March 2016

Australian govt. seal on ‘gifts’ given to Sri Lankan refugees

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

Aussie department not working with the NGO in India, says official Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living outside camps in Tamil Nadu were reportedly given gifts and offered assistance in getting medical insurance and Aadhaar card by an NGO before it launched a controversial survey seeking their personal details and future plans. The Hindu has accessed photographs of the gifts and pamphlets given by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the NGO, to refugees a few months ago. Interestingly, the gifts had the logo of ADRA and the seal of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Government of Australia. The volunteers who visited refugees after floods hit Chennai in December 2015 claimed to be ADRA representatives and promised financial aid from Australia. Though they took […]

New government Vs Racist Rajapakshas

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday said he is considering devolving powers to provinces through a new constitution which is now under discussion, President Sirisena said he supports devolving powers to provinces within a united Sri Lanka. He noted that several issues faced by the people can be addressed by strengthening provincial councils. The president said the government is keen to give more powers to the provinces through the new constitution and said it is important that the government and the provincial councils reach an understanding on the issues at hand. The president said that in the modern age, experts always speak of how best powers must be devolved and not just be focused in one area. He said that if anyone opposes devolving powers, that is a […]

Matthew Lee of Inner City Press (ICP) & TGTE

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka is in the middle of a raging controversy at the UN over the world body’s suspension of the media credentials of a US journalist, He has been advocating the rights of the Tamils in his daily blog. V. Rudrakumar, described as the prime minister of the transnational government of Tamil Eelam, has signed a letter, along with six Tamil expatriate organisations asking the UN to restore Lee’s credentials. Following an incident where he tried to record a closed-door meeting of the UN Correspondents’ Association, Lee’s credentials as a resident correspondent were withdrawn and he was told to vacate his office in the UN building. But he has been issued a restricted non-resident media pass. The letter, which is also signed by the US […]

Wimal W spent Rs 70m on 68 vehicles

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa had 68 rented vehicles, during his ministerial tenure, brazenly violating the government’s circular and causing a loss of millions of rupees to the then government, Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) sources said. FCID inquiries have revealed that the large fleet of vehicles used by him and his private staff had cost the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) and Presidential Secretariat a whopping Rs. 70 million as rent for two years. “The amount did not cover the expenses for fuel and drivers’ salaries”, a source at the FCID said. The government circular which spelt out the criteria and the number of vehicles permitted for the use of a Minister’s private staff, issued by the President’s Secretary, stated that eight vehicles could be […]

Dinesh hits out at USAID seminar on constitutionalism

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Joint opposition MPs are irked over an invitation to attend a USAID-assisted seminar on constitutionalism. Invitations to attend the seminar on March 29 at Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla have been sent to all legislators, but Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena said such moves did little to increase public confidence in the constitution making process. Speaking to the Sunday Times he asked, “Why is the US getting involved in constitution making in Sri Lanka? It’s a domestic process which should be undertaken by Sri Lankans.” The Constitutionalism seminar follows a USAID-sponsored conference for MPs on the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) and the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) on March 5. Officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General’s Department also attended this […]

No one can topple this govt: PM

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

No one will be able to topple this government prematurely and do not get deceived by false statements made by conspirators, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said on Saturday. Both the President and the Prime Minister were present at the 19th national convention of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) in Ampara where they responded to the rally held by the Joint Opposition on March 17, 2016. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe who took the opposition on said no one will be able to stop the development programs of this government. He said countries such as Singapore and India will assist the development of East while China will assist the development of Hambantota. The premier said the government is faced with the task of paying the loans taken by […]

What Can Mahinda Rajapaksa Offer?

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has finally declared in the open his burning obsession: He wants to be the president again. Addressing an opposition rally in Hyde Park Colombo, the defeated president had said that he would show the UNP led government how to run the country. “If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run the country”. Of course most people were aware of Rajapaksa’s burning desire although since his defeat he did not lay it down in such clear terms. However, in fairness to the people, he should tell the people why a third term in office should be given to him since he had been rejected twice – at the presidential as well as the parliamentary […]

Stealing was main policy and philosophy of Mahinda’s govt – Chandrika

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says that stealing was the main policy and philosophy of the previous government under Mahinda Rajapaksa and conceded that corrupt individuals still occupy certain sections of the incumbent administration. “There are still thieves in certain sections of even this government. I won’t say no.” However, unlike the previous government stealing is not the main policy and philosophy of this government and we will not allow that to happen, she said. Addressing an event in Kelaniya today, she said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa prohibited all MPs, Provincial Councillors and Pradeshiya Sabha members from speaking to her and all the media were banned from even saying her name during his reign. Kumaratunga said that she refused to give interviews Sri Lankan […]

SLFP probes party rebels’ criticism

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

SLFP probes party rebels’ criticism The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is investigating whether Joint Opposition members criticized the SLFP leadership and the SLFP at their ‘Jana Satana’ meeting at Hyde Park last Thursday. Top brass of the SLFP and UPFA indicated that disciplinary action against SLFP Parliamentarians who attended the ‘Jana Satana’ rally would not seriously jeopardise their parliamentary seat despite speculations to the contrary. UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who continue to be hopeful of bringing all factions together under the UPFA umbrella said, according to reports reaching the SLFP leadership to date, there was still no indication of any of the speakers at the rally having specifically named the SLFP leadership in their criticism, although they had been critical of the […]

MAHINDA’s do or die game to take reins of SLFP

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

MR’s do or die game to take reins of SLFP Last week was important because of two historic events. First was when Sri Lanka completed 20 years of becoming World Champions in One Day International (ODI) Cricket by beating Australia at Lahore in 1996. Second was, the general public experiencing the worst ever countrywide power failure in 20 years, since 1996. Either of these did not stop the United National Party (UNP) and the Joint Opposition of which the majority comprises Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members from taking the masses to Colombo to protest against each other. Probably for the first time in history a government took to the streets against its Opposition. Irrespective what motivated both UNP and Joint Opposition to storm Colombo […]

POWER AND HAPPINESS

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Sri Lankans have become happier in the past year compared with the previous year. The latest Report, which covers 2015, places Sri Lanka 117th in a list of 157 countries assessed, with Denmark as No.1, the happiest nation and, Burundi as the most unhappy, at 157th. Sri Lankans can take little solace from being just ahead of India, at 118th and war-torn Afghanistan at 154th, because most of South Asia is ahead of us although all are below the mid-level of the Index, with Bhutan, the happiest South Asian nation, ranked only at 84th despite being the nation that invented the ‘gross national happiness’ index. Nevertheless, compared with life in 2014, for Sri Lankans, life in 2015 seems […]

Sri Lankan refugees baffled over NGO questionnaire

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

It seeks to know Sri Lankan refugees’ antecedents, passport details and future plans In a discreet move, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu have been served a questionnaire that seeks to know their antecedents, passport details and future plans. An NGO is believed to be involved in the survey though refugees apprehend that some other external agency might have initiated the process. According to a couple of refugees, the three-page questionnaire was delivered at their doorstep with an instruction that it be filled and returned on the spot. Volunteers engaged in the work reportedly claimed that the State police were aware of the exercise and even supported them. Several thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are settled inside and outside camps in Tamil […]

Gota, dynasties and retribution

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

‘During the Arab spring, as the protestors gathered in their numbers in Cairo, the Interior Minister asks President Hosni Mubarak to write a “farewell letter” to the Egyptian people.Mubarak replies, “Why? Where are they going?”’ Speaking to the media recently, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former Defence Secretary, sought to explain the ongoing inquiries into serious “mishandling” of public funds by the Rajapaksa family and their associates, by reiterating the common defence of a political vendetta. Taking up the pose of a person wronged, he claimed that this is the usual reward in our history for those who have done “service” to the country. The historical process will also visit those behind the present persecutions, and he warns; “in a manner hundred times worse”. Rajapaksa does not […]

Fonseka Slams Rajapaksas For Corrupt War-Time Procurements

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka continued his verbal attack against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, slamming them for taking undue credit over winning the war against the LTTE. Addressing a news conference in Colombo this morning, Fonseka said that only the soldiers who were shot at and who were in the war front must take credit for the win. “Not politicians,” he said. Fonseka also claimed that when he had requested for several helicopters during the height of the war, Mahinda Rajapaksa had refused saying he didn’t have the money to finance such a purchase. But, three months after the war was over, he bought helicopters, which cost around US $ 150 million. The same people who couldn’t buy us helicopters to […]

Sri Lanka climbs 15 places to 117 in Happiness Report

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka has climbed 15 places to rank at 117 position in the World Happiness Report published in 2016. Sri Lanka was ranked at No. 132 in the report published in 2015. Denmark has reclaimed its place as the world’s happiest country followed by Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, while Burundi ranks as the least happy nation. The report found that inequality was strongly associated with unhappiness – a stark finding for rich countries like the United States, where rising disparities in income, wealth, health and well-being have fueled political discontent. Burundi ,Syria, Togo, Afghanistan, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania and Madagascar were among the least happy nations , all of those nations are poor, and many have been […]

World Happiness Report: UK doesn’t even reach top 20

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

The United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2016, released on Wednesday (16 March), has placed Denmark in the top spot, regaining it from Switzerland in 2015. Switzerland still came second, followed by Iceland, Norway and Finland. None of the Scandinavian nations were placed outside the top 10, with Sweden in 10th. 10 Happiest Countries in the World Denmark Switzerland Iceland Norway Finland Canada Netherlands New Zealand Australia Sweden The UK just made it into the top 25, taking 23rd place. It was beaten by Luxembourg (20), Mexico (21) and Singapore (22). Ireland came 19th, with Germany 16th. Israel just missed out on the top 10, coming 11th – but still beating the United States in 13th. The report which started in 2012, is produced by the […]

World Happiness Report 2016 Update Ranks Happiest Countries

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third in 2015. The World Happiness Report 2016 Update, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, was released today in Rome in advance of UN World Happiness Day, March 20th. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for […]

Sinhala Only Sri Lanka: Mahinda

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Addressing a large crowd that had gathered at the ‘Jana Satana’ rally organised by the joint opposition against the UNP – led government in Colombo today, former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would show them how the country should be run if it were handed over to him — as the government was doing an abysmal job of it. “If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run it,” said Mr. Rajapaksa, at the rally held at Hyde Park — which was attended by 46 MPs of the joint opposition, including Chamal Rajapaksa and four SLFP vice presidents. The former president said the government was taking revenge on its political opponents and accusing the previous government of […]

A New Constitution & Fundamental Human Rights

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – One of the key challenges of drafting a new constitution might be (1) whether and how ‘economic, social and cultural rights’ could be constitutionalized, and (2) what are the ways and means of operationalizing them in some meaningful way in a new constitution. It is understood that legal remedies cannot easily be sought in the case of ‘economic, social and cultural rights,’ like in the case of ‘civil and political rights.’ What might be achieved is ‘public interest litigation,’ in addition to the already accepted provision for filing individual fundamental rights cases in respect of ‘civil and political rights.’ If ‘economic, social and cultural rights’ are written only as ‘decoration,’ then there is a possibility of incorporating most or all of […]

Is High Commission in London against Sri Lankan traditions and customs?

16th March 2016 // 0 Comments

http://lankanewsweb.net/news/special-news/item/2578-is-high-commission-in-london-against-sri-lankan-traditions-and-customs In Sri Lanka we give pride and place to our religions. In Sri Lanka when we go into a new building or a house the first function we have is a religious function to bless the building and those who will occupy. If it is government building we have a multi religious function. But it looks like the Sri Lankan High Commission in London and the Minister of the High Commission who is currently the Acting High Commissioner P.R.S.S. Gunaratna or Pahala Rallage Sanathana Sugeeshwara Gunaratna is shy to follow Sri Lankan traditions and customs. The government after spending millions of sterling pounds has put up a magnificent building to be used as the High commissioners residence at 35, Avenue Road in St. Johns […]

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