National Co-existence Ministry Under Mano Ganesan Publishes BookTitled “People of Sri Lanka”About 19 Ethnic Groups Living in the Island.

The launching ceremony for a book titled ‘People of Sri Lanka’ published by the Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH this week. The book, which contains the details of 19 ethnic groups living in Sri Lanka as well as their cultures …

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“Joint Opposition stands for ‘Unitary State, Supremacy of Parliament,Security of the State and opposes hunt of Our Heroic Soldiers”-Dinesh Tells Jeffrey Feltman

“Joint Opposition stands for ‘Unitary State, Supremacy of our Parliament & Security of the State’ and JO opposes the hunt of Our Heroic Soldiers” – Dinesh Gunawardena informs Jeffrey Feltman “Sri Lanka is a Sovereign & Independent state working along as a UN member, and we have had very good relations in many fields. It …

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How the “Ceylon” Tamils From Sri Lanka Contributed to Singapore Over The Years

By Ajit Kanagasundram The world today is desperate to attract foreign talent. Thirty percent of Silicon Valley startups are by Indians, and the same percentage is true of Microsoft employees, NASA employees and US physicians. Canada and Australia have long had a point system to attract talent and the US and the UK are thinking …

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BJP Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind elected 14th President of India

Ram Nath Kovind was elected India’s new president Thursday, the second time since independence a head of state has been chosen from the bottom of the Hindu caste system. The first Dalit President was K.R.Narayanan, who as the 10th.President of India, served from 1997 to 2002. Kovind won the largely ceremonial position with more than …

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26 Year Old Indian Girl From Chennai Detained and Questioned in Sri Lanka for Wearing Dress With Buddha Print on it.

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka police on Monday detained and questioned an Indian tourist who was wearing a dress with a print of the Buddha on it. Wearing the image of the Buddha remains a sensitive matter in the island where a majority practise Buddhism. In 2014, a British tourist was deported for sporting a …

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Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Unravelled in Forthcomig Book Authored By Kusal Perera Titled “RAJAPAKSA”.

By Taylor Dibbert Well-known Sri Lankan Political analyst and journalist Kusal Perera has written a book about former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa titled “Rajapaksa”. Freelance Journalist Taylor Dibbert Interviews the author about “Rajapaksa” and related matters. Excerpts- Question: Your book “Rajapaksa” will be released soon. Would you tell us a bit about it? Answer;

Mahinda Was An Aberration But Maithripala Is An Authentic Leader Of the True SLFP.

By Vishwamithra 1984 “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ William Faulkner Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), although purported to be following the Bandaranaike policies and principles, basically consists of socialized economic principles and hard nationalism bordering on extremism. Its fundamental appeal has been to …

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Wimal Weerawansa’s NFF Pulls Out of Constitution Making Process While rest of Mahinda Rajapaksa Loyalists Continue to Remain

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa The Joint Opposition (JO) consisting of SLFP and UPFA dissidents loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa broke into two factions yesterday after one of its main partners, the National Freedom Front (NFF) opted to pull out of the new constitution making process. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa has informed Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in writing …

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“Govt Has No Issues With UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s Visit and Report on Sri Lanka says cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne

President Maithripala Sirisena sought clarification from his Cabinet of Ministers on the procedure through which Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson obtained clearance to meet detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Cabinet Co-spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne told the media yesterday. However, he insisted that the Government had not found fault with …

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If Federalism Is To Be Introduced Because It Is Good, Then Why Not Explain That To The People?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka If you say one thing and do quite another, that’s deceit. If you stick one label on something but sell quite another, then that’s fraud – a criminal act. Going by what TNA’s MP M.A.Sumanthiran has said on the record, that’s exactly what the new Constitution is intended to do. The TNA …

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New Ministry of Human Rights Under Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Must Be Created To Deal With The UNHRC

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka “They are commitments that Sri Lanka voluntarily undertook in the light of 70 years of experience of Transitional Justice since the Nuremberg trials…” -Ben Emmerson QC, UN Special Rapporteur One of the 2 resolutions adopted at the 5th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council on the 18th of …

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Full Statement by Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, at the conclusion of his official visit

Full Statement by Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, at the conclusion of his official visit Preliminary findings of the visit to Sri Lanka Colombo (14 July 2017), The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Mr. Ben Emmerson, visited …

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Birth and Death of the Anti-Corruption Secretariat

By Kavindya Chris Thomas Last Thursday (13) Co-Cabinet Spokesman, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, addressing the Cabinet media briefing, said that the Anti-Corruption Secretariat had not delivered on its promises. This was in response to a question which was raised regarding extending the Anti-Corruption Secretariat’s term which expired on 30 June. “The government spent Rs 65 million …

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Five Policemen Accused of Killing Two Jaffna Undergrads Want Their Case Transferred Out of North and east.

By S.S. Selvanayagam The Court of Appeals on Monday granted another date for five police officers who had been arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students to file a counter objection on 3 August in regard to their appeal. The accused police officers are seeking the court to transfer their case …

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Protesting Villagers Attack Police Post in North After Youth From Area Dies in Shooting by Police in Point Pedro region.

Hundreds of villagers protested near Pointpedro over the police shooting of a young worker. The town is situated on the northern-most point of the Jaffna Peninsula, where the Tamil residents were the victims of racist police violence and killings in 1984. Yogarajah Thinesh, a 24-year-old man from Thunnalai village, was killed on Sunday evening while …

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Sri Lanka should not shut itself to international scrutiny as Mr Rajapaksa did.

By Ranga Jayasuriya Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, who visited Colombo last week criticized Sri Lanka for the slow pace of the transitional justice process and warned that the international community was running out of patience. He demanded that the government repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act, but …

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Tamara Kunanayakam Receives “Inspirational Woman of the Year”Award.

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Tamara Kunanayakam was the recipient of ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’Award in this year’s ‘Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards’ organized by Women in Management, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group. The 50 winners from Sri Lanka and the Maldives received their awards at a …

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UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson Q.C. Wants ” A New Order” in Sri Lanka

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson QC, a British national, was newsworthy in the extreme. Firstly, it exposed the promise made by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to appoint a Special Prosecutor. This promise is stated in the official statement issued by Emmerson, which is …

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Despite Difficulties UNP and SLFP Will Continue with National Govt Emphasises Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

By Yohan Perera Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today stressed the need to continue the national government with the participation of the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) despite the difficulties. He said this at the foundation-stone-laying-ceremony for the Viyathpura Green Professional City in Pannipitiya last morning.

Media and Political Strategist Krishantha Prasad Cooray Takes Over as Lake House Chairman.

Media and political strategist Krishantha Prasad Cooray has been appointed as the Chairman of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon (Lake House), succeeding Kavan Ratnayaka. He will assume duties at Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd On Tuesday July 18th. The new appointment is in addition to Cooray being the Chairman of Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc, the owning …

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Top Professional Kavan Ratnayake Appointed Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

Top professional Kavan Ratnayaka has taken over as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), succeeding industry veteran Paddy Withana. Ratnayaka was previously the Chairman Associated Newspapers of Ceylon (ANCL). The SLTDA is the successor to the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Formed as the apex body for Sri Lanka Tourism under Section …

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Perennial Failure of Justice is Because of Politicised Investigations and Prosecutions.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene When disreputable elements engage in fear-mongering, one can only react with disdain. That said, this is a time where the line between the reputable and the disreputable runs very thin on the ground. Therefore it may be conceded that these are distinctions veritably without a difference. Sensible rationale not reflected Nonetheless, …

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Blatant Mahinda, Betraying Ranil, and Blame-master Maithri Comprise Vicious Political Triangle

by Rajan Philips They are the three corners of Sri Lanka’s vicious political triangle. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are nothing if they are not blatant about everything. They defeated the LTTE, so they can do no wrong. They will return to power, they insist, and rule for ever, no matter what. If and when …

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When Current Crisis Explodes Rajapaksas Will Take Over the SLFP and Break Up the UNP.

by Tisaranee Gunasekara “People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”Franklin Roosevelt (The State of the Union Address, 1944) This is not fiddling while Rome burns. This is taking ‘selfies’ on the railway track ignoring the hurtling express train. No government can remain eternally popular. Governments, …

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Sirisena Gets Cold Feet as Presidential Hot Seat Starts to Heat up , Rattle and Rumble

By Don Manu Well, as they say, better late than never. Especially when one realises that one’s 5 year tenure on the nation’s throne has reached the half way mark, giving rise to a mid life crisis as the leaves of one’s popularity start to fall with the coming of Autumn. Last week’s President Sirisena’s …

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War Heroes or Criminals? Probing Alleged Corruption of Defence Services Top Brass.

By C.A. Chandraprema The former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P.Dassanayake was arrested last week on charges of causing the disappearance of 11 persons in 2008. Dassanayake, a highly decorated Naval officer who played a major role in the war, is the latest high ranking armed forces officer to be arrested under the present government. After January …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa:The Man and his Vision

By Abdul Samad As we approach the half-way point of the term with unity government, it is clear beyond any doubt that the administration has failed in all aspects including the foremost touted political and ethnic reconciliation process. A rotten capital market, uncontrollable inflation, and absolutely pathetic fiscal/economic policy, corrupt politicians and legislators, inefficient bloated …

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Champika Ranawaka and Jathika Hela Urumaya “Connected” to Gnanasara Thero and Bodu Bala Sena.

by C.A.Chandraprema Even though police teams are supposedly scouring the country for him, the monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara has not been arrested as this goes to press. He is supposed to appear in courts tomorrow but it seems unlikely that he will. He has evaded two court appearances already and if he was going to make …

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Govt Will Go Ahead With Counter -Terror Law Declares Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

By Chandani Kirinde The Government will not take instructions from the United Nations on how the new Counter-Terrorism Bill is drafted and will go ahead with the bill approved by the Cabinet, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said yesterday. “The laws have to be made here and they have to be approved by our Parliament. We …

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CID Completes Investigations in Many Cases But No Action Taken Due to Delays in Attorney-General’s Dept

In the case of investigations carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), a delay on the part of the Attorney General’s Department has been listed as the reason why no action has been taken. According to a note prepared by the CID, those cases include the following: • Date of complaint; January 14, 2015 …

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Predatory Microfinance Loans With Exorbitant Interest Rates Make People of Batticaloa Fall Into Terrible Debt Trap.

By Meera Srinivasan (*Some names have been changed on request) People in Batticaloa, one of the poorest districts in Sri Lanka, are badly hit by ‘predatory’ microfinance loans with exorbitant interest rates “First, it was the tsunami that destroyed our community. Then came the war. Now, it’s microfinance.” That is how Jesudasan Rajitha describes the …

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18 SLFP Ministers and Deputy Ministers Ready to Quit Govt But President Asks them to Stay on Till Dec 31st.

By Niranjala Ariyawansha The 18 dissident Sri Lanka Freedom Party Ministers, Deputy and State Ministers in the Unity Government, who have said they were considering whether they should remain in, or quit the Government, will within this week take their crucial ‘remain or exit ‘ decision. One of the dissidents, Minister of Labour and Trade …

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Enactment of new Counter-Terror Law in a Country That Has Eradicated Terrorism Seems Ridiculous.

By M. M. Zuhair (The writer is a President’s Counsel and a former Member of Parliament. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect on the positions presently or previously held by the writer) For decades nations guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and similar international human rights and humanitarian laws have been …

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More Details About the Heated Argument Between Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ben Emmerson.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with Ben Emmerson, QC, Special Rapporteur at the onset of a meeting over latter leveling unsubstantiated allegations at law enforcement authorities and the judiciary. Emmerson had a series of meetings over the past few days after his unexpected encounter with the Justice …

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UN Special Rapporteur Warns of “Dire Consequences” if UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka is Not Fully Implemented.

by Shamindra Ferdinando Alleging that ‘retrograde elements in the security establishment and their allies’ in the government were trying to undermine post-war reconciliation process, the UN yesterday warned Sri Lanka of dire consequences unless the government fully implemented Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration in Oct 2015. The warning was given by Ben …

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Board of Investment(BOI)Chairman and Directors Resign Following Directive from President Sirisena.

The entire Board of Directors of the country’s main investment promotion agency resigned yesterday following a directive from President Maithripala Sirisena. Sources said the move was to facilitate an overhaul including the appointment of a new Board of Directors. The BOI Board comprised Chairman Upul Jayasuriya PC, Buddhi Keerthi Athauda, Manoj Cooray, M.A. Neeth Udesha …

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Court Restrains Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera From Using Narahenpita Abhayaramaya For Political,Trade Union and Commercial Activities

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Colombo District Court issued an Interim Injunction preventing Chief Incumbent Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera from utilising Narahenpita Abhayarama temple property for political, commercial and trade union activities, today. This order will be effective until the final determination of this lawsuit. Colombo District Court Judge Sujeewa Nissanka made this order consequent to …

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“Range of Consequences Could Befall Sri Lanka When International Community Reaches End of Its Patience”- Ben Emmerson

By Chathuri Dissanayake Giving a damning report on Sri Lanka’s failure to take adequate action against human rights violations during the conflict and amend the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), United Nations Special Untitled-1Rapporteur on Human Rights and Countering Terrorism Ben Emmerson yesterday warned that the international community is running out of patience and called …

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396 Women of North and East Call For Ending Impunity and Ensuring Non-Recurrence of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in Sri Lanka

Women of North and East Call For Ending Impunity and Ensuring Non-Recurrence of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in Sri Lanka “We, as conflict affected women and victims, have searched for disappeared loved ones and witnessed thousands of others searching for their loved ones. Many have gone before numerous state initiatives including several commissions of inquiry …

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TNA Will Meet Buddhist Maha Nayakes only After Interim Report of New Constitution is Released says Sumanthiran MP.

By P.K.Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the principal Tamil grouping in Sri Lanka, has denied media reports that it is planning to meet the Mahanayakes or the High Priests of Buddhism in Sri Lanka soon, to explain to them the need for a new Sri Lankan constitution to devolve power to the provinces so …

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Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Has Heated Argument With UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with visiting UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Ben Emmerson, QC, over UN intervention here as regards promotion and protection of human rights. Sri Lanka in December 2015 extended a standing invitation to the UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders. …

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“Buddhists Should Protest Against Giving Foremost Place to Buddhism in Constitution” Says M.A. Sumanthiran MP in Interview.

By Kelum Bandara The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP for the Jaffna District M.A. Sumanthiran, in an interview with the Daily Mirror stressed the point that the bill to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance should be enacted. He said enforced disappearance of persons is a …

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Sumanthiran MP Personally Petitions Supreme Court Seeking Interim Order Against Mittal Pre-fab Housing Project in Sri Lanka

By Meera Srinivasan A Tamil parliamentarian on Thursday challenged a proposed housing project of steel maker ArcelorMittal in the Supreme Court, questioning both its suitability for the post-war region and the government’s tendering process. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran petitioned the court seeking an interim order against the project, which has …

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Rape Pornography Industry “invades” Sri Lanka with Gruesome Murder of Pungudutheevu Schoolgirl Vithya.

BY FAIZER SHAHEID The gruesome rape and murder of Vithya Sivaloganathan in 2015 is hardly discussed anymore, even among the activists who laboured and campaigned vigorously to have the perpetrators arrested, at least, not outside of the North where the entire ordeal took place. However, the case filed in the Jaffna High Court has progressed …

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Faltering “Yahapalanaya”Govt Unable So Far To Deliver What it Promised.

Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to meet the Mahanayakes of the Buddhist Sangha in Kandy proved premature and it disturbed the continuity of discussions within the Constitutional Council: Because both the President and the Prime Minister denied that parties in the government have agreed on a framework for the Constitution. This was really the …

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How and why Mahinda Rajapaksa Lost the 2015 Presidential Elections

By Gomin Dayasri The UNP, written off as a party of the past, till the Badulla Provincial Council election showed it’s result; Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) rejoiced ruling the majority Sinhala voters, as he pleased. They standing firmly behind him. Results showed, in predominantly Sinhala electorates with a diminutive minority vote, where extreme Sinhala activists like …

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Banning the Maha Sangha From Politics is a Logical Necessity But Prevailing Conditions Wont Allow It.

By VISHWAMITHRA 1984 “An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.” -Mark Twain Ivor Jennings, who was primarily responsible for drafting our Constitution upon gaining Independence from the British, handed us a secular constitution. Multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural as Ceylon was then and now is, the Jennings Constitution safeguarded certain rights …

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Sri Lankan Govt Adopts Policy of Appeasement Towards Buddhist Clergy Hierarchy.

By K. Ratnayake Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena met with the country’s chief Buddhist priests in Kandy last Friday to assure them no constitutional changes would be made without their consent. The top priests, from all the Buddhist groupings, had issued a series of demands last Tuesday aimed at whipping up Sinhala Buddhist supremacism. Their …

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Angelo Mathews Tenders Resignation as Captain Following Lanka’s Defeat at the Hands of Zimbabwe.

By Champika Fernando Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews has tendered his resignation as captain of the national side from all three formats. Mathews resignation comes in the wake of the recent defeat to Zimbabwe in the five-match limited over series, where the tourists recorded country’s first-ever series win against the Islanders, beating them 3-2. Mathews …

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Dambulla Cave Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site Closed to Local and Foreign Tourists Until Further Notice.

The Archeological Advisory Council, which met yesterday, decided to temporarily close the Dambulla Cave Temple complex to local and foreign tourists, until further notice. “The Council held an in-depth discussion on the necessity to conserve the paintings and wooden statues of the Dambula Cave Temple. The Council also decided to seek the assistance of local …

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Bhutan Sandwiched Between China and India is Like a Yam Between Two Boulders.

by Nirupama Rao It is said of Bhutan that it walks between giants. Its geo-strategic situation makes it a hugely important country, however. Sandwiched between India and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, it has succeeded admirably in preserving its national identity, its rich cultural and spiritual heritage, and in advancing the development of its …

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Core Philosophy That Animated President Premadasa’s Foreign Policy

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “How can legitimate governments, deriving their sovereignty from their people, accept fetters on their freedom from outside? We must be alert to the danger of a new colonialism, wrapped in spurious moral considerations, emanating from alien cultures.” – – ( President Premadasa, Address to the opening session of the 6th SAARC Summit, …

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If The Rajapaksas Are Brought To Book, Much Of The Current Protests Would Stop

By Ranga Jayasuriya During much of his political life, ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa was a shrewd street fighter. Recently he has also proved what an accomplished puppeteer he is too. In many recent incidents, ranging from the mini-riot in Hambantota over the proposed export zone, to SAITM and the recent ill-advised intervention by the Mahanayakas, Mr …

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Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Regime Is Suffering From Stress Induced Migraine

By Frances Bulathsinghala The Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe regime in Sri Lanka is suffering from a stress induced migraine since its election in 2015, triggered by strikes from trade unions against foreign assisted development projects, strikes by doctors against a controversial private medical college, and the shadow of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, suffered yet another attack …

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Rajapaksa Family Members to Face Indictments in Ten Selected “Strong” Cases of Alleged Corruption Within next Three Months.

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON The most heated Cabinet meeting ever since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in 2015 took place last Tuesday at the President’s Secretariat with the impatient President cracking the whip against his UNP coalition partners for inaction or rather lethargy shown in taking action against the former First Family. As for the …

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A “Visibly Angry” Sirisena, An “Irritated” Wickremesinghe and “Fireworks” in Cabinet About Alleged UNP Nexus with Rajapaksas.

By The “Sunday Times” Political Editor The first real sign that the two and half year old coalition — once dubbed harmoniously as the ‘National Unity Government’ — is cracking emerged last Tuesday.It surfaced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Secretariat. In a no-holds-barred speech, an angry President Maithripala Sirisena did not mince …

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Solution to SAITM Crisis Seems Closer Than Ever Due to Supreme Court Intervention.

by C.A.Chandraprema While the government seemed unable to come up with a solution for the SAITM crisis, a breakthrough in the impasse has come from an unexpected quarter – the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court allowing the GMOA to become an intervenient petitioner in the appeal filed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council, a …

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Ranil to Bring Clause in New Constitution Prohibiting Govt Intereference in Matters Concerning the Three Buddhist Nikayas.

By Yohan Perera Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday he would come up with a new proposal shortly to include provisions in the Constitution that would prohibit Governments from interfering with internal matters of three main Buddhist Chapters. The Prime Minister said this at the opening of the Weli Maluwa at Ruwan Weliseya in …

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Mangala Slams Mahinda and Rajapaksa Loyalists for Misleading Public and Besmirching the Good Name of the armed Forces.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and backed the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill, pointing out it would not be implemented with retrospective powers and would secure the rights of all Sri Lankan citizens in the future. Recapping Sri Lanka becoming a signatory to the UN International Convention …

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Bringing Police and Attorney-General Under President Sirisena Amounts to Aggrandizement of Executive Presidency Powers.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene An ongoing war of words between President Maithripala Sirisena and prominent Ministers in the United National Party (UNP) sums up in a nutshell what’s wrong with the seeming ‘unity’ alliance. Perturbingly, the ‘unity’ part is looking increasingly tattered as we go along. Public anger regarding dysfunctional law enforcement In one sense, …

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Why are the Three Buddhist Nikayas Hailing as Sacrosanct the very Same JR Jayewardene Constitution They De-cried Earlier?

By Don Manu It was the Venerable Sobitha Thera’s battle cry for real change; and the joint opposition candidate Sirisena’s spring board to power to gain the presidency and then turn it into a eunuch to serve the needs of a parliamentary harem. But the fondest hope of the noble monk to see Sirisena birth …

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UNESCO World Heritage Committee Wants Report on Conservation of Dambulla Cave Temple Submitted By Sri Lanka Before Dec 1st 2017

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON A fresh tug of war has erupted between State authorities and Bhikkhu hierarchies over the ownership of Golden Temple in Dambulla which is recognized as the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka with Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2) and 157 statues, being dropped off the list of …

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Investigations are Being Conducted Into the Activities of Two Non – Governmental Organizations Discloses Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The Government has decided to closely monitor all Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and has initiated measures to take action relating to activities of ‘certain civil society organizations’ which are acting against the State. The Government has also decided to scrap the abbreviation ‘NGOs’ and replace it with CSOs , an abbreviation …

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Stern Action is Called for Against Those Spreading Ethno-religious Hatred Through Social Media.

By Dr. Prasanna Cooray Enough is enough. This country has suffered a lot from a civil war fought on ethnic lines for nearly three decades. It left thousands dead including combatants and civilians caused irreparable damage to property, both private and public. The war cost us dear on the economic front as well. Furthermore, time …

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Lawyer Lakshan Dias Ready to Coach Justice Minister Rajapakshe on Reconciliation and Transitional Justice

By Shaahidah Riza Human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias asserted that he has factual evidence of churches being intimidated by hate groups and that he can, when necessary, produce evidence to support his claim. He went on to note that the mainstream media is biased and distorts facts, thus incidents of hate crimes are either under …

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Northern Mannar District to be Transformed Into Major Tourism Hub by Govt

Sri Lanka will transform a former war torn district in the north into a major tourism hub in the region, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement here Friday. The Ministry said it had identified the Mannar District for major tourism infrastructure development projects and already over Rs. 40 million had been spent on making …

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Sirisena and Wickremesinghe Finding it Difficult to Implement Commitments on New Constitution and International Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan government is in a bind over two important commitments it had solemnly made two years ago, one to the electorate of Sri Lanka, and the other to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Maithipala Sirisena and Ranil Wickemesinghe became Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister respectively by promising …

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Climate of Impunity Under Rajapaksa Regime is Alive and Kicking Under This Govt Too.

BY WINSTON DE VALLIERE On 13 June the Cabinet of Ministers issued a statement stating that the Government had directed law enforcement authorities and the Attorney General to take immediate action against instigators and perpetrators of violence and hate speech against religious and ethnic groups. The nation is holding its breath waiting for that incredible …

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“Fly me to the Moon”: Sri Lankas Aviation Fiasco and how Singapore Airlines Soared Under JYM Pillai of Jaffna

By Ajit Kanagasundram Our foray into aviation has been nothing short of disastrous except in the early years and getting worse with almost daily revelations of corruption and ineptitude. I have chosen the title “Fly me to the Moon” as a parody of Mrs Bandaranayake’s promise to bring rice from the moon and provide it …

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“Article 9 of Constitution Providing Foremost Place to Buddhism Wont be Amended”-Ranil Tells Parliament.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday assured the House that no steps will be taken to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, which has assured the foremost place and the duty of the State to protect and foster Buddha Sasana, while assuring the rights granted to all other religions by Article 10 and 14 (1) (e …

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Maha Sangha will be Consulted if and when New Constitution is Drafted Assures President Sirisena in Kandy.

By Cyril Wimalasurendre President Maithripala Sirisena assured the Maha Sangha of the three Nikayas in Kandy on Thursday (06) afternoon that there was no draft constitution. If a new Constitution was to be drafted it would be done only in consultation with the Maha Sanga and other stakeholders, President Maithripala Sirisena told a group of …

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MP from UNP Wants Govt to “Privatise” Universities of Peradeniya and Colombo and Turn Them Into Profit Making Institutions.

By Saman Indrajith A government’s move to remove the Universities of Colombo and Peradeniya from the purview of University Grants Commission (UGC) and turn them into profit earning institutions was disclosed at a recent meeting of the parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises), according to sources. The proposal was discussed at the …

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Central Bank Monetary Board Suspends Business Activities of Primary Dealer Perpetual Treasuries for Six Months.

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank yesterday suspended the business activities of controversial primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries for six months, effective immediately. The Central Bank, releasing a statement, said it was acting in terms of the regulations made under the Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance and the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Faults Courts for Suspending Disposal of Garbage in Places like Karadiyana and Muthurajawela.

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that courts issuing orders banning garbage disposal would lead to further spread of disease such as dengue and deaths of patients. Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, the Prime Minister said that there was no proper place to dump garbage collected …

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Supreme Court Stops Dumping of Garbage Within Muthurajawela Bird Sanctuary till July 20th

By Chitra Weerarathne The Supreme Court yesterday granted interim relief to 34 petitioners from Bopitiy by ordering that no garbage be dumped within the Muthurajawela bird sanctuary till July 20, the next date of calling of the fundamental rights violation petition against alleged pollution of the sanctuary. The petitioners are Rev. Father Ananda Withana of …

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Positive Initiatives Taken By Ordinary People to Repair Broken Jaffna Offer Change From Despair To Hope

By Devin Jayasundera For the last three months, Kamalnath, 26, has been arriving to work in Chunnakam two hours late, leaving two hours early and spending his free time at a friend’s home in Nallur. He works at his family’s fancy goods store, retailing beauty accoutrements like bangles, hairpins and the latest fairness creams. Chunnakam …

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In Defence of “The Lone Patriot” Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “A single spark can start a prairie fire.” (Mao) “I am alone with the people.” (Mao) Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe is the target of a fire-hose of criticism. What I find most interesting is where this criticism is coming from and the larger truth it obscures. The criticism comes from a network of …

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President Sirisena Appoints New Army Chief, Defence Secy, Secretary to the President and Eastern Province Governor.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala has announced four major appointments mafe by him on July 3rd 2017. President Sirisena revealed details of the new appointmets to the world at large through his twitter account. The names of the new Army Commander, Defence Secretary, Secretary to the President and Eastern Province Governor were publicised by the President …

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Fishing Harbour and 54 Acres in Myliddy in Jaffna Returned to the People By the Sri Lankan Army After 27 Years.

By Meera Srinivasan The Sri Lankan army on Monday returned 54 acres of land in the fishing village of Myliddy in Jaffna peninsula to its original residents, after occupying it for nearly three decades. Consequently, about 200 families living in welfare centres for the war-affected and with friends and relatives returned to where they lived …

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“Sri Lanka is Only Country in the World to Have Three Cabinet Spokesmen who Give Three Versions of same Issue” -Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Anura Balasuriya reporting from Trincomalee The only thing the incumbent government did was to talk, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. It was trying to cover up its failure by blaming others, he added. Addressing a mammoth Joint Opposition (JO) rally at the Town Hall grounds in Trincomalee, the former President said not a …

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Mahanayake and Senior Mo nks of the Asgiriya Chapter Reject Proposed New Constitution

The Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam sect on Saturday vehemently protested against the proposed new Constitution at a meeting the Mahanayake of the Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratne and other senior monks had with a group of Buddhasasana Task Force representatives at the Asgiriya temple. The Asgiriya senior monks led by the Mahanayake declared …

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Sri Lanka Struggles to Face Twin Challenges of Garbage Disposal and Dengue Fever

By Meera Srinivasan For a long time, Sri Lanka was a leader in the region in two key areas – public health and civic conservancy. But over the last year, the country is facing a major challenge in both, the most visible manifestation being the recent dengue epidemic that has claimed over 200 lives. One …

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“Voting for Law Incorporating International Protocol Against Enforced Disappearances is a Betrayal of Our Country’-Mahinda Rajapaksa

The government is attempting to incorporate into the law of Sri Lanka the provisions of the ‘International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances’, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. “Countries like the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada, never even signed this Convention. Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and India signed it …

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“Bias Shown in the Lakshan Dias Affair is Due to Denial and not due to Ignorance”- Bishop Duleep de Chickera

By Bishop Duleep de Chickera The initial shock at the response of a high ranking minister to comments made by a citizen on a recent talk show, soon shifted to a realisation of its seriousness. During the show Lakshan Dias, an attorney at law,presented some dataon violence against some Christians and their places of worship. …

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GMOA, ,Health Minister and the SAITM Crisis: A Brief History

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has challenged Health Minister and co-cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s recent declaration that the SAITM (South Asian Institute of technology and Medicine), Malabe, won’t be nationalized under any circumstances. Responding to Dr Senaratne, newly elected GMOA Secretary Harith Alutge emphasised that remedial measures taken to resolve …

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Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat Under Prime Minister’s Office Closed Down on June30 Alleges Anti-Corruption Front

By Shamindra Ferdinando Anti Corruption Front (ACF) has alleged the Secretariat tasked with examining public complaints and direct them to relevant institutions, including the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) or the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) was closed down on June 30. Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon on behalf of the ACF told …

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Supreme Court Unanimously Dismisses Fundamental Rights Application By Mosque President and “Madrassa” Principal in Panadura.

By Namini Wijedasa The Supreme Court has dismissed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application by a mosque president and a principal of a madrassa in Panadura, arguing their right to proceed with building a religious school–which residents and Buddhist monks vehemently demonstrated against–was violated. President of the Board of Trustees of the Wekada Jumma Mosque, M.J.M. …

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US had a “Detailed Coordinated Plan” To Resue Trapped Civilians in Wanni Which Was Vetoed By Mahinda Govt Reveals Ex – US Envoy Robert Blake.

The United States had “a detailed coordinated plan” with the Indian and Sri Lanka Governments for its Navy to rescue trapped displaced persons in Puthukudiyiruppu during the final stages of the separatist war, according to Ambassador Robert Blake, then Washington’s envoy in Colombo. However, the Sri Lankan Government killed the idea for fear that Erik …

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A Statement by Concerned Human Rights and Democratic Rights Activists and Organisations

Shrinking space for human rights voices and dissent, and concerns over the terms of engagement between government and civil society A statement by concerned human rights and democratic rights activists and organisations 27th June 2017, Colombo As individuals and organisations committed to human rights and democratic freedoms, and the rights of freedom of expression and …

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Our Politicians Pontificate as if they are the Final Authorities on any Given Subject.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena However much they may genuflect to the concept of free speech, Sri Lanka’s politicians are quite unable to shake off a constitutional dislike of that theory in abrasive practice. Remarkably clever traits of politicians ‘Yahapalanaya’ Ministers appear not to be different to their predecessors in office in that sense, excepting of …

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ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah Returns to His Ancestral Home in Maaviddapuram After 27 Years of Displacement.

By Manekshaw Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) leader and Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Mavai S. Senathirajah became the first high profile Internally Displaced Person (IDP) to return last week to his house in Mavittapuram, in the Jaffna peninsula, after a lapse of 27 years. The ITAK, being the foremost Tamil political party founded by late …

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Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu Hands Over 16,000 Books From India to Jaffna Public Library

By Meera Srinivasan Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu handed over as many as 16,000 books to the iconic Jaffna public library on Thursday. The collection will be kept at the ‘India Corner’ in the library, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated during his maiden visit in 2015. “The titles cover topics …

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16 Anti- Muslim Incidents and 4 Anti-Christian Incidents Only Since Jan 8th 2015 Says Justice Minister Rajapakshe

By Hafeel Farisz Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in an interview with the Daily News spoke on the recent controversy involving him and issues pertaining to minorities among others. Excerpts: Question: In a recent interview with the BBC, you said that there were “four minor incidents” (sulu siduweem) regarding attacks on Churches. …

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EXORCISING DEMONS IN PARADISE: Remarks on Jude Ratnam’s movie screened at Cannes

By SANJA DE SILVA JAYATILLEKA This evening at the ICES Colombo we saw a very powerful movie: DEMONS IN PARADISE, directed by Jude Ratnam. I am so very grateful that the director invited us to attend its first screening in Sri Lanka. I hope it gets shown and discussed everywhere. Dayan Jayatilleka always said that …

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Human Rights Lawyer Lakshan Dias Who was Threatened by Justice Minister Rajapakshe Speaks Out in Exclusive Interview with “Daily Mirror”

By Dhaneshi Yatawara Following a statement made during a TV talk show highlighting attacks on a religious minority group, human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias faced allegations raised by the Justice Minister on the grounds of creating religious disharmony. Commenting on the situation Attorney-at-Law Dias said that his opinion was based on the facts of a …

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Well-known Lawyer Lakshan Dias Flees Sri Lanka After Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Threatens to Take Action in Two Days

Well -known lawyer and Human Right Defender Lakshan Dias has flown out of his motherland to an undisclosed destination for reasons of personal safety,it is learnt. The outspoken lawyer had been receiving threats from different quarters after stating in a TV forum that over a 190 incidents of violence,harassment and intimidation against Christians and christian …

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Brand New Constitution with Referendum or Constitutional Changes Without Referendum? Govt Still Undecided Says Ranil

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the government had not yet decided whether it would go for a brand new constitution or adopt provisions that did not necessitate a referendum. The PM said so, speaking at the National Conference on Constitutional Reforms at BMICH in Colombo. The conference was held as a …

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Ex-Minister Piyasena Gamage Seeks Supreme Court Permission to Intervene in Appeal Filed by Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Former Minister Piyasena Gamage yesterday sought Supreme Court’s permission to intervene in an appeal filed by Galle district Parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe. Piyasena Gamage who received the seventh highest number of preferential votes on the UPFA Galle District list further sought an order to dismiss the appeal filed by Geetha Kumarasinghe. This intervenient …

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Ex-Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama Faults US Envoy Atul Keshap for Hosting Iftar Meal in Batticaloa

By Shamindra Ferdinando Wartime Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday told The Island that President Trump had unceremoniously ended a two-decade long tradition of hosting an iftar meal at the White House during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, while the US repeatedly told Sri Lanka how to proceed with post-war reconciliation process here. The previous …

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Saman Kelegama was A Patriot Who Worked for the Betterment of Sri Lanka.

By Bandula Jayasekera A foreign ministry colleague told me, “One could never find any fault with Saman. It is not possible for me to see him dead. I am not going to his house. ” I returned from Kurunegala early last Sunday, wanting to visit his house to pay my last respects to him and …

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Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) Wants Complaints Against the Working of Departments Under Chief Minister Wigneswaran to be Investigated.

By P.K.Balachandran The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), which is the principal constituent of the ruling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, is demanding a probe into complaints about the working of departments directly under Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran. “There are complaints against departments directly under the Chief Minister. That is why …

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Is Tackling Religious Intolerance in Sri Lanka a Legal Challenge or Political Challenge?

By Meera Srinivasan Developments unfolding in Sri Lanka over the last few weeks look ominously similar to those in 2013-14, when a surge in targeted attacks against minority Muslims and Christians went unchecked by the Rajapaksa administration. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, an umbrella organisation for civil society groups, has recorded 25 attacks on …

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Expanding Role of Asanga Gurusinha as “Cricket Manager” and Selector May Have Led to Graham Ford Quitting as Sri Lanka Cricket Coach

By Andrew Fidel Fernando Graham Ford has stepped down as Sri Lanka coach, ending his second tenure with the side after 15 months. SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said the decision had been arrived at mutually, “after careful consideration and deliberation”. Ford’s relationship with SLC was understood to have been strained due to what he felt …

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Rajapaksas Had Political Will to Act Decisively Which the “Yahapalanaya”Govt Lacks

By Ranga Jayasuriya The yahapalana government won the elections on a promise of democracy and prosperity. Now it seems to assume that its modest achievements in restoring democracy should serve as an excuse for not delivering on the economy. That is a dangerous misgiving which threatens the sustainability of on-going democratic reforms in the long …

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President Sirisena Removed Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister At Behest of Malik Samarawickrema. Alleges Azath Salley.

By Shamindra Ferdinando National Unity Alliance (NUA) leader Azath Salley has alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena deprived Ravi Karunanayake of the finance portfolio as a result of UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema’s intervention. Salley strongly regretted President Sirisena giving into Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Samarawickrema’s demand. Salley named Minister Samarawickrema in the wake of …

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Compromise Engineered by TNA Leader Sampanthan has Let Chief Minister Wigneswaran Remain in Power

By Ahilan Kadirgamar The recent no-confidence motion in Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) in Jaffna, moved by a section of the Council members against Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, has brought the deep divide in Tamil nationalist politics to the fore. The turbulence lasted a week, after he called on two ministers to resign on …

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Over 90 Undergrads Including 20 Women Hospitalised Due to Brutal Crack Down on Student Protest by Special Task Force.

By Kapila Fernando Sri Lankan police violently assaulted university students occupying the health ministry on Wednesday and have now broadened the crackdown, arresting the protest leaders. The government has also threatened to take action against the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) and doctors who launched an “indefinite strike” to protest against the police attack and …

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Govt Doctors of GMOA Engage in Fisticuffs During Discussion: National Hospital Medico Hospitalised with a Broken Nose.

Sri Lanka’s striking doctors have sent a fellow medical officer to hospital with a broken nose on the same day they refused to treat thousands of other patients in a bid to spite the government. Doctors discussing the current crisis over private medical education began punching each other both literally and figuratively with one of …

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“Pakistan Will Stand By You at Any Given Time” – Ex-Chief of Pakistani Spy Agency ISI Assures Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Gagani Weerakoon Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa left to Pakistan last Monday afternoon to participate, as the guest speaker, at an event held at the Pakistan National Defence University. Speaking at an event organized by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Global Village Space (GVS) Rajapaksa said terrorism is against the spirit …

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