An Echelon Media Company
Friday June 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka cabinet to discuss on handling foreign research vessels: sources

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka cabinet will discuss how to handle foreign research vessels in future and the Foreign Ministry is in the process of drafting a cabinet paper for the policy, two government officials said.

Foreign research vessels are temporarily banned in Sri Lanka after India put heavy pressure on President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government to stop Chinese research vessels calling into Sri Lankan waters, citing “security threats to the Indian Ocean”.

“The Foreign Ministry is drafting the cabinet paper on handling foreign research vessels,” a top government official, who is aware of the cabinet paper, told EconomyNext.

“Sri Lanka does not have the capacity and prior experience in handling research vessels and to have an idea about the exact research they are doing.”

Another official confirmed the proposed cabinet paper and said the authorities want to have a policy that will be “equally applied on research vessels from all the foreign nations”.

Chinese Embassy in Colombo this month raised strong protest against a move by Sri Lanka to allow a German research vessel for a port call amid the one year ban on foreign research vessels.

However, later, the Foreign Ministry said the German ship’s port call was for replenishment and not for research purposes.

Sri Lanka turned down a Beijing request for a research vessel arrival in February to do some research in Sri Lankan water. Later, China docked the ship in Maldives.

President Wickremesinghe government’s one-year ban came into effect in December last year. The government has planned to train officials to handle research vessels during the one-year ban.

Until this week, the government failed to specifically state if requests for replenishment or crew change for foreign research vessels would be accommodated.

Two Chinese research ships were allowed to dock in Sri Lanka ports within 14 months.

Chinese research ship Shi Yan 6 arrived in Sri Lanka in October 2023 and docked in Colombo port, for what Beijing cited was for “geophysical scientific research” in collaboration with the island nation’s National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).

In August 2022, Chinese navy vessel Yuan Wang 5 docked at Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka for replenishment.

Both drew strong Indian protests citing security concerns in the Indian Ocean.

India uses the Colombo port as its main transshipment hub and accounts for around 70 percent of the total transshipment volume of the port. (Colombo/March 22/2024)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

Continue Reading