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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Pakistan: Overhaul Abusive Police Force Lack of Accountability, Outdated Methods Contribute to Rights Violations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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Sacked BBC journalist who refused to prioritize Prince George’s birth wins £51k in court
Published Date: 20/09/2016 (Tuesday)
Chandana Keerthi Bandara, BBC journalist who was allegedly fired in large part for prioritizing a report on the anniversary of violence in Sri Lanka over the birth of Prince George has received £51,428 in compensation after suing the news outlet for unfair dismissal. Chandana Keerthi Bandara, 57, was in charge of overseeing the publishing of stories on July 23, 2013 – the day after Prince George was born. However, he said he chose not to prioritize the royal birth, partially because it clashed with the anniversary of Black July – a wave of anti-Tamil violence which led to hundreds of deaths in Sri Lanka in 1983.
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International Investigators inevitable: M.A. Sumanthiran
Published Date: 20/09/2016 (Tuesday)
We will bring International investigators for inquiries relating to missing persons, Tamil National Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. He said, that there are many who strongly oppose the idea to bring international judges, but not for international investigators.
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Truth mechanism quorum for finding missing persons to be decided by mid-October, says Sri Lankan diplomat at UN
Published Date: 20/09/2016 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka has to respond to the UN Human Rights council resolution adopted in 2014 which called for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes blamed on both the government troops and the LTTE during the country’s civil war. Sri Lanka’s proposed Truth Seeking Commission, a Reparations Office and a Judicial Mechanism will be decided by mid-October after the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation hands over its report, a top diplomat has said.
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NEW CONSTITUTION :SOLUTION TO NATIONAL QUESTION: Sampanthan Sees viable political resolution through Constitutional reforms
Published Date: 20/09/2016 (Tuesday)
The solution to the national question must be found in the new Constitution being formulated, Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan reiterated at an event in Trincomalee yesterday. Sampanthan said his party will be forced to withdraw support if the government does not propose a viable political resolution to the national problem through the Constitutional reforms. While noting that the views and aspirations of the Tamils had not being taken aboard in a comprehensive manner when formulating previous constitutions, Sampanthan said that he hoped the new government will not make the same mistake.
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SRI LANKA: Forensic inquiry must be conducted into the death at Pussellawa police station
Published Date: 19/09/2016 (Monday)
Kaviratne Raviraj, 30 years old, arrested and taken to the Pussellawa police station by some plain clothed police officers and was later pronounced dead upon admission to the Pussellawa Hospital. According to the relatives of the deceased, he was assaulted by the officers at the time of the arrest, and one of his brothers states that he saw his brother being assaulted inside the police station. Large crowds gathered on learning of this death, protesting against what happened to the deceased at the police station. The protestors stated that if such killings occur at police stations, it is not safe for them to go to a police station. As a result of the protest, one Sub Inspector and one constable have been suspended. However, the crowd demanded that the OIC should be suspended immediately.
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GOVERNMENT GETS PREPARED TO TAKE UP THE GAUNTLET
Published Date: 19/09/2016 (Monday)
Government leaders have been saying that the draft constitution will be placed before the Parliament prior to the budget debate that takes place in November. A new constitution which would require a referendum could prove to be the government’s Waterloo if the people reject it. Last week Chairman of the Public Representations Committee Lal Wijenayake, made an announcement that five of the six sub-committees of Parliament that had been delegated the task of submitting reports on various aspects of the new constitution had completed their work. The Public Representations Committee (PRC), appointed by the Prime Minister with 19 other members, made a special effort in consultations with the general public on the matters connected with the drafting of the new constitution. Chairman Wijenayake assured those who had made submissions to the PRC that their views would be taken into account in the drafting of the new constitution.
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UNHRC kudos for GoSL
Published Date: 17/09/2016 (Saturday)
United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) website said that among the several issues being taken at its current sessions which opened in Geneva Tuesday is the issue on Sri Lanka. That subject will revolve round the report of the 'Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Sri Lanka-Note by the Secretariat' and 'comments by the State (Sri Lanka)' on this report.
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Zeid lets Sri Lanka off the hook in his address to the 33rd session of the UNHRC
Published Date: 17/09/2016 (Saturday)
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, did not mention Sri Lanka in his opening address at the 33 rd. session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. This was because the theme of his speech was the problem of countries not giving access to UN rights investigative teams and the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in Sri Lanka, which came to power in January 2015, has been giving access to UN rights teams. The new government has also been making some progress in implementing the October 2015 UNHRC resolution on war time rights violations.
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Transitional Justice process & Voice of the Affected
Published Date: 16/09/2016 (Friday)
A number of positive measures have been taken by the current Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to further reconciliation and to facilitate transitional justice in Sri Lanka. The most far reaching democratic achievement under the new Government was the establishment of a number of institutions1 which exercise checks and balances on the State power. The most recent but also the most important such institution in terms of transitional justice is the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The consultation process conducted by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) is another welcomed development. On the top of all this, the democratic space created by the current regime remains the most beneficial factor in campaigning for and achieving rights.
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Sri Lanka: Is Transitional Justice in Trouble?
Published Date: 16/09/2016 (Friday)
The UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 33rd session began on Tuesday and Sri Lanka is on the agenda. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) is set to officially release a report on the island nation. The report is already in the public domain, although this is the first time the document will be presented to the Geneva-based HRC. Disappearances in Sri Lanka have been a longstanding problem. Appropriately, an Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is one of the four main pillars of the government’s transitional justice process.
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Tamil Political Prisoners in Sri Lanka: A Road to Nowhere?
Published Date: 15/09/2016 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka’s Tamil political prisoners have been back in the spotlight recently. Tamil political prisoners are ethnic Tamils who were allegedly members of or connected to the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group. Some have been convicted on charges of terrorism, though most have not. Many of the charges are believed to be fabricated and based upon coerced confessions, which were recorded in a language foreign to the accused. The new government has repeatedly promised to deal with the issue, but it has done little. While Obama may be keen to champion Sri Lanka’s peaceful transfer of power to bolster his foreign policy record, Colombo’s failure to act more decisively on political prisoners is unjust, calls into question its commitment to transitional justice, and illustrates that Sri Lanka is far from a clear-cut success story.
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Denmark apologises, promises to remove offending section Recognition of ‘Tamil Eelam’
Published Date: 15/09/2016 (Thursday)
Denmark has apologised to Sri Lanka for recognising ‘Tamil Eelam’ as one of the countries from which foreigners could apply for visas. A top Foreign Ministry official told The Island last night that Denmark had promised to remove the offending section. The Danish Immigration website shows ‘Tamil Eelam’ as one of the options to be selected under the category ‘nationality’ when filling out its visa application.
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The UN Has Done Little to Help Those Awaiting Justice in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 15/09/2016 (Thursday)
Ban Ki-Moon acknowledged the “big mistakes” the UN made in relation to Sri Lanka under his leadership, but is yet to lay out a concrete rights-based strategy for the country. Madushka De Silva disappeared on September 2, 2013 in Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-Buddhist heartland in the North Central Province. The third anniversary of his disappearance coincided with Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to the country. On that day, the UN secretary general was so close, and yet so far from De Silva’s wife, Mauri Inoka.
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Yes, the Sinhalese have their origins in Bengal, Odisha
Published Date: 14/09/2016 (Wednesday)
The “Mahavamsa”, arguably the greatest chronicle of Sri Lanka, narrates that the founder of the Sinhalese community had his roots among ancestors from East India. Sinhalese, who make up about 75 per cent of the Sri Lankan population have descended from inhabitants of ancient East India.
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SRI LANKA: Gayashan is still missing
Published Date: 14/09/2016 (Wednesday)
Gayashan still remains missing following police detention at the Hambanthota Police Station The Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera is reported to have spoken with the father of Gayashan, promising that he would do everything in his power to find the young man, or take serious action if something has happened to him. Despite this, there is still not even a clue about what happened to Gayashan.
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