Archive | December, 2009

A brief response to a charge of mercenary intellectualism

[Editors note: This is a response by Dayan Jayatilleke to a recently published article by Prof. Peter Schalk of Uppsala University, Sweden, who identified four western educated individuals hired by the Government of Sri Lanka to defend Colombo's decisions and criticisms from the West, labelling them "mercenary intellectuals". In the spirit of engagement, Groundviews invited two […]

Who’s Afraid of Amateur Radio? Tsunami’s heroic technology has few backers in Sri Lanka

Five years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, amateur radio helped revive emergency communications with some of the worst affected locations. The decades old practice was hailed as the ‘low tech’ miracle that literally helped save lives. Where electricity and telephone services — both fixed and mobile — had been knocked […]

Exploring the Myth that the Tamil vote will be the decider at the Presidential Elections

Aachcharya writing from Jaffna Two Tamil Dailies Thinakkural and Uthayan (Jaffna) carried yesterday a headline report of retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran’s opinion on whom the Tamils should vote for at Presidential elections. (Justice C. V Wigneswaran is a highly respected member of the Tamil intelligentsia and while on the Supreme Court was known […]

Between a Horek and a Mule

Over 6 decades of independence and universal adult franchise and SL has reached probably the lowest points of its political life. Listening, reading and drawing inferences from what’s coming out and not coming out of the 2 main camps in the presidential foray; I cannot help but come to the conclusion that the people of […]

‘Uncivilising’ Sri Lanka

The SLPC Chairperson, Hudson Samarasinghe, is using vulgar telecasts and thereby contributing to the degeneration of language and public discourse within the country. The rudest forms of language used to refer to persons and the manner in which people are referred to publically are those which are considered in the language as most unacceptable. Such […]

Blinkered vision of Tamil nationalists and socialists is self-defeating

[Editors note: This article responds to key points raised by several noted commentators on the author's previous article here.] There’s one important lesson to be learnt from the presidential campaign so far: It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Mahinda-Regime is determined to hang on to power by hook or by crook. Ominous signs of thuggery […]

An Allergy To Self-Criticism In Dominant Tamil Discourse

In hard science when an experiment repeatedly fails and finally blows up the lab with it, the very assumptions which form the basis of the experiment are reassessed and often abandoned.  The empirically evident track record of Tamil nationalist politics in Sri Lanka is that of repeated failure capped by defeat. However the dominant tendency […]

The 2010 Elections: Finishing the War on Terror & Beginning the Battle for Democracy

The 26th of November 2009 went by without Vellupillai Prabhakaran making his annual Mahaveera Speech. We can effectively say that he and the LTTE died on the beaches of the Nandikandal Lagoon in May 2009. The Sri Lankan Government won the war against the LTTE and declared that Terrorism had been defeated. Some Sri Lankans […]

Christmas 2008 to Christmas 2009 in Sri Lanka

Last Christmas, together with few friends, we prayed desperately, hoping a bloodbath would be avoided This Christmas, we prayed and lit candles for the thousands killed and missing during the war, the ones who doesn’t have a grave as their family members had to run over the dead (and sometimes dyeing) bodies to save their […]

A photo story: Five years on, forgotten victims of the tsunami

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou, 4 April 1928 Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai in Saainthamaruthu Today is the 5th anniversary of a tsunami that devastated our country.Five years on, but how many of us still […]

Better Governance: The Biggest Lesson of 2004 Tsunami

On 26 December 2009, we mark the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, one of the biggest and deadliest disasters in history. It left a trail of destruction across South and Southeast Asia, killing over 225,000 and shattering the lives of millions more. For many of us in the media and communication sectors, this […]

A response to Dayan Jayatilleka’s “Mindless emotionalism and absence of thinking in Tamil politics”

I have been following Mr. Jayatilleka’s articles both on Groundviews and Tamil Week. While I do agree with some of his ideas such as a multi-ethnic Sri Lanka where citizenship is not defined by ethnicity, I disagree with his argument that mostly puts the onus on the Tamil minority to tread the line based on […]

Chavez, the Cynics and the “Big Lie” of the Presidential Campaign

[Editors note: The author and the commentator Doomed to Repeat had a length exchange of ideas on the author's previous post Sarath Fonseka - A potential De Gaulle or Chavez? This article refers to the specific comment by Doomed to repeat published here.] Dear “Doomed to Repeat”, Despite my disagreement with your ‘anti-dialectical’ approach to […]

Mindless emotionalism and absence of thinking in Tamil politics

With “Sinhala hegemony” in its most dramatic form, the advancing Sri Lankan armed forces, closing in, Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism could not convince the Tamil Nadu voter of its cause and case, then surely it is imperative that that cause and case be identified as fatally flawed? If India with its 70 million Tamils could […]