Sri Lanka’s ruling UPFA in tight race with UNP

mahinda-rajapaksaCOLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by President Mahinda Rajpaksa, won Saturday’s provincial polls in the Sinhala-majority Uva Province by a narrow margin, signalling an apparent setback to the ruling alliance despite the victory.

The alliance secured 19 seats, including two bonus seats, six less compared to the 25 it held in its last term. Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s TNA seeks Modi’s help with refugees

modiCOLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought India’s help in the return of Sri Lankan refugees from India.

“There are over one lakh refugees in Tamil Nadu living in 115 camps. We have requested the Indian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to release their [refugees’] land in the north which has been taken over by the Army,” said senior TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, who was part of the six-member TNA delegation that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Aug 23. Continue reading

South India must not become hub for human trafficking

boat-peopleCHENNAI: Reiterating that Australia was firm on not allowing illegal immigration, Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling cautioned that South India should not be allowed to become a hub for “people smuggling.”

“If people smuggling gets entrenched in India, it will lead to other forms of crime relating to narcotics and terrorism. Australia and India have a shared interest in ensuring that this does not happen,” said Suckling, on Thursday. Continue reading

Is Rajapakse Sri Lanka’s Modi?

rajapakseCOMMENT, COLOMBO: It is a measure of Sri Lanka’s return to “normal” democratic politics that conspiracy theories are once again resonating in Colombo.

Compared to the situation just three years ago when “politics” continued to centre on the 30-year-long bloody civil war that mercifully came to an end in May 2009, the sub-text of political discussions today is the presidential election, due some time in early-2015. Continue reading