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Country did not suffer without GSP+: MR
Published Date: 12/01/2017 (Thursday)
Saying that it was good to regain the GSP+ facility, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the country had not been adversely affected by losing the facility. “It is good to regain the GSP+ facility. It is good if they think the country will benefit from it. We did not suffer any loss even without it,” he said.
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Sri Lankans win human rights, democracy, GSP+: PM
Published Date: 12/01/2017 (Thursday)
The people of Sri Lanka has won human rights, democracy as a result of the actions of the current administration and the European Union is restoring GSP+ free trade access to the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "This is not just a victory for the government," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "This is a victory for all Sri Lankans." Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said with the restoration of GSP+ the access of Sri Lankan exports including apparel to the EU will be expanded creating more jobs
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WPB, place for CTFRM report, says Champika
Published Date: 12/01/2017 (Thursday)
The JHU yesterday rejected the recommendations of the government appointed Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanism (CTFRM). Its report should be relegated to the waste paper basket, he said. JHU leader and Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, addressing the media, at the party headquarters in Battaramulla, said the recommendations at issue were inimical to ethnic harmony and the national interest.
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Big changes to counterterrorism framework
Published Date: 12/01/2017 (Thursday)
The Government has brought major revisions to the framework of a proposed counterterrorism law that will replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), to bring the draft in line with international best practice and Sri Lanka’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Daily FT learns. A revised draft was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. The initial draft of the proposed Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA) framework was presented to Cabinet in September last year and a subsequent “leak” of the document created some public debate about the Government’s proposed counterterrorism framework to replace the PTA.
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Reconciliation hampered due to school segregation -CBK
Published Date: 11/01/2017 (Wednesday)
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike says children being segregated in schools, is a hindrance to reconciliation in the country. Former President Bandaranaike made these comments during the introduction of a project titled “National unity and Reconciliation through Higher Education” today. Issuing a statement, the office for National Unity and Reconciliation said issues related to reconciliation and social harmony still prevails in the country adding that although the youth are at present segregated, they are capable enough to play a vital role as a catalyst for positive change.
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CBK calls for talks on foreign judges et al on judicial mechanism
Published Date: 11/01/2017 (Wednesday)
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has called for extensive discussions on far reaching recommendations, including the participation of foreign judges and other personnel in proposed war crimes probe, made by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation (CTFRM). The outfit also called for abolition of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), demilitarization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, bifurcation of the Attorney General’s Department to pave the way for Office of Public Prosecutor among other proposals.
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Sri Lanka: Adopt Task Force’s Justice Proposals Consultations Highlight Broad Accountability Concerns
Published Date: 11/01/2017 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka’s government should promptly implement recommendations on transitional justice proposed by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) in a report released on January 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The report reflects the first broad survey of Sri Lankan citizens on their aspirations for truth and justice, as called for by the October 2015 resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Key among the task force’s recommendations is the creation of a war crimes court comprised of both international and national judges and other officials, with no time limit on its jurisdiction. Support for this court included ethnic Sinhalese, whose population suffered thousands of enforced disappearances three decades ago for which there has been no accountability.
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Prez was appointed to abolish the Executive- Civil societies
Published Date: 10/01/2017 (Tuesday)
Civil societies say they disapprove the alleged decision taken by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to refrain from abolishing the Executive Presidency. Speaking to the BBC World Service, Convener of the National Movement for a Just Society Professor Sarath Wijesooriya said President Maithripala Sirisena was appointed as the Executive President to abolish the position. He said, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was not part of the January 8th victory adding Maithripala Sirisena was the common candidate and was not affiliated to any party.
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Raviraj Killing: No Approval To Arrest Two Suspects
Published Date: 10/01/2017 (Tuesday)
The Attorney General (AG) has not given approval to arrest two key suspects who have fled to Switzerland, who are wanted in connection to the murder of Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) said it had requested approval from the AG to initiate proceedings to have the two suspects arrested and deported to Sri Lanka nearly two years ago.
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PCs AND Constitution making
Published Date: 10/01/2017 (Tuesday)
With Constitution making now on the cards and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena being on the same wave length on this score (other than going for a twenty first Amendment (21A) to remedy any shortcomings in the present Constitution if any),a new Constitution may not only have to once more address the question of power-sharing, where all the noises made are seemingly in regard to such, but it may also have to address the question of cost rationalization in relation to power-sharing.
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China to implement its projects in Sri Lanka ignoring negative forces
Published Date: 10/01/2017 (Tuesday)
In the midst of rioting against the Sino-Sri Lankan deal over the Hambantota port, China on Saturday categorically stated that it is committed to executing its projects in the island despite hostile propaganda by the local opposition parties. Speaking at the launch of the China-backed Southern Economic Development Zone in the southern port town of Hambantota, the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, said that “no negative force” can stop China’s development assistance to Sri Lanka, and no one can stop the “strong friendship” between the two countries.
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I have no confidence in the CTF: Wijeyadasa
Published Date: 10/01/2017 (Tuesday)
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today said he had no confidence in the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) appointed by the Prime Minister. He said the CTF, which recommended the inclusion of at least one international judge on every bench set up to hear allegations of war crimes and the violation of human rights that had taken place during the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
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Govt making Lanka a colony once again
Published Date: 09/01/2017 (Monday)
The government was turning the country into being a colony of foreign powers by offering vast areas of land to China, India and the USA, the Socialist Alliance charged yesterday. Addressing the media at Dr N.M. Perera Centre in Borella, Lanka Sama Samaja Party leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana said the government was planning to lease 15,000 acres of lands in Hambantota area to China, falsely claiming that it was being done in accordance with a plan prepared by the previous administration.
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PMK seeks global probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 09/01/2017 (Monday)
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK ) founder Dr. S. Ramadoss criticised the Sri Lankan government’s refusal to allow international investigation into alleged war crimes in the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009 and demanded for a resolution calling for an international investigation at the United Nations. In a statement, he said that India should push for an investigation by an international war crimes tribunal or an equivalent body. “With the Sri Lankan government refusing to agree to an international war crimes investigation, there will be no justice to Tamils who suffered under the Sri Lankan government armed forces. All those who committed war crimes on innocent Tamils will go scot-free. The Indian government has a responsibility to stop this from happening,” said Dr. Ramadoss.
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Lord Naseby Meets Jaffna Commander
Published Date: 09/01/2017 (Monday)
Lord Naseby, President of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka in London (APPG-SL) reported to have had a meeting with Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander Security Force (Jaffna) on 04 January 2017 at the military head quarters in Jaffna.. At the meeting several issues including the present situation in Jaffna Peninsula and the role of Civil Military Coordinating Activities assisting to uplift the livelihood of Jaffna people were taken up.
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Tense situation at launch of Hambantota development project
Published Date: 07/01/2017 (Saturday)
A tense situation has been reported in the Mirijjawila area in Hambantota during the opening of the Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone Development Project, a short while ago. Police used tear gas to disperse a group of protesters who reportedly pelted stones at the site. The development project was launched by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Mirijjawila investment promotion zone today.
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Gotabaya was behind Bodu Bala Sena: Minister Rajitha Senaratne
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday pooh-poohed an allegation that he was involved in creating the Bodu Bala Sena made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week, counter-alleging that it was his brother former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the true patron of the extremist Sinhalese movement accused of targeting religious and ethnic minorities in the country. Senaratne told reporters at the Cabinet press briefing yesterday that the former President’s claim was the “joke of the 21st Century.”
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JHU says Wigneswaran spreading racism
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to stop the spreading of racism by the Northern Provincial Council. Addressing the media at party headquarters, Western Provincial Council member Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the behaviour of NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was an impediment to reconciliation.
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Sri Lankan president Sirisena rejects Rajapaksa's claim about toppling govt
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed as "dream" the claim by his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa that he would make a political comeback by toppling the current government this year. "Certain people can dream but the government would not be toppled before 2020," Sirisena said, addressing a gathering last night at the state radio.
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Cabinet Spokesman’s remarks that UN envoy for human rights endorsed Govt. ‘no foreign judges’ stand denied by OHCHR
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday insisted that High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s position on a hybrid court to prosecute alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war remained unchanged. The OHCHR took to Twitter yesterday to clarify what it called Zeid’s “unchanged” position, after Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne controversially proclaimed to reporters on Wednesday (4), that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had endorsed the Government’s position that foreign judges would not sit on a proposed war crimes tribunal.
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Could Sri Lanka have become another Singapore if we had a Lee Kwan Yew?
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
Although I have lived and worked in Singapore since the riots of 1983, I am a constant visitor to Sri Lanka which I consider my true home and where my closest friends are. I find these visits exhilarating for a number of reasons, one of which is the lively discussions that take place on politics at every party and meeting of friends. In Singapore very few discuss politics because it is so boring (like its newspapers!) as politics is so dull. Governments are elected every 5 years (the same party for 50 years!) and they make promises which they invariably fulfill or exceed – nothing to talk about. But Sri Lanka is so different – gossip on who is going to cross over, new parties being formed, Ministers undermining their leaders, the latest corruption scandal, announcement of the latest mega projects and the enormous FDI expected, but which always fail to materialize – really interesting stuff! One reason is that, with a few notable exceptions, politicians in Sri Lanka are demagogues or even thugs. In Singapore all parties select MPs based on their education and professional experience.
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TREAT EX-LTTE CADRES AS NORMAL CITIZENS
Published Date: 06/01/2017 (Friday)
Due to unforeseeable circumstances, this year started off with a series of protests around the country. As the first of January dawned, paving the path to a brand new year, several groups were getting ready to protest against the government. Thus, three days into the New Year, the country faced another protest, even before the previous one ended. A group of rehabilitated LTTE cadres thus engaged in a protest opposite the Civil Defence Camp in Iranamadu, Kilinochchi recently. The protestors demanded that the government quickened the process of providing job opportunities at the Civil Defence Department or any other government institution.
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Challenging Sri Lanka’s Sixth Amendment: An Interview with Rudrakumaran, PM, TGTE
Published Date: 05/01/2017 (Thursday)
Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). He is based in New York City. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
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SRI LANKA: Beginning of a New Peoples’ Movement Targeting Large-Scale Membership
Published Date: 05/01/2017 (Thursday)
I have had the privilege of witnessing the birth of an initiative to create a people\'s movement not affiliated to any political party, which targets a minimum of one million memberships. It will be entirely locally funded and independent. The new movement springs from the initiative of Victor Ivan, a veteran journalist and the Founder Editor of weekly paper Ravaya. An invitation made by him has found quick response and, in many parts of the country, local support groups are being formed rapidly. The spontaneous response received from people from many walks of life, i.e. professionals, activists of many sorts, and the ordinary folk, is amazing.
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Consultations Task Force concludes work; recommends hybrid court, swift appointment of Special Prosecutor
Published Date: 05/01/2017 (Thursday)
A special task force set up by the Government to solicit public views on reconciliation and justice have recommended a hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges to prosecute war crimes, and urged the Government to appoint a special prosecutor to commence investigations into the controversial cases without delay. An islandwide consultation process on proposed Government mechanisms to bring about reconciliation and justice conducted over the course of a year ended on Tuesday, with the task force appointed for the purpose handing over its final report.
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