Is monk Gnanasara’s jailing a sign of Sri Lankan enlightenment?

Just before being hauled off to jail, the seemingly untouchable firebrand monk – clad in a brilliant saffron robe – wanted to get in the last word. “I have done my duty towards the country,”... More

The exit of US from the UNHRC and Lankan war time allegations

Last week local media reports were rife on what transpired during a courtesy call by outgoing US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, on former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Sunday. Keshap reportedly warned... More

Chinese firm pays $584 million in Sri Lanka port debt-to-equity deal

China Merchants Port Holdings (0144.HK) has made a $584 million payment as part of a $1.12 billion deal to operate Sri Lanka’s deep sea Hambantota port, a state-run agency said on Wednesday. Under the deal,... More

Sri Lanka negotiating “comprehensive” FTA with China

Sri Lanka says it is negotiating comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with China and India, Asia Pacific Daily reported. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera noted that Sri Lanka recently signed its very first comprehensive FTA with... More

Sri Lankan economy grows by 3.2 pct in Q1

Sri Lanka's economy grew by 3.2 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2018, slowing marginally from a 3.5-percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter of 2017, local media quoted the Department... More

Victory for judicial independence in Lanka following jailing of anti Muslim Lankan...

On Thursday, June 14th the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena and Buddhist monk, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, was sentenced to 6 months of Rigorous Imprisonment, charged with criminal intimidation and contempt of... More

Sri Lanka’s former president denies friction on 2020 Presidency

Following much speculation that that there is friction within the Rajapaksa family and the new party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the early start on ‘campaigning’ by... More

Questions over Sri Lanka’s aircraft purchase deals

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has ambitious plans to purchase helicopters of different makes and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at a staggering cost of more than Rs 64.8 billion, according to documents seen... More

China–Sri Lanka FTA talks not stalled, says secretary

Sri Lanka’s secretary to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Chandani Wijewardana last week refuted reports that discussions between Sri Lanka and China on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) had come... More

Sri Lanka: Hornet’s nest sting begins as corruption charges fly against coalition...

Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL), who is son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Barely a few weeks ago, President Maithripala Sirisena lamented about the infamous Sri Lanka Central Bank bond scam... More

No more flights from Sri Lanka’s second airport

Sri Lanka's jinxed second international airport was left without a single scheduled flight from Friday (Jun 8) after the only airline using the remote facility scrapped its daily service. Dubai's flydubai gave no reason for... More

Sri Lanka pushes forward plans for Chinese investment zone in controversial port

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal for Singapore-based urban planning consultancy Surbana Jurong, owned by state investor Temasek Holdings, to draw up a plan for a Chinese investment zone in the country’s southern... More

Lankan saga of political fears, affiliations and detractions

Sri Lanka is in the throes of subtle and overt political maneuvers that may decide the political game-plan for the 2020 Presidential elections and indicate the future of Lankan politics for some years to... More

Singapore firm to draw up Chinese investment zone plan in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal for Singapore-based urban planning consultancy Surbana Jurong Pvt Ltd, owned by state investor Temasek Holdings Ltd, to draw up a plan for a Chinese investment zone in... More

Sri Lanka to take part in largest int’l maritime exercise

Sri Lanka is to take part in the largest international maritime exercise which will be held in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. In all, 26 countries are scheduled to take part in... More

China’s Buddhist diplomacy in Sri Lanka: The motorway to enlightenment?

For those who understand the Chinese brand of engagement in Sri Lanka, new initiatives such as the recent US$1.1 billion loan Beijing gave to the island nation to build a motorway should not come... More

The sorrow of being President Sirisena

In a latest display ofisolation and resentment President Maithripala Sirisena mid last week lashed out at his former supporters after barging in uninvited to an event that was to commemorate a pro democracy campaigning... More

China Development Bank bags Sri Lanka mandate

China Development Bank (CDB) has knocked out commercial lenders on a US$1bn loan for Sri Lanka, underscoring China’s ability to support the Belt and Road initiative with cheap financing. The Chinese policy bank offered very... More

China’s free trade talks with Sri Lanka hit major hurdles

Talks between China and Sri Lanka for a free trade agreement have hit major hurdles, mainly because Beijing will not agree to Colombo’s demand for a review of the deal after 10 years, Sri... More

US Congress says Sri Lanka’s internal security important

A US Congress delegation from the House Armed Services Committee, told President Maithripala Sirisena that internal security of Sri Lanka is important for regional security and world peace. The delegation, which included the Chairman of... More

The dilemma of the promise of abolishing Lanka’s Executive Presidency

The abolition of the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka has been promised by all political leaders and Presidents since Chandrika Kumaratunga contested the Presidency in 1994. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who followed Kumaratunga into the Presidency in... More


Never give in

The last few months have been quite difficult for the Dubai-based Abraaj Group. At the beginning of the yearan initial trickle of newsfiltered through that something was amiss at the premier investment firm specializing in private equity investments in the MENSA region. Atorrent of revelations followedin Feb this year... More

Asad Pong Pong Vai and the rise of alternate media 

Some may not know the person who goes live on YouTube and Facebook with the unusual moniker Asad Pong Pong Vai (brother). While many of the formal media /bhadrolok crowd would sneer at him, he has followers running into thousands.  He is not a cult media figure but a... More

BJP scuttled Kashmir government to sharpen Hindu-Muslim divide ahead of crucial...

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s decision to withdraw from its coalition with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and scuttle the three-year old government has been taken with an eye on the Indian State and parliamentary elections to be held later this year and in 2019. The... More

In ongoing trade war India & China turn tables on US

China has fired back and India has threatened to follow suit in a spiralling trade conflict with the US that may finally reshape the contours of global economy. President Donald Trump's threat to take on Chinese goods in US market has been more than reciprocated by Beijing which has announced... More

Myanmar struggles to find a new Rakhine strategy

Myanmar finds itself in a new international quagmire as it attempts to redefine its solutions for reconciliation in Rakhine. In the past, Myanmar found itself in the middle of a tug of war, between the West and the East, as the US, UK and Europe imposed punitive sanctions in... More


The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More

India’s pivot to Eurasia

Sandwiched between U.S. President Donald Trump’s acrimonious public exchanges with other leaders at the G-7 (group of seven industrialised countries) summit (June 7-8) and the headline-hogging U.S.-North Korea summit (June 12), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China (June 9-10) attracted little international attention. It was the... More

Diplomatic damp squib

It is all but forgotten that the Korean War (1950-53) was brought to an armistice only after India agreed to make itself available to chair the UN Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission that determined which of the North Korean soldiers in Allied custody, and which of the South Koreans being... More

SCO nurtures Sino-Indian relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed their willingness to lend momentum to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with Xi offering  to work with India and other member states to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and promote sound and stable development of the... More



Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More