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Showing posts from 2014
Reading Election ManifestosDecember 27, 2014 | Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion | Posted by:  By Sumanasiri Liyanage - Sumanasiri Liyanage

Tariq Ali, once informed us that democracy will perish even before capitalism reaches its end. Does it imply a new phase of capitalism with the absence of democracy? In a way it is not a novel phenomenon since in its short history, not going beyond 300 years, capitalism and democracy have not always co-existed. Modern democracy was invented under capitalism, but it has not been an outcome of capitalism. It has been an outcome of multiple struggles waged by different social layers of society invariably against capitalism. Sri Lanka has witnessed a strong tendency towards authoritarianism since the advent of a constitution with executive presidential system as its constitutional architecture and neoliberalism as its economic framework. While the presidential system facilitated the introduction of neoliberalism the latter in its …
Can the LSSP be Revived?:  Reflecting on 79 Years of History
I live in Negombo. In 1956, this citadel of the UNP that was at that time supported by the Church was captured by LSSPer, Comrade Hector Fernando, a medical doctor by profession. When Lanka Samasamaja Party that is the oldest political party in Sri Lanka celebrates its 79th anniversary this month, the party seems to be in total disarray with two factions openly fighting with each other. A majority of the LSSP Central Committee has decided to support Mahinda Rajapaksa at the next presidential election while the minority wanted to back opposition candidate. When the decision was taken, it was not clear who the opposition candidate would be. Elsewhere (Vame Handa) I called the former LSSP (M) and the latter LSSP (R). It is imperative to note that letters M and R do not stand for Marxist and Revolutionary respectively. I used them for Mahinda and Ranil (at that I thought Ranil Wickramasinghe would be the main opposition candidate…
Will Maithree be forced to Commit Political Harakiri?
Power and tradition destroy good people. In Sri Lankan standard, Maithreepala Sirisena (MS) is a good politician. Resigning from the post of the general secretary of the SLFP and announcing that he will stand against President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) at the forthcoming presidential election would appear as a very courageous decision. Nonetheless, the events as unfolded may also give the impression that MS had become a secondary actor moved by other powerful political forces. In the political arena we have seen in the last ten years two parallel conflicts. Dynastic politics is not uncommon in this part of the world. Since independence we have witnessed many a political conflict between leading dynasties, Senanayaka- Bandaranaike, Bandaranaike-Wijewardena after the decline of Senanayakas in the late 1960s. Since 2005, we saw an emergence of a rural small dynasty that was ‘no-body’ and did not go beyond its power of influence from rem…
The Significance of FSP Candidacy in the Eighth Presidential Election Sumanasiri Liyanage
Mahinda Rajapaksa has to face his erstwhile colleague in the cabinet and the General Secretary of the SLFP, former Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming presidential election. Since many parties including the main opposition party, UNP, and civil society organizations have already decided to back Maithreepala's candidacy, he has now emerged as the main contender to the incumbent president. Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, one of the leading left parties has announced that it will boycott the presidential election although rumors are in the air that its central committee wanted Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, de facto leader of the parliamentary opposition to contest. It is in this context marked by the absence of JVP in the presidential race in spite of a 200% increase in its vote at the Uva Provincial Council election held some time ago, that the breakaway group of the JVP, Frontlin…