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Sri Lankan ex-president's vanity airport may end up as paddy store!
Published Date: 31/08/2015 (Monday)
Sri Lanka's second international airport, a pet project of former President Mahinda Rajapakse in his hometown built at a cost of USD 210 million with Chinese funds, could be used as a temporary paddy storage facility, according to government sources. The Mattala Mahinda Rajapakse International Airport, built at the southern port district of Hambantota was commissioned in 2013.Ex-president Rajapakse envisioned a commerce and tourism hub with a strategically located port, a 35,000-seat cricket stadium, a 300-acre botanical garden, a state-of-the-art convention center, five-star hotels and smooth four-lane highways connecting them all. The port, stadium and airport bear his name.
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The Second edition of “Tamils of Sri Lanka: The Quest for Human Dignity”, is now available
Published Date: 31/08/2015 (Monday)
The second edition of the research monograph “Tamils of Sri Lanka: The Quest for Human Dignity” , is now available at the Tamil Information Centre. The monograph was first published in September 2001 and the revised edition was released in March 2006. The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) has recorded events in Sri Lanka, particularly relating to human rights violations by the Sri Lankan State against the Tamil speaking peoples since the early 1980s.
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Parties reach consensus that only an international investigation mechanism can deliver justice
Published Date: 31/08/2015 (Monday)
Leaders representing three constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Sunday rejected the stand of the U.S., which favoured a domestic investigation mechanism on alleged crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War. The leaders of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), who met for four hours in Colombo, felt that justice would be possible only through an international probe.
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Sri Lanka Parliamentary Elections: NPC Chief Minister’s Saga
Published Date: 30/08/2015 (Sunday)
Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal had apparently ticked him (CM) off for trying to be a hero to the disgruntle splinter and ineffective groups in the Diaspora and to the hard-line leftovers in his own Province. Hardly having delivered anything tangible to the people of North, in one meeting in the US, his foreign Diary Secretary was politely asked to shut up to let the CM speak. Diary Secretary was in for even worse treatment at the most important meeting of all, in New York, where he was refused entry to a meeting which resulted in a tantrum being thrown by him in front of those senior UN hosts. They said nothing doing, which the CM had to accept.
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TNA urges the government to honour their commitment
Published Date: 29/08/2015 (Saturday)
In a press statement released by TNA today reads as follow: At the General Election held on the 17th of August 2015, the United National Party (UNP) emerged as the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) obtained the second largest number of seats. It has been announced that a National Government has been formed and that Members of Parliament who contested and were elected under both the UNP and the UPFA have accepted cabinet portfolios. Accordingly, both the UNP and the UPFA bear collective cabinet responsibility. As political parties in Parliament, they thus must publicly support all Governmental decisions made in Cabinet.
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Omantahi check point removed
Published Date: 29/08/2015 (Saturday)
Military Spokesperson Bridger Ruwan Wannigasooriya announced that security forces have taken steps to remove the security check point located at Omanthai in Vavuniya with effect from today, Saturday, August 29. He said, “check point is now fully operational and vehicles entering via A9 highway to the Jaffna Peninsula and the vehicles leaving the Peninsula are now being subjected to checking at the Omanthai checkpoint. The public has now been given the opportunity to travel on the said route without any intervention”.
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Opposing the Rule of Law
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
How Myanmar’s Courts make law and order written by Nick Cheesman has been release today. The rule of law is a political ideal today endorsed and promoted worldwide. Or is it? In a major contribution to the field, Nick Cheesman argues that Myanmar is a country in which the rule of law is 'lexically present but semantically absent'. Charting ideas and practices from British colonial rule through military dictatorship to the present day, Cheesman calls upon political and legal theory to explain how and why institutions animated bya concern for law and order oppose the rule of law. Empirically grounded in both Burmese and English sources, including criminal trial records and wide ranging official documents, Opposing the Rule of Law offer the first significant study of courts in contemporary Myanmar sheds new light on the politics of courts during dark times and sharply illuminates the tension between the demand for law and the imperatives of order.
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“TNA will Accept Domestic Investigation if it has International Participation”- M. A. Sumanthiran
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
The US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has said that the US will be moving a resolution on human rights and war crimes in Sri Lanka at the September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). But the resolution will be drafted in collaboration with the Lankan government, key stakeholders within and outside Lanka, and the international “core group” on Lanka, she added. Briefing select media here on Wednesday at the end of a two day visit, Biswal said that the US-led “collaborative” resolution will “reflect” on the way forward for Lanka in its bid to address human rights and governance issues.
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THE LAST KING OF LANKA - A stunning story by a 22 year old Sri Lankan Girl
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
I first met President Rajapaksa when I was 11 years old. I had won a national short story competition and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs had taken me and several other winners to Temple Trees to see the President. He was a rare and skilled politician. He knew the game and he played it very well. He had a clever way of making people feel comfortable around him. He patted our heads spoke to us for a long time; asked us about school and home. We were infatuated. He had us hooked. The other kids and I would go home and tell our friends and family what a great man he was.
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Tamils will Keep Pressing For International Probe: NPC Chair
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
In an interview with the press, senior leader of the Federal Party and the chair of the Northern Provincial Council, C.V.K Sivagnanam said that the Tamils will keep pressing for an international probe into charges of war crimes against the Sri Lankan government even though the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has made it clear that the US will only seek an independent and credible Lankan domestic probe.
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Travel Ban on Gota lifted
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
The Galle Magistrate today lifted the travel ban imposed on former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The order was made when the case regarding the floating armoury at the Galle Harbour was taken up, for the Criminal investigation department to report facts to court. The order imposing a travel ban on former navy commander Somathilaka Dissanayake, former additional secretary of the Defence Ministry Sujatha Damayanthi Jayarathne, directors of the Avant-Garde company Palitha Fernando and Manjula Kumjara Yapa were also lifted by court.
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Biswal Bullish!
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka looked set to escape a minefield of international action on war crimes allegations with a US Government announcement yesterday that it would sponsor a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month supporting the Government’s plans for a domestic investigation and reconciliation. The announcement marks a departure from the previous US position that allegations about atrocities committed in Sri Lanka at the end of the war had to be probed internationally in the absence or failure of domestic processes.
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Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful conclusion of the most free and fair parliamentary elections since May, 1970. The conclusion of the election has presented a rare opportunity to deliver meaningful reconciliation and a lasting peace. The U.S.-led international community should seize this historic opportunity, facilitating the required political climate to make reconciliation a reality in Sri Lanka The election victory of United National Party (UNP) can shift the country in a new revolutionary path, paving the way for a rapid development.
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Toronto Tamil fest kicks off campaign to open Tamil-Canadian museum
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
A local Tamil community is in the process of opening a museum chronicling the history of its Canadian integration. The effort will start in earnest this weekend during the inaugural Tamil Fest in Scarborough. The goals include exploring Tamil people’s journey to Canada and how they connect with their homeland. “We are very engaged in every aspect of the country, politics, education or business,” said Anton Philip, who is coordinating the effort. “You name it, we are there, you know.”
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Sri Lanka: A Lesson for U.S. Strategy
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka provides a glimpse of small power-great power relations in a future multipolar world order. For much of the period since its independence, Sri Lanka attracted scant regard throughout the West. At the culmination of its civil war, some attention did begin to be paid to human rights issues. In the last few years, however, Sri Lanka has begun to feature as a country of strategic relevance to the great powers. For one, it sits at the center of the Indian Ocean, likely to be one of the world’s most strategically contested regions in the coming century. Sri Lanka is also halfway between China and its energy sources in the Middle East, something Beijing had responded to largely successfully until January this year when Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency.
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In Shift, US Backs Sri Lanka's Own War Crimes Probe
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
The United States said Wednesday that it wants to sponsor a resolution at next month's U.N. human rights session that is supportive of Sri Lanka's government, which wants to conduct its own investigation into alleged war crimes. The announcement by the visiting Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal of a joint resolution with the Sri Lankan government presents a major shift by Washington on the South Asian island nation.
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Changing political dynamics
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
The parliamentary election held on Aug. 17 represented a seismic shift in the political culture of Sri Lanka. In the past, there was a culture of violence and corruption to the hilt. But this time, following the change of leadership that took place in January, it was clear a new atmosphere had emerged. In the months following the January presidential election, the victors made good governance a keynote theme of the new administration. However, the government — still a minority in parliament — struggled to implement legal reform.
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Sri Lanka arrests army personnel over missing journalist
Published Date: 25/08/2015 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka's police arrested four army personnel, including two senior officers yesterday, in connection with the disappearance of the dissident cartoonist that triggered international condemnation of the island's rights record. Two lieutenant colonels, a sergeant and a corporal were arrested following the testimony given by three other suspects already in custody over the abduction of Prageeth Eknaligoda in 2010, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. "The four men were questioned today and arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department," Gunasekera said in a statement.
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Announcement of new cabinet delayed due to hectic lobby
Published Date: 24/08/2015 (Monday)
Sri Lanka\'s president on reinstated three key ministers in their posts today but delayed announcing a full cabinet after a landmark agreement to form a coalition government. Maithripala Sirisena had been expected to swear in a cabinet Monday, but official sources said that had been delayed as talks with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) continued.
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Sri Lanka says good riddance to Rajapaksa
Published Date: 23/08/2015 (Sunday)
Sri Lankan voters have dealt a decisive blow to the comeback ambitions of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who ran the island nation of 20m people in authoritarian style for a decade. Their rejection of his bid for the premiership almost certainly ends his chances of leading the country again. It also opens up the possibility of the former strongman being investigated for both corruption and human rights violations. He denies both accusations.
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Sri Lankan Tamil Brides Reject Grooms Demanding Dowries
Published Date: 05/08/2015 (Wednesday)
During and since Sri Lanka’s long civil war, members of the Tamil community have re-examined cultural traditions. While arranged marriages remain common, young people increasingly decline to request or offer dowries, a custom they say disrespects the equality of women and turns marriage into an economic exchange. Older Tamils defend the custom, saying dowries help young couples establish economic security. “Marriage should not be a trade between two families. It’s time to change. It’s two lives that matter, not dowries, says Usha Thevathas, 25, teacher and a prospective bride
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Sri Lanka - in-year update July 2015
Published Date: 15/07/2015 (Wednesday)
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released its Human Rights and Democracy Report today, which says, The human rights situation in Sri Lanka improved during the first half of 2015, although some concerns remain. Following the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January and the appointment of a new government, Sri Lanka took a number of positive steps to address human rights and democracy concerns, including establishing new institutions and undertaking legal reforms.
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Bishop urges to ensure safety of Ex-LTTE cadres
Published Date: 08/04/2015 (Wednesday)
Bishop of Jaffna Rev. Thomas Savundranayagam pointed out to the Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie that the new government should ensure the safety of the ex- LTTE cadres as they were intimidated frequently even after they have been integrated with the society after the rehabilitation process. Responding to the Jaffna Bishop, Australian High Commissioner Mudie said that the Australian Government would be always supportive of a healthy reconciliation in the island.
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Sri Lanka, Pakistan sign nuclear agreement
Published Date: 07/04/2015 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed six agreements including one on atomic energy Monday, the two countries' leaders said, as the strategically important island looks to build its first nuclear plant. Details of the agreement were not immediately available but it comes after Sri Lanka signed a pact with India in February to build its atomic energy infrastructure, including training of personnel.
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Abberrant actions cannot cure the Sri Lankan judiciary of its ills
Published Date: 05/04/2015 (Sunday)
Even close to one and a half decades later, it is heartening to see the virulent politicisation of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court from the year 2000 amidst the bypassing of honourable judges of the Court under the Presidencies of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa being publicly recognised by the Bar.
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