Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lanka's economic conditions improving as expected, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in Colombo issued the following statement today at the conclusion of a 10-day visit by a staff team from IMF headquarters, states a media release from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

"An IMF mission led by Dr. Brian Aitken visited Colombo during February 16-25 to hold discussions on performance and policies under the $2.6 billion Stand-By Arrangement, approved by the Board on July 24, 2009. The mission met with officials from the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance & Planning, the Presidential Tax Commission, and other government ministries and departments, as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector.

"Overall economic conditions are improving as expected, and the economy is poised for a recovery this year. External balances are strong, remittance inflows continue at a high rate, tourism prospects are rapidly improving, and gross reserves remain at comfortable levels.
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Tamil Tiger defeat could lead to bombings here, report says

Canadian security officials are concerned that last year's defeat of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels could trigger attacks like the 1985 Air India bombings, says a new report.

The International Crisis Group study quotes unnamed Canadian law enforcement officials saying that supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might resort to terrorism.

"While there are no signals yet that the rump LTTE is planning a terrorist act, it only takes a handful of committed cadre in the diaspora bent on violence to have a deadly impact," the report says.
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Britain blunders again

H. L. D. Mahindapala
Highlighting the rise of Irish terrorism once again The Wall Street Journal reported that last Monday, in the dead of night, "a 225-pound bomb went off in a car near the front security gates of the courthouse of Newry, a town near the border with the Republic of Ireland ."
How did the Prime Minister of UK , Gordon Brown's office react? A spokesman from No: 10 Downing Street said: "Such acts are entirely unrepresentative of the views of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland . We will not allow a tiny minority to turn the clock back." (February 23, 2009 - Wall Street Journal).
Now this principle of not allowing a minority to turn the clock back is also applicable to Sri Lanka . So why is UK trying to turn the clock back in Sri Lanka in favour of a tiny minority particularly when the vast majority of Tamils are moving away from Tiger violence? Why are David Milliband, the Foreign Minister and the Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague, jointly participating in the pro-Tiger Global Tamil Forum (GTF) that is openly advocating separatism? Hague too is due to address the closing session.
According to the International Crisis Group the London-based GTF's "strength is the support it has among well-heeled Tamils in the diaspora." (ICG - Asia Report 186, 23rd February 2009). It claims to represent Tamils in 14 countries. The Tamil diaspora is divided between GTF and the New York-based Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) which is currently conducting referenda in the diaspora to claim legitimacy.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sri Lankan opposition coalition splits

The Sri Lankan opposition coalition which contested the recent presidential poll has split after some parties said they were forming a new alliance. A group of smaller parties have said they are uniting without the biggest group, the United National Party (UNP).

Senior opposition leader Vijitha Herath told the BBC that the coalition broke up after the UNP refused to contest the elections under a common symbol.

Parliamentary polls are due to be held on 8 April.

Analysts say the latest move is likely to strengthen President Mahinda Rajapaksa's coalition.

New alliance

The opposition coalition started to disintegrate soon after their candidate, Gen Sarath Fonseka, lost the presidential election by a huge margin last month.

Mr Herath, who is a leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party, told the BBC that the new political front, the Democratic National Alliance, will contest the elections under the leadership of Gen Fonseka, who is in military custody.

Gen Fonseka is accused of plotting to overthrow the government. But he denies the charges.

The new coalition will contest the election under the symbol of a trophy. The UNP will contest the poll under the symbol of an elephant.

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