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We can face inquiry without any shame
In “our hands” mean laws and rules are local. We can interpret laws/rules judicially without harming the nation. National interest associated with the reconciliation process is prime – none will disagree on that premise including the sensible section of the TNA, if any, except the extremists on either side that thrive on ethnic disharmony.
Both administrations - Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe - fail to play trumps in hand – the best of it is supposedly in the report contributed to by the international legal experts - a possible explanation for the laxity on the part of the previous administration - never thought they would have to leave office or the people will vote them out. (Daily Mirror)
Sri Lanka to sign new deal with China Port City
Sri Lanka will sign an amended agreement with a Chinese company that is reclaiming the sea near Colombo, involving the Urban Development Authority with a committee tasked to make changes to the deal.
Sri Lanka has already granted a six-month extension to a temporary agreement signed with Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd. (economynext)
Sri Lanka to revive Sathosa with help from Singapore
Sri Lanka’s state owned retail chain Lanka Sathosa aims to get support to revive from Singapore as the retail chain is making continues losses, ministry of industry and commerce said in a release.
Lanka Sathosa owned more than 310 outlets around the island. (Lanka Business Online)
UPFA MPs walk out in protest against PM using word ‘pimp’
Opposition members of the UPFA yesterday walked out of the Chamber of Parliament protesting against what they called Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s use of unparliamentary language.
The group of MPs who walked off were led by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, NLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Dullas Alahapperuma, Kumara Welgama, Johnston Fernando, Dinesh Gunawardena and Bandula Gunawardena (The Island)
Sri Lanka to call bids for $2bn urban railway project
Sri Lanka will be calling for international competitive bids for its first urban railway project, that would connect the centre of the capital city Colombo to its suburbs
The 30km rail project is likely to begin in 2019. (Railway Technology)
Is 1815 repeating? An imminent danger before Sri Lanka. An open letter to Mahasanga and all Patriotic Sinhala Buddhist Leaders all over Sri Lanka.
Now the much hyped UNHCHR Resolution on Sri Lanka is unanimously passed, I feel we are standing on the brim of disaster and perhaps extinction as well, as a sovereign Nation.
No wonder it was unanimously passed as Sri Lanka itself did not object to a single close there in when the Sovereignty and independence of this nation was actually blatantly and brutally murdered by USA, UK and their allies. (Lankaweb)
Sri Lanka heading for retirement crisis
Sri Lanka is heading for a ‘retirement crisis’ with rising life expectancy, insufficient labour participation and inadequate pension coverage, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha De Silva said.
“Caring for the old is going to place a large burden on the health system, especially old age disease and end-of-life care,” he told the National Pensioners Day Symposium organised by the Department of Pensions. (economynext)
Reasons for rejecting UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka
Despite all the hot air pumped to float the UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/30/L. 29 its future is not guaranteed as the stormy atmospherics which seem to be gathering over the horizon are putting a heavy strain on the stability of the Siri-Wicky regime and, more importantly, its ability to deliver the truck load of promises contained in the Resolution, mainly to win applause from abroad. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is carrying the heavy load, seems to be driven by a self-motivated compulsion to implement the grand reformist plan in the Resolution.
Right now he is engaged in some fancy footwork to market his underhand attempt to feed defenders of the nation as dinner to the foreign judicial piranhas. (Lankaweb)
China sends special envoy to Sri Lanka to mend ties
In a significant move, China has dispatched a special envoy to Sri Lanka, where major Chinese investments are being reviewed since a Beijing-friendly president was ousted from power in January and a recent parliamentary election reinstated a national unity government seeking a more neutral foreign policy.
The South China Morning Post has learnt that Beijing has appointed Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin as the first special envoy for the strategically located Indian Ocean nation since the parliamentary elections in August. His visit comes on the heels of back-to-back trips by the newly elected prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to India and Japan. (S. China Morning Post)
US announces more funding for demining in Sri Lanka
The US on Thursday announced an additional $1.745 million for demining in Sri Lanka's former war theatre.
US ambassador Atul Keshap conveyed this to minister D.M. Swaminathan, saying the funding would be for international and domestic partners and the National Mine Action Committee. (Business Standard)
Sri Lanka holidays: readers' tips, advice and recommendations
The highlight of our visit to Sri Lanka was the night climb to the 7,000ft summit of Adam’s Peak, to watch the sunrise. Religious people on this deeply spiritual island try to make the ascent at least once in their lifetime, to see Buddha’s footprint.
We started the climb around 2am, gentle at first along a well-worn track, dimly lit, with occasional refreshment stalls. There was a final flight of steps to the top, where we found pilgrims in a shelter rousing themselves from sleep after a daytime ascent. (The Telegraph)
Court permits Gota to change caption on FR petition
The Supreme Court yesterday permitted former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to amend the caption on his petition with regard to an imminent arrest and detention by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID).
The Bench comprising Chief Justice K.Sripavan, Justices Priyantha Jayawardane and Upali Abeyratne fixed the matter to be taken up on January 28 next year. (Daily Mirror)
Rs. 180 mn to refurbish President’s official residence; Rs. 70 million for his limo
The government yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of Parliament for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of President Maithripala Sirisena.
The supplementary allocation of Rs. 180,688,000 was presented to Parliament by Chief Government Whip Media Minister Gayantha Karunatillake. (The Island)
Missy Franklin visits Tsunami hit areas in Sri Lanka
American swimming sensation and multiple Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin has been spending time in Sri Lanka over the last week or so with children whose families were affected by the Tsunami almost a decade ago.
Part of the Laureus Foundation of Goodness Project that has been helping victims of the aforementioned disaster rebuild their lives through sports, Franklin’s visit to the island nation included a stopover at the small village of Seenigama. (Sportskeeda)
Indian MP ready to quit governing alliance over Sri Lanka's Tamil ethnic issue
India's Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) MP Anbumani Ramadoss Monday said that he is ready to quit the BJP-led NDA alliance if his decision could help find a permanent solution to the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils
PMK MP from Tamil Nadu responding to TNCC president E.V.K.S. Elangovan who asked why he was continuing in the NDA when India supported the "diluted" resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a probe into the war crimes, said the Congress leader was only diverting the issue, according to The Hindu. (Colombo Page)
Japan promises visiting Sri Lanka PM infrastructure, maritime aid
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged aid to Sri Lanka on Tuesday in a meeting with his counterpart, Ranil Wickremsinghe, and reiterated a promise to help Sri Lanka bolster its maritime security and to provide patrol ships.
Sri Lanka is moving away from the former government's pro-China stance and has suspended most Chinese-backed infrastructure projects. (REUTERS)
Parliament sittings suspended as MPs clash
Parliament sittings were suspended for 10 minutes by Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala as opposition and government members clashed over establishing a hybrid court allegedly proposed by the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka. Tamil, as a USA resolution at the next UNHRSession in Geneva to be cosponsored by Sri Lanka.
UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa rising to a point of order asked as to why the government is not giving time for a debate on alleged hybrid court this week even though it was promised earlier. (CEYLON TODAY)
Anura slams CEA over Kelani river contamination
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake slammed the Central Environment Authority (CEA) today over the contamination of the Kelani river.
Speaking in Parliament, the JVP leader accused the CEA of failing to take appropriate action against the Coca Cola company after it was reported that the company was the cause for the contamination. (Colombo Gazette)
Rosy and Muzammil contend for Colombo's mayoral candidacy
Former Colombo District UNP Parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake, who lost her seat at the recently held Parliamentary election, is now projecting herself as the Mayoral Candidate for Colombo.
As a result, a keen contest has surfaced between present Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil and Senanayake for the Mayoral candidacy of Colombo at the forthcoming Local Government election likely to take pace in March. (Asian Mirror)
Next Sri Lanka will cosponsor with USA a resolution against King Dutugamenu for war crimes
Now it is a question of reconciliation with the Tamils at any cost and for that it is possible the Sirisena –Ranil good governance may demand USA to investigate whether USA could extend the UNHuman rights violation, and even genocide calling for accountability of King Dutugemunu’s war against Elara the Cholan Tamil, as a USA resolution at the next UNHRSession in Geneva to be cosponsored by Sri Lanka.
It may be considered a conventional war under Geneva conventions. It could be a possibility with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain as the UN Commissioner of Human Rights and Obama’s State Department to pass a resolution to extend UN Human Rights to apply backwards to 161 BC. (Lankaweb)
Janaka Bandara Tennakoon arrested
Central Provincial Minister Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon says that his father former Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). (Ada Derana)
Karunanidhi urges Indian government to move resolution in UNHRC on Sri Lanka - report
Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the president of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in India M. Karunanidhi has urged the Indian government to move a private member's resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Karunanidhi in a statement has claimed that Sri Lanka will never abide by the rules and urged the center to move a resolution seeking an international inquiry into the alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Army in the last phase of the civil war, according to a report in the Hindu. (Colombo Page)
MR: Geneva resolution no victory for Sri Lanka
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday he was unable to share the government’s view that the recently adopted UNHRC resolution was a victory for Sri Lanka.
Rajapaksa said in a statement issued to the media: (The island)
Kondaya’ s brother confesses to Seya murder: CID
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) today (05) apprised the Court that the elder brother of Kondaya has confessed to the murder and sexual assault on five-year-old child in Karandeniya.
The suspect, who was the elder brother of Konadaya, was arrested over the murder of Seya Sadewmi, on October 3. (Ada Dearna)
Geneva going and USA hammering
“I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine…. War is hell’ (Gen William T Sherman the US General who made ‘Georgia howl’ and burned Atlanta in the Civil war)
The USA made sure that Sri Lanka dug its own grave in Geneva in 2015. Looks like the GTF, the Policy Alteration boys, and the International (The Nation)
President chides his own party over reconciliation
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has sent a message of disapproval to members of his own party who have shown dissent over the government's handling of the war crimes issue at the UN Human Rights Council.
Shortly after returning from New York where he addressed the UN general assembly, Sirisena in an address from the Presidential Palace in Colombo parised effiorts of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the government. (economynext)
Prime Minister arrives in Japan on an official visit
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe who left the island on an official visit to Japan has arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture of Japan, the state TV reported.
The Prime Minister was received by Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Japan Professor Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake. (Colombo Page)
Over 27,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in September 2015
According to a Colombo Page report, in September 2015, about 40,498 South Asian tourists visited the island-nation, and 27,233 of them were from India alone.
The South Asian tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka last month was a marginal improvement over the 41.5 percent figure in the corresponding period in 2014. (New Kerala)
Tourists replace rebels as Sri Lanka national park blooms
Lokaiya Peremadasa shudders as he recalls the havoc Tamil rebels used to wreak on his beloved wildlife park during Sri Lanka's brutal 37-year-long civil war.
"They would come down and shoot the animals," the guide said, his jeep bouncing around on the bumpy dirt tracks of Yala National Park in the island's south. (Times of Oman)
Sri Lanka rights abuse probe to be 'completely domestic': Maithripala Sirisena
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has asserted that the judicial mechanism to probe the alleged rights abuses during the last phase of civil war with LTTE will be "completely domestic", ruling out the possibility of a special hybrid mechanism involving foreign judges.
"We need to move forward as a nation and ensure that this sort of situation (ethnic conflict) will not be repeated," Sirisena told reportes after his return from from New York where he attended the UN General Assembly session. (Economic Times)
Special investigation into Yala shooting
Wildlife Department said today it has launched a special investigation into the incident where a hunter was shot dead inside the Yala National Park during an exchange of fire between a group of hunters and Wildlife Department Officers last evening.
Wildlife Director General H. D Ratnayake said it was illegal to enter the national park, possess firearms and engaged in hunting inside the national park. (Daily Mirror)
UN asks Sri Lanka to allow foreign judges in war crimes probe
The UN's human rights body on Thursday unanimously recommended a credible probe including foreign judges and lawyers into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka in the war against the LTTE, a resolution on which was surprisingly co-sponsored by Colombo.
The 47-member Human Rights Council here approved by consensus a crucial resolution led by the US and the UK, and backed by Sri Lanka itself, in a move hailed by international advocacy groups. (IBN Live)
UN human rights body approves resolution to back more accountability in post-war Sri Lanka
The top U.N. human rights body on Thursday approved by consensus a resolution aimed to increase accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of its decades-long civil war that left tens of thousands of people dead.
International advocacy groups hailed the measure by the Human Rights Council in Geneva for calling for international judges and lawyers to help ensure the judicial process in Sri Lanka, where authorities have long avoided investigating alleged war crimes by its forces and victims' families have been futile in their attempts to seek justice. (Star Tribune)
Vaiko slams UN resolution on Sri Lanka
The United Nation’s resolution authorising Sri Lanka to hold a probe into war crimes is bound to turn detrimental to ethnic Tamils, MDMK general secretary Vaiko has said.
“Though the U.S., Russia, Pakistan and India have divergent views on international matters, they have together supported Sri Lanka. The murder of justice will be widely exposed. The MDMK will mobilise 10 lakh youth to create awareness of the injustice perpetrated on Sri Lankan Tamils,” Mr. Vaiko told reporters on Wednesday. (The Hindu)
U.N. rights boss urges Sri Lanka to probe secret jails, missing people
Sri Lanka must investigate reports of secret places of detention and set up a "credible and independent" body to clarify the fate of people missing since the long war that ended in 2009, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
Some Tamils allege that the military maintains detention centers and tortures former Tamil rebels who surrendered after defeat. The military rejects the charge. Tamils who went missing in the war's final phase are alleged to range from many thousands to a few hundred. (REUTERS)
Wigneswaran expresses concerns over resolution
Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, on Wednesday expressed concerns over “some of the serious weaknesses” in a draft resolution on Sri Lanka, which is likely to be adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday.
In a statement, Mr. Wigneswaran, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, said any attempt to entrust the responsibility of prosecution with any local prosecutor “can never bring justice to victims”. (The Hindu)
We cannot let The country be destroyed: Leader Of The Opposition
Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan addressing a star-studded line up of politicians, including Chandrika Kumartunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the country’s politicians always should give priority to “Democracy”.
The Tamil National Alliance leader, who has been in the limelight lately said the erosion of democracy will lead to the destruction of the country. (Colombo Telegraph)
Seven Indian fishermen arrested in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Navy has assisted its Coast Guard to arrest seven Indian fishermen in the seas of Baththalangunduwa in Kalpitiya.
Over 500 kg fish catch and three GPS instruments were seized form the arrested fishermen on Monday, the Colombo Page reported. (Business Standard)
UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka sets opposition ablaze
Convening a media briefing at the Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita on Tuesday, a group of opposition MPs explained their stance on the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka.
Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna MP Dinesh Gunewardena said that a co-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka is to be submitted and nothing of this sort, which is against Sri Lanka, has been seen in the international fora before. (News 1st)
DEW’s FR petition re-fixed for support on Oct. 07
The fundamental rights violation petition filed by D. E.W. Gunasekera, Challenging the legality of the appointment of defeated UPFA candidates as National List Members in Parliament was re-fixed yesterday for support on October 7.
The petitioner has filed a motion requesting a fuller bench on the grounds that the issue has violated people’s franchise. Candidates who were rejected by the voters, on August 17, 2015 have been appointed to Parliament, the petition says. (The Island)
Sri Lanka war crimes resolution softened before U.N. debate
A U.S.-backed resolution at the United Nations that seeks justice for victims of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war has been softened to keep its government on board and allay the concerns of powerful neighbor India, sources say.
The latest draft, expected to be adopted in Geneva on Thursday, fails to specify the powers and role of foreign prosecutors and judges in trying war crimes suspects – a major shortcoming, in the eyes of human rights groups. (REUTERS)
Defeated ex-minister attempting to grab my seat: Geetha
UPFA Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said the dual citizenship allegation was a conspiracy hatched by a former minister who was defeated at the general election in an effort to enter parliament.
She said she contested the general election after relinquishing her Switzerland citizenship. (Daily Mirror)
Sri Lanka trade gap sharply down in July; currency in trouble amid monetization
Sri Lanka trade deficit narrowed 31 percent to 601 million US dollars in July 2015, partly due to a higher base last year, with imports falling 16.9 percent, while the country's currency remained under pressure amid monetization of debt.
Exports fell 2.6 percent to 932.1 million US dollars with textiles and garments falling 0.3 percent to 413.1 million US dollars, rubber products down 9.9 percent to 71.8 million US dollars. (economynext)
Foreign ministry in deliberate attempt to mislead the public
The foreign ministry has posted on their official website the English language text of the US sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka which has been tabled before the UN Human Rights Council along with a Sinhala translation thereof.
The Sinhala reading public will obviously be dependent on the Sinhala translation to form an opinion about this draft resolution. The Sinhala translation provided by the foreign ministry will also be made use of by the media in conveying to the public the contents of this contentious UNHRC resolution (The Island)
U.S. to support Sri Lanka domestic rights probe
The U.S. has said it will support a domestic investigation by Sri Lanka to address allegations of human rights abuses during the final phase of the country’s civil war.
The U.S. position was stated by Secretary of State John Kerry when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena here on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session. (The Hindu)
Sri Lanka urbanisation higher than thought: World Bank
Urbanisation in Sri Lanka is higher than officially estimated with almost half the people living in areas that have urban characteristics, a new World Bank report shows.
“This is a country almost close to boundary of 50 percent of urbanisation like the rest of world,” said Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, senior director of the World Bank. (economynext)
Sri Lanka may be heading for port ‘capacity trap’
Sri Lanka’s expanded port capacity and plans ahead may be ahead of demand in for the foreseeable future as global shipping trends are going through a sea change, an industry official said.
Parakrama Dissanayake, who heads Aiken Spence Shipping said Sri Lanka was building capacity at a time when global shipping was going through a downturn. (Hellenic Shipping)
PM:‘We want to know the truth’
There was much more to the resolution to be moved on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC shortly than a probe into war crimes allegations, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the media yesterday at Temple Trees. It was also about restoring democracy and bringing about national reconciliation, he stressed.
Addressing newspaper editors and other media representatives, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the resolution was not inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests and it did not intend to prosecute one and all, contrary to claims being made in some quarters to that effect. (The Island)
Call for three cheers to Floor Sri Lanka
It’s a mere change of venue - instead of Geneva or New York; the US-Sri Lanka joint resolution shifts the backdrop to Colombo to cast a false sense of domestication.
Circus moves on with foreign actors in starring roles. The Big Top would be erected in the halls of the BMICH, would space the domestic mechanism in courtrooms, cloakrooms and washrooms for inquiries on war crimes. (Daily Mirror)
Investigations under domestic mechanism victory for Lanka: Tennakoon
Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) are extremely encouraged by the resolution on Sri Lanka presented to UNHRC, which allows a for more domesticated mechanism to investigate alleged human rights violations during the war through sections 06, Executive Director – CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon says.
“By allowing a mechanism led by the Sri Lankan judiciary to carry out the necessary activities, the ability of extremist elements to use this resolution for their political agenda was severely limited,”‘ he said in a statement on Monday (28). (Ada Derana)
India has to maintain friendly relations with Sri Lanka: Naidu
Reiterating the Narendra Modi government's stand on relationship with Sri Lanka, union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday that India has to maintain friendly relations with its neighbour.
Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of loan distribution function under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, he also said that Tamil Nadu has every right to pass a resolution when queried about the resolution passed by the state assembly, urging India to bring about a strong resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). (One India)
UK welcomes Sri Lanka’s cooperation on resolution tabled in Geneva
The United Kingdom has welcomed Sri Lanka’s Cooperation on the resolution tabled in Geneva.
In a tweet UK Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire has said that the UK Welcomes Sri Lanka’s cooperation on the resolution and has added that it is another step closer to addressing a legacy of conflict. (News 1st)
SL co-sponsoring US resolution tragic: GL
Former Minister G.L. Peiris said yesterday it was tragic that Sri Lanka had co-sponsored the resolution tabled by the US at the UNHRC which termed that the security forces had committed war crimes during the war.
Prof. Peiris rejected claims by some people that the government had been able to mitigate the allegations in the UNHRC report after the January and August elections and other claims that the report would have been worse if former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in office. (Daily Mirror)
‘We have now joined int’l community as a responsible,confident and peaceful nation’— Mangala Samaraweera
Sri Lanka achieved a path-breaking success in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the current 30th Session, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
"For the past several years, Sri Lanka was repeatedly humiliated by the international community with Resolutions that censured the conduct of our country. Successive resolutions since 2012, adopted by divisive and acrimonious voting, resulted in repeated defeats and isolation for Sri Lanka", he noted. (Sunday Island)
Modi meets Bhutan PM, Sri Lanka president
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of close neighbours Bhutan and Sri Lanka as well as of Cyprus and Sweden in separate back-to-back bilaterals here.
Modi, who addressed the UN Summit on Sustainable Development here on Friday, held bilateral meetings with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades. (Business Standard)
Beef ban dampens Bakrid in “Sri Lanka”
Mirza Alam Baig did not offer any sacrifice on Eid-al-Adha this year. Not that his religious vigour wavered; he just couldn’t afford a goat.
Last year, he had spent Rs. 3,700 to purchase a seventh portion of a bullock. But after the beef ban in Maharashtra, the retired driver, really had little choice this time. Even though it is legal be slaughter buffaloes, the animal is not favoured for sacrifice, owing much to superstitions about its colour (The Hindu)
Sri Lanka increases money to catechists, but not enough
The Sri Lankan government has boosted its budget for paying Sunday school teachers, but catechists said the gesture falls short of what is required.
The Christian Religious Affairs ministry allocated US$98,508 for catechists of Colombo archdiocese, up from $60,600 last year. The money is to cover expenses for 6,403 catechists, which amounts to about $15 per catechist for the entire year. (uca news)
Indo-Sri Lanka defense dialogue concludes successfully
At the invitation of the Defense Secretary of India, Shri G Mohan Kumar, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi undertook an official visit to India on September 21 to participate at the third Indo – Sri Lanka Defense Dialogue held in New Delhi.
Since its inception in 2012, the Annual Indo – Sri Lanka Defense Dialogue reviews the entire gamut of Defense Cooperation between the two countries while expanding its horizon into new areas of interests. (The Nation)
Sri Lanka's older container terminals lose out amid Indian trade collapse; China firm gains
Sri Lanka's older container terminals have seen their business plunging in 2015 as a newly build Chinese facility showed gains, amid overall anaemic growth in Colombo, officials said, as India's domestic credit and external trade contracted.
Indian export and import trade, which Colombo depends on has collapsed this year amid a credit slowdown in the country. (economynext)
Sri Lanka likely to dodge international probe into war crimes
Sri Lanka's older container terminals have seen their business plunging in 2015 as a newly build Chinese facility showed gains, amid overall anaemic growth in Colombo, officials said, as India's domestic credit and external trade contracted.
Colombo has lobbied successfully for a watering-down of an earlier motion demanding foreign involvement in any probe into human rights abuses during the 37-year conflict. (Economic Times)
Statement on Sri Lanka by US Secretary of State John Kerry
The statement on Sri Lanka by US Secretary of State John Kerry on the resolution on Sri Lanka at th 30th session of the US Human Rights Council. (economynext)
Sri Lanka maritime industry needs proper policy: Minister
Sri Lanka’s Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says that the maritime industry progress has been held back due the lack of clear policy and its implementation.
“I strongly believe that we can develop the maritime economy into hub status with the assistance of the stakeholders of the industry,” Ranatunga said at the inauguration of the Colombo International Maritime Conference 2015. (Lanka Business Online)
Prof. Vitharana rejects UNHRC report
Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) Secretary Prof. Tissa Vitharana today rejected the content of the UN report on Sri Lanka and the manner of its preparation by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR).
“We shall support all genuine efforts made by the present Government to achieve reconciliation and national unity, provided no outside interference is permitted. The taking of action against those guilty of alleged war crimes is an internal matter that we are capable of handling. If the need for any foreign assistance should arise it could be sought by us at our discretion. (Daily Mirror)
War crimes: MR brought in foreign experts long before Geneva proposal - Champika
Those who were demanding accountability on the part of the then Sri Lankan government were silent on the atrocities committed by the LTTE, Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said on Thursday
Minister Ranawaka stressed that there hadn’t been bloodshed since the eradication of the LTTE in May 2009 because the group had been the cause of war. (The Island)
Resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at UN Human Rights Council
A resolution calling for a “credible justice process” with “Commonwealth and other foreign judges” in order to prosecute for mass atrocities committed during the final stages of the island’s armed conflict has been tabled at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The resolution, which has been negotiated since the draft was released last week, was tabled by the US, UK, Macedonia and Montenegro. Sri Lanka had dismissed the initial draft as ‘repetitive, judgemental and prescriptive’ and had called for several key elements of the resolution to be removed. (Ada Derana)
Sri Lanka escapes 'external" war crimes probe
Sri Lanka Thursday escaped a "hybrid" war crimes investigation involving foreign judges and prosecutors as the United States tabled a watered down resolution in line with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s stand.
Instead of prescribing external involvement in the accountability process, the resolution leaves the involvement of any foreigners at the discretion of the Sri Lankan authorities. (economynex)
Lanka confident of India's support at UNHRC
Sri Lanka on Wednesday expressed confidence that prominent nations, including India, would back its proposal for a domestic mechanism to probe alleged war crimes during the conflict with LTTE, notwithstanding UNHRC's recommendation for a hybrid court with international judges.
"The resolution to be brought tomorrow will be for a domestic mechanism. We have the support coming from China, Russia and India they all agree for the local mechanism," Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters on the eve of consultations with stakeholders on the resolution. (The Statesman)
Sri Lanka has no ability or political will to investigate war crimes, Human Rights Watch says
Sri Lanka wants to investigate war crimes committed on both sides during the country's long and bloody civil war without international help, but there is simply no evidence that Sri Lanka has the ability or the political will to do so, a global rights organization said.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Sri Lanka is asking the world to accept its promise to bring accountability as it sees fit but trust must be earned. (Colombo Page)
No land bridge talks during Indian visit - PM
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that no discussion took place on a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka during his visit to India.
“I was surprised to read about a proposal to build a bridge linking Sri Lanka and India in a newspaper”. (Daily News)
Police have committed a grave injustice: Dr. Prathiba
The Commissioner of the Human Rights, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said today that the 17-year-old schoolboy, who was arrested over the rape and killing of five-year-old Seya Sadewmi, was the victim of a grave injustice.
He said the student could complain to the Human Rights Council and also take the matter to court. (Daily Mirror)
Non-payment of ITN bill: MR faces public hearing
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa now faces a public hearing over the alleged non-payment of Rs. 115 mn owed to the state-run Independent Television Network (ITN) for carrying advertisements during the last presidential campaign.
Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges on Wednesday recorded former President’s statement at his Mirihana residence. (The Island)
Novelist sues UN rep Nandy
Well known novelist. cultural critic and public intellectual Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera yesterday filed a plaint in Colombo District Court seeking to get two declarations from Court against Subinay Nandy, United Nations representative in Sri Lanka.
plaint filed through Attorney-at-Law, Kapila Gamage, plaintiff states that acts of United Nations Organization caused him dishonour and disgrace. Illegal acts of UNO are not covered by Immunities of Conventions on privileges and immunities of the United Nations. (CEYLON TODAY)
Sri Lanka: US smiles, voters lose
The US, UK and the international media have hailed the August 17th election results in Sri Lanka as a victory for democracy, but, the loser may well turn out to be the voters of Sri Lanka.
The political comedy that has taken place in the island republic in the aftermath of the election, exposes yet again the deficiencies of the democracy gospel that is unable to stamp out embedded corruption in the system. (Lankaweb)
UN war crimes report soft pedals LTTE’s using human shield: G.L.Peiris
Former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof.G.L.Peiris has said that the report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights on “war crimes” in Lanka has soft pedaled the LTTE’s using civilians as a human shield, when it is a war crime under international humanitarian law.
He charged that the Lankan government has not forcefully presented to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) the existing prohibitions against the use of civilians as shields in civil wars. The findings of the Maxwell Paranagama Commission on civilian deaths in Eelam War IV was also not conveyed, Peiris told Express. (Asian Mirror)
Thajudeen's body samples missing –CID
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has informed Colombo Additional Magistrate that the initial samples taken from the body of murdered ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen had gone missing. This was informed yesterday (22).
According to the CID, Chief Judicial Medical Officer Ajith Tennakoon had informed them that he also could not find the samples or the related documentation. (CEYLON TODAY)
UPFA rebels throw House into turmoil and stage walkout
Opposition MPs of the UPFA walked out of Parliament yesterday, protesting against the government’s move to take up financial orders for debate disregarding parliamentary traditions and suspending Standing Orders.
When a motion was moved for the debate by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, UPFA MP Chandrasiri Gajadeera raising a point of order said that the resolutions listed in the motion were very important and sought parliament’s approval for government to meet past expenditure running to billions of rupees and MPs needed time to study them before the debate commenced. (The island)
Suspect confesses to Seya murder - police
The suspect arrested yesterday in connection with the rape and murder of the 5-year-old Seya Sadewmi is now the main suspect after he confessed to the crime, Police confirmed a short while ago.
The Suspect was arrested from a forest area in Baduwatugoda in Gampaha yesterday. (Ada Derana)
Sri Lanka for talks on war crimes probe
Reiterating the Sri Lankan government’s position on the establishment of a domestic mechanism to go into alleged war crimes, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday said the shape of international assistance in such mechanism would be discussed and finalised after consultations with all stakeholders.
Emerging from a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier at his office here, Mr. Samaraweera made it clear that his government “always” welcomed international assistance. There was “no major difference” between the position of the government and that of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “[There are] one or two areas where we have to find a point of convergence, especially in the type of judicial mechanism we envisage.” (The Hindu)
Sri Lanka to curb official foreign travel to reduce wasteful spending
Sri Lanka’s new government has outlined a series of measures aimed at minimising waste in government spending including reducing overseas travel by state officials, a spokesman said.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting this week had agreed on several criteria to be adopted in using government funds. (economynext)
Wigneswaran welcomes UN proposal to set up hybrid court for war crimes
The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated Northern Province has welcomed the UNHRC's proposal to set up a hybrid court to probe the alleged war crimes during the last phase of the conflict with the LTTE, saying it is a dramatic step towards achieving reconciliation.
Speaking at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) sessions yesterday, C V Wigneswaran said he welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council's report and it's proposal for a hybrid court. (Economic Times)
Tamil Nadu demands release of fishermen arrested in Sri Lanka
Voicing concern over the arrest of Indian fishermen by Lankan navy in the 'vicinity' of Katchatheevu, Tamil Nadu government has once again raised the demand that India "retrieve" the islet from Sri Lanka.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said 15 fishermen, who set sail from Nagapattinam, were apprehended by the Lankan navy on September 21 and sought steps for their immediate release along with 28 boats that are in Lankan custody. (Business Standard)
From here to there to where?
Tweedledum and Tweedledee are toilet-trained to share a common loo as newly weds in an era of same sex marriage.
A streak that runs in a national government predominantly stuffed with members of the UNP and SLFP, which appear stable and strong: mathematically and theoretically, alas -- superficially. (Daily Mirror)
CoI records statement from Mahinda
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) is currently recording a statement from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence in Mirihana.
AThe statement will be recorded regarding Rs.200 million in losses incurred by a state media institution during the Presidential Election, an officer said. (Ada Derana)
Sri Lanka's Cinnamon Life building costs hedged against rupee fall
Cinnamon Life, Sri Lanka's largest private sector property project valued up to 800 million US dollars is hedged against falls in the currency, a top official said.
John Keells Holdings Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene said its main civil works contract has been given on a fixed price US dollar deal which is financed by dollar financing. (economynext)
Army saved Tamil civilians, LTTE killed them, says SF
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the Sri Lankan army during Eelam War IV, says that it was the LTTE which targeted Tamil civilians and not the Lankan armed forces.
It was the LTTE which fired on civilians trying to flee to the army-controlled lines and killed them.The Lankan armed forces on the other hand had a policy of welcoming them and providing them safe shelter," Fonseka told Express on Monday. (The Island)
President intervenes on behalf of Wijeweera’s family
President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to allow the family of the late Rohana Wijeweera, founding leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), to stay six more months at a house belonging to the Welisara navy camp.
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) spokesman Commander Indika de Silva stated that the President had taken the decision following discussions with the national security council. (Ada Derana)
Germany can utilize Sri Lanka’s skilled labour force: Foreign Minister
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister said more German companies should invest in Sri Lanka and take advantage of the islands skilled labour force and regional ties, during the visit of his German counterpart.
“Now that Volkswagen is in, other German companies are taking an interest in Sri Lanka,” Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs said. (Lanka Business Online)
Sri Lanka rejects international war crimes probe
Sri Lanka's prime minister on Tuesday (Sep 22) rejected a UN call for international involvement in an investigation into alleged war crimes.
Ranil Wickremesinghe said talks were under way to establish a credible domestic mechanism to investigate abuses during the decades-long conflict with Tamil separatist rebels that ended in May 2009. (Channel NewsAsia)
Sri Lanka, China trade chambers eye mutual benefits for SMEs
Sri Lanka’s business chamber on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with their Beijing counterpart to work together to promote trade and commercial ties between the two countries.
The MOU looks forward to share information with regard to trade, technical transfer, and economic cooperation, the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement. (Lanka Business Online)
Sri Lanka rupee tests 141.00 to the US dollar in forex markets
Sri Lanka's rupee weakened to 141.00 against the US dollar in forex markets, in mid-morning trade Tuesday after opening at 140.85/141.00 levels, dealers said.
The rupee has been battered and credit surged over the past year as the monetary authority released liquidity and then monetized debt outright as the budget deficit deteriorated. (economynext)
MR urges Govt. to reject the report by the OHCHR
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged the new Government to reject the report by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on war crime allegations.
Issuing a statement Rajapaksa said, “as the former head of state, I think it would be appropriate to make known to the public my observations on the recently released report on Sri Lanka by the OHCHR. My government did not cooperate with this investigation for many reasons, foremost of which was that it was instituted outside the established procedure of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). (Ada Derana)
Ms. Wijeweera hits out at JVP attitude towards them
The late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera's widow Chitrangani today said she wondered how the JVP was now saying that the party would take care of her family, since the party had failed to look into the well-being of her family for the past 26 years.
The widow and children of the late JVP leader had been asked to vacate the Navy quarters they had been occupying in Welisara on October 1. (Daily Mirror)
LSSP Leader too challenges appointment of defeated candidates through NL
Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Prof. Tissa Vitharana has moved the Supreme Court against the appointment of defeated UPFA candidates as National List MPs.
The petitioner has said that this is a violation of people’s franchise. He requests the Supreme Court to quash the unreasonable decision and to direct the Elections Commissioner to appoint persons whose names appeared in the National List of the UPFA prior to the poll of August 17, 2015. (The Island)
Sri Lanka opposes tone of proposed US resolution on war crimes
Sri Lanka’s UN Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha participated in an informal consultation in Geneva on the draft resolution on the country organised by the Permanent Mission of the US.
In a statement during consultation, Aryasinha said “the text is reparative, judgmental and prescriptive and not in keeping with the spirit of the process of reconciliation and reform underway in Sri Lanka”. (NITI CENTER)
Plea for international probe into “genocide” in Sri Lanka
Volunteers of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) were arrested when they attempted to block a train in Mandapam on Monday even as cadres of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Naam Tamizhar Katchi staged demonstrations here, seeking international probe into alleged genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Led by TVK youth wing leader Jerome Kumar, 21 volunteers attempted to block the Madurai-Rameswaram train as part of the party’s State-wide agitation, seeking an international investigation into war crimes and genocide of Tamils during the final phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka. (The Hindu)
Death toll in final phase was not 40,000, says Justice Paranagama
Justice Maxwell Paranagama, Chairman of the Sri Lankan Commission on missing persons and war crimes, has said that the death toll in the final phase of Eelam War IV was not 40,000, as claimed in the 2011 report of the Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but probably a little above 7,000.
Paranagama told Express here on Sunday, that while investigations by his panel could not come to any precise figure of deaths, it was “certainly not 40,000” as stated in the UN panel report. Even that report was not definitive, only saying that 40,000 may have been killed. (Ada Derana)
India will expect a larger reward: Gammanpila
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya General Secretary and Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila opposed the new proposal to build a $5.19 billion road project to connect India and Sri Lanka through a sea-bridge.
The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo on Monday (21). (Ada Derana)
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