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Sri Lanka Failure of New Government to Keep Election Promise to Adopt Good Governance

'The absence of a structured dialogue on issues of devolution, governance and reform between of
ethnic communities and political parties had compounded challenges facing moderates. This is of
course not a situation that is conducive to reconciliation and peace-building.. -
H.M.G.S.alihakkara(Governor, Northern Province) addressing Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, 25 June
2015, http://www.ft.lk/article/439811/Northern-Province-Governor-s-rallying-call-for-investment-
and-reconciliation

It was distressing to see in parliament what should have gone through with absolute consensus as
an opportunity for democracy had to be negotiated in a process that in my view, undermined some
of the opportunities for Constitution making. . The 19th Amendment and the future of Sri
Lanka, *Savitri Goonesekere, 26 June 2015, http://groundviews.org/2015/06/26/the-19th-
amendment-and-the-future-of-sri-lanka/ (*Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo)

''Until our circumstances radically change with the emergence of political leaders guided by ethics
and not by self-interest, it will not be possible for us to come into an era of civility in politics.'' - The
Inevitability of the Banana Republic, Prof Sasanka Perera(Prof of Sociology,), 29 August 2015,
http://groundviews.org/2015/08/29/the-inevitability-of-the-banana-republic/

''..... ever since the end of the war in 2009 in Sri Lanka, the ideology of the ruling regime reinforced
ideas of Sinhala majoritarian supremacy and the suppression of minorities. .... the war was the result
of historical failures in state-building, .... the Sri Lankan state has an undeniable responsibility to
respond to these instances of human rights violations. ........ Without acknowledging our past
wrongdoing we will be unable to move forward as a country and society. '' - Dont Re-Traumatise
The War-Traumatised: Dons, 1 October 2015, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/dont-
re-traumatise-the-war-traumatised-dons

'Seven years after the end of the war segregation of the military from the civilian population
relevant to peace time is what needs to happen in the Northern and Eastern provinces Sampur
Incident Highlights Need For Better Governance In North & East, Jehan Perera, Chairman, National
Peace Council of Sri Lanka, 30 May 2016, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sampur-
incident-highlights-need-for-better-governance-in-north-east/

'' ....... While seeking new allies, President or the Prime Minister should not ignore the broad
coalition that made possible the regime change of January 2015. Nor should they turn their back on
the reform agenda for good governance, democracy, and peace building. Now it is time for them to
take some serious steps towards course correction. Revisiting the January 2015 reform agenda will
certainly be helpful'' - Sri Lanka in Global Affairs: The Journey Since January 2015, Prof J.
Uyangoda,(retired Professor of Politics, University of Colombo) ,13 June 2016,
http://groundviews.org/2016/06/15/sri-lankas-foreign-policy-trends-since-january-2015-some-
critical-thoughts/

''My reality check does not offer any reason for those committed to the theme of this seminar to be
jubilant. Nor is it a reason to be complacent. Their efforts need to be redoubled. Their short term
efforts should be aimed at re-energizing the political leadership of this government to revisit their
reform promises made early last year, to re-commit themselves to that reform agenda, to critically
review the progress achieved and setbacks suffered so far, and begin a course correction initiative
and then work hard to fulfill a promise that has a truly historical significance..'' - Post-War
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka:- A Reality Check, Prof Jayadeva Uyangoda(recently retired Prof of Political
Science, University of Colombo), 15 July 2016, http://groundviews.org/2016/07/15/post-war-
reconciliation-in-sri-lanka-a-reality-check/

''Even if our current government doesnt have time to clean the entirety of the Augean stables, and
God knows they havent helped that endeavour with their monumental procrastination, they can, at
least, make a start on that Herculean task even at this late date'' - Good Governance: Matters of
Urgency, Emil van der Poorten, 9 October 2016,
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/good-governance-matters-of-urgency/

The Friday Forum has called for several reforms to be made in the police service and reflection on
the process of demilitarisation in the wake of the shooting of two university students in Jaffna. -
Friday Forum urges reforms in police service, reflection on demilitarisation after Jaffna shooting, 12
November 2016, http://newsfirst.lk/english/2016/11/friday-forum-urges-reforms-police-service-
reflection-demilitarisation-jaffna-shooting/154298

''A particular segment of the country was decisively committed to defeat the Rajapaksa regime and
replace it with the present regime of Good Governance. This segment was motivated not by party
politics or personal gain, but by genuine concern for the common good of the country, and threw
their full weight into it. Nevertheless, the members of this social segment are now rather puzzled to
witness the present course of the Good Governance regime. They are in a state of confusion and
disappointment and wonder whether they have been cheated by the two leaders of the Good
Governance regime. In terms of political consciousness, this segment of people can be described as
the most advanced, informed section of Sri Lankas social hierarchy. If this segment is discouraged
and become apathetic, invariably, it might have an adverse impact not only on the present, but also
on the future of the country. .........'' - Victor Ivan(political analyst),
17 Nov 2016, http://groundviews.org/2016/11/17/social-movement-continued/

''.... National Unity Government was elected on a liberal platform that promised political,
economic and social reforms. That platform has yet to be implemented. Indeed, it is being
jeopardised by the combined action and inaction of those in power. ...'' - Ten Years: On
populism and counterfeit democracy, Jayantha Dhanapala (former UN Under-Secretary General for
Disarmament), 2 December 2016, http://groundviews.org/2016/12/02/ten-years-on-populism-and-
counterfeit-democracy/

''Regimes come and go; but democratic defences should stay strong in order to protect the kind of
political goals that are worth fighting for.'' - *Yahapalanaya in Sri Lanka: Remains of the Day, Prof
Jayadeva Uyangoda, 5 December 2016, http://groundviews.org/2016/12/05/yahapalanaya-in-sri-
lanka-remains-of-the-day/ (*Yahapalanaya is Sinhalese term for Good Governance)

''This is literally a reflection tempered by hope, frustration and anger enmeshed in a pervasive sense
of anxiety, which seems to suggest that grand dreams in our land have very little capacity for
realization.'' - The curse of the obstinate patriarch, 06.01.2017, Prof Sasanka Perera,
http://groundviews.org/2017/01/08/the-curse-of-the-obstinate-patriarch/

''.................. If Mahinda Rajapaksas New Year wish comes true, it will happen not because of his
virtues, but because of the weaknesses and failures of his two main opponents.'' - Tisaranee
Gunasekara, 8 Jan 2017, http://groundviews.org/2017/01/08/the-regressive-second-year/

''If Sirisena were to unequivocally reiterate his commitment to abolish the executive presidency,
uncertainty around constitution making will vanish. Come on Mr President, whats holding you
back?'' - Many Irons in The Fire; President Sirisena Is The Enigma, Kumar David(retired academic
and social activist), 29 Jan 2017, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/many-irons-in-the-
fire-president-sirisena-is-the-enigma/

''............. The next few months will be a crucial test of whether Sirisena and Wickremesinghe are
serious about their reform and reconciliation promises. If so, they will need to put party interests at
least partly to the side and take the political risks needed to persuade their parliamentarians and the
Sinhala public to make the changes that can finally put Sri Lanka on the path to a just and lasting
peace.'' - Sri Lanka's Transition to Nowhere, Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka analyst for International Crisis
Group, 30 Jan 2017, http://thediplomat.com/2017/01/sri-lankas-transition-to-nowhere/

''This is an open letter submission to the leaders of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ)
initiated by late Most Reverend Maduluwawe Sobhitha, Purawesi Balaya and Federation of
University Teachers Association (FUTA), who were the shining stars that organized a collective, that
became a peoples movement and gave rise to the power booster force behind the Yahapanaya
commitment based political movement, which managed to achieve a regime change in 2015,
previously thought impossible by most citizens. ............ The NMSJ, Purawesi BALAYA and FUTA will
need to retrace the path and build again, a strong civil society collective led (facilitated by a network
alliance with the traditional media and social media and establishing effective communication
platform), Peoples Movement to enforce the Social Contract.'' - Yahaplana Catalysts Must Not
Betray Peoples Movement, Chandra Jayaratne(a member of Friday Forum, a group of eminent
citizens of Sri Lanka), 1 February 2017, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/yahapalana-
catalysts-must-not-betray-peoples-movement/

''......... The law setting up this mechanism(re MIssing Persons) was passed last year in Parliament but
has yet to be gazetted. This is reported to be on account of resistance to it by the defence
authorities who fear that it will be used against them in war crimes trials'' - Constitutional Reform to
the Fore Again, Jehan Perera(Chairman, National Peace Council of Sri Lanka), 6 Feb 2017,
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/constitutional-reform-to-the-fore-again/

The Good Governance Government should not ignore Sri Lankas slipping down on the World Rule of
Law Index , 6 Feb 2017, http://www.ft.lk/article/595936/The-Good-Governance-Government-
should-not-ignore-Sri-Lanka%E2%80%99s-slipping-down-on-the-World-Rule-of-Law-Index

Constitutional tensions and Mixed Messages, 11 Feb 2017,


http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=160173

. Since independence, political leaders in Sri Lanka have always played more towards the
SinhalaBuddhist gallery and failed to act as national leaders of all communities. This has become
bane for Sri Lanka. The earlier Sri Lanka realises this conundrum, the better for the people and their
future progeny. - Macrons Win Against Populism: Lessons Beyond France, Lukman Harees, 12 May
2017, http://groundviews.org/2017/05/12/macrons-win-against-populism-lessons-beyond-france/

The Sri Lankan government should immediately repudiate statements by the countrys justice
minister threatening to disbar a prominent lawyer for speaking out against attacks on religious
minorities. .. - Sri Lanka: Minister Threatens Defender of Minority Rights, 19 June 2017,
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/19/sri-lanka-minister-threatens-defender-minority-rights

.The first is reconciliation. People want to see peace among ethnic groups in this country which
went through a thirty-year war. That is the bottom line. There must be some consensus on that. The
government cant really avoid that responsibility which is a major issue in the country at the
moment. - Sri Lanka out of viable political options, Prof Siri Gamage, 1 July 2017,
http://srilankabrief.org/2017/07/sri-lanka-out-of-viable-political-options-prof-siri-hettige/ (Retired
Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Colombo)

Sri Lankas deepening political crisis: Not losing an opportunity to lose another opportunity,
*Jayadeva Uyangoda, 2 July 2017, http://groundviews.org/2017/07/02/sri-lankas-deepening-
political-crisis-not-losing-an-opportunity-to-lose-another-opportunity/
Sri Lankas current political impasse: Some additional thoughts, *Jayadeva Uyangoda, 4 July 2017,
http://groundviews.org/2017/07/04/sri-lankas-current-political-impasse-some-additional-thoughts/
*Retired Prof of Political Science(University of Colombo):

Maithri-Ranil Combo that was elected in successive elections, Presidential and Parliamentary, has
already wasted two and half years Rajapaksas Inc. vs. Maithri-Ranil Combo Or Corruption vs.
Yahapalanaya; The Jury Still Out, Vishwamitra, 5 July 2017,
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/rajapaksas-inc-vs-maithri-ranil-combo-or-
corruption-vs-yahapalanaya-the-jury-still-out/

Has the Govt. anti-corruption drive stalled again? EDITORIAL, 11 July 2017,
http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Has-the-Govt-anti-corruption-drive-stalled-again-EDITORIAL-
132581.html
Dangerous gamble: Shielding Rajapaksas from investigations, Ranga Jayasuriya, 11 July 2017,
http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Dangerous-gamble-Shielding-Rajapaksas-from-investigations-
132580.html

''This government has been in office for two years, and its agenda seems increasingly disconnected
from the hopes and expectations of those who elected it to office on the promise of good
governance ........... '' - Government Abuses Power, JO Acts As Spoilers Of The Nation: Friday Forum,
16 August 2017, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/government-abuses-power-jo-
acts-as-spoilers-of-the-nation-friday-forum/

'................ This is just one of virtually hundred such cases which have either been denied justice or
where the victims have waited so long that a conviction by itself, fails to bring any relief or redress
systemic problems. It is time that the Bar Association directs its collective mind to policy reforms
that correct such pervasive failures of justice rather than titling windmills at blathering politicians
who talk of corrupt judges and lawyers.'' - Tilting windmills at blathering politicians is no answer to
rule of law failures, Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, 10 September 2017,
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170910/columns/tilting-windmills-at-blathering-politicians-is-no-
answer-to-rule-of-law-failures-258751.html

The level of public disenchantment with the government has been on the rise due to its failure to
deliver on its election promises in other areas too. It is not only in the area of the economy that the
government has been underperforming. - Significance of Vision 2025 goes Beyond Economic
Development, National Peace Council, 11 September 2017, http://www.peace-srilanka.org/media-
centre/political-commentary/item/463-significance-of-vision-2025-goes-beyond-economic-
development-jehan-perera

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka appeals to the President to enact The International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill, 28 September 2017,
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Letter-to-President-Protection-
from-Enforced-Disapp-Bill-English.pdf
Thus two and a half years without Mahinda remains as much Rajapaksa as it was before. And that
for me is the most that can be written here on how the Sinhala factor with Mahinda remains
unchallenged yet. And it would remain so with no alternatives discussed for a plural and a secular
society, democracy remaining procedural and not functional. Rajaakse a Sinhala Selfie, a book
by Kusal Perera, Setember 2017

Access to a dissident website that often publishes articles critical of Sri Lanka's government has
been blocked in the country, the portal's administrators said Thursday, as activists expressed alarm
over deteriorating press freedom on the island.
The popular London-based Lanka E News became inaccessible in the country on Thursday, a day
after publishing an expose alleging graft within the office of President Maithripala Sirisena in the
procurement of state vehicles - Dissident website 'blocked' in Sri Lanka - AFP, 9 Nov 2017,
http://lankaenews.com/news/2402/en

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his teams attempts to change the
Constitution have been facing a series of obstacles. President Maithripala Sirisena and his Sri Lanka
Freedom Party (SLFP) are not enthusiastically backing the reforms initiative and almost all Buddhist
monks are opposed to any constitutional change. . Thus the biggest obstacle to the progress of
the constitutional reforms initiative comes from within the government, not outside. This is the real
political conundrum in Sri Lanka today.. - The Constitutional Conundrum, Jayadeva Uyangoda, 20
November 2017, http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-constitution-
conundrum/article20557870.ece

https://www.scribd.com/document/339506415/Sri-Lanka-Failure-of-New-Government-to-Keep-
Election-Promise-to-Adopt-Good-Governance