Maestro W. D. Amaradeva Created a Distinctive Genre of Sinhala Music

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article appears in the December 2016 issue of ‘Saamagaana – The First Melody,’ a magazine devoted to classical music published in Bengaluru, India. It is being published here to mark the 89th birthday of maestro Amaradeva on 5 December.) Renowned Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and music composer W.D. Amaradeva passed away in …

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Constitutional Council to “Take Action” Against IGP Jayasundara Over “Phone-Gate”Scandal.

By Dharisha Bastians Police Chief IGP Pujith Jayasundera is under fire from the Opposition and corruption watchdogs after he was caught on camera attempting to interfere in an investigation by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) earlier this week. The IGP told an unidentified caller in the presence of media personnel in a video that …

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US V-P Elect Mike Pence Telephones President Sirisena About Arranging Trip to Washington to meet President elect Donald Trump

Vice President-elect of the United States Mike Pence called President Maithripala Sirisena Thursday night on behalf of President-elect Donald Trump During the conversation, President Sirisena conveyed his best wishes to the new administration under the leadership of Trump. The conversation focused on measures for strengthening bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the US in the …

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Maithripala Appeals to Mahinda-led Opposition not to Sabotage new Constitution Making Process and Ethnic Reconciliation

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday appealed to the Joint Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, not to thwart the constitution-making and ethnic reconciliation processes by indulging false propaganda because if the current chance to solve the national problem is missed due to narrow minded jockeying for power, the country will …

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President Sirisena Calls for Explanation from IGP Pujitha Jayasundara About Telling “Sir”That “Nilame/Neelam”Wont be Arrested.

By Saman Indrajith President Maithripala Sirisena informed Parliament yesterday that he would call for explanation from IGP Pujith Jayasundara over the latter’s recent remarks on taking persons into custody by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division during a police commemorative event at Ratnapura. Soon after President Sirisena completed his speech during the third reading debate on …

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Was It Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake Who told IGP on Telephone not to Arrest?-JVP wants to Know

By Saman Indrajith Parliament should be informed of the person the IGP had been talking over the phone during a police commemorative event at Ratnapura, Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded. He made this comment participating in the committee stage budget debate in Parliament yesterday. “Whom did the IGP address as ‘Sir’? …

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera Orders Washington Embassy to Probe Allegation About Ministry Funds Being Spent for Gotabhaya’s Son In Los Angeles.

by Saman Indrajith The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington has been ordered to investigate an allegation that Rs. 27 million had been spent for a person living at the residence meant for Lankan Consul General at Los Angeles while that position was vacant. In accordance with instructions issued by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera two top …

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President Sirisena in 25 Minute Parliament Speech Appeals for Consensus on New Constitution Seeking to Resolve National Question

By Dharisha Bastians untitled-5President Maithripala Sirisena made a passionate appeal for consensus on the proposed new Constitution in Parliament yesterday, urging lawmakers to support his Government’s efforts to end decades of ethnic strife and achieve lasting peace. In a 25-minute speech delivered during the budget debate on the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation last …

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Frontline Socialist Party Leader Kumar Gunaratnam Wont be Deported After Prison Term Ends on Dec 9 Assures Nawinne in Parliament

The Government yesterday confirmed the Frontline Socialist Party leader Premakumar Gunaratnam would not be extradited when his prison term comes to an end on 9 December, but may instead be issued citizenship. “We will consider this if an application is submitted once he completes the prison term. I am ready to act upon receiving his …

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Foreign Ministry Funds Amounting to Rs 399 Miillion Used for House Rent and Expenses of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s son in Los Angeles for 21 Months

By Saman Indrajith Serious financial irregularities had taken place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the previous government, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday. Samaraweera said that among them was the acquisition of a house on rent in Los Angeles for the use of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapksa’s son. He said there …

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34 Year Old Barber Allegedly Tortured by Hatton Cops for Delay in Going to Police Station and Give HQ Inspector a hair-cut.

By Amra Ismail Kadireshan Ravishankar, a 34-year-old barber and father of four, alleges he was tortured by the Hatton HQI (Headquarters Inspector) on September 23. He was working at his brother, Kadireshan Simson’ salon – ‘CS Saloon’ – when he was called to give a haircut to the Hatton HQI. Grappling with abject poverty, Ravishankar …

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Catering Meaningfully Towards The Real Needs of War-Affected Vunerable Persons in Northern Sri Lanka

By Frances Bulathsinghala Interviews with some of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable war-affected persons in the north show that a meaningful post war reconciliation process to them includes action towards human development, based on a comprehensive and consistent post conflict development policy that is focused on knowledge and understanding of grass root scenarios. There is no …

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How Many of our MP’s Getting Paid More Than 400,000 Rupees Per Month Have Passed Their GCE O’Levels and ALevels?

By Rajeewa Jayaweera The Prime Minister has recently spoken in Parliament of the need to substantially increase salaries of our legislators. He is of the view current salaries are grossly inadequate. The Prime Minister believes higher salaries will reduce corruption and attract better talent to the legislature. As of today, an MP earns a salary …

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Attending Weddings and Giving Gifts is not an Official Duty of an MP Requiring 100,000 Rupee Bonanza-The Island

( Full Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of December 1st 2016 Under the Heading “MPs have all the luck!) Santa seems to have got his wires crossed. Else, he would not have landed near the Diyawanna Oya several weeks ahead of Christmas. Usually, he favours children, but this time around he seems to …

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Maithri-led SLFP Differs with Partner in Govt UNP on Issues of Federalism and War Crimes Tribunal

By Rasika Jayakody While the Parliament is heating up, with the committee stage debate on the budget in full swing, the SLFP, led by President Maihthripala Sirisena is preparing for a major membership drive. The move comes in the wake of the Joint Opposition’s decision to form a new party under the leadership of G.L. …

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Central Bank Governor Coomaraswamy says Monetary Board took Action Against Perpetual Treasuries on Nov 7th and 25th 2016

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday said the Monetary Board had taken action against controversial primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries but stopped short of providing details, citing legal constraints and market sensitivities. At the tail-end of recounting a slew of new measures taken to promote the credibility of the Government securities market, the Governor noted …

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National Integration Ex-Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan Arrested and Remanded for Alleged Misuse of a Bullet Proof Luxury Govt Vehicle

By P K Balachandran Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, a former top LTTE military commander who later became Deputy Minister of National Integration in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, was arrested on Tuesday by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) for alleged misuse of a bullet proof luxury government vehicle. He was remanded till December 7 …

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Govt Must Combat Both Militant Buddhism and Shadowy Salafism

By Ranga Jayasuriya The outbursts of Sinhala-Buddhist ultra-nationalism in the South have often been cyclical. They take place with the connivance, and when it was not the case, complacency of the government in power. A closer look at this periodic rage would also reveal, since the Black July in 1983, which was facilitated by the …

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Govt Prepares for Crackdown on Opposition and working Class Under the Guise of Curbing racism

By W.A. Sunil According to the Colombo-based Daily Mirror, at a meeting of Sri Lanka’s security council on Sunday, President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the police and security forces to “take all who incite racism into custody and produce [them] before courts under the existing law.” While the immediate reason given for this order is to …

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President and Premier will Verbally Criticise Media but no Journalist will be Harmed Physically.

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that he would not hesitate to verbally attack the media when and where necessary but no journalist would be harmed. He said that though the government criticised the conduct of media not a single journalist would be abducted or assaulted under the good governance rule. …

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Media Suppression has Assumed a New Form Under Present Govt Charges JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake

By Saman Indrajith JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanyake said in parliament yesterday that media suppression has assumed a new form under the present government even though the white van culture had been ended. He said there was no point in castigating the page one news stories in newspapers as they were on real incidents that …

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Chandrika Acting on Kadirgamar’s Advice Deserves Credit for not Signing the Rome Treaty Setting up the International Criminal Court

By Bandula Jayasekara in Hague There was a raging debate on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the so-called ‘electric chair’ in Sri Lanka not so long ago. This seems to have died down for now. Who knows whether it would re-emerge on election platforms in the future? Electric chair or not, the ICC itself …

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President Sirisena in Special Message Asks Donald Trump to Pressure UN Human Rights Council to Drop War Crimes Charges against Lankan Armed Forces

President Maithripala Sirisena has asked US President elect Donald Trump to pressure the UN Human Rights Council to drop war crimes allegations against the country’s troops. Sirisena’s office said on Sunday he had sent a “special message” to Trump seeking US intervention at the council, where Sri Lanka faces censure for alleged wartime atrocities. “I sent …

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Cricket Commentary in the Thamizh Language is Becoming Popular in Tamil Nadu

By Srinivasa Ramanujam There’s excitement in the air as the batting team needs a six off the last ball to win. The batsman, drenched in sweat, takes his time to take guard and slogs at the ball. It bounces just a few metres before the boundary rope and the hitter looks to the skies in …

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“Grama Rajya” is a way of De-centralizing Governance by Direct involvement of People at Village Level

By Dr. M.A.Mohamed Saleem and Arjuna Hulugalle At a time when the mechanism for decentralization is foremost in one’s mind, it was heartening to read that President Sirisena made a reference to it in a call to his Ministers to come up with proposals for its introduction (Sunday Times, November 6th 2016). Apolitical stability can …

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Sirisena Says he will write and seek Donald Trump’s help to get Sri Lanka Freed from Allegations of Human Rights Violations.

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he will write to the US President-elect Donald Trump, seeking his help to get Sri Lanka freed from allegations of human rights violations during Eelam War IV. “I will write to President (Donald) Trump to ask him to free us from these accusations,” Sirisena said …

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President,PM and all Cabinet Ministers Except Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera Want to “Discipline”Media.

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor It seemed ironic that it should come in the wake of the jolt the mainstream media in the United States received after Republican Donald Trump won the November presidential elections. Both the electronic and the print media, almost altogether, spoke of a victory for rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. Most …

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State Intelligence Service Report Says Over 20 Extremist Groups from Different Ethnicities Have Begun Operating in Sri Lanka.

A matter of concern for the Government is the fear of growing religious extremism. This saw an extended meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Sirisena at his Paget Road residence. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Public Safety Minister Sagala Ratnayake, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiaratchchi, the Police …

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Cabinet Approves “Development”Bill to set up Development Boards for Northern,Eastern, Wayamba, Central and Southern Provinces.

Govt Ministers at their weekly meeting late last month, gave approval to a far reaching piece of legislation titled Development (Special Provisions) Bill. It will now be published in the Government Gazette and presented in Parliament. Some changes suggested by President Sirisena, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga will be …

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Perk After Perk for “Privileged”Parliamentarians While People who Elected Them Seethe with Discontent.

By Don Manu Money seems to be the only motivator to kick start Lanka’s MPs to do an honest day’s work. Perhaps it is after taking cognisance of this ignoble truth and identifying it as the ignominious cause of their conditioned inertia that moved the Prime Minister last week to raise their pathetic financial plight …

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President Sirisena Questions IGP Jayasundara Over Arrest and Remand of Ex- Special Task Force Commandant KLN Sarachchandra DIG.

President Maithripala Sirisena has expressed his displeasure to Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera over the arrest and subsequent remanding of the former Commandant of the Police Special Task Force (STF), K.L.N. Sarathchandra. Mr. Sarathchandra, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), was arrested and produced before Colombo’s Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya. He was remanded till …

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“Rajapaksas May Return” Bogey Used by Cynical Manipulators Within “Yahapalanaya”Govt.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene For far too long following the change of power last year, many have responded to the policy and practice of the Unity Government with the plea to ‘tread softly in case the Rajapaksas return.’ The logic (if that is the appropriate word) in this thinking was asinine at its core. An …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s China Visit is a Message from Beijing to both Colombo and New Delhi.

By Meera Srinivasan Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on a week-long visit to China on the invitation of the Chinese government — a development that sections within the government and diplomatic circles here see as a “strong message” from Beijing. The visit assumes further significance in the wake of controversial remarks made by …

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Resurgence of Ultra-nationalist Sinhala Buddhist Groups Under the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt

By Rasika Jayakody After the Rajapaksa family fell out of power in January, last year, almost every ultra-nationalist group representing Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy went into a dormant phase. They stopped holding dramatic press conferences, stopped disrupting public events organized by other religious groups and refrained from storming into government offices. Their presence was barely noticeable in …

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FAREWELL TO FIDEL CASTRO THE LAST OF THE TITANS AND EPIC HEROES

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Fidel was the last of the Titans, of the epic heroes. Whatever our travails, our generation and the ones before us were fortunate to live in the decades in which there were great leaders, visionaries who combined their ideal with action and changed the world they inherited. Our generation and one, …

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CID Tells Courts “The Sunday Leader” Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was Killed by Army Intelligence Officers.

By Dayaratne Pathirana Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge was shot dead by Army intelligence officers, CID Inspector Nishantha Silva told Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammad Sahabdeen today. He said this while presenting the investigative reports on an Army intelligence officer who was arrested on charges of abducting and detaining the driver who drove Mr. Wickramatunge’s vehicle …

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Political Legacy of Revolutionary “Maximum Leader” Fidel Castro Who Ruled Cuba for Half a Century

By Rory Carroll and Jonathan Watts in Havana No street bears his name and there is not a single statue in his honour but Fidel Castro did not want or need that type of recognition. From tip to tip, he made Cuba his living, breathing creation. Children in red neckerchiefs scampering to free schools, families …

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International Arrest Warrant Issued Against Journalist by a Sri Lankan Court for the First Time

By P.K.Balachandran A Sri Lankan court on Friday issued an international arrest warrant against Lankaenews Editor Sandaruwan Senadheera for contempt of court. The warrant is to be executed through Interpol, the local media reported. This is the first time a Sri Lankan court has issued an international arrest warrant against a journalist.

Musical Prodigy Balamuralikrishna Defied Tradition to Popularise Carnatic Music

By Aparna M Sridhar ( Carnatic Music Maestro Dr.Balamuralikrishna Passed away in Chennai on November 22nd 2016 at the age of 86. This article appeared under the heading “When Kalyani came calling “in the September 2014 Inaugural issue of “Saamagaana-The first Melody” published in Bengaluru. It was written by the magazine Editor Aparna M. Sridhar …

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Sri Lanka’s Biggest Hypocrites – Five Broad Categories

By Eranda Ginige We are all hypocrites, more or less. These people top the chart. 1. Animal lovers……….. ………who fight for the rights of selected animal species. We protest bull races, but love watching horse races in Nuwara Eliya. We can’t bear the sight of chains around the feet of elephants but walk our dogs …

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“Commandante” Fidel Castro Has Died at the age of 90 Confirms his Brother and Cuban President Raul Castro

By Rory Carroll Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, Cuban state television announced on Saturday, ending an era for the country and Latin America. Brother Raúl Castro announces on Cuban state television that controversial revolutionary leader has died at age of 90 The revolutionary icon, one of the world’s best-known and most …

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Will EU”Intervene” in Theswalamai, Kandyan and Buddhist Ecclesiastical Law just as Being done Now in the case of Muslim Law?

By M.M.Zuhair P.C. The European Union (EU) in an interim report that received media coverage in Sri Lanka as far back as 2009, on the GSP + (Generalized System of Preferences) had alleged that aspects of the Muslim personal laws in operation in Sri Lanka were in violation of UN conventions.The EU, had in the …

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Dr.Senaka Bibile’s “Drug Price Policy” was Feared by Transnational Pharmaceutical Industry Known as “Big Pharma”

By K.K.S.Perera Prices of a large number of drugs were surreptitiously but ‘meticulously’ increased by 40-55 per cent over the past 16 months as part of the ground work preparations for the so-called ‘Bibile policy’ introduction of drug price reductions implemented by the authorities in collaboration with the Pharma Mafia. The transnational pharmaceutical industry, or …

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Ex-US Envoy for War Crimes Issues Stephen J.Rapp is very Proud of the Role Played by the Obama administration in Sri Lanka.

BY BANDULA JAYASEKARA in The Hague Stephen J Rapp is the former United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. A member of the Democratic Party, he was appointed to that position by the US President Barrack Obama. He is now with The Hague Institute for Global Justice as a Distinguished Fellow. We met him in …

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Ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga Wants Maithri and Ranil to Act Swiftly and Decisivelt Against Hate Speech

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has, in a statement issued through the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), urged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to act swiftly and decisively against those responsible for hate speech. ONUR Chairperson Mrs Kumaratunga had welcomed the recent arrest of two persons from different communities on …

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Catholic Bishops Conference Urges Govt not to Restrict Intake of External Students to Universities

Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka has urged the government not to go ahead with the move to restrict the student intake for external degree programmes. The JVP, the Joint Opposition and students have been agitating against the government proposal to curtail the external degree programme. The Church has requested that tangible measures be taken …

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Attorney-General Files Appeal Against Anuradhapura High Court Jury Decision of Acquitting Soldiers Accused of Kiliveddy Civilian Massacre.

By S. S. Selvanayagam The Court of Appeal yesterday (22) fixed for September 6 the appeal against the Anuradhapura High Court Jury decision in the alleged massacre of villagers of Kiliveddi in Kumarapuram, Trincomalee. The Appeal was filed by the Attorney General against the Jury decision by which six former corporals of the Army were …

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China Adopts Balanced Policy in Sri Lanka by Cultivating Both the Maithri-Ranil Govt and Mahinda led Opposition

By PK Balachandran Having suffered a great deal by putting all its eggs in the basket of the Sri Lankan government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa between 2010 and 2014, China has now adopted a balanced Sri Lanka policy under which it will engage the opposition as well as the government of the day. This …

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Joint Opposition and SLPF Will Ride the Wave of Globally Trending Populist Nationalism to Reach Victory in 2020.

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Disclosing on his blog that he was “reluctantly voting” for Hillary Clinton and explaining why, Richard Falk, Prof Emeritus of International Law at Princeton and former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestinian Territories, noted with characteristic lucidity that the global Left is divided between those outside the USA who are primarily …

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Demonizing Muslims Through Fear-mongering Practices has a Long History in Sri Lanka.

By M.S.M.Ayub Sri Lanka is a strange country. One Minister says that dozens of Sri Lankan Muslims have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), one of the world’s most brutal terrorist organisations while another says there are no intelligence reports about such links between Sri Lankan Muslims and the said outfit. How serious …

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Extremist Buddhist Monks Voicing Anti-Minority Racist Threats Enjoy Immunity Under Maithri-Ranil Govt

By Dharisha Bastians Radical Buddhist monks threatening demolition of majority Muslim suburbs of Colombo and employing violent, racist and threatening rhetoric against public officials continue to enjoy impunity under the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government, which was swept into office on a wave of minority angst and frustration about the meteoric rise of hardline Sinhalese groups under the …

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Cabinet Spokesman Senaratne Denies 32 Muslims Joined ISIS and that ISIS Connected Persons are Teaching Arabic in Sri Lankan Schools.

by Zacki Jabbar Amidst contradictory statements emanating from the government, Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that no one connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) had come to Sri Lanka in the guise of teachers. He told a news conference in Colombo that according to the security …

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Despite Denials, Ravi Karunanayake Forced to Admit on TV Interview that Last year Budget Propsals Benefiting Senior Citizens Havent Been Implemented.

By Shamindra Ferdinando A key government proposal to enhance benefits provided to Senior Citizens in Budget 2016 budget hadn’t been implemented by the Central Bank, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake acknowledged on Monday night. Minister Karunanayake said action would be taken to implement 2016 budget proposal along with budget 2017 proposals. Minister Karunanayake castigated interviewer Rangana …

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Mahinda Faction of SLFP Tries to Divide Maithri and Ranil and Make Govt Collapse

By Rasika Jayakody Members of the Joint Opposition (JO), who are essentially the Rajapaksa faction within the SLFP, are well aware that the success of their political campaign hinges on one key factor – disharmony between the two main partners of the ruling alliance. Over the past 20 months, they have looked for various opportunities …

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“Aavaa”Group Operating in North is”Politically Motivated and Army Assisted”States Chief Minister Wigneswaran

By Kelum Bandara Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said today the gangsters who call themselves the ‘Aava’ group operating in the North is ‘politically-motivated and army-assisted’. He told a news conference in Colombo that the group did not originate from among the Tamil community per se.

TNA Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants New Constitution to be Federal in Nature and Identified Explicitly as a “Federal” Constitution.

By P.K.Balachandran The view of C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, on the basic structure of the proposed Sri Lankan constitution, runs counter to that of the Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Center-Provincial relations. While the sub-committee has refrained from branding the proposed devolution system as either “federal” or “unitary”, Wigneswaran said here …

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Mano Ganesan says People in North can Celebrate “Maaveerar Naal”(Heroes Day)Without Mentioning the name of the LTTE.

By Ajith Sriwardana and Indika Sri Aravinda National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan said today that people in the North could celebrate Maaveerar Naal (Heroes Day) without mentioning the name of the LTTE, as it was a proscribed organisation. Minister Ganesan said it was a human right for people to be able …

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Delay in Setting up Justice Mechanism Could be Attempt to Avoid Doing so Opines US Ex- War Crimes Envoy Stephen Rapp.

By Dharisha Bastians Reporting from The Hague Delaying the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including a special court to prosecute alleged war crimes, could be viewed as an attempt by the Government of Sri Lanka to “avoid” delivering on truth and justice for thousands of victims of the country’s civil war, a former top official …

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Committee on Public Finance(COPF)Finds Draft 2017 Budget Estimates Presented to Parliament Not Tallying with Actual Figures Used by Finance Ministry

By Saman Indrajith The Committee on Public Finance (COPF) had found that the draft Budget Estimates 2017 presented to Parliament do not tally with the actual figures used by the Finance Ministry, Committee Chairman and TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday. Presenting the COPF report on ‘Assessment of the Fiscal, Financial and Economic Assumptions of …

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Difference in Approach Between Tamil National Alliance and Tamil Peoples Council Explains Chief Minister Wigneswaran

By Chathuri Dissanayake An unusually amicable Northern Chief Minister yesterday extended a proverbial olive branch to the southern people to initiate a dialogue with the people of north. The otherwise vocal Tamil National Alliance (TNA) politician C. V. Wigneswaran claimed that the people of the north are largely misunderstood and misrepresented. To avoid further misunderstanding …

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Carnatic Music Legend Balamuralikrishna passes Away in Chennai at the Age of 86

Legendary Indian musician M Balamurali Krishna, who delighted millions of fans for more than four decades, has died aged 86. Balamurali, as he was affectionately known, passed away in the south Indian city of Chennai after a long illness. He was a renowned singer and composer of Carnatic music, a classical style from India’s southern …

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Constitutional Assembly’s Center-Provincial Relations Sub-committee Recommends Reduction of Governors Powers and Granting Police and Land Powers for Provinces

By PK Balachandran The Sri Lankan Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Center-Provincial relations has recommended that the provinces be granted powers over land and police; that the powers of the provincial Governor be drastically pruned, and that there be a fair allocation of financial resources to the provinces along with powers to decide how to spend …

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Phenomenon of Post-war Sinhala Buddhist Politics and Anti- Muslim Antics

By Hafeel Farisz The recent fire that broke out at the Fashion Bug store in Pepiliyana has given rise to new questions. For anyone who has been following the ‘post war Sinhala Buddhist’ phenomenon, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Although conclusions are yet to be reached, and investigations into the cause of the fire …

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Extremists Like Bodu Bala Sena,Tamil National Peoples Front and Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath are Grade “A”Opportunists.

By Rathindra Kuruwita My main criticism, among a dozen others, against this government has been their utter inability to take decisive action of any sort. Earlier this year commenting on the controversy surrounding the security detail of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, I said that indecisiveness and nuanced action are serious handicaps when dealing with politicians …

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Treasury Bond Scam Probe Can be Given to Sarath Silva or Mohan Peiris if Party Leaders Agree says Ranil Wickremesinghe

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that he was waiting for instructions from the Attorney General’s Department to decide the future course of action as regards to the Treasury bond scams. If the Opposition was not happy with the instructions coming from the AG’s Department and needed to hand over the …

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Move to Amend Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 Aborted Due to Constitutional Assembly Sub-committee Recommendation.

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Fundamental Rights has recommended that within three months of the enactment of the new constitution, the President should appoint a five member commission to go into the constitutional validity of the existing written and unwritten laws (including personal laws) and submit a report to him within …

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When New Constitution Transfers President’s powers to Prime Minister,Ranil will Appoint Mahendran as Central Bank Governor”-Dayan Jayatilleka

by Dasun Edirisinghe Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would set about the Constitution making process the way he handled the Central Bank bond scams, senior political analyst Dr Dayan Jayatilleka said yesterday. Addressing the public seminar under the theme, ‘Prime Minister’s involvement in the Central Bank bond scam’ at the Public Library Auditorium, Dayan said Prime …

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India Wont let the Military Takeover the Sri Lankan Govt says Social Services Minister S.B.Dissanayake

By P.K.Balachandran India will not tolerate a military takeover in Sri Lanka and will fully support President Maithripala Sirisena to foil any attempts at it, the Minister of Social Services, S.B.Dissanayake, told the media here. He was reacting to an assertion by the Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena in parliament last week that there could …

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Vasudeva Nanayakkara Admits in Parliament that his wife had served for 10 Years as adviser at Presidential Secretariat When Mahinda Rajapaksa was President

UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday admitted in Parliament that his wife had been working at the Presidential Secretariat as an adviser during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa for ten years. Nanayakkara said she had possessed the required qualifications to receive such a position.

Man Killed and Another Critically Injured as Gunman Fires T-56 on People at a Bus stand near the Bebilagolla Mosque in Ankumbura,Kandy.

By Asela Kuruluwansa A man died and another was injured when unidentified gunmen in a car opened fire near the Bebilagolla Mosque in Ankumbura, Kandy. The incident occurred around 8.30 a.m. yesterday. The duo were shot at a nearby bus stand. The injured man admitted to the Kandy Hospital Intensive Care Unit is said to …

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UNHRC Ruling Says Sri Lanka Must pay Compensation to Victim and Prosecute Policemen Responsible for Imprisoning and Torturing Tamil Canadian While Visiting Lanka

A Toronto man who was imprisoned and tortured while visiting Sri Lanka must be compensated for the abuses he suffered, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled. The decision calls for Sri Lanka to prosecute those responsible and “provide adequate compensation” to Roy Samathanam, a Canadian who had filed a complaint with the committee …

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Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Condemns Attempt by Govt to Stifle Media in the Country and Destroy Democracy.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday in a statement condemned the unity Government for alleged media repression. “Media repression is now a cornerstone of this Government’s policy. Not a day goes by without a major demonstration against the Government. The Government is avoiding holding the long overdue local government elections due to the fear of defeat. …

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President Sirisena at Security Council Meeting Attended by IGP and Service Chiefs,Orders Arrest of all Those who Incite Racism

By Dayaseeli Liyanage Arrest all those who incited racism, President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed the IGP and Chiefs of Security Forces at the Security Council meeting held this week at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Mano Ganesan, Sagala Rathmayaka, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the IGP and Chiefs of Security Forces …

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Did not Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Play Hard Politics as Secretary of two Ministries?

By Gamini Weerakoon “One of the reasons Donald Trump won was because people are sick of career politicians delivering rhetoric instead of results. His is a lesson for Sri Lanka to consider” – Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in a tweet as reported in The Daily Mirror on14/11. Victory has a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan’, …

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Cabinet Minister DM Swaminathan Refutes Allegations Made by TNA Against Proposal to Construct 65,000 Pre-fabricated Houses in North

by Hafsa Sabry A fresh controversy has arisen on the 65,000 housing project in Jaffna with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran telling Parliament that there was a proposal to build each house for Rs. 1 million but the Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan had …

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Arrest at KIA of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cousin and EX- Ambassador to USA, Jaliya Wickramasuriya for Alleged Corruption.

by Nirmala Kannangara It is an open secret how former first citizen Mahinda Rajapaksa, his off springs and siblings, while ‘serving’ for the motherland, looted out its wealth. This newspaper has repeatedly exposed many financial frauds committed by the Rajapaksa’s and their kith and kin amounting into billions of rupees and this time it is …

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Kokkatichoalai Police File Report in Courts Against Batticaloa Buddhist Monk Who Incited Hatred Against Tamils and Muslims.

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya The police have filed a report in court against a monk in Batticaloa who was accused of inciting hatred among Tamils and Sinhalese in the area. The Kokkadicholai police filed the report after a complaint was filed by the Grama Niladhari (Officer). The monk was accused of threatening the Tamil Grama Niladhari …

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Tamil National Alliance MP’s Write Letter to President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe Strongly Opposing 65,000 Houses Project for North

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s Tamil leaders have rejected a proposed ArcelorMittal housing project for the war-affected in the North and East, deeming its cost and design unsuitable for the region. In a recent letter to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — a coalition of …

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President Sirisena Wants “His” SLFP to Recruit 5 Million Members to Counter Podujana Peramuna Party Target of One Million Members

By P.K.Balachandran The emergence of the breakaway Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), comprising loyalists of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has forced the current Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to increase the membership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) so as to be able to meet the challenge the SLPP is expected to …

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Dignified Sorrow and Dedicated Love of a Father and Family at the Deathbed of a Daughter and Loved One

by Krishantha Prasad Cooray It was a voice that I had never heard before, but one that belonged to a man who has been a political associate and a staunch friend for almost half my life. It was a call from London, a call I had not anticipated despite certain unhappy truths and was certainly …

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Tamil Family in Colombo Suburb Suffers Terrible Ordeal at the Hands of a “Religious Mob”

By Nila Loganathan I have realized, again, that this world, as usual, is a ‘heavenly’ land full of religion, religious hatred and a land of people at the height of their barbarism, passed on through thousands of years of religions. This time it were Buddhist monks who opened my eyes. We barely managed to escape …

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President Sirisena Places SLFP on War Footing to Face Local Authority elections and Challenge Posed by Podujana Peramuna.

A major effort has been launched by President Maithripala Sirisena to place the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on a virtual ‘war footing’.This time, the objectives are multi-pronged. Among the more important one is to gear the party for next year’s local government and provincial elections. Adding a sense of urgency in this regard is …

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Lankan Govt Self-inflicts Torture Upon Herself Through Disastrous Performance Before the UN Committee Against Torture at Geneva

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Whatever possessed an undoubtedly bewitched Government to deputize a senior intelligence official, alleged to have held command responsibility when detainees were severely and systematically tortured, to represent the State before the United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT)? One would be hard pressed to find a greater irony than this, per se. …

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China Must Summon Envoy Back to Beijing and Issue an Apology to the Sri Lankan Govt

By Don Manu China breaks her great wall of silence to give Lanka an earful After berating Finance Minister for criticising Chinese largesse, envoy Xianliang tells President and PM what to do and what not to do It was more than a simple Chinese fortune cookie but a crusty message wrapped in a surly snub …

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Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem Upbraids Wijedasa Rajapakshe for Statements made in Parliament About Muslim Extremists in Sri Lanka

by Saman Indrajith City Planning and Water Supply Minister and SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem yesterday questioned in Parliament on what grounds Justice and Buddhasasana Minister, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe stated on the previous day that Muslim extremists had arrived in the country to teach in international schools propagating terrorism here. “Had he got proper sources? What he …

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Media Ministry Secretary Appointed by President Sirisena Engages in Attempts to Intimidate and Silence the Media

By C.A.Chandraprema Last week we saw what was obviously an attempt to intimidate and silence the media. The Secretary to the Media Ministry had written to the Derana TV channel asking them to explain why a speech by President Maithripala Sirisena had been distorted in one of their news bulletins. Earlier, on 25 October the …

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First Sri Lankan and 1st Woman to Climb Mt.Everest Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpola is Yet to be Honoured Officially by Govt

By P.K.Balachandran When Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala became the first Sri Lankan and also the first Sri Lankan woman to have climbed the 8848 meter Mount Everest in May this year, the Sri Lankan media went to town on it and accolades were showered on her by the elite of the island. Only three women before her …

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Foreign Extremists Teaching at Muslim International Schools in Beruwala,Kalmunai,Kal-eliya and K’nagala Propagating Hate Alleges Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe.

by Saman Indrajith Alleging that 32 Sri Lankan Muslims had joined the ISIS, Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse told Parliament yesterday that foreigners were propagating extremism among Muslim children here. Minister Rajapakse said that extremist foreigners had entered Sri Lanka under the guise of teachers. Minister Rajapakse warned that the government would take …

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Tamil Nadu Restaurant Introduces Special White Thosai Named “Donald Trump Dosa” Costing Rs 50 Each in Honour of US President Elect

By Srinivasa Ramanujam Donald Trump’s win might still raise eyebrows in the U.S., but the President-elect is hugely popular at Suprabaa, a modest hotel located at Valluvar Salai in Ramapuram. r So much that C.P. Mukund Das, restaurant owner and self-confessed Trump fan, has introduced a ‘White Dosa’, “with respect to the tremendous victory of …

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Batticaloa Mangalaramaya’s Ampitiya Sumanarathne Thera’s Unruly Conduct was Unbecoming of a Buddhist Monk.

BY Manekshaw ‘Let a man guard himself against irritability in speech; Let him be controlled in speech. Abandoning verbal misconduct, let him practice good conduct in speech ‘– Dhammapada The conduct of Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera of the Batticaloa’s Mangalaramaya over a land issue in the Pattipalai area has stuck a blow to the efforts taken …

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Muslim Council of Sri Lanka Refutes Allegations made by Justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe about the Muslim community in Parliament.

(Text of press elease issued by N.M. Ameen the president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka Refuting the statement made by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe in Parliament about certain issues concerning the Sri Lankan Muslim community) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) is seriously concerned about the statement made in Parliament by Hon. …

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Supreme Court Dismisses FR Petition Against the National Anthem Being Sung in Tamil at the Independence day Celebrations.

By S.S. Selvanayagam A Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Priyasath Dep, K.T. Chitrasiri and Prasanna S. Jayawardene today refused to grant leave to proceed with the petition challenging the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil. Petitioners Sudath Perera, Pradeep Asiri Soysa and G.A.D. Premaratne cited President Maithripala Sirisena and the Attorney General as respondents …

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UNP and SLFP Trounced by Newly Formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna at Puttalam Co-operative Council Elections

By Lalith Nawarathna The candidates of the newly formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) won the election held at the Puttalam Multi-Purpose Co-Operative Council with 86 votes. The ruling United National Party (UNP) led by Puttalam District MP Nasmi Navas obtained 10 votes out of the 97 seats, while Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had …

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Seeking Tobacco Industry Donation for Anti-Smoking Campaign is like Requesting Brothel Owner to Fund Campaign Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases.-GMOA

By Dilanthi Jayamanne The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday accused Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke of going against the President’s and the Health Minister’s battle against the tobacco industry by requesting Ceylon Tobacco to donate Rs. 500 million to the Presidential fund to be utilised by the Presidential Task Force for the anti-smoking campaign. GMOA …

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Trump’s Triumph and Rise of “New Nationalism” is a Big Change That Makes for a More Dangerous World-The Economist

WHEN Donald Trump vowed to “Make America Great Again!” he was echoing the campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Back then voters sought renewal after the failures of the Carter presidency. This month they elected Mr Trump because he, too, promised them a “historic once-in-a-lifetime” change. But there is a difference. On the eve of …

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Donald Trump’s Voters took him Seriously but not Literally while his Critics took him Literally but not Seriously – The Economist

THE fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9th 1989, was when history was said to have ended. The fight between communism and capitalism was over. After a titanic ideological struggle encompassing the decades after the second world war, open markets and Western liberal democracy reigned supreme. In the early morning of November 9th 2016, …

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New Constitution Must Enable All Sections of Society to Say with Pride -“We are Sri Lankans” – Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan

(Text of Speech made in Parliament by Leader of the opposition and Trincomalee District TNA Parliamentarian Rajavarothayam Sampanthan on November 17th 2016) ගරු රාජවරෝදියම් සම්පන්දන් මහතා (විරුද්ධ පාර්ශ්වයේ නායකතුමා) (மாண்புமிகு ராஜவரோதயம் சம்பந்தன் – எதிர்க்கட்சி முதல்வர்) (The Hon. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan – Leader of the Opposition) Thank you, the Hon. Speaker. This Budget has been presented by …

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Thawheed Jamath Gen Secy Abdul Razik Arrested After Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Threatens to “Hammer Maligawatte” in 24 Hours.

By Dharisha Bastians Amid fears of renewed religious tensions and ethnically charged hate-speech gaining ground, police yesterday arrested Secretary of Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath R. Abdul Razik on charges of insulting religion and ‘angering a religious devotee’ during a protest against proposed reform to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) last week. The arrest …

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GL Peiris and Basil of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna say “Mahinda is our Leader and we are his followers”.

By Dharisha Bastians The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, a new political party chaired by former Minister G.L. Pieris, vowed to claim the mantle of the ‘true’ SLFP at its inaugural media briefing held yesterday, in a sign that rifts within President Maithripala Sirisena’s party were widening. Speaking to reporters at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political …

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Racist Rant Against Tamil Govt Official by Ampitiya Sumanaratne Thera in Batticaloa .

By Meera Srinivasan A Buddhist monk’s death threat to a Tamil village officer in Batticaloa — in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province — has gone viral on social media, worrying many who are hoping for speedy reconciliation in the war-torn country. Such incidents could adversely affect ongoing efforts towards reconciliation, civil society organisations have noted with …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Says Budget 2017 is”Loketa Parakase Gederata Maragathe”(Big Show to the world but Calamity at Home)

by Saman Indrajith Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa described the budget 2017 as a ‘loketa parakase gedarata maragathe (‘Big show to the world, but calamity at home’) budget for it has protected the interests of the international community at the cost of national interests. Participating in the second reading stage debate on the budget proposals, former …

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Prime Minister Wants Finance Minister to Impose 800% Tax on Toilet Paper so that “Daily FT” Newspaper Could Increase its Sales.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday was critical of Daily FT over two opinion articles in Wednesday’s issue on Government plans for Hambantota port and offers of tabs to students, likening the country’s only national business daily to cheaper than toilet paper. Referring to the opinion piece on Hambantota (http://www.ft.lk/article/580215/Sale-of-Hambantota-Port-%E2%80%93-A-fair-deal?), the Premier clarified that there was …

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Barrage of Questions Fired at National Intelligence Chief Sisira Mendis DIG by UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lanka faced a second stormy day of review before the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) in Geneva yesterday, when independent experts on the committee demanded answers from a senior police official on the Government delegation about controversial interrogation methods and torture during his time at the head of the CID at …

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No better U.S. ambassador for Prague than Trump’s ex-wife, says Czech president

Czech President Milos Zeman has thrown his support behind a bid by Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, to become the next ambassador to the country of her birth. “They could not send a better U.S. ambassador to Prague,” Zeman told her in a telephone call on Wednesday, the president’s office said …

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Douglas Devananda and Siddharthan Opposed Northern Provincial Elections but President Mahinda Went Ahead with Polls Reveals Gotabhaya

by Dasun Edirisinghe The previous government’s strategies to reestablish democracy and reconciliation after the war ended in the Northern and Eastern Provinces had been as sincere as its war effort which crushed terrorism, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He said NGOs as well as the international community did not acknowledge the effort of the …

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10 Asians Who Clashed in Self-Defence with White Extremists in Rotherham Acquitted by Courts of Violent Disorder Charges Filed by South Yorkshire Police

By Frances Perraudin Campaigners have called for an inquiry into the actions of South Yorkshire police after 10 Asian men, who fought with far-right extremists after attending an anti-racism protest in Rotherham, were cleared of violent disorder. The verdict at Sheffield crown court was greeted by applause from the public gallery. The case had provoked …

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Sri Lanka’s IMF Dictated Budget 2017 is a Direct Assault on the Social Conditions of the Working Class and Poor.

By Saman Gunadasa The Sri Lankan government’s 2017 budget, which cuts social spending and increases a range of taxes and levies, is a direct assault on the social conditions of the working class and the poor. Announced last week by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the budget is in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictates. …

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Giving 15,000 Acres in Hambantota District to Foreigners is a Dangerous Move That will create a “Foreign Economic Colony” Says Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By Yohan Perera More details on the government’s move to privatise Central Bank’s function of monitoring financial institutions will be unveiled to the people soon, former President and joint opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament today. Speaking during the debate on the second reading of the budget said this move will take the power of …

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