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.

Sri Lanka is being humiliated at UN claims former navy admiral

A former Sri Lankan navy rear admiral slammed the current government for allowing Sri Lanka to be “humiliated” at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where a resolution has been passed mandating an accountability mechanism for violations of international law. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, a former member of parliament, criticised the Sri Lankan government for not hitting back against reports of human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan troops. “It is visible that Sri Lanka is being humiliated and tarnished on account of unsubstantiated war crimes accusations by the UNHRC resolution...

Sri Lankan navy commander visits Kochi on tour of India

The head of Sri Lanka’s navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, visited the Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command in Kochi and met with Sri Lankan troops who are currently undergoing training in the country.

Meddling monks and an abusive governor's wife - tensions in Trinco as temple restoration halted

The wife of the Eastern Province governor verbally abused Trincomalee villagers who requested her to remove her shoes before entering their temple.

20 fishermen repatriated to Tamil Nadu after arrest by Sri Lankan navy

Twenty Tamil Nadu fishermen who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy earlier this year for allegedly poaching in the island's waters, were repatriated to India on Wednesday. The men, who had been arrested in January - February 2017, were handed over to the Indian coast guard at the International Maritime Boundary Line, PTI reported. Last week India's government informed the Rajya Sabha that 144 fishermen were detained by Sri Lankan authorities, alongside 144 fishing boats.

Sri Lankan fish exports to EU increase after ban

Sri Lankan fish exports to the European Union have increased by over 45% since the EU lifting the 2015 ban, Colombo Page reports. Over 18,262 metric tons of fish were exported to the EU from January to September this year, totally to Rs. 28.685 billion. Sri Lanka lost around Rs 18 billion during the ban, which was lifted on June 22, 2016. The ban was imposed in January 2015 by the EU for Sri Lanka's failure to comply with international and regional fisheries rules.