A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka?

[ The Diplomat ][ Jan 25 14:48 GMT ]

On January 18, a Reuters reported claimed that Sri Lanka’s now former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had expelled the station chief of India’s intelligence agency in Colombo after accusing him of working against his government and supporting the opposition. India denied the claim, but the report serves as an example of Rajapaksa’s thorny attitude towards New Delhi, irrespective of the face presented by public diplomacy. The docking last September of a Chinese naval submarine in Colombo turned heads in New Delhi, just as the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still getting up to speed. [ full story | comments ]

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A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka?

On January 18, a Reuters reported claimed that Sri Lanka’s now forme...

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New Sri Lanka govt looks to improve rights record

Following new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's assertion that his...

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Lankan economy will stay flat for now:The Mafia-State must be rooted prior to economic consolidation

For both domestic and international reasons the economic prospects for...

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New Sri Lanka govt looks to improve rights record

[ PTI ][ Jan 25 12:26 GMT ]

Following new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's assertion that his government would get the country's human rights house in order, separate missions are to make crucial visits abroad to engage with global agencies. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said, President Maithripala Sirisena's international affairs advisor, Jayantha Dhanapala is to travel to Geneva. "We are taking the international commitments very seriously. Mr Dhanapala will go to Geneva to meet with the .. [ full story | comments ]

‘This is Sri Lanka’s Burma moment, everyone should help us’

[ Sunday Times ][ Jan 25 01:53 GMT ]

When he returned to the Foreign Ministry last week, Mangala Samaraweera first rearranged the furniture so his office would look as it used to. Then he flew to New Delhi—to do the same for India-Sri Lanka relations. Mr. Samaraweera has taken charge of diplomatic affairs after an eight-year hiatus. He was foreign minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government from 2005-2007. [ full story | comments ]

JVP application seeking arrest of ‘KP’ to be taken up on Tuesday

[ Sunday Times ][ Jan 25 01:41 GMT ]

A Writ Application filed by the JVP seeking an order to arrest and prosecute former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ will be taken up for hearing on Tuesday. The petition filed in the Court of Appeal on Monday demanding the arrest and trial of ex-LTTE leader who is believed to be the head of the international wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eleam (LTTE). Currently Mr Pathmanathan is running a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) under military protection. [ full story | comments ]

China stung by Sri Lanka’s election

[ Washington Times ][ Jan 24 15:19 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s presidential election earlier this month dealt China a major blow as opposition leader Maithripala Sirisena, who had made curtailing excessive Chinese influence the main focus of his campaign, won a surprise victory over the Beijing-friendly incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Global Times, China’s leading international politics and security newspaper, published a somber editorial on Jan. 20 bemoaning the Sri Lankan result. The editorial draws a parallel to China’s overly eager investment in Myanmar in the past, only to see those projects rejected, curtailed or canceled by a newly elected anti-China leader. [ full story | comments ]

Welcome to Winnipeg: Where Canada’s racism problem is at its worst

[ Macleans ][ Jan 24 15:08 GMT ]

“Oh Goddd how long are aboriginal people going to use what happened as a crutch to suck more money out of Canadians?” Winnipeg teacher Brad Badiuk wrote on Facebook last month. “They have contributed NOTHING to the development of Canada. Just standing with their hand out. Get to work, tear the treaties and shut the FK up already. Why am I on the hook for their cultural support?” Another day in Winnipeg, another hateful screed against the city’s growing indigenous population. [ full story | comments ]

Time for Sri Lanka and India to reset ties

[ Rediff ][ Jan 24 14:48 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera -- an old hand in the country's diplomatic outreach -- sent out all the right signals that would have pleased all his interlocutors in New Delhi when he came visiting India on January 18, 2015. "My meetings were warm and friendly and all interactions left us feeling optimistic about the future of Indo-Sri Lanka relations," the minister told a select group of media persons. Samaraweera met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval among others. [ full story | comments ]

Winds of Change: Potential Areas of Foreign Policy Reform in Sri Lanka

[ Blogs ][ Jan 24 10:39 GMT ]

Post-conflict Sri Lanka and its Ministry of External Affairs, during the past five years, was notoriously foreign to a policy and depended on haphazard and reactive arrangements, to say the least. The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora has gained considerable strength through local politics in the United Kingdom and Canada and consequently have significant clout in international politics as well. Over the past few years, Sri Lanka’s de facto policy has been to blame all international pressures on the Tamil diaspora and paint them as LTTE sympathisers. While a segment of the diaspora continue to actively support the LTTE, its affiliated ventures, and a separate Tamil state, a considerable proportion seek a peaceful, political settlement to ethnic tensions in the island, sans the LTTE. [ full story | comments ]

Will there be “Maithree” and “Yahapalanaya” for Navy occupied Mullikulam?

[ GV ][ Jan 24 10:23 GMT ]

Last week, I went to Mullikulam, a beautiful and resourceful village in the Mannar district, which has been illegally occupied by the Navy for more than 7 years. It was my first visit for more than a year. The people didn’t seem to have any fresh hopes of reuniting as one community, regaining their lost lands, houses, fishing and agricultural activities and being close to the school and historical church they are devoted to. Access to the Catholic Church in Mullikulam is still restricted and appears to be getting worse. [ full story | comments ]

Consolidating post-election gains in Sri Lanka - General Ashok Mehta

[ Hindu ][ Jan 24 10:14 GMT ]

As regards Mr. Wickremasinghe’s announcement, most Tamils in the north are saying that they have heard it before and will believe it only when implemented. India should provide enough time and space for the two sides to work on the devolution of powers. On accountability, New Delhi should cooperate with Colombo to investigate the allegations of war excesses through an independent and transparent mechanism, preferably with the help of the U.N. [ full story | comments ]

President ‘looted $5bn from Sri Lanka’

[ Times ][ Jan 24 10:04 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s former president has been accused of looting the nation of more than $5 billion, with the new government preventing a former central bank chief from leaving the country. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who suffered a shock election defeat this month, is accused of spiriting the vast sum out of Sri Lanka over [ full story | comments ]

Lankan economy will stay flat for now:The Mafia-State must be rooted prior to economic consolidation

[ The Island ][ Jan 25 02:16 GMT ]

For both domestic and international reasons the economic prospects for Lanka remain flat for the short and medium term periods ahead; short-term is the 100-Day duration of President Sirisena’s Action Plan and I use medium-term to denote the two-year transitional national government envisaged for the subsequent phase. It needs no great political acumen to make these two forecasts, the first is self-evident but some light may be shed by probing why this will be the case in the medium-term. [ full story | comments ]

CJ 44 won’t go; Govt and BASL losing patience

[ Sunday Times ][ Jan 25 01:47 GMT ]

Chief Justice 44 Mohan Peiris is refusing to relinquish office and now demanding a plum diplomatic posting in return for vacating his post despite a demand by the country’s lawyers that he step down. His choice is either as Ambassador to the UN in New York or as High Commissioner in London, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered him Brazil, a National Unity Government source said yesterday. “We are losing our patience. By deliberately delaying he is precipitating a serious situation that could hurt him the most”, the source added. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka reaches consensus to implement 13A: Wickremesinghe

[ PTI ][ Jan 24 15:19 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country's over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority. "All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks," Wickremesinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya in the south. He further said that all provincial councils will have equal powers now that the Tamil National Alliance has said that they are for a solution within an undivided Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka seizes car fleet 'not returned by Rajapaksa'

[ BBC ][ Jan 24 15:17 GMT ]

Sri Lankan police say they have seized more than 50 state-owned vehicles not returned after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was toppled in elections. The 53 vehicles, said to include bullet-proof limousines, are thought to be among 128 missing vehicles. Mr Rajapaksa's decade in power came to an abrupt end in polls on 8 January. On Thursday, the new government pledged to trace billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off by Mr Rajapaksa and his powerful family. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka scraps military training for teachers, students

[ AFP ][ Jan 24 15:06 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s new government said Saturday it is scrapping compulsory military training for school teachers and undergraduates. The three-week army training, mandatory under ousted leader Mahinda Rajapakse’s administration, had resulted in at least three deaths in recent years and was deeply unpopular among student and teacher unions. The new government that came to power following the January 8 presidential election, won by Maithripala Sirisena, has vowed to reduce the role of the military in Sri Lankan society. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Taps Former HSBC Wealth Manager to Head Central Bank

[ Bloomberg ][ Jan 24 14:40 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government appointed an ally of the new prime minister who previously worked as a wealth manager with HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Emirates NBD to run its central bank. Arjuna Mahendran was today appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president’s media office said Friday, Jan. 23 in an e-mailed statement. Mahendran succeeds Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who resigned a day after Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 10-year rule ended in Jan. 8 presidential elections. [ full story | comments ]

The new Government’s real agenda - Dr. Dayan Jayatillake

[ FT ][ Jan 24 10:30 GMT ]

Does Samaraweera think that any of it will get past the masses at a referendum or does his Government now possess “the political will” to push on without a referendum? Is this triadic “national reconciliation’, consisting of the “demilitarisation of the Northern Province”, a “domestic inquiry with the assistance of UN Agencies” into the last months of the war, and a political outcome which takes as building blocks the Thimpu proposals and Chandrika’s ‘packages’, what our soldiers fought and died for? Is this what the war was for? Is this to be the political edifice erected over the great victory of 2009? [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka not allow foreign companies mine Gems

[ Eurasia Review ][ Jan 24 10:19 GMT ]

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to relevant officials not to let any foreign national or a foreign company to mine gems in the country. The President said the government is not ready to endow the local gem industry to foreign companies and instructed the officials to refuse requests for gem mining. Assuming duties as the Mahaweli Development and Environment Minister at the ministry yesterday, the President stressed that laws on environmental conservation should be further solidified. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to Reassess Port Deal With China

[ Diplomat ][ Jan 24 10:08 GMT ]

Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senarathne told reported Sri Lanka was “reassessing the deal.” Explaining further, Senarathne said, “We need to see the feasibility study. We need to see the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and reassess the tax concessions given to it and land ownership issues.” Under the original terms of the deal, the Chinese firm (China Communications Construction Co.) would be given 20 hectares of reclaimed land and would receive another 88 hectares under a 99-year lease. Senarathne did say the government would be open to renegotiating the deal after Sirisena’s administration makes its own assessment. [ full story | comments ]

Building credible mechanisms for domestic accountability and transitional justice: Prosecutions and criminal justice

[ FT ][ Jan 23 17:07 GMT ]

For a process of prosecutions to be credible, Sri Lankan civil society must play a keyrole around trials. Civil society groups and networks must collect and collate probative evidence; provide input on the design and implementation of laws and institutions; mobilise victims and witnesses to engage investigative and prosecutorial authorities; explain the vagaries of the legal system to victim communities; and monitor the progress of investigative processes and trials. Civil society groups must also ensure that there is no compromise in fair trial rights and due process to defendants. In the event of victim representation in trials, civil society lawyers will also shape the course of trialsthrough their interventions. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[The Diplomat - Jan 25, 2015 14:48:02 GMT]

A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka?


[PTI - Jan 25, 2015 12:26:04 GMT]

New Sri Lanka govt looks to improve rights record


[The Island - Jan 25, 2015 2:16:59 GMT]

Lankan economy will stay flat for now:The Mafia-State must be rooted prior to economic consolidation


[Sunday Times - Jan 25, 2015 1:53:30 GMT]

‘This is Sri Lanka’s Burma moment, everyone should help us’


[PTI - Jan 24, 2015 15:19:45 GMT]

Lanka reaches consensus to implement 13A: Wickremesinghe


[Washington Times - Jan 24, 2015 15:19:06 GMT]

China stung by Sri Lanka’s election


[BBC - Jan 24, 2015 15:17:39 GMT]

Sri Lanka seizes car fleet 'not returned by Rajapaksa'


[Blogs - Jan 24, 2015 10:39:23 GMT]

Winds of Change: Potential Areas of Foreign Policy Reform in Sri Lanka


[FT - Jan 24, 2015 10:30:15 GMT]

The new Government’s real agenda - Dr. Dayan Jayatillake


[GV - Jan 24, 2015 10:23:06 GMT]

Will there be “Maithree” and “Yahapalanaya” for Navy occupied Mullikulam?


[Hindu - Jan 24, 2015 10:14:05 GMT]

Consolidating post-election gains in Sri Lanka - General Ashok Mehta


[FT - Jan 23, 2015 17:07:12 GMT]

Building credible mechanisms for domestic accountability and transitional justice: Prosecutions and criminal justice


[WSWS - Jan 23, 2015 14:02:53 GMT]

New York Times columnist advises how to protect pro-US government in Sri Lanka


[Just Security - Jan 23, 2015 13:40:43 GMT]

The Gov’t of Sri Lanka Responds to my NYT Op-Ed on U.S. War Crimes Probe of ex-Defense Secretary - Ryan Goodman


[Reuters - Jan 22, 2015 17:47:16 GMT]

Sri Lanka to probe hidden foreign assets after Rajapaksa defeat