'Investing in a failed state' - Gary Anandasangaree slams MPs encouraging investment in Sri Lanka

Responding to the recent visit of Canada’s business delegation to Sri Lanka, MP Gary Anandasangaree expressed his disappointment in Canadian MPs seeking investment “in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption.” Deeply disappointed that @handongontario and @RachaelThomasMP encouraged #Canadians to invest in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption. This was not a Gov of Canada sanctioned mission but rather 2 I’ll advised MPs going on a free trip. https://t.co/4pteX4W7Se — Gary Anandasangaree (@gary_srp) November 18, 2022 The...

OPINION - A ‘new foundation’ for Sri Lanka’s economy?

Speaking before parliament, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe set out a new budget that will see the selling off of state assets, slashes to the public sector, and a reorientation towards an export-driven economy. Whilst Wickremesinghe has described the budget as the “new basis of the economy”; the refusal to discuss Sri Lanka’s growing military expenditure shows greater continuity than rupture from the past. Instead, we see the perpetuation of crony capitalism that will impoverish the poor whilst the island's military grows even further. Key to Wickremesinghe’s speech was his...

TG VIEW - British Tamils expect action from Rishi Sunak

As a new British Prime minster takes office, Tamils across the country will be watching closely. It is indeed historic that Rishi Sunak will be the first person of South Asian office to hold the highest office in the country. However, both domestically and internationally, he will have his work cut out for him.

The search for Nimalarajan’s killers proves why international justice is the only way

A long and hard twenty-two years have passed since Mylvaganam Nimalarajan was murdered in his Jaffna home. His killers operated in plain sight.

Reviewing the books – Britain’s new chancellor must reconsider bankrolling Sri Lanka’s military

As Britain’s fourth Chancellor in as many months takes up office this week, there will be plenty on his plate. A falling sterling, rising interest rates and a spiralling cost of living crisis will leave Jeremy Hunt facing a difficult task. On his first day on the job, he told reporters of how wide spending cuts will be vital in reeling back government spending and repairing Britain’s economy. One area that will need urgent review is the UK multimillion-pound funding of Sri Lanka.

The British monarch and the colonial legacy of Sri Lanka

Today Britain’s longest-ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away peacefully at her Scottish estate. Across the globe, messages of condolence have poured in to mourn the passage of the British head of state whose reign spanned over 15 Prime Ministers. Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 amidst a period of rapid decolonisation and bore witness to the demise of the British empire. Yet the process of decolonisation was not seamless. Instead, Britain’s colonial elite refashioned entire countries with the stroke of a pen. For the English liberal imperialists, this project of nation-building...

A poisoned chalice – How international aid bolstered Sri Lankan despots

Illustration by Keera Ratnam / waves of colour “I was born into a debt-free nation”, claimed Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe as he accepted yet another loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on behalf of the island. This will be the seventeenth time since independence that the country has turned to the IMF, which is not to mention loans received from other international institutions. Sri Lanka, once a poster child for economic development, touting an impressive literacy rate and a stable macro-economy, has rapidly descended into a failed state. In no small part, the...

How Sri Lanka betrayed Shinzo Abe

Across Sri Lanka, the country’s flag is flown at half-mast on 12th July to mourn the sudden assassination of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We have lost a prime minister who gave leadership to Asia,” wrote Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe in an obituary guestbook commemorating the Japanese leader. Despite Sri Lanka’s melancholic posture towards the Japanese leader’s demise, Sri Lanka’s foreign policy has posed a consistent thorn in Abe’s vision for a “free and open Asia-Pacific”.

'The way out of Sri Lanka’s crisis is tied to Tamil freedom'

In early April, hundreds of thousands of primarily Sinhala protestors filled the streets of Colombo, enduring tear gas and water cannons, as they inched closer to the presidential compounds, demanding the resignation of Sri Lanka’s President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Repeal the PTA

The Sri Lankan government have used the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to crackdown on anti-government protesters, with three Sinhalese student leaders being detained for their participation in the mass protests that swept the island earlier this year. Successive Sri Lankan regimes have used the draconian legislation for decades to detain Tamils and Muslims arbitrarily and to extract false confessions through the use of torture. While the legislation has been repeatedly condemned by activists in the North-East and the international community, Sri Lanka has failed to repeal it. A...