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China reaffirms the Support for Sri Lanka

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China is the first official bilateral creditor to have taken the initiative to announce debt extension to Sri Lanka. This speaks to China’s sincerity and action to support Sri Lanka’s effort to achieve debt sustainability, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning yesterday told the reporters at Regular Press Conference.

The complete statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry is as follows;

Shenzhen TV: It is learned that the Export-Import Bank of China has provided Sri Lanka a letter as required, offering an extension on the debt service due in the next two years and saying it would like to have friendly consultation with Sri Lanka regarding medium and long-term debt treatment. Can you confirm this?

Mao Ning: On January 19, the Export-Import Bank of China, as the official bilateral creditor, provided a financing support document to the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies of Sri Lanka, saying the Bank is going to provide an extension on the debt service due in 2022 and 2023, which means Sri Lanka will not have to repay the principal and interest due of the Bank’s loans during the above-mentioned period, so as to help relieve Sri Lanka’s short-term debt repayment pressure; meanwhile, the Bank would like to have friendly consultation with Sri Lanka regarding medium- and long-term debt treatment in this window period; and the Bank will make best efforts to contribute to the debt sustainability of Sri Lanka. The Bank also noted that it will support Sri Lanka in its loan application to the IMF; in the meantime, the Bank will continuously call on commercial creditors (including the International Sovereign Bondholders) to provide debt treatment in an equally comparable manner, and encourage multilateral creditors to do their utmost to make corresponding contributions.

As we have said several times, as a friendly neighbor and true friend, China has been providing assistance for Sri Lanka’s economic and social development to the best of our capabilities. The financing support document is aimed at combining an “immediate contingency measure” and “medium- and long-term debt treatment” to rapidly, effectively and truly resolve Sri Lanka’s debt issue. As far as I have learned, China is the first official bilateral creditor to have taken the initiative to announce debt extension to Sri Lanka. This speaks to China’s sincerity and action to support Sri Lanka’s effort to achieve debt sustainability.

China calls on all other creditors of Sri Lanka, especially multilateral creditors, to take synchronized, similar steps and give effective, strong support to Sri Lanka to help the country emerge from its default status at an early date and eventually work out an arrangement for Sri Lanka to achieve medium- and long-term debt sustainability. China also calls on the IMF to take into full consideration the urgency of the situation in Sri Lanka and provide loan support as soon as possible to relieve the country’s liquidity strain.

Going forward, China will continue to support relevant financial institutions in actively working out the debt treatment. We will work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to jointly play a positive role in helping Sri Lanka navigate the situation, ease its debt burden and achieve sustainable development.

Do Something Meaningful Rather Than Beating Around The Bush – China to US on Sri Lanka

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Following a comment made by the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland’s during her visit to Sri Lanka, China said US should show some sincerity and actually do something to help the island nation.

Responding to Nuland’s statement that the terms extended by China to Sri Lanka for getting IMF debt relief are not enough, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a regular press conference on Thursday, that what was said by the US side does not reflect the truth.

The US Under Secretary said the US expects China, as the largest bilateral creditor to Sri Lanka, to give credible and specific assurance that matches IMF’s standard on debt restructuring.

 The Spokesperson said the Export-Import Bank of China has already provided Sri Lanka with a letter to express support for its debt sustainability and Sri Lanka has responded positively and thanked China for that.

“Rather than jabbing fingers at China’s close cooperation with Sri Lanka, the US might as well show some sincerity and actually do something to help Sri Lanka weather through the current difficulties,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson retaliated.

Spokesperson Mao Ning said as a friendly neighbour and true friend, China has been closely following the difficulties and challenges facing Sri Lanka and providing assistance for its economic and social development to the best of its capabilities.

“As to Sri Lanka’s debt to the Chinese side, we support Chinese financial institutions in having consultations with Sri Lanka to seek a proper settlement,” she added.

When asked whether there is any conversation or talk between China and the IMF where the IMF has confirmed that China’s assurances are credible and enough for the IMF to disburse the debt relief financial support, the Spokesperson said China supports the Chinese financial institutions in having consultations with Sri Lanka to seek a proper settlement to its China-related debt issue.

“China stands ready to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions and continue to play a positive role in helping Sri Lanka navigate the situation, easing its debt burden and helping it achieve sustainable development,” Spokesperson Mao Ning said at the regular press conference.

Vatican urges to have Separate Cardinal for North-East of Sri Lanka

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The bishops of the North and East provinces have requested the Vatican to appoint a separate Cardinal for the two provinces of Sri Lanka. Father Joseph Pathinathar Jebaratnam, who spoke in Jaffna, said that he made this request because he felt that the minority Tamil Catholics of Sri Lanka were being betrayed by the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka.

Father Jebaratnam also stated that it is not wrong for the Archbishop of Colombo to request justice for the people who died in the Easter Sunday attack, but because no one appears to do justice to the people who died in the North East war, he had to make such a request.

“In 1995, 147 people were killed and 200 injured in the bomb attack on Navali St. Peter’s church in Jaffna.

“At that time, the attention of the bishops of the north and east was drawn to this matter, but there was no response from the south.”

“Seven priests and several nuns died in the war.”

“In 1995, Reverend Mary Bastian was shot dead in her home. Then Colombo media reported that she was publicly killed before going to India. “

“With the intervention of the Jaffna nun, a Colombo nun organized a memorial ceremony for Hon. Mary Bastian. The Bishops of the South had said that they did not want to participate in this event.

“We are not opposed to the Archbishop of Colombo asking for justice for those who died in the Easter Sunday attack. In the same way, when the Tamil people were killed, why did they not demand justice for the Tamil people?” he asks.

The Bishops of the North and the East are calling for international intervention regarding the Tamil people who were killed in the North East, while the Bishops of the South said that it was unnecessary.

Indo-Lanka Accord gives India legal authority to intervene – Rudra

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“It is often stated that it is the 13th Amendment that gives India the legal authority to intervene on behalf of the Eelam Tamils. It is not the 13th amendment, but the Indo- Lanka Accord rather which gives India the legal authority to intervene with respect to its provisions, including the recognition that the Northern and Eastern provinces must be merged and are the traditional homeland of the Tamils where they must have control over their own affairs,” Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) said in a statement.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s pledge to Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar on January 19, 2023, that he will implement the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which was legislated 36 years ago, reminds us of Wickremesinghe’s uncle, then- President J.R. Jayawardene signing of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Accord and subsequent introduction of the 13th Amendment, the statement added.

When the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord was opposed by Sinhala hardliners, Jayawardene said to them, “You will oppose me for a few days, but then you will appreciate me forever”. Jayawardene used the 13th Amendment to drive a wedge between India and Eelam Tamils. It is a cruel irony that his nephew, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is using the same 13th Amendment to drive a wedge between India and Eelam Tamils.

Sri Lanka has never implemented the 13th Amendment and the 13th Amendment does not at all fulfill Sri Lanka’s pledges in the Indo-Lanka Accord to recognize the North East as the traditional homeland of the Tamils and to allow them freedom of action in their own space.

The deception of Sri Lanka is apparent with respect to the merger of the Northern and Eastern Province. The Indo-Lanka Accord explicitly recognized that “the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking people”.

Jayawardene did not include the merger in the 13th Amendment, which required a two thirds majority to change it or into the Provincial Council Act No 42, 1987, but he did it under Emergency Regulations. Thus, when the merger was challenged in 2006 by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (J.V.P.) in the Supreme Court, the Court stated the merger has no legal validity. Following the Court’s decision, the Sri Lankan government could have brought back the merger through simple legislative action with a simple majority, however, no Sri Lankan government has ever done so.

“What has been most disappointing is that the Indian government, which has a legal obligation to “underwrite and guarantee the proposal” under the Indo-Sri Accord, has not asked, nor put any pressure on the Sri Lankan government to give concrete legislative meaning to the Indo-Lanka Accord to pass legislation for the merger.”

The malafide of the 13th Amendment was captured well by none other than Dr. G. L. Pieris, academic and politician, when he stated, “… I would like to stress once again the importance of sincerity, the perception of sincerity, a reality of sincerity. The 13th Amendment in the present form is the anathema of sincerity in that powers which are ostensibly devolved can be reacquired by the Centre by the use of disingenuous mechanisms, such as a description of anything under the sun as a matter in respect of which the formulation of a national policy is required”. ( ‘Towards Effective Devolution’, G. L. Peiris (Inaugural Address at the Indo-Sri Lanka Consultation on Devolution, March 4, 1995); SRI LANKA: THE DEVOLUTION DEBATE – ICES 1996:

Irrespective of the deficiencies of the 13th Amendment, the Sri Lankan government has a legal obligation to implement the Amendment, let alone a political and moral obligation. Having failed to fulfill its obligation for the last 36 years and now pledging that it will do so in the future, Wickremesinghe’s promise being is portrayed as a big breakthrough is hard to understand. What a strange world we live in!!!

It is noted when the LTTE, the embodiment of the Tamils’ political and coercive power was on the scene, the Sri Lankan government talked not only about the 13th Amendment, but also the 13A Plus. Now the LTTE is no longer here, the 13A Plus discourse has disappeared into thin air. For every political move you need power. Power does not necessarily mean military power. The justness of the cause, the legal basis of the claim, the victimhood, the support of the international community, the goodwill of the 80 million Tamils across the globe, the geographic location, etc. are components of power. The challenge before the Tamils is how to strategize and exercise that power.

The reason for non-implementation of the 13th Amendment is not the lack of will or ability. It is the nature of the Sinhala polity which is permeated with entrenched and pervasive racism that will not allow it. That is also the situation with accountability for international atrocity crimes. That is why 2015’s HRC Res. 30/1 called for a hybrid justice mechanism with both domestic and international judges. As long as the same polity persists, neither the 13th Amendment nor even a 33rd Amendment will be implemented.

Tamil National Leader Vellupillai Pirabakaran said in his famous 1987 August 4th “Suthumalai speech” with respect to the Indo- Lanka Accord stated that “the Sinhala supremist daemon will gobble up any solution whatsoever”. How realistic he was, he asked.

Sri Lanka: Gota Ousted by Rajapaksa family, not the public – Ultra nationalist Media Magnate

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Dilith Jayaweera who is a known businessman and a head of an ultra-nationalist media outfit in Sri Lanka has revealed that arrangements were made within the Rajapaksa family to oust former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the office much before the general public rallied on the streets.

Jayaweera said former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son, Yoshita Rajapaksa, who voluntarily resigned from the navy to serve his father, who was then prime minister, first created the famous hashtag GotaGoHome, which was later widely used by protesters.

In his confession, Jayaweera did not hesitate to admit that he was strongly opposed by the Rajapaksa family for supporting Gotabaya Rajapaksa and that other family members believed that Jayaweera was manipulating Gotabaya against the family’s interests.

When asked about the future of much-ambitious Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son Namal Rajapaksa, he said that Namal has no political future. Jayaweera stressed these ideas in an interview with a young musician who runs his YouTube channel.

VIDEO: Cow dung and urine mixed attacks on police officers in Jaffna

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The following video shows how a group of human rights activists operating in Jaffna, instigated by political parties, attacked police officers on duty with water mixed with dung and cow urine. These police officers were attacked during the recent visit of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to Jaffna. Reliable sources say that local politicians are against enforcing the law against these perpetrators, who have severely obstructed and humiliated the duties of police officers.

Sri Lanka: Nilantha Jayawardena appointed Snr. DIG Admin

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by Our Defence Affairs Editor

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Nilantha Jayawardena has been appointed as the Senior DIG Administration by the Inspector General of Police Mr C. D. Wickramaratne. An alumnus of Nalanda College, Colombo, Mr Jayawardena holds an Honors Degree in Accounting and Finance from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India. Then, he earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colombo. Additionally, he holds diplomas in conflict resolution and international relations.

As a senior police officer, Mr Jayawardena has completed the Senior Police Officers’ Command Course in Malaysia and trained in Israel and the United States on intelligence affairs as well as on counter-terrorism, de-radicalisation, and rehabilitation. He has participated in numerous conferences and courses in many foreign countries and worked at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canada for two years.

As a senior police officer, Mr Jayawardena served as the additional director and director of the State Intelligence Service respectively and has also served as the senior DIG of the Eastern and Central Provinces. Mr Jayawardena who is currently heading the Support Service, Covid-19 Supervision and Headquarters of Police, has married a human rights lawyer and is a father of two.

Islamic State renews its threat to Sri Lanka

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Through its new issue of the “official” magazine of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) has renewed its threat to Sri Lanka while commemorating its dead extremists during the Easter attacks in 2019.

The latest issue of the Voice of Kuarazan, the regular publication of ISKP, has featured four-page article on Easter Attacks where they have hailed the terrorist acts of Saharan and his team.  

“The Jamaah of the mujahidin decided to carry out an istishhadi operation in the churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, and the Amir Selected, in addition to him, 7 other members for the blessed istisshhadi operation, who were, Abul Mukthar, Abul Haleel, Abu Hamza, Abu Bura, Abu Muhammad, Abu Abdullah, Abu Umar. With success from Allah, the istisshadi operation was successfully conducted by the aforementioned mujahidin”, the article said.

However, exaggerating the casualties of the carnage, the magazine noted that, “As a result, about 650 Christians and mushrikin were killed and 22 mujahidin were martyred in this attack”

While renewing the threat, “ On the behalf of all the people who were burned solely for the reason that they brought Imman on Allah only, today we have gathered to take revenge and undertake an action. What are we going to do? After killing our people, making our children orphans, making our sister widows, and after killing the mujahidin, they have come here for tourism and holidays. So we have embarked on a noble cause, a noble transaction with Allah. To kill them by sacrificing our lives!”.

[ by our Defence Correspondent]

Breaking: Maaveerars Commemorate in North and East

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by Durga Velayutham and Abdul Rafeek for Sri Lanka Guardian

For the first time in history, the true maaveerars ( great heroes) of the Tamil people are being celebrated by ordinary communities and youth organizations in the North and East. To commemorate the Tamil politicians, intellectuals and social activists who were brutally killed by the LTTE during the reign of terror, they have launched a poster campaign in all the districts of the North and East Provinces this morning.

Here are a few images captured by our correspondents.

Sri Lanka to Legalize Cannabis

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today that he will take the necessary steps to establish the legal framework for the export of products containing cannabis. He said this while presenting the budget for the year 2023.

The 2023 budget presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament today focused on providing social welfare benefits to the people who need them most, the President’s office said.

The 2023 budget is also aimed at long-term, stable economic growth, the President’s Media Division said.

“The 2023 budget has given special attention to the sectors of the capital market, export market, labour market, and digital economy and it is expected to achieve the budget targets through the social market economy,” the PMD said.

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