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Sri Lanka

Last week members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross, from Governance to Branch Officers took part in an exercise to determine the next course of action in humanitarian programming for Sri Lanka Red Cross in the next decade.

 

We in Sri Lanka tend to understand this government purely as a coalition of political parties. But I think this is also a coalition of ideologies, and what’s interesting is that the ideological fault lines don’t neatly fit the party divisions. 

 
The US President-elect’s 100 day plan includes several tough proposals on the lobbying industry. Which is -kind of- bad news for Sri Lanka. In the plan, Trump notes that he will enforce a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service. He has also called for a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
 

A month after the murder of two Tamil students belonging to the arts faculty, Jaffna University workers, the country-wide demonstrations of students and youth offer key political lessons. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim students throughout the country jointly protested against the police murder.

 

Sri Lanka might have emerged as the “hot” holiday destination of 2016, filling the Instagram feeds of a studiously beach-boho set drawn to its reliable surf and covetable new crop of chic boutique hotels, but the real highlight for me was somewhat scruffier, and far further inland. 

 

As India grapples with the implications of demonetisation, many Sri Lankans are watching it keenly. Not just those planning a trip across the Palk Bay but also others who remember a similar exercise undertaken by the Sri Lankan government in the early 1970s to declare 50 and 100 rupee notes illegal tender.

 

The Sri Lankan Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Fundamental Rights has recommended that within three months of the enactment of the new constitution, the President should appoint a five member commission to go into the constitutional validity of the existing written and unwritten laws (including personal laws) and submit a report to him within a year.

 

Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Champa Patel told The Sunday Leader there was a disturbing increase in intolerance and hate speech in many parts of the world and it was essential that governments stand against hate and genuinely demonstrate their commitment to protect the human rights of everyone in all communities.

 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is now saying that the country will not be selling its Hambantota deep sea port and the nearby Mattala International Airport to Chinese companies in exchange for debt relief. He states that claims to the contrary are “baseless” and specifically berated the Sri Lankan publication Daily FT for spreading them.

 

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) is holding its 59th session from November 7 to December 7 in Geneva, Switzerland. Sri Lanka was recently under the microscope of the committee and, to put it mildly, things did not go smoothly. The fact that Sisira Mendis, Sri Lanka’s chief of national intelligence, participated the two-day affair didn’t help matters.

 


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