Sri Lanka: Investigate, Not Promote, Ex-Army Chief

[ HRW ][ Feb 12 03:08 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government’s appointment to parliament of the former army chief whose forces were implicated in widespread abuses contradicts pledges to investigate alleged war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 9, 2016, the United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to parliament as a national list member for a seat vacated by the death of an incumbent. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka: Investigate, Not Promote, Ex-Army Chief

The Sri Lankan government’s appointment to parliament of the former ...


Sri Lanka’s economy: Taxing times

SRI LANKA ought to be sitting pretty. Its growth has averaged 6% a yea...


Short of options, Sri Lanka turns back to Beijing's embrace

Just over a year after a new leader was elected and Sri Lanka's busine...



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Sri Lanka’s economy: Taxing times

[ The Economist ][ Feb 12 03:06 GMT ]

SRI LANKA ought to be sitting pretty. Its growth has averaged 6% a year over the past decade. Seven years after a protracted civil war ended, its economy is still reaping a peace dividend. It is also a beneficiary of the collapse in commodity prices, which has trimmed its hefty bill for imports of fuel. Yet last week, after long debate, its leaders requested a loan from the IMF. If so much is so rosy, why is Sri Lanka going cap in hand to the IMF? The immediate concern is the capital flight that has buffeted emerging markets around the world. [ full story | comments ]

Short of options, Sri Lanka turns back to Beijing's embrace

[ Reuters ][ Feb 11 03:15 GMT ]

Just over a year after a new leader was elected and Sri Lanka's business ties with China came under close scrutiny, Colombo is reversing course by resuming a stalled port project and naming Beijing as the front runner for a new special economic zone. India is nervous about losing influence over the island nation off its southern tip, while China's push into the Indian Ocean, and the possibility of dual purpose civilian-military facilities in Sri Lanka, are raising alarm further afield. The ouster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who steered Sri Lanka toward China until 2015, was a setback for ties, as his successor reviewed projects to check if they were fair and legal. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Why There's Always a Next Time

[ Huffington Post ][ Feb 11 03:11 GMT ]

Before I know it we're wheels up at Dulles International Airport and I'm looking forward to visiting the Middle East (airport style) yet again. One day, I will actually travel to Doha or Abu Dhabi or Dubai or Amman and see something besides an airport. Maybe I'll do that on my 100th visit to a Middle Eastern airport; I hope someone is keeping track of all this. I have a few good days in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, and appreciate that the government has waited until I get to Jaffna to start listening to my phone calls. My appreciation for surveillance is always greater in the island nation's heavily militarized North. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka war crimes investigation must be impartial with or without foreign judges - U.N. official

[ Reuters ][ Feb 10 16:37 GMT ]

The United Nations will not force Sri Lanka to accept a role for international judges in investigating possible war crimes during the 26-year Tamil insurgency but any process must be impartial and independent, the U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday. Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, ending a four-day visit to Sri Lanka to assess the investigation, commended some efforts by President Maithripala Sirisena's government but said much still needed to be done. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka war crimes in the spotlight as UN rights chief visits

[ IRIN ][ Feb 10 16:33 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's president is unlikely to cave in any time soon to pressure for international participation in a war crimes tribunal, as the United Nations rights chief urged today. But he could turn the situation to his advantage by offering up less controversial reforms to win back domestic political support and satisfy the international community. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein spoke at the end of a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, where he travelled to check on the government’s progress on implementing recommendations in his report released last September. The report documented alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by both the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers in the last two years of a decades-long war that ended in 2009. [ full story | comments ]

Should India get involved in Sri Lanka’s reform process?

[ The Hindu ][ Feb 10 16:28 GMT ]

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Sri Lanka last week has brought to the fore the question of whether and to what extent India should be involved in the neighbouring country’s ongoing constitutional reform process. Ever since India and Sri Lanka signed the 1987 Accord, New Delhi has been stating that the 13th Amendment, an outcome of the Accord, should be implemented fully. The Amendment, despite weaknesses, paved the way for the establishment of Provincial Councils all over the country. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka must confront demons of past, UN rights chief says

[ AFP ][ Feb 09 13:31 GMT ]

Sri Lanka must "confront and defeat the demons of its past", the UN human rights chief said Tuesday at the end of a visit to assess the island's progress in investigating war crimes. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Sri Lanka had come a long way since this time last year, when former president Mahinda Rajapakse was ousted after a decade in power. But he said opinions differed about the extent of the progress, with police in some areas still resorting to "violence and excessive force" and new cases of torture continuing to emerge. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa’s rule against money laundering boomerangs on son

[ Asia Times ][ Feb 09 13:20 GMT ]

A law against money laundering brought in by Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa during his almost decade-long rule has boomeranged on his second son, Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa. Yoshitha was arrested and remanded on January 30 for his alleged role in financial irregularities at the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) television channel, reportedly owned and operated by him, during his father’s rule. [ full story | comments ]

The politics of punishing war crimes in Sri Lanka

[ openDemocracy ][ Feb 09 13:14 GMT ]

Last week the national anthem was sung in Tamil for the first time at the official celebration of Sri Lanka’s independence day. Six years ago the government’s own regional director for education in the Tamil north, Markandu Sivalingam, was assassinated by “unidentified” gunmen for disagreeing with then President Rajapaksa’s directive to ban the singing of the national anthem in Tamil at official functions. The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, who is currently visiting Sri Lanka, should welcome the transformation this signals in Sri Lanka’s politics in just over a year since President Sirisena’s election. [ full story | comments ]

U.N. rights chief meets families of Sri Lanka's war victims

[ Reuters ][ Feb 07 22:58 GMT ]

The United Nations human rights chief on Sunday traveled to the north and east of Sri Lanka to assess the country's progress in prosecuting alleged war crimes. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is the first senior U.N. official in two-and-a-half years to visit the northern conflict zones of the island's 26-year war which ended in May 2009. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s Maid in Saudi Problem

[ Wall Street Journal ][ Feb 12 03:05 GMT ]

Sri Lanka says it has a maid in Saudi Arabia problem it is trying to fix. In the past two years, the South Asian nation has had to pay to bring more than 2,000 Sri Lankan maids home from Saudi Arabia after they fled their jobs. Sri Lanka brings home overseas workers every year from all over the globe, but the number that it has to help return from the Middle Eastern kingdom is highest. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to review Airbus purchases

[ AFP ][ Feb 11 03:13 GMT ]

Sri Lanka will review a controversial deal reached by the previous administration to buy new Airbus aircraft despite huge losses at the national carrier, the prime minister said Wednesday. Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lankan Airlines could not economically operate long-range A350-900 aircraft ordered by the previous government, but needed short-haul planes for its profitable Asian routes. Responding to a question from the opposition, Wickremesinghe told parliament the airline was losing money on every flight to Europe and adding new planes would only worsen accumulated losses now standing at over $650 million. [ full story | comments ]

Singing of our National Anthem in the two National languages

[ Groundviews ][ Feb 11 03:09 GMT ]

I read Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s article under the caption ‘Accolades for President and Prime Minister‘ in The Island of 10 Feb. with much interest and appreciation. Listening to the singing of the National Anthem in either or both of languages is indeed a moving experience on account of its melody and its theme that we are all children of one motherland. It is most moving when it is sung in our mother tongue, or in both languages. It is for this reason that those who dispute the claim that all of us, without exception, are children of one motherland may disagree with Prof. Carlo Fonseka. [ full story | comments ]

After 30 years of conflict, Sri Lanka still in 'early stages of renewal' – UN rights chief

[ UN News Centre ][ Feb 10 16:35 GMT ]

After nearly 30 years of conflict and acrimony that not only cost tens of thousands of lives but also eroded vital components of the State, Sri Lanka is still in the early stages of renewal, the United Nations human rights chief said today, ending a mission to the country. “Virtually everyone agrees there has been progress, although opinions differ markedly about the extent of that progress,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement to the press, issued from Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

This crumbling island: An artist’s view of the conflict in Sri Lankad

[ ][ Feb 10 16:31 GMT ]

It is difficult to separate Sri Lankan artist and archaeologist Jagath Weerasinghe’s body of work from the island's recent conflict. After all, they’ve almost run on parallel tracks. The Sri Lanka Civil War began right around the time Weerasinghe started to find his niche as an artist in the 1980s – and played out in the background for the next three decades. Weerasinghe was one of four artists whose works Theertha International Artists Collective, an artist-led non-profit from Sri Lanka, brought to the India Art Fair that concluded last month. [ full story | comments ]

US govt proposes $31 million financial aid to Sri Lanka

[ PTI ][ Feb 10 11:00 GMT ]

The US government has proposed a $31 million financial aid to Sri Lanka to encourage reconciliation efforts and support anti-corruption activities as the Island nation is undertaking major reforms after the historic political transition. "Following the historic political transition after Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2015, US assistance to Sri Lanka has entered a new era," said the budgetary proposals sent by US Secretary of State John Kerry to the Congress in which he proposed $31 million for Sri Lanka as part of New Silk Road and Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiatives. [ full story | comments ]

Militarization in Sri Lanka Continues

[ The Diplomat ][ Feb 09 13:30 GMT ]

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I (unsurprisingly) saw a lot of military personnel. Many times they were riding around in vehicles. On other occasions the interaction was a bit more personal. In Jaffna, as I was purchasing a new SIM card, a pair of Sri Lanka Army members entered the shop. In Trincomalee, I walked into town to grab the Sunday newspapers. There’s a place I remembered from a previous visit; it’s right by the bus stand. When I got there, two members of the Sri Lanka Army were inside picking up papers. (Should I at least be encouraged that they’re reading something?) After I bought three papers and was walking back to my hotel, I saw a pair of Navy men drive by. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Government moves to Curb Racism

[ SAAG ][ Feb 09 13:19 GMT ]

One swallow does not a summer make, but then it is worth perking up at! At last the PM lashed out in Parliament on 28 January; he should have done it long ago but one has to be thankful that he did take a stand. Will he keep it up? Indications are encouraging; Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero (a fire-breathing monk of the BBS extremist movement) and Yoshitha Rajapaksa (the former president’s second son) have been remanded for contempt of court and fraud, respectively. The murderers of Wasim Thajudeen (a popular rugby-footballer who is said to have crossed swords with the former president’s eldest son Namal) may be arrested. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa is no longer 'untouchable'

[ Independent ][ Feb 09 10:59 GMT ]

For victims of alleged war crimes, it was a hopeful moment when the United Nations’ human rights chief, Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, visited the northern districts of Sri Lanka at the weekend. It was the first such visit by a senior UN official for two and a half years to the area worst affected by the country’s 26-year civil war, which ended in May 2009. But for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was one more sign that the judicial net is steadily tightening on him and his family after his election defeat in January last year. [ full story | comments ]

UN against amnesty for jailed Sri Lanka rebels: chief minister

[ AFP ][ Feb 07 22:58 GMT ]

The UN rights chief has said Tamil rebels still detained years after the end of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war should not be granted universal amnesty, a top regional official said Sunday. More than 200 suspected Tamil separatists remain in prison, many without charge, following the country's bitter 37-year-war that ended nearly seven years ago. Tamil political and civil society groups have long demanded their unconditional release, tough the government has rejected demands for universal amnesty. [ full story | comments ]

>> News Archives

Featured News

[HRW - Feb 12, 2016 3:08:01 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Investigate, Not Promote, Ex-Army Chief

[The Economist - Feb 12, 2016 3:06:59 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s economy: Taxing times

[Reuters - Feb 11, 2016 3:15:08 GMT]

Short of options, Sri Lanka turns back to Beijing's embrace

[AFP - Feb 11, 2016 3:13:51 GMT]

Sri Lanka to review Airbus purchases

[Reuters - Feb 10, 2016 16:37:18 GMT]

Sri Lanka war crimes investigation must be impartial with or without foreign judges - U.N. official

[UN News Centre - Feb 10, 2016 16:35:37 GMT]

After 30 years of conflict, Sri Lanka still in 'early stages of renewal' – UN rights chief

[AFP - Feb 09, 2016 13:31:52 GMT]

Sri Lanka must confront demons of past, UN rights chief says

[The Diplomat - Feb 09, 2016 13:30:22 GMT]

Militarization in Sri Lanka Continues

[Reuters - Feb 07, 2016 22:58:53 GMT]

U.N. rights chief meets families of Sri Lanka's war victims

[Reuters - Feb 06, 2016 16:23:29 GMT]

Sri Lankan nationalists protest U.N. rights chief's visit on war crimes

[Indian Express - Feb 06, 2016 16:20:06 GMT]

Gently in Colombo

[The Hindu - Feb 06, 2016 16:18:25 GMT]

Sushma Swaraj meets Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka

[Indian Express - Feb 06, 2016 16:14:30 GMT]

A wider view of Colombo

[JDS - Feb 06, 2016 15:22:30 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Looking for a deal, not truth and justice

[The Diplomat - Feb 06, 2016 15:19:23 GMT]

Explaining Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka