Latest Maithripala Sirisena News

Buddhist nationalists claim victory in Sri Lankan election

Nov. 27, 2019 12:54 AM EST

KANDY, Sri Lanka (AP) — In this mountain city that was for centuries home to Sri Lanka’s kings and in recent years has been riven by religious violence, Buddhist nationalists are rejoicing the election of the country’s newest leader. They hope he ushers in another golden era for the...

Former Sri Lankan defense chief wins presidential vote

Nov. 17, 2019 6:44 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority for his role in ending a bloody civil war but feared by minorities for his brutal approach, registered a comfortable victory Sunday in the nation’s presidential election. Elections...

Muslim voters attacked in Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov. 16, 2019 8:38 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Polls closed Saturday evening after a day of voting for Sri Lanka’s next president, an election marred by shots fired at a convoy of Muslims heading to cast their ballots in what some called a coordinated effort to disenfranchise the minority group. There were no reported...

Key facts on Sri Lanka as it prepares to elect new president

Nov. 14, 2019 11:58 PM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Indian Ocean island nation of Sri Lanka, which will elect a new president on Saturday, has had a tumultuous history. Since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1948, the country has seen three major armed conflicts in which hundreds of thousands have died. It...

Key factors in Sri Lanka’s presidential election

Nov. 13, 2019 11:16 PM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankans are voting Saturday for a new president after weeks of campaigning that largely focused on national security and religious extremism in the backdrop of the deadly Islamic State-inspired suicide bomb attacks on Easter Sunday. THE ELECTION Nearly 16 million people are...

Sri Lankan journalists fear situation may worsen after vote

Nov. 13, 2019 7:59 PM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Forced to flee their country a decade ago to escape allegedly state-sponsored killer squads, Sri Lankan journalists living in exile doubt they’ll be able to return home soon or see justice served to their tormentors — whose alleged ringleader could come to power in...

Sri Lanka spy chief blamed for failures before Easter attack

Oct. 23, 2019 12:09 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan parliamentary committee that investigated last April's Easter suicide bombings has concluded that the country's spy chief was primarily responsible for the intelligence failure that led to the deaths of 269 people in the attacks. In a report released Wednesday, the...

Sri Lanka presidential hopeful vows probe into Easter blasts

Oct. 20, 2019 6:16 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month's presidential election said he'll order a fresh probe into the Easter Sunday blasts that killed 263 people by appointing a presidential commission if he wins. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said the commission would be...

Sri Lanka presidential hopeful says won't honor deal with UN

Oct. 15, 2019 6:47 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month's presidential election said Tuesday that if he wins, he won't recognize an agreement the government made with the U.N. human rights council to investigate alleged war crimes during the nation's civil war. If...

Sri Lankan leader's party to support Rajapaksa in polls

Oct. 9, 2019 12:16 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president will stay neutral in the upcoming presidential election but his party will back a breakaway party candidate, front-runner Gotabaya Rajapaksa, officials said Wednesday. Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said President Maithripala...