Connect with us

News

JVP asks Govt. to state its stand on Pompeo’s Sri Lanka visit

Published

on

by Saman Indrajith

The US even before sending its State Secretary Mike Pompeo to Sri Lanka has issued a veiled threat that Sri Lanka had to decide with what foreign powers it should align itself, says the JVP, demanding the Rajapaksa government to explain its stance on US bullying.

JVP National Organiser Bimal Ratnayake addressing the media at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, yesterday, said the US State Department had commenced cranking up pressure on Sri Lanka days ahead of Pompeo’s visit. “Principal deputy assistant secretary at State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Dean Thompson, told media there that Sri Lanka should make the ‘difficult but necessary choices’ in selecting its friends.

“This was said last week while announcing Pompeo’s visit to Sri Lanka this week as part of a wider trip that includes India, the Maldives and Indonesia. Pompeo comes here just five days ahead of the US presidential election. There is a critical situation in the US and Sri Lanka and the world around. In that context, his visit should be of high importance. The US sent its Air Force’s Globemaster III aircraft which could transport 134 army personnel and vehicles to Katunayake Airport a few days back. Who landed here from that flight? It is clear that Pompeo comes here to threaten this country and make it accept US agenda in Asia Pacific. Before sending Pompeo here the State Department has done everything to prevent any possible rejection by the Sri Lankan government, which should explain to the people how it would stand up to this kind of bullying.

“Pompeo’s visit comes days after the government got the 20th Amendment to the Constitution passed in Parliament. The US foreign policy is full of threats and blackmailing. The other danger is the threat from the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement with the US. Although people here have voted against the MCC, the MCC office in Colombo is still functioning. The threat is still there and the US is bent on forcing the government to sign the compact.”



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

News

Domestic debt restructuring will cripple EPF, ETF – JVP

Published

on

By Sirimatha Rathnasekera

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) will lose about 600 billion rupees during the proposed domestic debt structuring, Co-Convener of the JVP affiliated National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) Wasantha Samarasinghe claimed.

Samarasinghe is of the opinion that the government is planning not to pay 20 to 25 percent of the loans it has taken from domestic sources. Successive governments have borrowed significantly from the EPF and ETF, he said.

Samarasinghe said that due to the depreciation of the rupee, the real value of EPF and ETF funds had decreased by half. “In such a context, can these institutions take a 20 percent haircut? This might be a big problem to the workers,” he said.

The NTUC Co-Convener said that a number of domestic banks, too, had lent to the government and domestic debt restructuring might lead to a collapse in the banking system.

However, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe says that they are confident of reaching debt sustainability without re-structuring domestic debt, which would lead to problems in the banking sector.

“There have been concerns among domestic bond investors about rupee debt/internal debt to be restructured following comments made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to the effect that financial advisors were looking at domestic debt. However, there has been no request to restructure domestic debt. We are confident that we can make debt sustainable without restructuring domestic debt,” Dr. Weerasinghe told the media at the CBSL’s 6th Review of the Monetary Policy stance for this year, at the CBSL head office auditorium, in Colombo, on Thursday.

Continue Reading

News

Powerful CEBEU says yes to restructuring but on its terms

Published

on

Sri Lanka will experience periodic power cuts until 2027 if the government did not take steps to increase electricity production, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) said yesterday.Due to electricity shortages, the Norochcholai Power Plant had been operational non-stop, sometimes even without scheduled maintenance, CEBEU President, Saumya Kumarawadu said.

“A generator is down. We will get it back online within 14 days. We had started maintenance on another plant in June and it was to be back online in September. But it has been delayed till November,” he said.

Kumarawadu said there would be 10-hour power cuts without Norochcholai. However, the power cuts could be reduced in two weeks when the generator was restored, he said.

He added that while they support restructuring of the CEB, they oppose de-bundling and selling the CEB to various private actors.

“Power cuts might have to go on till 2026 or 2027 unless new plants come up. A proposal to build an LNG power plant is still languishing in the Cabinet,” he said.

The CEBEU President also said that the electricity tariff was last increased in 2012. In 2014, the tariff was reduced. Without increasing electricity tariffs, the CEB will have to get increasing amounts of money from the treasury.

“The government should have increased the tariff at regular intervals. We haven’t increased in a decade and suddenly we have increased by a large amount.That’s why it has come as a shock to people,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

SJB opposes blanket privatisations

Published

on

… questions logic of selling cash cows like Telecom and Insurance

The SJB was opposed to the privatisation of profit-making government entities, Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella, said yesterday, in Colombo.Kiriella said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had told The Economist magazine that they are thinking of privatising Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Insurance.

“These are two institutions that make a profit. What is the point in privatising these?” he asked.

MP Kiriella said that they are not opposed to privatizing SriLankan Airlines, which has been making losses for years.

“We can talk about these things in Parliament. Even when we privatize loss making entities we have to take a number of things into consideration. What will happen to the workers? How will we compensate them? How will we re-skill them? We have to talk about these things openly before doing anything,” he said.

The Chief Opposition Whip said that one of the main reasons why people oppose privatization is because everything is done in secrecy.

“People wonder why things are hidden from them. We need to be open and transparent when we restructure,” he said.

Continue Reading

Trending