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MoU on Hambantota Port handover nearing finalisation: Malik
Published Date: 17/11/2016 (Thursday)
The Government is to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the Hambantota port with the Chinese consortium by January with the document being finalised soon. Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama disclosed on Friday that 95% of the plans have been finalised. “We have more or less concluded our plans. The MOU will be finalised by end November leading to its signing in January,” the Minister told the Ernst & Young post-Budget Forum.
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Sri Lanka grilled at UN Committee Against Torture
Published Date: 17/11/2016 (Thursday)
A Sri Lankan Government delegation faced tough questions before the 59th Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) yesterday, about torture and sexual violence by police and the military and the scope of its proposed counter-terrorism legal framework that will replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). For three hours at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Government representatives were grilled by the independent experts on the Committee Against Torture about abductions, secret detention centres, torture in custody, custodial death and other rights violations.
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Reconciliation a priority for Sri Lanka’s government: Harsha De Silva
Published Date: 15/11/2016 (Tuesday)
Reconciliation is a priority for Sri Lanka’s unity government and transitional justice is an important aspect of this, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said. “Reconciliation is not a box that can be ticked or a journey that can end as per a timeline. There are no magic portions to achieve what we set out to achieve,” he said. “It requires hard work and constant striving, and a commitment towards which our nation should be bound across generations.”
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TNA denounces 2017 Budget priorities
Published Date: 13/11/2016 (Sunday)
The main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday issued a scathing critique on the National Unity Government’s budget for 2017, saying it proposed a “grossly inadequate” allocation for development of the North and East and reconciliation work and neglected spending for priority sectors such as education.
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Farming for the future
Published Date: 11/11/2016 (Friday)
Supporting tobacco farmers find alternative livelihoods is both necessary and proper. As demand for tobacco products among wealthier countries declines, and as measures to roll-back tobacco consumption in the developing world take effect, farming communities must have the tools needed to secure their future. This is especially so in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Ten of the Region’s 11 countries are Parties to WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Each one of them is taking meaningful, evidence-based steps to slash tobacco consumption and demand, which at present kills around 1.3 million people in the Region every year. And each one of them is looking for ways to shore-up the economy, avoid tobacco-related costs and fast-track development in an age of unrivalled opportunity.
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Sri Lanka sees easy passage at rights council under Trump
Published Date: 09/11/2016 (Wednesday)
The upset victory of Donald Trump is seen a blessing for Sri Lanka which could have faced renewed pressure at next year's UN Human Rights Council over war crimes accountability and reconciliation. The outgoing US President Barak Obama's UN ambassador Samantha Power had been a key figure behind the 2014 resolution against Sri Lanka and calls for international investigations if Colombo failed to probe war crimes.
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Progressive Constitution Needed To Prevent Repeat Of War
Published Date: 01/11/2016 (Tuesday)
The shooting of the two Jaffna University students is a tragedy just waiting to happen. During the last few years tension between the armed forces and the general public was on the rise. Reluctance of the armed forces to release occupied lands belonging to Tamil people and failure to dismantle the numerous army camps in built up areas even after the war ended 7 years ago led to friction and despair.
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CB bond issue report presented to House
Published Date: 31/10/2016 (Monday)
Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) had tabled in Parliament the final report of the Central Bank (CB) Treasury Bonds probe which concluded that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was directly responsible for the questionable bond transaction and recommended that legal action be taken against him and other CB officials involved in it. In his address to Parliament, Mr. Handunnetti said that while all members agreed to the 15 recommendations of the report, there was a dissenting opinion in the report.
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Sri Lanka’s chances of getting EU trade concessions hinge on meeting human rights requirements
Published Date: 31/10/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lanka’s chances of getting back the European Union’s General System of Preferences Plus (GSP-Plus) trade concessions which it lost in 2010, depend on meeting the European body’s requirements in regard to human rights. With improvements in the human rights situation after Maithripala Sirisena was elected President in January 2015, Sri Lanka applied for the restoration of the trade concessions.
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India calls for maximum devolution in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/10/2016 (Monday)
With the Sirisena -Wickremesinghe governments proposals on a new Constitution scheduled to be presented to Parliament prior to the budget, India has called for maximum devolution that meets the aspirations of all Lankans. Diplomatic sources said that New Delhi had urged the government to look at an inclusive solution to the ethnic issue, by devolving power to the "maximum", while emphasizing that it was not being "prescriptive".
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Tamils, Muslims hold talks
Published Date: 31/10/2016 (Monday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have commenced crucial discussions in order to reach an understanding pertaining to several key issues such as the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
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Kilinochchi, Mulaithivu to be declares Special Education Zones
Published Date: 30/10/2016 (Sunday)
Kilinochchi and Mulaithivu are to be declared as Special Education Zones. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has given this assurance at talks with Educational Authorities in Jaffna recently.
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Sri Lanka’s President Makes More Inappropriate Remarks
Published Date: 29/10/2016 (Saturday)
Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s president, was already having a bad month. Nevertheless, according to The Daily Mirror, Mr. Sirisena is looking to make things even worse. Evidently Mr. Sirisena believes that some Sri Lankans — including the media and those working for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — should refrain from commenting on matters of national security.
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India offers solar plant in Trincomalee
Published Date: 22/10/2016 (Saturday)
A month after Sri Lanka decided to scrap a coal power project involving the NTPC, in Trincomalee, India has offered to build a solar power plant in the port town. Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the matter in his recent meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena in Goa, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, highly-placed Indian government sources said.
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SRI LANKA BUDGET 2017 President gets more than Education and defence
Published Date: 21/10/2016 (Friday)
The government yesterday presented to Parliament its estimated expenditure for the next year in which the expenses of the President’s office rose by three times while defence allocation has been pruned down. The appropriation bill presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has estimated the total government expenditure of over Rs 1,819 billion (Rs 1,819,544,000,000). The amount is a decrease when compared with the government expenditure in 2016 of Rs. 1,941 billion.
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In parched Sri Lanka, biggest shortage is of water policy: experts
Published Date: 20/10/2016 (Thursday)
MAHASENPURA, Sri Lanka - In this village in southern Sri Lanka's Hambantota District, water sales are big business. Beset by a prolonged dry spell and day-time temperatures reaching above 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Farenheit), the village has seen all of its wells run dry. Water arrives once every three days in the form of a free government tanker, but it’s not always enough to last. Buying a tanker of water privately costs 5,000 rupees ($34), more than most people can pay.
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Protect Maithri for the survival of Unity Govt.
Published Date: 20/10/2016 (Thursday)
When it comes to individual behaviour, many things have puzzled me to the point that it seems abnormal and peculiar. They say, every time a human being choose to take charge of his/her destiny, all hell will break loose. Even those who could use one’s brave acts for inspiration will even ridicule and laugh at you for standing up for them. We tend to think this unnatural human act is an isolated incident, but we’re wrong. No place is this more obvious than in national politics. The only conclusion is that few of the powers-that-be have conditioned the minds and souls of the masses to work against their own interests, and this self-impediment has been passed down from generation to generation, even resulting in genetic mutation.’ -ANONYMOUS
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R Sampanthan meets Rita Izsák-Ndiaye
Published Date: 20/10/2016 (Thursday)
Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has met with the visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye. During her meeting with the Opposition Leader and representatives of the Tamil National Alliance the UN Rapporteur had conveyed that she gathered information from various parties pertaining to serious issues of minorities especially in coexisting in the country.
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Policy and legal framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act of Sri Lanka Stop enacting laws violating democratic and fundamental rights
Published Date: 20/10/2016 (Thursday)
The draft titled "Policy and legal framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act of Sri Lanka" is meant to replace the much criticised and denounced Prevention of Terrorism Act (ACT) that infringes on basic human rights of the people. It is now reported this new draft for "counter terrorism" has been referred by the Cabinet to two Sectoral Oversight Committees on National Security and Justice. Very authoritative sources have read it as far more terrifying than even the PTA it would replace.
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China strengthens military trade ties with Cambodia and Sri Lanka
Published Date: 19/10/2016 (Wednesday)
China has strengthened military ties with Cambodia and Sri Lanka with a view to expanding its defence supplier status in the two countries and support Beijing's wider effort to consolidate its influence across the Asia-Pacific. During recent and separate talks in Beijing between senior Chinese defence officials and counterparts from Cambodia and Sri Lanka, China offered the two countries military aid to enable the procurement of Chinese-made defence equipment, official statements have confirmed.
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ADB Aid to Sri Lanka wetland
Published Date: 19/10/2016 (Wednesday)
the capital Colombo, which could help reduce flooding, an ADB official said. The proposed project highlights the economic importance of wetlands and how ecosystems, which get degraded with urbanisation and industrial development, could be valued, said Herath Gunatilake, ADB’s Director of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department.
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China to provide Rs. 2.6 million worth military aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 18/10/2016 (Tuesday)
A delegation was led by the Secretary of Defense on the invitation of the Chinese Government to attend the 7th Xiangshan Forum on 10-12 October and the second China - Sri Lanka Defense Cooperation Dialogue from 12-15 October. The second China-Sri Lanka Defense Cooperation Dialogue in Beijing was chaired by the Defense Secretary Hettiarachchi and Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), reports the Colombo Page.
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Political priorities and Constitution making
Published Date: 17/10/2016 (Monday)
Constitutional expert and parliamentarian Dr. Jayampathy Wickremeratne has requested all the political parties to be flexible and support the government’s efforts to draft a new Constitution. He has also indicated that this is the most opportune moment to come up with a Constitution that will be fitting for the country. As he had pointed out we should neither delay the process too much nor should we try to do it in a hurry. What it means is that if we try to do it in a hurry we will end up with a faulty document which will serve no purpose, while on the other hand if we delay it too much it will never happen.
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Sumanthiran slams President’s sympathy on military personnel and negligence on Tamil inmates
Published Date: 17/10/2016 (Monday)
TNA parliamentarian and Spokesman of the party, M.A. Sumanthiran said President Maithripala Sirisena expresses his solicitude over the military personnel who have been in custody for 16 months and fails to do the same to the Tamil inmates who have been behind bars for 16 years without any charge. He made the remarks at an interview with a local media.
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Tamil National Alliance to modify unacceptable new anti-terror draft law in parliament
Published Date: 17/10/2016 (Monday)
Colombo: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is highly dissatisfied with the Sri Lankan government’s new draft law to replace the existing draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), is confident about getting it modified when it comes before the oversight committees of parliament. TNA MP M.A.Sumanthiran told Express on Sunday, that he would take it up when it comes before the two relevant Parliamentary Oversight Committees, the one on Justice and the other on National Security, at the end of this month.
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