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Review of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice edited by Asanga Welikala

Coming as it did at the end of 2012, The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, is much more than two edited volumes or an extensive anthology. Rather, on close reading it seems more a living embodiment of current and critical debate at the very heart of the Sri Lankan […]

Use Vesak decorations to reflect upon Dhamma

Lord Buddha gave different meditation objects to different people. For some, just focusing on rubbing two pieces of material against each other worked, and for some others focusing on the breath worked. On Vesak poya day, we celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and the passing away of this great teacher. In Sri Lanka, almost every Buddhist […]

Beyond Nostalgia: ‘Children of Olcott’ Must Revisit History

Review of: Mahinde Thamai Iskole (Mahinda is the School!) by Sundara Nihathamani de Mel (Suratha Publishers, Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka; 220 pages; LKR 600 I have never been able to understand why apparently grown Lankan men instantly turn so nostalgic — and sometimes completely incoherent — at the mere mention of their primary or secondary […]

OPPOSITION MYTHS, POLITICAL REALITIES

Image courtesy Asianews.it Erroneous political thinking and analysis obscure and obstruct the path of the political recovery of the Opposition in Sri Lanka. They can be disaggregated into six myths. Myth 1 is that unity at all costs in the ranks of the main democratic opposition party is a necessary and sufficient condition of political […]

Reconciliation, Rights & Freedom: Four years after the end of war in SRi Lanka

Image courtesy The Telegraph It is now 4 years after the end of the war. The way we Sri Lankans will remember the end of the war is likely to demonstrate once again how divided we are, as North and South, as Sinhalese and Tamils. Some Tamil friends in the North told me that they […]

Freedom of assembly in post-war Sri Lanka

Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, center,  speaks to reporters during a protest rally out side the parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Relatives, colleagues and opposition activists staged a protest rally Thursday demanding that the Sri Lanka government hold proper investigation to find out what happened to Ekneligoda who […]

A New Political Regime Post-2010 in Sri Lanka: A Hybrid Regime

Image courtesy Brisbane Times by Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia Introduction The 2010 Sri Lankan Presidential and Parliamentary elections that took place shortly after the end of a debilitating 25 year-old civil war in 2009 constitutes a watershed in Sri Lanka’s politics. Despite the unsettled conditions over the last two decades emanating from this […]

‘Women’s Issues': Shooting the messenger

Image courtesy ICRW ‘Are we not raped every day when we walk down the street and are leered at ? Are we not raped when we are treated as sex objects, denied our rights, oppressed in so many ways ?’ Archives of Manushi, written by Sohaila (1983) Sri Lanka reminds one of one’s gender. To be female in a […]

People, Politics and the Constitution: Reading ‘The Sri Lankan Republic at 40′ (edited by Asanga Welikala)

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, taken at the launch of the book in Colombo. Reading a tome on constitutional history, theory and practice – like Asanga Welikala’s edited collection titled The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 – can be a daunting task. For a start, such books have too much to say about constitutions. The more you […]

Sri Lanka Today: Due Process & Civil Liberties or Security State?

Photo courtesy The Nation “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” ‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919) Must the Sri Lankan citizenry accept or acquiesce in the sacrifice, even in peacetime, of due process and civil liberties at the altar of an absolutist model of security? […]

Responding to a reader who critiqued ‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’

I appreciate Anoja Fernando’s response (The Island, Tuesday 7th May) to my article (‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’, published on Groundviews) and her reference to those of DLO Mendis and E de S Wijeyaratna. Was the Bishop’s reference to Buddhist and Hindus (and Muslims?) in Sri Lanka, or to non Christian every […]

Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Tamil Diaspora is a diverse ethnic group. Amongst it, the majority are strongly connected to their kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka. Arguably, the Tamil Diaspora is […]

World Press Freedom day, Uthayan and Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy SIDA “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties” John Milton 3rd May was declared as World Press Freedom day by the UN General Assembly in 1991. Since then, it is celebrated every year, around the world. It is a time to cherish, […]

‘Rally for Unity’, a March towards Reconciliation

Photo by Anushan Selvarajah, from Flickr photo set on rally It is often the case that a nation which experienced a protracted war will tend to look forward rather than backward. For Sri Lankans, over the years, the war became a part of their lives, and survival a part of their routine. In such a context, […]

Rally for Unity: Standing up for an inclusive Sri Lanka

Groundviews strongly endorsed a rally held in Colombo on Sunday to reaffirm the fact that Sri Lanka is not only a Sinhala-Buddhist country. As the movement’s Facebook event page noted, this non-partisan, non-violent awareness raising rally aims to empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka. At […]