'There were a lot of baby farms': Sri Lanka to act over adoption racket claims

[ The Guardian ][ Sep 21 20:01 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is to launch an investigation into adoption fraud following claims that thousands of babies were sold to foreign nationals in the 1980s. Rajitha Senaratne, Sri Lanka’s health minister, said the government would set up a DNA databank to enable children adopted abroad to search for their biological parents and other relatives, and vice versa. In an interview for a television documentary, to be aired in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Senaratne acknowledged the existence of illegal “baby farms” in Sri Lanka in the 1980s. [ full story | comments ]

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'There were a lot of baby farms': Sri Lanka to act over adoption racket claims

Sri Lanka is to launch an investigation into adoption fraud following ...

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Anxious sellers in the GTA real-estate market are reviving the ‘reverse offer’

Homeowners who steep in anxiety as their house sits on the real estate...

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Kamal Haasan: It's confirmed, am entering politics. Want to be CM for Tamil Nadu's people

In an exclusive interview with India Today, Tamil superstar Kamal Haas...

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Anxious sellers in the GTA real-estate market are reviving the ‘reverse offer’

[ Globe and Mail ][ Sep 21 19:59 GMT ]

Homeowners who steep in anxiety as their house sits on the real estate market can become intensely motivated to strike a deal. They sense interest from potential buyers: Why else would they return two or three times to gaze out the dining room window or stand in the driveway for lengthy conversations with their agent? And yet, the house hunters balk at making an offer. Some frustrated sellers are launching negotiations by submitting their own offer – to the buyers. [ full story | comments ]

Ranil presents interim report on new Constitution

[ The Hindu ][ Sep 21 19:47 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday presented an interim report on the drafting of a new Constitution, underscoring that all parties had agreed to an “indivisible state”. Addressing the Constitutional Assembly, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had taken the unprecedented position that they would agree with the contents of the interim report, if the country’s two main parties — SLFP and UNP — accepted it. “This is only a draft, not a legally binding document. The final draft (Constitution) would be done only after subjecting this report for public debate,” he said. [ full story | comments ]

All parties agree to accept Sri Lanka as indivisible state, says PM Ranil

[ PTI ][ Sep 21 19:44 GMT ]

All political groups in Sri Lanka, including the main Tamil party, have agreed to accept the country as an indivisible state in the new Constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s remarks came as he presented a report of the all party steering committee on formulating the Constitution in Parliament. The new Constitution was a key promise of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during the 2015 elections and is primarily meant to address the grievances of minorities. [ full story | comments ]

Backtracking on accountability measures will harm all Sri Lankans: Tamil leader

[ News Asia ][ Sep 19 14:37 GMT ]

“The whole purpose of the Disappearances Act will be defeated if the past is left out of its ambit,” said Mano Ganeshan, Minister for National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages and leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA). “We condemn the reported move to postpone the debate on the Disappearances Bill and the Prime Minister’s interpretation of the Bill’s applicability,” said M.A.Sumanthiran MP and top leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). “If the disappearance of the Tamils during the conflict and war can’t be inquired into, it means that the Tamils are not just second class citizens, but are fourth class citizens,” he asserted. [ full story | comments ]

Putting Sri Lanka’s Office of Missing Persons in Perspective

[ Diplomat ][ Sep 19 14:08 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s Office of Missing Persons (OMP) became operational on September 15. The OMP is one of Colombo’s four big transitional justice mechanisms – the others being an office to handle reparations, a truth commission and a judicial mechanism to address allegations of wartime abuses. Colombo announced an impressive transitional justice agenda two years ago, yet far too little has happened since then. The other three mechanisms have yet to be established. Ostensibly, an operational OMP is a step in the right direction. But, for now, the efficacy of the body remains an open question. For example, how will it be staffed and resourced? How independent will it be? Others have raised important constitutional concerns about the OMP. [ full story | comments ]

Biggest budgetary allocation for Defence Ministry

[ Daily Mirror ][ Sep 14 10:48 GMT ]

The Ministry of Defence will receive the biggest budgetary allocation amounting to a massive Rs.1,583,507,600 or Rs.158.83 billion in the 2018 Budget, which would be presented in Parliament by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on November 9. This amount is in addition to the budgetary allocations for the three armed forces. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the Cabinet approved the 2018 Appropriation Bill submitted by Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday. [ full story | comments ]

-GOTABHAYA ENTERS POLITICS

[ Daily Mirror ][ Sep 13 10:43 GMT ]

Both Ranil and MR are fighting for survival and have no time to think long. Ranil begotten with affairs of state, with a few to rescue him from the mess his countrymen are facing due to the economic collapse caused by two successive regimes. A more leisurely paced MR was never a thinking man, as a esteemed columnist once stated – his comprehension was not beyond what he last heard from the last meeeting. Understatement of a man that won the war many said was unwinnable. Yet, there is an element of wisdom in the utterance. [ full story | comments ]

Operationalise OMP - UNHRC

[ CDN ][ Sep 13 10:31 GMT ]

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Monday urged the Sri Lankan Government to swiftly operationalise the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Hussein, making the opening statement at the 36th session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, gave an update of human rights issues in 40 countries. Referring to Sri Lanka in the course of his speech, Hussein reiterated his request to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) with a new law in line with international human rights standards. [ full story | comments ]

Committee demands justice for prisoners

[ CDN ][ Sep 13 10:27 GMT ]

The committee for protecting rights of prisoners staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Welikada Prison to stress the government on protecting the rights of the prisoners and to immediately enforce the law against those involved in the Welikada prison shooting in 2012. They said that the government has failed to implement the law for five years since the shooting at the prison which killed 27 inmates. Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Minister D.M. Swaminathan said action has already been taken to address prisoners’ issues. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to export cannabis from first plantation

[ AFP ][ Sep 13 10:22 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is to launch its first official cannabis plantation to supply the traditional medicine market and export to the United States, the health minister said Wednesday. Rajitha Senaratne said the 100-acre (40-hectare) cannabis farm, which could produce more than 25 tonnes a year and would be under military protection, would ensure a regular high quality supply. "Many ayurvedic doctors have complained that they don't get good quality cannabis for their preparations," Senaratne told reporters. "Good cannabis is a vital ingredient in the preparation of traditional medicine." [ full story | comments ]

Kamal Haasan: It's confirmed, am entering politics. Want to be CM for Tamil Nadu's people

[ India Today ][ Sep 21 19:49 GMT ]

In an exclusive interview with India Today, Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan confirmed his entry into politics after months of political deliberations and insinuations. "Entering politics would be like donning crown of thorns," said Haasan. The admission comes hours after he met Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. When asked if he had any right or left leanings, Haasan said that he would rather be right in the centre. "People concerned are not interested in left or right or any isms. I think if you look at people and their concerns, the isms will find its way," he said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan baby trade: Minister admits illegal adoption trade

[ BBC ][ Sep 21 19:45 GMT ]

Sri Lankan authorities have admitted in a Dutch documentary that thousands of babies born there were fraudulently sold for adoption abroad in the 1980s. Up to 11,000 children may have been sold to European families, with both parties being given fake documents. Some were reportedly born into "baby farms" that sold children to the West. Sri Lanka's health minister told the Dutch current affairs programme Zembla he would set up a DNA database to help children find their birth mothers. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: The New Constitution – A Neo-colonial Project! - Tamara Kunanayakam

[ Global Research ][ Sep 19 14:48 GMT ]

The issue is not whether a new Constitution is needed or not. It is the fundamental and inalienable right of the people to determine the economic, social, political and cultural system in which they choose to live. But that choice will be their choice only if it is freely made, not with a gun pointed at their heads. Today, Sri Lanka finds itself practically under a form of tutelage to the US, a global power whose strategic objective is to maintain its global hegemony. It is indeed symbolic that the US Ambassador chose to announce Washington’s decision to “assist” Sri Lanka draft its Constitution and implement the Human Rights Council resolution from the amphibious warship USS New Orleans, [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka general says denied visa to attend UN

[ Gulf News ][ Sep 19 14:10 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka Tuesday said he had been denied a visa to attend the UN general assembly because of unresolved war crime allegations against the military. The war-time general, who is now minister of regional development, said he was due to travel to New York this week, but he was the only one in the Sri Lankan delegation not issued a visa. Fonseka said he could not accompany President Maithripala Sirisena who left Colombo on Sunday to address the United Nations General Assembly. “I was not given a visa because of the war crimes allegations against the military,” Fonseka told reporters. “That is why I say they must be investigated.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: 2 Years On, Scant Progress on UN Resolution

[ HRW ][ Sep 14 12:24 GMT ]

United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution. Sri Lanka has largely failed to implement the consensus UN resolution, Human Rights Watch said. [ full story | comments ]

More US military assistance to Sri Lanka

[ JDS ][ Sep 13 10:47 GMT ]

Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Alice Wells told The House Foreign Affairs Committee that Sri Lanka government’s "commitment to a reform agenda has prompted growing interest in expanding engagement with the U.S., including in military-to-military relations". While the assistance secretary of state was pleased about Sri Lanka's progress on reform, human rights watchdogs alongside the UN have raised concern about ongoing human rights violations against Tamils, including abduction, torture and sexual violence. Sri Lanka accused of war crimes committed itself to establish a transitional justice mechanism and prevent the recurrence of the violence and abuses in a resolution unanimously adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in 2015 and the timeframe to deliver was extended by another two years in March 2017. [ full story | comments ]

4-year sentence for man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada

[ CBC ][ Sep 13 10:36 GMT ]

Kunarobinson Christhurajah won't serve any more time after spending 7 years in prison awaiting trial...A Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada has walked free after receiving a four-year prison sentence. Kunarobinson Christhurajah smiled as a British Columbia Supreme Court judge asked him to stand after announcing his sentence, saying the man won't be serving any more time beyond the seven years he has spent behind bars awaiting trial. Justice Catherine Wedge says Christhurajah was, himself, an asylum seeker aboard the MV Sun Sea, which was intercepted off B.C.'s coast in August 2010, after it left Thailand six weeks earlier with 492 passengers. [ full story | comments ]

CPA Concerned with Process to Operationalize the Office on Missing Persons (OMP)

[ CPA ][ Sep 13 10:30 GMT ]

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) raises serious concerns with the issuing of Gazette (extraordinary) No 2036/21 on 12th September 2017 by President Maithripala Sirisena qua Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation. CPA previously raised concerns when President Sirisena issued Gazette (extraordinary) 2028/45 assigning the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration And Discharge Of Functions) Act No 14 of 2016 [Office on Missing Persons Act], to the Minister of National Integration & Reconciliation. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan deputy Minister sacked

[ PTI ][ Sep 13 10:24 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday sacked his deputy Tourism Minister for allegedly defying the party leadership, the second top Minister removed from the government in less than a month. The President’s office said Arundika Fernando has been “dismissed from his portfolio with immediate effect.” Mr. Fernando, a member of Mr. Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party, had claimed that seven SLFP members would leave the government soon over corruption allegations against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). [ full story | comments ]

Lankan women saved from traffickers in Nepal

[ Kathmandu Post ][ Sep 11 10:39 GMT ]

Many women and men are found to have been trafficked to various Gulf countries via Colombo. Traffickers use the route for lax airport security and easy visa processing for Nepali nationals in Sri Lanka. A team from the Home Ministry including Nepal Police officials visited Sri Lanka two years ago to discuss the rise in trafficking via the country. “Nepal is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking,” stated a recent report of the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons. [ full story | comments ]


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[The Guardian - Sep 21, 2017 20:01:27 GMT]

'There were a lot of baby farms': Sri Lanka to act over adoption racket claims


[Globe and Mail - Sep 21, 2017 19:59:40 GMT]

Anxious sellers in the GTA real-estate market are reviving the ‘reverse offer’


[India Today - Sep 21, 2017 19:49:12 GMT]

Kamal Haasan: It's confirmed, am entering politics. Want to be CM for Tamil Nadu's people


[BBC - Sep 21, 2017 19:45:49 GMT]

Sri Lankan baby trade: Minister admits illegal adoption trade


[BBC - Sep 06, 2017 0:16:44 GMT]

Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bangalore


[NDTV - Sep 05, 2017 23:52:05 GMT]

'Vanakkam!' Tweets Justin Trudeau After Attending A Tamil Street Fest In Canada


[Groundviews - Aug 19, 2017 15:10:25 GMT]

The Road to School


[SMH - Aug 19, 2017 15:05:54 GMT]

How Sri Lanka balances serendipity and sultry charms


[Al Jazeera - Jul 30, 2017 16:29:00 GMT]

What is behind China's purchase of a port in Sri Lanka?


[BBC - Jul 30, 2017 16:27:21 GMT]

Sri Lanka signs deal on Hambantota port with China


[Reuters - Jul 26, 2017 15:06:17 GMT]

EU court keeps Hamas on terrorism list, removes Tamil Tigers


[Daily Mirror - Jul 24, 2017 15:05:53 GMT]

Black July The absence of the collective guilt


[HRW - Jul 14, 2017 11:04:56 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s Difficulty With Truth


[CBC News - Jul 12, 2017 14:08:10 GMT]

Bank of Canada raises key lending rate for 1st time in 7 years


[India Today - Jun 21, 2017 13:28:47 GMT]

Rajiv Gandhi killer, in jail for 27 years, says he has lost purpose in life, wants euthanasia