UNP demands Defence Ministry relinquishes its stranglehold on civil society

Published : 12:50 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  410 views  |  
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The UNP in a statement yesterday demanded that the Government and its Ministry of Defence relinquishes its stranglehold on civil society. The call follows Defence Ministry issued a circular to NGOs that the latter should desist from issuing press releases, holding seminars and workshops beyond their specified mandate. “As Chair of the Commonwealth, which only months ago hosted the Commonwealth Peoples’ Forum and recognised the role of civil society in a democracy, the Government has a moral obligation to keep its hands off peoples’ movements and NGOs,” said the UNP statement issued by Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya. Following is the full text: Striking a chilling blow to... 

Australian PM says government won’t bow to “moral blackmail” by asylum seekers

Published : 12:46 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  320 views  |  
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Canberra (Reuters): Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday (9) vowed not to bow to “moral blackmail” following reports of suicide bids by female asylum seekers at a detention centre on Christmas Island. Fairfax media reported the women had tried to kill themselves after deciding their children would have a better chance of making it to Australia without them. Abbott said he had not seen the reports but called them “harrowing”, and added that the Government would not back down from its tough asylum policy. “No Australian Government should be subjected to the spectacle of people saying ‘unless you accept us I am going to commit self-harm’ and I don’t believe any Australian,... 

Progress of all Consultative Committees tabled in Parliament

Published : 12:42 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  349 views  |  
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Opposition Leader laments only 15 ministries have submitted reports; majority of ministries negligent By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent A report elaborating the progress of all Consultative Committees was tabled yesterday for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka’s Parliament. This report, which will be made available for the members on a monthly basis, will show the progress of each consultative committee appointed by the Speaker. Commending Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa for initiating a system, which will capture the progress of the consultative committees and publish the findings as a monthly report, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage and Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena... 

President commissions patrol boats gifted by Australia

Published : 12:40 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: MAIN IMAGE, News  |  Leave a Comment  |  823 views  |  
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ceremonially commissioned the ‘Mihikatha’ and ‘Rathnadeepa’ patrol boats that were gifted by the Australian Government to Sri Lanka, at the Port of Colombo. Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison also participated in the ceremony. The two patrol boats were gifted as a gesture of goodwill to the Sri Lanka Navy. Following the ceremony, President Rajapaksa and Minister Morrison held discussions during which the President thanked Australia for the patrol boats and Australia’s continuous support for Sri Lanka in the international arena. Morrison commended what he described as “very close cooperation” between... 

US urges Govt. to allow NGOs to operate freely

Published : 12:37 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: News  |  1 Comment  |  257 views  |  

The US Government has urged the Government of Sri Lanka to allow civil society and NGOs to operate freely in the country, after the Defence Ministry on Monday sought to ban associations registered under its National NGO secretariat from holding press conferences and workshops. US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States is concerned by reports that the Ministry of Defence has ordered registered Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and civil society groups to cease their media engagements and activities. “This order undermines Sri Lanka’s longstanding and proud democratic traditions, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Psaki said in a statement issued... 

Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison

Published : 12:00 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  153 views  |  
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Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison, who arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit, was welcomed by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Neyomal Perera at the Bandaranaike International Airport – Pic by Kumarasiri Prasad – Airport Correspondent  Read More →

Ranil, Hakeem shed more light on gruesome Aluthgama deaths

Published : 12:59 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: News  |  1 Comment  |  530 views  |  
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Questionable post-mortem report and cause of deathAttorney General not present for inquest Government Analyst not summoned prior to debris removal Investigations continued by Police By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent Suspicious procedures followed in investigating the deaths of two people in Welipitiya during the recent ethnic clashes, lead to “aspersions” yesterday in Parliament. Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem was also unsure about the findings in the post-mortem report, which is now at stake. However, justifying some of the other questionable deviations authorities made instead of following the routine procedure, Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem outlined three important... 

BBS defends rhetoric against Muslims

Published : 12:57 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  568 views  |  

Warns of Muslim invasion through propagation Rejects extremist label Controversial Bodu Bala Sena monk Galagodaththe Gnansara Thero has defended his group’s angry anti-Muslim rhetoric, claiming his speeches have to be emotional to raise awareness about “rising Islamic terrorism in Sri Lanka.” Referring to allegations that he had used hate speech during the rally in Aluthgama that preceded anti-Muslim riots in the town, the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary denied that his words were targeting Sri Lanka’s entire Muslim population. “We tend to speak emotionally at times. It’s only then that we can draw attention to the issue,” he said, referring to the issue of what he called “rising... 

41 asylum seekers to Aussie produced before Galle Magistrate

Published : 12:56 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  259 views  |  
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The saga of the 41 asylum seekers (37 Sinhalese and four Tamil Sri Lankan nationals), who were returned to Sri Lanka by the Australian Government, continued yesterday with five persons who undertook the voyage remanded while the rest were freed by the Galle Magistrate. Magistrate Shanaka Kalansuriya acquitted all the children on board, while the other passengers of the ill-fated voyage were granted bail. The five remanded were believed to have been the ring-leaders of the people smuggling operation. Speaking to reporters after they were granted bail, several asylum seekers said that they had been treated badly by the Australian Government authorities before they were handed over to the Sri Lanka... 

TNA hails talks with S African envoy

Published : 12:56 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  427 views  |  

Talks positive: Sampanthan Discussions centered on addressing national question: Sumanthiran TNA says S African Deputy President to brief India about progress Government still mum on Ramaphosa discussions By Dharisha Bastians Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa concluded a two day visit to Sri Lanka for ‘talks about talks’ on evolving a political solution to the country’s ethnic question, that the main Tamil party said, were positive despite stony silence from the Government. Ramaphosa, who is South African President Jacob Zuma’s special envoy to Sri Lanka, as the African nation attempts to drive a reconciliation initiative in the island based on its own post-Apartheid... 

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