Rajavarothiam Sampanthan – First Tamil to lead Sri Lanka opposition in 32 years

Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, a Tamil lawmaker became leader of the opposition in Sri Lanka’s parliament for the first time in 32 years. The 82-year-old moderate heads the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which emerged from last month’s election as the third-largest force with 16 seats in the 225-member assembly. The minority Tamils have alleged persecution by the government since the uprising of Tamil Tiger separatists three decades ago.

Sampanthan is a lawyer who was first elected to the parliament in 1977. His party, the former political proxy of the Tamil Tiger insurgents, backed Maithripala Sirisena in the January presidential elections, defeating Rajapaksa, who ordered the offensive that ended the Tamil insurgency in 2009.

The United Nations last year passed a resolution calling for an international inquiry into the alleged human rights abuses. The outcome of that investigation will be released at the U.N. Human Rights Council session soon.

Facts About Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka is known as both the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and the ‘teardrop of India’ due to its shape.
  • Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest tea exporters.
  • Sri Lanka was the first country in the world to have a democratically elected head of state who was a woman.
  • Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972. Adam’s Peak is the most sacred mountain in the country.

Who is the current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?

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Answer – Ranil Wickremesinghe

What is the Administrative Capital of Sri Lanka?

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Answer – Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. Commercial Capital is Colombo

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