President Rajapaksa visited to United Kindom; Sri Lanka’s export earnings have gone up; Sri Lankan inflation rate rises; Sri Lanka to establish Exim Bank; Indian Cabinet approves ferry service between India and Sri Lanka;
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  • President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited United Kingdom. During his visit, he held successful bilateral discussions with the Secretary General of Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, British Defence Minister Liam Fox Liam Fox, UK and EU Parliamentarians and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament. President Rajapaksa also met with Sri Lankan expatriates in the UK at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. However, the organisers had to cancel President Rajapaksa’s address at Oxford Union due to protests.1

    Reports noted that Sri Lanka’s export earnings have gone up by 16.7% year on year to earn US$ 663 million during the month of September. Agricultural and Industrial exports have been the major contributory factor for this growth. Imports during September have also gone up by 35.9% to incur a bill of US$ 1.09 billion owing to an increase in all the major categories of imports.2 Tea exports for the month of October 2010 had totaled 29.4 m/kgs vis-a-vis 25.09 m/kgs of October 2009, showing a gain of 4.3 m/kgs.3 Another report noted that inflation in Sri Lanka increased to 7.0 per cent in November 2010, on a year-on-year basis, from 6.6 per cent in October.4 Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will establish Export Import Bank (Exim Bank) next year to finance exporters and contractors, and to promote trade.5

    India’s Union Cabinet has cleared the proposal for a passenger ferry service between India and Sri Lanka.6 However, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the loan of $90 million to help Sri Lanka restore water supply and sanitation infrastructure to the Northern Province.7

    In other developments, Government of Sri Lanka with the support of Grama Niladharis has commenced a pilot project to identify actual owners of lands in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts in order to expedite the 50,000 houses programme by the Indian government.8