The company you keep

Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a business delegation to Belarus later this month to participate in a joint business forum between the two countries. In October last year, the EU renewed sanctions on Belarus based on the country's failure to improve its human rights record.

Resettlement continues

Residents from a village in the District of Mannar have raised concerns, this week, over a ‘special resettlement’ programme under which 1,300 Sinhalese families from Anuradhapura are to be resettled in Mannar, reported Sri Lankan news sources . Each of the families are expected to be provided with half an acre of land and a newly constructed house. Local villagers, who described the people arriving in busloads, alleged that they were being moved to be registered in Mannar for the upcoming Provincial Council elections.

India aims to double bi-lateral trade with SL

Speaking at the 67 th Indian national day celebrations, Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha, highlighted India’s aim to double bi-lateral trade with Sri Lanka to $10 billion within the following 3 years. Commending progress made by India’s developmental assistance projects, based on priorities set by the government and the people of Sri Lanka, Sinha noted that it was the largest grant assistance projects undertaken by India in any part of the world.

UK remains Sri Lanka’s second biggest trade partner

The UK is Sri Lanka’s second biggest trade partner by volume after India. 2012 saw Sri Lanka export £907m worth of goods to the UK, 13% higher than the previous year, while imports from the UK were worth £146m. John Rankin, the British High Commissioner in Colombo said the trade balance was largely in favour of Sri Lanka and he would like to see that change. Speaking at the AGM of the Council for Business with Britain (CBB), held at the British mission in Colombo, Rankin addressed several Sri Lankan and British guests and said he would like to see further growth between the two countries. “...

Uniformed men assault woman in Kilinochi

A 38-year-old mother of three was sexually assaulted by two uniformed men in Poonakari, Kilinochi, reports Veerakesari . The woman who sells palm-leaf crafts by trade was attacked while gathering palm leaves on Wednesday. The assaulters who reportedly had their faces covered with cloths and were wearing 'uniform', escaped after the attac. The woman was transferred from Poonakari hospital to Savakacheri to be treated for excessive bleeding.

Rajapaksa appoints disappearance commission

Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday appointed a commission to investigate wartime abductions and disappearances, reports the Associated Press . Rajapaksa's office said that the commission had the "authority to conduct inquiries and investigations necessary, and submit a report to the president within six months," with Rajapaksa reportedly stressing "the necessity to identify the persons responsible ... and to take legal action against those persons," The appointment of the three-member committee headed by retired Judge Maxwell Parakrama Parnagama comes ahead of a visit by UN High Commissioner for...

Must move past conversations on political and humanitarian reforms: SL Ambassador

A Sri Lankan official today outlined that the Sri Lankan government and the United States are not at odds with each other. A statement from Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, read , “Now there is the perception that our two nations are at odds, with the introduction of a resolution before the UN human rights council urging Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of our own LLRC report. We could not agree more on the importance of these measures to ensure that terrorism never again returns.” “ Sri Lanka is moving in the right direction in the interest of our citizens,...

African nations pledge support for CHOGM

Several new African heads of missions to Sri Lanka pledged the support of their countries for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) taking place in Colombo this year, reported Sri Lankan news sources. The High Commissioner of Botswana, Lesego Ethel Motsumi, said , “Definitely Botswana will participate at this meeting as support for Si Lanka and the development of Sri Lanka to the state at which it is now – peaceful with democratic government.” Several other envoys pledged their country’s support for CHOGM, including the High Commissioners of Botswana, Swaziland, Rwanda,...

Chinese envoy meets new SL Army Chief

The Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao met Sri Lanka's recently appointed Army chief, Commander Daya Ratnayake on Tuesday, reports the . Visiting the Army Headquarters, Jianghao was part of a four member delegation including Li Chen Glin, the newly appointed Defence Attaché.

US - SL military engineers do DIY in Jaffna

In an operation named PACANGEL (Operation Pacific Angel - Sri Lanka), the US military's engineers from the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps, has joined hands with its "Sri Lankan counterparts", to do a spot of DIY in Jaffna. In a blog post by Staff Sgt Blake Mize, on the US Air Force's website, outlining how they were 'giving back to the Sri Lankan community', listed 'humanitarian' tasks undertaken by the US and Sri Lanka militaries, to avert disaster included the following: - installing plumbing - installing commodes, urinals and sinks - repairing roofs - painting buildings inside and out -...