28th June 2016

Brexit makes Lanka move faster towards economic tie up with India

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU),much to the disappointment of Sri Lanka, has forced the Lankan government to seek closer economic ties with India, China and the rest of Asia. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced in Galle on Sunday, that the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, would be going to New Delhi next week for talks on the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). The Prime Minister said that with the British leaving the EU, the EU  might be considerably weakened. This in turn would adversely affect Lanka because the EU presently accounts for 40 per cent of Lanka’s exports. It is therefore imperative that Lanka enters into Free Trade Agreements or strengthens existing FTAs and […]

‘Visiting Sri Lanka will prove costly for British tourists in Brexit aftermath’

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Hiran H.Senewiratne “Sri Lanka now is much more exposed to international markets than in 2008 and,therefore, would face impacts through this channel because the sterling pound has depreciated against the US dollar by 8 percent, after Brexit, and this would have a direct impact on the Sri Lanka tourism sector. Visting Sri Lanka would be more expensive for British tourists, top economist Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy, said. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva said: “Sri Lanka will lose the duty free benefit with the UK exiting from European Union. Then we could renegotiate a FTA with the UK, but they will have to do a whole series of FTAs with European nations and others before they get to us. “The immediate […]

Have to renegotiate GSP plus terms -– Eran

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza The terms of GSP plus will have to be renegotiated, since the United Kingdom has pulled out from the European Union (EU), said Deputy Minister for State Enterprise Development Eran Wickremeratne. Last Friday (23), the EU referendum in the UK revealed that 51.9 per cent chose to leave the EU whilst 48.1 per cent chose to remain. He said there will be no other long-term repercussions to Sri Lanka caused by Brexit and that it was too early to comment … on the current situation. “We will have to renegotiate trade with the remaining countries of the EU, and the UK, if the UK exits the EU,” he added. He further noted that Sri Lanka’s non-aligned foreign policy will not change if Britain […]

UK jobs for Sri Lankan nurses

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan nurses will be provided training at the British Council and found jobs in the UK, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Dr. Senaratne said arrangements have also been made to provide jobs for nurses in UKthrough a private nursing faculty. A nursing faculty will be established in Sri Lanka at a cost of Rs. 12,500 million, the minister said after laying the foundation stone for a new medical and surgical ward complex to be built at Nagoda Hospital at a cost of Rs. 3,500 million. Minister Senaratne said Rs. 11,547 million is to be spent to develop the Nagoda General Hospital. The Colombo National Hospital is to be fully developed with the assistance of the Chinese government. The project has already been launched. […]

UNHRC Chief releases mixed report on SL’s reconciliation efforts

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Zeid to note ‘complexity of party politics’ within coalition Govt. in oral report Notes ‘mixed messaging’ on accountability within GoSL High Commissioner for HR to call for probe into allegations of cluster bomb usage during the war Zeid to address UNHRC 32nd Session to present Lanka report tomorrow  By Dharisha Bastians The full promise of governance reform, transitional justice and economic revival is yet to be delivered by the ruling National Unity Government in Sri Lanka, and risks stalling or dissipating., the UN’s top envoy for Human Rights, Zeid Al Ra’ad Al Hussein will tell the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva tomorrow (29 June). According to an advance copy released late last night by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of Zeid’s first report […]

No Political package only development says Ambassador Kari

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Constitution no bar to foreign judges in war crimes court – TNA Sumanthiran reveals tripartite GoSL, US, Tamils agreement on hybrid mechanism By Shamindra Ferdinando The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has claimed to have reached a tripartite consensus in respect of foreign judges, defence attorneys, investigators etc., in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism to probe war crimes before the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) unanimously adopted a resolution to pave the way for inquiry. On behalf of the TNA, its spokesperson and Jaffna District parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran has told a recent ‘Congressional Caucus for Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka’ in Washington that the government of Sri Lanka, the TNA and the US had been involved in the negotiations leading to the agreement. The declaration was […]

BREXIT and Sinhala Only Limits of popular mandate

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

ommentators of South Asian politics tend to view the voting habits in the region with a degree of condescension. They indeed have a point. In every election, India, the world’s largest democracy, habitually sends a mindboggling number of remanded crooks, film stars, feudal heirs and many other worse salubrious individuals to their regional and central assemblies. In Bangladesh, two feuding widows have hijacked the destiny of the people, and that is being accomplished through the hotly contested elections. And, in our country, millions of opposition voters favoured rabblerousing opportunists of the Joint Opposition over more principled members of the same party during the previous election. However, that is not our problem alone. When the Egyptians voted in their first free and fair election after the […]

Brexit: the Not-So-United Kingdom

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

by Kithmina Hewage, Chantal Sirisena, Suwendrani Jayaratne On June 23rd Britain became the first country to vote to leave the EU, following a tense referendum and fierce campaigning on both sides. The final result saw the ‘Leave’ campaign win by a small majority: 51.9% to 48.1% and hours later, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation from office by October 2016. . What follows will be significant political and economic upheaval. After 59 years of the bloc’s history, this is a watershed moment and much uncertainty remains over what form the break up will take and the implications for not only the UK, but also its many trading partners, including the rest of Europe. A tragic split The EU referendum came about as […]

Sri Lanka’s ongoing battle against torture

28th June 2016 // 0 Comments

It all started when Malaka* and Rohan* (names changed to protect identity) went to meet relations in Wattegama. Returning from the visit, they saw two policemen making off with their motorcycles, which they had parked on the main road. They confronted the officers, who began assaulting the two men with iron rods. Malaka and Rohan were taken to the Wattegama police station, where they were assaulted once again. When Rohan was admitted to hospital, his leg was broken in 5 places. Fearing he might lose his life, the doctors transferred Rohan to the Peradeniya hospital, where he remained for around 9 months, during which time he underwent 5 surgeries. The two policemen also promptly admitted themselves to hospital and filed charges against Rohan, resulting in […]