News Archives
  • The OMP Act: The first step on the Long hard road to reconciliation

  •    [ Aug 24, 2016 13:54:33 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Already the international community which had long berated Lanka for allegedly discriminating the minorities and had pressed successive Lankan governments to mend its ways or else be prepared to face the prospect of a separate state being carved out of the island mass, have this week praised the passing of the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill as a step in the right direction to bring about reconciliation and forge a durable peace in the land. What the nationalists die-hards must realise is such action by the government not only silences the Jayalalithaas and Wigneswarans of the world ... [ Full Report ]

  • Snuff targeting schoolchildren, floods country through legal loopholes

  •    [ Aug 24, 2016 13:48:34 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        A decade-old legal loophole is allowing addictive substances containing nicotine to flood the country, with schoolchildren allegedly the prime target. The recent seizure of two stocks of a powdered substance identified as SVS snuff (dunkudu) has brought this matter into refocus. In September last year, Customs officials confiscated 75,000 vials of SVS snuff imported from India. The importer had tried to get the stock cleared through Customs by declaring the consignment as ‘sambrani’ (benzoin resin) used as incense. [ Full Report ]

    - Children getting addictive snuff at schoolgates - Sunday Times
  • The ‘Different Yet Equal’ Protest Politics of Sri Lanka

  •    [ Aug 24, 2016 10:01:13 GMT ] [ Global Voices ]

        The vigil's organizers might have prepared better for such disruptions, given that a similar disturbance was staged at a candlelight vigil outside the Buddhist Cultural Centre on Sambuddatva Jayantha Mawatha in 2013 (covered extensively by Groundviews). Many vigil participants engaged in verbal shouting matches, enraged by the counter-protesters’ xenophobic rhetoric. This, it seems, is exactly the reaction the group wanted, allowing them to swing the news narrative and grab the spotlight. (Apart from the appearance of the distinctive “Le” stickers, as well as the formation of parties like the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, these hardliner activists had been relatively silent until this month.) [ Full Report ]

  • Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo

  •    [ Aug 24, 2016 9:54:39 GMT ] [ SMH ]

        Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts.The firm's overseas staff allegedly bribed officials to secure a $2.3 million aid-funded sewerage project in Sri Lanka in 2011 and, in partnership with a Canadian company, a $2.2 million power plant project in Bangladesh in 2007. Company emails also reveal Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his adviser allegedly demanded a political "donation" to be paid by SMEC when Mr Sirisena was a cabinet minister. [ Full Report ]

    - Sundance Resources, Snowy Mountain Engineering Co embroiled in bribery scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo - ABC
  • Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission asks government to dispel rumors about office of missing persons

  •    [ Aug 23, 2016 13:07:00 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) said here on Monday, that there is an “urgent need” for a public awareness campaign to dispel rumors and counter misleading and inaccurate information being placed in the public domain on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) which is to be set up shortly having attained parliamentary approval. “ A concerted effort is required to create understanding and a sense of ownership amongst the public in this regard,” HRCSL’s chairperson, Dr.Deepika Udagama, said. [ Full Report ]

  • US Navy Secretary visits Trincomalee Naval Dockyard

  •    [ Aug 23, 2016 13:05:05 GMT ] [ MoDSL ]

        The United States Secretary of the Navy, Hon Ray Mabus made a visit to the Trincomalee Naval Dockyard on Monday (22nd August 2016) in order to observe the ongoing joint training between the navies of the two countries. According to Naval media sources the visiting US official was received by the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on his arrival there. Cordial discussions were held at the Navy House where views on the ongoing bilateral training between the two navies were exchanged. Senior navy officers including the Commander Eastern Naval Area were also present at the occasion. [ Full Report ]

  • ICC to War Criminals: Destroying Shrines Is Worse Than Rape

  •    [ Aug 23, 2016 12:46:53 GMT ] [ Foreign Policy ]

        The emphasis on speed and decisiveness has arguably come at the cost of the ICC’s own commitment to bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. It’s been a little more than two years since the office of the ICC prosecutor adopted a new policy regarding the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes. According to this policy, the prosecutor must offer explicit justification for failure to prosecute such crimes when convincing evidence points to them. Yet in the case of Mahdi, prosecutors have offered no such justification, saying only that the investigation is ongoing. In fact, the new policy has yet to translate into a single new case. [ Full Report ]

  • World Bank to improve transparency with new procurement system in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 16:34:57 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        The World Bank in keeping pace with global trends has introduced a new procurement framework in South Asia including Sri Lanka to improve development impact and transparency.Unveiling the new framework in Colombo, World Bank Director for governance global practice Robert Hunja said the framework will allow the World Bank to better respond to the needs of its client countries. “We are committing to put our resources and energy to help our clients and development partners to focus on outcomes rather than rules and procedures,” Hunja said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka upbeat over financial city being constructed with Chinese aid

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 16:33:11 GMT ] [ Xinhua ]

        The Sri Lankan government was upbeat on Monday about the future of a proposed financial city which is to be constructed with Chinese assistance. State Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs Niroshan Perera said in a statement that the financial city is expected to offer over 15,000 jobs in the first stage. He said the government had decided to convert an earlier proposed port city into a financial city in order to help boost the country's economy. The agreement on the financial city was signed recently between the government and the Chinese company engaged in constructing the new city. [ Full Report ]

    - Financial City: JVP asks why build on reclaimed land - Daily Mirror
  • Northern Province CM to discuss ex-Tamil rebels with Sri Lanka PM

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 16:25:30 GMT ] [ BS ]

        Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran on Monday said he will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremeinghe to discuss concerns on former Tamil Tiger rebels. Wigneswaran said he will discuss with Wickremeinghe the allegations that former rebels who were released after being rehabilitated were injected with a poisonous drug, Xinhua news agency reported. The Chief Minister will also discuss concerns over the failure to release Tamil political prisoners being still in detention. [ Full Report ]

    - Alleged deaths, illnesses of ex-LTTE cadres: Five member committee to assist probe - CDN
  • Sri Lanka’s National Policy Document on Rehabilitation Recommends Comprehensive Legal Framework

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 15:49:38 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The document urged the Ministry of Defense in coordination with the Ministry of Law and Order to ensure that an accurate mapping is made of all land that is or was owned, claimed or used by civilians and is currently occupied by any of the three security forces – army, navy or air force – or by the police. All such lands, particularly private land, should be released and returned to civilian use and ownership urgently, unless the government determines that it is required for public purpose. This purpose, be it national security or development, should be carefully scrutinized, including to ascertain that no alternative land can be found for the stated purpose. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Justice Has No Place for ‘Accountable Amnesties’

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 15:47:22 GMT ] [ HRW ]

        A Tamil woman cries as she holds up an image of her family member who disappeared during the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a vigil to commemorate the international day of the disappeared in Colombo August 30, 2013. EXPAND A Tamil woman cries as she holds up an image of her According to Sri Lankan media reports, the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons is recommending those accused of human rights abuses during the final months of Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) be allowed to seek so-called “accountable amnesty.” [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka airline suspends drunk pilot in Frankfurt

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 15:44:46 GMT ] [ Local ]

        Sri Lanka's national carrier has suspended a captain who failed a breathalyser test just before he was due to fly 274 passengers and crew from Frankfurt to Colombo, the airline said Sunday."Upon receiving the results (of the test) SriLankan Airlines took immediate steps to suspend the services of the said captain and took alternative measures to operate the flight to Colombo," the airline said in a statement. An airline source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Flight UL554 was held up at Frankfurt airport for more than 15 hours on Friday as staff scrambled to find another captain for the Airbus A330. The crew raised the alarm after noticing that the captain was visibly drunk, the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told AFP. [ Full Report ]

    - Passenger Pilot Wanted to Fly Drunk from Germany to Sri Lanka - LAHT
    - Drunk on duty, Sri Lankan airline suspends pilot in Frankfurt - Khaleej Times
  • Sri Lanka President made to wait as driver fails to turn up in time

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 15:38:39 GMT ] [ TNN ]

        Senior officials of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Sunday faced embarrassment as the visiting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena was forced to wait in his car as the driver did not turn up in time. The incident exposed the lack of coordination between the TTD officials and the Tirupati urban district police. The local police have ordered an inquiry into the incident. Soon after the darshan of the presiding deity, Lord Sri Venkateswara, and temple rituals in Tirumala, Sirisena was escorted by the TTD officials to his car. The Sri Lanka President got into the vehicle and much to the embarrassment of senior officials including the police, the car driver was not around. [ Full Report ]

    - Driver keeps Lanka President waiting as guards grow tense - Express News Service
  • Malik hires another US firm to lobby for Lanka

  •    [ Aug 22, 2016 9:50:35 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema has engaged a United States lobbying firm to educate officials on a non-existent peace process, increase economic ties and market access. The firm, Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg (ST&R), has filed a registration statement, as required by US law, with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for this new deal. Its records are publicly available in the US and through its website. It has named its client as the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. It has not said who in the Ministry concluded the deal. [ Full Report ]

  • A Year of Political Rights and Economic Wrongs

  •    [ Aug 21, 2016 11:07:26 GMT ] [ GV ]

        Now those who succeeded the Rajapaksas, promising to alleviate the economic suffering of the masses are imitating the Rajapaksas. They too are trying to impose the superstructure of a prosperous, developed nation on the base of an underdeveloped, cash-strapped economy. They are too are trying to waste borrowed money on unnecessary military hardware, such as the MIG purchases. They too are trying to force the poor and the middle classes to foot a lion share of these bills. In governance, speed is a virtue, only if the path is the right one. Non-democracies might move faster than democracies, but more often than not the movement is in an erroneous direction. [ Full Report ]

  • America Shouldn't Rush to Support Sri Lanka's MilitarySri Lankan politician and officer Sarath Fonseka

  •    [ Aug 19, 2016 10:32:22 GMT ] [ NI ]

        The United States is poised to deepen ties with Sri Lanka’s military. Such an initiative would likely include increased military cooperation between the two countries, training programs and possibly an uptick in military assistance heading to the war-torn island nation. While seemingly good intentions may be underpinning this policy shift, the Obama administration would be making a big mistake by moving in this direction. Accordingly, Washington should urgently reconsider its current approach. [ Full Report ]

  • Northern Province Investor Forum on August 22

  •    [ Aug 18, 2016 13:12:55 GMT ] [ SLG News ]

        The Northern Province Investor Forum will be held at the Jaffna Government Agents office on August 22 with the objective of uplifting the lives of people which were affected by the war and support them in income generation, development of livelihoods and creating job opportunities.President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs minister D.M.Swaminathan and Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen will grace the occasion. [ Full Report ]

  • A single that is an ode to Sri Lankan Tamils

  •    [ Aug 18, 2016 13:07:55 GMT ] [ TNN ]

        "When you go to a place like Jaffna, you automatically feel a Tamil connect there. And the experience just gets enriched when you meet a talented nadaswaram player like KP Kumaran. This encouraged me to compose a song for the love of Tamil. This song is an ode to the Tamil language and has special emphasis on the Sri Lankan Tamil community. This is my way of thanking Tamils all over the world. Even during my visit, I realised that the people of Jaffna are up-to-date with Tamil music," shares Srinivas. [ Full Report ]

    - Erode-based forum to donate books to Jaffna library - PTI
  • ‘104 LTTE cadres poisoned to death at Sri Lanka rehab centres’

  •    [ Aug 18, 2016 12:59:26 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said that the U.S. Air Forces medical team, currently in the Tamil-dominated north, will examine the former rehabilitated LTTE cadres, who he alleged had fallen sick because they were injected with poisonous substances at government detention or rehabilitation centres. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene rejected the claims as “false allegations.” “Anyone, including those from the international community, can visit the rehabilitation camps after obtaining permission from the government and see for themselves the work that is being done,” he said, referring to claims by members of the Northern Provincial Council. [ Full Report ]

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