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How Free is Free Education? Private Household Spending on Education in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Photo courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

Expectations and the Disappointments of the New Government

Photo courtesy Asia One The new coalition government formed on January 9, 2015 has just completed its first month, and this leaves only a little more than two months before the parliament is dissolved. During the election campaign, a number of issues were highlighted against Mr Rajapaksa, and they were extensively used as key weapons […]

FM Samaraweera Calls for Patience on Human Rights Front and Improved Sri Lanka-USA Relations

Photo courtesy MFA Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his first visit to Washington, D.C. after assuming office addressed a full-house gathering at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on Wednesday February 11th. The CEIP, founded in 1910, is the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States. In the last few […]

Online Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

Introduction The tension between the burgeoning technological capacities for both expression and repression online is a global phenomenon, compounded by the absence of a dedicated international legal framework that sets out obligations for states with regard to the protections of freedom of expression online. Within this context, Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable: existing protections for […]

THE POLITICS OF HATE, THE POLITICS OF HURT, AND THE POLITICS OF THE HAUGHTY: THREE THREATS TO CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM IN SRI LANKA

Photo courtesy Maithripala Sirisena website “To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, […]

Storming to Performing in 100 Days

Photo courtesy The Business Times Taking over the country’s governance, especially under the current circumstances in Sri Lanka must take an emotional and physical toll on the politicians.   At this level of stress, how can one keep a rational and a logical perspective, especially when there are so many complex, risky, divisive issues to deal […]

Exploring International and Domestic Modalities for Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka

AFP PHOTO/LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHILAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images via FT blog The ‘Declaration of Peace’ by the Government of Sri Lanka at the 67th Independence Day Celebrations held on 4th February 2015 is a notable shift in its recognition of the past and the need for healing and unity. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) made a […]

Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance to the United States

Image courtesy California Bangla An analysis of Nisha Biswal’s visit to island nation During late January and early February 2015, Sri Lanka witnessed the visits of many foreign officials to the country. Prominently featured among them were the visits of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire, the United States Assistant […]

Economics of the Colombo Port City Project

Image courtesy Yamu The government recently took a cabinet decision to go ahead with the $15 billion Colombo Port City Project (CPCP). Cabinet spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, trying to justify the decision told the media that it was a “business venture” done together with one of Sri Lanka’s “long-standing friends,” China. A day later Prime […]

Sri Lanka’s Newfound (Cautious) Optimism

Photo courtesy Colombo Gazette Amra Ghouse, Kumaran Nadesan, Suthamie Poologasingham, Nima Ranawana and Viranjith Tilakaratne When Sri Lanka celebrated its 67th Independence Day on February 4, it did so filled with hope that it can finally realize its true social, political and economic potential. Many Sri Lankan Canadians too are now cautiously optimistic about that […]

Signs of Blemishes in Good Governance

Photo courtesy Bloomberg Sam Samarasinghe and Chandrasiri Seneviratne In the first three weeks of its tenure the Sirisena/Wickramasinghe administration has generally adhered to the principles of good governance in their effort to implement the One-Hundred Day Program. President Sirisena’s interview on Rupavahini TV last weekend further buttressed his good governance credentials. Both President Maithripala Sirisena […]

How Free is Free Education?: Educational Stratification in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Image courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

Memory and Movement: An Independence Day Reflection

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via RFI Independence Day reminds us that we are one country called to become one reconciled people. Experience teaches that when addressed, dominant national realities become paths to reconciliation. Economic dignity The real enemy is not next door but at the economic extremes. Poverty is humiliating; excessive wealth intoxicates. Since there […]