Post-War Democracy Building Initiatives in Sri Lanka: Lessons Learned (2015-2019)

“Post-War Democracy Building Initiatives in Sri Lanka: Lessons Learned (2015-2019)” is the outcome of
the research conducted by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies funded under Think Tank Capacity
Building Project implemented by the Rule of Law Collaborative, University of South Carolina. The
Research Team included Prof. Gamini Keerawella,Prof. Sarjoon Athambawa, Dr. Menik Wakkumbura, Dr.
Ramesh Ramasamy, Ms. Shavini De Silva, Ms. Nimmi Jayathilake and Ms. Savithri Sellapperuma.
Sri Lanka was standing on a critical historical juncture at the end of the long-drawn civil war in May,
2009, with many crossroads before the victorious regime. The end of the war in 2009 could have been a
turning point in post-colonial Sri Lankan history if President Mahinda Rajapaksa had used this historic
opportunity and the space to embark on much-needed democratic political reforms. The continuation of
the same political practice for five years after the end of the war created a widespread popular urge for
political reforms. Hence, the tenure of the National Unity Government (2015-2019) stands as a unique
democratic reform experiment in Sri Lanka since independence. It marked the first substantive political
reform initiative in the post-war context. In this backdrop, the research examines why the 2015-2019
democratic reform agenda in Sri Lanka stalled during the middle of the course despite all the hype and
popular support for political reforms at the beginning.

To read the full research report check out the link below: