Hope Fades for Sri Lankan Justice for Rajapaksa

Hope Fades for Sri Lankan Justice for RajapaksaThe election of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s last January to presidency gave rise to hopes for all sections of the island nation, especially the Tamils and Muslims as major minorities who had very high expectations from the new president they happily elected. Elections in January when Sirisena defeated the increasingly authoritarian Mahinda Rajapaksa in…

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Headed for War Crimes Tribunal?

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Headed for War Crimes Tribunal?Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, apparently fearing punishment for his alleged role in war crimes against ethnic Tamils during the 26-year-old civil war that ended in 2009, said he opposes the international war crimes apparatus created by the United Nations and urged all parties in the island nation to oppose the passage of new…

Sri Lanka’s Former President Still a Threat

Sri Lanka’s Former President Still a ThreatAlthough support for former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is waning, as exemplified by parliamentary elections on Aug. 17, he remains a significant force and reform president Maithripala Sirisena must play his cards carefully to remain viable, according to a new report by the Hong Kong-based Asianomics Ltd. financial advisory firm. In political terms, the…

Sri Lanka Puts Rajapaksa in his Place

Sri Lanka Puts Rajapaksa in his PlaceSri Lanka can breathe a collective sigh of relief with the defeat of the United People’s Freedom Alliance in parliamentary elections held August 17.  The election was simply a referendum on former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, who conceded defeat after a close-fought comeback bid just months after he was toppled as president – and shortly after…

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Seeks a Comeback

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Seeks a ComebackAfter an unexpected defeat in January’s presidential elections, ex-President Mahinda Rakapaksa, who ruled Sri Lanka for over nine years, is seeking a comeback. Often criticized in the West for alleged human rights abuses during Sri Lanka’s protracted civil war against the Tamil Tigers, which came to a close in May 2009 after more than 25…

Sri Lanka’s Political Earthquake Continues

Sri Lanka’s Political Earthquake ContinuesThe political upheaval that began in January with the election of new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, an unassuming 64-year-old technocrat, continues to shake up a country on many fronts that had little going for it. Mainly, Sirisena is working to recast Sri Lanka’s standing away from its status as a pariah country. With a…

New Sri Lankan Government Solidifies Reforms

New Sri Lankan Government Solidifies ReformsThe electoral ouster of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Jan. 8 appears to be a refreshing and ultimately hugely significant moment of destiny for what what Cosmas Indicopleustes, a seafaring Alexandrian monk, once called "this great island in the ocean." A new, smaller cabinet is being assembled, and with it, hopefully, a political will…

Electoral Earthquake in Sri Lanka

Electoral Earthquake in Sri LankaWith the fog having cleared away from Sri Lanka’s Jan. 9 election, there is cautious optimism that the country, devastated by one of the longest and bitterest ethnic conflicts in history followed by a thuggish dictatorship, may be on the road to democratic recovery. If the new president, Maithripala Sirisena – who defected from the…

Sri Lanka Once Again on the Brink

Sri Lanka Once Again on the BrinkFears are growing in Sri Lanka that communal violence will break out again following the worst clashes in five years, leaving at least two dead and over 80 injured. On 15 June clashes between Muslim community members and hardline Buddhist groups broke out in Dharga Town, a Muslim-majority town in the southern Kalutara District, about…