Posts Categorized: Politics

Will Tamils Overcome Politics of Fear to Find New Leadership?

by JS Tissainayagam, Asian Correspondent, UK, November 24, 2019 THE overwhelming turnout by Tamil voters in North and East Sri Lanka to vote for Sajith Premadasa at the presidential election epitomised the admonition they had heard for over five years: “Don’t rock the political boat lest the Rajapaksas return to power.” Hence, the politics of… Read more »

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. by Amita Arudpragasam, Foreign Policy, Washington, DC, November 27, 2019 On Nov. 18, Gotabaya Rajapaksa took his oath as Sri Lanka’s seventh executive president, at the sacred Buddhist temple Ruwanwelisaya in Anuradhapura. Three days later, his brother,… Read more »

The Fate of Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Anthem

What the past (and future) of the Tamil version of the national anthem tells us about minority rights in Sri Lanka. by Dishani Senaratne, ‘The Diplomat,’ Washington, DC,  November 22, 2019 Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former defense secretary and brother of ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, emerged victorious in Sri Lanka’s presidential election last Sunday. Gotabaya was largely backed… Read more »

US Press Statements on Sri Lanka Elections

On Sri Lanka’s Elections: Press Statement by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State November 18, 2019 The United States congratulates the people of Sri Lanka on their democratic election and stands ready to work with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the new President of Sri Lanka.  We call on President Rajapaksa to uphold Sri Lanka’s commitments to… Read more »

Deep Divisions Confront Sri Lanka’s New President

by Amy Kazmin, Financial Times, London, November 19, 2019 The ancient Buddhist stupa where Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s president on Monday is rich in symbolism: the structure was built by the first Sinhalese king to unify the island under his rule after the defeat of a Tamil dynasty. But Mr Rajapaksa’s choice of… Read more »

What’s Behind a Flurry of Legal Bids to Prosecute Myanmar for Genocide?

‘The net is tightening around the Myanmar military and civilian leadership.’ by Emmanuel Stoakes, The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News), UN, November 21, 2019 CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand A burst of legal action across the globe this month has provided fresh impetus for efforts to examine atrocity crimes allegedly committed by Myanmar against its Rohingya minority…. Read more »

Victory of Rajapaksa- What It Means to Tamil Polity?

Paper No. 6515                   by Prof. Ramu Manivannan, South Asia Analysis Group, Delhi, November 24, 2019 http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/2540 The victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was much anticipated in the recently held 16th November presidential elections in Sri Lanka given the course of national politics after the evaporation of false euphoria over… Read more »

‘We Needed a Modi After the Easter Attacks’

by Kapil Komireddi, The New York Times opinion page, November 25, 2019 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka was among the first democracies to defy the tide of populism. In January 2015, when India was seven months into Narendra Modi’s sectarian reign and the United States was two years from falling to Donald Trump, voters in this… Read more »

In Sri Lanka’s Ethnocracy, Tamils Will Always Lose

by Brannavy Jeyasundaram, Jacobin, Brooklyn, USA, November 25, 2019 Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the architect of Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils in 2009. He was also just elected president of the country. It’s the culmination of a decade of impunity following the end of the Sri Lankan civil war that has enabled genocidaires to be feted… Read more »

The Struggle for Democracy in Sri Lanka

by Rohini Helmsman, Jacobin, Brooklyn, USA, November 24, 2019 In the push and pull between authoritarianism and democracy in Sri Lanka, the former has won out more often than not. But the fact that the country is not a full-blown dictatorship today is a testament to a spirit of resistance that can’t be snuffed out…. Read more »

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lanka Presidential Election

Mr. Rajapaksa, a former defense chief and brother of an ex-president, vowed to bring stability to a country still reeling from attacks on Easter Sunday. by Dharisha Bastians and Kai Schultz, The New York Times, November 17, 2019 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared victory on Sunday in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, signaling the return… Read more »

Buddhist Nationalists Claim Victory in Sri Lankan Election

by The Associated Press, November 17, 2019 KANDY, Sri Lanka — In this mountain city that was for centuries home to Sri Lanka’s kings and in recent years has been riven by religious violence, Buddhist nationalists are rejoicing the election of the country’s newest leader. They hope he ushers in another golden era for the… Read more »

A Dreaded Return

Tamil Guardian editorial, London, November 18, 2019 In the wake of Sri Lanka’s presidential elections this weekend, fear has gripped the North-East. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the man who engineered the massacres of tens of thousands of Tamils a decade ago, is back in power. This time, he occupies the highest office in the land. The result,… Read more »

Reject Engagement with Genocidaire Gotabaya

by TamilNet, November 18, 2019 Newly sworn-in SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has denounced the existence of Eezham Tamils as a nation in the North and the East of the island. The wartime genocidaire Defense Secretary wants Tamils to become ‘Sri Lankans’ capitulating to the Sinhala Mahawansa doctrine, which possesses the requisite intent for Tamil genocide…. Read more »

An Elusive Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

by Jayadeva Uyangoda, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, November 18, 2019 It can be achieved only through democratic, inclusive, and accommodative means The outcome of Sri Lanka’s presidential election has surprised the winners, the losers as well as the observers. The most obvious, arguably disquieting, and unanticipated trend is the re-sharpening of the majority-minority divide in electoral choices. Gotabaya Rajapaksa,… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Front-Runner Strikes Fear

Among Tamils Who Blame Him For Disappearances by Lauren Frayer, National Public Radio, Washington, DC, November 14, 2019 <iframe src=”https://www.npr.org/player/embed/778638245/779041626″ width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”></iframe> On a roadside in northern Sri Lanka, a dozen women in bright-colored saris squat in the shade of an open canvas tent, waving tattered photographs at passing… Read more »

The Lesser Evil?

by Viruben Nandakumar, Tamil Guardian, London, November 11, 2019 In the lead up to the Sri Lankan Presidential election 16 November, both Sinhala and Tamil political commentators have quipped that this election is a clear cut choice between “two evils” and have insisted on drawing parallels to the 2015 and 2005 elections. These commentators have… Read more »

Still No Choice

Tamil Guardian editorial, London, November 4, 2019 Artwork by Keera Ratnam. As Sri Lanka gears up for a presidential election in just a few weeks time, Tamils on the island find themselves faced with a familiar decision. Almost five years after an election that was hailed as the dawn of a new era for Sri… Read more »

Civil War Along Ethnoreligious Lines

by Berkley Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, August 1, 2013 This case study addresses the underlying ethnic and religious tensions behind the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009), a conflict led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) on behalf of the Hindu Tamil minority against the Sri Lankan government and the Buddhist Sinhalese majority…. Read more »