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President doubts he can work with PM

President doubts he can work with PM

Sri Lanka’s president accused newly reappointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of corrupt leadership in a scathing speech Sunday in which he voiced doubts about their ability to work together and signaled the 2-month political crisis is far from resolved. President Maithripala Sirisena administered the oath …

The Court’s Slap

The Court’s Slap

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Sri Lankans held a collective breath on the afternoon of December 13th, as citizens gathered outside the Supreme Court in Colombo, the capital. When seven judges eventually faced the packed crowd in Room 502, their decision was …

Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional

Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional

 Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday, December 13, that President Maithripala Sirisena’s order to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections was unconstitutional, a much-anticipated verdict that further embroils the Indian Ocean nation in political crisis. A seven-judge bench said the president lacks the power …

The Deep Roots of Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis

The Deep Roots of Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis

In the first week of December, Sri Lanka’s political crisis deepened after the country’s Court of Appeal issued an interim injunction order restraining former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from functioning as the prime minister. The interim injunction order, issued on December 4, also restrained 49 others …

UK concerned about the current political situation in Sri Lanka

UK concerned about the current political situation in Sri Lanka

UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mark Field told the UK Parliament that it is vital that all sides refrain from violence and make efforts to resolve the situation peacefully and as soon as possible. He said that he met with …

The unfolding Indo-Pacific Great Game

The unfolding Indo-Pacific Great Game

The current political impasse in Sri Lanka marks an important opportunity for Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa to think about the consequences of their current actions for future support from the United States and others for a government a Rajapaksa could be elected to lead next …

Crisis spurs cancellations at peak tourist period

Crisis spurs cancellations at peak tourist period

Sri Lanka’s travel industry is starting to suffer the fallout of a political crisis in the middle of its peak tourist season, as uncertainty prompts cancellations by both business and leisure visitors. Tourism makes up about 5 percent of the Indian Ocean island’s $87-billion economy, …

Rajapaksa placed road blocks on his path

Rajapaksa placed road blocks on his path

When a United States Department of State official reacted to the dismissal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe by Sri Lanka’s president Maitripala Sirisena installing the former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place on October 26, the issue raised was could Sri Lanka accommodate two prime …

Sri Lankans Are Resisting

Sri Lankans Are Resisting

During former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 10-year rule in Sri Lanka, democracy was cosmetic, a veneer intended to make authoritarianism more palatable. Rajapaksa dismantled constitutional provisions that were meant to check his power. He allowed the military to commit rampant human rights violations with impunity. Freedom …

Deadlock remains in lead up to Supreme Court ruling

Deadlock remains in lead up to Supreme Court ruling

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena continued to manoeuvre over the past week in an desperate attempt to secure a deal with leaders of the United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) ahead of scheduled Supreme Court hearings and an expected December 7 …