'Sri Lanka’s killing fields cast a long shadow'

Writing on the anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide, Madura Rasaratnam, Interim Executive Director of PEARL & Ambikai Akilan, Advocacy Officer of PEARL, detail the need to hold Sri Lanka accountable for the war crimes committed in 2009. These crimes continue to afflict the island and Sri Lanka provides a useful lesson for the Israel-Gaza conflict, the piece maintains. In their piece, they reflect on 2009 massacres and the similarities with current conflict in Gaza. Sri Lanka is accused of a litany of war crimes during this period which includes the deliberate targeting of “no fire...

'This is what caused Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis'

The doctrine of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, which has been instrumental in the Sri Lankan nation-building project, is the driving force behind the current economic crisis, writes Madura Rasaratnam, an associate professor at the University of London, in The Indian Express this week. The ruling Rajapaksa family has seen a rapid decline in popularity amidst an economic crisis that has created mass insecurity on the island. The crisis is largely viewed as a consequence of economic mismanagement at the hands of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government. On 12 April the finance ministry...

Don't let China dictate US and Indian policy on Sri Lanka

Writing in the Diplomat, Madura Rasaratnam and Mario Arulthas, maintain that the current policy of appeasement, and of soft-pedalling on demands for "accountability and political reform", adopted by the US and India "comes with considerable costs and uncertain gains". Instead of attempts to outbid China, they argue that it is necessary to use "soft" leverage to "give Sinhala leaders a reality check and push for measures that are crucial to securing stability and preventing conflict recurrence". "The United States and India do have tools at their disposal that can be used to advance strategic...

Reality Check: Sri Lanka's New Government

Sustained international pressure is needed to ensure that the new Sri Lankan government works towards accountability, justice and reconciliation on the island, said a lecturer in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent, Madurika Rasaratnam, and author of a forthcoming book, Tamils and the Nation: India and Sri Lanka compared . "In broad terms the election merely saw the replacement of one avowed Sinhala nationalist leader with another equally committed to maintaining a unitary and majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist order. It is this dynamic that has fed the ethnic conflict over the past several decades, and continues to drive the militarised repression and exclusion that characterises relations between the state and the Tamils," she writes, in a article published by The Hurst publishers.

Clientilism: an entrenched obstacle

Donors' diagnosis of inefficiency or political interference does not capture the problem of pervasive and entrenched clientilism.