Wednesday, February 21, 2018 06:15:19 PM

The Political Logjam

By Tisaranee Gunasekara - Sun Mar 12, 1:19 am

Photograph courtesy President’s Media Division, Government’s Aim Is to Create a Public Service and Political Culture Free from Corruption and Nepotism

“…something begun so well had now gone off the rails…”
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)

In a recent New Yorker article on Donald Trump, commentator Adam Gopnik reminds his readers that while crazy lovers are pitiful or pathetic, crazy politicians are not.

The shenanigans of Donald J Trump are a potent reminder of what Sri Lanka’s fate would have been had the 2015 presidential election ended differently. A third Rajapaksa presidential-term would have been infinitely worse than the Trump presidency; by 2015 Sri Lanka had been denuded of those standard democratic checks and balances which keep autocracy at bay, especially an independent judiciary, a free media and a vibrant civil society.

Neither time nor electoral defeat has caused even the slightest dent in the Rajapaksa mania for power. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration is just few months short of the halfway mark of its five year lifespan. If a new constitution which does away with the presidential system is not put in place, presidential elections will have to be held in the first quarter of 2020….

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