SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA

Lankan Minister says extremism will be quashed in constitution reform


Mano Ganeshan, Lankan Minister of Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages, and leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), is a prophet of optimism on a new constitution seeing the light of day despite  chief... More

Constitution making process: JO raises UN interference with Feltman


Joint Opposition (JO) parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena has called for an end to UN interference in on-going constitutional making process in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted in Oct 2015. MP Gunawardena has said... More

UK may submit its diplomatic cables to hybrid court


The UK is willing to consider submitting uncensored wartime dispatches sent by its High Commission in Colombo to London to the proposed hybrid war crimes court. Last week UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, QC, at... More

Participation in constitution making process: JO Divided


The Joint Opposition (JO) consisting of SLFP and UPFA dissidents loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa broke into two factions yesterday after one of its main partners, the National Freedom Front (NFF) opted to pull... More

Sri Lankan wartime disappearances: Ex-Commander among 50 navy officers grilled


Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake, remanded in connection with wartime disappearance of 11 persons, neither functioned as Director Naval Operations (DNO) nor supervised special teams, commanded by two Lt. Commanders, R. P. S Ranasinghe... More

JO under pressure to quit constitution making process


The Global Sri Lankan Forum (GSLF) has requested the Joint Opposition (JO) to quit the UNP-led constitutional making process. A senior spokesperson for the group told The Island that the JO couldn’t further delay a... More

President Sirisena battles to keep coalition


President Maithripala Sirisena returned from a state visit to Bangladesh on Saturday to grapple with a new threat of defections  that could lead to a break-up of his shaky coalition government. A week after issuing... More

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh release joint statement on MOUs, FTA


Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will sign a Free Trade Agreement before the end of the year, the two countries jointly announced at the end of Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s three-day State visit to Bangladesh... More

Eighth meeting of SAARC Ministers of Law and Order in Colombo 


The 8th meeting of the SAARC Ministers of Law and Order (Interior/Home Affairs) held in Colombo from 11th -13th July with the participation of all SAARC member states. This year’s meeting is organized by the... More

UN special rapporteur lambasts Lanka, says island among world’s worst for torture


Speaking to  the media after a four-day tour of Sri Lanka, Emmerson maintained that as recently as October 2016, 80 cases of torture of PTA detainees were reported and strongly called for the repealing... More

Tamil MP moves Lankan Supreme Court to prevent steel houses for IDPs


A Fundamental Rights petition was filed Thursday in the Lankan Supreme Court against a government project to construct 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for people displaced by war in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The petition... More

Sri Lanka: Justice Minister, UN official in heated argument


Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with visiting UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Ben Emmerson, QC, over UN intervention in Sri Lanka as regards promotion and... More

Sri Lanka’s hill country among lonely planet’s best places to visit in...


The global travel authority Lonely Planet has listed Sri Lanka’s hill country among Top 10 places to visit in Asia in 2017. For this second-annual Best in Asia list, Lonely Planet’s in-house Asia experts ranked... More

WB doubles support for SL to $ 1.34 b


Finance Ministry said on Wednesday Sri Lanka will receive $ 1,340 million (over Rs. 207 billion) worth of financial and technical assistance from the World Bank Group for the three-year period starting from 1... More

No horse-trading with UNP over police probes – JO


The Sri Lankan Joint Opposition (JO) denied on Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena’s accusations that high profile investigations into cases involving the Rajapaksas had been stalled due to a secret understanding between the top... More

WB asks SL to show progress in improving business atmosphere


The World Bank says Sri Lanka’s window of opportunity to improve investment climate is time-bound and it is important for Sri Lanka to show progress in improving business atmosphere to assert its position in... More

To quit Constitution making process: JO still dilly-dallying


National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Joint Opposition (JO) heavyweight Wimal Weerawansa, MP, Sunday acknowledged that the JO was divided over his demand to quit the UNP-led constitutional making process. MP Weerawansa alleged that the... More

Constitutional migraine of Lankan Govt. gets worse


Lankan government, suffering from a stress induced migraine since its election in 2015, triggered by strikes from trade unions against foreign assisted development projects, strikes by doctors against a controversial private medical college, and... More

No room for a dictatorial or military rule, says Lankan president 


Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said that he ended a dictatorial and military rule on 8th January 2015 and there is no any scope for such a rule in this country again. “The people in... More

Sri Lanka: No change to country’s unitary status, place for buddhism


President Maithripalala Srisena on Thursday assured the Maha Nayaka Theras of the Three Chapters that the government will not bring any constitutional reforms that will disrupt the country’s unitary state or the place for... More

SL Govt. shortlists four countries for rice imports 


Following a first round assessment, the Government has shortlisted Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Myanmar as potential sources for imports of up to 100,000 MT of rice, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said yesterday. A team... More

COLUMN

Courage beyond compare

On Feb 13 at about 1210 hours an armoured cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle of a private security services company was parked outside the Tarnol branch of Meezan Bank in Islamabad to pick up cash amounting to Rs. 14 million from the bank . As the two security guards, Supervisor Muhammad... More

International affairs in time of transparency: The Oxfam syndrome

The Oxfam infection has spread far and wide. Its impact is deeper than just one NGO facing problems about covering up sex abuse in Haiti and as we learn Chad as well.  Now reports are saying that sexual abuse cases are routine in the international development world which till... More

India cautious of its mediation and intervention in Maldives

Despite its reservations about the Abdulla Yameen regime in the Maldives, India does not appear to be responding to the call of the Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed to initiate a “military-backed diplomatic initiative” to force Yameen to retract from his drastic actions against the judiciary. According to the Maldivian... More

The Afghan war can no longer be defined by Pak-US ties

While the US continues to do drone attacks in Pakistan, the diplomat spat between them hasn’t ended. On the contrary it seems to be widening as Pakistan continues its drift away from the US towards China and Russia. The gap is undoubtedly widening between the two erstwhile allies. While the... More

Khaleda Zia’s jail verdict will seriously impact on 2018 elections 

Sentencing BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia to 5 years in jail triggers a fresh confrontational phase in Bangladesh politics, already deluged by hostility. It also makes the election, scheduled for December 2018, considerably uncertain about inclusive participation. Bangladesh’s experience with electoral politics has been miserable since birth and with... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Hasina is no Mujib

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, exudes confidence. I visited Dhaka for the first time in April 1972, within four months of the birth of Bangladesh. Dhaka, then pronounced Dacca, was a small town, desperately trying to accommodate the demands of a sovereign state. There is no doubt that the... More

China will not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’ with India

The West’s notions of history and geography between Europe and Asia, are drenched in myriad cultural implications and can be traced back to ‘The Romance of Alexander’. This is a collection of essays mixing truth, epic drama and mythology, composed between the death of Alexander The Great in 323 B.C.,... More

How China and Pakistan could lay the Road to Peace in...

Referred to as an interminable and protracted war, the ongoing US-led war in Afghanistan is becoming a stalemate with no end in sight in the near or long term. Since the violence and bloodshed have been the most common phenomenon in an already war-torn region, the war is perhaps... More

Modi corrects course, woos farmers and poor

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an aggressive reachout to farmers and the poor in the new Budget, but analysts say it remains to be seen if this course correction will work. They say it hinges on whether the government will be able to implement the schemes. It also... More

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READER'S VIEW

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