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Opposition Leader issues glowing tribute to Fidel Castro
Published Date: 29/11/2016 (Tuesday)
TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, paying a tribute to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said, in a statement: "My heartfelt sympathies go to the people of Cuba on the demise of their great leader Commander Fidel Castro. The former Cuban leader who stood by his principles and convictions and led the people of Cuba for more than 50 years. He championed the revolutionary movement in 1959 and stood as one of the towering figures of the people of Cuba.
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Sri Lanka: De Facto State of Emergency? -Basil Fernando
Published Date: 26/11/2016 (Saturday)
When the high level delegation of Sri Lanka met the UN Committee against Torture (CAT Committee) last week on the 5th Periodic Review, one of the Committee members raised an important issue. The Member asked whether the dysfunctionality of the justice system in Sri Lanka has virtually created a situation of a de facto emergency. It is worth taking a little time to grasp the meaning of a de facto emergency. Normally, an emergency would mean the de jure state of emergency, or in other words a legally declared emergency. This is when creating safeguards on people’s rights are being suspended for a specific period due to an extraordinary situation facing a nation. The relevant Article in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is Article 4 which states the following:
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Sri Lanka's ex-leader slams India over China ties
Published Date: 25/11/2016 (Friday)
Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa launched an attack on India on Tuesday, ahead of his visit to China, a country that strongly backed the island politically and financially during his decade in power. The former leader told a group of local newspaper editors that India had been "furious" when Chinese submarines docked at the Colombo harbour in 2014, towards the end of his presidency.
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HIGH-POWERED MINISTERIAL GROUP TO DIFFUSE RELIGIOUS TENSIONS
Published Date: 25/11/2016 (Friday)
Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga, Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M.Swaminathan and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister Abdul Haleem are to join hands to make necessary interventions. Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told the Daily News the four ministers would offer leadership to ‘meaningful and constructive dialogue’ towards ending communal and religious mistrust.The ministerial group, the minister said, would soon facilitate a meeting with the various religious groups to iron out their differences.
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Deal firmly with extremists, PM tells police
Published Date: 25/11/2016 (Friday)
“The Good Governance Government has worked to establish national unity since President Maithripala Sirisena was elected the President. We all have a right to take pride over our race and religion whether we be Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher or Malay,” he said. “Above all this, we should take pride about our Sri Lankan identity. If we don’t respect our Sri Lankan identity and try to hurl abuse at other communities and religions, we would be branded as extremists bent on breaking and disrupting national unity. The duty of preventing such people from acting for personal gain or a long term objective wittingly or unwittingly lies with the police,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said. The Prime Minister expressed these sentiments presiding over the passing out parade of a batch of apprentice policemen who had completed training at the Kalutara Police Training College on November 20.
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Rapp says Govt. delays could be attempt to avoid justice for alleged war crimes
Published Date: 25/11/2016 (Friday)
Delaying the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including a special court to prosecute alleged war crimes, could be viewed as an attempt by the Government of Sri Lanka to “avoid” delivering on truth and justice for thousands of victims of the country’s civil war, a former top official in the US Government’s Office of Criminal Justice said. Former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Stephen J. Rapp said at the sidelines of the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court now underway in The Hague, Netherlands, that there was no reason the Government of Sri Lanka could not begin setting up the office of the prosecutor and putting frameworks in place, even if the court would not get off the ground immediately.
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Land, police powers to be devolved Bill of Rights in keeping with South African model
Published Date: 23/11/2016 (Wednesday)
The government said yesterday that the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Devolution had proposed that land and police powers be devolved to the provinces in keeping with the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Senior Constitutional lawyer Jayampathi Wickremeratne MP, told a news conference in Colombo, that proposals made by the six parliamentary sub committees appointed to submit proposals on various subjects including the national question, human rights and public administration to be included in the proposed new Constitution had been submitted to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had in turn presented it to Parliament.
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Life lessons from Medical knight of Lankan origin
Published Date: 23/11/2016 (Wednesday)
Since beginning of November, there are renewed calls to shut down or nationalize South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). On November 15, SAITM responded by having their fourth Convocation to recognize its MBBS graduates from their first and second batches at the BMICH. This also marked the passing out of graduates from the faculties, ICT & Media, and Management & Finance. This momentous occasion for SAITM was graced by the distinguished Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran - Professor Emeritus in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, St. George’s University, London.
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Sri Lankan Official Dodges UN Questions Over Alleged Torture
Published Date: 18/11/2016 (Friday)
A United Nations committee that monitors acts of torture in member countries grilled an intelligence chief Wednesday over the alleged abuse of detainees during Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, only to have the nation's attorney general step in to deflect the questions. The mere presence of Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis at the Committee Against Torture's two-day hearing on Sri Lanka was already a surprise to both panel members and many non-governmental groups that have raised concerns about his war-time activities. .
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Conspiracy to smuggle out infamous criminal Duminda ! -Fudging judge, medical specialists and media coolie involved
Published Date: 17/11/2016 (Thursday)
The notorious drug Kingpin who is now in the death row in connection with the cold blooded ruthless murder of Baratha Lakshman and three others in broad daylight is somehow, either by hoodwinking the authorities ,or by secret methods is to be found an escape route from jail . Plans are afoot to smuggle him out of the country by sea, based on information reaching Lanka e news inside information division.
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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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