Latest Sri Lanka News

Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, waits to be sworn in as the prime minister at Kelaniya Royal Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Rajapaksa sworn in as PM in Sri Lanka, cementing family rule

Aug. 9, 2020 2:44 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the prime minister for the fourth time Sunday after his party secured a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that cemented his family's hold on power. Rajapaksa took oath before his younger brother,...

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa greets supporters following his election victory in the general election at his residence in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. The country's powerful Rajapaksa brothers secured a landslide victory in the parliamentary election, giving them nearly the two-thirds majority of seats required to make constitutional changes, according to results released Friday. Rajapaksa is likely to be sworn in the same position by his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after the vote that could strengthen dynastic rule in the Indian Ocean island nation. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Rajapaksa brothers win by landslide in Sri Lanka's election

Aug. 7, 2020 3:31 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa brothers secured a landslide victory in the parliamentary election, giving them nearly the two-thirds majority of seats required to make constitutional changes, according to results released Friday. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is likely...

Results show Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa brothers secured a landslide victory in this week's Parliamentary election

Aug. 6, 2020 8:49 PM EDT
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Results show Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa brothers secured a landslide victory in this week's Parliamentary election.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, third right, his wife Shiranthi, second right, and family members arrive to cast their votes in their home village Madamulana, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Sri Lankans started voting Wednesday to elect a new Parliament that is expected to give strong support to the powerful and popular Rajapaksa brothers. (AP Photo/Pradeep Pathirana)

Sri Lanka parliamentary election expected to back Rajapaksas

Aug. 5, 2020 11:52 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankans voted Wednesday to elect a new Parliament that is expected to give strong support to the powerful and popular Rajapaksa brothers. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected last November after projecting himself as the only leader who could secure the country after the...

A Sri Lankan polling officer carries election material to dispatch them to polling centers ahead of the parliamentary elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Sri Lankans are voting in parliamentary elections Wednesday that are expected to strengthen President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's grip on power. Parts of the party are also calling for a two-thirds majority in Parliament so it can amend the constitution to restore presidential powers curbed by a 2015 constitutional change. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

A glance at Sri Lanka and its parliamentary elections

Aug. 4, 2020 8:26 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankans vote in parliamentary elections Wednesday that are expected to strengthen President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's grip on power. His party has campaigned for a strong government that will enable Rajapaksa to fulfill his presidential election pledges. Parts of the party are...

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, Mahinda Rajapaksa, left, and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa wave to supporters during a party convention held to announce the presidential candidacy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong support in parliamentary elections Wednesday that could add to their family political dynasty and their ability to amend the constitution. The prospect of those changes raise fears of weakening government institutions and the rule of law. The results of the vote could also lead to sibling rivalry, charting the country into more confusion, analysts say.. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)

Rajapaksa brothers to get strong support in Sri Lanka polls

Aug. 3, 2020 8:26 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong support in parliamentary elections Wednesday that could add to their family political dynasty and their ability to amend the constitution – a prospect raising fears of weakening government...

People riding the subway wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, July 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Asia Today: 723 cases in Australia, closures in Vietnam

Jul. 30, 2020 12:15 PM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s coronavirus hot spot, Victoria state, will make masks compulsory statewide after reporting a record 723 new cases on Thursday. Masks have been mandatory in the state capital, Melbourne, and a neighboring semi-rural district for the past week. Victoria Premier...

Sri Lankan auto rickshaw driver Prasad Dinesh, linked by Sri Lankan officials to nearly half the country's more than 2,600 coronavirus cases, sits in his house in Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. For months he’s been anonymous, but now Dinesh is trying to clear his name and shed some of the stigma of a heroin addiction at the root of his ordeal. Referring to him only as “Patient 206,” government officials lambasted Dinesh on TV and social media, blaming him for at least three clusters of cases, including about 900 navy sailors who were infected after an operation in Ja-Ela, a small town about 19 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Colombo. Dinesh, however, says his drug addiction, which is considered a crime in Sri Lanka, makes him a convenient scapegoat. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Man blamed for nearly half Sri Lanka virus cases speaks out

Jul. 15, 2020 12:36 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — For months he’s been anonymous, but now Prasad Dinesh, linked by Sri Lankan authorities to nearly half of the country's more than 2,600 coronavirus cases, is trying to clear his name, and shed some of the stigma of a heroin addiction at the root of his ordeal. Under...

Workers in protective suits administer coronavirus tests at a COVID-19 testing site for those who were potentially exposed to the coronavirus at a wholesale food market in Beijing, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. As the number of cases of COVID-19 in Beijing climbed in recent days following an outbreak linked to a wholesale food market, officials announced they had identified hundreds of thousands of people who needed to be tested for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Latest: China rejects food imports after virus detected

Jul. 10, 2020 10:47 PM EDT

BEIJING — New coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in China, and authorities are turning their attention to concerns that the virus could spread through imported food. Those worries have risen since a June outbreak in Beijing that was linked to the city’s largest wholesale market. Testing has...

A Sri Lankan municipal health worker takes a breather while collecting swab samples to test for COVID-19, as a man waiting for his turn to test is seen reflected on a window in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Asia Today: Australia's Victoria state has record 288 cases

Jul. 10, 2020 8:54 AM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's Victoria state on Friday reported a new daily record of 288 coronavirus cases as well as a record number of tests, more than 37,500. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the number of citizens and permanent residents allowed to return to Australia each week...