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Modi’s ocean politics: Gluing security, blue economy
Published Date: 03/04/2015 (Friday)
India, of late, has woken up to realize the importance of oceans, more particularly the one in its backyard. Better late than never, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a humble beginning for integrating with countries in the Indian Ocean rim. While security in the region remains a major concern, another recipe for integration is the call for cooperation in the development of a blue economy.
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EU reactivates LTTE ban after Sri Lanka protest
Published Date: 01/04/2015 (Wednesday)
The European Union has re-imposed a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after Sri Lankan government intervention. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ajith P Perera said on Tuesday that the government had written twice to the EU requesting it to re-impose the ban on the LTTE.
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Heritage & Nationalism: A Bane Of Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/03/2015 (Tuesday)
The current practices of archeology and their complicity with rebranding of archaeological heritage as national heritage have contributed to the ethnic tensions, civil war, injustice, inequality, and violence in the Sri Lankan society. The pretense that archaeology is an apolitical profession is a form of complicity with these social ills. In many societies, archaeological knowledge was the historical basis for nation builders and their antagonists (e.g. separatists/sub nationalists), who reclaimed or plundered their antiquity, and reshaped it to support discriminatory social, economic and political practices. Sri Lanka is no exception.
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World Justice Project – Open Government Index 2015
Published Date: 25/03/2015 (Wednesday)
The World Justice Project (WJP) announced that it has launched the World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index™ 2015 , today. It is the first effort to measure government openness based on the general public’s experiences and perceptions worldwide. The WJP Open Government Index presents scores and rankings for 102 countries organized around four dimensions: publicized laws and government data, right to information, civic participation, and complaint mechanisms. Scoring for the Index is drawn from more than 100,000 household surveys and in-country expert questionnaires.
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The End Justifies the Means?
Published Date: 25/03/2015 (Wednesday)
New situation has created problems for the middle classes. Unlike workers, middle people in the bourgeoisie society are looking for fundamentals. Proletarians are more pragmatic, they can identify the tricks played by the masters and they wait for the final results. Also, they cannot afford to cry after lost dreams and they have to take positions according to the balance of forces in the class struggle. Many in the middle sections of the urban society trusted the lawyers who drafted the 19th amendment. Suddenly trust placed on Jayampathi and Weliamuna means nothing. They only draft but the power to finalize rests with others. Neither the Manifesto nor the personal assurances constitute the final definitive statement
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REDBRIDGE COUNCIL DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR THE TAMIL PEOPLE
Published Date: 20/03/2015 (Friday)
The Council of the London Borough of Redbridge unanimously passed a motion last night (19th March 2015) calling on the British government and United Nations to deliver justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan government during the civil war. The motion also calls for a permanent practical solution addressing the root cause of the conflict that will meet the aspirations of the Tamil people in their home nation.
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MAITHRI SAYS NO TO UN INVESTIGATORS IN SRI LANKA‬ AND NO GUARANTEE SINHALA VERSION OF NO FIRE ZONE WILL NOT BE BLOCKED
Published Date: 11/03/2015 (Wednesday)
The BBC has reported that President Sirisena of Sri Lanka has said he will set up a domestic inquiry into the war crimes investigated by No Fire Zone and successive UN reports. But when asked whether he would grant permission for the UN investigators to visit the country he said no, claiming there is no need for the UN to be involved in conducting the investigations. The BBC also reported that he said he "doesn't believe" war crimes allegations against the military in the documentary No Fire Zone.
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Sinhala version of award-winning documentary No Fire Zone launched in the Palace of Westminster
Published Date: 10/03/2015 (Tuesday)
A new Sinhala version of award-winning documentary No Fire Zone was launched at a press conference on Tuesday 10 March at 10am in Room 21, Palace of Westminster. It was reported that that this multi-award-winning, Emmy-nominated feature documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka produced in Sinhala language version will be seen as a direct challenge to the new government over its commitment to a free media.
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“Dont Shout at me. I Understand Your Issues” -Ranil Tells TNA
Published Date: 26/02/2015 (Thursday)
Hardline sections of the TNA are breathing fire against the new Prime Minister for the Government delays in releasing lands seized by the military in war time back to its original owners in the North and East. The two major regions being contested are Valikamam North in the Jaffna District and Sampur in the Trincomalee District. In Valikamam North, the army holds 6000 acres of land, originally belonging to private citizens. The Government announced two weeks ago that it would release 1000 acres back to the original owners. Since the announcement there is little progress.
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The World Bank reaffirms its commitment to support Sri Lanka
Published Date: 25/02/2015 (Wednesday)
World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Annette Dixon said the Bank would partner with the government to help shape and implement policies aimed at reducing poverty, improving shared prosperity and promoting sustainable growth. During her visit, Dixon met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Finance Minister, and the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs.
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International monitoring of an internal investigation is a waste of time: Jaffna University Professors
Published Date: 24/02/2015 (Tuesday)
Thousands of Tamils affected by the war, staged a rally in Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka against the postponement of the much awaited United Nation’s report on the killings of thousands of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Security forces. This rally was organized by the Jaffna University Professors and students, supported by Tamil political parties and groups in the region.
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President Maithripala Sirisena a new broom for Sri Lanka
Published Date: 24/02/2015 (Tuesday)
Maithripala Sirisena's surprise election as Sri Lankan President on January 8 has paved the way for a significant departure from the policies of his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. In acknowledgement of the support of members of disaffected minority groups, including Tamils in the north, Sirisena has undertaken to write down farmers' debt, increase the health and education budget, and fight corruption. Fifty or so political appointees to Sri Lankan diplomat posts have been recalled, including the High Commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe.
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Mahinda Rajapakse visits Kathirgamam Murugan Temple
Published Date: 23/02/2015 (Monday)
Defeated Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is said to be harnessing supernatural as well as temporal forces in a determined bid to come back to power through the June parliamentary elections. Today, he made a ceremonial offering of a gold plated trisulam (a trident associated with Lord Siva) at the ancient Murugan temple in Kataragama (Kadirgamam) in South Lanka. Murugan or Skanda is the Lankan God of War.
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Northern Provincial Council Member Writes to Head of UNCHR on Accountability and Political Solution in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 23/02/2015 (Monday)
The Tamil people are highly disappointed and dismayed by your announcement on February 16, to delay the OHCR Investigation on Sri Lanka – OISL Report until September 2015. The Tamil people had been anxiously waiting with high hopes for the release of the Report, but this unexpected delay has caused serious concerns to the victimized Tamil population, and we strongly believe justice delayed is justice denied.
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UN deferral must be used to make Sri Lanka war crimes report stronger
Published Date: 22/02/2015 (Sunday)
This month, the UN Human Rights Council announced it would defer publication of a major report that investigates allegations of serious human rights violations and related crimes during the last years of Sri Lanka’s civil war. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose office had been entrusted with the task, had asked the council to delay the report’s release, originally scheduled for March, until September, based on a request by Sri Lanka\'s new government.
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India, Sri Lanka ink civil nuclear pact, agree to expand defence ties
Published Date: 16/02/2015 (Monday)
Taking the ties to a new level, India and Sri Lanka today inked a civil nuclear pact besides deciding to expand defence and security cooperation. This was announced after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during which both the leaders expressed commitment to find a solution to the emotive fishermen issue by adopting a constructive and humanitarian approach.
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India seals nuclear energy pact with Sri Lanka, hopes to push back Chinese influence
Published Date: 16/02/2015 (Monday)
India sealed a nuclear energy agreement with Sri Lanka on Monday, its first breakthrough with the new government of the tiny Indian Ocean island where China has been building ports and highways in a diplomatic push in recent years. Under the deal, India will help Sri Lanka build its nuclear energy infrastructure, including training of personnel, the Indian foreign ministry said.
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North resettlement expedited
Published Date: 15/02/2015 (Sunday)
North resettlement process to be expedited, Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan stated. He made these remarks yesterday (24) evening while talking to the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Vigneswaran.
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Sri Lanka: New Government Makes U-Turn To China
Published Date: 09/02/2015 (Monday)
When President Mahinda Rajapakse was toppled by a “peoples’ power” anti-corruption vote on January 8 there were messages from Western leaders and op-eds in newspapers in London, New York, Toronto and Oslo welcoming the success of another “regime change” campaign to overthrow a leader who was hostile to the West and cuddling with the Chinese.
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Statement on the Status of Tamil as a Classical Language
Published Date: 08/02/2015 (Sunday)
Professor Maraimalai has asked me to write regarding the position of Tamil as a classical language, and I am delighted to respond to his request. I have been a Professor of Tamil at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1975 and am currently holder of the Tamil Chair at that institution.
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Book Review: The Seasons o f Trouble
Published Date: 08/02/2015 (Sunday)
Two books that are reportage from the Sri Lankan civil war—the fighting ended in May 2009—were published this year. Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island, published four months ago, took a macro view of the war’s end and its aftermath; in his own words, “picked at a loose tile and found a stash of corpses buried underneath”. It meditated on the tug-of-war over memory between the state and the individual, and took both the Sri Lankan army as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to task. An engrossing micro view of the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, which touches as well as unsettles the heart
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BREAD AND CIRCUSES
Published Date: 07/02/2015 (Saturday)
Rome with bread and circus-shows, Distracted citizens from their woes. Our rulers employ the ploys of Rome, To beguile the hoi-polloi at home With cricket, rugger, racing-cars, Lavish pageants and Bollywood stars. Highways, freeways, their priority need, To travel fast at breakneck speed,
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MOHAN PEIRIS SAYS HE NEVER LEFT
Published Date: 06/02/2015 (Friday)
Mr. Mohan Peiris claims that he never left, never resigned but was displaced. However when this matter was discussed in the National Executive Council, it was clear that Parliament never resolved to evict Ms Shirani Bandaranayke and never send such a resolution to the President’s office. Dinesh Gunawardena alleged that, “The Government’s action had undermined the authority of Parliament, as it overturned a decision taken by the Legislature. Only Parliament can remove the CJ and not the President. There is procedure laid down for this to be pursued, and it must be followed”. That is exactly the point. It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has violated this procedure by taking steps to remove Ms Shirani Bandaranayke without a removal notice from the parliament.
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Modi’s Dangerous Silence
Published Date: 06/02/2015 (Friday)
What will it take for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities? Attacks at Christian places of worship have prompted no response from the man elected to represent and to protect all of India’s citizens. Nor has he addressed the mass conversion to Hinduism of Christians and Muslims who have been coerced or promised money. Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right.
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End of an era
Published Date: 05/02/2015 (Thursday)
There are an enormous number of lessons to be learnt from the presidential election held on January 8. I shall touch on a few that I think significant. The first is that in my opinion no previous such election had the historical significance that this one did. It needs very little reflection to realize that had Mahinda Rajapaksa won, this country would have been under a dictatorship for many generations to come. MR’s intention, it is alleged, was to hand the reigns over to his eldest son at the end of his third term.
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