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Post-election updates from Colombo

I’ve been tweeting from around 3am this morning on what’s going on in Colombo after the elections, and in particular what is at the time of writing a rather tense situation around the hotel that presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka is residing in. Leading English mainstream media websites are crashing under the heavy load of web […]

People’s immediate post election responsibility on “corruption” promises

The presidential campaigns concluded officially a day ago and the “Programme for Protection of Public Property” (4P) calculated and exposed the cost of advertisements by each of the two main presidential candidates. Incumbent president as UPFA candidate had spent LKR 377.9 million says 4P, while the UNF-JVP Common Candidate had spent LKR 80.5 million. The […]

A bizarre polling card: Evidence of a flawed election?

We feature this video captured by Groundviews today without any additional comment because it is abundantly clear which candidate the sign stapled on to this anomalous polling card refers to. It is also very clear what such an indication outrageously and completely illegally attached to a polling card implies. As this voter asks in the […]

From here to nowhere and to an ‘Ahmadinejadian’ end?

“We vote to get president. We get president. But where our vote, we don’t know” was a line that I had saved from a news report on the Iranian presidential polls in June 2009. What ever the man on a Teheran street wanted conveyed, it meant the presidential election results and their voting had no […]

Sri Lanka at Cross Roads: What a Victory for the UNF will Mean

It appears to be the most powerful electoral alliance that has ever been formed in the country.A political phenomenon, a coalition containing diametrically opposed political views led by someone without any formal political membership of any political party of the alliance he presides over. But how far will they march together either in their victory […]

Presidential promises and necessity for change? Sri Lankan voters at crossroads

This note concerns the forthcoming Presidential election in Sri Lanka, due on 27 January 2010. As several insightful articles on the polls have already appeared on Groundviews, all I propose here is to give a brief ‘view from afar’, i.e. perceptions from a citizen living away, who will unfortunately not be able to cast his […]

The Tamil Issue: The Political Football of the Presidential Election

The 5th Presidential election in Sri Lanka is heading towards a photo finish. In this context once again the Tamil issue has become the political football in Sri Lankan politics. Let’s have a look at few recent election news headlines: “Defeat secret pact between Fonseka and Sampanthan; Give verdict against betrayal; Will never allow rebirth […]

Colombo to Colombia: A traveler’s look at parallel causes of conflict in two golden lands

The Salt Dividend Catedral de Sal, Zipaquirá El Dorado Christopher Columbus never set foot in the country named after him; it was Alonso de Ojeda, one of his companions on his second voyage to the New World, who arrived at the mouth of the Orinoco River in 1499 CE.  The wealth of the local Amerindians, […]

Post-presidential elections: The new challenges before Sri Lanka

Citizens are living through a politically decisive week with just days to elect Sri Lanka’s next Executive President. The next elected Chief Executive, unlike his predecessors, will acquire a unique place in the island’s political history as the country’s first post war president.  In many ways, it is an honour. It also comes with attendant […]

26 January 2010: ‘Open Moment’, Closed Minds!

Colombo, 22 January 2010: Today marks exactly 250 days since Sri Lanka’s civil war officially ended on 18 May 2009. On that momentous day, all Lankans shared at least one sentiment: a huge sense of relief. Many among us were euphoric, while some of us chose to be cautiously optimistic. It certainly was a defining moment, […]

Is Sri Lanka in danger of being held accountable by the International Criminal Court?

There has been much debate about the issue of war crimes in Sri Lanka.  Both major political parties contesting the elections have used the issue for political leverage, each accusing for the other of betraying the country and the armed forces to the international community. (I will not speculate on what may or may not […]

Promising the moon to lure the voters is dangerous for the economy

The country is being told some dangerous lies by both main candidates contesting the Presidential election. The manifestoes put by both main candidates with much fanfare are ignoring economic realities. MR wants to give us more of the same when he has failed to resolve the problems of the economy or run any public service […]

Surveys with conflicting outcomes

There was a survey on the next presidential election conducted by an Indian firm-Viplav Communications Pvt Ltd during January 6-13.  They say the sample size is 10,225 and forecast “The poll shows Rajapaksa (MR) leading in all provinces other than the Tamil-dominated north and multi-racial east and enjoying a 12 percent lead over his opponent […]