India offers governance training for Sri Lankan govt officials

The Indian government offered Sri Lankan officials training towards understanding India's method of governance, PTI reports. Forty-five day long training courses have been introduced, starting on January 15, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement. "The training courses aim to give Sri Lankan government officials an understanding of India’s approach towards governance and rural and urban development," the statement noted.

No access to land for Keppapulavu residents despite military fanfare over release

The residents of a Mullaitivu village are still unable to return to their homes despite announcements by the Sri Lankan Army that their lands have been released.

Department of Archaeology takes over disputed site in Sampur

Sri Lanka's Department of Archaeology has been given the authority to take control of land in Sampur which is claimed to be the site of a Anuradhapura era Buddhist stupa. A team of archaeologists claimed to have made the discovery on November 11 during an excavation. One day after the alleged discovery, the site was reportedly demolished by unidentified persons. In a statement announcing the department's take over of the disputed land, Sri Lanka's Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya pledged to action against those responsible. “The police told us that they found who is behind this. We won’t let go of...

Sri Lanka says 'no significant impact' by end to US trade concessions

The Sri Lankan government attempted to play down the impact of the decision by the United States to end its preferential duties from January 1, 2018. "The US GSP applies to 120 countries and there is nothing special or significant to Sri Lanka. Once it was removed, the cost of exports will rise only by about 3% in tariff," Sri Lanka's national policies and economic affairs deputy minister, Harsha De Silva was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying. The "USD 173 million worth of exports which received GSP benefit is not a big amount of our total exports of about USD 11,000 million. This will...

Sri Lankan troops involved in temple festival at Trincomalee

Despite repeated calls for the military to withdraw from civilian life in the North-East, Sri Lankan soldiers involved themselves in a religious ceremony held at a Saiva temple in Trincomalee last week.

US GSP concessions for Sri Lanka will not be renewed for 2018

The United States announced that from January 1 2018, Sri Lanka will not receive any preferential duties under Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. In a press release today, the US Embassy in Colombo said that in the case of Sri Lanka, “the United States Congress did not re-authorize GSP before adjourning for the year”. “The immediate effect of GSP expiration is GSP eligible imports to the United States from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories will be subject to non-preferential duties beginning January 1, 2018,” it added. A review on Sri Lanka's...

69 Tamil Nadu fishermen ordered to be released from Sri Lankan jails

Sixty-nine Tamil Nadu fishermen who were being detained in Sri Lankan jails were ordered to be released by courts in Jaffna and Vavuniya on Thursday, the Deccan Chronicle reports. The men were arrested previously by the Sri Lankan navy for allegedly poaching in the island's waters. The release comes amid the ongoing arrest and release of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy. Last week India's government informed the Rajya Sabha that 144 fishermen were detained by Sri Lankan authorities, alongside 144 fishing boats.

Japan's foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka

Japan's minister of foreign affairs is to visit Sri Lanka on January 5th, 2018. Mr Taro Kono's visit will be the first visit of a Japanese foreign minister to the island in 15 years. He expected to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan president, prime minister and his counter part, Tilak Marapana.

Wijeyadasa resigns from Constitutional Council

The former justice minister and UNP MP, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has resigned from Sri Lanka's constitutional council, local papers reported on Thursday. Mr Rajapakshe, who was removed from the position of justice and Buddha Sasana minister for his criticism of government policies, submitted a letter of resignation to the president. In October, Mr Rajapakshe criticised the steering committee of the constitutional assembly, stating it was "unconstitutional and [a] powerless entity since its inception."

A militarised Christmas in Amparai

Continuing with its militarisation of the North-East, Sri Lankan soldiers in Amparai organised Christmas celebrations in the district last week, despite repeated calls for its withdrawal from civilian life.