Indonesia lets migrants ashore after week on stranded boat

LHOKNGA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia allowed a group of Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka to come ashore in Aceh province on Saturday after confining them to their stranded boat for a week, but is insisting they’ll be towed out to sea once the vessel is repaired. Rights groups have criticized Indonesia’s treatment of the 44 men, women and children and the Aceh provincial government’s plan to abandon them in international waters. The migrants were being sheltered in tents after being allowed off their boat Saturday during rough weather. Ahmad Samadan,…

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Sumanthiran meets Zeid, discusses concerns raised by Tamils

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of Parliament M A Sumanthiran met the UN High Commissioner for Human Right Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein today and discussed concerns raised by Tamils. The meeting comes as Zeid prepares to make an oral update on Sri Lanka at the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Zeid Ra’ad had said earlier this week that there needs to be inclusive and meaningful engagement of all Sri Lankans when implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year. Speaking…

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Jayalalithaa’s memo to PM Modi: From dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils to Cauvery, here’s top points

On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum… On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum demanding among other things formation of Cauvery Management Board and a water regulation committee. During the meeting at the Race Course residence of the prime minister, she presented the memorandum which also demanded the restoration of water level…

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UNDP encouraged by emphasis on implementation of official languages policy

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it is encouraged by the continued emphasis placed by the Government of Sri Lanka on the implementation of the Official Languages Policy. A new language laboratory was ceremonially opened by the Minister of National Co-Existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganesan together with the UNDP at the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) in Agalawatte. “The opening of this second laboratory is part of an effort to bridge the existing language gap and support the implementation of the official languages policy which…

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‘Katchatheevu needs a political settlement’

The Katchatheevu row requires only a political settlement, as there is nothing to be sorted out legally between India and Sri Lanka, according to a senior legal expert, Nirmala Chandrahasan. Ms. Chandrahasan, now a consultant to the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) of the Sri Lanka government, told a high-profile seminar on the India-Sri Lanka relationship here on Thursday that the Indian government did not consider Katchatheevu a “disputed territory” and it had recognised the islet as a part of Sri Lanka. As there was no legal dispute…

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Unit of devolution

By Neville Ladduwahetty The Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform headed by its Chairman Lal Wijenayake has recommended retaining the Province as the unit of Devolution. The Commission proposes 6 “alternate formulations” based on the Province as the peripheral unit. These formulations vary from retaining the existing 9 Provinces without merger with provision to withdraw devolved power without consent, to merger with minority participation in the Executive and the Legislature and other formulations in between, including the re-demarcation of existing boundaries. Although there is consensus within this Commission on the…

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China Sheds Reserve Over Lankan Domestic Issues

COLOMBO: China, which had a policy of turning a blind eye to Sri Lanka’s domestic issues, whether it was the ethnic issue or that of governance, has now shed its reserve and has started commenting on them. The change has come about following the exit of the pro-China Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. While under Rajapaksa, China had a free run of the island nation, it has been facing competition from the West and India which have become the dominant players since the change of regime. Sino-Lankan agreements,…

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Indonesian police fire warning shot as stranded Sri Lankan women disembark boat

Sri Lankans plead from stranded boat Indonesian authorities refuse to allow the 44 Sri Lankans to leave a boat which has been stranded off the coast of Aceh for almost one week. Sri Lankan refugees intercepted trying to board boat to Australia Sri Lankans en route to Australia in boat stranded in Indonesia Sri Lankan boat headed for Australia marooned in bad weather Jakarta: Police fired a warning shot into the air after a group of Sri Lankan women who have been stranded off the coast of Aceh since June 11…

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