Sri Lanka slides towards autocracy

Sri Lanka’s parliament has approved a raft of changes to its constitution, giving more power to the President and prompting concerns of a slide towards autocracy.

The changes will allow President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a third term and remove some of the checks on executive power. The President comfortably secured the two-thirds majority of Parliamentary votes needed to pass the changes on Wednesday. The main opposition United National Party boycotted the vote, with one MP calling it the “death of democracy” for Sri Lanka.

Presenter: Sen Lam

Speaker: Gordon Weiss, a former senior UN official in Sri Lanka