All Stories in Features

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 …

Electoral compulsions made Tamil parties oppose Rajapaksa

Electoral compulsions made Tamil parties oppose Rajapaksa

It is with an eye on the forthcoming provincial and national elections, that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) are opposing Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to remain Prime Minister tooth and nail. The TNA and the TPA are acutely aware that …

Implications of the Political Imbroglio in Sri Lanka

Implications of the Political Imbroglio in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirsena by sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 this year has not only precipitated the country into a political crisis, this is likely to …

China’s legacy in Sri Lanka’s Civil War gives it a Diplomatic Edge

China’s legacy in Sri Lanka’s Civil War gives it a Diplomatic Edge

In 2015, when Sri Lanka received relatively rare mention in discussions of world politics, then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa suffered a shock election loss. At the time, I outlined lessons that rising powers like China could learn when developing insights into smaller countries like Sri Lanka, including …

Turmoil Intensifies

Turmoil Intensifies

Sri Lanka’s political crisis took another turn yesterday when all the MPs backing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse walked out of parliament after the Speaker refused to allocate them a majority …

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lanka

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lanka

It is generally said that there are no genuine “Sri Lankan” Brahmins in the island today, and that those Brahmins who officiate as priests in Hindu kovils (temples) are of Indian origin with close ties with Tamil Nadu. Dr. Gananath Obeysekere, a Princeton University social …

Another Season of Trouble

Another Season of Trouble

Over the past few weeks, Sri Lanka has faced a moral and political crisis that threatens to undermine hope for democracy. On Oct. 26, Maithripala Sirisena, the president of Sri Lanka, appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa, the polarizing former president who ran Sri Lanka from 2005 to …

Struggle in Lanka

Struggle in Lanka

The political crisis in Sri Lanka that began on 26 October when President Maithripala Sirisena appointed former President and Sinhala chauvinist Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and sacked serving Prime …