Michael Roberts, presented originally in Groundviews on 17th December 2009, http://groundviews.org/2009/12/17/the-rajapakse-regime-brickbats-plaudits/ … where the comments were enlightening and well-informed –rather in contrast with the acerbic carping directed at my more recent articles in that venue [so that some selections will soon be reproduced below, while a new section at the end adds a limited bibliography that extends to the present day]
This is a disjointed exercise that does not claim comprehensiveness. That is impossible in a short essay, the more so because I write without ethnographic exposure to the experiential subjectivities of either the Tamil people in Sri Lanka or the poor people from every community struggling with the cost of living.
Pic from http://www.youtubecom
Terrible Record: In a recent essay I have briefly annotated the government’s failure to prevent a series of killings and intimidations directed against media personnel and the widespread belief that elements in its sprawling establishment had a hand in many of these acts of injustice.
In step with this record the Rajapaksa Regime has consolidated the long tradition of overcentralised decision-making and authoritarianism at the top that has been a feature of Sri Lanka’s so-called democratic institutions for many decades. It is not surprising, therefore, that little or nothing has been done to initiate a genuine devolution of power in ways that would give the Tamil and Muslim peoples a goodly glass of political hope. All they have received so far is sweet words. Continue reading