Militarization and impunity in Sri Lanka

Authored by: Øivind Fuglerud

Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367486747
eBook ISBN: 9781003042211
Adobe ISBN:


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In the time that has passed since Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected president of Sri Lanka in November 2019 the country has been set on a new and authoritarian course. The new government has withdrawn its support for UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1, which stipulated the implementation of a number of transitional justice measures to provide redress to civilian victims of human rights violations committed during the civil war. Instead, military personnel have been installed in powerful positions, many of them suspected of being responsible for war crimes. The chapter traces the phenomena of militarization and impunity in Sri Lanka through time, and argues that the 2019 presidential election represents a turn towards autocracy in that military circles close to the president, supported by an ideology of ethnic majoritarianism, are now increasingly asserting control over civil government functions.

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