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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Draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA) Is No Longer Operational in Sri Lanka – SCRM Head Tittawela in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians President Maithripala Sirisena had issued directives that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Sri Lanka’s draconian anti-terror law was no longer to be used to charge suspects, Mano Tittawella, who heads the Government office coordinating reconciliation mechanisms said in Geneva on Wednesday. “The old PTA is not operational anymore,” Secretary General of …

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Pro-Tiger TGTE “Transitional Govt” Minister Accosts Mangala Samaraweera in Geneva Accusing him of Telling Lies to International Community.

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva Moments after a speech on Tuesday (28) in which he blamed extremists on both sides of the ethnic divide for stalling Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was briefly accosted by a member of a pro-LTTE group at the Palais des Nations, the building that houses the United …

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British Parliament Debate on Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka and Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC 34th Sessions in Geneva

James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton) (Con) I beg to move, That this House has considered human rights in Sri Lanka and the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gapes, not only because it will be wonderfully fair and impartial but because I know …

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Recent Protests Over Access to Land and Sea Due to Livelihood of People Being Tied to Land and Sea

By Meera Srinivasan “When I lie down here at night, I imagine being under the roof of my home,” says Singarathinam Sellamma, 83, seated among a small group of people outside the divisional secretariat in Puthukkudiyiruppu here. For about 25 days now, representatives of 49 families have been taking turns and fasting at the entrance …

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“Remove Ravi Karunanayake From Finance and Make Him Cultural or Buddha sasana affairs Minister” – Bandula Gunawardana

By Lahiru Pothmulla Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be better off with another portfolio like that of Cultural Affairs or Buddha Sasana Affairs, the joint opposition said yesterday. It said the minister should resign as he had made baseless allegations that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was responsible for the controversial bond sale issue. “If he …

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Sri Lanka to Co-sponsor Resolution Along with UK,USA and Montenegro Seeking 2 Year Time Frame to Implement 2015 UNHRC Resolution.

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lanka will co-sponsor a resolution led by the US and the core group at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Government confirmed in Geneva yesterday. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawela told Daily FT in Geneva that the Government would submit a …

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“Permanent Office of Missing Persons Will Be Ready in 2 or 3 Months”-SCRM Secy-gen Mano Tittawella in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva The permanent Office of Missing Persons should be ready to go in two or three months, the Sri Lankan Government announced in Geneva yesterday, urging victims and activists to be patient as frustration mounts about the pace of its progress on reconciliation and justice. The Government had already allocated Rs. …

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US Dep Asst Secy of State Erin Barclay Praises Sri Lanka’s Progress and Cites it as an Example of UN Human Rights Council Working Properly

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lanka was an example of a country in which the UN Human Rights Council had catalysed progress for reform and provided assistance to improve accountability for past violations, the US Government said in Geneva yesterday. Addressing the High Level segment of the UNHRC 34th Session at the Palais des Nations, US …

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“TEXIT” Strategy of Tamil Nationalism is Political Utilization of Constitutional Referendum Regardless of Result

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka A funny thing happened in-between the reconvening of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly (Feb 21) and the adjournment motion on the Constitution held the next day in Parliament. TNA MP MA Sumanthiran and target of an assassination attempt by the LTTE, struck a discordant note in his speech at a …

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Govt will Adhere to its Commitments on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation , Mangala Samaraweera Assures UNHRC in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva In the face of mounting criticism about the pace of reform and setbacks in the transitional justice process, Sri Lanka told the United Nations yesterday about dilemmas the Government was confronting as it attempted to lead a war-torn and divided country on a journey of reckoning with a violent past. …

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Khaki-clad Gunmen With Assault Rifles Attack “Black Maria” Prison Van in Kalutara Killing 7 and Injuring 9

By Norman Palihawadana and Sarath de Silva Seven persons including five prisoners and two jailers were killed when a group of gunmen dressed in police style uniforms launched an audacious daytime attack on a prison bus at Ethanamadala in Kalutara around 8.30 am yesterday. Among the dead was notorious underworld kingpin Aruna Udayashantha alias Kaduwela …

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“Go to Courts if You Can”- Ravi Karunanayake Issues Challenge to Mahinda Rajapaksa Over Treasury Bond Issue Gazette Issue.

By Chamikara Weerasinghe Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday challenged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go to Courts if he can over the controversial Gazette notification dated Jan 1, 2015 on the issuance of Treasury Bonds by the Central Bank. “This is exactly what we want for the truth to come out,” Karunanayake said. He was …

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Has Mahinda Rajapaksa Actually Done Anything Tangible or Sustainable Benefiting the Sinhalese?

By Rathindra Kuruwita Issuing a report on transitional justice a few days before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva, Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) stated that neither the government nor NGOs have recognized the suffering of Sinhalese and Muslims who were affected by the conflict. The report added that …

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Sri Lanka’s New Right to Information Law Puts Corrupt Officials In Crosshairs

By Marwaan Macan-Markar COLOMBO – Since November 2012, the students of St. Joseph’s College, an all-male secondary school in Colombo, have watched a landmark tower rising over their backyard. The construction work rattled some of the classrooms closest to the Lotus Tower, as the 350 meter freestanding structure is called, and put paid to the …

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2 Candidates Seeking Liberal Party Nomination for Markham-Thornhill By-election “Cry Foul” Against Party Leadership

By ABBAS RANA– Two candidates seeking the federal Liberal nomination in the vacant Markham-Thornhill, Ont., riding are crying foul over the party’s handling of the nomination process, saying the party is “doing everything they can” to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s director of appointments, Mary Ng, elected as the candidate in next weekend’s nomination meeting. …

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Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Assure Investors that Govt Would Honour Treasury Bonds Despite Problems of Issuance.

By Uditha Jayasinghe Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday joined forces to assure investors that bonds issued by the Government remained “sacrosanct” and would be honoured even as they admitted the procedures of gazetting them remained problematic. Convening a press conference at the Finance Ministry, Karunanayake soothed market concerns …

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Gazette no 1895/19 Dated 1st Jan 2015 on Issuance of Treasury Bonds was Printed on 22nd Dec 2016.

The Government Printer Gangani Kalpana Liyanage revealed yesterday that the 1 January 2015 Extraordinary Gazette No. 1895/19 relating to the issuance of Treasury Bonds by the Central Bank was actually submitted for printing on 22 December 2016. She told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the issuance of Central Bank Treasury bonds that the relevant …

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Ex- CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran Auctioned Treasury Bonds Without Monetary Board Approval Reveals Finance Ministry Secy Samaratunga.

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr RHS Samaratunga yesterday informed the Commission of Inquiry investigating the controversial bond sale that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had opted to sell Treasury bonds through public auction without approval from the Monetary Board. In answer to a question by …

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Acting Govt Printer Tells Inquiry Commission that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Name was Included in Gazette on Instructions from Central Bank Officials

By Shyam nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena Acting Government Printer Gangani Kalpana Liyanage yesterday informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the controversial bond sale that the name of former Finance Minister and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name had been included in the gazette No 1895/19 relevant for the controversial sale on instructions from the Central …

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Mangala Likely to Seek 2 Year Extended Time Frame at UNHRC Geneva Sessions to Implement UN Resolution Provisions on Transitional Justice.

Dharisha Bastians reporting from Geneva Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will address the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today, delivering a speech that will outline Sri Lanka’s reconciliation and justice efforts since 2015 and appeal for more time to deliver on its transitional justice pledges as the country reckons with its violent past. Sri …

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New Constitution Project is an Effort to Weaken Sri Lankan State Along Two Lines.

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Hon. Sampanthan’s 90 minute (written) speech during the recent adjournment debate (Feb 22) on the Constitution was ‘historicist’, in the sense that he invoked a great deal of political history. But his argument was a-historical and illogical. The Tamil nationalists, including Mr. Sampanthan himself spurned the many offers made by successive …

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“Open War” Between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ravi Karunanayake Over Controversial Gazette on Central Bank Issuance of Treasury Bonds

A major battle has erupted between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa over a 2015 January gazette by the Central Bank listing past and future Treasury bond issues with an aggregate value of a staggering Rs. 1.8 trillion. Karunanayake yesterday charged that the Central Bank under the Rajapaksa regime had violated regulations …

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89th Oscars Event Peppered With Barbs Against Donald Trump but “Bonie and Clyde”Lead Pair Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty Feature in Finale Fiasco.

By Rory Carroll Moonlight has won the best picture Oscar in a chaotic awards ceremony climax which mistakenly awarded the top honour to La La Land, a fiasco which stunned Hollywood and viewers around the world. Faye Dunaway named La La Land as the year’s best picture at the end of Sunday night’s ABC broadcast …

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“La La Land” Lands Six Oscars at 89th Academy Awards in LA but “Moonlight” Wins Best Picture Oscar in Surreal Mix-up

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land landed the Oscar for Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards, except it didn’t, as the award presenters read out the wrong winner.Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight was in fact given the accolade, in an unbelievably surreal piece of television and undoubtedly the most dramatic moment in Oscars history. Presenters Faye Dunaway …

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IGP Crying in Public or his Officers Meditating Will not Help Reform the Police Service in Sri Lanka.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene When leaving his position as Chairman of the National Police Commission (NPC) to assume an academic appointment overseas last month, Professor Siri Hettige’s reported observation that Sri Lanka’s Independent Police Commission is unable to control the police force and that the Commission has had to seek appropriate powers, attracts a peculiar …

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Finance Ministry to Investigate Gazette No.1895/19 Dated January 01 2015 on Treasury Bond Issuance by Central Bank

The Finance Ministry is set to investigate the controversial Extraordinary Gazette notification on the issuance of bonds by the Central Bank, dated January 01, 2015. Referring to Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 1895/19 dated January 1, 2015 issued by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning at the time, the Ministry of …

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“Diabolical Attempt by Yahapalanaya Authorities to Foist Blame for Central Bank Scam on My Govt” Accuses Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa

Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday condemned what he called a diabolical attempt by the government to frame him for the bond scams, and vowed to take legal action against those responsible for it. The former President has said in a statement: “It is with regret that I inform the public of a diabolical attempt by the …

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Was Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Forged Signature used to Issue Fraudulent Gazette Setting Up Treasury Bond Sales After New Govt took Over?

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed to sue the central bank and the finance ministry as a gazette emerged showing he created a 10 billion rupee bond whose sale has become the subject of several investigations. Addressing reporters at a temple ceremony in Horana, the former leader said his name had been used to carry out …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Lodge Police Complaint if he did not sign Gazette Setting up Treasury Bond Sale Which took Place After his Defeat

A good governance activist Saturday challenged former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to file a police complaint if he was not behind an impugned gazette that set up the controversial bond sale after his defeat. Keerthi Tennakoon of the campaign for Free and Fair Elections and the Anti-Corruption Front said Rajapaksa must lodge a complaint if he …

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Request by Mahinda for Security During Visit Turned Down By Singapore Govt which said there was no Threat to Rajapaksa.

(From “Talk at the Cafe Spectator” Column) The telephone calls from Singapore appeared urgent. Unable to reach Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, this was why Udith Lokubandara MP, who serves as Personal Assistant to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, left hurried messages at his office to call back. Not sure what the issue was, Minister Samaraweera telephoned. …

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Muslims Should Leave the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Join National Political Parties.

By Latheef Farook A spate of controversies involving the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has underscored the call that the Muslims in Sri Lanka should reassess their politics and withdraw themselves from this party which many accuse of betraying the community for positions and perks. The SLMC came with the slogan of Islam and unity. …

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Carnatic Music is Being Presented in New Venues to New Audiences by a New Wave of Younger Artistes.

By Aparna M. Sridhar As a classical art, it is easy to associate Carnatic music with not just tradition and heritage in terms of musical form, presentation, and com position, but with venerable vocalists and instrumentalists who have always represented the best that it has to offer. But as we celebrate the 250th birth anniversary …

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Is China a Threat to our Island and the Indian Ocean Region?

By SANJA DE SILVA JAYATILLEKA While two high level delegations from Beijing were visiting Colombo it was strange indeed to see a full page article in the Daily News of 22 Feb 2017 (“Tripartite Agreement with India, Japan Mooted”, p 4), suggesting that China might well be a threat to Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka …

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Namal Rajapaksa Demands 250 Million Rupees From Chandrika Kumaratunga For Allegedly Defaming his Character.

By D. Ranaweera Hambantota District SLFP MP Namal Rajapaksa has sent a letter of demand to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga demanding a sum of Rs 250 million for defamation of character by the latter. The MP has notified the former President that failure to pay the aforementioned sum will result in legal action being taken …

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Allowing Coca Cola Facing Opposition in India to Open Plant in Sri Lanka Will Further Deplete our Diminishing Water Resources Warns Douglas Devananda.

By Yohan Perera & Ajith Siriwardana The Coca Cola factory proposed to be established in Sri Lanka would further reduce the water resources which are already diminishing as a result of the drought, Parliamentarian Douglas Devananda charged. Mr. Devananda told Parliament that Coca Cola was planning to shift the largest manufacturing plant owned by it …

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Police Report Filed in Court States Definitely About Attempt to Assassinate MA Sumanthiran MP

By Rajavarothayam Sampanthan We want the country to be stable; we want the country to be calm. But, our people are complaining; our people are suffering. My Friend Mr. Sumanthiran has been accused of being traitorous by some Tamil Leaders who have been resoundingly rejected at the last Parliamentary Elections, some persons whose party polled …

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President Sirisena and SLFP Ministers in Govt Briefed at Secret Meeting about “Frightening Economic Situation Unfolding in the Country”.

By Saman Gunadasa The Colombo-based Sunday Times published a lengthy article last weekend about a secret meeting of government ministers and President Maithripala Sirisena. According to the newspaper, the high-level gathering discussed “what portends to be a frightening economic situation unfolding in the country.” The meeting was briefed by Central Bank Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy and …

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“Left Centre” Co-convenor Chameera Perera Alleges that Ex-Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was Behind Abduction of Journalist Keith Noyahr

By Shamindra Ferdinando A civil society grouping that campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena at the January 2015 presidential poll yesterday alleged that the wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was behind the abduction of Associate Editor of The Nation, Keith Noyahr in May 2008. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) Chameera Perera, …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Openly Encouraged Corruption Among Elected Govt Officials Charges Chandrika Kumaratunga

by Zacki Jabbar Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa openly encouraged elected government representatives to be corrupt, says Ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Whenever Mahinda held meetings, especially with local councillors, he always reminded them to collect their 20 percent Commissions from any project under their purview, as if it was a legal right, she told a meeting with …

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Full Text of Speech Made in Parliament by Leader of the Opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan During Adjournment Motion Debate on Feb 22nd 2017

ගරු රාජවරෝදියම් සම්පන්දන් මහතා (විරුද්ධ පාර්ශ්වයේ නායකතුමා) (மாண்புமிகு ராஜவரோதயம் சம்பந்தன் – எதிர்க்கட்சி முதல்வர்) (The Hon. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan – Leader of the Opposition) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We are starting this Adjournment Debate half-an-hour behind time. Might I suggest that in case Hon. Members want to speak, you might have to sit a little beyond 7.00 …

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When I was Secretary, We Took Action When People Like Nediyavan Tried to Resume Terrorist Activities” – Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

By Kelum Bandara Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in an interview with Daily Mirror speaks about his future plans, diplomatic ties he developed during the war time and the charges levelled against him. Excerpts From The interview: \ Q As the former Defence Secretary, how do you analyse the current situation of the country? There …

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“I am Extremely Unhappy With the Way Our People Are Treated By This Govt” -TNA Leader R.Sampanthan in Parliament

By Meera Srinivasan After two years of engaging the Sri Lankan government on reconciliation and constitutional reform, the country’s Tamil polity seems to be losing patience, if Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan’s address in Parliament is any indication. On Wednesday, the veteran Tamil leader attacked the government that, he said, was treating the minority Tamils …

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“My Husband Was Not a Traitor” Says Ex-LTTE Deputy Leader Gopalaswamy Mahendrarajah alias “Mahathaya”‘s Wife Yogeshwari.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan With the sea of information we have received through media and books about the LTTE and the 30-year-long war, the man called ‘Mahaththaya’ captured the attention of all as he was given a Sinhala name unlike the rest of the Tamil Tiger fighters. While top Eastern Commander like Karuna Amman had …

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Alleged LTTE Suspects Arrested in Narahenpita With Caps Bearing Tiger Insignia Further Remanded Till March 1st

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Three alleged LTTE suspects including Subramaniam Nagulerasa alias Nagulan arrested over the seizure of several caps bearing the LTTE logo in Narahenpita were yesterday ordered to be further remanded till March 1 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Artigala. The Additional Magistrate is to announce her bail order regarding the suspects on the …

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Ex-LTTE Cadres with T-56 and 46 Cartridges Arrested by Police on Mullaitheevu – Batticaloa Bus After Anonymous Tel Call Tip Off

By Ananth Palakidnar Three persons in possession of a T-56 assault rifle and 46 cartridges have been arrested by Police in Mullaitivu, while they were en route to Batticaloa last Tuesday. The arrest came when Police acted on an anonymous call leading them to a passenger bus in Oorani that was en route to Batticaloa …

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“We are Answerable to the People of this Country and not to the International Community” – Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

(Speech made by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, MP., during the Adjournment moved by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. R. Sampanthan, in Parliament on 22 February 2017) Hon. Speaker, • I thank the Honourable Leader of Opposition for raising this important issue in this House today – an issue on which the …

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“Ranil as Opposition Leader Told Parliament Sarath Fonseka was Responsible For Abduction and Assault of Journalist Keith Noyahr” -Dullas Alahapperuma

by Dasun Edirisinghe Matara District Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday recalled that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the then Opposition Leader in 2009 told Parliament that then Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was responsible for the abduction and assault on journalist Keith Noyahr. Answering a question at the Joint Opposition’s weekly media briefing at Dr …

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Wimal Weerawansa Wants His National Freedom Front Comprising 5 MP’s to be Treated as Separate Group in Parliament.

by Saman Indrajith National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa requested from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday in parliament to accept five NFF MPs including him as an independent group since they have severed all their connections with the UPFA. Speaker Jayasuriya said that he would refer the matter to the party leaders’ meeting scheduled for today …

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Court of Appeal Issues Notice on Six Persons Acquitted in Murder Trial of Tamil MP Nadarajajah Raviraj.

By Chitra Weerarathne The Court of appeal on February 21 issued notice on the six persons, indicted in the High Court, but later acquitted after the trial held in respect of the murder of the TNA parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj. The aggrieved party, the wife of N. Raviraj, had filed a revision application on the Court …

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Bar Association of Sri Lanka Responds to Accusations About Appointment of Mr. Ramanathan Kannan as High Court Judge.

Mr. Geoffrey Alagaratnam, PC, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has responded to accusations directed at the BASL in respect of the recent appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as High Court judge. The following is the text of Mr. Alagaratnam’s statement: “There has been much speculation and allegations related to the above appointment …

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Lankan Govt Response to Tough Questions Posed by CEDAW Experts Dismays Women Rights Activists

By Dharisha Bastians Reporting from Geneva The Government of Sri Lanka faced tough questions from the UN women’s rights watchdog in Geneva yesterday, as it presented its four yearly periodic report and pleaded with the Committee to acknowledge advances and improvements on the condition of women in the country. “By all means push us and …

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Those Responsible For Recurring Political Violence In Sri Lanka Have Never Been Seriously Prosecuted

BY Niran Anketell When an historic Obama Presidency took control of Washington in early 2009, there was a wide expectation that the new administration would rectify one of the Bush administration’s greatest moral failings – its use of torture. Previously, Bush administration lawyers had drafted several legal memos, on which members of the CIA relied, …

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“Recurrence Of Violence Would Result In More Tamils Fleeing The Country” – Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan In Parliament

Hon. Speaker Parliament of Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. ADJOURNMENT MOTION Question relating to matter of Public importance to be raised on 22nd February 2017 at the conclusion of questions by Mr. R Sampanthan, Member of Parliament, Leader of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and Leader of the Opposition. All people who lived in Sri …

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Kabir Hashim Challenges Ravi Karunanayake’s Arbitrary Decision to Pay US $ 154 Million As Compensation For Cancelling Aircraft Purchasing Deal

By Dhammika Ranaweera A determined stand-off between Minister of Public Enterprises Development Kabir Hashim and the Finance Ministry at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting sent emotions. roaring in connection with a clash of opinions on the amount of compensation to be paid for cancellation of an agreement signed by the previous regime to purchase aircraft. Hashim objected …

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Battling Their “Brothers”In Tamil Nadu Who Compete For Fish in the Palk Bay

By Meera Srinivasan The first thing that struck me about Rajachandran was the way he spoke: pausing between words and raising his voice when he emphasised a point.He watched my face to make sure I followed what he was saying. There was no difficulty understanding him; even some of the unfamiliar Jaffna Tamil words were …

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Lankan Womens Rights Activists Lobby At Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Sessions in Geneva

By Dharisha Bastians reporting from Geneva Lankan activists gathered in the Swiss canton of Geneva this week to lobby the United Nations women’s rights watchdog – CEDAW – pressing the UN committee to urge the Sri Lankan Government to meet its obligations to protect women in the country from discriminatory practices, including oppressive marriage laws, …

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India Advises TNA To Negotiate For Political Solution Without Demanding North – East Merger

By Meera Srinivasan Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has asked the Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka to continue negotiating a political solution with the government, without being fixated on the demand for merging the island’s northern and eastern provinces. “The Indian Foreign Secretary said we needed to think in terms of alternatives which might provide …

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Gang Of Goondas Abduct And Molest Popular South Indian Actress Bhavana in Kerala After Hijacking Her Vehicle

Popular South Indian actress of Malayalam ethnicity Bhavana was reportedly abducted and molested by a gang of goondas when she was returning home from a shoot in Ernakulam district in Kerala. The incident took place on Friday Feb 17th when the men stopped and hijacked Bhavana’s car near Athani in Angamaly. The actress was molested …

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Indian Premier Modi’s “Point Man” Ram Madhav Visits Lanka to Assess Whether Gotabhaya Could Split From Mahinda For “High” Political Office.

By Meera Srinivasan Even as Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa angles for a political comeback, New Delhi appears to be weighing up possible political shifts in the island, including a split in the Rajapaksa camp. On February 10, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, known to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s point man on …

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Economic Lethargy and Incompetence of Present Govt Could Make People Feel Nostalgic About Rajapaksa Regime

By Ranga Jayasuriya A few years back under the former regime, it was not a nice spectacle when slum dwellers in Colombo were evicted by gun-toting soldiers to make room for development activities. Decent people were right to feel outraged. However, many of those folks might not have noticed it yet. But, this government’s manifest …

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India will not Press for Merger of Northern and Eastern Sri Lankan Provinces States Indian Foreign Secy Jaishankar

By P.K.Balachandran India will not be pressing Sri Lanka to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a single Tamil-majority, Tamil-speaking province as envisaged by the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, the Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Monday. He was reacting to a demand made by the …

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Indian-origin Tamils Participating in Governance Within the Sri Lankan National Mainstream Appreciated by Indian Foreign Secy

By P.K.Balachandran The Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar expressed his happiness about the Indian Origin Tamils (IOTs) being in the Sri Lankan national mainstream, fully participating in governance and securing benefits for themselves, Mano Ganeshan, leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), told Express after meeting the top Indian official here on Monday. According to Ganeshan, …

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Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar urges Tamil National Alliance to unite to fight for Tamils’ rights

By P.K.Balachandran Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to unite to fight for the Tamils’ rights, including their rights under the proposed constitution, and cooperate with India in the economic development of the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces. Meeting the TNA top brass ahead of his meetings with the …

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Military Intelligence Hit Squad Operating Out of Kohuwela Camp Used For Assassinating,Abducting and Attacking Journalists from 2006 to 2010

Sri Lanka’s police made a major breakthrough Saturday in their investigations in to the abduction of news editor Keith Noyahr as well as a string of other attacks, disappearances and killings of journalists by arresting at least three military personnel attached to a hit squad which operated from Kohuwela. Police headquarters in a statement said …

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UNP Allegation About Sarath Fonseka’s “Special Team” Being Responsible for Attacks on Journalists Must Be Investigated Too -“The Island”

( Full Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of February 20th 2017 Under the heading “CID’s Nelsonian eye”) The CID has woken up like Rip Van Winkle. It has arrested three military intelligence personnel including a major over the abduction of the then Associate Editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, way back in …

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Are Organizers of Tamil Political Protests Using Them To Attack Political Rivals ?

By Meera Srinivasan The small group of Tamils that met top Ministers in Colombo on February 9 conveyed one thing emphatically— their patience was wearing thin. All the members of the group that had travelled nearly six hours by bus from Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to Colombo have been searching for their missing relatives for …

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Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wants to Safeguard The Independence of the Judiciary

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged the legal fraternity to pressure President Maithripala Sirisena to reverse the controversial appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge. The former President also pressed them to take tangible measures to end politicization of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). The following is the full text of …

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Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) is Real Target of Orchestrated Protests in Kaeppaapilavu and Vavuniya.

By P.K.Balachandran Factionalism within the multi-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been at the root of the on-going agitations in Kepapilavu and Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district and the just concluded stir on the issue of disappearances in Vavuniya, sources in the TNA told Express on Sunday. The Vavuniya agitation was directed by the Eelam People …

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Major Prabath Bulathwatte, Sgt Duminda weeraratne and Sgt Hemachandra Perera of Military Intelligence Arrested Over Attack on Ex-Newspaper Editor Keith Noyahr.

Criminal Investigation Detectives yesterday arrested an Army officer and two Sergeants over the May 2008 attack on journalist Keith Noyahr. The arrests came after the trio were summoned to CID headquarters on Friday and interrogated. The trio are Major Prabath Bulathwatte, Sergeant Duminda Weeraratne and Sergeant Hemachandra Perera. The formal arrests were made yesterday after …

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Controversy Over Role Played By “Lawyer Leaders” of Bar Association in Appointing An Eastern Lawyer as Northern High Court Judge

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Heated controversy surrounding the recent appointment of a Batticoloa lawyer as a Northern High Court judge by President Maithripala Sirisena raises a fundamental point of contention. Even on the most innocent of explanations, ‘leaders of the Bar’ must refrain from putting themselves into situations where a disturbing lack of clarity arises …

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Land Reforms Commission Claims Ownership of Lands to be Leased by Board of Investment to Nandana Lokuwithana for Tyre Factory

By Namini Wijedasa A land transaction between the Board of Investment (BOI) and controversial businessman Nandana Lokuwithana has become more complicated. Mr. Lokuwithana’s Rigid Tyre Corporation (Pvt) Ltd is tipped to receive 100 acres of land from the gazetted BOI industrial zone at Wagawatta in Horana. The deal was negotiated by the Development Strategies Ministry …

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President Sirisena Holds Tri-partite Talks with UNP, SLFP and TNA to Break Deadlock in Constitutional Negotiations

By Dharisha Bastians President Maithripala Sirisena has stepped into break a deadlock in constitutional negotiations, holding a round of tripartite talks with the United National Party (UNP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) late last month. Prime Minister fgjRanil Wickremesinghe attended the tripartite discussions, together with UNP Chairman …

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New Constitution Making Process in Sri Lanka Is In the Doldrums

By P.K.Balachandran The process of drafting a brand new constitution for Sri Lanka is in the doldrums though many steps had already been completed and the process was in the final stages early last month itself. The six subcommittees on various subjects had submitted their reports based on the widest possible public consultations. The Steering …

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Tamil Nadu’s 25th Chief Minister Edappaady Palaniswamy Must Prove He has Majority Support in the Legislature Within 15 Days

By Anna Isaac The red beacon has been removed from O Panneerselvam’s car and shifted to the vehicle of Edappadi K Palaniswamy. The confusion over whether Tamil Nadu has an ‘interim Chief Minister’ or a ‘caretaker Chief Minister’ has also ended. Edappadi K Palaniswamy has been sworn in as the 25th Chief Minister of Tamil …

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“Sinna Amma” Sasikala’s Chosen Man Edappadi Palaniswamy Will Be the New Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State

By Dhanya Rajendran It’s official: Governor Vidyasagar Rao has made up his mind to call Edappadi Palaniswami to form the government in Tamil Nadu. He will be sworn in on Thursday evening, but the drama isn’t over just yet. Sasikala’s chosen man now has 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the …

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Chandrika Kumaratunga Wants SLFP to Take a “Clean Break” From the Joint Opposition Faction Led by Mahinda Rajapaksa

By Dharisha Bastians Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday admitted that there had been a breakdown in party discipline in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and suggested a “clean break” from the Joint Opposition led by her successor Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Joint Opposition was not a “huge threat” to the future of the SLFP, Kumaratunga …

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AIADMK Gen Secy “Sinna Amma”Sasikala Becomes Prisoner No 9234 in Bengaluru Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara

After a day of high drama in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala, convicted by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case on Tuesday, surrendered at a special court, a few hundred metres from Bengaluru Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara, and became prisoner no. 9234. Before leaving for Bengaluru by road on …

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Trump Administration to Further Expand US -India Strategic Military Alliance in a Bid to Contain and/or Thwart Rise of China.

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones The Trump administration has served notice that it intends to expand the Indo-US military strategic alliance. This is not surprising, but nonetheless highly significant: first, because it underscores the new administration’s intention to pursue confrontation with China; and second, because Washington’s drive to harness India to its military-strategic offensive …

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Powers Removed By Urban Development Authority to be Taken Back By Provincial Councils Says Western Chief Minister Devapriya.

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa Provincial Councils (PC) would introduce a controversial convention very shortly to take back and regain the powers that had been removed from them by the Urban Development Authority (UDA), Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said yesterday. Addressing the media at the Chief Minister’s office in Colombo, Devapriya said the charter would …

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Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Detained in Australia Who Return Home Wont be Prosecuted Assures Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged compatriots who are being held in Australian-run immigration detention centres to come home. Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed the Sri Lankans had broken the law in trying to flee to Australia but insisted they would not face prosecution if they returned. “Come back. All is forgiven,” Wickremesinghe said as he stood …

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Govt Will Launch a “Hearts and Minds” Campaign to Mobilise Support for the New Constitution Announces Chandrika Kumaratunga

By Dharisha Bastians The Government will launch a hearts and minds campaign to win support for a new constitution in the coming months, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Tuesday. The campaign is expected to be modelled along the lines of Kumaratunga’s own Sudu Nelum Movement initiative in 1995, which sought to build bridges between …

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Can Constitutional Reform Provide a Soution to the Tamil National Question?

By Sumanasiri Liyanage A German friend of mine whom I met after 7 years in the middle of our conversation asked me about the state reforms project of the Yahapalana government. He said that many people he met had been sanguine about them in spite of some minor difficulties. Lankans have been talking about the …

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Sri Lanka and Australia sign MoUs on Development Cooperation and strengthening Cooperation in Sport

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is visiting Australia at the invitation of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, held discussions with the Australian Premier at the Parliament House in Canberra yesterday. Following bilateral discussions between the two sides, the two leaders witnessed the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding on development cooperation and on strengthening cooperation in …

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“Bring On a Referendum on the New Constitution, Bring it on Baby Bring it on”

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “Let’s Get It On…….” – Marvin Mangala Samaraweera announced to the Foreign Correspondents Association last Tuesday evening that the government had decided that it was “worth the risk” to go for a referendum on a new Constitution. Lakshman Kiriella reiterated this in Parliament, saying that the government’s decision was that it would …

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CV Wigneswaran Makes Cardinal Error of Attacking MA Sumanthiran Out of Jealousy.

By Rathindra Kuruwita So Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran and the gang just held the second instalment of Ezhuga Tamil (Arise Tamils) festival (?) in Batticaloa. Then again why shouldn’t they? The first one was, in my estimate, a success. They managed to bring a few thousand people onto the roads; a lot of …

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Hakeem and Nazeer Join Forces to Gain and Maintain Control of Muslim Congress and Party Properties

by Ifham Nizam The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will continue to have more problems of a serious nature unless Party Leader Rauff Hakeem puts an end to acts that favour some who were keen on building their financial strengths, neglecting party politics. SLMC officials told The Sunday Leader that there are frequent clashes within …

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President Sirisena Insists on Retaining Power to Declare Emerggency Rule With Simple Majority Approval in Parliament Instead of Two-Thirds.

By Vijith Samarasinghe Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has blocked a move to require a two-thirds parliamentary vote, rather than the current simple majority, to approve a presidential declaration of emergency. He ordered the removal of a clause to that effect in the proposed National Action Plan for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (NHRAP). …

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Dambulla Situation Returns to Normal: All Muslim Owned Businesses Functioning Smoothly and Safely.

NEWS UPDATE The situation in Dambulla has returned to Normal. Al Musli owned businesses in Dambulla were fully open on Monday February 13th. Representatives of the Dambulla Sinhala Traders Association and Muslim Businesspersons had a friendly discussion to resolve outstanding problems on Sunday Feb 12th. Meanwhile the Muslim restaurant manager and Sinhala customer whose altercation …

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Indian Nation’s Confidence in the Judiciary Restored After Supreme Court Ruling on Tamil Nadu Political Corruption Case Appeal.

By N. Sathiya Moorrthy By setting aside Karnataka high court Judge C Kumaraswamy’s acquittal order and restoring trial court Judge John Michael Cunha’s verdict in its entirety on Tuesday, the Supreme Court has reiterated the nation’s confidence in the judiciary, especially in matters of dealing with political bosses who have made it a habit of …

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Solution Through Consensus Must be In -Between Concern About Separation and Need For Greater Autonomy – Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

By Amra Ismail Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is an expert in governance and peace. He has submitted research papers on the subjects in international conferences. In 2013, he attended a High-level Civil Society Round Table during the tenure of Barack Obama, the former President of the …

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“Mannarkudi Mafia’ Scheme to make “Sinna Amma” Sasikala the chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Foiled by Supreme Court Verdict Upholding Previous Conviction for Corruption.

Sasikala’s political career has hit a roadblock even before it took off. The Supreme Court set aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting Sasikala, her niece Ilavarasi, nephew VN Sudhakaran and late CM Jayalalithaa in the Disproportionate Assets case. In doing so, the apex court has restored the Special Court’s judgement by Michael D’Cunha in …

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Tamil Peoples Council Headed by CV Wigneswaran Launches “Ezhuga Thamizh”(Arise Tamil) Communal Campaign in East

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth The Tamil People’s Council (TPC), a Tamil nationalist organisation, has called an Ezhuga Thamizh (Rise up Tamils) protest on February 10 in Batticaloa in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The TPC held a similar demonstration in Jaffna last September. The purpose of the protest is to divert the growing social …

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