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The political landscape post the provincial polls

Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images The elections to the North Western, Central and Northern provincial councils are over and the results have been largely as many political analysts predicted. The UPFA won in both the North Western and the Central provinces, while the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) romped home in the North. The political landscape […]

Welcoming the Verdict of the Tamil People

Image courtesy AFP The TNA has swept the polls in the North. More importantly, the Tamil people have voted courageously, convincingly, and clearly. It was an expected outcome, but as President Rajapaksa took off to New York, he would have known that numbers and statistics on paper, more than just mind-made presumptions, can have a […]


Image courtesy The Sri Lanka Guardian The TNA victory has shown that Sri Lanka remains a functioning democracy; that it functions when there is competition; and that with or without the 17th amendment and even under the tightest military supervision, the government can be electorally defeated. Having won the war, the Government has lost the […]

Elections in the East, reconciliation and politics: In conversation with Javid Yusuf

Javid Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law and former diplomat. Groundviews last featured him over two years ago, just after the Presidential Election in early 2010. In this programme, we talked about the recently concluded elections in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka and more generally, on politics and reconciliation in post-war Sri […]

Eastern Province election: The big lie about shared power in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy AP/Eranga Jayawardena Justice Minister Hakeem was reported to have told during campaigning, he should not be made to look like a man taken hostage. Ministers Rambukwella and Premjayantha, invited TNA to form a “National” alliance for the Council in the East. Senior Minister and Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekera says he wrote to President […]

Reading the results of the municipal elections in Sri Lanka

Is this a functioning democracy or what? The governing coalition’s sweep of the local authorities election, the UNP’s successful resistance in a tough campaign in Colombo, as well as the TNA’s impressive performance at repeated elections in the North, make nonsense of the dark pronouncements and forebodings of dictatorship. Homogenization leads to conformism, which crystallises […]

Developing the ‘Under served settlements’ in Colombo: An Open Letter

Photo courtesy Prevention Web October 8th 2011 Dear Mr. Milinda Moragoda and Mr. AJM Muzammil, I wrote this open letter before the elections, to be read after, to avoid political misapprehensions that would have caused, if published earlier. Since you two may remember me, I wish I receive your attention on a few guiding principles to […]

Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Morning After Thoughts and The Local Authorities’ Elections in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Eranga Jayawardena/The Associated Press President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga always wrote well and spoke eloquently when she resisted a propensity to be overly loquacious. While her recent peroration contains many intelligent and valid points, her credibility and their validity comes into serious question because she is not an independent observer or a reformist leader […]

TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on the result of the Local Government elections

Photo from Wikipedia Updated, 27 July 2011: Listen to exclusive interview with Suresh Premachandran here. This statement on the results of the recently concluded local government elections (covered in detail by Groundviews here) was issued originally in Tamil by Tamil National Alliance MP Suresh Premachandran. Download PDF here. Only brief excerpts in English have been […]

Northern Local Government Elections

(Photo: Reuters, from International Business Times) Groundviews is curating news and updates from the ground, as well as domestic and international media coverage on the historic local government elections in Jaffna. Polling started at 7am today. In addition to @groundviews, Follow #NLGE on Twitter for updates from Jaffna, in addition to the usual #lka and […]

Democracy in Sri Lanka: Ideas and responses

In March 2010, Groundviews launched a unique initiative online to ascertain what citizens perceived and accepted as democracy in Sri Lanka. To date, 74 people have submitted 42 ideas and cast 596 votes, but what do YOU think? Click on To coincide with a planned in-depth survey on democracy in Sri Lanka by Social Indicator, the polling arm of […]

A perennial struggle: Women’s political representation in Sri Lanka

Women constitute 52% of Sri Lanka’s population, however women constitute only 2% of elected members of Local Authorities. A critical concern is the very low levels of nominations received by women (approximately 6%) from political parties (See table below). Much of the blame for this under representation must be borne by the major political parties […]

A critique of the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill

Juanita Arulanantham & Andi Schubert Introduction[1] This briefing paper highlights some of the key aspects of this Bill and attempts to provide the reader with a basic introduction to the issues and implications of the Bill in its current form. We first examine the change in the electoral system and some of the implications it […]