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Sri Lanka reiterates not to allow foreign judges in war probe
Published Date: 13/06/2016 (Monday)
The Sri Lankan government reiterated that it will not agree to have foreign judges in the domestic accountability process over its civil war and only accept technical assistance. Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Mustapha said that President Maithripala Sirisena has been very clear that war crimes did not take place in Sri Lanka.
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Time for Democratisation of the State and National Reconciliation – PRC Report
Published Date: 02/06/2016 (Thursday)
The finalized Public Representations Committee report on public submissions to the Constitution submitted to the Prime Minister on 31st May 2016. The report is comprehensive and has 222 pages. It has been released to public in all three offcial languages of Sri Lanka.The full report is attached at the end of this news item. “”We have done our best to reach a wide section of the people within the given time frame. We have gone out of the way to get the views of religious leaders, leaders of political parties, independent commissions, professional organizations, etc. within the available time frame.
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Sri Lanka Ends Rajapaksa-Era Restriction on Citizens in Asylum
Published Date: 01/06/2016 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka today allowed those who sought asylum abroad due to political persecution back home to obtain a passport and return to the country, ending a Mahinda Rajapaksa-era restriction imposed on them. A foreign ministry statement said that the government was ending the "restrictive practice".
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India, Sri Lanka Officials Yet To Discuss Change Of Fuel In Sampoor Power Plant
Published Date: 01/06/2016 (Wednesday)
Indian and Sri Lankan officials are yet to discuss the conversion of the proposed 500 MW power plant at Sampoor in Eastern Sri Lanka from a coal-based one to one based on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to President Maithripala Sirisena in mid-May, that he will ask his officials to talk to their Lankan counterparts about it. Meanwhile work on the coal-based plant has been halted. There have been no moves from either the Indian or the Sri Lankan side to begin discussions on conversion to LNG.
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Norway's Foreign Ministry State Secretary meets Northern Province Governor
Published Date: 01/06/2016 (Wednesday)
Norway’s Foreign Affairs Ministry State Secretary Tore Hattrem, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, met Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray today at the Governor's office for a special discussion. Mr. Hattrem met Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan this morning before leaving for a tour of Jaffna, where he visited the Northern Governor.
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PM announces War Crimes probe will be domestic, no foreign judges
Published Date: 01/06/2016 (Wednesday)
The United National Front Government’s final position on the UN mandated probe on allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka was spelt out on Thursday by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He told senior Army officers that the judicial mechanism would be made up entirely of Sri Lankan judges, putting to rest months of speculation if foreign judges were to be part of the tribunal. He met some hundred officers including senior Colonels, Brigadiers and Majors General at ‘Temple Trees,’ the Premier’s official residence. These officers serve in different parts of the country, most in military installations in the North and East.
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Canada provides humanitarian support to ongoing relief efforts in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 30/05/2016 (Monday)
The Government of Canada has provided CAD $310,000 (approximately 35 million LKR) in support to humanitarian relief efforts in Sri Lanka in response to the May 2016 flooding and landslides. This funding was disbursed through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF) and the Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund (EDAF) of Global Affairs Canada and will support those most affected by the unprecedented rainfall and devastating floods in May 2016 which has resulted in tragic loss of life, injuries, missing, displaced and damages. Canadian funding will support up to 62,000 people.
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Sri Lanka says 100 missing in landslides are dead
Published Date: 30/05/2016 (Monday)
Around 100 people still missing following landslides in Sri Lanka last week are believed dead, authorities said Saturday after failing to find signs of life under tonnes of mud. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said 67 bodies had been recovered from the worst hit central district of Kegalle where 99 people were still listed as missing following the rain-triggered May 17 disaster.
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Steer econ growth to sustain well-being of Asia – President Sirisena calls on G 7
Published Date: 30/05/2016 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena said that Japan’s formal announcement that G7 will explore what is needed to sustain the well-being of Asia to steer economic growth, highlights the relevance of Sri Lanka being here. “It endorses Prime Minister Abe’s reasoning for selecting us.” Addressing the G 7 Outreach Summit today (May 27) in Ise-Shima in Japan, he said that with a revolutionary change of governance, his government has succeeded in creating the path for viable development environment and for reconciliation in a multi-faceted society. Now, the people are free and respect human rights.
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Sri Lankan President returns to island after attending G7 summit
Published Date: 30/05/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the Island Sunday after completing a four-day official visit to Japan to attend the G7 outreach summit. Several ministers and other officials welcomed the President on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport. This is the first time Sri Lanka has been invited to a G-7 forum for meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit. Usually, the invitations go out to leaders of fast-developing countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa, or oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia.
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Northrn Provincial Council Unanimously passer solution to Congratulate victory of Jayalalitha
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
The Provincial Council of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province has unanimously passed a resolution congratulating AIADMK leader J.Jayalalithaa for winning the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections convincingly. Denying a news agency’s report that the Council thwarted Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswran’s bid to introduce a resolution congratulating the Tamil Nadu leader, the Council’s chairman, CVK.Sivagnanam told that the resolution was moved by the CM and passed unanimously on May 26, after an issue raised by two members was resolved amicably.
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Sri Lanka panel gives approval for pre-fabricated steel houses
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
The option of building 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for conflict-affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been termed by a panel of experts as a “fair solution”. The panel, drawn from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Peradeniya, studied two model houses in Jaffna before arriving at its conclusion.
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Finding shelter for Sri Lankan victims a challenging task: UN
Published Date: 29/05/2016 (Sunday)
Finding suitable locations for shelter for the flood-hit people in the densely populated Colombo and Gampaha is a “challenging” task, according to a UN agency. In its first “situation report”, which covered events up to May 22, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned that “a sizeable segment of the flood affected population are squatters living in vulnerable areas prone to frequent flooding. Therefore transitional shelter arrangements maybe required until suitable land is identified for relocation.”
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India: Stop Treating Critics as Criminals Government Should Repeal or Amend All Laws Threatening Free Speech
Published Date: 24/05/2016 (Tuesday)
The Indian authorities routinely use vaguely worded, overly broad laws as political tools to silence and harass critics, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The government should repeal or amend laws that are used to criminalize peaceful expression. India’s Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression, but recent and colonial-era laws, such as sedition and criminal defamation, not only remain on the books but are frequently used in an attempt to clampdown on critics.
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Former DIG Anura Senanayake remanded
Published Date: 23/05/2016 (Monday)
Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake was remanded till May 26 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris when the CID produced him in court on 22nd over alleged suppression of facts about the Wasim Thajudeen killing, trying to mislead the judiciary and also ordering junior officers to obey his orders in doing so. The court was told that Senanayake had allegedly attempted to imply that former Havelocks SC rugger captain Thajudeen died on May 17, 2012 due to the injuries sustained in a car crash near the Shalika grounds.
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Tamil People's Council Final Proposals for Finding a Political Solution to the Tamil National Question
Published Date: 23/05/2016 (Monday)
The Tamil People's Council (TPC) appointed a Sub-Committee on 27th December 2015, mandating it to present a report based on which public consultations for an acceptable political solution for Tamil National Question could be initiated. The Sub-Committee was comprised of representatives of political parties and civil society organisations represented in the Council. After several sittings in January 2016, this Sub-Committee produced the first draft of the proposal on January 31st in Jaffna for consultation with the people.
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71 killed in landslides and floods in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 22/05/2016 (Sunday)
Foreign aid began arriving in Sri Lanka Saturday, bringing help to half a million people forced out of their homes by rains and landslides that have killed at least 71 in a week of extreme weather wreaking havoc in South Asia. As the heaviest rains in a quarter of a century battered Sri Lanka, Cyclone Roanu barrelled into the Bangladesh coastline leaving six people dead and forcing the evacuation of 500,000 there.
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Japan grants Rs2.2bn to establish research facility for Jaffna University
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
The Government of Japan grants 1,667 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 2.2 billion) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the Establishment of a Research and Training Complex at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna in Kilinochchi District of the Northern Province. The objective of this project is to provide effective and efficient research and education activities on dry zone agriculture in the northern region at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna.
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Mr Gary Anandasangaree MP Requests All Party Support for Tamil Heritage Month Motion in Canadian Parliament
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
Mr. Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park, introduced a motion in the Canadian House of Commons, calling on the Canadian Parliament to officially declare the month of January as Tamil Heritage Month. This will provide Canadians from coast to coast to coast the opportunity to celebrate the rich Tamil heritage, culture, language, and history. To date, the Toronto District School Board, many GTA municipalities, such as the City of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario have all declared January as “Tamil Heritage Month”.
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Ethnic and religious minorities in Sri Lanka still feel marginalised: American lawmaker
Published Date: 20/05/2016 (Friday)
Sri Lanka\'s ethnic and religious minorities including Tamils still feel marginalised, seven years after the end of the civil war with the LTTE, a senior American lawmaker has said as he appealed to the Lankan government to take \"concrete\" steps to address their concerns. \"The leaders of the new government have made many ambitious promises to advance toward the goal of a stable and prosperous future for all. Now is the time to turn those promises into concrete action,\" Congressman Danny K Davis said on the House floor on Thursday.
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Indian Assembly Elections 2016
Published Date: 19/05/2016 (Thursday)
The Bharatiya Janta Party created history for itself by breaking new grounds and opening new frontiers in the North East by catapulting to power in Assam – the biggest north-eastern state. It also opened its long awaited account in Kerala in addition to winning some seats in West Bengal. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee broke records by not only trouncing the Left Front-Congress combine but by winning for the second consecutive time. She is the only leader in West Bengal, other than the two CPM stalwarts Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, to win for the second consecutive term. She has now earned the credit of overthrowing 34 years of unhindered Left Front rule in West Bengal.
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Basil Rajapaksa arrested and released
Published Date: 17/05/2016 (Tuesday)
Basil Rajapaksa, brother of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested on 12th May by the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division over a land deal allegedly involving money laundering, his lawyer and police said. Several members of the Rajapaksa family are facing police investigations for alleged financial crimes.
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Tamil youth rounded up in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 15/05/2016 (Sunday)
The Sri Lankan government has unleashed a major crackdown against Tamil youth in the country’s war-ravaged north and east. Since March, more than 23 Tamils have been detained under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Most of those arrested were allegedly former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe falsely claim they have established a “democratic environment” in the country’s north and east. In fact, the military occupation is deepening in these areas. Residents face ongoing repression and dire poverty.
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The English voice of Tamil writers
Published Date: 10/05/2016 (Tuesday)
Lakshmi Holmstrom entered not only the literary texts she selected for translation, but the cultural establishments that produced them A powerful translatorial voice has fallen silent. Once in a long while, we encounter a writer who really changed the literary landscape he or she inhabited. While U.R. Ananthamurthy, Ismat Chughtai, Sarah Joseph, Nirmal Verma and Indira Goswami might be cited, I think we can safely say that one who makes such writers available to a population which cannot read them in their original languages is equally a force of Literature, of Nature even.
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Structural Reforms are required to key institutions: UN Rapporteurs
Published Date: 10/05/2016 (Tuesday)
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs Monica Pinto and Juan E. Mendez have expressed their concerns over the existing legal system in the island and emphasized the need of bringing structural reforms to the key institutions such as the Attorney General's Department, Armed Forces, Police and the Judiciary. The two UN Special Rapporteurs held a press conference in Colombo last Saturday (7) on their Sri Lankan assignment and briefed on the measures to be taken into consideration by the Sri Lanka Government towards stabilizing its legal system and improving the human rights situation in the island.
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