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.