International Women’s Day 2015

International Women’s Day, marked globally on 8 March, is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. This year’s theme, “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination. In marking this…

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Under President Rajapaksa’s second term Parliament was simply made a rubber stamp

By Nagananda Kodituwakku – In his 2005 Election Manifesto Rajapaksa, when campaigning for the Presidency for the first time, with full support of the JVP, promised to the people to abolish the Executive Presidency (page 97 – 2005 manifesto). Then again in his 2010 manifesto, when contesting for the second term,Rajapaksa promised to take ‘whatever measures’ needed to eliminate frauds, corruption and malpractices. But what he did after elected to the office was completely the opposite. For instance, he made the Auditor General redundant and irrelevant. For the last few…

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Ranil invites Richard Branson

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended an invitation to iconic and flamboyant global business leader and philanthropist Richard Branson to visit Sri Lanka and explore prospects for investments. The invitation was extended last week when Wickremesinghe spoke with Branson over the phone. The initiative had been facilitated by a young entrepreneur who works closely with Branson and an advisor to Premier with strong links to the private sector. Analysts viewed the telephone call and invitation to Branson as a business-savvy move by Premier Wickremesinghe and the confidence the latter has…

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No decision to remove army camps in North

The Government says no decision has been taken to remove more army camps in the North. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that the army decides on removing army camps and so far no such decision has been taken. He said that if the army decides to remove more camps in the North then the Government will take measures to brief Parliament. The Prime Minister made the comment in response to a statement made by opposition Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa. Weerawansa alleged that there was a move to remove an…

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Former Navy Chief Karannagoda’s bodyguard involved in abduction case, abducted youths are currently detained in two navy camps in Trincomalee and Colombo

A bodyguard attached to former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda’s security detail is wanted in connection with an abduction of a group of individuals in 2009, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed the Colombo Magistrate on Tuesday (23). The CID apprised the Magistrate the preliminary inquiries into the abduction incident has disclosed that Sampath Munasinghe, who was a bodyguard attached to the former Navy Commander Karannagoda, has allegedly involved in the case. “A group accompanied by Munasinghe has abducted five youths in Dehiwala area in 2009. The suspects have also…

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Sri Lanka Parliament expected to be dissolved on Wednesday

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed some minority political parties that the parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday even as it was meeting to debate key electoral reforms. Minority Tamil politician from the Tamil Progressive Alliance ( TPA) Mano Ganeshan told the press that the prime minister had indicated that the reasons to dissolve the parliament this week was because the mandate for the current government had expired in April and there were disagreements over key electoral reforms. President Maithripala Sirisena had maintained that he would dissolve the…

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Rathana Thera storms out in high dudgeon

A tense situation arose at a party leaders’ meeting at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday with participants engaged in heated arguments. Jathika Hela Urumaya representative Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera walked out in protest. The party leaders met at the Parliamentary complex with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presiding to allocate two days for a debate on proposed electoral reforms. Ven. Rathana Thera, contacted for comment, said that he understood that some of the participants had a hidden agenda to disrupt the passage of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. “The content of the…

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Split over 20th Amendment

20th Amendment To The Constitution: Full Text Of Gazetted Bill The Gazette notification on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution has been published now. Click here ( English) and here (Sinhala) to read the Gazetted Bill. The 20A: Elections & Numbers By Mano Ratwatte – The current parliament has run its due course. The character of the next Parliament is likely to be different from the one from 2010. Everyone is talking about the 20A. 19A was an excellent starting point thanks to one simple remarkable Buddhist man now sitting…

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Local inquiry to mislead people – Thambirajah

A prominent member of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Leader of Democratic Organization Against Oppression, Thampi Mu Thambirajah said, currently the international inquiry preceding the investigations on war crimes and the international community is at a stage to release the report by September. At this stage the government is emphasizing on a local inquiry to mislead the people. Thambirajah who also several times launched hunger protests urging for resettlement in the North and the East pointed out, “We have much evidence that genocidal killings took place during the war period…

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UNHRC says not funding diaspora festival

The UNHRC on Monday dismissed reports of having allocated funds for the proposed ‘Diaspora Festival’ organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the end of this year. UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s spokesperson Ruper Colville in a statement on the claim said it was ‘completely untrue’. “Neither the High Commissioner for Human Rights nor the Human Rights Council has provided any money for such an event,” he has stated. During a media briefing on Sunday JHU Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe condemned the government’s decision to host the ‘Diaspora Festival’…

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Government dispels fears over diaspora festival

The Government today insisted that LTTE members living overseas and those who still have links with the LTTE will not take part in a diaspora festival scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in December. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith.P. Perera said that while an open invitation has been extended to all Sri Lankans living overseas to attend the festival, individual invitations will be sent closer to the date of the event. Perera said that the event is open to all those who accept a united and undivided Sri Lanka and is…

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”LTTE will be back” is the only hope for Mahinda and US decides to help him.

Asserting that there is a “threat” to national security, Sri Lanka’s opposition on Monday asked the government to act urgently over a US report which said that the LTTE’s international network and funding was intact. The report noted that there have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, but a total of 13 LTTE supporters, several of which had allegedly planned attacks against the US and Israeli diplomatic facilities in India were arrested in Malaysia in…

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