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Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 12/04/2016 (Tuesday)
146,679 Tamils are still unaccounted for following the 26 years old civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Tamils had great trust in the international justice mechanisms and lobbied the U.S., UK, India, France, Canada and Australia in an effort to seek justice. They argued their case with international human rights groups when the UN failed to acknowledge the genocide that had taken place.
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Sri Lanka: Does Rajapakse smell an Opportunity?
Published Date: 11/04/2016 (Monday)
Yahapalana’ is a term that has been much in use in Sri Lanka’s political discourse ever since the present government came to power early last year. ‘Yahapalana’ is a Sinhala word, and means ‘good governance’. The Sirisena Government was voted into office in the January 2015 election on a promise of ‘good governance’. But one year down the road, the term has acquired other shades of meaning that are not always complimentary, and sometimes sarcastic. Like recently, when Sri Lanka had an island-wide power breakdown lasting over six hours, it was described as ‘Yahapalana shining’.
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Refugee-returnees ask for land and housing
Published Date: 11/04/2016 (Monday)
Land and housing are the two major issues that need to be addressed satisfactorily, say refugees who have returned to Sri Lanka’s North from their camps in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India. Only then, the say, can there be a large scale voluntary repatriation of refugees. Anjana Devi and Indira Gandhi, who returned to Sri Lanka 12 years ago, say those who own land in the North should be given a financial package for constructing new houses or rebuilding their old ones.
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US - Sri Lanka military ties
Published Date: 11/04/2016 (Monday)
The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet Flagship, USS Blue Ridge, arrived in Colombo on March 26 for a five-day visit, with 900 sailors on board. This is the first time in five years that a US navy vessel has docked in Colombo. Marking the event, the Seventh Fleet command said the visit aimed to “build new ties and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.” Part of the US Pacific command, the Seventh Fleet is the largest of the US Navy and conducts “forward deployed naval operations in support of US national interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific area.”
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Mixed feeling among refugee returnees
Published Date: 10/04/2016 (Sunday)
Nirmala Devi, a mother of two growing children, is happy that she is back in Vavuniya, her husband’s place, after having lived in Tamil Nadu as a refugee for 23 years. She returned to Sri Lanka in 2013 along with her husband and the children. “We wanted to raise our children in the right way” is her answer why she and her husband decided to come back. “And, that’s not possible in a camp for refugees,” she says nonchalantly. Her parents and younger sister are still in camps of Karur and Coimbatore. “I won’t compel them to return. The decision should be theirs,” she points out.
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Code of Ethics for Sri Lankan MPs
Published Date: 10/04/2016 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka\'s Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that he has proposed a code of ethics for the members of parliament for the purpose of building a disciplined and exemplary legislature. Jayasuriya told BBC Sandeshaya the proposed code of ethics was prepared by taking advice from many other countries and using those already established by other countries as the base
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China, Sri Lanka issue joint statement on cooperation
Published Date: 10/04/2016 (Sunday)
China and Sri Lanka yesterday issued a joint statement to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields. The statement was issued before Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe concluded his four-day official visit to China.
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President Sirisena disclose former president’s security detail
Published Date: 09/04/2016 (Saturday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing a meeting in Bibila yesterday, responded to the allegations raised recently about curtailing the security personnel of the former president Mahinda Rajapakse by saying, The former President Rajapkasa had a security of 226 personnel from different ranks from the Army and the Police.
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Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China: Ranil
Published Date: 08/04/2016 (Friday)
A year ago, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had just then returned to power after a gap of over 10 years, chose Guruvayur, a temple town in India’s southern State of Kerala, to make a pertinent observation on his country’s ties with two big neighbours, India and China. “Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China” was his crisp comment. Mr. Wickremesinghe, now on his maiden tour to China, is acutely conscious of the need for reliance on big powers in the world for economic development of his country, which is making efforts to achieve reconciliation among various ethnic communities after the 26-year-long civil war.
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China had pledged 500 Yuan grant to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 08/04/2016 (Friday)
China made a 500 million Yuan outright grant to Sri Lanka and said they would expedite the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries to reduce the trade deficit. China also promised assistance for the second phase of the Hambantota port project and cooperation to set up new industries. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqian at the Great Hall of the People’s Republic China in Beijing yesterday.
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I am experiencing a “politically motivated” hunt says Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse
Published Date: 07/04/2016 (Thursday)
Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa accused the government of carrying out a “politically motivated” hunt against “close” members of the previous government. The observation was made while responding to media personnel after attending the 8th commemoration ceremony of late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in Weliweriya on the 6th April.
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Govt not to endorse demand of SLMC for province: Minister
Published Date: 07/04/2016 (Thursday)
The demand for a separate Muslim province in the current majority eastern province, by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) chairman and Member of parliamentarian Basheer Segu Dawood won’t materialise, said Sri Lanka’s Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Mr. Faizer Mustapha. As long as there is no merger between the North and East, there is absolutely no necessity for a separate Muslim Province in Sri Lanka, said Mr Mustapha.
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The British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee publishes its Report on the FCO’s funding and administration of its human rights work overseas.
Published Date: 07/04/2016 (Thursday)
The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee published its Report on the FCO’s funding and administration of its human rights work overseas on 5th April. This report examines the FCO’s administration and funding of its human rights work overseas and explains how we intend to scrutinise the FCO for the remainder of this Parliament.
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Sri Lankan Companies mentioned in the "Panama Papers”
Published Date: 07/04/2016 (Thursday)
A huge leak of documents has rocked the financial world revealing how some among the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. With data still being leaked, it is reported that three Sri Lankan companies are mentioned in the leaked documents based on an interactive map put out by the Irish Times, quoting the “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
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JVP commemorates 1971 armed struggle
Published Date: 06/04/2016 (Wednesday)
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) [People’s Liberation Front, a party in the government had held several events in Sri Lanka. The main events took place at Anuradhapura, Panadura and Deniyaya areas to commemorate the JVP comrades strengthened their struggle in 1971. The JVP founded in 1965 was aimed at providing a leading force for a socialist revolution in Sri Lanka and it was involved in two armed uprisings against the ruling governments - SLFP in 1971 and UNP - 1987–89. After 1989, it entered democratic politics by participating in the 1994 parliamentary election.
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Rajapakse Loyalists joins the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee
Published Date: 05/04/2016 (Tuesday)
It was reported, there members of the Mahinda Rajapaska loyalist joint opposition group have been included in the Constitutional Assembly’s steering committee tasked with drafting of the new constitution. The Steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe include, Dinesh Gunawardana, Prasanna Ranatunga and Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena serving as a Vice President.
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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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