Rijiju assures assistance to Sri Lankan refugees in India

Gummidipoondi (Tamil Nadu), Mar. 24 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on Tuesday assured the government’s assistance to Sri Lankan refugees, who have been residing in Tamil Nadu for more than two decades. Rijiju was meeting the refugees in Gummidipoondi town, over 45 kilometres from Chennai. “Central Government is ready to extend whatever possible necessary help you want, but at the same time we need inputs from the state government, so it has to be a combined effort of the state and Centre,” Rijiju told the…

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ICRC helps Lanka probe missing

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reiterated its commitment to the Sri Lanka government’s efforts to clarify the fate of persons who went missing during the past conflict and offered concrete proposals to establish an independent domestic mechanism for it. An ICRC statement issued today said that during his five day visit to Sri Lanka which ended last Friday, ICRC director of operations Dominik Stillhart met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and senior officials. “The ICRC’s experience from its work with families…

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‘Two Billion rupees as defamation charges’ sent by Sri Lanka’s finance minister to Gotabaya

Mar 24, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s finance minister, Ravi Karunanayake has threatened to send a letter of demand to former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for what he calls ‘false charges’ being leveled against him. In a media release issued on Tuesday by minister Karunanayake, he says he will send a letter of demand to Rajapaksa demanding two billion rupees for the defamation. “Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has provided false information about the construction of my house in a newspaper interview. I replied him by challenging him to declare…

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Delaying implementation of LLRC will not help Sri Lanka – Sinhala Buddhist vote and LLRC

Sri Lanka has a tried and tested legal system bequeathed to it by the British. It has produced eminent jurists in the calibre of Neville Samarakoon (QC), who as Chief Justice (CJ), withstood the might of his once good friend, President J.R. Jayewardene by delivering judgments against him, despite Jayewardene’s record steamroller five-sixths majority in Parliament and his audacity to say the only thing he cannot do is to “make a man a woman and a woman, man.” Samarakoon wasn’t killed because he took that stand, nor was he impeached,…

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What JR couldn’t, Maithri did!

Sri Lanka’s two main political parties, the SLFP and the UNP, for the first time in history, has united to form a national government (see this newspaper’s yesterday’s lead story). The first time the formation of a national government was mooted was by then then opposition leader J.R. Jayewardene at the height of the JVP insurrection in April 1971. However, this proposal was rejected by the then Prime Minister and SLFP/UF leader Sirima Bandaranaike. The next time the proposal to form a national government was made was 17 years later…

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Udayanga of arms deal fame at large

By Shaahidah Riza Former Russian envoy Udayanga Weeraratunga who was accused of selling arms to pro-Russian rebels by the Ukrainian Government has not yet been found, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Ajith P. Perera told Ceylon Today, yesterday. Weeratunga, reportedly the nephew of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also ran a tea business from the embassy premises Perera said. The pro-Russian rebels have been fighting largely in the province of Donetsk, the eastern part of the country. Although a ceasefire was called and the Minsk Accord was implemented on 15 February,…

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TN Leaders Hail Singapore founder Lee as Champion of Tamils

Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91 – Adaderana CHENNAI: State’s political leaders condoled the death of Singapore’s revered leader Lee Kuan Yew, claiming him as their own, one who supported the liberation struggle of Eelam and condemned the Sri Lankan government for committing genocide. DMK leader M Karunanidhi recalled Lee’s support for Tamils and said the Singapore leader had asserted that Tamils in Sri Lanka would attain their goal of a free nation. The DMK leader also said Lee was behind the declaration of Tamil as one of…

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Follow UN Conventions on Restitution of Refugee Properties: Wigneswran to Sirisena

COLOMBO: The Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V.Wigneswaran, has asked the Sri Lankan government to follow the Pinheiro Principles and other UN conventions on the restitution of properties of displaced Tamils. He was speaking at a function in Jaffna in which President Maithripala Sirisena gave back to civilians, 425 acres in Jaffna peninsula which the army had appropriated. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga were present. The grant of 425 acres is the first installment of 1000 acres to be given back. But more than 5000 acres fertile…

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Valikamam water contamination issue

By M.Sasikumar Valikamam-South Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman T.Prakash said the people should be made aware of the water contamination in the area due to the oil leak. They should be clearly advised as to whether they can or cannot consume the water for drinking purposes since the committee interim report states that the contamination had not reached health threatening levels. He said the people were confused as to whether the water was safe to drink or not. He added that as a safety precaution the authorities were providing the people with…

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Get It Right Now Or Pay The Price

By M.A. Sumanthiran – Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, as I rise to speak on this Order that has been placed for approval, I cannot but recollect the time when the Hon. Minister of Justice and Labour Relations himself, seated on this side, opposed the extension of this Order when it came up two years ago. In fact, that Order had lapsed before it came up for extension and it was he, who pointed out to the House, that that Order could not be extended because it had lapsed and the…

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Tamil Chief Minister Wigneswaran Angered by Shoddy Resettlement

By Mirudhula Thambiah Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran asked recently whether it was the security forces that were given first priority in the process of land resettlement for internally displaced persons. He suspected the military and government were in fact agreed on this issue. “The government announced action to resettle IDPs from Valikamam North within three weeks. But after the passage of one full month the people are yet to be resettled in their own lands. This makes us doubt that the people will be immediately resettled,” he said. He…

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dual citizenships from Yesterday

BY Pranavesh Sivakumar Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga said the issuing of dual citizenships which was suspended by the previous regime from 26 January 2011 is now made public that anyone can now…apply from yesterday (23) onwards. The new procedures have been laid down and the said amount to be paid has also has been laid down. The condition from which the citizenship retention and dual citizenship would be granted. “The conditions are now available to all who were deprived of obtaining their dual…

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19th A before Parliament today

BY Daya Perera and J.T. De Silva Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe will present the 19th Amendment, which seeks to curb certain powers of the Executive Presidency to Parliament today (24). In addition to the establishment of independent Commissions, the 19th Amendment will also re-establish the Constitutional Council which would make key appointments including those to the apex, superior Courts of the Judiciary. A Council of State will also be set up under the 19th Amendment. Proposals concerning various injustices meted out to Sri Lankan Trade Union activists put forward by…

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Sri Lanka should devolve power beyond the 13th Amendment – Hidden message of Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Sri Lanka was the first official visit of an Indian Prime Minister for the last 28 years. It was presented as a diplomatic victory of the present government. However, the unpleasant incident that took place 28 years ago along with the message hidden in statements made by Modi in Sri Lanka justifies the absence of Indian Prime Ministers for the last 28 years. Rajiv Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Sri Lanka. He visited Sri Lanka in July…

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So let’s play the devil’s own game

By Shyamon Jayasinghe – This time it is a different strategic manipulation. The master stroke of picking Maitripala Sirisena as Common Candidate had an air of ethical quality: given that Maitri had to risk his neck and given that the then President must be stopped in his damaging track it had been a kind of relief operation. This time, the ethical air has to be evoked with some difficulty and amidst immense controversy. Official sources urge that a National Government has be formed with the United National Party and the…

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