Riding the Wave
Sri Lankan society is moving forward, bolstered by the victory over the LTTE, though many wonder how long will the magic last.
Sri Lanka went for yet another phase of elections, this time for 65 local government bodies on July 23. Elections, national and local, have become a regular aspect of the Sri Lankan politics, despite the conventional wisdom that the country is steadily losing its democratic characteristic. The next phase of elections for the rest of the local governance bodies will be held before the end of this year according to the government sources.
The government won all of the local authorities in the predominantly Sinhala South. This was in a way a surprise, because many people including some of the hardcore supporters of the regime believed that the popularity of the government was on the wane. Needless to say that the appeal of the government, especially the President, shot up with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Taking advantage of the public euphoria created by the war victory the government won the presiden- tial election and the parliamentary election in January and April 2010 respectively. Confident of the popular support, the government, in order to keep the momentum going, phased out the local government elections rather than having them on one day. The strategy seems to be working.
It is however, clear that the endorsement the government enjoyed in the aftermath of the war victory is eroding. Serious criticisms have been leveled in the recent past. Cor-