An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday April 23rd, 2024

Modi slams India Congress for giving up claims on Kachchthivu island to Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slammed a decision by India’s Congress party for giving up claims over Kachchathivu island, in the run up to April elections.

“New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away #Katchatheevu,” Modi said in an X.com (twitter) post.

“This has angered every Indian and reaffirmed in people’s minds- we can’t ever trust Congress!

“Weakening India’s unity, integrity and interests has been Congress’ way of working for 75 years and counting.”

He was citing a story on the Time of India which featured documents obtained by an RTI application.

READ MORE: RTI reply shows how Indira Gandhi ceded island to Sri Lanka

The Indian claims were based in part on rights given by the British East India Company to the Raja of Ramnad, according to the report.

The Times of India cited a legal opinion by an India Attorney General which cited “zamindari rights given by the East India Company to the Raja of Ramnad over the islet and fishery and other resources around it.”

Sri Lanka on the other hand had claimed Katchchathivu was under the Jaffna kings and also featured in Dutch and British maps.

Sri Lanka itself was at one time administered by the Madras Presidency by the British.

A Zamindar was a type of feudal ruler with an estate system dating back at least to Mughal rule.

Most of present-day India were under Muslim rulers before the British took over the subcontinent, with the Delhi Sultanate and the later Mughal Empire being the most notable.

The Southern tip of India including the territory under the Raja of Ramnad, which later turned into what is now called Tamil Nadu, was a small section of India that was out of Muslim control.

The Madurai Nayaks, who were linked to Sri Lanka’s last Kings were from the same area, a territory that remained in the hands of Hindu rulers, though it was under the control of the Delhi Sultanate for a time.

A key turning point where the British wrested control of India from Muslim rulers is considered to be the Battle of Plessey in 1757 when the East India company defeated the Nawab of Bengal. (Colombo/Mar31/2024)

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Iran President to open Sri Lanka $514mn irrigation, hydro power project

MULTIPURPOSE: Uma Oya multipurpose development project is the largest since the end of the Mahaweli projects.

ECONOMYNEXT – Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will inaugurate an irrigation and hydropower project that was designed and built by Iranian engineering firm and was also initially financed before international sanctions hit the project.

The Uma Oya (River) project will irrigate 4,500 acres of new agricultural land, generate 290 Gigawatt hours of electricity and also provide drinking water, a government statement said.

Sri Lanka had awarded an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) to Iran’s FARAB engineering group to design and construct the 514 million dollar multipurpose project in 2010.

The project was funded until 2013 with a million US dollar credit from the Export Development Bank of Iran but international sanctions prevented the country from continuing financing, a government statement said.

The project continued with funding from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had since repaid 19.3 million dollars of the credit and 35.2 million remains outstanding.

The Uma Oya project has a 120MW of hydro power generators, which can generate 290 Giga Watt hours of energy.

Each year 145 million cubic metres of water will be taken from Uma Oya to the Kirindi Oya river valley after generating electricity in an underground power station.

It will irrigate 1,500 hectares of existing agricultural and 4,500 hectares of new land in the Moneragala district, where crops can be cultivated in both the Maha and Yala seasons.

About 39 million cubic meters of water will be used for drinking and industrial purposes.

Two reservoirs built at Dyraaba and Puhulpola in Uma Oya basin is connected by a 3.98 kilometre conveyance tunnel and water is taken through a 15.2 kilomtre headrace tunnel to an underground power station. A tailrace tunnel takes water from the power station to the Kirindi Oya basin.

The project was originally expected to be completed in 2015, but due to financing delays and later water leaking into the headrace tunnel and the Covid pandemic had delayed it. The project completion date was extended to March 31, 2024 and defect liability date to March 31, 2025. (Colombo/April23/2024)

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Sri Lanka state oligopoly allowed to import some black gram

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has allowed the import of some black gram, by three state agencies, according to a gazette notice issued under the hand of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Import licenses will be given for 2,000 metric tonnes of the seed classified under HS Code 7312.31.22 and 29.

Sri Lanka State Trading Corporation, National Food Promotion Board and Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority is to be given import licenses.

Traders have resorted to smuggling some types of black gram (ulundu) mis classified as chick peas, to get over high taxes and import restrictions.

Tamil legislators have also protested the import controls, which they go into several key ethnic foods they consume. (Colombo/Apr23/2024)

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Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry consular division shifted to Battaramulla

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said it consular division would be shifted to the Suhurupaya building in Subuthipura, Battaramulla from May 02, 2024.

Document authentication services provided by the Consular Affairs Division in Colombo will be suspended on 29 and 30 April 2024 held transfer the Electronic Document Authentication System (e-DAS) to the new premises at Suhurupaya.

Urgent applications for authentication to the Consular Division in Colombo, or any Regional Consular Offices by 4.15 pm on 26 April 2024, the Foreign Ministry said.

Regional Consular Offices in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Kandy and Matara will remain open to accept applications.

Authenticated documents will be delivered to the applicants only on Thursday, 02 May 2024.

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