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TID Postpones Questioning Jeyakumari
Published Date: 22/08/2016 (Monday)
The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), which was to question activist Balendran Jeyakumary on Friday, had postponed it for a later date. Jeyakumary had been summoned for a second time following an interrogation by authorities earlier as well. Jeyakumary, who campaigned since the end of the armed conflict against enforced disappearances, was arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2015.
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Hopeful for a better future
Published Date: 21/08/2016 (Sunday)
65th SLFP convention is to be held on 4th September and party leader Maithree has decided to clean the fascistic rebels, before that. In this column, we have pressed to defend this party of populist liberals, from fascistic intruders. SWRD who started the SLFP entered politics as a liberal politician proposing a federal solution to the nationality problem in 1926. However after forming the SLFP, on the sensitive issue of language, the party originally espoused the use of both Sinhala and Tamil as national languages, but in the mid-1950s it adopted a "Sinhala only" policy. Nevertheless the Bandaranaike–Chelvanayakam Pact was an agreement signed between the Prime Minister and the leader of the main Tamil political party in Lanka S. J. V. Chelvanayakam on July 26, 1957.
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64th UNASL Public Lecture by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, MP
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
A Public Lecture by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, MP, on “Constitutional Reforms in Sri Lanka; Problems and Prospects” was conducted by the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka on 18th August, 2016 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations & Strategic Studies in Colombo.
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UN voices concern over Sri Lanka's crumbling cave temple
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
The U.N.'s cultural agency expressed concern Wednesday over the poor maintenance of a centuries-old cave temple in Sri Lanka, which risks being struck off the list of world heritage sites. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said she raised the maintenance issue at the Golden Temple of Dambulla with local authorities during her visit to the island.
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Editorial Beginning of international war crimes probe?
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
Editorial The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is making the most of the increasing impotency of the state to run a parallel government of sorts in the northern parts of the country; it is also working overtime to annex the Eastern Province to the North. Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran and others of his ilk are all out to gain legitimacy for their political project with the help of foreign powers. Hardly a day passes without a foreign dignitary visiting the North and entertaining appeals from the NPC members and doing a Dixit.
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Political prisoner chained to hospital bed in Jaffna
Published Date: 17/08/2016 (Wednesday)
A political prisoner, an inmate of Anuradhapura Prison, Rasiah Anantharajah was rushed to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital after his health condition was found to be 'unstable'. He was handcuffed to the bed at Ward 19, yesterday. Anantharajah has been involved on a hunger strike at the prison on several occasions. When Ceylon Today contacted Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement D.M. Swaminathan, who had intervened and transferred the prisoner to Jaffna from Anuradhapura, he said he was informed by a Tamil politician about Anantharajah's health condition. The prison officials had told him that the inmate was 'mentally deranged'.
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TID interrogates Jeyakumari again
Published Date: 16/08/2016 (Tuesday)
Balendran Jeyakumari, who was released on bail Match last year without any charges was called again for questioning by the Sri Lankan counter terrorism agency TID on Tuesday by Sri Lanka’s counter terrorism police at its Colombo headquarters. Kilinochchi police visiting her home in Kilinochchi told her to appear before the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) Tuesday morning.
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Foreign aid to country's female education
Published Date: 16/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In today's fast growing world, most of the nations are fighting to leave a mark of their existence. While some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been the front runners for as long as the history books allow us to count on, other countries like Germany and Japan have surprised the world by becoming some of the largest economies in spite of being nearly demolished during the Second World War. The fact of the matter remains, however, that none of these developed countries achieved the status or the right to be called "developed" overnight.
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Reunion planned in Newfoundland for Tamil ‘boat people’
Published Date: 11/08/2016 (Thursday)
Thirty years ago, fisherman Gus Dalton spotted the 155 Tamils in two crammed lifeboats and helped bring them to Canada. Shanmuga Paul and Baskaran Nadarajah, Tamils who came to Canada as boat people 30 years ago, are expecting memories to come flooding back Thursday when they’re reunited with the ship that helped rescue them off the south shore of Newfoundland.
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Does Vatican disapprove of Cardinal's nod to give Buddhism 'foremost place' in Sri Lanka?
Published Date: 10/08/2016 (Wednesday)
The Vatican appears to disapprove of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s statement of July 25, that it is right to give to Buddhism the “foremost place” in the Sri Lankan constitution and that it is not right to declare Sri Lanka a secular state. The Vatican Radio’s website carries a story from Colombo dated August 4, in which a group of Sri Lankan Catholics are quoted as saying that the new Sri Lankan constitution should be a secular one and that giving a special constitutional status to Buddhism is a violation of human rights.
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Challenging Ratnawalli’s Imperial Sinhala Position
Published Date: 09/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In a recent article I took issue with Robert S. Perinpanayagam for his short sharp comment on one of my essays on the Elephant Pass debacle of the year 2000. Embittered Tamilness has appeared in Colombo Telegraph as well as Thuppahi. Darshanie Ratnawalli recently entered a long comment in CT in ways that seem to support my work. However, her reading confuses the concept of “nation” with “nation state,” while also providing a distilled historical interpretation that overweights the past record in ways that suggest a measure of Sinhala exclusivism that leans towards the chauvinist camp. My presentation of this set of criticisms here is intended to supersede the hurried memo I placed in CT in opposition to her claims.
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Many in diaspora approve Liberal push for reconciliation in scarred Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
The message of tolerance at the heart of the Trudeau government's international outlook is now being put to the test in one the world's most ethnically scarred postwar countries -- Sri Lanka. The ultimate success of Canada's re-engagement with Sri Lanka, which was formalized last month when Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion visited the south Asian country, will have domestic political implications for the Liberals government in the years ahead.
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Tamil politicians investigating mysterious deaths of ex-LTTE cadres
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are investigating reports of former Tamil Tiger cadres dying mysteriously, The New Indian Express reports. According to the Tamil media, 105 former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have so far died mysteriously, allegedly after being injected with a drug when they were undergoing post-war ‘rehabilitation’ in Sri Lankan army-run camps.
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Sri Lanka’s missing people Refusing to give up hope
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
SEVEN years ago, at a busy crossroads in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city, armed men in an unmarked white van abducted Stephen Sundararaj. He was going home, his three children snuggled up against him, after idling for weeks in a police cell. Mr Sundararaj, then a 39-year-old project manager at a local human-rights group, had been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, a draconian law permitting arrests without warrant for “unlawful activities”. He challenged the move in court and would have pursued the case, had he not been hauled away mere hours after his release. He was never charged with a crime. He has never been found.
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Forum to address psychosocial needs of missing persons’ kin in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
A psychosocial support task force, which will introduce a range of services to families of missing persons and others in Sri Lanka who suffer from the post-conflict trauma, has been set up. Formed by the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR), the task force will take care of psychosocial needs of the families which will be part of the healing process.
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Impunity for killing of 27 inmates of the Welikada Prison, Colombo in November 2012
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
In November 2012, 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, were reported as killed by the Army and the Special Task Force (STF) following what was reported as a search operation leading to a riot. 43 persons have also been reported as injured. Based on testimony of eyewitnesses, the Commissioner General of Prisons was seen inside the prison in the morning of 10th November (after midnight on 9th November) and thus, it is believed that he is aware of names of the Army officers present inside the prison during the massacre.
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Dion’s Sri Lanka visit: Step in right direction, but more must be done Making a substantial contribution to post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka would go a long way to show Canada’s engaged approach to global affairs.
Published Date: 03/08/2016 (Wednesday)
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s visit to Sri Lanka last week was a welcome symbol of the important steps that Canada is taking to help support reconciliation efforts in the island nation. Although Sri Lanka’s devastating civil war ended in 2009, post-conflict rebuilding efforts remain unfinished and a lasting and permanent peace has yet to be achieved. It is therefore vital that Canada remains focused on Sri Lanka in the months and years ahead. As the home of one of the largest Tamil diasporas outside of South Asia, Canada is in a unique position to help advocate for the improvement of Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, promote political accountability, and make a lasting contribution to peace and development in the island nation.
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Concerns of another UNHRC resolution endorser
Published Date: 02/08/2016 (Tuesday)
It was a few days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement expressing his country's solidarity with the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin who were commemorating an event in Toronto, Canada to mark the 33rd anniversary of 1983 Black July, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion arrived in the island on Thursday (28) and his Sri Lankan visit is considered as a first visit of a Canadian Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka since 2003.
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Sri Lanka: 10 Years Since Aid Worker Massacre International Role Needed to Ensure Justice
Published Date: 01/08/2016 (Monday)
Sri Lankan authorities have not brought to justice those responsible for the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers a decade ago this week, Human Right Watch said today. On August 4, 2006, gunmen murdered local staff members from the Paris-based Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) at their compound in the town of Muttur, in eastern Trincomalee district. The special court being set up by the government of President Maithripala Sirisena should ensure that the ACF killings and other wartime atrocities are fully and fairly tried with significant foreign involvement, and all those culpable brought to account, regardless of rank or position, Human Rights Watch said.
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Education Ministry distributes Thirukkural statue to 16 schools in Northeast Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/07/2016 (Sunday)
Sixteen granite statues of Thiruvalluvar - a celebrated Tamil poet who is also commonly referred to as Thirukkural - have been donated by Dr. V.G. Santhosam from Chennai to schools in Sri Lanka’s north and east. The handover event where they were presented to the 16 schools was held on 26 July at the Education Ministry premises. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, State Minister K. Rathakirissnan and Dr. Santhosam also participated in the event where the 8-foot statues were presented to the school’s principals.
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Army initiative to provide livelihood support for Ex-combatants
Published Date: 29/07/2016 (Friday)
The Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) announced that under its Livelihood promotion scheme of the rehabilitated ex-LTTE combatants has enabled 20 ex-combatants to make a living by selling lottery tickets as permanent sales assistants of the Development Lottery Board (DLB).
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Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme
Published Date: 28/07/2016 (Thursday)
The UK Governemnt has launched a funding scheme called Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme. All the information on how to bid will be available on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme#about-the-scheme
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India’s $318-million aid for Sri Lankan railways
Published Date: 28/07/2016 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan Cabinet approved a $318-million line of credit from the Indian government for the procurement of rolling stock and upgrading two important railway lines in the country -- Anuradhapura to Omanthai and Anuradhapura to Maho. With this, the total amount of assistance from India for the development of the sector in Sri Lanka has gone up to $1,284 million.
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Indonesia: Stop Imminent Executions Death Penalty for Drug Crimes Violates International Law
Published Date: 27/07/2016 (Wednesday)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of Indonesia should urgently commute the death sentences of at least 14 people who face imminent execution for drug trafficking, Human Rights Watch said today. The Indonesian government has not announced a date for the executions, but has warned that “the time is approaching.” Jakarta-based diplomats have reported that the attorney general’s office informed them that the executions will take place on July 29, 2016.
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SRI LANKA: 1983: Betrayal of the Absolute Right to Justice
Published Date: 27/07/2016 (Wednesday)
It has been 33 years since Black July, 1983. These 33 years have been part of our lifetime. We have witnessed not only the horrendously criminal acts of July 1983, but also what happened by way of justice after those serious crimes. I would like to illustrate my point in terms of one single event: the Welikada prison massacre. This was without a doubt an act that falls within the definition of crimes against humanity. What concerns me here are the procedures of the so-called inquiries which were held into this crime. Various inquiries were announced and undertaken, and some reports were published. What becomes quite prominently clear is that, during all these inquiries, some of the senior members of the Attorney General’s Department played a blatant role in sabotaging justice. The state, rather than using the occasion to get the message across that it did not condone such acts and that it stood for the defense of the absolute right to justice, in fact proved the very opposite.
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