Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addresses the nation along with army commander Shavendra Silva, navy chief Nishantha Ulugetenne, and air force chief Sudarshana Pathirana during Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Feb. 4.

The United Nations Turns Up the Heat on Rajapaksa

As Sri Lanka’s human rights record worsens, the world body tries to hold the country accountable for past crimes.

A man walks past a billboard for the construction of an oil refinery and storage facility in the port city of Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on March 24, 2019.

Chinese Belt and Road Investment Isn’t All Bad—or Good

As Sri Lanka shows, when it comes to Chinese debt, small states have agency and great powers have responsibilities.

The Chinese-funded Colombo Port City project is seen jutting into the ocean in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Nov. 8, 2018.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Is a Mess, Not a Master Plan

Beijing’s foreign investments are often money-losing and driven by recipients’ own agendas.

Mahinda Rajapaksa prays during a ceremony before formally assuming prime ministerial duties in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Aug. 11.

Rajapaksa Rule

Sri Lanka’s ruling party promised quick and decisive leadership. But with an economic meltdown looming, it should also be careful.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrives at his swearing-in ceremony outside Colombo on Aug. 9.

Rajapaksa, in a Landslide

After a major victory, the family will be able to reshape Sri Lanka to ensure their control for the long term.

Sri Lanka migrants bound for Australia remain on their boat despite it being washed ashore.

For Sri Lankan Refugees, a Free and Fair Australia Is a Myth

A murder mystery is an indictment of Australia’s draconian immigration policy that has left many legitimate asylum-seekers detained, deported, or dead.

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Is Sri Lanka Becoming a De Facto Junta?

In under a year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa—the former defense secretary-turned-president—has bent the democracy to its breaking point.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) gestures after taking his oath as the country's new prime minister towards his brother, the newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R), during a ceremony in Colombo on Nov. 21.

The Rajapaksas Will Ruin Sri Lanka’s Economy

Virulent ethnic nationalism and hateful rhetoric toward minorities might win votes, but it will lead the country to economic ruin.

Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The Rajapaksas Own Sri Lanka Now

Victory for the hard-line political dynasty spells dark times for democracy.

A tea plantation worker shows off plucked tea leaves in the Nuwara Eliya district of Sri Lanka on Feb. 5.

Spilling the Tea in Sri Lanka

As large colonial-era tea plantations crumble, family-owned plots are trying to take their place and save the industry.

Sri Lankan protesters hold placards at a demonstration in Colombo on May 21, 2019.

Sri Lanka’s Veil Ban Is Fueling Hate

Muslim women obeying new rules are still being assaulted and harassed.

People gather near a damaged shop after a mob attack in Minuwangoda on May 14, 2019, north of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Buddhist Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart

Old hatreds are coming out in the aftermath of the Easter bombings.

A Sri Lankan security officer stands guard at a roadside checkpoint in Minuwangoda on May 14.

You Can’t Defeat Tomorrow’s Terrorists by Fighting Yesterday’s Enemy

Countries from Sri Lanka and Israel to the United States and Norway have failed to prevent attacks because their intelligence agencies were fixated on the last threat rather than the next one.

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