The modern UNP was the more urban, business-friendly party and the SLFP was the more rural, socialist-friendly party. Now, insomuch as we have parties at all, the UNP has turned. In this interim government, Ranil Wickremsinghe is leading the most business-unfriendly incarnation of the UNP I’ve ever seen. Not only are their policies mixed at best, he and Finance Minister ...

People have asked me if I regret voting for this government given all their cock-ups, missteps and backwards assignations. Well, no. That annoying noise you hear is democracy. Under Mahinda things were dreadful quiet, mafia quiet. This is better. That said, man, these guys are messing up. The difference is that our complaints actually make a difference, which is great. ...

In House Of Cards, Frank Underwood schemes his way into unelected power but finds it hard to actually govern. Then he runs headlong into an election he may lose. Ranil Wickremesinghe is in a similar position. The Caretaker Governor Ranil has been appointed Prime Minister but he hasn’t won an election for 14 years. He was actually something of a ...

I recently met a friend who’d been traveling around the north and east, talking to people. A lot of people there seem to be struggling to make ends meet, if they can find ends in the first place. One major economic issue there is military possession of land, which I think can be addressed while still ensuring the city of ...

Eelamists will never be happy with what Sri Lanka does. Eelam is the answer and human rights is just another stick to beat Sri Lanka over the head with. That’s why they never seem happy with incremental change or, indeed, with an entire change of government. They don’t want to be governed by a pluralist democracy at all. They want ...

It’s under-reported, but in a recent bond issue the Central Bank Governor’s son-in-law made out like a bandit while everyone else bidding lost out. Arjun Aloysius and Perpetual Capital somehow ‘guessed’ the rates the Central Bank was going to issue while no one else did. It’s not proven that insider information was leaked, but it doesn’t look good. This government ...

These are Rohan Samarajiva’s comments on the draft Right To Information Bill. Rohan Samarajiva is my father but these are not my opinions, indeed this is the first time I’m reading this. I mean, he sent it before but it was long… anyways. If you want my tl;dr it would be – 1) make sure the bill applies to ...

They say ‘dance like no one is watching‘, but that’s not how you should govern. The Mahinda government seemed to think they’d never be out of power and they didn’t even bother covering their tracks. Hence you get cases like Wimal Weerawansa’s wife (and apparently him) giving false information for diplomatic passports. Why? What is the point even, of being ...

Anni, or Mohamed Nasheed, is no stranger to imprisonment. He spent 18 months in solitary confinement under the Gayoom dictatorship. He emerged from that to become President of the Maldives in its first democratic election. When he tried to reform the corrupted judiciary, however, Gayoom forces staged a coup and forced him out. In the next election Gayoom’s brother won ...

Right now this government is a western media darling (especially Ranil), but that won’t help them win the upcoming Parliamentary Election. Indeed, looking favored by the West can actually lost you votes at home. This government was elected on domestic issues but they’re spending a lot of time on foreign policy, it’s a risk. Foreign Policy Without a doubt, having ...

Mahinda is still a popular politician among the people, as you could tell from the big rally in Nugegoda yesterday. The problem is that he’s just not very popular in his own party. If he wants to be Prime Minister, that’s a problem. The Nugegoda rally saw thousands of people and made for some impressive drone photography, no doubt. If ...

You could sum up the previous government’s approach to foreign policy in one quote: “You are only a f*****g High Commissioner. I am a street fighter. I will have you f*****g thrashed”. That is what Sajin Vass Gunawardena reportedly said to Chris Nonis, then the High Commissioner to the UK. It gives you a rough sense of the priorities. In ...

A lot of international coverage about the election just remixes the broken record about the war. One narrative seems to seek prosecuting the victors and dividing the country along racial lines. Thankfully, these are not Sri Lankan voters. Rolling back the war through international courts and dividing the country are not things this government will do. Rolling Back The War? ...

What a nice Independence Day. Other post-war I-Days have been North Korean style military parades. This time it was a much more peaceful affair. The ceremony also featured something which Mahinda Rajapaksa should have done a long, long time ago. This year there was an official declaration of peace. “Today our beloved nation is at a moment of unprecedented opportunity. ...

What a strange budget. Broadly they are taxing the rich and giving stuff away to the poor. There are a lot of one-time taxes (wut?) on big companies, taxes on people with big houses, vehicle importers, etc. At the same time, prices of a lot of consumer goods are reduced, salaries are increased for government workers, hand tractors will be ...

I guess messing up your judicial system is like getting locked out of your house. You sometimes have to break your own window to get back in. The new Sri Lankan government dealt with the problem of a highly dodgy Chief Justice (Mohan Peiris, number 44) by saying that his appointment was illegal and re-installing the old Chief Justice (Shirani ...

Much of the international press seems unable to grasp that Sri Lankan voters might have determined the recent election. They’re saying that Indian intelligence did it, or only America can push reforms forward. Actually I guess that’s just the New York Times. Let’s look at both propositions. 1. India Did It When Sri Lanka unexpectedly turfed out President Mahinda Rajapaksa ...

This graph shows the price of Lanka Petrol 95 Octane compared to the global price of a barrel of crude. The price of crude is in dollars and the price of petrol is in rupees, but I was just looking at how connected the two lines are. As you can see, it’s a bit of a political lever, but ...

Sigh. Someone needs to tell thugish UNPers like MP Palitha Thewarapperuma that we’re in a national government and our President is Chairman of the SLFP. In the video here, Thewarapperuma is making someone kneel as his supporters assault him. According to SLFP MPs speaking to NewsFirst, Thewarapperuma basically led a mob, throwing rotten eggs (I’ve always wondered how you find ...

So, Maithripala Sirisena is President of Sri Lanka. Still feels weird to say that. Maithri campaigned on an ambitious 100 Days Plan and he’s mostly kept to it. What has he done in his first week? View image | gettyimages.com 1. He Survived Not easy. If Mahinda had won he would have surrounded Maithripala with troops and likely jailed him ...

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