Photo courtesy The Sunday Leader

A Twitter Q&A with the JHU’s Champika Ranawaka was conducted at 7pm yesterday, generating hundreds of tweets with questions for the Minister ranging from his hate speech, endorsement of astrology, open calls to violence, politics and religious extremism to the up-coming presidential elections, corruption and governance in general. A cursory study of the session suggests the response rate to the questions posed seems higher than previous attempts at Twitter Q&A’s with leading figures in Sri Lanka like Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lalith Weeratunge and Nivard Cabraal.

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Aside from the Minister himself, Muditha Senarath Yapa, Head of John Keells Research (@muditha), CPA’s Sinhala civic media initiative Vikalpa, led by Sampath Samarakoon (@vikalpavoices), Nalaka Gunawardene (@nalakag), Swarnavahini journalist Vajira Sumeda (@vajirasumeda) amongst others were the most active during and leading up to the Twitter Q&A.

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  • An archive of all the tweets generated during the #AskChampika session can now be accessed here.
  • An archive of all the tweets can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet (XLS) here or in the OpenDocument Format (ODF) here.
  • Note that in our experience, the archives don’t behave well using the currently available version of Excel for Apple OS X and open fine on Excel running Windows. Opening the Excel file on Apple’s Numbers for the Mac works fine too.
  • Fitzpatrick

    A out and out [edited] with bigger plans. Dangerous, same way Hitler started out.

  • Sam Thambipillai

    JHU says it would like to talk to TNA and ask TNA not to insist on 13A in the constitution of SL- an unconstitutional and illegal act.

    Tamils of North and East pf SL have a legal right of self determination as prescribed by the UN. Tamil demand since 1977 is maximum autonomy to have their safety, security and freedom.

    Sinhalese as a nation;

    a) have a mindset to dominate, control and oppress Tamils. This is
    b) within a short time can turn out to be dangerously destructive to the
    extent of brutally killing Tamils collectively. Anti Tamil violence and
    Tamil genocide prove this point.

    This is the culture, inheritance and history of the Sinhalese in the past and is now. So rightly, the Tamils cannot and do not trust them at all.

    Also the spiritual leaders have not taught and led the Sinhalese to;

    a) to meditate and choose to do whatever things that are true, noble, just,
    pure, good and lovely.
    b) to do unto all fellow citizens what they will do to themselves.
    c) to love Tamils and not hate them.

    Therefore, to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in SL any solution should be based simultaneously on;

    a) a spiritual solution and
    b) a political solution.

    I believe in solutions based on principles and wise choice of people, not on promises of politicos.

    My suggestion as a spiritual solution is remorsefulness of the Sinhalese and Federalism for 10 years as a trial political solution to see if;

    a) if the Sinhalese would change their present hatred and oppressive attitude and become good and trustworthy to Tamils and
    b) if Tamils would dro their demand for Tamil Eelam.

    My question is has JHU has sufficient wisdom, spiritualism, leadership ability and patriotism to do this task?