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Belgian born Sociologist François Houtart passes away
Published Date: 09/06/2017 (Friday)
Belgian Marxist Sociologist Emeritus Professor François Houtart has passed away in Quito, the capital of Ecuador on Tuesday at the age of 92. Rev Fr Houtart's demise occurred while he was taking part in a conference on Eezham Tamils with German-based Viraj Mendis at Quito. Fr Houtart was one of the first world intellectuals to recognise the genocide on Eezham Tamils after the 2009 onslaught on Wanni. He chaired the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka, which was held in Dublin in 2010. The investigation process was finally concluded in December 2013 at Bremen in Germany with the findings that Eezham Tamils have been subjected to Genocide.
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UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by SL debated in Parliament
Published Date: 08/06/2017 (Thursday)
The resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Commission was taken up for debate on 6th June Parliament session. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the resolution was co-sponsored for the betterment of the country and its future.
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JO complains to EU of delayed local polls
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
The Joint Opposition has complained to the European Union of the government’s failure to hold local government elections. The complaint had been made when a delegation of Joint Opposition MPs led by its parliamentary group and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena met EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung-Laï Margue on June 1, UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody told The Island yesterday.The Joint Opposition delegation also comprised MPs
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A Hundred Days Of Protest, Still No Answers
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
On May 30, around 1,000 protesters from across the North-East, converged with families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi to mark 100 days of continuous protest. In the hands of each protester was a photograph of a missing loved one, held close to the chest like a flimsy shield. Beginning the day with a sombre inter-faith prayer service, and a moment of silence for those dead and missing from floods and landslides in the South, protesters blockaded the A9 highways for six hours. Their collective demands, as outlined in letters addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, were simple:
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Eight years after end of war, Tamil refugees divided over returning to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
More than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees continue to live in Tamil Nadu 30 years after the outbreak of civil war caused them to flee across the Palk Strait. Today they live on in the knowledge that their sheltering camps can never be home, while returning means having to rebuild life from the scratch. And for an entire generation, these camps are the only homes they’ve ever known—yet they are called refugees.
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All parties have agreed to include ‘Unitary status’ in constitution
Published Date: 07/06/2017 (Wednesday)
All political parties including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have agreed to include the term ‘Unitary Status’ into the new constitution that is being formulated, Highways State Minister Dilan Perera said . He made these observations yesterday at a press conference held at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Head Office in Colombo.
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Supreme Court orders Rs. 1m compensation to Police torture victim
Published Date: 06/06/2017 (Tuesday)
The Supreme Court this week ordered the payment of Rs 1 million in compensation to a man who was tortured by officers of the Bandaragama police station. A Sub Inspector (SI), Constable, Sergeant and security assistant were personally ordered to pay Rs 125,000 each, to Chaminda Sampath Kumara from Walgama, Welimilla Junction. The State was instructed
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Govt lacks proper mechanism – Rathana Thera
Published Date: 05/06/2017 (Monday)
Member of Parliament (MP) and Senior Presidential Adviser Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the Government lacks a proper mechanism...... to tackle an emergency or disaster situation in the country. He said he was personally not pleased with the manner in which the government acted in the face of the recent natural calamity experienced in several districts of the country
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HRC’s role needs to be respected: Satkunananthan
Published Date: 05/06/2017 (Monday)
The Government needs to respect the role of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and have a proper understanding of it, Human Rights Commissioner Ambika Satkunananthan said yesterday as she explained lack of effectiveness of the HRC in the current policy making and legal reform process.
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Can Executive Presidency be abolished without a referendum?
Published Date: 04/06/2017 (Sunday)
The constitution making process has been hamstrung by the insistence of the SLFP faction in the government that any constitutional reform would have to done without a referendum. According to the book ‘Yuga Peraliya’ written about the campaign to defeat the Rajapaksas by JHU activist Asoka Abegunawardene, this proviso was deliberately introduced into Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto so that it could be used later to prevent the abolition of the executive presidency.
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Human rights commission urges President to tackle hate crimes
Published Date: 03/06/2017 (Saturday)
An independent human rights watchdog has urged President Maithripala Sirisena to tackle the alleged hate crime attacks from Buddhist extremist groups targeting the country’s minority Muslim community. In a letter to Sirisena, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka asked the government to fully implement the rule of law to bring the perpetrators of racial hatred to book.
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The law that sanctions Tamil Eelam
Published Date: 02/06/2017 (Friday)
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution has had profound implications on the way we conduct Government in Sri Lanka. Yet, it would come as a surprise to many if I said that LTTE's deepest darkest aspirations could have easily been achieved politically and through provisions in the Constitution itself. LTTE's aspirations almost saw fruition in 1990, and this provision continues to be the last hope for separatists even today.
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UNHRC resolutions violate Sri Lanka’s sovereignty
Published Date: 02/06/2017 (Friday)
The UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/34/L.1 of 15 March 2017 "requests the Government of Sri Lanka to implement fully the measures identified by the Council in its resolution 30/1 that are outstanding". While the language in the 2017 Resolution was a "request", the language in the 2015 Resolution was stated as: "encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations contained therein when implementing measures for truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence".
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Diplomats in Sri Lanka urge govt action against anti-Muslim attacks
Published Date: 02/06/2017 (Friday)
Diplomats on Thursday condemned violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka and urged the government to uphold minority rights and freedom of religion. More than 20 attacks on Muslims have been recorded since April 17, including including arson at Muslim-owned businesses and petrol-bomb attacks on mosques
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US Jews providing emergency aid to storm-struck Sri Lanka JDC pairs with Buddhist group to respond to catastrophic floods and mudslides that killed over 200
Published Date: 02/06/2017 (Friday)
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has responded with emergency aid to More than 200 people have been confirmed dead and at least 100 missing in the worst storms to hit the island nation since 2003. JDC, together with its local partner Sarvodaya, a Buddhist-inspired humanitarian organization, deployed its first responder unit to provide food, water, and other emergency aid in Sri Lanka’s five hardest hit districts.
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Sri Lanka: Attacks on Muslims escalate following UN, EU concessions
Published Date: 31/05/2017 (Wednesday)
Unabated violence against minority Muslims in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Sinhala Buddhists localities is alarmingly on the rise in the wake of international bodies relaxing trade and political restrictions placed on the government.
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People keen on new constitution
Published Date: 31/05/2017 (Wednesday)
Constitution was held at Mount View Hotel, Badulla, on Monday 22nd May. Lal Wijenayake was the keynote speaker. Very lucidly explaining the work that had been done in preparation for drawing up the draft of the New Constitution, Wijenayake said that over 2500 persons representing various important groups of people were interviewed and over 3000 written statements were examined. Further, the six subcommittees of parliamentarians have submitted their observations on matters pertaining to 1. Fundamental rights 2. The Judiciary 3. Law and Order 4. Public Finance 5. Public Service 6. Centre Periphery Relations.
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Wake up, JVP tells Govt., before country heads towards another bloodbath
Published Date: 30/05/2017 (Tuesday)
Amidst a surge of attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned business establishments across the country, in the past few weeks, the JVP urged the government to awaken from its slumber and arrest the spiralling number of racial and communal acts of violence. “The government should have acted fast to nip this in the bud but what it is displaying instead is an impotent and ineffectual attitude to this dangerous situation which has the ability to push the country towards another bloodbath,” JVP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka told Parliament on Wednesday.
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BBS goes to HRC
Published Date: 30/05/2017 (Tuesday)
The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against the warrant issued for the arrest of its Chief, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. The BBS warns that Gnanasara Thera could be assassinated in a manner......similar to that of the underworld bigwig Samayan, who was killed by a group clad in Police uniforms.
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New Constitution wording raises the heat
Published Date: 30/05/2017 (Tuesday)
TNA leader R. Sampanthan has demanded that the transliteration of Sinhala word, ‘akeeya’ be incorporated into the proposed draft constitution (English version) in place of word, ‘unitary’. MP Sampanthan reacted angrily to Minister Nimal Siripalala de Silva’s response that such a position wasn’t realistic.
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Sri Lanka receives foreign aid after flooding and landslides leaves 146 dead
Published Date: 28/05/2017 (Sunday)
The number of people known to have been killed in floods and landslides in Sri Lanka rose to 146, officials said on Sunday, as the country appealed for international assistance. The state-run disaster management centre said 112 people were still missing and 50 people were injured in hospital after the worst torrential rains since 2003.
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India Should Either Come Up With A Better Plan For Sri Lanka Or Send A Thank You Note To China
Published Date: 27/05/2017 (Saturday)
When it comes to Sri Lanka, China has an ambitious agenda. It wants to turn the island nation into a trading and military outpost in the Indian Ocean. And it has a good plan in advancing that agenda, including the shoring up of Sri Lanka’s major ports. That’s something Sri Lanka and other Indian Ocean countries desperately need, as trade flowing throughout the region has multiplied in recent years.
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Muslims will be compelled to seek int'l community support: EPC Opposition Leader
Published Date: 27/05/2017 (Saturday)
If the incumbent government continued to overlook the racist acts perpetrated on the Muslim community, it would lead to a situation to lodge the complaint with the international community, EPC Leader of the Opposition M.S Uthumalebbe said. Hence, the government and the defence sector should take action to contain the racist acts inflicted upon the Muslim community, he said.
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Sri Lanka hunts Buddhist monk over anti-Muslim hate crimes
Published Date: 27/05/2017 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka's police launched a major manhunt for a controversial Buddhist monk wanted in connection with a spate of attacks against mosques and Muslim-owned business. Police said they were working to track down and arrest Galagodaatte Gnanasara, head of the radical Buddhist Force or BBS, after he went into hiding.
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New policy on durable solutions in Sri Lanka: the challenge of implementation
Published Date: 27/05/2017 (Saturday)
On 16 August 2016, the Sri Lankan Cabinet approved a “National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-affected Displacement”. Guest bloggers Laurie Wiseberg and Mirak Raheem discuss the new policy and its implementation.
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