18th March 2016

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 […]