Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Safe Harbour and Emergency Laws

Industry sources said that Sri Lanka is classified as a ‘region with a war’ by Lloyds Register, which means that vessels calling on Sri Lanka have to pay additional war-risk premiums...

"There could be fire beneath the embers," he said. "If there are elements who still support terrorism, we will deal with them." The state of emergency allows the government to arrest and detain suspects for indefinite periods without trial.

SL to ask Lloyds to remove ‘region with a war’ tag

by Devan Daniel, The Island, May 25, 2009

Sri Lanka will soon approach Lloyds Register of London with a request to review its classification of the country as a ‘region with a war’ with ships calling on Colombo having to pay a war risk premium.

"We have had some preliminary discussions with Lloyds but we hope to make an official representation soon. We hope to invite them to Colombo so that they can judge the situation for themselves," said Dr. P. Bandu Wickrama, Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

"I will be calling on Lloyds at London soon and I will invite them to Sri Lanka," he told the Island Financial Review.

"We can expect the negotiations to be a success and will expect ship agents and ship owners in Sri Lanka to help us by lobbying with Lloyds," he said.

Industry sources said that Sri Lanka is classified as a ‘region with a war’ by Lloyds Register, which means that vessels calling on Sri Lanka have to pay additional war-risk premiums. Apart from this, when the LTTE attempted to attack the Colombo Port in 2001, Lloyds slapped another ‘travel warning’ which was subsequently removed.

Sources say however, that big shipping lines do not pay additional ‘war-risk premiums when calling on Sri Lanka as they are have enough clout to negotiate with their insurance companies, where the premium is waived off because of the relationship between the shipping line and its insurer.

However, removing Sri Lanka from a ‘region with a war’ classification is expected to attract more shipping lines and their vessels into Colombo.

It’s like a travel advisory. With it you will get fewer travelers, without it, things will be very different.

Total cargo handling at Colombo grew by 9.1 percent to 50.6 million MT in 2008 compared to the 8.6 percent growth in 2007.

Total container handling also recorded an increase of 9.1 percent to 3.7 million TEUs while transshipments increased by 11.5 percent. Thus, the port of Colombo recorded the highest container throughput during the year.

In 2008, the number of vessels calling at the port increased by 2 percent, down from 5.4 percent in 2007.

According to the Central Bank Annual Report, 2009 could be a difficult year.

"The global economic slowdown and the resultant reduction in world trade could have a significant impact on port services this year," it says.

"The growth of container handling, transshipment handling, and cargo handling decelerated significantly during the fourth quarter of 2008 and this trend would continue to in 2009 with the prolonged global recession."

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Sri Lanka Extends Anti-Terror Laws Despite Defeat Of Tigers

by AFP, June 9, 2009

Sri Lanka's government on Tuesday extended tough anti-terror laws, arguing that remnants of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels could still try to stage a comeback.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament that the government wanted to extend the state of emergency by a month despite last month's defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, and the deaths of their leaders.

"There could be fire beneath the embers," he said. "If there are elements who still support terrorism, we will deal with them."

The state of emergency allows the government to arrest and detain suspects for indefinite periods without trial.

The military has detained more than 9,200 Tigers, but fear that rebel cells may still be active across the island.

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since 1983 with a few short breaks in between. Parliament must vote on the state of emergency every month.

The United Nations has estimated that up to 100,000 people may have been killed in the island's decades-long Tamil separatist conflict.

 

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