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

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Rebuilding the Post-War North

If the Tamil National Alliance, consisting of a hodgepodge of actors, is to steady its course after winning elections to the Northern Province in Sri Lanka, Tamil professionals, intellectuals and leaders of social organisations need to become vocal about the economic concerns of Tamil population and in that process give substance to Tamil aspirations.

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.

Tribute to Neil Smith

For many of us, the Graduate Centre, City University of New York, in the heart of the city with all its com­plexities has been a political touchstone to test and articulate our political ideas and practices. Neil Smith was one radical intellectual who made it so. In the wee hours of 29 September we...

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.

Classes, States and the Politics of the Tamil Diaspora

The Tamil diaspora is not monolithic; it is differentiated by class, excludes certain castes and is gendered in its exploitation. The mobilisation of the diverse Tamil diaspora abroad and the rhetoric used have become the rationale for reinforcing the security establishment in Sri Lanka. A democratic Tamil leadership from within the country should challenge the larger Tamil diaspora to change course and work constructively towards building a plural and democratic society out of the ravages of war.

State Power, State Patronage and Elections in Sri Lanka

The call for early presidential elections, the Rajapaksa regime's decisions vis-a-vis the post-war situation and the announcement of ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka's candidacy have opened up some avenues for political dissent in Sri Lanka. But given a weak bourgeoisie, uneven development and the lack of a progressive third force, the elections, which are bound to witness the use of state patronage, would not mean much for the minorities or for the economically marginalised sections of Sri Lankan society. It is in this context that issues such as the devolution of power, the representation of minorities and demilitarisation need to be raised by progressive sections in the run-up to the elections.

Sri Lanka's Post-War Political Economy and the Question of Minorities

The decimation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam marks the end of Tamil nationalism of the variety that the authoritarian organisation espoused. But the "national question" in Sri Lanka and the legitimate aspirations of various minorities within the state, remain unanswered. These questions, along with the contradictions in the nation's political economy should determine the emergence of a new polity which should work towards reconciliation among various sections and for a lasting peace.

Sri Lanka on the Precipice

The report of the All Party Representative Committee on constitutional reform and the establishment of the commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations offer a glimmer of hope in Sri Lanka.

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