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  • MR to resign tomorrow - Namal
    Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was recently appointed as the Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to resign from the premiership tomorrow after a special statement, MP Namal Rajapaksa tweeted a short while ago.  
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/MR-to-resign-tomorrow-Namal-159811.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • SC leaves grant to proceed with Mahinda’s appeal
    The Supreme Court has decided to take up the appeal of Mahinda Rajapaksa against the interim order of the Court of Appeal on the premiership on the 16th, 17th and 18th of January 2019. However, the request of the petitioners for a stay order on the interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa from holding office of Prime Minister and his Cabinet from functioning has been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has also ordered the Appeal Court not to hear the petition against Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet holding office, until the Supreme Court hearing is over. The Court informed the parties that if they wish the petition to be heard before a five-member judge bench, they should refer the request to the Chief Justice. Justice Eva Wanasundera, who was a part of the three-judge panel which considered the appeal...
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  • මහින්ද හෙට ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් කියයි
    මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා හෙට (15) විශේෂ ප්‍රකාශයක් සිදුකර අග්‍රමාත්‍ය ධුරයෙන් ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ මහතා සිය නිල ට්විටර් ගිණුමේ පණිවිඩයක් සටහන් කරමින් කියයි. ජාතියේ ස්ථාවරත්වය සළකා මෙම තීරණය ගන්නා බව ද එහි සඳහන් වේ. එම ට්විටර් පණිවිඩය පහත දැක්වේ.   http://www.lankadeepa.lk/latest_news/%E0%B6%B8%E0%B7%84%E0%B7%92%E0%B6%B1%E0%B7%8A%E0%B6%AF-%E0%B7%84%E0%B7%99%E0%B6%A7-%E0%B6%89%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8A%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8F-%E0%B6%85%E0%B7%83%E0%B7%8A%E0%B7%80%E0%B6%B1-%E0%B6%B6%E0%B7%80-%E0%B6%B1%E0%B7%8F%E0%B6%B8%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8A-%E0%B6%9A%E0%B7%92%E0%B6%BA%E0%B6%BA%E0%B7%92/1-542221 Please...
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  • ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දේශපාලන අර්බුදය: මහින්ද "සෙනසුරාදා ඉල්ලා අස්වෙයි"
      Image copyrightPMD ඔක්තෝබර් 26 වන දින ජනාධිපතිවරයා විසින් පත් කළ අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ සෙනසුරාදා (දෙසැම්බර් 15) තනතුරෙන් ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ මන්ත්‍රීවරයා පවසයි. දින 50 ක පමණ කාලයක් පුරා දිව ගිය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දේශපාලන අර්බුදය නිර්මාණය වූයේ ජනාධිපතිවරයා විසින් මහින්ද රාපක්ෂ අගමැති ධූරයට පත් කිරීමත් සමගය. මේ අතර, ජනාධිපතිවරයා...
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  • 18-hour water cut in Rajagiriya and surrounding areas
    Water supply to Rajagiriya and surrounding areas will be disrupted for 18-hours commencing from tomorrow 12 a.m. and until Sunday 6 p.m., the following day, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board said.
    Accordingly, water supply to Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya, Athulkotte, Obeysekarapura, Bandaranayakepura, Nawala, Koswatte, and Rajagiriya to Open University of Sri Lanka Nawala, and surrounding areas.   http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/12/14/local/171393/18-hour-water-cut-rajagiriya-and-surrounding-areas Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • SC refuses to vacate CA’s interim order against MR
      The Appeal was also granted special leave to proceed. The proceedings of the Court of Appeal with regard to the case were stayed until the Supreme Court hearing is concluded. The appeal is to be taken up for further hearing on January 16, 17 and 18, 2019. (Shehan Chamika Silva)   http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SC-refuses-to-vacate-CA-s-interim-order-against-MR-159809.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • මහින්දට එරෙහි අභියාචනාධිකරණයේ අතුරු තහනම දිගටම
    අගමැති ධුරයේ කටයුතු කිරීම අත්හිටුවමින් අභියාචනාධිකරණය ලබා දුන් අතුරු තහනම් නියෝගයට එරෙහිව මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා ගොනු කළ අභියාචනා පෙත්සම විභාගයට ගැනීමට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ තීන්දු කළේය. අභියාචනාධිකරණය ලබා දුන් අතුරු තහනම් නියෝගය අවලංගු කරන ලෙස කළ ඉල්ලීම ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කළ ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය මෙම පෙත්සම විභාගයට ගැනීම සඳහා දින නියම...
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  • තීන්දුව කුමක්ද? - ජනපතිගේ තීරණය වැරදියි ආණ්ඩුව දිගටම
    5.04pm Update
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  • SC rules dissolution of parliament illegal
    The Supreme Court today ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament was unconstitutional and illegal. Chief Justice Nalin Perera delivering the verdict said that if President wants to dissolve Parliament before four and half years, there must be a resolution passed by two-thirds majority in Parliament. The verdict was announced unanimously. Court also decided that the petitioners fundamental right, under article 12(1) has been violated by this executive act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SC-rules-dissolution-of-parliament-illegal-159742.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults after Sri Lanka riots

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Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country’s local languages.

The social network has been seeking penance in Sri Lanka after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes and businesses to ashes.

Until the week-long ban, appeals to Facebook to act against the contagion of hate speech had been met with deafening silence, at a time when the California-based tech giant was reeling from unprecedented global scrutiny over fake news and user privacy.

“We did make mistakes and we were slow,” Facebook spokeswoman Amrit Ahuja told AFP in Colombo.

The dearth of staff fluent in Sinhala -- the language spoken by Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group -- compounded the issue, with government officials and activists saying the oversight allowed extremist content to flourish undetected on the platform.

Ahuja said Facebook was committed to hiring more Sinhala speakers but declined to say how many were currently employed in Sri Lanka.

“This is the problem we are trying to address with Facebook. They need more Sinhala resources”, said the island’s telecommunications minister Harin Fernando.

Since the violence broke out in March, two high-level delegations from the company have visited Sri Lanka, where ethnic divisions linger after decades of war, to assure the government of its intent.

Ahuja said Facebook was working with civil society organisations to familiarise its staff with Sinhala slurs and racist epithets.

Complex local nuances have added to the challenge. The word for “brother” in Tamil -- also an official language in the country -- can be a derogatory term in Sinhala when a slight inflection is used.

Fernando said the decision to impose an island-wide blackout on Facebook -- used by one in three Sri Lankans -- was taken as a last resort to prevent an escalation of violence.

Buddhist monks freely shared images of masked men attacking mosques and urged others to do the same in the weeks before the riots erupted in Kandy.

Sinhala extremists used the social network to recruit rioters and organise their travel to the troubled area, from where violence later spread.

A meme in Sinhala, which remained online for weeks, urged death to all Muslims, including children.

A man who reported it to Facebook was told it did not violate “specific community standards”.

In addition to government warnings, Fernando told AFP that Facebook users lodged thousands of complaints over extremist content, but were met with silence.

“It was not something that I liked doing. But if we didn’t block Facebook, the violence would have spread out of control,” he said.

Eventually the army was given special powers to restore order under the first state of emergency declared in the 21-million-strong nation since the end of the civil war in 2009.

Ahuja said Facebook has since taken down “hate figures and organisations” in Sri Lanka including the Bodu Bala Sena, a radical Buddhist outfit that is blamed for attacks against Muslims in recent years.

Its spokesman Dilantha Withanage complained the group and its leader – Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara -- were being unfairly targeted.

“We can’t even post a photo of venerable Gnanasara on Facebook,” Withanage told AFP.

But videos of his sermons can still be seen on the social network. Other extremists have also slipped through the cracks, activists say, despite repeated requests to have their accounts removed.

Last year another extremist Buddhist group, Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, urged followers via Facebook Live to storm a UN compound sheltering Rohingya Muslims. Police had to be called in to protect the refugees from the mob.

Several Facebook pages for the group have been blocked in Sri Lanka but the same content can be viewed under alternate names, activists say.

“Facebook is only now being held to account over things that since 2013 were evident...(to) us,” said Sanjana Hattotuwa, a researcher who has studied Islamophobia on Facebook in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Centre for Policy Alternatives said Facebook needed to offer more than “cookie cutter” pledges to clean up its act.

”The time for promises has passed. Action is what’s needed, and transparency and accountability,” said Hattotuwa.

Source: AFP

-Agencies

http://www.adaderana.lk/news/47953/facebook-staff-to-learn-sinhala-insults-after-sri-lanka-riots

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