Archive | March, 2010


What is the definition of a traitor? A traitor is usually defined as someone who betrays his or her country. But this definition leaves out the question of what, exactly, constitutes betrayal. Recently, the term has been used of journalists and human rights defenders who talk or write about  human rights violations and war crimes in Sri Lanka, […]

Parliamentary Elections, April 2010: An opportunity for voters in the North and East

I remember visiting Jaffna in 1997. Local government elections were due. Several leading political figures had been assassinated in the preceding years, some by the LTTE, others by anti-LTTE groups.  In the prevailing climate of fear, the Federal Party had reluctantly submitted nominations for elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council and one or two other […]

Justice Our Way

Intervening in the controversy over the teaching of English ‘our way’, retired Senior DIG Edward Gunawardena wrote a satirical letter to The Island of March 27, 2010, which concluded: “So Sir, let us appreciate the fact that speaking or writing English “our way” can have entertainment value too. The Queen’s English can be, murdered. But […]

Did the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) hand over the North to LTTE?

To one Mr. N. Ethirveerasingam, on a comment he made on an article I wrote (The Commissioner of Elections: A close friend’s critique) and appeared in Groundviews, I responded: “Quite recently I read a paper at an international conference held in Colombo which I wish to summarize having read your comment to understand the political […]

Whither enemies of the state: The political debate in Sri Lanka today

“Unarm, Eros; the long day’s task is done“ – Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, 4.14 The current Sri Lankan political discourse, thin gruel though it is, contains three morsels of content:  democracy, the electoral system and national sovereignty. Some question whether the ‘mere fact of elections’ qualifies Sri Lanka, or any country for that matter, as […]

Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch: the Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?

Could it be that the sight of the Buddha statue was a complete turn-off to those who were utterly aroused by the dancing girls, the ‘sexy chicks’, seen in the music video ‘Sexy Bitch’, by David Gruetta, which featured Akon? If not, can such a scene, which in this particular video lasted for not more […]

Politics of Sinhala Nationalism: Underpinning of the UPFA Victory and Undermining of the Sri Lankan Nationhood

“Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by a world of enemies, one against all, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before […]

Bell Pottinger and Sri Lanka: Millions spent for what?

Bell Pottinger hired Qorvis Communications as a subcontractor for its work with the government of Sri Lanka, starting December 1, according to a filing with the US Department of Justice. Qorvis is providing media relations and monitoring, crisis communications planning, and stakeholder representation in the US. The budget is approximately $483,000. Though freely available on […]