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Court of Appeal issues notice to individuals acquitted in Raviraj Case
Published Date: 22/02/2017 (Wednesday)
It was reported notice has been issued to the 5 individuals, who were arrested and later released, over the murder of former Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj, to appear before the Court of Appeal, following an appeal filed by Nadarajah Raviraj’s wife calling for the verdict issued by the Colombo High Court pertaining to the case to be overturned. The five were summoned before the Appeals Court on the 28th of February.
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Japan tightens entry requirements for foreign students
Published Date: 22/02/2017 (Wednesday)
Japan has decided to tighten its entrance requirements for overseas students from five countries including China and Vietnam from mid-March, as part of its efforts to prevent illegal immigration. However, the move has been strongly criticized by local language schools as they claim the "standard" to select the counties is biased and unfair.
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Census of Public and Semi Government Sector Employment - Preliminary Report issued
Published Date: 22/02/2017 (Wednesday)
Department of Census and Statistics, on 17 November 2016 conducted the Census of Public and Semi Government Sector Employment 2016 which is the eighth in a series of censuses conducted by the Department (DCS). A Preliminary Report based on the summaries prepared manually at institutional level immediately after the census which covered both the public sector and the Semi Government sector has been prepared by DCS. The report presents information on employees at the work place they are currently attached to.
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Digging for Sangam glory
Published Date: 22/02/2017 (Wednesday)
Every time the people in Keezhadi tilled their fields, dug trenches to plant coconut seeds, or disturbed the soil surface in any way at all, they were puzzled at the numerous shards of pottery that showed up. But this village, 12 km from the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, did not think much of it. For the staff of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) scouting for any information on potential dig sites along the Vaigai river, this was the equivalent of finding Mackenna’s Gold.
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An appeal to Tamil political leaders on the ‘new constitution’
Published Date: 21/02/2017 (Tuesday)
I make this appeal to all Tamil political leaders without limiting it to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) or its affiliates. This includes not only the leaders in the North and the East, but also the rest of the country, though many of my submissions may directly be relevant to the first category. I make this appeal as a citizen of Sri Lanka based on my experience, concerns and respect for the country and its future. The context to make this appeal is the ongoing negotiations within the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to bring a consensual draft for a new constitution that can be put before the whole of Parliament and then before the people at a Referendum. My basic appeal is for you to moderate your positions, as much as possible, on the questions of ‘unitary state, federalism, merger of the North/East and foremost position to Buddhism,’ among some of the other controversial matters.
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India will not press for merger of north, east Sri Lankan provinces: Jaishankar
Published Date: 21/02/2017 (Tuesday)
India will not be pressing Sri Lanka to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a single Tamil-majority, Tamil-speaking province as envisaged by the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, the Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Monday. He was reacting to a demand made by the leader of the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Suresh Premachandran, that India should honor its promise to keep the North and East united. It had even said that it would not allow a referendum to be held on the issue. When the united province was de-merged in 2006 by a Supreme Court order, India did not protest saying that it was for the Sri Lankan government to appeal against the judgment. India had clearly lost interest in the issue. Its interests lay elsewhere in Sri Lanka.
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US House of Representatives delegation in SL
Published Date: 20/02/2017 (Monday)
A bipartisan delegation from the US House of Representatives arrived in Colombo today for three days of meetings as part of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), the US Embassy today said. Issuing a statement, the Embassy said the delegation is pleased to continue the partnership begun with the signing of a Collaboration Agreement between the US House of Representatives and Sri Lankan Parliament on September 14, 2016 in Washington D.C.
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Sumanthiran lobbying in Geneva
Published Date: 20/02/2017 (Monday)
Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran, who is currently in Geneva, urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) officials not to allow Sri Lanka to make any change in the original resolution co-sponsored with...... the UNHRC by the country in 2015. Sumanthiran met the UNHRC officials in Geneva on Saturday (18) morning where he briefed extensively on the failures in implementing the key aspects of the UNHRC resolution of 2015 by the Lankan Government.
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Indian Foreign Secretary Meets with TNA delegation
Published Date: 20/02/2017 (Monday)
Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Dr. Jaishanker met with the TNA delegation today (20 Feb.) at the Indian High Commission in Colombo. At the meeting, the TNA delegation apprised the foreign secretary of some pressing issues faced by the Tamil people including the lack of progress in relation to the release of lands held by the military in the North and East, disappearances, and Tamil political prisoners. The TNA also updated Dr. Jaishankar about the new constitution, stating that the process had now stalled.
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CBK’s Remarks on “War Widows’ IRK Military)
Published Date: 19/02/2017 (Sunday)
President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to provide an allowance of Rs 10,000 per month for all farmers who are affected by the prevailing dry weather and also instructed relevant authorities to appoint a committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families. After getting the relevant information, this allowance will be given from next month till the Yala season begins.
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Enforced disappearance: Bill holds superiors also accountable for the crime
Published Date: 19/02/2017 (Sunday)
The Bill, to be enacted shortly, to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, provides for the sanctioning of superiors who, by commission or omission, are party to such crimes. The Law also provides for the extradition of a person, including those holding citizenship of other countries with which Sri Lanka has extradition treaties and are signatories to this Convection, to stand trial for acting in violation of the provisions of this Act.
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Sri Lankan government sends back families of missing Tamils with yet another promise
Published Date: 18/02/2017 (Saturday)
Sri Lankan government ministers who met representatives the families of 32,000 missing Tamils here on February 9, sent them back with yet another promise that their grievance will be attended to after the return of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from Australia. The families had met Ministers State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapakshe and Minister of Rehabilitation D.M.Swaminathan, at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara was present.
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Prez admits severe criticism of recent HC appointment justified
Published Date: 17/02/2017 (Friday)
Former Law Professor G.L. Peiris yesterday said that the yahapalana government owed an explanation to the public regarding the controversial appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge. Kannan functions as HC judge of Civil Appellate Court, Jaffna. Matale-born Kannan of the private bar in Batticaloa received his appointment early this month. Kannan had served the Attorney General’s Department for a decade before moving to Batticaloa, where he enjoyed a lucrative practice.
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Foreign judges must oversee treatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka: HRW
Published Date: 17/02/2017 (Friday)
Sri Lanka must employ international judges and prosecutors to ensure accountability during trials of those responsible for alleged war crimes against mostly Tamils, Human Rights Watch Australia’s director Elaine Pearson told SBS News. Ms Pearson’s call, which echoes a recommendation in a 2015 UN Human Rights Council report of the OHCHR investigation of Sri Lanka, comes as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingh this week visited Canberra.
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Govt Printer receives delimitation committee report
Published Date: 17/02/2017 (Friday)
The Government Printer says that the Delimitation Committee report has been received and that it will be gazette within the day. The final draft of the Delimitation Committee, with the signatures of all five members, was handed over to the Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha on January 17.
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Why India's increased military assistance to Afghanistan is a step in the right direction
Published Date: 17/02/2017 (Friday)
India and Afghanistan have a deep rooted relationship. Afghanistan is a strategically important country, not only to India but to the entire region. It is India’s gateway to Central Asian republics. Afghan people are fiercely independent and follow the Sunni sect that follows Hanafi Islamic Law. Tribal affinity and affiliation have been the hallmark of politics in Afghanistan. The country can proudly claim that no outsider has ever been able to subjugate her.
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Lasantha’s murder; SC holds Army officer’s rights violated
Published Date: 16/02/2017 (Thursday)
The Supreme Court yesterday held that the fundamental rights of an Army Officer attached to the Intelligence Unit, who had been arrested and detained under the pretension of being a suspect regarding the murder of Journalist Lasantha Wickramathunga, have been infringed and awarded Rs.100,000 as compensation. The Bench comprised Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Upaly Abeyrathne and Anil Gooneratne.
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President steps in to break deadlock in constitutional negotiations
Published Date: 16/02/2017 (Thursday)
President Maithripala Sirisena has stepped into break a deadlock in constitutional negotiations, holding a round of tripartite talks with the United National Party (UNP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) late last month. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the tripartite discussions, together with UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema and Party General Secretary Kabir Hashim. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan attended with TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran. President Sirisena chaired the meeting, with SLFP Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Faizer Mustapha and Nimal Siripala De Silva also present. Daily FT learns that JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was also invited to attend the talks but had been unable to participate due to other commitments. The meeting took place on 30 January, subsequent to discussions between President Sirisena and the TNA about ongoing consultations on the new constitution.
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Zeid’s office needs USD 648,000 for work in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 16/02/2017 (Thursday)
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein says it needs USD 648,000 for its work in Sri Lanka this year. The UN Human Rights Office today launched its most ambitious funding appeal yet, urging States and private donors to bolster the Office’s ability to work and stand up for human rights for all people, everywhere.
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Most people worried about referendum: Chandrika
Published Date: 16/02/2017 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan government will soon launch a campaign to garner support for a new Constitution which it hopes to put to a referendum this year, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. “Most people are worried about a referendum. Given the general situation at the moment, [they fear] whether one could win a referendum,” she told Colombo-based foreign correspondents on Tuesday. Her comments come at a time when Sri Lanka is drafting a new Constitution that minority Tamils hope will deliver a lasting political solution.
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TNA denies hand in controversial HC appointment JO challenged to prove accusations
Published Date: 15/02/2017 (Wednesday)
The four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has strongly denied Joint Opposition accusation that it influenced recent appointment of Ramanathan Kannan of the private bar as a High Court judge. Raghu Balachandran, Media Secretary to the TNA leader as well as the leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan yesterday told The Island that there was absolutely no basis for the accusation.
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War Crimes Probe: TNA Miffed With Government’s Time Buying Tactics
Published Date: 15/02/2017 (Wednesday)
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is miffed with the government’s latest time buying tactic in its attempt to further postpone the war crimes probe, sources said. During several forums, the TNA MPs, including its leader R. Sampanthan had expressed both disappointment and annoyance following the government’s recent declaration that it will seek more time from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to probe war crimes
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Sri Lanka Tamil Party is for a public referendum on constitution - MP Sumanthiran
Published Date: 14/02/2017 (Tuesday)
Lanka's main Tamil Party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is of the view that adoption of a new constitution should take place with the approval of the people at a referendum and it supports the proposal put forward by the government to hold a public referendum, TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran said. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, Parliamentarian Sumanthiran said the TNA is prepared to engage in a meaningful discussion on the issue of devolution of power in the new constitution instead of insisting on words.
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Karuna forms new political party; fires salvo at TNA
Published Date: 12/02/2017 (Sunday)
Former deputy minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman on Saturday floated a new political party to press for all Tamil issues as he accused the main party representing the minority community of not doing enough for the Tamils. The former top LTTE military commander, who later became a deputy minister in the former government, formed the Tamil United People’s Front in the eastern town of Batticaloa.
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A new Constitution is the most potent weapon for non-recurrence of Sri Lanka’s conflict, says Mangala Samaraweera
Published Date: 09/02/2017 (Thursday)
A new Constitution is the most potent weapon for non-recurrence of Sri Lanka’s conflict and would have to be given priority over accountability mechanisms, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. The country, which suffered two youth insurrections and a 26-year-long war, had seen enough violence and bigotry, and needed checks and balances to ensure that the road ahead is peaceful, he told Colombo-based foreign correspondents on Wednesday.
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