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‘Myanmar and Sri Lanka: Bound by Travails’

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Writing in The Diplomat this week, Tamil Guardian features editor Thusiyan Nandakumar said the February coup in Myanmar “should serve as a wake-up call when it comes to Sri Lanka”.

“As armored vehicles rolled through Myanmar’s capital early February, thousands of miles away, in another Asian state led by fervent Buddhist nationalists and under increasing militarization, a different army accused of genocide also marched troops through the streets,” writes Nandakumar. “Sri Lanka’s former defense secretary turned president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was overseeing an oversized military parade on the occasion of the country’s 73rd Independence Day, on February 4, through the island’s capital, in an ostentatious celebration that reflected his own brand of militarized ethno-religious rule.”

He goes on to state,

“The parallels between recent events in both states, which have each seen their own democratic setbacks, illustrate how fragile transitions can be and the perils of prematurely embracing supposedly reformed regimes. Without meaningful institutional shifts, particularly in tackling ethnic chauvinism and dismantling militarization of the state, any semblance of progress can rapidly collapse.”

“Indeed, in a world where authoritarianism around the globe is on the rise, there are hard lessons to be learnt for the international community.”

Read the full text of his piece here.

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