Sri Lanka Brief
2015
  • The Statement Mangala Samaraweera Made To The Police Read more >

    The Statement Mangala Samaraweera Made To The Police

    [Mangala Samaraweera speaking to press after making the statement] ‘It has been brought to our notice that in the wee hours of 9th January there has been a serious attempt by Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa and brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary, Mohan Peiris, Chief Justice, G.L. Peiris, and one Udaya Gammanpila have been discussing and […]

  • National Executive Council Meets Today Read more >

    National Executive Council Meets Today

    [National Movement for Social Justice is the catalyst of this change] (16 January 2015) The National Executive Council to be established to bring in essential constitutional amendments and create good governance in the country will be convened today (15th) at 5.00 p.m. say reports. The JVP proposed the establishment of the National Executive Council targeting […]

  • Why The Sri Lanka Election Upset Is A Blow To China Read more >

    Why The Sri Lanka Election Upset Is A Blow To China

    Kevin Sullivan – For Mahinda Rajapaksa, the now former president of Sri Lanka, last week’s stunning election defeat must be a bit of a head-scratcher. Having ended the country’s decades-long civil war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009, Rajapaksa was long believed to be one of the most secure leaders in Southeast Asia. In addition […]

  • Sri Lanka: Can The ‘Unknown Angel’ Deliver? by Erik Solheim Read more >

    Sri Lanka: Can The ‘Unknown Angel’ Deliver? by Erik Solheim

    [TNA at UNHRC March 2014 : The most difficult challenge for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will be reconciliation with the Tamils] 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 […]

  • Taking Stock: Presidential Election 2015 – By  Lionel Bopage Read more >

    Taking Stock: Presidential Election 2015 – By Lionel Bopage

    By far the most important issue for the constituents of Sri Lanka at the last week’s presidential election was about opening a pathway for the formation of good governance. However, simply electing a new president does not create good governance. A president and his/her government should allow, nurture and strengthen good governance by gradually institutionalizing […]

  • Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala Becomes The  Senior Advisor On Foreign Relations To President Read more >

    Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala Becomes The Senior Advisor On Foreign Relations To President

    [Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala Image: Internet] Top diplomat Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala has resigned from the Cargills (Ceylon) Plc Board to take up the position of Senior Advisor on Foreign Relations to President Maithripala Sirisena with effect from 12 January, reports Daily FT; Dhanapala is a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs (1998-2003) and a former […]

  • IFJ Congratulates New Sri Lankan President, Urges Media Freedom Read more >

    IFJ Congratulates New Sri Lankan President, Urges Media Freedom

    [Photo: FMM presents its short term proposals to President Maithripala Sirisena] The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) heartily congratulates newly elected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. The IFJ calls on President Sirisena to ensure he delivers on the short-term proposal on re-establishing freedom of expression rights in Sri Lanka put to him by the Free […]

  • Did Mahinda Believe He Will Win? Read more >

    Did Mahinda Believe He Will Win?

    by Vishawamithra 1984 – “Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.” -George Orwell Yes, he did. It was not only a hope or wish. It was a strong conviction and belief that he would win and win convincingly. He was a hardened “street-smart“ politician with over 45 years of experience in politics. He had held […]

  • Release Tamil Political Prisoners, Urges TNA Read more >

    Release Tamil Political Prisoners, Urges TNA

    [ Balendran Jeyakumari , a human rights activists in detention without charges nearly 10 months] The release of Tamil political prisoners with a general pardon would pave the way for reconciliation, says Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesman and Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran. “Tamil people have shown their goodwill by voting for the new government. They have […]

  • Civilian Governor Appointed To Northern Province Of Sri Lanka Read more >

    Civilian Governor Appointed To Northern Province Of Sri Lanka

    [ H.M.G.S. Palihakkara with Ban Ki-Moon] The Sri Lankan government has appointed a non-military civil servant as the Governor of the Tamil-dominated Northern Province. A prominent Sri Lankan diplomat and former Foreign Secretary H. M. G. S. Palihakkara has been appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province, sources said. Palihakkara will replace Governor G.A. Chandrasiri […]

  • Strong Welcome From European Parliamentarians To New President of Sri Lanka Read more >

    Strong Welcome From European Parliamentarians To New President of Sri Lanka

    [New President Sirisena  (on right) welcoming Pope Francis] Strasbourg, 12th January 2015. After an intensive and well-conducted election with strong participation from all regions of the country, albeit with some outbursts of violence, the Sri Lankan people have given victory to Maithripala Sirisena, the surprise challenger to the incumbent Mahindra Rajapaksa. On behalf of the […]

  • A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious Read more >

    A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

     by Laksiri Fernando- The election victory of the common opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, can be characterized as a victory for democracy in its broadest meaning of the term. However, the specificities of the future processes of democracy or good governance are still to be worked out, not to speak of reconciliation for the moment. Not […]

  • Pope Heads To Sri Lanka At Rare Moment Of Island Harmony Read more >

    Pope Heads To Sri Lanka At Rare Moment Of Island Harmony

    [Pope Francis arrives in Sri Lanka photo @rangaba] COLOMBO (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrives in Sri Lanka on Tuesday for a visit expected to add to a new harmonious atmosphere in the Buddhist-majority nation that last week elected a government promising increased respect for long-suffering religious minorities. The visit to Sri Lanka is the first […]

  • Make Public Institutions Independent And Rational Read more >

    Make Public Institutions Independent And Rational

    [Sri Lankan protester calling for justice: Media suppression and lack of independent institutions go hand in hand] By Prof. Siri Hettige – The functioning of democratic systems of government depend heavily on effective and independent public institutions. While these institutions are diverse, i.e. Political, administrative, judicial, law enforcement, educational or communicative, their proper functioning is […]

  • BASL Calls On CJ To Explain Presence At Temple Trees Read more >

    BASL Calls On CJ To Explain Presence At Temple Trees

    The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on Chief Justice Mohan Peiris to issue an immediate denial of the recent reports circulating in the media regarding his presence at Temple Trees, should they be untrue. The BASL at an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee which took place last evening revealed that it […]

  • Sri lanka: Cloud Coup-Coup Land? Read more >

    Sri lanka: Cloud Coup-Coup Land?

    The next few steps look anything but orderly TAKE nothing for granted in Sri Lankan politics. Early on January 9th, to the surprise of almost everybody, Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in the presidential election conducted the day before. He promised an orderly transition of power and won praise for his unexpected graciousness. In the days […]

  • Sri Lanka: New Cabinet Of Ministers Appointed Read more >

    Sri Lanka: New Cabinet Of Ministers Appointed

    President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a new cabinet today and  swearing ceremony took place  at the Presidential Secretariat. The  new cabinet Prime Mininser Ranil Wickremesinghe – Minister of Planning and Economic Development John Amaratunga – Minister of Law and Order, disaster management and Christian religious affairs Joseph Michael Perera – Minister of Home Affairs Gamini Jayawickrema […]

  • Sri Lanka Post Election Violence: 11 Major Incidents Reported

     by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) January 2015 CMEV continued to monitor the post election situation and note several incidents reported in the period 9-12 January. At present CMEV has recorded 11 major incidents and 6 incidents in the post poll period. There is one casualty from post poll violence and several instances of […]

  • CJ Mohan Peiris Given 48 Hour Deadline To Step Down Read more >

    CJ Mohan Peiris Given 48 Hour Deadline To Step Down

    [Go Home, Mohan Peiris!] A group of lawyers are now protesting at Hulftsdorp demanding Chief Justice Mohan Peiris to step down from office immediately. They assert that Peiris was elevated to the CJ post in a flawed and unconstitutional manner following the “impeachment” of 43rd Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The protesting lawyers also demanded the […]

  • New President in Sri Lanka Puts China’s Plans in Check Read more >

    New President in Sri Lanka Puts China’s Plans in Check

    Sri Lanka’s newly elected president Maithripala Sirisena arrives at the Election Commission office in Colombo on January 9, 2015 (Agence France-Presse photo) Ellen Barry, The New York Times– New Delhi:  On a Sunday four months ago, a vessel pulled unannounced into Sri Lanka’s Colombo harbor: the Chinese Navy submarine Great Wall No. 329, which is […]

  • BASL Wants CJ Shirani Back Read more >

    BASL Wants CJ Shirani Back

    The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had urged the newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena to arrange necessary measures to reinstate the 43rd Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, who was impeached by Parliament in January 2013. BASL Secretary Ajith Pathirana told that the BASL made this request at a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena and […]

  • Sri Lanka: War Crimes To Be Punished Locally, No To International Inquiry Read more >

    Sri Lanka: War Crimes To Be Punished Locally, No To International Inquiry

    President Maithripala Sirisena’s spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne, said Sri Lanka’s new government will not hand over anyone to the international inquiry investigating allegations of war crimes committed against the Tamil people, but instead would hold a domestic independent inquiry and punish those found guilty locally. “I heard Sarath Fonseka say that mistakes happen during a war, […]

  • Presidential Contest Did Not Comply With All The Key Benchmarks For Democratic Elections – CW Read more >

    Presidential Contest Did Not Comply With All The Key Benchmarks For Democratic Elections – CW

    Sri Lanka Presidential Election 2015 Interim Statement –  Commonwealth Observer Group Statement by: Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group 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 Lanka’s New President Welcomes Dissidents Home Read more >

    Sri Lanka’s New President Welcomes Dissidents Home

    By Amal Jayasinghe- Newspapers for sale are seen at a stall in Colombo on January 10, 2015, featuring headlines about Sri Lanka's new president Maithripala Sirisena Colombo (AFP) – New President Maithripala Sirisena invited exiled dissidents back to Sri Lanka and promised to end censorship Saturday as he began to turn the page on the […]

  • UN To Support Political Dialogue And Accountability In Sri Lanka

    9 January 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the successful conclusion of the country’s presidential election, and welcomed the constitutional transfer of power. “The Secretary-General applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commission for its professionalism in ensuring a peaceful and credible election,” according to a statement released […]

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