Monthly Archives: January 2015

The new president promises a new leaf for politics

The new president promises a new leaf for politics

Many Sri Lankans are still gobsmacked by an election on January 8th that ended nine years of presidential rule by Mahinda Rajapaksa, a strongman appearing to settle in for the long term. Replacing him is Maithripala Sirisena (pictured), until recently the health minister, who won …

Can the ‘unknown angel’ deliver?

Can the ‘unknown angel’ deliver?

Anyone who two months back bet on Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidential election in Sri Lanka would be a millionaire. Most international experts expected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win and strengthen his family rule. He controlled the resources of the state to fund his …

Britain’s House of Lords commend Sri Lanka’s election commission

Britain’s House of Lords commend Sri Lanka’s election commission

During a House of Lords debate on 14 January 2015, on the Presidential Elections,  Lord BACH had questioned whether the UK would “encourage SRI LANKA, to review, seriously and as a matter of urgency, the allegations that have been made about human rights abuses”, as well as …

Pope Francis travels to war-torn Sri Lanka, urges forgiveness

Pope Francis travels to war-torn Sri Lanka, urges forgiveness

Pope Francis traveled to the jungles of war-torn northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday for a deeply symbolic show of solidarity with the victims of the country’s 25-year civil war and to urge Sri Lankans as a whole to forgive one another “for all the evil …

Pope makes surprise visit to Buddhist temple

Pope makes surprise visit to Buddhist temple

Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to a Buddhist temple on Wednesday, capping a trip to Sri Lanka where he told huge crowds that religions must unite to heal the country’s war wounds. The only other visit by a pope to a Buddhist temple was …

Joseph Vaz canonised as first Saint of Sri Lanka

Joseph Vaz canonised as first Saint of Sri Lanka

The Pope  canonized Joseph Vaz, today 14 January 2015 as Sri Lanka’s first saint. St Joseph Vaz was born in Goa in 1651, a Portuguese colony in India, but spent most of his life as a missionary in Sri Lanka. Joseph Vaz spent 23 years ministering to the …

Inter-religious dialogue requires honesty about differences

Inter-religious dialogue requires honesty about differences

Pope Francis concluded the 1st day of his visit to Sri Lanka on January 13 with an address to an inter-religious meeting, at which he said that dialogue will be productive only “if we are honest in presenting our convictions.” After an airport arrival ceremony …

Foreign Minister in Delhi for newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit

Foreign Minister in Delhi for newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit

Sri Lankan foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera will be in Delhi over the weekend to prepare for the visit of his country’s newly-elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, next month. With the new government seen as favourably disposed to India, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached out to …

Papal Visits Uncannily Tied to Change in Lanka Govts

Papal Visits Uncannily Tied to Change in Lanka Govts

Papal visits to Sri Lanka seem to be uncannily linked to regime changes in the island nation. The first Pope to visit Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) was Pope Paul VI. He came on December 4, 1970. He had been invited by Prime Minister Dudley …

Sri Lanka coalition may be perceived as investor unfriendly: Standard Chartered

Sri Lanka coalition may be perceived as investor unfriendly: Standard Chartered

Global banking group Standard Chartered Bank said the presidential election in Sri Lanka may result in ‘some’ economic uncertainty with President Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto perceived as investor unfriendly with a lot depending how successful reforms are. Sirisena won over his rival Mahinda Rajapaksa last week. …