Sri Lanka's acting president on Monday declared a state of emergency giving him broad authority amid growing protests demanding his resignation two days before the country's lawmakers are set to elect a new president. Ranil Wickremesinghe became acting president on Friday after his predecessor, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled abroad and resigned after monthslong mass protests over the country's economic collapse. (CTV News)
Narendra Subramanian, Full Professor, Department of Political Science
“The popular movement that forced the resignation of Sri Lanka’s President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arose in response to a serious economic crisis caused by irresponsible governance and authoritarian tendencies that increased under the rule of the Rajapaksa family for all but four of the last seventeen years. Its success in enforcing a transition and its pan-ethnic character in a country wrought by prolonged ethnic conflict are heartening. But the changes henceforth in Sri Lankan politics remain indeterminate because all the parties in parliament are associated with the current forms of barely democratic rule, the mass movement (“the struggle”) is not associated with a clear alternative governance strategy, and its influence over future policies remains uncertain.”
Narendra Subramanian is a Full Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Political Science. His research areas include comparative government and politics, identity politics, political parties and social movements.
narendra.subramanian [at] mcgill.ca (English, Hindi, Tamil)