Sri Lanka’s Parliament accused of perpetuating majority rule
Posted on October 6th, 2017

 Courtesy The Washington Post

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — As lawmakers in Sri Lanka celebrate the 70th anniversary of one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in Asia, minorities including Tamils, Christians and Muslims remain on the fringes of society.

They have some representation in Parliament but say they are sidelined by Buddhist Sinhalese, who are the majority in the country and control the legislature. It has done little to heal the wounds from a quarter-century civil war that ended in 2009 and still refuses to acknowledge or investigate allegations of wartime atrocities.

The legislature has been accused of perpetuating rule by the Sinhalese, who are 70 percent of the population, instead of unifying the multicultural nation.

With tensions growing, some, including the prime minister, have questioned whether Sri Lanka has been successful in building a nation.

We started 1947 as a united people, but over the past years we had an ethnic conflict … to the point of a civil war,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a special session of Parliament on Tuesday to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

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