Committee reviewing ban on diaspora

A committee is reviewing the ban on some diaspora groups and individuals, the Foreign Ministry told the Colombo Gazette. The former Government had gazetted the listing of the groups and individuals but the new Government said there was a requirement to review the ban in order to take the reconciliation process forward. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that following the Al Qaida terrorist attacks in September 2001, the Security Council of the United Nations, acting under Chapter 7 of its Charter, adopted resolution 1373 on 28 September 2001 which…

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SLMC asks Prez, PM to grant administrative et-up for Tamil speaking people in Ampara

calls for tangible action before dissolution of parliament   By Shamindra Ferdinando The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is pushing for a full-fledged administrative set-up for Tamil speaking people in the Ampara District in case the President Maithripala Sirisena-Premier Wickremesinghe government couldn’t immediately grant the Ampara Muslims a District of their own. The SLMC wants predominantly Tamil areas linked up to create an exclusive zone. SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood, MP, has written to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting their immediate intervention. In a letter dated June 4…

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Lanka disappearances panel to submit final report in August

RELATED NEWS Sri Lanka’s ex-President Rajapaksa vows political return Rajapaksa fears LTTE revival in Sri Lanka Rajapaksa, family may face anti-corruption probe in Sri Lanka Rajapaksa, family reported to Sri Lanka anti-graft watchdog Sri Lanka’s new govt to probe Rajapaksa’s ‘coup’ bid:spokesman A Sri Lankan presidential panel probing the alleged disappearances of thousands of people, including minority Tamils, during the deadly civil war will present its final report in August, an official said today. “We are hoping to be able to release the final report in August,” said H W…

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Jacques Audiard’s Film “Dheepan” About Three Tamil Refugees in France Wins Golden Palm at Cannes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Cannes is a city on the picturesque French Riviera-Mediterranean coast in South-Eastern France. It is classified as a French commune which is an administrative division roughly equivalent to a municipality. The pride of Cannes in contemporary times has been the annual international film festival held in the city. Known as the Cannes Film Festival in English, it is regarded as the most prestigious film festival in the world. Competing at Cannes, let alone winning an award, is a feather in the cap for a filmmaker. The 68th…

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Supreme Court no more under govt. control – PM

Unlike the previous regime, the present government under the leadership of Maithripala Sirisena will not intervene with the activities of the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “The Supreme Court is no more under the control of the government,” he said. “We got out of the control of the Supreme Court, since we have freed the Supreme Court from the grip that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had. The present government never controls the Supreme Court,” he said. “The Supreme Court is free to carry out its duties and the…

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AG wants clarification on SC interim order preventing Gota’s arrest

The Supreme Court on Monday will take up a motion filed by the Attorney General seeking a clarification on the scope of the interim order issued by it last month preventing the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the controversial Financial Crimes Investigation Division of the police. The order was issued when a Fundamental Rights petition was filed with the Supreme Court citing an attempt to apprehend him. The court issued the order pending the final conclusion of the FR application. The Island learns that the same bench…

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Love in the time of Tamil Tigers

The author, who had the unfortunate experience of watching a Swiss film called Der Koch recently, considers it his duty to warn you against watching it. It was only appropriate that I was recently watching the live telecast of the Cannes award ceremony with a Sri Lankan Tamil friend who is a producer. After a fairly mundane ceremony, largely consisting of the French giving themselves awards, my friend whooped with joy at the finale when Jacques Audiard’s mostly Tamil film, Dheepan (about a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee family in France)…

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‘White Flag Surrender and Killing of LTTE Leaders’ took place under Indian facilitation

The wife of a top LTTE leader in a sensational deposition to the court today has said that her husband was in constant touch with Indian Member of Parliament, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi via satellite telephone and surrendered to the Sri Lankan army based on the Indian assurance during the final days of the war. She has said that the surrendering of the LTTE leaders to the Sri Lankan army took place under the facilitation of the international community, particularly India. Ananthi, the wife of former LTTE’s political commissar for the Eastern…

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WikiLeaks: Gota Publicly Admitted He Called Daily Mirror Editor

“Defense Secretary Rajapaksa reportedly threatened Daily Mirror Editor Champika Liyanarachchi following the publication of a series of articles on the activities of the LTTE-breakaway Karuna group in the East. After the call from Gothabaya, Liyanarachchi contacted Karuna directly. Karuna assured her that his cadres would not harm her and added that he would complain to Gothabaya in writing about the incident. Gothabaya has since publicly admitted he called Liyanarachchi but denied that he threatened the editor and expressed his concern at the media’s intolerance of constructive criticism. Presidsent Rajapaksa reassured…

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DPF, NUW, UPF to ally with UNP

The new alliance named “Tamil Progressive Alliance” (TPA) has decided to contest the elections under the elephant symbol of the UNP. The newly formed alliance of three minor Tamil parties in Sri Lanka has decided to support the government party, United National Party (UNP). The Democratic People’s Front (DPF), a minority party for the Western Province Tamils led by Mano Ganesan, the National Union of Workers (NUW) and Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) recently formed an alliance to represent the Tamils living in areas other than the Tamil-dominated northern and eastern…

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Trishaw Connected to Raviraj Killing Found; Murder Weapons belongs to Security Forces

CID today informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nirosha Fernando that they had recovered the trishaw allegedly used in the killing of TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj and sought the Magistrate’s approval to take the trishaw into CID custody. Consequently the Magistrate allowed this request and fixed further inquiries for June 19. The CID also told Court that it was continuing with the investigations into the case and the productions recovered including the blood samples and the weapons which were being examined for identification. The CID said that the weapons recovered…

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Rs 20M extortion charges against Devananda

BY Mirudhula Thambiah The Jaffna District Lorry Owners’ Association lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Secretariat against Former Minister Douglas Devananda and his Maheswari Foundation yesterday (4) for extortion amounting to Rs 20 million. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran who lodged the complaint at the Anti-Corruption Secretariat on behalf of the lorry owners told Ceylon Today, the Maheswari Foundation belonging to Devananda has taken Rs 5,000 from each lorry owner to out through their registrations and they were compelled to pay Rs 300 for each load carried in…

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Northerners fear ‘hidden hand’ at work

By Manekshaw The Northern Provincial Council is fortunate to have the senior most Civil Servant C.V.K. Sivagnanam, as its chairperson with the vast experience in the day-to-day issues pertaining to the administrative as well as the social issues in the peninsula and Northern Province at large. The administration of the Jaffna Municipal Council from the time Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiyappah was assassinated in 1976, Sivagnanam who was the Commissioner of Jaffna Municipal Council at that time had to handle the administration until his retirement. With his experience as a professional…

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Ranil wants to create UK-type ‘Serious Frauds’ division

Ranil wants to create UK-type ‘Serious Frauds’ division Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that the government is currently in the process of “cleaning up” the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and that they intend to establish a ‘Serious Frauds and Financial Crimes Division’ for this purpose. “That’s why we have to start a Serious Frauds and Financial Crimes Division with the intention of following the Serious Fraud Office of the UK and legislating for it subsequently.” The SFO is an independent Government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex…

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During previous regime, many families were afraid to come out to inquire about their loved ones who had gone missing

The Search Continues By Waruni Karunarathne Last Friday, a set of women made another tour to Colombo to meet former President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga to request her support in the process of seeking justice on those missing. Rajany Chandrasegaram on behalf of the Women’s Action Network representing the affected women told The Sunday Leader that they have been providing various support to affected families under a referral system in Jaffna. “I have been working with 49 families – women headed families and families who need support in terms of livelihood,…

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Ghost voters: another blotch in the Rajapaksa regime

In Sri Lanka’s 2015 Presidential Election, 15,044,490 voters were on the electoral rolls but the number of citizens who were of legal voting age was only 14,449,000 going by the Census data. This amounts to an unaccounted excess of 4.3% in the electoral rolls. This is alarming since the last Presidential election was decided by a margin of 3.7% and previous elections were decided by half as much. This phenomenon of ‘ghost-voters’ was pointed out soon after the 2015 Elections by Dr. Laksiri Fernando (Colombo Telegraph, January 15, 2015) who…

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EU presents Euro 60 m district program including N&E

The European Union (EU) yesterday presented a Euro 60 million cooperation program to support four districts in the north and east to reduce poverty and improve infrastructure. Titled the European Union Support to District Development Program (EU-SDDP), the project, which was begun in 2012 and will continue till 2017, focuses on three key result areas including poverty reduction, provision of basic infrastructure for vulnerable populations, support for local economic development and strengthening of local governance mechanisms. “This year is designated as the European Union Year of Development. The EU together…

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Desecrating temples by Mahinda

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has drawn heavy flak for using Buddhist temples for what his critics call political work. Politicians who desecrate places of worship by using them for political purpose are doomed to fail, Media Minister Gayantha Karunatileka has said. Rajapaksa has sought to defend himself by claiming that his religious programmes are free from partisan politics. Nobody will buy into the former President’s claim. He is obviously carrying out a grassroots level campaign via temples in a bid to turn the tables on those who brought about his…

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