The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 315


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EU to halt Sri Lanka trade preferences amid human rights concern
Reuters, feb 16. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Monday it planned to withdraw preferential trade benefits to Sri Lanka because of concerns about the south Asian island's human rights record.

The European Commission, which oversees the 27-nation bloc's trade policy, said an investigation had revealed significant shortcomings in Sri Lanka's implementation of three UN human rights conventions linked to preferential trade tariffs.

The trade benefits, worth about 100 million euros ($136.1 million) a year to Sri Lanka, will be withdrawn in six months' time unless EU concerns are addressed, the Commission said.

"I hope Sri Lanka will sit with us over the next six months in order to agree upon a set of measures that will result in rapid... progress in relation to the human rights shortcomings we have identified," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 15 19:31:53 EST 2010

Related News Stories
EU to cut Lankan trade benefits over rights  - afp

Sri Lanka may miss IMF deficit target
Reuters, February 16. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka could overshoot its 2009 budget deficit target set by the IMF for a $2.6 billion loan, due to high post-war reconstruction costs, a central bank official said on Monday. The IMF has set a budget deficit target of seven percent of gross domestic product for 2009, although both the global lender and the central bank have acknowledged it as a challenging one. Government spending on reconstruction after the end of a 25-year war in May and low revenue due to a sluggish economy were putting pressure on the deficit, Ranasinghe said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 15 19:29:59 EST 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's president tightens his grip on power, Feb 16. While Sri Lanka's presidential election victor, Mahinda Rajapakse, was awarded a doctorate for his efforts towards world peace by the Peoples' Friendship University, of Moscow on Feb. 5, his defeated political rival, retired General Sarath Fonseka, was unceremoniously arrested by the military police in Colombo on Feb. 8.

Fonseka, detained in a navy facility, is being accused of violating the Military Act while being army commander, and is expected to face a court martial. On the morning of his arrest, Fonseka told a media conference that he was unafraid to reveal evidence of alleged war crimes that took place early in 2009, when government forces militarily crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The arrest of a once revered war hero, who garnered 40.15 per cent of the national vote on Jan. 26, as opposed to Rajapakse's 57.88 per cent, triggered protests in some Sri Lankan cities. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 15 19:34:38 EST 2010 Back to the top

India Worries as China Builds Ports in South Asia
nyt, feb 16. HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — For years, ships from other countries, laden with oil, machinery, clothes and cargo, sped past this small town near India as part of the world’s brisk trade with China... Back to the top

LTTE operated 11 branches of Eelam Bank
toi, feb 16. COLOMBO: The vanquished Tamil Tigers had a well placed chain of financial institutions called ‘Eelam Banks’ which provided loan and credit facilities to the people of north and east Sri Lanka, officials have said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's opposition coalition cracking
AP, Feb 15. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The main partner in Sri Lanka's opposition coalition will contest the next elections independently, officials said Monday, the first split since its defeated presidential candidate was arrested for alleged sedition... Back to the top

S.Lanka lawyers criticise government over crackdown
afp, Feb 15. COLOMBO (AFP) – Lawyers in Sri Lanka accused the government Monday of illegally suppressing protests at the arrest of former army chief Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka police say blast kills 2 Tamil children
ap, Feb 15. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A police spokesman says an explosion in northern Sri Lanka has killed two Tamil children and wounded six others... Back to the top

Thousands of IDPs miss resettlement deadline
Reuters, Feb 15. COLOMBO, 15 February 2010 (IRIN) - Sri Lankan government officials aim to resettle more than 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) by April after missing a self-imposed deadline to move everyone out of camps in the country's north by end-January... Back to the top

SL to clarify reasons behind Fonseka arrest to monks
PTI, Feb 15. Colombo, Feb 15 (PTI) Sri Lankan government today said it will send a delegation to meet the country's powerful Buddhist monks to clarify the reasons behind the detention of former army chief Sarath Fonseka after they asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to release the "gallant officer"... Back to the top

Court issues arrest warrant against Fonseka’s son-in-law
Hindu, Feb 15. A Sri Lankan court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Gen... Back to the top

Sri Lankan bishop 'disturbed' at arrest of former army chief
Ekklesia, Feb 15. The Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera has expressed deep concern over the arrest of retired former army chief Sarath Fonseka, as the country faces yet more political turmoil... Back to the top

Buddhist clergy divided over arrest of Sri Lanka opposition leader
dpa, Feb 15. Colombo – Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy was reportedly divided Monday over the arrest and detention of former army commander General Sarath Fonseka on charges of conspiring against the government... Back to the top

Army unmoved by growing support for Fonseka
HT, Feb 15. A groundswell of support seems to be building up to free the arrested former army chief Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

Sri Lankans, police clash again over detained general
Reuters, Feb 15. COLOMBO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters demanding the release of defeated presidential candidate Sanath Fonseka clashed with Sri Lankan police on Sunday in a fourth day of street protests... Back to the top

Sri Lanka monks back arrested ex-army chief
AFP, Feb 14, 2010. COLOMBO — Leaders of Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist clergy backed opposition demands Sunday for the immediate release of former army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

Rajapaksa should empower Tamils: SM Krishna
PTI, Feb 15. CHENNAI: India wants Sri Lanka to empower the minority Tamil speaking people through a political process and open a new chapter in the island nation's history, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said here today... Back to the top

Karuna warns Rajapaksa on devolution of powers
ENS, Feb 15. CHENNAI: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday warned that the DMK would not be a mere spectator if the Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka failed to honour the promise for devolution of powers to Tamils... Back to the top

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