November 17, 2003
Stable democracies are not known for coups d'etat, but the president of the strange hybrid government in the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka engineered the next-closest thing this month. The maneuvering would have been worthy of comic opera were it not for its threat to derail a peace process aimed at ending a 20-year civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people.
January 26, 2010 |
Two months ago, when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa called today's early election, the contest looked like a pushover. A few jabs for the camera at 90-pound weakling opponents, a ceremonial dance around the ring. Then the hugely popular leader would declare victory. Instead, this has turned into a slugfest royale. The difference has been the emergence of an unexpected challenger, fellow national hero and former army commander Sarath Fonseka, 59, who has managed to largely neutralize Rajapaksa's trump card: credit for defeating the Tamil Tigers last year and ending Sri Lanka's three-decade civil war. In an even more unexpected development, the battlefield commander with limited political experience has done far better than expected.
June 19, 1985 |
Under pressure from neighboring India, the five largest Tamil separatist guerrilla groups and the government of this island nation have agreed to a "cessation of violence" as a prelude to political negotiations, Sri Lanka's national security minister said Tuesday. If the truce holds up, it will be a significant foreign policy achievement for Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who has been trying for several months to resolve the bloody conflict on this island, which used to be known as Ceylon.
February 4, 2009 |
The United Nations said today that cluster bombs had hit the last functioning hospital in Sri Lanka's northern war zone and that 52 civilians had been killed in the region in the previous 24 hours. On Tuesday, the United States, European Union, Japan and Norway urged the Tamil Tiger rebels to consider surrendering to avoid more deaths. It was the first time cluster bombs were known to have been used in the government's push to defeat the rebels since the collapse of a cease-fire in 2006.
February 20, 2013 |
Facing continued pressure over alleged wartime abuses, Sri Lankan officials rejected renewed accusations that a 12-year-old boy was executed in the final throes of its bloody civil war. Questions surrounding the death of Balachandran Prabhakaran, the young son of the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, were stirred up again by photographs from an upcoming film, "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. " The documentary, slated to screen next month at a Geneva human rights film festival, includes photos purporting to show the boy being held by the military shortly before his death.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1987 |
Nine separatist Tamil rebels were killed in clashes with government forces in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, the government reported Sunday. The guerrillas want an independent Tamil homeland in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka.
October 16, 1990 |
Four soldiers were killed in a clash with Tamil separatist guerrillas in eastern Sri Lanka, military officials said Monday.
May 3, 2009 |
Sri Lankan forces shelled a makeshift hospital in the war zone Saturday, killing 64 civilians despite a pledge to stop using heavy weapons in its battle with the Tamil Tigers, a rebel-linked website said. A health official in the war zone confirmed that the hospital was hit twice by artillery through the day, but said he did not know who was responsible. The military denied launching the attack.
March 7, 2010
AFRICA Presentation Adventure photographer TJ Korst will present a video, "Don't Forget the Sunsets," about West Africa, including visits to a Benin village and Timbuktu and a boat trip on the Niger. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 56 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220 or email@example.com SRI LANKA Slide show Mort Loveman will present "Sri Lanka: The Resplendent Island."