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Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Are you listening?

Image from Lanka Standard After nearly 7 years of postgraduate education and independent research experience abroad, I returned to Sri Lanka in mid 2003, to work in my mother country Sri Lanka that gave me free education all the way upto university level. When I left Johns Hopkins University in USA, some of my friends […]

Sri Lanka’s racism juggernaut and the war against it

Sri Lankan society is being divided and systematically targeted as the racism juggernaut continues to gain momentum around the country. Minorities face growing persecution with nationalist groups sprouting up and feeding on the insecurities and economic decline of the nation. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was the first organised group to rise up and openly […]

Protecting violent protesters and dispersing peaceful protesters: New role for Police and some Buddhists in Sri Lanka?

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph On 12th April, around 7pm, I was amongst a group of people gathered on the pavement, outside the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building, situated at 32, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This is the address of the Bodu Bala Sena, which has been accused of inciting and unleashing violence against minority religious communities, […]

ANTI-BBS VIGIL: A CRITIQUE OF MALINDA SENEVIRATNE’S CRITIQUE

An image of a true, 100% verified, authentic, original, perfect Buddhist. Not.  I wasn’t at the vigil because I don’t do vigils and if I were to make an exception it would be for an anti-BBS/SR demonstration spearheaded by the Left (in our case that would be the JVP and FSP), as are most anti-racist […]

Sheep No More…

Image from video on the vigil, broadcast by News 1st. (A Personal Response to the quashing of the first anti BBS protest on Havelock Road) This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom […]

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court […]

Drawing the Battle Lines

Monks of Sri Lanka’s hardline Buddhist group Bodhu Bala Sena pray during a protest rally urging boycott of consumer goods with Halal certification in Maharagama on the out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka in February. Picture and caption courtesy AP, via Asian Correspondent. The growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka is pushing us to respond in […]

The Fashion Bug case: A turning point for Muslim rights in Sri Lanka

Buddhist monks on the rampage at Fashion Bug as Police just look The judicial case related to the violent attack on Muslim owned Fashion Bug head office and warehouse in Pepiliyana, 10 km away from Colombo, is destined to be a turning point in Muslim Rights in Sri Lanka. Following is a brief recap of the […]

Strengthening innovation in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and is one of the most prominent voices in Sri Lanka today championing innovation. We begin by Anushka explaining what innovation means to him in a Sri Lankan context, and why it is so important to support it in post-war […]

Questions the public must ask in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy BBC In the few days following the UNHRC meetings in Geneva, we have witnessed several act of blatant criminality by mobs on people and property- in greater Colombo, Killinochchi and elsewhere. A common factor has been the passivity of the Police. They have looked the other way (reminiscent of July ’83) and suppressed […]

‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’

Image courtesy Aaron Joel Santos The title of this article is a line from a beautifully haunting hymn written by Bishop Heber of Calcutta who, clearly, had an imperialistic mindset.  He visited our island in 1825, and the hymn must have been written around that time.  The next line reads, ‘The Heathen in his blindness bows […]