Will Sri Lanka stay and face the attacks in a manner worthy of its war heroes, or flee from International Organizations in the Footsteps of President Trump leaving all flanks exposed?

By Tamara Kunanayakam Speaking at the National War Heroes Commemoration Ceremony on 19 May 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared that he will not hesitate to withdraw Sri Lanka from any international body or organisation that continuously targets the country and war heroes. The President was probably referring to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, given that they are the only international entities that Sri Lanka belongs to, which have systematically targeted the country and its armed forces. The statement has received…

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Booze shops stay open to keep state coffers replenished

The closure of the 900 liquor shops for nearly two months to help contain the coronavirus has cost the state Rs. 25 billion in excise tax. The Excise Department said that illegal operators have caused 10%, or Rs 2.5 billion, of excise tax loss to the state during this period. The revenue loss is estimated on the basis of the Rs. 130 billion plus revenue target the Government has set for the department. The department in its countrywide raids in the last six weeks has detected 3,079 instances of illicit…

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Elevated highway: Govt. accepts unsolicited proposal from Chinese company

The Government has accepted an unsolicited proposal from China Harbour Engineering Company (Ltd) for the elevated expressway from Athurugiriya to New Kelani Bridge via Rajagiriya — a project for which bid documents had already been finalised to call an open tender. The CHEC bid was directed via the Board of Investment (BOI) and discussions are underway, the Highways Ministry Secretary has told media. However, a three-volume Request for Proposals comprising at least 300 pages each was earlier drawn up with the aim of attracting prospective bidders on a level playing…

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Sri Lanka rupee strengthens to 186.40/50 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee gained to close around 186.40/50 to the US dollars in the spot market on Thursday, dealers said, amid the collapse in domestic demand from Coronavirus curfews and import controls. The rupee closed around 187.05/15 at close on May 20. Excess liquidity in money markets dropped sharply to 97.8 billion rupees on May 21 though only a 4 billion rupee term reverse repo facility was maturing. It is not clear whether a foreign loan repayment was made for liquidity to drop. The drop in liquidity came…

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War heroes and cramped camps

The Navy has been battling a rogue wave of coronavirus. Of about 1,045 Covid-19 cases, more than 578 are naval personnel. The vast majority of them are from the Welisara Navy base. It was first thought that the sailors who rounded up infected drug addicts had caused the spread of the diseases in the camp. But the members of the Army, the Air Force, the police and the Civil Defence Force have also been battling the virus from the front, and there has been no explosive spread of Covid-19 among…

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Rajapaksa warns Sri Lanka will withdraw from any int”l forum if ”Army” are targeted

Colombo, May 19 (PTI) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday warned that Sri Lanka will not hesitate to withdraw from any international forum if the country”s “war heroes” were targeted or harassed as he addressed the 11th anniversary of the end of the over three-decade long civil war against the LTTE. Tamil separatist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which led an armed rebellion for over three decades against the Sri Lankan government to set up a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern province of the island…

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