Category Archives: electoral structures

The Yahapalanaya Government in Strife: Philips, Hattotuwa and Chandraprema Analyse the Situation

I. Rajan Philips: “The government’s consummate crisis in the face of Mahinda’s unconsummatable win,” Sunday Island, 18 February 2018,

There is no pussyfooting around the political shellacking at last week’s polls, that the President’s and the Prime Minister’s teams got at the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budding party of old bloomers. Not surprisingly, the shellacking has precipitated a consummate crisis in the so called national-unity government. While the results of the local government elections have created the current crisis in the national government, the same results cannot provide any mechanism or mandate for resolving that crisis. Nor can the impressively lopsided success at the local elections directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the government at the national level. Put another way, SLPP cannot nationally consummate its aggregate win at the local elections. It can, however, create havoc for the unity government and it is doing so in spades. The government leaders, on the other hand, are scrambling with no one showing any capacity to take control of the situation and restore even a semblance of order. Continue reading

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Colombo City in Singapore Style? Its Hinterland Trumps That Idea …. Witness: The Recent Elections

Wilfred Jayasuriya

I assume that the government is using the Singapore model of economic development, which focuses on services and not on agriculture or industry. In the 1970s when economic development or development economics became the favourite subject of politics and economics I was lucky to do a one year post graduate diploma in Oxford University for government officers. One question raised was “How valid is the Singapore model?” and the short answer given by Robert Mabro, an Egyptian academic who ran the course was: Singapore has no hinterland.

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Political Turmoil NOW: Charting Prospects and Pathways with Huge Question Marks

SWR de A Samarasinghe, in Island, 13 February 2018 where the title is “Ups and Downs of Sri Lankan Politics and Looming Political Uncertainty. The Local Government Elections

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 Last Saturday’s Local Government (LG) Election dealt a stunning blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the two respective political parties, UPFA and UNP, that they lead and paved the way for the major political comeback of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Our Seventieth Year: Reflections on Sri Lanka’s Independence

Jehan Perera, in Island 5 Feb 2018, where the title is”How to celebrate 71st year of our independence with national unity”
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This year’s Independence Day celebration was marked by a strong effort of the government to represent the diversity of the country’s people in the cultural expressions during the official events at Galle Face. In keeping with the new tradition set by the government in 2015, the national anthem was sung in both Sinhala and Tamil. But more than on previous occasions, the traditional dances and other cultural items that were conducted represented all the communities in their diversities. At the level of the people, this cultural expression represented the reality of the capital city, and also other parts, in which there is a strong representation of all the ethnic and religious communities who coexist in friendship and harmony for the most part. Continue reading

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Gay Marriage! Where Muslims, Jews and Christians Unite in Horror: Western Sydney

Andrew Jakubowicz    in The Australian and in The Conversation 15 November 2017…. with the title “How social conservatism among ethnic communities drove a strong ‘no’ vote in western Sydney

The “yes” vote on same-sex marriage carried the day in every state in Australia, but the “no” vote was strongest in New South Wales – particularly around western Sydney.  The results suggest that, as predicted, social conservatism among many ethnic communities loomed large as a factor.

In NSW, the “yes” vote came in at 57.8% and the “no” at 42.2%, with a participation rate of 79.5% – but in some western Sydney electorates the “yes” vote was as low as 26.1%.

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Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Dilemma Today

Jayadeva Uyangoda, in The Island, 17 November 2017, where the title is “Our Constitutional Conundrum–A Commentary”

Sri Lanka’s current political debate on constitutional reform is significant for a variety of reasons. The Interim Report of the Constitutional Assembly has inspired a spirited opposition from Buddhist monks, reminding us of the similar opposition emerged in 1995 when Professor G. L. Peiris unveiled the August 1995 proposal of the People’s Alliance government. Although Professor Peiris has changed his political beliefs beyond recognition, the leading Buddhist monks, who continue to be very vocal on matters constitutional, have not.

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Sinhala Extremists: No Middle Path Ever! Thus sponsoring Tamil Extremism

Dayan Jayatilleka, courtesy of The Island, 25 October 2017 where the title is “The Sinhala far right’s political final solution”

Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly young, died violently or were maimed, and tens of thousands disappeared, and unknown numbers were tortured, in the less than four decades between April 1971 and May 2009 on this small island. Something must have been wrong; something must have gone wrong, somewhere, for all this horror to result among so much natural beauty and tranquility. We are all implicated in different ways and in different degrees. The least we can do is accept that there were huge mistakes and seek to rectify them through reform. For this, we must turn the searchlight inwards and not content ourselves with pointing the finger outwards.

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