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

  •    [ Jul 19, 2016 13:43:59 GMT ] [ CNA ]

        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 Report ]

    - Singapore and Sri Lanka launch Free Trade Agreement talks - CNA
  • U.S. acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation

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

        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 Report ]

  • Deepening Militarization in Sri Lanka?

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:51:26 GMT ] [ Huffington Post ]

        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 Report ]

  • Obama’s Disappointing Sri Lanka Policy

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:50:30 GMT ] [ The Wire ]

        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 Report ]

  • US officials insist sustainable peace must include peace dividend

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:34:43 GMT ] [ FT ]

        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 Report ]

  • Post-War Reconciliation in Sri Lanka – A Reality Check

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:30:57 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        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 Report ]

  • Flip-flopping on accountability: A timeline

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:30:01 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Jul 16, 2016 13:28:37 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        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 Report ]

  • Sri Lanka government consulted us on OMP bill: TNA

  •    [ Jul 04, 2016 11:03:49 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Jul 04, 2016 10:59:25 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        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 Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Mulls Granting Licences To Indian Trawlers

  •    [ Jul 04, 2016 10:58:04 GMT ] [ NDTV ]

        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 Report ]

  • Is Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation?

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

        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 Report ]

  • Toronto Pride parade brings fun tinged with sorrow over Orlando

  •    [ Jul 04, 2016 10:00:05 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        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 Report ]

  • Kerala Ganja worth Rs.10 million seized in Jaffna

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 11:14:58 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 11:06:49 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 11:04:30 GMT ] [ WB ]

        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 Report ]

  • Sri Lanka must stay the course

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 11:02:44 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        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 Report ]

  • Justice for crimes committed by both sides vital for reconciliation: TNA

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 10:51:17 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today reiterated that justice for crimes committed in the past by both the Sri Lanka military forces and the LTTE is a necessary precondition to achieve meaningful reconciliation.Commenting on the oral update of the High Commissioner, it said the update captures accurately the opportunities and challenges for reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.Delay in the resettlement of displaced people in both the North and East, and in the restoration of normal life by providing then with housing, livelihood opportunities and other facilities continues to be a matter of concern and is a great impediment to the process of reconciliation and the return to normalcy. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Names Economist Coomaraswamy as Central Bank Chief

  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 10:49:56 GMT ] [ bBoomberg ]

        Sri Lanka named economist Indrajit Coomaraswamy central bank governor, days after Arjuna Mahendran’s term ended on June 30 following allegations of nepotism. Coomaraswamy, a former central banker and economic affairs director at the Commonwealth Secretariat, was picked after “consulting all parties relevant”, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Twitter. The incoming chief will have to navigate the central bank through a $1.5 billion program from the International Monetary Fund. While some conditions of the loan have been termed “ambitious” by Moody’s, investors have cheered the development, boosting the rupee about 2.5 percent from its record low hit in March. [ Full Report ]

    - Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy appointed as CB Governor - Daily Mirror
    - Sri Lanka new Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy takes on tough task - EN
  • Scarborough deserves respect, fairness: Hepburn

  •    [ Jul 01, 2016 12:01:38 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Lost in history is the name of the person who first coined the term “Scarberia,” smearing the eastern suburb and its 600,000 residents seemingly forever. While it may seem harmless and funny to some, the snarky term has usually been linked with unwarranted associations with high crime rates, ugly strip malls, lousy restaurants, crowded schools, outdated hospitals as well as grimy factories and warehouses. Worse, “Scarberia” is used to imply that Scarborough residents are culturally challenged, uncool and out-of-touch compared to people in other parts of Toronto, especially in the downtown core. For years, proud Scarborough residents have raged against the “Scarberia” image in the firm belief they aren’t treated fairly when it comes to everything from transit to parks and schools. [ Full Report ]

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