[Originally published on 31 August 2021]
The political sphere of Sri Lanka, with its feudalistic and clientelist fault lines, is a space where ‘liberal’ political discourses and praxes are unwelcome. It is a polity where ethno-nationalist majoritarianism, in the form of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism, is a sure trump card to succeed in electoral politics. Similarly, affiliations to other conservative religious establishments, including the Catholic church, are extremely helpful in climbing the political ladder. In such a polity, the politician who wishes to stand on the ‘middle ground’, advocate for the rights of all citizens irrespective of ethnicity, language, class, caste, sexuality, gender identity, or any other factor, is faced with substantial challenges. A path of this nature is indeed an uphill struggle, a swim against the tide.
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