Mahinda Rajapaksa to be sworn in as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister

Former Sri Lankan president and brother of the newly elected president Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be sworn in as Sri Lankan prime minister tomorrow, as the current prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his decision to resign. A new cabinet will also be appointed tomorrow, reports BBC correspondent Azzam Ameen.

'We will hang him!’ - A glimpse of Gotabaya

As Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa takes up office, we look back on a brief selection of interviews he gave to international media outlets during his tenure as secretary of defence.

STF arrest Tamil youth in Mullaitivu alleging possession of explosives

Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force (STF) troops have arrested a Tamil youth in Mullaitivu alleging possession of explosives with the intention to smuggle. The 24-year-old from the Valli Punam area was placed in the custody of Puthukudiyiruppu police. The STF said that following a tip-off they recovered over 52kg of explosives from the arrested youth’s home.

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...