Siow Yue Chia: The purpose of this paper is to study the dramatic shift in the Sri Lankan political regime against the backdrop of longer-term sociopolitical development in the post-independence era, the determinants of this shift and its implications for development prospects of the country, and the resolution of the ethnic conflict. My assessment of the paper has three components.

First, this is an important paper, looking at the link between political developments and economic outcomes in Sri Lanka. Economists tend to neglect the role of politics in economic decision making and implementation. What are the lessons of the Sri Lankan experience for other developing countries?

Second, this long paper needs shortening for publication and a rebalancing between political and economic analyses. In particular, the detailed discussion of political developments could be shortened and synthesized, and more discussion and analysis focused on the economic questions, such as: Why did...

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