‘I am constitutionally bound to give Buddhism the foremost place’ – Sri Lanka’s President lays out roadmap for the future

Delivering his first speech in parliament as president of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe laid out a roadmap for Sri Lanka which vowed to upload Buddhism; authorised the police to “maintain law and order”; eliminate state enterprises; support controversial investments; tackle corruption; strength Sri Lanka’s export economy; and provide a “political solution” for Tamils.

Remembering Black July - 39 years since the pogrom

Today marks thirty-nine years since the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when thousands of Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then-UNP government and state forces.

Following a brutal crackdown, Sri Lanka’s new ministers are sworn in

Following a brutal crackdown on demonstrators in Galle Face, Colombo, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has sworn in a new cabinet comprised of those with troubled records.

Who is standing to be Sri Lanka’s next president?

Tomorrow Sri Lankan parliamentarians will elect the next President of Sri Lanka following the resignation and departure of Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the island. Ahead of this vote, Tamil Guardian examines the record of the primary candidates for president; Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dullas Alahapperuma, and Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

Dullas Alahapperuma - Another racist throws his hat in the ring to be Sri Lanka’s next president

A formerly staunch Rajapaksa ally, Dullas Alahapperuma has declared his intention to run for president of Sri Lanka as Sinhala politicians have begun announcing their bids following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. We take a look at Dullas Alahapperuma’s record. Alahapperuma is yet another staunch Sinhala Buddhist nationalist and Rajapaksa ally, who was initially with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) before switching to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). He started his career as a Sinhala journalist, before contesting the 1993 Provincial Council elections in the Matara District...

A historic opportunity – 5 key demands from Tamil Civil Society

Responding to the ongoing political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Tamil civil society groups have issued a group statement urging all actors to seize this historic opportunity for “real change for an island plagued by decades of ethnic conflict”. “There have been many moments in Sri Lanka’s history when governments have had the opportunity to change course and address the root causes of the island’s conflict, but each time they have fallen short. We […] put forward this statement in good faith, in the hope that this time could be different”. Instead of simply demanding a change of...

‘Sri Lanka’s president can’t flee accountability’ – British parliamentarians call for Rajapaksa’s arrest and justice for genocide

As Colombo descends into crisis, British parliament held an urgent debate on the state of Sri Lanka with growing calls for a new pluralist constitution, the recognition of self-determination for Tamils, the ratification of the Rome Statute, the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and justice for the Tamil genocide. In her speech, Siobhain McDonagh reflected on the dire situation in Sri Lanka, noting record levels of inflation, the imposition of a state of emergency and a health system on the brink. She further asked: "That any financial assistance must go hand in hand with democratic and human right...

State of emergency in Sri Lanka as protests engulf Colombo

Sri Lankan protestors overran the offices of the prime minister in Colombo on Wedneday, and demanded the resignation of acting President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has taken office after Sri Lanka's President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled the country.

Stuck in Sri Lanka - Drama at Colombo airport as Rajapaksa attempts to flee

Sri Lanka's embattled president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was left stuck on the island, after airport staff blocked his attempts to flee the country in yet another humiliating blow to the accused war criminal. The 73-year-old former defence secretary was reportedly trying to flee the country before he is scheduled to step down on Wednesday, and lose immunity as a head of state that protects him from prosecution for a range of crimes. He reportedly fears being arrested and placed on trial where he could face prosecution for his financial crimes, as well as his genocide of Tamils.

Where is Gotabaya Rajapaksa?

As protests continue to rage in Colombo the exact location of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains unclear. Since fleeing his residence his property has been taken over by protesters demanding his resignation. Speaking to AFP news agency, a defence source stated that the President was escorted to safety ahead of the protests. But questions remain as to whether the besieged president has left the capital or even the island, by plane or sea. Activity at Colombo Port Early this morning, whilst protestors were rummaging through Rajapaksa’s belongings, several suitcases of luggage were...

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