Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for August, 2013

Weliweriya and the challenge of demilitarizing the North

Posted by harimpeiris on August 8, 2013

Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, a former military spokesman and decorated combat officer, assumed duties on the 1st of August 2013 as the 20th commander of the Sri Lanka Army. No former commander ever assumed duties under more inauspicious circumstances for barely had the ceremonial takeover of command concluded than straightaway came reports that the Sri Lanka Army had clashed with unarmed protesters in Weliveriya in the Gampaha District, with scores injured and several dead.   Read the rest of this entry »

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CHOGM dictates moderation to the Rajapakse Administration

Posted by harimpeiris on August 1, 2013

The Rajapakse Administration is gearing up to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) later this year, in November. Last weekend’s news papers carried an interesting comment attributed to President Rajapakse that his government must be cautious that it does not face a repeat of history of a previous SLFP government, under Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike, which also very successfully hosted a significant international conference,   the Non Aligned Movements’ (NAM) heads of government summit in 1976 but thereafter comprehensively lost the general elections, shortly thereafter in 1977. From which political wilderness, the SLFP did not come back for seventeen long years, until under former President Chandrika Kumaratunga the SLFP led People’s Alliance, in 1994 defeated the UNP. A state of affairs, which except for a brief and rather unsuccessful co-habitation experience for two years in 2002 and 2003, continues nineteen years hence, of which the past seven years has been under President Rajapakse. Read the rest of this entry »

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