Prof. Huang Yunsong, Associate Dean at the China Center for South Asian Studies in Sichuan University. told the Colombo Shangri-La Colloquium 2018 held here on Sunday, that as of December 2017, Sri Lanka owed China US$ 5.5 billion which was about 10.6% of the island nation’s total foreign debt of US$ 51.8 billion. Of the US$ 5.5 billion, US$ 3.8 billion (61.5 % of the total loan) was provided “at a rate far below the international market rate.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced financial assistance of USD 1.4 billion in the form of budgetary support, currency swap and concessional lines of credit to fulfill socio-economic development programmes in the Maldives.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that it will be very difficult to undertake a “collective journey” with the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe because of the presence of corrupt MPs in parliament where Wickremesinghe has a majority. Speaking to MPs of Wickremesinghe’s alliance after swearing him in as Prime Minister, Sirisena said: “ Some of your MPs over the phone or when they meet me, say that we must move forward together, but I can’t see what the guarantee for such a collective journey is.”
Shiral Lakthilaka, a top adviser to Sirisena, said that President Maithripala Sirisena would give a sporting chance to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his team to deliver on its election promises. “Early signs of good or bad governance will be seen shortly when Wickremesinghe names his cabinet of ministers. If the same corrupt ministers are given the same plum portfolios, one can conclude that the government is heading for a disaster,” he said. However, to stem a serious deterioration, the President will not hesitate to use his powers as Executive President, Lakthilaka said.
Soon after being sworn-in as Prime Minister on Sunday, Wickremesinghe said that he had initiated discussions with a number of political parties for abolishing the Executive Presidency. He had also initiated talks with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) for bringing about a political solution in which all citizens can live in harmony in a unitary state. But Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Wickremesinghe has a two-point agenda; the first is to weaken Sri Lanka by abolishing the Executive Presidency which is necessary for the unity of the country and its rapid economic development and the second is to divide the country into nine “semi-independent federal units” through an agreement with the Tamil National Alliance.
After Indian filmmaker Nandita Das expressed her disappointment about her film “Manto” not getting cleared for release in Pakistan, Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has extended help while an online petition has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to lift a ban on its screening.
Wickremesinghe to abolish Executive Presidency and solve Tamil question within a unitary constitution
The re-appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he has initiated discussions with a number of political parties for abolishing the Executive Presidency and with the Tamil National Alliance and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna for bringing about a political solution in which all citizens can live in harmony in a unitary state.
Colombo, Dec 16 (newsin.asia) – Leader of Sri Lanka’s United National Party, Ranil Wickremesinghe who was sacked as Prime Minister on Oct 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena, was sworn in as the Prime Minister once again on Sunday, ending a nearly two month long political turmoil.
Meet Allirjah Subaskaran, 46, who produced India’ costliest 3D movie 2.0 starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar. Subaskaran fled Sri Lanka with his family at the height of the ethnic conflict there three decades ago, and moved first to France, and then later settled in the U.K. He said that he loved watching Tamil films while growing up, and that’s why he started Lyca Productions, a production and distribution company based in Chennai, in 2014.
Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Indian economic historian Dr.Utsa Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938. It’s a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.