Maithripala Sirisena - updates

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Rajapaksas eye comeback in Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov 16, 2019 - 11:06 AM

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of political heavyweight Mahinda Rajapaksa, may be elected into office

Sri Lankan voters queue up to cast their ballots at a polling station during the country's presidential election in Colombo on November 16, 2019. - Sri Lankans began voting on November 16 in a tightly fought presidential election where former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's family is seeking a return to power after five years. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Outrage as Sri Lanka president pardons killer of Swedish teen

Nov 10, 2019 - 3:04 PM

'Monstrous act by a failed president,' says a Twitter user condemning the pardon issued by outgoing Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena

OUTRAGE. Outgoing Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena pardons convicted killer Jude Jayamaha. AFP file photo

Sri Lanka's Rajapakse clan steps up new bid for power

Oct 07, 2019 - 10:37 PM

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is frontrunner in the campaign for the November 16 election, even though his bid is widely seen as a front to get Mahinda back into power

ELECTIONS. Gotabhaya Rajapakse (R), the former secretary to the ministry of defense and brother of Sri Lanka's opposition leader and former president Mahinda Rajapakse (L), waves to supporters in Colombo on October 7, 2019, after filing his nomination papers to contest the upcoming presidential election. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka president abandons reelection bid

Oct 06, 2019 - 6:06 PM

Two of ex-president Mahinder Rajapakse's brothers have paid deposits to be candidates

OUTGOING PRESIDENT. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena speaks at an event. File photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Sri Lanka president vetoes military deal with U.S.

Jul 06, 2019 - 9:59 PM

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena thumbs down a deal that would allow US troops access to the country's ports. Its strategic port in Hambantota is on a 99-year lease with China

SIRISENA. In this file photo, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Top Sri Lanka defense official faces charges over Easter attacks

Jun 24, 2019 - 11:49 PM

Hemasiri Fernando should be investigated for his failure to prevent or minimize the attacks, says Attorney General Dappula de Livera

Sri Lanka President seeks to roll back his political reforms

Jun 23, 2019 - 7:56 PM

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena says the 19th amendment to the constitution 'has triggered instability' and led to a power struggle

FOR PEACE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena vows to do anything to combat jihadists. File photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Sri Lanka extends emergency in surprise move

Jun 22, 2019 - 2:03 PM

There is no immediate word from the government on why President Maithripala Sirisena changed his mind on relaxing the tough laws imposed after the Easter Sunday attacks

Sri Lankan soldiers secure an area near St. Anthony's Shrine after a car explosion in Colombo on April 22, 2019, a day after the series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. - The death toll from bomb blasts that ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka rose dramatically April 22 to 290 -- including dozens of foreigners -- as police announced new arrests over the country's worst attacks for more than a decade. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Sri Lanka Muslim ministers resign en masse over Easter bombings

Jun 03, 2019 - 11:21 PM

The resignations of 9 government legislators come after a Buddhist monk lawmaker supporting President Maithripala Sirisena demanded the sacking of 3 top Muslim politicians

EASTER BOMBINGS. In this file photo, Sri Lankan security personnel and police investigators look through debris outside Zion Church following an explosion in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. File photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka president vows to eliminate jihadist threat

May 19, 2019 - 10:27 PM

'With experience from a war that lasted over 3 decades, we are now compelled to meet a completely different threat,' President Maithripala Sirisena says

Sri Lanka Catholic schools to reopen after attacks

May 09, 2019 - 5:54 PM

All state-run schools – more than 10,000 in total – have resumed classes on Monday, May 6, after police and security forces deployed armed guards

BACK TO SCHOOL. Sri Lankan school students return to classes as schools re-open across the country after the Easter attacks in Colombo on May 6, 2019. Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka suspends police chief over Easter attacks

Apr 29, 2019 - 7:54 PM

Chief of police Pujith Jayasundara had refused to quit to clear the way for a shake-up of the 85,000-strong force, prompting President Maithripala Sirisena to suspend him on April 29

Sri Lanka U-turns on war crimes probe

Mar 06, 2019 - 9:32 PM

But President Maithripala Sirisena's cohabitation government seeks to distance itself from his stance, saying the administration of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will remain engaged with the UN on war crimes

U-TURN. President Maithripala Sirisena says he will formally ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to reconsider a 2015 resolution which called for credible investigations into alleged atrocities. File photo by AFP

LOOK: Arci Muñoz meets Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena

Mar 06, 2019 - 5:27 PM

'An experience I will cherish for my entire existence,' says the actress

Sri Lanka President Sirisena praises Duterte drug war as 'example to world'

Jan 17, 2019 - 2:28 PM

'I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard,' Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena tells President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena offer a toast to each other during the State Banquet at the Malacañan Palace on January 16, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte, Sri Lanka President Sirisena boost defense, agri ties during visit

Jan 17, 2019 - 11:45 AM

The Philippines and Sri Lanka sign deals to increase exchanges of military delegations, cooperate in agriculture and fisheries, and boost cooperation in higher education

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shakes the hand of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena as he is welcomed during the latter's arrival at the Malacañan Palace on January 16, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Sri Lanka president names new cabinet after final dispute with prime minister

Dec 20, 2018 - 7:47 PM

'The forming of the cabinet was delayed because the president wanted to retain media and the police,' the government says

POWER STRUGGLE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena seeks talks to end a power struggle that has crippled the country. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Rajapakse bows out, ending Sri Lanka power struggle

Dec 15, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Mahinda Rajapakse signs a letter backing down from the post of prime minister controversially conferred on him in October

BOWS OUT. Sri Lanka'€™s former president Mahinda Rajapakse gestures during a ceremony before signing a document backing down from his controversial appointment as prime minister in Colombo on December 15, 2018. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka court set to rule on sacking of parliament

Dec 07, 2018 - 3:31 PM

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of the firing and replacement of the prime minister and the sacking of parliament on Friday, December 7

RULING ON PARLIAMENT. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announces a policy statement during a ceremony for the new session of parliament in Colombo on May 8, 2018. File photo by AFP

Sri Lanka president vows never to reappoint ousted prime minister

Nov 25, 2018 - 7:07 PM

President Maithripala Sirisena insists that his ousting of the leader of Sri Lanka's biggest party in parliament is not a personality clash but a 'disagreement over policy'

WAR ON DRUGS. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announces a policy statement during a ceremony for the new session of parliament in Colombo on May 8, 2018. File photo by AFP

Sri Lanka president seeks talks to end power struggle

Nov 18, 2018 - 4:01 PM

Sri Lanka has 2 claimants to the prime minister's post, but parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya held that he would recognize neither

POWER STRUGGLE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena seeks talks to end a power struggle that has crippled the country. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka parliament votes out Rajapaksa's government

Nov 14, 2018 - 2:32 PM

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya rules that a majority of the 225-member assembly supports the motion against Mahinda Rajapakse who was made prime minister on October 26

OUT. This file photo shows Sri Lanka's former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse (L) and President Maithripala Sirisena attending a rally in Colombo on November 5, 2018. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka president's climbdown offers hope of end to political crisis

Nov 01, 2018 - 3:15 PM

The speaker Karu Jayasuriya has met with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to force the concession

SIRISENA. In this file photo, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

President suspends parliament as Sri Lanka crisis worsens

Oct 27, 2018 - 6:26 PM

Parliamentary officials say the president suspended the 225-member parliament until November 16 in the aftermath of ousted prime minister's demand for an emergency session to prove he still commanded a majority

WAR ON DRUGS. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announces a policy statement during a ceremony for the new session of parliament in Colombo on May 8, 2018. File photo by AFP

Sri Lanka to hang drug criminals, replicate Philippines 'success'

Jul 11, 2018 - 6:32 PM

President Maithripala Sirisena tells the cabinet he is 'ready to sign the death warrants' of repeat drug offenders, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne says

WAR ON DRUGS. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announces a policy statement during a ceremony for the new session of parliament in Colombo on May 8, 2018. File photo by AFP

Hundreds evacuated after deadly Sri Lanka dump collapse

Apr 17, 2017 - 6:25 PM

Disaster management officials say 1 700 people have been moved to temporary shelters in state schools while the government looked for alternative accommodation

LANDSLIDE. Sri Lankan residents survey damaged homes at the site of a collapsed garbage dump in Colombo on April 16, 2017. Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Hope fades for Sri Lanka missing, garbage toll hits 23

Apr 17, 2017 - 12:05 AM

It is difficult to imagine anyone could survive under these toxic conditions says a police officer after 145 homes were crushed under a collapsed mountain of garbage

Sri Lanka president slams rivals, vows reconciliation

Feb 04, 2017 - 4:23 PM

Stopping short of naming his predecessor Sri Lanka s President Maithripala Sirisena says those who oppose him are working against stability and the rebuilding of the nation s war battered infrastructure

RECONCILIATION. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (C) attends the country's 69th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on February 4, 2017. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

500,000 flee homes as Sri Lanka flood misery worsens

May 20, 2016 - 8:33 PM

Desperate Sri Lankans clamber onto rubber dinghies and makeshift rafts to escape monster floods in the capital Colombo as officials say half a million people had fled their homes across the island

RESCUE. A member of a Sri Lankan Army rescue team carries an elderly woman to safety through floodwaters in the suburb of Kaduwela in capital Colombo on May 17, 2016. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP

Sri Lanka president vows reforms to prevent ethnic war

Jan 09, 2016 - 4:59 PM

Sirisena tells parliament he wants a new statute to guarantee the country will not see a repeat of a bloody ethnic conflict that claimed over 100 000 lives between 1972 and 2009

SRI LANKA PEACE. President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena delivers a speech as he attends Heads of States' Statements ceremony of the COP21 World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, November 30, 2015. Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Sri Lanka president pledges land for 100,000 war victims

Jan 03, 2016 - 10:47 PM

The new president says he is set to hand over 283 hectares of land to war victims in January in line with his election promise to ensure ethnic reconciliation

Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic In this file photo, then National Alliance presidential candidate (now Sri Lanka president) Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in January 2015. File photo by EPA

Organizers of 'sexy' Enrique Iglesias show should be whipped – Sri Lanka President

Dec 28, 2015 - 12:50 AM

President Maithripala Sirisena says that the organizers should be whipped with toxic stingray tails because the concert was uncivilized

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS. The Sri Lankan president says that the Spanish singer's concert organizers should be whipped. In the photo, Enrique performs at the Movistar Arena in Santiago de Chile on May 20, 2014. File photo by Felipe Trueba/EPA

Ex-Sri Lanka leader Rajapakse concedes election defeat

Aug 18, 2015 - 10:48 AM

Rajapakse: My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away I am conceding We have lost a good fight

PROTECTING THE VOTE. Sri Lankan police officers escort election officials carrying ballot boxes to the counting centers after the voting at the 15th parliamentary election in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 17, 2015. MA Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Ex-strongman Rajapakse plans comeback as Sri Lanka votes

Aug 17, 2015 - 12:34 PM

Rajapakse is confident of returning to power after drawing massive crowds on the election trail despite the 69 year old and his closest relatives facing corruption allegations

CIVIC DUTY. Voters line up at a polling station to vote for the 15th parliamentary election at Makola, Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 17, 2015. M.A. Pushma Kumara/EPA

Kerry warns Sri Lanka: Tamil reconciliation will 'take time'

May 03, 2015 - 1:04 AM

The US Secretary of State calls on Sri Lanka to find answers however painful the truth may be

KERRY IN SRI LANKA. US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Kollupitiye Mahinda walk at the Kelaniya Rajamaha temple during a visit to Kelaniya on May 2, 2015. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Marcos vs Aquino, and past snap elections around the world

Feb 07, 2015 - 2:43 PM

Similar presidential and parliamentary snap polls have resulted in a change in leadership, while others have solidified the incumbent's hold on power

THE OPPONENT. Corazon Aquino, the wife of slain opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr, is cheered by her advisers after announcing on December 3, 1985, in Manila, that she will run against President Ferdinand Marcos in the presidential snap poll on February 7. At left is opposition stalwart Lorenzo Tañada, and at right is Member of Parliament Cecilia Muñoz Palma.

Sri Lanka says military 'sabotaging' post-war reconciliation

Jan 29, 2015 - 2:50 PM

The government says it is investigating allegations that two senior military officers are training 400 troops to provoke unrest in Jaffna

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

Pope leads joyous million-strong mass in Sri Lanka

Jan 14, 2015 - 7:36 AM

UPDATED A million worshippers pack the Colombo seafront to greet Pope Francis as he canonizes Sri Lanka s first saint on Wednesday in the biggest public celebration the city has ever witnessed

Pope Francis (C, back) arrives to lead the Canonization Mass of Joseph Vaz at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 14 January 2015. Ettore Ferrari/EPA

Sri Lanka to hold parliamentary elections in 100 days

Jan 12, 2015 - 11:42 PM

Sri Lanka s new president Maithripala Sirisena tells a 27 member cabinet that the election will be held two years ahead of schedule

NEW PRESIDENT. Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president January 9 following a bitter election that saw the surprise ousting of strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse after a decade in power. AFP PHOTO / ISHARA S. KODIKARA

Coup averted in Sri Lanka – new government

Jan 11, 2015 - 5:02 PM

A top aide to newly elected Maithripala Sirisena tells reporters Mahinda Rajapakse had in fact tried to persuade the island s army and police chiefs to help him stay in office with the use of force

Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka's new president gets down to mending ties

Jan 10, 2015 - 2:10 PM

Maithripala Sirisena begins forming a national unity cabinet and has offered a 100 day program to carry out urgent political and economic reforms

NEW PRESIDENT. Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sirisena sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president

Jan 09, 2015 - 9:39 PM

UPDATED President elect Maithripala Sirisena takes his oath of office in Colombo s Independence Square

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

Sirisena: Dark horse who unseated Sri Lanka's leader

Jan 09, 2015 - 1:48 PM

It is a stunning turnaround for the mild mannered 63 year old who became an unlikely rallying point for disaffected Sri Lankans when he walked out of Rajapakse s government a day after sharing dinner with the strongman president

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

Sri Lanka votes in tightest election in decades

Jan 08, 2015 - 9:17 AM

UPDATED Sri Lanka goes to the polls in its tightest election in decades with its strongman president battling for survival

READY. Election officials carry ballot boxes to polling centers one day ahead of the Presidential Elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 07 January 2015. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

4 concerns in Sri Lanka snap presidential polls

Jan 07, 2015 - 4:24 PM

A Namfrel official describes the situation in Sri Lanka in the run up to the January 8 presidential polls and the similarities with the conduct of elections in the Philippines

A Sri Lankan supporter holds up a flag as President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses a rally in Jaffna on January 2, 2015. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP