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Hope and Trepidation: A Biden administration - Newsletter, 16 November 2020

"Hope and trepidation" is how our editorial this week characterised responses to the prospect of the new Biden-Harris administration in the USA. Indeed whilst Biden has vowed to renew American leadership and champion the spirit of liberty in the face of "the rapid advance of authoritarianism, nationalism, and illiberalism"; past failures of the Obama-Biden administration has tempered Tamil optimism.

Sri Lanka's leadership, for its part, has been lukewarm in its response to Biden's electoral victory. As the statement by both Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and President, highlights, they would perhaps like to continue with business as usual - maintaining a friendly relationship with Western powers whilst simultaneously vilifying Muslims and clamping down on Tamil journalists. 

Sri Lanka's farcical attempts in continuing to present a wholesome image of itself reached new heights as Shavendra Silva, war criminal and army commander, spoke as honorary speaker during a tourism summit. His speech came as Muslims on the island were still unable to bury their dead as per religious tradition - and overwhelming international condemnation of Sri Lanka authorities - and as the Sri Lankan security forces began to harass Eelam Tamils as we prepare for Maaveerar Naal. 

As coronavirus cases on the island now rise rapidly, and amidst new technological methods of surveillance by the military, Sri Lanka’s repression looks set to intensify.

Ben Andak, Staff Writer

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