Right of Reply by Sir Desmond de Silva QC

Published : 12:27 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  2 Comments  |  482 views  |  

With reference to the Daily FT’s FT Politics column titled ‘Changing course!’ published yesterday, the Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons Sir Desmond de Silva QC said that the reference in the article that he attended and addressed a Defence Ministry conference titled ‘Defeating terrorism: The Sri Lanka experience’ was factually incorrect. He said that the suggestion that he attended such a conference and spoke the words alleged on that occasion is incorrect. He said that he was never invited for the conference, hence reference to attending and addressing is false. The Daily FT apologises to Sir... 

Social conciliation should be present at all levels: Basil

Published : 12:27 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  235 views  |  
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Social conciliation is an aspect that should be present in every field, community and public service, said Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. It should be present at all levels. There should be a village-to-village social conciliation, province-to-province conciliation and so on. Social conciliation should not be confined to making ethnic communities come together. It is an all encompassing activity that should take place at all levels, he said, addressing the media at a symposium organised by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information at the Ministry on Social Conciliation and the Role of Media. Amidst various sinister forces trying to cause ethnic unrest in the country using those... 

Sri Lanka reiterates concerns over Gaza

Published : 12:26 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  224 views  |  

The Government says it welcomed the convening of a special session of the Human Rights Council held yesterday to address the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and refer the Council to the Statement made by Iran on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement. A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said the Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives, and extensive damage to property adding that one cannot remain unmoved by the cruel fate of children who are innocent victims of violence. “As each day passes, we see more innocent lives lost or harmed.... 

All NGOs should register and indicate scope of activities: PM

Published : 12:26 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  213 views  |  

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne has said that under the laws of this country all Non-Government Organisations should be registered. “While registering they should also clearly indicate the activities they will be carrying out. They cannot deviate from their stated objectives and they also cannot act contrary to the laws of this country. This situation is applicable to all Non-Governmental Organisations in this country,” he said. The Prime Minister emphasised no activities against the country could be permitted and it was the responsibility of the Government to safeguard the country and its territory. He made these comments in response to a question raised in Parliament on Wednesday by Opposition... 

SC says no to ban on Muslim dress

Published : 12:25 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  157 views  |  

The Supreme Court yesterday issued directives to all National and Provincial schools to permit parents from entering the school attired in their Muslim cultural attire. When a Fundamental Rights Petition was taken up by a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, in to the prevention of a Muslim parent entering Janadipathi Balika Vidyalaya attired in a Hijab, the Chief Justice said that such cultural attire was permitted and within the legal rights of a citizen. Accordingly, the Bench directed the Attorney General to issue directives to all National and Public schools to permit any parent from entering the school attired in a Hijab. The Petitioner, a parent said that she was prevented from... 

Defence Ministry holds ‘Ifthar’

Published : 12:00 am  July 25, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  315 views  |  
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Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa attended a traditional ‘Ifthar’ ceremony at the Hotel Taj Samudra in Colombo on Wednesday. The ‘Iftar’ was hosted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Special prayers and sermons were conducted to invoke blessings on the people and the nation during the ceremony. Moulavi Fazil Farook made a special sermon. The evening ‘Magrib’ prayer was also conducted soon after the Ifthar ceremony. ‘Ifthar’ is the breaking of fast of Muslims during the month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world undertake a month long fast during this holy month. It is the third of the five obligations... 

Ranil raps Govt. for misleading P’ment on NGOs; questions role of intelligence service

Published : 12:16 am  July 24, 2014  |  Category: News  |  1 Comment  |  740 views  |  

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday rapped the Government for misleading the House by providing false information on NGOs in the absence of a legal framework for intelligence services role. Raising a series of issues under Section 23 (2) of the Standing Orders, Wickremesinghe wanted the Government to identify the intelligence service which raised the alarm over alleged unfavourable NGO activities. He said the Government must define the so-called “impact on the security of the State,” the criteria the intelligence services had applied in coming to this conclusion, the procedure adopted to arrive at the conclusion, the law empowering the intelligence services to act in this regard... 

MPs express regret over July ’83 riots

Published : 12:15 am  July 24, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  513 views  |  
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   No more ‘Black July’ A peace program was organised yesterday remembering ‘Black July,’ the anti-Tamil program and riots which started on 23 July 1983, following which the country experienced nearly three decades of war against Tamil militant groups with demands for a separate state. The program, organised by campus lecturers, students and various artistes, was held at the Viharamahadevi Park Open Air Stadium – Pix by Shehan Gunasekara     A group of Parliamentarians from the Government and the Opposition have expressed regret over the incidents of July 1983 and called for trust to be restored between all communities in Sri Lanka. The MPs representing the... 

Wimal not happy with MR’s intl. experts move

Published : 12:15 am  July 24, 2014  |  Category: News  |  2 Comments  |  410 views  |  
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The Leader of National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition party of the Government, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has expressed his opposition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent decision to broaden the scope of the Missing Persons Commission and allow investigations into alleged human rights abuses by the security forces during the war.    Minister Wimal Weerawansa Minister Wimal Weerawansa in a letter to the President has asked him to immediately amend the gazette notification under which an advisory committee was appointed to consult the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons. He pointed out that since the gazette notification has broadened... 

EU concerned over NGO restrictions

Published : 12:12 am  July 24, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  363 views  |  

The EU Heads of Mission and the Ambassadors of Norway and Switzerland said they were “very concerned” about the recent efforts to restrict legitimate public activities of civil society and Non-Governmental Organisations in Sri Lanka. In a joint statement issued by the EU office in Colombo, the Heads of Missions and Ambassadors urged the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right of every individual to exercise their freedom of expression, opinion, association and assembly and to take part in the public affairs without undue interference. “We call upon the Sri Lankan authorities to create a safe and enabling environment in which civil society can operate free from hindrance and insecurity,”... 

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