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Fears of wider conflict rise as Israeli-linked tanker set ablaze in drone attack off India

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An attack by an unidentified drone on an Israeli-linked tanker off the coast of India has raised fears that the Gaza War may spread, Indian media reported Sunday.

Indian warships and aircraft are escorting a tanker that was attacked on Saturday night (23rd) and set on fire, 370 km off the coast of Gujarat, India.

The Liberian-flagged tanker ‘Chem Pluto’ which can carry chemicals or oil, was en route to the Indian port of Mangalore from Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, when it was hit by a drone in the Arabian Sea. The tanker is part-owned by an Israeli shipping company.

The crew of 21, all of them Indians, were not injured and the fire was doused. The Indian Navy has sent warships and maritime surveillance aircraft to escort the ship to Mangalore.

It was not clear who was responsible for the attack, or where the drone came from. The Houthis of Yemen have carried out dozens of drone and missile attacks on ships in the past several weeks, but those have been close to the coast of Yemen. The attack took place more than 3,000 km from Yemen.

The Houthis are backed by Iran, which has repeatedly threatened to widen the war if Israel does not halt its onslaught against Hamas. Many of the world’s largest shipping firms have halted voyages through the Red Sea due to attacks, and are now routing their ships on the much longer route around Africa, which has had the effect of driving shipping costs up.

The Red Sea shipping crisis has also affected traffic to Colombo, which is on the global east-west shipping route between Europe and the Far East that passes through the Red Sea and the Arabian Seas. Warships of a dozen nations including the US and UK are currently patrolling the Red Sea area to guard against attacks.

Source – News 1st

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CBSL appoints two New Deputy Governors

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has appointed two new Deputy Governors, effective this week. 

Assistant Governor and Secretary to the Governing Board A.A.M. Thassim has been appointed as Deputy Governor starting June 20, while Assistant Governor J.P.R. Karunaratne will assume his new role on June 24.

These appointments were made by the Minister of Finance, following recommendations from the CBSL Governing Board, in accordance with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Act, No. 16 of 2023.

Mr. Thassim brings over 31 years of experience at CBSL, having worked in various areas including Banking Supervision and Regulation, International Operations, and Risk Management. He has also been part of several high-level committees on monetary policy and financial stability.

Mr. Karunaratne, with over 33 years at CBSL, has extensive experience in the supervision and regulation of financial institutions, currency management, and public debt. He has significantly contributed to strengthening the legal framework and consolidation of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions sector.

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UK rejects TGTE appeal to lift LTTE proscription

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The UK Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission has rejected an appeal by the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to lift the proscription on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation in Britain.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry, confirmed that the UK will continue to maintain the proscription on the LTTE. Announcing this on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Sabry noted that the independent court, headed by a high court judge and two retired senior diplomats, ruled against de-proscribing the LTTE.

The TGTE, which supports the creation of an independent Tamil state in north-east Sri Lanka, had appealed to the UK to lift its ban on the LTTE. However, the TGTE itself is not proscribed in the UK as it seeks to achieve its political and ideological objectives through non-violent means.

Sabry further stated, “The LTTE international network’s approach and strategy is to get foreign governments to de-proscribe the LTTE so that they could revive the LTTE.”

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Thai PM justifies frequent international trips, including a visit to Sri Lanka

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin defended his frequent globe-trotting during his first 10 months as leader of the Southeast Asian nation, in remarks aired in a television broadcast on Saturday.

A real estate tycoon and political newcomer who became prime minister in August last year, Srettha made 15 overseas visits and pledged a two-month halt in March in response to public criticism.

“Some of these visits are not avoidable,” he said, referring to those for official meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as to China and Japan, while a third was to Sri Lanka to sign a free trade pact.

Other visits aimed to draw trade and investment, said Srettha, nicknamed Thailand’s salesman, who has often spoken of his goal of luring more foreign investment to the country.

“It’s necessary to go,” he said in the remarks recorded in advance.

Source: Reuters

–Agencies

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