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Sri Lanka to Ask UN for More Time to Probe War Crimes
Published Date: 08/02/2017 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka says it needs more time to fulfill promises given to the U.N. human rights body to investigate war crime allegations from the nation's long civil war, which ended nearly eight years ago. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told foreign correspondents late Tuesday that the government will seek more time at the next U.N. human rights session, starting Feb. 27 in Geneva.
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Thailand: Reopen Case of 'Disappeared' Activist Justice Marred by Cover-Up, Shoddy Inquiries, Gaps in Law
Published Date: 07/02/2017 (Tuesday)
Thai authorities should immediately reopen the investigation into the enforced disappearance of a prominent ethnic Karen activist who went missing nearly three years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 16, 2017, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) of the Ministry of Justice ended its investigation for Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, known as Billy, who was last seen in government custody at Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province in April 2014. The government remains obligated under international law to provide information on Billy’s fate or whereabouts, Human Rights Watch said.
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Non-resident envoys to be appointed: Mangala
Published Date: 06/02/2017 (Monday)
A number of non-resident ambassadors would be appointed to selected countries as envoys of Sri Lanka instead of resident ambassadors, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today. “Cabinet approval had been granted to go ahead with the concept. The appointments would be made in near future,” he said. He said that these non-resident ambassadors would travel to assigned countries occasionally on their own expense.
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Sri Lanka Red Cross launches World Disasters Report 2016
Published Date: 06/02/2017 (Monday)
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS), along with the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), launched the World Disasters Report 2016 in Colombo on Friday. The report, which focused on resilience, was aimed at providing key players in disaster management with an overview of the trend as to how disasters would affect vulnerable people and what action was required, according to the SLRCS.
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Information sought on assets of President, PM under Right to Information Act
Published Date: 06/02/2017 (Monday)
An application has been filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information on the assets of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The application was filed by Transparency International Sri Lanka. Information has also been sought from the Customs Department and Bribery Commission.
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Constitutional Reform To The Fore Again
Published Date: 06/02/2017 (Monday)
The constitutional reform process appeared to be on track with the presentation of the report of the Public Representations Committee in June last year followed by the reports of the six parliamentary subcommittees in November. However, time tables and road maps are necessarily contingent. Whether the time frames or the targets to meet are realistic will also depend on the actions of others and cannot be exactly predicted. The government’s most ambitious reform project is the drafting of a new constitution. This could change the power balance between the different branches of government, the ethnic communities and between the government and people. It would hardly be cause for surprise if the time frame for constitutional reform changes or the content of the envisaged reforms themselves should be revised.
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The Way Forward For Genuine Peace & Reconciliation In Sri Lanka
Published Date: 06/02/2017 (Monday)
While the processes of making a new Constitution are under way, there are conflicting signals emanating from the ranks of the Cabinet Ministers themselves, of the first ever UNP-SLFP National Unity Government as to the duration of this exercise, as well as its final outcome. It has been generally expected that the new Constitution will be promulgated before the end of this year. However, some Ministers, particularly from the SLFP, who entered Parliament through the National List after being defeated at the August 2015 Parliamentary election, are vociferously expressing contradictory positions. For instance, Minister S.B. Dissanayake has bluntly asserted that the new Constitution will only see the light of day by 2020. Moreover, while the Presidential election pledge was to abolish the Executive Presidential system by 2020,
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Gunning for Sumasnthiran
Published Date: 04/02/2017 (Saturday)
Plans to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran, who is a confidant of TNA Leader and Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, have been unearthed by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) with the arrest of five suspects. The preliminary investigation carried out by the TID has brought to light that the assassination plot was hatched with the involvement of certain pro-LTTE activists abroad.
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SLFP Wants Some Executive Powers To Remain
Published Date: 04/02/2017 (Saturday)
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) says some executive powers of the President must remain. SLFP Treasurer S. B. Dissanayake said that the SLFP feels that the executive powers the President has under the 19th Amendment must remain. Dissanayake said that while there is a move to devolve powers to the provinces, there is a feeling that with the President having some executive powers, the unitary status of the country will be protected.
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Sri Lanka seeks to strengthen ties with Kingdom
Published Date: 04/02/2017 (Saturday)
RIYADH: Sri Lanka looks forward to further strengthening ties with the Kingdom, especially in the fields of employment, trade, investment and tourism, the island’s Ambassador Azmi Thassim told Arab News on the eve of his country’s Independence and National Day on Saturday. “Appreciating the long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia, our country wholeheartedly supports Vision 2030 under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the NTP (National Transformation Program) 2020 initiated by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier and defense minister,” Thassim said.
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Gotabaya responsible for making Colombo a clean city – SB
Published Date: 04/02/2017 (Saturday)
Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare S. B. Dissanayake says that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was responsible for transforming Colombo into a really clean city. Addressing the gathering during a foundation stone laying ceremony in Rikillagaskada today (3), he stated that except for Japan no other Asian country has a city as clean as Colombo.
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ndian entrepreneurs suggest suitable strategies for industrializing Jaffna
Published Date: 03/02/2017 (Friday)
Indian entrepreneurs who participated in the Jaffna International Trade Fair held here between January 27 and 29, have suggested strategies to industrialize Jaffna and the rest of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province making use of local resources and talent. Amandeep Azad of Azad Engineering Company of Gaziabad, who manufactures small and medium sized machines to process coconuts and make coconut based products, said that with coconuts being available aplenty in the Northern Province, coconut based industries which can even be run by housewives in their homes have a bright future.
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Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka break record for January
Published Date: 03/02/2017 (Friday)
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka grew by 13 percent reaching 219,360 visitors last month, which is an all time record for the month of January, despite the partial airport closure, tourism ministry said. The ministry has been spearheading efforts to mitigate the fallout from the daytime closure of the Bandaranaike International Airport in order to facilitate rehabilitation of the two decade old runway.
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Foreign Affairs Minister meets Ethiopian President
Published Date: 03/02/2017 (Friday)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera called on Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa. Sri Lanka is working on new policy of restoring friendship with traditional friends and allies, and building stronger relations with the African region. The decision to set up a Sri Lankan consulate in Ethiopian was made with Ethiopia emerging as the ‘diplomatic and political capital of Africa’, with the African Union also being headquartered in Addis Ababa.
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Hope leaders will understand the true meanings of freedom - MR
Published Date: 02/02/2017 (Thursday)
On this year’s Independence Day, it is my hope that our political leaders will make an attempt to understand the true meanings of freedom and sovereignty, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. All politicians should ask themselves on this 69th independence day whether we gained independence from colonial rule only to divide the unitary state that even the colonial powers had left intact when they left, into unviable provincial units and to sell every valuable national asset we have, to foreigners, he said in a statement on Friday.
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Recalling those old and very same failures of justice
Published Date: 30/01/2017 (Monday)
British poet and laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s mournful call that “the old order changeth yielding place to the new…‘ is an ageless reminder of the loss of once cherished values in these uncertain times. Deprivation of voices of reason The world now steps perilously into a future in which ancient demons of racial profiling, ultra-nationalism and rampant sexism are encouraged by a boastful and self-obsessed leader of the United States, whose penchant for pummeling state policy and abusing opponents (including the media) through the unruly medium of twitter has overstepped the bounds of propriety.
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Govt. to ‘buy time’ at UNHRC in March: FM
Published Date: 30/01/2017 (Monday)
The Government will go for a “technical rollover resolution” or, a procedural extension that will allow it more time to implement its undertakings– when Sri Lanka is taken up at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) next month. This was revealed by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera while taking questions at Chatham House earlier this month. “Yes, March is soon approaching,” he said. “As I said, we are rather happy, not sure what the word is, with the progress we have made so far. But, of course, we hope, maybe, to go for a technical rollover, because we need a little more time, especially…
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Corruption continues: President must reverse the trend
Published Date: 29/01/2017 (Sunday)
The many challenges for President Maithripala Sirisena, now in the early days of his third year in office, seem unprecedented if not too burdensome.Since assuming the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leadership in 2015, his highest priority has been to reunify the party. That turned out to be a futile exercise. Thus, he urged SLFP Ministers who were summoned on January 3 to be told of his plans for 2017 to publicly “expose” the “misdeeds” of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and members of his family. He began to offer plum jobs to incompetent Rajapaksa loyalists saying they should be separated from the former President before “dealing a hard blow at him.” He offered diplomatic postings to those who were close to Rajapaksa. The reality that every such appointment angered hundreds of his own supporters, and his countrymen, to say the least, was lost on him.
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4,000 differently-abled cry for relief
Published Date: 29/01/2017 (Sunday)
Recent reports from the Eastern Province reveal that there are over 4, 000 persons who were disabled during the three-decade-long war living below the poverty line with hardly any access to basic facilities. Yet the Eastern Provincial Council which is in charge of fulfilling the needs of the affected people claims that the government had failed to allocate financial assistance.
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Four ex-LTTE cadres held for plotting to assassinate Tamil MP Sumanthiran
Published Date: 29/01/2017 (Sunday)
The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) of the Sri Lankan police has so far arrested four former cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for allegedly plotting to assassinate the moderate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, in Marudankeni in Jaffna district on January 13. The arrests, which were made on January 14, came to public notice only on January 28, as both the government and Sumanthiran had chosen to keep the episode under wraps.
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New Constitution would bring a federal solution - NFF
Published Date: 29/01/2017 (Sunday)
President Maithripala Sirisena is likely faking the fact that he maintains an anti-UNP policy, the National Freedom Front (NFF) charged on Sunday. NFF Deputy Leader Jayantha Samaraweera expressed this view while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Colombo.
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Indian companies keen to rebuild Sri Lanka’s former war zone
Published Date: 29/01/2017 (Sunday)
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) will explore the “virgin market” in Jaffna, located in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, for possible business collaborations and to help commercially rebuild the former war-zone, a representative of the trade body said. Representatives of about 65 Indian companies, ranging from textiles to engineering, are participating in the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2017 that commenced on January 27.
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Demarcation report gazette in 5 days
Published Date: 28/01/2017 (Saturday)
The Ministry of Local Governments and Provincial Councils says it has completed the preliminary process to release the Gazette notification pertaining to the final Demarcation report. The National Delimitation Commission submitted the final report to Minister of Local Governments and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha on the 17th of this month.
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Ven. Rathana Thera can\'t work with President: JHU
Published Date: 28/01/2017 (Saturday)
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today that Ven. Aturaliye Rathana Thera cannot work with President Maithripala Sirisena if he opted to function independently in Parliament. JHU co-chairman Ven. Hadigalle Wimalasara Thera said if Ven. Rathana Thera criticized the government and functioned independently in Parliament he could not work with the President as he was the head of the government who is responsible for all matters.
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Sri Lanka stuck in 'gigantic debt trap': govt
Published Date: 28/01/2017 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka Thursday said it was stuck in a "gigantic debt trap" and that paying off foreign loans would hit a record $2.41 billion this year, up from $1.82 billion last year. The Finance Ministry said the cash-strapped country's debt servicing cost this year was estimated at about half of its foreign currency reserves, while repayments were expected to worsen to $4.0 billion in two years.
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