LEAD NEWS

“Democracy is sometimes three steps forward, two steps back”: German Envoy

Germany’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jorn Rohde is a strong believer in how pluralism and multi-culturalism can build successful and peaceful countries. In an interview with Daily FT recently, Ambassador Rohde addressed the controversy surrounding the regaining of GSP plus concessions that are tied to certain human rights and democratic conditions, saying the decision to

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RENEWED COMMITMENT REQUIRED TO OVERCOME PRESENT GLOOM–Jehan Perera

A year ago a contractor whom I spoke to rejoiced that corruption was much reduced under the new government. He said that the minister in charge of his area of work had merely asked for a donation to be made to support a public institution. Though this donation had nothing to do with the contract,

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Sri Lanka police breakthrough in journalist abduction

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police made a major breakthrough Saturday in their investigations in to the abduction of news editor Keith Noyahr as well as a string of other attacks, disappearances and killings of journalists by arresting at least three military personnel attached to a hit squad which operated from Kohuwela. Police headquarters in a

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Multiculturalism will not harm Sinhala-Buddhist identity: Civil Society activist

In the backdrop of the ongoing Constitution-making process, civil society activist Sudarshana Gunawardane, who advocates pluralism and multiculturalism, says such concepts will not harm the entrenched traditions of the country. Mr. Gunawardane, who is also the executive director of Right Now Collective for Democracy, made these remarks in the context of fear over the attempts

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Govt. gazettes Enforced Disappearances Bill

By Dharisha Bastians The Government has proposed draft legislation to criminalise disappearances in line with its international obligations, even as the country grapples with the legacy of 65,000 people still missing after two insurgencies and a civil war. The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Bill was gazetted by order

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Sri Lanka RTI laws become world’s third best

Following the announcement of rules and regulations on Right Information Act by Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunatilleke last week, Sri Lanka has reached third best place in the RTI global ranking. Mexico and Serbia are in the first and second places. Simultaneously Sri Lanka becomes the best in South Asia, by

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CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM TO THE FORE AGAIN –Jehan Perera

The constitutional reform process appeared to be on track with the presentation of the report of the Public Representations Committee in June last year followed by the reports of the six parliamentary subcommittees in November.  However, time tables and road maps are necessarily contingent.  Whether the time frames or the targets to meet are realistic

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China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy

NEW DELHI – If there is one thing at which China’s leaders truly excel, it is the use of economic tools to advance their country’s geostrategic interests. Through its $1 trillion “one belt, one road” initiative, China is supporting infrastructure projects in strategically located developing countries, often by extending huge loans to their governments. As

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My country is not truly free until all its citizens feel at home

Independence Day marks the freeing of our country of the shackles of the colonisers. Our country won her freedom through the sweat of our predecessors who united in driving away the occupiers. As a Sri Lankan, I love my country and feel that I belong here and nowhere else. As I join my fellow sisters

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The perils of ‘traitorisation’

“Amirthalingam was called a traitor and killed. Neelan Thiruchelvam was called a traitor and killed. Over 30 years we have lost all these people.  And after killing them, what have we achieved?  So now you call Sumanthiran a traitor and kill me also. Tell me, what are we going to do after that?” – TNA

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OTHER NEWS

Right to Information on Independence of Commission – Staff & Financial Allocation

22 February, 2017 Chairman Right to Information Commission Room No. 203-204 BMICH Baudhaloka Mawatha Colombo 07 Dear Mr. Chairman, Right to Information on Independence of Commission – Staff & Financial Allocation Regulations regarding implementation of Right to Information Act No.12 of 2016 was gazetted on 03 February (2017) with pre publicity notices carried in newspapers

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Women in Management, IFC launch Seventh Professional and Career Women Awards 2017

From left: Maldivian High Commission in Colombo Head of Mission Zahiya Zareer, Women in Management Founder/Chairperson Sulochana Segera, IFC Gender Secretariat Head Henriette Kolb and Lanka Sathosa Chairman and 2017 Panel Judge Dr. Rohantha Athukorala   Women in Management (WIM) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, are inviting nominations for the ‘Top

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LAWYERS FOR DEMOCRACY STATEMENT ON APPOINTMENT OF MR. R. KANNAN AS A HIGH COURT JUDGE

We have carefully followed the public debate on the appointment of Mr. Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court Judge, particularly the exchange of communications and statements made by various groups and politicians. We are of the opinion that all parties must act with responsibility on this appointment. Having examined the facts we wish to state

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SAITM and private medical schools: One bad start should not lead to throwing away a good idea

Opposition to SAITM SAITM, the abbreviation for Sri Lanka’s newest private university, South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (available at: http://www.saitm.edu.lk/), has been denoting a derogatory meaning in Sri Lankans’ present local vocabulary. It is a private initiative, done at private costs, to offer a solution to one of Sri Lanka’s chronic problems relating

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In search of the missing thousands

Meera Srinivasan The small group of Tamils that met top Ministers in Colombo on February 9 conveyed one thing emphatically— their patience was wearing thin. All the members of the group that had travelled nearly six hours by bus from Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to Colombo have been searching for their missing relatives for many

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Should State protect Buddhism as a Constitutional provision?

For a long time as a nation we have been talking about a new constitution in place of the existing Constitution of 1978. During the time of President Kumaratunga, a new constitution was drafted and she was not able to get it approved by the Parliament. Recently the United National Party also has proposed the

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President steps in to break deadlock in constitutional negotiations

By Dharisha Bastians President Maithripala Sirisena has stepped into break a deadlock in constitutional negotiations, holding a round of tripartite talks with the United National Party (UNP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) late last month. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the tripartite discussions, together with UNP Chairman

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Right to Information: Excitement in the air!

By Mathuri Thamilmaran As citizens take their first steps towards obtaining information from Public Authorities (PA) with the operationalising of The Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016 (RTI Act) on February 3rd 2017, there are many hiccups that are bound to arise. This is inevitable as other countries around the world take as

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Application to receive Information under Rights to Information Act

Given below is the format of the application to receive information under the Rights to Information Act. Please note that completion of this Form is not a compulsory requirement to make a request for information and that any written letter, e-mail or a verbal request with the essential information to identify the requested information is

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AHRC TV: UN publishes new report of rape and other abuses against Rohingya and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 158

This week’s episode of Just Asia begins with the UN’s new report detailing mass gang rape, killings and other human rights abuses against the Rohingya by the Burmese military. A team of UN investigators interviewed over 200 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, who told how their children, including a newborn, were trampled or cut to death.

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THE SAITM  PROBLEM

As medical academics, trained in medical education and its many issues, and possessing a considerable experience in all such matters, we feel we have a responsibility and are duty- bound at this crucial time, to offer our views on this controversial SAITM  problem, which is getting more and more contentious. We would also state that

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One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising… “Let us Celebrate Lives Without Violence Against Women”                 ART EXHIBITION by Artists for Non-violent Living Place: Auditorium, Mulliyawalai Vidyanantha College, Mullaithivu  Dates: 12, 13, 14 February 2017, from 9.30am to 4.30pm   One third of women in the world are subjected to violence. This means that one billion of the three billion

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LOLC to introduce microfinance model to Pakistan

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam Sri Lanka’s leading non-banking financial institution, Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC), saw its unique microfinance model being accepted to be applied in yet another regional market. Having recognized the microfinance business model of LOLC as ‘uniquely effective’ due to its success in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank

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The Good Governance Government should not ignore Sri Lanka’s slipping down on the World Rule of Law Index

King Elara’s observance of the Rule of Law to the letter According to a story in Sri Lanka’s great chronicle, Mahavansa, a Tamil usurper named Elara of the Uju tribe had invaded Lanka in the 2nd century BCE and ruled the northern part of the country from his seat at Anuradhapura for 44 years. He

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The government needs to be constructive rather than combative

Is the essentially combative tone adopted by the Government to the Juan Mendez report finding that a “culture of torture” is still being practised in Sri Lanka quite wise, one might ask? Of course, we live in an age where, confounding his own advisors and despite solid evidence to the contrary, the President of the

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Will Norway handover diaspora Tiger leader “Nediyavan” to Sri Lanka?

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj “What was your first military operation”? was a question posed to Veluppillai Prabhakaran in a media interview many years ago. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader replied “ Alfred Durayappah”. Prabhakaran was of course referring to the popular former Mayor and ex-MP Alfred Thangarajah Durayappah who was gunned

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Taxi driver wins case without lawyer

A trishaw driver who defended himself  in the Gampola Magistrate Court was acquitted of all charges levelled against him, by Magistrate Chandani Meegoda. Gampola Police had filed action against him on charges of driving under the influence of liquor and obstructing the duty of the police on April 20, 2014. The case had had first

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