Daily Archives: February 22, 2007

Sri Lanka increased its trade by US $ 27 million by the FTA

 By Walter Jayawardhana


Through the Free Trade Agreement signed between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Sri Lanka benefited immensely by increasing the island nation’s exports by US $ 27 million while Pakistan increased its exports by only US $ 3 million said the karachchi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Chamber President said the fault was by Pakistan since the prime reason for Pakistan not being able to increase its trade with Sri Lanka was the lack of knowledge about the Free Trade Agreement among the business community the country signed with the Indian Ocean island republic. The Chamber said by the cognizance of the agreement Sri Lanka increased its exports by US $ 27 million compared to Pakistan’s measly 3 million.

 The Karachi Chamber of Commerce President Maiyd Aziz told the inaugural meeting of the Regional Economic Affairs Committee that now the chamber is organizing an intensive seminar in Karachi in April on understanding FTA in collaboration with the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, the Sindh provincial government and the Trade Development Authority in Pakistan.

He said it is planned to highlight SAFTA, Pak-Sri Lanka FTA, Pak-China FTA, and the under negotiation FTAs with Malaysia and Bangladesh. He talked about the shipping protocol signed with India, and proposed to the Pakistan government that it should promote and create intra-regional investment along with trade.

The Special Committee Chairman on Regional Economic Affairs Danish Saeed said that India is taking the maximum advantage of the Free Trade Agreements signed and Pakistan should take an example from them. He said Pakistan should could galvanize its trade through profound understanding the trade agreements the country signed.

Further emphasizing India as an example to follow he said Indo-China bilateral trade has crossed the US $ 25 billion mark in one year both China and India have attained awareness of the competitive domestic markets in each others country. Saeed pointed out China and SAARC countries constitute 20 % of the global population and thus provide ample opportunities of trade for one another.

LTTE was planning a major attack on Lankan port with suicide boat

By Walter Jayawardhana


Indian intelligence services have reported that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is hibernating at least 15 suicide boats in the waters between India and Sri Lanka in the expectation of repeating a Katunayaka Airport strike type strike against a Sri Lankan Seaport

In July 2001 LTTE suicide attackers struck at Sri Lanka’s only civilian international airport at Katunayaka and the adjacent military airport and dramatically destroyed the majority of military aircraft and some civilian aircraft, causing the country major economic damage.

Indian reports said that the LTTE kept these suicide boats packed with high explosives like RDX and TNT, until a strike probably against a seaport, inactive and parked in the waters between the two countries because of the increased activity of the Sri Lanka Navy.

But to the chagrin of the LTTE, the waters between the two countries, the Bay of Mannar and the Palk Straits are no longer safe for them because of the increased surveillance of the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy, the intelligence services have said.

The proposed attack against a Sri Lankan seaport came to light after the Indian Coast Guard detected an explosive packed suicide boat along the coastline of Tamil Nadu.

According to Indian investigation, it has been found out that the suicide boat attacks were not intended for India but against a major Sri Lankan Seaport or a Sri Lankan warship, the Hindu reported.

The suicide boat of the Sea Tigers, experts said, was packed with TNT mixed with RDX to multiple the power of destruction on impact.

The investigations have revealed the operators of the boats were given satellite phones to receive instructions from their headquarters whenever it was ready to strike against a target and they were not in the know of their intended victims before hand. Instructions were coming from time to time from their command over the phones.

Indian intelligence services have said the probable targets could be the busy commercial harbor of Colombo or a Sri Lankan Navy warship

The Indian intelligence investigators were verifying about the instructions received through the satellite phones.

When Indian Coast Guard detected the first suicide boat along the coast of Kodiakarai in Tamil Nadu though armed the Sea Tigers did not retaliate as they normally do. It is believed that the suicide boat operators were under such instructions since the LTTE did not want to provoke the Indian government by an attack of retaliation.

The Tamil Nadu Director General of Police D.Mukerjee recently held a liaison meeting with civil and military officials to brief all officers concerned about the developing situation in the state following the seizure of the LTTE suicide boat.

The police reports from Tamil Nadu said they have alsso arrested six persons in connection with the smuggling of aluminum ingots to Sri Lanka.

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