Fonseka seeks law and order portfolio

Sri Lanka's former army commander, Sarath Fonseka, who is accused of orchestrating war crimes against the Tamil people, sought to be appointed the minister of the law and order, arguing he would demonstrate quick results. "I will show results in six months if I am given the portfolio of Law and Order" Mr Fonseka was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying. Advising against appointing the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the leader of the Opposition, Mr Fonseka said, "country will go back to the era of depressing media rights if those who were rejected by the people are given an opportunity."

UNP assistant leader - unity govt will continue

The UNP's assistant leader, Ravi Karunanayake vowed the unity government would keep on going despite the UNP and SLFP's election defeat at the local elections last weekend. "No matter what sort of political clashes take place, the UNP would not let a reversal of the people's mandate received in January 8, 2015," Mr Karunanayake was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying. "People had shown a red light to the government by the recent LG election and they have fair reasons to do so. We have failed to initiate some election promises made on 2015." His comments come amid reports the Sirisena led...

Man in possession of assault rifle arrested in Vavuniya

A 45-year-old man was arrested in Vavuniya on Friday for possessing an assault rifle. The man was allegedly caught with a type 56 assault rifle and ammunition when randomly stopped by police in Nedunkeni, Vavuniya. The man was set to be produced before the Vavuniya magistrates judge.

Sri Lankan president to seek legal advice on removing prime minister

Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena has reassured the Joint Opposition that he will be seeking legal advice on removing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from office. Mr Sirisena met with members of the Joint opposition at President’s House yesterday, as turmoil continues in Colombo over the future of the Sri Lankan government. Joint opposition MP Kumara Welgama told reporters that Mr Sirisena that he “would consult the Attorney General and legal experts on the possibility of removing the Prime Minister”. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been under intense pressure...

Sri Lankan government and TNA failed to address ‘roots of political conflict’ – J S Tissainayagam

Tamil voters in the North-East last week, as Sri Lankan security forces look on. Sri Lanka’s ruling parties and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have been “offering vacuous rhetoric on reconciliation instead of addressing the roots of the country’s political conflict”, writes J S Tissainayagam in the Asian Correspondent, leading to Sinhalese and Tamil voters to “distrust them as political actors”. “The voters conveyed just this at the polls” during last week’s local government elections, he continued. “ Resolution 30/1 adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September...

Sri Lanka set to brief UN HRC on ‘progress’

Sri Lanka’s embattled Prime Minister Ranil Wickrmesinghe told reporters on Friday that his government would be sending a delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, to brief them on progress in implementing a UN resolution on accountability. “Geneva is on the performance up to date so you will have to judge on what has been done so far,” said Mr Wickremesinghe in Colombo. The Sri Lankan prime minister said his government’s delegation would be meeting with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on March 21. The UN High Commissioner is scheduled to deliver a report on Sri Lanka on the same day. The Sri Lankan government co-sponsored a resolution which mandates a hybrid accountability mechanism for violations of international humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict. Despite this, several senior government figures, including the Sri Lankan president have spoken out against allowing foreign judges and prosecutors to participate in such a mechanism. See more from Colombo Gazette here .

Sri Lankan president calls for more relief for soldiers

Sri Lankan soldiers who were injured and the families of those killed in action will be allocated more relief through the National Defence Fund Act, declared Sri Lanka’s Lands and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gayantha Karunathillake. Mr Karunathillake told a press conference yesterday that the act had been amended following a proposal by Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as Defence Minister. See more from The Island here . The announcement comes as Sri Lanka’s 2018 budget sees defence spending maintain the highest allocation, with a 2.3% increase from last year. Sri...

International community worried about reform in Sri Lanka - EU ambassador

The international community is worried about the reform agenda in Sri Lanka, the ambassador to the European Union has said. “The reform agenda: that’s the big worry that the international community has got,” Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue said in an interview yesterday, according to dailynews.lk. “We understand that it has always been a shaky coalition, and obviously recent actions have shown that a lot of people are not happy.” The Ambassador also said he did not believe that the widespread support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party in the south of Sri...

Ranil defiantly pledges to stay on as Sri Lankan prime minister

Despite mounting pressure since suffering a heavy local election defeat last week, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister remained defiant, insisting he will stay on to complete his term. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would continue as prime minister as per Sri Lanka’s constitution. However, he added that the United National Party which he heads, will be restructured in light of their election defeat. Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition government has been in crisis since last week’s polls with a series of meetings between the governing parties. Several prominent...

Sri Lankan court orders review of investigation into deadly Welikada riot

Sri Lanka’s Appeals Court ordered the Attorney General to present a review of an investigation into the 2012 Welikada Prison, in the coming weeks. The Attorney General will have until March 5 to present the review into the incident, which saw 27 mainly Sinhalese inmates killed during a prison riot by security forces. Eye witnesses said the officers executed many of the inmates in cold blood. As the riot spread across the prison, located in Colombo, more than 180 Tamil political prisoners were reportedly moved from Magazine prison in Welikada to another jail for their own safety. Welikada...

Pages