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Ruminations after Colombo Pride: Why Queer Interest Litigation is Public Interest Litigation

Photo courtesy SALGBT Network Part I Exactly a month ago from today, the US Supreme Court’s holding, in Obergefell v. Hodges, seemed to give cause for celebration to many individuals, most of whom expressed solidarity through their profile picture on Facebook. Newsfeeds were abuzz with reports of how “gay marriage” had been legalised in America. […]

Targeting Lanka: Playing Ball with Tamil Extremism 2008-14

This essay was presented at the 9th International Convention of Asian Scholars held in Adelaide from 5-9th July 2015 and was therefore designed as a 15-minute presentation. Hyperlinks, maps, citations and bibliographical references have been inserted in this version, while pictorial illustrations are a supplementary appendix. Footnotes have been kept to a minimum. The emergence […]

Hacking the hackers: Surveillance in Sri Lanka revealed

It was sometime in April 2013, that I wrote my last blog post. Titled ‘And Then They Came For Us’, or something along those morbid lines, the piece was a commentary of sorts based on tweets, photographs and Facebook updates sent out by friends attending a peaceful vigil at the center of Colombo, when marauding thu monks […]

UNP creates broad front while UPFA leads a retreat to the past

Photo courtesy Fatalnews As nominations closed earlier this week, the contours of the battle lines for the general election to Parliament became clear. The two major political formations in the country, the UNP and the UPFA are vying for a parliamentary majority and with it effective control of the next government. The UNP spent an […]

Parallel Enigmas of Pirabaharan and Rajapaksa

Photo courtesy TTN The attempts to field the ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Prime Ministerial candidate to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections by a vocal fringe of the southern political community is similar to the attempts to reincarnate the mystique of Veluppillai Pirabaharan by a vocal fringe of the northern political community. After the demise […]

Troubling, The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Modern, recent, European, the concept of the human being as a rights bearing subject dates only from around the seventeenth century. This in itself isn’t troubling. (Europe has given us good things: cricket, paan and kokis from the countries that colonized us alone.) But the celebrated texts of its earliest articulations, like John Locke’s Second […]

THE MIRUSUVIL CASE: WHY SEARCHING REFORM IS URGENT AND NECESSARY

Image courtesy Daily News The High Court Trial at Bar’s recent conviction and sentencing of Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake to death for what has come to be known as the ‘Mirusuvil massacre’ was met with the entirely expected and bellicose outrage of extremist nationalist Sinhala Buddhist elements. But a more interesting and nuanced response emerged […]

President CBK – A reflection on her politics of Inclusivity and Tolerence

Photo via Club Madrid In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of forty nine years, was elected as the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. Twenty one years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who […]

The 19th Amendment and the future of Sri Lanka

Excellencies of the diplomatic community, Mr Abeykoon, Secretary to the President, officials of the Presidential Secretariat, ladies and gentleman, It may sound as if I am repeating what has already been said when I say that I share the sentiments expressed by both Mr. Dhanapala and Prof. Munasinghe. To me, as a citizen, the 19th […]

Tourism mega-development in Sri Lanka results in human rights violations

Sri Lanka has an increasing number of tourist arrivals which could be very good for the development of the island. Therefore, of course, the local communities should benefit from the tourism above all. This does not seem to be always happening. The Society for Threatened People (STP) Switzerland, together with the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement […]

19th Amendment is a key step forward in Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development

Excellencies, distinguished colleagues on the podium, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, Ayubowan, Vannakkum, Good Afternoon. I am going to talk to you on the 19th Amendment as a scientist and professional, and I will talk about its relationship to Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development (SHD) – ie., sustainable development with a […]

THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT: CENTREPIECE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

Image courtesy News First Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies & Gentlemen, On behalf of His Excellency Maitripala Sirisena and my colleagues in the Presidential Secretariat, I have great pleasure in warmly welcoming you to this afternoon’s briefing on the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. It is just over a month […]