Formation of a political party called Ilankai Bharatiya Janatha Katchi (IBJK) Announced in Jaffna by Colombo Based Tamil Businessman Velusamy Muthuswamy: New party would be known in English as Sri Lanka Bharathiya Janatha Party (SLBJP) and in Sinhala as Sri Lanka Bharathiya Janatha Paksaya (SLBJP).

By P.K.Balachandran A Colombo-based Tamil hotelier of Indian Origin, Velusamy Muthuswamy, has announced the formation of a political party called Ilankai Bharatiya Janatha Katchi (IBJK) to further the socio-economic development of all Sri Lankans, especially the Tamils in the plantation areas and the war-torn Northern and Eastern provinces. It will promote education, multiple language skills, …

Continue reading ‘Formation of a political party called Ilankai Bharatiya Janatha Katchi (IBJK) Announced in Jaffna by Colombo Based Tamil Businessman Velusamy Muthuswamy: New party would be known in English as Sri Lanka Bharathiya Janatha Party (SLBJP) and in Sinhala as Sri Lanka Bharathiya Janatha Paksaya (SLBJP).’ »

Eleven President’s Counsels have expressed “serious concern” that the contents of the report of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Political Victimization may “undermine the Rule of Law in this country, impair independence of the judiciary and erode impartial and efficient functioning of the Attorney General’s Dept.

Eleven President’s Counsels and former Presidents of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) have expressed “serious concern” that the contents of the report of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Political Victimization may “undermine the Rule of Law in this country, impair independence of the judiciary and erode impartial and efficient functioning of the …

Continue reading ‘Eleven President’s Counsels have expressed “serious concern” that the contents of the report of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Political Victimization may “undermine the Rule of Law in this country, impair independence of the judiciary and erode impartial and efficient functioning of the Attorney General’s Dept.’ »

Gota Govt Suspends “Compulsory Burials in Iranaitheevu Only” Order; Burials of Muslim COVID Victims Allowed in Oddamaavady in Batticaloa district; 9 Buried in Land Donated by Muslim Businessman on March 5; Another 8 to be Buried on March 6th.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Even as proceedings at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) continued in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Government headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa , in a significant political move, backtracked from its rigid stance on permitting the burial of COVID -19 victims of the Islamic faith in Sri Lanka. While suspending on the …

Continue reading ‘Gota Govt Suspends “Compulsory Burials in Iranaitheevu Only” Order; Burials of Muslim COVID Victims Allowed in Oddamaavady in Batticaloa district; 9 Buried in Land Donated by Muslim Businessman on March 5; Another 8 to be Buried on March 6th.’ »

The Tamil National Alliance the largest Tamil Party representing the Tamil People of the North and East of Sri Lanka appeasl to the member States of the UN HUman Roghts Council “on behalf of our people” to ensure the passage of the HRC 46/1 at the UNHRC in Geneva

(Text of a media release issued on March 5th 2021 stating the Response of the Tamil National Alliance to the statement of Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Human Rights Council) Our attention has been drawn to the statement made by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena at the High-Level Segment …

Continue reading ‘The Tamil National Alliance the largest Tamil Party representing the Tamil People of the North and East of Sri Lanka appeasl to the member States of the UN HUman Roghts Council “on behalf of our people” to ensure the passage of the HRC 46/1 at the UNHRC in Geneva’ »

Sri Lankan government’s claim that a proposal on Colombo Port’s Western Container Terminal has been approved by the Indian High Commission in Colombo is factually incorrect says Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Friday described as ‘factually incorrect’ the Sri Lankan government’s claim that a proposal on Colombo Port’s Western Container Terminal has been approved by the Indian High Commission, and said it understands that the Lankan dispensation has engaged directly with investors on this project. Sri Lanka announced on Tuesday …

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“I hold Rajapaksa responsible — as I made plain when I moved to sue Rajapaksa in Los Angeles for his role in my father’s murder.it is high time for the world to draw a red line at the killing of journalists and ensure that murderous autocrats pay a price”

by Ahimsa Wickrematunge (Ahimsa Wickrematunge, a writer and activist, is the daughter of murdered Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge) In 2007, my father, Lasantha Wickrematunge, one of Sri Lanka’s most fiercely independent journalists, exposed an arms deal involving then-Secretary of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa embezzling over $10 million in government funds. Rajapaksa took him to court, …

Continue reading ‘“I hold Rajapaksa responsible — as I made plain when I moved to sue Rajapaksa in Los Angeles for his role in my father’s murder.it is high time for the world to draw a red line at the killing of journalists and ensure that murderous autocrats pay a price”’ »

Sri Lankan Envoy to UN in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema Demands sweeping changes to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC including the deletion of the reference to forced cremations of coronavirus deceased and removal of operative clauses 5,6&7 during two informal discussions.

The Government has demanded sweeping changes to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, including the deletion of the reference to forced cremations of coronavirus deceased during informal discussions on the draft text this week. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema insisted that the co-sponsors …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Envoy to UN in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema Demands sweeping changes to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC including the deletion of the reference to forced cremations of coronavirus deceased and removal of operative clauses 5,6&7 during two informal discussions.’ »

Sri Lanka Islamic Centre to write to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress urging immediate intervention and seeking redress after the govt announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place only iin the Iranaithivu Islet

By JAMILA HUSAIN A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims. The Daily Mirror …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Islamic Centre to write to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress urging immediate intervention and seeking redress after the govt announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place only iin the Iranaithivu Islet’ »

Muslims Urge Govt to Allow Burials of COVID Victims in Kuppiyawatte Muslim Burial Grounds in Colombo Instead of the Iranaitheevu Island 10 KM away from the Kilinochchi district Coast in the Gulf of Mannar

.By JAMILA HUSAIN Muslims in Sri Lanka will make an urgent appeal to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to find a suitable land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims, instead of burying them in the island of Iranaitivu, in the Gulf of Mannar, stating it was not a practical solution to …

Continue reading ‘Muslims Urge Govt to Allow Burials of COVID Victims in Kuppiyawatte Muslim Burial Grounds in Colombo Instead of the Iranaitheevu Island 10 KM away from the Kilinochchi district Coast in the Gulf of Mannar’ »

Despite India’s non -Committal on the Issue, Sri Lanka is ‘Confident India will stand on the right side’ and vote against Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva

The Government yesterday expressed confidence that India would stand with Sri Lanka on the “right side” at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions and support it to defeat the resolution that is set to be moved next week. Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly Cabinet briefing that the Sri Lankan Government was …

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Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rmbukwella denies that agreeing to foreign investment from India and Japan for the West Container Terminal was a deviation from the Government’s policy of not giving strategic assets to other countries

By Uditha Jayasinghe Cabinet has cleared the West Container Terminal (WCT) of the Colombo Port to be developed as a 35-year joint venture with India’s Adani Group and its local partner John Keells Holdings PLC as well as with investment from Japan, a top official said yesterday. Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told …

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rmbukwella denies that agreeing to foreign investment from India and Japan for the West Container Terminal was a deviation from the Government’s policy of not giving strategic assets to other countries’ »

Sri Lankan Cabinet Approves Decision to Grant Development of West Container Terminal of Colombo Harbour Project to Investors Nominated by India and Japan who will be Accorded a Higher Stake of 85%

By Meera Srinivasan . Sri Lanka on Tuesday said it will develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Colombo Port along with India and Japan, in a near-360 degree policy turn from a month ago, when the two partners were ejected from a 2019 tripartite agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT), …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Cabinet Approves Decision to Grant Development of West Container Terminal of Colombo Harbour Project to Investors Nominated by India and Japan who will be Accorded a Higher Stake of 85%’ »

Chinese Permanent Representative in Geneva CHEN Xu extended China’s strong support to Sri Lanka in his official statement in the interactive dialogue on the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka during the 46th Session of the UNHRC

Chinese Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador CHEN Xu on Thursday extended China’s strong support to Sri Lanka in his official statement in the interactive dialogue on the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka during the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council. The full text of the statement is as follows: “As a friendly neighbour of …

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23 aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will participate in the Grand Fly past and Aerobatic Display at Galle Face to Celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Air Force

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo) The Sri Lanka Air Force is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on 02 Mar 21 and the presentation of President’s Colours to No. 5 Fighter Squadron and No. 6 Helicopter Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force. To commemorate this historical event, …

Continue reading ‘23 aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will participate in the Grand Fly past and Aerobatic Display at Galle Face to Celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Air Force’ »

“We can’t do anything just because someone points a gun at our head and says, okay reconcile. It will never happen.” – Says Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Adm.Jayanath Colambage in Interview with “The Hindu”

By Meera Srinivasan Seeking India’s “proactive” support at the UN Human Rights Council, where a resolution on Sri Lanka will be soon put to vote, the Secretary to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “India cannot abandon us”. “If the world is one family, as your Foreign Minister has said, then we are immediate …

Continue reading ‘“We can’t do anything just because someone points a gun at our head and says, okay reconcile. It will never happen.” – Says Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Adm.Jayanath Colambage in Interview with “The Hindu”’ »

Commission of Inquiry Probing Easter Sunday Bombings Discloses Much Information about Zahran Hashim the Ring Leader of the Group Responsible for the Attacks

By Sandun Jayawardana The authorities failed to take adequate and effective steps to meet the threat from Islamic extremism in the critical build-up phase from 2016 to 2019 prior to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) that investigated the attacks has noted in its final report. Volume 1 of the final …

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Despite Issuance of Gazette Allowing Burials of COVID Victims Health Ministry Officials Continue to Enforce Forced Cremation Saying Guidelines Have to be Prepared after consulting agencies about the possible pollution of ground water while taking into consideration the social impact as there could be opposition to burial in certain areas.

By Damith Wicremasekara Cremation of people who die of COVID-19 will continue until modalities and guidelines for burial are worked out, a senior Health Ministry official said yesterday. He said more time was required to prepare fresh guidelines and name designated places for burials. He said locations for burial would need to be decided upon …

Continue reading ‘Despite Issuance of Gazette Allowing Burials of COVID Victims Health Ministry Officials Continue to Enforce Forced Cremation Saying Guidelines Have to be Prepared after consulting agencies about the possible pollution of ground water while taking into consideration the social impact as there could be opposition to burial in certain areas.’ »

Saliya Pieris, PC elected as 26th President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for the year 2021-2022 with a thumping majority over his rival candidate Kuvera de Zoysa. PC.

Saliya Pieris, PC, was this week elected as 26th President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for the year 2021-2022 with a thumping majority over his rival candidate Kuvera de Zoysa, PC. Mr Pieris secured total of 5,178 votes while Mr de Zoysa polled 2,815–a difference of 2363 votes. In Colombo, Mr Pieris …

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Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is relieved that the Govet after prolonged vacillation has finally restored the constitutionally protected fundamental the right for burial of COVID 19 victims and COVID-19 suspected victims States Party Leader Rauff Hakeem

(Text of a Press Release Issued by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem MP) We are relieved that the Government after a prolonged vacillation has finally restored the constitutionally protected fundamental the right for burial of COVID 19 victims and COVID-19 suspected victims. In this regard it is quite obvious that if not for …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is relieved that the Govet after prolonged vacillation has finally restored the constitutionally protected fundamental the right for burial of COVID 19 victims and COVID-19 suspected victims States Party Leader Rauff Hakeem’ »

21 Countries Including 10 Member States of the UN Human Rights Council Speak in Support of Sri Lanka During the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka at Geneva UNHRC 46th Session While 15 Nations Speak Against SL

By Kelum Bandara The international lobbying spree by the government gathered momentum today with 21 countries speaking in favour of Sri Lanka and 15 against during an Interactive Dialogue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Daily Mirror learns. A core group of countries led by the United Kingdom has proposed to move …

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Gotabaya Govt Permits Muslims to Bury Persons Dying of COVID – 19 Due to Need to Prevent Islamic Nations Voting Against Sri Lanka at Crucial UNHRC Vote in Geneva and Because of Intense Lobbying by Pakistan

By P.K.Balachandran Late on Thursday, February 25, the Sri Lankan Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi issued a gazette extraordinary lifting the year-old ban on burying COVID-19 dead. The Gazette amended the earlier ordinance by putting the words “cremation or burial” in place of the single word “cremation”. “In the case of burial, the corpse of such …

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Sri Lanka-Pakistan ties on a new footing following Imran Khan’s visit;Besides Enhanced defense and security ties the relationship may acquire a strong economic basis with Pakistan becoming a factor in Lankan Muslim politics

. By P.K.Balachandran The two-day visit of the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka, which concluded on Wednesday, has put Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations on a higher footing. Besides the traditional defense and security ties, which will be enhanced, the relationship may acquire a strong economic basis, and Pakistan may become a factor in …

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Support for Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity and Abiding commitment to aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity are the Two Pillars of India’s Consistent Position on Sri Lanka Says Indian Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey at UNRC in Geneva

Issuing his statement on OHCHR report on Sri Lanka, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said they believed that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes directly to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. Full statement is as follows, We have taken note of the High Commissioner’s …

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Text of Statement by Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena during the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report at the 46th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

(Text of Statement by Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena during the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report at the 46th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva). Madam President, Madam High Commissioner, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, The OHCHR Report which is presented today, emanates from the Resolution 30/1 and 40/1, …

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet Tells 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council that her office would support judicial measures Targeting Sri Lanka in jurisdictions of Countries Outside the Island because the Sri Lankan Government had “closed the door” to justice for grave rights abuses nationally.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has vowed to support judicial proceedings in other countries against perpetrators of grave human rights violations in Sri Lanka, after the Government had effectively closed the door to achieving justice locally for alleged war time abuses. In her statement to the 46th Session of the UN Human …

Continue reading ‘UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet Tells 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council that her office would support judicial measures Targeting Sri Lanka in jurisdictions of Countries Outside the Island because the Sri Lankan Government had “closed the door” to justice for grave rights abuses nationally.’ »

Sri Lankan Govt categorically rejects the conclusions and recommendations in the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s Report and calls upon the members of the UNHRC to reject any resolution based upon this Report presented to the Council.

Sri Lanka rejected High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s report yesterday, saying it had “unjustifiably” broadened its scope and mandate, to include issues of governance that are essentially domestic for any sovereign country. Responding as the country concerned to Bachelet’s oral statement on her report to the UNHRC on Sri Lanka’s progress on accountability and reconciliation, Foreign …

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“The United States will seek election to the human rights council for the 2022 to 2024 term. We humbly ask for the support of all UN member States in our bid to return to a seat in this body” – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

By Sriram Lakshman The U.S. will seek re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday, as he “humbly” asked for the support of UN member states. ‘ This is the latest in a series of moves by the Biden administration to reverse a pattern of retreat …

Continue reading ‘“The United States will seek election to the human rights council for the 2022 to 2024 term. We humbly ask for the support of all UN member States in our bid to return to a seat in this body” – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’ »

US Urges UNHRC member states to support resolution on Sri Lanka:Secretary of State Blinken says resolution will address “lack of accountability for past atrocities”

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council for the first time since its exit in 2018, the US yesterday urged member states of the Council to back a resolution on Sri Lanka to address the lack of accountability for past atrocities in the island. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the 46th Session of the …

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Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena participating in the Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR)again calls upon members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to reject the anti-Sri Lankan resolution presented to the Council

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has again asked members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to reject the anti-Sri Lankan resolution presented to the Council on Wednesday. He was participating in the Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) entitled: ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena participating in the Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR)again calls upon members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to reject the anti-Sri Lankan resolution presented to the Council’ »

Saliya Pieris PC Elected President of Bar association of Sri Lanka(BASL) With an Overwhelming Majority Obtaining 5127 Votes While Rival Kuvera de Zoysa PC Garners 2807 Votes

Former head of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Saliya Pieris, PC, yesterday won the BASL presidency with an overwhelming majority. Pieris succeeded Kalinga Indatissa, PC. Former BASL President Upul Jayasuriya, PC, last night told The Island that Pieris polled 5162 votes. His rival Kuvera de Zoysa secured 2807 votes.

Full Text of the Draft Resolution on Sri Lanka Comprising 15 Preambular and 16 Operational Clauses Tabled by Core Group of Countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva

The Core Group on Sri Lanka tabled the draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, a UN spokesperson said, Resolution HRC_46_L.1 titled ‘promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ was tabled on Monday, UNHRC spokesman Rolando Gómez said.He said that this was the first resolution to be tabled at …

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Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing Easter Day terror attacks finds former President Maithripala Sirisena guilty of “criminal liability” for his acts of omissions;recommends that Attorney-General Consider Criminal Proceedings Under the Penal Code Against Ex-president

By Chandani Kirinde The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) that probed the Easter Day terror attacks has found enough evidence to hold former President Maithripala Sirisena guilty of “criminal liability” for his part in the acts or omissions which resulted in the tragedy. The PCoI recommended that the Attorney General (AG) consider instituting criminal proceedings …

Continue reading ‘Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing Easter Day terror attacks finds former President Maithripala Sirisena guilty of “criminal liability” for his acts of omissions;recommends that Attorney-General Consider Criminal Proceedings Under the Penal Code Against Ex-president’ »

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena appeals to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to reject a baseless anti-Sri Lankan resolution which the Core Group of Countries on Sri Lanka has tabled at the 46th Session of the UNHRC

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunwardena told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday that his country, which is being pilloried by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for alleged war crimes had actually acted in self-defense against the depredations of a ruthless terrorist and separatist group. “Nonetheless, …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena appeals to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to reject a baseless anti-Sri Lankan resolution which the Core Group of Countries on Sri Lanka has tabled at the 46th Session of the UNHRC’ »

Chinese Firm Which Won Bid to Execute Renweable Energy Project in Delft, Nainatheevu and Analai Theevu Lashes Out at India for Protesting on Grounds of Security and Offering Outright Grant by Saying “We firmly oppose any outrageous interference by any third party without legal and factual basis.

By Meera Srinivasan A Chinese firm, which had won the bid to execute a renewable energy project in Sri Lanka’s northern islands, has objected to “outrageous interference” by a “third party”, apparently referring to India voicing concern recently. In a statement issued on Monday, Sinosoar-Etechwin Joint Venture said it learned from media reports that “a …

Continue reading ‘Chinese Firm Which Won Bid to Execute Renweable Energy Project in Delft, Nainatheevu and Analai Theevu Lashes Out at India for Protesting on Grounds of Security and Offering Outright Grant by Saying “We firmly oppose any outrageous interference by any third party without legal and factual basis.’ »

Counsel Niran Anketell Appearing on behalf of Attorney at Law Hejaaz Hizbullah Tells the Fort Magistrate’s Court that the entire case against the Prominent Lawyer was “one big lie”.

Attorneys-at-Law for prominent lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah on Friday told the Fort Magistrate’s Court that the entire case against Hizbullah was “one big lie”. “It’s a pure fabrication. They coerced children to make statements and even those statements they failed to get their facts right,” they said. This was after Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris informed …

Continue reading ‘Counsel Niran Anketell Appearing on behalf of Attorney at Law Hejaaz Hizbullah Tells the Fort Magistrate’s Court that the entire case against the Prominent Lawyer was “one big lie”.’ »

46th Session of UN Human Rights Council Commences in Geneva on Feb 22 with Resolution on Sri Lanka being Very Likely to be Adopted by Sessions End on March 19; Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene to Address High Level Segment on Feb 24 After Which UN Human Rights Commissioner will Present Oral Report on Sri Lanka Followed by Interactive Dialogue on Lanka

The legacy and closure of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and the country’s complicated human rights record will take centre-stage as the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) kicks off in Geneva today.(Feb 22) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunewardane will address the 46th Session of the Council during the ‘high-level segment’ on …

Continue reading ‘46th Session of UN Human Rights Council Commences in Geneva on Feb 22 with Resolution on Sri Lanka being Very Likely to be Adopted by Sessions End on March 19; Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene to Address High Level Segment on Feb 24 After Which UN Human Rights Commissioner will Present Oral Report on Sri Lanka Followed by Interactive Dialogue on Lanka’ »

Sri Lankan Energy Minister Says Govt would “re-acquire” oil tanks in Trincomalee leased out to an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) subsidiary but India says the bilateral understanding on jointly developing and operating the tank farm sill stands.

By Meera Srinivasan A day after Sri Lanka’s Minister of Energy remarked that the government would “re-acquire” World War-era oil tanks in the eastern city of Trincomalee — which were leased out to an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) subsidiary in 2003 — India said the bilateral understanding on jointly developing and operating the tank farm …

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Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal Mohammed Shakeel remanded till 3 March by Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage; face charges under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA, section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act and Section 102 and 113 (a) of the Penal Code.

Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and the Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were remanded till 3 March by Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage yesterday. The two were produced before the Magistrate on the directive of the Attorney General to face charges under the PTA and the ICCPR Act. Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris informed the Magistrate …

Continue reading ‘Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal Mohammed Shakeel remanded till 3 March by Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage; face charges under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA, section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act and Section 102 and 113 (a) of the Penal Code.’ »

Attorney- General Dappula de Livera Directs CID to name detained attorney Hejaaz Omar Hizbullah as a suspect and produce him in Courts to face charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the ICCPR Act, as well as charges of conspiracy under the Penal Code.

By Chandani Kirinde Attorney General Dappula de Livera yesterday directed the CID to name detained attorney Hejaaz Omar Hizbullah as a suspect and produce him before a Magistrate to face charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the ICCPR Act, as well as charges of conspiracy under the Penal Code. Hizbullah will face …

Continue reading ‘Attorney- General Dappula de Livera Directs CID to name detained attorney Hejaaz Omar Hizbullah as a suspect and produce him in Courts to face charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the ICCPR Act, as well as charges of conspiracy under the Penal Code.’ »

Energy Minister Gammanpila Says New Joint Venture Project Will Enable Sri Lanka to Regain Trincomalee Oil Tanks Given to India two Decades Ago but Indian High Commission Spokesma in Colombo is Cautiously Non – Committal about A any Agreement Being Reached

By Uditha Jayasinghe The Government yesterday said talks with India on development of the Upper Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee had concluded with both sides agreeing to manage them via a partnership between Lanka IOC and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), with the latter being the majority shareholder. Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila speaking at an event …

Continue reading ‘Energy Minister Gammanpila Says New Joint Venture Project Will Enable Sri Lanka to Regain Trincomalee Oil Tanks Given to India two Decades Ago but Indian High Commission Spokesma in Colombo is Cautiously Non – Committal about A any Agreement Being Reached’ »

President Rajapaksa’s Office Strongly Denies Allegation by Ex- US Ambassador for War Crimes and Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp that Gotabaya as Def Secy had admitted to Killing LTTE Surrendees saying ““I killed them, I killed them, I killed them,”

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Office yesterday (15) strongly denied a claim by former US Ambassador for War Crimes and Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp (2009-2015) that wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had admitted to killing LTTE leaders following their surrender to the Army in 2009. Rapp claimed Rajapaksa had told him so when …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa’s Office Strongly Denies Allegation by Ex- US Ambassador for War Crimes and Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp that Gotabaya as Def Secy had admitted to Killing LTTE Surrendees saying ““I killed them, I killed them, I killed them,”’ »

UN’s failure to act on Sri Lanka could spur a global pandemic of impunity Warn Former Top UN and US Officials During 150 Minute Webinar titled Sri Lanka: Quest for Justice, Rule of Law and Democratic Rights Watched World -Wide on 12 February.

The UN’s failure to act on Sri Lanka could spur a global pandemic of impunity, former top UN officials and human rights experts warned during a widely publicised webinar last week, ahead of a key Human Rights Council session in Geneva. A webinar titled Sri Lanka: Quest for Justice, Rule of Law and Democratic Rights …

Continue reading ‘UN’s failure to act on Sri Lanka could spur a global pandemic of impunity Warn Former Top UN and US Officials During 150 Minute Webinar titled Sri Lanka: Quest for Justice, Rule of Law and Democratic Rights Watched World -Wide on 12 February.’ »

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Speaking in the Tamil Nadu State Capital Chennai Reiterates that India is always committed to ensuring that the Tamils in Sri Lanka live with equality, justice peace and dignity

(The Following remarks are Extracted from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Chennai on 14 February 2021.He was speaking at the inauguration/handing over/laying of Foundation Stone of various projects of Chennai.) Friends, Our Government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of our Tamil brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.It is my …

Continue reading ‘Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Speaking in the Tamil Nadu State Capital Chennai Reiterates that India is always committed to ensuring that the Tamils in Sri Lanka live with equality, justice peace and dignity’ »

Sri Lanka will next week sign an agreement with China for a Currency swap arrangement amounting to US$ 1.5 billion to be paid back within three and half years..

By Damith Wickremasekara Sri Lanka will next week sign an agreement with China’s Central Bank — the People’s Bank of China — for a swap arrangement amounting to US$ 1.5 billion. The move came as the Government is looking at measures to bridge the gap of another US$ 1 billion. The Sri Lankan Central bank …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka will next week sign an agreement with China for a Currency swap arrangement amounting to US$ 1.5 billion to be paid back within three and half years..’ »

Sri Lanka hits back at United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s 17 page report with a 30 page Response saying UN Human Rights Chief’s is based on “speculative, presumptive and unsubstantiated opinions.”

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor Sri Lanka has hit back at the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s latest report calling for targeted sanctions, saying it is based on “speculative, presumptive and unsubstantiated opinions.” It came in a 30-page response to her report which called for targeted sanctions — asset freezes, travel …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka hits back at United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s 17 page report with a 30 page Response saying UN Human Rights Chief’s is based on “speculative, presumptive and unsubstantiated opinions.”’ »

Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Embarrasses Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa over the controversial “Cremation Only” policy for COVID-19 dead issue

By Sandun Jayawardana Not often does a Government make a complete fool of its own leaders but the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) did that in spectacularly farcical fashion this week by embarrassing Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa over the controversial “cremation only” policy for COVID-19 dead. The bizarre saga unfolded in Parliament after Samagi Jana …

Continue reading ‘Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Embarrasses Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa over the controversial “Cremation Only” policy for COVID-19 dead issue’ »

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Warns he will be Compelled to Call for a Probe by an International Court if Justice is not Meted out to the Victims of The Easter Bombing Carnage; Catholic Prelate Says he is not satisfied with the investigations carried out by some, including the CID.

By Yohan Perera Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today said he will be compelled to call for a probe by an international court over the Easter Sunday attacks, if justice is not meted out to victims of the mayhem and their families. Cardinal Ranjith told a press conference that he is not …

Continue reading ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Warns he will be Compelled to Call for a Probe by an International Court if Justice is not Meted out to the Victims of The Easter Bombing Carnage; Catholic Prelate Says he is not satisfied with the investigations carried out by some, including the CID.’ »

Though Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Stated Burials of COVID Victims Will be Permitted, State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle Says the decision on the matter would be made by a technical committee that comes under the Ministry of Health.

There was confusion in Parliament yesterday over the Government’s position regarding its policy on mandatory cremation of COVID-19 victims after State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention Sudharshini Fernandopulle, said that the decision on the matter would be made by a technical committee that comes under the Ministry of Health. “The Health …

Continue reading ‘Though Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Stated Burials of COVID Victims Will be Permitted, State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle Says the decision on the matter would be made by a technical committee that comes under the Ministry of Health.’ »

“It is wrong to describe our attempt to restore security of MP Sumanthiran as an attempt to give security to a terrorist. Then what about the security accorded to Karuna Amman and Pillayan? Who is Pillayan? Sumanthiran was always against terrorism. It is unfair for you to lump him with the terrorists.”- Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka

By Saman Indrajith Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday announced that TNA parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran’s complaint that he had been wrongly accused of evading sessions of the Presidential Commission of inquiry into political victimisation would be referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Ethics and Privileges. The Speaker said that a motion could be permitted to …

Continue reading ‘“It is wrong to describe our attempt to restore security of MP Sumanthiran as an attempt to give security to a terrorist. Then what about the security accorded to Karuna Amman and Pillayan? Who is Pillayan? Sumanthiran was always against terrorism. It is unfair for you to lump him with the terrorists.”- Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka’ »

Wages Board Takes Historic Decision with 11 to 9 Majority Vote to Approve Rupees 1000 Daily Wage for Plantation Workers Consisting of Rs 900 Basic Salary and Rs 100 Budgetary Allowance.

By Uditha Jayasinghe The Wages Board yesterday approved the Rs. 1,000 daily wage for the plantation sector, ending nearly two years of dragging discussions between Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and trade unions, clearing the way for the Labour Minister to gazette the salary increase within a week. Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva speaking to …

Continue reading ‘Wages Board Takes Historic Decision with 11 to 9 Majority Vote to Approve Rupees 1000 Daily Wage for Plantation Workers Consisting of Rs 900 Basic Salary and Rs 100 Budgetary Allowance.’ »

Special Task Force Personnel Providing Security to TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Withdrawn rom February 7th 2021 Without Prior Notice Being Given

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The STF personnel providing security for TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran had been withdrawn last Sunday (7) evening. Sumanthiran said, no reasons have been given to him prior to the move. He claimed, the security officers informed him they have been recalled from duty. The MP participated in the four-day ‘Pottuvil to …

Continue reading ‘Special Task Force Personnel Providing Security to TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran Withdrawn rom February 7th 2021 Without Prior Notice Being Given’ »

USA Under President Joe Biden will Re-engage with the Geneva based UN Human Rights Council as an Observer now and Re-enter UNHRC as a Full Member in Due Course

The Biden administration is set to announce this week that it will reengage with the much-maligned U.N. Human Rights Council that former President Donald Trump withdrew from almost three years ago, U.S. officials said Sunday. The decision reverses another Trump-era move away from multilateral organizations and agreements. U..S. officials say Secretary of State Antony Blinken …

Continue reading ‘USA Under President Joe Biden will Re-engage with the Geneva based UN Human Rights Council as an Observer now and Re-enter UNHRC as a Full Member in Due Course’ »

Sri Lankan minister Godahewa says Adani Group offered to invest in West Container Terminal, as a ‘commercially better option’, but with the same equity ratio (85%/15%) given to China at CCIT.

By PADMA RAO SUNDARJI The row has intensified and diplomatic relations have frayed ever since Sri Lanka unilaterally cancelled an agreement with India and Japan over the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo port. Now, a Sri Lankan minister has added a new twist to the controversy by claiming that the main Indian investor, the …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan minister Godahewa says Adani Group offered to invest in West Container Terminal, as a ‘commercially better option’, but with the same equity ratio (85%/15%) given to China at CCIT.’ »

It is primarily in Colombo’s Interest to find a compromise formula to salvage The East Coast Terminal deal With India and Japan that has far-reaching consequences for the region-“The Hindu”

(Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu” of February 6th 2021 under the Heading “Terminal declined: On Sri Lanka reneging on Colombo East Container Terminal”) India and Japan are important donors, and Sri Lanka must try and salvage the ECT deal The Rajapaksa government’s decision to overturn Sri Lanka’s tripartite agreement to develop Colombo’s East …

Continue reading ‘It is primarily in Colombo’s Interest to find a compromise formula to salvage The East Coast Terminal deal With India and Japan that has far-reaching consequences for the region-“The Hindu”’ »

“Concerns Raised”By India Over Sri Lankan Govt Approving Proposal to install “Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” in Joint Venture With “Sinosoar-Etechw”of China in Three Northern Islands Located 50 Km Away From Tamil Nadu Coast

By Meera Srinivasan The site’s proximity to the Indian coastline can be a cause for concern Sri Lanka’s recent decision to pull out of the East Container Terminal (ECT) deal with India and Japan is not the only challenge to New Delhi’s interests emerging this year. “Hybrid A week before reneging on the 2019 Colombo …

Continue reading ‘“Concerns Raised”By India Over Sri Lankan Govt Approving Proposal to install “Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” in Joint Venture With “Sinosoar-Etechw”of China in Three Northern Islands Located 50 Km Away From Tamil Nadu Coast’ »

India Lodges Strong Protest Raising Security Concerns Over Three Renewable Energy Projects in the Northern Islands of Neduntheevu(Delft), Nainatheevu and Analaitheevu Being Given to Chinese Company by Sri Lanka Despite their Proximity to the Indian Coast

By S. Rubatheesan India has lodged a strong protest with Sri Lanka on the award of a tender to a Chinese company to set up three renewable energy projects in outlying islands off the Jaffna peninsula. The protest, the Sunday Times learnt, came even before the Cabinet of Ministers decided not to give India and …

Continue reading ‘India Lodges Strong Protest Raising Security Concerns Over Three Renewable Energy Projects in the Northern Islands of Neduntheevu(Delft), Nainatheevu and Analaitheevu Being Given to Chinese Company by Sri Lanka Despite their Proximity to the Indian Coast’ »

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay in successive Meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Urges Sri Lanka to Adhere to its Commitments Stipulated in the Tripartite Agreement of May 2019 Between Sri Lanka, India and Japan

By Meera Srinivasan In a flurry of meetings a day after Sri Lanka backed out of an agreement with India and Japan, to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port, Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Tuesday, official sources …

Continue reading ‘Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay in successive Meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena Urges Sri Lanka to Adhere to its Commitments Stipulated in the Tripartite Agreement of May 2019 Between Sri Lanka, India and Japan’ »

Japan says the decision by Sri Lanka to scrap a 2019 agreement with India and Japan for operating the East Coast Terminal (ECT),is “unilateral and regrettable”

By Suhasini Haidar and Meera Srinivasan Two days after Sri Lanka decided to scrap a 2019 agreement with India and Japan for operating the East Coast Terminal (ECT), Japan says the decision was “unilateral and regrettable.” Japan’s Ambassador Akira Sugiyama also met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to discuss the issue on Wednesday, …

Continue reading ‘Japan says the decision by Sri Lanka to scrap a 2019 agreement with India and Japan for operating the East Coast Terminal (ECT),is “unilateral and regrettable”’ »

Lawyers for SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake file an application in the Court of Appeal seeking a Writ of Prohibition against the Secretary General of Parliament to prevent the official from filling his seat in the legislature until a hearing and final determination is made on his petition before the Supreme court..

On the heels of an unprecedented appeal filed in the Supreme Court, lawyers for SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake filed an application in the Court of Appeal on Monday (1) seeking a Writ of Prohibition against the Secretary General of Parliament, to prevent the official from filling his seat in the legislature. Ramanayake is also seeking …

Continue reading ‘Lawyers for SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake file an application in the Court of Appeal seeking a Writ of Prohibition against the Secretary General of Parliament to prevent the official from filling his seat in the legislature until a hearing and final determination is made on his petition before the Supreme court..’ »

Convicted actor-politician Ranjan Ramanayake’s lawyers have filed a historic appeal in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka Seeking a Review of the Decision by a Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court by a Larger Divisional Bench of the Apex Court

Convicted actor-politician Ranjan Ramanayake’s lawyers have filed a historic appeal in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka using provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)that guarantee every person convicted of a crime, the right to appeal. The appeal filed on Monday (1) cites the petitioner in Ramanayake’s contempt case Ranawaka Sunil …

Continue reading ‘Convicted actor-politician Ranjan Ramanayake’s lawyers have filed a historic appeal in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka Seeking a Review of the Decision by a Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court by a Larger Divisional Bench of the Apex Court’ »

Sri Lankan Cabinet Unanimously Decides to Abrogate Tripartite Agreement With India and Japan on the Strategic Sri Lankan Harbour East Coast Terminal Development Project Despite Nearly 70% of Port’s Transhiment Business Being Linked to India.

By Meera Srinivasan Reneging on a 2019 agreement with India and Japan, Sri Lanka has decided to develop the strategic East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port on its own. The Sri Lankan government would instead offer the West Container Terminal to India for possible investments, a senior government source told The Hindu. The …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lankan Cabinet Unanimously Decides to Abrogate Tripartite Agreement With India and Japan on the Strategic Sri Lankan Harbour East Coast Terminal Development Project Despite Nearly 70% of Port’s Transhiment Business Being Linked to India.’ »

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Rebukes Sri Lankas UN Envoy Mohan Pieris at UN interactive Session in New York saying “If the(Sri Lankan) Govt and its people took the need for reconciliation and accountability seriously, it would reduce the interest of other entities to directly involve themselves in those issues

The Sri Lankan Envoy to the United Nations in New York unprecedently raised the country’s human rights issues at the UN General Assembly last Thursday (28 January), charging that defeated terrorists were using international rights mechanisms to unleash a different kind of terrorism, a serious broadside to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. In his maiden …

Continue reading ‘UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Rebukes Sri Lankas UN Envoy Mohan Pieris at UN interactive Session in New York saying “If the(Sri Lankan) Govt and its people took the need for reconciliation and accountability seriously, it would reduce the interest of other entities to directly involve themselves in those issues’ »

Military Seizes Control of Myanmar(Burma)in Coup Alleging Fraud in Last Year’s Elections;Aung Sa Sun Kyi and Other Senior Ruling Party Leaders Detained; Power Transferred to Army Commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing; Emergency Declared

By Rebecca Ratcliffe South-east Asia correspondent, and Guardian staff in Yangon Myanmar’s army has taken control of the country in an apparent coup and declared a state of emergency, hours after it detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party. Phone and mobile internet services in Yangon were down on …

Continue reading ‘Military Seizes Control of Myanmar(Burma)in Coup Alleging Fraud in Last Year’s Elections;Aung Sa Sun Kyi and Other Senior Ruling Party Leaders Detained; Power Transferred to Army Commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing; Emergency Declared’ »

Crisis Caused by Opposition to tripartite govts-to-govts deal involving Sri Lanka, India and Japan Regarding East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo Port is likely to result in economic, political and diplomatic fallout for Sri Lanka

By Nisthar Cassim Dissent over the deal on East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo Port has erupted, triggering likely economic, political and diplomatic fallout for Sri Lanka as the Government and officials were busy devising an amicable way out of the crisis. Trade unions have refused to give up their demand that the Government …

Continue reading ‘Crisis Caused by Opposition to tripartite govts-to-govts deal involving Sri Lanka, India and Japan Regarding East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo Port is likely to result in economic, political and diplomatic fallout for Sri Lanka’ »

President Rajapaksa Angered by “Unprecedented and Unconventional” Report on Sri Lanka by UN Human Rights High Commissioner: Strong Reply Sent to UNHRC Through Envoy in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema;Gota to Personally Speak to Leaders of 47 UNHRC Member States and Explain Position.

(Excerpts from the Political Column By the Political Editor in the “Sunday Times” of January 31st 2021) A head-on confrontation between the Government and the UN system has become inevitable, judging from the latest report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UNHRC Report calls upon member states to refer the …

Continue reading ‘President Rajapaksa Angered by “Unprecedented and Unconventional” Report on Sri Lanka by UN Human Rights High Commissioner: Strong Reply Sent to UNHRC Through Envoy in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema;Gota to Personally Speak to Leaders of 47 UNHRC Member States and Explain Position.’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa receives first batch of the 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHELD vaccine donated by India from Indian High Commissioner Dr.Gopal Baglay in “VaccineMaithri” Handover Ceremony at Katunayake airport

The first consignment of 500,000 doses of COVID–19 vaccines donated by the Government of India was officially received by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday, marking a breakthrough in the country’s fight against the pandemic that has gripped the world. The handover, following the arrival of the air freighted vaccine at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), was …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa receives first batch of the 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHELD vaccine donated by India from Indian High Commissioner Dr.Gopal Baglay in “VaccineMaithri” Handover Ceremony at Katunayake airport’ »

“The UN High Commissioner’s report highlights Sri Lanka’s egregious record of complete impunity for appalling crimes, and very disturbing developments under the Rajapaksa administration” -Human Rights Watch

(Text of Press Release Issued by the Human Rights Watch on January 29, 2021) The United Nations Human Rights Council, at its upcoming session, should act on the recommendations of the UN high commissioner for human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The council should adopt a new resolution to enhance scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s …

Continue reading ‘“The UN High Commissioner’s report highlights Sri Lanka’s egregious record of complete impunity for appalling crimes, and very disturbing developments under the Rajapaksa administration” -Human Rights Watch’ »

Canadian Tamil Congress welcomes the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka and calls for timely response from the Canadian Government.

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Canadian Tamil Congress on January 2(th 2021) The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) strongly welcomes the report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka and calls for immediate and effective actions from the Canadian government to address its recommendations. …

Continue reading ‘Canadian Tamil Congress welcomes the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka and calls for timely response from the Canadian Government.’ »

“Given the demonstrated inability and unwillingness of the (Sri Lankan) Government to advance accountability at the national level, it is time for international action to ensure justice for international crimes” States UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michele Bachelet in UN Report on Sri Lanka Released to Public

(Text of Press Release Issued by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on January 27th Regarding the UN Report on Sri Lanka by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Ms. Michele Bachelet Titled “Sri Lanka on alarming path towards recurrence of grave human rights violations”) A new UN report published on …

Continue reading ‘“Given the demonstrated inability and unwillingness of the (Sri Lankan) Government to advance accountability at the national level, it is time for international action to ensure justice for international crimes” States UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michele Bachelet in UN Report on Sri Lanka Released to Public’ »

US Ambassador Alaina B.Teplitz Urges Sri Lankan Govt to Come Up come up with a meaningful plan at the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

By Kelum Bandara U.S. Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz, who commented on the development of the East Container Terminal of Colombo Port, said the involvement of an Indian company in this exercise was essential for Sri Lanka’s maritime future, obviously with India being the beneficiary of Sri Lanka’s port facilities or rather transshipment activities. She said …

Continue reading ‘US Ambassador Alaina B.Teplitz Urges Sri Lankan Govt to Come Up come up with a meaningful plan at the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’ »

Amnesty International Wants UK to Take Lead in Getting the UNHRC to Pass a Strong Resolution Against Sri Lanka Urging Full Implementation of Key Proposals in UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet’s Report

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the International Human Rights Organization Amnesty International) The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must take urgent steps to address the worsening human rights situation in Sri Lanka Amnesty International said today, following the release of a damning UN report on the country’s efforts to ensure accountability for crimes …

Continue reading ‘Amnesty International Wants UK to Take Lead in Getting the UNHRC to Pass a Strong Resolution Against Sri Lanka Urging Full Implementation of Key Proposals in UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet’s Report’ »

“The US believes partnerships between countries should be open, transparent and mutually beneficial. And, if this is what embodies Sri Lanka’s relationship with China, we continue to encourage it,” – US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz

By Asiri Fernando A level playing field and working with diverse partners could see more beneficial foreign investment come in to Sri Lanka, US Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz said yesterday. The US Ambassador made the comments at a roundtable discussion held online, the first such discussion since the Biden administration …

Continue reading ‘“The US believes partnerships between countries should be open, transparent and mutually beneficial. And, if this is what embodies Sri Lanka’s relationship with China, we continue to encourage it,” – US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz’ »

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet Comes Down Hard on Sri Lanka in Report to the UNHRC; Proposes Referral to International Criminal Court, Invocation of Universal Jurisdiction for Crimes and Targeted Sanctions Such as Asset Freezes and Travel Bans Against Alleged Human Rights Violators

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has expressed strong criticism of the prevailing human rights situation in Sri Lanka and urged member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to consider imposing punitive measures on the country including a referral to the International Criminal Court. The UN Human Rights Commissioner …

Continue reading ‘UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet Comes Down Hard on Sri Lanka in Report to the UNHRC; Proposes Referral to International Criminal Court, Invocation of Universal Jurisdiction for Crimes and Targeted Sanctions Such as Asset Freezes and Travel Bans Against Alleged Human Rights Violators’ »

Four Persons Aboard Indian Fishing Boat Killed in Mid Sea Collision with Sri Lankan Navy Vessel: Strong Demarche Issued by External Affairs Ministry to Sri Lankan Acting High Commissioner in New Delhi; Indian Envoy Lodges Strong Protest to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister in Colombo

(Text of Press Statement issued on January 21st 2021 in New Delhi by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Regarding the incident involving loss of lives of Indian fishermen) We are shocked at the unfortunate loss of lives of three Indian fishermen and one Sri Lankan national following a collision between their vessel and a …

Continue reading ‘Four Persons Aboard Indian Fishing Boat Killed in Mid Sea Collision with Sri Lankan Navy Vessel: Strong Demarche Issued by External Affairs Ministry to Sri Lankan Acting High Commissioner in New Delhi; Indian Envoy Lodges Strong Protest to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister in Colombo’ »

Allegations About a Massive 10 Billion Rupee Sugar Tax Cut Fraud and the Govt’s Failure to Offer an Explanation Could Tarnish the Reputation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya

The apolitical National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday that the failure on the part of the Government to explain the massive fraud of Rs. 10 billion that had allegedly taken place due to the cut in the sugar tax was a serious blow to the confidence that the people of …

Continue reading ‘Allegations About a Massive 10 Billion Rupee Sugar Tax Cut Fraud and the Govt’s Failure to Offer an Explanation Could Tarnish the Reputation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Says Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’ »

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Appoints three-member commission to Probe findings of the preceding Commissions and Committees that probed human rights violations and identify what progress has been made in the implementation of their recommendations in terms of the existing law.

By Chandani Kirinde President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a three-member commission to identify the findings of the preceding Commissions and Committees that probed human rights violations and what progress has been made in the implementation of their recommendations in terms of the existing law and what further steps need to be taken in line with …

Continue reading ‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Appoints three-member commission to Probe findings of the preceding Commissions and Committees that probed human rights violations and identify what progress has been made in the implementation of their recommendations in terms of the existing law.’ »

“And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.”-46th US President Joe R. Biden jnr

(Text of Inaugural Address by US President Joe R Biden on January 20th 2021) Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans. This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for …

Continue reading ‘“And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.”-46th US President Joe R. Biden jnr’ »

“I am the counsel who appeared for Hon. Ranjan Ramanayake in the supreme court.I was privileged to appear for a clean, honest politician in a court and I am proud of that”- M. A. Sumanthiran MP

(Text of Intervention made in Parliament by TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran regarding Ranjan Ramanayake MP) ……..I want to flag one or two issues concerning the responsibility of the parliament in this regard. But before I do that I am bound by law and tradition to disclose my interest in the matter. I am …

Continue reading ‘“I am the counsel who appeared for Hon. Ranjan Ramanayake in the supreme court.I was privileged to appear for a clean, honest politician in a court and I am proud of that”- M. A. Sumanthiran MP’ »

India to Begin Supplying COVID-19 Vaccines from Jan 20th to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles While Awaiting Confirmation of Necessary Regulatory Clearances to do so from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius.

(Text of Press Release Issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo on January 19th 2021) 1. The Government of India has received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries. In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to use India’s vaccine …

Continue reading ‘India to Begin Supplying COVID-19 Vaccines from Jan 20th to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles While Awaiting Confirmation of Necessary Regulatory Clearances to do so from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius.’ »

Tamil political parties, members of the Tamil victim communities and Tamil civil society organizations write Joint Letter to 47 Member States of UN Human Rights Council Requesting a new Course of Action Regarding Sri Lanka Including the setting up of an International Independent Investigatory Mechanism

(Text of Letter sent to all heads of missions of 47 Member states represented in the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) by leaders of Tamil national political parties, members of the Tamil victim communities and Tamil civil society organizations) 15 January 2021 Heads of Missions Missions of the 47 Member States represented in the UN …

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“Collapse of Joseph Pararajasingham murder case is a failure of justice in Sri Lanka” States Amnesty International.

(Text of Press Release Issued by Amnesty International on 13 January 2021) Responding to the acquittal today of MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and four others in the 2005 assassination of Tamil MP Joseph Pararajasingham, following an announcement by the Attorney General’s Office that it would be dropping the charges against the suspects, David Griffiths, Director of …

Continue reading ‘“Collapse of Joseph Pararajasingham murder case is a failure of justice in Sri Lanka” States Amnesty International.’ »

Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Situation has Seriously Deteriorated under the Administration of President Gotabaya Rajapaks States “Human Rights Watch” in its World Report 2021.

(Text of Chapter about Sri Lanka in Country Reports Section titled “Sri Lanka:Events of 2020″in the annual “Human Rights Watch” 2021 World Report 2021) Fundamental human rights protections in Sri Lanka came under serious jeopardy following Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as president in November 2019. In February 2020, Sri Lanka withdrew its commitments to truth seeking, …

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Situation has Seriously Deteriorated under the Administration of President Gotabaya Rajapaks States “Human Rights Watch” in its World Report 2021.’ »

Evolution of Agriculture and the ‘Thaipongal’ Tamil Harvest Festival

By Thulasi Muttulingam The Tamil month of Thai was ushered in on Monday Jan 14. It marks the end of the harvesting season of rice for the Tamil farmers who will be celebrating that harvest with their famous festival of Thai Pongal. Pongal means ‘boiling over’. To signify that they have had a bountiful harvest, …

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” We insist that all those responsible for the destruction of the monument apologize unreservedly and that it be reconstructed immediately.”- M.A.Sumanthiran MP

(Text of a Statement issued by Jaffna District MP and Tamil National Alliance Spokesperson Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran PC on the demolition of the memorial monument at the University of Jaffna ) The demolition of the memorial monument in the University of Jaffna is an act of savagery that cannot be condoned by any right thinking …

Continue reading ‘” We insist that all those responsible for the destruction of the monument apologize unreservedly and that it be reconstructed immediately.”- M.A.Sumanthiran MP’ »

‘Thai Pongal’ the Harvest Festival of Tamils

By P. Krishnaswamy After the Christmas and New Year festivities, the focus is now on the Pongal harvest festival, popularly known as Thai Pongal, celebrated in the first four days of the month of Thai in the Tamil-Hindu calendar. Traditionally, it is the festival of farmers who depend on Mother Earth, the sun, rain, other …

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Three-member bench of the Supreme Court Sentences Samagi Jana Balawegaya Gampaha District MP Ranjan Ramanayake to four years rigorous imprisonment Finding him guilty to a charge of contempt of court.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court yesterday sentenced Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Gampaha District MP Ranjan Ramanayake to four years rigorous imprisonment after finding him guilty to a charge of contempt of court. The Bench comprised Justice Sisira J. de Abrew, Vijith K. Malagoda and Padman Surasena. “We convict him for the offence of …

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President Rajapaksa Appoints eight-member Presidential Task Force Headed by Presidential adviser Lalith Weeratunga to Implement the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 vaccine .

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed an eight-member Presidential Task Force for National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 vaccine which will be headed by Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga. Its other members are Secretary, Health Ministry Secretary Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, State Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control …

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US Justice Dept Charges Three Sri Lankan Nationals With Suspected ISIS Links For Alleged Involvement in Terrorist Attacks on April 21st 2019 that Killed 268 Persons Including 5 US Citizens and Injured Over 500.

(Text of Press Release No 21-29 Issued by the US Department of Justice,Office of Public Affairs on January 8th 2021) The Justice Department announced today that three Sri Lankan citizens have been charged with terrorism offenses, including conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (ISIS). The men were part of a …

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Ahimsa ,Daughter of Slain Sri Lankan Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge Files Complaint against the Government of Sri Lanka with the United Nations Human Rights Committee on 12th Anniversary of her Father’s Assassination

(Text of Press Release issued by the Center for Jutice and Accountability on January 8, 2021) The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP—acting on behalf of Ahimsa Wickrematunge, the daughter of acclaimed Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge—filed a complaint today against the Government of Sri Lanka with the United Nations …

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“It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled. That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.” -Indian Foreign Minister Dr.S.Jaishankar

(Text of Remarks made by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr.Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the Joint Press Conference held in Colombo with his Sri Lankan minister of Foreign relations Mr.Dinesh Gunawardena on January 6th 2021) My esteemed colleague and friend the Honourable Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Dinesh Gunawardenaji, Senior officials, Friends from media, Good afternoon. Let …

Continue reading ‘“It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled. That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.” -Indian Foreign Minister Dr.S.Jaishankar’ »

2020 was the year of doctors. Which profession would it be in 2021?

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray One year ago, so-called astrologers took to two television stations to tell the nation what to expect in 2020. A person going by the name Chandrasiri Bandara explained that the stars were so moved by political developments in Sri Lanka that 2020 would be an extraordinarily prosperous year. At the same …

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Muslims in Sri Lanka;Unwanted, dead or alive -The Economist

The government is forcibly cremating Muslims who die of covid-19 Outside a hospital in southern Sri Lanka on December 22nd, a handful of Muslim men bowed their heads against the rain, chanting prayers as an unpolished coffin was loaded into an ambulance. They were given just minutes to pay their respects to the deceased, who, …

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‘Abolishing provincial councils is like playing with fire.You cannot develop the country when the sentiments of minority communities are hurt,’ Warns Former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

by Meera Srinivasan Former President Maithripala Sirisena, who broke away from the Rajapaksas and secured a historic election win in 2015, is back with the Rajapaksa brothers, sitting with their Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna [SLPP or People’s Front] in Parliament — ruling party with 145 seats in the 225-member legislature — since the August 2020 …

Continue reading ‘‘Abolishing provincial councils is like playing with fire.You cannot develop the country when the sentiments of minority communities are hurt,’ Warns Former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

The Gotabaya regime is mimicking Trump/Netanyahu by boosting the hardcore chauvinist base by pandering to its worst prejudices and maintaining rigidly hawkish policies.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The ultranationalist Buddhist clergy has commenced a two-pronged campaign: (a) against burials and for cremation of COVID-19 victims, a policy that is mandatory only in a handful of the UN’s 193 countries, and (b) against Provincial Councils and the holding of Provincial Council Elections before the promulgation of a new Constitution. Justice …

Continue reading ‘The Gotabaya regime is mimicking Trump/Netanyahu by boosting the hardcore chauvinist base by pandering to its worst prejudices and maintaining rigidly hawkish policies.’ »

Controversy over the “anti-COVID-19” potion popularly dubbed “Dhammika Paniya” Raises Questions Regarding its Scientific Basis, Concepts of Indigenous Medicine and Association With Goddess Kali

By P.K.Balachandran The controversy over the “anti-COVID-19” potion popularly dubbed “Dhammika Paniya” after its discoverer and promoter Dhammika Bandara, a Shaman at the Sri Weera Badra Kali Devalaya in Hettimulla, Kegalle, has three aspects. Firstly, questions are being asked about the scientific basis of the potion as per Western standards of inquiry. Secondly, there are …

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The matter of devolution and provincial councils has been on the political anvil in this country for a long time and is not a foreign imposition but a home grown one.

By Dr. Nrmala Chandrahasan The Provincial Councils, like the windmills in Cervante’s Don Quixote, are having brickbats thrown at, and cantankerous knights tilting at them. In this piece I would like to answer some of the criticisms made against the Provincial Councils. But before I do so I note that the Prime Minister has announced …

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Tamil Film superstar Rajinikanth opting out of electoral politics in due to his delicate health brings Tamil Nadu politics back to square one.

By P.K.Balachandran Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s declaration on Tuesday that he is opting out of electoral politics in view of his delicate health, has brought Tamil Nadu politics back to square one. The South India State will remain a bastion on Dravidianism, Tamil nationalism, secularism and social justice, with the main contestants being the two Tamil …

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Tamil Cinema Superstar Rajinikanth says he will neither enter politics nor launch a new political party

Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth Tuesday announced that he would not be entering politics owing to his ill health and the pandemic situation. His announcement came two days before he was to reveal details of the launch of his political party. In a three-page statement on Twitter, the actor expressed regret and said it pained him to make …

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Full text of Tamil Cinema Super Star Rajinikanth’s letter explaining why he is not entering politics as announced earlier

Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth Tuesday announced that he would not be entering politics owing to his ill health and the pandemic situation. In a three-page statement on Twitter, the actor expressed regret and said it pained him to make such an announcement after having said he would contest the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2021. Here’s the …

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2020 Data shows No Emergency: Why is WHO promoting Covid-19 vaccines in Tropical countries?

By Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake The currently available Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use. This is due to what has been termed a Health Emergency as winter advances and Covid-19 cases spike in the northern hemisphere or Euro-America. Highly advertised Covid-19 vaccines are being produced rolled out by powerful Pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies headquartered …

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The promise of ‘prosperity and splendour,’ the very basis on which President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and his Government was brought into power, has been badly betrayed by its flag bearers

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene After relentless political patronage of a covid-healing ‘miracle’ syrup brewed by a ‘kapurala,’ (keeper of a temple cum witch doctor), who chants that he is possessed by the Goddess Kali, it is the height of unseemly irony for Sri Lanka’s Health Services Director to threaten legal action against the ‘kapurala’ and …

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All State Employees Have to Begin the New Year 2021 by Taking an Oath to Serve the Public and to Implement President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto — “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour “

When state employees begin their work on January 1, 2021 (next Friday), they will be taking a fresh oath not only vowing to serve the public but also to implement President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto — “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour “. This will be a new inclusion to the affirmation of the public service. …

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“The denial of the right of the Muslim people to dispose of their dead bodies in keeping with the tenets of their religion is a violation of their fundamental right and should not continue” – TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called on the Government to discuss the issue of mandatory cremation of bodies of those who succumb to COVID-19 with Muslim leaders and come to a reasonable and just decision without any further delay. “The denial of the right of the Muslim people to dispose of their dead bodies …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Says Provincial Council elections will be held when the ground situation in the country is conducive to go ahead with the polls;“We cannot make predictions but remain optimistic of holding the elections when the coast is clear” States Prime Minister

by Norman Palihawadana The government is contemplating holding the Provincial Council elections when the ground situation in the country is conducive to go ahead with the polls, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Friday. He was responding to a query on whether the government has reached a decision on pushing ahead with the polls as …

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China Re – thinking Xi’s ‘project of the century’; Chinese overseas lending has fallen sharply leading to a reassessment of the Belt and Road Initiative

by James Kynge in Hong Kong and Jonathan Wheatley in London It has not taken long for the wheels to come off the Belt and Road Initiative. As recently as May 2017, China’s leader Xi Jinping stood in Beijing before a hall of nearly 30 heads of state and delegates from over 130 countries and …

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“Honestly, it is India that has to demonstrate goodwill by putting an end to their fishermen’s trespassing activities” Says Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister and Jaffna District MP Douglas Devananda

By Meera Srinivasan Citing India’s request for the release of fishermen recently arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on the charge of illegal fishing, Sri Lanka on Wednesday said it is India that needs to demonstrate goodwill by preventing its fishermen from trespassing into Sri Lankan waters. Addressing a press conference in Vavuniya in the …

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Ordinary Sinhalese who internalised hate-driven propaganda which they had been fed for decades must finally understand that the politics of inequality is a hell brew visiting the majority as well

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene As the ‘annus horribilis’ that was 2020 winds its way to a close, waves of racism, chauvinism and fear mongering unleashed on the people by this Government’s tom-tom beaters, including electronic media moghuls fattened by ill gotten gains, continue unabated. That these ugly forces will inevitably go beyond the point of …

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National Audit Office Report Exposes Massive Fraud by Certain National Fertilizer Secretariat Employees who have Released “Failed Fertilizer Stocks” After Making Files Disappear and Substituting Fake Reports in Place of Genuine Laboratory Test Reports

By Namini Wijedasa Certain National Fertiliser Secretariat (NFS) employees have been permitting the release of “failed fertiliser stocks” — with lead, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and other components above permissible levels — by replacing accurate laboratory test reports with fake ones, the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed in an explosive report. Recent audit checks revealed …

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National Archives Dept’s Dynamic Director General Dr. Nadeera Rupesinghe May be Removed From Office Unfairly Through Cabinet Paper by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Following Witch Hunt by Vested Interests Against Her

By Namini Wijedasa The Department of National Archives is embroiled in controversy over allegations that copies of historical Dutch records in the custody of the institution have been sold to outsiders. The accusations mostly target the Department’s Director General, Nadeera Rupesinghe, a young historian educated in the Netherlands, who senior staff insist has been tirelessly …

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The Lanka Samasamaja Party, the oldest political party in the country celebrates its 85th anniversary

by Vijaya Kumar The Lanka Samasamaja Party, the oldest political party in the country celebrates its 85th anniversary on December 18, 2020. The Party grew out of its Youth Leagues which played a prominent part in the ‘Suriya-Mal’ movement – an alternative for indigenous ex-servicemen as against the Poppy Day where funds collected were for …

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