Latest Maithripala Sirisena News

Sri Lanka to hold presidential election on Nov. 16

Sep. 18, 2019 1:00 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka will hold a presidential election on Nov. 16, the elections office said Wednesday, amid calls for a strong leader to boost national security as the country recovers from deadly Easter Sunday bomb attacks. The coordinated attacks on three churches and three tourist hotels...

Archbishop of Canterbury mourns victims of Sri Lanka attacks

Aug. 29, 2019 6:20 AM EDT

NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Archbishop of Canterbury emphasized the need for Christian unity on Thursday as he paid tribute to the victims of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks at a Roman Catholic church in Sri Lanka. The figurehead of the Church of England, Justin Welby visited St. Sebastian's Church in the...

Sri Lankan Islamic clerics seek clarity on face veil ban

Aug. 27, 2019 4:33 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Islamic clerics in Sri Lanka asked Muslim women on Tuesday to continue to avoid wearing face veils until the government clarifies whether they are once again allowed now that emergency rule has ended four months after a string of suicide bomb attacks. Clerics are wary of the...

Sri Lanka attacks boost feared ex-official's bid for power

Aug. 23, 2019 11:57 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — He is a feared former defense official accused of condoning rape, torture and shadowy disappearances of critics, but to many Sri Lankans, the opposition's presidential candidate is the best choice to protect the South Asian island nation after attacks that killed over 250 people...

Sri Lanka ends emergency rule imposed after Easter bombings

Aug. 23, 2019 7:05 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has ended four months of emergency rule imposed after Easter Sunday suicide attacks killed more than 260 people, the president's office said Friday. President Maithripala Sirisena allowed the emergency rule to lapse by not signing a decree extending it for another month....

Sri Lanka rejects criticism of army chief's appointment

Aug. 20, 2019 11:11 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's government on Tuesday hit out at foreign criticism of its appointment of a general accused of war abuses as the new army commander. The foreign ministry said in a statement that the decision to appoint a new commander was a sovereign decision by the head of state....

General accused of war abuses named Sri Lanka's army chief

Aug. 19, 2019 4:04 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president on Monday appointed a general accused of grave human rights abuses in the final stages of its long civil war as the country's new army chief, a move a top United Nations human rights official said is likely to impact contributions to U.N peacekeeping...

Former Sri Lankan strongman's brother to run for president

Aug. 11, 2019 9:54 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was a livewire in Sri Lanka's military campaign to end a long civil war but faces allegations of human rights violations, was nominated Sunday as the opposition's candidate for the presidential election to be held later this year. Gotabaya, a...

Sri Lankan president begins 4-day visit to Cambodia

Aug. 7, 2019 5:15 AM EDT

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrived Wednesday in Cambodia on a four-day visit to expand the countries' cooperation in economic, trade, tourism and cultural fields. Cambodia's foreign ministry said in statement that the state visit came at the invitation of King...

Sri Lankan leader says bill to scrap executions is illegal

Aug. 5, 2019 7:56 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president said Monday that the attorney general has informed him that a bill presented to Parliament last week seeking to abolish the death penalty is illegal. Lawmaker Bandula Lal Bandarigoda presented a bill in Parliament seeking to abolish the death penalty and...