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Ideological Cancers within the Sinhala Universe: Roadblocks in the Path of Reconciliation

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte via Channel 4 Way back in the 1970s the manner in which Anagārika Dharmapāla conflated the concepts of “Ceylonese” and “Sinhalese” in one of his public exhortations (Guruge 1965) led me to argue that this was a powerful tendency in Sinhalese nationalist thinking and that this unexamined tendency was a major problem […]

A South African effort at promoting reconciliation

Ebrahim Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of  International Relation and Cooperation Republic of South Africa meeting  Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Adviser to the H.E. President and Minister of Economic development. Via Ministry of Economic Development. General elections in South Africa concluded a few days ago and the results were a resounding reelection victory for the ruling African Nation […]

5 years after: Reflections as a mother, women and a citizen of Sri Lanka

Image by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP, via FT.com The moment I think of the war it takes me to 1995. Sri Lankans had very high expectations – a new government and a new President with a lot of promise to end the war. People in the South, North, East and West were so hopeful to see […]

Re-visiting the Rajapaksa Hegemonic Project

Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg News, via The Japan Times The UPFA regime has accomplished an unprecedented hegemonic political power, consummated by landslide   electoral victories: Presidential election, January   2010, Parliamentary Elections March 2010 and the subsequent Provincial council elections, except, crucially in the North. They have consolidated their rural voter base in a remarkable fashion. As the […]

The failure of the media, civil society and the ‘moderates’

Photo by AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena via The Star SC [FR] 97/2014 is a Fundamental Rights application currently pending before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. FH the Petitioner is an 11 year old Muslim girl who has named amongst others her school Principal as a Respondent for violating her Fundamental Rights by preventing her from attending […]

Archive of #WCY2014MR: A youth focussed Twitter Q&A with the President

Image courtesy the President’s Twitter account On the occasion of the World Conference on Youth 2014, the President  Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa announced over social media he would have, and not for the first time, a Twitter Q&A on Thursday, 8th May at 11.30am. We archived the entire conversation, conducted under the hashtag #WCY2014MR. At […]

Keep Off the Grass

Photo courtesy Pri’s blog Colombo has been blossoming under the keen watch of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who, in his self-appointed role as Godfather, presides over a grand plan of urban beautification that will ultimately, we suppose he believes, turn Colombo into a first-world city like any of the world’s greatest cities; high-rises crowding the […]

A Brief History of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance from 2004 to 2014: Statistics and Real Politics

Image via Wikipedia By 2015 Sri Lanka will have experienced a decade of rule by the United Peoples Freedom Alliance UPFA government under President Mahinda Rajapakse. He ascended to the Presidency in 2005 after Chandrika Bandaranaike’s 1994 People’s Alliance PA transformed and returned to power as the UPFA in alliance with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna […]

Kasturi’s Progress

Photo by Vidu Gunaratna, AČK | Photography Kasturi was born in another century in what really was another country. It was called Ceylon, and the year, 1933. Two years earlier, exercising the newly granted universal adult franchise, the people of Ceylon had elected 50 members to the first State Council. The times were turbulent: the […]

THE WAR, PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS

Photo by EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA courtesy LA Times Response to Vangeesa Sumanasekara’s Badiou’s Event and the defeat of the Tigers: A Brief Response to Dayan Jayatilleka My literate young critic Vangeesa Sumanasekara, a serious student of philosophy, seems to say that the focus of his disputation with my essay is not primarily the political but rather the philosophical. He […]

Political settlement or regime change!

Photo by AFP, via SBS “I fled down labyrinthine ways And glooms of chasmed fears” (Not exactly Francis Thompson) This essay is premised on an ill-omened reading of the Geneva tea-leaves. What be this ominous message I see floating in the cup? For reasons I will lay out in the initial paragraphs I find it […]

A new phase of mediation to get from post-war to post-conflict Sri Lanka

Image courtesy BBC Five years after the end of the war, Sri Lanka remains a post-war society that has yet to make the transition to a post-conflict society. While the violence has ceased, the political roots of the conflict that gave rise to war remain to be addressed. There continues to be extreme political polarization […]