Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sri Lanka’s new government promises end to repression

Sri Lanka’s new government promises end to repression

Sri Lanka’s new government promised a tolerant era of harmony and political freedom after years of mounting repression under a decade-old administration that unraveled in electoral defeat this week. In a speech on Sunday, President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to end corruption and nepotism that marred …

Commonwealth Observers find  Elections marked by large-scale abuse of state resources

Commonwealth Observers find Elections marked by large-scale abuse of state resources

The Commonwealth Observer Group commends the people of Sri Lanka for the spirit in which they participated in this important election. The high voter turnout of 81.52 per cent reflects positively on the Sri Lankan people’s strong commitment to the democratic process. The Group further …

Tamil Diaspora keen to engage

Tamil Diaspora keen to engage

The Tamil Diaspora have called on the new Government and President Maithripala Sirisena to engage with the Diaspora in good faith and in a meaningful and constructive way. Reacting to the defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the election, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said …

President Sirisena to visit India on his first foreign trip

President Sirisena to visit India on his first foreign trip

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will visit India on his maiden foreign trip next month even as he ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in custody in Colombo as a goodwill gesture on the first day in office. “Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi asked the …

Press shows rare unity

Press shows rare unity

Sri Lanka’s press showed rare unity yesterday in giving the thumbs up to new President Maithripala Sirisena who had promised to restore media freedom and lift censorship on websites. “MS in stunning win over MR,” the Island newspaper said in a headline referring to Sirisena’s …

Come Back

Come Back

New President Maithripala Sirisena invited exiled dissidents back to Sri Lanka and promised to end censorship on Saturday as he began to turn the page on the authoritarian rule of his toppled predecessor. A day after his shock victory over veteran incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sirisena …

A chance to return to democracy

A chance to return to democracy

The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 presidential election in Sri Lanka, and the emergence of Maithripala Sirisena with a clear vote of nearly 52 per cent, gives the country a clear shot at returning to the path of normal democratic politics after …

Army defied order to keep Rajapaksa in power

Army defied order to keep Rajapaksa in power

Sri Lanka’s army defied orders from aides of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to keep him in power “by force” when it became clear he had lost his bid for a third term, the campaign spokesman of the newly elected leader said on Saturday. Rajapaksa’s spokesman …

God’s other country: Lanka steals a march over Kerala

God’s other country: Lanka steals a march over Kerala

Picturesque beaches, tropical landscape, red soil, tea estates, stinging seafood curries and even string hoppers – Kerala and Sri Lanka could be mirror images across the Indian Ocean. But Sri Lanka’s reputation for instability meant that most Indian and foreign travelers picked God’s Own Country …

Pope Francis is expected to send out messages of hope, peace and reconciliation

Pope Francis is expected to send out messages of hope, peace and reconciliation

Pope Francis is expected to send out messages of hope, peace and reconciliation as he returns to Asia next week, visiting two nations with painful histories of civil wars and natural disasters: Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The January 12-19 trip is the Argentine-born pontiff’s …