Poverty highest in the North

By Paneetha Ameresekere Sri Lanka’s poverty headcount declined to 4.1 per cent last year, from 6.7% in 2012/13, when the last of such censuses were taken, the Census and Statistics Department (CSD), in a report released on Thursday (19), said. The Official Poverty Line (OPL) for last year was Rs 4,166 per soul per mensem, as opposed to real per capita expenditure per month for a person fixed at Rs 3,624 in 2012/13 to be poverty neutral then. The average shortfall was Rs 620 in real terms per month, per…

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OMP Needed In Jaffna Too: Sampanthan Tells UN

A meeting was held today between the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo De Greiff and the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan in Colombo. Sampanthan highlighted the important issues faced by the Tamil people with regard to the release of Lands belonging to civilians, Missing persons and the political prisoners. Apprising on the land issues to special rapporteur Sampanthan pointed out “that our people have strong attachment to the lands not merely a sentimental but much beyond that…

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President Maithripala Sirisena held successive discussions with two Tamil delegations in Colombo

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj President Maithripala Sirisena held successive discussions with two Tamil delegations in Colombo on Thursday (19) on the issue of Tamils detained in various prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA) in general and the hunger strike undertaken by three such detainees at the Anuradhapura Prison in particular. The focus at both discussions was more on the situation regarding the three prisoners on hunger strike as much as concern expressed with regard to their physical condition. Three Tamil men, 30-year-old Mathiyarasan Sulakshan from Karanavaai, 40-yr-old  Rasathurai Thiruvarul from…

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Despite denial, Gota implicated by ex-STF Chief

The deployment of a staggering number of 798 armed STF personnel to conduct a search of two wards of the Welikada Prisons in November 2012, in violation of all laid down procedure to be followed when Prison premises are searched, led to the riot there which resulted in the death of 27 inmates and caused injuries to many more, the report of a fact-finding committee states. Welikada prison compound The 3-member committee, to look into facts pertaining to the incident that occurred at the Welikada Prison on 9.11.2012, was appointed…

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Diaspora leader upbeat after Sri Lanka visit

The change in the political environment in Sri Lanka recently saw the head of a leading Tamil diaspora group visiting the country, his first visit since a ban on him was lifted. The President of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Father S. J. Emmanuel told The Sunday Leader there are some ‘good changes’ to be seen in the country, yet a lot more needs to be done.  He also called on the Tamil diaspora to not just visit Sri Lanka for a holiday, but seriously contribute to the rebuilding of the country.…

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CHAUVINISM AGAINST NEW CONSTITUTION

The new Constitution has not yet seen the light of the day. Only an interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has been presented to Parliament. An interim report is obviously not a final document. It contains only draft proposals. They include ones that has consensus as well as independent individual proposals. All views are presented so that Parliament could choose what the majority desires. This is the democratic way. Yet the so-called Joint Opposition and its boss former President and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa have…

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GL asks if Sirisena, Wickremesinghe have already created a separate state

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday alleged that a separate state had already been established in the country’s north with the blessings of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government. Addressing the Joint Opposition’s weekly media briefing at Borella, former External Affairs Minister Prof. Peiris said that the police deployed in the north received orders from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). That was why those breaking court orders were not arrested unlike in the south. Referring to the Presidential Commission appointed to Inquire into the Bond Scam, Prof.…

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Attempts by Racists Mahinda group mislead society regarding a new constitution

All must understand attempts by some to mislead society regarding a new constitution which is still not drafted –President President Maithripala Sirisena says all the citizens of the country must be aware of the attempts by some section of the society to mislead the society regarding a new constitution which is still not drafted. He said that we had to face a nearly three decade long, brutal war as a result of not providing solutions for the issues in the country in a timely and appropriate manner. President Sirisena requested…

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