Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka rejects international war crimes probe

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Photo: EPA

A top Sri Lankan minister rejected pressure on Saturday for an international probe into alleged war crimes at the end of the country’s ethnic conflict, saying the government would “definitely” not allow one.

Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 6:10pm 1 comment

Sri Lanka has ‘nothing to hide’ over rights, president insists

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: AP

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse hit back angrily on Thursday against allegations of war crimes which are set to overshadow this week’s Commonwealth summit, saying he had “nothing to hide” from his critics.

14 Nov 2013 - 2:49pm

Sri Lanka opens airport highway funded and built by Chinese firms

President Mahinda Rajapaksa opens the new airport  highway in Colombo on Sunday. Photo: EPA

Sri Lanka opened a US$292 million Chinese-funded airport highway on Sunday, amid Indian concern about Chinese influence as the island nation rebuilds after a nearly three-decade war.

The country has invested heavily in infrastructure since the war ended in 2009 with defeat for separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

28 Oct 2013 - 12:00pm

UN says rights chief victim of Sri Lanka smear campaign

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Photo: Reuters

United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is investigating allegations of war crimes by Sri Lanka, is the target of a smear campaign by the government in Colombo, her office said on Friday.

20 Sep 2013 - 9:00pm

Sri Lanka becoming more authoritarian, says UN rights chief

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay (2nd left) looks on as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (left) gestures which meeting visiting schoolchildren at his official residence in Colombo. Photo: AFP

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Saturday that Sri Lanka was becoming “increasingly authoritarian” with rights activists apparently suffering growing harassment from security agencies.

31 Aug 2013 - 3:20pm

Protester killed in Sri Lanka military shooting

A Sri Lankan soldier in the capital city, Colombo. One person was killed and about 15 were wounded when Sri Lanka’s military fired at a protest. Photo: AP

One person was killed and about 15 were wounded when Sri Lanka’s military shot at a protest demanding clean drinking water.

2 Aug 2013 - 12:50pm 1 comment

Sri Lanka to reduce troops in ex-war zone in north

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: AP

Sri Lanka’s military said on Thursday that it would eliminate more than a dozen army camps in the former northern civil war zone and give the land back to the original owners, a move that comes ahead of key council elections.

25 Jul 2013 - 5:52pm

Sri Lanka to proceed with the first provincial polls

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. Photo: AFP

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse pledged on Sunday to proceed with the first-ever provincial polls in the island’s former war zone but his government said the powers of the elected council will be clipped.

16 Jun 2013 - 4:45pm

Sri Lanka's luxury tea makers rise to the occasion

Golden Tips (left), Silver Tips and Japanese Sencha. Photo: AFP

A hot cup of Ceylon tea considered soothing and relaxing, but Sri Lanka is now marketing its most profitable export as a luxury boost for the libido.

The tea industry is increasingly plugging Ceylon's supposed aphrodisiac qualities in a bid to radically change perceptions of the brew, which manufacturers say can sell for less than water in some markets.

13 May 2013 - 4:32am

Amnesty says Sri Lankan authorities treating dissent harshly

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. Photo: AFP

The Sri Lankan government is intensifying a crackdown on critics by sanctioning abuses often committed by security forces or their proxies, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Journalists, the judiciary, human rights activists and opposition politicians are among those targeted in a pattern of threats, harassment, imprisonment and violent attacks, the report said.

30 Apr 2013 - 4:56pm

Gunmen torch office of Tamil newspaper in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Police officers inspect the burnt printing machines in the Uthayan. Photo: Reuters

Gunmen opened fire and torched the office of the main Tamil newspaper in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, the latest in a string of attacks on the nation's privately owned media.

14 Apr 2013 - 7:25am

Cooking classes in Sri Lanka

Cooking classes in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cuisine features scorching chillies, spicy curries, crisp breakfast hoppers (a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk) and tangy pickles, and although you can taste influences from neighbouring India and the Dutch and Portuguese colonists, Sri Lanka's food is uniquely its own.

12 Apr 2013 - 10:01am

Sri Lankan president's denial over alleged execution by troops

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: EPA

Britain's Channel 4 released photos last week to publicise its new documentary, No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, alleging that soldiers had killed the slain Tamil Tiger chief's youngest son Balachandran.

3 Mar 2013 - 6:12am

Photos prove army executed Tamil Tiger chief's son, says documentary maker

Balachandran just hours before he was shot dead.

Photos released on Tuesday to publicise a new documentary on Sri Lanka show that government soldiers executed the 12-year-old son of separatist chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2009, its director claimed.

20 Feb 2013 - 5:07am

Briefs, February 17, 2013

Balloons with anti-Pyongyang messages. Photo: EPA

Sri Lanka's navy yesterday rescued 38 Myanmar nationals who were drifting off the island's east coast, the second batch of boatpeople to be saved in as many weeks.

17 Feb 2013 - 6:22am