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  • sarath

    Amunugama admits misprints in Budget proposals

    Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama admitted in Parliament yesterday that there were misprints in the Budget proposals presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday. Minister Amunugama was responding to DNA Colombo District MP Sunil Handunnetti, who pointed out glaring mistakes in the tables of financial allocations made to government departments and institutions printed in the annexure of the budget proposals. He raised this matter during yesterday’ second reading stage debate of the budget 2015. Amunugama said that the Balance Sheet Restructuring of State Enterprises 2015 carried wrong figures. The figures mentioned therein as billions should be read as millions, he said, adding that he would thank MP Handunnetti for pointing out the mistakes. Hadunnetti…

  • budget

    Ultimatum to President: JHU to decide soon

    Rajapaksa walks out of Temple Trees meeting, but later apologises to Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera Coal crisis explodes, Champika challenges Pavitra on charges of huge fraud UNP leader under pressure to agree on another common candidate but Premadasa issues complicate party crisis President Rajapaksa delivering the Budget speech in Parliament on Friday, while Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne and House Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva appear to be asleep. Some two thousand university students staged a protest Tuesday evening choking traffic on the roads in Kotte. Even if they did not win their demands including enhanced bursaries, members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-backed Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) did succeed in two ways. One was causing…

  • pope

    Pope’s visit: Catholic Church in Catch 22 crisis

    Senior police and government officials and Catholic Church representatives will meet early next week to discuss security and other arrangements for the visit of Pope Francis in mid-January amidst continuing security concerns if the visit coincides with a possible Presidential election. A senior church official told the Sunday Times arrangements would have to be finalised before the visit of a Vatican delegation to Sri Lanka from November 2. He said security would be a key issue they would be looking at.The moves came as the Catholic Church was still awaiting a response to a letter sent by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking clarification on whether the visit of Pope Francis could go…

  • ban

    Northern travel ban provokes international warnings

    A number of countries have revised their travel advisories to reflect recent Defence Ministry restrictions on foreigners wishing to go north of Omanthai. Among them are the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan. Most European countries have advised their citizens to exercise caution when visiting Sri Lanka with some urging them to avoid all non-essential travel to “certain areas”. Britain was the first to update its advisory following the October 15 Defence Ministry announcement that all foreign travellers to the north must obtain its permission. The US followed with a notice on its embassy website on October 21. “Travellers must receive approval before commencing travel… US citizens should monitor media coverage of…

  • land

    Special boards to deal with NE land issues

    The setting up of special mediation boards to resolve more than 140,000 disputes related to state land in the Northern and Eastern provinces is being proposed by the Justice Ministry. Justice Ministry Additional secretary Anusha Munasinghe said that in line with a recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) the ministry had proposed to Cabinet that special mediation boards be set up to provide speedy solutions to hundreds of people facing disputes over land. She said that 13 community mediation boards were active in the Jaffna District and 39 in the Trincomalee, Batticaloa, and Ampara districts with more than 600 mediators, but these boards had no authority over state land. The official said…

sarath

Amunugama admits misprints in Budget proposals

Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama admitted in Parliament yesterday that there were misprints in the Budget proposals presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday. Minister Amunugama was responding to DNA Colombo District MP Sunil Handunnetti, who pointed out glaring mistakes in the tables of financial allocations made to government departments and institutions printed in the annexure of the budget proposals. He raised this matter during yesterday’ second reading stage debate of the budget 2015. Amunugama said that the Balance Sheet Restructuring of State Enterprises 2015 carried wrong figures. The figures mentioned therein as billions should be read as millions, he said, adding that he would thank MP Handunnetti for pointing out the mistakes. Hadunnetti…

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budget

Ultimatum to President: JHU to decide soon

Rajapaksa walks out of Temple Trees meeting, but later apologises to Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera Coal crisis explodes, Champika challenges Pavitra on charges of huge fraud UNP leader under pressure to agree on another common candidate but Premadasa issues complicate party crisis President Rajapaksa delivering the Budget speech in Parliament on Friday, while Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne and House Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva appear to be asleep. Some two thousand university students staged a protest Tuesday evening choking traffic on the roads in Kotte. Even if they did not win their demands including enhanced bursaries, members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-backed Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) did succeed in two ways. One was causing…

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pope

Pope’s visit: Catholic Church in Catch 22 crisis

Senior police and government officials and Catholic Church representatives will meet early next week to discuss security and other arrangements for the visit of Pope Francis in mid-January amidst continuing security concerns if the visit coincides with a possible Presidential election. A senior church official told the Sunday Times arrangements would have to be finalised before the visit of a Vatican delegation to Sri Lanka from November 2. He said security would be a key issue they would be looking at.The moves came as the Catholic Church was still awaiting a response to a letter sent by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking clarification on whether the visit of Pope Francis could go…

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ban

Northern travel ban provokes international warnings

A number of countries have revised their travel advisories to reflect recent Defence Ministry restrictions on foreigners wishing to go north of Omanthai. Among them are the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan. Most European countries have advised their citizens to exercise caution when visiting Sri Lanka with some urging them to avoid all non-essential travel to “certain areas”. Britain was the first to update its advisory following the October 15 Defence Ministry announcement that all foreign travellers to the north must obtain its permission. The US followed with a notice on its embassy website on October 21. “Travellers must receive approval before commencing travel… US citizens should monitor media coverage of…

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land

Special boards to deal with NE land issues

The setting up of special mediation boards to resolve more than 140,000 disputes related to state land in the Northern and Eastern provinces is being proposed by the Justice Ministry. Justice Ministry Additional secretary Anusha Munasinghe said that in line with a recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) the ministry had proposed to Cabinet that special mediation boards be set up to provide speedy solutions to hundreds of people facing disputes over land. She said that 13 community mediation boards were active in the Jaffna District and 39 in the Trincomalee, Batticaloa, and Ampara districts with more than 600 mediators, but these boards had no authority over state land. The official said…

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sharma

Sharma and WigneswaranTo Hold Talks

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will hold talks with Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran during a visit to Jaffna. Sharma arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday and will be in the country tillWednesday. He is here to brief the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, President MahindaRajapaksa, on the achievement of objectives and implementation of work set at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November 2013. The Secretary-General will also meet other members of the Government of Sri Lanka, including the Minister of External Affairs, Professor G. L Peiris. The Secretary-General is expected to meet the Speaker of Parliament, ChamalRajapaksa, and other political leaders. During his five-day visit, the Secretary-General will also review the…

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sl passport

Regulation Not For Locals With Foreign Passports

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) revealed that all foreign passport holders are required to register with the MOD prior to travelling to the North. However, this regulation will not be strictly implemented for those born in Sri Lanka who hold foreign passports. According to MOD sources, Sri Lankan expatriates who visit Sri Lanka to meet their families in the North are not required to obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Defence, but foreign nationals wishing to travel to the North either as tourists or in connection with projects will need prior permission from the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. “The Ministry of Defence does not mean to cause any inconvenience to the Sri…

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viknes

Wigneswaran Scheduled To Address PUSL Meet In Chennai

Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran will deliver a lecture on civil liberties in South Asia at an event organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chennai in November. Speaking on the event in memory of eminent civil rights activist K.G. Kannabiran, PUCL’s national general secretary V. Suresh said the organisers had chosen Mr. Wigneswaran because of his stature as a “visionary intellectual who combines the best of jurisprudence with a keen understanding of democracy, politics and economics.” “Greatest contemporary legal thinker” Mr. Suresh said the Chief Minister, formerly a judge at Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, was one of the “greatest contemporary legal thinkers”, whose perspectives would be valuable…

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traver

Our eyes are blind to Tamil torture:The Age

Trevor Grant was the cricket writer when I joined The Age in 1985. I remember him as a friendly, independent character with whom I talked sport. In 1989, he joined News Corp, finally leaving in 2009 after he became “disillusioned with the direction of the newspaper [the Herald Sun]“. I didn’t know what happened to him thereafter and was somewhat surprised when, five years ago, he re-emerged as a human rights activist, particularly on behalf of Tamil refugees. He has now written a book, Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How The Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder (Monash University Publishing). When he left the Herald Sun he had no employment. His father had been a truck driver…

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disappered

Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained

In the fishing village of Oori, two mothers await news of their young daughters who were taken to a care home three months ago after their alleged rape by members of the Sri Lankan navy. In a lawyer’s office in the town of Mannar, a middle-aged woman sobs uncontrollably as she recounts her five-year struggle to find her son, one of thousands of cases of young men and women who disappeared after being picked up by soldiers. While in the city of Jaffna, a fisherman, displaced from his village after the military took his land, remembers the good life he once had as he sits in the ramshackle tenement he now shares with hundreds of…

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mani

Families of disappeared living slow death under state terror: Leena Manimekalai

Film maker of the latest documentary White Van Stories , Leena Manimekalai says that her two-hour long film on the enforced abduction and disappearances by the state forces was just a fraction of what is still going in Sri Lanka, which is currently hosting the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), amid growing international concern over its human rights track record. In an exclusive interview with the JDS, she said that the government critiques, journalists, lawyers, former rebel suspects and aid workers are still being abducted using the notorious ‘white-van’ and made to disappear forever. She says the coalition government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is long carrying out this terror campaign with the dual…

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pranap

Pranab hails India’s ties with Sri Lanka

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee says relations between India and Sri Lanka have withstood the test of time and socio-cultural exchanges for centuries have fostered further close cooperation in various fields. He says both the countries have much to learn and imbibe from each other in order to resolve various issues which are the legacies of a protracted period of colonial rule The Indian President said this at a function in India to release a Commemorative Postage Stamp to pay tribute Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist and writer Anagarika Dharmapala. “I hope that this gesture will contribute towards further strengthening the bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka and bring the two nations closer. Historically, India and…

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kamalesh

Kamalesh Sharma arrives in Sri Lanka

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon on a five day official visit, External Affairs Ministry said. It said he would remain in the country till Wednesday (29). He is to brief President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, on the achievement of objectives and implementation of work set at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November 2013. The Secretary-General will also meet other members of the Government of Sri Lanka, including the Minister of External Affairs, Professor G L Peiris. During his five-day visit, the Secretary-General will also review the implementation of various initiatives being undertaken as part of his Good Offices work…

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Vaiko

BJP acting against Tamils, openly aiding Sri Lanka, alleges Vaiko

Slamming BJP government’s policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, party’s Tamil Nadu ally MDMK on Saturday said that it was acting against the minority Tamils and warned that this may have its repercussions in the future. Party founder Vaiko took objection to senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s demand that India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, be conferred on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, saying the saffron party cannot ignore its responsibility by just distancing itself away from Swamy. “Though the previous UPA discreetly helped Sri Lanka against Tamils, it later backtracked but the BJP government is openly aiding Colombo”, he said. Subsequently, Swamy could so “brazenly” call for Bharat Ratna to Rajapakse, he said in a…

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Ranil-Wickramasinghe

UNP is ready to back 19th Amendment

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) today informed parliament it backs the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution and wants it passed in Parliament without a debate if other political parties also support it. Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there are reports on some websites indicating there is a move by the Government to submit the proposed 19th Amendment as an urgent Bill in Parliament next month. The 19th Amendment, proposed by Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) MP Athureliya Rathana Thera, calls for a Prime Minister be the Head of the Government and the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers and also a reduction in the number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers in…

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gl

Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to the UN system

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris yesterday reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to working constructively with the UN system and said it was absolutely vital to preserve and enhance the confidence of the world community in it. He made these remarks at an event held to mark the 69th UN day where he assured that Sri Lanka had recognised the importance of the UN and therefore would continue to work actively with the UN system in a variety of ways. “There is no substitute for the UN because the work done by it cannot possibly be done by anybody else,” the minister said and added that though the Sri Lankan Government had citicised the workings of certain…

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Northern council name board

TCSF defends majority councillors position on Tamil genocide

Requesting an investigation into genocide serves to ensure that all possible violations of international law are appropriately identified and explored. Needless to say such a request does not prejudice OISL’s investigation into other crimes including war crimes and crimes against humanity, said a statement from Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) issued on Friday. “Tamils and their representatives also have a concomitant right to seek the intervention of the International Community to prevent and protect them from the commission of Genocide. The right to state and claim the above stems from their right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in international human rights law,” the TCSF statement further said. “Tamils and their elected representatives have…

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chandrika_bandaranayake

CBK to return to SL next week

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is to return to Sri Lanka next week, ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ learns from a spokesperson of the ‘Organisation to Protect the SLFP. Ms. Kumaratunga was in London to visit her daughter Yashodara after the latter gave birth to her third child. Although Ms. Kumaratunga was originally scheduled to return on Oct. 23, her plans had been delayed.Following her return, Ms. Kumaratunga is to hold talks with senior SLFP MPs and ministers, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera and Sarath Fonseka over the forthcoming presidential election.However, Ms. Kumaratunga has taken no decision to contest the forthcoming presidential election, the spokesperson further added.

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mahinda

The whitewashing of a war crime by corporate lobbyists-The Independent UK

The Sri Lankan government is hurriedly trying to boost the country’s image by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire corporate lobbyists as it awaits a UN report into alleged war crimes. A report in the US says Sri Lanka has recently agreed a contract with its eighth lobbying firm this year to change the way the country is perceived internationally. It also wants the companies to improve contact between Sri Lankan officials and members of the US government. Five years after the bloody and controversial end of a civil war that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians, the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa says it is incorrectly portrayed in the West….

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c.v. vikneshvaran

No Final Word yet on Wigneswaran Visit to New Delhi

Officials in Delhi are trying to work out a schedule for Sri Lanka’s northern province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next month. The provincial Chief Minister was invited by an NGO, People’s Union for Civil Liberties to give a public lecture on November 9. While, PUCL claims that Wigneswaran has accepted the invitation, there is still uncertainty about the visit as the Prime Minister’s office was still trying to find time for Wigneswaran in Modi’s schedule. The PM is scheduled to leave for his three-nation tour on May 11. So Wigneswaran may first land in Delhi, before travelling to Chennai. India had already given a verbal invitation to the northern…

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