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Britain concerned on Current Situation of Sri Lanka

“A military victory for one side is very unlikely to produce a lasting political solution,” says British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dr. Kim Howells, who visited Colombo on Tuesday, to meet government officials and civil society representatives.

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“A military victory for one side is very unlikely to produce a lasting political solution,” says British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dr. Kim Howells, who visited Colombo on Tuesday, to meet government officials and civil society representatives.

Full text of the leading article issued by the British High Commission in Colombo follows:

“Britain has long been a friend of Sri Lanka. That friendship is built on a wide range of shared interests and contacts, not least the large number of people of Sri Lankan origin who have made Britain their home.

“Today’s British government has no greater wish for Sri Lanka than that it should find a peaceful solution to its conflict. This should be a solution with which all the people and communities in Sri Lanka feel comfortable and which enables them to develop their full potential, becoming a more prosperous, healthier and more highly skilled society.

“On the other hand, if things continue as they are the current escalation of the conflict and its impact will hold back Sri Lanka’s development, corrode the quality of its democracy and tarnish its image in the international arena.

“Only Sri Lankans can ultimately resolve the conflict in their country. But Britain and others in the international community can help. Many countries, international agencies and non-governmental organisations are already working with Sri Lankans to help create the conditions needed for peace and long-term development. I believe their work is invaluable to the people of Sri Lanka.

“As part of this, the British government’s political and development efforts in Sri Lanka have a single aim. To help create the conditions in which a lasting peace can be achieved.

“We in Britain have some experience of resolving conflict, in Northern Ireland. That province is now at peace. It took about 30 years to get to that point. We learned the hard way that security measures will only get you so far and eventually you must – if you wish to move towards a lasting peace – be willing to address the underlying causes of the conflict. Last year the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, offered to share this experience with HE President Rajapakse and his government. Accordingly, the Rt Hon Paul Murphy, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, visited Sri Lanka in November.

“One of the most important things we learned in Northern Ireland is that peace won’t happen until the parties to the conflict understand that nothing can be gained by continuing violence. It is worth stating the obvious: a military victory for one side is very unlikely to produce a lasting political solution. Our experience tells us that a ‘war for peace’ approach inevitably means more war, rather than peace. And violence comes with too high a price. It is the people who suffer, as human rights are eroded, the humanitarian situation deteriorates and mistrust between communities increases. This, in turn, damages Sri Lanka’s image in the eyes of the world.

“Similarly, we learned that there had to be a working cease-fire in force in order for meaningful peace talks to be possible. Politicians cannot be expected to make the compromises necessary for peace against a backdrop of violence and the public outrage this causes. The Norwegian-facilitated cease-fire of 2002 offered breathing space from the effects of the conflict. If adhered to, it would offer a good base from which to launch a new peace initiative. The parties to the conflict need to develop a degree of confidence in one another in order to be able to move forward to reach a common understanding of their shared future. That confidence can’t be built in an atmosphere where violence and fear flourishes. A broad political consensus for peace is essential. We hope that the new coalition government will be able to enable the parties to work together for the common good of the country.

“I am looking forward to my time in Sri Lanka. It will be my second visit to this country. My fervent wish is that my visit may contribute to bringing the island’s tragic conflict to an end.”

Minister Howells is to travel to eastern Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

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President orders investigations into Daham’s nightclub scandal

(NIDAHASA News) President Maithiripala Sirisena call for an investigation into the Colombo nightclub attack allegedly carried out by his own son.

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(NIDAHASA News) President Maithiripala Sirisena call for an investigation into the Colombo nightclub attack allegedly carried out by his own son.

A group allegedly led by Sirisena’s son Daham attacked Clique nightclub at Town Hall, Colombo last Friday (07), allegedly after they were denied entry to the nightclub around 2.00 am. A security guard was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following the attack with head injuries.
However, speaking to Sri Lanka Mirror web site, police denied any connection of President’s son to the incident.
“He had arrived there around 7.00 pm, and it was a long time later that the clash took place,” Sri Lanka Mirror quoted the police.
In 2013, during the time his father was a minister, Daham Sirisena was accused of attacking a youth at Passikudah beach.

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Severe weather: over 200 families missing

(NIDAHASA News) Over 200 families missing after a massive landslide in Aranayaka, in Kegalla district.

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(NIDAHASA News) Over 200 families missing after a massive landslide in Aranayaka, in Kegalla district.

“16 bodies have already been recovered and about 180 people have been rescued,” said military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera.

“The task is to figure out what happened to them,” the Red Cross said in a statement, noting that some people may have left after local officials warned earlier this week of possible landslides.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) reported over 350,000 people were affected by floods and landslides caused by massive rains.

Meanwhile warning has been issued to several suburbs areas of capital Colombo due to the increasing water level or Kelani river. People living in Wellampitiya, Megoda Kolonnawa, Sedawatte, Kohilawatte and surrounding areas have been asked to move to a safe place.

The depression, named BOB 01 is currently moving towards South India; however rain will continue for several areas in Sri Lanka until the end of this week, weather specialists say.

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Sri Lanka's firebrand Buddhist monk arrested

(NIDAHASA News) Supporters of Galagodaatte Gnansara started a violent protest in front of Homagama court after magistrate ordered to remand infamous Buddhist monk till 09th February.

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(NIDAHASA News) Supporters of Galagodaatte Gnansara started a violent protest in front of Homagama court after magistrate ordered to remand infamous Buddhist monk till 09th February.

The General Secretary of extreme Buddhist movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) surrendered to the court this morning (26) after magistrate ordered police to arrest the for alleged contempt of court. He was accused of making an argument with the judge during the court hearing of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda's habeas corpus.

Gnanasara has alleged that arresting the Army officers over Ekneligoda's disappearance was illegal and the prosecution should be arrested for “illegal arrests” of military officers. The counsel representing the missing journalist's family informed the court that the monk has also threatened the journalist's wife Sandhya.

Protesters, including a group of monks attempted to enter the court premises challenging the court's order to arrest their General Secretary and tried to block the prison vehicle. Police however managed to take Gnanasara to the remand prison with the support of extra police team.

Gnanasara and his BBS had been accused of inflaming religious tension between Majority Buddhists and Muslims. They were also accused of being a cat's paw of previous Rajapaksa regime. However BBS denied any secret relationship with Rajapaksa brothers.

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