Mahinda Rajapakse - updates

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Rajapaksas eye comeback in Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov 16, 2019 - 11:06 AM

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of political heavyweight Mahinda Rajapaksa, may be elected into office

Sri Lankan voters queue up to cast their ballots at a polling station during the country's presidential election in Colombo on November 16, 2019. - Sri Lankans began voting on November 16 in a tightly fought presidential election where former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's family is seeking a return to power after five years. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Sri Lanka election chief censors state TV ahead of polls

Nov 03, 2019 - 4:20 PM

This comes after the Independent Television Network aired a program that the election commission says had harmed the opposition frontrunner, who is also the brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapakse

Sri Lanka's Rajapakse clan steps up new bid for power

Oct 07, 2019 - 10:37 PM

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is frontrunner in the campaign for the November 16 election, even though his bid is widely seen as a front to get Mahinda back into power

ELECTIONS. Gotabhaya Rajapakse (R), the former secretary to the ministry of defense and brother of Sri Lanka's opposition leader and former president Mahinda Rajapakse (L), waves to supporters in Colombo on October 7, 2019, after filing his nomination papers to contest the upcoming presidential election. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Rajapakse bows out, ending Sri Lanka power struggle

Dec 15, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Mahinda Rajapakse signs a letter backing down from the post of prime minister controversially conferred on him in October

BOWS OUT. Sri Lanka'€™s former president Mahinda Rajapakse gestures during a ceremony before signing a document backing down from his controversial appointment as prime minister in Colombo on December 15, 2018. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka president seeks talks to end power struggle

Nov 18, 2018 - 4:01 PM

Sri Lanka has 2 claimants to the prime minister's post, but parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya held that he would recognize neither

POWER STRUGGLE. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena seeks talks to end a power struggle that has crippled the country. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka parliament votes out Rajapaksa's government

Nov 14, 2018 - 2:32 PM

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya rules that a majority of the 225-member assembly supports the motion against Mahinda Rajapakse who was made prime minister on October 26

OUT. This file photo shows Sri Lanka's former president and prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse (L) and President Maithripala Sirisena attending a rally in Colombo on November 5, 2018. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka president's climbdown offers hope of end to political crisis

Nov 01, 2018 - 3:15 PM

The speaker Karu Jayasuriya has met with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to force the concession

SIRISENA. In this file photo, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka president slams rivals, vows reconciliation

Feb 04, 2017 - 4:23 PM

Stopping short of naming his predecessor Sri Lanka s President Maithripala Sirisena says those who oppose him are working against stability and the rebuilding of the nation s war battered infrastructure

RECONCILIATION. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (C) attends the country's 69th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on February 4, 2017. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Ex-Sri Lanka leader Rajapakse concedes election defeat

Aug 18, 2015 - 10:48 AM

Rajapakse: My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away I am conceding We have lost a good fight

PROTECTING THE VOTE. Sri Lankan police officers escort election officials carrying ballot boxes to the counting centers after the voting at the 15th parliamentary election in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 17, 2015. MA Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Ex-strongman Rajapakse plans comeback as Sri Lanka votes

Aug 17, 2015 - 12:34 PM

Rajapakse is confident of returning to power after drawing massive crowds on the election trail despite the 69 year old and his closest relatives facing corruption allegations

CIVIC DUTY. Voters line up at a polling station to vote for the 15th parliamentary election at Makola, Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 17, 2015. M.A. Pushma Kumara/EPA

Sri Lanka's ex-president faces anti-graft probe

Apr 20, 2015 - 4:26 PM

Rajapakse loyalists say the 69 year old is ordered to present himself on Thursday April 23 before the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption

Former President Mahinda Rajapakse. File photo by Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Sri Lanka seeks foreign help with new war crimes probe

Mar 02, 2015 - 11:42 PM

Sri Lanka also opens talks to learn from South Africa s reconciliation process

In this handout photograph released by the Sri Lankan Presidential Office, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (C) is pictured as he unveils his manifesto for the January 2015 presidential election in Colombo on December 23, 2014. Photo by AFP/Presidential Offie

Canberra silent on Sri Lanka abuses in 'boat people' deal – report

Feb 23, 2015 - 11:49 AM

Former president Mahinda Rajapakse reportedly agreed to help stop boats carrying asylum seekers leaving for Australia if Canberra kept quiet about alleged abuses committed by the previous regime

A Sri Lankan supporter holds up a flag as President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses a rally in Jaffna on January 2, 2015. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka says military 'sabotaging' post-war reconciliation

Jan 29, 2015 - 2:50 PM

The government says it is investigating allegations that two senior military officers are training 400 troops to provoke unrest in Jaffna

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

Pope leads joyous million-strong mass in Sri Lanka

Jan 14, 2015 - 7:36 AM

UPDATED A million worshippers pack the Colombo seafront to greet Pope Francis as he canonizes Sri Lanka s first saint on Wednesday in the biggest public celebration the city has ever witnessed

Pope Francis (C, back) arrives to lead the Canonization Mass of Joseph Vaz at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 14 January 2015. Ettore Ferrari/EPA

Sri Lanka to hold parliamentary elections in 100 days

Jan 12, 2015 - 11:42 PM

Sri Lanka s new president Maithripala Sirisena tells a 27 member cabinet that the election will be held two years ahead of schedule

NEW PRESIDENT. Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president January 9 following a bitter election that saw the surprise ousting of strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse after a decade in power. AFP PHOTO / ISHARA S. KODIKARA

Coup averted in Sri Lanka – new government

Jan 11, 2015 - 5:02 PM

A top aide to newly elected Maithripala Sirisena tells reporters Mahinda Rajapakse had in fact tried to persuade the island s army and police chiefs to help him stay in office with the use of force

Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sri Lanka's new president gets down to mending ties

Jan 10, 2015 - 2:10 PM

Maithripala Sirisena begins forming a national unity cabinet and has offered a 100 day program to carry out urgent political and economic reforms

NEW PRESIDENT. Sri Lanka's newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo on January 9, 2015. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Sirisena sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president

Jan 09, 2015 - 9:39 PM

UPDATED President elect Maithripala Sirisena takes his oath of office in Colombo s Independence Square

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

Sirisena: Dark horse who unseated Sri Lanka's leader

Jan 09, 2015 - 1:48 PM

It is a stunning turnaround for the mild mannered 63 year old who became an unlikely rallying point for disaffected Sri Lankans when he walked out of Rajapakse s government a day after sharing dinner with the strongman president

VOTER'S CHOICE. Sri Lanka's joint opposition and Democratic National Alliance presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena casts his vote at the presidential elections in Polonnaruwa, some 240 km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015, Sri Lanka, 08 January 2015. Photo by EPA

High turnout for Sri Lanka's tightest election in decades

Jan 08, 2015 - 9:16 PM

Turnout was higher than expected in Tamil dominated areas of the north and east which have boycotted national elections in the past

READY. Election officials carry ballot boxes to polling centers one day ahead of the Presidential Elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 07 January 2015. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Sri Lanka votes in tightest election in decades

Jan 08, 2015 - 9:17 AM

UPDATED Sri Lanka goes to the polls in its tightest election in decades with its strongman president battling for survival

READY. Election officials carry ballot boxes to polling centers one day ahead of the Presidential Elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 07 January 2015. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Specter of Tamil Tigers looms as Sri Lanka goes to polls

Jan 07, 2015 - 12:27 PM

Nearly 6 years after Sri Lanka s army destroyed the Tamil Tigers their ghosts are haunting a bitterly fought presidential election

A Sri Lankan supporter holds up a flag as President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses a rally in Jaffna on January 2, 2015. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lankan leader faces election battle as war effect wanes

Jan 06, 2015 - 10:43 AM

The surprise decision of Mahinda Rajapakse s health minister Maithripala Sirisena to defect from the ruling party and stand as the main opposition candidate turns what might have been a walk over into a real contest

A Sri Lankan supporter holds up a flag as President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses a rally in Jaffna on January 2, 2015. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Violence escalates ahead of Sri Lanka polls: officials

Jan 03, 2015 - 10:53 PM

A private monitoring group claims receiving 1 073 complaints since campaigning got underway in early December

Sri Lanka president pledges fresh war crimes probe

Dec 23, 2014 - 8:36 PM

But President Mahinda Rajapakse reiterates that he would not cooperate with a UN mandated investigation into the government s 2009 crushing of the Tamil Tiger rebellion

In this handout photograph released by the Sri Lankan Presidential Office, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (C) is pictured as he unveils his manifesto for the January 2015 presidential election in Colombo on December 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE

Sri Lanka says papal visit on despite snap polls

Nov 02, 2014 - 3:09 PM

President s office: Pope Francis has graciously accepted the president s invitation and the Vatican has confirmed that His Holiness will be visiting Sri Lanka in January 2015

In this file photo, Pope Francis (C) greets Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (L) and his wife Shiranthi (R) during a private meeting in Vatican City, 03 October 2014. Alessandro di Meo/EPA

Sri Lankan snap polls cast doubt on Pope's visit

Oct 21, 2014 - 3:31 PM

Sri Lanka has not yet announced an election date but the information minister says the polls would be held in January when Pope Francis is due to visit

Pope Francis (C) greets Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (L) and his wife Shiranthi (R) during a private meeting in Vatican City, 03 October 2014. Alessandro di Meo/EPA

Sri Lanka to refuse entry to UN investigators – president

Aug 19, 2014 - 3:08 PM

President Mahinda Rajapakse: We will not allow them into the country

In this file photo, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse attends the inaugural ceremony of 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi, India on Tuesday 03 April 2007. Harish Tyagi/EPA

Sri Lanka slams UN rights chief over 'interference'

Feb 25, 2014 - 3:03 PM

Navi Pillay s recommendation to a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva next month reflects bias and is tantamount to an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state

BIASED? In this file photo, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, updates the Human Rights Council on the activities of her office, at the opening of the Council’s twenty-fourth regular session in Geneva, Switzerland, 9 September 2013. Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo

Sri Lanka begins war tally after international pressure

Nov 28, 2013 - 7:39 AM

Sri Lanka begins compiling a death toll from its ethnic conflict as it seeks to fend off growing pressure over allegations of mass killings at the end of the war

Commonwealth puts on united front after summit rifts

Nov 17, 2013 - 5:54 PM

But the show of unity will do no more than mask the divisions within Commonwealth ranks after three days of talks

COMMONWEALTH LEADERS. Commonwealth heads of state and government representatives during the inauguration of the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at the Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 15 November 2013. EPA/Sri Lanka government handout

Cameron puts Sri Lanka on notice over war crimes

Nov 16, 2013 - 5:30 PM

Cameron wants Sri Lanka to address war crimes allegations or he will push for UN action

ON NOTICE. British Prime Minister David Cameron with journalists from Uthayan publications in Jaffna, on November 15, 2013. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Sri Lanka has 'nothing to hide' over rights – president

Nov 14, 2013 - 2:29 PM

Rajapakse tells reporters he is ready to confront the likes of Britain s Prime Minister David Cameron but would not be lectured to

DEFENDING SRI LANKA. In this photo, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse addressing the Commonwealth Business Forum inauguration ceremony held at Hotel Cinnamon Grand in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 12 November 2013. EPA/M.A. Pushpa Kumara

India PM to miss Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka

Nov 10, 2013 - 9:36 PM

Pressure grows to boycott the event over alleged war crimes by Colombo

NO SHOW IN COLOMBO. A file photograph showing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (C) talking during the 11th ASEAN-India Summit at the International Convention Center, in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, 10 October 2013. EPA/Nyein Chan Naing

Bar boycotts Sri Lanka's new chief justice

Jan 23, 2013 - 9:44 PM

Sri Lanka s top lawyers boycotted a ceremony to welcome the new chief justice as international jurists said his predecessor s sacking had brought the country close to authoritarian rule

APPOINTED. President Mahinda Rajapakse (left) shakes hands with Mohan Peiris after appointing him chief justice on January 15. Photo from AFP

Sri Lanka president sacks chief justice: official

Jan 13, 2013 - 2:51 PM

The president this morning signed the letter removing Shirani Bandaranayake from the office of chief justice an official said