Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka : News & DIscussions

MPedo

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Nov 19, 2019
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Rajpaksa is Sri Lanka's hawk. His election is a reaction to the action done by islamist terrorist. His coming is neither good for us nor for Pakistan or Maldives. He will invite more termites.
 

lingesh92

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Mar 14, 2019
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Chennai
Sri Lanka to seek $ 400 mn financial facility from RBI to meet short term financial needs
By Press Trust of India | Colombo | Last Updated at April 24 2020 14:32 IST


SriLanka is set to enter into an agreement with the Reserve Bank of India for a currency swap worth USD 400 million to boost the foreign reserves and ensure the financial stability of the country which is badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, a top minister has said.

The Cabinet has approved a proposal made by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Finance Minister to enter into an agreement with the RBI for the financing facility to meet short-term international liquidity requirements, Co-Cabinet spokesman Information and Communication Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.

Sri Lanka will enter into the agreement with the RBI for a Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement worth USD 400 million, Gunawardena said, adding the facility from the RBI is aimed at boosting the island nation's foreign reserves.

Sri Lanka has placed critical economic measures to save the resources hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic which has infected 373 persons in the country and the death toll reached 7.

Addressing the Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Gunawardena said the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa paid special attention to the control of the coronavirus pandemic, its success and the distribution of goods and relief to the people.

The minister pointed out that the whole world is now experiencing the economic collapse since World War II resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak and a single country alone cannot find a solution to the crisis.

So the Cabinet of Ministers has approved this proposal in order to ensure the financial stability of the country, Gunawardena said.

The country has ordered imports restrictions to prevent non-essential imports. This is in view of the local rupee falling to its historical low against the US dollar. The rupee now hovers over 195 to the dollar gaining somewhat from being down to 200 mark.

The government has also announced talks with Asian Development Bank and China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. A USD 300 million budgetary support is anticipated from the ADB, officials said.

The announcement for getting the USD 400 million financial facility from India came as the rating agency, Fitch on Wednesday warned Sri Lanka to reform its soft-peg and block the ability of its domestic operations department to inject large volumes of cash below the ceiling policy rate to stop monetary instability.

Last month, during a video conference of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders and representatives from SAARC nations, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said, "Our economy has taken a severe blow due to the coronavirus, particularly in tourism... Our exports are also adversely affected."

Tourism is the third-largest earner of foreign exchange in Sri Lanka. The decline in tourist arrivals has hit the island nation's tourism industry in a big way.

Largely owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank recently forecast Sri Lankan economy to contract by 3 per cent this year as against a 2.4 per cent estimated growth last year, whilst the IMF predicted the global economy to contract by 3 per cent as well.

Sri Lanka to seek $ 400 mn financial facility from RBI to meet short term financial needs

Now SriLanka looking towards India for rupee swap; must lend them, else they will lose another port to chinkis cause headache to us.
 
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RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Halal labelling withdrawn in Sri Lanka
Islamic clerics announced the withdrawal of a halal labelling system for food in Sri Lanka on Monday "in the interests of peace" after protests from Buddhist groups.

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), Sri Lanka's main body of Islamic clergy, said the halal certificate issued by them would be used only for products that are exported to Islamic countries.

"We are giving up what is important to us. We are making a sacrifice in the interest of peace and harmony," ACJU president Mufti Rizwe said, adding that they were keen to avoid any escalation of religious tensions.

Food manufacturers in Sri Lanka have long made all their products using halal methods and labelled them with the ACJU halal certificate.

They argued it is impractical and uneconomical to have two manufacturing processes for the same product.

The halal method of killing an animal requires its throat to be slit and the blood to be drained.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said that manufacturers agreed to drop the halal logo from all food with immediate effect.

Nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters had launched a campaign last month to boycott halal-slaughtered meat, as well as other products that carry a halal certificate.

The monks argue that Buddhists should not be forced to consume food that is prepared according to Islamic rites, saying it demonstrates the undue influence of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is a Buddhist, had urged monks not to incite religious hatred.

Sri Lanka is 70 per cent Buddhist, while Muslims comprise less than 10 percent of the population of 20 million.
 

Quicksilver

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Dec 6, 2019
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Nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters had launched a campaign last month to boycott halal-slaughtered meat, as well as other products that carry a halal certificate.

The monks argue that Buddhists should not be forced to consume food that is prepared according to Islamic rites, saying it demonstrates the undue influence of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
this! something other countries can learn from SL
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Sri Lanka to review India’s role in Colombo Port terminal work
A recent agitation by 30-odd trade unions, big and small and also all the employees of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), calling upon the government to rescind the tripartite memorandum with India and Japan, to develop Colombo Port’s Eastern Container Terminal (ECT), has the potential to strain bilateral relations with the two countries. Gen. R.M. Daya Rathnayake (retd.), post-war army chief a decade ago, is the SLPA chairman appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the labour protests have caused eyebrows to rise.

The ECT protests came in the midst of the government’s equally confusing signals over taking forward funding pact with another foreign power. Like ECT, the ‘Millennium Challenge Cooperation’ (MCC) Agreement for voluntary US funding of development projects in Sri Lanka, too, was initiated by the predecessor Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government. The cabinet cleared the ECT proposal in March 2019 and the MCC pact in October 2019, that too when Rajapaksa was the clear favourite.

How far will the decision of a pre-poll, lame-duck cabinet be binding on the new government after the 5 August parliamentary polls is anybody’s guess.
After opposing the MCC agreement while in the opposition, the ruling Rajapaksas have left it now to their cabinet colleagues to come up with their views on the subject. How far will the decision of a pre-poll, lame-duck cabinet be binding on the new government after the 5 August parliamentary polls is anybody’s guess. A media analyst has questioned the methodology for assessing the debt-burden under MCC against the same for the China-funded Colombo Port City project under the previous Rajapaksa regime (2005-15). After discussions, Colombo’s US Embassy said last month that the Sri Lankan Government had sought time to ‘review’ the pact.

‘No’ to Mattala airport
Addressing an election meeting in their rural stronghold, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, brother of the president, said that India, on his government’s request, has decided not to seek a joint venture for running the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the country. Built on high-interest Chinese loan when he was president, the $210 million facility, commissioned in 2013, is the world’s ‘emptiest’ international airport.

“They sold the port, but the airport could not be sold,” Mahinda said, referring to predecessor Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government undertaking a 2017 debt-equity swap and leasing out the southern-most Hambantota Port to Chinese investors for 99 years. Reports at the time spoke about prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe simultaneously offering the Mattala Airport for Indian management. It was partly to offset the Chinese debt on the project and partly to assuage India over the new Hambantota swap deal. Nothing came of it despite talks of India developing Mattala as a training facility.

Built on high-interest Chinese loan when he was president, the $210 million facility, commissioned in 2013, is the world’s ‘emptiest’ international airport.
At his campaign meeting, Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that he got India to accept his government’s position on Mattala during his maiden overseas visit as Prime Minister in February. However, on his return from New Delhi after his own maiden visit, his president and brother declared that Sri Lanka would develop Mattala airport on its own and the subject was “not on the table” for discussions with India.

Media analyses suspect a Chinese hand, both in the cancellation of the Mattala proposal and now the visible Sri Lankan reservations to the tripartite ECT memorandum. The Mattala Airport is not far away from the Hambantota Port, now in China’s possession The detailed agreement on the ECT is yet to be finalised, and this may be China’s last chance at thwarting the same lest it should have ‘adversarial’ presence not far away from the Beijing-funded Colombo Port City.

Chinese hand?
While Mahinda Rajapaksa talked Mattala Airport in a public rally, he mentioned$ $700 million ECT at a breakfast meeting with Tamil media editors in the country some time back. “There is no final decision on India’s participation in ECT,” Rajapaksa said. “It was an agreement between former president Maithirpala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he reportedly said. The Japan part of the tripartite agreement did not seem to have come up for discussion at the breakfast meeting.

Silva and other critics are silent about India and also Japan funding ECT — funds that a debt-ridden Sri Lanka is unlikely to find anytime soon.

The formal opposition to Indian participation in the ECT comes from the ‘left-nationalist’ JVP. Constantly using the term ‘sell’ in the context of Indian participation, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said: “They say it is only sharing of operations (of ECT). Have we come to a stage where we cannot manage our ports?” However, Silva and other critics are silent about India and also Japan funding ECT — funds that a debt-ridden Sri Lanka is unlikely to find anytime soon.

‘Selling national assets’
It is not as if the so-called Sri Lankan ‘concerns’ about foreign participation in developmental projects is confined to India and the ECT. Recently, the cabinet decided to revoke all foreign contracts for the construction of the 76 km Kahathuduwa-Pelmadulla Ruwanpura Expressway signed by the previous government. The project will now be undertaken with local funding and contractors, the government has said.

Overall, ‘nationalist’ polity in the country is purportedly opposed to ‘selling national assets’ to foreign countries. They were critical of the previous Rajapaksa regime awarding the Hambantota and Colombo Port City to China, and also the successors’ swap-deal on the former. But their greater vehemence is reserved for India and the rest — not China. Incidentally, Beijing also runs the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), which accounted for 40 percent of all container-traffic in the country last year.

But their greater vehemence is reserved for India and the rest — not China.
The previous Rajapaksa regime awarded the CICT to China as part of a 35-year BOT (‘Build, Operate and Transfer’) agreement. Earlier in 2010, the regime offered Colombo Port expansion’s First Terminal, too, to China by with SLPA retaining the management of the latter. No questions were asked or no issues of ‘national assets’ raised as China was expected to stay for the 35-year long construction window, with no clarity about a possible repeat of the Hambantota kind of ‘swap deal’, here again.

Incidentally, SLPA employees protested the Hambantota swap-deal, the then government deployed the Navy and the police to quell them. While the Rajapaksas also opposed the swap-deal, Mahinda’s son Namal Rajapaksa led a protest against the Mattala proposal outside the Indian CG in nearby Hambantota, until the family reportedly chastised him.

Not the first one
The ECT issue is not the first India project to face local opposition. As president, Mahinda called off signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with visiting prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2008, after protests outside the president’s office in war-time Colombo. In his time, ‘India-friendly’ (?) successor prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declared that Sri Lanka will “will never sign CEPA.”

Critics claim that John Keells already hold 35 percent of the total 51 percent SLPA’s majority share in the ECT proposal, with the remaining 49 percent going to India and Japan.

Earlier, environmentalists and also the local Tamil population protested over the Colombo government choosing a populated area for the India-funded Sampur thermal power station in eastern province. Responding to an environmental-related case in the Supreme Court in 2016, it was left to the Wickremesinghe government to declare that it was cancelling the agreement with India’s public sector NTPC for the Sampur project.

There is another angle to ECT with media reports that Indian infra major Adani Group was talking to local conglomerate, John Keells, for partnership in taking forward the project. Critics claim that John Keells already hold 35 percent of the total 51 percent SLPA’s majority share in the ECT proposal, with the remaining 49 percent going to India and Japan.

Sri Lankan critics of ECT also refer to the controversial involvement of another Indian infra group, GMR’s involvement in the Male airport development project in Maldives earlier in the decade. The Yameen presidency (2013-18), which cancelled the contract signed by rival and predecessor Mohammed Nasheed’s government, left the nation poorer by $270 million in damages awarded by the Singapore-based arbitration court, which the nation could ill-afford.

Differentiated arguments
Yet, questions remain about the differentiated Sri Lankan arguments and assessments about ‘sale of national assets’ when it came to outright, long-term transfer of possession and control of Hambantota to China and the limited Indian participation in ECT now. In the run-up to his election last year, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unilaterally announced re-negotiating the Hambantota swap-deal with, if elected. On assuming office, however, he claimed to have founded out that it was a ‘commercial deal’ and nothing could be done about it.

All this indicates the possible existence of ‘national consensus’ of a kind — so much so the supposedly India-friendly Tamil National Alliance (TNA) too has no opinion to offer on ECT, for instance.

It sounded familiar to Sri Lanka watchers, who saw a parallel to rival Ranil Wickremesinghe unilaterally offering to scrap the Colombo Port City deal with China ahead of the 2015 presidential polls, and later settling for a modified version after becoming Prime Minister under newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena. All this indicates the possible existence of ‘national consensus’ of a kind — so much so the supposedly India-friendly Tamil National Alliance (TNA) too has no opinion to offer on ECT, for instance.

Away from media glare, the two countries are holding talks for India to reschedule Sri Lanka’s $900 million India debt, as mentioned by Prime Minister Mahinda during his India visit. According to economist and former minister, Harsh de Silva, President Gotabaya’s regime has added an additional LKR 1,000 billion (5.38 billion) to national debt in the first four months of the current fiscal, commencing in January, as against the LKR 5,700 billion ($31 billion) by the predecessor in five years.

According to reports, the nation’s total gross external debt alone stood at $50,448 million in the first quarter of 2020, as against $55,916 million in the previous quarter. At the end of fiscal 2019, the nation’s total debt to GDP stood at a whopping 86.80 percent.
 

AbRaj

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Dec 6, 2017
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Republic of Wadiya
Tony Sahajlain 🎧 (@TonySahajlain) Tweeted:
#Jihad #CrimeNews | Mohammed Shafi, a medical doctor by profession was arrested by the Sri Lankan police for illegally removing wombs of "non-muslim" women. It is reported that Md. Shafi has taken out over 4000 wombs so that the women cannot become pregnant again.
#JiHadEnough Tony Sahajlain on Twitter ( )
Unnecessary Hysterectomy is quite popular crime in small town hospitals.
Doctors do it to make quick money. Just search 2015 uncovering of large scale medical mafia in Raipur (CG).
IMO its not religiously motivated