December 22, 2001 |
Sri Lanka's new government said it will cooperate with Tamil Tiger rebels in a cease-fire starting Christmas Eve. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who have fought for 18 years for a separate homeland in the country's north and east, had declared a monthlong cease-fire. "As a goodwill measure to facilitate peace, we will observe a cessation of hostilities," said a letter released by the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
March 30, 2004 |
Sri Lanka's independent election commissioner took over state-run television and radio after allegations that the media were favoring the president's political party before Friday's parliamentary vote. The move by Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake came amid a power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The parliamentary elections could help resolve that struggle.
April 22, 2003 |
Separatist rebels withdrew from peace talks in Sri Lanka, saying the government had failed to fully carry out a cease-fire agreement. The word came in a letter from rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The letter charged that the government failed to meet their demands and remove troops from the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
November 5, 2003 |
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga suspended Parliament, sacked the defense, interior and information ministers and deployed troops around the capital, Colombo. Kumaratunga made the surprise moves while her political rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was in Washington to meet with President Bush. Wickremesinghe, whose party defeated Kumaratunga's in 2001 parliamentary elections, accused her of endangering efforts to end civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels.
December 8, 2001 |
Sri Lanka's opposition ousted the governing alliance on a promise of peace talks with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and a freer economy, officials said. The victory came after the worst election violence in the nation's 53 years of independence. The three-party United National Front won 129 of Parliament's 225 seats, against 96 for the governing People's Alliance and its supporting parties, Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said.
November 18, 2005 |
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's office claimed that he won Sri Lanka's presidential election, based on partial returns. There was no immediate announcement from the election commission. "He has passed the 50% mark and has a 150,000 lead," said Basil Rajapakse, the prime minister's brother and head of his campaign. "We are confident he will be the president," he said. According to unofficial partial returns, Rajapakse had received 3.65 million votes against 3.