Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka parliament strengthens presidential powers
    COLOMBO, October 23 (Reuters): Sri Lankan lawmakers approved amendments to the constitution that strengthened the powers of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and took away parliament's role in making key appointments such as judges and the police chief. The new amendments were passed by parliament late on Thursday with a two-thirds majority after a raucous two-day debate. Rajapaksa, a former defence chief who oversaw the military defeat of Tamil separatists a decade ago, swep
  • Sri Lanka to ensure no nation dominates Indian Ocean: Rajapaksa
    UNITED NATION, SEPTEMBER 23 (IANS): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that his country is against any country dominating the Indian Ocean and that it would stay neutral. "As a strategically placed country in the Indian Ocean, it is our priority to ensure that the Indian Ocean is maintained as a zone of peace where no country could gain advantage over any other," he said on Tuesday in a pre-recorded speech to the annual high-level session of the General Assem
  • Fresh fire hits stricken oil supertanker off Sri Lanka
    COLOMBO, September 7 (Reuters): Fire fighters are again battling flames aboard a fully loaded oil supertanker off Sri Lanka, the island's nation's navy said on Monday, four days after fire first broke out on the New Diamond. "Fresh flames have risen in the funnel section of the MT New Diamond Supertanker and fire fighters are battling the fire using foam to contain the blaze," said the Navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva, adding that the fire had not reache
  • Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa family cements power with ministerial picks
    NEW DELHI, August 13 (Reuters): Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed five members of his own family to cabinet and ministerial roles following his resounding parliamentary election win earlier this month. Gotabaya and his older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa won an overwhelming majority in the Aug. 6 poll, giving the family the power to enact sweeping changes to the island nation's constitution. The two-thirds majority for his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party and
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oath as Sri Lankan Prime Minister
    Colombo, August 9 (PTI): Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in on Sunday as the country's new prime minister at a historic Buddhist temple, days after his party won a landslide victory in the General Election. The 74-year-old Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) leader was administered the oath of office for the ninth Parliament by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the sacred Rajamaha Viharaya in Kelaniya, a north Colombo suburb.
  • Sri Lankan president's party ahead in election vote count
    COLOMBO, August 6 (Reuters): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's ruling party on Thursday took an early lead in vote counting after a parliamentary election that he hopes will clear the way for constitutional changes to make the presidency more powerful. Close to 70% of eligible Sri Lankans voted in Wednesday's election to the 225-member parliament, shrugging off their fears of the coronavirus. Counting of votes began early on Thursday, and the final tally is expe
  • Sri Lankans vote for new parliament, shrugging off coronavirus fear
    COLOMBO, August 5 (Reuters): Sri Lankans shrugged off fears of the novel coronavirus and streamed into polling centres on Wednesday to elect a new parliament that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hopes will clear the way for him to boost his powers. The tourism-dependent island nation of 21 million people has been struggling since deadly Islamist militant attacks on hotels and churches last year followed by lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Rajapaksa is seeking a