Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sri Lanka in crisis once again

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Sri Lanka in crisis once again

Sri Lanka has descended into political crisis after President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that he was involved in an assassination plot. He has been replaced by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is trying to muster a parliamentary majority. Much rides on the outcome of this struggle: Wickremesinghe and Rajapaska have opposing views of Sri Lanka's geopolitical orientation. Sirisena was elected president in January 2015, defeating Rajapaska, the incumbent who had held office for a decade. Sirisena was a former member of the ruling coalition. He broke with his ally, asserting that country was devolving into corrupt, "one-family" rule. After winning the January vote, he introduced reforms that focused on good governance and he and his supporters prevailed in a parliamentary vote later that year. Sirisena appointed Wickremesinghe, who had served as prime minister before Rajapaksa took power in 2005, to his former post. His government promoted economic reform and the rule of law, along with national reconciliation following a bloody 25-year civil war against Tamil separatists that Rajapaksa had waged and won. There were tensions between the president and prime minister from the start of their alliance. While the new government promoted democratic reforms and Rajapaksa's nepotism ended and his grip on the economy was broken, there was little if any accounting for crimes - economic or war-related - committed by the former government. There were reports that the new president did not endorse investigations into human-rights abuses committed during the civil war. Moreover, growth slowed, which contributed to the erosion of public support for the government. Reportedly, Wickrem-esinghe's decision to give a port development project to India - a move that Sirisena opposed, ended their partnership. — Japan Times

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