New Inland Revenue act to be tabled in August says Mangala

Sri Lanka's new Inland Revenue Act will be tabled next month, the country's finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera was quoted by Colombo Page as saying. "The main objective of the new Inland Revenue Act is to reduce the indirect taxes levied from the people from 80% to 60% and increase the direct taxes from 20% to 40% within three years," Mr Samaraweera was quoted as saying at a press conference on Friday. Earlier this year, IMF officials indicated the release of the third tranche of the IMF loan would be "contingent on the gazetting of the new Inland Revenue Act bill", Moody's said in a...

Japan provides further US $611,000 for de-mining activities in North-East Sri Lanka

The government of Japan has provided US $611,000 for demining activates in the North of Sri Lanka, reports Colombo Page. The grant aims to accelerate the Sri Lankan government’s program to provide livelihood assistance to the resettled people in the North. Japan has provided US $30 million over the past 3 years for demining projects in the North and East.

UN Secretary-General calls for independent commissioners in OMP

The United Nations Secretary-General has welcomed the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka and called for it to become operational “as soon as possible”. “The Secretary-General commends the Government of Sri Lanka for establishing the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), a significant milestone for all Sri Lankans still searching for the truth about their missing loved ones,” said a statement by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General. “The United Nations stands ready to support this process and the Secretary-General looks forward to the OMP becoming...

UK may submit diplomatic cables to hybrid court on Sri Lanka

The British government may submit its diplomatic cables to a proposed hybrid court that will examine human rights violations committed during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict – a move that has been backed by Sri Lanka’s former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, according to a report in The Island. When asked whether the UK would be submitting documents to a hybrid court a British High Commission spokesperson responded by saying "the UK cannot comment on its approach to court proceedings that have yet to be established,” reported The Island. “Once such a court is established,...

Over ten acres of Mullaitivu forest burnt in suspected retaliation to protests

A part of a contested forest in Mullaitivu was damaged by fire, with distressed locals suspecting arson in retaliation to protests against deforestation for state-sponsored Muslim resettlements.

Tamils losing hope due to Sri Lanka govt inaction - TNA tells Australia FM

The Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan and spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran, met with Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, on Thursday to discuss the constitution making process and key issues faced by Tamils which were causing them to lose hope. The party said in a press release that Mr Sampanthan had cautioned that a failure of the constitution making process would have an adverse impact on the country, saying “we don’t want a Constitution that divides the country, but a Constitution that will address the root causes of the national question and eventually be a resolution to...

UK parliamentarians and academics discuss ethnocratic nature of Sri Lanka in Houses of Parliament

British parliamentarians and academics discussed the Sri Lankan state's ethnocratic nature at a book launch in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. 'Government and Politics in Sri Lanka: Biopolitics and Security', authored by Dr Sriskanda Rajah focuses on Sri Lanka’s post-colonial policies and democratic structure and argues that Sri Lanka functions as an ethnocracy leaning on authoritarianism, and was launched with a discussion on Sri Lanka by a panel of academics and Members of Parliament. Speaking at the event the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell stressed the importance of discussing the characteristics of the Sri Lankan state that allow for the oppression of Tamils, adding that Tamils must be allowed to determine their own future.

UK registers ‘serious concerns’ to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner after UN report

The British government expressed “serious concerns” to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner this week, after a United Nations Special Rapporteur report found torture was endemic, systematic and routine on the island. Responding to a question from the leader of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils Paul Scully, the Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom said the UK had expressed their concerns over the report’s findings to Sri Lanka’s representative in London. “The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field), has registered...

Southern Province governor calls for Sri Lankans to resist ‘federalism conspiracy’

The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province warned that there would be “stiff resistance” to federalism on the island, labelling any attempt to introduce devolution a “conspiracy”. Speaking at a Buddhist ceremony in Kandy, Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara said that he “would continue to speak the truth according to my conscience”. The Island reported the governor as calling on people to “oppose efforts being made to introduce federalism” and “warned that there would be stiff resistance if the government tried to create a federal state”. He was further reported as stating that “Sinhala rulers...

Sri Lankan military completes construction in Jaffna school

The Sri Lankan military announced that it had completed the construction of a new water facility at a Tamil school in Jaffna earlier this month.