by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, has made a second visit to Sri Lanka within a few months. PriorMore
Yes, it was another chasing side winning in Dubai, the venue now having seen 17 victories for chasing sides in the last 20 T20Is. But this time, Sri Lanka’s bowlers had arguably put the legwork in for the victory, before the second innings could even begin.
Pakistan’s innings could never quite achieve lift-off, and when the middle overs came, Wanindu Hasaranga put in his first big performance of the tournament, taking 3 for 21. After his strikes, Pakistan’s horizons contracted substantially, despite the best efforts of Mohammad Nawaz, who seemed to be striking well in the 26 he made off 18, before he was run out. Eventually, Pakistan succumbed to 121.
Sri Lanka were rattled by Pakistan’s pace in the powerplay, slipping to 29 for 3 at one stage. But so modest was the target, they could afford to take it slow. Pathum Nissanka anchored the chase, hitting an unbeaten 55 off 48. Thanks to less substantial but more aggressive innings from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka ambled home with 18 balls and five wickets to spare.
Thirty-seven newly installed state ministers to run bankrupt Sri Lanka have urged to allocate 296 government vehicles, fuel and drivers to serve the vehicles, according to highly placed government sources.
Sources confirmed that arrangements are currently being made to allocate 8 vehicles to each state minister from their respective ministries.
“Several state ministers who were appointed yesterday have already requested vehicles from their respective ministries and they have emphasized to the authorities about their vehicle rights and their need by showing the circulars that have been issued so far,” reliable sources say.
Accordingly, they have said to provide two vehicles to the Minister of State, one vehicle to the Private Secretary, personal coordination secretaries, personal assistants and media secretary to be given respective vehicles and prescribed fuel allowances.
Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch passed away at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.
She is succeeded by her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, who becomes King Charles III.
Her Majesty’s death comes after one of the most significant periods of her reign, in which she rallied the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, and felt the affection of her people as she returned to public life after the death of her beloved Prince Philip and celebrated her Platinum Jubilee year.
The Queen was last pictured in public formally appointing the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral on Tuesday. She postponed a virtual Privy Council meeting the following day after being advised by doctors to rest.
On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that she was under medical supervision at Balmoral after her doctors became “concerned” about her health.
The Queen had enjoyed remarkably good health until her mid-90s, where she scaled back her public appearances after suffering mobility problems and illness that required her to rest.
As she increasingly suffered from what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility problems”, she was compelled to miss events, including the State Opening of Parliament, service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph and the Commonwealth Day service. In February, she contracted Covid-19 amid an outbreak at Windsor Castle.
Through it all, she maintained her devotion to her constitutional duties and was regularly photographed holding meetings in person and via videolink from Windsor.
The announcement of her death marks the start of national mourning, with the Royal court to spend one month officially honouring her memory.
Across the country, union flags will be lowered, church services held, and condolence books offered for members of the public to pay their respects during the most seismic institutional change of most of their lifetimes.
Her Majesty’s many admirers are expected to be welcomed to commemorate her life over the coming 10 days, during a lying in state at Westminster Hall, a funeral at Westminster Abbey and a spectacular ceremonial procession to her final resting place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Buckingham Palace will release official arrangements for the funeral in the coming days, after they have been signed off by the new King.
New era begins under King Charles
While the nation mourns the Queen, it will also mark the beginning of a new reign as a new era of monarchy begins under King Charles.
The Accession Council will now meet in St James’s Palace to agree the formal proclamation of the new King, which will be announced to the public from a balcony in the Palace’s Colour Court.
Charles is expected to be present at the meeting to take a religious oath, in what is expected to be the first time the historic ceremony has been televised live.
With inputs from Telegraph UK ( Click here to read the original)
The ceremony to donate 1000 tons of rice from Myanmar to Sri Lanka was held at the Asia World Port Terminal on September 2 morning, local media in Naypyidaw has reported.
At the ceremony, Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo of the Ministry of Commerce said that this donation represents the compassion of Myanmar government and the public towards Sri Lankan people. He added that bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries will be enhanced in the future. He later handed over the documents concerning rice donation.
Afterwards, Sri Lankan ambassador handed over the letter of thanks to president of the Myanmar rice federation for organizing export of rice. He then expressed thanks to government and officials of Myanmar. He said, Sri Lanka is facing economic crisis at present and this kind of donation is of great assistance.
He also thanked Myanmar Prime Minister Senior-General Min Aung Haling for arranging this kind of donation.
Ousted former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa returned to the country Friday, an airport official said, seven weeks after he fled amid the island’s worst-ever economic crisis. Cabinet ministers and politicians have arrived at the airport to welcome former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa was festooned with flowers by a welcoming party of ministers and politicians as he disembarked at the main international airport, the official added — in a sign of his enduring influence in the Indian Ocean nation critics say he led to ruin.
“There was a rush of government politicians to garland him as he came out of the aircraft,” the official told AFP.
Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka under military escort in mid-July after unarmed crowds stormed his official residence, following months of angry demonstrations blaming him for the nation’s unprecedented economic crisis. He sent in his resignation from Singapore before flying on to Thailand, from where he had petitioned his successor Ranil Wickremesinghe to facilitate his return.
The 73-year-old leader arrived from Bangkok via Singapore on a commercial flight, ending his 52-day self-imposed exile.
“He has been living in a Thai hotel as a virtual prisoner and was keen to return,” a defence official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
“We have just created a new security division to protect him after his return,” the official added.
“The unit comprises elements from the army and police commandos.”
Opposition politicians have accused Wickremesinghe of shielding the once-powerful Rajapaksa family.
Sri Lanka’s constitution guarantees bodyguards, a vehicle and housing for former presidents, including Gotabaya and his elder brother and fellow ex-president Mahinda.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation ended his presidential immunity, and rights activists said they would press for his arrest on multiple charges, including his alleged role in the 2009 assassination of prominent newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.
“We welcome his decision to return so that we can bring him to justice for the crimes he has committed,” said Tharindu Jayawardhana, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka Young Journalists’ Association. Rajapaksa also faces charges in a court in the US state of California over Wickrematunge’s murder and the torture of Tamil prisoners at the end of the island’s traumatic civil war in 2009.
Singapore declined to extend Rajapaksa’s short-term visa and he travelled to Thailand in August, but authorities in Bangkok instructed him not to step out of his hotel for his own safety.
Rajapaksa’s youngest brother, Basil, the former finance minister, met with Wickremesinghe last month and requested protection to allow the deposed leader to return. On Friday police deployed plainclothes officers and armed guards outside a government residence allocated to Rajapaksa in Colombo ahead of his arrival.
Security at his private home was also stepped up, officials said, adding that he was expected to first visit the family residence.
Sri Lanka has endured months of shortages of crucial goods including food, fuel and medicines, along with lengthy electricity blackouts and skyrocketing inflation after running out of foreign currency to finance essential imports.
The coronavirus pandemic dealt a hammer blow to the island’s tourism industry and dried up remittances from Sri Lankans working abroad — both key foreign exchange earners. Rajapaksa, who was elected in 2019 promising “vistas of prosperity and splendour”, saw his popularity nosedive as hardships multiplied for the country’s 22 million people.
His government was accused of introducing unsustainable tax cuts that drove up government debt and exacerbated the crisis. Wickremesinghe was elected by parliament to see out the remainder of Rajapaksa’s term. He has since cracked down on street protests and arrested leading activists.
The government defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt in April and the central bank forecasts a record eight percent GDP contraction this year.
After months of negotiations, the International Monetary Fund agreed on Thursday to a conditional $2.9 billion bailout package to repair Sri Lanka’s battered finances.
(With inputs from AFP)
As a traditional friendly neighbour of Sri Lanka and a major shareholder of the International Monetary Fund, China has always been encouraging the IMF and other international financial institutions to continue to play a positive role in supporting Sri Lanka’s response to current difficulties and efforts to ease debt burden and realize sustainable development. As to the bilateral financial cooperation, shortly after the Sri Lankan government announced to suspend international debt payments in April 2022, Chinese financial institutions reached out to the Sri Lankan side and expressed their readiness to find a proper way to handle the matured debts related to China and help Sri Lanka to overcome the current difficulties. We hope Sri Lanka will work actively with China in a similar spirit and work out a feasible solution expeditiously.
Meanwhile, on August 30, 2022, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong met with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr Palitha Kohona. The two sides had a cordial and friendly exchange of views on China-Sri Lanka relations and international and regional issues of common concern.
“What lies behind Sri Lanka’s current economic and financial crisis are not only structural problems of its economy and unexpected factors such as the pandemic but also adverse spillover effects brought by the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy,” said Liu.
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of about $2.9 billion, the international lender said in a statement on Thursday.
“The objectives of Sri Lanka’s new Fund-supported programme are to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability,” the statement said, outlining the 48-month long arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.
“Debt relief from Sri Lanka’s creditors and additional financing from multilateral partners will be required to help ensure debt sustainability and close financing gaps,” the statement added.
The debt-laden country has been seeking up to $3 billion from the IMF in a bid to escape its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.
Sri Lankans have faced acute shortages of fuel and other basic goods for months, leaving it in political turmoil and hit by runaway inflation, which is now at almost 65% year-on-year.
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( Inputs from Reuters)
In response to the opinion of the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong published in Sri Lanka Guardian last Friday, India stated that what Colombo needed now was “support, not unwanted pressure or unnecessary controversies” to serve another country’s agenda. Referring to India’s concerns about the docking of a Chinese spy ship in Hambantota, China on Friday said that “external obstruction” based on so-called security concerns without any evidence is a “thorough interference” into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence.
“We have noted the remarks of the Chinese ambassador. His violation of basic diplomatic etiquette may be a personal trait or reflecting a larger national attitude,” the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka tweeted. It said Qi’s view of India may be coloured by how his own country behaves. “India, we assure him, is very different,” the Indian mission here said. The ambassador’s imputing a geopolitical context to the visit of a purported scientific research vessel is a giveaway, the mission said, adding that “opaqueness and debt driven agendas are now a major challenge, especially for smaller nations. Recent developments are a caution”.
In a statement hinting at India’s objection to the docking of a Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ ship at the Hambantota port, Zhenhong said that China was happy that the matter was dealt with and Beijing and Colombo jointly safeguard each other’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. “External obstruction based on so-called security concerns but without any evidence from certain forces is de facto a thorough interference into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence,” the Chinese Ambassador noted in his opinion.
The high-tech ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ was initially scheduled to arrive at the Chinese-run port on August 11 but it was delayed due to the mounting pressure from Indian officials on Sri Lankan authorities. However, respecting the diplomatic values Sri Lanka finally decided for the ship to dock in the port of Hambantota on August 16 for replenishment.
There were apprehensions in New Delhi about the possibility of the Chinese vessel’s tracking systems attempting to snoop on Indian defence installations while being on their way to the Sri Lankan port. However, independent Indian defence excerpts rebuked the tizzy of Indian media and some Indian officials reaffirming that the Chinese research vassal called in a port in Sri Lanka for purely genuine reasons.
Snr. Prof. Sampath Amarathunga, Chairman University Grants Commission visited the University of Jaffna recently and spent his time with students. He along with his colleagues enjoyed their lunch with students at the “Community Kitchen”, free meal project of the University of Jaffna. Prof Sampath sitting with Prof S Srisatkunarajah, Vice Chancellor and V. Kandeepan, Registrar of University of Jaffna
On August 9, the National Defense University in Washington DC welcomed three new CISA alumni to the International Fellows Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Sydney, Australia during NDU’s 16th Alumni Continuing Education Security Seminar, the statement issued by College of International Security Affairs of National Defense University (NDU).
During the event, Admiral (Ret) Travis Sinniah) has been recognized for his service as Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy. He is the first Sri Lankan to be inducted.
Meanwhile, Major General Abdulla Shamaal of the Maldives, who is also the first Maldivian graduate to be inducted and Major General Molefi Seikano of Botswana were also recognized for their respective services.
“We thank them and their families for their commitment to the service of their fellow citizens and to the safety and security of their respective regions and the globe. Together we can overcome today’s security challenges,” the statement further elaborated.
Admiral Travis Sinniah, WWV, RWP, RSP, USP, ndu, psc was a Sri Lankan admiral and the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. He has served as the Commander of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Naval Area and as Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Fleet. He was the second Tamil to be appointed the commander of the Sri Lankan Navy after Rajan Kadiragamar in the 1960s.
Click here to watch his Farewell Speech as the Commander of Sri Lanka Navy;
Admiral Travis Jeremy Liyanduru Sinniah was educated at Trinity College, Kandy, and St. Joseph’s College, Trincomalee. He joined the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee, as an Officer Cadet in 1982, and graduated in 1984. He was selected to attend the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, from which he graduated in 1986. His training at HMS Dryad, HMS Mercury, HMS Collingwood and HMS Vernon at Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, has been among the best in the world. He has served on board British Warships during his time at Dartmouth.
Admiral Sinniah was the senior-most naval officer to be in active combat operations at sea during the war. He was awarded the highest combat medal (granted to a living officer) for exceptional valour and gallantry, the Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya (WWV), and recommended for field promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral on account of his exceptional contribution to the war effort. His most significant Gallantry awards are the Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), awarded for individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of a military nature of a high order in the face of the enemy, the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP), awarded for exceptional gallantry in the face of the enemy and the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP), awarded and re-awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy. His other awards are the Uththama Seva Padakkama (USP), the Vadamarachchi campaign medal, the Riviresa campaign medal with clasp, the North & East operation medal with double clasp, the Sri Lanka long service medal with clasp, the Purna Bhoomi operation medal, the Sri Lanka independence 50th anniversary Medal and the Humanitarian operation medals for the north and the east with clasps.
The admiral received his specialization in Naval Communications and Electronic warfare at HMS Mercury, Petersfield, Portsmouth and INS Venduruthi, Cochin, India. He attended the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, India and was conferred the Master of Science degree in Defence and Strategic Studies. He followed a special course on Diplomacy and holds a Diploma in International Studies.
Admiral Sinniah is a Counter Terrorism Fellow (CTF) of the National Defence University, Washington DC. USA and he was made the “Distinguished Graduate” at the NDU for the year 2005. Admiral Sinniah followed the Defence Cooperation Course conducted by the Defence Institute of Security Assistance Management, Ohio.
Admiral Sinniah is a front line Executive Officer who has served in all the Squadrons of the SLN. He has held the prominent appointments of Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy, Deputy Area Commander East, Commandant Volunteer Naval Force and Commander Eastern Naval Area. He has commanded the flag ship of the Sri Lanka Navy, SLNS Sagara. He served in the Elite 4th Fast Attack Flotilla as a Squadron Commander and subsequently commanded the Flotilla as its Commanding Officer (FAF4). In addition, he has served as Commanding Officer on board Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels, Fast Missile Vessels, Fast Gun Boats and Fast Personal Carriers.
The admiral has held various staff positions at the Naval Headquarters, which include Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Navy, Staff Officer Projects and Plans, Senior Staff Officer Research and Development, Director Naval Projects and Plans and R & D and Deputy Director Naval Administration. He has also served as Deputy Area Commander of the Eastern, Northern and North Western Naval Commands.
Admiral Sinniah is a respected instructor and an eloquent speaker. He has represented the Navy at innumerable seminars and conferences, and presented papers at many of them. He spearheaded the establishment of the Naval wing for the Defence Services Staff College at Batalanda, laying down its syllabi and planning its initial courses.
Admiral Sinniah is a specialist in counter terrorism and littoral warfare. He was nominated to direct the Maldivian Defence Forces (MNDF) in formulating their maritime security strategy and counter-terrorism doctrine, which was implemented in 2008; it remains as the MNDF foundation policy on counter-terrorism at sea and on land.
He was instrumental in the design and modification of naval guns for the SLN, working closely with Royal Ordnance UK, and in the design of the Super Dvora class of FAC with Israeli aircraft industries. He was also the design leader for the indigenous 30mm stabilized gun of the SLN.
Admiral Sinniah is a sharpshooter and an “X” marksman. He is an excellent IPSC practical pistol shooter who captained the navy team in 2001/2002. Admiral Sinniah is a keen sportsman, and represented the Navy in basketball, soccer, rugby, squash and badminton.
Admiral Sinniah is a battle-hardened officer who has been awarded and re-awarded for valour and gallantry. He led the Naval Task Force in the destruction of LTTE “warehouse” ships over a period of two years. This monumental operation, “Sagara Balaya”, was the turning point in the war against the LTTE, and heralded its end. He has 37 LTTE hits under his command, and counts over 70 hits by the fleet during his tenure as Commander of the Fast Attack Flotilla. Admiral Sinniah was the officer who apprehended the infamous LTTE ship “Kadalpura” with 19 black sea tigers on-board, including the LTTE second-in-command and 9 LTTE leaders, a significant milestone in the course of the war.
Admiral Sinniah has been mentioned in dispatches and personally commended by the President of Sri Lanka for acts of conspicuous bravery, exceptional gallantry and outstanding service to the nation.
Prior to his appointment as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy on 22nd August 2017, Admiral Sinniah held the post of Commander Eastern Naval Area. After his appointment as the Commander of the Navy the veteran naval officer introduced a new deployment of naval ships and craft in the northern seas. The initiative produced imminent results causing a significant drop in the number of Indian fishing trawlers entered into the Sri Lankan territorial waters.