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Sri Lanka’s president is struggling to keep his promises of reform - The Economist

In an op-ed marking Sri Lanka's unity government's 3rd anniversary in power, The Economist said the president was 'struggling to keep his promises of reform', nothing that the 'economy is weak and the opposition strong'. 

Read full op-ed here

Extract reproduced below: 

"The lack of a fixed political base has coloured Mr Sirisena’s three years in office. The endless struggle to assert his authority over the SLFP has taken up much of his time and energy, while the alliance with the UNP has associated him with its unpopular economic policies. The president’s ambitious promises—to transfer executive authority from the president to parliament; to devolve power to the regions; to crack down on corruption; and to hold the army to account for the war crimes it is alleged to have committed in the final days of the war—have gone largely unfulfilled.

The powers of the president have been watered down, but not nearly as much as Mr Sirisena had pledged. A promised new constitution which would strengthen the powers of the regions has never materialised, to the irritation of the Tamil National Alliance, a party that supported Mr Sirisena’s presidential bid. No members of the former government have been prosecuted for corruption, nor have any wayward soldiers been brought to book. Building public trust in government was an important element of the government’s mandate, says Asoka Obeyesekere, the local head of Transparency International, an anti-corruption pressure group, but it has made no progress at all. Instead, the UNP has become embroiled in a corruption scandal of its own, and many observers worry that the investigating authorities are not independent enough to untangle it.