Sri Lanka: The Return to Ethnocracy

Issue Date January 2021
Volume 32
Issue 1
Page Numbers 96-110
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Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as president of Sri Lanka in November 2019 and the covid-19 pandemic have led to increased militarization, while the August 2020 landslide parliamentary victory of the new president’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and subsequent passage of the Twentieth Amendment have set the stage for authoritarian rule. With the Rajapaksa family dominating politics once more, Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists also seek to expand majoritarianism. Sri Lankans, however, take their right to vote seriously, and this combined with the economic challenges related to covid-19 may stem a return toward militarized ethnocracy.

About the Author

Neil DeVotta is professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University.

View all work by Neil DeVotta