Reflections from Mullivaikkal: Remembering What was Lost Part 4

Three of my children were killed in an artillery attack on the same day at the same place. If they were alive today, the eldest son would be 20 years old, daughter would be 17 years old, and the youngest son would be 15 years old. With them, nine members of my family, including my mother-in-law, my husband’s 6-year-old sister, his younger brother, brother’s wife, their 6-year-old son and their 9-month-old daughter, were killed in that incident. Six of them were children.

The ‘new’ PM will not be a panacea to Sri Lanka’s problems

Writing in response to the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mario Arulthas, an advisor to People for Equality and Relief in Sri Lanka (PEARL), stresses that "without a fundamental restructuring of the state, Sri Lanka will simply repeat the past mistakes that got it there". Arulthas explains that the current crisis Sri Lanka finds itself in follows an open embrace of "Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy" by the vast majority of Sinhalese voting in the Rajapaksa's during the 2019 Presidential election and granting them a two-thirds majority in the subsequent 2020...

‘To Solve Its Economic Crisis, Sri Lanka Must Demilitarize’

Sri Lanka’s violence will not end until “the country ends its war on Tamils and Muslims and drastically scales back its military budget,” writes Tamil Guardian staff writer Ben Andak in Jacobin Magazine this week, as the economic and political crisis on the island continues. “Many are increasingly alarmed by the authoritarian nature of their government and blame President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, taking to the streets and demanding that “Gota Go Home”,” writes Andak. “But the crisis in Sri Lanka cannot be placed solely on one family. Nor will the IMF rescue the island from the root cause of the crisis: the country’s militarized and ethnocratic state.”

'The end of a brand: On the fall of the Rajapaksas'

Responding to the resignation of Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, amidst escalating violence between supporters of the government and anti-government demonstrators, the Hindu notes that the larger message is that muscular nationalism and majoritarian mobilisation may not be an endless reservoir of support”. Long venerated by the Sinhala majority as a war hero for the crush military defeat of the LTTE, which saw a litany of war crimes and accusations of genocide; Rajapaksa “could never have imagined that his teeming support base would be replaced by swarming protesters so...

Why Sri Lanka’s protestors must topple the statue of Bandaranaike in Colombo

A monument to a man who oversaw two anti-Tamil pogroms and the architect behind one of the most racist pieces of legislation on the island’s history overlooks the Galle Face protests. If these protests are to be inclusive of all in Sri Lanka, that statue must go.

'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...

‘Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has created a political one’

Responding to the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, the Economist slams the governance of the Rajapaksa regime noting that their response has been “a mix of intimidation and ineptitude” which has produced “a political crisis to compound the economic disaster”.

‘Gota needs to go – but so does the ethnocratic state’

Responding to the crisis which has engulfed Sri Lanka, Mario Arulthas, an advisor to People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), stresses that for a “more just stable and prosperous island”, it is not the President that needs to go but the deeply entrenched ethnocratic state. His opinion piece in Al Jazeera comes as there are widespread protests across Sri Lanka denouncing the President for the current economic crisis which has left the country with a severe shortage in food, fuel and medicines. However, Arulthas notes that while these demonstrations are harshly critical of the President...

'How Four Powerful Brothers Broke an Island Nation'

Writing in the Bloomberg, Ruth Pollard highlighted that the Rajapaksa regime has "lost control of Sri Lanka’s economy" as the island continues to suffer from an economic crisis "mostly of its own making". "From an ill-fated fertiliser ban that led to a dramatic fall in yields of crops like rice and tea, to its failure to deal with a foreign-currency crisis that’s now a humanitarian emergency, the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is fast running out of solutions. Relying until now on help from its two major backers — India and China — and stubbornly refusing wider international aid, the country is on the verge of default," Pollard wrote.

An inconsistent international order - Lessons from Ukraine

With global outrage and distress at Russia’s actions, however, there has also been growing dismay around the world at the radically different lens through which Western states have viewed Moscow’s offensive and Ukraine’s resistance to it. The past week has made it abundantly clear to many peoples around the world; it is not that Western states do not understand the politics of resistance to oppression. It is that they deem some nations or people as apparently unworthy of practising it.