Archive | August, 2008

WOMEN IN CONFLICT – An interview with American filmmaker based in Sri Lanka, Lisa Kois

[Editors note: This interview was conducted in April 2006]   Lisa Kois is a brave filmmaker, working right at the heart of today’s dangerous and on going civil conflict in Sri Lanka. Her movie and television series on Sri Lanka’s war have won her numerous international awards; she talks to Hugh Bohane, about her experiences […]

Misguided cultural policing in Sri Lanka: Where’s the morality amongst politicians?

No more scantily clad foreign cheerleaders at cricket matches in Sri Lanka as it goes against our “culture”, the Minister of Sports and Public Recreation Gamini Lokuge recently decreed. He was awakened to this “foreign evil” by the Minister of Cultural Affairs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, after seeing them at the first one-day match between India […]

Defense and Devolution

Just as it did at the moment of decolonization and independence, the visible post-war moment provides a rare historic opportunity for nation building and the construction of national identity. We missed the first chance, but must not miss the second. In his nationally televised dialogue with audiences in several areas on Tuesday August 19th, President […]

The Rajapakse regime: Rewarding the corrupt and sheltering the criminal?

If there is one thing that is crystal clear about the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, it is that it rewards wrong doers and punishes the righteous. The President’s decision to include the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera in his delegation to China for the opening ceremony of the Olympic games days is a case in point. Just […]

Peace in Sri Lanka: Negotiating with the Northern ‘Separatists’?

Dr. Colin Irwin Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool August 2008   About this poll Peace was achieved in Northern Ireland, after many years of bitter conflict, failed negotiations and broken ceasefires only when all the parties to the conflict and the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland were brought together in the same […]


The devolution debate has been sharpened by the highly interesting and significant results of the public opinion poll recently conducted in Tamil Nadu, with regard to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue and its internal arrangements. The poll has had the effect of strengthening both pro and anti-devolution camps in their chosen opinions. I suggest that a […]

Why integration with India is the only long-term way out for Lanka

Lanka: Where to cut the Gordian knot Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see; and then when discerned in a flash of blinding light it does indeed seem so obvious. Lanka will never, never ever, settle its national question, or its ethnic conflict if you prefer this terminology, within its own parameters. That […]

A Year of Anniversaries – From Puran Appu to the Hartal

This is a year beaded as a necklace with anniversaries. Some are past us, some ahead. Some are international, the others national. Some are of heroism, others of tragedy and darkness. All are significant. All teach us something, provide occasions for reflection. Internationally it was the 40th commemoration of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the […]

Provincial Election Campaign: Battling for the Centre?

Today, the UNP, the SLFP and the JVP have zeroed-in all their resources to the Sabaragamuwa and North Central provinces.  Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Pradeshiya Sabha politicians across the country have all been entrusted with specific tasks in this provincial council election campaign.  These tasks are based on their individual capacities. Some of […]