News Archives
  • The EU grants enhanced market access for Sri Lanka as a reform incentive

  •    [ May 16, 2017 15:26:34 GMT ] [ EU ]

        The European Union will remove a significant part of the remaining import duties on Sri Lankan products entering the EU market in exchange for the country's commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment, and good governance. These one-way trade preferences will consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries. The removal of duties will come into force the day after publication in the official Journal of the European Union which is expected this week. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

  •    [ May 16, 2017 15:21:12 GMT ] [ CrisisGroup ]

        Fragile hopes for lasting peace and cooperation across party and ethnic lines are imperilled. To avoid leaders of the corrupt and violent former regime taking back control of the country, President Sirisena’s two-year-old “unity government” should put aside short-term calculations and return to reform. To protect democratic gains, enable lasting reforms and reduce risks of social and political conflict, the “unity government” should put aside short-term party and individual political calculations and return to a politics of reform and openness. [ Full Report ]

  • Modi warned Sirisena about mounting international pressure if Tamils’ demands are not addressed quickly

  •    [ May 14, 2017 13:10:40 GMT ] [ NewsIn ]

        Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that he has warned Sri Lankan President Mithripala Sirisena that undue delays in addressing the outstanding issues of the minority Tamils, including the drafting of a suitable constitution to address their political grievances ,will only result in Sri Lanka’s coming under international scrutiny and pressure.Modi said this in a 15 minute meeting with a TNA delegation led by the Leader of the Opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament, R.Sampanthan. It was not a scheduled meeting but was arranged at the last moment just before Modi took the flight back home on May 12. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka rejects Chinese request for submarine visit: sources

  •    [ May 14, 2017 13:03:45 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka has rejected China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister landed in the island nation. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbor India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for a two-day official visit. [ Full Report ]

    - PM Modi calls for deeper ties with Sri Lanka amid China concerns - Hindustan Times
  • China emerges as Sri Lanka’s main import source replacing India

  •    [ May 13, 2017 19:29:58 GMT ] [ ST ]

        China has emerged as Sri Lanka’s main import source replacing India, the country’s major import origin since 2001. China became the main import origin of the island in 2016, accounting for 21.7 per cent of total expenditure on imports recording an increase by 13.6 per cent to US$ 4,215 million, Central Bank(CB) statistics showed. The main items imported to the island during this period were textiles, machinery and equipment, building material transport equipment and chemical products. [ Full Report ]

  • GSP Plus facility: Lanka’s final hurdle tomorrow

  •    [ May 13, 2017 19:27:33 GMT ] [ ST ]

        If all the paperwork is in order and no other questions pending, the European Commission under the signature of the Trade Commissioner will direct a request to publish the restoring of GSP Plus trade preferences to Sri Lanka. The cutoff date has been set for May 15. The publication will be in the Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the day following that of its publication. Usually the process takes about a month but a diplomatic initiative by Sri Lanka’s EU Ambassador Rodney Perera has got under way to expedite the process. Already, Sri Lanka has cleared two hurdles for the restoration of the facility. [ Full Report ]

  • Did PM Modi invoke AIADMK founder MGR in Sri Lanka to help BJP make inroads in Tamil Nadu?

  •    [ May 13, 2017 19:23:40 GMT ] [ India Today ]

        By invoking AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran while addressing Indian-origin Tamil community in Norwood grounds in Sri Lanka on Friday, PM Modi sent ripples in power corridors of India. In bid to strike a familiar cord with the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "A great icon of India, MGR was born in this soil establishing a lifelong connection." Soon, political analysts joined the loose ends and observed that this pitch resonated BJP's longstanding struggle to make inroads in Tamil politics. [ Full Report ]

    - Modi breaks new ground by meeting Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka - IE
    - India's Modi emphasizes links with Sri Lanka to deepen ties - AP
  • Chinese Buyers Behind Surging Demand For Sri Lanka's Latest Bonds

  •    [ May 10, 2017 10:21:38 GMT ] [ Bloomeberg ]

        A surge in demand for Sri Lanka’s latest dollar bond is putting a spotlight on the appetite for emerging-market securities, even amid the Federal Reserve’s tightening campaign.Strategically located along the maritime Silk Road route championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Sri Lanka is also benefiting from Chinese thirst for investments linked to their government’s Belt and Road development initiative. Three people involved in the bond sale noted the presence of Chinese buyers in the allocation. “This was the first time that Chinese banks were among the joint lead managers,” Indrajit Coomaraswamy, governor of the central bank of Sri Lanka, said by e-mail, confirming the bond allocations. “There was encouraging support from the Chinese investors.” [ Full Report ]

  • As Sri Lanka Leans Towards China, Modi's Trip Has High Stakes

  •    [ May 10, 2017 10:18:33 GMT ] [ NDTV ]

        This is Prime Minister Modi's second visit to Sri Lanka since he assumed office. In March 2015, he made history as the first Indian PM to go there on an official, bilateral visit in 28 years, and the first one to visit Jaffna, ever. Along with three visits by Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and two by President Maithripala Sirisena to India since the 2015 elections, these trips reflect Delhi's aggressive diplomacy to rebuild the relationship with Colombo that hit rock bottom in the years immediately after the war. Currently, Delhi's portfolio of financial assistance to Sri Lanka is at 2.6 billion dollars, out of which nearly 450 million dollars is in the form of grants. [ Full Report ]

    - Wasp nests removed in Sri Lanka ahead of Indian PM visit - ABC News
  • Enforced disappearances: UN expert group to review more than 600 cases from 29 countries

  •    [ May 08, 2017 10:18:04 GMT ] [ OHCHR ]

        The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will meet in Geneva from 8 to 17 May to examine more than 600 cases of disappearances from 29 countries. During its 112th session, the Group of five independent human rights experts* will also meet relatives of those who have disappeared, civil society representatives and State authorities from different countries to exchange information on individual cases and the situation of this heinous crime. The expert panel will discuss, among other issues, the problem of enforced disappearances in the context of migration, which will be the topic of a thematic report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2017. [ Full Report ]

  • Galle Face blues: Rajapaksa’s May Day force jolts Govt.

  •    [ May 07, 2017 12:19:53 GMT ] [ ST ]

        The initial response of the Government to the ‘May Day blues’ at the Galle Face Green appeared to be kneejerk. If Premier Wickremesinghe wanted Rajapaksa’s security ensured at the rally, after it was over, President Sirisena ordered the withdrawal of 42 Police officers, including an Assistant Superintendent, from his personal protection group as news trickled in of a massive gathering at the JO rally. “The Director of the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) sent a letter withdrawing these Police officers. The letter came past 5 p.m. on Tuesday asking them to withdraw before 9 p.m,” Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times. He said he did not wish to make public comments on matters relating to his personal security. [ Full Report ]

  • A Popean caution and the counter-terror comedy of errors

  •    [ May 07, 2017 12:15:36 GMT ] [ ST ]

        Added to this is the enormous culpability of the UN. Its performance is a lesson on how not to intervene in highly sensitive processes absent a proper understanding of local complexities. Seemingly it was on the insistence of certain UN agencies that the draft on counter terror by the Law Commission of Sri Lanka was deemed insufficient for the purpose and discarded. This led to ‘hawks’ in the establishment capturing the process with the end result being this draft CTA, now to be foisted on the people for their manifest sins. Indeed, the whole sorry process illustrates exactly how adherence to international treaties should not be negotiated between international agencies and a Government. [ Full Report ]

  • Is China blackmailing Myanmar, like it did with Sri Lanka?

  •    [ May 07, 2017 12:11:24 GMT ] [ India Today ]

        China is known for territorial expansionism and autocratic rule but its increasing economic prowess has added another dimension to its clout - the economic imperialism. Now, China is financially big enough to first pump its money in small, poor nations and then acquire controlling stakes in organizations as the nations fail to repay, be it the poor or financially weaker nations of Asia or Africa. That is a deepening line of analysis by the experts. Confirming similar developments, an exclusive Reuters report has claimed that China is expected to take controlling stakes, as high as 85 per cent, in Myanmar's China funded projects [ Full Report ]

  • PM Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka on May 11

  •    [ May 07, 2017 12:08:50 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Sri Lanka on May 11 to attend the biggest Buddhist festival, 'Vesak Day'. The 'International Day of Vesak' celebrations, to be held in Colombo from May 12 to 14, will include an International Buddhist Conference in which over 400 delegates from more than 100 countries will participate. Vesak, the most important day in the Buddhist calendar, marks commemoration of Lord Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing away. [ Full Report ]

  • Border Girls: Women in Sri Lanka take on male roles to help recovery from brutal civil war

  •    [ May 07, 2017 12:07:00 GMT ] [ ABC ]

        Women and girls whose male relatives were killed in Sri Lanka's brutal civil war are now helping the country recover, taking on roles formerly reserved for men and heading to schools and universities to complete their education. The so-called "Border Girls" mostly come from towns and villages which formed a human buffer zone between the opposing sides during the 27-year conflict, which ended in 2009 and left tens of thousands of civilians dead, many of them killed in the war's bloody final phase. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s airline sell off fails, seeks new partner

  •    [ May 06, 2017 13:13:16 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        A US equity firm that bid to buy a stake in Sri Lanka’s loss-making national airline has pulled its offer, officials said today as the carrier scrambled for a new partner. TPG, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has withdrawn its bid for a 49 percent stake in Sri Lankan, dashing hopes of a quick revival of the airline. “After completing the due diligence, regrettably TPG have informed us they will not pursue a potential investment in Sri Lankan airlines,” Sri Lankan Chairman Ajith Dias said in a memo to his staff. “It is their opinion that allocating the human and financial resources to make the airline profitable will not realise sufficient returns compared to the many other investment opportunities that are available to them,” Dias said. [ Full Report ]

  • The Human Rights Council Can’t Handle Sri Lanka

  •    [ May 06, 2017 13:11:30 GMT ] [ Huffington Post ]

        Sri Lanka has basically been disregarding Council resolutions for the past five years. The current administration is more than happy to keep this dance at the Geneva-based body going, because it’s ensures that they can – at least for an international audience – remain publicly committed to a lot of reforms that they have virtually no intention of ever implementing. The current state of affairs in Sri Lanka is being manipulated for various reasons: including the desire for a success story, perceived geopolitical exigencies and fundamental misunderstandings about the country. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s war general faces investigation over embassy murder

  •    [ May 06, 2017 13:07:25 GMT ] [ EN ]

        Retired army major general Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil , foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera announced in parliament.While Gunaratne was deputy ambassador, a Sri Lankan government employee Nimal Rupasinghe was murdered, the minister said. “Now it is clear there had been a big murder at our embassy. A person who worked there, Nimal Rupasinghe, a government employee was killed when he (Gunaratne) was deputy ambassador….,” the minister told parliament on Friday. “An investigation is now going on.” [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan embassies sheltered criminals: foreign minister

  •    [ May 05, 2017 16:02:29 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's foreign minister on Friday accused the previous administration of using its embassies abroad as "safe houses" for murderers accused of perpetrating human rights abuses during the civil war. Mangala Samaraweera told parliament a deputy ambassador posted to Brazil and two staffers sent to Germany were among those suspected of murders and war crimes that were sheltered in embassies by the former government. "Many of our embassies had become safe houses for criminals involved in killings as well as grave human rights violations at home," Samaraweera told parliament. "They were rewarded by giving places in our embassies abroad." [ Full Report ]

  • Heavy rain across Canada has several regions bracing for floods

  •    [ May 05, 2017 10:53:27 GMT ] [ Globe And Mail ]

        A forecast of heavy rain in waterlogged central Canada and in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions has residents and emergency officials bracing for flood conditions through Friday and the weekend. Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for much of southern and eastern Ontario, where some communities could be soaked with 50-90 millimetres of rain through Saturday. But with the ground already saturated after weeks of rain and spring runoff, the agency says there may be new or additional flooding in many areas. [ Full Report ]

    - Why is it flooding across eastern Canada? - CBC
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