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Interview with Alistair Burt on Sri Lanka

The BBC’s Charles Haviland interviewed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Minister Alistair Burt on 1st February 2013, during an official visit to Sri Lanka which saw the Minister meet with a range of stakeholders including the government, TNA and civil society as well as travel to the North of the country. […]

In conversation with Nayomi Munaweera

The Los Angeles Review calls Nayomi Munaweera‘s first novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, “gripping, astonishing and utterly gorgeous”. At the head of their lane, a buss on its knees, front tires exploded, haemorrhages thrusting, pushing passengers. At the far side, a particularly jovial mob gather. Reaching high above their heads the men pull a […]

Mixed Messages and Bland Oversimplification in President Rajapaksa’s Independence Day Speech

In a significant act of outreach the Independence Day ceremonies were held in Trincomalee, a provincial city with a pronounced ethnic mix; while President Rajapaksa presented one part of his message in Tamil, repeating what he had said earlier (in English?) and then reiterating the same points in Sinhala. In keeping with the occasion and […]

Memes and the Art of Majority Placation in Sri Lanka

The thing about Social Media is that it gives people a shot at engineering their identities without much effort. A simple ‘like’ or ‘share’ of a particular picture can easily give the impression of an aware and concerned citizen, and so the proliferation of such images in such a politically-charged climate is not surprising. This […]

Is the history of Sri Lanka a tale of two civilisations?

[Parakramabahu (1153-1186) holds the yoke of sovereignty which has only been upheld since by military power and force, rather than by the consent of the people] [Today, the easy co-existence of opposites symbolized by the ballot and bullet walking together] The intellectual gaps that reinforce our intellectual poverty appear readily as we scrutinize the grand […]

Alistair Burt: Archive of Twitter interview on Sri Lanka

Photo credit FCO [Editors note: Also listen to Interview with Alistair Burt on Sri Lanka] On 5th February 2013, UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt hosted a live interview session via Twitter. Alistair Burt is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs. At the time of the interview, the Minister had recently returned […]

The Middle Managers of Ethnic Cleansing

Image via Dawn There is a popular saying amongst the Tamils, “even if one grazes chicken (which is really a non existent work), it should be grazed in the government”.  Employment in the government sector is coveted for the respect it commands in society and the social security it provides to the individual in terms […]

Pillars of deception a future leader from the opposition may want to address

Image from AsiaNews.It I enjoyed reading several articles written by Dayan Jayatilleka and Laksiri Fernando, on the future form of a democratic struggle launched by the people of Sri Lanka, to rise above the current political catastrophe. This is a complementary note as a Sri Lankan voter that maybe of some use to a future […]

Sri Lanka’s 65th Anniversary of Independence

Photo via NowPublic Greetings Lanka! Today marks the 65th Anniversary of Independence of our country. This year would also mark the fourth year anniversary of ‘defeating terrorism’. But, little has changed, and there is little to celebrate this year. The country is treading a catastrophic path and our future is a disaster waiting to happen. […]

Conflict dynamics and Islamic values from Mindanao to Sri Lanka: In conversation with Mehmet Rizal Derindag

Mehmet Rizal is a UN Ambassador For Peace and presently based in the Philippines. As noted in his biography, Rizal played a key role in bringing the Philippines government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) together for a landmark peace agreement, and also brought OIC and Turkish foreign ministry into the negotiations process. Turkish by […]

Towards an Inclusive Constitution for Natural Justice

Image from Wall Street Journal The period that we have before us comprises the most motley mixture of crying contradictions: constitutionalists who conspire openly against the constitution; revolutionists who are confessedly constitutional; a national assembly that always wants to be omnipotent and always remains parliamentary; an executive power that finds its strength in its very […]

Another US Resolution on Sri Lanka: The Road to Nowhere?

Photo courtesy JDS So it looks like the US will bring another resolution on Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva this March. Quite frankly – I am shocked. US foreign policy as it relates to Sri Lanka has been confusing and is replete with complications and […]

Sri Lanka’s tryst with reconciliation: Where are we today?

Image courtesy Centre for Human Rights The dominating narrative is dichotomous: at one end of the spectrum is the view that reconciliation has been achieved with the conclusion of the armed struggle and at the other end is the contention that reconciliation has not even begun to take place since the end of the war. The […]

Implementing LLRC recommendations in Sri Lanka: Progress?

Image via Sri Lanka Brief Sri Lanka has achieved considerable progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and ready to defend its record at the next session in Geneva, Foreign Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said. So says the President’s Media Unit. We are a tad less sanguine. Even a […]