China fear stalls India - Sri Lanka deal

[ ET ][ Apr 27 13:29 GMT ]

India is in no hurry to complete the economic and technical cooperation agreement (ETCA) with Sri Lanka. Officially, India has said it would proceed “at a pace comfortable for Colombo“. But there are other, bigger reasons for India to guard its flanks while negotiating a second generation free-trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka. China has evinced interest in an FTA with Sri Lanka as well. This has given India pause, as it wants to see the details of that deal. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka govt wants Sarath Fonseka as defense chief

[ LBO ][ Apr 26 16:12 GMT ]

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting it was proposed to appoint him either as Army Commander or as Chief of Defense Staff, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senarathne said. Senarathne said recent protests that slowed down economic activity in the country and created various difficulties for people has led to this decision. “Discipline of the country is deteriorating. It should be maintained by security forces, it is not a duty of ministers,” Senarathne told reporters today. “So his primary task will be to uphold the discipline of the country. Sarath Fonseka expressed his willingness if it comes with relevant powers and authority.” [ full story | comments ]

Tory leadership race becomes a march to folly

[ Globe and Mail ][ Apr 26 16:01 GMT ]

The right choice means power, while the wrong choice means the wilderness. The right choice means party unity; the wrong choice, lasting division. John Turner’s victory over Mr. Chrétien in 1984 spawned bitter Liberal Party infighting that lasted a quarter of a century. With the right Tory choice, Justin Trudeau could be defeated in short order. The wrong choice – he could be around for a decade or more. The Conservative Party could go in one of several directions. It could remain a Stephen Harper lookalike. It could go back to its moderate, long-standing Sir John A. tradition. It could go populist. [ full story | comments ]

Trump policies to deprive Sri Lanka of USAID funding?

[ Daily Mirror ][ Apr 26 15:52 GMT ]

The Trump administration is proposing to sever the funding line to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Sri Lanka in 2018 under federal budget cuts aiming to fulfill promises of cutting US donations for humanitarian projects and putting ‘America First’. The US State Department documents published by the Foreign Policy publication showed that Sri Lanka would lose the entire US$ 38 million in funding under the USAID Economic Support Fund. This cut is a part of US President Donald Trump’s plans to reduce the US State Department and USAID budgets by around 30 percent, and to combine the two institutions. [ full story | comments ]

India Nips at China's Heels in Race to Collect Lanka Port Assets

[ Bloomberg ][ Apr 26 15:46 GMT ]

If India’s investments materialize, the historic but relatively obscure port could become a hub for New Delhi, whose navy must go around Sri Lanka as it crosses from ports on India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea to those on the east coast in the Bay of Bengal. Beijing has also invested heavily in Gwadar, a port in Pakistan that serves as the terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Meanwhile, India is making slow progress on a nearby port at Chabahar in Iran, which could one day allow Indian goods to reach Afghanistan by rail. [ full story | comments ]

Jaffna University students remember Meethotamulla victims

[ ST ][ Apr 25 15:51 GMT ]

A ceremony commemorating the lives of those lost in the recent Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy was held at Jaffna University today. The event was organized by the Arts Faculty Students Union. Dean of the Faculty and Students Union leader expressed condolences to those killed and lost their relatives in the tragedy. [ full story | comments ]

Pakistan’s National Defence University Delegation in Sri Lanka

[ LBO ][ Apr 25 15:41 GMT ]

An 18-member high-powered delegation from the National Defense University (NDU) of Pakistan, led by Commodore Shahid Sohail, is currently visiting Sri Lanka on a week-long foreign study tour from April 23 to 28, 2017. The delegation comprises of senior officers from Pakistan’s Armed Forces, Civil Services and Officers from Germany and Nepal, who are undergoing National Security and War Course at NDU. The visit, which started on April 23, 2017, aims to gain overview of the defence, economic, domestic and foreign policies of Sri Lanka and it will also help in exploring areas of mutual interest for enhancing mutual cooperation in various spheres. [ full story | comments ]

‘Modi must visit Tamil areas to understand their sufferings’

[ Hindu ][ Apr 24 11:49 GMT ]

Alleging that the army was in full control of Tamil areas, Tamil National Movement leader P. Nedumaran said there was one army man for every five Tamils and their sufferings continued. During his visit to Colombo, Mr. Modi should get first-hand account of the woes of the Tamils after visiting Jaffna and other Tamil areas, he said. Like the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who visited Jaffna and exposed the plight of Tamils to the outside world, Mr. Modi should visit the Tamil areas and take necessary action to alleviate their sufferings, he said. On the fishermen issue, Mr. Nedumaran said the whole problem started after India ceded Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Hindu outfit opposes Narendra Modi’s Lankan visit

[ Deccan Chronicle ][ Apr 23 12:33 GMT ]

Accusing the Sri Lankan government of suppressing Hinduism and following a policy of Buddhist chauvinism, Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath on Saturday opposed the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the island nation to take part in the Buddhist festival. He said “From the times of twin epics Mahabharath and Ramayan, Tamil Eelam is the land of Lord Siva and a part of the expanded ‘Paripoorna Hindu Rashtra’. But, the entire island had been declared as a Buddhist state and the Hindus in the island who are the natives of Lanka had been massacred, Arjun Sampath added. [ full story | comments ]

2008 Haiti sex charge: Lankan contingent commander sacked, Major and four soldiers discharged

[ ST ][ Apr 22 23:14 GMT ]

The Contingent Commander of Sri Lanka Army’s peace keeping force in Haiti was sacked for bringing disrepute to the organisation whilst a Major and four soldiers were discharged for having “consensual sexual relationships” with females.The official said thereafter, Lt Gen Silva appointed an Army Court of Inquiry to probe the allegations. The Court, he said, recorded evidence both in Haiti and in Sri Lanka. The Court found one Major and four soldiers had “consensual sexual relationships with adult Haitian females.” They were discharged for bringing disrepute to the Army.The Major involved in the incident, the Court of Inquiry found, had a sexual relationship with a 31-year-old Haitian woman resulting in the birth of an illegitimate child. [ full story | comments ]

MARKETPLACE:Real estate practice of 'double-ending' under scrutiny in Ontario

[ CBC ][ Apr 22 13:12 GMT ]

Trying to buy a home in a red-hot market can make it feel like the deck is already stacked against you. But if a real estate agent is behaving unethically, it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars — or even the house of your dreams. Help could be on the way in Ontario thanks to an impending review of unethical behaviour by real estate agents that has the potential to result in more fairness and transparency during heated bidding wars, real estate agents say. [ full story | comments ]

New rent control rules could put condo investors in a negative-cash-flow corner

[ Financial Post ][ Apr 26 16:04 GMT ]

Urbanation says in 2016 when construction delays led to a 10 per cent decline in completions, the impact was almost immediate. By the end of the year, prices were up 16 per cent and rents 12 per cent annually.“The bigger issue is that rent control will eventually cause condo investors to begin to shy away from making new purchases, effectively slowing new development (condos represent 60 per cent of all new home sales in the GTA) and choking off the market’s key source of new rental supply as new purpose-built development levels off or declines,” said the group, in its report. [ full story | comments ]

International Pressure should be maintained on Government

[ Daily Mirror ][ Apr 26 15:56 GMT ]

Leading Civil Society Activists Dr. Jehan Perera, stresses the need to ensure transitional justice for war victims. Dr. Perera, who is also the Executive Director of the National Peace Council, calls for continued pressure by the international community and civil society on the government to deliver in this regard.The outcry from the Tamil Diaspora is understandable. As they are out of the country many of them see the international pressure as the most effective. This is the most effective recourse they have. They have no voting power in Sri Lanka to put pressure on the government. [ full story | comments ]

The Ocean Conference: Challenges & Opportunities for Sri Lanka

[ Indepth News ][ Apr 26 15:48 GMT ]

"The oceans have now become a central focus of a range of discussions in UN bodies involving a number of major UN initiatives, including those relating to the SDGs and climate change. While it is easy to get ensnared in the confusion of the UN's myriad political pursuits, practical initiatives that have an immediate effect on the daily lives and livelihoods of millions, such as those on the oceans, tend to be glossed over by the mainstream media." [ full story | comments ]

Constitutionalising economic, social and cultural rights

[ Daily Mirror ][ Apr 25 15:56 GMT ]

The current constitution of Sri Lanka does not contain judicially enforceable, economic, social and cultural rights, though they are very much a part of daily life. With the onset of the debate for a new constitution, the discourse for the inclusion of Economic, Social and Cultural (ESC) rights in the constitution has taken center stage. ESC rights include the right to education, housing and health. Though these rights are not constitutionalised people in the country have access to free healthcare and education, which signifies that the state recognizes ESC rights. Hence the question emerges as to why constitutionalising ESC rights is so important and why certain groups oppose the constitutionalizing of these rights. [ full story | comments ]

SRI LANKA: Meethotamulla tragedy to be duplicated?

[ AHRC ][ Apr 25 15:44 GMT ]

Waste is Gold – not a nuisance Dealing with the Meethotamulla waste dump has now become a major national problem for Sri Lanka. At least 30 persons have lost their lives due to the collapse of the waste dump. Many others might have died or suffered serious diseases due to the existence of this waste dump polluting the entire environment over a long period of time. The problem now, is where to dump this mountain of waste. It was not long ago that people in the Ja-Ela Negombo area organised protests to prevent a waste dump being created in their area. Realising early on what could be brought into their midst, the people had sufficient sense to come together and prevent a disaster in their vicinity. [ full story | comments ]

GTA new homes prices shatter record in March as market faces new government regulations

[ FP ][ Apr 24 14:47 GMT ]

According to the Building Industry and Land Development Association, the number of new homes available to buyers continued to drop to unprecedented levels. “The ongoing decline in new housing inventory is a direct reflection of how difficult it is for the industry to bring product to the market,” said Bryan Tuckey, chief executive of the group. “There are ongoing major challenges with a lack of serviced and permit ready developable land and out of date zoning bylaws. The complexity and time it takes to get the vast numbers of approvals and permits necessary to build have increased dramatically in recent years.” [ full story | comments ]

Oil workers' strike triggers gasoline lines in Sri Lanka

[ News Tribune ][ Apr 24 11:45 GMT ]

Long lines formed at gasoline stations across Sri Lanka on Monday as workers from a state-run petroleum company went on strike to protest the government's plan to lease out oil tanks to neighboring India. D.J. Rajakaruna, secretary of the Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers Union, said workers stopped releasing fuel from 12 storage facilities on Sunday night. He said they would stop work entirely at the state-run refinery if the government fails to halts plans to transfer oil tank operations to India, saying such an agreement would benefit only Indian companies. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka workers threaten massive strikes against proposed oil deal with India

[ PTI ][ Apr 23 12:27 GMT ]

Workers's of Sri Lanka's state-run petroleum firm are set to launch an indefinite strike from Monday against the government's proposed deal with India to jointly operate an oil storage facility at the strategic eastern port town of Trincomalee.Sri Lanka and India are expected to sign an agreement to jointly invest and develop the Trincomalee Port and establish a petroleum refinery and other industries there. The workers have three demands which include getting the government to stop granting outright ownership of some 14 World War II oil storage tanks in the eastern port district of Trincomalee. [ full story | comments ]

EU Parliamentary group opposed to Lanka tariff concession

[ PTI ][ Apr 22 23:06 GMT ]

A European Parliamentary group has tabled a resolution in the EU Parliament against granting the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka for its exports to the 28- member bloc, citing concern over Colombos "worryingly slow" progress on key issues like human rights. The motion if approved by 376 out of 751 members would see the non granting of the concession which would have made Sri Lankan exports to the European Union (EU) cheaper and contributed to its export growth vital to boost external reserves. The resolution will be taken up at the plenary session to be held next week. The resolution contends "existing breaches of Human Rights in Sri Lanka raise concerns about the appropriateness of granting the GSP+ status while there is inadequate real progress. " [ full story | comments ]

Asylum seeker from Sri Lanka let himself be tortured with hot iron bars to support his bid to stay in Britain

[ Daily Mail ][ Apr 22 11:42 GMT ]

An asylum seeker allowed himself to be tortured with hot iron bars to support his bid to stay in the UK, judges have ruled. He claimed five scars on his back were evidence of how he was badly treated by authorities in his native Sri Lanka. But rejecting his claims, the Court of Appeal ruled that he probably consented to the torture in as part of a ruse called ‘self-infliction by proxy’ or SIBP. It added that a ‘cooperative and clandestine’ doctor might have put him under general anaesthetic while the heated iron rods were placed on him. In a 22,000-word appeal ruling, one of the country’s most senior judges, Lord Justice Sales, questioned why the 35-year-old man had not experienced any significant infection as a result of the burning. [ full story | comments ]

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