Category Archives: parliamentary elections

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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Sri Lanka in 2016: Professor CR de Silva’s Capsule Review

Chandra R. de Silva reviews the achievements of Sri Lanka’s new regime led by President Maitripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2016 for ASIAN SURVEY. He also assesses the challenges that lie ahead in 2017, as political divisions are likely to intensify over local and regional government elections, and foreign loans and inefficient state enterprises could disrupt the country’s positive economic outlook.

Two years after the defeat of the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the emergence of a coalition government consisting of the two major political alliances, Sri Lanka has made some progress but faces major challenges in 2017.The current government led by President Maitripala Sirisena, leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe leader of the United National Party (UNP) has an overwhelming majority in Parliament. Although they lead groups which had long standing political rivalries, the two leaders have planned for a long-term alliance. One of their signal political achievements was the approval of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 2015. This provision circumscribed the power of the President by restricting the hitherto virtually unfettered power of the president to appoint a number of officers (such as judges of the Supreme Court) and also limited presidents to a maximum of two terms. In addition, the amendment prohibited the President from dissolving Parliament without its consent for four and a half years after the date of the last parliamentary election.

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Narrating Tamil Nationalism: Subjectivities and Issues

 Michael Roberts,  being a reprint of a review article in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, s., Vol. XXVII, no.1, April 2004 …… with a review of this essay by Bandu de Silva having appeared earlier Thuppahi. The version here has highlighted emphasis to aid the reader –clearly a ‘work ‘in 2017.


Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, now regrettably with his maker, remains Sri Lanka’s leading political scientist, with numerous books associated with his name. He had secured eminence as early as the 1970s, when attached to Peradeniya University, and this reputation enabled him to move to a Professorship at the University of New Brunswick around 1972. It was his considerable scholarly reputation that encouraged the president of Sri Lanka and leader of the right-wing United National Party, J. R. Jayewardene, to utilise his consultative services in the political negotiations and constitutional engineering that occurred in the period 1978–83. His participation was facilitated by K. M. de Silva, a confidante of the president as well as Wilson’s long-time friend.

 Wilson     KM dde Silva Continue reading


July 19, 2017 · 3:39 pm

Asoka Bandarage’s Study of The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka appeared in 2009

Assoke Bandarage BANDARAGE COVER

The Routledge Flier: Using careful historical research and analysis of policy documents, this book explains the origin and evolution of the political conflict in Sri Lanka over the struggle to establish a separate state in its Northern and Eastern Provinces. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is one of the world’s most intractable contemporary armed struggles. The internationally banned LTTE is considered the prototype of modern terrorism. It is known to have introduced suicide bombing to the world, and recently became the first terrorist organization ever to acquire an air force. The book argues that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be adequately understood from the dominant bipolar analysis that sees it as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. The book broadens the discourse providing a multipolar analysis of the complex interplay of political-economic and cultural forces at the local, regional and international levels including the roles of India and the international community. Overall, the book presents a conceptual framework useful for comparative global conflict analysis and resolution, shedding light on a host of complex issues such as terrorism, civil society, diasporas, international intervention and secessionism.

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Revamping Lanka’s Government Structures? CTF Proposals In. Prospects Dim.

Sanjana Hattoruwa,  in The Sunday Island, 7 January 2017, where the title is “A Report on Reconciliation“… with the highlighting below being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

chandrika manouri-muttetuwegama


Last week, the Consultations Task Force (CTF) handed over its final report to former President Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga. It was supposed to be handed over to the President. However, he wasn’t present at the ceremony, on a date and time his office had negotiated after many delays spreading over months. As widely noted, the CTF comprised of eleven members drawn from civil society and was appointed by the Prime Minister in late January 2016, to seek the views and comments of the public on the proposed mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation, as per the October 2015 UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, you would expect the PM, whose brainchild the CTF was, to be present at the handover ceremony. He wasn’t either. Continue reading

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Issues of Governance and Economic Management in Recent Years

Verite Researach courtesy of Daily Mirror, May 2016, where the title is “Economic mismanagement is a governance problem – It needs governance solutions”

Elected officials and selected bureaucrats are given a huge amount of power to act on behalf of the public – modern democracies function on this basis: that citizens hand over their power to elected representatives. But how can the citizens then protect themselves against those individuals misusing that power? This is the perennial problem of governance. The simple answer that is given to this question of governance is “elections” – that elections ensure the displacement of politicians who violate the public trust and thus create political incentives for better behaviour. This Insight provides an example, which explains why the answer cannot be that simple – the behaviour of officials during elections can both abuse public trust, as well as benefit these officials politically. As such, other governance solutions are needed.


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Tissa Chandrasoma’s Vignettes

Rajpal de Silva, in the Sunday Island, 3 April 2016, introducing a book Vignettes of the Ceylon Civil Service 1938 – 1957, prepared by Vijaya and Parakrama Chandrasoma,  and printed by Lazergraphic, Colombo., 2016.

This new handsome hard-cover publication by M. Chandrasoma’s sons, Vijaya and Parakrama, includes an Introduction and Postscript and six photographs showing Chandrasoma at various events during his career of nearly 20 years in the Ceylon Civil Service –which then comprised an elite group of individuals (usually an annual intake of 10) chosen from the cleverest of the Ceylon University’s recently qualified graduates. There was no political ‘input’ in this long bygone era – and hence the administration of the numerous and varied governmental departments whether they be Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture, Public Works, Health or Revenue were managed by the best intellects that the island produced annually.

Manikkuwadumestri (Tissa) Chandrasoma’s original book, published in 1991, is once again reproduced in full. The original title, Vignettes, is most appropriate, considering that Chandrasoma’s book of 153 pages is sectionalized into 37 chapters.   Aaaa--VIGNETTES Continue reading

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