Sri Lanka pledges 'political solution' in war-torn north

[ AFP ][ Mar 29 17:12 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged a "political solution" for the island's war-torn north, where ethnic minority Tamils have long demanded greater autonomy. During a two-day visit to the Tamil heartland of Jaffna, Wickremesinghe also repeated his government's promise of national reconciliation six years after the island's ethnic war ended, his office said in a statement on Sunday. "If you want a stable and secure country, we must have a political solution (with Tamils) and move forward," Wickremesinghe said in an address in the Jaffna peninsula on Saturday and released by his office in the statement. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war [ more ]

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Dissolution likely after Vesak, General Elections in late June

The Lodge, once known as Queen’s Cottage, in the cooler climes of Nu...

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Sri Lanka pledges 'political solution' in war-torn north

Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged a "pol...

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Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war

The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka's graceful seaside capital in the sou...

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Scarborough Paint Centre

 

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Dissolution likely after Vesak, General Elections in late June

[ Sunday Times ][ Mar 29 17:38 GMT ]

The Lodge, once known as Queen’s Cottage, in the cooler climes of Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as ‘Little England’ was once home for British Governors and the ruling elite. Since independence in 1948, it became the holiday resort of the Governor General, later Prime Ministers and now Presidents. the tea country highlands for the campaign to re-elect Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election on January 8. The man who lived there and ran the show was Udayanga Weeratunga, then Ambassador to Russia who was concurrently accredited to Ukraine. [ full story | comments ]

Drug dependents crying out for rehab centres and counsellors

[ Sunday Times ][ Mar 29 16:03 GMT ]

Many of the nearly 300,000 drug dependents, mostly young and male, yearn to get their lives back, but there is a shortage of full-time counsellors and rehabilitation centres within the community and in prisons. The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, the competent authority, estimates there are between 45,000 and 50,000 heroin users, and 250,000 cannabis addicts in the country. The board acknowledges there is a shortage of counsellors. Prisons officials also say the lack of full-time counsellors and facilities remain constraints to rehabilitation work. [ full story | comments ]

China shows it certainly knows what is good for Sri Lanka

[ Sunday Times ][ Mar 29 16:01 GMT ]

The maiden trip also became an occasion for China to lecture on what is good for Sri Lanka. Mr. Sirisena’s visit came at time a more important figure was also in town to shake Xi’s hand – Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Widodo has offered to be an honest intermediary in resolving China’s controversial claims of sovereignty over territory in the South China Sea, contested vigorously by Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan. Widodo also wants Chinese investment in infrastructure and manufacturing.Later, in southern Hainan, at the Boao Forum For Asia, which Mr. Sirisena is attending, Xi made an irresistible pitch saying that China would import goods worth US$10 trillion in the next five years and invest US$500 billion-plus overseas. [ full story | comments ]

NEH funds LACMA show on Sri Lanka, Ken Burns film on Vietnam War

[ Los Angeles Times ][ Mar 28 14:44 GMT ]

The National Endowment for the Humanities will funnel $1.4 million to California museums, university-based scholars and libraries in grants announced this week, including $40,000 for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a touring exhibition on the art of Sri Lanka. Among the $22.8 million in grants nationwide, the biggest for a single project is $1 million to help fund a 10-part documentary on the Vietnam War directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka president's brother dies in axe attack

[ BBC ][ Mar 28 14:31 GMT ]

A brother of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has died in hospital after being attacked with an axe on Thursday, police have said. Priyantha Sirisena suffered severe head injuries in his hometown of Polonnaruwa, north-east of the capital Colombo, AFP news agency reports. Colombo Gazette reports there was a "private dispute" and a man has been arrested. The president is out of the country on a state visit to China. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s pivot to India breaks China’s dreams

[ Boston Globe ][ Mar 27 16:35 GMT ]

The state visit of Narendra Modi symbolized a new relationship between India and its southern neighbor that, if continued, will mean that China’s “elusive empire” will not extend as far into the Indian Ocean as China might have wished. As for Mahinda Rajapaksa, he has a chance to return to power as prime minister if Sirisena carries out his intentions to limit the constitutional power of the presidency and put power in the hands of elected prime ministers. Never a good loser, Rajapaksa has accused the secret services of India, Britain, and America of conspiring against him in the last election, and has even said that after his defeat at the polls he no longer believes in astrology. [ full story | comments ]

In the Hills of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country

[ New York Times ][ Mar 27 13:25 GMT ]

The man in the khaki vest slurped noisily from his cup, descended briefly into scowling meditation, spat the contents into a sink and then unleashed a torrent of approving descriptors, lavishly rolling his r’s along the way: “No foreign taste, very refreshing, robust, strong tannins, a tingly sensation at the end of the tongue — good show!” I sipped as well and nodded gravely, thinking: right, but it’s still tea. Granted, it was excellent tea, cultivated just outside the Norwood Estate processing factory where we stood, surrounded by whirring machines and immense bags stuffed with tea leaves. [ full story | comments ]

India must be wary of Tamil extremism in Sri Lanka

[ IANS ][ Mar 27 13:12 GMT ]

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins to build a relationship with Sri Lanka's new leadership, the one thing he needs to be wary of is the extremist Tamil position in the island nation. Modi made history by becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit Sri Lanka after 1987 when Rajiv Gandhi went to Colombo to sign a pact to end Tamil separatism, which eventually consumed his life in 1991. Modi won many hearts by becoming the first Indian leader to visit Jaffna, the Tamil heartland which is also the hub for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) headed by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. [ full story | comments ]

Clarifying the fate of missing persons in Sri Lanka requires sustained commitment

[ ICRC ][ Mar 27 13:10 GMT ]

The ICRC's Director of Operations, Dominic Stillhart, recently concluded a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. During his time in the country Mr Stillhart met with a number of senior government officials, including the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. In these meetings he reiterated that the organization remains committed to their work in Sri Lanka and to providing assistance to vulnerable individuals, including detainees and families of missing persons. [ full story | comments ]

Unsung heroines: Women in Tamil cinema

[ The Hindu ][ Mar 27 13:06 GMT ]

In a world where we have enough people telling women what to do, how to behave, how to dress and how to avoid rape, do we also need reel life portrayals telling us similar things. I recently watched the Hindi film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, a charming tale of an overweight wife and a frail husband struggling to make their arranged marriage work amid an extremely patriarchal set up. While the girl gushes at the timid Ayushmann Khurrana, the young man is opposed to the marriage: one of the main reasons being his wife’s rotundness. I was immediately reminded of the effervescent Sathileelavathi starring Kalpana as Leelavathi, whose cheating husband Arun (Ramesh Arvind) finds his wife of 12 years fat and boring. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka backs China's initiative to include India in regional cooperation

[ PTI ][ Mar 29 17:11 GMT ]

Sri Lanka has backed China's surprise initiative to make India an important component of a regional cooperation to address New Delhi's concerns over Chinese involvement in large-scale projects in the country, a senior Sri Lankan minister has said. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised his Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena during their recent meeting with the proposal. "Xi said why don't we get India to work with us, which was seized upon by President Sirisena, who said that would be the best possible outcome. Both presidents agreed that India should be part of the equation," Karunanayake told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. [ full story | comments ]

New look at electoral reforms: 250 seats

[ Sunday Times ][ Mar 29 16:02 GMT ]

New electoral reforms where the number of seats in Parliament will be increased to 250 from the existing 225 will be explained to party leaders tomorrow by Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya. The new package will see the election to 140 seats through the First-Past-the-Post system, 80 through a District proportional representation system and 30 seats from the National List. An Elections Department source said the lines on which the new reforms would be carried out were to be placed for study at tomorrow’s meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The source said the carving out of the 140 new electorates would get under way only after finality was reached. After they are studied, party leaders would meet again on April 6 to take a decision. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war

[ Los Angeles Times ][ Mar 28 14:45 GMT ]

The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka's graceful seaside capital in the south, to the northern town of Jaffna has rarely been a straight shot. Most of the 250-mile journey follows the A9 highway, which slices through palm groves and green carpets of farmland that were the main battlegrounds of the country's three-decade civil war. During the worst fighting between an army dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority and rebels from the mainly Tamil north, long stretches of A9 were closed to civilian traffic. As the main supply line for Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland, it held immense strategic value. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers oppose Glenugie estate witch-hunt

[ WSWS ][ Mar 28 14:34 GMT ]

Glenugie tea estate Deeside division workers at Maskeliya in Sri Lanka’s central plantation district have spoken out against the police and company management frame-up of eight fellow workers. The Deeside workers were responding to a Socialist Equality Party (SEP) statement distributed last Sunday calling for unified action to defeat the witch-hunt. On March 11, police arrested eight workers on fabricated charges that they physically attacked an estate supervisor and stoned wasp nests to disrupt work at the tea estate. The victimised workers, including an SEP supporter, G. Wilfred, were bailed-out on personal guarantees the following day. The case against them will be heard on June 24. [ full story | comments ]

China, Sri Lanka Sign Agreements To Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

[ Eurasia Review ][ Mar 27 18:23 GMT ]

Sri Lanka and China have signed agreements on a wide range of cooperation that cover health, education, social and economic development. The agreements were signed following bilateral talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese President Xi Jingping. An agreement to assist the promotion of public health in Sri Lanka was signed between the Ministry of Commerce in China and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Ranil lists immediate priorities for Sri Lanka

[ FT ][ Mar 27 13:30 GMT ]

“The dialogue among political parties is not sufficient. Genuine reconciliation needs to engage people. The best safeguard against a return of terror is political reconciliation supported by all people,” the Prime Minister said. “In that context, every Sri Lankan must support national unity,” said Wickremesinghe, adding that the media too had an important role to play. He said that the new Government successfully met the looming challenge of the UN Human Rights Commission taking up report on Sri Lanka at its March sessions in Geneva and a possible avoidance of economic sanctions. [ full story | comments ]

Russia, Sri Lanka resolve standoff over stranded research vessel in Colombo — state agency

[ Tass ][ Mar 27 13:16 GMT ]

Moscow has paid off its debt to Sri Lanka’s port Colombo for the maintenance of the Russian research vessel, the Akademik Nikolay Strakhov, the Russian Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations said on Friday. The debt was settled by the Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences which owns the research vessel. "The overall amount of payment has reached $66,000," the agency said in a statement. "The life support regime of the vessel has been restored. It has been re-connected to the electricity supply. Foodstuffs and drinking water have been taken onboard," the statement reads. [ full story | comments ]

Barack Obama nominates Indian-American as ambassador to Sri Lanka, Maldives

[ PTI ][ Mar 27 13:12 GMT ]

President Barack Obama has nominated an Indian-American, a former official at its Embassy in New Delhi, as the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Obama yesterday announced the nomination of Atul Keshap, a career foreign service official, as the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives along with Alaina Teplitz as the next ambassador to Nepal. [ full story | comments ]

India & Sri Lanka agree on proposals for finding interim solution on fishermen issue in May

[ Economic Times ][ Mar 27 13:09 GMT ]

Fishermen associations of India and Sri Lanka have made a set of proposals for an interim solution to the issue related to encroachment by Tamil Nadu fishermen into Lankan waters that has cast a shadow on otherwise close bilateral ties. The two associations which met in Chennai on Tuesday discussed Indian proposal for environmentally sustainable fishing and the Lankan proposal of fishing in deep sea waters by Tamil Nadu fishermen, according to diplomatic sources. The two associations .. [ full story | comments ]

Indian Naval vessels to reach Sri Lanka's east coast for drill today

[ PTI ][ Mar 27 12:45 GMT ]

Four Indian Navy vessels will arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday to hold a three-day training exercise for Lankan Navy personnel in the country's east coast. Four ships from the Indian Navy's First Training Squadron, namely Indian Naval Ships TIR and KESARI, Indian Coast Guard Ship VARUNA and Sail Training Ship SUDARSHINI, are visiting Trincomalee from March 27-29, the Indian High Commission here said on Thursday. A series of professional, training, cultural and sports interactions will take place between the ships' crew and Sri Lankan Navy personnel in the country's eastern coast. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[Sunday Times - Mar 29, 2015 17:38:31 GMT]

Dissolution likely after Vesak, General Elections in late June


[AFP - Mar 29, 2015 17:12:36 GMT]

Sri Lanka pledges 'political solution' in war-torn north


[Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2015 14:45:00 GMT]

Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war


[Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2015 14:44:37 GMT]

NEH funds LACMA show on Sri Lanka, Ken Burns film on Vietnam War


[Eurasia Review - Mar 27, 2015 18:23:20 GMT]

China, Sri Lanka Sign Agreements To Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation


[Boston Globe - Mar 27, 2015 16:35:32 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s pivot to India breaks China’s dreams


[New York Times - Mar 27, 2015 13:25:03 GMT]

In the Hills of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country


[ICRC - Mar 27, 2015 13:10:52 GMT]

Clarifying the fate of missing persons in Sri Lanka requires sustained commitment


[The Diplomat - Mar 26, 2015 15:13:53 GMT]

Suspended Sri Lankan Port Project Complicates Sirisena's Trip to China


[CityLab - Mar 25, 2015 14:06:37 GMT]

In Sri Lanka, Elephants and Humans Struggle to Live in Close Quarters


[Outlook - Mar 25, 2015 2:46:37 GMT]

A House For Tamils


[PTI - Mar 23, 2015 10:23:28 GMT]

Tamils in Sri Lanka hold demontrations demanding international probe into war crimes


[SAAG - Mar 23, 2015 9:34:36 GMT]

Resetting Indo-Lanka Relations


[CNN-IBN - Mar 22, 2015 2:17:52 GMT]

A bridge too far: Special report from Sri Lanka


[Groundviews - Mar 22, 2015 2:02:29 GMT]

Sri Lankan National Anthem: Symbolism, Nationalism, Racism and Other Stories