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Monday April 15th, 2024

Sri Lanka hits back Canadian PM Trudeau for “Tamil Genocide” comment

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry strongly hit back at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his comment on the 14th anniversary of the end of the civil conflict in the island nation.

Sri Lanka’s successive governments have rejected the alleged war crimes and deliberately targeted unarmed civilians in the final phase of the 26-year war. Sri Lankan government forces have been alleged of indiscriminately killing civilians, mainly ethnic minority Tamils in a no fire zone the government announced earlier.

Prime Minister Trudeau said tens of thousands of Tamils lost their lives, including at the massacre in Mullivaikal, with many more missing, injured, or displaced.

“Our thoughts are with the victims, survivors, and their loved ones, who continue to live with the pain caused by this senseless violence,” Trudeau said in his statement on Thursday (18).

“The stories of Tamil-Canadians affected by the conflict – including many I have met over the years in communities across the country – serve as an enduring reminder that human rights, peace, and democracy cannot be taken for granted.”

“That’s why Parliament last year unanimously adopted the motion to make May 18 Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day. Canada will not stop advocating for the rights of the victims and survivors of this conflict, as well as for all in Sri Lanka who continue to face hardship.”

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs rejected Trudeau’s statement, citing it was containing outrageous claims of genocide relating to the past conflict in Sri Lanka.

“Such irresponsible and polarizing pronouncements by the leader of a nation breeds disharmony and hatred both in Canada and Sri Lanka, instead of promoting peace and reconciliation,” the Ministry said in a statement late on Friday (19).

“Sri Lanka urges Canada and its leaders to refrain from making pronouncements from Canada which promote hatred, misinformation and extremist views and to cease its unhelpful focus on Sri Lanka based on distorted facts.  This runs contrary to the Canadian Prime Minister’s stated objective of “safeguarding human rights across the world”.”

It said Sri Lanka vehemently rejects the “unsubstantiated narrative of ‘genocide’ which has been deliberately constructed by politically motivated anti-Sri Lanka elements whose so-called recognition in Canada depends on spreading misinformation and a false narrative of hatred”.

“We urge caution at a time when the world is combatting the dangers of misinformation, including through social media platforms.

The Ministry said Sri Lankans have suffered for more than three decades from the brutal terrorism waged by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), “one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist organizations which suppressed the lives and democratic rights of all communities, Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in all parts of the country”.

“We urge the Canadian Government and its leaders to leverage this platform to form bonds of friendship and harmony between people and to refrain from polarizing communities in both Canada and overseas.” (Colombo/May 20/2023)

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  1. Haris Wijayasiri says:

    Where are the days for the Canadian Natives and the Jews of the Holocaust? Rohingya must be soon I presume? What a disappointment! Cannot hold a candle to his father

  2. ධම්මික විතාන says:

    Bankrupt Sinhala-buddhist genocider wept crocodile tears, sad isn’t it

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

  1. Haris Wijayasiri says:

    Where are the days for the Canadian Natives and the Jews of the Holocaust? Rohingya must be soon I presume? What a disappointment! Cannot hold a candle to his father

  2. ධම්මික විතාන says:

    Bankrupt Sinhala-buddhist genocider wept crocodile tears, sad isn’t it

Iran President to visit Sr Lanka on April 24 anid rising tension, inaugurate Omaoya power project

ECONOMYNEXT – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 24 on a one-day official visit to inaugurate Tehran-assisted $529 million worth Uma Oya multipurpose development project with 120MW hydro power generation capacity, official sources said.

The announcement on President Raisi’s visit comes two days after Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel in its first direct attack on Israeli territory, a retaliatory strike that raised the threat of a wider regional conflict.

“The President is visiting to inaugurate the Omaoya project. He will be on a one-day visit,” an official at Iran embassy in Colombo told EconomyNext.

A Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry official confirmed the move.

This is the first time an Iranian President coming to Sri Lanka Iranian after then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit in April 2008.

The Omaoya project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015, but had been delayed several times due to unexpected issued faced during the project cycle and funding issue after the United States imposed economic sanctions on Iran and economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

The project was started in 2010 and the funding was to be received as loan grant from the Iranian government. However, Iran was able to provide $50 million before the sanctions. Sri Lanka has to bear the cost after the sanctions.

The project includes storing water in two reservoirs with dams before being brought through a 23 km tunnel to two turbines located underground and generating hydro power with a capacity of 120 megawatts and added to the national grid.

After power generation, the water is expected to be brought to three reservoirs while supplying water to 20,000 acres of old and new paddy fields in both the Yala and Maha cultivating seasons.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction was signed between the two countries in 2007 while Sri Lanka’s Cabinet approved the execution of the contract agreement between the Executing Agency, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management (MOIWM) of the GOSL and Iran’s FARAB Energy and Water Projects (FC).

When commencing the project on March 15, 2010, the scheduled date of completion of the project was on March 15, 2015. But the schedule completion date was extended to December 31, 2020 due to the unexpected water ingress into the head race tunnel and followed by social impacts.

The trade between the both countries suffered after the US sanctions. However, Sri Lanka inked a deal in December 2021 with Iran to set off export of tea to Iran against a legacy oil credit owed by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to the National Iranian Oil Company.

Sri Lanka owes $251 million for crude imported before the US imposed sanctions on Iran. (Colombo/April 15/2024)

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Sri Lanka to discuss two contentious points with bondholders: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and sovereign bondholders are to discuss two matters in the near future which the two sides failed to reach agreement at March talks in London, a media report quoting a top aide to President Wickremesinghe as saying.

Sri Lanka and bondholders had discussed four matters on restructuring international sovereign bonds in late March and agreement had been reached on two, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake was quoted as saying on state-run ITN television.

A restructuring proposal by bondholders was not in line with IMF requirements, and Sri Lanka had sent a counter proposal, he said.

The matters will be discussed at round of talks in the near future.

Sri Lanka was optimistic of reaching an agreement with the bondholders before June, officials have said.

According to matters already in the public domain, sovereign bond holders are keen to get a bond tied to dollar gross domestic product, as they feel IMF growth projections are too low.

In past re-structuring so-called value recovery instruments, a type of warrant, gave their owners extra payments if a country did better than expected and were tied to items like oil prices.

Bondholders had initially proposed bond which would have a lower hair cut initially, and it will have additional hair cuts if growth is low (about 3.1 percent) as projected in an IMF debt sustainability analysis. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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BIMSTEC Secretary General visits Sri Lanka, discusses regional cooperation

ECONOMYNEXT – The Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), discussed measures to enhance regional cooperation, during his visit to the island last week.

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Secretary General of BIMSTEC visited Sri Lanka from 07 – 12 April 2024, following his assumption of office as Secretary General of BIMSTEC in January this year.

The Secretary General “met with senior officials of relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss measures to enhance regional cooperation under various BIMSTEC initiatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Several BIMSTEC countries have bilateral trade agreements, such as Sri Lanka and India, Thailand and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but no collective regional agreement to enable intra-regional leverage.

During the visit, Secretary General Pandey held discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and paid courtesy calls on the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary General Pandey participated at an event on “Regional Cooperation through BIMSTEC” organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) on 9 April. (Colombo/April15/2024)

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