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When home has not been welcoming enough
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
Repatriates from Sri Lanka live in near-squalor conditions in The Nilgiris and frustrated by lack of opportunities, many decades after they were settled in their land of origin Repatriates from Sri Lanka live in near-squalor conditions in The Nilgiris with the younger members of the community frustrated by lack of opportunities, many decades after they were settled in the district The road that leads to Amman Nagar in Coonoor, a small colony of repatriates from Sri Lanka with 81 houses, is a long, narrow stretch with a steep slope. For the children of the
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UAE refuses to deport Weeratunga; proposes extradition case in court
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has turned down Sri Lanka’s request to repatriate to Colombo Udayanga Weeratunga, a former ambassador to Russia, and advised the Government to initiate extradition proceedings in UAE courts. An extradition treaty exists between Sri Lanka and the UAE. However, though it was signed on April 29, 2002 it has not been placed for ratification in Sri Lanka’s Parliament. Officials had pinned their hopes on a deportation of Weeratunga after formal official requests were lodged with the Emirati government and its Embassy in Colombo. Now, officials are
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14 unions to defy ban on May 1 rallies
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
Some local trade unions, backed by a global trade union body, are bracing for a confrontation with the authorities after deciding to go ahead with May 1 rallies and celebrations despite the Government changing the date of May Day to May 7. Backing the local unions is the Geneva-based IndustriALL Global Union which on Friday fired letters to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, urging them to remove restrictions on holding May 1 rallies.
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PC elections to be postponed further
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
The failure of the Government to have a debate on holding of elections to the Provincial Councils (PC), based on the report of the delimitation committee and to have it passed with a 2/3rd majority in Parliament, has necessitated the further postponement of the elections, sources said. The delimitation committee report, which was prepared under the PC and Local Government Elections Act No. 16 of 2017, was scheduled to be debated in Parliament on 19 April. But, at the party leaders’ meeting in Parliament, it was decided not to hold the debate as scheduled.
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Young Sri Lankan voices at Solutions Summit in Stockholm
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
For the first time in their lives, Mannapperuma Mudiyanselage Tharushika Sewmini and Herathmudiyanselage Chamindu Rashmika Herath from Nawagaththegama, Puttalam saw snow in Stockholm, Sweden. Their eyes light up as they recount the fun they had in the snow. Sewmini and Chamindu were in Stockholm for the first ‘Agenda 2030 for Children: End Violence Solutions Summit’ which aims to advance the work of exceptional teams already developing innovative solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The summit on February 14 and 15, 2018 brought together different individuals and groups including governments, ambassadors from Pathfinder countries, UN officials, representatives of the private sector, civil society members such as academics, youth delegates, and members
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Tamil diaspora groups urge Commonwealth to exercise universal jurisdiction on Sri Lanka
Published Date: 22/04/2018 (Sunday)
A collection of Tamil diaspora groups have called on Commonwealth countries to exercise universal jurisdiction “to provide accountability in cases where Sri Lanka itself fails to act”. In a statement released on Thursday, the organisations said that “Sri Lanka’s current President, Prime Minister and government ministers continue to renege on the promises they made to the international community”. “Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister have repeatedly made announcements to the effect that no ‘war heroes’ will be prosecuted, no movement on truth-telling, reparations or a special court with Commonwealth and other foreign judges has been taken and little effort has been
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Our care for others is the measure of our greatness - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 21/04/2018 (Saturday)
Religious leaders have told us that anyone who wishes to be a leader must be ready to be the servant of all and that our care for others is the measure of our greatness. Our political leaders especially need to reflect on this in their hearts and minds as Sri Lanka goes into a crucial period in our history. President Maithripala Sirisena, when he was elected to office in the historic presidential election of January 8, 2015 pledged he would be a servant leader. That means to serve the people selflessly, sincerely, sacrificially and with commitment to work towards a peaceful, just and all inclusive society through unity in diversity.
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House prorogued fearing impeachment motion by UNP: SLPP
Published Date: 21/04/2018 (Saturday)
President Maithripala Sirisena prorogued Parliament because he feared an impeachment motion to be brought against him by the United National Party (UNP) backbenchers, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said today. MP Prasanna Ranatunga told a news conference that the UNP backbenchers were planning to submit a impeachment motion against the President. “They are reaching out to other political parties seeking help in this regard. UNP backbenchers approached JO as well. We informed them that if they brought the motion in a
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US report notes limited progress, rights abuses in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 21/04/2018 (Saturday)
The annual US human rights report noted that the Sri Lankan Government has made limited progress toward establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 made public by Acting US Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, noted that there were some reports that the Government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. According to the report, interviews by human rights organizations found that torture remained endemic throughout the country, including for those charged with offenses under
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Sri Lanka's central bank among top inflators in Asia in 2017
Published Date: 21/04/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka's central bank is among top three emerging and developing Asia in 2017 just after Tonga and Mongolia, both countries also suffered currency collapses in 2015/2016 data from the International Monetary Fund shows. Sri Lanka generated 7.1 percent inflation in the year to December 2017 after a currency collapse in 2015 and 2016 and continued to depreciate in 2017, while well-managed Asian nations appreciated their currencies as oil prices rose and the dollar weakened. Mongolia's central bank generated 7.2 percent inflation. Mongolia's tugrik collapsed from 1,878 to the US dollar in December 2014 to 2,432 in December 2017 and has since started to strengthen.
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Malawi to Receive UK Aid in Tackling Modern Slavery - Commonwealth Countries Unite to End Child Labour and Trafficking
Published Date: 21/04/2018 (Saturday)
Malawi will among Commonwealth countries that will receive Britain's support through a 5.5 million pound ($7.8 million) aid package to help eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation as more countries commit to take action to help victims and bring perpetrators to justice. This support, from the Department for International Development and the Home Office, will identify vulnerable people most at risk of child labour and strengthen law enforcement responses in a number of Commonwealth countries to crack down on this horrific crime.
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Govt. to deploy Navy to protect tourists if necessary – John Narcotics blamed for violence in tourist hot spots
Published Date: 20/04/2018 (Friday)
Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday blamed the increasing use of synthetic drugs in tourist hot spots in Sri Lanka for violent incidents. Addressing the media at Samudra Hotel in Colombo, Minister Amaratunga said dangerous drugs such as hashish and synthetic drugs such as ‘Ecstasy,’ ‘Crystal Meth,’ ‘Ice,’ ‘Ketamine’ and ‘LSD’ were now available in tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. About eleven foreigners had been arrested with narcotics in their possession and 18 cases were pending against Sri Lankans in High Courts in the coastal areas, police said.
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Aid, influence and ‘strategic anxiety’ in the Pacific
Published Date: 20/04/2018 (Friday)
In February 2018, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced his new government’s commitment to revitalising relations with the Pacific. He argued that a renewed foreign policy focus on the Pacific is necessary because the region has ‘become an increasingly contested strategic space’ and an area of ‘strategic anxiety’ for Australia and New Zealand. This claim echoes recent comments from Australian journalists and think-tank contributors. The Pacific is certainly attracting the interest of a number of external states. But few of them
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TUs to hold joint May Day rally on May 1: JTU
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Trade unions will hold thei joint May Day rally as usual on May 1, the Joint Trade Union (JTU) said condemning the government’s decision to reschedule the rally to May 7. In a statement, JTU Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said the government had not even discussed postponing the May Day with the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) prior to arriving at the decision. “It was back in 1956 that the May Day was declared a public, bank and mercantile holiday. After 62 years, the Yahapalana Government issued a gazette notification declaring this day as
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Minister Announces crackdown on tuition Teachers who hassle pupils Warned
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam yesterday (18), urged the public to call the Ministry hotline 1988 if there are complaints regarding incidents in which schoolteachers are found harassing students who do not attend tuition classes conducted by them. During a meeting with Education Officials, the Minister gave instructions to take strict disciplinary actions against such teachers who force students to attend tuition classes conducted by them directly or indirectly. Kariyawasam gave these instructions following complaints he received from parents that
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President thanks Lord Naseby for constant support
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Lord Baron Naseby, a member of the British House of Lords, met with President Maithripala Sirisena in London, yesterday (18). Lord Baron Naseby appreciating the development programme conducted by Sri Lanka ensured to provide fullest assistance as a true ally of Sri Lanka. Thus the Baron, who appreciated the programme of reconciliation said that the duty done by Sri Lanka in the post war era is in quite a good standard compared to other countries.
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Time ripe for growth in Iran-Sri Lanka ties: Larijani
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Ali Larijani, the Iranian Parliament Speaker, told the media, on Wednesday upon arriving in Sri Lanka, that Iran and Sri Lanka should increase their trade interactions and develop political and trade ties. “Iran has always have had good relations with Sri Lank in areas of trade and politics, although with tides and ebbs but it has always been in place,” said the Speaker of Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani on Wednesday upon arriving in Sri Lanka while addressing the news reporters and journalists. Mr. Larijani along with a 36-strong delegation arrived in Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo on Wednesday at 7.10 pm local time and was officially welcomed at the Bandaranaike
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'Political instability is advantageous to JO'
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
United Peoples Freedom Alliance Parliamentarian Keheliya Rambukwella says the prevailing political instability is advantageous to the Joint Opposition. Speaking to media in Kandy the MP said more MP’s are expected to cross over to the opposition. The MP stated that today 16 SLFP members crossed over and another 10 are to cross over as well.
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Efforts to tackle Commonwealth trafficking gets UK aid boost
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Commonwealth countries are to increase efforts to stamp out human trafficking and child exploitation. The UK has committed a further £5.5m of aid towards these goals to coincide with this week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London. Under the ‘call to action to end forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking’, United National specialists determine where child labour is taking place, and so where work should be directed to stop this including by taking action against businesses and supply chains.
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Inside China's US$1 billion port in Sri Lanka where ships don't want to stop
Published Date: 19/04/2018 (Thursday)
Each year roughly 60,000 ships vital to the global economy sail through the Indian Ocean past a Chinese-operated port on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Almost none of them stop to unload cargo. The eight-year-old Hambantota port - with almost no container traffic and trampled fences that elephants traverse with ease - has become a prime example of what can go wrong for countries involved in President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road trade and infrastructure initiative. Sri Lanka borrowed heavily to build the port, couldn't repay the loans, and then gave China a 99-year lease for debt relief.
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Maithri and Mahinda will get together - Dayasiri
Published Date: 18/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Former Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera says if the Government of Good Governance continues to work like this it will not be able to stop Mahinda Rajapaksa from coming to power again. Excerpts of the interview: It is said that the defeat of the no-confidence motion brought against the Prime Minister ruined the Joint Opposition as well as the SLFP faction?
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U.S. places conditions on aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 18/04/2018 (Wednesday)
The United States government’s bilateral economic assistance to Sri Lanka is conditional on certain transitional justice mechanisms being established, according to the U.S. spending bill passed last month. In an explanatory statement attached to the spending bill, Congress said that the USD 35 million would be allocated to Sri Lanka “provided, that such funds shall be made available for programmes to assist in the identification and resolution of cases of missing persons.” The bill says that the money will only be made available to the government of Sri Lanka if the U.S. Secretary of State certifies that it is following certain transitional justice mechanisms.
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Will announce future steps when President returns- PM
Published Date: 18/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the governments future steps will be announced once President Maithripala Sirisena returns to the country from the UK. The Prime Minister said the Mahanayaka Thera were informed of the future plans today. The Premier stated during the last year the government faced several crises, including natural disasters. Premier Wickremesinghe expressed his views after calling on the Chief Prelates and paying homage at the Temple of the Tooth Relic this morning.
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A ‘No-Confidence Motion’, Or What It Means To Have ‘No Faith’
Published Date: 18/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Hot on the heels of the ‘no-confidence’, or ‘no-faith’ motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month, the ‘Joint Opposition’ (JO), the largest opposition group in Parliament, is in talks to bring a no-confidence motion against Opposition leader and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, on charges he sided with the government during the no-confidence motion brought against the Prime Minister. The JO is of the opinion that as the leader of the Opposition in the government, Sampanthan is duty bound to vote against the government. A final decision on if it would bring a no-confidence motion would be made after Parliament reconvenes on May 8, having been prorogued by the President on April 13. Meanwhile, Sampanthan made it clear in Trincomalee this week, he was prepared to face any no-confidence motion.
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If Constitution process stalled, Sampanthan’s Opp. leadership meaningless: Mano
Published Date: 18/04/2018 (Wednesday)
If new Constitution process was stalled permanently, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP R. Sampanthan’s holding of Opposition leader’s post would be meaningless, Minister Mano Ganesan said today. He said in a tweet that the issue between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had put the Constitutional process to back seat. “Not the issue of the UNP and the SLFP but the new constitution as solution to national issue topped Sampanthan’s priority list. If new Constitution process is stalled permanently,
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