Sri Lanka – Political Crisis

October 26, 2018

Sri Lanka – Political Crisis

Padmini Arhant

The latest development in the island nation on the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is unnecessary and could further exacerbate political and economic problems for the country.

The current President Maithripala Sirisena abrupt removal of democratically elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over disagreements on economic reforms between the two entities is impulsive besides the action being unconstitutional and undemocratic that could have serious ramifications setting undesirable precedence through such reaction.

Furthermore, President Sirisena reinstating the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the most controversial political figure in the Indian Sub-Continent for his role in the civil war and gross human rights violations committed in the course of military assault on unarmed civilians i.e. Tamil citizens in Tamil Eelam and Jaffna leading to ethnic cleansing is reprehensible.

The former President Rajapaksa having lost the Presidency and parliamentary elections in 2015, the ex-President legacy marred with atrocities, war crimes, corruption not barring murder of political opponents were to be brought on trial by the present President Sirisena.

In fact, President Sirisena pledged to hold the former President Rajapaksa accountable in 2015. The hard line and iron fist ruler Rajapaksa who was also the military commander was directly involved in genocide of Tamil population during the 2009 operation. The recent turnaround of events with foes becoming friends viz. President Sirisena inviting his not long ago political opponent Rajapaksa subverts democratic system to suit individual political aspirations in Colombo.

Importantly, the constitutional amendment passed in 2015 removed the president’s power to fire or sack the prime minister. The decision to oust the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by the current President Maithripala Sirisena despite the elimination of Presidential power in this regard is clearly a constitutional breach that calls for resignation of the President Maithripala Sirisena.

The ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe headed United National Party and allies being the majority remain the ruling party.  Accordingly, the expulsion of the sitting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe by President Sirisena is illegal not to mention the replacement of the post with the political member Mahinda Rajapaksa facing several criminal charges both in the domestic and international front details the state of affairs and mass abuse of power in the Presidential level.

Sri Lanka having experienced civil war lasting over decades resulting in tremendous loss of lives on all sides and subsequently deep economic struggles combined with financial woes creating sale of Hambantota national port to China are substantial and deserves immediate resolutions. Amid these severe economic challenges, the bitter confrontations within political system endanger democracy in Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe headed political party and allies elected to govern the nation are the legitimate power and the Presidential coup against the government is condemnable. As such the partisanship favoring the failed ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unsustainable.

The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be brought to justice for destruction of Sri Lanka in every respect and not empowered with the prime minister post.

Sri Lankan en masse together with legislative body and Judiciary rising to the occasion to restore democracy and upholding constitution is paramount to rescue the nation from wanton political crisis.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter









Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.