Category Archives: parliamentary elections

Ehaaa. Mehaa. Presidential Manouevres in Sri Lanka

Rajan Philips, in The Island, 13 October 2018 where the title reads “Checkmate Politics II: Diminishing Options for MS, MR and RW

There is no presidential checkmate after all as many of us were alerted to last week. President Sirisena is in no position to checkmate anyone. No surprise there. He has burnt his boats with the UNP, and even Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot rally everyone in the JO to support a new political arrangement with the old defector. It is now reported that Maithripala Sirisena first approached the UNP to canvass for a second term as President with UNP support, and only after being rebuffed by the UNP that he sought an alliance with the Rajapaksas. It is also known that there were quite a few meetings between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, which would only confirm that the former President has been quite serious about pursuing a deal with the current incumbent. And obviously because a second term Sirisena presidency is the only way to secure a path for the now underage Namal Rajapaksa to become president in 2024. That the former President could not get others on board for this scheme shows how tenuous and tentative are the loyalties within the Joint Opposition. Be that as it may.

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Nationalist Studies and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya, 1968-1970s

Michael Roberts

The years 1966 to 1975 were heady days in Ceylon. Especially so for some of us in Peradeniya Univeristy where the CEYLON STUDIES SEMINAR was launched in November 1968 by a few members of the Arts Faculty assisted by the facilities provided by Professor Gananath Obeyesekera at the Sociology Department – located then on Lower Hantane Road away from the centre of teaching. Not least among these facilities was the service provided by the Sociology Department peon Sathiah[i] who cyclostyled the written seminar papers beforehand for circulation so that those who were keen could read any presentation beforehand if they so wished – a procedure that also maximized discussion time. This background service was seconded by the typing services of Mrs Hettiarachchi in the History Department and Mr Kumaraswamy in the Sociology Department.

A . Jeyaratnam Wilson  Gananath Obeyesekera

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Jayampathi Wickramarathna n Q and A on the Process of Constitution-Making

Sandun A Jayasekera in Daily Mirror, 25 July 2017, where the title runs New Constitution for Sri Lanka : ten experts working on initial draft of Constitution”

The Constitution making process is in limbo right now and the ‘Yahapalana Government’ seems quite content with the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Attempts to introduce a new Constitution has come under much criticism by many in the country. The Daily Mirror spoke to the main architect of the drafting of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, Parliamentarian and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathi Wickramarathna on the issue.  Continue reading

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At the Heart of the Yahapaalanaya Alliance: Malinda’s Rapier

The burning political question of the day appears to be who and how many Parliamentarians received money from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) for their respective election campaigns. In a political season marked by scandalous memory-loss some have claimed that they didn’t always know who was depositing money in their accounts. Meanwhile the full list of beneficiaries is proving to be elusive; first it was said that PTL had funded the campaigns of 116 politicians, later the number was upped to 166 and now it stands at 186.  

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Sri Lanka’s Political Swamp, Gotabhaya and the Viyath Maga Tamasha: A Critical Evaluation

Rajan Philips, in The Island, 26 May 2018, where the title is  The Shangri La tamasha: Neither presidential nor parliamentary, it’s Port City politics now

After a week in Cuba, I am late in gate-crashing the Shangri La party, the onset of the newest political tamasha in town. Calling it a tamasha is not to belittle the political potency of the event, but to highlight its ideational bankruptcy. No one took Donald Trump seriously when he slid down his gilded Trump Tower escalator, in January 2016, and announced his candidacy to become President of the United States of America. Look where he landed before the year was over and where he is dragging by its nose the world’s so called sole superpower. The Sri Lankan contrast is glaring.

GR making Viyath Maga speech at Shangri La

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May 28, 2018 · 2:38 pm

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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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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