Bilateral relations?

Sri Lankan immigration officials have been busy trying to spot and deport Indian Tamil traders who have been selling their wares in the north-eastern Tamil speaking areas of the island, the Sunday Times reported . Over 2,000 south Indian Tamils have been deported from Sri Lanka over the past six months alone, the report said. Most recently a Tamil trader was deported after being caught at Vavuniya station carrying textiles to sell during the coming New Year festivities. The hostility to Indian traders reflects Sri Lanka’s wider attempts to block Indian commercial access to the island. Colombo...

Sri Lankan Minister criticises India's 'killer blow'

Writing in The Nation newspaper, Sri Lanka's Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka, warned India that it had "dealt a killer blow to India-Sri Lanka relations", whilst attempting to protect "Tamil fascism and Western imperialism". Ranawaka wrote, "By voting against Sri Lanka, India has not only dealt a killer blow to India-Sri Lanka relations, but also to reconciliation efforts between Sinhalese and Tamils. This in turn is akin to committing an act of diplomatic hara-kiri, as both Tamil fascism and Western imperialism — which India is attempting to protect through its actions —...

'Democracy', the Sri Lankan way

Sri Lanka's defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, asserted it should be the priority of the state to ensure that "communal politics" be removed from the North, and replaced by "political leadership by national level political parties". Lest there be any confusion as to which party he was endorsing, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa clarified, "such as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)". He added, “These voters should be given a chance because it is their democratic right. They should be given political leadership by national level political parties, such as, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)." "One...

Australian Tamils pressure police to charge Kohona

The Australian Federal Police have confirmed they will be investigating the request to charge Palitha Kohona for alleged war crimes over his involvement in the 'white-flag' incident. The referral was made by Australia's Minister for Justice, Jason Clare , following correspondence by the Australian Federation of Tamil Association (AFTA) through Michele Rowland MP. In a letter addressed to the head of the AFTA, Clare wrote, "The Government [Australian] takes allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations very seriously. The Commonwealth Criminal Code act...

Jayatilleka defends himself

Soon after facing threats of losing his position as Sri Lanka's ambassador to Paris, Dayan Jayatilleka, vehemently rebutted the accusations. Responding to the letter stating that he should be charged under Sri Lanka's Penal Code, for "alleged wrongdoings" in the conduct of the affairs of the Embassy in Paris, Jayatilleka said, "Having destroyed the solid 17 vote majority I obtained for the country [in 2009], thus handing a victory to the pro-Tiger elements worldwide and making Sri Lanka vulnerable to external interference, these power- hungry conspiratorial elements are now trying to ‘white...

Major General Silva set to flee Britain

Major General Prasanna de Silva, Sri Lanka's military attache at the high commission in London, is to return to Sri Lanka in the next few days, amid allegations of war crimes and an increasing moves towards legal action, reported The Guardian newspaper on Thursday. A spokesperson for Sri Lankan government has refuted any connection between the legal proceedings and Silva's departure, claiming it to be a "routine transfer matter". Speaking to The Guardian, he said, "The claim of a lawsuit by the GTF has nothing to do with this routine transfer matter and it appears to be yet another invidious...

It doesn’t pay to think

Dayan Jayatilleke’s position as Colombo’s ambassador to Paris is under threat because of opinions he aired in the wake of the recent UN Human Rights Commission’s resolution against Sri Lanka, press reports said . In a series of articles published recently (see here and here ), Jayatilleke has warned Colombo of the dangers posed by the resolution and urged the adoption of at least a superficial veneer of reform to ward off the possibility of greater international intervention. This advice is apparently not welcome. Since publishing the articles Jayatilleke has been sent a letter by the...

IMF approves $427 million loan to Sri Lanka

The International Monetary Fund has approved the final tranche of the recently suspended $2.6 billion loan granted in 2009. Sri Lanka has been struggling to implement economic reforms tied to the loan, however the IMF’s board of directors said in a press release on Monday that the implementation of certain measures has put Sri Lanka on the right path. Sri Lanka has raised rates and increased fuel prices in moves to curb imports such as oil, contain a trade gap and stem a decline in foreign-exchange reserves. The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF Zhu Min pointed out that Sri Lanka needs to...

European embassies facing closure announced

Sri Lanka announced the five Sri Lankan embassies in Europe that are to be closed include Poland, Netherlands, Austria, Norway and Sweden. One embassy will be established to execute all affairs relevant to these countries. All five countries voted against Sri Lanka on a resolution that was approved by United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). See 'European embassies that serve no purpose will close - Sri Lanka' (27 Mar 2012)

India rejects reports of LTTE training camps in Tamil Nadu

In a statement released Monday, the Indian High Commission in Colombo dismissed reports made in a Sri Lankan newspaper that there were LTTE training camps in Tamil Nadu. The statement read, “The suggestion contained in the news item regarding the training of terrorists at three secret camps in Tamil Nadu, India is entirely erroneous and baseless. Relevant agencies of the two countries have ongoing cooperation and no such information has been brought to the notice of the Government of India." The reports arose from the Island newspaper, which asserted that "terrorists" were arriving on the...

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