Wednesday, September 12, 2012

US Ambassador Designate Discusses Bilateral Cooperation With Minister Peiris

Wed, 2012-09-12 02:04 — editor
Colombo, 12 September, (
Ambassador-designate of the United States of America Michele J. Sison with Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris
Ambassador-designate of the United States of America Michele J. Sison, who arrived in Sri Lanka at the week-end, called on Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, at the Ministry on Monday.
Minister Peiris discussed with Ambassador Sison political and economic developments in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict, and the way ahead. He told the Ambassador that, wherever she travels in the country, she would find ample evidence of the new mood of confidence among Sri Lankans, who are looking forward to a secure and prosperous future after the eradication of terrorism.
Ambassador Sison, with the advantage of extensive experience in South Asia, expressed her pleasure at the opportunity of serving in Sri Lanka.
The External Affairs Minister and the American Ambassador discussed co-operation between the two countries in a variety of fields, including trade, investment, defence and the environment.
Minister Peiris will be attending an event over the week-end to mark the 20th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce.
- Asian Tribune -

UN review mission does not mean change in gov't stance: Sri Lankan minister   2012-09-11 21:15:58

COLOMBO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations review mission expected in Sri Lanka later this week will only be a monitoring visit and does not reflect a change in the government's stance, the external affairs minister said here on Tuesday.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris refuted media reports that the review mission that will be composed of representatives from India, Spain and Benin were appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following a U.S. backed resolution passed in March.
"The visit is a result of a government invitation which was made to the UNHRC eleven months before the resolution was passed. The Universal Periodic Review is done for all 192 UN member countries and Sri Lanka has in no way been especially selected," he emphasized to reporters.
The review mission, which will arrive in Sri Lanka on Sept. 14, is expected to review the reconciliation process initiated by the government as well as the implementation of a key accountability report released by the government last December.
"They (the mission) will not act as judges," Peiris stressed adding that the Sri Lankan government would not allow external pressures to affect the reconciliation process.
Following the review mission U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay is expected to tour the country.
Relations between the two parties have been tense at times over Pillay's criticism over Sri Lanka's human rights record.
Sri Lanka has also presented an extensive document to the UNHRC on the country's post war progress that will be taken into consideration under the resolution.
Editor: znz

Tokyo Stock Exchange mulls listing of Sri Lankan corporates

  Published : 1:04 am  September 12, 2012  |  
The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), which is the third largest equity/stock market in the world with a total market capitalisation of US$ 3.3 trillion, has expressed interest to have Sri Lankan listed corporates on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to be listed on the TSE as Japanese Depository Receipts (JDRs), stated Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan Admiral (Rtd.) Wasantha Karannagoda.
Listing of foreign corporates in the TSE as JDRs is customary since the foreign corporates are already listed in their home countries.
According to Ambassador Karannagoda, this is an opportune point of time to have Sri Lankan listed corporates listed in the global TSE market since the TSE is in the process of merging with the Osaka Stock Exchange (OSE).
This mega integration of these two mega markets, i.e. TSE and OSE, would reinvigorate the Japanese equity market, thus benefitting corporates and investors alike.
Senior officials of the TSE have conducted discussions with the relevant officials of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo in this context. For all purposes, the listing of Sri Lankan corporates in the TSE would enable the Sri Lankan corporates to tap and to raise funds from external (international) sources, money centre banks and markets.
Ambassador Admiral Karannagoda added that once a Sri Lankan corporate is listed in a major global exchange such as the TSE, it would obviously raise its profile and stature not only on a regional basis but also on a global basis.
Further, listing Sri Lankan corporates on other major markets/exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), London Stock Exchange (LSE) or the NASDAQ of the US is a long and arduous process, let alone the cost of listing. Accordingly, the listing on the TSE is less difficult and less costly and the process is less arduous.
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was among the best performing three markets in the world from 2009 to 2011. Further, the CSE is fuelled, mostly, not only by the domestic investors but by foreign investors.
The TSE has noted that the fundamentals and the technical factors of the listed companies of the CSE are generally more stable than that of many other markets in both developed and developing nations. The Price Earnings Ratio (P/E) of the CSE is an impressive number, of around 13. It is surprising that despite a number of large blue chip corporates being listed on the CSE, not a single company is listed on any major global exchange.
According to Ambassador Admiral Karannagoda, the listing of Sri Lankan corporates in the TSE would make them more globalised and more connected, thus enabling them to compete and vie with other similar corporates in the region as well as in the world.
“For all purposes, the keen interest expressed by the TSE in corporates on the CSE augurs well for the performance of the CSE as well as the economy of the country,” the Ambassador added.

Rajapaksa to meet PM, President during India visit

 Colombo, September 12, 2012 | The Hindu

Sri Lankan President Mahinda RajapaksePHOTO: AFP
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his private visit to the country next week, against the backdrop of attacks on pilgrims from this country in Tamil Nadu.
Rajapaksa is set to meet the two leaders on September 20, External Affairs Minister G L Peiris told reporters here today.
Rajapaksa is travelling to Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh on September 19 to lay the foundation stone for the construction of a Centre for Buddhist Studies.
The meeting with the Indian Prime Minister would be the first for Rajapaksa since India voted in favour of the anti-Sri Lanka resolution that censured the nation over its human rights record at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva in March.
The resolution said that Sri Lankan troops deliberately targeted civilians during the last phase of the civil war with the LTTE which ended in 2009.
Although Sri Lanka – India relations have been rekindled since the passage of resolution with a number of high-profile visits to country by Indian dignitaries, the recent events which reflected anti-Sinhala sentiments in Tamil Nadu have muddied the waters.
A parliamentary delegation led by Sushma Swaraj, the opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, visited the country in April. External Affairs minister S M Krishna visited Colombo prior to Swaraj’s delegation.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has been urging the Centre to curtail training for visiting Sri Lankan defence officials in the state. She also ordered the return of a Sri Lankan football team.
Following attacks against a group of Sri Lankan Catholic pilgrims in Chennai, Sri Lanka issued a travel advisory warning against travel to the Indian state.
Last week, Rajapaksa had said the Indian government responded positively to his country’s request to guarantee the safety of its citizens and only a small, politicallymotivated group was responsible for the harassment.

Indian team largest in Colombo despite abstentions

COLOMBO, September 12, 2012 | The Hindu
R. K. Radhakrishnan
Elected representatives from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are among those who did not make the trip for the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) meet that has opened here.
Though a majority of the 800-plus representatives from over 175 branches were in town since September 7, the meet was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday.
While it was clear that Tamil Nadu Speaker D. Jaya Kumar will not be attending, the case of Karnataka is curious. Recently, some MLAs from Karnataka were embroiled in a controversy over a tour of Latin America. Last week, a tour of Europe by a second batch of legislators and officials was called off.
The Colombo jaunt appears to have been a casualty to the controversy. Pondicherry followed Tamil Nadu’s lead and has kept away. But the Indian delegation is still the largest with over 50 elected representatives from several States.
The conference will decide CPA’s strategic plan for the next four years.
Mr. Rajapaksa spoke of the lofty principles on which Sri Lankan democracy was founded, how he had protected and nurtured it, and asked them to explore the country and discover how free the people were.
“Your presence in Sri Lanka gives you a good opportunity to see for yourselves the progress of democracy in our country, after the major threat it faced under terrorism. This is important in the context of the barrage of lies being spread about Sri Lanka today. As you will see, there is full freedom of travel to any part of the country. You can also speak to anyone, from government or the opposition and different communities.”
Indirectly hitting out at the U.S. and its allies, he said there was “an unfortunate trend” to “impose democracy on people and states” and “bomb democracy into place with a carpet of destruction”. Mr. Rajapaksa, who once counted Libya’s Qadhafi among his friends, said there were those “who seem to think of regime change as the necessary path to democracy, without seeing the consequences of such action that stare at us today”. Sri Lanka — facing serious charges of human rights abuses in the last stages of the war which, the U.N. says, killed about 40,000 civilians — used the opportunity to flag the issue of use and misuse of human rights. “We are also aware of how human rights can be made a slogan by the worst violators of such rights, to threaten traditional democracies,” said Mr. Rajapaksa.