Category Archives: electoral structures

Democracy under the Gun in Sri Lanka

Jayadeva Uyangoda, in Sri Lanka Guardian 24 September 2020, where the title is “The End of Sri Lanka’s Democracy”

The debate on the proposed 20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution is gathering momentum. The proposal, which has been published in the Government Gazette, is indeed a constitutional bombshell, literally. Its provisions are very destructive in their objectives as well as consequences. 

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Language of Governmentality: An Incisive Comparison

Chandre Dharmawardana, in a COMMENT directed at the moderate voice of Daya Wickramatunga in Thuppahi Commentary, 5 August 2020  …. here raised in status because of its salience and wisdom

Daya Wickrematunga is said quoted to say:  “Our Constitution should include that amendment. The 13th amendment that prescribed equal powers to the provinces, with equal status to the Sinhalese and Tamil languages, was aimed at that. It went to show that the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy of SWRD was wrong.”

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The Democratization Process in Ceylon, 1832-1948

Michael Roberts: “The Democratization Process in Sri Lanka,”  being the text of an Illustrated Lecture on Video presented to The May 18 Memorial Foundation in Korea in early September 2020 …. as part of a series encompassing several countries — organised by Professor Inrae You. The Lecture was, as I understood it, for highschool students.

The democratisation process began in the period of British rule in the 20th century. It would however be unwise to start with the early 20th century. One should look at the prehistory of the island of Ceylon before that. Ceylon, Ceilão, Sihalē had forms of autocratic kingship well before the European colonial powers came to Asia and set up their colonies.

Rajasinghe II of Sihale ruling from Mahanuvara and receiving homage (dakuma) from the Dutch

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The Rajapaksa Reshaping of the Sri Lankan Polity

Asanga Welikala and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne, in Groundviews, 25 August 2020, with this title “The Past and the Present in the (Re)Constitution of the State”  … 

The election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019 marked the beginning of a new era of a Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist ascendancy in Sri Lanka. The Covid-19 pandemic provided an early opportunity for the government to establish an authoritarian governing style, helped by Parliament standing dissolved, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to subject the government to the constitution. In the delayed parliamentary election earlier in August, the government and its allies sought and obtained a two-thirds majority mandate.

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Rajapaksa Populism: Reflections from Udith Devapriya

Udith Devapriya iDaily Mirror, 15 August 2020, where the title reads Four lessons from my father”

My father was the first in his family and my mother’s, to foretell Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rise to power in the 1990s. At the time the man was in charge of Labour and Vocational Training, a threadbare though challenging ministry if ever there was one. Challenging, not because one could not do much in it, but because by then the SLFP’s approach to labour had begun to depart from its traditional vantage point.

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National Joint Committee warns Ali Sabry

The National Joint Committee (NJC) wishes to convey its best wishes to his Excellency the President, and his Government elected with an overwhelming majority, in Parliament. We have utmost confidence that the Government would fulfill its pledge to remove numerous constitutional provisions introduced to the Constitution through many amendments that has plagued the structure of this state. It was reported in a lead news report that the Minister of Justice Hon. Ali Sabry is drafting the amendment he intends tabling before Parliament in mid-September, the contents of which we are unaware.

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Bopage’s Pessimistic Assessment of the Sri Lankan Vote and Its Implications

 Lionel Bopage: “The Best and the Worst – 2020 General Elections in Sri Lanka” ….. sent to me by a friend and doubtless due in Colombo Telegraph and/or some local newspaper …. Note: the emphasis in BLUE is Bopage’s hand and that in RED is mine –Editor, Thuppahi

The general elections on 5 August had turned out to be an outstanding victory for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the Rajapaksa Family and the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists representing both the elite and ordinary members of the country’s majority community. Despite many allegations made about the corrupt and criminal acts of certain candidates put forward at the election by some of the political parties, the electorate elected most of them. Sadly, the candidates who are known for exposing corruption and criminality in the country – the very people who have demonstrated their credentials to be promising parliamentarians – have not been elected. At the same time, it is heartening to note that some of the candidates who were credibly alleged to be robber barons during the 2015 regime have been outed.

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Remarkable Voting Results in Sri Lanka … Especially in the North and East

Chandre Dharmawardana, in an article entitled Tamil speaking voters  decisively reject vengeance-peddling Genocide-Claiming parties in Sri Lanka’s  elections,” –which will presumably appear in digital or print form somewhere

Sri Lanka, a nation troubled by decades of civil strife and a separatist war  has just concluded a parliamentary election bringing back the war-winning government. Western observers have keenly focused on the North, with its Tamil population (5% of the Nations population) previously controlled by the separatist Tigers. Their  “MaVeera”  (suicide fighters  presented as heroes) are celebrated covertly and even overtly by hard-liner Tamil politicians in the North, and in Western diasporas.

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Rajapaksa Modalities: Basil as Lone Ranger Jack of All Trades

Editorial in The Island, 31 July 2020, bearing this title “Battles and Puzzling Moves”

SLPP founder and chief strategist Basil Rajapaksa has said something very interesting in a recent press interview. He has explained why he is not contesting the upcoming election. Others in the SLPP are guided by Rafferty’s rules, to all intents and purposes, in trying to win; they and their supporters flout election laws and health guidelines with impunity.

Intra-party battles for preferential votes are raging in some political parties, and the worst affected is perhaps the SLPP, whose candidates are hurling abuse at one another openly. Only the JVP-led coalition is apparently free from such problems. What we see in the SLPP, which brought down the yahapalana government, is like a Nat Geo wildlife programme, where big cats fight fiercely, unable to share the flesh of the animals they jointly pursue and kill.

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Verite Research Background Fact Sheet on the 2020 Parliamentary Election

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=adc3cb5152&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f%3A1674109100451078915&ser=1

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