International

Modi raises Kashmir protests with British counterpart

Views - 16 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, about violent demonstrations over Kashmir outside the Indian embassy in London, the foreign ministry said. Thousands of people, many waving Pakist


Trump says he had to ‘take China on’, regardless of short-term impact on US economy

Views - 18 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the US economy because Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades. Trump’s strongly worded comments came hou


Trump urges India and Pakistan to reduce tensions in call with leaders

Views - 13 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): US President Donald Trump spoke with the leaders of India and Pakistan on Monday, discussing prospects for improved trade ties with Washington and stressing the need to reduce tensions over Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neigh


Trump ‘not ready’ for China trade deal, dismisses recession fears

Views - 16 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): US President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting t


Hong Kong leader says dialogue and ‘mutual respect’ offer way out of chaos

Views - 14 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

HONG KONG (Reuters): Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said yesterday she hoped a peaceful weekend anti-government protest was the start of efforts to restore calm and that talks with non-violent protesters would provide “a way out” for the Chinese-rul


Zakir Naik apologises to Malaysians for racial remarks

Views - 18 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik apologised on Tuesday for making racially sensitive remarks in Malaysia, a day after he was questioned by police for hours over the comments. Naik, who faces charges of money la


Fitch raises Malaysia 2019 GDP growth forecast to 4.6% on solid first half

Views - 13 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Fitch Ratings on Monday revised its 2019 growth forecast for Malaysia to 4.6%, from 4.2%, after the country reported stronger-than-expected growth in the first half. Malaysia’s central bank reported second-quarter economic g


Japan exports slide for eight month on weak global demand

Views - 11 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japan’s exports slipped for an eight month in July, while manufacturers’ confidence turned negative for the first time in over six years as slowing global growth and the prolonged Sino-US trade war took a toll on the world’s th


Malaysia ex-PM Najib’s major 1MDB trial postponed

Views - 16 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

Kuala Lumpur (AFP): Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak’s most significant 1MDB trial, which centres on claims huge sums ended up in his bank account, was postponed Monday for a week after prosecutors said they were not ready. It is the second trial li


US power waning in Pacific, warns top Australian think tank

Views - 15 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

SYDNEY (AFP): The United States no longer has military primacy in the Pacific and could struggle to defend allies against China, a top Australian think tank has warned. A hard-hitting report from the United States Studies Centre at the University of


British Parliament must reconvene immediately for Brexit crisis, Labour Party says

Views - 12 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): Britain’s Parliament needs to be recalled immediately to discuss Brexit, the opposition Labour Party’s Finance Spokesman John McDonnell said on Monday, after leaked official documents forecast possible food, fuel, and medicine s


US economists expect recession in 2020 or 2021: survey

Views - 14 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (AFP): A majority of economists expect a US recession in the next two years, but have pushed back the onset amid Federal Reserve actions, according to a survey released Monday. The National Association for Business Economists found far fe


China says UN council members think India, Pakistan should refrain from unilateral action in Kashmir

Views - 16 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:03

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters): UN Security Council members believe India and Pakistan should refrain from taking unilateral action over the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir, China’s UN envoy said on Friday after the council met on the issue for the


Hong Kong protesters throng streets in heat and heavy rain

Views - 15 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:02

HONG KONG (Reuters): Hundreds of thousands of anti-Government protesters joined a mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, filling major thoroughfares in heavy rain in the 11th week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.


UK faces food, fuel and drug shortages, says contested leaked document

Views - 17 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:02

LONDON (Reuters): Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, according to leaked official documents reported by the Sunday Times, but whose interpretation was contested by Ministe


ANZ slashes forecast for India’s GDP growth in 2019/20 to 6.2%

Views - 15 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:01

NEW DELHI (Reuters): The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) slashed its forecast for India’s economic growth to 6.2% in the financial year ending next March from a previous estimate of 6.5%, warning it would be tough for authorities to e


India reimposes some curbs on movement after violent clashes in Jammu and Kashmir

Views - 19 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

SRINAGAR (Reuters): Indian authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of Kashmir’s biggest city, Srinagar, on Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured, two senior officials


Thailand plans $ 10 b stimulus to support economy

Views - 17 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

BANGKOK (Reuters): Thailand is planning a stimulus package worth $ 10 billion that will include support for farmers and tourism, its finance minister said on Friday, in a move to shore up a flagging economy. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy


Asian stocks rattled, oil sinks as bond markets scream recession

Views - 20 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

TOKYO/SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian stocks stumbled and oil prices extended a punishing sell-off on Thursday as investors feared an historic drop in long-term US bond yields could portend a recession globally. Spooked investors stampeded to the safety of s


Aso says he hopes markets will calm down

Views - 13 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday that volatility was high in financial markets and that he hoped markets would calm down. Various factors are behind market moves including the US-China trade war, Aso told reporters


With 78 days to Brexit, British Parliament ready to take on PM

Views - 21 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): The British parliament is set for a September showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “do or die” pro-Brexit government and those implacably opposed to leaving the European Union without a divorce deal. Johnson says Br


Canada’s Trudeau accepts he breached ethics rules, refuses to apologise

Views - 24 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

OTTAWA (Reuters): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday accepted a watchdog’s report that he breached ethics rules by trying to influence a corporate legal case but refused to apologise, saying he had been trying to defend jobs. Indep


Pakistan observes ‘Black Day’ for Kashmir as India celebrates independence

Views - 15 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

ISLAMABAD (Reuters): Pakistan observed a ‘Black Day’ on Thursday to coincide with India’s Independence Day celebrations, in protest at New Delhi’s decision to revoke special status for its portion of the contested Kashmir region. India’s de


Modi trumpets Kashmir, Muslim marriage moves in Independence Day speech

Views - 17 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

MUMBAI (Reuters): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an Independence Day speech on Thursday that spotlighted a decision to remove the special rights of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir among the bold moves of his second term. Modi


PM Modi announces chief of defence staff post to improve military integration

Views - 16 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Thursday the establishment of the post of chief of defence staff for better coordination between the army, air force and navy along the lines of Western military forces. Defence ex


Pakistan requests UN Security Council meeting on Kashmir

Views - 14 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

Islamabad (Reuters): Pakistan has asked the United Nations Security Council for an urgent meeting on the contested Kashmir region also claimed by India, according to a letter released by Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Wednesday. Foreign minister Sh


India needs time to restore order in Kashmir: Supreme Court judge

Views - 19 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

New Delhi/Islamabad (Reuters): Indian authorities need more time to restore order in Kashmir, a Supreme Court justice said on Tuesday as a security clampdown entered a ninth day since New Delhi revoked the region’s special status, triggering protes


Pakistan PM accuses India of planning military action in Kashmir

Views - 18 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

Islamabad/Karachi (Reuters): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used an address celebrating Independence Day on Wednesday to accuse India of planning military action in the disputed Kashmir region that has long been a flashpoint between the two nucle


China says Hong Kong protesters like ‘terrorists’, airport reopens

Views - 17 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

HONG KONG (Reuters): China’s Hong Kong Liaison office said on Wednesday that anti-government protesters were no different to ‘terrorists’, as US President Donald Trump said Chinese troops were moving to the border with Hong Kong and urged calm.


Singapore slashes 2019 GDP growth forecast to 0-1% after sharp second quarter contraction

Views - 18 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Singapore slashed its full-year economic growth forecast on Tuesday, as global conditions were seen worsening and final second quarter data showed the economy shrank 3.3% on the quarter. The government cut its forecast range for


Today's Columnists

State of the economy of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I am not an economist nor do I profess to be an economic analyst. The views expressed in this presentation are those of a layman who has always been interested in the economic progress of Sri Lanka.


Premadasa, Père et Fils

Saturday, 21 September 2019

We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age 77, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although J.R. Jayewardene introduced ‘Executive Presidentialism’, coer


Economy, business community and the Prime Minister

Friday, 20 September 2019

The speech made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 deserves very careful consideration by the country due to several reasons. This will no doubt be his last speech on economic policy to be


Sri Lanka needs to invest more on soft infrastructure

Friday, 20 September 2019

Developing countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks in 2020 with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and comm


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