News & events
18 Aug 2015 – 18 Aug 2016: A Glance The Rights Situation by INFORM
The parliamentary elections of August 2015 brought into power a coalition government between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), the two major political parties that had ruled Sri Lanka since independence from the British in 1948. - INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, 2016
This elections reaffirmed the leader of the UNP as the Prime Minister, to work with the leader of the SLFP who had been elected as President in January 2015. The alliance also receives the support of major political parties representing ethnic minorities, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), despite the TNA leader being the Opposition Leader. A faction of the SLFP and some smaller parties, calling themselves “Joint Opposition”, remain loyal to defeated former President Rajapakse and opposed to the ruling alliance. But despite street protests and vocal outbursts over media, their strength in parliament appears to be less than 50 out of 225, way below the required strength to oppose even constitutional changes which requires two thirds majority.
This political configuration, and ruling alliance’s links to progressive intellectuals, artists, clergy, lawyers, journalists, trade unions and activists, as well as international goodwill, has opened up unprecedented possibilities for radical reforms towards ethnic and religious reconciliation, rights, democratization and sustainable development. But after one year, despite significant gains, hopes are going down.
Read the full report here.