Archive | February, 2010

Living Secular in the ‘Sinhala Buddhist Republic’ of Sri Lanka

Two years ago, in a moment of panic, I rushed my young daughter to Colombo’s only children’s hospital. To be honest, I don’t normally turn to our overcrowded government hospitals for healthcare. But a doctor friend had recommended the Lady Ridgeway Hospital as the best place for administering the anti-rabies vaccine. As with all government […]

Interview with Ameena Hussein

Ameena Hussein is one of Sri Lanka’s best known English authors. She is also one half of the Perera Hussein Publishing House, that since 2003 has published some of the best new English writing in the country. The Moon in the Water, Ameena’s first novel, was long-listed for the first Man Asian Literary Award in […]

Do candidates need armed security to ask for people’s votes?

I have read and heard of W. Dahanayake travelling to Colombo from Galle in the morning “Ruhunu Kumari” train with all those other ordinary passengers, getting off at the Kollupitiya station to go to his ministry in Union Place, when he was Co-operative Minister in the J.R. Jayawardne government. That was in early 1980’s. There […]


Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to be turning into his one-time enemies. During the reign of terror (bheeshanaya) in the late 1980s, which was started by J.R.Jayawardene and continued by R.Premadasa, around 60,000 Sinhalese were tortured, disappeared and killed by the state. At that time, Rajapaksa collected evidence of these crimes and took them to the international […]

Parliamentary Elections 2010: Living through a kleptocracy and not wanting an alternative

Are we honestly serious in wanting democracy, our rights and human development, to live in Sri Lanka ? If we are, how are we seeing to it, that we do really enjoy such a luxury in this beleaguered nation ? All what had been happening and allowed to happen, don’t in any way even hint […]

The Buddha Sasana: Sri Lanka’s biggest NGO?

Sometimes words are used so often and so uncritically that they not only lose communicative value but those who utter them and those who hear them no longer know what they mean.  We really don’t know what ‘democracy’ means, do we?  Decency, anyone?  How about justice?  Love?  There are thousands of such words and terms […]

The ‘Sinhala-Nationalist’s Burden’

Mr. Gomin Dayasiri’s article, titled ‘Tamil Grievances – Untouched & Unattended’ (Daily Mirror, 16 February 2010) reveals the Sinhala nationalist perspective concerning the kind of solution necessary for the resolution of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. It is an important piece, written by a respected senior lawyer, a nationalist. The author points to some […]

Exceptional responses to questions from media

Groundviews was able to obtain an audio recording of an exchange between Swiss journalist Karin Wenger and a well-known, senior journalist now part of the Presidential Media Unit (PMU). Karin’s visa and media accreditation to cover the Sri Lankan presidential election was revoked after she asked several questions from government representatives at an official press […]


“All my life I have been a gentleman to my adversaries, even in war situations surrounded by death. I’ve never humiliated, offended nor wreaked revenge on a single prisoner, not even in the case of the Bay of Pigs while my comrades lay mortally wounded or dead around me…One must be honourable.” – Fidel Castro […]

Going beyond Sarath Fonseka in achieving democracy for people

A visibly shaken wife in tears, Anoma Fonseka told the media “this is the gift my husband got for finishing a 30 year war”. Gen Sarath Fonseka was arrested, or detained, or taken into custody or may have been even abducted by a military group late in the evening on Monday from his office, in […]

Sri Lanka Snapshot, 2010

For residents and visitors The giant leafy mango tree in the back garden has been cut down screamed the poet, Scar and the hyenas are in charge, the stomach queasy, revolted, Il Duce megaphoned War is Peace; in the exhaust fumes of a white van a soul flits about then vanishes, betrayal on 4 million […]


The Sri Lankan crisis continues, sourced in and stemming from two major flaws/factors: (i) There is no comprehension that “justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done” and that what is legal in the narrowest sense may not be perceived as legitimate or ethical in the broader sense. The consequences for […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term: Opportunities and challenges for constitutional reform

I interviewed recently Rohan Edrisinha, who lectures at the Law Faculty, University of Colombo. Along with a number of other issues related to prospects of meaningful constitutional reform in Sri Lanka during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term in office, Rohan addressed the farrago of approaches by the Rajapakse administration towards the implementation of the 17th and […]