Shifting Tides in South Asia: Sri Lanka’s Postwar Descent

Issue Date April 2014
Volume 25
Issue 2
Page Numbers 146-158
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While many had hoped that the end of Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war in May 2009 might bring about a restoration of the rule of law and reconciliation between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority, the government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa has continued its march down the authoritarian path. By further centralizing power under his office and family, by transforming the parliament and judiciary into veritable arms of the executive, and by promoting a culture of impunity whereby political elites and military personnel face little or no consequences for their blatant violations of human rights and malfeasance, the Rajapaksa regime has presided over one of the island’s worst episodes of democratic regression.