Sri Lanka receives final IMF tranche, looks for further bailout

The International Monetary Fund has delivered the final instalment of a $2.6 billion loan, as Sri Lanka looks to seek out further loans from the fund to bolster their country’s foreign reserves. Announcing the completion of Sri Lanka’s longest engagement with the IMF and the single largest loan ever obtained by the country from a multilateral institution, the Central Bank said , "Sri Lankan authorities now look forward to the continued close engagement with the IMF and intend to discuss the possibility of financial support for its economic development agenda.” AFP stated that Sri Lanka will...

Gota’s catering services

The Ministry of Defence have announced their latest “commercial venture”, opening up catering services in the south of the country, as the military continues to expand its role in civilian affairs. Having opened in Battaramulla on Thursday, Rakna Lanka Catering Services is looking to expand and open many more outlets. The CEO of the 'Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd', retired Major General Egodawele said that the idea for the business was the “brainchild of Secretary Defence [Gotabaya Rajapaksa]” , who was also the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony. The military is involved in a whole host of...

Former LTTE members subjected to interrogation

Suspected LTTE members, who were taken into Sri Lankan government’s arbitrary arrest in 2009 and released after 'rehabilitation', continue to be harassed by Sri Lanka’s intelligence services – the CID, reports Uthayan and TamilNet. According to reports, 'rehabilitated' members have been identified by CID operatives, interrogated and even severely beaten. Last week, in Nadangkandal, CID operatives on motorbikes stopped two 'rehabilitated' LTTE members, before taking him to a school were he was severely beaten, reports Uthayan. The victims were warned against informing the media or human rights...

Sri Lanka owes over $15 billion in foreign loans

Sri Lanka has repayments of over $15 billion to make to foreign lenders for loans taken out in the last 15 years, according to a document submitted to parliament on Thursday. Lenders include China, to whom Sri Lanka will have to repay $4.9 billion for loans worth $2.96 billion, and the Asian Development Bank who will be repaid $4.64 billion after Sri Lanka borrowed $3.35 billion. The average repayment period for the Chinese loans is 12.2 years, while the ADB loan average repayment period is 21 years. See the report from Reuters here . See our earlier post: Who benefits from Chinese loans to...

Risking death to be free from Sri Lanka

The Sydney Morning Herald examines why hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers are risking their lives and fleeing Sri Lanka. See here for full report, extracts reproduced below: Kajan [a villager on a remote stretch of Sri Lanka’s west coast] insists that, three years on from the end of Sri Lanka's brutal separatist civil war, the country still offers Tamils no chance ''to make a good life''. ''No job, no education, we have trouble from the police and army. We are desperate people,'' he says. The Herald has chosen not to name this isolated Tamil-dominated fishing village, its location or the names...

Body washed up on Mathakal beach, Jaffna

The body of a middle-aged man was found washed up on Mathakal beach in Jaffna, reports Uthayan. The body, believed to be that of man aged between 50-55 and wearing a blue saram, was found by local residents on Friday morning. It was taken away by Sri Lankan police officers for further investigation. Locals believe it is that of an Indian fisherman.

'As long as you don't campaign against us' - UPFA bids farewell to SLMC

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the island’s main Muslim party said it will be contesting independently at the eastern provincial councils. The announcement comes as a U-turn, only a few days after the SLMC had declared it would be running under the UPFA banner - the ruling coalition. “We have failed to get the necessary agreements that we sought with the government, so we have decided to contest on our own”, a Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) source told the Hindu on condition of anonymity. SLFP sources have said that they are still confident that the government would win the council...

SL central bank invests in Greek bonds, despite losses

Sri Lanka's Central Bank has invested reserve money into Greek bonds this year, despite a US$ 6.6 million loss made on Greek bonds last year. According to the Central Bank, the loss is offset by higher returns from other investments. Speaking in parliament, the senior minister for International Monetary Cooperation, Sarath Amunugama, said , "All bonds were issued by The Hellenic Republic Ministry of Economy and Finance Public Debt Management Agency on behalf of the Government of Greece. This is the official agency for issuing government bonds in Greece similar to the function of Central Bank...

Diaspora groups seek to work with Australia on asylum seekers deaths

Tamil diaspora organisations from Australia, the US and Europe, have submitted a proposal to the Australian government's expert panel on asylum seekers, to work collaboratively to tackle the abuse and exploitation of Tamil asylum seekers. The proposal, led by Tamils Against Genocide, submitted in partnership with PEARL (People for Equality and Relief in Lanka), Tamil Youth Organisation - Australia (TYO-Australia), and Voice of Tamils, Australia. Seeking to address the Expert Panel's request for civil society inputs, the submission said , "In the context of Sri Lanka’s ongoing ethnic conflict...

Tamils protest at Nelliyadi amidst Army presence

Video Uthayan Defying intimidation by the Sri Lankan military, Tamils took part in a protest in Nelliyadi, against the murder of the Tamil man, Nimalarooban, an inmate in a Sri Lankan prison. See here for reports by Uthayan. Holding banners and placards, protesters demanded the release of all Tamil political prisoners, and asserted the rights of the Tamil nation. The protest took place despite Sri Lankan Army personnel ordering Tamil civilians not to take part, reports Uthayan. Buses travelling to Parithithurai were reportedly stopped by the army and passengers subjected to intense...

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