SL economic hopes hinging on IMF meeting

Sri Lanka will eagerly be awaiting the outcome of Monday’s meeting of the International Monetary Fund, as they look to be granted a desperately needed $800 million tranche of a recently suspended $2.6 billion loan. If the final instalment of the loan is granted, the payment will be given out at a rate of 3.1% interest as opposed to the 1% of the previous tranches, and will be paid in two $400 million instalments. Prof Sirimal Abeyratne, economist from the University of Colombo told the Sunday Times , " There is no doubt we need this money to restore public confidence. Interest rates have...

Who are the “real war criminals”?

According to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it’s all those that are “ contributing to the rise in global warming ”. In a speech at Kandy, Rajapaksa singled out the United States, stating , “All plants and animal species could be wiped out by global warming. Considering it, the real war criminals and human rights violators are such countries, which are contributing to the rise in global warming. The western nations became the violators of these rules.” Ironically, the President’s statement comes as the Sri Lankan government’s environmental record comes under scrutiny, along with its...

GTF takes action against British Foreign Secretary over SL diplomat

An international Tamil diaspora organisation has launched legal action against the British Foreign Secretary William Hague, over the failure to declare a senior Sri Lankan diplomat accused of war crimes a ‘persona non grata’. The Global Tamil Forum has instructed lawyers to launch a judicial review against Hague, citing the Foreign Office’s refusal to take action against Major General Prasanna Silva. The former senior Army commander is now Sri Lanka’s military attache to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, and is accused of involvement on systematic attacks on Tamil civilians from...

Massive tax hike as IMF prepare to meet

The Sri Lankan government has raised taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and automobiles in an attempt to meet conditions for an instalment from an IMF loan, according to an opposition MP. The government announced on Saturday, that they hoped to raise as much as 3 billion rupees from taxes on alcohol and tobacco, as well as raising taxes on vehicles as much as by 100%. There was no change on the levies imposed on tractors, trucks and buses, which has been used as a loophole in the past to import luxury limousines . The move was made ahead of an IMF board meeting on Monday, after they said they may...

Cyclone displaces the displaced within Manik Farm camp

9 people have been injured and over 2,000 refugees have been displaced from within Manik Farm camp, after a cyclone tore through the area on Saturday. Over 200 temporary shelters within the camp were also destroyed within the camp, according to BBC Sinhala , who spoke to the Settikulam police. Power supply and communication lines in Vavuniya were also downed after the storm, which lasted approximately an hour.

Rajapaksa tells Sri Lankan media to broadcast the truth

Addressing journalists and media workers in Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa asked the country's media to 'broadcast true information and render its service for the country with its great power of truth', the Colombo Page reports . Rajapaksa added that it was the responsibility of the country's media to safeguard the country from the unnecessary challenges it faces from foreign media. Rajapaksa made this address at the opening ceremony of yet another state orchestrated media project - the Media Development Center of the Department of Government Information Department. Related articles: Media Ministry rejects half of all media registrations (26 Mar 2012) Sri Lanka censors text messages (12 Mar 2012) Government to set up 'media authority' (27 Jan 2012)

'Cricket amid war crimes unpunished' - Jon Snow

Writing in his online blog, the British news anchor, Jon Snow from Channel 4 questions whether the England cricket team should be playing in Sri Lanka on tour, whilst war crimes and crimes against humanity remain unaccounted for. "Cricket’s vast achievement in Sri Lanka today is to have conjured a blanket of turf, leather, and willow that saves most of us from having to think of Sri Lanka in any other light. But elsewhere on this sumptuous isle there is a bad light that stopped play altogether – play amongst the children women and men who died in the closing weeks of Sri Lanka’s civil war...

'No one has to tell us what to do' - Rajapaksa

Addressing international buyers at Sri Lanka Expo 2012, the country's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, remained defiant in the face of the recently passed resolution at the UNHRC. Rajapaksa asserted, “Sri Lanka is in the midst of peace won at great sacrifice. We are progressing on the path of peace and reconciliation. Our government is committed to walk that extra mile to establish permanent peace through reconciliation. That is our commitment to our people and no one has to tell us what to do .” “You are here today, with a measure of confidence in Sri Lanka that has not been diminished by false...

Questions raised about UNHRC abstention in Malaysia

Questioned over the country's decision to abstained on the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, Malaysia's Foreign Affairs deputy minister, Richard Riot, stated that Sri Lanka's problems were too complex to solve in a short time, however, reiterating that " if during the period of reconciliation, that they don’t achieve peace, then the international community will meet and vote whether they will interfere or not .” However, many MPs were not satisfied with Riot's response. Klang MP, Charles Santiago, criticised the LLRC as " weak ", whilst the Ipoh Barat MP, M Kulasegaran, stated that it was "...

Vote for UNHRC resolution was in India's national interest - Menon

Military advisor to India's National Security Council Secretariat, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Prakash Menon said that India's decision to vote in favour of the resolution tabled at the UNHRC was a "calculated" vote in the national interest. Speaking at a seminar on ‘Challenges to India's National Security in 21 Century' jointly organised by the Indian Army and the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at the University of Madras, Menon said, “You can say that the Central Government was influenced by coalition politics. But, in the end it is all about national interest ." "It was a calculated vote...

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