GSP+ withdrawal has hit Sri Lanka factories - Daily Mirror

A number of factories in Sri Lanka have closed down after the withdrawal of the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) mechanism, which made export to EU members cheaper for Sri Lanka. The Organising Secretary of the Inter Company Employees Union B.I. Abdeen told the Daily Mirror that 2000 jobs of direct employment had been lost due to the closure of two factories on January 2, 2013 alone. “Crystal Sweater Lanka Pvt. Ltd is one such company that ceased its operations on January 2, after a public announcement in newspapers. “The company has cited the inability to compete with countries...

Sri Lankan General barred from US military training

The United States has refused an application for military training of Sri Lankan Army General, prompting the country's Defence Secretary to slam the decision as "wrong". Major-General Sudantha Ranasinghe was refused entry into the US for military training, with speculation that it may be on grounds that Ranasinghe is suspected of overseeing human rights violations. The Island reported Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as having said the decision was due to "him being the war-time General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 53 Division" and that this "wasn’t an isolated case". Gotabaya was also...

Army probes into TNPF members' wherabouts

The Sri Lankan Army appeared at the house of TNPF member Selvarajah Kajendran's house in Jaffna and proceeded to enquire about his wherabouts earlier this week. Publishing from his personal Twitter account on the 24th of January, Kajendran said, "#lanka army personnel in uniform had gone to my house in #jaffna & inquired my whereabouts around 3:00pm." See further incidents of state intimidation of TNPF activists in the past month alone below: Terrorism Investigation Division summons TNPF leader (27 December 2012) TNPF member threatened by security forces and paramilitary over protest (17...

Gota says no civilians went missing

The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has claimed that no civilians at all went missing during the final phase of the armed conflict and that ICRC records tallied with those of the army, reported the Daily Mirror . “This is another factor that many people have forgotten. Take the large number of people who were coming by sea. Where did they go first? They went to the Indian hospital; it was manned by the Indian Army. They reported to them first and from there only did they come to the welfare camps. And the ICRC was present whenever they surrendered. “There was a procedure...

Bilingual anthem is against constitution - JHU

Buddhist monks within the government's coalition party - the JHU, said that the inclusion of Tamil verses in the national anthem would violate the country's constitution. Speaking to the media, the JHU Deputy General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said that the national anthem should only be sung in Sinhala during national ceremonies as Sinhala is the native language of Sri Lanka. A Tamil anthem could be sung at regional ceremonies he suggested.

Army advises govt to make its own rules of war

In its report on implementations of the LLRC, the Army's Board of Officers has advised the government to the create its own rules when dealing with 'internal war situations'. In its report, the Board of Officers said : “The Board observes that at present, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) principles, applicable to internal war situations have not adequately addressed various complex issues and the existing rules are seemingly applied to state actors only. Further, there are no specific guidelines with regard to the role of international humanitarian agencies in internal war situations. Hence, the Board recommends to formulate new domestic rules, covering internal war situations.” “With regard to the presence of Military bases in the North and East, the Board observes that the Government has an absolute right to maintain its armed forces anywhere in the Island, according to the country’s strategic and security needs. "

Education in the South needed to shape the future of Sri Lanka

Speaking at a function at St Mary’s College in the southern district of Kalutara, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapksa said his government will take measures to uplift the schools in the southern rural areas to eliminate the disparity in education between the Colombo and the rural areas around it. Highlighting the need for science education facilities in his home district of Hambantota, Rajapaksa starkly noted that the fact that the northern city of Jaffna once had more schools was an “error that would be rectified by the establishment.” Outlining the importance of education in the South,...

MR pledges talks with India over fishermen

The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to hold talks with the Indian government in order to resolve the fishermen arrests and the crossing of territorial waters. Addressing the General Fisheries Federation (GFF), Rajapaksa said : “It is heartening to see that a large number of fishermen have come from the North and East. They were the most affected at the hands of separatist terrorism. The fisher families inherited an extremely cruel living as many of their members were forcibly recruited by the Tigers and subsequently killed. As a result the fishing industry in the North-East...

TGTE appoints Dr Sittampalam and Robert Evans as Senators

The Trans n ational Government of Tamil Eelam announced the appoint ment of Dr Arjuna Sittampalam and Robert Eva ns, as two further S enators to its U pper H o us e , earlier this week . Dr Arjuna Sittam pala m is the found er and M anaging Director of Sage & Hermes, an investment , research and publishing company. A Fellow of the Institu te of Actuaries in the UK and holder of a PhD in Sub-Nuclear Theor etical Physics from Imperial College, London, Dr Si ttampalam has also addressed ma jor conferences and written in leading public ations such as the Financial Times, as we ll as having...

'No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka'

A trailer for a new documentary entitled "No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" has been released earlier this week. Plans for t he documentary w ere revealed in October 2012 by d irector of "Sri Lanka's Killing Field s" Callum Macr ae . Speaking at Frances Harri son 's launch of "Still Counting The Dead", Macra e stated that "this film will be different to the others, we want this to be a call to action". See the trailer below. No Fire Zone - Trailer from Zoe Sale on Vimeo .

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