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

Sri Lanka: Gotabhaya Rajapaksa dons garb of economic saviour, eyes Presidency

There is little doubt that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and who held the post of Defence Secretary is now making an early preparation to contest the 2020 Presidential elections. His Viyath... More


India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More

The Wuhan spirit of cooperation picks up

The informal Modi-Xi summit at Wuhan had decided to provide “strategic guidance” to their militaries to manage and defuse troop confrontations along the 4057 km Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two leaders asserted that during patrolling, the two armies should stick to existing protocols and mechanisms. These range... More


India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As... 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



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