A major political crisis is underway in Sri Lanka following President Maithripala Sirisena’s sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, replacing him former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and finally the dissolution of parliament. There are now multiple petitions now pending before the country’s Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Sirisena’s actions.
Meanwhile, if general elections were allowed, Rajapaksa’s chances of returning to power look good given that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party – which he formally joined just a few days ago – came out on top in local elections in February. 
During Rajapaksa’s tenure as President from 2005 to 2015, the Chinese had begun to gradually involve themselves in Sri Lankan politics. Continue reading Political Crisis in Sri Lanka: Little Risk for China
Originally published as जबिन टी. जेकब, “चीन में परिवर्तन की राह में असमंजस,” Business Bhaskar, 7 March 2013, p. 4.
The Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) together form the equivalent of China’s national parliament broadly representing a lower house and upper house respectively. The 12th NPC will ‘elect’ China’s new President and the Premier – Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang respectively – who were in fact decided by the 18th Communist Party (CPC) Congress in November last year. It is also the 18th CPC Central Committee that has approved the candidates for China’s new cabinet of ministers (or the State Council) and the heads of China’s equivalent of the Supreme Court and of its investigative and prosecution agencies.
While the Party continues to be the more powerful than the government in China, the symbols of state such as the NPC are increasingly vocal. This 12th NPC will see discussion over a variety of topics that will keep China’s new leaders engaged over the next decade. Continue reading China’s ‘Parliament’: Clear and Present Challenges
Xi Jinping has, as expected, taken over as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its 18th National Congress. The new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) also includes Li Keqiang (like Xi, a member of the previous PBSC), Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli.
Representing the fifth-generation of China’s communist leaders after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi and his team have some onerous tasks to gear up to. While the rest of the world, including India, can often focus only on China’s increasing global economic imprint and its rapid military modernization, for China’s leaders themselves the most important concerns have always been domestic ones. And of these, none are as important as the ones about maintaining social stability and the necessity of political reform.
The new PBSC is widely perceived by Western and Chinese observers as being short of genuine political reformers. Further, quite a few on the new PBSC – including Xi himself – have depended on their identity as members of elite communist families to rise to their current posts. In this sense, there is much similarity with the Indian political scene. The cabinet reshuffle by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month for example, had several young representatives of India’s own elite political families climbing into more senior positions. Continue reading New Leadership in China: Quo Vadis Political Reform?
(original version in English follows below Malayalam text)
ദശാബ്ദത്തിലൊരിക്കല് നടക്കുന്ന നേതൃമാറ്റം പൂര്ത്തീകരിച്ച് ചൈനീസ് കമ്യൂണിസ്റ്റ്പാര്ട്ടി (സി.പി.സി.)യുടെ 18-ാം കോണ്ഗ്രസ് ഈയിടെ ബെയ്ജിങ്ങില് സമാപിച്ചല്ലോ. ഹു ജിന്താവോയ്ക്കുകീഴില് പ്രവര്ത്തിച്ച നാലാംതലമുറ നേതൃത്വം ഷി ജിന്പിങ്ങിനുപിന്നില് അണിനിരക്കുന്ന അഞ്ചാംതലമുറയ്ക്ക് ചുമതല കൈമാറി. ചൈനയുടെ രാഷ്ട്രീയവും സാമ്പത്തികവും സൈനികവുമായ വളര്ച്ചയെ ലോകം ആരാധനയോടെയോ അങ്കലാപ്പോടെയോ നോക്കിക്കാണുമ്പോഴും രാജ്യം നേരിടുന്ന നിരവധി ആഭ്യന്തര വെല്ലുവിളികളിലാണ് സി.പി.സി.യുടെ 18-ാം കോണ്ഗ്രസ് ശ്രദ്ധയൂന്നിയത്. Continue reading Post-China’s 18th Party Congress: Socioeconomic Challenges Paramount
The Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding in July this year. From being unambiguously communist in ideology and a party of the masses, the CPC today is an elitist organization that has under its canopy competing factions with differing economic philosophies united only by a common desire to preserve the Party in power.
To take a China-India comparison, one might ask – is the CPC evolving into the equivalent of India’s Congress (I)? Continue reading Grand Old Parties: The Chinese Communist Party and the Congress (I)