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Address of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Australian Institute for International Affairs Roundtable
Published Date: 04/04/2016 (Monday)
On January 8th last year, in a historic election, the people of Sri Lanka cast their votes for democracy, reconciliation and development. They chose free and fair elections, good governance and the rule of law over authoritarianism and impunity; they chose stability, reconciliation and peace over the politics of fear and hate. And they eschewed isolationist crony capitalism for openness to the world and a competitive, transparent rules-based economy. Basically, the people of Sri Lanka were weary of politics and governance that just wasn’t cricket. They wanted the new Sri Lanka with an undoctored pitch, an untampered ball and genuine umpires.
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Gotabaya Rajapakse urged to Enter Parliament
Published Date: 04/04/2016 (Monday)
It was reported that Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been approached and asked to consider entering Parliament through the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), some senior SLFP members. The reports say that a group of SLFP seniors have had talks with Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena in this regard.
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Politics of Suicide jacket found in the north
Published Date: 04/04/2016 (Monday)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused the government of hiding the “truth” about facts surrounding the reports on ammunition and explosives that found from a house in Chawakatchcheri. Speaking at a meeting in Bulnewa in Anuradhapura, the former President went on to say the silence of the Government would mislead the public and, therefore urged the authorities to disclose the true situation.
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Black history and black struggle: the past in the present
Published Date: 04/04/2016 (Monday)
A speech at the eleventh annual Huntley Conference on the IRR’s Black History Collection and the importance of archives in signposting the past and future. Today I want to talk to you about an item from the Black History Collection, which is held at the Institute of Race Relations. But before I get to that, I think I should tell you first how this collection came into existence. Now the Institute of Race Relations has been through two incarnations. It first existed in the 1950s as a colonial institution, its governing board was made up of colonial businessmen and ex-colonial administrators, as well as academics. It came out of a time when empire was vanishing, and its output was concerned with Britain’s imperial chickens coming home to roost, in other words with managing what it saw as the problem of ‘race’.
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Sri Lanka detains 14 foreigners over $7.5m drug bust
Published Date: 03/04/2016 (Sunday)
Ten Iranians, two Pakistanis, one Indian and one Singaporean were remanded in custody Sri Lanka has detained 14 foreigners after seizing 110 kilograms of heroin worth $7.5 million (Dh27.54 million) from an Iranian fishing trawler in the country’s biggest drug bust for nearly three years, police said Sunday.
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Protection Gap Campaign makes progress on childcare provision and counselling for women refugees
Published Date: 03/04/2016 (Sunday)
On International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March 2016, the European Parliament passed a resolution entitled “The situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU”. The resolution calls for gender-sensitivity in asylum policy to ensure the safety of women seeking asylum. The author of the report, rapporteur Mary Honeyball MEP said,
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Sri Lanka: Maintain momentum, Deliver on human rights commitments
Published Date: 02/04/2016 (Saturday)
Amnesty International the London based human rights organisation in it’s written statement made to the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva states, “In October 2015, the Sri Lankan Government made historic commitments to the people of Sri Lanka and to the Human Rights Council (HRC) “to undertake a comprehensive approach to dealing with the past, incorporating the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures” aimed at delivering truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.1 These four pillars are essential to end impunity for violations and abuses.
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Indian fishermen released
Published Date: 02/04/2016 (Saturday)
Following intervention of U. Arulanandham, president of Indian Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), the government of Sri Lanka has released 99 fishermen who were arrested on poaching charge and lodged in Lankan prisons were released on Saturday, 2 April 2016.
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Joint Opposition MPS accused government of foul play to Financial Crime Investigation Division in Geneva
Published Date: 31/03/2016 (Thursday)
The three joint opposition MPs, Dullas Alahapperuma and Bandula Gunawardane and Udaya Gammanpila reported to have visited Geneva and have handed over a letter to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Secretary Martin Chungong today and complained about the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) among other allegations of injustice caused towards them by the Government. In their letter, they highlighted seven key factors including a complaint on the FCID.
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Returning refugees from India a win-win situation
Published Date: 30/03/2016 (Wednesday)
By Harim Peiris MBA Refugees returning to Sri Lanka would be an unparalleled statement of confidence by some of those most affected by the conflict, in the new direction and policy trajectory of the Sri Lankan State under the Yahapalanaya Government. In a World which is creating and spewing out ever more desperate people having to flee the wreckage of their homes and lives, Sri Lanka would be a shining example of a country in which people once left violent conflict now returning back home to rebuild their lives and start over a fresh. Such a statement of confidence in a new Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in India, would in fact be a serious dampener on the more extremist views and rhetoric of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the West. People would be voting with their feet in returning to Sri Lanka and that would be an authentic message of hope which would be hard to counter from arm chairs in the West.
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Sri Lanka to strengthen defense ties with China
Published Date: 30/03/2016 (Wednesday)
Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has said that China supported Sri Lanka to end the war against Tamil Tigers in May 2009 after 30years and the government is in discussions to further strengthen the defense relations between the two countries this year. \\\"We are looking forward to a much stronger relationship with China. Already there are quite a few courses provided to Sri Lankan military personnel in China and we hope to expand our ties in this sector,\\\" the Defence official das said.
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Former Australian Prime Minister Abbott defends stance on Sri Lanka
Published Date: 30/03/2016 (Wednesday)
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his stance on Sri Lanka when he was Prime Minister. Abbott penned a 3,706-word essay for the rightwing magazine Quadrant defending his two-year period in office, Yahoo News reported. Abbott was accused of backing the Mahinda Rajapaksa led Government when it was accused of grave human rights abuses.
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Scientists discover terrestrial clone of Mars
Published Date: 28/03/2016 (Monday)
The temple of Goddess Ashapura Mata has traditionally been an attraction for religious tourists thronging Matanumadh in Kachchh district of Gujarat. Now, thanks to a new discovery, this sleepy village in Western India is set to draw tourists of a different kind – planetary geologists from around the world. Researchers report1 that Matanumadh (also spelt Matanamadh), situated around 86 km northwest of Bhuj, is actually a terrestrial clone of Mars. In other words, experiments to understand the geology of the Martian surface can be conducted in this "analog locality" in India instead of sending robots to the red planet
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Additional ministerial portfolios to Sarath Fonseka
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who was appointed the Minister of Provincial Development has got additional portfolios, National Agriculture and Diversification and Human Settlement Authority (Hadabima). His Ministry is also tasked with the implementation of development projects in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kandy, Matale, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Anuradhapura and Polnnaruwa Districts.
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Parliament to convene as Constitutional Assembly on April 5
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Minister of Higher Education and Highways and Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella, has said the Sri Lankan Parliament will for the first time convene a Constitutional Assembly on April 5. The Constitutional Assembly was appointed for the purpose of deliberating and seeking the views and advice of the people on a new Constitution for Sri Lanka and preparing a draft of a Constitution Bill for the consideration of Parliament.
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Sri Lanka's housing programme for North, East caught in row
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Objection to the manner in which the project was sought to be executed. The Sri Lanka government’s ambitious project of building 65,000 houses in the civil war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces in five years is embroiled in controversy, much before it can gather momentum. A few days ago, when the country’s Parliament in Colombo witnessed a debate on the project, the Northern Provincial Council in Jaffna too discussed the Central government’s initiative and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran reiterated his reservations.
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TNA to Take up Sampur Power Plant Environmental issues with India
Published Date: 26/03/2016 (Saturday)
Tmil National Alliance (TNA) chief R.Sampanthan has said that he will discuss with the Indian High Commission the “substantial” environmental problems that will be created if India sets up a 500 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur in Eastern Sri Lanka. “The people of the area have been telling me about the substantial pollution and environmental damage which will be caused and have accused me of not taking any action on it.
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Jayalalithaa demands immediate action by the Centre in dealing with fishermen issue
Published Date: 25/03/2016 (Friday)
Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa criticized the Central government for not acting "effectively" on the issue of apprehending of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka authorities. Stating that three fishermen and their mechanized fishing boat were apprehended by Sri Lankan navy on March 23, she said "a decisive shift in the manner of dealing with this sensitive issue is long awaited and is the need of the hour".
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No discussions with India over building sea-bridge: Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe
Published Date: 23/03/2016 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said Sri Lanka and India have not held any talks on building a sea-bridge and tunnel connecting two countries. Wickremesinghe was responding to a question by the opposition parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila in parliament. Gammanpila said the Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced in Indian parliament (Lok Sabha) a plan to construct the bridge.
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25 Years - Too long to Anguish!
Published Date: 08/03/2016 (Tuesday)
Having my entire clan being displaced from my ancestral home Palaly since 1990, and having heard the displacement woes of my people from my mother down to my young nephews and nieces, and having worked for Tamil refugees as well as other international refugees in my early professional life; and as a volunteer activist in the UK up to now for the welfare of refugees and the displaced, I think I have earned my feather to comment on Chief Minister of Northern Province Mr.C.V.Vigneswaran’s attempt to highlight the plight of refugees and the displaced, some of whom anguishing for good 25 years or more in refugee or displaced camps and shacks denied of decent living.
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India & Sri Lanka to hold meeting on fishermen issue in May
Published Date: 03/03/2016 (Thursday)
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she held consultations with the top Sri Lankan leadership to resolve the issue of fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Intervening during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said a meeting of ministers dealing with fisheries of both countries is being convened in May to evolve a mechanism to resolve the lingering issue. "The government will enforce installation of GPS on fishing boats to steer it clear of maritime boundaries of Gujarat," she added.
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Government to setup special presidential task force on reconciliation
Published Date: 05/02/2016 (Friday)
The Cabinet approved the setting up of a Special Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation as per a cabinet paper presented by President Maithripala Sirisena, Cabinet Spokesman and Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing the Cabinet press briefing, the Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said the President has decided to appoint a special Task Force to cater to the need to build a united and integrated nation, while healing the wounds of mistrust and social and cultural stress generated from extended conflicts and violence between different communities in Sri Lanka.
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Lanka’s rich beggars
Published Date: 26/12/2015 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka is reported to be the only country in the South Asian region where the beggar population is rich possessing bank accounts. A recent survey conducted by an independent organization on the directives of a state-owned entity on the beggar population has revealed that at least sixty percent possess savings accounts in state and private banks. According to the survey, beggars are categorized into several segments; street beggars, passenger transport beggars, differently abled beggars and music beggars.
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Enforced Disappearances: UN experts on official visit to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/11/2015 (Thursday)
The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances* will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 9 to 18 November 2015, at the invitation of the Government. During the mission, the UN experts will study the measures adopted by the State to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances. They will also gather information on cases of enforced disappearances, including those pending before the Working Group.
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Sabiya Mahal: Commemmorating 25 years of the Northern Muslim eviction
Published Date: 05/11/2015 (Thursday)
I am worried and mad at my Mum. Why is she doing this? Is she insane or greedy? She says it is foolish to keep something that will be soon taken over by “them”. I cried “Mum, it is our home. We have to keep it for our kids. Maybe they will not live there but this is the only connection we have got. After all, Mannar is our home town”.
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