Jessi Jogeswaran, a 20-year-old woman from Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna district, waited over six hours with 18 friends in the sweltering heat just to get a glimpse of Pope Francis on Jan. 14.
As 14.5 million Sri Lankans prepare to select their next leader, there is growing fear that violence could mar the Jan. 8 elections, billed as the closest electoral contest in the island’s history.
As Sri Lanka steadfastly refuses any external inquiry into human rights abuses allegedly committed when the government pushed a military victory over Tamil rebels in its decades-long sectarian conflict, right groups say the global community is left with no option but to push for an international investigation.
When the American Centre in Colombo held a memorial event honouring the late South African President Nelson Mandela, the first few questions at the question and answer session had nothing to do with the great freedom fighter.
Seated at a desk piled high with court documents and yellowed newspapers, Visvanathan Rudrakumaran remembers leaving Sri Lanka and coming to New York for the first time, three decades ago.
True democracy at last or a toothless tiger propped up to appease unfavourable international opinion? As Sri Lanka’s Northern Province got its first council after an election last month, many in this South Asian island nation were mulling this conundrum.