Posts Categorized: Politics

UNHRC Session 45

High Commissioner for Human Rights opening statement, September 14, 2020 In Sri Lanka, I am troubled that the new Government is swiftly reneging on its commitments to the Human Rights Council since it withdrew its support for resolution 30/1. Among other developments, the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution may negatively impact on the independence… Read more »

Return of Executive Presidency

Threatens to undermine Sri Lanka’s pact with minorities The Tamil people opposed the Executive Presidency both for its centralisation of power and also for its corrupting influence on democracy. by M A Sumanthiran , Indian Express, New Delhi, September 14, 2020 9:04:46 am There is no doubt that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill… Read more »

Pres. Gotabaya’s Forward March towards an Exclusive Sinhala-Buddhist State

by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM [London] Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, September 3, 2020 President Gotabaya’s throne speech on August 20, 2020 as expected does not spring any surprise or disappointments to the minorities particularly Tamils as it is a frank and forthright speech which is crowning Buddhism and Sinhalese and expressing… Read more »

Tamils Have Not Abandoned Human Rights for Economic Development

Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority remains committed to both, but not one at the expense of the other by By J. S. Tissainayagam, The Diplomat, Washington, DC, August 24, 2020 Sri Lanka’s August 5 parliamentary election results are being interpreted by some as an indication that the Tamils of the country are moving away from regional Tamil-nationalist parties… Read more »

The Challenges Facing Sambanthan and the TNA

by Harim Pieris, The Island, Colombo, August 26, 2020 The recent election results reveal interesting changes in Tamil politics in Sri Lanka. The predominant representative of the Tamil people, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which contest elections under its largest constituent party, the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), saw its share of the national vote… Read more »

First Speeches in Parliament

Mr. CV Wigneswaran delivers his maiden speech in parliament.     Gajan Ponnambalam gives his introductory speech.  

The Centrality of Devolution in Development

by Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu, Chennai, August 17, 2020 In Sri Lanka, the Tamil people’s political and economic aspirations must not be separated The outcome of Sri Lanka’s August 5 general election had few surprises. The Rajapaksa family is decisively at the country’s helm for the next five years. The fragmented political opposition is struggling to come… Read more »

Why India Must ‘Win Back’ Sri Lanka Before China Casts Its Spell

Will Sri Lanka follow an ‘India First’ policy with regard to its strategic security? by Ashok K Mehta, The Quint, Mumbai, August 19, 2020 The stunning results of the parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka on 5 August are likely to break the prophecy of President Junius Jayewardene – in whose term, his party United National… Read more »

Struggling Tamil Nationalism

And Tamil aspirations in Sri Lanka by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM [London] Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 18, 2020 For the recognition of nationalism, the prerequisite are the existence of a nation, defined by J. Stalin as follows: “A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the… Read more »

For Several Groups, a Historic Candidacy

Harris is celebrated as not just first Black woman on a ticket, but also the first Asian-American by Dasia Moore, The Boston Globe, August 14, 2020 The initial headlines announcing Senator Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president heralded her selection as the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. But soon, social media… Read more »

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 by Neil De Votta, Foreign Policy, Washington, DC, August 11, 2020 In 2016, supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had been president of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015, rechristened a minor political party and… Read more »

Election Sends a Chilling Message

Election rides a Gotabhaya surge and blends to a Sinhala-Buddhist ethos by Kumar David, The Island, Colombo, August 8, 2020 Let everyone first congratulate Deshapriya, Hoole, N.J. Abeysekara and the election staff for conducting a truly first-rate election under trying circumstances – COVID, political interference, a not very helpful AG and numerous court challenges by… Read more »

Interpreting the Sri Lankan Mandate

by Jayadeva Uyangoda, The Hindu, Chennai, August 8, 2020 The results of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election held on Wednesday show a seismic shift in the country’s electoral map as well as the balance of political power. The near two-thirds parliamentary majority, easily achieved by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP — Sri Lanka People’s Front) by reducing… Read more »

Increasing Suppression of Dissent

Parliamentary Elections Heighten Fears of Renewed Crackdown by Human Rights Watch, New York, August 8, 2020 (New York) – The Sri Lankan government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is waging a campaign of fear and intimidation against human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and others challenging government policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The crackdown on dissent under the… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Possible Post-Election Scenario

By: M. K. Eelaventhan – Former Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka, July 28, 2020 Sri Lanka’s General election which is due on August 5th 2020 is pitting four main parties, UNP, SLPP, NPF, JVP led by Sinhalese leaders Ranil Wickremasinghe, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sajit Premadasa and Anurakumara Dissanayaka along with several other independent groups including… Read more »

Mothers’ Power in U.S. Protests Echoes a Global Tradition

In Sri Lanka, women from the Tamil minority group have been protesting for years to demand information about sons and daughters who were kidnapped by state forces during the country’s civil war and never heard from again. Their activism has drawn international attention and some limited engagement from the country’s government. But when the women’s… Read more »

COVID-19 and Pres. Gotabaya’s Military Rule

In North East Sri Lanka by Kumarathasan Rasingam, July 23, 2020 Tamils in Sri Lanka especially in the North and East are now living between the devil and deep sea. Heavy presence of the military [to the ratio of one soldier to every four civilians 1: 4] and on the other side they are scared of… Read more »

A Choice Between Existence or Extinction for the Tamils

by Thambu Kanagasabai, July 20, 2020 The forthcoming general election on August 5th 2020 is crucial for the Tamils for their survival as a race and live with respect, equal rights and dignity, and as a nation in Sri Lanka as Rajapaksas.  Ranil Wickermasinghe. Sajith Premadasa and Buddhist clergy are openly advocating and moving to… Read more »

The Role of Civilians and Civil Society in Preventing Mass Atrocities

by Congo Research Group, Anushani Alagarajah, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran, and Laxana Paskaran, Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, Nyathon H. Mai, The Sudd Institute, Zachariah Mampilly with Daniel Solomon, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, July 21, 2020 Preventing Atrocities in a State Unwilling to Address its Past by Anushani Alagarajah, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran, and Laxana Paskaran, Adayaalam Centre for… Read more »

A Deadly Combination

Militarisation, Sinhala-Buddhist Supremacy and Absence of Rule of Law Compiled and edited by Sunanda Deshapriya, Sri Lanka Brief, July 2020 A DEADLY COMBINATION-SriLanka Briefing Note 17-July-2020 BACKGROUND Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and heading towards the General Elections that is scheduled to be held on the… Read more »