Archive | July, 2009

Taking a page from Chechnya: Sri Lanka’s insincere constitutional reform and its apologists

[Editors note: This post which first came to me through Facebook was forwarded to Dayan for comment. His response follows. The emphasis at the end of the article is mine. It is hoped that Aacharya and Dayan will continue this debate along with others on this site, which is more open than Facebook to this […]

Sinusoidal nature of the JVP Policy on the National Question

The recent interview the JVP leader, comrade Somawansa Amarsinghe, conducted with Sanjana Hattotuwa and published on Groundviews clearly demonstrates the limitations, fluctuations and the non-cohesive nature of the JVP’s policy position regarding the national question. The ruling elite and the bourgeois-nationalist intelligentsia belonging to all the communities contributed to spreading and reinforcing ultra-nationalism and chauvinism […]

The way forward in Sri Lanka: Demilitarisation, the rule of law and democratisation

The way forward in Sri Lanka involves demilitarisation, restoration of the rule of law, and democratisation. These are interlinked so closely that it is impossible to separate them, and on their fulfilment depends not only the political future of Sri Lanka, but also its economic survival. The Fate of Internally Displaced People Perhaps the most […]

Sending Dayan home: the triumph of folly in Sri Lankan politics?

I was tempted to write this article after a few days of reading different news reports about the ‘sacking’ of His Excellency Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Different explanations have been provided by different quarters about the ‘reasons’ that led to Colombo’s decision to recall its most […]

Out in the Wilderness – Dayan Jayatilleka on 13th Amendment and getting sacked by Boggles

Sri Lanka’s soon-to-be-ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva took time off from his busy schedule of sipping martinis, getting up the American’s noses, and fighting on the Western Front, to have a little chat with us. This is his first interview since the Foreign Ministry announced that he has been recalled from Geneva, […]

Beyond the time-warp in Sri Lanka

‘About 2000 years ago the Sinhala people started facing the dreadful enemy invasions and threats from diverse communities living in the Indian subcontinent,’ according to extremist politician Cyril Mathew and his associates in a book published thirty years ago, Diabolical Conspiracy. The fact that Sinhalese too originated from the Indian subcontinent, and that rival kingdoms […]

The war in Sri Lanka is not over – get it?

In his ”responses and clarifications’’ to his article, Is the War Really Over?, Lionel Bopage defends himself against a critic’s charge that he doesn’t ”get it” that the war is really over now that the LTTE has been defeated.Bopage clarifies: “I began my article with the statement that the conventional war between the GoSL and […]

Last comment on Sri Lanka: Is the war really over?

[Editors note: This is Lionel Bopage's second detailed response to the points brought up in his article Sri Lanka: Is the war really over? The first response and resulting comments can be read here.] I doubt that a solution to Sri Lanka’s national question can be discussed in detail on a forum such as Groundviews […]

The East and West at the UN Human Rights Council: Never the twain shall meet?

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” (Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-room ballads, 1892) Through a fortuitous twist of fate at the end of May I had the opportunity to be a witness to an event of considerable global importance; the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on […]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Missing the Woods for the Trees

Sri Lanka’s decisive military victory over the LTTE owed much to a robust foreign policy as it did to a strong military and political leadership with the resolve to defeat the enemy. The results are evident. At the Security Council, it was the steadfast position of permanent member China that the sovereignty of a member-state […]

Designing democracy: A post-Prabhakaran future

Was/is he an ethnonational liberation fighter, an egocentric megalomaniac or an unschooled political protagonist? Depending on the perspectives they would prefer to take, concerned future historians will struggle to pigeon hole Veluppilai Pirapaharan. Whatever the analysis, anarchist ideology, neo-Marxist categorization or a Minority Nation Rights discourse, he is sure to be mentioned in a very […]

Devolution of powers under the 13th Amendment in Sri Lanka: Fact or Fiction?

(The writer was one of the secretaries of the first Provincial Council of the Western Province) 1. Introduction In the aftermath of the defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, many expected the government to put forward the promised political solution to the problems of the Tamils which led to the war. Those who expected […]

Potato Farmer’s Poultry Venture

I arrive on holiday at the Colombo airport with my family. It is I, your potato farmer. In my last post I told you about my trial, you might remember. Mine is a complex family: “Look my darling, your children and my children are playing with our children”. We often have quarrels about our respective […]