Posts Categorized: Politics

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 »

Lurking Fears of Tamils After Presidential Election

On November 16, 2019 by Thambu Kanagasabai,  LLM [Lond.] Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo,  Sri Lanka, November 9, 2019 The Presidential election on November 16, 2019 will usher in a new President, either Gotabaya Rajapaksha or Sajith Premadasa. Intensive campaign with promises suiting the locations and people are pouring from candidates to woo… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election & the True Face of the TNA

by Kumarathasan Rasingam, November 7, 2019 The cat is finally out of the bag. The secretly well-kept decision of TNA to back Sajith Premadasa of the United National Party is now disclosed 10 days before the election, after playing the hide and seek and cat and mouse games. TNA leadership particularly Sumanthiran and Sampanthan have… Read more »

Sri Lankan Clan With Close China Ties Plots Political Comeback

The Rajapaksa family’s prior rule was stained by allegations of human-rights violations and corruption, sparking worries in Western capitals by Saeed Shah, The Wall Street Journal, New York, November 7, 2019 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—A controversial political dynasty that made Sri Lanka a centerpiece of China’s efforts to expand its influence in Asia and defeated an… Read more »

A Belated Recognition of Genocide by the House

For too long, Turkey bullied America into silence. Not anymore. by Samantha Power, The New York Times, October 29, 2019 On Tuesday, by a vote of 405 to 11, the House of Representatives defied the Turkish government’s intimidation and, for the first time in 35 years, passed a resolution that recognized the Armenian genocide. In acknowledging… Read more »

Public Administration and Minority Language

The Case of District Administration in Amparai, Sri Lanka by Mohammad Agus Yusoff, Athambawa Sarjoon, Nordin Hussin & Azmi Awang, Public Administration Research; Canada, Vol. 4, No. 2; October 2015 ISSN 1927-517x E-ISSN 1927-5188 Abstract Even though minorities have gained international linguistic recognition, accepting and admitting minority languages in public affairs has been a contested issue in many countries. In… Read more »

The Internal and International Dimensions of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections

A Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidency will have serious repercussions for both Sri Lanka’s internal governance as well as its international partnerships. by Ana Pararajasingham, ‘The Diplomat,’ Washington, DC, October 23, 2019 On November 16, Sri Lankans will go to the polls to elect their next president. Although more than 30 candidates have nominated themselves, the contest… Read more »

In Simple Terms, the Choice is Between Dictatorship & Democracy

Presidential election 2019 by Jayadeva Uyangoda, Sunday Observer, Colombo, October 19, 2019 With the presidential election campaign now well underway, it appears that the contest is between the two main candidates, Sajith Premadasa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In the absence of scientific polling in Sri Lanka, no credible voter sentiment analysis is available. Therefore we are… Read more »

World Bank: Making (De)centralization Work

by World Bank, Washington, DC, October 13, 2019 See Chief Economist for South Asia video summary here Full report here In a focus section, the report highlights how, as their economies become more sophisticated, South Asian countries have made decentralization a priority to improve the delivery of public services. With multiple initiatives underway across the… Read more »

Sri Lanka Presidential Hopeful Says Won’t Honor Deal with UN

by Krishan Francis | AP in The Washington Post, October 15, 2019 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month’s presidential election said Tuesday that if he wins, he won’t recognize an agreement the government made with the U.N. human rights council to investigate alleged war crimes during… Read more »