Sri Lanka polls timed ahead of U.N. war crimes report to foil Rajapaksa comeback

[ Reuters ][ Jul 06 06:23 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's August elections have been timed to stop a comeback by war-time president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who remarkably may see his popularity rise in coming months if criticized for war crimes in a U.N report, said government sources. Rajapaksa's crushing of a 26-year Tamil Tiger insurgency in 2009 won him support among the country's Sinhalese majority and he still has a very strong following. Thousands rallied to hear him announce his comeback campaign on a Buddhist holiday in his Hambantota district on July 1. [ full story | comments ]

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People’s Rainbow Revolution under a dark cloud

Six months after being voted out of the presidency, Percy Mahendra Raj...

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Sri Lankan activists, Tamils ​​and Buddhists together against all forms of torture

A young man detained by police in 2008 did not return. An innocent Sin...

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Sri Lanka's Sirisena 'under strong pressure' for new polls

The UN report is expected to name members of the former government and...

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Missing Dornier: Coast Guard in Touch With Sri Lanka

[ PTI ][ Jul 07 02:30 GMT ]

Coast Guard authorities are in touch with Sri Lanka as part of their search efforts to locate the Dornier plane which went missing nearly a month ago, the mother of a missing crew member said in Chennai today. "Coast Guard chief Vice Admiral H C S Bisht has informed me that Sri Lankan authorities have been requested to alert India if they sight the aircraft or its crew," Padma Shankari, mother of Deputy Commandant Suresh Subash told PTI. [ full story | comments ]

People’s Rainbow Revolution under a dark cloud

[ Sunday Times ][ Jul 06 03:50 GMT ]

Six months after being voted out of the presidency, Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa has bounced back to become a candidate for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the August 17 parliamentary elections. He will choose from three different districts — Gampaha, Kurunegala or Ratnapura. “I was willing to agree to anything that would not divide our party. We will ensure a victory and protect our country,” Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times. His successor, President Maithripala Sirisena, had earlier ruled out any role for him at the polls. [ full story | comments ]

Betrayal — why Maithri, why?

[ Sunday Times ][ Jul 06 03:46 GMT ]

Needless to say, Maithri, most of us were very surprised when it was announced that you and Mahinda maama had secret talks in the middle of the night. The last time you talked, it was in Parliament, and the cameras recorded most of it. So, why resort to secret talks now, Maithri, why? Then, your office denied those talks took place at Chamal maama’s house. Mahinda maama did the same. But you in fact met Mahinda maama and held talks with him at a different location. Why did you forget to mention that when you denied the meeting at Chamal maama’s house, Maithri, why? Then we hear that you had agreed to offer Mahinda maama to contest from the betel leaf group at the elections. [ full story | comments ]

President to stay neutral at polls

[ Sunday Times ][ Jul 06 03:43 GMT ]

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to allow his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 parliamentary elections on the United People’s Freedom Alliance ticket has caused ripples within his own ‘rainbow’ coalition. Increasing tensions is Mr. Sirisena’s decision not to take part in the election campaign. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa are urging him to name Mr. Rajapaksa as campaign chief but no final decision has yet been taken. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who heads the United National Party (UNP) has invited those not supportive of the Rajapaksa entry to contest on the UNP ticket. “We are not getting alarmed and we will go before the people confidently,” he told the Sunday Times. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's new administration starts building China funded highway

[ EN ][ Jul 05 11:04 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena kicked off construction on an expressway which is financed by China in the island's south on July 04. The road will end in ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's home constituency. Sri Lanka's new administration has been highly critical of Chinese financed projects under the former administration saying they were corrupt and had inflated costs. [ full story | comments ]

'Sri Lanka will never pose a threat to India'

[ Rediff ][ Jul 04 14:22 GMT ]

Will you be a prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections? If yes, will you be the SLFP candidate? I will be contesting the parliamentary election with a view to forming the next government. The United People's Freedom Alliance has extended an invitation to me to contest on their ticket which I and the constituent parties of the UPFA along with the majority of the former SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) parliamentary group have decided to accept. We contested the 1994 parliamentary election as the People's Alliance. Ten years later, for the 2004 parliamentary election, we reconstituted our alliance as the UPFA. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan activists, Tamils ​​and Buddhists together against all forms of torture

[ AsiaNews ][ Jul 03 11:53 GMT ]

A young man detained by police in 2008 did not return. An innocent Sinhalese fisherman ​​died in prison after 14 years. Former President Rajapaksa’s police tortured a Buddhist monk 21 times. "Torture belongs to a slave society. It is cruel, inhuman and not suitable to a free society. For the people and the government of Sri Lanka, it is time to be united in the fight to abolish torture,” said in a statement the Right to Life Organisation (R2LO). The Committee for Investigation of Disappearance (CID) event was held at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo as part of CID a programme called ‘People's Tribunal for Victims of Torture". [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka talks over Mahinda Rajapaksa's political comeback fails

[ PTI ][ Jul 03 11:48 GMT ]

"The talks to make him (Rajapaksa) lead the polls campaign completely failed," said Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a Rajapaksa loyalist. Nanayakkara said constituent party leaders of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) alliance had met President Maithripala Sirisena to make a last ditch attempt to see if Rajapaksa could be made the prime ministerial candidate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for August 17. "The plan was to have a common list from both sides (Sirisena's and Rajapaksa's), Nanayakkara said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka President dashes Rajapaksa PM hopes; Mahinda to go it alone

[ EN ][ Jun 30 13:40 GMT ]

President Maithripala Sirisena today ruled out granting nominations to former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest as a prime ministerial candidate at up coming general elections. Sirisena in a special broadcast over state television, rejected opposition-initiated reports that the former president will make a come back as a prime ministerial candidate from the United people's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).This means Rajapaksa will be competing directly with the Sirisena-led UPFA leading to a further split in the SLFP/UPFA combo. Meanwhile, the Tamil National Alliance said their four-party Tamil coalition will contest the August 18 election keeping its coalition in tact despite fears that some may try to contest on their own after leaving the TNA. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's War Is Long Over, But Reconciliation Remains Elusive

[ NPR ][ Jun 29 22:41 GMT ]

Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of peace. But as the country prepares for elections in August, the legacy of its long civil war still casts a shadow. The intervening years have been especially painful for the families of the thousands who disappeared in three decades of conflict and remain unaccounted for. The trauma endures in the fishing village of Mannar in the Northern Province, where most of the fighting unfolded between the Tamil rebels and the government forces. Residents say men were snatched off the streets "in broad daylight," bundled into vans, and never seen again. [ full story | comments ]

Sick and tired: Sri Lankan domestic workers fight back against violence

[ OpenDemocracy ][ Jul 06 13:33 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan Domestic Workers Union, along with other trade union and women’s groups, has organised a picket for Monday 6th July, outside the Supreme Court in Colombo. The protesters are demanding that action is taken against Justice Sarath Abrew who is alleged to have raped and brutally attacked a domestic worker at his home on or around the 26th June. The woman’s injuries included a fractured skull. She was admitted into hospital as an emergency. If an attack like this had been in a public place it would be just as horrific. That violence and degradation can happen in the home and within a working relationship underscores the profound susceptibility of women domestic workers. [ full story | comments ]

Former LTTE Member Faces Double Standards?

[ Sunday Leader ][ Jul 06 03:48 GMT ]

The nomination application presented by a former LTTE member to contest at the upcoming general election created quite a stir in the political circles last week. The latest issue over the nomination request made by a former LTTE member has taken the limelight since the likes of Vinyagamoorthy Muarlitharan alias Karuna Amman and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan have contested at national level elections and even held office during the former Rajapaksa regime. [ full story | comments ]

Could It Be Lust For Power?

[ Sunday Leader ][ Jul 06 03:45 GMT ]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to return to power and seek a third term in office, though not as President, has raised eyebrows both here and overseas. Historically, no Sri Lankan President has attempted to make a return to politics after two terms in office, especially as Prime Minister. The unique nature of the current scenario is that Rajapaksa is trying to make a comeback after being defeated on January eighth this year when he tried to secure a mandate for a third term in office. [ full story | comments ]

TNA faces dispute over nominations

[ Sunday Times ][ Jul 06 03:42 GMT ]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and its coalition partners are locked in a dispute over nominations for smaller parties in the alliance, party sources said. The dispute arose after smaller parties asked that at least two members from each smaller party be given nominations in the Northern and eastern Provinces. These parties include the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF-Suresh wing) and the Democratic People’s Liberation Front which is the political wing of the PLOTE. [ full story | comments ]

Won’t allow Jan. 8 ‘silent revolution’ to be reversed: Maithri

[ Daily Mirror ][ Jul 04 14:23 GMT ]

President Maithripala Sirisena today said he will not allow the ‘silent revolution’ carried out on January 8, to be revoked. He had made these remarks at the event held to lay the foundation stone for the Matara- Hambantota stretch of the Southern expressway. "I did not enter politics randomly or abruptly – my experiences in politics spans close to 49 years. . . I will not let any party decision tarnish or harm the transformations that occurred in this country after January 8 – I will protect it,” he has said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Former President Rajapaksa ready to stage a come back

[ SAAG ][ Jul 04 14:21 GMT ]

Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that he would accept his loyal supporters demand to contest the forthcoming parliamentary election to be held on August 17. According to media reports, thousands of supporters who had gathered at his home ground in Medamulana cheered him when he said “I am not ready to reject the appeal you are all making.” He indicated that he would be rallying his supporters across all parties “for the sake of the country, for the sake of mother land, we must contest the upcoming parliamentary election. - See more at: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1809#sthash.UolkuUrl.dpuf [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka suspends fuel contracts worth millions

[ Reuters ][ Jul 03 11:50 GMT ]

Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) has suspended oil contracts worth millions of dollars that were signed last year for fuel deliveries, the company chairman told Reuters on Thursday. "We have suspended some previous contracts ... due to (Ceypetco) not following standard competitive guidelines and standards," said Ranjith Wickremesingha, chairman of Ceypetco. Under some of the contracts, companies have been able to supply more than the maximum volumes allowed, up to as much as twice the amount originally stipulated, Wickremesingha said. "These are violations," he said. [ full story | comments ]

Ex-President of Sri Lanka Says He’ll Lead Opposition in Elections

[ New York Times ][ Jul 02 13:47 GMT ]

Six months after his defeat in presidential elections, Sri Lanka’s former president took the stage on Wednesday in the gardens of his home in this southern village to tell a crowd of thousands that he would lead an opposition group in parliamentary elections in August. “I am not ready to reject the appeal you are all making,” said the former leader, Mahinda Rajapakse. “For the sake of this country, for the sake of the motherland, we must contest in the upcoming parliamentary elections.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's Sirisena 'under strong pressure' for new polls

[ DW ][ Jun 30 13:31 GMT ]

The UN report is expected to name members of the former government and military officers as guilty of war crimes. This is likely to arouse nationalist sentiment in the country in favor of the former president and also polarize the nation once again on ethnic lines...Rajapaksa is raising the specter of the resurrection of the defeated Tamil Tigers and the threat to the unity of the country. He is creating polarization in the country on ethnic and religious lines. Furthermore, he is projecting himself as the best defender of the national interest and the country's sovereignty. [ full story | comments ]

China and India Are Sitting Out Refugee Crisis

[ New York Times ][ Jun 29 22:37 GMT ]

When a deadly earthquake rocked Nepal in April, China and India rushed to send relief supplies and search-and-rescue teams. But when another humanitarian crisis — boats bearing thousands of migrants — appeared off Southeast Asian shores a month later, Asia’s two most populous countries said and did little. Instead, offers to resettle the migrants came from Gambia and the United States. The wealthiest nations in the Asia-Pacific region stood back as well. Australia declared it would not resettle the migrants, mostly Rohingya Muslims fleeing religious persecution in Myanmar or poor Bangladeshis seeking jobs. Japan pledged $3.5 million in emergency assistance but also refrained from offering to take in any displaced people. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[Sunday Times - Jul 06, 2015 3:50:01 GMT]

People’s Rainbow Revolution under a dark cloud


[AsiaNews - Jul 03, 2015 11:53:12 GMT]

Sri Lankan activists, Tamils ​​and Buddhists together against all forms of torture


[DW - Jun 30, 2015 13:31:18 GMT]

Sri Lanka's Sirisena 'under strong pressure' for new polls


[NPR - Jun 29, 2015 22:41:10 GMT]

Sri Lanka's War Is Long Over, But Reconciliation Remains Elusive


[AFP - Jun 29, 2015 12:55:09 GMT]

Sri Lanka's War Widows Pin Hopes on New President


[JDS - Jun 28, 2015 11:26:27 GMT]

Shattered, but Unbroken: Survivors of torture in Sri Lanka


[Sunday Times - Jun 28, 2015 11:01:11 GMT]

No more rogues in Lanka politics


[SCMP - Jun 28, 2015 10:48:20 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s thousands of destitute war widows pin hopes on new president


[Japan Times - Jun 27, 2015 15:10:47 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s memory wars thwart reconciliation


[Reuters - Jun 27, 2015 15:10:00 GMT]

Sri Lanka leader dissolves parliament, seeking fresh mandate for reforms


[AFP - Jun 26, 2015 20:15:22 GMT]

Sri Lanka's president dissolves parliament; elections on Aug 17


[BBC - Jun 26, 2015 15:45:47 GMT]

Sri Lanka's president dissolves parliament


[The Hindu - Jun 26, 2015 12:43:52 GMT]

Rajapaksa’s plans for polls


[Sway - Jun 26, 2015 12:38:23 GMT]

Up-country Tamils: The Forgotten 4.2%


[ICTJ - Jun 25, 2015 20:54:54 GMT]

ICTJ Dispatch: Eduardo Gonzalez on Sri Lanka