publishes its report Path to Peace.
Published Date: 07/05/2016 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka Campaign has recently published its report entitled “Sri Lanka’s path to peace”. The report is based on the testimony of nearly 300 war survivors and activists working in the north and east of Sri Lanka, and outlines their views on what would be needed to convert the current absence of war in the region into a lasting and sustainable peace. The report argues that structural violence continues to be a part of the daily lives of many in the north and east of Sri Lanka, and that if Sri Lanka’s peace is to be made permanent this must be addressed through a comprehensive reform of Sri Lanka’s security forces, by placing war survivors in positions of authority within any new processes that are established, and by the Sri Lankan government adopting a new attitude towards dealing with the past in which defensiveness is replaced by openness.
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Freedom from Torture documents continuing torture in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/05/2016 (Saturday)
Freedom from Torture, the UK-based human rights organisation, is calling for urgent action by the Government of Sri Lanka to end ongoing torture. The charity publishes new information as the joint visit to Sri Lanka by UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Professor Juan Méndez, and on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mónica Pinto, comes to an end on Saturday. The Sri Lankan Government has made encouraging commitments to delivering truth, justice and reconciliation. However, while torture is still being practised any efforts towards long-term stability are undermined. The number of referrals Freedom from Torture has received for people tortured since the January 2015 presidential election is deeply worrying.
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First Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan Elected in London
Published Date: 07/05/2016 (Saturday)
Sadiq Khan - a Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan - was declared the winner of the London Mayoral election held on Thursday, 5 April. He will be the first Muslim to lead Britain’s capital and making him one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in the West. The victory also said to have made a British political history. In a Europe struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes, Sadiq Khan victory is a major victory for democracy.
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China as a Development Actor in Southeast Asia
Published Date: 06/05/2016 (Friday)
The recently published Institute of Development Studies’ (IDS) Evidence Report (No.187), identifies and explains the central factors driving China’s policies towards Southeast Asia. It examines China’s foreign relations through the perspective of foreign policy. In this context, as the title indicates, the report gathers together and evaluates the evidence on China’s role as a development actor in this neighbouring region. The study aims to contribute to evidence-based policy deliberation, formulation and implementation.
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