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Sri Lanka cleaning up its record on human rights abuses, says PM
Published Date: 03/10/2016 (Monday)
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka says the country is cleaning up its act when it comes to human rights abuses. Ranil Wickremesinghe is on a three-day visit to New Zealand. He and Prime Minister John Key had formal talks at Government House in Auckland today. Amnesty International had pressured Key to discuss human rights with Wickremesinghe during the talks, pointing out that Sir Lankan security forces have been implicated in tens of thousands of disappearances.
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International Day of Older Persons 1 October Secretary-General's Message for 2016
Published Date: 02/10/2016 (Sunday)
The International Day of Older Persons is our chance to take a stand against the destructive problem of ageism. While older persons are often said to enjoy particular respect, the reality is that too many societies limit them, denying access to jobs, loans and basic services. The marginalization and devaluing of older persons takes a heavy toll. It undermines their productivity and experience in the workforce, in volunteerism and through civil engagement while constraining their capacity for caregiving as well as financial and other support to families and communities. Ageism frequently intersects with other forms of discrimination based on gender, race, disability and other grounds, compounding and intensifying its effects.
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While Russia and US Point Fingers, Aid Groups Warn that 'Aleppo is Slowly Dying'
Published Date: 01/10/2016 (Saturday)
Over 300 civilians have been killed and at least 600 injured, including 44 children, in the past week alone. (Photo: Manu Brabo/AP) One week after the collapse of a tenuous ceasefire, tensions between the United States and the Russian-Syrian alliance appear to be at a boiling point, while the consequence of that political fall-out is "nothing short of a human catastrophe."
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Call out Sri Lanka’s empty promises
Published Date: 01/10/2016 (Saturday)
The Green Party is calling on John Key to have an open and honest discussion about human rights with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister at their meeting tomorrow. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be meeting with John Key at Government House in Auckland this Saturday for bilateral talks, the first meeting between the two leaders since the latter took office in January 2015.
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Ban Ki-moon’s “New Union” for Sri Lanka
Published Date: 01/10/2016 (Saturday)
You’ve heard of the “We Tamils” (who beat up High Commissioner Ansar). Now we have the “E-Tamils”–the “Eluga/Ezhuga Tamils” (or simply Eelam Tamils?). They shut down Jaffna, took over its streets, raucously demanding federalism, an international investigation and cleansing of the army and Sinhala Buddhist symbolism/presence from the North (thereby turning it into a mono-ethnic enclave). Meanwhile the smooth operators Suma-Sam-Sara-Suren canvass federalism and an internationalized ‘war crimes’ investigation in the corridors of Colombo and Western capitals.
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Military releases 454 acres to private owners
Published Date: 01/10/2016 (Saturday)
The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement yesterday announced the release of over 450 acres of military-controlled land to private owners, in the latest reconciliation efforts made by the Government. The Ministry of Defence has identified 454.2 acres of land in Thelipallai D.S. Division for release to private ownership as part of an initial phrase, Resettlement Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy said.
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Report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues
Published Date: 30/09/2016 (Friday)
The Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsak, submitted her report of her activities during 2015 to the Human Rights Council The report provides an update of her activities during 2015. It includes a thematic analysis on the topic of minorities and discrimination based on caste and analogous systems of inherited status.
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SAARC DROWNS ON CUSP OF HOSTILITIES
Published Date: 30/09/2016 (Friday)
Sri Lanka will not participate in the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) scheduled for 9 to 10 November in Islamabad, Pakistan, as per the Treaty – 'if one country pulls out, there will be no Summit', Ceylon Today learns. Following India's withdrawal from the Summit stating Pakistan has not created a conducive ambiance for it, SAARC member countries namely Afghanistan,... ...Bangladesh and Bhutan have also sent official letters conveying to the Nepal Chair their 'inability' to participate stating that current regional environment is not conducive to the successful holding of the Summit.
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Political justice is not enough to rebuild Sri Lanka
Published Date: 29/09/2016 (Thursday)
For Sri Lanka, gender equity will be fundamental to a stable, peaceful and equitable future The civil war that raged for 26 years in Sri Lanka was always about more than political grievances. The politics were rooted in economic and social disenfranchisement of the Tamil minority by the Sinhala majority. A government policy adopted in the mid-1950s that declared Sinhala to be the country’s only official language may have been the spark that started the fire, but the impact over decades was a systemic marginalization in all sectors of politics and the economy that fueled Tamil grievances and a quest for a separate state.
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More Details Emerge On Basil’s Luxury Villa
Published Date: 29/09/2016 (Thursday)
More details have surfaced over a property in Malwana said to have been owned by a former Minister. The sub-contractor of the questionable construction at 111/3, Mahwatte, Gangabada Road, Mapitigama, Malwana alleged to be owned by former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa told theThe Sunday Leader how the Rajapaksa family was directly involved in supervision during the construction work of the two bed- roomed super luxury villa.
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Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund New York, 21st September 2016
Published Date: 29/09/2016 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka co-hosted a Pledging Conference to Refinance the Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).held on 21st September 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the 71st sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.Sri Lanka together with Kenya, Mexico, The Netherlands, Somalia, Sweden, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom co- hosted the event. The conference was able to generate pledges from thirty countries amounting to a sum of US Dollars 152 million to support UN peacebuilding efforts across the globe. Foreign Minister Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, chaired one segement of the conference and delivered closing remarks on behalf of the co hosts.
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Sri Lanka's Fleeing Tamils
Published Date: 28/09/2016 (Wednesday)
In early June of this year, a boat with a failed engine carrying five children, 22 women, and 13 men was found in the water by fishermen off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia. One of the women on board was pregnant and one of the children was an infant. Those on board were all ethnic Tamils who had recently fled from their native Sri Lanka and were now seeking asylum. At the same time, human rights observers documented evidence of increased persecution and horrific torture against Tamils by Sri Lankan authorities. Initially taken in by the fishermen, the group was later returned to sea by Indonesian authorities who claimed that the asylum seekers’ boat had been repaired, that those on board were in good health, and that they were to continue on to their desired destination of Australia. Human rights organizations immediately called foul, especially since the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and local non-governmental organizations had been denied access to the asylum-seekers.
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Sri Lanka police exhume journalist's body in murder he predicted
Published Date: 28/09/2016 (Wednesday)
Sri Lankan police on Tuesday exhumed the body of a senior journalist who had predicted just days before his murder in 2009 that he would be killed by the government, marking the latest development in a series of probes into former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration. Lasantha Wickrematunga, an outspoken editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, often clashed with politicians. Rajapaksa's brother, then defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had sued it for defamation over stories criticizing the country's civil war and alleging procurement graft.
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Vacancies at the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM).
Published Date: 28/09/2016 (Wednesday)
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office has advertised vacancies for the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM).
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South-south cooperation at work: Inside Thailand's aid
Published Date: 28/09/2016 (Wednesday)
Thailand has silently demonstrated over the last decade that countries don't need to be considered “developed” or rich to give back. Despite being classified as an upper-middle-income nation and an aid recipient, Thailand is also a donor. The rationale, aid officials from the country told Devex, is that “south-south cooperation” works.
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Sri Lanka's China Enclave: Set To Boom Or Bust?
Published Date: 27/09/2016 (Tuesday)
I travel to emerging markets around Asia and report on what I find. Hambantota isn’t just a place in Sri Lanka, it’s a symbol. What started out as a gargantuan project to transform an undeveloped swath of Sri Lankan jungle into the country’s number two city — an industrial and logistical epicenter in the heart of the Indian Ocean — turned into a metaphor for opaque government dealings, poor planning, the flippant use of public funds, and token rivalries between political factions.
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Pakistan: Overhaul Abusive Police Force Lack of Accountability, Outdated Methods Contribute to Rights Violations
Published Date: 27/09/2016 (Tuesday)
The Pakistani government should overhaul its police system that enables and even encourages serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Successive Pakistani governments have for decades failed to reform an under-resourced and under-equipped police force or hold abusive police to account. “Pakistan faces grave security challenges that can be best handled by a rights respecting, accountable police force,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, law enforcement has been left to a police force filled with disgruntled, corrupt, and tired officers who commit abuses with impunity, making Pakistanis less safe, not more.”
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EU Top Court Advised to Drop Hamas, Tamil Tigers From Terror List
Published Date: 23/09/2016 (Friday)
An adviser to the European Union’s top court said on Thursday that Hamas and the LTTE should be taken off the EU’s terror list, because the bloc’s governments followed the wrong procedures when including the two groups. It was further said that EU governments failed to prove that these groups had taken part in terrorists attacks.
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UK official discusses UNHRC resolution with Mangala
Published Date: 23/09/2016 (Friday)
British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alok Sharma had talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka. The meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
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Ban hails Lanka’s ‘deepening’ efforts to heal war wounds
Published Date: 23/09/2016 (Friday)
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon hailed Sri Lanka’s “deepening” efforts to heal the wounds of war, in his final opening address to the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday. Opening the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday (20), the UN Secretary General used Myanmar and Sri Lanka as states in now in transformation from conflict and political turmoil.
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At UN Assembly, President of Sri Lanka outlines plan for peace and sustainable development
Published Date: 23/09/2016 (Friday)
At UN Assembly, President of Sri Lanka outlines plan for peace and sustainable development Outlining steps towards reconciliation, democracy and alleviation of poverty, President of Sri Lanka expressed his commitment to take necessary action in order to achieve long-term peace and sustainable development, including protecting the environment. “My intention is to make the people of Sri Lanka the happiest people on Earth,” said President Maithripala Sirisena in his address to the General Assembly on Wednesday.
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SRI LANKA: Supreme Court Judgments on torture and the State’s failure to protect those in custody
Published Date: 23/09/2016 (Friday)
One more judgement from the Supreme Court, on torture by the Sri Lankan police, was added to a long list of such judgements, when the Supreme Court decided in favour of a petition filed by W.N.L.K. Fernando of Naththandiya Police against officers attached to the Wennapuwa Police Station [S.C.F.R. Application No. 612/09]. The Supreme Court decided that three of the police officers have, in fact, violated the rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 11 of the Constitution by assaulting petitioner Fernando. The Court ordered the three police officers to pay the Petitioner Rupees 35,000 each, i.e. Rupees 105,000 in total, out of their own pockets. The Court rejected the version of the Respondent police officers that the injuries on the petitioner might have been caused in the course of the petitioner’s attempt to resist arrest.
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‘Soft Power for Peace and Development – UNESCO and the SDGs’
Published Date: 22/09/2016 (Thursday)
Remarks by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO on ‘Soft Power for Peace and Development – UNESCO and the SDGs’ delivered at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo on 16 August 2016 Honourable Mangala Samaraweera, Minster of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Dr Dinusha Panditaratne, Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies, Honourable Ministers, Ambassadors, UN Colleagues, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
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Chanuka Ratwatte , Isira Dassanayake and Entrust Co. bigwigs remanded over Rs. 10,000 million colossal fraud ! LeN expose` Rajapakse siblings were biggest beneficiaries !!
Published Date: 21/09/2016 (Wednesday)
The largest financial fraud in Sri Lanka’s history running to the tune of over Rs. 10720 million (over Rs. 10 billion ) ! committed by ace rogues cum fraudsters including Chanuka Upendra Ratwatte (brother of Lohan Ratwatte M.P.) , Isira Dharmapriya Bandara Dasanayake (chairman) , Ms. Romesha Dushanthi Senarath (CEO of the group ) ,Kathhera Pathirathnalage Nandika Sanjeewa Dayaratne ,and Madushan Niloshan Romelo Mendis of of ‘Entrust group of companies’, ,has been detected by the FCID . All the suspects were arrested by the FCID on the 14 th noon , and were remanded until the 28 th of September after they were produced before court. The order was issued by Colombo Fort magistrate Ms.Lanka Jayaratne.
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No Move To Assist People Of The North – Interview with Parliamentarian Dharmalingam
Published Date: 20/09/2016 (Tuesday)
Leader of the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Dharmalingam Siddharthan claims that the development of the Northern Province has come to a standstill. He feels that no concerted effort is being put in constructive development that will truly benefit the people of the North. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Sidharthan said that unemployment rate is high in the North and proper development should take place to provide more employment opportunities for the youth. However, this is not happening satisfactorily, he laments.
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