Sarath Fonseka Puts His Foot in Mouth By His Allegations Against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Kapila Hendavitharana

By C. A. Chandraprema General Sarath Fonseka made waves again last week with the CID informing the Mt Lavinia Magistrate that he has given a statement implicating former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former Chief of National Intelligence Kapila Hendavitarana in the attacks on journalists including the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunga and the assault on …

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Sri Lanka will Change Into De Jure From De Facto Security State if Obnoxious Counter Terrorism Act Becomes Law

By Kishali Pinto Jayawrdene Despite the Government of Sri Lanka’s proud boast to the contrary during requests to renew the EU GSP Plus trade facility and at numerous United Nations briefings, revisions made to the draft Counter-Terror Act (CTA) fail to address major Rule of Law concerns in substance. Dangerously vague and overbroad definitions of …

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Sri Lankan Govt Falls Into Trap of Its Own Making By Co-sponsoring UN Resolutions of September 2015 and March 2017

By C. A. Chandraprema The UNHRC resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and passed without a vote last Thursday has given the government two years to deliver on the commitments made in UNHRC Resolution No: 30/1 of October 2015. Unlike in previous years, this year’s UNHRC resolution did not generate much heat in Sri …

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President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe Reach Agreement on Re-shuffling Cabinet and Re-allocating Portfolios

By the Political Editor of “Sunday Times” One of the main tasks for President Maithripala Sirisena, who returned yesterday from an official visit to the Russian Federation, will be to re-shuffle the Cabinet of Ministers. Ahead of his departure to Moscow, Sirisena had discussed the issue at length with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on more …

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Retd Admiral Sarath Weerasekera Promotes Foreign Intervention in Sri Lanka by Calling For UN Special Rapporteur to Probe LTTE War Crimes.

By Rasika Jayakody Former Parliamentarian Sarath Weerasekera flew to Geneva last week to present what he termed a special report on war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan military forces, to the UNHRC session. The former Parliamentarian said, his report contained evidence to ‘protect’ Sri Lanka’s war heroes from foreign prosecutors. Although Weerasekera’s supporters told …

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WM Mendis&Co, Arjun Aloysius, Finance Ministry and the Liquor Distillery in Kumburumoolai

BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI Following the ill-famed Treasury bond debacle which incurred approximately Rs 200 billion loss to the country, Arjun Aloysius is all set to take on a new venture, a liquor factory in Kalkudah. It is a well-known fact that Arjun Aloysius and his father-in-law Arjuna Mahendran are the chief suspects of the Treasury …

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Tamil Cinema Superstar Rajinikanth Cancels trip to Sri Lanka Following “requests” by Tamil Nadu Political Party Leaders

Following requests from political leaders, Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced that he is cancelling his two-day visit to Sri Lanka on an invitation from Lyka Productions, which is alleged to have links with former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Clarifying that he has decided to stay away from the event organised by Lyca Productions …

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Superstar Rajnikanth Must Cancel Visit to Northern Sri Lanka for Handover of Houses Event Says VCP Party Leader Thirumavalavan

Tamil Nadu film actor ” Superstar” Rajinikanth’s visit to northern Sri Lanka next month to hand over keys of 150 houses built for displaced Tamil is turning into a controversy. On Friday, a prominent Dalit leader in Tamil Nadu asked him to cancel his visit over concerns that the cine star’s presence at a high-profile …

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Jayawewa! Why Sri Lanka is the Best Country in the World!!

By Bandula Jayasekara Sri Lanka is the best country in the world. It is a land like no other. Incredible! That is why there is a song and people always say ‘Loken Uthum Rata Sri Lankawai’ (Sri Lanka is the best country in the world). We have the best Finance Minister in the world and …

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Prominent Tamil Writer Ashokamithran who wrote many Novels,Novellas and Short Stories Passes Away in Chennai at the Age of 86

By B.Kolappan Prominent Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Ashokamitran, who powerfully portrayed the lives and struggles of the urban middle class life in his literary works, died, aged 86, on Thursday night. He collapsed at home. He is survived by wife and three sons. Born Tyagarajan on September 22, 1931, he later assumed the …

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Mandodari, Ravana, Chitralega and Maunaguru

By Thulasi Muttulingam Victors it is said, write history. India might have its version(s) of the Ramayana but over in Sri Lanka, Ravana remains a tragic and misunderstood hero. A hero to this day loved and mourned by his people. His tale continues to be enacted and re-enacted via drama and theatre in the Serendib …

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Wimal Weerawansa in Remand Prison on Charges of Misusing State Vehicles Refuses to have his meals for 2 days Demanding his Release..

BY Cassendra Doole Former Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa continued his hunger strike for the second consecutive day, yesterday, urging that he be released. Weerawansa is currently in remand prison on charges of misusing State vehicles. The National Freedom Front (NFF) leader was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) on 10 January after he …

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Govt Presents Supplementary Estimate for 371 Million Rupees to But Nine Vehicles for Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

by Saman Indrajith The government yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of the House for Rs. 371 million (Rs. 371,097,000) to purchase nine vehicles for ministers and deputy ministers. The estimate was presented to the House by Chief Government Whip Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilake. Accordingly, the approval has been …

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Full Text of Resolution on Sri Lanka adopted at 34th session of UNHRC

Human Rights Council Thirty-fourth session 27 February-24 March 2017 Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Australia,* Canada,* Germany, Israel,* Japan, Montenegro,* Norway,* Sri Lanka,* the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* United Kingdom of Great Britain …

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UNHRC Unanimously Grants Sri Lanka 2 Year Extension of time to Implement Resolution Including Provision for Hybrid Court.

By PK Balachandran The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday unanimously gave Sri Lanka two years’ extension to implement the September 2015 resolution on ethnic reconciliation and accountability for alleged war crimes. As per the new timetable, the High Commissioner for Human Rights would give a written update to the council at its 37 …

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Statement by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on 22 March 2017

Item 2: Oral presentation of the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka Statement by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on 22 March 2017 Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends, I thank you for this opportunity to discuss the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, and to present my report …

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Sinhala Hawk Retd Admiral Sarath Weerasekera Called a “War Criminal” by Tamil Hardliner Manivannan at UN side Event in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva The final week of the UN Human Rights Council session got off to a dramatic start, after former UPFA Parliamentarian Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera made an appearance in Geneva and locked horns with Tamil hardline groups at a side event at the Palais des Nations on Monday (20). The Rear …

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Major -General Chagie Gallage Who Commanded 59 Division During Final Phase of War in 2009 Is Denied Australian Visa Due to War Crimes Allegations

By Shamindra Ferdinando Australia has deprived Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage of an opportunity to visit his brother, an Australian citizen on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). Australia has found fault with Gallage for being in command of the 59 Division from May 7, 2009 to July 20, …

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Presentation of the Report of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka and Interactive Dialogue

ZEID RA’AD AL HUSSEIN, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented his report pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka. The report acknowledged some positive advances on human rights and constitutional reform, and noted that five Special Procedures mechanisms had visited Sri Lanka as well as four treaty bodies having reviewed …

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“Sri Lanka Will Stay The Course” Declares Dep Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva at Geneva UN Human Rights Council

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva As Joint Opposition members led demonstrations outside the United Nations building in Geneva, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva told the Human Rights Council convening inside that the Government was “determined to stay the course” in delivering justice and reconciliation to its people, as the country recovers …

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Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Denies CID Report About his Alleged Links to “Top Secret Death Squads”Targeting Sri Lankan Media

By Meera Srinivasan After Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) told a magistrate court here about “top-secret death squads” that were reportedly linked to the defence establishment of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time, his brother and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya denied the charges on Tuesday. Monday’s CID submission, based on former army chief Sarath Fonseka’s …

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Only 25 out of 225 MP’s in Parliament are Graduates While 94 MP’s Have not Passed Their GCE O’ Levels -Prof MOA de Zoysa

By Irangika Range Ninety four MPs have not passed their GEC (O/L) examination while there are only 25 graduates among the 225 legislators in the present Sri Lankan Parliament, former Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Prof. M O A de Zoysa said yesterday. He observed that MPs who have been elected to make laws …

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Transitional Justice is for Victims of all Ethnicities and Not For the Tamil Community Alone

By Niran Anketell On March 24th, human rights activists and victims’ groups worldwide will commemorate International Day for the Dignity of Victims, in honour of victims of mass atrocity crimes and human rights violations. In Sri Lanka too, the day will be marked by events throughout the country. Tragically, this country has no lack of …

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Sarath Fonseka and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Blame Each Other For the Targeting of Journalists By Secret Death Squad of Military Intelligence

The brother of Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapakse denied on Tuesday involvement in war-era death squads, blaming the then army chief for an alleged secretive campaign of extra-judicial murders. Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been accused of giving orders to a shadowy military outfit allegedly involved in murdering journalists and political dissidents during Sri Lanka’s long-running …

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CID Informs Court that Special Military Intelligence Group Was Responsible for Killing Lasantha Wickrematunga and Other Attacks on Journalists.

The CID yesterday informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court that the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga had been carried out, in 2009, by a special group, operating under the then military intelligence head Maj Gen Kapila Hendawitharana, attached to the Joint Operations Command. The CID informed the court that their investigations had found …

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Gotabhaya as President or a Gotabhaya-Mahinda-Sirisena Triangle, is our Best Bet.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka There are times in history when one can remain above the fray and there are other times when one has to pick a side, make a choice. There are times when one can content oneself by diagnosing the problem and there are other times when one has also to indicate a solution. …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Presidency Project and the Moral Hypocrisy of Dayan Jayatilleka and his Band of Intellectuals

By Hafeel Farisz “This is a debate about the future of Sri Lanka; our future; our fate. Which side are you on? Pick one” Dr. Jayatilleka’s Facebook page screams right above his response to my critique. I agree. In his response he calls for non- digression, although, such diversion is what his response is all …

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Mangala Samaraweera Accuses Maj- Gen(Retd) Kamal Gunaratne of Betraying the Army By Cataloguing Military Atrocities in his Book “Road to Nandhikkadal”

Anti-Sri Lanka activists have snapped up retired army general Kamal Gunaratne’s tome to buttress their allegations of war crimes against government forces, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. The 741-page “Road to Nandikadal” published by Gunaratne the day after he retired from the army, was a catalogue of atrocities committed by government forces since early 1980s, …

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Outgoing BASL President Alagaratnam Tries to “Blame” Retiring Chief Justice Sripavan for Appointment of Kannan as High Court Judge

by C.A.Chandraprema The crisis in the judiciary caused by the irregular appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge still remains unresolved. Judges of the District Courts wait for long years to be promoted to the High Court as do Senior State Counsel in the Attorney General’s Department. If a member of the private …

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Play Back Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam to Stop Singing Illayarajah Songs on Stage Due to Legal Notice by Music Composer

Popular Indian play back singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam has announced that he and his troupe would not be singing or performing film songs on stage for which the music has been composed by “Maestro” Illayarajah. SPB as Balasubrahmanyam is generally known has arrived at this decision following a legal notice sent by layers on behalf of …

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Is the Chinese Defence Minister Rushing to Sri Lanka to Contain Colombo’s Po-Western Tilt and Re-establish Defence ties?

By P.K.Balachandran Concerned about Sri Lanka’s lurch towards the US and the West, China is sending its Defence Minister Gen.Chang Wanquan to Colombo for a there-day trip beginning on Sunday. The hurriedly planned visit will be part of a tour of some countries in the region (not in the Indian subcontinent). Gen.Chang Wanquan will meet …

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The Opportunity to Conclusively Reject the Bullet in Favour of the Ballot Must Not Be Missed By Sri Lanka

By Rajavarothayam Sampanthan (Text of Speech “Ballot vs Bullet” Made by the Sri Lankan Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at the Counter Terrorism Conference in New Delhi on the 15th of March 2017) Ballot Versus Bullet The choice should not be difficult, looked at superficially. But our experience …

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Sri Lankan Govt to Reduce China’s Stake in Hambantota Harbour due to Pressure by Ports Minister Ranatunga

By P.K.Balachandran The Sri Lankan government proposes to cut China’s stake in the Hambantota port from 80 per cent to 60 per cent, the Daily Mirror reported on Saturday. Well placed sources told this correspondent that the watering down has been made upon the insistence of the Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, who has been campaigning …

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Sri Lankan Crew Members of Hijacked Oil Tanker “Aris-13” Released Without Paying Ransom After Govt Negotiates with Officials of Somalia’s Puntland Autonomous Region

By Asnah Anver The Government yesterday announced the safe and ransom-free release of the Sri Lankan crew members aboard oil tanker Aris-13 that disappeared off the seas of Djibouti in the early hours of 17 March.dfh Speaking to the press, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the Government had commenced communications with …

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President Sirisena Does Not Want to Tackle Issues of Constitutional Reform and Transitional Justice Simultaneously – The Economist

“WE ARE like dogs in the street, while your men occupy our homes,” read one of the banners strung up by Tamil protesters, mostly women in saris and ragged children. They had been camping for more than a month in a jumble of makeshift tents on a baking, dusty roadside near a Sri Lankan air-force …

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Clarifying Pre-conceived Notions About UN Human Rights Council Focusing on Sri Lanka’s Accountability Issues.

By Dr.Nirmala Chandrahasan At the current 34th sessions of the UNHRC the draft resolution on ‘Reconciliation, accountability and human rights’, to be placed before the Council shortly, requests Sri Lanka to fully implement the measures identified in HRC Resolution 30/1 that are outstanding, while extending the time limit. In this context we have to once …

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“Why I want Gotabhaya as President and Mahinda as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka”

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Hafeel Farisz has written a double-barreled critique of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and me, though as he says, I am the primary target because of the intellectual dimension or pretensions that I bring to bear. It is quite tempting for me to respond at the level of theory, but that would be a …

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“Project Gotabhaya” of Dayan Jayatilleka is Promotion of Chauvinism in a Progressive Garb

By Hafeel Farisz Ali Shariati was the ideologue of the Iranian Revolution. It was Shariati’s liberation theology- a rationalization of Marxism through the lenses of Islam that propelled Ayathollah Ruholla Khomeni’s take-over of power in 1979 overthrowing the Pahlavi dynasty. Shariati’s politics was anti- imperial and Marxist with a firm base in Islamic liberation theology, …

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“Carnatic Music as an Art Form Gets Diluted and Deflected in a Time Constrained Performance”- Pappu Venugopala Rao

By Aparna M.Sridhar (Eminent writer, and orator of Hinduism, Sanskrit and Indian dance and music, Ashtavadhani Dr PAPPU VENUGOPALA RAO, has been the Secretary of the Music Academy, Chennai, for the last decade.Steeped in both traditional learning as well as modern scholarship, he is an institution by himself. In this interview with Aparna M Sridhar, …

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Shame on you Mahinda,Shame!-Mangala Samaraweera Exposes Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Shameful Fear Mongering.

(Full Text of Response issued by Foreign Affairs minister Mangala Saaraweera to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Media Release of 13 March 2017) On 13 March 2017 the former President of our country, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, issued a media release titled “Constitutional and legal reforms to destroy the nation”. My initial inclination, when confronted with statements …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Will be Arrested if Ex-Def -Secy is Found to have Committed “Cognizable Offence” States Addl Solicitor-General in Court

By S.S. Selvanayagam When the fundamental rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa came up in the Supreme Court yesterday, the Additional Solicitor General said that the investigation against him was continuing and that if there was a cognisable offence against him, the integral part of such an offence was a mandatory requirement …

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Senior President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva Leads Team of Lawyyers Appearing for Arjuna Mahendran in Treasury Bond Scam Probe.

By Sarath Dharmasena and Shyam Ganewatte A team of lawyers appearing for the main respondent in the alleged bond scam, former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was yesterday granted permission by the Presidential Court of Inquiry probing the issue, following a request made by the main Counsel appearing for Mahendran, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva …

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Tamils Have no Choice But to Accept Incremental Gains and Continuing to Engage With Sinhala Community

By M.Sooriasegaran The Constitution of Sri Lanka must fulfil the aspirations and needs of the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims, the Burghers and the Plantation Tamils in order to unify them.Unity in diversity should be the guiding principle. It needs to be inclusive, guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to all Sri Lankans without any form …

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“Those who were with LTTE Till War Ended are now Pursuing War Crimes Allegations Against Sri Lanka” – Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

by Shamindra Ferdinando Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has alleged that those who had been with the LTTE until the very end of the conflict in May 2009 were now pursuing war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka. Referring to a conversation with former US Ambassador in Colombo Patricia Butenis, war veteran Rajapaksa said that when …

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If Mahinda and Gotabhaya Are Deprived of Civic Rights the “Senior Rajapaksa”(Chamal) Can Re-unite SLFP and Win Election.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Democracy must not be confused with liberalism. This government may be liberal but it is not exactly democratic. Liberalism is laudably concerned with individual freedoms. Democracy is primarily about the character of government as defined by the key variable of representation. Democracy is about being governed by chosen representatives of the people: …

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“Over 5000 Indian Fishing Trawlers Poach in Sri Lankan Waters Three Days a week”-Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday vowed to continue arresting Indian fishermen entering Sri Lankan waters illegally to plunder fish resources in the seas off the country’s north. The Minister made this statement during the launching of Wewak Samaga Gamak fisheries villages development programme at Kudawella in Hambantota, a …

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Canadian Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai urges Sri Lanka not to delay UN-mandated probe on war crimes

(Ottawa): Today, Member of Parliament and Conservative Party of Canada Leadership Candidate Hon. Deepak Obhrai called on the government of Sri Lanka not to delay any longer its probe on alleged war crimes. Sri Lanka has demanded a two year extension to its probe mandated by the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30.1 of October …

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“We Tamils” Leader Seeman Arrested with Over 300 Activists for Demonstrating Outside Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai

By Ananth Palakidnar Famed Tamil film maker and politician Seemaan and 300 others have been arrested for demonstrating against the Sri Lanka Navy outside the Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai yesterday. They were demonstrating over last Monday’s shooting of Rameshwaram fisherman Britjo near Kachchatheevu. Seemaan, who heads a political party named ‘We Tamils’, led …

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Interim Order of May 13th 2015 Preventing FCID From Arresting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is Still in Operation States Addl Solicitor -General

When the fundamental rights petition filed by former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was taken up by the Supreme Court today, the Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kotagoda said investigations were continuing. He said if there was evidence of a cognizable offence the mandatory requirement was to arrest the offender.

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Warns SLFP and UNP Parliamentarians that Constitutional and Legal Reforms will Destroy the Nation.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday appealed to SLFPers in the government and the UNP parliamentarians to see the danger that awaits the country through proposed constitutional changes envisaged by the yahapalana rulers, which would lead to the ‘hogtying’ of the central government and the creation of a dangerous federal set up. The text of ex-President’s …

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Sumanthiran’s Pvt Members Bill to Ban Bottom Trawling Will Be Presented to Parliament as Govt Bill on March 17th

By P.K.Balachandran A bill to ban the pernicious practice of bottom trawling, which will affect thousands of Sri Lankans and Indians fishing in the sea between Sri Lanka and India, is to be passed by the Sri Lankan parliament by March end, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, told Express on Monday. “My private …

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Popular Singer Victor Ratnayake’s son Lelum Publicly Attacks father Over Love Affair with a Younger Woman

By Don Manu A family row has broken out in public between Lanka’s top notch singing legend Victor Ratnayake and his son over the singer’s live in lover, 45 years younger to him. Using his Facebook account the son Lelum Ratnayake put the family feud in the public spotlight by stating last week ‘My father …

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Urgent Structural Reforms Needed to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women and Ensure Gender Justice

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) issued in regard to Sri Lanka on March 3rd this year is illuminating in several respects. It was significant that the Observations were released just a few days before the world marked the International Day …

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Retd Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara Armed with 100 Page Dossier Will Launch Counter Offensive Against UN Human Rights Chief in Geneva

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will leave for Geneva tomorrow leading a three-man delegation to meet UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein to mount an offensive against the case, now argued before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes, especially during the closing …

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Lankan Navy Commander Wijegunaratne Says SL Navy did not Fire on Indian Fishing Vessel

By Romesh Madusanka and Thilanka Kanakarathna Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne yesterday denied allegations by Indian fishermen that the Sri Lanka Navy had opened fire on Indian fishing vessels recently. After attending the Feast of St. Anthony’s Sacred Church located on Kachchativu Island, he responded to a question raised by a journalist as to …

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Why I Was Critical of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Then But am Supportive of him Now

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLLEKA The impact and landmark nature of the Viyath Maga annual convention is discernible in the coverage in the country’s top business paper which has a wide corporate readership, the Daily FT, owned, I might add, by the Wijewardene family, hardly backers of the JO or the Rajapaksas. (http://www.ft.lk/article/601558/Mahinda-pricks-Govt.-over-plight-of-public-servants http://www.ft.lk/article/602544/ViyathMaga–Professionals-for-a-better-future). As for …

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Koralaipatru Pradeshiya Sabha Opposes Setting up of Alcohol Distillery in Kalkudah by WM Mendis&Co of which Arjun Aloysius is Chairman.

By Namini Wijedasa A liquor manufacturing firm helmed by Arjun Aloysius, is fighting local authorities in the Batticaloa District, over plans to build a grain-based alcohol distillery in Kalkudah. Last year, the Excise Dept gave approval to W.M.Mendis & Co Ltd (of which Aloysius is Chairman) to set up the alcohol manufactory on instructions from …

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President Sirisena who Came to Power Promising Justice for War Crimes Now Refuses to Prosecute his Troops

by Amal Jayasinghe President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in Sri Lanka promising justice for war crimes, breaking from his hawkish predecessor and presenting the island with its first real shot at a lasting peace. But that optimism has been sorely tested as Sirisena, having missed a two-year deadline to investigate war-era abuses, declared he …

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Sri Lankan Police Failure to Investigate and Prosecute Perpetrators in “Emblematic” Cases Being Internationally Criticised.

Sri Lanka has come under renewed international criticism over police failures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of what it calls “emblematic cases,” including the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga. The UN Human Rights Council received a report outlining systematic failure of Sri Lanka’s police to prosecute suspects in 11 high profile cases it considers emblematic of …

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If Sri Lanka Complains to UN or WTO About Tamil Nadu Fishers Poaching in her Waters, India May Get Internationally Blacklisted.

By Kumar Chellappan The death of Bristo, a 21-year-old fisherman from Thankachimadom, a fishing hamlet in southern Tamil Nadu, has once again brought to surface some stark realities. Fishermen who were engaged in fishing with Bristo at Palk Bay alleged he was shot at by Sri Lanka Navy, while they were inside the territorial waters …

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Indian Pilgrims Unable to Attend Kachchtheevu Festive Mass as Protesting Tamil Nadu Fishermen Refuse to Give Boats for Passage

By Chris Kamalendran Indian devotees planning to attend the festive mass at the Kachchativu island off Jaffna today were obstructed by Indian fishing societies which declined to provide boats for them to travel. This was in protest against a shooting incident which claimed the life of an Indian fisherman earlier in the week. The Kachchativu …

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Television and Films Becoming Increasingly “Safronized” By “Hindutva” Elements in India

By KAMAYANI SHARMA On the morning of 27 January, while the filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali was shooting for his upcoming period drama Padmavati at the Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, members of Shri Rajput Karni Sena—a caste organisation of Rajputs—barged into the fort. The horde ran amok, some smashing expensive film equipment, others breaking anything within …

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Monologues, Melodrama and the Influence of William Shakespeare’s Dramas in Tamil Cinema.

By S. Theodore Baskaran Shakespeare entered the Tamil world through Pammal Sambandha Mudaliar, an illustrious playwright. It was Mudaliar’s translations of plays such as Hamlet ( Amaladityan in 1906) that introduced Shakespeare to Tamil readers and then to drama and film audiences. In his passion for the stage, Mudaliar had helped establish the Suguna Vilas …

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President Sirisena Announces New Plans to Revive War Battered Economy of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.

By Meera Srinivasan The Sri Lankan government will implement a new programme for the development of the Northern Province, President Maithripala Sirisena announced last week. From the time the island’s civil war ended in May 2009, claiming over 1,00,000 lives, there has been considerable talk about developing the war-battered north, home for over 10 lakh …

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TNA Constituent EPRLF Disagrees With Decisions Taken By Tamil National Alliance on UN Human Rights Council Resolution

(Text of a Press Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office on March 11th 2017) The following decision was arrived at following a meeting of TNA Members of Parliament and Provincial Council Members held in Vavuniya today (11th March 2017): All Sri Lanka’s obligations in terms of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 …

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Lost Her Arms in Shelling But Teaches Visual Basic Operating Computer With Her Toes.

By Meera Srinivasan Few students in Vadamarachchi, part of Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula, had heard of Visual Basic until Sebastian Selvanayagi started offering a course in it at her modest computer centre. “Even basic programming languages haven’t come to our village in a big way,” she said, entering a small room in her home, in …

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Narahenpita Police Arrest Billionaire Businessman’s Son who Abducted International School Student and Assaulted Her in Talahena Hotel

By Pradeep Samarakoon and Chaminda Silva Multi-billionaire businessman’s son who abducted a female student of an international school and mercilessly assaulted her after taking her to a hotel room in Talahena was arrested by the Narahenpita police. Investigations have revealed that the 22-year-old suspect has had a love affair with the 20-year-old victim and later …

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For the First Time in Lankan History Parliament Ends Abruptly Due to Govt MP’s Walking out of House in Protest Against Speaker.

by Saman Indrajith Parliament sittings came to an abrupt end around 11.50 am yesterday when the Leader of the House and government MPs walked out, protesting against what they called Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s failure to take action against Opposition MPs who disrupted proceedings. Sources said it was the first time in parliamentary history of Sri …

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Kabir Hashim Informs Parliament Why Govt Cancelled Purchase of Three a-350 Aircraft Order for Sri Lankan Airlines.

by Saman Indrajith Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim told Parliament yesterday that the government decision to cancel three A-350 aircraft ordered for SriLankan Airlines had been taken by the Economic Management Committee after discussions with all stakeholders. In answer to a question by UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the minister said the government had been …

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Mangala Led Govt Delegation “Winning the Talk”in Geneva But Maithri-Ranil Govt “Losing the Walk”in Lanka

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva On Wednesday, 1 March, inside Room XXI of the Palais des Nations, the Sri Lankan delegation was winding up a four-day mission in Geneva on a high note. The Government had organised a public discussion on Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) …

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Presidential Inquiry Commission told that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met Primary Dealers at Feb 27 Treasury Bond Auction

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds (PCIIIITB) learned that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met the Primary Dealers at the Treasury Bond auction that took place on 27 February 2015, which is probably the first time such a meeting has taken place. The …

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5 Policemen Arrested Over Shooting of 2 Jaffna Undergrads Want Appeal Court to Transfer Case Out of North – East

By S.S. Selvanayagam Five Police officers arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students are seeking the Court of Appeal to transfer their case out of the Northern and Eastern provinces. They are also seeking the Court to issue an interim order restraining the continuation of their case in the Jaffna Magistrate’s …

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Accuses Joint Opposition and LTTE of Staging a Joint Protest Against Him at Deakin University

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the Joint Opposition of allegedly staging a protest with the LTTE during his recent visit to Deakin University. “Some Joint Opposition activist along with a handful of LTTE extremists protested at the gate using a portable public addressing horn,” he said in response to UPFA MP Padma Udayashantha Gunasekera.

Death of Tamil Nadu Youth While Fishing Illegally in Sri Lankan Waters Leaves Dark Stain on Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Reputation

By Steve Creech It has finally happened. It’s been threatening to happen for a while now. The news is deeply saddening and everyone’s thoughts must be with the family members of the 22-year-old Tamil Nadu fish-worker from Thangachimadam in central Rameswaram, who was shot and killed while fishing illegally in Sri Lankan waters early yesterday …

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Govt Must Formulate Policy Giving Clear Details About Release of Army Held Private Lands in North to the People who Own Them – Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan

ආරක්ෂක හමුදා සන්තකව පවතින ඉඩම් මුල් අයිතිකරුවන් වෙත නිදහස් කිරීම படையினரின் வசமுள்ள காணிகளை அவற்றின் உரிமையாளர்களுக்கு விடுவித்தல் RELEASE OF LANDS OCCUPIED BY SECURITY FORCES TOORIGINAL OCCUPANTS ගරුරාජවරෝදියම්සම්පන්දන්මහතා (විරුද්ධපාර්ශ්වයේනායකතුමා) (மாண்புமிகுராஜவரோதயம்சம்பந்தன் – எதிர்க்கட்சிமுதல்வர்) (The Hon. RajavarothiamSampanthan – Leader of the Opposition) Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, I move the following Adjournment Motion before I make submissions on it: …

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Sirisena Boasts About Showing his “Backbone”to the UN While Samaraweera Bends Backward in Geneva.

By W.A. Sunil Sri Lankan foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera plans to present a resolution to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) requesting two years to prepare a “mechanism” to investigate war crimes and human rights violations during the military offensives against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Samaraweera called on the US, the …

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Re-visiting and Re-analysing the “Real” Problems Raised by the SAITM Issue

By Dr Nalin Abeysekera Open University of Sri Lanka A variety of topics and headlines surface on the economic and social set up of Sri Lanka from time to time. Learned people and others from different walks of life express their views based on the way such topics are highlighted in the Media. Whatever its …

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Release of Sri Lankan Fishermen Jailed in India Delayed as Chennai Court Orders Further Extension Of Remand Until March 23

By P.K Balachandran As a first step towards defusing the fishermen’s agitation in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan and Indian governments on Thursday agreed to simultaneously release all fishermen in each other’s custody. While Sri Lanka will release 85 Indian fishermen, India will release 19 Sri Lankan fishermen. However, a court in Chennai on Thursday …

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If President and Prime Minister are Opposed to Foreign Judges then who co-sponsored UN Resolution? Asks GL Peiris

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Joint Opposition (JO) has sought an urgent explanation from the government in respect of Geneva Resolution 30/1 in the wake of both President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe ruling out foreign judges’ participation in the proposed judicial process. The 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 30/1 on Oct …

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“Some People Aligned to the President and Premier are Carrying Tales About One to the Other”-Krishantha Cooray

By Nisthar Cassim Both a political activist and a corporate and media personality, Krishantha Prasad Cooray is not known to mince words and is quite forthright. Wearing multiple hats as Chairman of Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc, which owns Hilton Colombo and Independent Non-Executive Director at DFCC Bank as well as a Working Committee member of …

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UN Resolution Co-sponsored by Sri Lanka is not Binding on Sovereign Nations says Harsha de Silva

by Zacki Jabbar Pointing out that UN resolutions were not binding on a sovereign nation, the government said yesterday that neither the UN Human Rights Council nor the international community had demanded that Sri Lanka adopt a federal solution to resolve its ethnic issue. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva, addressing a news conference at …

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Joint Opposition MP Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena Suspended from Parliament for a Week

By Saman Indrajith MEP and Joint Opposition Parliament group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena who fought for the National Freedom Front’s right to function in the House as a separate party has been suspended for one week from parliament on grounds that his conduct was against dignity and decorum of Parliament yesterday. The decision to suspend MP …

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Sirisena led Govt Speaking with Two Tongues for Foreign and Domestic Consumption

By Niran Anketell As Sri Lanka gets placed, once again, on the Human Rights Council agenda this month, it is difficult to ignore the significant shifts — internal and external — that have taken place since Sri Lanka was last on the Council’s agenda in September 2015. Then, flush with victory and the confidence to …

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Sampanthan and TNA Could Help Break the Deadlock Between Maithri-Ranil Govt and Mahinda Led Opposition

By Ranga Jayasuriya In game theory, there is this hypothetical strategy game that is used to explain why two rational individuals may not cooperate even when it is in their mutual interest to cooperate. It goes like this: Police arrest two criminals, but cannot find evidence to indict either of them on the principal charge, …

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Attempts to Prosecute Soldiers May Lead to Return of Mahinda Rajapaksa and all what he Represents.

By Rathindra Kuruwita The time has come once again for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), comprising such defenders of human rights as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to scrutinize, among other things, how reconciliation is going in Sri Lanka. Since the end of the hostilities in May 2009, we have been under pressure from …

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“Viyath Maga” Venture has been Inspired by Gotabhaya’s Declared Respect for Professional Expert Opinion.

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA [Summary of speech on “Sri Lanka’s International Relations in a Changing World” delivered at the 2nd annual convention of Voice of Professionals–Viyath Maga– at Golden Rose, Boralesgamuwa, March 4th 2017] As the Daily FT reported (Monday, March 6th 2017), the annual convention of the Voice of Professionals, better known by its …

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Arjuna Ranatunga Tries to Mislead Cabinet Colleague Champika Ranawaka to get Govt Approval for Mixed Development Project Including Construction of Apartments

By the Political Editor of “Sunday Times” The “Sunday Times” today reveals how Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga is trying to obtain Government approval for a mixed development project including the construction of apartments. According to documents available, this was through Wills Realtors (Private) Limited, a company which he formed with Prasad Wasantha Sirimanne …

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Official Status of Tamil Language Restored in Theory but in Practice no Official Bilingualism in Sri Lanka -The Economist

FROM its gleaming new headquarters, Jaffna’s police force serves around 100,000 people. The vast majority of the local population are Tamils or Tamil-speaking Muslims; fewer than 50 locals are members of Sri Lanka’s biggest ethnic group, the Sinhalese. But the vast majority of the city’s 532 police officers are Sinhalese; only 43 are Tamil, and …

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Colombo must do much more to Address the Concerns of the Tamil Minority -Editorial in “The Hindu”

(Text of Editorial appearing in “the Hindu” of March 6th 2017 under the heading ” Elusive Reconciliationn”) A United Nations report released last week on the progress of reconciliation efforts by the Sri Lankan government should be a wake-up call for President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Raising serious concerns about the delay …

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Sri Lanka’s Best Known Cricket Match -the Royal- Thomian Encounter -is the Country’s own Eton vs Harrow

By Meera Srinivasan A fortnight ago, Asela Gunaratne slammed a pacy 84 against Australia, steering Sri Lanka to a remarkable victory in the T20 series. His innings made headlines here, but the series win was not the only cricket news. Around the same time, senior Buddhist monks called for a ban on the country’s “big …

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Ex Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Explains How he Shifted Army Headquarters to Battaramulla to Make Way for Shangri-La Project

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that the country is suffering for want of what he calls workable formula to achieve post-war development objectives. Comparing the period in the aftermath of successful conclusion of the war in May 2009 with that under the current yahapalana administration, Rajapaksa stressed the pivotal importance of …

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No Effective Witness Protection Scheme Exists in Lanka Despite Re-constituted Witness Protection Authority.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Akin to the fabled (and damned) Scarlet Pimpernel of Baroness Orczy fame, one is constrained to search high and low for Sri Lanka’s elusive Witness Protection Authority. In fact, advocates in this country may be forgiven for indulging in the ditty ‘we seek (it) here, we seek (it) there, is (it) …

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Group of EX- LTTE Cadres Launch New Political Party in Sampoor Named “Rehabilitated Unted Liberation Tigers Front”.

A group of former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members in Sri Lanka has announced formation of a new party, saying people are getting frustrated by mainstream political parties as they have “failed” to address issues faced by the minority Tamils. ‘Rehabilitated United Liberation Tigers Front’ was formed in the eastern port district of …

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Is Mahinda Rajapaksa or Ravi Karunanayake Responsible for the Gazette on Central Bank Treasury Bond Sale?

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas One of the most extraordinary financial frauds to have ever taken place during the Yahapalana Government’s tenure in its very first year in power is still being argued and debated in the public forum. It is the 2015 Treasury Bond scam. And just when things seem as if they are about …

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The Kansas shooting Teaches Indians a few Lessons about Trump — and the United States

By Barkha Dutt For six days, the world’s most garrulous (and seemingly most underworked) head of state, famous for his bilious 3 a.m. tweeting IN ALL CAPS, found neither one word of empathy nor 140 characters of condemnation for last week’s fatal shooting of an Indian engineer in Kansas. The early silence of President Trump …

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39 Year old Indian Sikh Shot and Injured by half-masked Stranger who Shouted “Go Back to your Country”.

A 39-year-old Indian in the U.S. was injured on Friday when an unidentified person shot him outside his home. The suspect allegedly shouted “go back to your own country” at the Indian. The victim, who observes the Sikh faith, was working on his vehicle outside his home in the city of Kent on Friday when …

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Convenience Store Owner of Indian Origin Harnish Patel (43) Found Dead Due to Gunshot Injuries in Lancaster,South Carolina.

A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner in the US has been shot dead outside his home, just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas in a hate crime shooting that had sent shockwaves across the country. Harnish Patel (43), the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of …

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Govt Must Hold Polls to North Central,Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinial Councils After October 2017.

By C.A.Chandraprema Not holding the local government elections has become a major part of the survival strategy of this government. While the local government elections have been put off due to complications in the delimitation of wards, elections for the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces will be due at the end of the third …

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Ruwanpura Expressway Project Section -one May be Given to China National Technical Import and Export Corporation.

By Namini Wijedasa The Highways Ministry has sought Cabinet approval to hire consultants for Ruwanpura expressway’s Section 1 which is expected to be awarded on a single proposal — without competitive bidding — to a Chinese firm. The company identified for the 26.3 km stretch from Kahathuduwa to Ingiriya is China National Technical Import and …

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“Roll On” Resolution to be Passed by UNHRC Will Enable Sri Lanka not to have Foreign Judges on War Crimes Tribunal.

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lanka believes that the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution on it, to be passed at the end of this month, will not force it to accept adjudication by foreigners in war crimes cases. It is true that in its latest report to the UNHRC, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human …

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Musical Excellence and Sartorial Elegance: Conversing With Carnatic Vocalist Sudha Ragunathan

By Aparna M. Sridhar (Intelligent, articulate and self-aware SUDHA RAGUNATHAN chats with Aparna M Sridhar about three decades of life in Karnatic Music, gently tossing back at critics the casual, unfair barbs about everything from her sartorial style to the “early” bestowing of top awards) Sudha Ragunathan’s is a story about sustained success, and as …

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TNA Leader Sampanthan’s Generosity in Granting More Time To Govt Should Not Be Taken For Granted.

By Manekshaw The Leader of the Opposition and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan reiterating his commitment towards strengthening the reconciliation process has said that Sri Lanka should be given time with conditions to fulfil its commitments vis a vis the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution of 2015 which was cosponsored by the island nation. …

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Tamil National Alliance Wants Govt to Make Swift Progress on Issues Highlighted by UN Human Rights High Commissioner

(Text of Press Release Issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office on March 3rd 2017) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomes the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. While the report acknowledges some areas of progress, such as …

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UN Human Rights Chief raps Sri Lanka for tardiness, demands foreign judges in war crimes courts

By PK Balachandran The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has said that the momentum towards lasting peace and ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka could be derailed by the “slow pace of transitional justice and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address accountability for past crimes.” It has also insisted on the establishment of a …

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President Sirisena Claims to have Shown his “Backbone” to the International Community by Rejecting UNHRC Chief’s Proposal for a Hybrid Court

By Sandun A Jayasekera President Maithripala Sirisena told the SLFP executive committee meeting that he had shown his ‘backbone’ to the International community by rejecting UNHRC Chief Zeid bin Ra-ad Al Hussein’s recommendation for a hybrid court to probe war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka. “Two weeks ago the UN Human Rights High Commissioner in …

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Hybrid War Crimes Tribunal With Foreign Judges in Sri Lanka is not Politically Feasible States Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa A hybrid war crimes tribunal, recommended by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September 2015, was not feasible in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe said yesterday. The PM was speaking at the inauguration of the National Law Week 2017- Colombo Segment at the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) …

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First Draft of Resolution to be Adopted at UNHRC in Geneva Grants Sri Lanka Two Year Extension for Implementation.

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva Sri Lanka has obtained a two year extension to tackle post-war reconciliation and allegations of war crimes, according to a first draft of the UN resolution that is likely be adopted at the Human Rights Council at its 34th Session currently underway in Geneva. According to the “zero draft” of …

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Ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran Ordered Public Debts Supdt to Accept Rs 10 Billion Worth of Treasury Bonds at Feb 27th 2015 Sale

by Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte Additional Director of the Statistics Department of the Central Bank (CB) Dr. M. Z. M. Azim told the Special Presidential Commission probing the controversial bond issue, yesterday, that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had instructed the Superintendent of Public Debts to accept Rs. 10 billion worth bids on Treasury bonds …

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UN Human Rights Chief Zeid chides Lanka on ‘slow progress’and lack of commitment on war crimes court

By DharishaBastians in Geneva Sri Lanka has shown little commitment to setting up a special judicial mechanism to prosecute alleged war crimes, the United Nations said in a new report released in Geneva yesterday that criticises the Government for its “slow pace of progress” on post-war reconciliation and justice. In a hard-hitting report to the …

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No Foreign Judges in Lanka’s Judicial Mechanism for War Crimes, Implies Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva The Government will not enact new laws to incorporate foreign judges and lawyers into a local judicial mechanism to address allegations of war crimes, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a UN Human Rights Council side event in Geneva on Wednesday (1). “But with or without foreign judges, the mechanism the …

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Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran Entered Public Debt Dept on Feb 27th 2015 While Treasury Bond auction was Going on.

By Shayam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena Top Central Bank official Dr. M. Z. M. Aazim yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that Governor Arjuna Mahendran had entered the Public Debt Department on the tenth floor of the CBSL building at 10.45 am on Feb 27, 2015 while an auction of treasury bonds was …

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