Sri Lanka detains ex-leader's brother on suspicion over funds

[ Reuters ][ Jul 19 13:51 GMT ]

Sri Lankan financial crime police arrested on Monday a brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a third time over suspicion of state fund misappropriation when he was economic development minister, a lawyer said. Rajapaksa's younger brother, Basil, is on bail after being arrested twice for alleged misappropriation of state funds and a land deal allegedly involving money laundering. Court hearings into the two cases are going on. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka detains ex-leader's brother on suspicion over funds

Sri Lankan financial crime police arrested on Monday a brother of form...

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U.S.-Led Trade Pact Will Fail Without China: Sri Lanka PM

A U.S.-led trade pact that would cover about 40 percent of the global ...

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‘No Phobia’ on Taking Chinese Money, Sri Lanka’s Premier Says

Sri Lanka is agnostic about what countries it accepts foreign investme...

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U.S.-Led Trade Pact Will Fail Without China: Sri Lanka PM

[ Bloomberg ][ Jul 19 13:51 GMT ]

A U.S.-led trade pact that would cover about 40 percent of the global economy won’t be successful unless it includes China and India, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking in an interview in Singapore, Wickremesinghe also said he doubted the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership would pass the U.S. Congress in a so-called lame-duck session after the November presidential election. That would raise the risk of the pact, opposed by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, getting stuck in Congress. [ full story | comments ]

Rajapaksa’s son granted bail; brother arrested by Lanka police

[ Indian Express ][ Jul 19 13:47 GMT ]

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son was granted bail on Monday but was banned to travel abroad by a court in Colombo over allegedly accepting $500,000 from an Indian firm in connection with a multi-million dollar real-estate project in the heart of Colombo. Namal Rajapaksa, a member of parliament, was arrested last week and kept under remand custody till Monday, becoming the second son of the former president to be remanded over financial irregularity. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation

[ Reuters ][ Jul 16 13:52 GMT ]

Implementing a U.N. resolution calling for the investigation of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during a war with separatist rebels is complicated and needs more consultations to build confidence, a senior U.S. official said. The United States along with other Western countries have long demanded an international investigation into the killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, under then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both the military and Tamil rebels "most likely" committed war crimes including mass killings of civilians, during the 26-year war, the United Nations said in a landmark report last year. [ full story | comments ]

Obama’s Disappointing Sri Lanka Policy

[ The Wire ][ Jul 16 13:50 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s compliance with a recent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Sri Lanka was discussed in detail on June 29, during the HRC’s 32nd session. Significantly, the resolution – designed to heal the wounds of decades of war – was co-sponsored by Colombo last October. Since longtime autocrat Mahinda Rajapaksa unexpectedly lost a presidential election in January 2015, the new government has assiduously worked to repair relations with a host of Western nations, especially the United States. And, while over the past 18 months some progress has been made, caution remains the order of the day. [ full story | comments ]

Post-War Reconciliation in Sri Lanka – A Reality Check

[ Groundviews ][ Jul 16 13:30 GMT ]

Text of the presentation at the seminar on “Peace and Reconciliation & Nation-Building”, organized by the Association for Social Development and held at Organization of professional Associations Auditorium, Colombo, on July 10, 2016. I share the basic premise on which the theme of this seminar seems to have been constructed, that is, “peace and reconciliation are a prerequisite for nation-building in Sri Lanka.” I am also aware that there is a strong argument in political theory that war, conflict and violence are more important in nation building than peace and reconciliation. There is indeed no shortage of theorists in Sri Lanka who advocate this particular argument with passion and conviction. I don’t intend to debate with that approach in my presentation today. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. hails Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation efforts

[ Reuters ][ Jul 16 13:28 GMT ]

The United States on Tuesday praised Sri Lanka's steps taken under a U.N. resolution to address alleged human rights abuses in the final phase of a 26-year war with Tamil Tiger rebels, and said it would do what it could to see through the process. Washington along with other Western nations had long demanded an international investigation into the alleged killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, under then Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Two senior U.S. State Department officials visiting Colombo welcomed its steps in implementing the U.N. resolution adopted in September last year calling in part for an inquiry into missing people and progress in post-war reconciliation. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s CCC welcomes new Governor, Urges Stakeholders to Support Restoring Confidence in CBSL

[ LBO ][ Jul 04 10:59 GMT ]

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce warmly welcomes the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and extends to him its best wishes as he commences a 6 year term. Coomaraswamy, a much respected economist with a stellar track record both in Sri Lanka and overseas, is eminently qualified for this position. He brings to this position a unique mix of skills and perspectives given his previous positions in the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and on the Boards of leading corporate entities as well as civil society organisations. [ full story | comments ]

Is Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation?

[ aljazeera ][ Jul 04 10:06 GMT ]

It's been seven years since the civil war in Sri Lanka ended. The 30-year conflict fell largely along ethnic lines. President Maithripala Sirisena has said reconciliation is one of his top priorities, but thousands of ethnic Tamils from the country's north still have not been able to return to their homes. The government had promised to resettle them by the end of last month. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave a report on Sri Lanka's efforts last week. He said progress has been made, but not quickly enough. So, what's hampering Sri Lanka's efforts to bring reforms and justice? [ full story | comments ]

Kerala Ganja worth Rs.10 million seized in Jaffna

[ Sunday Times ][ Jul 02 11:14 GMT ]

A haul of Kerala Ganja with a staggering street value of 10 million rupees was seized by the Special Task Force (STF) at Achchuveli in Jaffna yesterday. The haul, weighing 91.519 kilograms, was detected in a search operation conducted along the Achchuveli-Valalai coast in Jaffna. Two suspects who were allegedly transporting the Kerala Ganja were also arrested by the STF. The STF had received a tip-off regarding a Kerala Ganja smuggling racket centered in this area, which had reportedly been active over a long period of time. The arrested suspects, aged 24 and 24 years, are residents of Valalai and Ilavalai. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to Modernize Agriculture to Create Jobs, Access Markets and Increase Productivity

[ WB ][ Jul 02 11:04 GMT ]

The World Bank has approved a $125 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to assist Sri Lanka in modernizing its agriculture sector to become more efficient and attractive as a modern business, more responsive to consumer demand, and more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change. The project will be implemented through the Ministry of Primary Industries, the Ministry of Agriculture, and five participating provinces, including the Northern, Eastern, Central, North-Central and Uva Provinces. [ full story | comments ]

‘No Phobia’ on Taking Chinese Money, Sri Lanka’s Premier Says

[ Bloomberg ][ Jul 19 13:50 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is agnostic about what countries it accepts foreign investment from, including China, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “There is no phobia,” Wickremesinghe, 67, said in an interview on Sunday in Singapore. “Basically, any agreement with China will be to accommodate everyone in investments, any agreements with India will accommodate everyone. And any agreements with Singapore or Japan will be that way. We have no problem with all our friends.” [ full story | comments ]

Singapore signs deal to help develop Sri Lanka's Western Region

[ CNA ][ Jul 19 13:43 GMT ]

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MoMWD) of Sri Lanka signed an agreement to collaborate on business development in Sri Lanka's Western Region Megapolis on Monday (Jul 18). In a media release, IE Singapore said the MOU was the first between Sri Lanka and a Singapore government agency, paving the way for "stronger Singapore-Sri Lanka investment and economic partnerships". This comes on the same day that both countries announced the launch of negotiations for a Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. [ full story | comments ]

Deepening Militarization in Sri Lanka?

[ Huffington Post ][ Jul 16 13:51 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has recently approved the creation of a development organization which is to be comprised of both civilians and members of the military. The announcement was made by cabinet spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilake in Colombo. How significant might this news be? According to Kusal Perera, a journalist based in Colombo, this development illustrates that Sri Lanka’s new government “is far worse than the [Mahinda] Rajapaksa regime in playing against reconciliation and war crimes probes.” [ full story | comments ]

US officials insist sustainable peace must include peace dividend

[ FT ][ Jul 16 13:34 GMT ]

Visiting State Department officials insisted that accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka continues to be a key focus for the US Government, but defended their apparent focus on economic growth and investment on a two-day visit to the island, saying peace would not be sustainable in the country without a peace dividend. Concerns have mounted about the Government’s commitment to implementing the Geneva resolution it co-sponsored last year and the US Government’s seemingly softening positions on truth and justice processes in the island. But the visiting State Department officials said they were being realistic about the nature of the country’s reconciliation challenges. [ full story | comments ]

Flip-flopping on accountability: A timeline

[ Groundviews ][ Jul 16 13:30 GMT ]

The topic of international involvement in Sri Lanka’s accountability process, specifically the participation of foreign judges, is controversial and hotly contested. The UNHRC resolution, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in October 2015, called for “a credible accountability process” which “should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions… and further affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the Special Counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorised prosecutors and investigator.” However the Government has changed their stance on this consistently, especially since President Maithripala Sirisena took office on January 8, 2015. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka government consulted us on OMP bill: TNA

[ Hindu ][ Jul 04 11:03 GMT ]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a coalition of four Tamil parties, on Friday acknowledged that the Sri Lanka government had consulted the alliance during the preparation of the draft bill on the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), which had been tabled in Parliament. Lauding the government’s “constructive engagement” on the bill, the alliance said in a statement: “We are pleased that several of the extensive revisions we urged have been included in the gazetted text.” It was hopeful of moving further amendments to the bill at the time of consideration of the legislation. “A law on the lines contemplated by the Bill, if implemented sincerely, could bring relief to families of the forcibly disappeared who are in desperate need of answers” the TNA said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Mulls Granting Licences To Indian Trawlers

[ NDTV ][ Jul 04 10:58 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government is considering a proposal to issue permits to a limited number of Indian trawlers to enter the International Maritime Boundary Line in an attempt to minimise illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, a media report has said. Defence Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that a licensing system was being explored. "We have not finalised it. It is a very sensitive issue for both sides," Sunday Times quoted him as saying. Technical proposals will be drawn up and submitted to the Indian Government through diplomatic channels, Hettiarachchi said, declining to give further details. [ full story | comments ]

Toronto Pride parade brings fun tinged with sorrow over Orlando

[ Globe and Mail ][ Jul 04 10:00 GMT ]

Justin Trudeau’s raucously received appearance marked the first time a Canadian prime minister has marched in the parade, a milestone that prompted some to reflect on the progress North American society has made on gay rights in recent years.This year, the parade’s fun-filled atmosphere vied with moments of poignancy, sorrow and anger, as the historic tension at Pride between politics and partying tilted in favour of the politically minded.As has become common in recent years, corporate sponsorship also featured heavily, with business giants like Fido, TD Bank and, of course, condom-maker Trojan fielding energetic contingents. [ full story | comments ]

‘Uncertainty about aid hampers return of Sri Lankan refugees’ - Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran

[ Hindu ][ Jul 02 11:06 GMT ]

Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran has said that a large number of Tamils, displaced from Sri Lanka during the civil war and now living in India as refugees, are prepared to come back but the uncertainty about assistance is preventing them from returning.“Those who have returned from India are saying that they have not received any aid from the government or non-governmental organisations. When those in possession of land permits visit their lands, they find that people from southern parts of the country have occupied their properties. They are also accusing the Army of supporting such occupants,” Mr. Wigneswaran said, [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka must stay the course

[ Hindu ][ Jul 02 11:02 GMT ]

The frequent human rights updates in Geneva provide an occasion for the world to discuss Sri Lanka’s post-war situation, especially the progress made in investigating the excesses during the last phase of the civil war that ended in 2009.However, the update presented by High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein in Geneva does not present an encouraging picture. He expressed concern about the “heavy military presence” in Tamil areas, noting that the process of the military returning land to its civilian owners has been tardy. There is a lack of urgency in coming up with tangible measures to build confidence among minorities and victims of human rights violations. [ full story | comments ]


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[Reuters - Jul 19, 2016 13:51:47 GMT]

Sri Lanka detains ex-leader's brother on suspicion over funds


[Bloomberg - Jul 19, 2016 13:51:02 GMT]

U.S.-Led Trade Pact Will Fail Without China: Sri Lanka PM


[Bloomberg - Jul 19, 2016 13:50:11 GMT]

‘No Phobia’ on Taking Chinese Money, Sri Lanka’s Premier Says


[Reuters - Jul 16, 2016 13:52:11 GMT]

U.S. acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation


[aljazeera - Jul 04, 2016 10:06:38 GMT]

Is Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation?


[WSJ - Jun 30, 2016 9:38:21 GMT]

U.N. Urges Sri Lanka to Speed Up War Reconciliation


[Wire - Jun 29, 2016 10:06:49 GMT]

Taking Sri Lankan Foreign Policy to the Post-Confrontational Phase


[Guardian - Jun 27, 2016 12:24:19 GMT]

Sri Lanka wants the world to forget about justice for war victims. Please don't


[Guardian - Jun 26, 2016 10:33:54 GMT]

Sri Lanka denies cluster bombs found in war zones were government weapons


[NIE - Jun 25, 2016 10:44:39 GMT]

Illegal fishing, land grabbing by outsiders add to Tamil fishermen's woes


[BBC - Jun 24, 2016 4:53:40 GMT]

EU referendum: BBC forecasts UK votes to leave


[Rediff - Jun 23, 2016 19:30:03 GMT]

'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'


[Asian Correspondent - Jun 21, 2016 12:52:55 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Broken promises again at the UN?


[The Diplomat - Jun 21, 2016 12:49:22 GMT]

Can Sri Lanka Leverage Its Location as Indian Ocean Hub?


[The Guardian - Jun 20, 2016 8:24:01 GMT]

Cluster bombs used in Sri Lanka's civil war, leaked photos suggest