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Foreign aid to country's female education
Published Date: 16/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In today's fast growing world, most of the nations are fighting to leave a mark of their existence. While some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been the front runners for as long as the history books allow us to count on, other countries like Germany and Japan have surprised the world by becoming some of the largest economies in spite of being nearly demolished during the Second World War. The fact of the matter remains, however, that none of these developed countries achieved the status or the right to be called "developed" overnight.
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Reunion planned in Newfoundland for Tamil ‘boat people’
Published Date: 11/08/2016 (Thursday)
Thirty years ago, fisherman Gus Dalton spotted the 155 Tamils in two crammed lifeboats and helped bring them to Canada. Shanmuga Paul and Baskaran Nadarajah, Tamils who came to Canada as boat people 30 years ago, are expecting memories to come flooding back Thursday when they’re reunited with the ship that helped rescue them off the south shore of Newfoundland.
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Does Vatican disapprove of Cardinal's nod to give Buddhism 'foremost place' in Sri Lanka?
Published Date: 10/08/2016 (Wednesday)
The Vatican appears to disapprove of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s statement of July 25, that it is right to give to Buddhism the “foremost place” in the Sri Lankan constitution and that it is not right to declare Sri Lanka a secular state. The Vatican Radio’s website carries a story from Colombo dated August 4, in which a group of Sri Lankan Catholics are quoted as saying that the new Sri Lankan constitution should be a secular one and that giving a special constitutional status to Buddhism is a violation of human rights.
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Challenging Ratnawalli’s Imperial Sinhala Position
Published Date: 09/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In a recent article I took issue with Robert S. Perinpanayagam for his short sharp comment on one of my essays on the Elephant Pass debacle of the year 2000. Embittered Tamilness has appeared in Colombo Telegraph as well as Thuppahi. Darshanie Ratnawalli recently entered a long comment in CT in ways that seem to support my work. However, her reading confuses the concept of “nation” with “nation state,” while also providing a distilled historical interpretation that overweights the past record in ways that suggest a measure of Sinhala exclusivism that leans towards the chauvinist camp. My presentation of this set of criticisms here is intended to supersede the hurried memo I placed in CT in opposition to her claims.
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Many in diaspora approve Liberal push for reconciliation in scarred Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
The message of tolerance at the heart of the Trudeau government's international outlook is now being put to the test in one the world's most ethnically scarred postwar countries -- Sri Lanka. The ultimate success of Canada's re-engagement with Sri Lanka, which was formalized last month when Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion visited the south Asian country, will have domestic political implications for the Liberals government in the years ahead.
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Tamil politicians investigating mysterious deaths of ex-LTTE cadres
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are investigating reports of former Tamil Tiger cadres dying mysteriously, The New Indian Express reports. According to the Tamil media, 105 former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have so far died mysteriously, allegedly after being injected with a drug when they were undergoing post-war ‘rehabilitation’ in Sri Lankan army-run camps.
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Sri Lanka’s missing people Refusing to give up hope
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
SEVEN years ago, at a busy crossroads in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city, armed men in an unmarked white van abducted Stephen Sundararaj. He was going home, his three children snuggled up against him, after idling for weeks in a police cell. Mr Sundararaj, then a 39-year-old project manager at a local human-rights group, had been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, a draconian law permitting arrests without warrant for “unlawful activities”. He challenged the move in court and would have pursued the case, had he not been hauled away mere hours after his release. He was never charged with a crime. He has never been found.
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Forum to address psychosocial needs of missing persons’ kin in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
A psychosocial support task force, which will introduce a range of services to families of missing persons and others in Sri Lanka who suffer from the post-conflict trauma, has been set up. Formed by the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR), the task force will take care of psychosocial needs of the families which will be part of the healing process.
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Impunity for killing of 27 inmates of the Welikada Prison, Colombo in November 2012
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
In November 2012, 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, were reported as killed by the Army and the Special Task Force (STF) following what was reported as a search operation leading to a riot. 43 persons have also been reported as injured. Based on testimony of eyewitnesses, the Commissioner General of Prisons was seen inside the prison in the morning of 10th November (after midnight on 9th November) and thus, it is believed that he is aware of names of the Army officers present inside the prison during the massacre.
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Dion’s Sri Lanka visit: Step in right direction, but more must be done Making a substantial contribution to post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka would go a long way to show Canada’s engaged approach to global affairs.
Published Date: 03/08/2016 (Wednesday)
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s visit to Sri Lanka last week was a welcome symbol of the important steps that Canada is taking to help support reconciliation efforts in the island nation. Although Sri Lanka’s devastating civil war ended in 2009, post-conflict rebuilding efforts remain unfinished and a lasting and permanent peace has yet to be achieved. It is therefore vital that Canada remains focused on Sri Lanka in the months and years ahead. As the home of one of the largest Tamil diasporas outside of South Asia, Canada is in a unique position to help advocate for the improvement of Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, promote political accountability, and make a lasting contribution to peace and development in the island nation.
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Concerns of another UNHRC resolution endorser
Published Date: 02/08/2016 (Tuesday)
It was a few days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement expressing his country's solidarity with the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin who were commemorating an event in Toronto, Canada to mark the 33rd anniversary of 1983 Black July, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion arrived in the island on Thursday (28) and his Sri Lankan visit is considered as a first visit of a Canadian Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka since 2003.
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Sri Lanka: 10 Years Since Aid Worker Massacre International Role Needed to Ensure Justice
Published Date: 01/08/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lankan authorities have not brought to justice those responsible for the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers a decade ago this week, Human Right Watch said today. On August 4, 2006, gunmen murdered local staff members from the Paris-based Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) at their compound in the town of Muttur, in eastern Trincomalee district. The special court being set up by the government of President Maithripala Sirisena should ensure that the ACF killings and other wartime atrocities are fully and fairly tried with significant foreign involvement, and all those culpable brought to account, regardless of rank or position, Human Rights Watch said.
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Education Ministry distributes Thirukkural statue to 16 schools in Northeast Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/07/2016 (Sunday)
Sixteen granite statues of Thiruvalluvar - a celebrated Tamil poet who is also commonly referred to as Thirukkural - have been donated by Dr. V.G. Santhosam from Chennai to schools in Sri Lanka’s north and east. The handover event where they were presented to the 16 schools was held on 26 July at the Education Ministry premises. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, State Minister K. Rathakirissnan and Dr. Santhosam also participated in the event where the 8-foot statues were presented to the school’s principals.
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Army initiative to provide livelihood support for Ex-combatants
Published Date: 29/07/2016 (Friday)
The Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) announced that under its Livelihood promotion scheme of the rehabilitated ex-LTTE combatants has enabled 20 ex-combatants to make a living by selling lottery tickets as permanent sales assistants of the Development Lottery Board (DLB).
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Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme
Published Date: 28/07/2016 (Thursday)
The UK Governemnt has launched a funding scheme called Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme. All the information on how to bid will be available on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme#about-the-scheme
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India’s $318-million aid for Sri Lankan railways
Published Date: 28/07/2016 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan Cabinet approved a $318-million line of credit from the Indian government for the procurement of rolling stock and upgrading two important railway lines in the country -- Anuradhapura to Omanthai and Anuradhapura to Maho. With this, the total amount of assistance from India for the development of the sector in Sri Lanka has gone up to $1,284 million.
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Indonesia: Stop Imminent Executions Death Penalty for Drug Crimes Violates International Law
Published Date: 27/07/2016 (Wednesday)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of Indonesia should urgently commute the death sentences of at least 14 people who face imminent execution for drug trafficking, Human Rights Watch said today. The Indonesian government has not announced a date for the executions, but has warned that “the time is approaching.” Jakarta-based diplomats have reported that the attorney general’s office informed them that the executions will take place on July 29, 2016.
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SRI LANKA: 1983: Betrayal of the Absolute Right to Justice
Published Date: 27/07/2016 (Wednesday)
It has been 33 years since Black July, 1983. These 33 years have been part of our lifetime. We have witnessed not only the horrendously criminal acts of July 1983, but also what happened by way of justice after those serious crimes. I would like to illustrate my point in terms of one single event: the Welikada prison massacre. This was without a doubt an act that falls within the definition of crimes against humanity. What concerns me here are the procedures of the so-called inquiries which were held into this crime. Various inquiries were announced and undertaken, and some reports were published. What becomes quite prominently clear is that, during all these inquiries, some of the senior members of the Attorney General’s Department played a blatant role in sabotaging justice. The state, rather than using the occasion to get the message across that it did not condone such acts and that it stood for the defense of the absolute right to justice, in fact proved the very opposite.
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Strengthening the struggle for freedom and justice
Published Date: 26/07/2016 (Tuesday)
Many feminist writers suggest that in the recent literature on democratic states, while family change has received considerable attention, the issue of gender equality has not given a prime position. However in country like ours problem is very significant as females have become not only workers but also professionals and administrators in large numbers, in the last few decades. However the policy developments associated with the new work/welfare relationship are still at a law level. Nevertheless, from a feminist perspective, it is argued that the changes amount to a modification of the masculinist model of work and welfare and its generalization to women.
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Kilinochchi: The forgotten city of today!
Published Date: 26/07/2016 (Tuesday)
I still remember travelling in an armed car on route to Kilinochchi and then taking an Air Force chopper that hugged a railway track to avoid sniper attacks way back in 2007-2009. At that time Kilinochchi was making headline news daily, given that the nerve centre of the rebels was located in this area. Post 2009, many development initiatives were started in Kilinochchi given that the youngest work force in Sri Lanka was said to be in this area.
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Buddhism deserves its due place in Constitution
Published Date: 25/07/2016 (Monday)
The right status and respect deserved for Buddhism should remain intact in the constitution, Colombo's Archbishop Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said today. He expressed this view while participating at a religious ceremony held under the patronage of Chief incumbent Ven. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thera at the Sri Sambodhi Viharaya in Colombo.
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Sri Lanka may shut 31 IDP camps in Jaffna
Published Date: 24/07/2016 (Sunday)
The Sri Lanka government is planning to close down all 31 camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Jaffna district of the Northern Province and complete resettlement of 971 families by August 15. It was reported that 204 houses are being built in Palaly and Kankesanthurai with the help of the Sri Lanka Army. D.M. Swaminathan, Resettlement Minister, asserts that there is no time frame to close down the camps, but “we are doing all what we can”.
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Special monitoring to oversee construction of houses in NE: Ministry
Published Date: 24/07/2016 (Sunday)
the construction of 65,000 houses in the North and East by steel company ArcelorMittal, a press release from the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement said this week. The communiqué was compiled in response to concerns raised earlier this month by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a note from Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement D.M. Swaminathan’s press secretary said.
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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the anniversary of Black July
Published Date: 23/07/2016 (Saturday)
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the anniversary of Black July: “On this 33rd anniversary, we join Canadians of Tamil descent and members of the Tamil community around the world in commemoration of the events of Black July in 1983.
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UK Human Rights Priority Country update report: January to June 2016
Published Date: 21/07/2016 (Thursday)
There was an improvement in the overall human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2015, although some concerns remain. Reversing the downward trend of recent years, the government of Sri Lanka took positive steps to improve freedom of expression (including the media) and freedom of movement, reduce inter-community tensions, and restore the independence of institutions such as the Human Rights Commission. The government also signalled its willingness to address long-standing allegations of past human rights abuses and violations, co-sponsoring a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in October committing it to reconciliation, accountability and the protection of human rights.
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