Another accused war criminal takes office in Sri Lanka

Kamal Gunaratne, a former Sri Lankan military commander accused of overseeing war crimes and who called for supporters of a new Sri Lankan constitution "traitors", was this week appointed as Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. Gunaratne was commander of the Sri Lankan army’s infamous 53 Division during the 2009 massacres, in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed. The unit he headed is accused of numerous abuses, including sexual violence, summary executions and the disappearance of those who surrendered to the military. In 2017, he told an audience that “...

Ranil Wickremesinghe to resign as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Mahinda to take over

Updated 1145 GMT Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that he will resign from his role as Sri Lanka's prime minister and will be informing the new president of his decision tomorrow.

Mission accomplished for Bodu Bala Sena

Sri Lanka’s extremist Buddhist hate group the Bodu Bala Sena announced that it would disband in the wake of Gotabaya Rajapaksa becoming Sri Lanka’s new president, claiming that a “good leader” has come to power. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Power Force in Sinhala, held a press conference, where leader Galagodaaththe Gnanasara claimed “the country has a good leader now”. "Therefore we believe that our movement is not necessary anymore," he added . He went on to claim that “anti-religious” forces had been defeated and that his organisation could now “work for the betterment of this...

Gotabaya mandate not racist says Sampanthan as Rajapaksas declare TNA irrelevant

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan defended war-crimes accused Gotabaya Rajapaksa's landslide among Sinhalese voters, a day after the Rajapaksa camp essentially declared the TNA as obsolete. “Many people who voted for [Gotabaya] have done so because of their disappointment with the performance of this government. The non-delivery on various fundamental issues like costs of living, corruption, fertiliser [subsidy], and employment,” Sampanthan told The Hindu, emphasising there were “various factors”. While the TNA did not hold positions in the previous government, the party...

Ravinatha Aryasinha re-appointed as Foreign Secretary

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has reappointed Ravainatha Aryasinha as Foreign Secretary today. Aryasinha was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has been accused of overseeing war crimes, torture and running “white van” squads who would abduct dissenting journalists. Aryasinha has openly defended the accused war criminal Shavendra Silva despite overwhelming evidence that he has overseen a litany of human rights violations. He has also criticised several reports from the United Nations and the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) for providing evidence of this. Read...

Tamil youths lead clearing of Batticaloa LTTE cemetery

Clearance of the Tharavai thuyilum illam in Batticaloa took place on Tuesday in preparation for Maaveerar Naal. The Tamil youths who led the clear-up of the cemetery, which was destroyed during new Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's tenure as defence secretary, called for people to join them on November 27 to pay tribute to the fallen LTTE fighters, as they have for the past two years.

Ranil set to resign as Sri Lankan prime minister

The Sunday Times reports that Sri Lanka's prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is set to resign from his post tomorrow. Wickremesinghe has faced a wave of criticism following the Easter Sunday bombings which claimed the lives of over 250 people across the island. Whilst speaking to reporters he admitted failure on the government's behalf to act decisively. Read more here: Ranil admits 'failure' of government to ensure security Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary Select Committee has subsequently raised concerns that security forces may have allowed the attack to happen to “create chaos and instil fear...

Gotabaya assumes duties as Sri Lanka's president

Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially assumed the duties as the seventh executive President of Sri Lanka today. The event was attended by former President Maithripala Sirisena and several other Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members. Also in attendance were senior Sri Lankan army personnel, including those accused of rights abuses. Douglas, Devananda, the notorious leader of the government-aligned EPDP paramilitary group, was also present. The group stands accused of a vast array of crimes including assassinations and child trafficking. Rajapaksa was sworn in yesterday where he vowed to lead the...

British parliamentary candidates express concern over election of Gotabaya

British parliamentary candidates express their concern over the recent election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president of Sri Lanka. Conservative candidate for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, tweeted that he is "very concerned about the outcome of election in Sri Lanka. Election of Sri Lanka's war time defence secretary who stands accused by several UN reports of being responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and using banned weapons, raises concerns amongst all minorities." Responding to the election of Gotabaya, Wes Streeting, Labour candidate for Ilford North tweeted : "The...

‘These families fear they’ll never find missing loved ones after Sri Lanka election result’

The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s new president only adds to the suffering of Tamil families searching for their loved ones, writes Aaron Fernandes for SBS News.

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