An Eastminster for a New Sri Lanka: The First XI Institutional Reforms for a Parliamentary State

[ GV ][ Jan 30 23:10 GMT ]

Many readers will note that several of the reforms above have been heard before and some are highly similar to those suggested in the proposed Nineteenth Amendment while others such as the Seventeenth Amendment need only be implemented to provide a Constitutional Council approximate to the above (X) Council of State. However so much has been warped by the Executive Presidency and any reform suggested from within or around it is still likely to be acculturated by it, which is not a boon for a state seeking to foster consensus and cooperation. [ full story | comments ]

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Sripavan sworn in as CJ [ more ]

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Tamil Sripavan appointed Sri Lanka's top judge

Sri Lanka's president has appointed a Tamil judge as the new chief jus...

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India and Sri Lanka discuss repatriation of Tamil refugees

According to official figures, there are more than 100,000 Sri Lankan ...

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Sri Lanka to Free Tamils and Return Their Land

The Sri Lankan government pledged Thursday to free hundreds of minori...

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There is still hope for Sri Lanka’s minorities

[ Gulf News ][ Jan 30 23:08 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s minority communities, especially the Tamils, must cast aside their reservations and give the newly-elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena a chance to heal old wounds. Sirisena is reaching out by reversing the clock on the people’s suffering in the civil war that ravaged northern parts of the country. This was once the bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who fought a brutal war for a separate homeland for the Tamils. The decision to return private land seized by the military during the armed conflict and release hundreds of detainees is a statement of intent by Sirisena’s government on carving out the path to reconciliation with innocent civilians who became a collateral damage in the government’s final offensive against the LTTE. [ full story | comments ]

India and Sri Lanka discuss repatriation of Tamil refugees

[ Indian Express ][ Jan 30 22:38 GMT ]

According to official figures, there are more than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil NaduIndia and Sri Lanka on Friday held talks on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in the country, within days of deciding to “re-engage” on the issue during a meeting between their foreign ministers. During the first meeting between the officials of the two countries, in which the Indian side was led by the Joint Secretary in-charge of Sri Lanka, the two sides talked about various aspects related to repatriation, official sources said. [ full story | comments ]

Secretary-General to visit Sri Lanka

[ CommonWealth ][ Jan 30 11:11 GMT ]

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow (Saturday 31 January) for a three day official visit."I am looking forward to working with President Sirisena as Chair-in-Office in the run up to the Heads of Government meeting in Malta in November. "Sri Lanka is a founding member of the modern Commonwealth, and I will be discussing how we can best support the country during this period of transition and in advancing national plans for the future. [ full story | comments ]

Erik Solheim: Shock and Joy in Sri Lanka

[ Huffington Post ][ Jan 30 09:45 GMT ]

The election shock on Sri Lanka has been called a model for how reformist elites and a fed up people can get rid of increasingly authoritarian leaders. To become a true role model, the reincarnated Sri Lankan democracy must in the next years deliver political reform, inclusive development and devolved power to minorities. There were few people outside of this beautiful island who thought the unknown Maithripala Sirisena could beat the increasingly authoritarian president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa put the entire state apparatus behind his election campaign. [ full story | comments ]

A Chance for Justice in Sri Lanka?

[ Huffington Post ][ Jan 30 09:39 GMT ]

Mahinda Rajapaksa's defeat in Sri Lanka's 2015 presidential election evoked, for me, some harrowing images and a glimpse at a path to justice. An estimated 40,000 civilians died in the final weeks of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, as government forces battled the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. While no court has held a formal investigation, it is alleged that government forces committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2010, London's Channel 4 News produced an extraordinary investigative documentary into the killings, and asked me to comment on the international legal implications of the footage. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka bans planned luxury casinos

[ AFP ][ Jan 30 09:33 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday scrapped generous tax concessions for foreign-funded resorts and banned them from including casinos after opposition by the country's influential Buddhist monks. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would pull with immediate effect tax breaks for three luxury resorts that had been given the green light to open in Colombo with high-end gambling houses. "We will not allow casinos on their premises," the premier told lawmakers. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka shares fall after government's retrospective tax plan

[ Reuters ][ Jan 30 09:27 GMT ]

Sri Lankan shares fell more than 2.5 percent on Friday, trading at a near two-month low, led by blue chips on concerns over future earnings after the government imposed a retrospective 25 percent 'super gain tax' in its supplementary budget. Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday announced a budget that imposed new taxes on cash-rich firms to pay for pay hikes for workers and tax cuts on key commodities, hoping to woo voters as it approaches a parliamentary election. At 0712 GMT, the main stock index was 2.64 percent weaker, or down 194.44 points, at 7,182.06, its lowest since Dec. 1, Thomson Reuters data showed. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa Legacy of Abuse

[ HRW ][ Jan 29 16:24 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government stepped up pressure in 2014 on human rights activists and journalists, particularly those urging justice for past war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2015 released today. A new government, elected in January 2015, should order investigations into arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and killings since the final military operations in 2009. In the 656-page world report, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth urges governments to recognize that human rights offer an effective moral guide in turbulent times, and that violating rights can spark or aggravate serious security challenges. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka blocks casinos approved by previous govt

[ Reuters ][ Jan 29 16:20 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new government has blocked three casinos approved by the previous administration, among them a $400-million project by Australian gaming mogul James Packer's Crown Resorts Ltd. The widely-expected move redeems an election pledge by new President Maithripala Sirisena to cancel the Crown Resorts licence. Sirisena won a Jan. 8 election, ending a decade of authoritarian rule by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [ full story | comments ]

You can build a better Canada, or you can get out of the way

[ Macleans ][ Jan 29 14:38 GMT ]

When they see a problem, they first deny it exists. Then they make an excuse. They explain it’s not their responsibility. They blame someone else. They attack those who would suggest things could be better, and question those people’s loyalty and patriotism. A Third World population in the midst of a wealthy country like Canada doesn’t just happen. It requires people like this. It requires denial, indifference, ignorance, and wilful blindness. Canada does have a race problem. It persists because of people like you. We don’t expect you to help fix it. But as better men like Bowman try, the least you can do is get out of the way. [ full story | comments ]

Tamil Sripavan appointed Sri Lanka's top judge

[ BBC ][ Jan 30 22:40 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's president has appointed a Tamil judge as the new chief justice - the first member of the minority community to hold the post in decades. Judge Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, 62, was sworn in in the capital Colombo. President Maithripala Sirisena, from the majority Sinhalese community, has sought reconciliation with Tamils after the separatist war that ended in 2009. About 100,000 people have been killed during the conflict that erupted in the 1980s. [ full story | comments ]

Serbian Army Chief Accused Over Kosovo Killings

[ Balkan Insight ][ Jan 30 13:46 GMT ]

The Humanitarian Law Centre alleged in a new report on Thursday that current Serbian Army chief Ljubisa Dikovic was the commander of the 37th Brigade of the Yugoslav Army responsible for the attacks on the four villages in the Drenica area between April 5 and May 27, 1999, when at least 69 Kosovo Albanians died. The rights group’s report also claimed that the 37th Brigade was responsible for the subsequent removal of the bodies from the villages of Rezala, Staro Cikitovo, Donji Zabelj and Gladno Selo in an attempted cover-up. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to Free Tamils and Return Their Land

[ New York Times ][ Jan 30 09:46 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government pledged Thursday to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the Tamil land in the north and east that the military seized and continues to hold years after the end of the country’s bitter civil war. The promises represent the most significant efforts yet announced by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena to heal the still-festering wounds of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. [ full story | comments ]

Toronto named best place to live by Economist

[ Toronto Star ][ Jan 30 09:44 GMT ]

Toronto has been ranked the best place to live in a recent report on urban safety published by the Economist. It may not boast a winning hockey team, but Toronto topped a list of 50 cities all measured based on their placement in the Safe Cities Index as well as livability rankings, and three national indexes, including the Democracy Index, Business Environment Rankings and Global Food Security Index. [ full story | comments ]

Refugees not averse to Lanka return after regime change

[ Times of India ][ Jan 30 09:38 GMT ]

With the new government in Sri Lanka sending positive signals on resolving the ethnic problem, refugees in Tamil Nadu have been evaluating the possibility of their return to the homeland. Refugee leaders in many camps have indicated that they are not averse to repatriation. Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfeRR) held 17 rounds of discussion with representatives of refugees in various camps in Tamil Nadu. OfeRR has compiled their expectations in document titled, "Asserting the right to seek durable solutions: The voice of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the camps of India." [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka hikes company taxes, says economy in 'sad state'

[ AFP ][ Jan 30 09:30 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday (Jan 29) announced hefty taxes on top companies in a bid to raise revenue, accusing the previous regime of fudging the figures and leaving the economy in a "sad state". Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake also said prices of essential food items would be slashed to cut the cost of living for average Sri Lankans, as he unveiled his government's supplementary budget. Karunanayake said public debt had been hidden and growth artificially inflated by the regime of Mahinda Rajapakse, who was ousted after 10 years in elections this month on claims of corruption and cronyism. [ full story | comments ]

Sripavan Second Tamil to Become Lankan Chief Justice

[ Indian Express ][ Jan 29 16:27 GMT ]

Justice Kanakasabapathi Sripavan will be the second Tamil to be Chief Justice of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court when he takes over on Friday following the retirement of Shirani Bandaranayake. The first Tamil to hold the highest judicial post in Sri Lanka was Suppiah Sharvananda, who served between 1984 and 1988. Born in 1952, Sripavan was educated at the Jaffna Hindu College and the Law College in Colombo. After a short stint at the private bar in the late 1970s, he joined the Attorney General‘s Office as a government counsel. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka government reviews China business deals

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jan 29 16:21 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s new government is taking a closer look at its relationship with China. China had become the partner of choice for the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, securing massive development projects. But Sri Lanka's new leadership says it will review all Chinese deals in a bid to root out corruption. Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez reports from Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

The Most Important Phrase for Expats in Colombo, Sri Lanka: ‘I Know a Guy’

[ Wall Street Journal ][ Jan 29 16:11 GMT ]

”I know a guy” is the single most important and commonly used phrase in casual business conversations in Colombo. This South Asian city has a surprisingly sophisticated corporate scene, excellent internet connections, an array of professional advertising and digital marketing agencies – but it has hardly any human resources companies, few, if any, head hunters and nothing much in the way of talent-matching services. [ full story | comments ]

Minorities key to national reconciliation in Sri Lanka

[ Asian Correspondent ][ Jan 29 14:20 GMT ]

The bottom line is that we Sri Lankans have never found out the truth.There is nothing to stop the President cooperating with the current UN investigation on Sri Lanka and in addition appointing our equivalent of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. The former is necessary for Sri Lanka’s international credibility and the latter is essential for national reconciliation.Reconciliation is critical, and this cannot happen unless the truth is known. This, sooner rather than later, has to be at the top of the new President’s agenda. If minorities in Sri Lanka are imperative to political change, then that change must reflect their needs and aspirations too. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[BBC - Jan 30, 2015 22:40:32 GMT]

Tamil Sripavan appointed Sri Lanka's top judge


[Indian Express - Jan 30, 2015 22:38:42 GMT]

India and Sri Lanka discuss repatriation of Tamil refugees


[New York Times - Jan 30, 2015 9:46:04 GMT]

Sri Lanka to Free Tamils and Return Their Land


[Huffington Post - Jan 30, 2015 9:45:07 GMT]

Erik Solheim: Shock and Joy in Sri Lanka


[Toronto Star - Jan 30, 2015 9:44:11 GMT]

Toronto named best place to live by Economist


[Huffington Post - Jan 30, 2015 9:39:48 GMT]

A Chance for Justice in Sri Lanka?


[Times of India - Jan 30, 2015 9:38:16 GMT]

Refugees not averse to Lanka return after regime change


[Indian Express - Jan 29, 2015 16:27:09 GMT]

Sripavan Second Tamil to Become Lankan Chief Justice


[HRW - Jan 29, 2015 16:24:24 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa Legacy of Abuse


[Al Jazeera - Jan 29, 2015 16:21:56 GMT]

Sri Lanka government reviews China business deals


[Wall Street Journal - Jan 29, 2015 16:11:41 GMT]

The Most Important Phrase for Expats in Colombo, Sri Lanka: ‘I Know a Guy’


[Macleans - Jan 29, 2015 14:38:26 GMT]

You can build a better Canada, or you can get out of the way


[Asian Correspondent - Jan 29, 2015 14:20:18 GMT]

Minorities key to national reconciliation in Sri Lanka


[GV - Jan 29, 2015 14:13:40 GMT]

Revisiting Sampur: How Long Will it Take to Return Home?


[Daily Mirror - Jan 29, 2015 14:11:41 GMT]

“Thank God it’s over”: Mangala