What do Sri Lanka’s local elections mean for the future of democracy?

SRI LANKA’S recent local elections saw both the incumbent National Unity Government and main opposition party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), suffer serious setbacks. By offering vacuous rhetoric on reconciliation instead of addressing the roots of the country’s political conflict, the National Unity Government and TNA pushed both local Sinhalese and Tamils – the main contenders in the country’s national conflict – to distrust them as political actors. And the voters conveyed just this at the polls. Although a local election – where issues other than addressing the country’s national…

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Mahinda can’t win at a straight election

by Zacki Jabbar Results of the recent Local Government Election gave an indication as to how far the Leader of the Podujana Peramuna Mahinda Rajapaksa could go in a straight election , says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Asked if the UNP fancied it’s chances at a future election, in the event the SLFP and Podujana Peramuna formed an alliance, Wickremesinghe said on Friday “There was a lot of cross voting at the February 10. Mahinda would not be able to secure victory in a straight contest.” The votes obtained by…

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Reconfiguring Sri Lanka’s Tamil politics

With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.” Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters had done…

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Maithripala Sirisena Tries To Talk To Mahinda Rajapaksa But Namal Rajapaksa Tells President That His Father Cant Come to the Telephone Because the Ex- President was Busy on an Important Matter.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempt to speak with Mahinda Rajapaksa on the telephone and discuss current political issues ended in failure as the Former President had not come to the phone to talk because he was engaged in an important matter. This had happened on Thursday February 15th 2018. However Mahinda Rajapaksa who was too busy to talk to Maithripala Sirisena had on the same Thursday night telephoned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on his own When President Sirisena made the telephone call, Mahinda’s eldest son and Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa…

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“We Tamils Have Lost Many Opportunities In The Past, We Can’t Afford To Lose One More.” -Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

By Meera Srinivasan With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.” Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters…

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JUBILANT MOOD MARRED BY MAHINDA’S ERODING VOTE-BASE AND 160 HUNG LG BODIES

The Local Government election – the first election in Sri Lanka after the Parliamentary election in August, 2015 – was a wake-up call for the incumbent government in more ways than one. The large majority of Local Government bodies – 249 out of 340 – was won by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the party supported by members of the Rajapaksa family. While the UNP won 42 Local Government bodies with a percentage of 32.61, the UPFA, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, managed to secure only 11 LG bodies, with…

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Until national question resolved TNA says no to joining Govt

BY Arthur Wamanan The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has definitively said that they would not join the Government under any circumstance until a durable solution is reached for the national question. It was speculated that the TNA would join the Government after it had suffered defeat at the Local Government Polls held on 10 February. However, Parliamentarian President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran added that as a policy the TNA would not be a part of any Government under any circumstance. “There is no possibility of us joining the Government. We have…

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Sins of the past Govt cannot be forgotten

By Anuradha Herath Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader, Chief Opposition Whip and Member of Parliament Anura Kumara Dissanayake says, “Our strongest objections are against the present corrupt Government. The battle against the present administration’s crimes, corruption and frauds should not permit the corrupt persons who were involved in previous frauds to come to power. We will not allow the previous corrupt administration to gain power, by criticising the misdemeanours of the present administration, as a means to power. We are attacking both factions at the same time.” Excerpts: The JVP…

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POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY TO PREVAIL

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON A week after the releasing of the results of the Local Government Elections held on 10 February 2018 under new mixed electoral system, the governance of the country has come to a deadlock with President Maithripala Sirisena looking for a replacement for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the latter being determined to continue in office. In less than 24 hours of issuing of the results of the Local Government Elections indicating a sweeping victory for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the life of…

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