US to deny aid to Egypt due to lack of progress on human rights and democracy

The United States will deny Egypt over US $250 million of military and economic aid due to the its failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms, reports Reuters. US officials were particularly disappointed with a law passed by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sis that restricted the work of Non Governmental Organisations, sources told Reuters. Initially Egyptian officials had assured US officials that the law, which introduces jail terms of up to five years for non-compliant NGO workers would not be allowed to go through parliament. Under US law, 15% of the $...

Sri Lanka's defence delegation expresses interest in Russian arms and ships

Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne said Sri Lanka is interested in Russian arms and ships during a visit to a military exhibition in Russia reports Colombo Gazette. Speaking to Russian News outlet Sputnik, Mr Waidayaratne said the Sri Lanka’s delegation had arrived at Russia’s military forum to see the expertise and technology available. Heading the Sri Lankan delegation to Russia, Mr Waidayaratne, said, “We are fortunate to be here. It is going to be a very interesting expo. From what I have heard and seen today so far, it will be not only an exhibition but also a...

New ministerial appointments to Northern Province

Two new appointments were made to the Northern Province on Wednesday in health and agriculture. Dr G Gunaseelan appointed as the province's new Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine, Probation and Childcare Services. Mr K Sivanesan was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Agrarian Services, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation, Fisheries, Water Supply and Environment. Both men were sworn in before the Northern Province's governor, Reginald Cooray in Jaffna.

Draft 20th Constitutional Amendment tabled in parliament

The draft 20th Amendment to Sri Lanka's constitution was today tabled in parliament, the Daily Mirror reported. The amendment which seeks to increase the number of parliamentary seats from 225 to 237 was last month approved by the Cabinet. Under the amendment, 55 MPs would be elected by district proportional representation and 145 MPs would be directed by first past the post.

Sri Lankan army holds mock war game in Trincomalee

Dozens of Sri Lankan troops took part in a military exercise on Trincomalee this month, in the run up to a major joint field training exercise to be held later this year. The mock war game was held at the 4 Special Forces Battalion Headquarters in Monkey Bridge in Trincomaleem with “around 60 officers, including seven Navy and five Air Force officers” participating according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence . The mock war game was held to ensure officers are ready to “encounter any given situation,” it added. The exercise was staged as a preamble to Sri Lanka’s 'Exercise Cormorant Strike...

Sri Lankan Army chief discusses North-East with ICRC

A delegation from the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka met with the head of Sri Lankan army on Monday, to discuss the role of the military in the North-East.

Sri Lanka sacks justice minister following delay in corruption investigations

Sri Lanka’s minister of justice has been sacked this morning, following criticism of the current government over a financial deal with China and after he allegedly delayed investigating cases of bribery and corruption. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who also heads the ministry for the Buddha Sasana, was accused by the prime minister of deliberately preventing the investigation of corruption and fraud committed by the previous government. Mr Rajapakshe was known to be close to the previous regime. He also criticised the Sri Lankan government’s decision to sell a 70 percent stake in Hambantota port to...

Indian army commander visits Jaffna and Trinco

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command of the Indian Army visited Jaffna and Trincomalee this week, meeting with Sri Lankan military commanders.

Sri Lankan president donates Rs.45 million for golden roof of Buddhist vihara

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena handed over a cheque for Rs. 45 million rupees on Tuesday, to be used towards the renovation of the golden roof of a Buddhist vihara in Kandy.

Canada appoints new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

The Canadian government has announced David McKinnon will be the new High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, taking over from Shelley Whiting. “Shelley's left big shoes to fill but I could not be happier or more honoured,” said Mr McKinnon on Twitter, after the announcement was made. In a press release, the Canadian government said it is “steadfast in selecting diplomatic leaders who reflect the wide diversity of Canada, as well as the government’s commitment to promoting greater gender parity.” Ms Whiting held the post of High Commissioner to Sri Lanka since 2012.