Archive | November, 2008

Is India reaping a harvest of hatred sown by Indians? We have seen it all before-a Sri Lankan perspective

As I write this, Indian security forces are still fighting terrorists in Mumbai, the financial capital of India and centre of its glamorous film industry. Over a hundred people are dead, gunned down by young men in a crazed Columbine style shooting of unarmed civilians. A previously unknown group called the Deccan Mujahedeen have claimed […]

We do not know what no one can deny: Stephen Champion’s Lanka War Stories

On 4th February 2008, as the government celebrated the 60th anniversary of our independence from Britain, it struck me strongly that we Sri Lankans are going round in circles. For some time it has been obvious that ordinary political science terminology and analysis are insufficient and reason inadequate to the strange and twisted trajectory of […]

The man who refused to be His Master’s Voice

Book review of: Palitha Perera Samaga Sajeeva Lesin (Live with Palitha Perera) Surasa Books, Colombo; 2008 ‘What does Palitha Perera know about culture? He’s just a cricket commentator!’ That’s how a senior banker reacted when veteran broadcaster and journalist Palitha Perera’s name was proposed as script writer and narrator for a TV documentary series on […]

So close and yet so far: From Pooneryn to peace in Sri Lanka

The military have now taken the strategic western town of Pooneryn, thus opening up the A-32 highway that links Mantota and the former along the western flank of the Northern Province. This would enable the linking up (via the causeway that traverses the Jaffna lagoon) of the peninsula with the mainland for the first time […]

Interview with Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a Sri Lankan Youth Activist

Interview with K. Guruparan, a well known Sri Lankan Youth Activist. Guru is a student at the Faculty of Law University of Colombo and the Founder of the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament based at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies. He is also associated with Beyond Borders and was an Action Partner for the Oxfam […]

American People Make History, Can We Sri Lankans Ever?

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan   In April 2008 I met an American national in Colombo who works for the World Bank in Washington, DC. At that time both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were contesting for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination and John McCain was already the sole contender for the Republican Party Presidential nomination. When we […]

Barack Obama: Hope for America, but not for the world?

Photo credit: CurrentTV Barack Obama has run perhaps the best organized and most inspiring of presidential campaigns in US political history. He has risen above sleazy political tactics, challenged stereotypes, eschewed divisiveness, focused on issues that are important to Americans, and maintained his poise and principles in the face of tremendous pressure from his opponents. […]


The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks […]

No we can’t? – Obama’s victory and Sri Lanka

“Obama avoth LTTE ekata vasiyak venewa kiyala kathawak ahala nedda?” (Haven’t you that if Obama wins, it may be advantageous to the LTTE?) Emigration and Customs official, Katunayake International Airport The discovery that I am interested in peacebuilding by an emigration or immigration officer at Katunayake is always an invitation for the brief discussion of […]

Interview with Austin Fernando, a Peacetime Secretary of Defence in Sri Lanka

Interview with Austin Fernando, former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and author of ‘My Belly is White: Reminiscences of a Peacetime Secretary of Defence‘ (reviewed on Groundviews in Sinhala here).  Austin, disarmingly charming and humble, was Defence Secretary when the Prime Minister at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe, signed the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement (CFA) with […]