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Sri Lanka

CrisisWatch Sri Lanka

Unchanged Situation

Political parties engaged in negotiations over alliances ahead of nominations for 341 local govt bodies ahead of local elections, which Election Commission 18 Dec said will be held 10 Feb. Despite widespread speculation that opposing factions of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) may reunify to jointly contest poll, both factions submitted separate lists of nominees for 93 bodies on 14 Dec deadline. Opposition SLFP faction will contest poll with some other opposition parties as Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) under former President Rajapaksa; and United National Party (UNP), current governing partner of President Rajapaksa’s ruling SLFP faction, will contest poll in coalition with several small parties under banner of United National Front. Election Commission 14 Dec rejected 23 lists of nominees for technical faults and not meeting new women’s quota, which requires that a quarter of nominees be women; received nominations for remaining 248 bodies 18-21 Dec, accepted 1,553 and rejected 29. Colombo high court 12 Dec issued third order preventing police arresting former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for financial misappropriation; Buddhist religious leaders previously threatened protests if he is arrested. UN working group on arbitrary detention 15 Dec urged govt to repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with law which meets international human rights standards.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

7 Nov 2017
2017 has seen a worrisome return of violence and hate speech in Sri Lanka. U.S. News

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
9 Aug 2017
There are lots of little initiatives under way [in Sri Lanka.] But they don't add up to a coherent or effective response to the desperate situation so many women are facing in the north and east. Reuters

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
9 Mar 2017
There is work to be done by both Sinhala and Tamil activists [in Sri Lanka], in persuading Sinhalese voters to support the new constitution and make the case for a shared interest in ending impunity. Daily Financial Times

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
26 Jan 2017
China sold a lot of weapons and lent a lot of money to Sri Lanka and remained a useful ally even in the Human Rights Council, all through the end of the war. Quartz

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
7 Dec 2016
There was always a doubt about the commitment of the [Sri Lankan] president and prime minister. As time goes on, those doubts have grown. The New York Times

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
1 Sep 2016
With the UN’s help, Sri Lanka could yet build a state that respects the rule of law and protects the rights of all its citizens. Inside Story

Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Asia

Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

The bloom is off two years of hope that the rule of law can be restored for all and that a 60-year failure to grant Tamils a fair share of power, in the Sinhala majority island, can be rectified.
 

 

Originally published in The Diplomat Magazine

Op-Ed / Asia

Unfinished Business in Sri Lanka

Originally published in Inside Story

Op-Ed / Asia

Time to seize the moment in Sri Lanka

Originally published in Inside Story

Report / Asia

Sri Lanka Between Elections

Sri Lanka’s 17 August parliamentary elections will test the country’s fragile democratic opening. With the hardline Sinhala nationalism of ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa challenging the “good governance” agenda of the United National Party and President Sirisena, the outcome will affect chances for reconciliation and lasting resolution of the country’s long-running conflicts.

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Alan Keenan

Senior Analyst, Sri Lanka
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