Land deeds for over 1.7 M people – Amendments to Land Development Act

The government is preparing to amend legislation to revamp the Land Development Act. Amendments to the Act will possibly be presented in Parliament within the first quarter of 2016. Secretary to the Minister of Lands, Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama, said the Legal Draftsman’s Department has been directed to have this amending legislation ready by January 2016 in time for it to be tabled in Parliament within the first three months of next year. Meanwhile, the JVP accuses the government of possibly making plans to exploit weaknesses in the existing Land Development…

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UK notes de-listing of GTF, BTF in updated travel advice

The British Foreign Office has issued an updated travel advice on Sri Lanka which takes note of the de-listing of two UK based diaspora groups. The updated travel advice issued today notes that on 20 November 2015, the Sri Lankan Government published a revised list of organisations and individuals proscribed under Sri Lankan law and the list no longer includes the British Tamil Forum (BTF) or the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). The British Government had last month welcomed the move by Sri Lanka to de-list several proscribed organisations and individuals. The British…

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Would the government aid him by keeping its promises towards reconciliation?

Demonising other communities is a comfortable way to be popular for many politicians in the South as well as the North. Various issues related to the long-drawn ethnic problem crop up occasionally as if to help them carry on their confrontational politics. The issue pertaining to the detainees arrested under the infamous Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) has now become the latest bone of contention for many politicians on either side of the ethnic divide. Loyalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa have started a campaign against the government’s move to release…

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Trinco ‘torture camps’ of World War 11 vintage?

Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday claimed that the so called “torture camps” inside the Trincomalee Navy base were constructed by the British during World War II. He was responding to a question by a journalist at the Cabinet press briefing held at the Parliamentary complex. He observed if the Government had denied the access to the UN representatives to go and check this place, the world could have got a wrong impression that there had been “torture camps”. “They claimed there were torture…

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Tamil Politiacal Prisoner on hunger strike demanding justice

A political prisoner detained at the Jaffna prison engaged in a hunger strike protest on Wednesday (9) as his case has been postponed on several occasions due to the intelligence unit officers not being present in court. The political prisoner identified as Sivarajan Jeniban, 36, is a resident of Atchchuveli North. He was arrested over charges of having links with the LTTE movement in 2009 and his case is currently being heard in the Jaffna High Court. As the intelligence unit officer failed to appear before court the case was…

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Sri Lanka’s high profile editor murder probe takes new turn

ECONOMYNEXT – Investigations into the assassination of high profile editor Lasantha Wickrematunga has taken a new turn with the authorities focusing on top police officers who may have been involved in a huge cover up. The then Inspector-General Jayantha Wickremaratne and the then Deputy Inspector General Prasanna Nanayakkara have been questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department about their role in the Wickrematunga case. The former IGP Wickremaratne was questioned about an alleged cover up of the case at the highest level while retired DIG Nanayakkara as the head of the…

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Supreme Court says Tamil teen’s refugee claim deserves new hearing

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a Tamil teenager who fled the violent aftermath of Sri Lanka’s 27-year civil war should have his refugee application reconsidered on humanitarian grounds. By a 5-2 margin, the high court on Thursday reversed a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal that upheld the rejection of Jeyakannan Kanthasamy’s claim that he would suffer serious hardship if he returned to his homeland. The ruling offers new guidance to officials on interpreting a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that…

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Parents of missing persons protest investigations

By N.Parameswaran A decision by the Presidential Commission for Missing Persons to conduct its investigations in Jaffna today (Friday) was met by protests by the parents of some of the missing persons in question. The parents told that media that a decision was taken to protest the investigations following a discussion held in the Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna on Tuesday. Several such commissions had made statements in the past, but nothing had come out of it, they complained. They have lost faith in the commissions. Instead, they said, they would…

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