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 ]

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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...


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

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


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

Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth ...



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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: [ 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 ]

Week of suspense ends, but SLFP-UPFA still in turmoil

[ Sunday Times ][ Jun 29 12:53 GMT ]

After toiling for weeks to win majority support from his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and failing, President Maithripala Sirisena did the next best thing – he dissolved Parliament from midnight Friday. He had come under pressure and run out of options. That saves him the ignominy of further isolation from his own party, his minority United National Party (UNP) Government and even the international community. Sri Lankans will now go to the polls on August 17 — a Monday. Nominations are being called from July 6 to 15 and a new Parliament will convene on September 1. The first high priority for a new Government would be how to cope with the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Helitours to Jaffna with expired licence

[ Sunday Times ][ Jun 28 11:32 GMT ]

Helitours, the Air Force’s domestic air service, has been ferrying passengers to and from Jaffna in an aircraft with an expired Certificate of Airworthiness on the basis that the passengers are responsible for their own lives, the Sunday Times has found. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed that the annual Certificate of Airworthiness for the Xian MA60 that Helitours operates to Jaffna has lapsed. The CAA has sought assistance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to determine whether it can be renewed.Passengers told to sign broken English document saying they are travelling at their own risk [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa plans to return to politics as PM: Top aide

[ PTI ][ Jun 28 11:19 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa plans to return to mainstream politics as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the main opposition party, his close associate Kumar Welgama said on Sunday. "He will be the prime ministerial candidate of either the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) or the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA)," Welgama said. President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the leader of both the groups, has resisted calls to allow 69-year-old Rajapaksa to contest. However, a six-member committee appointed to have talks with Sirisena and Rajapaksa has clinched the candidature of Rajapaksa, Welgama said. [ full story | comments ]

Haunted by Sri Lanka row, fishers find Mangalore a safe choice

[ ToI ][ Jun 28 11:04 GMT ]

Fisherman J Ashton has temporarily turned into a wedding hopper - five wedding feasts he has savoured and could do more. Originally from Thangachimadam, Ashton had come here on a holiday — a result of the fishing ban in Mangalore where he moved last year. Ashton is among nearly 10,000 fishermen who have shifted base from Ramanathapuram district to Mangalore after fishing conditions in Rameswaram became too hostile and untenable. Instead of facing off with the Sri Lankan Navy, these fishermen decided to try their fortune in Mangalore. [ 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 ]

Sri Lanka's War Widows Pin Hopes on New President

[ AFP ][ Jun 29 12:55 GMT ]

Shunned, destitute and pushed into prostitution in some cases, Sri Lanka's Tamil widows have returned to northern Jaffna since the end of the separatist war only to discover they are not welcome even in their homeland. Now, six years after the war ended, the women who fled the fighting on the peninsula in their thousands are pinning their hopes on the nation's new president for a better future for their families. "Widows are despised in our society," said Baskaran Jegathiswari, 50, fighting back tears at her home in Achchuveli village in Jaffna, heartland of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. [ full story | comments ]

Scarborough NDP MP Sitsabiaesan introduces bill to change ‘critically flawed’ Rouge Park act

[ Scarborough Mirror ][ Jun 29 12:21 GMT ]

A Scarborough MP’s private member’s bill is the latest sign the battle over the future of Rouge Park isn’t over. Scarborough-Rouge River MP Rathika Sitsabiaesan says the the Rouge National Urban Park Act, which became law on April 23, is “critically flawed.” A private bill Sitsabiaesan, a New Democrat, introduced last week seeks to change the act by “prioritizing the protection and restoration of ecological integrity and watershed health,” instead of giving equal protection to other interests in the park, such as farming. [ full story | comments ]

Shattered, but Unbroken: Survivors of torture in Sri Lanka

[ JDS ][ Jun 28 11:26 GMT ]

Perhaps it would have been better to have died that day,” she said, “and yet I have a desire to live”. Surprisingly perhaps, this comes from a woman whose struggle is by no means over. Multiple gang rapes by military officers, an illegal village abortion, rape while signing in at army camps while her father waited outside, a white van abduction, torture, a botched suicide attempt and now a life of hiding. The list of what one human being can endure seems endless. Sometimes despair does seem a more logical response but the human ability to triumph over even the unimaginable, is extraordinary. I’d call it a miracle but that would take away the hard work it involves, the strength of character, the tenaciousness. [ full story | comments ]

Integrity, the missing concept in Sri Lankan politics

[ Island ][ Jun 28 11:16 GMT ]

Sri Lankans are on the eve of yet another election to elect those who will represent them, represent their welfare. It is important that men and women of integrity are nominated so that people can elect suitable persons. Who are the suitable candidates? Persons who come forward to contest elections must have in them the moral content that would give them that special dimension to work in the interests of those who elect them to office. To avow the need for integrity there must also exist within the system a political, social and moral culture of integrity; a system of values that empowers one to make the assessment between right and wrong, good and evil, ethical and non- ethical behavior. [ full story | comments ]

No more rogues in Lanka politics

[ Sunday Times ][ Jun 28 11:01 GMT ]

Dear voter, other than the Greens and the Blues I am sure you will also be wooed by Mahinda maama and his mob. There will be the Wimals, Vasus, Dineshes and Udayas who know that they have no future unless they hang on to Mahinda maama’s saatakaya and that is why they want to see him back. Mahinda maama keeps telling us that he won’t split the Blues but that is exactly what he is doing. It is a pity because we don’t want him to become like Sanath the cricketer — trying to hang around by hook or by crook so much so that the people forget all the great deeds he did and think of him as a nuisance. [ full story | comments ]

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