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RESULTS: Online survey on Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election 2015

An online survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives asked five questions regarding the upcoming Presidential election. The objective of the survey was not to predict election results but to gather public opinion on the elections and contribute to ongoing discussions. As the survey was conducted online and not with a random sample, the […]

The TNA follows JVP strategy

Image via Al Jazeera No less a person than the JHU’s General Secretary, Patali Champika Ranawaka, went on record over the past weekend, stating that every attempt at campaigning by the joint opposition is being violently and illegally suppressed by the Rajapakse regime. He stated that if democratic dissent and a genuine electoral process did […]

The Contest

Photo via wx135 The announcement that Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Minister of Health in the Rajapaksa regime is to be The Common Candidate of the Opposition to Mahinda Rajapaksa has turned the Presidential Election of 15th January 2015 into a contest. Moreover the electoral arithmetic, most popularly […]

On backing Maithripala Sirisena: Beyond critical support and resigned endorsement

Photograph via VOA News The irony of the present political moment in Sri Lanka is that it appears the message of both Mahinda and Maithripala is essentially the same: ‘there is no substitute’. Both build their politics on how dangerous the other is, seeking to thrive on a politics of anxiety. And for these reasons alone […]

Collective awakenings and watershed changes in society: Are they in the offing?

Photo courtesy Asian Tribune When the Berlin Wall fell as a result of continuous and determined efforts of the people of then East Germany, and the Perestroika initiated by Gorbechev, it was not only a watershed moment in Europe but an inspiring, momentous event characterised by the sufferings and future aspirations of millions of East […]

The political need of the hour: Transformational approach to constitution making

Photo courtesy the Daily Beast A long awaited concerted action has now been initiated by the opposition parties in their identification of a common candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, and the agenda for action. Understandably, the opposition needs a simple yet mass rallying slogan for their campaign. The abolishing of the executive presidential system […]

Maithripala, a good governance challenge from within to Mahinda Rajapakse

Photo by AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S.KODIKARA via The Japan Times This analyst has always maintained that the formulae for the defeat of the Rajapakse regime, was a divided government and a unified opposition. Given the absolute fragmented disarray in which the main opposition United National Party was in, only a very short while ago, it was […]

The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, […]

Critically Supporting the Anti-Regime Campaign

Photograph via VOA News It had to happen that way, and the break was only possible with a serious split within the regime. The moment had come for members of the SLFP to take the plunge. And when finally Vasantha Senanayake, MP, crossed over (the first member of the brave ‘suicide squad’) and mentioned that […]

THE SIRISENA SURGE: WHY MAHINDA IS STILL WAY AHEAD

Photo by AFP, via AsiaOne Two cheers then for Maithripala Sirisena whose act of resistance and rebellion is truly heroic. Why cheer at all? And why two cheers instead of three? Hearty cheers are entirely warranted because Maithripala Sirisena has produced a Black Swan event; a real game changer. Having argued in the print and […]

Do we enjoy universal adult Franchise?

Image courtesy SBS We did enjoy full adult voting rights in our island for 18 years after the far reaching Donoughmore reforms of 1931 (reaching further than many of our leaders, Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim asked for or even wanted). But two Acts of 1949, among the earliest post-independence legislation, took away citizenship and voting […]

NOT SEEING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES: SARATH SILVA AND THE LEGALITY OF MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA’S THIRD TERM

Image courtesy Newsfirst In the flood of commentary that has followed the former Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s public intervention regarding the potential illegality of President Rajapaksa seeking a third term, many have joined debate to remind us of Silva’s unsavoury behaviour on and off the Bench. One of the implications of these reminders, some of […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa

I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under […]