Category Archives: electoral structures

Sri Lanka is Drowning in its Own Shit. Two Appraisals. Ajit and Elmo

Emphasis by highlighting in blue is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

parliamentary kehel mal!

ONE: “The Perfect Storm” by Ajit Kanagasundram in Sunday Island, 15 April 2018

The optimism that accompanied the Yahapalana government in 2015 has evaporated. We simply seem to have exchanged the misguided and dictatorial regime of Rajapaksa for the misguided and weak government of Sirisena/Ranil. There is a confluence of factors – political, economic, financial, inter-ethnic relations and international that are converging and will cause a major crisis within two years. Continue reading

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Marasinghe’s Book on the Constitutional History of Sri Lanka

Leelananda De Silva, courtesy of Sunday Island, 24 March 2018, where the title runs “Are We Heading Towards Constitutional Anarchy? The Evolution of Constitutional Governance in Sri Lanka (Revised Second Edition)”

n the 1950s in Ceylon, there was the university entrance examination, conducted by the University of Ceylon annually, to select students for entry to that university. There were no G.C.E. A-Levels then. One of the subjects for this examination was called Government. Those who sat for this subject read the Constitution of Ceylon by Ivor Jennings. Jennings was the author of the Sri Lankan Constitution of 1948, and it was first hand analysis of the constitutional provisions of 1948. Jennings was one of the foremost constitutional lawyers in England and he had published the authoritative “Cabinet Government” some years before and also a more popular book called the British Constitution and another called The Law and the Constitution. Undergraduates of that time were fortunate in reading these authoritative tomes by a leading constitutional scholar. Since 1948, there has been little scholarly writings on constitutional developments in Ceylon, especially on the politics behind constitutional changes.

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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

 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”

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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