2020 will define Sri Lanka’s entire 21st Century story. Prosperity with the SLPP, or poverty under Ranil and Sirisena.
As the dust settles on the outcome of the no-confidence motion of April 4th, it is clear that on the face of it, nothing has changed. The illegitimate UNP-SLFP coalition which no one voted for continues to muddle its way from crisis to crisis.
Sirisena has refused to accept the resignations of the SLFP ministers who voted against Ranil. Sirisena’s actions on the eve of the no-confidence vote and afterwards show that his betrayal against the Rajapaksas in 2014 was the only betrayal he will commit. He is now wedded to Ranil and will never do anything to oppose or harm his partner. For his part, Ranil has even gone so far as to order his MPs to withdraw the counter-no-confidence motion his own side submitted against those same errant SLFP ministers. With this, the SLFP has finally arrived in the dustbin of history.
And so it is time to look forward to 2020. For me, “2020” is a catch-all term for the raft of policy decisions, political events, and elections that are due between now and the final stabilization of a new government. This process will probably take until late 2020 or early 2021 to complete. “2020” in the sense I use the term is not just about the year 2020 or the election due in that year, but is also about the shifts in the forces of history which will shape our destiny and reveal to us what the rest of this century will be like for Sri Lanka.