Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. I begin this interview with a pointed question, asking Dr. Saravanamuttu to flag anything the government has done well since it assumed power in 2005, in the domains of governance and human rights. I go on to ask Dr. Saravanamuttu why it is that what he sees as enduring challenges to human rights, peace, development and governance are not issues the majority of voters agree with, or are able to discern.
We also talked about the nature of economic activity and development in the North and the East, where Dr. Saravanamuttu noted that “economic development by itself cannot be the sole instrument of national unit, reconciliation, integration”. Sri Lanka’s political culture and the growing intra-party violence within the UPFA, the future of Tamil politics, reconciliation, the role of the international community, prospects for dissent and democratic debate post-war and modes of progressive engagement between the Tamil diaspora are also issues broached in this interview.
Speaking on the mandate the President and the UPFA have received from the presidential and parliamentary elections, Dr. Saravanamuttu at the end of the interview flags three key issues the government should be concentrate on with this popular support in mind.