Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka

[ The Hill ][ Aug 27 14:03 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful conclusion of the most free and fair parliamentary elections since May, 1970. The conclusion of the election has presented a rare opportunity to deliver meaningful reconciliation and a lasting peace. The U.S.-led international community should seize this historic opportunity, facilitating the required political climate to make reconciliation a reality in Sri Lanka The election victory of United National Party (UNP) can shift the country in a new revolutionary path, paving the way for a rapid development. [ full story | comments ]

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Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful concl...

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US warns Sri Lanka that Tamil reconciliation will take time

The US warned Sri Lanka on Tuesday that reconciliation with ethnic Tam...

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Sri Lanka: A Lesson for U.S. Strategy

For much of the period since its independence, Sri Lanka occupied litt...

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US warns Sri Lanka that Tamil reconciliation will take time

[ AFP ][ Aug 27 14:01 GMT ]

The US warned Sri Lanka on Tuesday that reconciliation with ethnic Tamils after the island's separatist war will not be easy, as it praised the new reformist government elected last week. Two senior US diplomats pledged to work with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government during a visit to the island in the wake of the August 17 general election. "We recognise that this process is going to take time. Nobody expects miracles," US assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowski told reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. [ full story | comments ]

Takeaways from Sri Lanka General Election

[ SAAG ][ Aug 27 13:58 GMT ]

After the din of recently concluded general election in Sri Lanka is over, the United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister. He is poised to work with a national unity government. There are eight takeaways from the election and its aftermath that can help in visualising the future course of events in the island nation. 1. Positive trends: A number of positive trends have emerged both in the conduct and in the aftermath of elections. People have shown that whipping up of Sinhala nationalist rhetoric or holding up the bogey of revival of Tamil separatism is not enough to win elections. - See more at: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1846#sthash.N0JS3fsY.dpuf [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: A Lesson for U.S. Strategy

[ The Diplomat ][ Aug 26 19:25 GMT ]

For much of the period since its independence, Sri Lanka occupied little thought throughout the West. At the culmination of its civil war, some attention did begin to be paid to human rights issues. In the last few years, however, Sri Lanka has begun to feature as a country of strategic relevance to Great Powers. It sits at the center of the Indian Ocean, set to be one of the world’s most strategically contested regions in the coming century. Sri Lanka is also halfway between China and its energy sources in the Middle East, something Beijing had responded to largely successfully until January this year when Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency. [ full story | comments ]

Putinization Has Been Stopped but Sri Lanka Needs a New Ideological Project

[ Wire ][ Aug 26 15:31 GMT ]

An ideological alternative to the insecure and isolationist majoritarian nationalism is indeed already there in Sri Lanka in the form of pluralistic democracy and moderate nationalisms evolved in the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim social formations. The success of Sirisena-Wickremasinghe project for the multi-ethnic and democratic transformation of post-war Sri Lanka will depend on many factors. Key among them, of course, is ideology. Two politico-ideological projects now embedded in the politics of Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese society are set to fight with each other in the months to come. The directions along which that struggle unfolds will help determine the immediate future of the country. [ full story | comments ]

Toronto’s first Tamil Fest promises Sri Lankan eats including hoppers

[ Toronto Star ][ Aug 26 14:29 GMT ]

You either love hoppers or you haven’t tried one yet. In either case, this would be a good weekend to eat one because Toronto’s first Tamil Fest runs Saturday and Sunday. More than 300,000 Tamil Canadians live in Greater Toronto. About 60,000 live in Morningside Heights and can walk to the festival. “Tamil Canadians have been here since the 1960s and we are very much integrated into Canadian society and work in all fields,” says Tamil Fest spokesperson Jeevitha Deborah Lieberman. “So I think we are pretty much ready to feature our culture, entertainment and food.” Tamil Fest aspires to become as entrenched in the city’s calendar as Taste of the Danforth and Festival of South Asia. [ full story | comments ]

US Cautions Patience, Cites Progress in Sri Lanka Reconciliation

[ VoA ][ Aug 25 12:24 GMT ]

"Since then we have seen not only this enduring commitment to democracy, but also just a tremendous momentum of progress towards institutions of good governance, towards combating corruption and towards promoting reconciliation," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal said. "Twice now, they have voted North, South, East and West for the rule of law, against impunity, for reconciliation, for building this country, developing this country for everyone, and against the politics of ethnic and religious division, against extremism on both sides," Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka arrests army personnel over missing journalist

[ AFP ][ Aug 25 02:19 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's police Monday arrested four army personnel, including two senior officers, in connection with the disappearance of a dissident cartoonist that triggered international condemnation of the island's rights record. Two lieutenant colonels, a sergeant and a corporal were arrested following the testimony given by three other suspects already in custody over the abduction of Prageeth Eknaligoda in 2010, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. "The four men were questioned today and arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department," Gunasekera said in a statement. [ full story | comments ]

Kumar Sangakkara offered post of Sri Lanka high commissioner by president

[ The Guardian ][ Aug 24 23:40 GMT ]

Kumar Sangakkara has been offered a post of Sri Lanka high commissioner by the country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena. The offer came straight after India had wrapped up victory in the second Test in Colombo, in which batsman Sangakkara was carried aloft by his team-mates in a circuit of the ground. “You have been a great honour to Sri Lanka,” said Maithripala Sirisena before offering the role to Sangakkara, who was visibly shocked. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's New Foreign Policy Presents Opportunities for India

[ Diplomat ][ Aug 24 19:36 GMT ]

The keen interest of Western powers in the region is evidenced by the fact that immediately after Maithripala Sirisena assumed the presidency earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the country, representing the first U.S. secretary of state visit since 2005. Sri Lanka will also have noticed that Japan, in its bid to counter China’s growing involvement in the Asian infrastructure market, announced a capital package of $110 billion dedicated to infrastructure development projects in Asia.This new thrust in Sri Lankan foreign policy augurs well for India as it steps up its efforts toward building partnerships across the IOR. Sri Lanka’s proximity to these powers will help India’s aspirations for multilateral leadership in the Indian Ocean gather more mass. [ full story | comments ]

4 Army Officers Arrested Over Killing Of Journalist In Sri Lanka

[ DPA/NAN ][ Aug 24 19:12 GMT ]

Four army officers have been arrested in Sri Lanka over the abduction and suspected killing of a political journalist during the regime of former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, police said on Monday. The disappearance of Pradeep Ekneligoda five years ago was never investigated after senior members of the former president’s regime claimed that the journalist was living overseas.“The Criminal Investigations Department on Monday questioned four army officers, including two lieutenant colonels over the disappearance of the journalist. “They have been placed them under arrest for further investigations,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. to Support Sri Lanka Plan to Investigate War Crimes

[ New York Times ][ Aug 27 14:00 GMT ]

The United States will sponsor a resolution on Sri Lanka next month at the United Nations Human Rights Council backing Colombo’s plans for reconciliation and to conduct an investigation into possible war crimes during the final stages of the island’s civil war, a top American diplomat said Wednesday. The announcement signals a reversal of Washington’s longstanding insistence on an international inquiry. Since 2012, the United States has sponsored three resolutions — all adopted — demanding accountability from Sri Lanka’s government. [ full story | comments ]

The Deconstruction of a Supremacist

[ Groundviews ][ Aug 27 13:57 GMT ]

Notwithstanding his rise to ultimate power as a politician in this country, Mahinda Rajapaksa retains the mindset of an uneducated peasant , in this instance from Giruwapattuwa. Despite being one of the most shrewd, and one of the most successful political manipulators in the short independent history of this country, he opts to place his faith in necromancy, soothsaying, the casting of bones and the reading of entrails, rather than in the intelligence of his political sense. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. sees new chance for Sri Lanka reconciliation after civil war

[ Reuters ][ Aug 26 19:24 GMT ]

The United States said on Wednesday it saw a new opportunity for reconciliation in Sri Lanka and a coming to terms with the legacy of 26 years of civil war. Sri Lankan forces battled the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in a war that the government won in 2009. The UN estimates the final offensive ordered by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa killed around 40,000 Tamil civilians. In its third consecutive resolution moved in March 2014, the United States pushed for an international war crimes investigation. But Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, said on Wednesday that the U.S. would support a domestic process if it was credible. [ full story | comments ]

After the Sri Lankan elections: Tamil nationalists support US-backed parties

[ WSWS ][ Aug 26 14:35 GMT ]

In the wake of the August 17 parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, Tamil nationalist parties are serving as key props for President Maithripala Sirisena in his attempt to install a new pro-US regime in Colombo. The TNA is aggressively backing Sirisena—who was installed in a US-backed regime change operation in the January 8 presidential elections—as he attempts to win over a faction of the SLFP to form a “national government” with the UNP. In one meeting, Sampanthan said: “We will support the National Government which would endorse the silent revolution of January 8th, the people’s mandate for a positive change in the country.” [ full story | comments ]

U.S. to work with Sri Lanka on UN resolution addressing alleged war crimes

[ Reuters ][ Aug 26 10:28 GMT ]

The United States said Wednesday it would work together with Sri Lanka's new government to propose a resolution to a U.N. human rights forum that seeks to come to terms with the painful legacy of a 26-year civil war."We have recognized that there is a different opportunity that exists today and a different landscape for trying to advance reconciliation," Nisha Biswal, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, told reporters in Colombo. "We look forward to a process in Geneva that allows an opportunity to reflect on that." [ full story | comments ]

US pledges support for Sri Lanka

[ Daily Mirror ][ Aug 25 10:32 GMT ]

the high-powered US state delegation led Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski after meeting Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wiedasa Rajapakshe this morning.Ms. Biswal said the US had already informed it would provide one million US$ as assistance for education and resettlement in Sampur. [ full story | comments ]

Ranil hopeful of political solution to Tamil question

[ The Hindu ][ Aug 24 23:43 GMT ]

A day after he assumed office, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, on a wide range of issues. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is confident and hopeful that the political situation in Sri Lanka following the August 17 general election, although complex, is favourable for forging an enduring political solution to the Tamil question. Noting that the two main national parties, his United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and the Tamil National Alliance were “the three key players” in formulating the proposals for an enduring solution, he said he had “tried to keep the UNP position flexible so that we can bridge the differences.” [ full story | comments ]

It’s No Revolution

[ Indian Express ][ Aug 24 23:39 GMT ]

When Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election results were announced on August 18, there were few celebrations on the streets of Colombo. Many Sri Lankan citizens had voted for the incumbents simply for want of something better. On August 17, when they cast their votes to elect MPs, they had a clear choice: A return to the iron grip of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, or a mandate to continue and consolidate the changes set in motion in January 2015. [ full story | comments ]

Keeping good ties with all regional powers in the interest of Sri Lanka

[ Global Times ][ Aug 24 19:31 GMT ]

Sirisena's wish to get investment and assistance from India is unrealistic. Japan adopts a milder approach toward Sri Lanka's human rights issues and can offer more investment and aid than India.The growing importance of the Indian Ocean has made Sri Lanka of greater interest to big powers, which will bring huge development opportunities for the country. Sirisena should retain a good relationship with China, and meanwhile warm up ties with the West, India and Japan. He should inject new impetus to the country's development rather than striking a poor balance with these partners at the cost of relations with China. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka election: Tamil voters must keep TNA on straight and narrow

[ Asian Correspondent ][ Aug 24 17:48 GMT ]

What the Tamils expected from the TNA after May 2009 was unique. While legally it had to function as a political party within the Sri Lankan system, the Tamils expected the TNA to also negotiate with the Sri Lanka government as an elected representative of a people – of a nation if you may. Up to now the TNA has not played that role well. But with the TNA’s remarkable electoral victory emasculating other Tamil political parties, it is now left to the Tamil public, civil society and diaspora to be check on the TNA to compel it to stay on the straight and narrow. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[The Hill - Aug 27, 2015 14:03:05 GMT]

Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka


[AFP - Aug 27, 2015 14:01:20 GMT]

US warns Sri Lanka that Tamil reconciliation will take time


[The Diplomat - Aug 26, 2015 19:25:58 GMT]

Sri Lanka: A Lesson for U.S. Strategy


[Wire - Aug 26, 2015 15:31:24 GMT]

Putinization Has Been Stopped but Sri Lanka Needs a New Ideological Project


[Toronto Star - Aug 26, 2015 14:29:58 GMT]

Toronto’s first Tamil Fest promises Sri Lankan eats including hoppers


[VoA - Aug 25, 2015 12:24:47 GMT]

US Cautions Patience, Cites Progress in Sri Lanka Reconciliation


[The Hindu - Aug 24, 2015 23:43:09 GMT]

Ranil hopeful of political solution to Tamil question


[Global Times - Aug 24, 2015 19:31:47 GMT]

Keeping good ties with all regional powers in the interest of Sri Lanka


[Asian Correspondent - Aug 24, 2015 17:48:12 GMT]

Sri Lanka election: Tamil voters must keep TNA on straight and narrow


[Eurasia Review - Aug 24, 2015 14:01:40 GMT]

Sri Lanka Elections: A Vote For Reconciliation Process – Analysis


[Green Left - Aug 24, 2015 13:44:58 GMT]

Tamil refugee: How Australia is complicit in Sri Lankan genocide


[Hindustan Times - Aug 20, 2015 13:37:37 GMT]

Roadmap to reconciliation: 4 challenges for Sri Lanka after polls - Erik Solheim and Mark Salter


[The Economist - Aug 20, 2015 13:37:23 GMT]

Mahinda misfires


[NPR - Aug 20, 2015 13:36:13 GMT]

Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers


[The Wire - Aug 19, 2015 19:54:33 GMT]

Sri Lanka Holds Fast to its Desire for Change