Archive | Politics and Governance RSS feed for this section

After 100 days the stark contrast between the Rajapakse and Sirisena Administrations

Image courtesy Salon The conclusion of the one hundred (100) days is a good time to compare and indeed contrast the Maithripala Sirisena Administration from the Rajapakse rule that it replaced. This is particularly relevant in the context that Brother number two (no pun intended), Gotabhaya Rajapakse, has suggested that Mahinda Rajapakse should be prime […]

Sri Lanka’s emergency assistance to Nepal and return of exiled journalists

Photo courtesy Asianews.it Sri Lankan government has announced that it had dispatched emergency supplies and support personnel to Nepal a day after the devastating earthquake and that there would be further materials and personnel in the coming days[1]. The government also announced that Sri Lankans who had been in Nepal, can come back in the […]

The 100 days programme of President Sirisena: People’s perspectives

On the 23rd April, President Sirisena completed a 100 days in office. On a site – one of many – that has monitored the implementation of the 100-days programme, 10 out of 25 promises are indicated to have been fulfilled. This week Groundviews wandered around in Colombo talking to its citizens in an attempt to […]

The Central Bank Bond Controversy Revisited

By Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis The Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs has on April 19 issued a press release announcing some findings of the three-member committee that Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed “to look into matters related to the 30-year bond issued on February 27” (PM’s special statement to Parliament, 17th March). […]

Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers: Reflections from visit to Sri Lanka

Photo by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai I first visited Sri Lanka in 2003. I took leave from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a short humanitarian stint with a Sri Lankan NGO during a Norwegian Peace Initiative-ceasefire. The civil war spanning over 25 years ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) […]

Are Sri Lankan Tamils prone to collective political suicide?

Photo by AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena via SBS We have entered the ninth decade since the Donoughmore Reforms leading to the first State Council elections of 1931. Through the early part of these eight and a half decades, Sri Lankan Tamils had occupied a dominant position in this country, politically, economically and socially. The leading political institution […]

Bikes, Helmets and Public Safety Concerns

The official government news portal of Sri Lanka recently reported that a ban on full-face helmets will be re-imposed starting April 02. The report argues that the “face of the motorcyclist should remain open for easy identification.” The ban, which was initially set to be imposed on March 21, is expected to counter the presumed […]

‘Naya Qanoon’ and the 19th Amendment

Photo courtesy Bloomberg The draft 19th Amendment reminds me of the story ‘Naya Qanoon’ (New Constitution) written by the late Saadat Manto, regarded by many as the finest writer of short stories in Urdu and as the greatest South Asian writer of the 20th century. Set in pre-independence Lahore of the 1930s the main protagonist […]

The Bond Issue Controversy: An Analysis

Image courtesy Ada Derana By Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis The issue of government bonds on February 27 has raised a huge controversy, involving questions as to the competence of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and also allegations of insider dealing. The government has been slow […]

Dealing with two Asian superpowers: President Sirisena’s visit to China

Image courtesy Asia One Sri Lanka stands to benefit enormously by dealing positively with the two Asian super powers, India and China. The two countries are potential rivals. The two Asian whales may not fight but a small fish can get crushed when whales dance. Sri Lanka has to be mindful of that when dealing […]

Sri Lanka’s political moment: Rediscovering our kinship and common history

Photo courtesy EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA via Sky News As the new administration has begun to unpack promises made during a hasty election campaign, it is clear that they are constrained by their own political capacity, the limitations of a minority government and more generally by what is politically feasible at present. Within the government, ministerial appointments have […]