ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Ahilan Kadirgamar

The Unravelling of the Global Political Economy and Sri Lanka’s IMF Solution

Sri Lanka faces an uncertain path to obtaining bailout funding from the International Monetary Fund, while the existing terms of the agreement itself will exacerbate the ongoing economic crisis. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s difficulty in securing the consent of bilateral and private creditors amid great power rivalry reflects the unravelling of the global order. Is there an alternative to austerity in this conjuncture, including possibilities for self-sufficiency?

The Political Economy of the Crisis in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic downturn since independence. The economic establishment is proposing austerity to continue the neo-liberal trajectory, which the working people are bound to resist. Will this conjuncture lead to a progressive social contract between the state and the people based on democratic alternatives of redistribution or further repressive liberalisation with dispossession?

Second Wave of Neoliberalism: Financialisation and Crisis in Post-War Sri Lanka

Altering the economic and social landscape of Sri Lanka, the neoliberal policies pursued by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government have exacerbated inequitable development, indebtedness, and the marginalisation of the Muslim and Tamil minorities. Whether the crisis in the economy would lead to political changes that will reverse the economic slide and ethnic polarisation, remains to be seen. 

The Question of Militarisation in Post-war Sri Lanka

A political economic study of militarisation in Sri Lanka must situate it within the neo-liberal transformation of the country, the changing role of the state in the economy this has entailed, and the state-society model which has enabled regime consolidation through significant electoral victories. The international image of the military as a force of untrammelled power within Sri Lanka and the image being constructed within Sri Lanka of the military as capable of winning all battles are both flawed and undermine progressive politics. The need is for serious analysis and a far-reaching debate on militarisation which can enable dissent and contribute towards post-war democratisation.

Transforming the University Teachers' Strike into a Movement for Democracy

Sri Lanka's Federation of University Teachers Association strike has crippled the state university system. The strikers' demands range from salary increases to an increase in state investment in the education sector. The strike is beginning to gain greater and greater public support as there is widespread recognition of the crisis in the education sector.

Legitimacy and Crisis in Sri Lanka

Newer challenges to the legitimacy of the regime and the state have emerged in Sri Lanka - primarily through international pressure given its dirty war record and on its failure to act upon promises to resolve the ethnic conflict, apart from the deepening of the economic crisis in the island. It is expected that state brutality and repression are likely to be unleashed on social struggles within the country, whose successes depend upon bringing about reconciliation among the various ethnic groups apart from privileging class in such struggles.

Local Elections in Post-war Jaffna

The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime's approach to the Tamil community in the North is not one that can heal the wounds of a devastated people. The people responded in the ballots for elections to local bodies in the Northern Province with dignity. If there is a larger lesson to be learned from the elections, it is that there are limits to the political muscle of party machines and patronage.