News Updates

August 28th - 06th September
  • BIMSTEC Chairmanship handed over to Sri Lanka
    The Chairmanship of the next BIMSTEC Summit was handed over to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena by Prime Minister of Nepal, Sharma Oli today, The Himalayan reported today. The fourth summit of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) came to a close with the handing over of the Chairmanship to Sri Lanka. (The Daily Mirror, August 30, 2018)
  • Sri Lankan Airlines suffered a loss of Rs. 14.3 billion (USD 90.5 million) due to the cancellation of three Airbus A350-900 leases and it amounted to half of the losses in the financial year 2016-2017, it was revealed at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka. (The Daily Mirror, September 4, 2018)
  • Saudi Arabia pledged $ 300 million worth of assistance to Sri Lanka, which will be disbursed to various areas in the country for various development programmes. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Sri Lanka Abdul Nazar Al Hardi said during the inauguration of the Badulla-Chenkalldai Road Development project in Padiyatalawa this morning that his government would provide assistance to the tune of US 300 million. (The Daily Mirror, September 2, 2018)
  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which held its fourth Summit in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, appears to have entered a new era, awakening from years of somnolence. The overall conditions remain as dismal as before, though there are rays of hope on the horizon. The emerging Sino-Indian détente provides BIMSTEC a solid foundation for exponential growth, opined P.K. Balachandran. (The Daily Mirror, September 4, 2018)
  • To nurture a culture of safety in Sri Lanka Association FORMED TO HANDLE Disaster Risk Management. (The Daily Mirror, September 4, 2018)
  • Coordinated effort urged for Sri Lanka’s future water security A leading academic recently proposed to set up a coordination body and to launch a comprehensive watershed management plan to manage Sri Lanka’s water resources effectively as the current uncoordinated intuitional framework poses risks to the country’s water security, despite having sufficient water resources. (The Daily Mirror, September 4, 2018)
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Summit to discuss ways to boost cooperation. The BIMSTEC grouping accounts for 22 per cent of the global population. (The Daily Mirror, August 30, 2018)
  • The USS Anchorage- amphibious transport docks- joined the Sri Lankan naval ship ‘Suranimila’ to conduct an exercise at sea in the Indian Ocean, on August 28, the US embassy in Colombo said today. “The exercise allowed the ships to improve each crews' knowledge and strengthen a wide variety of seamanship skills critical to operating throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” it said. (The Daily Mirror, August 30, 2018)
  • The UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will conduct an official visit to Sri Lanka from 3 to 11 September 2018, at the invitation of the Government, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement. (The Daily Mirror, August 30, 2018)
August 18th - 27th
  • Rising cost of foreign borrowing places Sri Lanka at odds: Moody’s
    Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) continued to flag Sri Lanka’s weakened foreign debt affordability and increased roll-over risks as the emerging and frontier markets remain highly vulnerable to the tightening financing conditions globally.
    In a report released last on August 24, Moody’s analyzed the contagion risks stemming from the slump in Turkish currency, bonds and stocks, which sparked a renewed asset sell-off in the emerging and frontier economies with twin current account and budget deficits. (Daily Mirror, August 24, 2018)
  • Excited to try out air logistics hub concept utilizing SL’s strategic location: US
    he US is excited to try out the air logistics hub concept which utilizes Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean to ensure the quick availability of relief supplies, equipment and other material when needed by the US and partner militaries and humanitarian organizations, an official of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka said. (Daily Mirror, August 24, 2018)
  • China eyes major role in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector Chinese firms are in negotiation with Sri Lanka’s Plantation Industries Ministry to set up joint ventures with local firms to infuse substantial capital into rubber, tea and coconut plantations and production value chains to boost production and to produce higher-value added products. (Daily Mirror, August 27, 2018)
August 10th - 17th
  • The U.S. Department of State announced approximately $39 million in Foreign Military Financing for Sri Lanka, pending Congressional approval.
    “We look forward to discussing with the Government of Sri Lanka how this contribution can support our Bay of Bengal initiative and Sri Lanka’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response priorities”, it said in a statement. (Daily Mirror, August 13, 2018)
  • Iran to use SL rupee for fuel trade
    The Cabinet was told on August 14 that Iran had agreed to use the Sri Lankan rupee as the medium of exchange to carry out its fuel trade transactions with Sri Lanka because of problems in using the US dollar because of economic sanctions likely to be imposed on Iran.
    Iran is facing sanctions imposed by the United States making it difficult for it to international business transactions in the US dollar. (Daily Mirror, August 15, 2018)
  • Pakistan Maritime Security Ship (PMSS) Kashmir today arrived at the port of Colombo on a four-day goodwill visit.
    Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of PMSS Kashmir, Captain Azhar Mahmood called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and held a cordial discussion on matters of mutual importance. The occasion was also attended by Colonel Sajjad Ali, Defence Advisor of the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka.
    As part of her four-day visit in the country, the ship’s crew is scheduled to visit some of the popular tourist attractions in the country and take part in a friendly volleyball match organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. (Daily Mirror, August 13, 2018)
  • Reconciliation was build up gradually in Sri Lanka with the movement of Southern people to the North and Northern people to the South, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
    Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment during the opening of Mahatma Gandhi Puram housing scheme in Nuwara Eliya this afternoon. (Daily Mirror, August 12, 2018)
  • Sri Lanka is currently facing a foreign currency issue and needs to go for an export-driven economy, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
    Mr. Wickremesinghe expressed this sentiment during the opening of greater Kurunegala water supply and sewerage project.
    “The country was facing a debt service issue when we took over and the nation’s revenue was not sufficient to settle the debts. However, we have managed to reduce the debt service to 70 per cent of our revenue. We have also been able to increase state revenue by ten per cent. However, the country is short of US dollars,” the Prime Minister said. However, the Prime Minister assured that the troubled times are ending and the country’s economy would be stable from next year. (Daily Mirror, August 13, 2018)
  • A special discussion regarding the use of drone technology in agriculture had taken place at the Natural Resources Management Centre in Kandy under the chairmanship of Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama. Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development & Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage Ministry said the drone technology is extensively used in agriculture in many developed countries as it is a cost-effective method. (Daily Mirror, August 13, 2018)
August 1st - 9th
  • Govt. won’t turn back on its economic policies - Eran Wickramaratne
    State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne in an interview with Daily Mirror, speaks about the economic policy of the government and recent tax reforms.
  • Liberalization is the way forward,
    Tax base is unimaginably low in Sri Lanka
    Tax base goes up with the rise of per capita income in any country. (Daily Mirror, August 7, 2018)
  • Sri Lanka and Switzerland signed an MoU to establish Migration Partnership, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
    Swiss Federal Councillor Simmonetta Sommaruga, who is the Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, signed the MOU with Internal Affairs Minister S.B. Nawinna. The signing of the MOU was preceded by bilateral discussions between the Swiss delegation led by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga and Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Vasantha Senanayake. (Daily Mirror, August 6, 2018)
  • North Korea has violated a textile ban by exporting more than $100 million in goods between October 2017 and March 2018 to several countries including Sri Lanka, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Friday. Pyongyang also violated a textile ban by exporting more than $100 million in goods between October 2017 and March 2018 to China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay, the report said. (Daily Mirror, August 5, 2018)
  • Communist Party of China seeks to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) by having further exchange programmes. Prof. Peiris said CPC official commended the efforts taken by the former government to foster ties between Sri Lanka and China, while the CPC expressed its desire to enhance party to party relations with the SLPP. (Daily Mirror, August 4, 2018)
  • President Maithripala Sirisena said the unity government had never undertaken to divide the country or subjugate it to any foreign or domestic forces and neither will their be any room to do so in the future. He said this government had liberated war heroes from the pressure being brought to bear by the international community. (Daily Mirror, August 3, 2018)
  • Rs.77mn worth of gold smuggled from SL seized in India. The stock was seized after intercepting a bus in Madurai and three persons who were acting as couriers were arrested. (Daily Mirror, August 3, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer