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Active politics is NOT for the Sangha
Published Date: 27/08/2017 (Sunday)
In discussing what’s what in current Sri Lanka with diverse groups this last week there was one fact of unanimity: the Sangha should not get actively involved in politics. But they are, at least some of them, and leaders of Sangha sects included. This is very distressing to Buddhists who have at least gone beyond blind rites and rituals and have lived to senior
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Laws delays, rule of law and good governance
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
William Gladstone said in the frequently-used adage in legal circles that “justice delayed is justice denied,” which is applicable to the justice system worldwide. We inherited English legal principles of presumption of innocence and application of Rule of Law which means to act according to the existing law, expected to be just and fair, and equality before law are some of the main guiding principles of our legal system, which the
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Women’s group protests against Islamic cleric’s antipathy to marriage law reform
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
Women’s Action Network (WAN), an amalgam of eight women’s organisations working in the Tamil-speaking north and east of Sri Lanka, has said that it is “appalled and deeply disappointed” by the statement of Rizwe Mufthi, President of the All-Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU), that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) is “perfect in the present state” and does not require changes.
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PC elections can be held within the calendar year – Deshapriya
Published Date: 26/08/2017 (Saturday)
The elections commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya stated that, the provincial council elections can be held within the calendar year, if the speaker of parliament signs the proposed amended Local Government elections Bill before September 15. Providing his views at a special discussion held with Ada Derana reporters, the commissioner
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No forgiveness for criminals in uniform: Sri Lanka navy chief
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
- Sri Lanka's new navy chief Travis Sinniah began work by pledging no forgiveness for his officers who may have committed crimes taking the cover of the island's drawn out separatist war. The Vice Admiral told reporters at his first press conference at navy headquarters on Wednesday that "even the biggest war hero" could not escape the full face of the law if a crime had been committed during or after the war.
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No reasons to object to Marapana’s appointment – GL
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Thilak Marapana said recently that allowing foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces during the final stages of the war is against the domestic legal system. Contrary to Marapana's statement, Sri Lanka agreed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2017 to co-sponsor the Resolution 30/1, which facilitates the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism to address the issue of accountability.
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Petition against the establishment of a separate state
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
A petition (SC SPL 03/2014) was filed in the Supreme Court claiming that the "aims" and "objects" of the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) was to establish a separate state under terms of Article 157A (4) of the Constitution. Since the petition has to be judged under the provisions of the current 1978 Constitution the opinions presented below are based on its provisions and not on possible future provisions.
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TNA’s Relationship With Government On The Rocks
Published Date: 25/08/2017 (Friday)
The relationship between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the government is on the rocks with Tamils in the North losing faith in the administration. The TNA has said enough is enough and the international community must now intervene to address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North. The TNA’s official website quoted TNA leader R. Sampanthan as saying the government has
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UNHRC to be urged to push Sri Lanka to show progress
Published Date: 24/08/2017 (Thursday)
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is to be urged to push Sri Lanka to show progress on several key issues. Amnesty International has submitted a document to the UNHRC ahead of its next session in Geneva in September.
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New hope with a new Foreign Minister?
Published Date: 23/08/2017 (Wednesday)
The new Foreign Minister has assured us, according to the Daily News, thatResolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by the Unity Government of Sri Lanka "was in no way harmful to the country…" The Island of 19th August 2017 reports that the new Minister had said that he had "examined" this resolution as member of the cabinet, and that it "was certainly not
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Geneva Resolution: Steering Committee loses two key members before its first meet
Published Date: 23/08/2017 (Wednesday)
A high powered Cabinet-appointed committee, tasked with coordinating and monitoring the implementation of 2015 Geneva recommendations has lost two of its key members, Ravi Karunanayake and Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, even before its inaugural meeting. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe named a seven-member committee on June 19, 2017
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Resettlement minister confirms 178 million allocated to army for return of Keppapulavu
Published Date: 22/08/2017 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lankan resettlement ministry will give the army 178 million rupees to return civilian land in Keppapulavu, the minister for resettlement confirmed on Tuesday. Resettlement Minister, D. M. Swaminathan, said during his visit to Jaffna that the 178 million amount had been requested from the treasury and would be handed over to the Sri Lankan army on receipt of approval from the cabinet.
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Joint Opposition wants time to study serious discrepancies in draft constitutional proposals
Published Date: 22/08/2017 (Tuesday)
Alleging what they termed serious discrepancies, the JO yesterday sought time to thoroughly examine Steering Committee’s interim drafts containing constitutional proposals in Sinhala, Tamil and English. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP told The Island that he along with MP Prasanna Ranatunga made representations on behalf of the JO at Steering Committee meeting chaired by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.
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Corruption crippling Sri Lanka’s coalition government
Published Date: 16/08/2017 (Wednesday)
UNP yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action on Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe who has compromised “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet. Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has been under fire for a number of controversial statements he made on Government’s move to lease Hambantota Port, leading to a number of
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UNP calls on President to act on Justice Minister
Published Date: 16/08/2017 (Wednesday)
UNP yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action on Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe who has compromised “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet. Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has been under fire for a number of controversial statements he made on Government’s move to lease Hambantota Port, leading to a number of
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Army Chief dismisses allegations No ex-LTTE men involved in crimes in North
Published Date: 16/08/2017 (Wednesday)
Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake dismissed the direct involvement of ex-members of the now vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in the number of recent violent incidents reported from the Northern Province. Speaking at the media briefing, to announce the seventh annual Colombo Defence Seminar
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Recent increase in security has caused fear among Northerners – Ramanathan
Published Date: 15/08/2017 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Jaffna District Organizer, Parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan said the recent increase in security of the North has caused fear among the people of the region. "People of the North have also gone through lots of problems. Police raids and increase in the
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Maha Sangha has said new Constitution not required'
Published Date: 15/08/2017 (Tuesday)
Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera stressed that a new constitution was not required and that the Maha Sangha had already informed it to President Mathripala Sirisena . During a meeting with former Minister and National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa
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Imperatives under Article 83 for a new constitution
Published Date: 14/08/2017 (Monday)
MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne P.C. during the course of an interview had stated: "We must go for a referendum if we are to introduce a new Constitution. For example, if we want to change even a comma in Article 83 of the Constitution, we must go for a referendum"(Ceylon Today, August 11, 2017). Article 83 requires 2/3 approval of Parliament
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“Advocating Federal Form of Govt within Existing State Is Not Advocating Separatism” Rules Sri Lankan Supreme Court in Landmark Judgement
Published Date: 12/08/2017 (Saturday)
The Supreme Court (SC) declared this week that advocating for a federal form of government within the existing state could not be considered as advocating separatism and that the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi
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Interview - Keppapulavu Protest Leader - ‘Bullying Cannot Intimidate Me’
Published Date: 10/08/2017 (Thursday)
The leader of protests in Keppapulavu which saw land returned to its rightful owners, tells The Catamaran why they were so successful. The story of Keppapulavu village is a long and complex one. It has gone from being a strategic area during the Sri Lankan civil war to a model village – at least, partially – then to a military camp. And most recently it has been the scene of impassioned protests by local
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Observers: China's New Base in Djibouti to Aid Economic Expansion in Africa
Published Date: 10/08/2017 (Thursday)
China's new military and logistical base in Djibouti has put other foreign powers on edge, but observers believe China's strategy in the region is more about economic growth than military might. After months of anticipation since announcing plans for its first foreign base, China opened
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House lauds RW, deplores JO, JVP boycott as unbecoming
Published Date: 09/08/2017 (Wednesday)
The Vote of Felicitation in Parliament Friday for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in recognition of 40 years of continuous service as a legislator, was overshadowed by the boycott of the special sitting by MPs of the Joint Opposition (JO) group and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
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Referendum needed to implement final outcome of constitutional reforms’
Published Date: 09/08/2017 (Wednesday)
Whether what is being envisaged is a new Constitution or amendments to the present Constitution of a mega kind, the people’s approval for such changes would be required at a referendum. Besides, the President has the popular mandate to hold such a referendum, particularly if the constitutional changes included the abolition of the executive presidency,
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Security In The North TNA to meet President, PM
Published Date: 09/08/2017 (Wednesday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) hierarchy will meet President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tomorrow (9) to discuss the security situation in the North. Jaffna District Parliamentarian......and Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Leader Mavai Senathirajah said the Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan had written to both the
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