Posts Categorized: Politics

The Sri Lanka Crisis Deepens

Editorial by ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, November 12, 2018 Dissolution of Sri Lanka’s Parliament negates the letter and spirit of constitutional reforms Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament after it became evident that Mahinda Rajapaksa, who he had appointed Prime Minister two weeks ago, did not enjoy a legislative majority. It is an act of desperation to… Read more »

What, to the Minority, is Democracy?

by Qadri Ismail, ‘Groundviews, Colombo, November 3, 2018 Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast. As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before… Read more »

Sri Lanka President Dissolves Parliament Amid Power Struggle

By Dharisha Bastians and Vindu Goel, ‘The New York Times,’ November 9, 2018 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The president of Sri Lanka dissolved the country’s Parliament on Friday night and called for elections in January to choose new lawmakers, a move that critics said was illegal, and that deepened a two-week-old constitutional crisis over who is the… Read more »

Why the US’s Policy on Sri Lanka Needs a Reset

by JS Tissainayagam, ‘Asia Correspondent,’ November 5, 2018 WHEN Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena unexpectedly replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with strongman and former-President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Oct 26, the move was seen as the fallout from internal rivalry caused by domestic issues such as corruption, poor economic performance and political power play. While this… Read more »

What it Means for the Island Nation’s Tamil Community

Sri Lanka’s political crisis explained, and what it means for the island nation’s Tamil community by Kumaravadivel Guruparan, ‘Scroll.in,’ November 5, 2018 Many Tamil activists see the ousted Ranil Wickremesinghe as less brutal than Mahinda Rajapaksa. In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, who was then a cabinet minister and member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party,… Read more »

Halfway Isn’t Good Enough on Human Rights

Myanmar and Sri Lanka were praised for minimal progress. Now it’s all falling apart. by Kate Cronin-Furman, ‘Foreign Policy,’ Washington, DC, November 5, 2018 Thousands of Sri Lankans poured into the streets on Oct. 30 to demand that President Maithripala Sirisena obey the country’s constitution. The protests came after Sirisena shockingly announced that he was… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Homegrown Crisis

The constitutional chaos is rooted in domestic politics, not geopolitical machinations. by Taylor Dibbert, ‘Foreign Policy,’ Washington, DC, November 5, 2018 Sri Lanka is a country in crisis. The coalition government has fallen apart. President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena also suspended Parliament until Nov. 16…. Read more »

Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, October 31, 2018 The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President… Read more »

The Geopolitical Dimension

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Crisis by Ana Pararajasingham, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, October 30, 2018 The sacking of Sri Lanka’s prime minister bodes poorly for India and the US, but is a welcome sign for China. The entire country, not to mention the international community, was taken unawares on October 25 when Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena… Read more »

‘The Fear Is Coming Back’

As Political Crisis Brings Sri Lanka to Brink by Maria Abi-Habib and Dharisha Bastians, ‘New York Times,’ October 29, 2018 When Sri Lanka’s president was elected in 2015, he was given a sweeping mandate from voters to investigate accusations of war crimes and graft against his predecessor’s government and to cancel deals with China that… Read more »

SLC: What is Happening in Sri Lanka?

by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice, London, October 27 & 28, 2018 Situation updates: 28 October 2018 Last night Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, attempted to replace Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa – a man against whom there are credible allegations of complicity in the murder of tens of… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Tamils are at Imminent Risk after Rajapaksa’s Return

Following the former president’s return to power, international community needs to take urgent action to protect Tamils by Mario Arulthas, AlJazeera, Qatar, October 29, 2018 On October 26, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This sudden challenge to Sri Lanka’s regime blindsided some political observers and members… Read more »

HRW: Political Turmoil Puts Rights At Risk

Failure to Address Past Abuses Underlies Crisis by Human Rights Watch, New York, October 27, 2018 (New York) – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision on October 26, 2018, to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister has raised fears about a return to past abusive practices in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The… Read more »

Amnesty: GoSL Cannot Afford to Fail the Office on Missing Persons

Sri Lanka: The government cannot afford to fail the Office on Missing Persons by Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director, Amnesty International, 21 October 2018 https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/sri-lanka-the-government-cannot-afford-to-fail-the-office-on-missing-persons/ Amid the furore around the Joint Opposition’s political mobilisation last month, a key event was overlooked. The Office on Missing Persons (OMP), a key body, empowered to search for and trace… Read more »

UN asks Sri Lanka to Repatriate Commander in Mali

By Edith M. Lederer | AP in ‘The Washington Post,’ New York October 19, 2018 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/un-asks-sri-lanka-to-repatriate-commander-in-mali/2018/10/19/6ae66914-d413-11e8-a4db-184311d27129_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5980d2323174 UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations asked the government of Sri Lanka on Friday to immediately repatriate the commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali following a review of his human rights background. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric… Read more »

ITJP: UN Repatriates Sri Lankan Peacekeeper for His Role in 2009 War

by International Truth & Justice Project, South Africa, October 20, 2018 ITJP UN repatriates Sri Lankan peacekeeper for his role in 2009 war …During the final phase of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009 Amunupure was second in command of the 11th Sri Lanka Light Infantry which operated under the 58th Division. A UN Investigation… Read more »

MCC: Sri Lanka Constraints Analysis

by US Millenium Challenge Corporation, Washington, DC, 2017 https://assets.mcc.gov/content/uploads/constraints-analysis-sri-lanka.pdf We argue in this report that Sri Lanka faces the following three binding constraints to private sector investment and economic growth: (1) policy uncertainty (especially tax and tariff policy); (2) inadequate access to land; and (3) poor transportation and logistics… The state reportedly owns approximately 80… Read more »

Enforced & Involuntary Disappearances in Sri Lanka

by Kumarathasan Rasingam, October 14, 2018 Tamil families of disappeared have been engaged in continuous and indefinite protests in five locations in the North and East for about 550 days. Mothers, wives, sons, daughters and relatives are on the streets in day and night in the hot sun, dust and rain demanding to know the whereabouts… Read more »

Mollycoddling Sri Lanka Doesn’t Work

by Taylor Dibbert, ‘Financial Times,’ Colombo, October 18, 2018 Mark Field, Britain’s Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, recently penned a terrible op-ed in The Daily Mirror. The piece coincided with a visit to the country. “First, it is important to recognise the positives,” Field writes. He… Read more »

Tamil Women’s Day

Honoring Strength & Resistance in the Face of Oppression by PEARL, Washington, DC, October 10, 2018 PEARL_Press_Release_Women_s_Day_2018 On Tamil Women’s Day, PEARL remembers the women who participated in the Tamil struggle for rights and self-determination, and honors the ongoing fight against oppression. October 10, 1987 marked the death of 2nd Lt. Malathy, the first LTTE… Read more »