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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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Sri Lankan Diaspora in Australia weighs in on Constitutional Reforms
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
With the release of the Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka on September 21, the debate over constitutional reforms has begun earnestly. We welcome the Interim Report and recognise the positive contribution it makes for the purpose of developing an inclusive and harmonious Sri Lanka. This is a great opportunity to develop a constructive dialogue among the stakeholders, both local and
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Constitutional making process: Wimal urges President to prevent division of country on ethnic lines
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
A delegation of National Freedom Front (NFF) led by its parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to halt the ongoing constitutional making process leading to the division of post-war Sri Lanka on ethnic lines. The NFF consists of five MPs elected on the UPFA ticket at the last parliamentary polls in Aug. 2015.
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Opposition leader writes to President on transfer of PTA cases
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan today urged President Maithripala Sirisena to release the Tamil prisoners detained under Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act for years as government pledged locally and international community to repeal it with an alternative law. He said that there is an unnecessary complication has been created by the transfer of some
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UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Implications for Sri Lanka Posted on October 12th, 2017
Published Date: 13/10/2017 (Friday)
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the resolution entitled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ on 1 October 2015, Resolution 30/1. (After a resolution promoted by the European Union (EU) was defeated in 2009 and a resolution tabled by Sri Lanka was adopted by an overwhelming majority. An attempt to table a resolution critical of Sri Lanka in 2010 was aborted). Resolution 30/1 has been described by some critics as a Constitution amendment project for Sri Lanka.
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Bond Scam: AG’s Department SILENCED
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
In a bizarre day at the Commission the Attorney General’s Department shockingly fell silent today refusing to examine Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Kabir Hashim, instead putting on a defiant “we don’t give a damn” attitude at the Commission today. The team led by ASG Dappula De Livera which had brought the proceedings to a near climax by necessarily implicating Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Arjuna Mahendran,
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Sri Lanka to ratify Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFC phase-down
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
The government has decided to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) Phase-down and the cabinet of Ministers has given its approval for ratification. The Montreal Protocol was established in 1987 by the world community to regulate the use of chemicals that cause damage to the ozone layer and phase out their use systematically and gradually.
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Subversion of judicial review diminishes sovereignty
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
In 1988, not too long before the United National Party was to lose the five-sixths Parliamentary majority it enjoyed (and therefore more than the two-thirds required to amend the constitution, barring of course those which required in addition a referendum) courtesy the anti-democratic referendum of 1982 which too was marred by massive fraud, J.R. Jayewardene indulged in a classic piece of constitutional skullduggery: the 14th Amendment
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Vedda cries from Vakarai lost in the sound of sea
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
Veddas, said to be descendants of King Vijaya, are known to be the earliest inhabitants of this land. Referring to themselves as forest-dwellers, the Vedda communities are shrouded in secrecy, mythology and mystery than any other group of people in the country. As of late, we have only been referring to one clan – the UruwarigeVeddas of Dambana. But there are several others who have settled down in other parts of the island. While each clan has different livelihoods and hunting practices, they also have different ceremonies unique to
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Defence Ministry proposes new Naval Air Force wing
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
The present threats emanating from the Indian Ocean due to Sri Lanka’s geostrategic location has called for establishment of a Naval-Air Force wing to secure our waters with greater surveillance and striking capabilities, stated the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense today. He also proposed that a Joint Naval Command with the Air Force be set up with a Joint Communication Network with air and maritime capabilities.
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US will expand military to military relations with SL: Admiral Swift
Published Date: 12/10/2017 (Thursday)
The US look forward to the expansion of their military to military relations with Sri Lanka through military exercises, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said. He said U.S. Pacific Fleet forces joined the Sri Lanka Navy in Trincomalee as part of Exercise CARAT 2017 last week and activities like CARAT, both from an interoperability perspective and from a perspective of building trust and cooperation to address multilateral challenges.
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Country at crossroads as SLA celebrates 68th anniversary
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
As the SLA surrounded the LTTE fighting cadre, on the Vanni east front, India stepped up pressure on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop using heavy weapons. Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Mayankote Kelath Narayanan insisted and secured agreement that compelled President Rajapaksa to direct the SLA to cease using heavy weapons and also suspend air strikes. The US-backed Indian move was meant to save civilians held hostage by retreating LTTE fighting cadre. During the final phase of the offensive, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva’s celebrated 58 Division and Maj. Gen. Kamal
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Housing For The Displaced
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
The housing problems of the displaced are yet to be resolved and some of these displaced persons are still either in temporary shelters or live as IDPs. Hence the government is currently in the process of once again addressing their housing concerns are planning on constructing another 50,000 houses for them. This endeavour will be carried out under the purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and tenders have already been called for the construction of these houses.
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Ensure Enforced Disappearances Bill Enacted: Human Rights Commission Tells President
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) urged the President, in his capacity as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, to provide leadership to ensure that the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill is enacted and Sri Lanka sets an example not only for the region but globally on how to humanely respond to the grievances and pain of those who have suffered due to serious human rights violations.
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Be cautious when dealing with China: US
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Every country should be cautious when working with China due to China’s lack of transparency in certain engagements, a top US Military Officer said yesterday. Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson of the US Navy expressed these views upon asking whether the US was concerned about Chinese presence in the region particularly in Sri Lanka.
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Ex-CJ faults AG of misleading Parliament
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today told the Supreme Court that the Attorney General was guilty of misleading Parliament through his opinion on the amendments introduced to the Provincial Councils Amendment Bill during the committee stage of its passage. Making submissions as a citizen of the country in support of his fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court, he said he was not challenging the Speaker's endorsement but that of the Attorney General's opinion
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Care needed to foolproof devolution
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Since breaking the yoke of colonialism, Sri Lanka has shown an undue interest in ‘playing around’ with constitutions. With the exception of the 16 May 1972 constitution that officially proclaimed independence as a republic, such manoeuvres have been motivated by cynical political objectives portrayed as burning national need. It is widely agreed that the objective of the much despised 1978 edition was to help the personal need of J. R. Jayewardene to entrench himself as an autocratic executive president, making up for lost time in gaining
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‘War crimes charges made against troops unfairly’
Published Date: 11/10/2017 (Wednesday)
Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekara yesterday said that attempts were being made to hold officers and men of fighting formations deployed on the Vanni front accountable for alleged war crimes committed during the eelam war IV. Maj. Gen. Karunasekara said so when he was asked on Sirasa ‘Pathikada’ to explain measures taken by the SLA to address alleged accountability issues.
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Kiriella informs Mahanayake of unprecedented support for new constitution from Tamil parties
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella told the Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter on Saturday that Tamil political parties in an unprecedented manner extended support for the proposed Constitution. Minister Kiriella said so presenting a copy of the Interim Report to the prelate.
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Adding insult to a very deep constitutional injury
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Sneaky strategies adopted by the Government to smuggle hasty amendments to the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act at the committee stage so as to transform that Amendment into an entirely strange creature altogether must be condemned, strongly and categorically.
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Govt. may lose referendum on new Constitution
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
Possibility of a drastically-altered final report Strategists count ethno-religious factors in referendum-voting estimates Overwhelming support of minorities might augment shortfall in Sinhala-Buddhist votes Making political calculations on the basis of 2015 could prove dangerously-wrong in 2017 and years to follow
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Controversy over constitutional reforms and gains that need to be protected
Published Date: 10/10/2017 (Tuesday)
The government has proposed that the report of the steering committee on constitutional reform will be debated in parliament at the end of the month. A member of the Steering Committee spearheading the constitutional reform project, Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne said that the Constitutional assembly would take up proposals over a three-day period beginning October 30. Finalisation of the process would depend on the outcome of the three day talks, Dr. Wickramaratne said, explaining measures proposed to further strengthen the
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Share powers with ethnic communities It’s the only way to solve this problem
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
Member of Parliament and Constitutional Lawyer Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne says that some people think this country must belong to Sinhalese or rather the Sinhala-Buddhists only. Separatism brews in such countries. "In all such countries, mechanisms were developed to share powers with ethnic communities. That is the only way to solve this problem".
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Northern Ireland police cover up RUC report by ‘racist’ officer PSNI criticised over refusal to release report on policing reform during the Troubles
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
By: Phil Miller The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has refused to release a report on policing reform during the Troubles which was written by a British intelligence officer who held racist views. John Morton wrote an “ambitious” report recommending an increase in the size of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) special branch in 1973 as paramilitary violence was reaching a height.
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A shepherd of the oppressed, the poor and the people on the run Bishop Rt.Rev.D.J.Ambalavanar
Published Date: 09/10/2017 (Monday)
D.J. Ambalavanar, the second Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (American Ceylon Mission), whose twentieth death anniversary falls on October 10, rose to great heights of spirituality and intellectual stature to become a humble servant of God and a man for others.
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