Sri Lanka will investigate allegations of intelligence complicity in 2019 Easter bombings
Sri Lanka's government will appoint a parliamentary committee to investigate allegations made in a British television report that Sri Lankan intelligence had complicity in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 269 people.
Sri Lanka leader vows to shed powers, appoint prime minister
Sri Lanka’s president is promising to appoint a new prime minister, empower the Parliament and abolish the all-powerful executive presidential system as reforms to stabilize the country engulfed in a political crisis and violence triggered by the worst economic crises in memory.
Rights group demands probe into Sri Lanka police shooting
An international human rights group is urging Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a prompt and impartial probe into a police shooting that left one person dead and 13 others injured during protests over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.
Pompeo brings anti-China roadshow to Indian Ocean islands
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo greets the gathering before his meeting with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapksa, right, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Pompeo visited Sri Lanka and the Maldives to press the two countries to be on guard against potential predatory lending and investment by China. Even before Pompeo arrived, China had fired back at the U.S. message, accusing Washington of bullying smaller nations. Gunawardena also appeared unwilling to get involved in the spat with China, and said Sri Lanka is willing to cooperate with all friendly countries. ____Associated Press writer Krishan Francis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, contributed to this report.
Sri Lanka Parliament votes to strengthen presidential power
Sri Lankan trade union and civil society activists hold placards outside the parliament as they protest against a proposed constitution amendment that would consolidate power in the presidents hands in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)COLOMBO – Sri Lanka's Parliament by a large majority has approved a constitutional amendment concentrating powers under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and reversing reforms a previous government had made to curb authoritarianism. The 20th Amendment to the constitution was passed late Thursday with a 91-vote majority with 156 lawmakers in the 225-member Parliament voting in favor. This will pave the way for a sibling who is a U.S. citizen to enter Parliament, further strengthening Rajapaksa family’s hold on Sri Lanka’s political power. Sri Lanka has been ruled under a powerful executive presidential system since 1978 but a reformist government in 2015 clipped much of the president's powers and gave them over to the Parliament and independent commissions, saying successive presidents had been more authoritarian.
Rajapaksa sworn in as PM in Sri Lanka, cementing family rule
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa greets supporters following his election victory in the general election at his residence in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Rajapaksa is likely to be sworn in the same position by his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after the vote that could strengthen dynastic rule in the Indian Ocean island nation. Rajapaksa took oath before his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at a prominent Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the capital Colombo. He was first elected prime minister in 2004 and again appointed for brief periods in 2018 and 2019. Sri Lanka Peoples Front the party led by the Rajapaksa brothers won 145 seats in the 225-member Parliament in the election last Wednesday.
Rajapaksa brothers win by landslide in Sri Lanka's election
(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)COLOMBO Sri Lankas powerful Rajapaksa brothers secured a landslide victory in the countrys Parliamentary election, according to results released Friday. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is most likely to be sworn in the same position by his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The election results could enable them to change the constitution and strengthen dynastic rule. Sri Lanka Peoples Front has secured a resounding victory according to official results released so far, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a Twitter message. Sri Lanka has largely contained the spread of the virus with 2,839 confirmed cases, including 11 deaths.
Voting begins in Sri Lanka's parliamentary election
COLOMBO Sri Lankans started voting Wednesday to elect a new Parliament that is expected to give strong support to the powerful and popular Rajapaksa brothers. His older brother, the charismatic former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is seeking a majority of the 225 seats in Parliament to return as prime minister. At least four members of the family are contesting for seats and strong support for the Rajapaksas' party could add to their political dynasty. Sri Lanka has largely contained the spread of the virus with 2,834 confirmed cases including 11 deaths. Voters have been asked to bring their own pens to mark their ballots or a disinfected pen is provided at voting stations.