To coincide with the end of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s second year in office, the Centre for Policy Alternatives produced a video timeline detailing some of the defining moments of the President’s past two years.

Among the events captured in the timeline were environmental catastrophes such as the burning of the X-Press Pearl, the food crisis brought about by the President’s sudden banning of chemical fertilizer imports and the appointment of a number of task forces – notably a vaccine task force and more recently the One Country, One Law Presidential Task Force. President Rajapaksa’s two years coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic‘s emergence, his handling of which will be seen as a central feature of his term.

A list of articles on Groundviews flagging the events of the past two years depicted in the timeline are listed below for further reading:


Election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s 8th Executive President

Implications of the populist frenzy of the Presidential Election by Piyumani Ranasinghe (21.11.2019)

Of a Disciplined Society by Groundviews (27.11.2019)

The Return by Tisaranee Gunasekara (15.12.2019)

The Ethno-Economics of Majoritarianism: Notes on Conflict and Gotabaya’s Sri Lanka by Uvin Dissanayake (09.12.2019)


Establishment of a Commission of Inquiry on Political Victimization

A Statement on the PCoI on Political Victimisation by Chula Adikari (19.02.2021)


Dissolution of Parliament by President and Postponement of Parliamentary Elections

‘Me, the people’ by Sarath de Alwis (12.02.2020)

A bell tolls for the world by Tisaranee Gunasekara (22.02.2020)

Emerging Governance Issues amid COVID-19 by Harim Peiris (09.04.2020)

A looming constitutional crisis, courtesy Covid-19 by Ameer Faiz and Nizam Kariapper (10.04.2020)

Parliamentary election 2020 and date of summoning of the new parliament by S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole (11.04.2020)

Reconvening Parliament as polls postponed by Harim Peiris (27.04.2020)

Government without Parliament and Government by the Military? by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (06.05.2020)


Proposed Irrigation scheme in the Sinharaja Rainforest

Fighting the Pillage of Sri Lanka by Minoli de Soysa (25.09.2020)

Sri Lanka Set to Lose More Forests by Minoli de Soysa (09.11.2020)


Pardoning of Sunil Ratnayake 

Justice in the Time of a Pandemic by Ambika Satkunanthan (29.03.2020)

Pardoning Sunil – A response by Groundviews (30.03.2020)

The President in the Pandemic by Tisaranee Gunasekara (05.04.2020)


CID and Police action against persons criticizing government officials on Social Media 

Free Expression, Hunger and Racism in context of COVID19 by Damith Chandimal and Ruki Fernando (14.04.2020)

Freedom of Expression vs. Hate Speech, Fake and Misleading News by Damith Chandimal and Ruki Fernando

Ramzy Razeek: An extraordinary struggle for an ordinary life of service upended by an arrest by Z.L Mohamed (12.05.2020)

Election against Democracy by Tisaranee Gunasekara (10.05.2020)


Cremation made mandatory for COVID19 Victims

The Rights of Minorities under Extraordinary Circumstances by Nida Admani (11.04.2020)

Dignity in death, as in life: For everyone including Muslims by Ermiza Tegal and others (11.04.2020)

Scapegoating the Muslims: From Aluthgama to Post-Easter Sunday to COVID-19 by Shreen Saroor (13.05.2020)


Arrest of Hejaaz Hizbullah

The Other Hejaaz by Uditha Devapriya (16.06.2020)

My Brother Hejaaz by Hefraz Hizbullah (27.08.2020)

Seven Months On the Bar is Silent About Hejaaz by Gehan Gunatilleke (24.11.2020)


Arrest of Ahnaf Jazeem

The Case of the Poet Without a Voice by Ruke Fernando (14.05.2020)

Reading Poetry at the Attorney General’s Department by Dylan Perera (28.07.2021)


Delaying of Parliamentary Elections for a second time

Authoritarianism is No Remedy to the Country’s Wounded Democracy by Dr. Pradeep Peiris, Sakina Moinudeen and M. Krishnamoorthy (14.06.2020)

Has COVID-19 Changed the Election Landscape? by Ayudhya Gajanayake (03.08.2020)


SLPP wins General Election with 59.09% Majority

Election 2020 – An Analysis and Trends by Harim Peiris (07.08.2020)

The Best and The Worst – 2020 General Elections by. Lionel Bopage (09.08.2020)

How Much is Too Much Power? by Groundviews (18.09.2020)

The Rajapaksa Tidal-wave and the Anti-Rajapaksa Tsunami-wall by Tisaranee Gunasekara (23.08.2020)

What Will Be the Fate of Religious Minorities in Sri Lanka? by Rosie K Idigbe (28.08.2020)


China grants Sri Lanka 600 Million yuan

Covid-19, 20th Amendment and the Shadow of Chinese Dominion by Tisaranee Gunasekara (18.10.2020)

Needed: A Foreign Policy Beyond the Shackles of Necessity by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (31.10.2020)


Parliament passes the 20th Amendment

Sri Lanka: Rising Autocracy and Historical Experiences by Lionel Bopage (28.10.2020)

October – A Bleak Month for Freedom of Expression by Ruki Fernando (02.11.2020)

Democracy: The Sri Lankan Way by Ayudhya Gajanayake (06.11.2020)


Destruction of the War Memorial at the University of Jaffna

We Will Not Forget by Indran Amirthanayagam (09.01.2021)

Evoking the Undead Tiger, the Eternal Bogeyman: The Consequences of Forgetting the Past by Ambika Satkunanthan (10.01.2021)


The P2P Protest

Braving Harsh Repression, Human Rights Defenders in the North Soldier On by Minoli de Soysa (25.02.2021)


Ban on Chemical Fertilizer

Ban on Chemical Fertilizer a Threat to Food Security by A Subsistence Farmer (09.05.2021)

Short Sighted Agricultural Policies Spell Doom for Farmers and the Country by Vidura Prabath Munasinghe (13.06.2021)

Realistic or just Rhetoric? The Ban on Chemical Fertilizer by Pranith Wirasinha (27.08.2021)


Burning of the X-Press Pearl 

The X-Press Pearl Fire – A Disaster of Unimaginable Proportions by Hemantha Withanage (03.06.2021)

An Avoidable Environmental Catastrophe: Where Did It Go Wrong? by Jayantha Wijesingha (06.06.2021)

The Toxic Ship – What Price for Environmental Devastation? by Anuradhi D. Jayasinghe (07.06.2021)

The Urgent Need for a Plastic-Free World by Maleesha Gunawardana (02.07.2021)


Passing of the Port City Act

Navigating Geopolitics: The Need for a Balanced and Nuanced Approach by Ganeshan Wignaraja (28.05.2021)

Patriot, Bared by Tisaranee Gunasekara (23.05.2021)


Appointment of Basil Rajapaksa as Finance Minister

Rotten Creeds, Failed Gods by Tisaranee Gunasekara (25.07.2021)


Sri Lanka prints record Rs. 213Bn in a single day

Lost and Confused – An Economic Policy in Shambles by Chandrasena Maliyadde (05.08.2021)


Gazette re-enables return of captive elephants back to Illegal owners

The Sordid Tale of the Captive Elephant Industry and Legitimation of Wildlife Crime by Rukshan Jayewardene (19.09.2021)


Promulgation of a State of Emergency 

Consequences of Emergency Regulations for Provision of Essential Foods by Khyati Wikramanayake (04.09.2021)

Failing to Defend the Indefensible in Geneva by Harim Peiris (23.09.2021)

Democracy Under the Rule of No Law by Pradeep Peiris (05.10.2021)


The President’s speech at the UNGA 

When Impunity Becomes the Norm by Bhavani Fonseka (24.12.2021)


Appointment of the ‘One Country, One Law’ Task Force

One Country, One Law; No Law Enforcement, No Law by Basil Fernando (29.10.2021)

Unleashing Legal Hegemony with One Country, One Law by Thamil Ananthavinayagan (01.11.2021)

Shaping a Single Narrative, courtesy the Clergy and Task Forces by Bhavani Fonseka (07.11.2021)