Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:36:48 AM

State reforms as a domestic policy imperative

By Harim Peiris - Mon Feb 27, 4:23 am

Featured image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief/@UthayaShalin

Earlier this week, Parliament debated, on an adjournment motion by the TNA, the unresolved issues of the North and East, namely dealing with the effects and the causes of the war. The former requiring specific reconciliation measures, and the latter reforms of the Sri Lankan state which enables the state to accommodate the full diversity of society. The attention of the Sri Lankan polity will also be focused internationally at the UNHRC in Geneva, where at its general sessions the resolution on Sri Lanka, dealing with our reconciliation and democratisation processes, would be on the agenda. Various reports in the popular press have a range of views on the reconciliation process and the current state of play, which broadly divide into two camps. In the south, opposition forces are agitating that the proposed reforms are a sell out and have consequently largely resigned from the steering committee of the Constitutional Assembly, but after having served on the sub committees during deliberations and the submission of their reports. In the North, opposition to the TNA leadership, paradoxically, largely from within its own ranks would claim that little or no progress on reconciliation has occurred.

The context for the current state of play, is the momentous elections of 2015, which abruptly ended what had seemed an invincible Rajapakse Administration and its policy direction of creeping authoritarianism and an entrenching of social divisions and ethnic polarizations. The elections of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, opened a new chapter, in post war Sri Lanka, a government committed to the three pillars of democratization, reconciliation and sustainable economic development….

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