Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to Summon Police Top Brass to “Temple Trees” and Query about Murder of Abducted Businessman Suleiman.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will summon police top brass to Temple Trees this week to discuss ways and means of arresting the trend of escalating violence, killings and drug menace. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Friday met senior ministers including Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake. He said there was no point in …

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“Yahapalanaya”Govt and the 60 Billion Rupee Tender Scandal for Coal Supply to Norachcholai Power Plant.

By C. A. Chandraprema It was only since last year that people have gradually become aware that the supply of coal to the Norochcholai power plant is by far the country’s biggest single tender worth more than Rs. 60 billion for a three years’ supply of 6.75 million metric tonnes. On 18 June 2014, a …

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Abduction and Killing of “Bhai” Billionaire Mohammad Shakeeb Sulaiman of Bambalapitiya

By Gihan Kamalesh Weerasinghe The Police Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has begun probing the strong likelihood that billionaire businessman Mohammad Shakeeb Sulaiman of Bambalapitiya was brutally done to death by irate business competitors stemming from a dispute arising from a soured business deal or arising from debts owed to Sulaiman by some businessmen. Police sources …

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UNP Which Accused Special Army Unit Controlled by Sarath Fonseka of Attacking Journalists must now Clarify the Position – “The Isand”

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island”of August 29th 2016 under the heading “Attacks on journalists;Elephant in the room and can of worms”) Investigations into attacks on journalists under the previous government took a dramatic turn last week with former Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon and his wife, Dhammika, identifying a military intelligence officer who …

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Net Worth of Colombo Stock Exchange has Decreased by 284 Billion Rupees During Past year states Central Bank Report

By Shyam Ganewatte The net worth of the Colombo Stock Exchange has decreased by Rs. 284 billion during the past one year, the latest statistics released by the Central Bank reveal. According to the just released issue of the Recent Economic Developments, the net worth of the Colombo Stock Exchange was Rs. 3,076,000,000 a year …

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Computer Emergency Readiness Team(CERT) Takes Steps to Protect President Sirisena’s Official Website from Hackers

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas, Cassendra Doole, Shaahidah Riza and Methmalie Dissanayake Sri Lanka’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has taken various steps to ensure that President Maithripala Sirisena’s official website will in future not be vulnerable to hackers, following last week’s cyber attack that threatened a cyber war in the near future. Information Security Engineer …

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Tamils Continue to Face Discrimination in Sri Lanka States UN Elimination of Racial Discrimination Committee Report

Tamils continue to face discrimination in Sri Lanka, Firstpost India reported, quoting the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)’s recently concluded periodic review of Sri Lanka’s implementation of its provisions. It said CERD committee member and country rapporteur for Sri Lanka Jose Francisco Cali Tzay had said the Tamil population continued …

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President Sirisena Asks Australian Journalist Mckenzie to Provide More Details About the Allegation Made against him

By Sandun A Jayasekera The Presidential Secretariat (PS) has requested the Australian-based Fairfax journalist Nick McKenzie for more information on the allegations which appeared in the Australian media implicating President Maithripala Sirisena. Claiming he had no knowledge about the allegations in the Australian media reports that he had requested Rs.2.5 million from the Australia-based Snowy …

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Funds Allocated for Tourism Promotion were used by UPFA in Badulla district at the Uva Provincial Council Poll Reveals Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday said that the funds allocated to the Tourist Board for tourism promotion were spent by the previous Government to win provincial polls through welfare societies, according to a state-run television network. Addressing a United National Party membership drive in Welimada on Saturday, the Prime Minister said it was now …

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Rajapaksa Loyalists in SLFP to Form Own Party With Mahinda As Their Leader

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) dissidents are to form their own party with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as their leader. However, a decision is yet to be made on the name which may be similar to the SLFP. The decision to form their own party was taken on Thursday when the committee named by Mahinda …

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India Unwilling to Agree to Conditions Imposed by Sri Lanka in Relation to Formulating Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement(ETCA)

By P.K.Balachandran Indian Minister of State for Commerce, Nirmala Sitharaman, who was to come here on August 25 for a short visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Minister of International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, cancelled her visit on account of pressing engagements in New Delhi, reliable sources told Express on Saturday. It is learnt …

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Office of Missing Persons Bill and the Interplay Between “Finding the Truth” and “Securing Justice”.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The contradiction was clear if not absurd. Even at the very moment in time that I was being sent unsolicited messages by Colombo’s non-governmental ‘twitterati’ delighting in self-congratulatory chest-thumping over the turbulent passing of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill, that euphoria was distinctly missing in the Northern peninsula, among …

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Visiting UN Secy –Gen Ban Ki Moon Wont Have Separate Meeting With Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran During Jaffna Trip

By P.K.Balachandran The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will do his bit to reconcile conflicting interests in Sri Lanka during his three-day visit to the island beginning on August 31. From his program it appears that he will press for unity and cooperation between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils; between the predominantly Tamil …

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Fresh Action Must be Initiated Against the Alleged Corruption of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the “Helping Hambantota” Affair.

by Vimukthi Yapa The eleventh anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami came and went on December 26 last year with hardly a mention of Helping Hambantota, the scandal that, if not for the timely intervention of the Supreme Court, would have torpedoed the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa before it even began. A review of the …

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Boycott of Northern Province Investor Forum by C.V.Wigneswaran Reflects Badly on the Chief Minister.

By Rasika Jayakody The Northern Province Investor Forum, held last week, was a landmark event for the Jaffna peninsula for many reasons. It was the first time the business and financial community gathered in Jaffna to support the region’s economic development. Coming out of a three-decade long war and years of military occupation, such an …

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85 Senior Finance Ministry Officials Serving on Boards of 280 Public Corporations Resign From Their Ex-Officio Director Posts

By C.A.Chandraprema Last Wednesday, the same day on which the Australian media broke the story about President Sirisena, 85 officials of the ministry of finance serving as ex-officio directors on the boards of 280 public corporations resigned from their directorships saying that they will not resume their duties unless steps were taken to ensure their …

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US Military Footprint Takes Shape in Sri Lanka

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya The Joint Opposition must surely be faulted for having neglected to challenge the constitutionality of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill in the Supreme Court during the time available to do so. The JO’s theatrics in the well of the House on the day the Bill was passed, amidst chaos, hardly …

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President Sirisena ‘Concerned’ about Corruption Charge in Australian Media but Doubts Credibility of Sri Lankan Agent Source

By P K Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is “concerned” about the charge made by Fairfax Media that in 2009-2011, when he was Minister of Agriculture, an Australian company was asked to give a donation to his political party to get contracts for World Bank-funded sewerage and dam projects. On Thursday, the President ordered …

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State Sector Top Employees Resigning Their Posts Due to Fear of Being Probed by Financial Crimes Investigations Division(FCID)

By Saman Indrajith The Joint Opposition (JO) alleged yesterday in Parliament that the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) had become a danger to not only the state sector employees, but those in the private sector. JO member Bandula Gunawardena raising the issue of the FCID proving public officials said that state sector employees were submitting …

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Ex-“Rivira”Editor Upali Tennakoon and wife Identify Military Intelligence Official Premananda Udalagama as their Attacker on Jan 23rd 2009.

by Shamindra Ferdinando Former Rivira editor Upali Tennakoon and his wife Dhammika, at an identification parade held at the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court, yesterday identified Warrant Officer 1 Premananda Udalagama of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) as the person who had assaulted them on the morning of January 23, 2009 at Imbulgoda, Gampaha, Tennakoon was …

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Ex-tiger Rasaiyah Anandarasa who Complained of Infection After Being Injected with a Drug Escapes from Jaffna Prison Hospital

By Romesh Madushanka An ex-LTTE cadre who was undergoing treatment at the Jaffna Prison Hospital while being remanded at the Jaffna Prison has escaped from hospital on Wednesday. The inmate, who was transferred from the Anuradhapura Prison to Jaffna , had been remanded under charges of possessing of illegal weapons.

“Tamil National Alliance Controlled Northern Provincial Council is Obstructing Reconciliation “Charges UPFA National List MP Angajan Ramanathan

by Dasun Edirisinghe The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) controlled Northern Provincial Council would obstruct President Maithripala Sirisena’s reconciliation programme by advancing its own agenda, UPFA MP Angajan Ramanathen alleges. Addressing the weekly press briefing at the SLFP headquarters, he said the Buddhist temples could be in the Northern Province like kovils, mosques and churches situated …

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Finance Minister’s Knowledge of Basic Economics is Negligible and is Clueless about Plantation Industry says Vidura Wickramanayake MP

by Harischandra Gunaratna Kalutara District Parliamentarian Vidura Wickramanayake on Thursday said the country’s Finance Minister was clueless about the plantation industry and his knowledge of basic economics was negligible. Speaking to journalists at a Joint Opposition news conference at the Dr. N. M. Perera Centre, Borella, the SLFP stalwart said, “The once flourishing tea industry …

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Maithripala Sirisena Betrayed the SLFP at the January 2015 Presidential Polls – Kanchana Wijesekera MP

By Shamindra Ferdinando Matara District UPFA MP Kanchana Wijesekera yesterday said that the SLFP shouldn’t have accepted ministerial portfolios in UNP-led government under any circumstances. Had those elected on the UPFA ticket at the August 17, 2015 parliamentary polls remained in the Opposition, the SLFP wouldn’t be in a sorry state today, the former Southern …

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75% of Container Traffic Through Colombo Harbour is Trans-shipment cargo from Indian Sub-Continental Region – Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga

Sri Lanka is seeking a partner from the Indian subcontinent to develop a port designed to be its deepest and accommodate the world’s largest container vessels, Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said on Thursday. The Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) is looking for a foreign investor with about USD 400 million to complete the half-built East …

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Taranjit Singh Sandhu who was Political Counsellor in Colombo from 2000 -2004 Will be the Next Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

By P K Balachandran Taranjit Singh Sandhu will be the next Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka succeeding Y.K.Sinha who has completed his term. An old Sri Lanka hand, Sandhu was Political Counselor in the Indian High Commission in Colombo between 2000 and 2004, which covered the 2002-2004 Norway-brokered peace process in Sri Lanka. Born …

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Govt Should Heed Opposition Call to Investigate Serious Allegations Made Against President Sirisena in Australian Newspapers – “The Island”.

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of August 26th 2016 Under the Heading “Of that bombshell”) The government usually loses no time in denying reports it considers false or detrimental to its interests. But, it, for some reason, did not act promptly regards reports in the widely circulated Australian newspapers, The Sydney Morning …

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“Yahapalanaya”Govt Threatens Legal Action Against Those Raising Bribery allegations against President Sirisena.

by Dasun Edirisinghe The government yesterday said it would take legal action against those who levelled bribery allegations against President Maithripala Sirisena, claiming he asked for money before signing an agreement with an Australian company to build a dam when he was the Minister of Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services in 2009. Addressing the media …

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Joint Opposition Wants Impartial Inquiry Into Allegation About Maithripala Sirisena Soliciting 27,000 Dollar Bribe from Australian Company When he was Agriculture Minister.

By Harischandra Gunaratna The Joint Opposition yesterday urged the government to hold an impartial inquiry into the story that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age of Wednesday (24) that President Maithripala Sirisena had solicited a bribe of 27,000 Australian dollars from the Australian company Snowy Mountain Engineering company. when he was Agricultural …

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TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Explains the Rationale Behind Issuance of a “Certificate of Absence” for Missing Persons

By Saman Indrajith TNA Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran told the House yesterday that the certificate of absence was a mere acknowledgment by the government that the person concerned was not around. Joining the second reading debate of Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, MP Sumanthiran said that the certificate of absence did not extinguish the right …

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Sri Lanka wants Indian companies-led consortium to build and get business for Colombo port’s third terminal

By By P.K.Balachandran In a bid to balance India and China, Sri Lanka appears to be in favor of an Indian companies-led consortium to build the Third Terminal at Colombo port and secure business for it. China has already been deeply involved in port development in Sri Lanka, having built a modern container terminal in …

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Abducted Bambalapitiya Businessman’s Body Found in Mawanella;Travel ban Imposed on 5 Persons from Dematagoda and Wellawatte

The body of the businessman abducted in Bambalapitiya , Mohamed Sakeem Sulaiman, was found on the Hemmathagama Road in Rukulagama in Mawanella yesterday evening. The victim whose face had been disfigured with serious injuries, believed to have been made by a blunt instrument, was in identified after several police teams including a special team from …

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President Sirisena Denies that he or his Adviser Demanded a “Political Donation”from the Australian Snowy Mountains Engineering Company.

President Maithripala Sirisena today rejected the news report that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald website that he and his adviser allegedly demanded a political “donation” to be paid by the iconic Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) when he was the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian services in 2009.

President Sirisena as SLFP Chairman has been Trying to Wrest Control of the Party for 18 Months

By Dharisha Bastians As the Government of ‘national unity’ celebrated the completion of its first year in office last week, President Maithripala Sirisena was grappling with a problem that preceded his presidency. For nine years, while Mahinda Rajapaksa held the party reins and the presidency, the SLFP was in quiet crisis. Party seniors were sidelined …

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Did Maithripala Sirisena with his Adviser Demand a Donation from Australian SMEC Firm to Give a Dam Construction Contract When He was a Cabinet Minister in Mahinda Govt?

By Nick McKenzie, Emmanuel Freudenthal, Michael Bachelard, Richard Baker Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts. Alleged bribery by Australian companies of foreign governments remains a serious issue at …

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Is Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Against the Search for Truth About Missing Catholic Priests?

By Upul Joseph Fernando Senior Journalist D. B. S. Jeyaraj had written an article to a weekend English newspaper. The article was based on the disappearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown from a Catholic church in the North. At a moment when laws have been prepared to establish an office to inquire into disappeared …

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“Both Sinhala and Tamil Should Have Been Given Their Rightful Places Together in 1956 Instead of only the Language of the Majority” – Chandrika Kumaratunga

By Ajith Siriwardana Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga yesterday said her father had brought in the Sinhala only Bill in 1956 not as a racist move but as a means of giving back to the country its identity after 450 years of subjugation by foreign rulers. “After eight years of independence, the Sinhala people, who …

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Security Forces Building Buddhist temples and Placing Statues under Bo-trees in the North – East Have Negated Reconciliation Efforts -Dr.Rajitha Senaratne

By Sandun A Jayasekera Government Spokesman and Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne said building Buddhist temples, placing Buddha statues under Bo-trees and at junctions by the security forces after defeating the LTTE in the North-East had not done any good other than to negate the government’s reconciliation efforts.

Attorney – General to Review 78 Cases of Tamils Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act by Sep 15th Discloses DM Swaminathan

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan Minister of Resettlement and Prison Reforms, D.M.Swaminathan, has reported steady progress government is making in reviewing and following up cases of Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Answering a question put by R.Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in parliament on Tuesday, …

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Actress Jacqueline Fernandez Planning to Open Another “Kaema Sutra” type Restaurant in India’s Mumbai City

By Jigar Shah Jacqueline Fernandez turned restaurateur two years ago, when she teamed up with chef Dharshan Munidasa to open an eatery called Kaema Sutra in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The actor is now contemplating expanding her restaurant business. A source says, “Jacqueline spends most of her time in India due to her acting assignments. So, …

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“Sinha Le”and “Ekama Le”: Time to Stop Quibbling With Bloody slogans and Leave BLOOD alone

By Prof. Susirith Mendis I have been intrigued by the reactions to the slogan “Sinha-Le” used by some group or other. Gradually, it has become a point of intensive debate and controversy. I write this piece today because I saw a clip on TV News about a fracas that occurred between two groups. One group …

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Only Hardcore Mahinda Supporters will Break away from SLFP to Form new Political Party

By Rasika Jayakody In politics you either eat the baby or you are the baby – House of Cards President Maithripala Sirisena used the national unity government’s first anniversary celebration in Matara as an opportunity to give the party’s rebel group cozying up to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa a strong warning. “They are talking about …

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“We Will Not Allow Outsiders to Rule Over Us or Loot Our Resources” Declares Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran

By P K Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, on Tuesday outlined the economic goals of his largely rural province and set the parameters within which economic development projects should be conceived. Addressing a conference of international donor agencies, organized by R.Paskaralingam, Adviser to the Ministry of Policy Development …

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Caller from Telephone Booth in Kegalle Demands Rs 20 Milion Ransom for Abducted Bambalapitiya Businessman Mohammed Sulaiman to be Deposited in a Bank.

By Premalal Wijeratne Police have launched a probe into an unidentified phone call received by family members of abducted millionaire businessman Mohammad Sulaiman, at Kothalawela Avenue on Monday, in which the caller had demanded a ransom of Rs 20 million for his release. Police said the unidentified phone call had been received on the land …

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China Wants 15000 Acres in Hambantota for Proposed Industrial Park Instead of Presently Allocated 3000 Acres

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara China has insisted on 15,000 acres of land from the proposed industrial park to be set up in Hambantota which at the moment has only 3,000 acres, identified as land made available for the special zone. Announcing this in Parliament yesterday Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said……the Industrial Park abutting …

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UPSACOM Launched “Operation Pacific Angel” in Jaffna Concludes After 7 Days of Providing Medical Care to 4000 Persons and Renovating 6 Schools.

The multinational team led by U.S. Pacific Command concluded their week-long assistance program yesterday in Jaffna, providing general medical care for approximately 4000 people and renovating six schools that serve a total of 1100 students, according to a US embassy statement dated August 23. US Ambassador Atul Keshap was quoted as having said: “I want …

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Discriminatory Policies of BOI About Land Leasing ,Deters Entrepreneurs Intending to Invest in the North

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN Investors attending the Jaffna Investors Forum (JIF) held Monday (22) were perturbed when they were informed at the panel discussion that any projects undertaken in the North would be allowed 30 years leasing, only of the land. It is said local politicians in the North had been quoting a range of …

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“I Listened to Tape of Intercept Of LTTE Message from Nilgris in Tamil Nadu Ordering the “Dumping”of Rajiv Gandhi

By Col. R.Hariharan Saturday, August 20th was the late Rajiv Gandhi’s birthday. Rajiv Gandhi’s political career was barely seven years; it started with the assassination of his mother Ms Indira Gandhi in 1984 and ended with his own assassination. But within those years, he made a mark by doing things differently from the traditional political …

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Rajapaksa Family Save For a Few Exceptions has come to be the Shameful Badge of South Asian Politics.

By Ravi Perera Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament, the eldest son of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was interviewed recently on television. By and large, the tone of the lengthy interview, nearly two hours in duration, was defensive, an attempt at validating a period characterised by the most vulgar form of family rule seen in …

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Central Bank Governor Coomarswamy Says “Best Favourable Set of Circumstances for Growth Before Sri Lanka for First Time Since Independence”

By Nisthar Cassim Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last night made a strong case for the private sector to step up their investments emphasising that Sri Lanka’s best opportunity for growth was before them. Delivering the keynote address at the CIMA Sri Lanka Business Leaders Summit, the Governor said due to a host of …

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“Nobody Has a Right to Prevent the Formation of New Political Parties ” Declares Mahinda Rajapaksa

by Oruwala Sarath de Silva Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said nobody had a right to prevent the formation of new political parties. Rajapaksa, addressing the Samurdhi officers at their 19th annual convention at the Samurdhi hall, Battaramulla said that it did not mean that he was planning to form a new party. However, threats …

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Human Rights Commission Welcomes Establishment of the Office of Missing Persons and Suggests Proposals for Greater Legitimacy.

The Human Rights Commission yesterday, while welcoming and commending the adoption of Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act, noted that the legal framework of the OMP would have had greater legitimacy if it had been enacted after the on-going public consultations process so that the insights and concerns of the …

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran Boycotts the International Investment forum Organized for Northern Province by Governor Reginald Cooray

By P.K.Balachandran The Chief Minister of the Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, boycotted the International Investment Forum organized by the Northern Province Governor Reginold Cooray in Jaffna on Monday. In a letter written to Cooray last week, Wigneswaran objected to the Governor’s organizing the forum without consulting him. He said that the elected representatives of the …

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Sri Lankan Airlines Stewardess Nithya Senani Samaranayake and Hambantota District Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa

By Rasika Jayakody UPFA Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, in May, this year, appeared in a television show where he was asked about the SriLankan Airlines stewardess working for the Presidential Secretariat, under the Rajapaksa administration. It was widely alleged that the stewardess, namely Nithya Senani Samaranayake, worked for the young Parliamentarian, while receiving a salary from …

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High Tension at Tirumala Temple as President Sirisena’s Driver Causes delay by Leaving Vehicle Unattended to Enter Precincts for Worship

A major security lapse came to the fore during the visit of Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena to Tirumala on Sunday. He was forced to wait for 12 minutes for his car after a darshan atop the Tirumala hill, giving jitters to the staff of the Tiruumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), especially the security. An inquiry …

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Office of Missing Persons Act is Only the First Step in the Long Hard Road to Reconciliation.

By Don Manu If those ultra chauvinists who thump the ‘Sinhala only’ drum, do so out of a genuine concern that a separate state of Tamil Eelam will sooner or later be established on Lankan soil if measures are not taken now to prevent its inevitability, they should be amongst the first to hail the …

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Issue of the “Missing”is of Crucial Import to all Sri Lankans Across All Ethnicities

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene A revealing comment was made to me by an infuriated social justice activist last week in relation to disturbing trends that have surfaced in public debate. As he said caustically; ‘when we raise criticism of government policy in discussion, the immediate response within some civil society groups is that of unmitigated …

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No Details Forthcoming From CV Wigneswaran After Accusing Govt of Injecting Poison into Rehabilitated LTTE Cadres

By P.K.Balachandran The Tamil politicians’ allegation that the Sri Lankan army had injected a poisonous drug into former Tamil Tiger combatants while the latter were in detention or undergoing rehabilitation in camps run by it, is likely to lose steam because those who have made the charge are unable to come up with any names …

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People in the North want Navy to Remain in Order to Prevent Poaching by South Indian Fishermen Discloses Mano Ganesan.

By Yohan Perera The people in the North want the Navy to remain there in order to prevent the South Indian fishermen from encroaching into Sri Lankan waters, a Tamil politician said today. Minister of National Integration, Reconciliation and Languages Mano Ganesan, who was the chief guest at the launch of the Sinhala translation of …

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All SLFP Joint Opposition MP’s to resign From District and Electoral Organizer Posts Wihin the Next Few days

By Disna Mudalige All Joint Opposition MPs attached to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will step down from their district and electoral organiser ranks within the next few days, MP Keheliya Rumbukwella said. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Rambukwella said the resignation letters would be sent to the Party Leadership shortly. MPs Dullas …

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Cabinet Minister DM Swaminathan States Firmly thar Existing Buddhist Temples and Buddha Statues in North will not be Removed

By Pradeep Samarakoon and Chaminda Silva Prisons, Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan has said that under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to remove the existing Buddhist temples or statues in the North, and Buddhist monks and devotees had the right to build temples and statues in any part of the Northern Province.

President Sirisena Seeks Blessings from Lord Venkateswara at Thiruppathi to Counter Political Challenge of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By P.K.Balachandran Facing a major challenge from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to his authority as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), a challenge which could affect his chances in the crucial local bodies’ elections to be held early next year, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena went on a two-day pilgrimage to Tirupathi, …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Rejects Proposal by Defence Ministry Senior Official to Ban Muslim Women Wearing the |Burqa” or “Niqab” in Sri Lanka.

Believe it or not! The National Security Council (NSC) recently considered a proposal by a top Defence Ministry official to impose a ban on Muslim women in Sri Lanka wearing the burqa or niqab. The burqa is the full body dress, usually black, with a mesh cover over the eyes. This is worn by some …

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Mahinda Loyalists to Form New Political Movement Instead of Starting a New Political Party for the Present

By The Political Editor of “Sunday Times” After the religious rituals ended on Nikini Poya day (on Wednesday August 17), President Maithripala Sirisena, who was at his Paget Road residence found time to read the day’s newspapers. His attention was drawn to a report of a news conference the ‘Joint Opposition’ leaders had given on …

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Human-Elephant Conflict Should be Converted to Human-Elephant Co-Habitation

by Randima Attygalle “If we humans are supposed to be the most evolved species, we should be understanding other animal species and work around them. On the contrary, we do our development work assuming that elephants (in this case) will work around us. So we get the bright idea of fixing an electrical fence and …

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One Year After Winning August 2015 Parliamentary Elections the Govt is on track Politically and Straying Economically

by Tisaranee Gunasekara “If the ‘development’ of a country goes hand in hand with the worsening of the living conditions of the people, for whom or for what is that development? A developed country for a malnourished people – is this not an insanity? Must the people of the country gaze at highways like a …

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran is the Bottleneck and Constraint for Reconciliation and Development

By Kanthar Balanathan The Northern Province population of 993,741, is 31.92% of the total population of 3,113,247 Tamils in the island. The remaining 68.08% of Tamils live outside the Northern Province. The population composition of Tamils by district is: Jaffna -577,745 -18.56% of total Tamil population Mannar – -80962 – 2.6% -do- Vavuniya -142,561 – …

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Higher Education Minister Kiriella Besieged in Canteen Gives Written Assurances Under Duress to Escape From Eastern Varsity Undergrads

by Saman Mallawarachchi Undergraduates of the Eastern University yesterday held Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella incommunicado for hours till he agreed to give them a written assurance that he would solve the problems they were faced with. The minister arrived at the university around 9.30 am to declare open several buildings, but the …

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US Embassy Says USAF Medical Team is not Equipped to Investigate Allegations About Poisoning of Rehabilitated LTTE Cadres.

By P K Balachandran The United States has backed out of an undertaking to medically examine former combatants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who had allegedly been injected with a poisonous drug when they were in detention or undergoing rehabilitation in camps run by the Sri Lankan army. The Chief Minister of …

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FSP Leader Kumar Gunaratnam’s Australian Citizenship Can be Revoked only if Sri Lankan Citizenship is Guarenteed by Govt.

by Shamindra Ferdinando The Australian government has told the breakaway JVP faction, the Front-line Socialist Party (FAP) that it could revoke its leader Kumar Gunaratnam’s Australian citizenship only if Sri Lanka guaranteed he would be given Sri Lankan citizenship again FSP spokesperson Pubudu Jagoda said that their leader wanted to revert to Sri Lankan citizenship …

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President Sirisena Threatens to Reveal Secrets of SLFP Rebels if Attempts are made to form New Political Party.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday threatened to reveal it all if the SLFP rebels formed a new party. He said the SLFP-UNP coalition would continue till 2020 and what it planned to do next would be disclosed at that time. The president was addressing a large gathering in Matara to mark the first anniversary of the government. …

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Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene Dismisses Claims of Tamil Politicians that Rehabilitated LTTE Cadres were Poisoned by Govt.

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene has dismissed the claims by the Tamil politicians in the North that the rehabilitated members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been poisoned by the Government when they were undergoing rehabilitation at Government camps. Sri Lanka’s Tamil politicians have alleged that 105 former LTTE members have …

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FCID Informs Colombo Magistrate That Sujani Bogollagama Got Admitted to National Hospital Paying Ward to Avoid Being Arrested

The Financial Crimes Division (FCID) of the Police today informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate, that Sujani Bogollagama, a director of N.R Consultant and Govers Corporation had admitted herself to the paying ward of the National Hospital, to avoid arrest. The Colombo Fort Magistrate ordered to the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) to examine the suspect Sujani …

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Jaffna Investment Forum May Become An Issue Between Governor Cooray and Chief Minister Wigneswaran

By P.K.Balachandran The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, is organizing an international investment forum in Jaffna on August 22, and is planning to set up a One-Stop Shop at the Jaffna Secretariat to help persons wanting to invest in the war-devastated Northern Province. But this move could become an issue …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants Maithripala Sirisena to Take Responsibility for Splitting Sri Lanka Freedom Party

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that President Maithripala Sirisena must take responsibility for the spilt within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). He also said the President was conspiring to give the UnIted National Party (UNP) the upper hand. He was referring to the President’s decision to remove members of the Joint Opposition from …

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Cabinet Approves National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-affected Displacement Presented by DM Swaminathan

The proposal by D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, to accept the national policy on durable solutions for conflict-affected displacement, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. The policy was prepared with the consultation of ministries, national, provincial and district level stakeholders, UN agencies, Civil Society organisations, and displaced …

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Northern Governor and BOI will hold Investment Forum in Jaffna on Aug 22 with President, PM and CB Governor Participation

By Uditha Jayasinghe The Government is hoping for a leg up for the Northern Province from an investment forum that targets key segments of the local economy and hopes to attract fresh investors to the job-starved region. Organised jointly by the Northern Governor Reginald Cooray and the Board of Investment (BOI), it is expected to …

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Four elephants Including a Calf Killed by Speeding Mail Train Between Chettikulam and Madhu in Vavuniya District

By P.K.Balachandran In a tragic incident early in the morning on Wednesday, four elephants, including a calf, were killed when they got in the way of a speeding train near Madu in North West Sri Lanka. The elephants were crossing the track when the Colombo bound night mail train dashed against them, police said. The …

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Northern CM Wigneswaran Asks US Envoy Atul Keshap to let USAF Medical Team to Examine Ex -LTTE Cadres in Jaffna

By P.K.Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has said that US Air Force’s medical team, currently in the province on a goodwill visit, will examine former Tamil Tigers combatants who had fallen sick allegedly because they were injected with poisonous substances by the Sri Lankan armed forces when they were …

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Relationship Between the People of Jaffna and America Stretches Back Over 200 Years to 1813 Says US envoy Atul Keshap in the North

(US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap’s Remarks at the Reception Held in Jetwing Hotel, Jaffna August 15, 2016) Thank you so much for joining us on this beautiful rooftop on an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous evening here in Jaffna. I have a few prepared remarks. The first thing I want to say – and I …

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How the Pro-Mahinda Opposition was Outwitted by the Govt in Getting the Office of Missing Persons Bill Passed by Parliament

By Dharisha Bastians “The Report of the 1994 Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Disappearances of Persons noted that its investigations echoed the common yearning; Never Again” – Dr. Vasuki Nesiah, Clarifying the Past & Commemorating Sri Lanka’s Disappeared It all happened in a flash of black and the terrifying sound of shots fired …

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President Sirisena Appoints 24 District and 16 Electoral Organizers in SLFP after Stripping Mahinda Loyalists of their Posts

By Gagani Weerakoon President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday handed over letters of appointment to forty new District and Electoral Organizers of the SLFP after stripping many of the former stalwarts, who are now openly supporting the Joint Opposition, off their posts. Accordingly, 16 Electoral Organizers and 24 District Organizers received their appointment letters at the President’s …

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Referendum on New Constitution Would be the “Stalingrad Battle” of Sri Lanka

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “We all remember the horrors of the past, the violence of three decades and the anti-democratic governments. Compare that situation to today. Civil society groups are flowering and members are key advisors in governmental task forces and decision making.” – US Ambassador Athul Keshap, ‘US Air Force strengthens historic American ties with …

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The SLFP is now Moving in a Different Path Declares President Maithripala Sirisena in Interview

By Ajantha Kumara Agalakada This interview with President Maithripala Sirisena appearing in the “Daily Mirror” covers the controversial issues of the Paada Yathra,VAT Bill, Port City project and plans to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP). The President shared his views with the “Daily Mirror’s sister paper ‘The Sunday Lankadeepa’ …

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Buddhist Monks from “Singha Le Jathika Balamuuwa” Try to Disrupt “Singha Le,Ekama Le” Unity Demonstration Held on Bauddhaloka Mawatte

By Nushka Nafeel A tense situation erupted during the campaign of ‘Different yet Equal’ close to Baudhaloka Mawatha yesterday. A group of monks representing the “Singha Le Jathika Balamuluwa” disrupted the unity campaign claiming that the campaigners cannot use the term “Singha Le” during their demonstration. The ‘Different yet Equal’ refuted it saying that “Singha …

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Bold Support by JVP for OMP Bill Indicative of Party’s Political Turnaround on the Ethnic Issue

By Rasika Jayakody “Future generations are not going to ask us what political party were you in. They are going to ask what did you do about it, when you knew the glaciers were melting” – Martin Sheen The centre-left Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a party that pushed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a path of …

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Nithya Senani Samaranayake Remanded for Alleged Involvement in Money Laundering Case Involving Namal Rajapaksa

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Nithya Senani Samaranayake who functioned as a director of two companies owned by Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa was ordered remanded till August 22 by a Colombo Court for her alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.45 million. On Monday (15) MP Namal Rajapaksa and Sudarsha Bandara Ganewatta who were arrested …

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Bond Between President Maithripala sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Must Be Strengthened further

By Vishwamithra1984 It was reported last week that President Maithripala Sirisena would be the chief guest at the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the United National Party (UNP). Maithripala Sirisena is not only the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; he is the current leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), in …

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“Peeping Through the Window Darling What will People say, if you want to Marry me Darling Come the Proper way!

By Somapala Gunadheera The recent gimmicks seen at the passing of the “Office of Missing Persons Bill” (OMP), reminded me of a couplet I used to hear often in the heyday of ‘Thuppahi Culture’. It ran, “If you want to marry me darling, come the proper way – Peeping through the window darling what will …

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Systematic Sealing by Customs of Businesses Owned by Traders in the Forefront of Anti – VAT Increase Demonstrations.

The government is using intimidatory tactics to stifle dissent ahead of reintroducing the new VAT amendment Bill in parliament traders’ told The Island. On the 8th of August the shops of three traders in Pettah who had taken part in the anti-VAT hartal were sealed by the Customs Department. Asian Traders, Anglo Shirts and Romax …

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“Writ will be Sought in Courts Against the Office of Missing Persons After it Commences Operations” Announces Vasudeva Nanayakkara

By Chamodi Gunawardana The Joint Opposition yesterday said it planned to seek court intervention to issue a Writ Order against the Office of Missing Persons to be established by the Government in the next few weeks. Speaking to the media, Democratic Left Front General Secretary Vasudeva Nanayakkara and a vehement supporter of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa …

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DIFFERENT YET EQUAL:Come and Stand With us For a Free, Equal and Peaceful Sri Lanka,

DIFFERENT YET EQUAL Come and stand with us for a free, equal and peaceful Sri Lanka, at 4.30pm, on 15th August (Monday) 2016, on Bauddhaloka Mw (past Arcade near the traffic lights leading to Independence turn-off). WE ARE… Sri Lankan citizens from diverse backgrounds unified in our desire for a just and democratic country. We …

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Australia’s Statistics Bureau Gives Option of Declaring “Tamil Eelam” as “Country of Birth” in Answering National Census Query

By Namini Wijedasa Angry protests from Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia and the High Commission there forced the withdrawal of Australia’s Bureau of Statistics (ABS), giving an option, particularly to those of Tamil origin, to declare whether they are from ‘Tamil Eelam’ when responding to a query on their “country of birth”. This is for …

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No Political Leader,President or Prime Minister Can Proclaim Innocence on the Issue of Disappearances and Missing Persons

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The raucous commotion in Parliament this week with the passing of the Office of Missing Persons Bill without a vote is reflective of our utterly degenerate political culture. Even now, there is no clear idea of the numbers mustered on the floor to ensure the passage of this enormously significant legislation. …

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Joint Opposition Attempt to Sabotage Passage of Office of Missing Persons Bill Through Boisterous Conduct Backfires on Them

By Chandani Kirinde Thus far, members of the Joint Opposition (JO) group have managed to grab more than their fair share of attention, mainly due to their boisterous behaviour within Parliament, than for their role in enriching the legislative business. However, this week they got bogged down in a situation they themselves created by attempting …

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“Dont do in the Dining Room What you do in the Toilet” – MP’s Admonished by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya

by Saman Indrajith Incidents during the debate on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill in the House on Thursday had caused huge damage to the dignity and decorum of Parliament and both the government and the Opposition should be ashamed of it, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday. Jayasuriya said the Joint Opposition MPs were …

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“Achilles Heel”of Yahapalanaya Govt is Lack of Credible Economic Plan

By Razeen Sally Expectations were high after the January and August elections last year. The incoming Government promised a new era of political liberalism, good governance, ethnic reconciliation and a balanced foreign policy. Not least, it stirred hopes of a more market-oriented economic policy that would, finally, make Sri Lanka achieve its long-heralded potential. What …

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Sri Lanka to Create International Financial City With China in Colombo Where people can “Park their Money”

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka has come to an agreement with China to create a Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) which will not only be an international financial services center, but a place where people can park their money, the Minister in Charge of the Megapolis project, Patali Champika Ranawaka said here on Friday. Speaking to …

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State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe Reprimanded for Behaving Disgracefully at COPE Session Probing Central Bank Bond Issue

By Saman Indrajith State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe’s conduct in the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) came under severe criticism from his fellow COPE members yesterday evening for his attempt to intimidate and threaten witnesses of the controversial Central Bank bond issue, a senior COPE member told The Island. The state minister threatened and tried to …

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Sri Lanka woos the US, India and China Simultaneously for a Quantum Leap in Development

By P.K. Balachandran Undeterred by the clashing interests of the US, India and China in the South and East Asian region, Sri Lanka is assiduously wooing these countries to achieve a quantum leap in economic development making up for 30 years of stagnation brought about by an ethnic conflict and a brutal war. While the …

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“Those who went Missing and Those Who Grive For Them are all our Citizens” – Mangala Samaraweera

(Text of Statement on the Bill on the Office on Missing Persons tabled in Parliament by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, MP, on 11 August 2016) Hon. Speaker, The Office on the Missing Persons’ Bill, which we will be debating today in this House, I believe heralds a new beginning, a new era …

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Govt Outmanoeuvres Mahinda Loyalists and Passes Bill to Set up an Office of Missing Persons Without Taking a Vote

By Dharisha Bastians The National Unity Government passed landmark legislation to help thousands of families trace missing loved ones after skillfully outmanoeuvring the pro-Rajapaksa Joint Opposition, which launched a sustained effort to obstruct proceedings and prevent the bill’s passage in Parliament yesterday. The Office of Missing Persons Bill was passed with amendments and without a …

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Govt Rushes Through Office of Missing Persons Bill in Patliament Within Two Hours Amidst Joint Opposition Protests

By Saman Indrajith The Joint Opposition’s protest enabled the government to rush the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill through parliament yesterday. The Bill was passed with amendments amidst shouting and chanting of slogans by Joint Opposition against the government. When the time came for Notice of Motions and Orders of the Day, Leader of …

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Amended Bill to Establish an Office of Missing Persons(OMP) Passed by Parliament Without Vote Being taken

The draft Bill to establish an Office on Missing Persons (OMP) was passed with amendments in Parliament without a vote. The Bill was adopted despite objections raised by the joint opposition which alleged that the Bill will betray the military. The government had earlier said there have been strong requests for providing true information on …

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“Missing” Persons in Sri Lanka: A New Government Tries To Give Certainty To Grieving Relatives – The Economist

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 …

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From “Paada Yaathra 1992” to “Paada Yaathra 2016”: Decline and Fall of Human Rights Crusader Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Dharisha Bastians The Paada Yaathra in March 1992 led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the 47-year-old SLFP Parliamentarian from Hambantota, was epic. Over 17 days, the marchers travelled 280 kilometres from Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo to Kataragama, in the deep southern heartland that the Rajapaksa family calls home. The trajectory of the 1992 Paada Yaathra intentionally …

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Wasim Thajudeen Murder Mystery Continues to be Unsolved While Conflicting JMO Reports Contradict Each Other

By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe Wasim Thajudeen, a talented rugby player, a friend to all and a man full of smiles, was brutally murdered and his body was left in a charred state at Narahenpita, four years ago. After much investigation, many breakthroughs and dead-ends, the case is yet to be solved. Although nothing was heard of …

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