President Sirisena calls for a repeal of the 19th amendment

President Sirisena has called for the repealing the 19th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution to ensure political stability despite the amendments forming a central component of his 2015 manifesto. Sirisena claims that the 19th amendment was introduced because the 18th amendment had overexpanded the powers of the presidency and become monarchical. However, he has since described the amendment as the biggest mistake the government has made. He has that if Sri Lanka repealed both the 18th and 19th amendment this would be a good thing. On Sunday Sirisena blamed the 19th amendment for...

Facebook limits message sharing in Sri Lanka over hate speech

The social media platform, Facebook is to limit message sharing in Sri Lanka in an effort to curb hate speech. Artificial intelligence (AI) will also be used to identify posts in Sinhalese which are inflammatory, Facebook said. "We’re making fundamental changes to our products to address virality and reduce the spread of content that can amplify and exacerbate violence and conflict," Product Management, Civic Integrity Director Samidh Chakrabarti and Strategic Response Director Rosa Birch said in a statement. "In Sri Lanka, we have explored adding friction to message forwarding so that people...

Sri Lanka's army commander says working with India on intelligence

Sri Lanka's army commander confirmed they were working with Indian counterparts on intelligence following the Easter Sunday bombings by Islamist extremists supportive of Islamic State.

Gotabhaya to be SLPP presidential candidate - Basil

The former Sri Lankan defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will be the presidential candidate for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Basil Rajapaksa told a meeting of party parliamentarians this week.

Sirisena reopens historic Mullaitivu tank for Sinhalese settlers

A tank which formerly served Tamil agricultural villages in Manalaru was reopened by the Sri Lankan president for Sinhalese settlers earlier this month. The historic Amaiyan Kulam tank borders the Trincomalee district and falls within the large scale Sinhalised region of Manalaru, renamed by the Sri Lankan government as Weli Oya. The original Tamil inhabitants of the region were evicted in 1984 by Sinhalese paramilitaries. The tank, refurbished and renamed in Sinhala as Kiri Ippan Wewa, was opened by Sri Lankan president Sirisena during his tour of the North on June 8. “Sirisena says he is...

Justice Dept official says US has tools to prosecute dual citizens over torture

An official with the US Department of Justice said the country had the tools to prosecute dual citizen Sri Lankan defence personnel accused of torture and other seriour crimes. "Jurisdiction Congress has given us allows to prosecute US citizens who have committed acts of torture abroad," David Rybicki, a deputy assistant attorney general, criminal division, Department of Justice told Representative Jim McGovern, during a House Tom Lantos Commission for Human Rights hearing. "And the Department used that statute to prosecute Chuckie Taylor, son of the former Liberian dictator who received a 97...

Sri Lanka extends state of emergency by another month

The Sri Lankan government extended the state of emergency by another month yesterday issuing an extraordinary gazette to that effect.

Army distributes its magazine to Mullaitivu schools

The Sri Lankan army was seen distributing its magazine praising its activities in the Northern province, to schools in Mullaitivu this week.

US representatives urge action on Sri Lanka amid escalating tensions

United States Representatives Ilhan Omar, Bill Johnson and Jim McGovern on Friday urged the State Department to assert the need for respect for due process, religious minorities and the rule of law. “Tensions are escalating in Sri Lanka, where the peace remains fragile. I urge the Ambassadors for Religious Freedom and War Crimes Issues to respond before matters get worse,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar. “The United States must stand for religious freedom and human rights here and abroad. As we work with our Sri Lankan partners to respond to the terrible attacks of Easter Sunday, we must maintain our...

Moody's warns bombings will impact GDP growth in Sri Lanka

The ratings agency, Moody's Investors Service warned this week that the Easter Sunday bombings would hit GSP grwoth and add greater pressure of the country's debt refinancing. "The primary challenge facing Sri Lanka is its large external debt refinancing needs over the next five years, with over $3 billion principal payable annually on external government debt over 2020-2024," Moody's analyst, Matthew Circosta. "While a range of financing options, including international dollar bond issuance and loans from bilateral and multilateral lenders, could support refinancing, the government is highly...