Mains Paper 2 : International Relation
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Sri Lanka political crisis
The resignation of nine Muslim ministers and two governors in Sri Lanka
is telling of how much and how swiftly the country has changed in the six
weeks since the Easter bombings that killed more than 250 people.
The attacks were carried out by a group of radicalised Muslims, later
claimed by ISIS as its own.
Security forces mopped up remnants of the group within days, arresting
scores of people with active help from the wider Muslim community, which had
long red-flagged the existence of these rotten apples to the authorities but
to little effect.
But even as this process continues and investigators are probing the
networks of the perpetrators, there are other forces at work digging the
crack between the majority Sinhala Buddhist community and the minority
Muslims, widening and deepening it by the day.
Political tussle between Prime Minister and President
It is unfortunate that the leadership of the country divided between a
prime minister and president who see each other as rivals in the
presidential elections later this year, and both threatened by a former
president has done nothing to calm matters.
In fact, they have done the opposite, by allowing majoritarian minded
Buddhist monks to seize the agenda and dictate terms.
Accused by Sinhala Buddhist extremists of “appeasement” of the Muslim
community for votes, the present dispensation appears completely to have
surrendered to these forces.
The first sign was the imposition of a ban on face veils worn by women,
then the laissez faire attitude as rioters targeted Muslims.
Clearly the top leadership of the country believes that any attempt to
stop these majoritarian forces will go against them at the elections.
The resignations came after a hunger strike by a monk demanding that the
two governors step down because of their alleged links to those who carried
out the Easter attacks.
The ministers resigned in solidarity, demanding that the allegations be
established by due process instead of by word of mouth.
Among those who visited the fasting monk was another man in saffron
robes, who was in jail for instigating anti-Muslim violence in the past,
until he was freed recently following a questionable presidential pardon.
Sri Lanka has been here before.
It was the Tamils then, and it took a long and brutal war to learn that
majoritarianism is not a workable political model in plural societies, even
in those that do not call themselves secular.
It is unfortunate that those lessons have been forgotten so quickly.
Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding 'Procedure established by
law ': 1. It restricts the functions of judiciary to access fundamental fairness,
justice, and liberty of any legislation.
2. It can declare laws violative of rights void not only on substantive grounds
of being unlawful, but also on procedural grounds of being unreasonable.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) The resignation of Muslim ministers, governors in Sri Lanka reflect a
widening faultline. Comment.