Sri Lanka ends emergency rule imposed after Easter bombings
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...
Sri Lanka rejects criticism of army chief’s appointment
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.
General accused of war abuses named Sri Lanka’s army chief
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...
Sri Lankan president begins 4-day visit to Cambodia
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has arrived in Cambodia on a visit to expand the countries' cooperation in economic, trade, tourism and cultural...
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...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A bill to abolish the death penalty has been submitted to Sri Lanka's Parliament, while the president has sanctioned the hanging of four drug convicts.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Four Sri Lankan Muslim ministers who resigned from their Cabinet portfolios after the Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people have rejoined the government after...
Sri Lankan government defeats no-confidence motion
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's government on Thursday defeated a no-confidence motion in Parliament that accused it of failing to prevent Easter Sunday bomb attacks that killed more than...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Friday issued a temporary injunction against the execution of four people, a week after the country's president announced he would end the...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's prime minister opposes a decision by the president to execute drug convicts, saying the country must conduct its affairs in a civilized manner, his office...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan prison authorities have recruited two hangmen ahead of planned executions that would end a 43-year old moratorium on death penalty, an official said on...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The European Union has criticized Sri Lanka's move to resume executions, saying it would directly contradict the country's commitment to maintain a 43-year moratorium on...
Sri Lanka leader orders execution of 4 drug convicts
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president said on Wednesday that he has ordered the executions of four drug offenders who will be hanged in prison soon, amid alarm over drug-related crimes...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's attorney general advised the acting police chief on Monday to launch a criminal investigation of the former defense secretary over "major lapses" that...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's attorney general on Thursday directed the acting police chief to initiate a criminal investigation against nine senior police officers for their "lapses" to...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan lawmaker said Wednesday that a parliamentary committee will continue questioning security and intelligence officials about lapses that preceded Easter Sunday...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is opposed to police testifying before a parliamentary inquiry into intelligence failures that preceded the Easter Sunday...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Catholic officials said Thursday that church-run schools that have been closed since Easter Sunday bombings are expected to reopen next week, and Sunday Masses...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president says "99%" of the remaining suspects in the Easter attacks on churches and hotels have been arrested and their explosive materials seized, and it is...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka on Tuesday lifted a social media ban that was imposed after the Islamic State-claimed Easter bombings, a sign of security easing even as a Cabinet minister said...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Government dysfunction and an intelligence failure that preceded the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka are traced to simmering divisions between the president and prime...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president shook up the country's top security establishment after officials failed to act on intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before the...
Sri Lanka averts rift spilling over to UN rights session
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's leader has kept his country's political rift from spilling over to a U.N. human rights council meeting this week by abandoning plans to oppose the prime...
Sri Lanka court frees Indian cleared in assassination plot
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A magistrate on Wednesday acquitted an Indian man who was detained for five months over an alleged plot to kill Sri Lanka's president after police cleared the man of...
Sri Lanka recruiting 2 hangmen before resuming death penalty
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan prison authorities are recruiting two hangmen after the president pledged to end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment and execute condemned drug traffickers amid alarm over drug-related crime in this Indian Ocean island nation.
Interviews of the candidates will be conducted next month and two will be hired, prison department spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka leader asks rights groups not to oppose executions
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president urged human rights groups on Wednesday not to interfere with his plans to end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment.
Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament that executions will resume in the next two months.
He said many larger nations carry out executions but smaller countries like Sri Lanka are hampered by human rights groups in their efforts to control crime.
Sri Lanka seeks $1 billion loan from China amid debt woes
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka is negotiating a $1 billion loan from China to construct a highway linking the capital Colombo to the hilly resort city of Kandy, even as the heavily-indebted South Asian island nation makes arrangements to pay down $5.9 billion in foreign loans this year.
Finance Ministry spokesman M.R. Hasan said Saturday that he's waiting to hear whether terms of the loan for the highway project have been approved.
Citing drug crime, Sri Lanka plans 1st executions since 1976
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president pledged to end the country's 43-year moratorium on capital punishment and execute condemned drug traffickers amid alarm over drug-related crimes.
The statement on the government's website said President Maithripala Sirisena would order the executions soon but did not say how the prisoners would be executed. Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976. At the time, prisoners were hanged.
Sri Lankans demand justice for slain, abducted journalists
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan rights activists, lawmakers and relatives of slain and disappeared journalists held a vigil over their abductions and killings, demanding the government expedite investigations.
Freddie Gamage, an organizer of the vigil on Thursday, said that despite being in power for four years, the current government "has miserably failed to fulfil its promise to punish those responsible for attacks on journalists."
Sri Lanka passes stopgap, plans full budget vote in February
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's finance ministry said Monday that it will present next year's full budget in February after the parliament approved a 1.77-trillion-rupee ($9.39 billion) stopgap measure to cover public expenditures over the first four months of 2019, averting a government shutdown January 1.
Sri Lanka had been engulfed in a political crisis since late October after President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country's prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and cabinet.
Sri Lankan lawmakers question Rajapaksa’s parliamentary seat
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Members of Sri Lanka's Parliament on Tuesday questioned whether Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently quit as prime minister, can hold his seat after earlier relinquishing membership in the political party he represented in the last election.
Sri Lankan president doubts he can work with reappointed PM
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president accused newly reappointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of corrupt leadership in a scathing speech Sunday in which he voiced doubts about their ability to work together and signaled the 2-month political crisis is far from resolved.
Sri Lanka’s disputed prime minister resigns to end impasse
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's disputed prime minister announced Saturday that he would step aside, paving the way for his sacked predecessor to regain the position and apparently ending a political impasse that has paralyzed the government for nearly two months.
Mahinda Rajapaksa's resignation signals the end of a crisis that began in October when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa as his replacement.
AP Explains: Why is Sri Lankan prime minister resigning
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Supporters say disputed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to resign in an attempt to end the country's political crisis.
The decision Friday came a day after the Supreme Court ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and appoint Rajapaksa as prime minister was unconstitutional.
A look at how Sri Lanka has plunged into a political crisis and what could happen next:
Sri Lanka Supreme Court says president violated constitution
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Maithripala Sirisena's order to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections was unconstitutional, a much-anticipated verdict that further embroils the Indian Ocean nation in political crisis.
Sri Lanka’s sacked prime minister wins confidence vote
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's former prime minister whose October sacking by the president precipitated a political crisis won a confidence vote in Parliament on Wednesday.
Ranil Wickremesinghe received 117 votes in favor in the 225-member legislative body. The result is expected to increase pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to reappoint Wickremesinghe as prime minister. Sirisena has vowed not to reappoint him despite criticism that his refusal violates the constitution.
Sri Lanka court orders prime minister to refrain from duties
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan court on Monday ordered disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ministers to refrain from carrying out their duties as it hears an appeal against them.
While the ruling by the Court of Appeal is an interim order, it is yet another setback for Rajapaksa, who has held on to the position of prime minister with President Maithripala Sirisena's backing despite losing two no-confidence votes.
Sri Lankan Parliament bars ministers using state funds
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan lawmakers passed a motion Friday barring government ministers and their private staff from using state funds, as opponents of the disputed prime minister put pressure on an administration they say is illegitimate.
The motion put forward by lawmaker Champika Ranawaka proposed that Cabinet ministers, non-Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and their private staff cannot use state funds because their government has been defeated twice in no-confidence votes.
Sri Lankan lawmakers bar disputed PM from using state funds
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan lawmakers on Thursday approved a motion barring disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from using state funds after he lost two no-confidence votes, in an escalation of the country's political crisis.
The motion was passed with 123 votes in the 225-member Parliament as Rajapaksa supporters boycotted the proceedings for a third day, accusing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of bias and breaching parliamentary rules.
Sri Lanka lawmakers linked to disputed PM boycott Parliament
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan lawmakers supporting disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa boycotted Parliament for a second day Tuesday, accusing the speaker of bias during a political crisis that has engulfed the island nation for nearly a month.
Sri Lankan president: PM-related investigations to continue
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president on Sunday assured non-interference in ongoing investigations into abductions, killings of journalists and other crimes allegedly committed by those connected to the new prime minister and his Cabinet.
President Maithripala Sirisena said that the courts and police would continue to function independently despite Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa joining his government.
He said "no one can interfere" with the police and courts.
2 premiers and no government: Crisis confuses Sri Lankans
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Two men each claim to be the prime minister. Lawmakers are exchanging blows in Parliament. A former finance minister says the country is on the brink of an "economic anarchy."
Welcome to Sri Lanka, where the political crisis is getting worse by the week.
Sri Lanka president rejects no-confidence on disputed PM
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Lawmakers in Sri Lanka's Parliament supporting disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa threw books, chairs and chili powder mixed with water to try to block the proceedings on Friday, a day after a fierce brawl between rival lawmakers worsened political turmoil in the island nation.
Chaotic Sri Lankan Parliament rejects president’s chosen PM
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's Parliament passed a no-confidence vote against the government headed by the hastily sworn-in and bitterly disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, as lawmakers convened Wednesday for the first time since the president dismissed his Cabinet and suspended the legislature last month.
Sri Lankan top court suspends decree dissolving Parliament
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the president's order to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections, opening the way for lawmakers to vote on whether to accept his earlier ouster of the prime minister.
Sri Lanka has been in a political crisis since Oct. 26, when President Maithripala Sirisena suddenly fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa.
AP Explains: The latest in Sri Lanka’s political crisis
NEW DELHI (AP) — Sri Lanka is in the midst of a political crisis set off by the president's decisions to remove the South Asian island nation's prime minister, dissolve Parliament and call snap...
Sri Lankan president: I dissolved Parliament to avoid fight
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president said he dissolved Parliament and called elections to avoid possible violence inside Parliament and around the country if a vote had to be taken to decide whether his chosen prime minister or his sacked rival had the majority support.
Sri Lanka president dissolves Parliament, calls for election
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president has dissolved Parliament and called for elections on Jan. 5 in a bid to stave off a deepening political crisis over his dismissal of the prime minister that opponents say is unconstitutional.
An official notification signed by President Maithripala Sirisena announced the dissolution of Parliament effective midnight Friday. It said the names of candidates will be called before Nov. 26 and the new Parliament is to convene Jan. 17.
Sri Lanka president dissolves Parliament, calls for election
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament and called for fresh elections amid a deepening political crisis.
An official notification signed by Sirisena announced the dissolution of Parliament effective midnight Friday. It said the names of candidates will be called before Nov. 26, and the election held on Jan. 5. The new Parliament is to be convened on Jan. 17.
Deputy minister resigns as Sri Lanka political crisis grows
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A deputy minister resigned Tuesday from Sri Lanka's government after the appointment of a former strongman as prime minister plunged the country into a political crisis.
Sri Lanka has been engulfed in turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last month and replaced him with ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa.