TIME Asia: Battle for Sri Lanka. ⇒

   16 November 2005, late evening

An article and links to some interviews on the upcomming election in Sri Lanka.

This is a post from my link log: If you click the title of this post you will be taken the web page I am discussing.



  1. Why does the choice seem so obvious…

    Nittewa has some good election coverage, so does indi.ca.

  2. I would agree the choice between the two main candidates seems pretty obvious to me as well, but I think the best thing the Tamil community their can do is boycott the election. Voting gives the government some legitimacy I don’t think it has or deserves. Of course, it’s easy for me to say boycott since I live in Canada. I also think things will probably be better for the country should the candidate that is not a crazy JVP backed nationalist win.

    Thanks for linking to the second site, I hadn’t seen it before.

  3. I think boycotting is a bad move. Tamils have to become part of the political process if any legit peace is to be achieved.

    Ignoring it just increases the chances for war (mahinda wins), how does that help tamils?

  4. Mahinda is definitely the worse candidate. And I would agree things will be much worse should he win. Still, how long have successive governments had to actually do something proactive to improve the status of the Tamils on the Island? I haven’t followed the politics in the country long enough to really know what the election talk was like last time around, or the time before that. I imagine much of the same stuff Ranil has been saying as been said before. Ranil is appealing to the Tamil voter base, but I don’t think he has a sincere interest in the interests of the Tamil people. Voting for Ranil because he’s a less crap candidate is a cop-out. The Tamils are for all intents and purposes completely outside the political process. What’s the point of coming out to vote on the 17th, and then sitting outside again? (Well I guess to try and avoid a war, which is your point. Like I said, things are simple here in Canada. Also, I hope Ranil wins.)

  5. That’s a pretty uninformed comment, Ram. Ranil is the one who negotiated the CFA, he’s one of the only people who seems to be forward thinking and relatively unconstrained by dogma and rhetoric.

    This election is significant because it’s the end of Kumaratunga’s rule (she’s led Sri Lanka for over a decade). I’m not sure if it could be called a watershed moment but it isn’t insignificant to tamils by any stretch. The differences between the two candidates couldnt be much more stark.

    Ranil has already shown he has tangible progress in mind, he obviously isnt just all talk. I think it would be incredibly ironic if Mahinda won because Tamils decided it wasnt worth it to vote.

    more on the two candidates

  6. You’re probably right about me being too cynical about Ranil. (Update: I should add, if my earlier comment wasn't clear, I want Ranil to win, and I think Mahinda will be bad for the country. I just have little to no faith in the political processes of the country.)

  7. Polling for the Sri Lankan election should have ended by now. We know have to wait and see who wins. A win for Mahinda, who is backed by some hard-line nationalist parties will probably not bode well for peace in Sri Lanka. Over at the BBC, Sri Lankan voters answer reader questions about the election. The early reports suggest that the Tamils in Jaffna decided to stay home this time. I suspect we’ll here similar stories from the East, as the Tigers aren’t providing transport outside of the areas they controlled to the areas where people can vote.

  8. Here’s a good read: Sri Lanka's Presidential Election: Tamils explain why they will not vote.

  9. I’m tossed up about this notion of abandoning the vote entirely. That combined with my complete ignorance about the situation in the past 3 months means I have no idea how this election will turn out.

    However, it will be an interesting experiment to see if a moderate can win without the Tamil vote in such an ultra-nationalistic society.

  10. It’s not just the fact that the country is so jingoistic (I learnt a new word today). Ranil’s basically a right-wing politician in terms of fiscal policy, and that isn’t going to go over well in a country as poor as Sri Lanka.

  11. Seems the bad one won, cancel your vacation plans! Thanks for the roadblocks!

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