12 April, 2021

A Pride Of Lion-Tamers

Sirisena’s mandate for change has its political limitations. Yet he mustn’t squander his goodwill.

A Pride Of Lion-Tamers

What Sirisena Needs To Accomplish

  • Put Sri Lanka back on track of true and inclusive democracy
  • Change the executive presidency to a constitutional one
  • Probe charges of nepotism and human rights violation by Rajapaksa
  • Take steps to look for a political resolution to the Tamil question
  • Reach out to the various minorities to make them stakeholders in Sri Lanka’s progress


In August 2014, after a week of reporting in war-ravaged north Sri Lanka, I took a state transport bus back to Colombo in the south. The three-decade-long civil war had ended five years earlier, and though the relaid A9 highway was smooth as silk, on either side of it, bombed ruins and shattered trees alternated with little army-run hotels and shops. Tamil civilians in the packed bus were talking, napping, looking at what was left of the land they once knew. I sat near a frail old woman holding a green plastic doll on her lap for her four-year-old granddaughter. We...

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