ලංකාව LKĀVA
Also: ශ්‍රී ලංකා Śrī Lkā ; இலங்கை Ilaŋk .
Officially: ශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජය Śrī Lkā Prajātāntrīka Samājavādī Janarajaja ; இலங்கை ஜனநாயக சோஷலிசக் குடியரசு Ilaŋk Jaňanājaka Cōśalicak Kut̩ijaracu .
English: Sri Lanka.
Seat of government: කොළඹ Kol̩amba .
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. Parliament (පාර්ලිමේන්තුව Pārlimēntuva ) is elected in geographical constituencies modified by party-list proportional representation. Since 1978, the president has typically headed the government and appointed all ministers, but parliament has been ascendant at times as well, choosing the ministers and running domestic affairs.
Head of government: රනිල් වික්රමසිංහ Ranil Vikramasĩha , president (since 2022).
Assessment: Historically illiberal and dismissive of minority rights, and recently successful in its war to maintain control over the தமிழ் Tamiz minority. Presidents චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග Candrikā Kumāratũga (1994-2005) and මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ Mahinda Rājapaks̩a (2005-15) practiced chauvinist politics and appointed close relatives to high offices. කුමාරතුංග Kumāratũga seized several ministries in 2003 and then dissolved parliament to thwart autonomy for ஈழம் Īzam , which the එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය Eksat Jātika Paks̩aja , effectively governing since a parliamentary win in 2001, under prime minister රනිල් වික්රමසිංහ Ranil Vikramasĩha (1993-4, 2001-4, 2015-9, 2022-), was willing to grant. The එක්සත් ජනතා නිදහස් සන්ධානය Eksat Janatā Nidahas Sand‛ānaja (chiefly ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂය Śrī Lkā Nidahas Paks̩aja ) became the largest party in parliament in 2004, and began governing in a minority coalition with parties even more nationalist and intransigent. But the defection of tens of opposition members gave the government a majority, while damaging interfactional relations. An offensive (2006-9) against ஈழம் Īzam brought all of the island under a single government for the first time in decades. Capitalizing on this, රාජපක්ෂ Rājapaks̩a called an early election in 2010 and won; he then extended his new term by a year, arrested his main opponent (former military commander සරත් ෆොන්සේකා Sarat Fonsēkā ), and dissolved parliament for snap elections. Those elections, also held in 2010, were won easily by the සන්ධානය Sand‛ānaja . රාජපක්ෂ Rājapaks̩a called another early presidential election for 2015, but lost to මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන Mtrīpāla Sirisēna (2015-9), standing for a united opposition and promising a parliamentary system. He appointed වික්රමසිංහ Vikramasĩha as prime minister; the latters party then won a plurality in parliamentary elections. In 2018, සිරිසේන Sirisēna tried to dismiss වික්රමසිංහ Vikramasĩha and replace him with රාජපක්ෂ Rājapaks̩a , but වික්රමසිංහ Vikramasĩha challenged this and the parliament rejected රාජපක්ෂ Rājapaks̩a . A 2019 election for president saw ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ Gōt̩‛āb‛aja Rājapaks̩a (2019-22), brother of මහින්ද Mahinda and de facto defense minister during the reconquest, defeat සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස Sajit Prēmadāsa . ගෝඨාභය Gōt̩‛āb‛aja appointed මහින්ද Mahinda as prime minister (2004-5, 2019-22), but worked to reconcentrate power in the presidency. The එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය Eksat Jātika Paks̩aja joined an opposition coalition ahead of the 2020 parliamentary elections, but pulled out shortly before; the coalition, සමගි ජනබලවේගය Samagi Jana-balavēgaja , won nearly all of the opposition seats, while the pro-රාජපක්ෂ Rājapaks̩a vote migrated to the ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ Śrī Lkā Podujana Peramun̩a , which won a large plurality (thus leaving the two traditional major parties simultaneously obliterated). Protests in 2022, mostly over economics, led first to the resignation of මහින්ද Mahinda , who was replaced by වික්රමසිංහ Vikramasĩha , and then, a few months later, to the flight and resignation of ගෝඨාභය Gōt̩‛āb‛aja ; වික්රමසිංහ Vikramasĩha was then chosen by parliament to replace him as well.
FH: 4-4, partly free (democratic). Econ: 6.61 (57), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2022 July 20.

ஈழம் Īzam
Also: தமிழ் ஈழம் Tamiz Īzam .
English: Tamil Eelam.
Seat of government: கிளிநொச்சி Kil̩inocci .
Status: Defunct; not democratic.
Structure: Military state.
Governing party:
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் Tamizīza Vit̩utalp Pulikal̩ .
Head of government: வேலுப்பிள்ளை பிரபாகரன் Vēluppil̩l̩ Pirapākaraň .
Recent history: The ruling party, a brutal and undemocratic force but representative of a genuine grievance, pledged in negotiations with ශ්‍රී ලංකා Śrī Lkā to operate more as a political force, and to practice pluralism in the areas they controlled. They also announced a willingness to accept autonomy rather than full independence, and presented a plan for autonomy. Their தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பு Tamizt Tēcijak Kūt̩t̩amppu placed third in island-wide parliamentary voting in 2004, but the subsequent government of ශ්‍රී ලංකා Śrī Lkā was less open to negotiation, and engaged in an effective military offensive. It captured கிளிநொச்சி Kil̩inocci , and eventually all of the unrecognized states territory, and killed பிரபாகரன் Pirapākaraň .
Updated: 2009 May 22.
 

O.T. FORD