11 JUNE 2017
Sri Lanka makes first arrest over hate crimes against Muslims
Police in Sri Lanka have arrested a key figure from an extremist Buddhist organisation blamed for a series of hate crimes against Muslims that has drawn international censure
11 MAY 2017
Modi in Sri Lanka as Chinese influence rises
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Sri Lanka on Thursday on a charm offensive as New Delhi seeks to reassert its influence on the island amid signs of a Chinese comeback
27 MARCH 2017
Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic port deal
Sri Lanka‘s government wants aChinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic portproject by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed atblunting public and political opposition to the deal
5 MARCH 2017
Sri-Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a fresh appeal from the United Nations (UN) to allow international judges to investigate alleged war-era atrocities, vowing to not prosecute soldiers
27 FEBRUARY 2017
Sri Lanka’s former president Kumaratunga complains of war widows abused by the military
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga spoke of widespread exploitation, touching more than 80,000 women with children in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The lack of livelihood makes them even more vulnerable. Although the military has denied any wrongdoing, in the past it has cracked down on troop misconduct
19 FEBRUARY 2017
Two more Sri Lankan Army officers remanded over Keith Noyahr Attack
The CID today arrested two more army personnel believed to be involved in the abduction and assault of Keith Noyahr, the former deputy editor of The Nation newspaper. They were subsequently remanded by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate till March 3
14 FEBRUARY 2017
Sri Lankan president insists on retaining emergency powers
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has blocked a move to require a two-thirds parliamentary vote, rather than the current simple majority, to approve a presidential declaration of emergency. He ordered the removal of a clause to that effect in the proposed National Action Plan for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights
7 JANUARY 2017
At Least 25 Injured in Protest Over Chinese Special Industrial Zone in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan police used water cannons to try to break up violent clashes between government supporters and villagers marching against what they say is a plan to take over private land for an industrial zone in which China will have a major stake
22 DECEMBER 2016
Sri Lanka’s economy marches slowly into 2017
Sri Lanka’s meandering economic progress received a boost in November 2016 with the announcement of the proposed 2017 budget
17 NOVEMBER 2016
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse is planning to break away from the ruling coalition
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse is planning to break away from the ruling coalition, his brother announced on Thursday (Nov 17), a move that could threaten constitutional reforms seen as crucial to postwar reconciliation
26 OCTOBER 2016
General strike in northern Sri Lanka over police killing of students
Tamil people in northern Sri Lanka observed a general shutdown or “hartal” yesterday over the police killing of two Jaffna University students—Puwanraj Sulakshan from Chunnagam and Nadarajah Gajan from Kilinochchi—last Thursday night
22 SEPTEMBER 2016
The office on missing persons in Sri lanka : a new chapter or another empty promise ?
The OMP is an independent office with seven members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The members of the OMP are meant to be independent individuals with expertise on human rights, international humanitarian law, humanitarian issues, fact-finding among other areas. There is also a fixed term of three years and limitation of two terms per member
29 AUGUST 2016
Sri Lanka and Australia’s Strategic Defense Interests
Based on Australia’s Defense White Paper, the two countries can deepen strategic security cooperation
15 AUGUST 2016
Sri Lankan ex-president’s son accused of money-laundering
The eldest son of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been arrested on suspicion of money-laundering, his lawyer has said
11 AUGUST 2016
Sri Lanka parliament endorses office to trace wartime missing
Sri Lanka’s parliament on Thursday passed a law to establish an office to trace people who disappeared during a 26-year war and another insurrection amid protests by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s supporters in the chamber
6 JULY 2016
Sri Lanka aims to demilitarise island by 2018
Sri Lanka intends to become completely demilitarised by 2018, the government said Wednesday, a significant announcement that will end the army’s involvement in civilian life after decades of ethnic
2 MAY 2016
Sri Lanka’s delicate balancing act
Sri Lanka’s former pro-Chinese ‘strongman’ President Mahinda Rajapaksa was voted out of office in January 2015. The new administration, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, is committed to more ‘balanced’ major power relations
15 MARCH 2016
Breaking Sri Lanka’s economic gridlock
The Sri Lankan economy appears to exist in a system that can evolve only through crisis. Optimistic policymakers, predicting that the country’s economic trajectory would self-correct, received a collective wake-up call in February with a sovereign rating downgrade by Fitch, even as the country made a formal approach to the IMF for a bailout package.
11 MARCH 2016
Colombo gives China green light to build port city
Despite months of protests by activists, fishermen and Catholics, and more environmental impact studies, China in the end got a green light to build the Colombo Port City, a planned offshore city next to the Sri Lankan capital
6 FEBRUARY 2016
Sri Lankan nationalists protest UN rights chief’s visit on war crimes
Hundreds of hardline nationalists gathered outside the United Nations’ office in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Saturday to protest against a visit by the U.N. human rights chief who will assess Sri Lanka’s progress in prosecuting alleged war crimes.http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/sri-lankan-nationalists-p/2494738.html
3 FEBRUARY 2016
Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief Fonseka joins government
Sri Lanka’s former army chief Sarath Fonseka on Wednesday joined the coalition government which has vowed to probe allegations of atrocities committed during the bloody finale of the island’s separatist war
30 JANUARY 2016
Sri Lanka arrests Yoshitha Rajapaksa, ex-president’s son over money laundering
Yoshitha Rajapaksa, a navy officer, was detained on Saturday following months of investigations into alleged financial irregularities linked to his private television channel Carlton Sports Network (CSN), police said. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/sri-lanka-arrests-ex/2474022.html
29 JANUARY 2016
Sri Lanka’s balancing act between India and Pakistan
After coming to power, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been busy mending fences with countries in the West and South Asia that got snubbed during the rule of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
13 JANUARY 2016
Report card: Sri Lanka president falls short after one year at helm
The initial excitement among his supporters seems to have dampened after Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena completed his first year in office on Jan. 9. He’s being called to account for delivering a large number of pre-election promises which continue to be mostly rhetoric since his electoral triumph of 12 months ago.
9 JANUARY 2016
Sri Lanka government proposes new constitution to devolve power
Sri Lanka’s new government on Saturday presented its plan for a new constitution aimed at devolving power and preventing the sort of ethnic tensions that led to a long and bitter civil war that ended in 2009
5 JANUARY 2016
Pakistan and Sri Lanka sign eight memoranda of understanding (MoU)
Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday inked eight memoranda of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Sri Lanka
3 JANUARY 2016
Sri Lanka president pledges land for 100,000 war victims
Up to 100,000 people still living in camps six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal ethnic war will be given land to build homes within six months, President Maithripala Sirisena told AFP Sunday
16 SEPTEMBER 2015
UN calls for special court to investigate Sri Lanka wartime atrocities
The U.N.’s top human rights official is urging the creation of a special court including foreign magistrates and investigators to look into atrocities committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war
3 SEPTEMBER 2015
Tamil Lawmaker to Lead Opposition in Sri Lanka
An ethnic Tamil lawmaker was officially selected to lead the opposition in Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Thursday, becoming the first member of the island nation’s largest minority to hold the post in more than three décades
21 AUGUST 2015
Ranil sworn in as Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe – UNP leader, was sworn-in as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena, at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat
18 AUGUST 2015
Sri Lanka elections: UNP victory as Rajapaksa hopes rebuffed
Sri Lanka’s ruling United National Party has won the most seats in the island’s parliamentary August 17 elections, blocking former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to return to power
26 JUNE 2015
Sri Lanka’s president dissolves parliament; elections on Aug 17
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday ordered the immediate dismissal of parliament, clearing the way for a snap election 10 months ahead of Schedule
5 MAI 2015
US-Sri Lanka relations: Kerry arrives to conducive atmosphere
US Secretary of State John Kerry headed for talks with Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena Saturday on a visit that caps the island’s transformation from diplomatic pariah to a “beacon of democracy”
22 APRIL 2015
Sri Lanka ex-leader’s brother Basil Rajapaksa arrested
Basil Rajapaksa, the younger brother of Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been arrested on corruption charges
26 MARCH 2015
Sri Lanka seeks improved relations with China
Sri Lanka’s new president has held talks with his Chinese counterpart in a push to recalibrate his predecessor’s strongly pro-China policies
22 MARCH 2015
Sri Lanka’s Sirisena forms national government with opposition
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena formed a national government incorporating the main opposition party on Sunday, in a bid to push through reforms and preserve political stability
Ex-army chief becomes Sri Lanka’s first field marshal
Sri Lanka’s new government on Sunday conferred the highest military rank of field marshal on retired army chief Sarath Fonseka, who had been jailed for alleged treason by the previous government
14 MARCH 2015
India’s Modi visits Sri Lanka’s Tamil heartland
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is a demonstration of regional superpower India’s support for Sri Lanka’s Tamils, who share close cultural and religious ties with those in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
13 MARCH 2015
PM Modi in landmark visit to steer Sri Lanka away from China
Narendra Modi began the first official visit by an Indian premier to Sri Lanka in nearly three decades Friday, looking to reassert New Delhi’s influence over Colombo after its drift towards China
20 FEBRUARY 2015
Sri Lanka, China and India: rivalry in the Indian Ocean
For smaller Asian countries it is no surprise that China has emerged in the last decade as an essential trading partner, Sri Lanka is no exception: becoming it’s largest foreign finance partner in 2010, overtaking India and Japan
16 FEBRUARY 2015
India seals nuclear energy pact with Sri Lanka, hopes to push back Chinese influence
India sealed a nuclear energy agreement with Sri Lanka on Monday, its first breakthrough with the new government of the tiny Indian Ocean island where China has been building ports and highways in a diplomatic push in recent years
12 FEBRUARY 2015
Sri Lanka urges UN to delay war crimes probe
Sri Lanka Wednesday urged the UN to delay a report into alleged war crimes during the island’s civil war to allow the new government to complete its own probe.
7 FEBRUARY 2015
Sri Lanka in U-turn on port project
Sri Lanka’s new government has approved China’s $1.4 billion port project in the island nation’s capital, marking a swift U-turn following warnings it might scrap the venture.
3 FEBRUARY 2015
Sri Lanka: Hope for Minorities?
The key question remains: Does Sirisena have the political will and capability to actually resolve the fundamental problems that drove the country to almost three decades of civil war?
21 JANUARY 2015
Sri Lanka rehabilitates ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka
The new Sri Lankan government has removed punishments imposed on controversial war-time army chief Sarath Fonseka by the previous regime
14 JANUARY 2015
Pope canonises Sri Lanka’s first saint
On Wednesday, Francis conducted a mass on Colombo’s Galle Face Green before canonising Joseph Vaz, a 17th century missionary who disguised himself as a beggar, in the first papal visit to the island nation in two decades.
13 JANUARY 2015
Pope Francis urges the ‘pursuit of truth’ in Sri Lanka
In the first visit papal visit to Sri Lanka in more than 20 years, Pope Francis has called on the country to do more to seek the truth about its years of civil war.
10 JANUARY 2015
Sri Lanka’s new president welcomes dissidents home
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 authoritarian rule of his toppled predecessor
9 JANUARY 2015
Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa suffers shock election defeat. Sirisena elected president
Sirisena and his new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe both took the oath of office in Colombo’s Independence Square on Friday hours after Rajapakse conceded defeat, in what is being touted as one of the most peaceful in the island’s history
8 DECEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka in tightest presidential election in decades
Sri Lanka went to the polls Thursday in its tightest election in decades, with its strongman president battling for survival after accusations of corruption and a failure to bring about national reconciliation
30 DECEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka’s Tamil party backs opposition candidate for president
28 DECEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka Muslim party quits government
Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party has quit the government and pledged support to the opposition in a move seen as the biggest setback yet to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s re-election bid.
2 DECEMBER 2014
Sri Lankan opposition parties ink pacts
Common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several political parties, promising to form an all-party government for a period of two years and to abolish the executive presidency within 100 days
21 NOVEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka election: Health chief to challenge Rajapaksa
One of the most senior figures in the Sri Lankan government has announced that he is defecting to stand against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in forthcoming presidential elections.
20 NOVEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka president calls early election
The move on Thursday, two years before his current term expires, is seen as an attempt by Rajapaksa to prevent an expected loss of public support if an election were held according to schedule.
18 NOVEMBER 2014
Buddhist party quits Sri Lanka government
Sri Lanka’s main party of Buddhist monks has announced it is leaving President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in protest over what they say is his refusal to curb powers and carry out demands for democratic reforms before fresh elections.
5 NOVEMBER 2014
Sri Lankan president seeks Supreme Court nod for third term
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the Supreme Court to determine if there is any constitutional obstacle to his becoming president for a third term, something the top lawyers’ association says he can not do.
20 OCTOBER 2014
Sri Lanka ‘to hold early presidential poll’
Sri Lanka will hold presidential election in January next year, two years ahead of schedule, Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has said.
11 OCTOBER 2014
‘Queen of Jaffna’ to link Sri Lanka’s north again
The “Queen of Jaffna,” a once-popular train linking the ethnic Tamil’s northern heartland to the rest of Sri Lanka before a bloody civil war cut the link 24 years ago, chugs back into service this coming week, reinforcing the government’s authority in a region once controlled by Tamil rebels.
20 SEPTEMBER 2014
Sri Lanka To Set Up Joint Trade Commission With Russia
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has given its approval to establish a joint commission with the Russian Federation to enhance bilateral trade ties.
19 AUGUST 2014
Sri Lanka to reject visas to UN investigators
Sri Lanka will not grant visas to UN investigators probing war crimes allegedly committed during the last phase of island nation’s decades-long separatist conflict, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced.
22 JULY 2014
Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama
A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by « Muslim extremists » and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader
Sri Lanka president skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his office said Tuesday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance.
17 JULY 2014
Sri Lanka announces probe into military’s alleged rights abuses
President Mahinda Rajapakse said a current government-appointed Commission of Inquiry (COI) would be expanded to probe the military and Tamil rebels over abuses allegedly committed during their war that ended in 2009.
9 JULY 2014
Sri Lanka tells NGOs ‘no press conferences’
Sri Lanka has banned non-government organisations from holding press conferences under a new order from the defence ministry seen by AFP on Wednesday, raising new fears for freedom of speech.
29 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka arrests eight over riots
Sri Lankan police have arrested key suspects accused of fuelling religious riots and looting, as minority Muslims expressed fears of more unrest ahead of Ramadan, officials said.
27 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka, abuses and police assaults increase
« Every day we hear about any kind of human rights violation in this country. However we cannot see that the government is taking considerable steps to stop these brutal acts, even though there are enough law. Media also do not give priority to this issue, » said Philip Dissanayake, executive secretary of Right to Like Human Rights Organization
20 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka Muslim group calls for ban on anti-minority groups
Muslim Council writes to President Mahinda Rajapksa following anti-Muslim violence by radical Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). « It is necessary that a culture of respect for ethnic and religious tolerance – a part of this country’s rich and ancient heritage -be endorsed and encouraged at the highest levels. »
19 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka moderate monk critical of anti-Muslim violence beaten
A moderate Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who is highly critical of an extremist Buddhist group has been found beaten and unconscious near Colombo
17 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka riots prompt international concern
Defying government-imposed curfew, Buddhist hardliners set shops and homes on fire killing a security guard outside a Muslim-owned farm, raising the overall death toll to four, Al Jazeera learned on Tuesday
16 JUNE 2014
Sri Lanka Muslims killed in Aluthgama clashes with Buddhists
At least three people have been killed and more than 80 people injured in overnight mob attacks led by Sinhala Buddhist monks in two coastal Sri Lankan towns, according to medics.
28 MAY 2014
Sri Lanka monks occupy ministry building
Protesters led by Buddhist monks from the right-wing Ravana Balaya group have occupied the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo
22 MAY 2014
Sri Lanka blocks two news websites
Sri Lanka has blocked two news websites critical of the government, a move press and media groups said was intended to intimidate critics of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration.
5 MAY 2014
Sri Lanka Buddhist monks in court accused of insulting Quran
Four of Sri Lanka’s most senior hardline Buddhist monks appeared in court Monday accused of insulting the Quran, in the first such case following a spate of religious hate attacks
11 APRIL 2014
Sri Lankan army quash Tamil revival in first battle since end of civil war
Sri Lanka’s army claimed to have killed three Tamil rebels yesterday in the first battle since the civil war ended almost five years ago.
7 APRIL 2014
Sri Lanka refuses to co-operate with UN probe
Sri Lanka will not co-operate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes by government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the final phase of their 26-year war, its foreign minister has said
30 MARCH 2014
Sri Lanka ruling party wins vote test with lower margin
Sri Lanka’s ruling party won local elections, but with smaller than expected margins in a crucial mid-term test for President Mahinda Rajapakse, official results showed Sunday
28 MARCH 2014
Challenges remain for China–Sri Lanka FTA
Although China–Sri Lanka trade had been growing steadily beforehand, China was not a large trading partner of Sri Lanka until 2005, which was a turning point in China–Sri Lankan economic relations
6 MARCH 2014
Sri Lanka’s Growing Links with China
Trade, investment and a strategic Indian Ocean location bring the two countries closer together
17 FEBRUARY 2014
UN calls for Sri Lankan war crimes inquiry
The United Nations’ human rights chief has called for an international war crimes investigation into alleged atrocities carried out in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war, according to reports.
5 FEBRUARY 2014
Sri Lankan security forces destroyed evidence of war crimes, report claims
Accusations that Sri Lankan security forces destroyed evidence of mass civilian killings are among allegations of “flagrant and reckless” violations of human rights committed in the final months of the civil war, according to a new report.
14 JANUARY 2014
Sri Lankan Buddhist radicals attack two independent Christian churches
Eight Buddhist monks were among the 24 people who carried out the attack. Police were unable to contain the mob, which destroyed buildings and burnt religious literature. According to the attackers, the two churches do not have the permit needed to remain open. Religious intolerance is growing against religious minorities.
13 JANUARY 2014
Four Steps to Secure Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka
A survey released in November by the Center for Policy Alternatives suggested that more than a quarter of those hailing from the country’s Tamil minority say the government has done “nothing” to address the root causes of the conflict, while half feel a little has been done, but “not enough.”
9 JANUARY 2014
Sri Lankan economy looking good, but in need of long game
Sri Lanka’s post-conflict development aspirations have been fashioned on a simple but socio-politically persuasive argument: sustain growth at high levels and extend its benefits to more people. In this, the government that swept into power in 2010 has delivered both a stronger economic performance and rising living standards for the average citizen. During 2010–13, GDP growth has averaged 7 per cent with visible signs of reductions in absolute poverty as well as falling income inequality across sectors and provinces of the country.
22 DECEMBER 2013
New mass grave found in Sri Lanka four years after war
An unmarked mass grave has been found in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, the first discovery of an unmarked gravesite since troops defeated Tamil rebels more than four years ago, police said Sunday.
7 DECEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka’s crumbling democracy
It is disappointing that Sri Lanka, a country with such a serious democratic deficit, is chairing the Commonwealth for the next two years. All signs indicate Sri Lanka is descending into authoritarianism, and much work is needed if Sri Lankan democracy is to be saved.
3 DECEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka’s forces accused of massacring aid workers
A French charity has accused Sri Lanka’s security forces of killing 17 of its aid workers in 2006, and demanded an international inquiry.
17 NOVEMBER 2013
Commonwealth ultimatum to Sri Lanka: Clarify war crimes
The meeting between the heads of state held in Colombo ( 15 to 17 November ) was an opportunity to corner the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. If, by March 2014 there are no signs of a real reconciliation , the British prime minister will take the case to the UN
16 NOVEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka says it will block UN rights probe
A senior Sri Lanka’s minister has said the government will not allow an international probe into alleged war crimes during its 27-year ethnic conflict, despite mounting pressure from abroad.
15 NOVEMBER 2013
Prince Charles avoids Sri Lanka human rights row in speech
The Prince of Wales steered clear of criticising Sri Lanka’s record on human rights as he made his first address to a Commonwealth summit as the Queen’s representative.
10 NOVEMBER 2013
India PM to boycott Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit
Indian PM Manmohan Singh will boycott this week’s Commonwealth summit in Colombo, officials say, amid a row over Sri Lanka’s human rights record. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24887719 http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/379107/india-pm-to-miss-commonwealth-summit-in-sri-lanka
9 NOVEMBER 2013
Sri Lankan students protest closing universities
About 2,000 Sri Lankan university students blocked traffic as they shouted slogans outside the capital’s main railroad station Friday to protest a government decision to close state universities during a summit of leaders from Commonwealth countries next week.
8 NOVEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka revokes human rights experts’ visas ahead of Commonwealth summit
Sri Lanka has revoked the visas of human rights experts for a meeting coinciding with the Commonwealth summit, the International Bar Association has claimed.
24 OCTOBER 2013
Sri Lanka’s unanswered questions over human rights
The BBC has spoken to people in Sri Lanka who say they have been threatened with rape and tortured at the hands of officials.
17 OCTOBER 2013
Sri Lanka: a country ruled as a family business by four brothers
Sri Lanka is a country ruled by four brothers who have turned their country’s government into a family business. At the apex sits President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who won office in 2005 and was re-elected in 2010 after victory in the civil war.
14 OCTOBER 2013
Tamils taste symbolic power in Sri Lanka
9 OCTOBER 2013
Canada PM to boycott Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will skip a Commonwealth summit next month in Sri Lanka to protest that government’s human rights record.
5 OCTOBER 2013
Sri Lanka’s elderly among ‘ happiest ‘ in the world
The Global Agewatch Index compiles a ranking of the best countries in the world for people of a certain age. Sweden ranks first, Sri Lanka 36th , but it is the fourth Asian country in terms of social and economic welfare . The secret : 98% of the « grandparents » live with their families http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Sri-Lanka’s-elderly-among-‘-happiest-‘-in-the-world-29199.html
4 OCTOBER 2013
Provincial Polls In Sri Lanka: A New Dawn? – Analysis
In the recently concluded elections in the northern province of Sri Lanka, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) led by C V Vigneswaran won a landslide victory. The election conducted within the purview of the 13th Amendment was by all accounts free and fair. A popular will was expressed by a 35% turnout of the northern Tamil voters.
22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka’s Tamil party sweeps polls, urges trust with government
Sri Lanka’s main ethnic minority Tamil party secured a landslide victory in a provincial poll that has threatened to rekindle animosity between the government and Tamils, four years after the military crushed separatist rebels and ended a 26-year war.
21 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka holds historic vote in Tamil-majority north
Voters in Sri Lanka’s north have held their first-ever elections for a semi-autonomous council, four years after the army defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.
20 SEPTEMBER 2013
Tamil candidate ran for her life ahead of landmark election
A Tamil candidate for landmark polls in Sri Lanka’s former warzone fled a mob attack Friday as the man tipped to become the region’s chief minister accused the army of intimidating voters.
UN rights chief lashes back at Sri Lanka claims
The United Nations’ top human rights official lashed back Friday at the Sri Lankan government, accusing some of its most senior officials of waging a disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting her and her office.
18 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sri Lanka Sunday Leader’s Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema flees
A senior Sri Lankan journalist has left the country three weeks after she and her family were held at knifepoint during a night raid on her house.
14 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sri Lankan train rolls into Tiger territory after 23 years
A train linking the political home of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels with the rest of the island rolled into service on Saturday after a 23-year interruption, officials said.
31 AUGUST 2013
Sri Lanka becoming more authoritarian: UN rights chief
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Saturday that Sri Lanka was becoming « increasingly authoritarian » with rights activists apparently suffering growing harassment from security agencies.
28 AUGUST 2013
UN rights chief meets Sri Lankan war survivors
Survivors of Sri Lanka’s civil war complained on Tuesday to the United Nations’ human rights chief about missing relatives, military land grabs and a life without basic facilities more than four years after the end of the quarter-century war.
26 AUGUST 2013
Sri Lanka monks protest UN rights chief’s visit
Dozens of monks and pro-government activists staged the noisy demonstration outside UN offices, accusing the international community of drumming up false allegations of war crimes in 2009 during the final months of a separatist conflict.
11 AUGUST 2013
Curfew in Colombo as tensions rise after mosque attack
Sri Lankan police clamped a fresh curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Sunday, a day after a Buddhist-led mob vandalised a mosque in an incident that raised religious tensions and US concern.
7 AUGUST 2013
Sri Lanka army slammed for killing protesters
The Roman Catholic Church has accused the Sri Lankan army of shooting unarmed protesters and desecrating a church during demonstrations against water contamination.
2 AUGUST 2013
1 protester killed in Sri Lanka military shooting
One person was killed and about 15 were wounded when Sri Lanka’s military shot at a protest demanding clean drinking water.
27 JULY 2013
Sri Lanka to probe wartime disappearances
The move comes as Sri Lanka faces rising international criticism for failing to investigate alleged war crimes during the final stage of the quarter century-long war, which ended four years ago, including civilian deaths and disappearances.
15 JULY 2013
Sri Lanka halts French festival over ‘insulting’ film
Sri Lanka halted its French Film Festival in Colombo on Monday after festival organisers screened “Flying Fish,” an internationally-acclaimed film set during Sri Lanka’s ethnic war that the military considered to be insulting. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23328665 http://www.france24.com/en/20130716-sri-lanka-halts-french-festival-insulting-film-military-flying-fish
5 JULY 2013
Sri Lanka will hold provincial elections in the former northern war zone
Sri Lanka will hold provincial elections in the former northern war zone in September for the first time in 25 years, officials said on Friday, a move demanded by the United Nations since the end of three decades of conflict in 2009. http://dawn.com/news/1023037/sri-lanka-to-hold-polls-in-ex-war-zone-for-first-time-in-25-years
27 JUNE 2013
Sri Lanka: widespread police torture of innocent civilians
Denounced by the Right to Life, an NGO in the country, in a meeting that heard testimonies of some victims. In order to extract confessions, law enforcement officials beat and abuse suspected criminals. The use of chili peppers on eyes and genitals is one of the most common practices.
21 JUNE 2013
3 appointed to investigate mass grave in Sri Lanka
Two retired judges and a former parliament official were appointed Friday to a presidential commission that will investigate a mass grave found last year with 154 bodies, most likely of Marxist rebels killed decades ago. http://asiancorrespondent.com/109631/3-appointed-to-investigate-mass-grave-in-sri-lanka/
30 MAY 2013
Sri Lankan rights campaigner Jayalath Jayawardena dies
Prominent Sri Lankan human rights campaigner and parliamentarian Jayalath Jayawardena has died aged 59 in hospital in Singapore, medical officials say. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22720636
13 APRIL 2013
Gunmen torch Sri Lankan newspaper equipment
The attack on Saturday at the Uthayan newspaper office is the fifth strike on the media since January in Sri Lanka’s former war zone in the north, and the second after the UN passed a resolution on March 21 calling on the government to address human rights violations. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/04/201341372141289764.html
2 APRIL 2013
Indian Tamil actors protest Sri Lanka war conduct
Tamil movie stars in India, including superstar Rajinikanth, are fasting for a day to protest what they say is the mistreatment of ethnic Tamils in neighboring Sri Lanka and to demand an international probe into alleged wartime abuses there. http://asiancorrespondent.com/103971/indian-tamil-actors-protest-sri-lanka-war-conduct/
25 MARCH 2013
India and Sri Lanka: More constructive role needed
There was no doubt that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) would pass the U.S.-backed resolution against Sri Lanka for its treatment of the Tamil minority. After keeping many guessing how it would vote, India ended up supporting the motion, alongside 24 other countries. Of the remaining countries, 13 voted against it and eight abstained. http://thediplomat.com/the-pulse/2013/03/25/india-and-sri-lanka-more-constructive-role-needed/?goback=%2Egde_160896_member_226265081
22 MARCH 201
Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim campaign fuels discord
Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim community is coming under intense pressure from a hard-line Buddhist monk organization allegedly linked to certain powerful individuals in the President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led administration.
21 MARCH 2013
UN passes resolution against Sri Lanka rights record
The resolution encourages Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into alleged war crimes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21873551 http://www.thestatesman.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=448784&catid=35
16 MARCH 2013
China ready to protect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty
Newly-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday offered his support in protecting Sri Lanka’s national sovereignty, hinting at Beijing’s backing to stave off a US-backed resolution against the country at UN Rights Council http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/26764-china-ready-to-protect-sls-sovereignty-chinese-president.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
15 MARCH 2013
Sri Lanka’s Ongoing Shift towards Authoritarianism
Sri Lanka is well on its way to becoming an authoritarian state, warns Neil DeVotta. Today, he charts the decline of democratic standards and the rule of law in this troubled island state. http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=161612
6 MARCH 2013
Sri Lanka ‘disappeared’: Families stage Colombo protest
The families of people who disappeared in Sri Lanka during and after the country’s long civil war have staged a demonstration in the capital Colombo. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21682006 http://asiancorrespondent.com/100655/sri-lankan-police-block-tamils-from-protest-march/
25 FEBRUARY 2013
Photo of dead boy ups pressure on Sri Lanka
The photo shows a boy sitting shirtless by a row of sandbags as he glumly eats a snack. The next photo shows him lying face up in the dirt, a series of bullet holes in his chest. The makers of a documentary on Sri Lanka say the boy was the 12-year-old son of Sri Lankan insurgent leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, and that the photos prove he was captured and then executed by the Sri Lankan military. Sri Lanka denies the charge. http://asiancorrespondent.com/99115/photo-of-dead-boy-ups-pressure-on-sri-lanka/
23 FEBRUARY 2013
Human rights and democracy in Sri Lanka: the West’s deepening dilemma http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/02/23/human-rights-and-democracy-in-sri-lanka-the-wests-deepening-dilemma/
21 FEBRUARY 2013
Sri Lanka’s Ominous Authoritarian Turn
The Mahinda Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka, more than three years after the end of the devastating civil war that paralyzed the country for 22 years, has instituted a virtual reign of terror against not only its defeated Tamil minority but against many of its own citizens in the south, critics say. http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5196&Itemid=193
20 FEBRUARY 2013
Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Sri Lanka
Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Colombo in a tit-for-tat decision amid tensions after a Sri Lankan nanny convicted of murder was beheaded in the kingdom, the official SPA news agency reported. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/02/20132208370323293.html
16 FEBRUARY 2013
Sri Lanka Sunday Leader reporter Faraz Shauketaly shot
A reporter from a newspaper in Sri Lanka has been shot by a group of unidentified men at his home near the capital, Colombo. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21482317 http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/16/world/asia/sri-lanka-journalist-shot/index.html?hpt=ias_c2
4 FEBRUARY 2013
Sri Lanka leader rules out autonomy for Tamils
Sri Lanka’s president has ruled out allowing minority Tamils greater political autonomy as a solution to a decades-long ethnic conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. http://asiancorrespondent.com/96893/sri-lanka-leader-rules-out-autonomy-for-tamils/
11 JANUARY 2013
Sri Lanka Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is impeached
The Sri Lankan parliament has voted to remove Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in a move analysts say could trigger a constitutional crisis. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20982990
29 NOVEMBER 2012
Jaffna University Tamil students boycott classes
Students at Jaffna University in northern Sri Lanka have started a two-day boycott of classes after clashes with security forces on Wednesda
28 NOVEMBER 2012
Sri Lanka’s Jaffna sees clashes over Tamil rebel remembrance
Students and security forces have clashed in Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka in the worst political disturbances since civil war ended in 2009
13 NOVEMBRE 2012
UN ‘failed Sri Lanka civilians’, says internal probe
The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, a leaked draft of a highly critical internal UN report says
11 NOVEMBER 2012
Sri Lanka lawyers oppose chief justice impeachment
Sri Lanka’s bar association will ask President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reconsider an impeachment bid against the country’s chief justice, the association’s leader said Saturday.
9 NOVEMBER 2012
Sri Lanka promises elections for former war zone
Sri Lanka’s president promised Thursday 8 to hold provincial council elections next year in the island nation’s former northern war zone
6 NOVEMBER 2012
Shirani Bandaranayake: Charges set out as impeachment begins
Sri Lanka’s parliament has begun formal impeachment proceedings against the chief justice after the Speaker accepted a motion against her.
17 OCTOBER 2012
Tamil Tiger leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan a ‘free man’
The Sri Lankan authorities say that the senior most surviving Tamil Tiger leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan – also known as known as « KP » – is a free man
4 OCTOBER 2012
Sri Lanka: every 90 seconds a woman subjected to sexual violence
At least 450 thousand women farmers earn less than 2 euros a day and almost 200 thousand migrant workers suffer abuse, violence and torture. In the north affected by the civil war, 46% of mothers suffer from malnutrition and children under 5 years are underweight. Women are 53% of the population of Sri Lanka. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Sri-Lanka:-every-90-seconds-a-woman-subjected-to-sexual-violence-25993.html
12 SEPTEMBER 2012
Sri Lanka Rejoining the World
The place isn’t a paradise for minorities but the economy is recovering
9 SEPTEMBER 2012
Sri Lanka’s ruling party wins provincial election
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance won 14 seats in the Eastern Provincial Council, while the Tamil National Alliance secured 11, the Department of Elections said Sunday http://asiancorrespondent.com/88985/sri-lankas-ruling-party-wins-provincial-election/
22 AUGUST 2012
Sri Lanka government shuts down universities
Sri Lanka’s government has closed down almost all universities for an indefinite period amid a row about the future of education in the islan
2 AUGUST 2012
Buddhists Behaving Badly
What Zealotry is Doing to Sri Lanka
18 JULY 2012
Concern in Sri Lanka over rising number of child rapes
A 13-year-old girl in Sri Lanka has identified four men including a local government politician who she says were involved in gang-raping her in the south of the country last month. It is one of a series of alleged rapes, especially of children.
6 JULY 2012
Donor interest in north waning
Donor assistance is waning in northern Sri Lanka, where the critical priorities of food, shelter, protection and nutrition are not being covered, and many displaced people still need outside assistance more than three years after a decades-long civil war ended.
1 JULY 2012
Sri Lanka opposition fights website shut down
Sri Lanka’s main opposition on Sunday vowed to resist a police crackdown against its news website after the United States asked the government to stop « harassing » journalists in the island.
21 MAY 2012
Sri Lanka releases former army chief
Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka’s former army chief, has has been released from prison after President Mahinda Rajapaksa granted him a pardon to coincide with the third anniversary of the government’s victory over Tamil separatists.
26 APRIL 2012
Sri Lanka, Buddhist destruction of a mosque halted
The mosque and the Hindu temple of Dambulla that arise in the sacred cannot be destroyed the Minister for the Territory, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, announced today in an attempt to quell the violent protests involving Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, and likely to create tensions in Sri Lanka. It all started last April 20 when nearly two thousand Buddhists – monks and lay people – attacked the mosque, interrupting the Friday prayer. Throwing rocks and chanting slogans, the protesters claimed that the area of Dambulla is sacred to Buddhism, and cannot tolerate religious activities of other faiths.
22 APRIL 2012
Sri Lanka government orders removal of Dambulla mosque
Sri Lanka’s government has ordered the removal of a mosque from an area it says is sacred to the country’s majority Buddhists
20 APRIL 2012
Sri Lanka Buddhists disrupt mosque’s prayers
About 2,000 Buddhists, including monks, marched to the mosque and held a demonstration demanding its demolition, along with a Hindu temple being built in an area designated as a Buddhist sacred zone http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/04/2012420105329861814.html
6 APRIL 2012
Gandhi statue vandalised in Sri Lanka
Statues of Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi and Britain’s Robert Baden-Powell have been vandalised in Sri Lanka amid an anti-Indian and anti-Western campaign on the island, police said Friday 6
24 MARCH 2012
Sri Lanka rejects UN war resolution
Acting Foreign Minister Dew Gunasekera told parliament on Friday 24 that Sri Lanka will resist outside help to investigate violations of humanitarian law, a key demand in the US-initiated Human Rights Council resolution from Geneva on Thursday
22 MARCH 2012
UN adopts resolution on Sri Lanka war crimes probe
The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of war with Tamil rebels
28 FEBRUARY 2012
Rajapaksa brings thousands of people into the streets to oppose UN war crime charges
The United Nations resolution alleges abuses that Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil rebels committed abuses during the country’s civil war. The government accuses the UN and Western powers of interfering in its domestic affairs. In April 2011, a UN report blamed the Sri Lankan air force of killing 40,000 people
4 JANUARY 2012
France apologises to Sri Lanka over Tamil Tiger stamps
France has been forced to apologise to the Sri Lankan government after its post office issued “personalised” stamps supporting the armed separatist Tamil Tiger group, which is banned in France
21 NOVEMBER 2011
Sri Lankan president receives response to scathing U.N. report
President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the 400-page document on Sunday night. The response, compiled by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, will be presented to Parliament, though Rajapaksa did not say when
18 NOVEMBER 2011
Sri Lanka extends ex-army’s chief jail term
A Sri Lankan high court has sentenced the former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, to three years in jail after finding him
guilty of making a false allegation against the president’s brother.
7 NOVEMBER 2011
Sri Lanka blocks websites for ‘maligning’ president
The Sri Lankan government has warned that any website dealing with Sri Lankan affairs must register with the government or face legal action.
14 OCTOBER 2011
Tamil Tigers still active in Europe
Evidence surfacing in a courthouse in the Netherlands shows that the cause of Tamil independence is still alive in Europe, and an assessment from counter-terrorism authorities says supporters of the defeated rebels remain engaged in extortion, human trafficking and other crimes to raise money for their brethren in Sri Lanka.
9 OCTOBER 2011
Ruling party wins chaotic Sri Lankan polls
President’s UPFA claims victory in 22 out of 23 local councils in contest marred by shootout that left three dead.
23 SEPTEMBER 2011
Sri Lanka leader says international criticism ‘tainted’
Sri Lanka’s president condemned « tainted » international allegations of a military massacre of civilians during an assault to end a Tamil rebellion. President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday appealed for international support as pressure mounted for the UN Human Rights Council to launch a war crimes inquiry into the 2009 campaign in which a UN panel said tens of thousands were killed. « My country has reason for concern with
approaches tainted by an unacceptable selectivity, which we have brought to the notice of the organizations in question in recent weeks, » ajapakse told the UN summit
23 JULY 2011
Tamil party sweeps local election poll
A political party that was closely linked with the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels has swept local council elections held in areas ravaged by the country’s 25-year civil war, amid reports of intimidation and vote-buying, officials said.The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 20 local councils out of the 25 it contested in the ethnic Tamil-majority north and east, the elections department said
20 JUNE 2011
India-Sri Lanka ferry hits troubled waters
A ferry service between India and Sri Lanka suspended almost 30 years ago due to the island’s armed insurgency last week resumed service in style, with a luxury liner plying the route of 152 nautical miles (281 kilometers). The Scotia Prince arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo last Tuesday from Thoothukudi (or Tuticorin) in southern Tamil Nadu. The ferry, which can carry some 1,000 passengers, is expected to boost travel, trade and tourism between the two countries, as well as political ties
29 APRIL 2011
Sri Lanka website LankaeNews is suspended
A magistrate’s court in Sri Lanka has suspended the operation of the pro-opposition LankaeNews website. The court ordered Sri Lanka’s telecoms regulator to suspend the website until court proceedings are over.
26 APRIL 2011
UN publishes report on war crimes. Colombo protests
Over 40 thousand civilians killed in bombings and military prisoners executed with a shot to the head, women raped. The document ordered
by Ban Ki-moon paints a hellish picture of the final stages of the ethnic conflict. Despite pressure from the Government of Sri Lanka to prevent
20 APRIL 2011
Sri Lankan authorities reject UN war crime accusations
The government of Sri Lanka has firmly rejected a United Nations report that blames it for war crimes committed during the final phase of the 30-year-old interethnic conflict, which ended in 2009. The Inter Religious Alliance for National Unity (IRANU) slammed the UN report prepared
for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. By contrast, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil organisation, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), hailed the study, saying it provided “irrefutable confirmation” of the atrocities committed by the government and the military.
8 APRIL 2011
Sri Lanka must account for missing -Human Rights Watch
Sri Lanka’s government should account for all those detained at the end of the war with Tamil Tiger rebels nearly two years ago, Human Rights Watch says
20 SEPTEMBRE 2010
In Sri Lanka, Court martial sentences General Fonseka to three years in prison for corruption. Activists and opposition parties protest what they see as an attack against justice and democracy
8 SEPTEMBER 2010
Lanka’s parliament passed an amendment to the constitution, allowing Mahinda Rajapakse, the president, to run for
a third term
13 AUGUST 2010
A court martial, founds the former Sri Lankan armed forces chief, General Sarath Fonseka, guilty of engaging in politics while on active service. Gen Fonseka would be stripped of his rank and medals once the government has ratified the
decision, officials said
6 JULY 2010
Sri Lankans protesters besiege UN’s Sri-Lankan office demanding the UN end investigations into alleged war crimeshttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/10519247.stm
8 APRIL 2010
Sri Lanka’s ruling party has won a majority in parliament, according to official results from Thursday’s election. The results released by the elections commissioner on Friday showed The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent president, had already secured 117 seats in the 225-member assembly
16 MARCH 2010
Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka appears before a military court on charges of participating in politics while in uniform
6 MARCH 2010
Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa dismisses UN human rights panel
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa denounces plans by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to ask a panel of experts to look into human rights
issues on the island
27 FEBRUARY 2010
Sri Lanka’s dissenting voices ‘silenced’
When Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected president of Sri Lanka in January, media organisations and human rights groups said they hoped
the suppression of dissenting voices would end. But those hopes have not materialized
23 FEBRUARY 2010
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court refuses to order the release of detained opposition leader and former army chief Sarath Fonseka
8 FEBRUARY 2010
Sri Lanka election loser General Sarath Fonseka is arrested
1 FEBRUARY 2010
Sri Lanka’s president, sacks a dozen senior military officers whom the defense ministry says were a « direct threat to national security » after last week’s presidential elections. Security forces kept Fonseka under siege while election results were announced on Wednesday, and 15 retired officers working at Fonseka’s offices were later arrested by police
26 JANUARY 2010
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent [u]Sri Lankan[/u] president, is re-elected
29 NOVEMBER 2009
Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan general who ended the Tamil Tigers’ almost three-decade-long struggle for independence, announces that he would challenge the president in a January election
22 0CTOBER 2009
Nearly 6,000 Tamil refugees are released from Sri Lanka’s main camp for war-displaced people, officials say
3 SEPTEMBER 2009
A United Nations expert urges the Sri Lanka’s government to set up an independent probe into the authenticity of a video clip
aired in Britain allegedly showing Sri Lankan troops executing prisoners
8 AUGUST 2009
Sri Lanka holds its first post-war elections in two Tamil-majority cities in the north
20 MAY 2009
Sri Lanka celebrates victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday on Wednesday as the army hunted down fugitive rebels, shooting dead eight thought to have escaped from the final battle
18 MAY 2009
The leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is dead, the Sri Lankan military has said.
26 APRIL 2009
Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition sweeps elections to the Western Provincial Council, that includes the capital Colombo, after a high pitched campaign seeking support for the military offensive aimed at crushing the Tamil Tigers. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) secures 65 percent of the total votes cast, leaving the opposition badly battered. The United National Party (UNP) led by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe came second with 30 percent
25 FEBRUARY 2009
Sri Lankan troops seize the last town held by separatist Tamil Tiger fighters, Mullaittivu
2 FEBRUARY 2009
2009: Sri Lankan military seize control of the Tamil Tiger rebels’ de facto capital of Kilinochchi
9 JANUARY 2009
The Sri Lankan army captures Elephant Pass, the strategic causeway linking the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland
1 JANUARY 2009
Sri Lanka troops, capture Paranthan,a key town from Tamil Tiger rebels after intense clashes. The fall of Paranthan, near the Tigers’ political capital Kilinochchi, has effectively cut off the rebels’ main supply line to several other strongholds