All Stories in Features

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 …

All you need to know about the escalating political turmoil

All you need to know about the escalating political turmoil

Sri Lanka has been reeling from a turbulent political crisis for almost a month, when President Maithripala Sirisena on October 26 abruptly sacked then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed the now-ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former President, as the new premier. The power struggle has …

Sliding into political turmoil, and what could happen next

Sliding into political turmoil, and what could happen next

This week, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court made a dramatic intervention in the country’s deepening political crisis, a move that may prevent it from sliding further into democratic dysfunction and possible …

The political crisis, and what it means for the Tamil community

The political crisis, and what it means for the Tamil community

In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, who was then a cabinet minister and member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, broke ranks with his leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and agreed to be the common presidential candidate of the Opposition, led by the United National Party. Sirisena …

Plantation unions move to shutdown wage struggle amid political crisis

Plantation unions move to shutdown wage struggle amid political crisis

Sri Lankan plantation unions have aligned themselves with different political factions in the bitter conflict raging inside the country’s ruling elite and are now attempting to suppress the plantation workers’ fight for a 100 percent increase in their daily wage. On October 26, President Maithripala …

Why the US’s policy on Sri Lanka needs a reset

Why the US’s policy on Sri Lanka needs a reset

When Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena unexpectedly replaced Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with strongman and former-President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Oct 26, the move was seen as the fallout from internal rivalry caused by domestic issues such as corruption, poor economic performance and political power play. …

A Tussle Between Parties?

A Tussle Between Parties?

The answer to Sri Lanka’s current political crisis is complex. The split between United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and United National Party(UNP) turned into a struggle for power between the Sri Lankan President Sirisena, the leader of UPFA alliance comprising the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) …